Going Deep – A Legendary Primer!

Moment-of-Creation.png

Hello Friends! We are now heading into our 4th weekend in a row where we have an Event, and the 3rd weekend in a row with a unique deckbuilding restriction! If I had known that we were going to have a non-stop parade of Events when I started I might not have started this series, but given that we have gotten this far I thought that I should continue! This article is going to be much more simple than the previous iterations, because I already wrote one for the first preview Event. If you haven’t read that article, I would check it out, and if you already looked at it, it might be worth revisiting. My approach here is going to be a little different than some of the pervious, so I will explain.

In my first Event Primer article there was one promo that stuck out relative to the others. We had 4 units that could easily fit into existing decks, and a relic that was…different. Caldaren Cradle was quite the odd duck, in that it did not fit cleanly into any pre-existing deck, and didn’t really have adequate support to operate properly. In fact, it didn’t seem to fit into any deck, and was widely considered totally unplayable by the end of the Event. The agreed best application for the Cradle was discarding to Whispering Winds to grab Obliterates. You could argue that there were two kinds of Skycrag decks – Cradle decks, and “Cradle Handicap” decks, with Cradle decks being builds that actually incorporate the new cards and make it work, while the “Cradle Handicap” decks being the builds that hope to just not draw the card.

In this event, our preview cards are much more in line with the Caldaren Cradle end of the spectrum than the Champion of Impluse end of the spectrum. I am not saying that they are bad per se, but they do not cleanly fit into any pre-existing deck. You need to make some serious decisions about how you are going to approach deckbuilding; play “Preview decks” that aim to maximize the new Legends or “Preview-handicap decks” that ignore the additional card. It is very hard to guess now the power of each of these archetypes, but I will give you my personal inclination in each case in each section. I am only going to give 5 new decks in the case of this event, but you should seriously consider going back to the previous article and just using a modified version of one of the shells I introduced there (and hope to draw your promo less often then your opponents).

One general note to building in “Preview-handicap” decks: consider going over 75 cards. The theoretical reason to stay at the 75-card minimum is that you maximize chance of drawing your good best cards. Everyone with significant card game experience should be familiar with this argument. But what if you are required to add a bad card to your deck? Maybe we want to minimize the chance of drawing this bad card? For example I am extremely sceptical of Moment of Creation. If you are too, maybe you would want to play a deck like the following:

150 Praxis.png
4 Flame Blast (Set1 #2)
4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Pyroknight (Set1 #16)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Kaleb’s Favor (Set0 #3)
4 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
4 Talir’s Favored (Set0 #11)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
4 Ageless Mentor (Set1 #90)
4 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Assembly Line (Set1 #29)
4 Rally (Set1 #33)
2 Shogun’s Scepter (Set1 #26)
2 Furnace Mage (Set1 #40)
4 Praxis Displacer (Set1 #100)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
4 Xenan Obelisk (Set1 #103)
4 Arcanum Monitor (Set1 #520)
4 Obliterate (Set1 #48)
4 Soulfire Drake (Set1 #47)
4 Twinbrood Sauropod (Set1 #113)
4 Mystic Ascendant (Set1 #116)
4 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)
21 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
21 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Praxis Banner (Set0 #59)
4 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)

This is a 150-card deck, meaning you have reduced your chance of drawing Momentum of Creation by about half. I don’t really know all the issues with running a 150-card version of the deck, since you are lowering your chance of drawing both your best cards and your worse cards. I have no idea how good 150-card Praxis + 4 Moment of Creation is versus 75-card Praxis + 4 Moment of Creation, versus a Moment of Creation deck, but if you are looking to go deep in this event I would encourage you to test this in Gauntlet.

Now, the decks I will actually show you here are dedicated to maximize on the preview cards. I am not going to go through the “Winners and Losers” section as I did previously, because I’m having a harder time anticipating the metagame then previous weeks. The one big winner I would add to the previous list is Backlash, since cards like Aid of the Hooru or Moment of Creation are extremely vulnerable to negate effects. These decks are going to be much sketchier than previous Event primer decks because they are built around unusual Legends that largely have inadequate support. I also can’t test them, which matters a lot more when the deck is built around the preview card. Without further ado, let’s take a look!

