Finally! The 700-Spirit ‘Ultrabudget’ Vanar Decks are Here!

Don’t worry, guys, I’m still here and still kickin’ ass. December is always a stupidly busy month for us advertising-savvy freelance copywriters, and I’ve been so busy I finally got back up to rank 10 like two days ago just from the games I played on the porcelain throne. But enough about me — it’s time to stop leaving Vanar out in the cold. No matter how much they claim to like it. Here are the four 700-spirit ‘Ultrabudget’ Vanar decks for y’all to enjoy just in time for the Frostfire Festival!

Playing Vespyrs

700 Spirit Vanar Upgrade

Commons Added: Bonechill Barrier x3, Hailstone Prison x3, Borean Bear x3

Rares Added: Glacial Elemental x3

This is your pretty classic inexpensive Vespyr Synergy deck. The idea here is to play a pretty standard tempo game for the first several turns, and Replace often until you nab a Bonechill Barrier. Then, you wait for either a Borean Bear to stick on the board in a useful position, or for a Glacial Elemental to pop up in your hand. With either the Bear ready to faceclaw or the Elemental ready to bombard, you move/drop the bear/elemental and then slam down a Bonechill Barrier to lock the opponent down while simultaneously either setting up a minimum-4-point claw to the face or, far more preferably, dropping 6 points of damage across his minions — ideally, wiping his board while leaving his movement severely restricted and leaving the Elemental somewhere that it will be difficult for him to deal with.

Of course, that’s not all this deck can do — not by far. With Borean Bears, Glacial Elementals, and Crystal Cloakers handy, there are no end of excellent targets for Frostfire, which can turn a game around right quick if played cleverly. Fenrir Warmaster and Brightmoss Golem provide a lot of excellent staying power to complement your more swingy Vespyr mechanics. And never underestimate the power of Hailstone Prison — in fact, teach yourself to hold the Prison until you can use it to not only clear a path toward a valuable target but also make the opponent waste at least 4 mana putting the whatever-it-is back down — that kind of tempo gain might seem small, but combined with the tempo gains from Glacial Elemental’s nukedowns and turns wasted by the enemy uselessly attacking Bonechill Barriers, this deck can…ahem…snowball quite rapidly out of control.

 

Bored Control

 

700 Spirit Vanar Board Control

Commons Added: Cryogenesis x3, Borean Bear x2, Frostbone Naga x3, Silhouette Tracer x2

Rares Added: Snowchaser x3

If there’s one thing Vanar does pretty decently, it’s this: keeping the opponent’s board from developing over multiple turns. Like everything else, Vanar can have issues dealing with threats that have immediate effects (Makantor Warprick), but especially if you can force (or trick) the fight onto your opponent’s side of the board (hint: Silhouette Tracer is for this), this deck can and should keep the opponent’s board from meaningfully progressing in most games. If it’s small, whack it with Infiltrators and/or Frostbones; if it’s medium: Cryogenesis or Brightmoss attacks. Big things eat an Aspect of the Fox or an attack from a buffed-up Bored Bear.

Key plays here: Use an Infiltrated Snowchaser to drop Frostbone Nagas so that they can be recast immediately and nothing else on your team gets hurt. (Or using a Brightmoss that doesn’t care so much about the 2 damage.) Keep a Bored Bear back while you repeatedly suicide attack with the same Snowchasers and replay them every turn for more buffing action. Finally, use a Silhouette Tracer to magically escape to the midline and drop an Avalanche that the opponent was sure you’d never do because you were in too deep. This deck isn’t easy to play, but the more clever you get, the more fun it is!

 

College Rules

700 Spirit Vanar Golem Crusher

Commons Added: Polarity x2, Hailstone Prison x3, Cyrogenesis x2, Void Hunter x3

Rares Added: Golem Metallurgist x3

Why is a sheet of college-ruled paper like a lazy dog? Well, a sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane. An inclined plane is  a slope up. And a slow pup is a lazy dog. (Ba-dum cha!) This deck is the closest that budget Duelyst gets to the classic Hearthstone Ramp Druid, and thus, the slope-up joke inherent in the name. Between Crystal Wisps, Golem Metallurgists, and the everyday Mana Springs, this deck should handily start pumping out Hailstones and Brightmosses on turns 2 and 3 on about half your games. On the other half, no worries, you got Cloakers and Mystics and whatnot to hold things down until the beasts arrive.

