Lights Out – Chalice Control

The metagame on the ranked ladder moves so fast! Last Thursday (May 11), ECV posted his Chalice Control deck he used to reach top 10 Masters. Saturday, Mouche got 2nd in the ETS with it. I played ranked basically all day Sunday while streaming, and it was amazing to watch the meta develop to this new, powerful threat. And make no mistake: this deck is the real deal. Let’s take a look at the base list (and for all of you eager net-deckers out there, my recommended list is the LAST list in the article, not this one):

Mouche Chalice Control

Mouche Chalice Control.PNG

2 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
2 Talir’s Favored (Set0 #11)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
3 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
3 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Crystalline Chalice (Set1 #359)
4 Marisen’s Disciple (Set1 #104)
3 The Great Parliament (Set1 #338)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
3 Lumen Defender (Set1 #115)
4 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
2 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
2 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
2 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
3 Hooru Banner (Set0 #57)
2 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)

This deck is insane! It’s a control deck full of card draw, sweepers, health gain, and blockers, and all of those blockers also draw you a card and become threats once you have a Crystalline Chalice in play. It basically never runs out of gas, packs tons of anti-aggro cards (4 Combrei healer and 3(!) Lumen Defender – be still my beating heart!), and can play the game forever against control.  If all of the boosted little units aren’t enough, there’s even The Great Parliament to create a huge flying clock and end the game.

Chalice control also doesn’t suffer from the traditional control weakness of being too reactive and losing to threats it’s not prepared for, as almost all of its cards are units and relics that can be played proactively to get ahead of the opponent if they stumble. It may look like the sort of deck you’d want to add Xenan Obelisk to, but it’s actually a control deck at heart.

There are enough early blockers to stall most early aggressive units, and enough flyers and removal spells between Chalice-boosted Locusts from Marisen’s Disciple, The Great Parliament, Permafrost, and Vanquish to fend off Impending Dooms and the like. The health gain from Lumen Defender is also super important against Stonescar and the deadly is great against Rakano. Chalice Control also goes wide enough with units that Armory is a very good matchup, as it”s tough for Armory to get any 2-for-1s with its relic weapons. The deck is very robust and it has a very good chance to win every matchup.

So how do you fight a deck that can stall an aggro deck and out-grind a midrange or control deck? You play the mirror and build your deck just a little bit bigger:

ECV Chalice Control v2

ECV Chalice Control.PNG

3 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
3 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
3 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
3 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Crystalline Chalice (Set1 #359)
2 Marisen’s Disciple (Set1 #104)
3 The Great Parliament (Set1 #338)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
3 Lumen Defender (Set1 #115)
2 Mystic Ascendant (Set1 #116)
2 Channel the Tempest (Set1 #244)
3 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
3 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
2 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
2 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
3 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
1 Hooru Banner (Set0 #57)
3 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)
2 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

ECV trimmed a couple copies of the Marisen’s Disciples and Talir’s Favored for more top end in the form of Mystic Ascendant and Channel the Tempest. Channel really helps to go over-the-top with card advantage, and Mystic Ascendant + Chalice means that every power and most units in your deck draw a card.

On Sunday morning the mirror was very prevalent, and I realized that Channel the Tempest was the best way to win the mirror. Both players get some chip damage in early while they are exhausting their units to draw cards with Chalice, but The Great Parliament rarely can finish the game when both players’ decks are full of otherwise-bad Scorpion Wasps and Vanquishes. Channeling face a couple times for 24 damage is usually enough to end the game, even through the opponent’s health gain. I quickly cut the Mystic Ascendants for the 3rd Channel the Tempest and started CRUSHING the mirror. It was a perfect example of the level 2 version of a deck smashing the level 1 version. Channel also completely BURIES your opponent in card advantage in slower matchups like Big Combrei and Feln Control, and the extra card draw means you flood out and die less in games where you don’t find a Crystalline Chalice early on.

channel-the-tempest

“I hope one day I find someone who looks at me the way LightsOutAce looks at Channel the Tempest.” -Rekenner

So it turns out Channel the Tempest is the level 2 plan for the mirror. If Channel-ing face is the best way to end the game, why not play the best card possible for enabling multiple Channels to face:

