Nice idea! I thought earlier of using Qthulhu with Operants to fish for Mechaz0rs, but those decks are better for using Cadence combos so I didn’t really try it out in the end. For Deceptibot, you might like Cass with Nethermeld to combo with him. Then it’s a matter of adding some creep generators like Ooz to get those tiles to teleport into, and Munch to keep you alive for a bit. Might even use Mirrorrim to copy your Mechaz0rs, but that might be going a bit too far
Also, lol’d at the text there
Thanks! I was thinking about Cadence also… Need to ponder a bit more and playtest around this idea. Maybe the Deceptib0ts are not entirely needed.
Edit: I mean I’m looking for a primary, tried and true win condition to host the Mechaz0r secret weapon. Cadence or something.
Cadence was way better with the old 8/8 Mechaz0r. I had a really decent Mech Cadence deck back then, with Araki Headhunters (who gets really swol from all the mechs). Nowadays MZ0r is so easy to remove and only 6 dmg with Cadence, so something else is needed for “plan A” (like the Deceptibots, they do have potential)
I think this deck could use good ol’ Mirrorrim
I’d put 2 of Neko to ensure you get at least one operant from her. You know, it may draw itself.
It’s still draw though as long as there’s enough cheap stuff like DFS and Void Pulse etc. to benefit from it
I tried with 2 Nekos and then you know what happens, you don’t draw them. Finally I settled for 3, even if as you said you draw them instead of the Operants sometimes, delaying the plan.
@alexx55 Ok, I will see what happens with a couple of Mirrorrims.
Ok after more testing, this is a deck that I like and features half of the tutor chain (I currently lack Deceptib0ts and support to try something crazier).
Fairly straightforward string-of-mechs deck to summon 1 Mechaz0r, but featuring redundancy for more:
I still slipped a single Desolator in, because it’s such a power card and the deck has no healing/ping otherwise.
- Try to play Nekomata & Nightmare Operants ASAP.
- When you feel a Mechaz0r is coming, hold on to your Mirrorrim. Just with this and above it’s fairly reliable to get 3 Mechaz0rs in your deck after your first one.
- There are S.I.L.V.E.R.s too. when played at the right time they’ll just win you the game as surely as multiple Mechaz0rs would.
This deck has oodles of draw power, as I like to enjoy in the design phase… Remove a Spelljammer for another S.I.L.V.E.R. if you are comfortable with less card draw.
I like Mechs decks but it’s such a let down when your climatic Mechaz0r is destroyed just after you click the “End Turn” button. This is a deck with arguable board power and second chances.
Todo: Craft some Deceptib0ts and try to play without the rainbow Mechs, as was the original idea.
After spending most of this August playing Steal Abyss, I’ve decided to spend this Monday writing about my Steal Abyss deck and its match-ups, suitable inclusions and other stuff that will help players understand how the deck works, and how to play with and against it.
So onto the decklist
How does this deck work? And how is this archetype played?
The deck has a couple different goals, but the most notable is its ability to adapt to nearly every situation using its cards AND its opponents cards to survive and close out the game.
The archetype plays very similar to mid-range lists that want to hit the ground running and survive to drop its bigger and stronger minions to out-tempo and defeat the opponent.
Azure Herald - 2 drop, decent body and heals your general for a substantial amount of health which allows you to survive into the late-game to steal cards.
Healing Mystic - Another 2 drop, in my opinion, it has a better body than azure herald and can heal anything that you want to, but it heals for a lot less, and since you’re mainly healing your general, I usually replace herald in my opening hand for this.
Rust Crawler - Newest card I’ve added into the deck, works as a better 2 drop than mystic/herald because its opening gambit is more situational, incredibly good in certain match-ups and can carry games.
Bound Tormentor - The first steal card in this deck, and arguably the best, providing 3 bodies for 3 mana, and usually giving you something very good at a discount. Also helps smooth out the curve by being a 3 drop, helps you sustain your hand, and plays mind games with the opponent. The Watchful Sentinel is immune to dancing blades/alchemist/arclyte sentinel, but is not immune to lavaslasher so look at your match-up carefully.
Desolator - Hand Sustain, Ping, Life Drain, Great minion that closes out games and allows Cassy/Maehv to run away and burn the opponent to death while staying alive, but its a terrible tempo piece and should only be played if you have control of the board as it costs 4 mana.
Lightbender - Smooths out the curve a little more along with desolator, and is the only source of dispel in the deck. Used mainly on enemy desolators/creep/exhuming sand/ but is great for anything that needs to be dispelled. I originally added Bender in as a counter to Smash Vaath, but is great for nearly everything. Also works in the deck because a lot of the minions in the deck don’t care if they are dispelled (except desolator and rot9m).
Reaper of the Nine Moons (rot9m) - Terrible body for a 5 drop, but its Dying Wish wins games alone. Contrary to (probably) popular belief, rot9m should be placed close up if you are not comboing it with furor chakram as it will most likely be removed on the next turn, but will leave you with a (hopefully) good minion nearby the opponent.
