Greetings bounty hunters! Time to load your revolvers, take to the road, and collect some cash! And by “revolvers” I mean decks, “the road” I mean the adventure and “cash” I mean cards. Slightly less badass, but other than that basically the same thing. We are working on getting a “bounty hunting guy” to write for the site, so if you have any expertise in that topic be sure to send us your resume. Until then I will be filling in.
This article will be a guide for anyone looking for a little help working through the “Jekk’s Bounty” adventure. Most experienced players with advanced collections should find it fairly easy, but if you were looking for any help this guide is here to give you the tips you need to claim all the sweet rewards!
(Note: for those who regularly follow my column, I tend to focus on advanced content. This particular article is not for you, but I should be returning to my traditional content next week!)
So before we get into talking about the actual missions, lets select our deck!
Deck Choice – Budget Rakano
1 Elder’s Feather (Set1 #128)
4 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
2 Inspire (Set1 #129)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Pyroknight (Set1 #16)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Glory (Set1 #314)
4 Crownwatch Paladin (Set1 #139)
2 Ornate Katana (Set1 #23)
4 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
3 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Crownwatch Deserter (Set1 #316)
4 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
2 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Morningstar (Set1 #510)
7 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
6 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
For most of the missions you can probably play any competitive deck and battle through will little difficulty. My default deck will be a simple budget Rakano list that you should be able to put together after a couple days of playing. Obviously you can take on the battles in any way you choose, as most battles do not require something outrageous. You may want to build something special for any given battle to get an extra edge. For any missions that requires a different deck I will specify the decklist that I used, each requiring 10 Rares or less, and no Legends.
Rogues and Ruffians – Opponents units have +1 Strength, but you draw a card for each one you kill.
This opponent is basically a medium Stonescar aggro deck. I had no problem battling through it with my budget Rakano list, so I doubt you will have any issue. A control deck with Lightning Storm would probably find this battle very easy, as there are a number of 2 health units. One card to look out for is Cabal Countess as she can be a headache if you don’t have an answer. The AI doesn’t appear to be programmed to have a stronger than usual aversion to trading, so you can take advantage of the card advantage you get.
Shootout! – When a unit is played, it deals its Strength in damage to a random enemy.
One thing to clarify – random enemy includes your opponent. You can obviously have a chance to snipe and opponent’s unit, but there is always a chance you damage the player instead, which is less exciting. Here you likely want to play a unit heavy deck, though it could be anything from Stonescar Aggro to Combrei midrange. The bigger demand is in play rather than deckbuilding, as you should hold back your units until the AI plays out their units. It never feels great to take free damage, but if your 3-drop kills their 2-drop for free you will get very ahead very fast. The biggest unit I saw from them was a Dusthoof Brawler, meaning you or your units could take as much as 5 with little warning. It should also be noted that aegis blocks this damage, so playing our units like Crownwatch Paladin or Copperhall Elite early will turn out well.
Take it Alive – Use the Sleep Dart to take the Avisaur Patriarch alive
This is basically a non-condition. They give you a “Sleep Dart” card, which deals 3, but can only be used on the opponent when they have 3 or less health. Most games it should be fairly easy to get your opponent to 3 or less, unless you are playing a deck that really wants to deal huge chunks of damage all at once (maybe Armory or a go-wide deck that plays Obelisk?). If you do kill the AI without the Dart you will lose. The AI deck is basically draft quality Elysian midrange, and is fairly easy to beat in a variety of ways. I did notice it plays at least 1 copy of Lightning Storm, so you may want to avoid a deck like Jito that is easily punked out by a card like that.
Stolen Goods – Your deck is random cards, but they have no influence requirements.
Well, you don’t get a choice of deck here, since they assign you one. The deck is truly random, rather than being the same deck of assorted cards every time, so just because you had XYZ card last time doesn’t mean it will be in your deck this time. There are 30 sigils in the deck though, if you are wondering. Some of your hands end up being really bad. Check out this beauty of an opener:
Now our deck might be bad, but our opponent’s is probably worse. I won the game with the above hand, and I didn’t draw a Relic Weapon in my entire deck. The AI is on “TFS Bad stuff” I would say, with Reliquary Raider being their top end, and 2/2s for 2 being the bulk of the deck. I think they also have 0 flyers, so you can win on the back of any flying threat. It is possible for your opening hand to be a disaster and you lose as a result, but this should be rare given how awful the opponent’s deck is.
