Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rise of the Forgebuilding: Stasis Warden Patch 2.1

Each person is a 6/2. Art makes sense.

It's been a while since I have updated my ongoing Stasis Warden Decklist, and with the addition of Patch 2.1 and the ability for me to buy cards I've finally done enough testing where I feel comfortable giving out a decklist for Stasis Warden.

There are definitely variations of A/T decks that use Stasis Warden well, but this is the most pure list. There are certain powerful cards that require different builds to accommodate, but this deck uses the 30 cards I think are the most powerful when playing a complete stall game. However, I'm gonna start by talking about what cards aren't making the cut first.

If you just want a decklist just skip ahead.

Unused Creatures:

Apocrymancer: This guy, when he gets value, is incredibly powerful. However, there just aren't enough deck slots. Static Shock, Glacial Crush, and Uranti Bolt are all Tempys and don't set him off. The remaining slots are shared by Alloyin Spells and Creatures. There is a minimum number of creatures (also, Metasight) that you need to guarantee you don't have a non-play level 1, and once you get those in there aren't enough Alloyin slots left to really utilize Apocrymancer.

 Flame Speaker: This gentleman is a pretty weak card overall, though we do play a ton of spells. He was mainly used to race decks that did direct damage, particularly against N/T. However, with the nerf to Phoenix there is a lot less incidental damage coming in. Flame Speaker is a card that is appreciated against things like Crypt Conjurer, and in a different meta may well be a 1-of, but for now is sitting on my bench.

 Drix-  Drix is a really cool guy who works well both as an early game play and as a late game finisher. However, he fills 3 creature spots, which means a leveling creature is fighting for the spot. Also, you only have 9 Metaminds, which makes for some awkward situations. This is something I want to test more, but playing Drix seems to work best with playing Metasight, which I do not like.

 Kas- Not an efficient way to end games. Just isn't enough space to give him mobility, attack boost, and still have absolute control of the board. He's also really hard to jam down at an appropriate time. Hella fun though, and I want to try him with Everflame Mystic.

Master of Elements- It's not that Master of Elements is bad, but that he is overshadowed by Aetherforge Oracle. The vast majority of our deck's spell is most powerful at level 2 or beyond, so we prefer leveling a spell and getting a free version of it rather than getting a free version of his level 1. We do miss his sexy body though. While I haven't had chance to play with Delpha I believe she would have same issue.

Any other somewhat reasonable creature not mentioned here or in the deck I believe I have already discussed.

Unused Spells 

Flame Lance- Definitely the best burn spell we can use, but the poor scaling hurts. Particularly the cards that we have problems with typically have big butts. Flame Lance would be better if we wanted to be playing more Tempys and just kill everything with damage, but Energy Prison is better in a meta where the majority of cards you see don't have an activation at level 1 (Level 2 we hopefully have Uranti Bolts leveled)

Metasculpt- This is always been my favorite 1-of for a long time. The only thing I ever really want it for currently is for Zimus, but Metatransfer Level 3 generally is enough to neuter Zimus. It's nice to have when you need to answer things like Leafkin or Phoenix, but we have other cards that also can deal with them.

Metasight- It's overkill. If you get a timely Glaceus you are already well ahead, and if you don't then playing Metasight can really be punished. In a deck where every card has to be playable the majority of the time Metasight has less upside than the 30 cards that are in the deck.

Deck List-
3 Stasis Warden
3 Static Shock
3 Glacial Crush
3 Glaceus, Tundra Tyrant
3 Uranti Bolt
3 Energy Surge
3 Metatransfer
3 Ghox
2 Aetherforge Oracle
2 Cypien Augmentation
2 Energy Prison

Here you go. I can't imagine having less than 3 of any of the cards that I have 3 of, and the 2 of has felt comfortable for the other cards.


Stasis Warden- Always level. Quite rarely you can Metatransfer the 3rd Stasis, but is only a solid play if your other Stasis will die if you don't. Good to try to get the underleveled Stasis Warden's leveled.

Static Shock- Still a free spell. Still level all day erry day.

