And here is the master list complete with long winded posts on each. I never make a bad deck, I put a lot of work and love into each one, many will never be tier one, but they should all at least be quite playable. Some really old stuff may never make it in if it is to dated.
Sanguimancy : (Arcanyst) S rank
This one got its name due to being all about spell spamming with Arcanysts, so its just a fancy word for blood magic, which is similar to necromancy, but much more about using spells directly rather then reanimating the dead to do your bidding.
In my previous post I made a Cass deck designed around DeathKnell/Nightshroud. A fun combo but a little unreliable due to the randomness of death knell and the awkwardness of nightshroud. This version skips Nightshroud in favor of Darkfire, Trinity Wing, and more spells all around. Darkfire can let you get your Arcane engine rolling quick or lead to early Deathknells. Using a darkfire to bring out trinity so you can then spam the spells the gives you is extremely effective.
Between Sphere, Trinity, and some high end curve you usually do just fine on card advantage as long as you manage your resources and learn when and what to replace, and when to dig for certain things.
Of course Death Knell, who does indeed work with trinity wing, is our huge late game bomb, but I keep Knell, Grasp, and darkfire at 2 for the extra room and because they are all a little situational. I chose Lillith over Cass as she is much better at making dark-fire work, and ritual banishing is almost as good as punish for her. It skipped out on sister or dancer because between void pulse and trinity your usually ok on healing.
The main thing to know about the deck is your not a face deck. You want to conserve your resources and try to make sure your getting some synergy out of your spells before you throw them down. While you can get quick wins, remember your strongest in the lategame thanks to Death Knells and Revenants.
Poltergeist: S Rank
A poltrageist is an angry spirit, so combine Furosa (Fury/Anger), with an emphasis on death watch and that is what inspired the name.
I have avoided the classic deathwatch swarm approach for awhile now due to the aoe Laden meta, but the classic picks are as strong as ever and the Furosa/Crypto combo gave the archtype a nice little boost. This is a very aggressive low curve swarm deck looking to dominate the early game with a lot of cheap minions that fuel our three death watch cards. Don’t confuse aggression with SMORC face style, this is not a face deck, its a synergistic combo deck. Furosa/Crypto, cheap unit spam plus death watch, or stalling until revenants. It can pull out very quick wins with cresendo plays, or it can overwhelm your opponent with chip damage.
I usually advocate against Jammer in non face decks, but this deck has an extremely low curve and despite being very aggressive its worst match up would ironically be slow control decks since they pack extra aoe and removal, and those such decks rarely make good use out of jammer. The fairly large body on it helps with aggression, and deathwatch adds another whole layer to whether your opponent wants to kill it or not, if they kill it they don’t get to draw, if they don’t then you can combo it with deathwatch.
Jaxi/Cresendo are a classic match, but people know about this and deathwatch in general so if you have a cresendo and you have a couple units out dont be greedy and try to get a huge field just go for it or you will end up with an empty field and a dead cresendo. In the same vein never expect your units to live very long so while you want to try to set up death watch plays dont be greedy. In general you dont want to play Furosas unless you can BBs that turn, idealy you dont want to play just one either, I often save them untill I can chain them together with multiple copies and or cryptographers, remember 4/4 is the magic number as it dodges plasma and frostburn.
Some thoughts on grimwar vs cresendo. You usually don’t want to include both as they tend to start cluttering up your hand, one is not strictly better then the other but they do require you to build and play a little differently. I usually opt for cresendo because I dislike having to put my general in a bad position to get use out of it, and cresendo just gives you much more reach and flexbility. Grimwar on the other hand can actually protect your field rather then having to try to get your field to stick first, but while it makes your field less vulnerable its much harder to use due to positioning and lots of ping. If you prefer grim then I would orient the deck to be more of a face deck and consider playing tracer.
Its a competitive deck and its strength lies in if your opponent ignores your field and tries to smorc you down you can punish them with huge deathwatch plays, or if they concentrate on removing your field they slowly loose to chip damage and end up facing down revenants.
