New version here: DeathsAdvocate's Master Thread: Ancient Bonds
It is getting to the point that I have to many threads to update separately so I am collecting everything here. I will continue to post new threads, which will then be copied and updated to here. Old threads tend to get lost and forgotten anyways, hopefully I can keep this one circulating.
Expansion update coming soon.
Current S Rank Decks:
For those that just want the best of the best, right to the point, what I currently ladder with, here it is. You can look up the details on them in the master list below. These have all been very well tested and were either used to get to S rank, or in the top 50.
Watch the Master, Lilith: Control/Combo http://www.bagoum.com/deckbuilder#MTozMDEsMzozMTAsMzozMTgsMzozMjAsMzozMjQsMzozMzMsMzoxMDAyMCwzOjEwOTgxLDM6MTEwODQsMzoxOTA1MiwzOjIwMDQ5LDM6MjAwNTcsMzoyMDA1OSwzOjIwMjAx
Antidraw Starhorn: Aggressive/Midrange Combo: http://www.bagoum.com/deckbuilder#Mzo0MDUsMzo0MTcsMTo0MTgsMzo0MjUsMzoxMDAxMiwzOjEwMDIwLDM6MTA5ODEsMzoxMTA4NCwzOjExMDg2LDM6MjAxMTIsMzoyMDEyNSwzOjIwMjE4LDM6MjAyMjUsMzoyMDIzNA==
Hybrid Vaath: Aggressive Control: http://www.bagoum.com/deckbuilder#MTo0MDEsMzoxMTA4NCwzOjEwMDIwLDM6MTA5ODEsMzoyMDEyNSwzOjEwMDEyLDM6MjAyMTgsMzo0MjgsMzo0MTksMzoyMDExNywzOjIwMTU3LDM6MjAxMjIsMjoxMTA3NywzOjQwNSwxOjIwMTE4
Highly Competitive Decks:
These are either Meta decks that I don’t play very much but have tested a little to optimize, or are S rank decks from previous seasons that I have updated and should still be competitive. Again, full details on them can be found in the master list.
Keeper of Dragons, Vaath: Control: http://www.bagoum.com/deckbuilder#MTo0MDEsMzoyMDExMiwzOjIwMTE2LDI6MjAxMTMsMzoyMDEyNSwzOjEwMDEyLDM6MjAxMTcsMzoyMDE1NywzOjQwNywzOjExMDE4LDM6MjAxMjIsMzoxMTA3NywzOjQwNSwxOjIwMTE4
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.
[details=Summary]Watch the Master: S rank
Currently top 50 and climbing: http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x203/xx-jason-x/WatchMaster%20Rank.png
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 Kelaino. 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.
I picked whip over punish. Punish is a great card, but even with the blood tear combo it is too often a dead card. Backline units have low health so whip does a good job finishing them, and once this deck pushes into the late game you’re usually going to win, so whip gives you all the stalling time you need and wont proc dying wish.[/details]
Eternal Army: S rank
The Bloodborn update for my Eternal Army deck. Not a whole lot has changed. After the Skorn and Rite nerf the deck slowed down a lot. So, to help make up for this I dropped both rite and darkfire in favor of punish and L’kian. This lets us just play the tempo game instead of trying to go all in for combos leaving it a little less flashy but more stable. With darkfire out our curve is now high enough that L’kian does the card advantage job better without losing tempo like rite. Our eternal minions that pop up on all parts of the board and of course Skorn make it very easy to use punish. It can still pull the same tricks as the old version just usually requires a little more set up in trade for more stable tempo. It’s about on par with the pre-nerf Skorn/rite version.
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 got an aoe card. 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 thanks to rite/rev the deck is not afraid to dump its hand early with darkfire. 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, hand refilling, 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.
Master Challenge: Competitive
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.
Onto the deck. Early on it looks to drop cheap utility minions that are hard to wipe with aoes or pings, all of which help stall the game for you. They are all prime targets for Burster. You can either drop a couple things and suicide with Burster, or if you have an active minion and or your worried you can’t keep your board you can sacrifice your Burster instantly for crazy early game value.
Then the primary core of the deck is Ramp+Grandmaster Variax. The deck is built on a control shell packed with healing to help drag the game out to get maximum value out of Variax. Of course, ramp makes Revenant shine as well, and provides combos with Burster or Shadow Dancer.
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, which should just about always be a priority. 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, the potential to close games super early with Burster, or to go to the unstoppable late game with Variax. 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.
Shadow Dancer provides ping, healing, and often time just an alt win con. Between dancer and our cheap healing minions, which we run because of Burster, there is no need or room for Kelaino.
Between a medium curve, L’kian, and resource management card advantage is rarely an issue, especially even with an empty hand all we really need is our awesome BBs.
Punish is a great card but does require some thought and planning to use. Between our small swarm of hard to remove but low attack critters, and Blood Tear wounding things is pretty easy.[/details]
Swarm Variax: Competitive/Gimmicky
Very loosely based on Kolos list. I feel this is a much more optimized approach of what he was going for, and while very strong it still feels a bit gimmicky. It wins big and often, but when it loses it loses hard. It can either go old-school swarm/death watch with the new crypto/furosa tech instead of trying to win with a clutch crescendo, transitioning into Variax who turns your hordes of wraithlings into monsters. My issue with the deck is its very vulnerable to aoe, and instead of packing healing and utility minions to help vs the aggro meta we are trying to go wraithling swarm but without most of the usual pay off cards for swarm. On those hands where you don’t get a ramped variax and or you get hit with an early aoe you just curl up and die. But the rest of the time you utterly crush your opposition. A very strong deck, but its swingy nature makes it a tad gimmicky.[/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. Variax filling in krons slot does a lot for the deck. It’s now competitive again, but the meta is probably a bit fast for it.
