My Decks (February 2016)

Hi, Duelyrs! It’s Arananthi here, and it’s finally time for me to submit to the people who have been asking me to post my decks. I’ve barely played at all this month — honestly, I’m so fed up with the Third Wish meta that I’m basically done with this game until they fix it. I made it to Rank 10 so I’d get the Legendary, and headed off to play Block n’ Load until Counterplay can get its shit together. So there’s no guarantee that these decks could be S-Rank worthy, because I haven’t been willing to put in that kind of time.

That said, they are pretty damn good ladder climbers, and they are custom-crafted to beat the Third Wish meta and the psycho hosebeast Midrange Vanar that rose up to counter it. So there is that. 🙂 Let’s jump right in:

Pirate Lyonar

DMCA Notice

A.K.A. “DMCA Notice” — because of the pirating.

The theory here is simple: about half of your deck is capable of removing or damaging an enemy unit when it’s played, so keeping your enemy very low on creatures isn’t that difficult of a thing. And when your enemy has few to no creatures on the board, locking them down with Silverguard Knight/Ironcliffe Guardian and/or beating their face with an unkillable Silvertongue Corsair is easy-peasy!  This deck absolutely wrecks decks with low amounts of removal (Abyssian, some Magmar) and decks with relatively few creatures (Songhai, some Vetruvian).

The gameplan against Vetruvian is pretty simple: don’t let them stick a creature, ever, unless you can lock it down with Provoke — and even then, kill it ASAP regardless. Against Midrange Vanar, you’re in for a long game, but because damn near every creature you play has some potent Opening Gambit effect, their Hailstones are pretty useless, which robs them of a  lot of their power.

The “secret combo” here is Azure Horn Shaman onto Silvertongue Corsair — makes her really hard to get rid of without hard removal, because she ignores General damage and the entire deck is built to keep other creatures off of her back.

I have totally played this deck without any Emerald Rejuvenators, with 3 each of Ironcliffe, Lasting Judgement, and Sun Bloom. Honestly, it’s about the same against most decks, but with the Rejuvenators it does slightly better against the ubiquitous and annoying Midrange Vanar.

 

Big Zero Six

Big Zero Six

 

A relatively minor variation on a classic: Mech Vanar FTW.  Put out a bunch of cheap creatures that are annoying to kill (Jaxi, Wings, Fenrir Warmaster, Twilight Sorcerer) and use them to keep their board low on threats so that you can save your actual spells for the critical removal moments. When the time comes, pop Mechaz0r into Spirit of the Wild for a big burst, or pop Razorback on your mess of annoying minions and facepunch into oblivion.

Against Vetruvian, mulligan/replace like hell for multiple Chromatic/Hailstones and Twilight Sorcerers; everything else will fall into place if you can keep STW off the board. Against midrange Vanar, it’s frequently going to come down to ‘who gets their finisher out first’ — if they can Jax+Razorback before you can either swarm them with Razorback-buffed Mech parts or land MECHAZ0R! + Spirit of the Wild, you might just be screwed.

The ‘tech’ in this deck is Aspect of the Mountains — your opponent will be watching for you to look like you’ve run out of Chromatic Colds and Hailstone Prisons, so if you let them build up a few threats at once, they’ll often pounce. Then you slap a spare Wings down right in the middle of their pile, kill them all with Aspect, and have a big old facepuncher ready for the Razorback and/or Spirit of the Wild the turn after. Pure gold.

I have totally seen this deck with Akari Headhunter x3 in the place of Aspect of the Mountains x2 and Crossbones x1; it’s more aggressive with that build, which a lot of players may like — I prefer the extra late-game turnaround this build has.

 

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Everything You Need to Know about the February Update

 

Hey, Duelyrs! I know I promised a post unveiling my decks, but life got busy, and this update changed basically everything, so the post I had like four paragraphs of is now completely obsolete. So let’s talk about what changed and how awesome it all is.

Card Changes:

  • Mist Dragon Seal changed to 2cc.
  • Lantern Fox is now: 3cc. 2/4. Whenever this minion takes damage, but a Phoenix Fire in your Action Bar.

Mist Dragon SealLantern Fox

 

New Cards:

  • Wings of Paradise: 3/3. Flying. Whenever you Replace a card, this minion gains +2 Attack.
  • White Widow: 3/4. Whenever you Replace a card, this minion deals 2 damage to a random enemy minion or General.
  • Dreamgazer: 2/2. When you Replace this card, instead summon it in a random nearby space and your General takes 2 damage.
  • Astral Crusader: 7/6. Whenever you Replace this card, it gains +1/+1 and it’s cc goes down by 1.