To keep the golems coming fast and furious, we have Cyrogenesis which thins the deck of non-Golems while dealing with enemy threats, and Void Hunter to just accelerate drawing in general. Crystal Wisp is a straight-up tempo loss (paying 2 for a 1/1 is bad, mmkay?), but we can regain it pretty easily by playing big, hard-to-kill beasties that can crush the enemy’s board. If they play something you can’t deal with, Hailstone Prison it and go face as hard as possible. Preferably by Polarity-ing a Brightmoss so you can facepunch for 9. Once you’ve stuck a Hailstone or Brightmoss and they’ve shown that they can’t deal with it, then and only then should you start dropping Stormmetals and Dragonbones. If you drop them onto an opponent-controlled board, you’re going to be unhappy more often than not. (Sometimes, it’s the only play you can make, of course — and if you have a handful of them, it’s totally kosher to drop 1 in order to clear some removal and make room to drop the others — but in general, you want to see the opponent starting to flounder before you play the finishers.)

This deck is not insanely consistent in this form — it needs a few hundred more Spirit (primarily in the form of Snowchasers) in order to really start to blossom — but it will handily get you to Gold League if you learn it’s ins and outs, and it’s the current-best form of the stronger version which you might just learn to love a little later on.

 

My Little Friend
700 Spirit Vanar Mobster

Commons Added: Hailstone Prison x3, Cyrogenesis x3, Primus Fist x3, Ash Mephyt x2

Rares Added: Razorback x3

(Hmm…I just noticed that I screwed this one up. Replace one Ash Mephyt with a third Ephemeral Shroud and/or Thorn Needler, and I apologize for the error.) This deck is built to exploit the almighty Razorback by mobbing up and then cutting loose. Play conservatively for the first few turns, looking to play minions that either negate his minions and don’t die while doing it (Repulsors, Shrouds, Warmasters) or that will deal more damage than their mana value might indicate (Cloakers, Thorn Needlers). The idea is to build up a board of 3+ small minions while getting useful effects out of summoning them — then cast Razorback and swoop in to deal half or more of the enemy’s life total in one round.

As the enemy deals with that assault (hopefully, at least one or two of your minions survived the attack) and the fact that they’re suddenly very much looking at losing this game, you have two options depending on your hand. You can press the attack with high-damage but sturdy cards like Thorn Needler, Fenrir Warmaster, and the Razorback itself, using Hailstone Prison and Cryogenesis to keep your board presence while you smash face. Or, you can pull back and play a few rounds of the control game, using Healing Mystics, Repulsor Beasts, and similar minions the same way you did at the start of the game. Then, drop a second Razorback (ideally just after sticking at least 2 bodies of an Ash Mephyt) and finish the game.

Oh — and don’t forget to do your best Tony Montana impression when you slap your Razorbacks down. It really does help you win games.

Special: The Frostfire Festival!

If you don’t know/haven’t logged in yet, go open Duelyst and log in immediately! Everyone who logs in (even new accounts created after today) between now and January 6th gets a free Gift Box. The devs even added a new ‘Gift Box’ line to the main menu for the occasion! I don’t know what the ‘rules’ are, but I’m positive the each gift box contains a unique Snowchaser emote that’s perfect for the Frostfire festival (and for using while playing these Vanar decks!)

Mine also contained a Spirit Orb and 100 Spirit — and the Spirit Orb gave me my first Sarlac, so Joyous Frostfire Festival to me! I’d love it if you commented and told me what you got, especially if it’s totally sweet.

See you in 2016 — and until then, keep on Duelying!

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700 Spirit ‘Ultrabudget’ Magmar Duelyst Decks

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.

 

The All-Arounder 

700 Spirit Magmar Upgrade

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.

 

Control Magmar

700 Spirit Magmar Control

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.

 

Naked Lizards

700 Spirit Magmar Aggro-Buffinator

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

700 Spirit Magmar Nukeinator

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!

700 Spirit ‘Ultrabudget’ Abyssian Duelyst Decks

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!

