Guest Article: Pauper Primer

The following article was written by tournament fan and non-native English speaker FranticLight. They were very excited for the tournament but unfortunately will not be able to attend, so rather than let all their testing go to waste they’ve presented their findings to you here. We’ve made some minor edits to fix up the grammar a bit but the majority has been presented as it was submitted.

Hello there! Please be patient with me and my English, because it is not my native language.

First, some sentences to me: I’ve been playing Eternal since the closed Beta and have always been excited about brewing new decks and searching for big bad combos. I’m not usually a Tournament player in Eternal, and I just reached Master in the first Open Beta Season and the last one (June) because I haven’t had the time to play enough games every month. Still, I want to share my thoughts and ideas, and I will try to explain the decks and why I would play them this way.

At first let us have a look at what we have:
Only commons, only basic power and banners. So we have only 240 different cards to use for a 75 card deck.

Also no known decks will be used at this tournament, at least not in their traditional forms. There is no existing deck without Rares, and even decks without any Legendary card are really rare in the meta. And we can’t forget about Uncommon cards, which are often key roleplayers and removal spells, so you have to think about it as a totally new environment.

I want to start with my Top 5 common cards, some of which were formerly OP and will maybe be found in every deck, and which cards maybe were underrated before but now have their time to shine!

Amber_AcolyteSeek Power

5th Place: Amber Acolyte and Seek Power: “We will fix your power!”

I think nearly every deck will contain four Seek Power just to not get stuck on mono influence somewhere in the game. This card was OP before this Tournament and it will be still OP. Thanks to DWD for making this a common!

If there will be a three faction deck, it will contain time and it will contain three to four Amber Acolyte! He is a great fixer for the missing power, also there is no Find the Way, no Secret Pages and no Forgotten Find, so this will (beneath the Favors) hopefully fix all problems with the right influence for an “inflowence”.

Talon_of_Nostrix

4th Place: Talon of Nostrix

If you think of Relic Weapons, maybe Sword of Icaria comes in your mind first, or maybe you are thinking of something bigger like Auric Runehammer, Stonescar Maul, Starsteel Daisho, or even the big Sword of a Sky King. But none of these weapons are Commons. To be fair: There are just four Common weapons in the game, and I think only two of them will be included: Talon of Nostrix and Magma Javelin. Magma Javelin is an okayish pick in draft, and I hope Talon of Nostrix will be seen soon in ranked. But maybe at first in Prince of Pauper!

Torch

3rd Place: Torch

Torch, do I have to say more? It is the maybe strongest spell in game. And I would say the strongest Common rarity spell in game! We have 130 Common units (if I did not count wrong) and only 20 of them have four or more life. The others simply do not want to play against a fire deck.

RebukePurify

2nd Place: Rebuke and Purify

I think I have to explain this choice a bit. Normally, if you play Justice, you have a Valkyrie Enforcer in your deck. It is a Flyer and has okaish stats, but it has a very important silence which is useful against so many decks! That’s a Rare. So there are only five cards with a silence that are legal for the Tournament. I think Bring Down will also be played, and Archive Curator maybe too, but these two are “two in one” spells which makes them really great. Purify is sadly only made for Praxis, or any three faction combo, but it is great!

Executecombust

1st Place: Execute and Combust

No one plays Execute. Maybe in draft, but not in ranked. I have never played against it in ranked. Now with Slay, Execute got even worse! Combust sometimes was played in a Bloodrite Kalis Deck, which was only played infrequently itself. And now there are just four cards that can kill anything: Inspire Obedience is way too expensive and ineffective and Bring Down is missing too if you are expecting not that many flyers in this Tournament. So Shadow will play some of these 1st Place buddies!

Okay, now let’s start with some decks. I just created four of them. I tested them in a few games against each other with a friend, Caesar-hcl.