The aoe laden meta really does make it struggle a bit and it takes a lot of practice avoiding over extending and knowing when its best to kill off your units or try to build a field. But even when played poorly the deck just ends up being a crap shoot of "does your opponent have AOE? No? You win? Yes, well you probably loose. " So you can get a decent win rate even that way, and its just oh so satisfying when you get those big deathwatch plays.
Master Challenge V2:(Variax/Horror) S rank
Before I moved on to test other stuff, I climbed up to 68 with the deck.[/URL]
I call this deck Master Challenge. This one’s name is a bit more obscure but I am rather proud of it. Challenger Deep is the deepest part of the ocean and is often referred to as the Abyss. Horror Burster is based on a deep-sea Scorpion. So, Master Challenge implies a very difficult quest to the deepest part of the Abyss, the place where you will find such deep-sea creatures such as Burster, led by the legendary Grandmaster of the Abyss, Variax.
After the Variax nerf she felt way to slow, while the older lists are still competitive they can struggle to keep up a bit. This new variation was born to try and adapt to both the nerf and the new meta.
This version looks to really dominate the early game with the Furosa wraithling combo, and cheap minion spam+Horror Burster, then if you don’t crush them early with one of those combinations or you get countered by aoe, it transitions into a late-game Variax deck who provides all the advantage you need despite likely having dumped your hand by the time she drops.
Its got a solid control kit for mid range decks, some healing for aggo, utility minions that are resistant to aoe, and a natural transition from early to lategame just sort of skipping the usual mid-range plays which conflict with burster anyways.
You can either drop a couple things and suicide with Burster, or you can pop your burster manually with ritual or darkfire. You typically want to try and have an active minion before you pop burster so you can make use of that 6/6 right away. It takes some practice but you can manipulate where you spawn your 6/6 by holding off on other summons, or suiciding those you do not want to transform. It opted out of midrange picks like sister, death watch units since they are a little slow and conflict with burster.
Once you have your awesome BBS unless you have a big lead, you usually want to retreat to a corner so you can wall yourself in, and slowly overwhelm the board with your 5/5s. I know it seems odd to run three copies of an expensive card you never want to cast more than once. But trust me, you want it for the consistency, it is the backbones (Heh cus ya know she has a bunch of those.) of the deck.
Non arcane Lillith decks did not get much from the expansion, but she can still hold her with something like this which is well equipped to compete in the current meta.
Eternal Army: S rank
Little has changed for it in the last two expansions, but it still remains compeitive allthough tough to play.
Anyways onto the deck. The name is fairly simple, just a reference to Sarlac the Eternal and his little brother Gor.
Skorn has been a nightmare for swarm decks for some time now. Lyonar is regularly running tempest, plasma storms and mankantors are everywhere, ghost lightning is seeing play, stars fury is back in play now that vet has to try extra hard against range, even vanar has aoe now. Sarlac and Gor are natural counters to all of this. They also serve as dispel bait.
Now for a long time they have both been considered pretty bad, slow, and awkward. It was not until I started running skorn alongside them that I discovered just how strong they can be in this meta.
Sarlac/Gor +Blistering Skorn+ death watch does insane things on top of it just being good ping. Skorn plus sister is insane healing. They provide reliable sacrifice fodder, and they give you the ability to place important units in safe places even if your boxed in.
There are many combos with the deck. It has threat after threat, good removal, great healing and a sticky field. Being effectively immune to aoe on top of having your own makes for a very deadly deck.
Its curve is a little low, so you need to know how to manage your resources, and its a little hard to master when and how to pull off your combos, but when you get the hang of it, it is a ton of fun.
Similar to my Poltrageist deck but instead of trying to play it safe and be able to curve into the late game this one just goes all in on the swarm tactic.
A very aggressive deathwatch list featuring Grimwar. I don’t often include War and Cresendo as Cresendo is usually for less aggressive lists, but they both really fit the deck and make it work. It has a very low curve and short of an early tempest its very hard to stop you if you get either Grim or Cresendo.