 

The Deathwatcher (Pauper Upgrade)

700 Spirit Abyssian Upgrade

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.

 

I’m A Creeper

700 Spirit Abyssian BigTroll

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.

 

The Black Ratio

700 Spirit Abyssian Swarmtroller

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.

 

55 HP, Boys

700 Spirit Abyssian 55 HP

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!

700 Spirit ‘Ultrabudget’ Vetruvian Duelyst Decks

Hi there, Duelyrs! Its me, Arananthi, here to go over a quartet of Vetruvian decks, each costing 700 Spirit or less. Like the Songhai decks, a couple of these are good, and a couple are more iffy — but still easily capable of achieving Rank 10 for you with a bit of practice. Let’s dive right in!

The Vetruvian Pauper Plus

700 Spirit Vetruvian Upgrade

Commons Added: Siphon Energy (x2), Bone Swarm (x3), Orb Weaver (x3), Starfire Scarab (x2)

Rares Added: Fireblaze Obelysk (x3)

This deck plays a pretty solid control game. Aim for Pyromancers, Rock Pulverizers, or Ethereal Obelysks if you’re Player 1, or Orb Weavers, Fireblaze Obelisks, or (any 2 of that first list) if you’re Player 2. If you have a Pyromancer, drop it next to you turn 1 and then walk forward; the other two, walk forward and plop them down. (Exception: as player 2, walk 2 forward, put your non-Pyro on the Mana Spring, and your Pyro behind you, usually at an angle away from whichever side P1 dropped his minion on. )

From then on, the name of the game is controlling range.  Keep your Blast minions behind you, but keep everything else up on the front to keep the enemy distracted and away from your Blast homies.  Use Orb Weaver to get a little extra reach so you can summon dudes far away without having to walk your General into harm’s way — or, if you can, save them until you can put a Fireblaze Obelysk out — they gain the +1 Attack bonus from it, so it’s a super-efficient minion with 1 Fireblaze out and an absurd one if you can get 2 of them to stick. You have very little healing, and your best removal requires you to be in their face, so be careful with your life total. As long as you can get them to play your range game, you’ll win almost every time.

 

The Control Central

 700 Spirit Vetruvian Control

Commons Added: Bone Swarm (x3), Frostbone Naga (x3), Starfire Scarb (x2), Dancing Blades (x2)

Rares Added: Emerald Rejuvinator (x3)

If the first deck up there plays a good control game, this one cranks it up to 11. Laying down 5 Common minions that deal  damage upon entering play, this is a Vetruvian that isn’t afraid of enemy weenie rushes.  Just watch out for Frostbone’s AoE — it hits your stuff, too, so you’ll have to either summon it with your General and take the 2, or with a bigger body (Rejuvinator, Blades, Scarab) and have it suck up the damage.  But between the big tempo gains you can get by playing Frostbone and Blades well, the large amount of removal you have in Bone Swarm, Entropic Decay, and the free attacks from Blindscorch, and of course the healing from Rejuvinator and Healing Mystic, this deck can take a startling amount of abuse and hold out for a win.

 

The Draween Rush

 700 Spirit Vetruvian Draw-Ween

Commons Added: Primus Fist (x3), Orb Weaver (x3), Ash Mephyt (x2), First Sword of Akrane (x2) 

Rares Added: Inner Oasis (x3)

This deck is for the rebels. OK, so this deck admittedly doesn’t perform the way the first two do — it mostly wins by catching opponents off-guard, which means it does a little better once you get to rank 12ish and people start thinking ahead and planning on what your faction is known to do well.

Straight up nobody plays Inner Oasis, and if you sit back on turns 1-2 and pump out small minions without having them all die to Tempest or Plasma Shock, slapping down a 3-4th turn Inner Oasis and charging forward with a host of 2/5 something-or-others will often leave the opponent wondering how sane you are. But as the buffs from Primus First, First Sword, and First Wish keep raining down, you’ll net some decent victories out of pure shock value, and some indecent ones out of people who keep saving their Dispels for the inevitable Obelysks, Sacarbs, and Portal Guardians that you totally aren’t even wasting spots on.

