Monday, December 30, 2013

Deckbuilding 108- U/T Wall


Thundersaur is a giant T-Rex, and that's enough for me to want him. But it also turns out that he's criminally underrated currently, mainly through underexposure. Unlike some of the other powerful new cards (Tarsus Deathweaver, in particular) he is legendary, so you are incredibly unlikely to see a full set of him. As a result the meta doesn't appreciate his value like it does, say, Justicar or Tarsus.

It should be fairly clear that Thundersaur works best with some of the other walls. Heart Tree has always been a strong card, but now has a worthy target to shade. Mossbeard Patriarch also makes Thundersaur grow fast and hard. He also has some great options to be threatening with a simple Battle Techtician or  Weirwood Patriarch. My previous wall deck is terribly outdated, and now has 30 worthy cards to play.

The most hilarious synergy though is with Rageborn Hellion. Both benefit from the same wall deck staples, both grow out of control incredibly quickly, and are very hard to take down. But the synergy overflow comes from Thundersaur having Breakthrough, which results in Rageborn Hellion casually getting larger without serious planning from opponent.

Core: Thundersaur, Rageborn Hellion, Heart Tree, Mossbeard Patriarch

With at least 8 health at Level 1 it will be taxing on opponent to remove any piece of the Wall puzzle. Punish opponents for not playing things in front of Thundersaur with timely Hellion plays, protect Mossbeard and Trees to keep the infrastructure in place. Once you get all the lanes filled the game can quickly get out of hand with two growers and lots of buff spells.

Synergy: Weirwood Patriarch, Ferocious Roar, Iceborn Fortitude

Weirwood is a great 7 health, and quickly takes any hard to deal with 8-health walls to 10-health big booty monsters. Ferocious Roar doesn't need it's praises sung, but turns out it's good when you often have full boards and counteracts the Epidemics you'll surely see. Iceborn Fortitude isn't an inherently strong card, but has great value when played with a full board and is at it's strongest in this deck.

Support: Ashurian Mystic, Global Removal, ??

 With the remaining 9 cards we have to remember that they won't be played very often. Our core is going to be leveled aggressively, and our synergy cards are going to be better in almost every situation. That means that our last 9 cards will have to be situational, but very valuable those situations. A variance in answers is more likely to be important than any particular card. Without testing it's hard to give any sort of numbers.

Ashurian Mystic has strong synergistic value. His primary role is to simultaneously grow a Rageborn Hellion or two, while taking pressure off the Treelords. However, he likely only sees play when immediately followed up with Ferocious Roar or Weirwood. Luckily for him his aggressive attribute is still valuable late game.

While we don't necessarily want to be leveling removal aggressively, when we do need removal global removal seems more appropriate. We have choices. Firestorm has good synergy with Heart Tree, Noxious Cloud is slow but is guaranteed to be effective. Pyre Song is interesting since we are actively trying to fill lanes. But, as a general rule, Thundersaur in front of major threats is the best answer. For example Level 3 Zimus just gets completely walled by Thundersaur.

Tossing in some high power threats is also definitely worth consideration. Storm Bringer might be able to tank and regen up any battle damage, and Swampmoss Lurker also does 8 damage but scales better (and becomes huge with Iceborn Fortitude!). But, I'm leaning towards Everflame Pheonix for this role. If you have to throw 7 power in front of something may well do it with some of the most powerful bombs in the game. Pheonix Egg + Weirwood wins games, yo.

Soothing Radiance? Probably not, but there isn't a card that breaks trades more than this one, despite how dreadful it is.

And I still want my Chrogias. 0/15 defensive wall too stronk.


My IGN is pwndnoob, thank you for reading. Always appreciate comments and questions.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Deckbuilding 107- Sapling U/T

 I'm a sucker for conditionally strong cards, and instantly wanted to make a Treefolk deck when I got a full set of Cultivate. However, I have always found Treefolk decks awkward. 1/1 Sapling Tokens like different cards (Grave Pact, Ferocious Roar) than 21/21 Treefolk (Feral Instinct), and something like Spring Dryad has its own gameplan. Generally I find this type of deck plays without direction.

The secret was to stop trying to force Nekrium/Uterra, and look to Tempys. Stop relying on the inconsistent nature of Phytobomb and rely on the glorious Wildwood Sower!

Core: Wildwood Sower, Cultivate, Master of Elements, Static Shock

 Wildwood Sower is not a must level, since all levels produce same amount of saplings, but is generally a must play to keep the board full. Master of Elements and Static Shock let more spells be played, which means more saplings, and Master of Elements has a great body to boot.

Cultivate is quite brilliant in this deck. It counts as a spell, so the sapling generally gets replaced instantly. A 7/7 body is good all game, so if you can't play it it doesn't harm your chances. The 7/7 is good, the 21/21 is good, but a 14/14 is incredibly strong and needs to be since this deck insists on winning early or dies trying.

Synergy Spells: Ferocious Roar, Uranti Bolt, Lightning Spark.

Ferocious Roar makes our Sowers and Masters combat ready, changes what would be trades into sweeps, gets serious value when we strive for full boards, and a Level 3 Roar can be a game clincher. Uranti Bolt works well underleveled, which is great with Master of Elements, but no one is sad if you end up leveling it. Lightning Spark also works well underleveled, and often helps close out games with the final damage.

