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.
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!