Hello, everyone! I’m Mrenderman, also known as Render! So, after a long while of thinking and theorycrafting, I decided to finally do something I’ve wished to do for a long time (and by a long time, I mean like 3 months ago), and that thing is… to make a Keeper deck for every single faction!
And so, I’ve finally got off to make this post which I’ll hopefully update as time goes along, decklist changes included, since I’ve yet to make all of them (it’s trickier than I thought) and heavy testing can’t be easily done in a week/month when you are a Spanish Last Year Highschooler , and I think that having one single post for all of them is much easier for me and for whoever is interested.
As for personal credentials… expert tournament memer, getting 2 top 8s in the DotD tournament series (Dawn of the Duelyst) and 8 month player that has only recently got the hang of getting to the almighty S-rank tier (got twice there, once after try harding my way through with aggro lyonar and this time around casually playing with Keeper Vaath) .
The Reboot : So, I took a long time to update this post basically because I put it all down in an awkward manner. I tried to do too many things in little time an ended up screwing up a bit >w<. From now on, the lists posted are going to be unchanged, so basically, an “official version”, so to say, which is why Abyssian, Vetruvian and Vanar are going to take a long time, since they are the hardest to structure around Keeper. If I ever find anything that may or may not work better, I’ll post it as a “modification”, instead of redoing every single deck for a change. Also, W/L rates are too hard to keep up for each faction, so I’ll stick to a general W/L rate.
PS: All decks now will not have a W/L rate as of now, but they have been put through a lot of testing which… I kinda forgot to write down (As soon as I get around another 20-30 games with each, I will post the actual results).
This is probably one of the weirdest ways to insert Keeper into a deck. As you can see, minions like lion and slo, which don’t really give as much value, are in the deck. There are two main reasons for this: 1) Slo lets me ramp to 4 mana and potentially setup an ironcliffe heart, which if it dies, will bring me back that Ironcliffe. Also because 4 mana no board holy immo just blows up any early game board if need be. 2) Lyonar struggles if no board is present, especially in the early game, so having such threatening minions means you can control slightly better whats happening (the argument for slo with ironcliffe heart also works here). Basically, this gives you 1 of 2 win cons: being aggressive, or going for the midrange Divine Bond combo with Ironcliffe or Mrs. Tombstone.
-Sunstone Templar : This is a card that I wanted to give a try for the longest of times, and it has surprised me in a good way. First off, I already had too many spells in the deck as is, having even more would lower the chances of me getting a decent Ironcliffe heart or even a holy immolation. Secondly, it can really stop some early game threats that demand dispell. However, I would not judge anyone who would ditch him off an insert Sunbloom anyway, due to its immediate effect.
-Slo: This little guy along ICH is what made me make this deck. It helps ramp up with the mana orbs into some dumb strong openings, such as T1 dioltas or T1 Ironcliffe starting second. If you start first, then you just put them down T2. Not only that, this is the prime target for ICH, since once transformed, it will be brought back as an Ironcliffe by Keeper. Not only that, 4 mana Holy Immolation is really strong if you need to come back to the board. Even if it dies as slo, getting a 1/4 provoke off keeper can be nice to stop your opponents movement if need be.
-Radiant Dragoon: Once again, a minion that I thought would like to go through some testing. The reason for this card is purely because I will not know when I’ll get a silverguard knight. Sure, if it’s the only minion dead, it’s pretty safe, however if it’s not, should I spawn the minion near me, or closer to threaten my enemy? If it’s the second, you get the equivalent of a slo, and if you don’t, you just probably missed to threaten the opponent. So, I decided to go for something that has a fixed stat line as well as a decent effect (3/5 Keeper, just 1 attack from being like old Keeper )
Lyonar: If I have learned something while playing this deck, is that lyonar doesn’t like huge minions. So, my advice is to try and setup an early Ironcliffe with heart, or go for dioltas as fast as possible and win with good old Divine Bond. However, don’t try to play them if you fear your opponent may have an answer, which could lose you what little tempo you had to begin with. Last tip is to use Aegis Barrier as cycle. This card against Lyonar is extremely situational, since most of their nowadays removal is AoE effects (immo and tempest) or Repulsor Beast.