20xx Eilyn Chalice

20xx Eilyn Chalice.PNG

1 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
3 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
1 Talir’s Favored (Set0 #11)
3 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
3 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
1 Mirror Image (Set1 #217)
3 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
4 Crystalline Chalice (Set1 #359)
2 Marisen’s Disciple (Set1 #104)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
4 Jotun Hurler (Set1 #227)
3 Lumen Defender (Set1 #115)
4 Channel the Tempest (Set1 #244)
2 Eilyn, Queen of the Wilds (Set1 #245)
3 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
3 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
2 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
3 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
3 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
2 Hooru Banner (Set0 #57)
3 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)

Eilyn,_Queen_of_the_WildsEilyn, Queen of the Wilds, back for another encore! I cut the Wisdom of the Elders and trimmed some removal and Great Parliaments to fit in the Eilyn package of 4 Channel the Tempest, 4 Jotun Hurler, and 2 Eilyn. This goes SO FAR over the top of the mirror, and I did not get close to losing a Chalice mirror while playing this (and I played quite a few Sunday afternoon). Playing Eilyn to trump the mirror of the hot new deck? What a time to be alive!

However, I played a tough game where one of my Channels was Backlashed, and I realized that the deck had not yet reached its final form. Backlash trumps the Eilyn plan, so my own Backlashes needed to come in. We must go a little deeper! Once I put in Backlashes, there wasn’t room for the whole Eilyn combo while still having game against other matchups, so those had to go. I would still like to have them available in the sideboard in a best-of-3 tournament format, but on the ladder they are just too many slots against the varied opposition. I present my final version of 20xx Chalice Control:

20xx Chalice Control

20xx Chalice Control.PNG

4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
2 Backlash (Set1 #200)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
3 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
3 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
3 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Crystalline Chalice (Set1 #359)
2 Marisen’s Disciple (Set1 #104)
2 The Great Parliament (Set1 #338)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
3 Lumen Defender (Set1 #115)
4 Channel the Tempest (Set1 #244)
3 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
3 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
2 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
3 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
3 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
2 Hooru Banner (Set0 #57)
3 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)

Eilyn is gone (sadly), but the deck is just SO GOOD. Backlash trumps the trump, and you get into late-game Channel-Backlash-Backlash back-Backlash AGAIN exchanges that are exciting and intense. Several people have opted to not go the Channel route, and instead to play a pile of Great Parliaments and Backlashes, and while that is slightly better against fast aggro decks like Stonescar, I think the late game power of Channel the Tempest is too much to give up. You will also be worse in the mirror without Channels to finish your opponent off, and worse when you don’t draw Crystalline Chalice without another source of major card advantage. It may look strange that I’ve cut a Wisdom of the Elders when I say the deck needs more card draw in games it doesn’t find Chalice, but 3 Wisdom is fine as it is another card that doesn’t affect the board early (which the deck has a lot of between Wisdom, Chalice, and Channel the Tempest) and it doesn’t contribute to the main engine of the deck by being a unit with 2 strength or less. I would really like to fit the 4th Wisdom in, but I still like 4 Channel right now and The Great Parliament is also really good. If the metagame gets faster to adjust to the presence of Chalice Control (which may have happened already), the 4th Channel is an easy cut.

I highly recommend this list for climbing ladder, climbing to master, playing in tournaments, and everywhere else Eternal is played. It is amazingly resilient, powerful, and consistent. Sure, sometimes, you don’t draw Crystalline Chalice, but the cards in the deck are all fine without “draw a card” tacked onto them and you can usually hold out long enough to find one.

I believe this is the genesis of a new tier 1 deck.

Until next time, may all of your Channels connect for 12 to face.

LightsOutAce

 

4 thoughts on “Lights Out – Chalice Control

  1. I tried the fist decklist and it’s great. I was at 2HP against a Fire deck, I stabilized to 12+ HP and won the game, but the deck has some trouble against Aegis units. If you’re facing a Champion of Cunning and you have no removal or flying units, things won’t look so great.

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  2. The power of the deck is definitely there, but the mana is definitely awkward or even bad at times. Given how much value Chalice generates, I’d wonder if the green is worth it or if a smoother elysian list would be superior

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    1. Frankly, removing the Justice package would kill the deck. Desert Marshal and Combrei Healer are very strong in the archetype, and I can’t count the game I came back from with Harsh Rule. The only green card I’d consider a switch slot is Vanquish.

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