Grimwar is very useful at protecting your swarm, it is not only fine, but encouraged to throw it on before you plan to go in for the kill as it will make it very hard to deal with your swarm. While you need to be a little more careful with Cresendo you should not be greedy with either of them or you risk loosing your field, if you can get a couple procs you should go for it.
Its a strong deck that can steal a lot of quick wins, but ultimately it can get shut down really hard by aoe and it has a pretty tough time recovering, thankfully the deck can largely dodge ghost lightning and skorn between furosa, priestess, and two health drops. But tempest and 5 mana wipes are really rough if you don’t have a grimwar so you have to be very weary of those and digging for grimwar is usually a top priority. Its competitive but its counterable nature keeps it from being top tier.[/details]
One of my older decks that was S rank back when kron was in his prime. When he got nerfed, and aggro got sped up and took over the meta it fell out of favor. Now that aggro has phased out a bit the deck is leaning towards competitive again. The only issue is Blood of Airs transform and Aspect of the Fox are rather popular and annoy the reanimator engine.
As the name implies the deck centers around things just not staying dead. The deck looks to ramp into big minions so as to get a lot of leverage out of keeper/nether.
For those that don’t know, keeper/nether don’t summon tokens, wraithlings are tokens, and don’t get summoned by keeper/nether, so your always guaranteed to bring back something big.
Notes on playing: typically, you want to use keeper early, and nether late, since neither can muddle up keepers summons. Typically, you replace pretty aggressively early on to try and start with a low-cost hand to get you rolling, then promptly start replacing low cost stuff. Usually I like to hold onto at least one keeper/nether as they really can seal the game.
Watch the Master: Competitive
During its season during the bloodborn expansion: http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x203/xx-jason-x/WatchMaster%20Rank.png
A tad dated since the Variax nerf, but still strong.
So, this one I have dubbed Watch the Master…because it’s all about deathwatch and the grandmaster.
It is very similar to my Master Challenge deck, it just drops the Burster package in favor of some classic Abyss picks Priestess, and Shadow Dancer. Still not running crescendo or anything like that because it’s a bit too hard to set up between how fast the meta is and how many aoes there are.
The game-plan is pretty simple, it’s all about getting your Grand Master out, hopefully early with darkfire, and just abusing that BBS. Variax is very strong but you need to be able to survive doing nothing for two turns when you summon her, unless you’re lucky enough to drop her early with darkfire, so the deck is just crammed with healing making it very hard for aggro to deal with you. It’s got a bit of removal/dispel to deal with slower decks. Once you have your awesome BBS unless you have a big lead, you usually want to retreat to a corner so you can wall yourself in, and slowly overwhelm the board with your 5/5s.
I know it seems odd to run three copies of an expensive card you never want to cast more than once. But trust me, you want it for the consistency, it is the backbones (Heh cus ya know she has a bunch of those.) of the deck.
It’s a very strong deck, the healing makes aggro fizzle, it has good removal, dispel, and unlike a normal swarm or death watch deck, this does not really need to develop much of a board nor is it very weak to aoe.
Priestess is usually a more defensive card to make a wraithling shield then it is a primary win con.
I choose Sphere of darkness over something with better draw power as it is a solid card and helps us consistently get out Variax. Once Variax hits we don’t usually need more card advantage, and the decks curve is high enough to usually keep us from running out before that.
Animate Dead: Competitive/Gimicky
Another take on Arcanyst Lillith. This time featuring Nightshroud. While not drastically different then any other arcane list this one has a neat trick. Bond, unlike opening gambit, can indeed work with reanimation abilities, both Nether Summoning, and of course Death Knell. This allows us to get a lot of extra mileage out of Nightshroud and or Trinity Wing. Nether of course has its classic combo with Spectral Revenant and is an all around solid card, reviving Owlbeasts is pretty nifty to.
The deck does not pack a ton of spells as this variation is more about Reanimation with bond/rush then it is spell spamming, but it certainly has enough spells to get good use out of your other arcanysts.