Songhai: Look for lasting judgement in your opening hand always, especially if starting second (tiger is also an option). T1 Chakri, Katara or Lantern Fox are extremely menacing, not having a clear answer, makes it even worse. If you decide to go with templars, don’t hesitate to put one down, if you have sunbloom, treasure it as if it was your very life (mainly because it is). Moving on from T1, this deck doesn’t struggle that much, unless you get pinged down by double Bloodrage. Circle of Life comes in handy, and songhai in general doesn’t like to deal with Dioltas and ironcliffes. Also, have in mind that Aegis Barrier wins the match-up. No jux, or OBS, or Spiral Technique will ever kill it. They will need to put down many resources to not get brutally hit by a 13 attack Yellow Metal Giant (be careful with your health total when you play it though, they won’t be able to kill Ironcliffe, but they can kill you, which is worse).
Abyssian: Tiger, Tempest, Aegis Barrier, Lasting Judgement and whatever dispell you chose is pretty nice to safe for later. Tiger+Roar kills kelaino, Lasting Judgement gets rid of Ooz, Abyssian (especially cass) doesn’t appreciate dispell in general and aegis prevents a daemonic lure from ruining your fun. There’s not much to say, aside from DO NOT SPAWN SLO AT 7 MANA! Revenant can be a heavy punish for that.
Magmar: The worst one, truly a nightmare. Most of the time your T1 aren’t gonna matter, and the fact that magmar has so many transformation spells (thumping and egg) makes it hard to use Keeper effectively. What you are gonna have to go for in this games is for an Aegis Barrier+Roar+Ironcliffe that doesn’t get rushed down. Also, make sure to keep judgements, Magmars are known to run Funsteel Defender.
Vetruvian: This is slightly more manageable than Magmar. Due to the loss of Siphon, Azure Lion is a huge threat for them, as well as Dioltas and Ironcliffe. However, due to them being able to spawn obelysks early in the game, it can be a struggle to deal with them. So, once again, your best bets are whatever dispell you run (I like Templar here because it’s a great way to deal with obelysk without having to deal with them at the same time… as well as wrecking T1 Pax) and also Aegis Barrier, since their only removal is single target and really conditional. Do be careful, Inner Oasis can shut you down really fast if used early on.
Vanar: Against Faie, play as you normally would with a midrange list, HOWEVER, do not commit to early (especially T1) Ironcliffe Hearts or Ironcliffes. Aspect of the Fox is popular, and it will mess up your follow up turn if you wanted to Keeper. It’s better to calm down and try to search for Aegis, since it will eat a chromatic cold, which is a huge resource for Faies. Kara will play more of a Zoo-ish deck, so keeping tempest and Holy immos is probably the best. Also, avoid using tempest unless you absolutely have to, 2/2 Jax is sure to come down at one point.
Sigh Good old Keeper Magmar. This isn’t new for most, as it is a strong deck that can easily hold itself even with this greedy selection of minions. Now, it’s pretty easy to see where I am going with this deck. Spawn rush minions and slam them somewhere, once dead, bring them back. This is especially good with Elucidator, bypassing the Opening Gambit and the infamous Makantor Warbeast (Flash-Warbeast-Keeper is the dream). If your rush minions get stopped, I put them Mandrakes down and done-deal. That’s it really.
-3rd thumping?: I have gotten many lethals from good old elucidator plus this, however, with the amount of rush and Dancing Blades, I’d rather prioritize Up-close instant removal than range.
-Metamorphosis, is it worth running?: I don’t know, to be honest. I have found myself using this card here and there, sometimes it was used as even more removal, as silence (silencing 5/6 chakri and 5/3 Heartseeker FeelsGoodMan) and sometimes just as stall. Other times it was a worthless replace.
Lyonar: Natural Selection and Flash are your main priorities in the early game. Replace Egg Morphs even if it means you are trying to get this card. Natural Selection helps you reach 4 mana cores easily, since it denies any (most) Lyonar T1s, and Flash because Funsteel shenanigans and 4 mana Makantor is… pretty nice, I must say. Later on, Plasma Storm is straight up value, since there aren’t that many things that can escape from that range, although Egg Morph is equally as valuable since it can get a Roared ironcliffe. Also try to get your BBS up and running ASAP, that way Azurite Lion becomes more a nuisance, rather than a threat. Earth Sphere is also not a bad idea to save, since Tempo Lyonar can wear you out really quick with small minions (and eating up 6 attack Windblades isn’t precisely healthy) and Mandrakes can also heavily punish them for slamming their hand. Also, be careful with your health total, you don’t want to be Holy Tigered to hell.