Synergy Creatures: Grove Matriarch, Deepbranch Ancient, Echowisp

Grove Matriarch brings good utility as a double block and alternative sapling producer (The Matriarch itself can also be Cultivated). Echowisp has great synergy with Ferocious Roar and Deepbranch Ancient, and is our only Level 3 bomb. However, Echowisp is not something to be played casually since is very susceptible to Epidemic, and at PL 3 we will often have a full board anyways.

Deepbranch is interesting, and deserves discussion since notably it isn't Lifeblood Dryad. However, with rampant Cultivate use, a Lifeblood Dryad making a 1/1 into a 2/2 isn't particularly helpful. Deepbranch, as an 8/8, provides another brutishly big guy next to our Ents. It plays as an alternative to Cultivate, but also with strong synergy.

Other Options: Lifeblood Dryad, Botanimate, Chrogias

Typically I like some variety in my decks to provide answers to whatever my opponent thinks they are doing. However, since every card except Master of Elements plays well when not leveled and because this deck relies on tempo this is one of very few decks where every card can be a 3-of.

If you are missing any cards Lifeblood Dryad is still effective, mainly because it has a 5/5 body that is a fine play even without a full board. Botanimate is nice to have against a few cards, and I may still run one even when I get more Echowisp to play, even though I don't enjoy leveling it. Chrogias is fun to play, since it can be Cultivated, but this deck's fate is more often than not decided before Rank 3, and having to play Chrogias twice slows it down tremendously. 

The first few turns the goal is to get lanes filled, generally by playing Sowers, Masters, and Matriarchs (with that priority) into open lanes. Hopefully by turn 3/4 you are able to get some Cultivate and Deepbranch down. Play Ferocious Roar when it will result in favorable trades, play Echowisp when you also have a Roar or Deepbranch Ancient to follow up with. Let your opponent be the one who looks for trades, though removing growers and threatening actives.

Generally you will need to win in first 10 turns before it gets ugly, fortunately the Level 2 of Deepbranch Ancient and Cultivate are insanely large. Level 3 Roar, Static Shock, and Lightning Spark are all good ways to finish off the last bits of damage. Sower and Matriarch are good at stalling, but stalling without legendaries against decks that have them won't work forever.

My IGN is pwndnoob, I apologize to anyone who runs into me online playing Stasis Warden decks, and always love comments, questions, and criticism. Hope everyone enjoys the new patch; I, for one, am very excited about the new cards and, of course, draft. Till next time!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Deckbuilding 202- Stasis Warden with Metasight

I've been trying to hold off till the patch coming in to post any new or refreshed deck ideas. However, my favorite deck has just been significantly improved, and I'm absolutely giddy about it. And it's all because of one new spell Foxhull and company revealed today.

This card is incredibly interesting. I don't think it is a card you can play flippantly and expect to get victories with since it doesn't actually help your board state. However, it will definitely have it' place leveling up the late game bombs and cards that become free at level 2. Notably, I think it will be fun to play in a Highlander deck, where instead of discarding creatures you don't want to play you can play Metasight and put yourself in a better position later in the game.

Metasight has already been noted to be strong with Master of Elements. It's not necessarily something you want to play straight up, but playing it for free is incredibly strong. It is a spell so it'll work with other spell cards like Flame Speaker and Stasis Warden.

For anyone not familiar with my Stasis Warden Deck, here is the Deckbuilding 101 link.

The Stasis Warden Deck has a few weaknesses. The goal of Stasis Warden Deck is to achieve stasis, where any creature without an active is rendered completely useless. It's vulnerable to creatures with activates, to aggressive creatures, and any card that goes over the head for direct damage. But, the biggest issue is often just not getting the cards leveled. Metasight goes a long way to solving that issue.

The Decklist:  
Metasight x3
Stasis Warden x3
Static Shock x3
Master of Elements x3
Uranti Bolt x3
Energy Surge x3
Energy Prison x3
Lightning Spark x2
Cypien Augmentation x2
Metasculpt x2
Flame Speaker x1
Sonic Pulse x1
Firestorm x1

This new decklist provides 9 ways to casually level up important cards, in particular Energy Surge (Static Shock, Master of Elements, Metasight). The new addition will also help keep Energy Prison relevant and to a lesser extent Metasculpt, but there aren't many cards that don't mind getting leveled or played for free. Metasight also gives this deck a seriously needed addition; there is now a way to level underleveled Stasis Warden while still insuring that you are continuously playing spells to keep the board completely shut down.

Depending on the meta, feel free to replace something like Firestorm. Another Metasculpt may well be more prudent, or a more fun card like Oreian Warwalker may be more appropriate or fun, but I personally am more afraid of Echowisp with this deck.

I don't necessarily feel I hit every important point on how Metasight will take this already fabulous and sadistic deck to the next level so I fully expect questions. My IGN is pwndnoob, and thank you for reading!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Deckbuilding 201- Darkheart Wanderer N/T Spells

Welcome to the first edition of Deckbuilding 201, where I will look at past deck ideas and make improvements. With 24 new cards being added to Solforge soon there will plenty of good additions to old decks. Also, sometimes testing my own decks it's become clear that I undervalued or forgot about some cards.

