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!


  1. I love these articles, when do you plan to have the next one up by?

  2. I've been stalling till the next patch. Next deck will likely be a continuation on my wall deck, because Thundersaur is too sweet to ignore.

  3. The deck I've been running uses Arboris, Stag, and Lightbringers, but uses Tempys.

    2 Arboris (I find if you have too many, it clutters up the deck. Arboris is one way to win, not your ace in the hole. You might run against someone who deals a quick 20 damage to your face, in which case Arboris just isn't worth leveling)
    2 Glowstride Stag (Play em once and drop an Arboris. The opponent will spend more cards answering a buffed Arboris than damaging you, so you don't need to constantly spit these guys out.)
    3 Lightbringer Cleric (beefy, trades well, good effect)

    3 Lightning Bolt
    3 Uranti Bolt (removal, control, burn, nice to have)

    3 Magma Hounds (removal, trades well, 2-for-1 card advantage)

    3 Ferocious Roar (because so much of this deck is about getting advantage, you'll usually have more creatures on board than your opponent. Easily replaceable with Enrage or Feral Instincts)

    3 Ashurian Mystic
    3 Volcanic Giant (these card screams ANSWER ME!, which then leaves the Lightbringer Cleric unchallenged to heal me over 100. They also trade well or can immediately answer problems)

    The remaining cards I have fluctuate between Frostwild Trackers, Master of Elements, Grove Huntresses, Scorchmane Dragons, Abraxas and Rageborn Helion. Haven't found which are best, but Savants are not a good fit: they slow down the beginning of the game, which should be about getting card advantage early so that the opponent is more concerned with the 8/9 Arboris than damaging you.