The Return of Quillrage - S Rank 12


Yesterday I finally reached S rank, the first time since July. And like in July, I reached S with a Quillrage deck. Since then, however, a lot of changes have happened (new generals, new expansion, card nerfs). In this thread, I’ll discuss my latest iteration of Quillrage, the changes I made to it, the general game plan of the deck, and the deck’s strengths and weaknesses. I’ll feature replays of the deck at the end of my climb to S rank and some games played in S with a slightly tweaked version of the deck.

The Combo
For those of you who don’t know what a Quillrage is, it is a combo deck that, among other things, utilizes the combo of Catalyst Quillbeast (3 mana 3/4 common that deals 1 damage to all minions when you cast a spell) and Blood Rage (4 mana common spell that gives a friendly minion +1/+1 for every time damage was dealt that turn). Off the bat, there are some important things to note about this combo:

  • Catalyst Quillbeast activates his effect instantaneously with Blood rage, meaning the moment you use Blood rage the spell will take into account the damage Quillbeast does for activating said spell.
  • Because the interaction above is instantaneous, you can safely use Blood Rage on 1 HP minions with out having them die off from Quillbeast (such as with, oh I dunno, a Ripper).

As a fan and creator of a Blistering Fang combo deck (similar in fashion that utilizes Blistering Skorn and Twin Fang, a moment of silence for the death of this combo in next expansion :sob:) I am deeply in love with this combo. With all of the recent changes that have happened, I updated my list and made it to S rank with the list below, rocking A win rate of 23/7, or a 76.666667% win rate. In actuality, I had a win rate of 24/7, but one win was due to the opponent being afk(?)


After refining the list, I was able to make it to S 12 this season! I am really happy of this accomplishment, although with how the meta is shaping there will most likely be more refining for this list. In celebration of this, I have changed my IGN to Ynhybytor (both Catalyst and Inhibitor - the opposite of a catalyst - were taken. Being me, I just changed all of the "I"s to "Y"s).

The Deck
December S 12 rank Version (win rate 34/9, or 79.1%)

November S rank Version (win rate of 23/7, or 76.67%)

Changes from the previous version

  • Starhorn -> Ragnora
    When Ragnora was released I knew he would be a great addition to the deck. While Starhorn was great at giving us more fuel and opportunity to draw cards needed, Ragnora provides a lot of synergy this deck in many ways.
    1.) His eggs are not damaged if you use his Bloodbound spell with Quillbeast on board, which is great!
    2.) Rippers (3/1 rebirth, celerity tokens summoned by Rebirth eggs) are great targets for Blood rage due to Celerity and the aforementioned interaction between 1 health units and Quillrage
    3.) Rippers work well with buff cards that are already part of the deck (greater fortitude, Thumping Wave)
    4.) Ripper eggs are not damaged by Homeostatic Rebuke (3 mana all minions attack themselves).

  • Kujata -> Cryptographer
    I never really liked Kujata in this deck, as it never felt amazing when played later on in the game. While having synergy with the deck, I decided to go more in favor for Ragnora’s synergy with Quillrage via Rippers, hence the addition of Cryptographer to accelerate egg generation

  • Elucidator (I think?) -> Wild Inceptor
    I don’t completely remember the card I ran instead of Inceptor before, although I’m pretty certain it was Elucidator. I swapped it out for Inceptor to further support egg synergy, while also giving an extra body that can be potentially buffed. I prefer Inceptor over Egg morph, as Inceptor can be flashed out (which can be helpful when planning to buff Ripper eggs via Fortitude or Blood Rage) and since the deck seems to have an already strong removal package (Lavaslasher, Makantor, Thumping, Rebuke).

  • Saberspine Tiger -> Homeostatic Rebuke
    The Tiger nerf really hurt the flexibility/burst potential with this deck, especially in conjunction with Thumping Wave. I originally had negative views towards Rebuke, until I realized the synergy it has with this deck. I believed that I have only used it twice in the 30/31 games I have played, and have yet to use it in conjunction with Blood Rage. However, it has been a great comeback tool in the few instances that I’ve used it, although I wouldn’t rate it extremely high as a priority for the deck. While I run 3 in the deck, I think it is safe to run only 2 of them.