Been demoted to 2nd favorite card :/

So, we return back to Darkheart Wanderer. He loves when you play spells, he loves being made bigger, and is more often than not takes at least 2 cards to remove. Think about it; a Darkheart Wanderer that has grown and has regeneration is not simply taken down by a simple Cull the Weak, Dreadbolt, Lightning Strike, and many other removal.

Core: Darkheart Wanderer, Static Shock, Master of Elements, Rite of the Grimgaunt

Master of Elements and Static Shock are still the backbone of all the spells decks I love so much. Rite of the Grimgaunt is by far the best way to grow in N/T, and works well with the removal we have flying about. Match ups where removal is scarce can instantly lose to a well timed Rite, particularly against Mono-Uterra

Synergy Spells: Epidemic, Uranti Bolt, Lightning Spark, Fervent Assault

3 good removal that we are happy to see made free by Master of Elements and are also good when leveled. Fervent Assault provides a way to get an overgrown creature a clean hit, and also has great synergy with the majority of our creatures.

Synergy Creatures: Grimgaunt Predator, Rageborn Hellion, Grimgaunt Devourer

GGP sees a lot of play, particularly because we are playing a lot of removal and because his mobility means he's very potent. Grimgaunt Devourer is easily stopped, but a well timed GGD can often come onto the board as big a 9/7 and instantly be a huge threat.

Rageborn Hellion is a card I completely omitted from my Deckbuilding 101, and quite unfairly. He has a great body, he grows out of control quickly, and his high health make him hard to remove. Like GGD he mainly sees play when the situation is favorable, as in Rageborn Hellion comes into play and instantly grows out of control.

Support: Dreadbolt, Zimus

Playing N/T you don't have the elite removal of Botanimate or Metasculpt. Having a Dreadbolt that can be pulled out when you see things such as Everflame Phoenix or Brightsteel Gargoyle is very helpful, even if you end up trying to play catchup.

Likewise, when playing the mirror matchup against N/T Zimus the Undying is the biggest nuisance in the world. Often whoever plays more Zimus wins the matchup, so bring one and hope to draw him often. Oh, and he's not bad if you happen to play him in other matchups, but other plays are often just as lethal and are also relevant as level 1.

Potential Deck List:
Darkheart Wanderer x3
Static Shock x3
Master of Elements x3
Grimgaunt Predator x3
Rite of the Grimgaunt x3
Epidemic x3
Uranti Bolt x2
Lightning Spark x2
Fervent Assault x2
Rageborn Hellion x2
Grimgaunt Devourer x2
Dreadbolt x1
Zimus x1

This is an incredibly spell heavy decklist, but for large majority of deals you get at least 2 creatures, or what you draw is very workable. If anything drop a Rite of the Grimgaunt. It will be much better relatively once N/T Shapers gets nerfed.

My IGN is pwndnoob, I will continue to make these posts whether people read them or not, but I will appreciate advice or constructive criticism on formatting, and please feel free to comment. Thanks for reading, till next time!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Deckbuilding 106: Arboris Decks

Live the dream! 100/101's for days!

Arboris Decks are pretty simple, and Arboris, Grove Dragon is so obviously begging to be built around that there really shouldn't be too much to say. You get 3 Lightbringer Clerics, 3 Glowstride Stags, and as many Arboris as you own. You jam down these cards as often as possible, trying to keep your health above 100 so you can live the dream of a 100/101 dragon.

Sadly, this often isn't enough. Sometimes you just don't draw the right cards at the right time, sometimes your opponent has very good draws so you can't keep Lightbringer Clerics alive and your life over 100, and sometimes you are just simply countered. Arboris decks are plagued by inconsistency, but the idea of the deck is fun and a 20/21 that can be get +80/+81 surely is playable.

The solution is to have alternative win conditions. Unless a deck has heavy fixing (Alloyin Avatar Draw deck) or has 30 cards with the same objective (Uterra Beatdown) it is necessary that you have multiple ways to win. The successful Savant decks don't always win with Flameshaper Savants they always wish to draw, often they play for the lategame with big bombs, or play a strategy around using their removal to get large Grimgaunt Predators.

With our Arboris Deck we only have 9 cards that we really believe are necessary in our deck, so we can't rely on always having them work. These two decks give multiple ways to win a game, and it's up to you to decide when the dream of Arboris has died.

 Deck 1: Arboris/Uterra Beatdown

Core: Arboris, Lightbringer Cleric, Glowstride Stag

Get over 100 life and drop big tree dragons. Simple but effective!

Synergy: Uterra Packmaster, Rootforged Avatar, Echowisp, Ferocious Roar, Botanimate, Deepbranch Prowler.

If you keep track of the meta this list would look familiar. These are arguably the 6 most important cards in the popular and very strong Uterra Beatdown deck. You play large guys with breakthrough, fill lanes with Echowisp, and buff them all with Packmaster and Roars. Cleric and Stag bring decent sized bodies that quickly become hard to deal with after some Roar/Packmaster action. An Level 1 8/9 also has a great place in a beatdown deck.