Songhai: This is a really awkward match-up. Turn 1 can really mean the game. Chakri, Lantern Fox, Katara… Those can really mess you up in just the first turn (especially if they start second and magically get Fox+Katara… then you are pretty screwed). In my experience, this is a game of who gets the best hand. Other (better) tips are that you might want to flash Funsteel, unless you are second, you might want to natural selection/thumping that T1 chakri they just spawned. Do be careful with when and how you use Elucidators, -4 health means an easier kill for songhai. Makantor and Dancing blades are probably the best minions to look for, since its removal+an amazing body. Metamorphosis can turn the game upside-down as well, stalling an entire turn and getting rid of buffs can be really good. I’m pretty sure it’s not necessary for me to tell you to look for Earth Spheres… and do be careful with the 1 casual Zendo, it can really mess you up.
Abyssian: Something something plasma storm, makantor, makantor, plasma SMOrc. There you go, that covers swarm. Against Cassy… SMOrc, SMOrc, and more SMOrc (Go face, for those who don’t know). No matter if they spawn Kelainos, Keeper and don’t stop going face, or else you are not gonna either reach her, or beat their retarded amount of healing. Also, did I say to SMOrc? Trust me, you don’t want to get rekt by OBLITERATE!!! cough
Magmar: This mirror is one of the little ones that are actually fun. Its nothing but friendly SMOrc. Literally, move forward, SMOrc, spawn elucidator, also hit face with it, Keeper or heal or something and repeat process until someone dies. However, an actual tip, if you can chose between Natural Selection and Thumping Wave, use thumping wave, you don’t want your opponent Keepering you and be aware with the BibleThump Combo (Elucidator+Thumping) or Bounded Lifeforce.
Vetruvian: Plasma Storm MVP once again. Gets rid of Obelysks and Dervishes and it can be especially devastating if the enemy uses an Inner Oasis. Natural Selection is something you might want to save, since Scarab is starting to gain popularity and Egg Morphs, for those ever so friendly Aymaras. One thing though, do not, by any means, get close to not dead Obelysks, Dervish Vetruvians’ burst can get easily out of hand. Sajj could potentially be a problem, since now they have the possibility of using actual healing, and that plus Falcius could manage to stop you.
Vanar: Yep, you guessed it, Plasma Storm is still a great card here. Clear most Kara Zoo boards even after BBS, and it can hold great value against more aggresive Faie lists. Against of them, makantor and elucidators can be really amazing, since they don’t particularly have the best healing to recover from starting the game at 18hp. If you are facing Faice, Earth Sphere can shut them down really well, especially after being constantly poked at with Snowpiercer, and makantor warbeast can hurt any wall variant or just aggro, since they’ll normally stick close and around you. One last thing, snowchasers will annoy you… A LOT, so, no shame in dispelling them if you think it’s truly necessary.
This deck surprised me heavily. It started off as a draft and it immediately became my favorite and one of the most useful Keeper decks I’ve played with close to no changes. First off, this deck looks like a hybrid between one too many things. It has artifacts to control the board and also finish off some unwanted two drops, it has all possible usable spells to control the board (trust me when I tell you this deck needs it) and at the very end, Hamons and Zendos from the good old Minion Songhai. This deck has many ways to win, one of them is classical “burn them to the ground” Spellhai, the other ones are Skill Technique and my favorite, Hamon going straight for that face. However, this deck does require control over it, since most of the times you will be playing from behind, trying to find a spot were you can bring it back and it isn’t easy, especially when your T1 is either Crescent Spear going first, or T2 start with fox. Keeper is one of those cards that allows for the comeback actually, since bringing something like a fox, or a 4winds (which is better, imo) the turn after they cleared it, or just getting them at the right moment, can get you through the game.
Having all those spells, why not run Bloodrage Mask?: First off, there is no space. Every single card has a use, some more than others. Secondly, while cheap damage is helpful, it isn’t particularly necessary, since your damage out-put will be saved with either Hamon or just pings from 4winds.
Random Pandamonium?: Pandamonium is an amazing card in my eyes, and it pairs up greatly with Twin Strike and Ghost Lightning. Sure, it takes up a lot of mana for that to work, but that’s why I mainly use this card in the late game, as a desperate removal/silence option (it resets a possible Aegis Barrier and resetting stats is pretty powerful when you are running low on resources).