  • x1 Thumping Wave & x1 Rebuke --> Twin Fang
    I was really surprised to see how effective Twin Fang was as a third win condition in this deck, providing even more ways for us to deal massive damage through combo cards like Rippers and Catalyst Quilbeast.
  • Thumping Wave -> Egg Morph
    After using the first iteration of the deck in my first tournament, I realized how little Thumping Wave actually did for the deck. Egg Morph surprisingly adds more instant burst to the deck by providing more ways to deal damage via Rippers. It also adds hard removal that helps deal with threats like Aymara

Gameplan (or an attempt to explain it)
You want to deal as much burst damage as possible to your opponent when you have the chance, yet at the same time control the board and be aware of your combo potentials. Do not be completely focused on pulling off the quillrage combo, as the deck has ways to win without it. That being said, it is always important to note and plan ahead when you see the potential to get off heavy hits.
Some general advice:

  • Knowing risk vs. Reward is very key in this deck. It is very important to know when to play it safe against an upcoming enemy turn and when to prep for a blow out. I would say at least 3 of my 7 losses where do to myself being to greed in prepping for a combo (like trying to protect a quillbeast and ripper egg).
  • You can play blood rage without quillbeast. While it is very satisfying to hey the combo off, a simple +4/+4 can all be very great on a sticky minion to establish dominance in a game.
  • 99.9999% of the time, YOU SHOULD NOT TRY AND COUNT HOW BIG QUILLRAGE WILL MAKE A MINION! I don’t, because I know that I can’t count each individual proc when going of with quillbeast. I most cases, the combo will either A.) Be lethal or B.) Do so much damage that your opponent is set very far back. You just have to believe in the combo’ s magic.
  • Blood rage doesn’t need to be casted on the ripper, and works just as well on other minions. The Ripper does not need a lot of procs thanks to its celerity, however with quillbeast on board you have to be cautions on what spells you play (aka unless you cast greater fortitude on a ripper first, you can really only play blood rage on a ripper with quillbeast on board without killing it.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Somewhat flexible in win conditions and gameplay style (control and burst)
  • Very strong/ teched against zoo decks (quillbeast, rebuke, thunderhorn)
  • Almost a straight up auto win against luminous charge (I don’t believe I ever lost with this deck against a player who used luminous charge, especially when I already had quillbeast on board)
  • Can be difficult to know when you have lethal due to the nature of blood rage and catalyst quillbeast, and some games can be lost by being just a tiny bit short on damage procs
  • Be wary against Vetruvian, especially when playing Makantor or when against Cyphron, as a lot of your minions are vulnerable to mind control tools.
  • Cards like thunderhorn, ripper and lavaslasher are key when against other Magmar, and it is important to end the game fast while being aware of their control tools, heal, and burst potential
  • Some of your strongest matchups will be against most Lyonar, Vetruvian, Lilithe, Vanar and Magmar decks
  • Some of your weakest matchups will be against (Mantra) Songhai, Aggro Cassyva/Abyssian, and Arcanyst Vanar decks


Matches yesterday (leading to S rank)
Matches today (in S rank, with -1 Homeostatic Rebuke and -1 Thumping Wave for +2 Twin Fang)

Quillrage - A Duelyst in Need
Quillrage pauper - T2 Kill

Do you think Twin Fang could work in the deck as another wincon? If you could fit it in somehow. Or would it be just too difficult or in the way to work?


I think if you really wanted to, you could cut -1 Rebuke and -1 Thumping Wave for +2 Twin fang, although it has been a pretty long while since I’ve tried it out. I do think it’s worth trying though, as you put opponents in difficult situations choosing between dealing with a ripper egg and your artifact, and could be great in response to enemy rebukes. However, there are 2 things that makers twin fang kinda iffy to me.

1.) It only procs when friendly minions are damaged, yet somewhat makes up for this for providing 2 extra attack (although I have not done enough testing recently to see if this is a worthy trade off)
2.) It requires you to aggressively position your general, which may effect how safely you can place minions like quillbeast or ripper eggs. However, if they deal with those minions you are more likely to benefit from it, assuming they can’t deal with your artifact as well.

I’ll test it out and see how it goes. I can see the potential, although I’m not sure how it well it would perform on the deck. Rebuke + Fang on 6 mana does seem enticing though


I do not play magmar, but from the similar situation in Abyss with Grimwar and DFC I’d say I would give Twin fangs a try.

I really like the deck, btw! Too bad I do not have plenty of magmar cards (I own zero copies of Twin Fang for example), but the deck is rather budget friendly - and looks like I only have to craft rebuke.

Nice work!


