Sometimes it’s tough for a reactive player on the ranked ladder. Sometimes I don’t know how to answer the wide variety of threats or beat a certain troublesome matchup. When that happens, I turn to Burn Queen…
No, wait. There’s no need to give up just yet. People have been playing a lot of swarm decks lately,and the ranked ladder has been centralized around a few key strategies – Xenan Obelisk and aggro decks that can get under it. What’s a control player to do in such dark times, when a 2 power unit can be a 5/5 late game with ease, and there are people playing Vault of the Praxis?
Well, one thing you can do is just kill them. Statuary Maiden kills go-wide decks pretty quickly, especially when backed by tons of sweepers for small units like Lightning Storm and Black Sky Harbinger. More units means more cudgels! Thunderstrike Dragon is another way to put a fast clock on Obelisk decks, and is also is a 2-for-1 in slower matchups and a solid blocker/clock against Stonescar. Primal, Shadow, and Fire – that’s right, it’s Felnscar time!
2 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
3 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
3 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Feln Bloodcaster (Set1 #386)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Deathstrike (Set1 #290)
4 Statuary Maiden (Set1 #387)
1 Steward of the Past (Set1 #287)
2 Staff of Stories (Set1 #234)
3 Withering Witch (Set1 #368)
4 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
2 Thunderstrike Dragon (Set1 #243)
2 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
3 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
3 Feln Banner (Set1 #417)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)
4 Seat of Fury (Set0 #53)
1 Stonescar Banner (Set1 #419)
Felnscar control has been around forever, but it’s been a long time since it was actually good. I think it’s time has come again – Statuary Maiden is amazingly positioned against swarm decks, Withering Witch + Lightning Storm is as devastating as ever against midrange, Black Sky Harbinger gives you a way to beat burn, and Armory (the worst matchup for Felnscar) is at a low point due to its awful matchup against Obelisk decks. Quarry is new since the last time Felnscar was in vogue, and it’s a huge upgrade to any midrange or control deck that can play it.The card selection lets you cheat on power a little bit, and the cost reduction often allows you to stabilize a turn earlier with a Witch or Black Sky Harbinger.
I’m still running 4 Deathstrikes as the ladder isn’t ALL Obelisk decks. Deathstrike is clunky and expensive, but necessary against Stonescar and Combrei’s big units. Staff of Stories is an extremely powerful card advantage engine and win condition in any deck that can support it, and Felnscar has enough removal and blockers to make great use of the Staff. Sitting back and protecting a Staff while burying your opponent in cards in one of the best feelings in Eternal. It’s often incorrect to attack at all when you have a Staff out and your opponent has units, as you don’t want to lose your Staff if the opponent has a removal spell. I’ve even kept home 9/10 Thunderstrike Dragons! Drawing cards is more important than dealing damage!
Another strength of Felnscar is how strong it is early AND late. You have a ton of removal, sweepers, and blockers to hold off aggro, and against slower decks or late game you can draw cards with those Feln Bloodcasters, and combine Lightning Storm, Torch and Vara’s Favor with Withering Witch to kill larger units. Sometimes you’ll spend a few turns doing nothing, but then a Quarry into a Wisdom of the Elders into a Feln Bloodcaster you’ll have a full hand. Feln Bloodcaster is one of the best power sinks in Eternal, and Quarry, Wisdom of the Elders, and Staff of Stories are the best card draw. I love drawing cards!
Felnscar is currently positioned quite well, but like all reactive decks, you must constantly adjust your deck to what you are facing.
Xenan Obelisk decks
This category is for traditional Shimmerpack, Shimmering Combrei, and Praxis tokens. All of these decks plan to fill the board with little units and then buff them up into giant monsters and crush you. All of the 1 and 2 damage effects in Felnscar are great against the un-buffed dorks, but quickly become outclassed once the opponent has a couple Obelisks or Arcanum Monitors down. You need to kill the first wave of units before they get buffed out of range, but be slightly stingy with your sweepers and have one ready in case you opponent reloads with a Scouting Party or Assembly Line. Also, be sure to always wipe the board before a Shimmerpack can come down and wreck your life.
Kalis decks are similar to Obelisk desks, but you need to be a little more pro active with clearing up small units since you have a tough time dealing with a 6/6 or 8/8 relic weapon. Those decks rely on Madness + Combust or Madness + Devour to take care of Statuary Maiden, so try not to play two units at a time into the Madness + Combust combo. Statuary Maiden is by far the most important card, so get her down ASAP and ride those cudgels to victory. The dream is to wipe out multiple grenadin with Black Sky Harbinger while you have a Maiden in play.
The Stonescar Burn matchup is closer than it seems on paper, as Torch is super good against Stonescar’s early game and Annihilate and Deathstrike can take care of Impending Doom. Generally control decks suffer against burn because they have no way to prevent getting burned out from 20 health, but Black Sky Harbinger once again comes up clutch here. It gains a few health when it comes into play with its summon ability, then it demands a big burn spell to answer immediately or you rapidly get out of burn range. Even getting killed isn’t that bad, as that’s one less burn spell for your face and more time to beat down with Maidens and Thunderstrike Dragons (which also conveniently blocks Impending Doom).
Block whenever you get the chance against Stonescar and other aggro decks – a Torch spent to clear up your blocker after combat slows down the opponent’s development and buys you time. The only exception to the ‘always block’ mentality is when you have a fast removal spell you can play the next turn after blocking to get a 2-for-1 against your opponent’s trick.
Combrei has traditionally been a good matchup for Feln-based control, and this deck is no exception. The Statuary Maidens and Steward of the Past tend to lead to board stalls, and Withering Witch + Lightning Storm is a one-sided board wipe that generally wins the game instantly in such situations. Throw in all of the card draw to find the combo and Staff of Stories to sit in front of and draw cards, and you’ve got a solid Combrei matchup. Stand Together can throw a wrench in this plan, but if you have two Witches even Stand Together won’t save your opponent’s board. It’s also good to try and bait the Stand with spot removal if possible since you have so many ways of popping aegis. Another trick against Stand Together is to play Withering Witch first, because then the opponent has to Stand right away or risk losing their board to a multitude of ping effects. If the opponent uses Stand on your Witch summon effect, you get to save your Lightning Storm to go with the next Witch, and if they don’t you just lose your 1/1 Witch to Lightning Storm which isn’t a big deal.
The Cirso decks are actually a little tougher than Combrei, as they don’t always give you enough time to dig for Withering Witch combos and set up Staff of Stories. Overwhelm is a strong ability! In these types of matchups, you need to trade off your units at the first opportunity so you take less damage and don’t lose to Crystallize. The exception is when you can play a Maiden and then power up into multiple removal spells the next turn, as a couple cudgels will give you a blocker even Cirso can’t tussle with (the pigs he transforms your units into still have those cudgels equipped!). It’s much harder to set up a good Staff of Stories turn here, so just focus on trading cards as much as possible and win in the late game with your superior card advantage. They are also sort of weak to flyers, so Thunderstrike Dragon or Black Sky Harbinger with a cudgel can often just race them.
Felnscar is a powerful and more proactive control deck against decks that traditionally go over the top of control, and it also has a robust card advantage grinding plan when the games call for that. The deck is filled with powerful cards like Statuary Maiden, Quarry, and Black Sky Harbinger, so you can often wins games just on card quality. If Obelisk and Combrei have got you down, don’t turn to burn – give Felnscar a try.
Until next time, may all of your Feln Bloodcasters steal great cards.