Praxis Fugitive – At the end of each player’s turn, that player plays a time sigil.
This condition is quite powerful, so you are going to want to take advantage of it. Free power every turn probably means you should play some sort of “Empower matters” deck, as you get so much free power. If you are playing a deck without Xenan Obelisk and Pillar of Amar you are doing it wrong. The list I brewed up for this mission was the following:
Aside from the awesome feature of being a near mono-time deck without time sigils (which is sweet) this deck also has a couple powerful ways to end the game. Flameblast for a billion is very viable, as well as Copper Conduit + Predator’s Instinct. Pillar of Amar is totally absurd in this mission, though your opponent will play it as well, so you may want some way to answer it (such as Vanquish). The only interesting card I came across in the AI deck was Ancient Terrazon, which can be a pain to battle through if you are not prepared, but it seems fairly easy to go over-top of it. For the record they are technically just a mono-time deck, rather than a Praxis deck, which is…odd. Maybe that is why they are a fugitive?
Mad Dinomancer – At the start of the enemy turn, he turns a random unit into a 5/5 Carnosaur.
This is a truly wacky condition, but it is very easy to take advantage of it. Basically you want to get more units onto the field than your opponent, as you want to increase the chance he upgrades one of your units. You also want a lot of 1-drops so you can catch the first blasts from the dino-ray. I played the following list to take advantage of this:
Some things you should know about the mission: the Dinomancer always goes first, and always plays a Steadfast Deputy on his first turn. This means that if you don’t play a 1-drop, you are guaranteed to face down a 5/5. That’s tough but beatable given that your opponent’s deck isn’t very good. You should only keep hands with a 1-drop so you have a chance to get the dinosaur buff rather than the deputy. It is also impossible for the dino-ray to retarget a unit that is already a Carnasaur, meaning you can pick off your opponent’s non-dino units to guarantee your units get the bonus. Also, one technical note, the dinosaurization effect counts as an effect from the opponent, so it will be blocked by aegis on your side. Don’t play aegis units like Crownwatch Paladin or Borderlands Waykeeper. The dinomancer is on a draft-quality Hooru deck with Scouting Party as it’s top end. If you can snag some of the early bonuses by flooding the board you should be able to convert the tempo advantage into an easy win. If you get unlucky at the start you are going to have a very tough time, though he is still beatable.
Grenadin Revolt – Enemy Grenadin gain a random battle skill when played.
This challenge is one of the least interesting of the batch to me. Grenadin gaining random skills isn’t very impressive given that most of them are just going to be 1/1s. 1/1 overwhelm or killer isn’t exactly terrifying. As you can imagine, the opponent is a Stonescar deck that plays a lot of small units, so any deck with sweepers like Lightning Storm or Plague should be able to clean house without difficulty. Some have entomb effects, meaning a Feln control list with Steward of the Past should beat this handily. I didn’t bother switching from the budget Rakano list and had no trouble. I did replay the scenario and let it play out a while to see if the opponent runs Scraptank, though I didn’t see it. I think the “top end” of the deck is Recogulator which is…lackluster. This is a very easy mission.
The Lair of the Beast – Your units go to the enemy void when killed.
Your opponent here is a Xenan control deck, with a very powerful top end. In testing the against the deck I let the opponent live for a couple extra turns to see what was in their deck, but I quickly found that I no longer had a way to win! A sequence of Ancient Terrazon into Venomspine Hydra into Whispers of the Void into Grasp of Shadows the Tormentor will do that…. Anyway, the deck has a minor reanimation theme as you would imagine, but they are also able to just beat you up with oversized units they put into play the fair way. My budget Rakano deck was able to beat this boss without much difficulty, but be aware that going late against this deck might make things difficult. They also play good removal in the form of Deathstrike, so be sure to play around it.
The Collector’s Hoard – cards cost 2 less the turn they are drawn. (Does not apply to cards in opening hand.)