Common Rakano Aggro

FLrak

4 District Infantry (Set1 #134)
4 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
3 Inspire (Set1 #129)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
3 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Ticking Grenadin (Set1 #12)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
3 Minotaur Grunt (Set1 #137)
4 Talon of Nostrix (Set2 #74)
3 Brightmace Paladin (Set1 #147)
3 Crownwatch Deserter (Set1 #316)
4 Rally (Set1 #33)
3 Magma Javelin (Set1 #41)
11 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
10 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)

Sideboard
2 Ruin (Set1 #15)
3 Rampage (Set1 #17)
3 Rebuke (Set1 #141)
2 Tinker (Set2 #75)
3 Stoneshaker (Set2 #15)
2 Renegade Valkyrie (Set1 #321)

This is what Rakano does: Playing units and attack with them. Sadly it is missing a lot of Warcry units so it will definitely be a weaker Rakano Aggressive Deck but it is Aggressive as ever. The new Talon of Nostrix fits super good in this deck. And during the test games it was most times a 4/4+ weapon. Maybe there are better picks for the sideboard but that is what I would include in a Rakano deck for this Tournament. This is the simplest deck: Play units and buff them. Don’t care about what your opponent does. You just attack. Yes! Never forget to attack!

I am really happy with District Infantry, Grenadin Drone and Ticking Grenadin. They re just 1/1s but not only that! If you are able to play a few of these in turn one to three you just have to wait for a Rally to end the game. There won’t be that much decks with so much tempo. Praxis Tokens is not playable in this Tournament and this kind of deck seems to be the fastest.

The other 1-drops explain themselves: Save units with Finest Hour if your opponent has a Torch or end the game with 3 more damage your opponent did not thought of. Inspire does what it does: Warcry and draw a card. Seek Power is maybe not the best choice for an Aggro Deck, but I fear the Influence problems with staying there Mono-ish in a game. And Torch… Remember the 20 out of 130.

I am a bit unhappy with Minotaur Grunt. I was never a fan of it but this decks has to less 2-drops so I had to include something like him. And he has potential. I try to see him as a really weak Auric Sentury. But its is a very, very weak Auric Sentury. But we have another “ranked” card in this deck: Talon of Nostrix. (Oh I really like this Relic Weapon) As mentioned before this will be hopefully a 4/4+ Weapon for you and is a great 2-drop in this deck.

Crownwatch Deserter gives the deck another Warcry, nothing more to say. Brightmace Paladin ever was something like: “Okay that’s a good card, no it is not, okay it is.” And this Tournament “moves it into a better light”. I wish you all the best playing an Inspire or attacking with Oni Ronin before you draw it!

Magma Javelin is a little bit like an Auric Runehammer, but not that good again. It may kill some dudes which are annoying during your attacks!

Sideboarding is a thing Iam bad in to be honest. Even if there are not that much weapons you will play against in this Tournament Ruin might be helpful to be included. I was thinking of Rampage only because of Overwhelm which might finish the enemy. Rebuke is a good choice for a sideboard. It is nothing aggressive, so it would slow the deck but there are Match ups you need this Spell! Tinker is only a sideboard thing because I wanted to give her appearance in any way. Stoneshaker is too slow for an aggressive deck but after it is played the whole deck will jump out of your hand. Maybe still the wrong choice. And with Inspire and some Warcry units Renegade Valkyrie might be a nice finisher. I do not expect that much Flying units in this Tournament.
It won nearly every game against Common Big Praxis, tied against Common Combrei but surprisingly most times lost against Common Lifeforce.

Common Big Praxis

FLpra

4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
2 Predator’s Instinct (Set1 #75)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Sauropod Wrangler (Set1 #83)
3 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
3 Avirax Familiar (Set2 #46)
2 Purify (Set2 #176)
4 Stoneshaker (Set2 #15)
4 Centaur Outrider (Set1 #35)
4 Dusthoof Brawler (Set1 #49)
3 Towering Terrazon (Set1 #114)
2 Cannonbearer (Set2 #31)
2 Dormant Sentinel (Set1 #120)
1 Belching Behemoth (Set2 #68)
10 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
11 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Praxis Banner (Set2 #171)

Sideboard
2 Predator’s Instinct (Set1 #75)
2 Ruin (Set1 #15)
2 Rampage (Set1 #17)
2 Talir’s Favored (Set0 #11)
2 Decay (Set1 #95)
2 Purify (Set2 #176)
2 Magma Javelin (Set1 #41)
1 Dormant Sentinel (Set1 #120)

Comparing this to all the other decks this is the “clunky one”. The key idea is a fast push to the late game and playing most of the 5+ attack units which really have a chance here: No Vanquish, no Obliberate and no Harsh Rule which may interrupt your late game!

