My new experiment - Xaanhai


#1

So after perusing through Songhai’s lesser-used cards, I came upon the former crown-jewel that is Mask of Shadows (I was not here during it’s glory days, unfortunately). I still wanted to experiment with the card, though, so after some hard grinding and disenchanting, and tons of theorycrafting, I came up with this deck. So far, it has been very kind to me though I’ve goofed several times with it (which is very easy to do, because this really does require VERY HIGH attention to your positioning).

The idea of the deck is generally to whittle down your opponent as much as possible early on while controlling the board via. Lantern Fox and your spells. Originally I ran Bloodrage Mask instead of Crescent Spear, however I think the latter fits in more here since you generally don’t want to be in the thick of things with Bloodrage Mask (which you will be) but Crescent Spear is much more favorable in those types of situations.

Zendo, Killing Edge, and unanswered Chakris/Four Winds are your key win conditions. You want to go in for burst damage whenever you can (so long as you have card draw ready). Mask of Shadows is nice for this, and also helps with your goal of controlling the board. Along with Mask of Shadows, Crescent Spear can help end a game that’s been dragging on too long. They won’t win the game by themselves, but they are critical to playing this deck and having good positioning is vital to using them.

Mist Walking is also an underrated MVP spell. I still joke about how it’s useless but it’s really pretty darn valuable. It’s key to utilizing Mask of Shadows sometimes, but even more often it’s basically soft removal. When you Mist Walk straight out of some poor Vetruvian sap’s Aymara, it feels super satisfying (sorry Vet players!)

Lastly, on the general choice. I do think you could play Reva with this deck, but it goes back to the key element here: positioning. Since you will usually be right in the enemies face attempting to get behind them to use MoS effectively, it makes it awkward attempting to use Reva’s BBS. The last thing you want to do with this deck is remove your general from the action, so Reva seems iffy. I feel Kaleos’ ability to play his minions conservatively fits this deck more.

As for success rates: Last season I went from around Diamond 5 to Diamond 3 with an old version of this deck (didn’t play too many games, but it was pretty decent). With my current version, I’m on a 7 game win streak (Gold 9). Looking forward to trying for S-Rank this season… we will see :grinning:


#2

Hail, fellow Songhai backstab brother ! :wink:

That’s exact type of deck I love, ended last season (Diam2) with this one :

Have some questions for you :

  • Twin Strikes without OBS, isn’t it counter-tempo ? I used to play it and most of the time, I had to replace because didn’t fit the board setup : only one minion target, or no relevant effect (no kill)

  • Second Zendo : is it really required ? I (or my opponent) rarely survive enough to cast a second one. Did you really managed to cast them both ?

  • Crescent really better than BRage Mask ? I mean with Crescent, you pull 1 extra damage from 3xGhost, 3xPFire and 2xTwins (if you manage to cast it), with Mask, you pull 1 damage from all spells (19) and your BBS.


#3

did you test running any tracer instead of mist walking? i feel like this deck doesnt have much board presence. would also serve as another target for killing edge.


#4

I did and it turns to be too slow. With MistWalking, you can start SurpriseButtseks combo at 4 mana. With silhouette, you need to wait 6 mana or cast your Mask before (and usually, be targeted hardly on next opponent turn).

With current meta, with all the pings (Sphere of Darkness, Alchemist, 4WM, Shadowdancer, Bloodrage mask, Focused Heartseeker, even Saberspine) … any Artifact, especially when percieved dangerous, last only one turn. At least from my experience, and I don’t even speak about RustCrawler and RashaCurse …

Usually it’s better to cast and use your Mask on same turn.


#5

Twin Strike is a pretty situational card, yeah. I have it in the deck for two reasons. First reason being, I usually use it when I’ve already lost tempo-wise and I need to reset the board. With crescent spear it’s typically going to result in a board wipe. Second reason is card draw, since I don’t run mana vortex I have to rely on spelljammers, twin strike, and the occasional killing edge Katara. (In this deck, Heaven’s Eclipse is a last-ditch card for matches that go on into late game)

Two Zendos is purely for consistency. It’s one of the deck’s main wincons so having one-of just isn’t enough for me. It’s not really necessary but it’s useful to be able to draw it more frequently.

Bloodrage Mask: I played a lot of games with it, and I almost always never felt like equipping it was the right play. Again with no Mana Vortex in my deck it makes it hard to justify using Bloodrage. Since the deck can’t really do anything by hanging out in the back lines (which is where you usually want to be while you have Bloodrage equipped) it felt disjointed.

I’ll say I haven’t played much with Crescent Spear, but it’s been a better fit for the playstyle. It also makes Twin Strike, PF, and Ghost Lightning incredibly useful for controlling the board. Bloodrage Mask does get you more damage overall, yes, but you will already have plenty enough between all of your high priority threats and Mask of Shadows.


#6

I haven’t tried Tracer. But I don’t think it’d be that great for reasons @nwardezir already stated. It’s a very slow card compared to Mist Walking. Board presence hasn’t been a huge problem for this deck, so it’s eh.


#7

Strong believer that if you can master the positioning with this type of deck then you can out perform a Reva deck. I made an impromptu deck similar to this last night only I use gore horns and sworn sister. The goal of the deck was to use back stab shenanigans/spells for damaging the general or dealing with the board interchangeably based on the current board state. After beating every general in practice on turn 3 I took it to ladder and have not yet lost. I did swap out sworn sisters for 2 killing edge and crescent spear. Based on how this performs I might work in pandemonium, OBX, and twin strike. Currently running no OBX due to gore horn being able to warp around the same turn it’s played and kill the pesky kelaino, 4 winds, etc. Will post deck list when I get home but it’s nice to see other back stab brethren.

Edit: forgot to mention, sitting around rank 9 won 6 in a row


#8