Hi all. Posting the deck I used to make the climb to S as I do every month. This one I think is quite interesting because I think I’m the only one playing it. On my climb I played against Abyssian and Magmar almost exclusively. This deck is extremely powerful, far more resilient than one would assume at first glance and sometimes simply nut draws and gets free wins.
EO Trinity Zoo-
Bloodtear Alchemist x3
Azurite Lion x3
Windblade Adept x3
Sun Wisp x3
Shiro Puppydragon x3
War Surge x3
Arclyte Sentinel x3
Saberspine Tiger x3
Holy Immolation x3
Trinity Oath x3
Look lame and cheesy? It is. But getting to and competing in S is about playing what wins. This deck certainly wins.
Notes on specific cards-
Slo/Dreamgazer are both extremely important and completely necessary. Between Oath, Wisp and Dreamgazer the deck wants to generate card advantage, while still being very fast and overwhelming, over the course of the game. Free guys are key to making this happen. Dreamgazer you basically always want to replace when you can, period, but Slo isn’t as straightforward. There are definitely times, particularly when going first, when you should NOT play Slo on the first turn even though you can. Instead, it’s often better to hold it until turn 2 and have an explosive turn in which you dump your hand on the board and play Slo with Puppydragon or War Surge backup as well as a flood of other guys. In the mid to late game Slo is an awesome utility tool that prevents the opposing General from running away. It’s also cute to have exactly four resources and no minion in range of that devastating Holy Immolation you’d like to play because your opponent positioned his troops very carefully with this is mind. Slo + Immolation from nowhere is a blowout.
Puppydragon/War Surge are huge roleplayers in the deck, as the guys are simply underwhelming without a boost. These cards turn cards like Zyx and Slo from fine but nothing special to legitimately powerful and they help generate card advantage, as suddenly Zyx is two 2/3s for 1 resource which is insane. In an ideal world you want War Surge to be the last card, or second to last card (the last being Trinity Oath) that you play from your hand. We’re running THIRTY minions for a reason! This deck is all about flooding the board and putting on non stop pressure. It’s very rarely correct to War Surge just two guys, for example. Almost always you want to develop the board as much as possible and THEN War Surge. Try to get as much value out of the card as possible. This deck, played correctly, virtually always wins the attrition war as we have a multitude of cheap, reliable ways to generate card advantage.
Sentinel is generally better than Repulsor Beast would be for a few reasons, including but not limited to the larger base body, the ability to actually KILL guys as opposed to just move them and the generally superior offensive ability (though not always). We don’t really struggle with Provoke creatures in general. Most of them are too slow to matter against this extremely fast deck and others we can simply punch through without too much effort. For example, a Puppydragon or War Surge boosted Zyx, plus Roar, deals with Klaxon on its own. Obviously, given the cost difference of these cards, this is a huge advantage for us. Also, against other aggro decks, Sentinel is better by ten miles. Actually killing the guy instead of just moving it is huge in these matchups and the 2/4 is strong against them after the fact.
Tiger is burst with Roar/War Surge/Immolation. Tiger is a removal spell and should almost never be played early on. Tiger should do one of two things basically always- Kill a huge guy with Provoke or another problematic ability (Decimus) or burst down your opponent for 5 or more (usually more). It’s almost never correct to shove a non-lethal Tiger at your opponent or to use Tiger to simply hit your opponent for 3.
Trinity Oath is what makes this deck possible. Always mulligan for this card but never keep more than 1. If this card were nerfed or simply erased from existence this deck would no longer function.
Notes on matchups-
You CRUSH. C-R-U-S-H. Utterly destroy. Annihilate. Obliterate. Other aggro decks. Specifically, the new Seeking Eye Magmar deck, which is quite popular, is as close to a free win as I’ve ever seen in competitive Duelyst. Other matchups aren’t 85/15 the way that one is, but I feel strongly that we’re favored against every single aggro deck.
On the flipside of that, the more dedicated, hard wall, do nothing but control the game controlling a deck is the worse the matchup is. Cass with maximum copies of Void Pulse, Shadow Sister Kelaino, Spectral Blade and tons of early drops is an example of a tougher matchup. Ironically, since aggro Magmar is far and away our best matchup, I’d say dedicated control Magmar, specifically with max copies of Blistering Skorn, Warbeast, PLASMA STORM and the less played but highly obnoxious Diretide Frenzy is our worst matchup.
That said, I strongly emphasize that this deck can simply free win vs absolutely anything as it has some flat out unbeatable draws and it’s extremely punishing to slow or mediocre draws from opponents. Likewise, we can also win the attrition war against any deck other than possibly the most controlling, dedicated to card advantage builds of Abyssian.
Also, I don’t think any matchup, other than control Magmar, is worse than 45/55 or somewhere very close to that range. Control Magmar is probably 40/60.
Notes on mulligans-
-Virtually ALWAYS mulligan Tiger, Sentinel and Immolation away. This deck needs fast, explosive starts and to dominate the tempo of the game wire to wire. You need to be ahead on the board from the start. We’re not a control deck or even a mid range deck. This is an aggro deck, period.
-ALWAYS mulligan for Trinity Oath. A-L-W-A-Y-S. Even if you feel your hand is otherwise PERFECT such as Dreamgazer, Slo, Slo, Puppydragon, Sun Wisp going second, you should STILL mulligan for Oath. In this example I’d replace Sun Wisp and Slo.
-Along the same lines of the previous tip, while you should ALWAYS mulligan for Trinity Oath, you should NEVER keep more than one in your opening hand. Likewise, if you have one in your opener and soonafter draw another, it’s typically the first card you want to replace.
-Aggressively mulligan for Dreamgazer. As a general black and white rule of thumb, if your opening hand does not contain Dreamgazer you should replace two cards and try to find it. If you happen to have more than one copy of Dreamgazer, keep all of them. Yes, the card really is that good and that important for us.
These mulligan tips are crucially important, far more so than with other decks. Because this deck relies extremely heavily on dictating the tempo and controlling the board from the start, and is probably in trouble if the opponent ever establishes board control, games can legitimately be won and lost in the first 1-3 turns. As such, what is in your opening hand and what you do in the first few turns is crucial to your victory.
Finally, though I’d advise this with almost every deck I post, I advise you NOT to change any cards in the deck, ESPECIALLY without having played it. Regardless of what you think makes sense on paper, I’ve actually PLAYED the deck for several dozen matches and I’ve already MADE the tweaks, plus more tweaks, plus more tweaks that you’re thinking about making. I’ve arrived at this list for a reason and nothing is in here, or not in here, by accident. Make changes at your own risk.