You can’t keep a good Roach down! The Clockroach deck was thought dead when Crown of Possibilities was changed with the transition to open beta (it used to give you TWO abilities on the 2nd unit whenever you drew an echo copy), but the metagame has slowed down to a point where the deck is playable again. In fact, it might be more than playable – it might be actually good.
The popular decks right now are slow control decks like Chalice control and Feln with Azindel’s Gift, and fast decks trying to beat Chalice control like Rakano Warcryand Stonescar burn. The former have always been good matchups for Clockroaches, as they give you time to set up your Crown of Possibilities engine and echo is naturally good against removal. The latter have slowed down with nerfs to cards like Crownwatch Paladin and Rapid Shot, so they are actually winnable matchups now.
It might not be the best choice for ladder climbing, but there has never been a better time to play Clockroaches. From meme to meta-breaker in just two weeks?!
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
2 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
4 Second Sight (Set1 #207)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
4 Twinning Ritual (Set1 #79)
2 Whispering Wind (Set1 #202)
3 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Clockroach (Set1 #94)
4 Crown of Possibilities (Set1 #355)
2 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
3 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Nesting Avisaur (Set1 #225)
3 Twinbrood Sauropod (Set1 #113)
2 Thunderstrike Dragon (Set1 #243)
9 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
6 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
3 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
50-power Clockroaches is a topical deck nowadays, but I think traditional Roaches is a better deck. Playing a normal amount of power allows you to fit in more interaction like Permafrost, Temple Scribe, and Lightning Storm, which are great when your opponent is playing a fast deck. Initiate of the Sands is also very good in this deck, as it allows you to play Crown of Possibilities on turn 2 and start duplicating echo units with lots of skills faster.
Thunderstrike Dragon is a powerful card in its own right, and getting a bunch of abilities on it is no joke. Having evasion naturally makes a lot of skills like lifesteal and charge even better. To fit the dragon in, I’ve trimmed a copy of Twinbrood Sauropod, who is solid but unexciting without any bonus skills.
Nesting Aviasaur is obviously good to put an echo unit back on top of your deck (essentially reducing the cost of a unit in your hand by 2 and making your next draw a cheaper copy of an echo unit in your hand), but the “cost 2 less” part of its ability is also very powerful with Thunderstrike Dragon. It’s not uncommon to play Thunderstrike Dragons every turn of the game starting on turn 5, which is pretty tough to beat. Just be sure not to extend too many dragons into a possible Harsh Rule!
A few more tricks to playing Clockroaches:
If you have a Crown of Possibilities in play, it is usually right to play Second Sight first thing during your turn in case you hit something with destiny or charge and it changes your attacks.
Always save your best unit in hand for future duplication in case you draw a way to duplicate it. there are a LOT of ways to do so (Twinning Ritual, Second Sight, Nesting Aviasaur), so don’t play that last unit with a million skills unless it’s lethal!
Crown of Possibilities is your ideal turn 3 play, and should take precedence over almost anything, but if your opponent is beating you down and you are in danger of dying, you just need to play out a few Roaches and stabilize the board. I know, it’s less fun, but sometimes you have to do crazy things to win the game.
It’s okay to duplicate units without Crown of Possibilities. If you don’t have a Crown by turn 4, you need to start doing SOMETHING, so just duplicate those Clockroaches or Thunderstrike Dragons (Sauropod is often to slow to play repeatedly unless you Aviasaur it first) and start beating down. You’d be surprised how often midrange and control decks can’t keep up with a steady stream of echo units, even without any extra skills. Conversely, if you DO have a Crown you’re planning on playing turn 3, hold off on your duplication turn 2 and play your Second Sights and Twinning Rituals later once you have Crown in play.
The real reason to play Clockroaches, though, is the hilarious stories it creates. Here are some hilarious moments I’ve encountered (most of them on stream [shameless plug]):
Attacking with FOUR 1 power 6/5 unblockable charge Twinbrood Sauropods for an out-of-nowhere OTK.
Having an armada of Ambush Aegis Double Damage Cloackroaches to blow out every attack my opponent makes.
Using a 6/6 Overwhelm Killer Clockroach as a 2-for-1 against Armory. Eat your heart out, Obliterate!
Drawing a Clockroach with Destiny, putting both into play and drawing two more cards…one of which is another Clockroach with Destiny! After drawing some more cards with Temple Scribe and hitting even more Destiny units, I went from 0 units in play to 9 units in one turn.
I had a hand of 10 ridiculous units at end of turn and discarded a Warcry Unblockable Thunderstrike Dragon to hand size. The opponent conceded.
Clockroaches is an always-fun, always-exciting deck that is occasionally well positioned in slower metagames. Now is one of those times. Also, the deck is just so fun that you won’t regret crafting those Crowns of Possibilities.
Until next time, may your Crowns always grant Destiny.