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!


  1. Interesting take here. My early builds of Lifebomb actually played Cultivate, but I soon discovered that wasn't consistent enough. I even ended up cutting Master of Elements for Ether Hounds. I found it more important to keep the board full (an unpumped Ether Hounds will survive an equal level Epidemic) and I'm able to push a few damage here and there early while forcing my opponent to react to what I'm doing. The one of Call the Lightning has also been amazing in the deck, since I'm able to create surprise trades and push through a lot of unexpected damage.
    I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this!

    1. Ooo a one-of of Call the Lightning sounds brilliant. I haven't actually had the fortune to get one, but 20 extra damage really would seal the deal, and having Call the Lightning on the backend of a Master of Elements or Static Shock sounds incredibly pleasant.

    2. It actually is! It usually creates trades, but sometimes your opponent gets far enough behind that Call can really punish them.

  2. I got my ass whooped by this deck today!

    1. Ya you did! The Storm Bringers were giving me serious trouble since they clear saplings and they have big enough butts to not die to equally leveled Lightning Sparks, but they didn't show up past Level 1. I think game would have been closer if you continued to draw/play them.

      Looked like fun deck (was a Mobility Deck, to those not named Peter C. Hayward) though, and only gets stronger with new mobility guys in the new patch.

  3. Sadly the problem with this deck is it can't take advantage of Flameshaper so can't deal with chump blockers efficiently. That's the only downside to Botanimate; it creates a chump blocker in the lane still. Yes there is Master of Elements / Spark combo's, but that is too card intensive to be reliable. I suspect this will be more viable with more creatures with breakthrough.