Here the opponent is an Elysian midrange deck with middling card quality. They play a reasonable amount of echo cards which helps them take advantage of the cost bonus. Although the budget Rakano deck I have been playing can beat this boss, I imagine you would do better with a card draw heavy deck. This may allow you to chain together multiple spells in the same turn as a result of the bonus. If you choose to go that direction, be sure to start the card draw train a little later in the game unless you must as it will allow you to “go off” and chain several cards together. This is harder than the average mission, but is still very doable.
Guard Duty – Protect the Caravan at all costs!
So the “Caravan” is a Reckless 2/4 that you start off with in play. If it dies you lose, and it can be a bit hard to stop that from happening when it refuses to stay back on defense. Luckily, our opponent is a mono-primal deck that could be beaten by most draft decks, so you should be fine as long as your deck has some mechanism to protect the Caravan. Interesting notes – returning the Caravan to your hand (via Teleport, Dispacer etc.) counts as a loss, but silencing it does not. The silence effect stops the Reckless, but not the “lose the game” element. Your opponent doesn’t put a ton of effort into trying to kill the Caravan, so any pump effects will effectively protect it. Although the Rakano deck I posted will work fine, I think your opponent basically can’t beat the following deck if you want to try something that is heavy on buff cards.
Copperhall Traitors – When a unit is played its strength becomes its health.
Hold on to your butts! This is one of the stronger decks in the campaign, although it is fairly easy to counter it if you want to. They are a Combrei deck with units like Minotaur Grunt and Auric Sentry. Auric Sentry is particularly nutty and can give you a lot of trouble if you are not careful. The solution? Play your own Auric Sentries! For battling this mission I just made room for Sentry in my Rakano deck and I was fine, but if you wanted to go deep and play Dune Phantoms and Lumen Defenders you should find this battle very easy. Butts for days!
Blood on the Rocks – When a player is reduced to 20 and 10 life or lower, the other player draws a random dragon.
The battle for the Bait! Here your opponent is on a fairly strong Skycrag list with a flyers theme. There is a bit of a catch here where if you play a deck that is super aggressive to take advantage of the free cards you won’t be able to take advantage of them, since the cost of the average cheapest dragon is 5. On the flip side, a slower deck better able to cast the dragons is more vulnerable to your opponent’s ability to draw extra threats. Some of the stand-out cards from the opponent’s deck include Magus of the Mist and Ice Sprite, though they can also punk you out of a game with Cloudsnake Saddle on an early flier. If you have access to Sandstorm Titan, I doubt this deck can beat that card, so any deck with him should be able to win easily.
Waking Nightmares – the Nightmares will call upon the victims of your past.
This battle is…weird. Basically your opponent will play units that you may have encountered in previous battles. The deck itself does very little. I saw it cast some card draw, Dark Returns, Mirror Images and a Spirit Drain as actual spells but nothing else that matters. The free units it gets are what actually matter in this battle. As you might expect, the free critters they get start small (Ticking Grenadins) but scale up in the late game (Shadowlands Feaster and Curiox were some that I saw). They seem to follow a lose script of when the various units pop out, but it is not important enough to figure out. All you need to know is you should start killing your opponent fast before they get any interesting units. Don’t worry that you are losing card advantage by trading with their “free” units, since the deck itself is so poor. My Rakano deck had no difficulty.
The Competition – If the Enemy starts the turn with less than 2 armor, his armor becomes 2.
This battle seemed very easy to me. He may be healing himself for a lot over the course of the game, but the deck itself is very bad as there are a ton of armor cards like Reinforce. I guess some really clunky control deck might struggle to close out the game, but even that I find unlikely. The card quality is very low in their deck, so you should have no problem beating them up no matter what you choose.
The Countess – The Countess plays a Knifejack at the start of each of her turns.