Grenadin Drone is just there to block in your early game. Initiate of the Sands may do the same but also pushes you into your time to shine: Late Game. Predator’s Instinct is really strong and will remove some enemys once your board is build up. I wrote enough about Seek Power and Torch before.

Then we have a “give me the Late Game” Combo of cards:

Sauropod Wrangler, Stoneshaker, Avirax Familiar, Amber Acolyte and Initiate of the Sands. Nothing more to explain.

Purify is, as I wrote in my top five, a good burn spell and will help a lot!

Then I included only units with five or more attack: Centaur Outrider, Dusthoof Brawler, Towering Terrazon, Cannonbearer, Dormant Sentinel and Belching Behemoth. Which unit you should take how often is something you have to test for yourself!

Sideboarding…

Maybe you want to Kill more enemys. Maybe there are Attachements which annoy you. Maybe you need some Overwhelm.

Decay could be the better choice then Ruin because of its healing to keep you alive until your big unity come into play. Magma Javelin is also a possibility to remove units. And Dormant Sentinel is my favourite out of the big units in this deck. So why not playing it three times?!

During the test games it was hard to reach the big units against the Common Rakano Aggro Deck but it had a fair chance against Common Combrei and Common Lifeforce but could not win more then 40 percent of the games. I would rate this the badest deck which I made. But maybe I’m just missing something to make this viable?!

Common Combrei

FLcom

3 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
4 Inspire (Set1 #129)
4 Ornamental Daggers (Set1 #69)
2 Safe Return (Set1 #330)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Awakened Student (Set1 #331)
2 Rebuke (Set1 #141)
4 Sparring Partner (Set2 #77)
3 Synchronized Strike (Set1 #88)
4 Talon of Nostrix (Set2 #74)
4 Brightmace Paladin (Set1 #147)
4 Highbranch Sentry (Set2 #82)
4 Xenan Guardian (Set1 #102)
9 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
12 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)

Sideboard
3 Predator’s Instinct (Set1 #75)
2 Protect (Set1 #132)
2 Safe Return (Set1 #330)
2 Rebuke (Set1 #141)
1 Synchronized Strike (Set1 #88)
2 Teleport (Set1 #80)
1 Decay (Set1 #95)
2 Dispel (Set1 #91)

It is Combrei without Vodakhan, Siraf, Marshal and Mystic Ascendant. So do we have something without this? Yes! Playing some units which get buffed and then overrun the enemy. Once you are out of Torch range your board will grow and grow once you won’t let some one through.

Awakened Student, Sparring Partner, Highbranch Sentury, Brightmace Paladin and Xenan Guardian. Play them, buff them and let them stay alive!

Safe Return is helpful doing this. Ornamental Daggers are the cheapest way in a Common deck and Synchronized Strike is a “one turn, fast spell” Xenan Obelisk.

This is a good midrange deck: Has some good drops in the early game and they will grow themselves to your late game and finish your enemy!

Talon of Nostrix is taking place again in this deck and helped a lot in the test games.

The Sideboard has Teleport. I am unsure if this will be a spell in this Tournament, but if someone ever will play this card in a Tournament then this Sunday! More copies of Rebuke and Safe Return so save your own and harmless your enemies units.

“Hi Tinker, nice to meet you here.”

Is Dispel a card we want to play? It has a draw and a silence but do we want to play it? Give it a try!

And I see that I included five Synchronized Strikes in total. My bad. Better just play four of them! 😉
This deck was solid in the test games! Won a little bit more then it lost against Common Rakano Aggro. But a good hand for both decks should end in a win for Common Combrei. It won most of the games against Common Lifeforce and tied against Common Big Praxis but we didn’t play that much games in this match up.

