I am back with more memes. But this time the memes came to me themselves. I have been playing Gauntlet a hella lot lately, mostly because there’s nothing else to do in Dooly frankly speaking, but also to improve both my improvisation and deck piloting skills. Now I present to you a deck definitely unworthy of going this far, racking up 4-0 against early-game beasts like Ragnora and Argeon at the time of this post. The big question is, why, or rather what makes it, successful? I am very intrigued to discuss about the current Gauntlet scene too in this same thread, so hit questions up for everyone to discuss! Who knows, this might be THE Gauntlet thread a few people have been waiting for!
A Gauntlet thread is a good idea; I also find myself spending more and more time playing this mode after completing the monthly ladder climb (although if that is your intention, you should probably mention Gauntlet somehow in the thread title).
As for your deck, it’s interesting. Here are my opinions (and I’m no Gauntlet allstar, so take this all with a grain of salt):
Your curve is extremely low and way overloaded in the 3 mana slot
Too many non-minions
No cheap ranged units, which are the easiest way to take over a game
High card quality (lots of higher rarity card, including 3 great legendaries and some decent epics and rares)
Some surprise cards that are hard to play around and can make massive swings in your favor (Cryonic, Fissure, Aspect of the Mountains, Spirit of the Wild)
A decent amount of card advantage (Loremaster, Rippler, Corona) to offset the low curve
Faie is one of the best generals in Gauntlet, and one of the few who can support a really aggressive deck
Overall, it’s not how I would draft in Gauntlet, but I think that mostly comes down to a playstyle preference (I like midrange decks with lots of value). I could see you winning a lot of games by overrunning your opponent and accumulating an insurmountable amount of tempo. On the other hand, I could also see you having trouble dealing with big minions on curve, or with annoying backline units.
I recognized that already at my 15th pick, I tried to go for a good minion on a higher curve, and Embla was the only minion that was both on curve and fitting the decklist. Others fell short either because I had better choices like BTA or I just never got good draws after Embla.
I got Glacial Elemental early and Bonechill too, so I thought to commit to Vespyrs/Walls, leading to things like picking Ravager over a second (was first) copy of Dancing Blades and a first chance of Snowchaser, which I should’ve taken had I known I’d go full in on aggro 5 picks later. There were no Myriads by pick #12, so I gave up on that notion and went aggro.
Okay, now this is just pure bad luck. I had only 1 take at Fire Spitter, and that was when the other choices were Amu and Rogue Warden. And I made the Warden call. No Vale Hunters, not a single one, and sadly no chance at Sworn Avenger, which would’ve been perfect here. No Jaxi either.
As for advantages,
These three were the MVPS in most scenarios, racking up very good early damage. Once I did manage to pull off Freeblade Cryonic SotW for 18 damage straight. Other games were pretty tight, my decisions to pull back and end the game with BBS and minions bodyblocking hits saved me more times than the minions ending the game themselves. Rippler was a beast on 6 mana, since an enemy allowed him to proc Pets into my hand to prevent a Cryonic + Blitzed Komodo Charger from hitting them, resulting in my two turns tipping the tempo into my favour.
Funnily enough, no one plays around either Freeblade or Hearth-sister or Dancing Blades, and 1 of these 3 always appeared in my hand by mana 5, so it was not a big problem for backlines. Big bodies were a huge problem only solvable by Soboro/Ravager and I did struggle. My solution when facing that was to switch to a very distanced, more chipping Faie relying on Freeblade and Hearth-sister to infiltrate backlines and drop bodies for pressure. Shivers was a very surprising positioning tool that I never thought would be so effective; it had only been pinged once in the 3 games it saw use.
Thanks for your feedback! I find Gauntlet a very fun “arcade mode”, probably even one of the best in CCGs I’ve played, and so really commited a lot of time into it for the past few weeks. Seeing a throughout analysis of it really shows me that its very risky to fish for Vespyr synergy in Gauntlet, and also the importance of hard removal. Curve is something I have yet to fully master, but you can never learn enough of a CCG, as the saying goes.
This paragraph hurt me on the inside a little bit . As you mention later, forcing synergy cards is tough in Gauntlet and usually doesn’t pan out. For example, in Vanar, while you can usually find one or two Vespyrs to power up a Cryogenesis, finding enough to support a Glacial Elemental is tough (actually, I’m surprised at how many you actually managed to pick up). More importantly, Dancing Blades is arguably the best common! There are very few circumstances in which one should pass it, and certainly never early in the draft.
On the other hand, this exemplifies the aspects of Gauntlet I need to improve on. Usually I’m reluctant to go all-in on buffs or other high-tempo plays (or even draft those cards in the first place) for fear of getting blown out by the right removal, but these plays are much more difficult to punish than on ladder. Often your opponent will be unable to answer something like Cryonic Potential or Gargantuan Growth and you’ll just win the game.
Reva drafts can often feel like easy mode in Gauntlet. This list has overall weak 1 and 2-drops and more spells than I usually prefer, but the sheer amount of burst damage allowed me to comfortably close out most games. The minor Arcanyst synergy actually came through to win me a couple games as well.
This felt like close to a perfect aggro Gauntlet draft. MVPs were Bloodtide Priestess, Shadow Watcher, and Void Steal, all of which helped to make my board more resilient to sweepers. My one loss was to a Ragnora with multiple Plasma Storms.
