Hey, there, Duelyrs! Time for a look at some of the lower-budget options that Songhai has to play with. Songhai is a faction that really blossoms out into a variety of meaningfully different successful archetypes…at about 1500 spirit. At 700, I’ll show you one rock-solid archetype, one good archetype, and two that are bordering on ‘stunt decks’ but are nonetheless fun to play. Let’s dig in!
Commons Added: Ancestral Divination, Killing Edge, Scarlet Viper (x3 each)
Rares Added: Gore Horn (x3)
As you’ve already assumed from the name, this is the upgraded version of the pauper backstab deck — and it plays almost identically. Gore Horn gives you another valuable target for Killing Edge to allow for cycling, and played carefully (especially with the Healing Mystics), it can easily grow into a terrible threat all by itself. One each of Planar Scout, Ephemeral Shroud, and Repulsor Beast have been removed to make room for the powerhouses.
Commons Added: Twin Strike (x3), Ancestral Divination (x2), Killing Edge (x3), Silhouette Tracer (x2)
Rares Added: Four Winds Magi (x3)
This is the deck that isn’t quite as rock-solid as the Backstab Combo above, but it is the earliest iteration of a deck that will grow in power immensely as you get more Rares to play with: the Spell-Cycle Combo deck. The basic idea here is to use Phoenix Fire, Twin Strike, and your minions to keep the board clear and keep yourself out of range, and then rely on Four Winds Magi and Bloodrage Mask to wear the opponent down as you keep the board clear. This deck benefits immensely from the addition of cards like Mana Vortex, Manaforger, and other rares that fit in-theme, but this version does in fact function quite nicely as long as you can stay out of harm’s way. Silhouette Tracer helps. Lots. 🙂
Commons Added: Ancestral Divination (x3), Killing Edge (x2), Primus Fist (x3), Void Hunter (x2)
Rares Added: Flameblood Warlock (x3)
The theory behind this deck is simple: cheap-ass creatures, some direct damage, intense offensive buffs, and Ancestral Divination to make sure that you maintain pressure for long enough to bury them. Play hard and fast, and don’t be afraid to play Ancestral with only 2 creatures in your bar. Punch some face, then punch more face. If you’re facing Lyonar, Abyssian, or Magmar, cycle past your Flameblood Warlocks unless you’re getting down into burstdown range and you can use them as face damage. If you’re facing Vetruvian, Songhai, or Vanar, just play them as they come. And do remember the Big List of Geography-Based Spells and position appropriately; the last thing you need is to lose 3/4ths of your army to a well-placed Kinetic Equilibrium or Shadow Nova.
Commons Added: Twin Strike (x2), Ancestral Divination (x2), Helm of Mechaz0r (x3), Wings of Mechaz0r (x3)
Rares Added: Sword of Mechaz0r (x3)
OK, admittedly, it’s a little bit of a stretch to try for a Mechaz0r deck at 700 spirit — generally, you want at least 2 Cannons in addition to the 9 Mechaz0r minions we have here. But between the draw from Twin Strike and the cycling from Ancestral Divination, this is in fact at least modestly likely to get Mechaz0r! out at least every 2nd or 3rd game. More importantly, this deck can take huge advantage of the Wings and Sword minions, using the Airdrop to pop out surprise Ephemeral Shrouds, Rock Pulverizers, and Saberspine Tigers, or (even more often) to block off an enemy’s obvious escape route and set him up for another turn of damage. Also, Swords with Inner Focus/Mist Dragon are just evil ruiners of enemy formations. Good times. Number one tip here: always play as though Mechaz0r! will get killed instantly and without expending any enemy resources. If you can set up to win without him, the distraction he causes will almost always be a lethal one, one way or the other.
And that’s it for the Songhai Ultrabudget decks! Next post we’ll take a 1-post break from the Ultrabudget series to post a list of the Best Cards Per Rarity Per Faction — the stuff that you should expect to see and hope to craft as you go forward.
Until then, keep on Duelying!