Support: Feral Instinct, Druid's Chant, Gemhide Basher, Toxic Spores

Feral Instict helps your 100 attack guys get through. Druid's Chant is a pretty bad card, but can surprise your opponent to get back over 100 health. Gemhide Basher is psudo-removal, but benefits from your buffing. Toxix Spores is underrated, but is Uterra removal that doesn't need to be leveled but will eventually kill almost anything. But these are 1-ofs, you want to put every Core and Synergy Card you own in the deck.

This deck doesn't give your opponent time to make a purposeful attempt to get you under 100 health without answering your always threatening board. However, if you take lots of damage early you can always hope for the Level 3 Echowisp- Level 3 Ferocious Roar dream! Dream on!

Deck 2: Arboris/Lyria Deck.

Core: Arboris, Lightbringer Cleric, Glowstride Stag

Get over 100 life and drop big tree dragons. Still simple but effective!

Synergy: Lyria, Xithian Shambler, Graveborn Glutton, Grove Huntress, Explosive Demise

Lyria and Shambler are both inspired by their synergy with Glowstride Stag. When you play Lyria and pull a Stag you double dip on both your creature and the extra health. Once Stag is on the battlefield Shambler has no regrets gobbling him up. Graveborn Glutton is the evil twin of Glowstride Stag, and similar synergy with Lyria and Shambler. Grove Huntress is more of the same. Explosive Demise is a great card to instantly win by exploding a dragon or overfed shambler.

Support: Nether Embrace, Ferocious Roar, Removal

Nether Embrace feels like it should get some action to supplement our Stags and Gluttons. Ferocious Roar gives us a combat trick beyond Grove Huntress, and can be brutal with Level 3 Lyria. What removal you add is optional, but having removal is not.

Stags become more a priority of this deck, since they are favored by all three of our deck's breadwinners (Arboris, Lyria, Shambler). With this deck you have to play the hands you are given, and you can't afford to force a losing strategy. When Arboris clearly isn't going to work a fortunate Level 3 Lyria can always turn things around, so ignoring Clerics and underleveled Arboris (plural of Arboris Arbori?) would be preferred.

My personal opinion is that Deck 1 is a very strong deck, since it is just a variation of the already proven Uterra Beatdown deck. But boy does Deck 2 look fun!

 My IGN is pwndnoob, and if run into me I'm probably playing my Static Warden Deck from Deckbuilding 105.I will continue to make these posts whether people read them or not, but I will always appreciate advice or constructive criticism, and please feel free to comment. Thanks for reading, till next time!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Deckbuilding 105: Statis Warden Deck

Best Card In The Game. Not kidding.
If you are described by at least three of these five categories you will this like this deck.

1. I like having my games take half an hour, and reach Rank 9 before I win.
2. I like instantly losing if my opponent plays certain deck archetypes, but winning if they play different decks.
3. I like feeling the hate of my opponents seep through the cracks in my keyboard.
4. I like playing 8 cards in one turn.
5. I like winning. Winning without legendaries is cool.

 This deck is the most challenging deck I've played, but it's incredibly powerful if played correctly.

WARNING: This deck is not playable in timed games, at least until server lag is dealt with. If you are playing well someone will run out of time, and it will likely be you due to complicated turns.

Typically I won't give out a deck list, but given the cards in 2013 Core Set this deck list is pretty close to perfect. And no legendaries!

Statis Warden Deck:

3 Statis Warden
3 Static Shock
3 Energy Prison
3 Energy Surge
3 Uranti Bolt
3 Cypien Augmentation
3 Master of Elements
3 Lightning Spark
2 Metasculpt
2 Aerial Surge
1 Flame Speaker
1 Sonic Pulse

I actually picked up this deck after having a variation of it used on me. The guy, bless his heart, had 3 Statis Warden and 27 spells, including Frozen Solid. This deck is anything but intuitive, so let's go through it card by card.

Statis Warden- The heart of the deck. Getting Wardens on the board, keeping them alive, and leveling them is the crux of this deck. Everything else is just stalling to give you time to find more Wardens. What makes Statis Warden so amazing is that he can target himself, meaning he is very hard to kill. Play two spells in one turn, and both Statis Warden and whatever is in the lane across from him are both defending.

Static Shock- It's a free spell, which means an extra Statis Warden proc. Very useful in letting you get down a Statis Warden from your hand, while not leaving anything attacking.

Energy Prison- Render enemy useless. Gives you one less guy that needs to be handed defender each turn. Beats Zimus. Amazing card.

Energy Surge- Firstly, it's a free spell. Secondly, it helps go find more free spells. And lastly it goes and finds more Statis Wardens. Very important to level, and not as easy as other spells, but any turn you draw a leveled up Energy Surge is going to be a good one.

Uranti Bolt- It's removal, but it also slows down your opponent when necessary. If you have 5 guys you need to give defender, and only 2 Statis Warden a Uranti Bolt will give you the 5th defender. Energy Prison does the same thing, but Uranti Bolt doesn't need to be leveled to stall and can actually remove threats.
Cypien Augmentation- It's the second best free spell after Energy Surge, and free spells win games. Helps keep at least one Statis Warden alive. Always put Statis Warden in Lane 3 to let Cypien work.