My current Gauntlet deck that I’ll play after finishing the ladder climb this season tomorrow. I’m looking forward to this one, as the combination of fliers and ranged units seems pretty strong (although again a little soft to a well-timed Plasma Storm).
Gauntlet is this cold, brutally honest mirror showing you that under your shiny collection and fancy ladder decks, you’re just a weak Duelyst player with crooked teeth and persisting acne.
Question for real though, what are the pros/cons of drafting Fortune Shapers and similar? I never pick them because I think they’re meh and I’m thinking the rarer cards will be more corner case and maybe not relevant enough.
“Enlighten me”, as the dude says.
The added surprise value of epics and especially legs is sometimes a good bonus. But, there are indeed better cards to pick if you get something decent. An added thing is some niche cases, for example Abyss has a few legendaries which just destroy games by themselves such as Grimwar and Desolator.
Personally, I’m a big fan of Fortuneshaper. Having 2-drops is very important to give you turn one plays, the 2/3 statline is ideal for the cost, and the bonus of the improved card quality from the epic pick is pretty good. Overall I rate it as one of the better neutral 2-drops, comparable to Healing Mystic or Primus Fist (and even higher in factions that have better than average epics, e.g. Songhai).
Futureshaker and Fatesealer aren’t as good, mainly because their statlines are much worse for the cost (both could really use an extra point of toughness). Futureshaker in particular I tend to avoid because a lot of neutral legendaries can be trash. Fatesealer can be decent in factions with good legendaries (like Abyssian). One thing I do like about them though is that they give you some control over your curve: since legendaries are often more expensive, you can pick these cards if you know you need more top-end.
For me, the Fates are somewhat a gamble. I absolutely love drafting Fortuneshaper specifically because a 2/3 at 2 mana is considered a solid above average body that can secure a P1T2 mana spring, while Epics have some of the most versatile combo-independent cards available, including aggro stars like Purgatos and Thunderhorn, or reliable removals like stupid Ironclad and cancer Rebuke/Warbeast.
Fatesealer is almost always a must for Magmar and Vetruvian and sometimes Lyonar, a situational in Vanar, and should be avoided in Abyssian and Songhai. That is if you follow my playstyle. Abyssian has pretty sweet surprise Legendaries like Maso Whip and Unleash the Evil but you risk getting a shitty trio of Ghost Azalea, Obliterate and Death Knell. Songhai is, well, combo-heavy. If you run Wizard, getting 8G8s/Spear/Heaven at the cost of losing a slot that could be another spell is quite a lot (unless you have a reliable list of spells, then it is very much viable), and if you run midrange, you could have drafted better and more reliable tempo/pressure than relying on surprise hits like MoS backstabs or Koan of Horns.
Futureshaker is a VERY HARD GAMBLE and should only be tried if you already drafted the worst draft and desperately need a Legendary to secure the 3 wins for your ticket value. Eclipse, Pandora and Meltdown are considered prizes but at the same time your have Dank Memesis, Qtiepie and other unwanted (at least most of the time) cards polluting the pool heavily.
Overall I highly recommend Fortuneshaper. That’s it.
Weekly card battles are an idea I’ve had for a while so vote for the best Gauntlet pick!
From today onward until this thread dies, I’ll try to make a poll for Card Battle Thursday every week! Poll results are finalized at the start of every Card Battle Thursday!
Today we have two of the most popular Gauntlet commons, Dancing Blades and Wild Tahr! Who reigns supreme over the title of most solid common?
Obviously anything with a really good effect (like those Jay mentions) are high picks. Beyond that, I like artifacts that give attack boosts of at least +2 at a good rate - in a format in which most matches are midrange minion slugfests, they act as pseudo-removal and can often take a nontrivial amount of resources to cleanly remove. In particular, the basic rarity X cost +X attack artifacts (Staff of Y’kir, Snowpiercer, Adamantite Claws) are all solid picks, especially in more aggressive decks.
Adamantite Claws have been always a very unsuccessful pick for me even when I’m having a fun good list of Smash Vaath. There were always much better plays for some reason…
Other +Attacks were pretty solid but I rarely play tempo on Vetruvian. And I rarely even draft non-Zirix Vet, so I’m quite inexperienced in Vet as a whole.
My actual concern when asking this question is just how willing are you to risk pings and removals when drafting in Gauntlet? My personal opinion is that the non-melee Artifacts are much more reliable in Gauntlet than Standard.
I agree with this to an extent - certainly pings are less widespread, and so artifacts are more difficult to remove. However, there’s a couple things you need to be careful of with “non-melee” artifacts. First, hitting things with your face is important, especially early in the game, so you need to be willing to sacrifice artifact charges on your own turn. I’ve won several games due to opponents trying too hard to preserve their artifacts and falling behind on board too much as a result. Second, and more importantly, most of the non-attack related bonus effects simply aren’t worth the mana. Either it’s too hard to draft enough synergy (e.g. Gold Vitriol, Crescent Spear) or the effect is too situational and only really good when you already have a board. Even the ones with decent effects tend to come at more competitive rarity slots (like Coldbiter or Halo Bulwark), which means they’re often just outclassed by the alternatives.