Between Trinity and a medium curve card advantage does not tend to be an issue. It has healing covered with Nightshroud and Trinity. It only packs one Death Knell in this variation as he is a tiny bit redundant with Nether, and thanks to nightshrouds you really tend to win if you drop him, but keep in mind you only have one so don’t be to quick to replace him even if its early.
Nightshroud is not usualy considered optimal due to the awkwardness of trying to get his bond off, and the RNG summoning of Death Knell. But I am really fond of the card and have wanted to make it work, I think I finally found a way to make him pretty good. I doubt it will be better then the nightshroud free variants, but it should be pretty close. I have put in limited testing with it and it is probably ultimately still a gimmick but it should be pretty competitive.
Lilith’s Cradle of Filth: Competitive/Gimicky
A really fun deck, its name comes from the two cards that inspired the deck,
Grimes, and Echos. Because Grimes is filthy and Cradle of Filth is a screaming metal band so that is represented by echos.
As much as love echos though, it probably hold the deck back. May be better off as an Ephmerial Shroud, but when Echos works it really is beautiful.
Its primarily a dying wish deck looking to abuse Blood Echos and Lurking fear, Reaper of the Nine Moons is exceptionally potent with Echos.
Early game you have the potent crypto/furosa tech, combined with both Darkfire Sacrifice, and Lurking fear to start ramping out those big dying wish minions. While you usually use Lilliths BBs to fuel Darkfire or Ritual Banishing your dying wish minions, especially Grimes, are quite solid targets as well. Between the decks high curve and a little draw from Void Hunter you have card advantage covered.
The deck can pull some sick combos and maintain a very sticky field, but it a little slow and gimicky, but it is a lot of fun.
The Sweet Release of Death: Gimicky/Competitive
Based on my Reanimator deck this one is an attempt to make The Releaser work. The card is pretty awkward but it has potential to work as a less situational Nether Summoning. Unlike nether you don’t require something to have died recently, any time will do, and you can equip it early and then do stuff rather then wait until later.
The Releaser is especially potent when comboed with EMP, who is also a solid revive target. Releaser also doesn’t clutter up your graveyard with weird stuff like Nether does. The deck drops Nether and Blade to make room for its new toys, because 3 revives is a tad redudant, and blade conflicts with EMP.
The deck is certainly viable and it was hard work but I think I made The Releaser good. However ultimately I think the standard Reanimator deck is better.
Control Variax: Average
Just a dedicated control set up, even more healing, even more removal to just ensure that you will be able to get the late game and abuse your Grandmaster. I have not tested it very much but I suspect it may be a little slow.
Its a neat deck but it’s a tad dated, it currently can’t really change without completely scrapping the idea.
This one I call Undying Abyssian, as things tend to just not stay dead and also undying…dying wish…heh.
Notes on Playing: Use keeper first, and nether second, as both nether and Nine moons can mess up keeper. You almost never want to cast two lurking fears as it hurts your hand, you want one early, and then its replace fodder later. Other than that, the playstyle is pretty similar to the first one.
While it may seem odd not to run Unseven in a dying wish engine I found that he really did not add much and just ended emptying out my hand. Instead of trying to force draw into the deck by running the awkward as ever Rite, or the subpar undying draw minions which muddle up my keeper/nether plan I took him out and found that the deck ran much smoother.
No klaxon? Outside of a creep deck it’s pretty meh, deck already has enough high costed minions, needs the lower cost options and various utility I have instead. I also find creep to often be a draw back because of things like nimbus and fox.
So, the name is based on the two cards the deck is designed around, Lurking Fear, and Horror Burster, both cards with an emphasis on fear.
Its similar in principal to my consuming burst deck, but instead of trying to combo consuming we are just going for full on ramp with a constant slew of dying wish minions to help flood the field and provide hand advantage. Horror Burster just might bring this deck up to a competitive level but ultimately, it’s still gimmicky because it lacks the removal of the others and requires a good starting hand to get rolling properly.