Glacial Crush- Our removal, free spell, finsiher, godsend. Because the level 1 is still really good it's generally appears that Energy Surge is a better thing to level with Oracle or Metatransfer, unless against something like Crypt Conjurer.

Glaceus- This guy is an absolute monster that makes decks that use to have a chance purely because Stasis could have a bad draw lose. He kills all tempo. He's particularly great against WWP, and is the main out against Yetis. Generally playing 1.3 Glaceus is a good play, because every deck except zombies only have a few outs to kill a 3/7 when we have a lot of combat tricks.

Uranti Bolt- The toolbox spell. Level aggressively when you don't want to see something get an activation, otherwise is absolutely fine not actively leveled. Be aware of Bolt-Crush combos, particularly to kill things like Leafkin Progenitor or Arboris 3.

Energy Surge- There is a very strong correlation between chances of winning and how many Energy Surges you have leveled. Any hand with Free Energy Surge is a good one, and it is the 2nd most important card to level after Stasis.

Metatransfer- What seems to be the most played card in this deck. There really isn't a creature we don't want to play this on. Our favorite PL1 turns involve playing a Stasis Warden, Static Shock, Metatransfer to level a Energy Surge. Is a very strong play on cards that can't immediately be dealt with, most notably Zimus 3.

Ghox- The reason you are a lucker dog. I have had many a game where I have Energy Prisoned a level 1 Ghox in the corner and he has locked the game down by making all draws adequate. Late game a leveled Ghox makes sure that you have the superior late game by basically guaranteeing that you have at least 2 spells. An early Ghox isn't bad, getting to see 23 cards in PL1 helps a lot.

 Aetherforge Oracle- Some times we just wanna chump. Playing Oracle out naked is pretty poor since it dies to a gust of wind, but is a great blocker that helps shore out PL2 and beyond. Don't feel pressured to play just because it's been leveled before though. I've found that it's not an awful play first turn, because opponents always seem to want to Epidemic for value, which is absolutely fine with us.

Cypien Augmentation- Augmentation has two main uses: It is a free spell that is pretty much playable whenever, and it helps protect high priority targets from Cull and Xrath's Will. Against decks spamming Epidemic as their removal your midlaner will often grow faster than they can ungrow it, meaning you have at least 1 Stasis Warden or other key piece at all times. Always play first creature in mid lane.

Energy Prison- The backup plan. When you don't draw Stasis Wardens and well timed Glaceus you still need to stop your life from going below 0. Energy Prison on level is the best card at achieving that. It has a big weaknesses since it is both level gated and doesn't deal with activations, but when opponent plays Zimus 3 having Energy Prison saves you from having to play an extra spell each turn.

If you have any comments or questions they are always appreciated. My IGN is pwndnoob, I'm probably playing draft, or playing one of the decks mentioned here. Have a nice day!


Friday, May 2, 2014

Rise of the Forgebuilding: Restless Pact

This screenshot brought to you by Level 3 Varna's Pact.

When Rise of the Forgeborn came out the first two legendaries I got were Shallow Grave and Varna's Pact. If you are regular reader you might have realized I love spells, so it's no surprise that I've been trying to make these cards work. 

The breakthrough came when I started considering the weaknesses of Varna's Pact. It's a great card that obviously works wonders with Tarsus, but it's an RNG card at heart. Sometimes you Varna's Pact 3 Zimus the Undying (actually did this yesterday, wish I had screenshot), but sometimes you get three level 1's when you could have been playing, for example, Echowisp. So what is the best card to Varna's Pact? Restless Wanderers, of course!

This works for two reasons. Varna's Pact that brings back even a level 1 Wanderer can be a +9/+9 buff to a card you already had on the board, or in the case of the screenshot a +27/+27 swing in one turn. And that's not half as farfetch'd as you would think, it's quite common because of the second reason.

Varna's Pact has synergy with itself (and Shallow Grave). By bringing back more Restless Wanderers that will eventually die the graveyard is stacked with more Restless Wanderers. If the only things that die in PL1 on your side of the board are Tarsus and Restless Wanderers then your Varna's Pacts continue to be incredibly lethal, with the only limitation being the junk your opponent is playing.


