Funstable Brews – Fevered Snackrifice

Welcome back to Funstable Brews, where we’re all about Truth, Justice, and never giving up on Trail Stories.  Today we’re gonna be playing with one of the new uncommons released in the Vara’s Journey expansion: Fevered Scout!  This deck also has a lot of synergy with Xenan Cultist, although it didn’t make this particular cut:

Fevered Snackrifice

2 Trail Stories (Set1 #188)
4 Combust (Set1 #392)
4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
4 Dark Wisp (Set1 #264)
4 Devour (Set1 #261)
2 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Assembly Line (Set1 #29)
4 Bloodrite Kalis (Set1 #397)
3 Fevered Scout (Set0 #512)
4 Madness (Set1 #267)
4 Torrent of Spiders (Set1 #272)
2 Subvert (Set1 #289)
4 Oblivion Spike (Set1 #294)
3 Smuggler’s Stash (Set1 #396)
1 Claw of the First Dragon (Set1 #59)
1 Venomspine Hydra (Set1 #305)
6 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
8 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
3 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Stonescar Banner (Set1 #419)

Most decks in Eternal either go wide (focus on a lot of little units so they can swarm over an opponent) or go deep (focus on big units or weapons so they can accrue the most value).  Fevered Snackrifice is a deck that goes deep by way of wide, which makes it an intriguingly flexible archetype that ends up feeling a bit like slow control.  If you’re a fan of armory-type decks, that might actually be the closest comparison!

The Cannons

There are three things in this deck that get enormous:  Bloodrite Kalis, which frequently runs up to about a 12/12 weapon when you sacrifice your board into it; Oblivion Spike, a 0/5 that usually hits for around 4 to 9 with the amount of tokens you’re killing off, and Fevered Scout, which tends to be a beastly 6/6 or 8/8 if you did anything on your turn.   These cards are all powered by the cards that go wide, though each of them in different ways.  Fevered Scout, for example, likes it when you cast Assembly line to buff your board.  Bloodrite Kalis likes it when you eat the grenadin you made, and Oblivion Spike likes it when they’re already dead.  You should play the deck primarily to empower the cards you have – holding Assembly line for Kalis on 6 if you expect Lightning Storm, but playing it into Storm if you’re hanging onto a Spike or Torrent of Spiders.

The weapons in this deck are especially useful because they function as effective, repeatable life gain, making it difficult for aggro decks to slip through your defenses in addition to coming back as your victory conditions later.  A big Kalis will all but secure you against dedicated aggro decks, and the five armor provided by each Oblivion Spike is nothing to scoff at!

The Cannon Fodder

The central theme here is sacrifice – getting the most out of killing your own units and (occasionally) your opponents.  As such, we have a lot of cannon fodder in here.  There are a few small token generators – Assembly Line, Grenadin Drone and Torrent of Spiders – and the death-matters card Dark Wisp to keep the cards flowing.  These little guys are the snackrifice for Devour (Card draw), Combust (unconditional removal) and Bloodrite Kalis (big weapons), and empower your deck to be fairly adept at handling all sorts of situations.

Hold Torrent of Spiders as long as you can, but don’t be too afraid to use it.  All of your cards build value the more you play them, so your primary goal is to stay alive.  Make a habit of counting the units in your void in multiples of three so you can easily track how many you need to get the next spider out (Oblivion Spike will give you an easy shorthand with its attack value).  You shouldn’t expect to get more than three spiders most of the time.

Sometimes, these cards will just be there to block for you and trade into units, but most times you’ll want to eat them.  Keep in mind that, for cards like Devour, you can block with the unit first and then devour it, leaving the opposing unit blocked (this won’t work on Overwhelm units, however).  You can also Devour units in response to a Silence effect or kill spell, netting you extra advantage since your opponent spent a card!

The Engines

Between the weapons, spiders, removal and madness combos, your objective is to control your opponents board until they run out of useful cards, at which point the weapons will pretty easily finish out the job.  Dark Wisp and Devour keep your own hand healthy in the early game, and in the late game Smugglers Stash will pull three or four cards per play, including fetching your buffed Kalis, which will just get bigger as you sacrifice more units into it.

Subvert also provides a little card advantage over your opponent (one card drawn, one card discarded by your opponent) and is especially useful if your opponent has a trump card they’re hanging on to for the late game – like Icaria, Flame Blast, Sword of the Sky King, Shimmerpack or Channel.  By keeping the threat level up every turn and forcing them to play responses, you can whittle their hand to just this card and nab it before they have the power to cast it.  Alternately, just use it to steal something useful when you need gas early on.  Unless you’re hunting for extra power yourself, the best time to cast Subvert is when your opponent misses a power drop or plays a depleted Seat.  That’s how you know they have real cards!

The Combos

As far as removal goes, you can get a disgusting amount of advantage by running Madness into Combust or Devour.  Steal your opponents unit, eat it, then bring it back later with Smugglers Stash to add insult to injury.  Because this deck is very, very heavy on card advantage, using Trail Stories to sneak this combo out a turn earlier can get you a huge tempo swing right when you need it (as well as stick an extra +2/+2 on Fevered Scout if it’s out).  Once the optimal time to cast Trail Stories has passed, it will still be useful for reducing the cost of Smuggler’s Stash so that you can play more of the stuff that you pulled out of your void in the same turn.

The big combo in this deck is Bloodrite Kalis, and you should strive to make it a big one when you can (although a 2/2 and a draw can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered). Typically, you’ll have something like a Grenadin Drone and his buddy out with a Wisp on turn 6; that’s when you play Assembly Line and immediately follow it up with a 12/12 Kalis that eats your board.

Kalis players like to attack with the units they’re about to eat first, but I would caution you to think about what the landscape looks like before doing so.  It may not actually benefit you to crash your tidal wave of units into your opponents army if the resulting weapon will be smaller afterewards, as that weapon presents a particularly difficult threat for your opponent to deal with.  Weigh combat carefully.

The Fun-Ofs

To make sure we have a few more bombs in the deck, we included two one-of seven drops that serve the snackrifice strategy quite well:  Claw of the First Dragon, which provides a repeatable 4 damage, 4 health, and 4 units every time you Stash, and Venomspine Hydra, which gives you a total board clear when all hope is lost.  Play Claw early and often, and reserve Hydra for dire situations as it tends to be a big surprise with Combust or Devour late in the game!

The Sides

As I mentioned, Xenan Cultist is pretty keen in this deck.  Plopping him down in the middle of a field just before a crucial Kalis turn will make your Stashed Grenadin and wisps into legitimate 3/3 threats, which can give you some handy meat later in the game.  Kalis decks can also get a lot of value out of Slumbering Stone, which leaves a unit behind to defend the Kalis after its deck.

You can also try moving this deck into Time if you’re feeling especially cheeky.  Ephemeral Wisp, Marisen’s Disciple, and Vault of the Praxis are all delightful in token-based strategies, and with Find the Way now back in position as a useful control deck tool, you shouldn’t have too many fixing issues.

The End

That’s it for today’s brew!  We’ll be back with another Scion’s School next Friday, and a new Funstable right after that.  In the meantime, enjoy your snackrifice!

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