Master of Elements- Is a good body that you don't mind trading with a guy with a powerful active. But, more importantly, gives more free spells. Spells = Good.

Lightning Spark- This is your win condition, and it's a pretty pitiful one. Any time you have complete board control you hit your opponent directly. Is also okay removal, so that's nice.

Metasculpt- This is the only place I'd consider changing the deck since Metasculpt is nice to see against certain decks (e.g. T/N Savants) and it would be nice to have 3. Between Energy Prison and Metasculpt no creature can touch you. Free at Level 3 is nice, but not very crucial.

Aerial Surge- Almost completely here for it's free spell aspect. Though it's funny to get in a hit once in a while, or just put a Master of Elements in front of something in dire times.

Flame Speaker- Has huge synergy with all the free spells and the deck in general, other than it's not a spell. That being said, it's only in the deck to make it go a bit faster. It's actually first on the chopping block.

Sonic Pulse- When everything isn't going particularly well taking -15 damage each turn is nice. Would love to have more, but every other card is so important and is much more often a better draw.

I've had two major losses with this deck. One, my opponent on his first turn of Rank 3 played Level 3 Echowisp into Level 3 Ferocious Roar. The second my opponent had a Xithian Shambler that he kept feeding despite having Energy Prison on it, which I was absolutely fine with until he used Explosive Demise for 55 damage.

But then I also won a game where I eventually won with 1 life while my opponent had 2 100/100 Dragons on the board. This deck versus lifegain deck is silliest matchup in Solforge...

Seriously though, this deck is an amazingly sadistic deck, and I feel it will be favorite deck for a while. Notably, it has no legendaries and no Savants, so it fits well in some special formats. I apologize for anyone who has played against me, or anyone inspired by this wicked deck.

 My IGN is pwndnoob, I will continue to make these posts whether people read them or not, but I will appreciate advice or constructive criticism on formatting, and please feel free to comment. Thanks for reading, till next time!

P.S. Gonna give some credit to Laziejim, who I think we've figured out was in part in



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Deckbuilding 104: Zombie Draw Deck

Everyone loves a good tribal deck, and Zombie Tribal is definitely no exception. Like Dr. Frankenbaum for Abominations or Cultivate for Sapling Tribal, Xrath, Dreadnight of Varnia is the bannerholder for his tribe. He's obviously a powerful card, and there are plenty of good zombies to bring along.

However, playing Xrath based decks there is one problem, and it is a major one. It is very important that you level your Xrath army, and very important that they are polluting the board. Having 2 or 3 Xrath on the board makes each individual Xrath very difficult to remove, but too often you find yourself with 0.

Well, until you add some draw into your deck. The Xrath Zombie Draw Deck:

Core- Xrath, Energy Surge, Darkshaper Savant

Xrath just needs to be leveled and played whenever possible. Darkshaper Savant is a great zombie that you happily level due it's sheer power when able to sit on the board. Energy Surge lets us find these 6 cards every turn, so we can keep up a board state that is hard to deal with. Not overreacting at Power Level 1 is important, since if you can get away with leveling Energy Surge it pays for itself later in the game.

Synergy- Fell Walker, Keeper of the Damned, Zimus, Epidemic

Fell Walker is incredibly important. It can get 2 Xrath boosted kills, and doesn't need to be leveled so it is always a tasty Darkshaper target. Keeper of the Damned helps keep your major threats on the board, and Zimus is such a nuisance that Darkshaper and Xrath may survive if your opponent is distracted by the easier kill.

Support- Scourgeflame Sorcerer, Blight Walker, Ghox, Hellforged Avatar, Energy Prison, Cull the Weak, Hungering Strike, other Zombies

Scourgeflame is a very strong zombie, but you can't afford to level aggressively and lacks targets. Blight Walker is a bit overkill with Xrath on the board, but can act as persistent removal. Ghox gives more draw and is easier to play than Energy Surge Level 1, but he isn't a zombie. Hellforged Avatar isn't a zombie either, but when you draw 10+ cards in one turn he can be a big body. Energy Prison is level dependent when we have other priorities, but is sometimes necessary. Cull the Weak isn't level dependent, but helps get rid of pesky things like Heart Tree or Oracle. Hungering Strike is a useful one of, for when your zombies have their attack drop below 0.

How This Deck Works:

Power Level 1 it is more important to level the core cards over trying to gain board advantage. That being said, most cards in this deck scale well, so play reactive. At Power Level 2 get as many Xrath and Darkshaper on the board as possible, while keeping opponents board clear. Use Fell Walker, Zimus, Energy Prison, and Blight Walkers to retard your opponent when looking for your core cards. Eventually you will end up with a full board of zombies while your opponent has nothing (well, hopefully).

My IGN is pwndnoob, I will continue to make these posts whether people read them or not, but I will appreciate advice or constructive criticism on formatting, and please feel free to comment. Thanks for reading, till next time!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bad Combo I: Jet Pack!

Target Creature gets +3 Attack and I hate Steelforged Avatar decks

So, here we have a card that at first glance looks incredibly specific (and therefore bad). If your opponent is playing pure Alloyin and thinks Energy Prison is the best removal in the world, Jet Pack can potentially save the day. However, that's awfully specific, and Heavy Artillery exists as a superior option in the majority of situations. Maybe you can have 1 Jet Pack for the mirror Alloyin matchup, but it's an obsolete card otherwise.