Common Lifeforce

FLxen

3 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
2 Sabotage (Set1 #252)
4 Sanctuary Priest (Set1 #73)
3 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
3 Water of Life (Set1 #68)
2 Bloodcall Invocation (Set2 #203)
2 Rapid Shot (Set1 #259)
3 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
2 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Cabal Slasher (Set2 #147)
1 Decay (Set1 #95)
4 Disciplined Amanera (Set2 #47)
4 Execute (Set1 #277)
4 Extract (Set2 #155)
3 Xenan Destroyer (Set1 #281)
2 Umbren Thirster (Set2 #165)
9 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
12 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Xenan Banner (Set2 #201)

Sideboard
1 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
1 Water of Life (Set1 #68)
2 Bloodcall Invocation (Set2 #203)
2 Devour (Set1 #261)
2 Rapid Shot (Set1 #259)
3 Refresh (Set1 #501)
2 Decay (Set1 #95)
1 Spirit Drain (Set1 #302)
1 Voyaging Lumen (Set2 #66)

This surprised me a lot! I just wanted to build a deck around a new skill and found a few Lifeforce cards. And shadow in general offers good removal with the best kill spell. I think I have every good life gaining card in this deck. Bloodcall Invocation and a Water of Life makes a 6/6 for just four power.

And we are into the deck: Lifeforce!!!!

Let us make three goups: Healers, Lifeforcers and supporter.

The Healers are:

Sanctuary Priest. He is simple and well known. Play a power gain a life.

Water of life is something I never thought of including in a deck. But it is one card with +6 health and a double life gain. You will see later why a double life gain with one card is really nice.

Vara’s Favor needs no explanation.

Decay is a kind of heal but maybe a dead card the whole game!

Extract. I was so exited when I saw this card in Omens. I just included it four times. May be to much but for this deck it is a nice choice even four copies of it.

I might hate Xenan Destroyer but he is helpful and I would play him definetly in this deck.

The Lifeforcers are:

Bloodcall Invocation, Disciplined Amanera, Cabal Slasher and Umbren Thirster.

Bloodcall Invocation surprised me during the test games. It is really useful!

Now the double heal makes sense: Disciplined Amanera needs this, because she will gain +1/1 every heal. She does not care about the amount of healing. Just heal as often as you can!

Cabal Slasher has its problems with Torch but if there is no torch and no silence he is a big bad monster after a few heals.

Umbren Thirster can fly after the first heal and will grow more attack with the next heals. And it has four lives. It fears Mortar but else it will fly over your enemy!

Last but not least the supporter:

Dark Return is so OP. I just realized this during playing with this deck. There are less removals and this brings you a unit back. Just do it!

Sabotage may be unnecessary but I give it a try.

Rapid Shot is nice and explains itself.

Execute, as I called it the best kill spell, should be included four times. It only struggles against Endurance. And there are not that many Endurance units in Common!

I would say I made the most thoughts of a good Sideboard for this deck. After the games I played a fourth Dark Return just sounds logical.

Also Water of Life is great. And Bloodcall Invocation surprised me that much being a good play to include it up to fourth times too.

Devour has a little heal and has a draw so I just wanted to mention this.

Refresh is not a great choice. But in this Common Tournament it seems to fit into the deck.

Spirit Drain is bad. It is really bad. But play it one time and be happy to kill a four health unit.

Voyaging Lumen is the only missing Lifeforce unit in the deck if I looked it up right. Having a few blockers can be helpful but in my opinion he comes into game to late.

This deck won most of the games. Common Rakano Aggro had no chance, Common Big Praxis struggeled a lot but Common Combrei won most of the games against this deck.

I should have counted my “maybes” and my “mights”. Just forget about them and lay the decks, create your own and do never forget to have fun!!

Tell me what am I missing? How could you improve the decks? If someone want to test this decks or test an own deck against me just contact me!

Have fun playing in the Tournament and “may the Commons be with you”!

Julian Light (FranticLight)

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