Eternal Brews – Multi-Combo Control With Party Shuffle

Welcome back to Eternal Brews!  Janky control players rejoice, for today’s deck is called Party Shuffle:

4 Trail Stories (Set1 #188)
4 Excavate (Set1 #71)
4 Levitate (Set1 #190)
3 Torch (Set1 #8)
2 Eilyn’s Favor (Set0 #24)
2 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
2 Lightning Strike (Set1 #197)
4 Second Sight (Set1 #207)
4 Static Bolt (Set1 #194)
2 Violent Gust (Set1 #205)
1 Decay (Set1 #95)
1 Polymorph (Set1 #211)
2 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
3 Wump, Party Starter (Set1 #511)
4 Elysian Trailblazer (Set1 #228)
4 Scouting Party (Set1 #488)
2 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
9 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
2 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Seat of Fury (Set0 #53)
4 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)

One of my earliest control/combo deck was the Carpet Shuffle, a deck I love to recommend to new players looking for slow decks.  It’s not usually the very best control deck in the meta, but it’s the one I enjoy the most, and it’s cheap and easy to build.  The premise is pretty simple:  Use Elysian Trailblazer to give Static Bolt Echo, then cast about 3-4 copies of it for lethal damage.  The Bolts get up to around 7 or 8 damage apiece before they secure the game, which is where the name comes from – we shuffle around on the carpet building up static, and then we zap our opponent to death.  It’s a kitschy deck, one that focuses heavily on teaching correct card ordering and good decision making while still being fun to play with an intensely satisfying closer.

In the absence of Push Onward and the massive change to Secret Pages, Carpet Shuffle has been struggling a bit more lately, with the ability to pick out key combo pieces and guarantee consistent power drops dropping out of a deck that wants both of those things quite badly.  Simply making sure the deck is stocked high on four-ofs helps fix the consistency problems, but heavily exposes the awkwardness of the combo’s setup. What’s more, the aggro meta has stymied slower control decks that typically want to run all the way up to Channel the Tempest.  In order to remain competitive enough to play, a good Shuffle list needs to be a little faster and have more responses to wide, aggressive boards. We’re looking forward to set 2 to better fix those problems, but in the meantime the deck needs a little extra kick to fill those slots.  

Then this guy showed up:

wump-party-starter

Wump is designed to showcase some of the cool interactions you can generate with infiltrate cards.  Three of the four yeti cards currently in the game have Infiltrate, and due to the way Wump causes the yeti being played to do damage, he triggers those infiltrates, drawing cards (or snowballs) for immediate value.  The obvious combo here is also the one we are adopting into our shuffle as Combo #2: the combination of Wump and Scouting Party for a cheaper Channel The Tempest type effect of 4 damage, 4 2/2s, and 4 cards.

This combo mostly works because Scouting Party is already good at its job – it holds aggro decks at bay for a turn or two on defense and usually forces the beatdown deck to switch off for a turn or two, holding back to eat the maximum number of yetis and mitigate the card draw.  It’s been moved up to 6 power for the Open Beta, which is good, because at 5 it was pretty bonkers.

Which leads us to our third combo in the deck:

Trail Stories is a card that has minimal impact in most decks (with very few targets it can meaningfully hit, it’s one of the worst cards in Set One for flexibility).  Here, it can usually end up taking a Scouting Party from 6 to 5 on a crucial turn to beat tempo or set up an Excavate-Trailblazer on turn 5, which is halfway decent but nothing special considering its generalized card disadvantage. The most important use of Trail Stories here is to reduce the cost of one particular card: Second Sight.

Elysian Trailblazer has a lot of useful synergies in this deck – the Static Bolt combo, echoing Excavate for an infinite void-draw engine (assuming you have the tools to counteract the plodding draw pace that incurs).  But perhaps the most fun is the interaction with Second Sight, which simply allows the echoed card to draw, then place its copy on the top of your deck to be duplicated again.  Second Sight infinitely self-replicates, providing +1 card advantage at 2 power for every draw effect you have.  If you have two echoed copies, this is pretty strong.  Once you hit your third, whether through Excavate or another Second Sight, you can draw for as long as you have the power.  And if you can reduce Second Sight to 0, you have a controllable infinite draw engine, allowing you to pull up to a full 12 cards every turn before overdraw forces you to stop before you burn your eyes (and cards) on all that extra knowledge.  

With this kind of cheap card draw, it’s pretty easy to maintain the board, assuming your removal is appropriate to the meta.  We cycle the removal cards based on what’s out there – for example, today’s version is having a little fun with Violent Gust as both a skeet-shooter with Levitate and a fast-spell removal card for Stonescar Midrange, Rakano Warcry (with Soulfire Drakes and Valkyrie Enforcers), and Haunting Scream.  This combo usually isn’t as effective unless the meta is rampant with these, which it definitely was during testing.  I recommend you play with the removal based on whatever the meta in your division is, as cycling the removal cards is key to maintaining a good control deck shell in a changing landscape.

Keep the board clean enough to live and use the rest to set up whatever victory condition makes the most sense – your Static Bolt combos, an overwhelming number of yetis with Wump buffs, or echoed Excavates to give carte blanche access to your void (Excavate a card, draw it with your Second Sight engine, Excavate your Excavate, draw both copies again, repeat as necessary).  With the bevy of choices available at this point I recommend opting for the simplest and quickest solution, as the greatest enemy will actually be your turn timer with the number of cards you can play per turn.

Other alterations – some versions of the deck run Nesting Avisaur, which more effectively sets up the 0-cost combo but tended to compound the decks awkward turns 4 and 5.  If you want to go Yetiless, you can simply roll a more standard shuffle list with Channel the Tempest, as Trail Stories does help hit that card more reliably and do more things in a turn when you Excavate it for value.

This deck’s a complicated joy to run. If you’d like to see a little gameplay, we have an Eternal Brews video up showcasing how to manage the infinite draw and using Wump more than a few times.  Have fun out there!

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