 February New Cards

Answers To Your Questions

  • Lantern Fox: Yes, this works from absolutely any source of damage. No, it cannot exceed 6 cards in your Action Bar.
  • Wings of Paradise: Yes, if you have 3 Aethermasters in play and you replace 4 cards that turn, your Wings of Paradise becomes 11/3 flying. No, this isn’t even worth attempting.
  • White Widow: Yes, Aethermaster allows her to deal lots of random damage.
  • Dreamgazer: Yes, Replace-summoning Dreamgazer does actually remove it from your deck just as though you actually summoned it. Yes, this is a good thing.
  • Astral Crusader: Yes, each Astral Crusader does track its own buffs separately from the others. Yes, the buffs are recorded as buffs and can be dispelled. Yes, if you Hailstone Prison an Astral Crusader, it becomes a 7cc 7/6 all over again.

Review:

Mist Dragon Seal: C+ is probably just a tiny bit weak right now, but honestly it’s fine. You wouldn’t want it to be +2/+1, and being +1/+2 is just kind of…not very Songhai. So leaving it alone for flavor reasons is probably actually better.

Lantern Fox: A-…WOW. This card didn’t, in fact, make Arcanysts a thing (sorry), but it DID bring about the rise of Spellhai and enable a very interesting kind of board-control-oriented Tempo Songhai that has always been available, just far inferior to Stabhai. With a low-cost minion that acts as effective card draw and combos well with Frostbone Naga as well as offering another purpose for Bloodtear Alchemist (beyond killing Mini-Jax), Lantern Fox is a significant addition to the Songhai arsenal. (That said, the people who think Dagger Kiri can take over the spot the Fox had in Stabhai…they’re wrong. For a lot of reasons. But that’s a different rant.)

Wings of Paradise: B- Solid budget card. It succeeds where Putrid Mindflayer fails, because it can kill Healing Mystic/Primus Fist without dying right out of the box, and if not dealt with, can take down a much bigger threat like a Veteran Silithar or Silverguard Knight from across the board. That said, it’s only just barely on the border of playable, and probably won’t see much play, even given the (ridiculously unlikely) combo-finisher potential.  Probably most likely to see play in Vetruvian with Cosmic Flesh/Third Wish.

White Widow: C- Probably not worth it. 4 cc for a 3/4 is a big kick in the tempos, and a 50% chance (worst-case) to deliver a huge 2 face damage in exchange for not being able to Replace until after you cast her (which is a much more significant thing than it might seem!) doesn’t make up the difference between her and a Hailstone Golem. IF you can keep an Aethermaster in play, it becomes potentially worthwhile, but that’s not a mistake many people are going to make in the current meta.

Dreamgazer: S- This card is HUGE. HUUUGE. Why? Because for aggro decks, it’s a free body with no effective downside, because they’re gonna kill you before you kill them anyway. For combo decks, it’s like playing with a 36-card deck because it doesn’t get shuffled back in when you Replace it, so it’s basically like “pay 2 life: draw card,” at which point the 2/2 body is just a bonus. For midrange decks, it’s another body with which to manipulate the board, and they universally run 3x Emerald Rejuvinator at the minimum, so the 2 damage is like whatevs. And control decks don’t exist in Duelyst, so that’s literally every deck type that loves this little dude. And it gives your turn-1 Healing Mystics a reason to do their job, which is great!

Astral Crusader: D+ As bad as Dreamgazer is good. There’s just no deck that can consistently survive long enough while consistently keeping a minion (Aethermaster) in play to make Astral Crusader worth yourwhile. Even if you did manage, you would absolutely have to do it in Vanar (for Spirit of the Wild) or Magmar (for Vindicator), because there’s no way this beast isn’t getting hard-removed or dispelled before it takes a single action unless you give it Rush.

The Big Picture

The meta is going to shift a lot in the short run with lots of people experimenting with these new cards — but I think in the long run, the whole Aethermaster theme will filter out as people realize how bad White Widow actually is, and Dreamgazer will be the only card out of this month that will stick around. The exception will be the one or two genuinely decent combo decks that would be running Aethermaster anyway just to get their lethal combos out — they might still tap White Widow occasionally, but even then, it’s dubious at best. In the end, the #1 result of these changes will be this: Welcome back, Tempest!