 

The Answerer

700 Spirit Vetruvian Answerer

Commons Added: Siphon Energy (x3), Dunecaster (x3), Orb Weaver (x2), Starfire Scarab (x2)

Rares Added: Sand Howler (x3)

This deck attempts to do the impossible by having an answer to almost every situation. (Abyssian Wraithling swarms are a problem, but you literally can’t win them all.) Like many control decks, it suffers from the classic problem of drawing the wrong answer at the wrong time, so focus hard on predicting what you’ll need next turn and using Replace every single turn unless you’re sure your existing answers will do the job. The dream is to nail a Dunecaster targeting a Sand Howler — a 5/5 that can’t be targeted by spells is a HUGE problem in the early game for almost everyone. (Magmar’s Mana Burn still gets it, but see the previous parenthetical reference.)

Kind of like the Songhai Mechaz0r deck, this deck is still missing a few pieces to make it shine, but it’s the best iteration of a future solid archetype at this level of Spirit, and it’s worth playing a few games with it to see how it fits your playing style.

 

That’s all for now! Until next time, keep on Duelying!

700 Spirit ‘Ultrabudget’ Songhai Decks

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!

The Backstab Combo Mk. II

700 Spirit Songhai Backstab Combo Upgrade

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.

 

The Spell-Cycle Combotron

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. 🙂

 

The Ancestral WeenieStorm

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.

 

The Cyclez0r!

700 Spirit Songhai Cyclez0r

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!

700-Spirit ‘Ultrabudget’ Lyonar Duelyst Decks [OUTDATED]

Hi, Duelyrs! It’s me, Arananthi, back again today to take a look at a few solid 700-spirit Lyonar deck archetypes. One of these is going to be pretty familiar to those of you who have seen the Pauper decklists from before, but hopefully the other three will show off a bit of Lyonar’s ability to produce some surprisingly different play experiences even at lower Spirit levels.

First up: The Diviyonar, a.k.a. “The Pauper With Cash”

700 Spirit Lyonar 'Mega Starter'

Commons Added: Sundrop Elixir, Sun Bloom, Primus Fist

Rares Added: Ironcliffe Guardian

This should look pretty familiar — it’s a commingling of the two previous Pauper Lyonar decks I posted, and it plays precisely like you think it should: early value minions made more value-y with Primus Fist and War Surge, backed up with a few Hailstone Golems and introducing Ironcliffe Guardian, a booty so big it will make anyone who has ever been Divine Bond one-swatted quiver in their boots — and it comes with Airdrop and Provoke, making it a threat that they can’t run away from. Which means it eats a lot of removal. Which means more swarm action.

Potential further (still-budget) upgrades:

  • Swapping in Azurite Lions for the Repulsor Beasts and one Sundrop Elixir gives the deck a lot more mobility, and Celerity multiplies the effectiveness of Primus Fist/War Surge and even makes the Kitteh a viable use of Divine Bond!
  • Adding Lionheart’s Blessing in place of the Hailstone Golem converts this instantly into a Swarm deck that can pour on the weenies and buff them near-constantly as long as you keep drawing. (Bonus points if you also add in the Azurite Lions and draw multiple cards a turn with them!)

 

The Healyonar

700 Spirit Lyonar Healonar

Commons Added: Sundrop Elixir, Sun Bloom, Suntide Maiden, Lightchaser

Rares Added: Ironcliffe Guardian

The theory here is pretty basic: survive everything, win by slapping Divine Bond on a Brightmoss Golem and punching face. But along the way, the synergy between Lightchaser and:

  • Sundrop Elixir,
  • Healing Mystic,
  • Suntide Maiden, and
  • Emerald Rejuvinator

Can be pretty magnificent to behold. The trick, though, is to not particularly care if the Lightchasers eat removal or get dispelled, because all that really does is mean less removal for your eventual Bonded Brightmoss Beatdown(TM). That said, don’t be skerrd to slap a Divine Bond on a Suntide Maiden if the opponent is showing signs of having serious trouble killing it. 9/6 kinda-immortal is nothing to sneeze at!