3 Restless Wanderers
3 Tarsus Deathweaver
3 Varna's Pact
3 Shallow Grave
18 Other Cards

How to Play:

 Jam Wanderers, jam Deathweavers, convince your opponent to Dreadbolt your Wanderers so you Varna's Pact a 4th Wanderer or Tarsus. Generally your guys are better than theirs if left on the board, so don't feel compelled to block.  In PL2 continue to play your 9 good cards, but Shallow Grave for value. Play other cards when the RNGesus decides you don't get to play a cool card.

Other Cards:

The other 18 cards are a toolbox. Since it's quite rare that you play any card not named Restless Wanderers, Tarsus Deathweaver, or Varna's Pact when you have 2 of said cards in your hand these cards the cards you do have need to be very situational and powerful. You don't necessarily need to have 3 of each card, and they are very dependent on the meta.

Zimus- Great with Shallow Grave, a lategame Zimus dies a lot so you become likely to Varna's Pact, obviously good with Tarsus, and beats the ever popular N/T. Don't jam down though, the 5/2 body is not impressive with Varna's Pact.

Epidemic- Great underleveled, counters a lot of decks and allows blowouts. 

Ferocious Roar- Great underleveled, provides an alternative win con late game, and allows blowouts. 

Lyria, Muse of Varna- It's Varna's Pact Lite. The 4/4 body isn't exciting, but when trying to win by main condition it does a good Pact impression.

Cercee, Hand of Varna- Removal of choice. Without Spitemage as an option she is the next best thing. Don't play into Xrath's Will or Metatransfer.

Vyric's Embrace- Removal for when Cercee isn't viable or need underleveled removal. It's chosen over hard removal because we have such hard leveling priorities. 

Ebonskull Knight- The play when you don't get a core card in the first two turns. Also works as an underleveled play and like removal. If Ebonskull is in the graveyard be more aggresive with Varna's Pact, because it's no fun bringing back Ebonskull on 1.4 to see him disappear.

Oros, Deepwood's Chosen- The third best card to get level 1 with Varna's Pact. His ability makes him powerful all parts of the game, and when buffed by Tarsus is still relevant. Best played when you know you are against Alloyin decks that have Justicar.

Echowisp- Alternative win condition when don't see Restless Wanderers. Roar + Tarsus + Echowisp is still really good. Otherwise a good answer to go wide, even underleveled. Don't play randomly though, since Epidemic is rampant, filling graveyard with 6/1 is not great, filling it with two 6/1 is worse.

Keeper of the Damned- It's a more level dependent Shallow Grave on a stick. I really don't appreciate the card much since it doesn't protect itself well enough, but there are a lot of big plays that can be made if you keep one of these guys on level.

Fleshfiend- Since this deck is incredibly legendary heavy wouldn't be surprised if there are people who have the Pacts and Shallow Graves but not enough filler. Fleshfiend works like Zimus, but with a more redeemable level 1, and less shenanigans late, and it's really close to those balancing out.


Lifegain Deck can really have fun with this grouping. Crypt Conjurer, Arborsis, and Oros are all great underleveled Varna's draws. Stag + Varna is a lot of life gain as deer come into play regularly. Round off the deck with some Zimus, Epidemic, and Vyric's Embrace and you have a deck that can win off either Wanderers or go hard on life gain. Much better against Justicar.

Varna's Pact + Tarsus is already fairly popular, and Tarsus are surely the best thing to bring back. However, don't underestimate what I am convinced is the 2nd best card to pull out, since the nut draws on this deck are absolutely insane. Have fun with this one.

My IGN is Pwndnoob, you can find me in Solforge Chat under Mr. Big Stuff and on Reddit as Pwndnoob, and if you play me online I'm probably still trying to make Stasis Warden a thing. Comments and questions as always are appreciated. Set 2 has been fantastic, and I will be gladly posting more ideas on the decks nobody is playing (some times for good reason). Have a nice day!