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Learning Trickyboy Kaleos: Please Advise


I haven’t the faintest idea about how I can successfully run good-ish Songhai decks but I’ve become inexplicably drawn to the idea of a Xaanite Backstab deck. I know Duelyst Central exists but I’m a dope and I just want to play a true, dedicated Backstab deck that I can enjoy in Gold. How would you do this? To me, the following seems like a configuration of a reasonable selection of cards for that purpose:

Everything plays around Backstab and “move” effects, and you maintain hand size with Bandit, Oni, Bakezori and Killing Edge. I like the double Sentinels to actually (hopefully) surprise the enemy and a 2/5 Backstabbing Flyer for 3 seems great anyway. I like Seal over Protocol because if you reach a point where you start buffing minions with Jaguar you’ll have board advantage and won’t need the activation as much on the big minions. I like Deathstrike over Onyx Bear because a Panddo can just shut this deck down if you don’t draw Flamewreath or Juxta, and Deathstrike synergizes with Flamewreath.

But honestly, I’m just guessing about all this. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone playing Bakezori, so please let me know in what kind of way you would build an archetypal Backstab deck! I hope to read your thoughts.


Don’t know too much about this so I’ll try out this deck and see what I come up with - though with deathstrike already in, battle panddo seems like an obvious inclusion for its base power and that added utility


-3 katara ( the nerf kinda kills the card)
-3 cryptographer (idk about this)
-2 deathstrikeseal
-3 sentinel ( you can play 1 copy of each sentinels for more suprises)

+3 healing mystic (healing is good)
+3 orizuru (doesn’t die to phoenix fire)
+2 phoenix fire (clear stuffs)
+3 Assasination protocol (reactive stuffs)
(instead of playing a 3 cards combo that clears a 3*3 area, you can play eternity painter)
(yes, bakezori is seen play a lot)
These are just my opinions, i haven’t tried the deck yet, and i’m not in gold so i can’t guarantee my changes will benefit the deck.


I’d love to help, but I suck at backstab. I’d like to mention though that combination of backstab and ranged can prove useful. I usually tech 2 Cyclone Masks in my backstab decks against wallhuggers.

Other than that, DSS is bad in Kal, Bakezori is good.


Deathstrike seal doesn’t seem to be doing much


I’ve added in some onyx bear seals to replace them, I’ll see how that feels.


I thought that it’d be great with Flamewreath the same way it’s good with Panddo (@atd09) , and you can use it to Backstab targets that have too much Health to take down otherwise (Guardian comes to mind). I like the idea of Cyclone Masks!


Well, Wreath is more costly, has limited AoE and is preferably used with immediate move effect. So Wreath DSS combo is not so good in my experience.


I definitely agree that a three-card 6-mana combo at its cheapest isn’t going to blow your hair back most of the time. Still, Panddo’s blocking Backstabs seems sooo bad :frowning:


Well, DSS in Reva had obvious synergy with BBS as an addition to anything else you play in your deck. In Kal to use it effectively you should waste half of your hand…


Only if your board is empty. Would you call Panddo + Deathstrike + Focus/Protocol/Gotatsu for a similar outcome “wasting” your hand? Can’t even use the BBS for that combo, and Ranged has similar synergy with Deathstrike to Backstab, as far as I can tell.


While i sort of disagree with the Katara connundrum (the nerf was cruel but she still stands as emergency stab fodder), @duzt’s guidelines are key: you need some clearing and usability. I’ll later poke my Sinister Stab deck and try to revise it but general guidelines from one applies for what you seek: get stuff that opens space without hurting your board.


I just realized you don’t run Assassination Protocol. If you feel like it’s only an inferior Inner Focus, also run Thunderhorn.


Tips and tricks:

A. Cores you should be aware of-

  • p1 backstab combo - 3x assassin, 3x bandit
  • aoe suite - 3x panddo, 2-3x tahr, 3x wreath (thunderhorn is no longer worth running)
  • midrange top end suite - 2-3x hamon, 2-3x kron, 2x emp, 3x zendo, 2x spiral (optional)
  • aggro suite - 3x inner focus, 2-3x ethereal blades, 3x primus fist as your final 2 drop, 2-3x lantern fox, 2-3x bakezori, 2-3x tusk boar (optional)

Current decks I’m using:

Midrange. Teched for ziran (emp + hamon) and wanderer (hamon, kron, spiral)
Weak matchups- control magmar, possibly vet. Everything else is a skill mu


Aggro Kaleos. Strong vs all except ziran and control vaath. Trades reva’s damage ceiling for superior tempo in flamewreath and more consistent p1 pressure.

Tips for piloting kaleos in general-

  • as p1, you should always mulligan hard for a backstab unit + movement spell. This will outright win you the game in many mus. P1 combos to hold for t2: backstab + mds + 3 drop, backstab + jux + 4 drop
  • If you are playing vs a deck which can answer p1 backstab (cassyva, magmar, songhai, argeon), be sure to hold a 3 drop if you can.
  • positioning is key. Remember that while you can position minions safer than usual due to blink, always be aware of how much of the board is accessible to your minions. Sometimes you cannot afford to be super safe.
  • games are won and lost on flamewreath plays. Always consider if you have a better play before slamming it, as many times you can maximize face + clears with an extra turn.
  • if playing large minions, always cycle zendo and emp if p1 or p2 (exception: as p2, if you have a good hand, consider holding emp vs ziran), cycle kron and hamon as p1.
  • Hamon should not be played vs vanar or vet, and should not be played in an aggressive position vs any deck but ziran, wanderer, and aggro songhai

Hope this helps!


Not exactly backstab, but I want to leave this meme here:

[Artifact Kaleos]MToxMDEsMzoxMTAsMjoxMjksMzoxMzgsMzoxMzksMzoxNDAsMzoxNTUsMzoxMTA0OSwyOjExMTM2LDM6MjAwODYsMzoyMDEwMiwzOjIwMTI5LDM6MjAxNjgsMzozMDAwOSwyOjMwMDI3

Somewhat working. Reliquarian is underperforming, though, but Bangle and/or Cyclone Mask+whatever Grincher brings is often enough. Or early backstabber which sticked.

Tactics includes backstab in the early game, proceeding to heavy control in midgame with bangle+whatever as a finisher.

ReliKaleos - need help

Inb4 “but Zanes, the Killing Edges!”, i’ll have to agree this Reliquarian is a bit out of place.

Given the hard backstab context here, tho, would it sound absurd to replace it Horn Masks?


Yeah, just replaced them a second ago, going to test it :slight_smile:

But you’re doing it wrong. Reliquarian on Grincher also bears some fruit. The problem is - it’s winmore.


I feel generally disgusted at the prospect at using them on a neutral unit, but i can see why you’d do so.


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