Potential further (still-budget) upgrades:

  • Tossing in some Azurite Lions in place of the Hailstone Golems will lower your mana curve while still leaving you with solid backup Divine Bond targets, and it gives you some much-needed reach.
  • Upgrading the Brightmoss Golems to Ironcliffe Guardians is kind of a no-brainer.
  • Swapping the Rock Pulverizers for Azure Horn Shaman will give you a ton of fascinating synergy options, especially if you’ve already swapped in the Azurite Lions — 2/7 Celerity is not only a HUGE Divine Bond target, but it’s pretty darn threatening all by itself.

 

The Golemnar

700 Spirit Lyonar Golemnar

Commons Added: Sundrop Elixir, Sun Bloom, Silhouette Tracer, Primus Fist

Rares Added: Golem Metallurgist

Golem synergy, baby! On the draw, a turn 1 Golem Metallurgist can open you up for a turn 2 Brightmoss(!!) right in your opponent’s face.  Step your Metallurgist onto a Mana Spring, and you can even slap down a Planar Scout and drop that Brightmoss exactly where you want him. The idea being that much health that early on will eat something — hard removal, a big ol’ Abyssian swarm with Shadow Reflection or Soulshatter Pact, it doesn’t really matter because compared to anything else you can drop, it’s the most likely to require a large investment from your enemy to destroy. If they decide to ignore it, well, it can earn some serious value by eating 3-5 bad guys before it kicks it, or if you’re lucky, a turn 3 Divine Bond into 13 points to the face is a pretty damning portent for the game’s end.

And if you get unlucky enough to not draw all of the parts you need to pull off your sweet stunt, don’t worry — the usual plethora of high-value dudes backed up by Primus Fist is here to help, and this time, Silhouette Tracer makes an appearance to assist in any chasedowns (or rapid getaways) that need to be performed, all while making a passable Divine Bond target himself.

Potential further (still budget) upgrades:

  • Switching from Repulsor Beasts to Ghost Lynx will lower your curve (useful) without giving up a lot of utility.
  • Swapping your Saberspine Tigers over to Arclyte Sentinels will give you nearly the same immediate kill-power plus give you the option of raising your Golems’ attack in exchange for a small amount of their massive health.

 

The Aggroar Deck

700 Spirit Lyonar Aggro

Commons added: Sun Bloom, Primus Fist, Azurite Lion, Suntide Maiden

Rares added: Lionheart’s Blessing

Here we go old school: weenie rush at its finest. Primus Fist and War Surge provide the buffage, Rock Pulverizer, Silverguard Knight, and Primus Shieldmaster keep them from efficiently escaping or attacking your weenies, Lionheart Blessing keeps you drawing plentifully, and Suntide Maiden can make sure that you out-value other weenie rush decks that try to compete.

Potential future (still budget) upgrades:

  • Replacing the Brightmoss Golems with a pair of First Sword of Akranes will give you more buffing power and a meaingfully more threatening finisher.
  • Swapping out the Primus Shieldmasters for Ironcliffe Guardians is an obvious choice — but surprisingly, this deck also benefits significantly if you swap them out for Magnetize. One of Lyonar’s big drawbacks is their slow progress across the board, and being able to ‘reel in’ a harassing Heartseeker, Pyromancer, or (God forbid) Elder Silithar so you can deal with it efficiently is both  huge advantage and usually a complete shock to the opponent.

 

By the way, these are ordered in what I consider their “consistency.” Diviyanar is like a bulldozer: slow but remarkably stable once you get the playstyle down. Healonar is almost as reliable, but can occasionally have games where the synergies just fail to materialize and all that healing just means the Abyssian has to cast a second Soulshatter Pact before you die. If you never draw a Golem Metallurgist when it’s relevant, Golemnar plays like a slightly less threatening Diviyanar. And Aggroar can get totally shut out by a well-timed Plasma Storm or if Lionheart’s Blessing never materializes.

That said, at least for these four decks, there’s an opposing rate of speed — Aggroar tends to close out games really quickly. Golemnar’s entire purpose is to power out OP dudes and overwhelm with them; when it works, it’s pretty quick. Healyonar is a coinflip: either your games will last forever because you’re forced into ‘outlast mode,’ or the synergies will hit and you’ll take them out in relative speed. And Diviyonar basically always plays the long game.

 

Next time: Songhai’s 700s. Until then, keep duelying!