Spells and Artifacts
Demonic Conversion - Disrupts opponent’s deck, and gives the minion taken +1/+1, which is a very good boost on a lot of minions, all for a meager 1 mana that can be played at any time you have some spare mana.
Grasp of Agony - Much needed AOE, and its 3 damage for 1 mana, which is better than PF damage ratio, allows you to transition to aggro when you need to.
Daemonic Lure - Abyss staple, nothing really to say about this card as everyone knows how great it is
Punish - Same as Lure, except its more of a Cassy staple
Unfathomable Rite - 6 Mana, Steal cards from the opponent, I personally don’t like this card as much as I should in a deck like this because this spell is virtually unplayable at 6 mana, costing you an entire turn to draw which is terrible for tempo, in an already weak minion faction. It steals games (pun intended) during the top-deck phase and can potentially draw you the counter you need (I’m thinking about you fault), but is usually a dead card that doesn’t see much play.
Spectral Blade - 2 Mana for +2 general attack is already a good artifact, allowing you to aggro if needed. Top that off with +2 hp whenever your general destroys an enemy minions, and you have an artifact which allows you to smack the enemy general for a lot of damage, or eat up minions without harm when your opponent runs them into you to stop you from killing them.
Optimal Plays and How to Pilot this deck (This deck can be piloted in different ways with different cards, but just showing some insight in how I play)
The MOST important step to piloting this deck correctly is reading your opponent
There is no one correct way to pilot a deck filled with tech cards
Use your replaces wisely to find the exact cards you need
As p1, look for a 2 drop (preferably healing mystic or rust crawler), Bound Tormentor, Lure/Punish, and tech
As p2, look for Bound Tormentor + Demonic Conversion, or two 2 drops, Lure and tech
I can’t stress enough about this, READ YOUR OPPONENT, FIGURE OUT WHAT DECK THEY ARE PLAYING, AND SEARCH FOR YOUR TECH CARDS TO COUNTER THEM
The match-ups write ups are taking a bit longer than expected so I’m just going to shorten them up a bit and omit a lot of the ones I wanted to write, simply because I don’t have enough information on them yet.
Ahhhhhh, Titan, probably the most hated (or loved) Lyonar deck/card in the game. Boasting large minions with strong opening gambits that control the game until the 7 mana mark to drop a big minion that turns the general into something even Vaath would fear. Considering how Titan players will replace every turn for titan and usually find one very early on in the game, attempting to sabotage their deck by stealing titan is very slim. Expect them to always have titan by 7 mana. On the 6 mana turn, back away while searching for rust crawlers (which you should have done turns before because you should have recognized titan by t2-3). Also have desolator ready for pings. Bound Tormentor will be your MVP in this fight, drawing you their tempo units while having them waste their D.Blades and Arclyte Sentinels on your watchful sentinel. Expect it to be an uphill battle that you are not in favor of winning because you cannot stop their win-con easily.
Bond, drop big bodies each turn, drain opponents removal, and as soon as one minion is still alive you win! Easy win-con that due to all of Abyss single target removal, should be semi-easy to defeat. Look for extra punishes/Lures, similar to nearly all Argeon match-ups, Bound Tormentor will be a strong minion, giving you powerful minions at reduced cost which will help body block against their minions. Keep an extra punish for ironcliffe golems that may be dropped nearby you. As long as you control everything, you should be able to run them out of steam.
Tempo Argeon…Is this actually a thing? I guess I’ll just start making up stuff about what I think tempo Argeon is and how to fight this deck with steal abyss. So tempo Argeon opens up with azurite lions and windblade adepts, drops strong minions such as silverguard knight, solpiercer, arclyte sentinel and with its wide range of spells and arclyte regalia, it can aggro if it needs to or play a slower game with EMPs and sustain.
In other words, tempo Argeon is very similar to steal abyss, except lyonar minions are better and Argeon’s BBS causes his minions to become powerhouses. Try to play slightly defensive, and clear minions with BBS/spells/artifacts as steal abyss’ late game is stronger. Lightbender will be a good unit to look for to remove buffs, Bound Tormentor will grab you tempo gaining units for reduced cost. Replace things such as desolator/grasp of agony, as you are not looking to burn Argeon down before he bulldozes you.