Note: Target Creature. Not Target Opponent's Creature.

But, wait. You can Energy Prison your own creatures. Energy Prison on a Synapsis Oracle, for example, makes it much harder for your opponent to stop the leveling train. Energy Prison on a Uranti Firefist or Doomwing, Dire Drake can potentially mean you kill one creature a turn. Generally you want to be using it on your opponents major threats, but you can potentially befuddle your opponents and seriously punish them if they lack removal or aggressive creatures.

The card that implies Charmander > Bulbasaur > Squirtle

And here is the last combo piece. Simply place Oreian Warwalker in a lonely side lane, and Energy Prison him. Every turn double his attack. When he has a higher attack than your opponent and you have Jet Pack in hand you win! Best combo ever!

Sure, it dies if your opponent decides the 32/6 is worthy of removal, defender or not. Or your opponent has aggressive creatures he doesn't mind trading. Or you fail to remove/move (I suggest Seismic Adept) any creature that your opponent plays across from your Defending Warwalker.There is a reason this title
 is Bad Combo and not Actually Viable Combo.

I'm not going to humor a decklist, but Flowsteel Prototype potentially can grow similarly to Warwalker. Seismic Adept, Uranti Bolt, and Energy Prison come to mind as the most reliable ways to keep your Grow-Your-Own-Warwalker alive. Other high priority cards would be appreciated; as long as your opponent has to keep answering your threats and not the guy you willingly maimed your deck is working. The other option is to just try and sneak this into the already powerful Steelforged Avatar deck or Robot Tribal decks.

But, if anyone else has a deck idea that can potentially win with three Level 1 cards, I'd love to hear about it. My IGN is pwndnoob, I'll keep making these whether or not people read them, and thanks for reading and commenting! Till next time!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Deckbuilding 103: Xithian Shambler Deck

My first Legendary! 

Back when I was only playing Hard computers and was getting into Solforge, I drew this guy from my first Premium Pack. I was excited to get a Legendary card, but like the rest of the community I realized he's got some serious flaws that other Legendaries like Echowisp or Zimus don't have. But I wanted to play with my new toy.

My first response was to make a simple beatdown deck. I put all my big creatures and flexible spells into one deck, and more often than not draws were workable. My opponents, both computer and human, were nice enough to kill Shardplate Mutant more often than not, since a 9/9 is not particularly ignorable. This deck is still possible, with things like Leafkin Progenitor and Rootforged Avatar in the most aggressive Mono-Uterra deck ever, but Shardplate very much isn't necessary.

And then some asshole Energy Prisoned my Shardplate Mutant, I wasn't lucky enough to draw creatures for a few turns to put one over Shardplate, and when I did it was only a Level 1 guy. Shardplate hasn't found a place in any of my decks since, until now.

Meet Xithian Shambler:

 For anyone who doesn't understand the absolutely amazing synergy here is how this combo works:

T1- Xithian Shambler in Lane 3.
T2- Shardplate Mutant in Lane 2/4, Activate Shambler, have a 12/13 with conditional mobility.
T3- Draw 5 cards!

Here are other cards that work well with Xithian Shambler:

  • Talisin, Bard of Abundance. A 6/8 body is impressively large, and you avoid giving your opponent 3 drops. Scales incredibly well into late game, if that's not obvious.
  • Zimus, the Undying. Zimus is important to level, but being able to gobble a guy and have him come back in another lane is very powerful. 
  • Corpse Crawler. Since Avatars aren't really possible, a 7/8 that continues scaling well will have to do.
  And to round off the deck:
  • Soul Harvest. Works well with Zimus, gives us another sac option if our board is broken, and is amazing late game. If you have leveled Soul Harvest, Zimus, and Talisin to Level 3 and find a way to lose something has gone seriously awry.
  • Death Seeker. Gives Corpse Crawler good targets, doesn't need leveling to clog up a lane, and Shambler doesn't feel bad eating vanilla Spirit Warriors.
  • 2 Grimgaunt Devourer. With all this death it's very easy to pump GGD just by doing our combos. Not to mention the destruction our huge creatures do to our opponents side of the board. Make sure to drop him against Sapling or Robot decks.
  • 1 Feral Instinct. In a deck that has Shambler easily getting to 30/31 or Grimgaunt Devourer getting +12/+12 a turn having Feral Instinct wins games.
  • 6 spots for removal. Our preferred removal is killing, particularly with strong level 1 drops like Shardplate and Corpse Crawler. Grave Pact can be considered, but Botanimate, Epidemic, Dreadbolt, and Cull the Weak are all standard and probably work better.
Level Shambler and Zimus at any opportunity. Only play Talisin and Shardplate Mutant to trade with opponents creatures or to feed to a Shambler (or both!). Soul Harvest and Corpse Crawler only get played if you also happen to have Death Seeker in hand or on board, and otherwise Death Seeker isn't priority. Avoid at all costs the Talisin/Shardplate nonbo (anti-combo) where you get to play 2 random cards and your opponent gets to play 3 cards!

