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!