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.[/details]
So, the name is based on the three cards the deck is designed around, Lurking Fear, Horror Burster, and of course Variax. Two cards with an emphasis on fear, plus the inevitability of Variax. On a slightly more abstract level it’s a shout out to those paranoid people who fear the apocalypse, aside from the obvious fear/paranoia correlation, Burster can represent the explosion or burst that people fear, and the apocalyptic setting is represented by the situation created by Variax or a successful burster combo.
This is the bloodborn update for my lurking fear decks. 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. However, unlike its previous incarnations if it can get lurking fear OR Darkfire/Variax it can really snowball out of control really quick.
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. For the same reason, we run Variax as a play set despite only wanting to cast it once, is the same reason to run Lurking at 3.[/details]
Sadly, no bloodborn update, it’s 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.[/details]
Flood Protection: Gimmicky
No bloodborn update. With this first 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.[/details]
Angry Lord: Gimmicky
This one I call Angry Lord. Furosa=Fury=Angry, Baronete=Baron=Lord.
To end today’s post, 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.[/details]
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.[/details]
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. [/details][/details]
[details=Summary]Fast Cass: Competitive
Really not much to say about it, pretty standard. Go face, make creep, heal, win. It’s the standard competitive Cass deck, this is just my take.[/details]
Way too much Aggro in this game, always makes me sad to see Cass get watered down into yet another aggro deck. So much potential to play the long game with a lot of powerful synergy.
While the list is not to different from Fast Cass you will notice, it has a slightly higher curve and more focus on the long game. This decks goal is to drag the game out, as the longer the game goes the more devastating your creep synergy cards are.
Focus on keeping the board clear and do not go face. Tiger is a very good removal card when combined with your BBs. Klax is great for being on the defensive and if her effect procs its usually game over. Blade provides both healing and pseudo removal. Remember you are relying on curving out not draw power so conserve your resources don’t vomit your hand.[/details]
Just a truely dedicated control set up, slow and steady wins the race. The midrange version sometimes can pull fast wins out, that is very rare with this one. Sometimes you can win fairly quickly by just keeping the field clear and going face while outhealing your opponent, but that is not the goal. [/details]
So, this version looks to combine Death Watch and Creep.
Gor is surprisingly good, he makes your deck effectively immune to natural selection, and is always available to hit with your own bbs to create creep, proc Death Watch, damage stuff for punish, or as constant healing with Kelaino.
Our two death Watch units, Shadow Dancer and Blood Priestess are classics. Very powerful and reliable. We do not run crescendo or anything like that because it’s a bit too hard to set it up reliably, besides we have obliterate as a wincon.
Thanks to the medium curve L’kian provides all the draw we need and with how the deck is set up pretty much anything she pulls will be useful.
Now the weirdest part of the deck is three Obliterates! Yep that’s right, and no it is not overkill. Running three lets us replace it every time we see it unless we are ready to use it, and feel pretty confident we can find it later. Because the deck has the alternate win path with Deathwatch it’s safe to just use Obliterate as a board wipe rather than a finisher, and when using it like that we want to have more than one on reserve.[/details]
Variax Cass: Gimmicky
While Variax is not good for traditional Cass she does open up a new way to build her. More control/ramp, no obliterate, Azalea optional. Will it be top tier? Probably not. But diversity is good.
The deck runs a lot of one and two drops for Darkfire Sacrifice targets, combined with draw to try and find your win cons Juggernaut and Variax. While cryptographer does not combo with Variax for Cass, the extra ping and creep generation is very valuable plus its great sacrifice fodder.
It also sorts of helps bring back budget Cass. Sub Rite of the Undervault for Soujner, sub Sister for Healing Mystic, and Revenant for Azure Herald and now you have a fairly cheap and competitive deck. Yea it takes a little to invest in bloodborn orbs, but it’s still cheaper than normal Cass, and a lot of fun.[/details]
This one I call Fester, because it is a slow creeping infection that revolves around tissue dying. So, we have both creep and dying wish referenced in one word :D.
An interesting take on Cass, it still runs the essential creep tools for the late game but the dying wish engine fits in nicely providing draw and some fun early/mid game tools. Klaxon being dying wish is the main attraction for this archetype. No Juggernaut? Yea I know blasphemy, but it’s tough trying to fit both the creep engine and the dying wish engine. Juggernaut is very strong, but he is slow and easy to answer. I would rather play off of dying wish and use Azealia/Obliterate as a finisher that can’t be answered. Not running Juggernaut also creates a neat scenario, people tend to save removal/dispel for him and are less likely to use it on your other threats.
Iron Clad is still an experimental pick. This deck lacks ritual/darkfire, but Cass can get pretty good use out of him by pinging him with her BBs and then having him smack the general.[/details][/details]