Hooru Hacks

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4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
1 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
2 Backlash (Set1 #200)
1 Eilyn’s Favor (Set0 #24)
4 Herald’s Song (Set1 #196)
3 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
4 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
2 Polymorph (Set1 #211)
3 Privilege of Rank (Set1 #157)
2 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
2 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
2 Rain of Frogs (Set1 #221)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
4 Marshal Ironthorn (Set1 #174)
4 West-Wind Herald (Set1 #231)
4 Channel the Tempest (Set1 #244)
7 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
10 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Hooru Banner (Set0 #57)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)

Hooru Control was arguably the best archetype for the first preview event, and I expect it to be just as good here. The core of the shell is fairly obvious (Lightning Storm + Wisdom + Harsh Rule etc…) but the mix of top end finishers is harder to figure out when you are already playing 4x a 12 drop (Thunderstrike Dragon? Channel the Tempest? Sword of the Sky King?). On way or another, I think that is the more obvious way to play the card. What is less obvious is playing Aid of the Hooru in an unfair fashion! There are a few methods for cheating out a card like this, and if you can find a way to play it early, you will probably win. The two that are worth considering are some Eilyn combo deck, or a West Wind Herald Combo deck. If I understand correctly, LocoPojo is going to be writing more about an Eilyn/Jarral version of the deck tomorrow, so today we will look at a West Wind Herald build. I don’t really think it is best to mix Eilyn and West Wind Herald builds, since they have much different deckbuilding requirements. This deck aims to ditch Channel the Tempest or Aid of the Hooru in the void, and then infiltrate with West Wind Herald. Each of these cards represents just a massive dose of card advantage, so you should be able to win with one successful infiltrate. We also have a B plan of just playing Hooru Control. With Marshall Ironthrone in the deck we can hardcast Channel without much difficulty, and Aid of the Hooru will come online in some longer games.

Good Matchup: Praxis Aggro
Bad Matchup: Argenport Control

Argenport Reanimator

Argenport.png

1 Suffocate (Set1 #251)
4 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Dark Wisp (Set1 #264)
4 Devour (Set1 #261)
4 Sporefolk (Set1 #262)
3 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
3 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
3 Privilege of Rank (Set1 #157)
2 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Steward of the Past (Set1 #287)
4 Grasping at Shadows (Set1 #292)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
2 Marshal Ironthorn (Set1 #174)
2 Umbren Reaper (Set1 #299)
1 Azindel’s Gift (Set1 #306)
1 Venomspine Hydra (Set1 #305)
4 Vara, Fate-Touched (Set1 #307)
7 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
12 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Argenport Banner (Set0 #64)
4 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)

This is a new take on an old favorite. Grinva should fit reasonably well into a well balanced midrange deck, especially in the context of the Event, but lets imagine for a second that you wanted to go a bit more…degenerate. This deck should get you there. It is a shame that we do not have access to some of the fun Feln cards, but I expect we should have enough to work with. If you are able to Land a Grasping at Shadows on a Vara into a Grinva, I feel like your opponent is going to have a tough time winning. Either they have to have a very particular set of cards, or they are going to take a ton of damage off something like a Harsh Rule. You also have the fun synergy of Sporefolk + Privilege of Rank to load up on power, as well as your own Harsh Rule and removal to stave off aggression. Given that the meta this weekend is going to be very slow, it is worth taking decks like this seriously.

Good Matchup: Hooru Control
Bad Matchup: Burn

Moment of Praxis

Praxis.png

4 Flame Blast (Set1 #2)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Find the Way (Set1 #513)
4 Kaleb’s Favor (Set0 #3)
4 Piercing Shot (Set1 #25)
4 Teleport (Set1 #80)
4 Assembly Line (Set1 #29)
2 Decay (Set1 #95)
4 Dispel (Set1 #91)
4 Ancient Lore (Set1 #105)
4 Rebel Illuminator (Set1 #43)
4 Obliterate (Set1 #48)
10 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
7 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Praxis Banner (Set0 #59)
4 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)

If you listen to my podcast that comes out soon, you will hear that I am deeply suspicious of Moment of Creation. I just don’t think this is a good card, and Praxis will need a lot more spells to make it interesting. Nonetheless, I have made for you a deck that aims to maximize on Moment of Creation. This is basically a collection of all the playable spells (and some unplayable ones) into one deck. With this, you hope to just survive until 8 power, where you should be able to make 6/6s or better of the next couple turns. The sad part is that this is still probably not good enough, even if you somehow survive until that late in the game. Maybe there is something here? Maybe I am undervaluing my opponent just dropping big wads of meat? Or maybe this card is just bad? Let me know if you are able to find something that works, because I am not excited about this card.