I’m very interested in this deck as I’ve never actually played the Blood Rage combo but I don’t really know how it is played. Any chance you can post some replays so I can see it in action?


Think I lost to this yesterday. Glad you’re enjoying success with it :stuck_out_tongue:


As per request, here are some replays from yesterday and today (with the matches today ft. the addition of twin fang). I will add these to the main post as well.

Matches yesterday (leading to S rank)
Matches today (in S rank, with Twin Fang addition)

@gsvalhalla I’ve played 4 games so far with the twin fang addition (-1 Homeostatic Rebuke, -1 Thumping Wave, +2 Twin Fang), and so far I’ve had 1 match where it really helped and 1 match where Twin Fang made me dump my hand too early on (which is a habit that I think I’ve always had with Twin Fang). I’ll continue to test the change though for another 6 or more games before giving my final thoughts.


That was awesome. :smiley:

How necessary is Inceptor for this deck? I’m interested in future-proofing my decks as much as possible so that the rotation goes smoothly. I suppose you can sub in Egg Morph which would double as removal, however it would also proc the Quillbeast and destroy the egg wouldn’t it? You’d also lose the extra Blood Rage proc from having Inceptor on the board. Hmmm.

I suppose Inceptor is really integral to the combo then.


@akurane Tried watching the replays with the Twin Fang but the first 2 don’t work (hit a snag thing comes up). The 3rd one looked like you would have won even without Twin Fang, although it did have an impressive attack stat at the end before the concede.


Alright, I tried watching all the replays and they seemed to be working (minus a visual glitch in the amount of mana each player had). I have the replays in the master post, maybe check them one more time? The one that features twin fang is the last replay in the list against a Shidai. If it doesn’t work, I’ll try resharing the replay.


why not put egg morph in instead of thumping. not only is it removal, it can serve as another ripper activator in a pinch.


Ha, thanks for this! I really like blood rage :slight_smile: It can be so hilarious.

I once dealt 22-23 damage on T2 with blood rage but lost the game because I didn’t draw any of my damage spells or rush minions afterwards :smiley: Really funny!

I am also curious what you will say about Twin Fang.


Me too. 15char.


The replays sometimes work, sometimes don’t it seems. But managed to get round to watching the 3 replays post Twin Fang addition. Hard to tell from those replays, since Twin Fang only came up in the last one and like I said earlier you were on the way to winning that one before Twin Fang.


@deekester @calebtenrou
I run Wild Inceptor over Egg Morph as a personal preference. I already have times where I have clunky hands by having too many spells in hand, and besides being able to be ramped out, I can play Wild Inceptor on mana tiles (which can be crucial in the early/mid game). Furthermore, using Egg Morph with a Quillbeast on board does not destroy the egg, although it’s not a huge deal. If the next expansion doesn’t release new ways to hatch eggs (with both Morrin Khurr and Wild Inceptor leaving, alongside Thumping Wave) I will probably end up running Egg Morph in this list.

@alplod @gsvalhalla @boronian
After more testing, I think the addition of Twin Fang (+2 Twin Fang, -1 Homeostatic Rebuke, -1 Thumping Wave) is a great addition to the deck to give you more burst potential alongside Quillbeast, Flash, Rebuke, and Rippers. In S-rank, I have gone 8-2 with the revised list.

However, the one gripe I have with it is that sometimes I feel that I am dumping my hand too quickly, so maybe looking into more draw options could be good with this change. I am personally thinking of +2 Spellhamer -2 Thumping Wave in conjunction with the above change, as not only would it help you thin your deck for combos, but I feel like Thumping Wave isn’t a huge must for the deck due to its already strong removal options (Rebuke, Slasher, Makantor) and burst options. I’ve also found Thumping to be clunky in some hands, hence why I had initially cut 1 for Twin Fang. Cutting Thumping would also be a good step in preparing the deck for when rotation occurs.


But if the Egg Morph was hatching a Ripper with Quillbeast on board it would kill the Ripper would it not?


How do you think about Tectonic Spikes as draw option? Damages the artifact though…


No, the Ripper spawns with full health.


I meant egg morph instead of thumping. or is thumping just better?


@deekester After competing the most recent duelyst melee tournament (I went 7-4, got stopped by Chakram/Dying Wish Cassyva and Mantra Shidai), I came to the conclusion that egg morph may in fact be better in this list, as it seems more reliable as removal, adds another egg hatcher for Ripper/Ragebinder, and overall I felt a lot more comfortable using it and having it in hand in comparison to thumping wave.