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