Hi again, Duelyrs! It’s Arananthi with the fifth installment of the Ultrabudget Duelyst Decks series: Magmar! None of these decks are specifically a lot more or less solid than the other; Magmar has so many strong options within their faction that you can almost slap any 13 sets of 3 cards together and figure out a way to win with them. Personally, I find the last one the most rewarding, but that’s because I like to catch my opponents off-guard. Magmar’s big weaknesses are its lack of mobility on the board, it’s inability to deal with several successive big threats, and the fact that its spells aren’t terribly redundant — if you don’t draw the spell you need when you need it, none of the other spells will do in a pinch, so bad luck can make a really solid deck feel weak-saucy. So don’t give up on any of these decks until you’ve played at least several games with them — passing up on a great deck and possibly a great faction because of a back luck streak is a real shame.
Commons Added: Diretide Frenzy (x3), Young Silithar (x3), Veteran Silithar (x3)
Rares Added: Elucidator (x3)
It’s often said on the forums that Magmar is the faction that can do anything — they have all the answers, all the extreme minions, all the healing, etc. The problem is that they can’t do it all in the same deck. There’s only so much space to fill with cards. This deck attempts to ‘ride the line,’ using cards that can go either direction — are you going to use your Saberspine Tiger with Diretide Frenzy to wipe out a small crowd of enemies, or are you going to use it with Primordial Gazer for a 5-point facepunch that leaves a significant threat on the board? Are you going to use your huge Rush minions — the Elucidators — to swing for the face and enjoy the one-point damage swing in your favor? Or are you going to use it in conjunction with Planar Scout and Mana Burn to take down that Spectral Revenant without having to fear the swarm?
The key in playing this deck is to Replace Every Turn, unless you feel that your hand is already perfect for the situation. You’ve got a lot of tools — it’s better to cycle for the right one than it is to try to force the wrong one to fit the job. That said, you will also benefit a lot from being creative, and taking your whole turn every turn to consider all of your options before you commit.
Commons Added: Diretide Frenzy (x2), Earth Sphere (x2), Young Silithar (x3), Grimrock (x3)
Rares Added: Spirit Harvester (x3)
This deck focuses on Total Board Control (TM). There’s a host of smaller stuff that can keep the early game well in hand — or if you draw a Plasma Storm early, you can let a Songhai, Abyssian or Vetruvian think they’re gaining an advantage just to wipe it out and drop a few beasties of your own. (Don’t try that against Lyonar or Magmar, and it’s a real coinflip against Vanar.) Also note that you can combine Plasma Storm with Natural Selection to wipe out a big field of pissants and then one big guy — this happens somewhat regularly against Deathwatch Abyssian and some Vanar decks.
The midgame looks like Grimrocks and Golems with a Spirit Harvester somewhere making certain that the enemy’s attempts at building a board are gently mocked into oblivion. If the enemy comes on hard and fast, and Plasma Storm is either irrelevant or nowhere to be seen, you have Earth Sphere to help you eek out a few more draws so that you can get your answers. Slapping a Rock Pulverizer down next to their biggest threats, stepping away, and popping a Sphere is rarely a horrible turn. The end ususally comes with a Grimrock that has grown to lethal proportions or a set of Adamantine Claws in the enemy’s face — though I have had at least one recent very fun game end with a Diretided Brightmoss Golem that just would not stop Frenzying through the enemy’s face to get to her board.
Commons Added: Diretide Frenzy (x2), Young Silithar (x3), Veteran Silithar (x3), Dagger Kiri (x2)
Rares Added: Elucidator (x3)
Oh, yeah: reptiles in the buff. This is your all-purpose Magmar face deck. Yeah, we kept Mana Burn around, but that’s mostly to clear taunts — don’t just waste it all willy-nilly on turn 1. Let your minions do the work of clearing the board, and once you have a clear shot at the face, drop 1-2 Greater Fortitude/Primordial Gazers and start punching. Save the Diretide Frenzy+Elucidator combo for a surprise ‘Makantorish Event’ if you’re facing a deck that seems to be spitting out a lot of minions — and use it to clear the path for your nearest facepuncher.
Dagger Kiri is the greedy play, but don’t put it down and buff it on the same turn — ever. Only ever lay on the pluses if you know you can either clear an otherwise unclearable obstacle or you can hit face twice that turn. With six Rush minions in addition to Mana Burn, this deck has a surprising amount of burst, and that’s not even factoring in the buffs. Don’t play braindead — this isn’t Hearthstone, and this isn’t Face Hunter — but do be aware that the more incidental-looking damage you can stack on the face while you make what look like board-control (but are actually obstacle-clearing) efforts, the easier it will be to achieve the final burst down. (Ba-na-naa-naaaaaa! Ba-nana-na-na! The Final Burstdown! (I’m not sorry.))
The Big Red Button
Commons Added: Diretide Frenzy (x2), Young Silithar (x3), Void Hunter (x2), Veteran Silithar (x3)
Rares Added: Kinetic Equilibrium
This is one of those decks that tends to catch people by surprise. It looks and acts like most other Magmar decks at first, but very few people use Kinetic Equilibrium, and so you can pull some huge tempo swings with it. Be aware that it totally kills Void Hunter and Saberspine Tiger — either move them or suicide them. Everything else in this deck not only survives Kinetic Equilibrium, but is immune to Plasma Storm once they’ve survived said Equilibrium, so stacking the two on top of one another can sometimes be exactly the right answer.
What you’re aiming to do with this deck is set up a situation where your Equilibrium will kill a bunch of their stuff, buff a bunch of your stuff, and clear a path for your stuff to hit their general in the face. This is particularly true with Brightmoss Golem and Veteran Silithar, which can take the 2 from Equilibrium and the 2 from the General and still live to punch again. (That said, I’ve tried Hailstone Golems in the place of Thorn Needlers, and for some reason I’ve had better luck with the Needlers. YMMV; feel free to switch it back if you feel more successful with Golems — but do try it both ways first.)
And that’s it for today! Go do some Magmar quests, pwn some nwbs, and long live the Immortals! Next time, you guessed it, it’s the 700-Spirit Vanar decks. Until then, keep on Duelying!