First things first – a slight name change! I forgot to add the traditional “welcome to our silly brews column” introduction to the last Eternal Brews column, and that left some people very confused as to why the deck was so silly. It’s true I make competitive decks as well as silly decks (and some, like Praxis Tokens, which end up being a mix of the two), but that’s not primarily what we write about on alternate Fridays.
I’m changing the branding around so it’s more obvious upfront that – while some of our brews can be Master level or tournament competitive – the primary goal here is to have fun and build cool things.
That being said, let’s build something fun and cool:
Mono Time Tomorrow
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Awakened Student (Set1 #331)
2 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
3 Talir’s Favored (Set0 #11)
2 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
1 Decay (Set1 #95)
4 Secret Pages (Set1 #81)
4 Ancient Lore (Set1 #105)
2 Healer’s Cloak (Set1 #98)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
4 Marshal Ironthorn (Set1 #174)
2 Minotaur Ambassador (Set1 #346)
2 Mystic Ascendant (Set1 #116)
2 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)
2 Vodakhan, Temple Speaker (Set1 #347)
2 Talir, Who Sees Beyond (Set1 #124)
2 A New Tomorrow (Set1 #348)
5 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
13 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
3 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
Vodacombo decks offer some of the most total victories in Eternal, right up at the top with the Clockpocalypse Crown deck for most bonkers army amassed. If you’re a Timmy at heart, this deck is for you.
This is a combo deck focused around not just Vodakhan, Temple Speaker, but the full big-unit combo package: Minotaur Ambassador, Marshal Ironthorn, Mystic Ascendant, Talir, Who Sees Beyond. All of the cards work in tandem together. Vodakhan gives power destiny and Talir gives your units destiny, turning over 2/3rds of your decks into free draws. Ironthorn doubles any power played (or Minotaur just plays two), and Ascendant draws cards for each power doubled or not. Any three of these cards can typically cycle half the cards in your deck onto your battlefield if the gears are greased correctly.
After the deck starts spinning, your only goal becomes to stop the crazy combo machine that you’ve built before it kills you with card draw death. In Eternal, drawing your entire deck kills you at end of turn, so you usually want to cut the combo short about ten cards shy unless you have lethal that turn. Fortunately, that part usually ends up being pretty easy – once your board is full, you can sacrifice Ascendant or Talir to the next unit played and jam the gears, leaving you with a full hand of cards, a full board of units, and some monstrously large Vodakhans and Awakened Students.
However, all of this takes a lot of juice, and to that end we ramp like crazy here, running all four Secret Pages, four Ironthorns, two Minotaur Ambassadors and two – yep, two – New Tomorrows. New Tomorrow is best for setting up Talir for a Ancient Lore or Temple Scribe play, which (thanks to all of the power now missing from your deck) flops the entire combo into play pretty much immediately. Just play Talir, play a draw effect, and watch her drop unit after unit, usually straight into the Vodacombo. Alternately, A New Tomorrow also allows you to drop Ironthorns as one-sided Harsh Rule effects. This deck has late game power fantasies in spades, and a lot of good sinks for the numbers you’re accumulating.
Greasing the Gears
A key thing to note here is that, with one exception (the best exception), every unit in this deck is a time unit. This is a key component to the Talir combo deck, which you can build either as a monofaction deck or a very, very close approximation. In fact, It’s possible to run psuedo-monofaction decks in Eternal that splash into their friendly factions without ever missing a drop in their primary faction. The combination of Seats, Banners, and strangers had some of the original versions of this deck running out Timekeepers and Champion of Progress at enormously large sizes. While both are decent budget options, neither of those cards made the final cut, mostly due to the prevalance of Rakano and Combrei decks with Silence effects. But that’s OK, because Time has a bevy of good units to choose from and we were not lacking on good choices here.
Unlike most decks that run Talir’s Favored and Temple Scribe, these units are almost throwaways here. You should block with them to soak health as you wait for Harsh Rule and better units. Their true value comes later in the combo due to their ability to trigger draws for Talir and Vodakhan – remember that Seek Power and Talir’s Favored both draw, rather than play, sigils, triggering Destiny on them. Likewise, a Destinied Scribe draws two cards, which is pretty key for a smooth-as-silk combo.
For board control, we keep it fairly light, as the deck functions as more of a midrange-combo deck than control-combo. It can hold its own early game with a sizeable array of good two drops, and usually skips turn three for Secret Pages to hit early Harsh Rules and Ironthorns. True to a more midrange ramp style, we make up for any tempo loss on turn four with Sandstorm Titan and two Healer’s Cloaks to stall the board and protect against the aggro archetypes. Throwing Healer’s Cloak on a fully stacked Ascendant or Vodakhan is the perfect way to get out of burn range while setting up for a leathal attack, but it’s also fine to plant it on a beefy midrange unit or a Talir’s Favored to get a little pressure off of you.
Predatory Carnosaur usually helps clear a board problem quickly while synergizing well with ramp and Talir. I also opted for 1-of Decay, both as an additional health gain tool and a way to counteract unwanted Gifts and relics. Attachment destruction is a very good idea in the current meta, with most to all of the chief decks running something you’d rather wreck than deal with (Eye of Winter, Xenan Obelisk, Deepforged Plate, and a range of relic weapons). Desert Marshals make a more awkward Destiny target, but they shut down early threats and act as a safety valve to shut off Talir or Mystic Ascendant before you draw dead.
The key combo pieces here work best when there’s a decent spread of them, but if you’re ailing for legendaries you can just try to focus on one or two as they can all be explosive on their own. If you’re short on Titans, you might try opting for a Timekeeper or Champion of Progress strategy with Combrei Stranger – you’ll have to suck it up when the silence effects hit, but you’ll actually exceed the Titans in beef. Due to its status as both removal and Time unit, Scorpion Wasp makes an excellent substitution based on the meta, and was a near-comer for this list but for the rising popularity of Stonescar Maulers. Stand Together/Protect are also pretty nice – a full combo leaves you with enough cards in hand that a Harsh Rule isn’t usually a game-ender, but it’s still not a bad idea to protect the combo when you can.
Gameplay and Video
You want to play Vodakhan decks very defensively against aggro decks – barely ever taking risks as you set up a big wall. Against control decks, it can be effective to just barrel down their throats with your large-and-in-charge army, forcing them to spend removal on things that are not combo pieces (or just killing them outright). Keep hands that have a lot of power, as the card draw options in this deck and raw gas of your midrange drops usually reward this. For a few games with the deck that are not just “the combo”, you can check out our Brews Video. We’ve also previously recorded the entire, explosive full combo, which takes about five minutes to fully unwind.
Overall, I’ve found decent success with this deck on the ladder, and found it to be breakeven or better at my MMR but not much of a climber. Your mileage may always vary, but at the very least this deck is one of the more reliable Vodacombos you can play. So try it out! Throw your entire deck on the table and see what sticks. Points for the biggest lethal, and we will see you next time with more Funstable Brews!