This is the aggressive flameblood warlock one that is currently regarded as the best way to play healyonar. Boasting both powerful offensive and defensive capabilities, and the fact that it powers up when ANYTHING is healed makes it a tough match-up for steal abyss which can slightly transition to aggro, but is not built around it, and the large amounts of healing in the deck to survive to the late-game. Lightbender is your best friend, dispelling hallowed grounds, Zir’an’s buffed attack, Sunrisers/Lancers and the like. Bound Tormentor and Demonic Conversion are especially powerful in taking strong pieces that capitalize on healing. While not the easiest match-up of the Lyonars, Tempo Healyonar is one that can be beat consistently by Steal Abyss if piloted well (and you are fighting an inexperienced player)
The big brother of Tempo Healyonar, sacrificing early game burn units with a much more powerful late game with control options such as Sun Sister Sterope and Aperion’s claim to control the game until its late enough to start squeezing 3+ heals a turn for massive gains. Expect this battle to be much more uphill than Tempo Healyonar, who has less late-game options than control. Again, your best friend is lightbender for dispelling Zir’an, Hallowed Grounds, and enemy minions that capitalize on heal synergies. Stealing minions that have benefits from heals is also a good strategy to milk both Zir’ans, and your own heals, which will also play mind games with Zir’an deciding to heal or not.
Healyonar has a really high skill cap, so if you end up fighting a pro (such as pow/kieran) running pure healyonar there is hardly any chance of winning.
Swarm Brome mixed with an ever-upgrading army, is a force to be reckoned with, placing a very fast timer on the match before a player will get steamrolled. Luckily Strategos Brome is (usually) very predictable, dropping low attack options such as celebrant, zyx, and silverguard knight to grab the board, and warblade to buff their large board. Top that off with dropping Jax Truesight on 6 mana as an answer or die into strategos the next turn, and you have a fight that will be VERY difficult to outlast. The strategos match will be even harder to aggro, with bodies everywhere on the board, restricting your movements to their general. Possessing terrible cards to steal, steal abyss’ lack of AOE, beating strategos is unheard of with steal abyss.
I’ve never beaten strategos with this deck, mainly due to my piloting and lack of tech options
Swarm Brome can potentially be even more dangerous than strategos brome, dropping a bigger board and having more dedication to steamrolling you earlier with more buffs and better stats. Its weaker late-game than strategos, and slightly stronger picks make Swarm Brome a bit weaker to steal abyss, allowing you to steal more relevant units, and not having the steam to defeat their own deck later on. Search for grasp of agonies along with lure to punish their positioning, and Lightbenders to dispel buffs.
Needs more testing
Zeal Brome looks to play strong minions and buff them with several spells such as marching orders, which allows their minions to not be targeted by enemy spells, along with cards such as afterblaze to create big stat-sticks. Expect a faster paced game where the deciding factor will be how fast you can throw out your lightbenders to turn their big zeal minions into cuddly panddos with sticks. Should be fairly easy as long as you play around things such as bond and holy immo, and the wonky positioning needed for spells such as marching orders.
Wizard aims to slow down the game enough to destroy you with its general/spells along with minions such as legion to provide endless bodies. Expect lots of healing and dispels, so be wary when playing Deso that isn’t immediately abyssal scarred. It should be a fairly slow game where Deso and Unfathomable Rite will be the deciding factors.
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Disclaimer, I have never played Mantra before, and have no idea how top-tier pros play it so this next bit of advice is from personal experience.
I’m pretty sure every player has raged at this deck, and every player has lost to his too. You guys all know the gameplan, run around all over the board away from your lizard hands, and then use a bunch of cobras and phoenixes, along with a big tornado to somehow burn you to death and heal themselves back.
Good news to all of you players, Mantra is possible to beat, and with this deck, you get CONSISTENT AND EASYoknotreallyeasyWINS. Replace for rust crawler, and healing 2 drops, and Desolator. I’ve found aggroing Mantra is far better than running away and attempting to control them using rust and Desolator to burn because Mantra can kill you from 25 hp, given enough time for it to look for a perfect hand, so Aggro them with deso/rust and make sure they don’t have the time to combo. Depending on their highroll, it can be a very easy fight, or a very difficult one.
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Will add match-ups later because I spent too much time writing this instead of playing the game
Currently hovering around Diamond 5/4 with this deck along with other meme decks I’m playing so can’t really guarantee this deck even coming close to top tier, but its fun and I think it could be played into S with the right pilot.
EDIT: As of 9/2, Lyonar is finished, and moving onto Songhai. Still needs more information on Mythron Brome.
So it is an attempt at building hard-counter-everything deck. WP, sir!
Wow that’s a long and well-written text, awesome Stealbyss is definitely a fun and versatile decktype which I hope to see on ladder more often. It can lead to fun games both for you and for your opponent.
I had a Steal Cass vs. Steal Ciphyron game once. It was pretty full of cunning
Which general/core is better for steal in your opinion, BTW?
I haven’t tried Ciph yet myself, but Graphnel + bbs is definitely more viable than the Abyss steal package. Then again stuff like Dominate Will is way too expensive, so it’s pretty close. I think Ciph’s bbs is what really makes the difference in his favor.
I meant, which of Abyssian generals/cores…
Oh ok I guess you can play it with all generals? Steal cards are so matchup-dependent that you can potentially get good results with a wide variety of builds (even though Unfathomable Rite is bad, no matter the general).