Lyonar: Probably the hardest match-up for this deck. Not only can they continuously throw minions and minions that you kinda have to answer or you get exploded, they have those annoying provokes that will prevent from using your most important resource: Board Movement. This will force you into awkward situation in which clearing the board may come at the cost of being stuck again and again. However, there is one minion lyonar doesn’t particularly enjoy, and that’s Hamon, so try and stick that to the board ASAP. When facing a more Mid-range/Divine Bonding lyonar, Onyx Bear Seal becomes pure gold, so save those for the huge stuff, you will need them (also, you might want to look for pandamonium… you know, just in case you get an Ironcliffe with an Aegis Barrier in your face).
Songhai: This can go many ways. First off, if you are gonna use artifacts, remember they are only going to last 1 turn. Also, 4winds is your most valuable minion here, so keeping him alive and trying to bring him if he dies is really important (heals and pings for days). Onyx Bear Seal is also something worth searching for, since it gets rid of Fox’s and pre-buffed Chakris, as well as other 4winds. Do try to take this match as calmly as possible though. Not many opportunities to become the aggressor are going to appear. One last thing, please don’t spawn Hamon, trust me, it’s not good for your health.
Abyssian: Lilithe can get out of hand, since only 2 ghost lightning are in this deck, but at the same time, wearing them down is pretty easy, since their removal is pretty weak-ish. Cassyva is one of those generals you want to Hamon ASAP. They’ll either throw it across the map and pray for no Jux or Dark transformation and waste a turn. Kelainos aren’t a real problem, however, they are still priority if spawned. Do use artifacts, because it will normally force out pings or void pulses, which could limit their options.
Magmar: Its… complicated. They can ramp out so much stuff and it can get overwhelming really fast, since things like Fox or 4winds, even Hamon can get easily gotten rid off with 1 spell that may or may not kill them. Taking it calmly is the way to go and early artifacts can get them pretty pissed off. Don’t try to burst them down early as well, unless you are 100% sure they can’t escape from lethal next turn, due to Earth Sphere giving them a chance of becoming a 49 health general. Also, Zendo truly shines in this match-up. It not only negates the chance of them hitting you in the face, they’re position that they worked hard for (Magmar doesn’t like reach) is disrupted. Plus, they have to remove before a random Hamon is slammed next to them (trust me, hitting an 8/8 with your general is not fun).
Vetruvian: This one can get complicated. Once again, Hamon shines in the match-up. Not long range removal means you can slam it wherever as long as they can’t reach you and get them hard. Also, due to their Siphon loss, 4winds will be there for quite some time, and maybe Fox as well. Do save the Onyxs for aymara, or a possible scarab, though. Those can mess you up. Finally, if you just so casually happen to draw Spiral Technique, don’t be afraid to SMOrc them down. Their healing is pretty limited, making it hard for them to escape the Skill.
Vanar: Quite the interesting match-up… Due to them having Grade-A removal, it makes it hard for minions to stick. Here is where Keeper stands out, since it can give back whatever has been removed, along another pretty decent body, making them waste even more, when they’ll need it for more of those to come. However, an Aspect of the Fox may screw that up. If that is the case, you already know who to resort to… however, be really cautious if you play Hamon against Faie. Their BBS can get them that 2 damage you needed to survive, especially if it’s Faice, which can burn you down easily. Don’t be afraid to keep stuff like ghost lightning and Twin Strike, they like to flood the board with walls or rather low health minions (and do keep OBS if they use Vespyric Call… it’s nasty to deal with an 8/8 Christmas tree)
This is all I have for now. Abyssian is in the works, but due to the existence of Nether Summoning, I find Keeper in abyssian to be quite underwhelming. Not only do you get to use amazing two drops like Azure Herald or Gloomchaser, you get to control what comes out every turn. Vetruvian has been awkward to work with, due to the natural slowness of obelysks and Keeper just making it slower, as well as having to sacrifice their amazing early game potential with minions like Pax or even Falcius, which is a hard-core staple of vetruvian decks. As for Vanar… It’s just awkward, however, I have gotten great ideas here and there. However, if you want Keeper decks for those now, Deathsadvocate was kind enough to leave some of his ideas in the comments (Thanks, btw!).
-Good luck to all, enjoy, and I’ll see you in the battlefield!