Lights Out – A Couple Aggressive Decks

You may know me as the control guy, and that is my favorite archetype, but I play all sorts of decks. It’s helpful to have knowledge of how each deck operates from the other side, so that you can better anticipate what they are holding and what they are trying to do. Plus, it’s fun to just smash your opponent sometimes.. Today, I thought I’d talk through a couple of aggressive decks that I’ve been playing and enjoying on the current ladder.

Feln Tempo

Feln Tempo

4 Blood Beetle (Set1 #260)
4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
4 Rapid Shot (Set1 #259)
4 Sabotage (Set1 #252)
4 Twilight Raptor (Set1 #379)
4 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Argenport Instigator (Set1 #268)
2 Backlash (Set1 #200)
4 Lethrai Ranger (Set1 #270)
3 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
3 Whispering Wind (Set1 #202)
3 Beastcaller’s Amulet (Set1 #282)
3 Cabal Countess (Set1 #506)
4 Midnight Gale (Set1 #378)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
2 Cobalt Monument (Set1 #418)
6 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Feln Banner (Set1 #417)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

Let’s start with the crown jewel – Feln tempo. This deck was originally designed by SirRhino and refined by ManuS, and I’ve been having a lot of success with it. I played it into top 50 during the last week of the April season, and it has a lot of game against every commonly played deck besides Armory. The thing that makes Feln tempo so fun to play is that there is very little margin for error – if you make one mistake you can lose a game. Conversely, there are lots of tricky plays you can make to win an otherwise-lost game. The combination of Backlash, Annihilate, and Cabal Countess makes it very difficult for your opponents to play around everything and you can often engineer a blowout.Twilight+Raptor

Feln tempo isn’t without its free win draws, either; the deck plays VERY well when it’s ahead. Having so many cheap cards allows you to play 2 things on turn 2 or 3 most games, which puts you in the driver’s seat very quickly. A flyer on turn 1 or 2 into Beastcaller’s Amulet on turn 3 (sometimes with Sabotage to check if the coast is clear!) also puts a ton of stats on the table for a very cheap cost. If you get out to a fast start with a couple 1-drops and cheap removal spells you can hold up answers to any possible comeback cards your opponent has and very quickly pound the nail into their coffin. The two best answers to the deck are Sandstorm Titan and Lightning Storm, and we’re packing 4 Annihilate and 4 Sabotage to thwart those. Be sure to save an Annihilate if at all possible against time decks, as most of your damage comes through flyers and Sandstorm Titan can ruin your day. Sabotage also shouldn’t always be played at the first possible opportunity – it should be saved for the turn before your opponent could play a devastating spell or weapon. For instance, you should try to Sabotage before a Sword of Icaria/Deepforged Plate against Rakano or before a Harsh Rule/Great Parliament against Combrei.

If given the choice, Lethrai Ranger is better to play on turn 2 than Argenport Instigator since it is easier to sneak in an infiltrate earlier in the game. For the same reason, Blood Beetle is better turn 1 than Twilight Raptor. It’s not about making the most of THIS TURN, it’s about making the most of all of the cards you will have access to in the game. Another instance of this is power drops – nothing costs more than 4 (Cabal Countess’s ultimate) besides the Cobalt Monuments, so once you are up to 5 power hold any further power in case you draw a Whispering Wind and can convert them into business cards. Be careful with Whispering Wind – you can’t discard your 3-drops to find anything if you haven’t played a 5th power yet.

Rakano Plate

Rakano Plate

3 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
4 Inspire (Set1 #129)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
2 Protect (Set1 #132)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Glory (Set1 #314)
4 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
3 Tinker Overseer (Set1 #138)
3 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
3 Shogun’s Scepter (Set1 #26)
4 Silverwing Familiar (Set1 #152)
2 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
3 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
3 Hammer of Might (Set1 #170)
2 Righteous Fury (Set1 #322)
2 Deepforged Plate (Set1 #317)
6 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
7 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

I didn’t even try to give this one a snappy name – it’s stock Rakano Plate. This version with Silverwing Familiar and Righteous Fury is designed to beat up Stonescar burn and Xenan Obelisk decks, and it accomplishes that job admirably. This version is a little softer to Combrei and control decks, but this version of Rakano Plate is a good choice if there aren’t as many of those around.Silverwing_Familiar

There is very little more frustrating to be on receiving end of than a weapon-ed up Silverwing Familiar you don’t have 2 removal spells for, so make your opponents feel that pain as often as possible. There are fewer situations with this version of Rakano where Finest Hour removes a blocker for you, so I’ve cut down to 3 copies and have a couple Protect instead. This list also has the pretty-standard-by-now Tinker Overseer over Crownwatch Paladin, which is due to the abundance of 1/1s on ladder. The other flex spots are occupied with Righteous Fury, which doubles as another way to pump a unit that already has a weapon and as a way to win a race. This version of Rakano is particularly adept at winning races with all of its lifesteal and flyers, so try not to trade off those units if you can avoid it. You never know when a big weapon might come off the top and win the game for you!

There are many benefits to playing a proactive deck – you beat greedy decks, you have a chance in every matchup, and you can climb the ladder faster. I wouldn’t fault anyone for picking up one of these aggressive decks to grind the ladder, especially in these early stages of the season. Feln tempo in particular is the most fun deck I’ve played in a while, and it’s even a relatively budget choice because it only has 4 legendaries (Midnight Gales).

Until next time, may your plans come together.

LightsOutAce

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