Good matchups: Power screwed opponents
Bad matchups: Decks with cards that do things

Skycrag Control

Skycrag.png

1 Charchain Flail (Set1 #3)
4 Flame Blast (Set1 #2)
4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
2 Backlash (Set1 #200)
4 Borderlands Waykeeper (Set1 #517)
3 Eilyn’s Favor (Set0 #24)
4 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
2 Polymorph (Set1 #211)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
2 Alpine Tracker (Set1 #522)
2 Rebel Illuminator (Set1 #43)
4 Obliterate (Set1 #48)
2 Staff of Stories (Set1 #234)
4 Channel the Tempest (Set1 #244)
7 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
7 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Seat of Fury (Set0 #53)
4 Skycrag Banner (Set0 #65)
3 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

I don’t think this is a particularly innovative take on Molot & Nakova. This pair of dragons seems to obviously fit into a Skycrag Control deck as a finisher. As I have noted elsewhere, the meta this weekend is likely to be somewhat slow, since everyone will be running four clunky Legends in their deck. It is hard to know how efficient the “Preview-Handicap” decks will be on average, but they will be moderately slowed relative to ladder. Something like this this will be better than before, despite having only limited ways to trigger Spark. This deck is largely based off LightsOutAce’s version of Skycrag Control from a couple months back, but made a few changes like removing Claw of the First Dragon because we will have more then enough top end with 4 M&N added to the deck (and Claw sucks). Depending on how the meta breaks you can consider adding things like Second Sight + Static Bolt + Thunderstrike Dragon to give you better late game, but I doubt that will be necessary.

Good Matchup: Argenport Control
Bad Matchup: Time based midrange

Xenan Ramp

Ramp.png

1 Excavate (Set1 #71)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Devour (Set1 #261)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
4 Azindel, the Wayfinder (Set1 #518)
3 Steward of the Past (Set1 #287)
4 Lumen Defender (Set1 #115)
4 Umbren Reaper (Set1 #299)
2 Whispers in the Void (Set1 #303)
2 Azindel’s Gift (Set1 #306)
1 Shadowlands Feaster (Set1001 #10)
3 Vara, Fate-Touched (Set1 #307)
2 The Witching Hour (Set1 #310)
6 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
11 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Mystery (Set0 #61)
4 Xenan Banner (Set0 #52)

I have been racking my brain about what to do with just tons of power, and I feel like a deck such as this is the best I can come up with for now. There are quite a few variations, but they usually involve some combination of Witching Hour, Vara and Whispers from the Void. It is very hard to guess what mix you are actually going to want for the event, but I can promise you that Azindel’s Gift should be involved. In an event where literally everyone is being incentivized to play control decks, Azindel’s Gift has never been better. This particular build is skipping on cards like Decay and Sabotage, but depending how strange the meta game swings, you should consider devoting some slots to that kind stuff. I am also skipping on payoff cards like The Last Word, even though it could fit into a deck like this. Although this is one of the decks I am most excited to try, I really have no idea what it is supposed to look like, since it should be calibrated to the actual metagame, which is very hard to predict.

Good Matchup: Time based midrange
Bad Matchup: Hooru Flyers

Conclusions

As you can see from my descriptions, I really don’t know what to predict for the metagame. This is going to be a weird weekend. I think the “Preview-Handicap” approach is going to be very popular, and I really can’t guess how detrimental that handicap is going to be. Those who actually are building around the Legend are likely to have some very slow ponderous decks, so be prepared with to combat it with things like Azindel’s Gift and Backlash. Things are going to be weird, but the only way to figure things out is to play the games! I hope I get a chance to jam some games, and try things out. Let me know what you are excited to play! What decks worked well for you? Do you favor the “Preview deck” or “Preview handicap” approach”? Be sure to comment on Reddit! Until next time….

Love,

Neon

One thought on “Going Deep – A Legendary Primer!

  1. I agree wholeheartedly about Moment of Creation. I don’t know why DWD put it in that faction paring in the first place. While Fire has a few good spells, their mostly aggressive and Time’s spells are just putrid (Find the Way and Excavate are marginal support spells at best, and they’re the best time spells!). It would seem to fit much better into Skycrag, or honestly any faction pairing, since every faction has better spells that Time. Playing two giant chumps is also of dubious value when 1/1 blockers, Vanquish, and board sweepers are a thing.

    Like

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