My IGN is pwndnoob, I will continue to make these posts whether people read them or not, but I will appreciate advice or constructive criticism on formatting, and please feel free to comment. Thanks for reading, till next time!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Deckbuilding 102- Chrogias Wall Deck

Two things inspired the Chrogias Wall Deck idea. The first is that I have never seen a wall deck, but I feel the idea is interesting (albeit absolutely full of legendaries), and second because I feel Chrogias is underused but is more powerful than people give him credit.

Chrogias Level 1 is a glorified Sapling. He is GGP fodder, and is preferably hidden away by Technosmith or Synapsis Oracle.

Chrogias Level 3 is obviously strong. Level 3 Chrogias wins games, simple as that.

Chrogias Level 2 is where Chrogias is interesting. In most decks he is useless, he is just a Level 1 Nexus Core, and nobody plays that card for a reason. However, in a wall deck he's an able body.

So, to the Chrogias Wall Deck:

Core- Chrogias, Heart Tree, Synapsis Oracle

If we are having a wall deck then Heart Tree is the obvious start. It's a great wall that is hard to kill due to Defender, and makes all our other walls much more resilient. Synapsis Oracle is another great wall, and helps us level up Chrogias and other high priority cards. Chrogias is our win condition, since walls don't really get damage through, but has more wall features that other options (aka Scrapforge Titan)

Synergy- Mossbeard Patriarch, Ghox, Botanimate, Energy Prison, Metasculpt, Sonic Pulse

Mossbeard Patriarch (aka Treebeard) isn't as good as Heart Tree, but helps keep our walls alive. Ghox, Metamind Paragon is a decent body, and loves that the rest of the deck is trying to get him more actives. He also has lots of presence, which can take pressure off Synapsis and Heart Tree.

Since this is a stall deck hard removal is a must, but Energy Prison in particular is amazing in this deck. Making an opponent's creature a defender and putting our own defender in lane across from it renders it completely useless. Energy Prison can also be used on our own creatures, making them hard to remove and their powerful actives remain on the board. Sonic Pulse makes the board a wet noodle fight, which is exactly what we want while Chrogias is leveling up.

Support- Lots of options

There is a ridiculous amount of legendaries required to make this deck workable, so testing to see what the ~5 remaining spots should be is impossible. But here are some considerations:

-Technosmith.  Not a wall, but perhaps 3 Synapsis Oracle isn't enough for this very level dependent deck
-Battle Techtician- Gives our walls a punch, and a decent body.
-Alloyin General- Similar to Battle Techtician, but more wally, more flexible, but less potential power.
-Bramblewood Guardian- Nothing special about this guy, but his stats are great, and if he's going to be in a deck this is it.
-Forge Guardian Alpha- Good stats, but importantly is a defender.
-Scrapforge Titan- Is 3 Chrogias enough win conditions? This guy is the runner up.
-Stasis Warden- Give baddies defender while I go find my Botanimate or Energy Prison, give our walls defender so they can continue to give strong actives each turn.
-NEXUS CORE- I'm pretty sure this is an awful card. But, not having to level to have a wall that matches up well with other Level 2 walls is pretty swell. I really don't know about Nexus Core, but I wanna love it.

So, there we have it. I doubt you will ever see anything like this deck, since there is high amount of specific legendaries and mythics in it that are mandatory, and anyone with that amount of legendaries is likely playing something a bit more conventional, but to me there aren't many things funnier than a Level 3 Chrogias/Mossbeard Patriarch combo.

My IGN is pwndnoob, I will write these whether people read them or not, thanks for reading and comments (here or on Reddit) are much appreciated!

Deckbuilding 101 - Darkheart Wanderer

Hey guys, this blog is going to be looking into how to build good decks in Solforge. Each post will be looking a different deck archetype, as I explain why certain cards are good in certain decks, and how to play that deck to its full potential. But first, I want to explain how I go about building a deck.

Step 1: Find a card that you think is awesome.

This step is easy! It might be the new legendary you just got, a powerful card that you have a full set (3 of the same card) of, or a card you think is particularly cool. The majority of legendary cards just beg to be built around so they are often a good start, but for new players a powerful rare that you have 3 of like the Savants might be the starting point.

Step 2: Figure out what cards have the best synergy with your card, and make your core.

What makes your card powerful? For example, Savants love when you can play strong level 1 cards later in the game, so Deepbranch Prowler and Lightning Spark are good options. Grimgaunt Predator loves it when you remove creatures, so Dreadbolt and Cull the Weak help him grow. Firefist Uranti becomes very scary when you raise his attack, so Alloyin General and Battle Technician are great additions.

Step 3: Specialize your deck.

How are you going to win games? Are you stalling out the game till your level 3 big guys overwhelm your opponent? Are you trying to mass board advantage by constantly putting large creatures down from the get-go? Are you planning on killing everything your opponent plays? More often than not a well thought out common or rare has a better place in your deck than a random powerful legendary.

Step 4: Round off your deck.

This is the step that differs the good deck builders from the bad deck builders. Putting 3 of 10 powerful cards can and will often work, but it often means you will either lack the cards or not be able to draw them at the right time. Here are some of the things most decks need to reach their full potential:

- Removal. Some players forget that their opponents can play good cards too. You should have some removal in every deck, and preferably the type that can deal with the scariest of monsters like Zimus or Pheonix.