For those who question 3x Lurking Fear there is actually a really good reason. You almost never want to cast it more the once as it hurts your hand. It may seem weird running a playset of something you only intend to use once. But the reason for that is its only good in the first couple turns so you need 3 in the deck to get it at all consistently, because after the first couple turns its just replace fodder. It’s awful at one, meh at two, and replace fodder at 3. But to be worth the slot at all it needs to be a playset.
Flood Protection: Gimmicky
With this list, we can really capitalize on low cost flood things like Wraithlings and Zyx without nearly as much fear of Aoe thanks to Lady Lock, Mirkblood, and yes even Bastion! Then we add void steal and puppy dragon to give the deck some real killing power. No death watch? Nope the whole point of this build is to value your swarm, you don’t want it to die, you want it to multiply! I currently have chosen Inkhorn over whip just because it helps support the flood, the deck gets rolling pretty fast, and Voidsteal also doubles as a soft removal so I think it is surprisingly well covered on that front. Sister gives the deck some much needed healing and with that huge swarm it gives a lot of value. Try it out, you may be surprised at just how well it performs.
Angry Lord: Gimmicky
This one I call Angry Lord. Furosa=Fury=Angry, Baronete=Baron=Lord.
I bring you a proper wraithling swarm deck. It’s pretty competitive with its Furosa+Crypto combos, on top of having insane burst out of nowhere with Baorenete combos. It can either swarm and overwhelm or turn a single wraithling left alive into a game ender.
It plays every single wraithling card. I was not too sure about some of them, like Necrotic, and Horn, but they all come together really well. It can dump its hand early like swarm does and later refill with rite. Or switch over into control mode with its abundance of removal while it waits for the moment to one shot your opponent with a baron combo.
There is no death watch or sacrifice effects to be had here because this deck values its minions and does not want any of them to die. It can be pretty aggressive, and has a decent late game.
I have put much less testing into it then the other two, because despite that it is not as vulnerable as traditional swarm to Aoe, especially small pings, a well-placed tempest, immolation, Frostburn, or frenzy still usually cripples us beyond recovery. This discourages me from playing it competitively because I dislike the Rock Paper Scissors effect of do you have Aoe? Yes? I lose. No? I win. But it is a lot of fun, and if your tired is the usual death watch or Big Abyss and just want to play proper swarm, this is probably the best way to do it. Perhaps it would be better with classic picks like Revenant and Blood Priestess over some of the more clunky wraithling cards, but I like it how it is.
Consuming Burst: Gimmicky
So, after Burster got hotfixed my Master Challenge deck just was not quite as consistent. I still really like burster and wanted to try and make him work. What better way to do that then to combine it with another card I really love Consuming Rebirth. This is effectively an update to one of the other off decks that were part of the Eternal Army Series. It’s a bit gimmicky, but it is a lot of fun.[/details]
Zenruai Swarm: Gimmicky
Bloodborn Update: As usual Variax makes most Lillith decks better. Between a high curve, and Variax it does not need any draw power.
It’s a little bit gimmicky, but it may have more potential then I give it credit for. Since Void Steal is now absolutely mandatory for swarm I thought it would be fun to build around it a little. I missed Assassin, even though it’s sort of a mini Zenrui after its many nerfs abyss just couldn’t find room for it. Speaking of Zenrui the deck fits him as well. The idea is with Void Steal, blood sire, and darkfire sacrifice it becomes easy to abuse Assassin and Zenrui. We have some traditional swarm tools, and by skimping on healing and draw power the deck has a couple unique tricks up its sleeve.
I really wanted to make the releaser work, but its just so bad. Still the deck is a lot of fun. Anyways I named it Voodo because the deck is all about hurting your self in order to hurt your opponent. It was actually better suited for the Sanguimancy name, but that was already taken.
This tries to make the Releaser work by including skorn and bone naga as both solid field control, and ways to break the releaser quickly.
Anyways the deck is based off of an old favorite of mine Reanimator, which abused keeper and nether by making sure to not include low cost minions other then tiger. Instead geting by with wraithlings (who are tokens and never get brought back), artifacts, and spells for the early game.
Its a neat deck but Reanimator just does what it is trying to do better.