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 My previous wall deck is terribly outdated, and now has 30 worthy cards to play.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!