 -Strong Level 1 cards. You can't level all 30 cards in your deck, and you shouldn't try to. Having dead drops because you had "bad luck" can often be solved by having cards that can still be effective even when not leveled. Examples include Deepbranch Prowler, Uranti Bolt, Death Seaker, Fervant Assault, Seismic Adept, among others.

- Alternative Win Clause. Sometimes your opponent's deck is well suited to counter your decks intentions. An example of this might be a Sapling Deck is constantly filling up all the lanes so your Aggro deck lacks empty lanes to get damage through. However, if you have a Grimgaunt Predator in your deck he eats up all the saplings and you win! In the majority of games you don't level GGP because he isn't the focus of your deck, but knowing what decks you have trouble with and adding appropriate counters is good deckbuilding.

Step 5: Testing.

Getting the perfect amount of each card is hard, and playtesting your deck is the best way to find out how many cards you should use. I'm not planning on giving deck lists, often since my decks are non-perfect either because I don't have the right cards or because I have my own personal biases. As a rule though you want a full set of your core cards, one of your alternative win clauses or counters (Oxidon Spitter, anyone?), and two of cards you'd like to see once a round.

Now, for a couple of examples, using my favorite card: Darkheart Wanderer.

Darkheart Wanderer has decent stats, and gets regeneration when you play spells. As a result he is very scary when made bigger, likes turns where you play multiple spells, and can  win games by himself.

Deck 1- Core- Darkheart Wanderer, Lifeshaper Savant, Enrage.

By putting +3/+3 on Darkheart he becomes much harder to kill since Dreadbolt, Cull the Weak, or any Tempys spell struggle to eliminate him. The idea of this deck is grow creatures beyond the point where your opponent can deal with them. Lifeshapers must be leveled whenever possible, and Darkheart Wanderers are a high priority.

Synergy- GGP, Deepbranch Prowler, Unrelenting Dead, Rite of the Grimgaunt, Hungering Strike. 

These creatures already have nice abilities that come with them, so making them larger only makes them scarier. Rite of the Grimgaunt is a spell, so it helps give Darkheart more regeneration, but also makes creatures bigger. Hungering Strike helps make favorable trades, and is very flexible in this sort of deck. Other options include growers like Shardplate Delver or Necroslime, or other support like Grove Huntress.

Support- Epidemic, Dreadbolt, Botanimate, Cull the Weak, Feral Instinct.

Some removal that can be effective if not leveled but is still useful is you do, some hard removal, and Feral Instinct. If you grow a large GGP or Rite of the Grimgaunt it's very effective to have one Feral Instinct that can be the finishing blow in a close game, and it doesn't need to be leveled to be effective.

Deck 2- Core- Darkheart Wanderer, Master of Elements, Static Shock

This core is meant to get lots of spells down, making Darkheart get as much as it has regeneration very quickly. Level these cards whenever you draw them, almost without exception.

Synergy- Lightning Spark, Uranti Bolt, Aquatic Embrace, Rite of the Grimgaunt GGP, Epidemic.

Powerful removal spells that don't need to be leveled, the two best ways to give your important creatures health, and a GGP who loves the heavy removal.

Support- Strong Level 1 Creatures, Hungering Strike, Fervent Assault.

More powerful, flexible spells and general filler. I've been looking at Seismic Adept, Magma Hound, Necroslime, Nargath Bruiser, but the answer may likely be just powerful cards like Lyria and Zimus.

Deck 3- Core- Darkheart Wanderer, Wildwood Sower, Rite of the Grimgaunt

Drop lots of spells to get Wanderer and Sower to do work, watch the saplings die and your creatures grow. Pretty simple deck, and the best thing about it is that every other creature you play appears more threatening while these two do all the work. All of the core doesn't actually need aggressive leveling in this deck to be effective, so you often are playing whichever card is immediately the strongest, which is a nice plus.

Synergy- GGP, GGD, Phytobomb, Epidemic, Ferocious Roar.

Typical Grimgaunt shenanigans, but with extra emphasis on the powerful spells. You'll want to be playing these spells anyways, and getting extra sapling and regeneration as a lovely bonus.

Support- Dreadbolt, Botanimate Ghastly Touch, Feral Instinct, Gemhide Basher and your choice of Grove Matriarch/Fel Walker

Dreadbolt kills things, which is generally better with Grimgaunts on the table. Botanimate is primarily leveled against Zimus. Ghastly Touch is the best removal you have that doesn't need to be leveled, Feral Instinct is for when your giants need a final push, and the creatures give you good late game options when you need to throw creatures to their death.

(P.S I like Grove Matriarch over Death Walker or Fleshfiend in this deck because it doesn't need leveling, but has some threat if left alone in a sidelane)

So there we go, three different ways to build a deck around a single card, all decent but very different decks. Thanks for reading, hopefully I have inspired some deck ideas or have improved your deckbuilding. 

My IGN is pwndnoob, I will continue to make these posts whether people read them or not, but I will appreciate advice or constructive criticism on formatting, and please feel free to comment. This will the longest post, since other posts will just be looking at deck ideas.