Hi, again, Duelyrs! I’m back with a glance at a few 700-spirit Duelyst decks, this time for the Abyssian faction. One of these decks I’d describe as ‘kinda trolly,’ the other three are pretty all-around decent. Let’s do it!
Commons Added: Void Pulse (x3), Shadow Reflection (x3), Nightshadow Assassin (x3)
Rares Added: Shadowdancer (x3)
This deck plays the classic Abyssian game: spawn horde, kill horde, profit from Deathwatch. Your two Shadow Watchers are actually mostly there to cause a small panic and draw some removal so that when you start laying down Shadowdancers, they’re harder for the opponent to deal with. (That said, don’t hesistate to push whatever advantage you can get if the opponent doesn’t remove a Shadow Watcher right away. Protect him for a turn or two and use your horde efficiently, not wastefully. It’s better to have a clear board, a full health enemy general, and a 6/6 Shadow Watcher than it is to have an enemy minion left standing, a -3 health enemy general, and a 5/5 Shadow Watcher. Once the Watcher gets above 6/6, though, stop dawdling and move in for the kill.
The Shadow Reflections you can slap onto a Rush minion (of which you have six) for a huge burst — but don’t underestimate the potential of using one on a Hailstone Golem to create another must-remove threat to grind out your opponent’s removal before you cast a Shadowdancer. In general, you’ll win with a burst of damage anyway, from Soulshatter Pact or rush+ Shadow Reflection — the difference is that unlike Songhai, you can play the long game by netting a Shadow Dancer or two and just throwing hordes of Wraithlings at stuff, whittling your opponent down and healing yourself up while you search for your burstdown.
Commons Added: Grasp of Agony (x3), Breath of the Unborn (x2), Abyssal Juggernaut (x2), Dancing Blades (x3)
Rares Added: Gloomspine Elemental (x3)
Everything you love about control decks in an Abyssian format. The idea is simple: during the early game, keep board control. That’s the only thing that matters: don’t let the enemy get out of hand in turns 1-3. Once you can drop bombs, drop them. Remember, it only takes 1 dead Abyss Crawler or 1 kill from an Abyssal Juggernaut to turn Darkspine Elemental into a highly efficient 3/3 for 2. Anything bigger than that is pure win. Most Abyssian decks use Breath of the Unborn as straight DD — you have enough big, high-HP creatures to use the healing aspect of it to even better effect. Take advantage!
This deck can win by punching face with huge fatties, or if you get even a little lucky with your Juggernauts, can also handily win by stringing together 2 consecutive Shadow Novas and dealing easily upwards of 20 unavoidable damage between both.
Commons Added: Void Pulse (x2), Grasp of Agony (x3), Primus Fist (x3)
Rares Added: Prismatic Illusionist (x3)
A fancy hybrid between Abyssian Swarm and Abyssian Control, this deck has a ‘weak link’ in that it relies pretty heavily on Prismatic Illusionist gaining significant value. If your opponent has AoE of almost any kind and doesn’t waste it on your early minions, you can get totally wiped out. That said, if they use their AoE early (or have none), this deck owns faces. By combining a solid 14 spells, most of which can be used as removal, with a Prismatic Illusionist, you can create massive tempo swings by spawning an army while you remove their board. Then the ususal Primus Fist/Shoulshatter Pact shenanigans can lead to a quick, bursty victory.
All told, this deck is a bit more RNG-reliant and swingy than the best decks — it’s generally better to win 60% of your games with a struggle than it is to win 55% of your games and have most of them be entirely one-sided (win or lose) — but it’s a blast to play, and it has a lot of potential to grow into cards like Ritual Banishing, Deepfire Devourer, and eventually Rite of the Undervault and Deathfire Crescendo.
Commons Added: Void Pulse (x3), Grasp of Agony (x2), Primus Fist (x2), Sun Seer (x3)
Rares Added: Emerald Rejuvinator (x3)
I told you one of these decks was kinda trolly: this is it. The deck where you, the rushy-beatdown Abyssian, just sit back and gain a boatload of life while removing the enemy creatures and dropping great big fatties of your own. This deck’s (mildly-ironic) weakness is the enemy healing a bunch, so Lyonar and Magmar are both potentially quite bad for you — if they can heal enough to tank out your Thorn Needlers and Golems, you’re going to have to rely on drawing and using two consecutive Shadow Novas — because if you use one now and you don’t draw the other for 6 turns, they’ll have healed the first one away by the time the second one hits. Gotta stack damage rapidly against enemy healers, which this deck isn’t amazing at.
That said, the enemy also has to stack damage rapidly against you, because if they leave you injured but outside burstdown range, you can usually quite handily pull a run-and-drop-healers-behind-me tactic that will get you to your next big removal or big thumper. Ideally, this deck would be using something more akin to Vorpal Reaver instead of Stormmetal Golem, but hey — we’re talking 700 Spirit here. Gotta get the important stuff (removal and healing) tucked into our budget before we worry about nailing the big finishers. J
That’s it for today! The next post is still up in the air, but I’m thinking we’ll take 1 more post off from the 700-Spirit series to talk a bit about what exactly ‘tempo’ means in a game like Duelyst, because it’s a damn sight more complicated than it is in Hearthstone — and people already have a hard enough time describing what ‘tempo’ means in that rather simple environment.
Until then, keep on Duelying!