This is probably the second hardest mission on the back of how powerful the ability is. Getting a free unit every turn starting on turn 1 is crazy! Luckily the deck isn’t terribly powerful. If you can battle the 2/2s you should be OK, but getting ahead of the Knifejacks is not trivial. The deck I played for this challenge is the following:
Basically this is a Combrei deck designed to have a ton of 3 health or great units early in the game. This allows you to stop the Knifejacks from attacking and stabilize which should lead to a win. Copperhall Bailiff is great against the Countess for obvious reasons. The plan should usually be to survive to the point where the Knifejacks no longer matter, and let the 2 damage a turn kill her. You could also set up a big alpha strike once both of your boards are full. She will not play units to replace the Knifejacks if her board is full, so she will stop killing herself eventually. An alternative strategy might be playing a Feln control deck with Lightning Storm, though I think it will have a bit more difficulty if they cannot find an early Storm + a blocker. The two units she played that might be concerning are Argenport Ringmaster and Horsesnatcher bat, so make sure you have a plan for those.
Just Business – Watch out, Jekk fights dirty!
When they say Jekk fights dirty, they mean it. Jekk starts with Jekk’s Revolver equipped, which is real good.
This is a great card at 3 power, but the fact he gets it for free on turn 0 is not even close to fair. You are going to want to play a deck that minimizes the effectiveness of this weapon, like the one I used above to defeat the Countess. The game against Jekk can be divided into 3 stages; turn 1-3, turn 3-8, and turn 8+. In those first few turns you are going to be very vulnerable to Jekk’s Revolver since most units will not survive the hit. Jekk will likely be able to hit you 3 times with it before you can get on your feet. During this time he will likely drop a couple of units. This basically means he gets to develop turns 1-3 and you don’t. That’s rough. After turn 3 you should be able to start getting on board with units that survive the weapon although the damage from the Revolver is not just softening up your life total and keeping you behind on board – it also has warcry! You can probably expect an oversized unit to come down fairly quickly from his warcry bonuses. During turns 3-8 you are going to need to battle for control of the board, as well as knock off his weapon despite starting at a disadvantage. Why is this? Well, on turn 8 Jekk decides to step up the shenanigans, and (for free) casts Rebuke on your entire team and plays 2 Wanted Criminals (3/2 with Entomb: your opponent draws a card). If Jekk has a decent board at this point you are going to get smoked! So how should we play through this?
Basically, we just need to have a game plan that counters all the components of Jekk’s plan. His deck is reasonable, but it doesn’t really have the tools to battle in the late game because of flood. You should be trying to outclass him by going long. Below is a decklist that worked well for me in this mission:
By playing a ton of 3-health units it is very hard for Jekk’s Revolver to get value which is important. It is possible to play a deck with relic removal, but Ruin is bad against most of the cards in Jekk’s deck. Other attachment removal spells are too slow for my liking. I think it is better to just gum up the ground with big butts. Once the turn 1-3 section is past, you can use Vanquish to clear out any large unit Jekk can play, or set up a multi-block with the help of Marshal when appropriate. It is probably better to 2-for-1 yourself at this point than let him get tons of damage in, as it will be too easy for him to punk you out on turn 8. Once you are in this midgame, you should try to trade with Jekk’s units so that the “Rebuke all” turn is less devastating. Another possible solution is just to have Stand Together. This will counter the “Rebuke all” turn, which is always turn 8 from what I can tell. It may be possible to even play Infinite Hourglass, but that doesn’t seem great against the rest of his deck. From here things get a lot easier. His deck seems to flood out badly, so once he is out of gas you just need to find a way to win eventually. Obelisk is a good example of this. Jekk does run a few cards that you should be aware of. Deepforged Plate can be a beating if you are not prepared, and he can also Vanquish your units. If you can navigate through all of that – you win! The campaign is done! This is the most challenging boss battle though, so don’t worry if it takes a couple of attempts to get through it.
That’s all folks! I loved the adventure, and really enjoyed making up jank decks to beat some of the crazier bosses. I really look forward to more content like this as a different way to play the game and is also a wonderful reminder that games are supposed to be fun. I would also love a “Hard mode” on this since most of the battles were a little less challenging than I would like. Maybe I should just run back the entire campaign with mono-primal… Anyway, that’s all for me! Hopefully that was helpful for anyone struggling! Next week should be an article catching up on changes to the meta in the wake of Jekk’s Bounty!