Event Primer – Temporary Alliances

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Hello Friends!

Another glorious event is upon us, where we must do battle to determine who it most powerful combatant of them all! As of this writing I do not have the exact specifications on the prize structure of the Event, but we are certainly having an event, which means another weekend beating up nerds on line with fresh brews playing a new format. This literally never gets old, and I will keep showing up to these Events and pumping out these Primers until DWD stops me.

To begin with, I am actually going to say that I think the special condition of this Event is the most difficult to build around yet. As many of you know, the special condition is that multifaction cards cost 1 less to cast. Compare this to something like the Mono Faction event – well, there is a Fire deck, a Time deck, etc. Pretty straight forward. Even the Eclipse Event was easier to figure out in some respects. The restriction here is a little more of a curve ball. What happens when all of the costs are different? What matters now? If every deck has its costs reduced, what is the overall impact on balance of the format.

In most articles I would spend a couple hundred (or maybe couple thousand) words here talking about my line of thinking, the pros and cons of different cards, but today I am going to cut to the chase. Since I know many of you are all filthy netdeckers busy people, I am going to just start dropping decklists. I am going to roughly rank them from most mainstream and reliable to the more janky for those who want to get freaky. Let’s jam.

Safe Picks

The Queen

Queen

4 Combust (Set1 #392)
4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Pummel (Set2 #6)
2 Suffocate (Set1 #251)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Argenport Instigator (Set1 #268)
4 Hair-Trigger Stranger (Set1 #253)
4 Obsidian Golem (Set1 #398)
2 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
4 Champion of Chaos (Set1 #402)
2 Shadowlands Guide (Set1 #280)
4 Bandit Queen (Set1 #389)
2 Statuary Maiden (Set1 #387)
2 Scraptank (Set1 #391)
9 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
4 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Stonescar Banner (Set1 #419)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

If you didn’t think of Stonescar aggro immediately when you heard about the event stipulation… well… I don’t think you thought very hard. The deck is extremely powerful, and giving it a pretty substantial decrease in the cost curve is going to make it pretty messed up. For example, cards like Champion of Chaos on turn 2 seems powerful, but what gets really crazy is when you curve into Bandit Queen on 3. Some particular inclusions that I am interested in are Obsidian Golem and Hair Trigger Stranger, as these really up your 1 drop count to a critical mass where you should be able to basically empty your hand by like turn 4 most games. Shadowlands Guide is also interesting in a world with a lot more 1-drops. There is also a minor Strangers sub-theme since upping the 1-drop strangers from 4 to 8 makes a very big difference. This list is also hedging with some top end tech that might be good for the mirror. Maiden is great for out-valuing the mirror, and Scraptank will get out of hand fast in a world that people are just furiously playing for tempo and board control. Combust is included here as a 2-of since 0 cost removal is just not fair. Though this deck is going to have a big target on its head, you can probably do well anyway.

Combrei Aggro

Combrei

4 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
4 Awakened Student (Set1 #331)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
2 Xenan Initiation (Set2 #44)
4 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
4 Knight-Chancellor Siraf (Set1 #335)
3 Stand Together (Set1 #334)
2 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
2 Vodakhan’s Staff (Set1 #336)
4 Copperhall Elite (Set1 #340)
2 Praxis Displacer (Set1 #100)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
4 Reality Warden (Set1 #343)
5 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
3 Amber Monument (Set1 #420)
6 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

The community genuinely impressed me when a number of people realized Combrei aggro might be a good option. Awakened Student, into Siraf, into Copperhall Elite, into Reality Warden sounds like a degenerate curve. 2 cost Stand Together is also really hard to play around. This deck is going to have a very weird mirror given how few ways there are to break through, but it certainly has game against a lot of decks given the overall card quality. I will admit that filling in the mono-faction stuff was somewhat difficult, so when in doubt I erred towards cards that are tempo positive cards (like Initiate of Sands and Finest Hour). A card I am really curious about is actually Safe Return. It is not a good card, but when it costs 0, that is pretty interesting. Also, one quick note: The Great Parliament is a weird kind of trap in these decks. You can play it for 3 power, but since it checks your maximum power count when giving Owls, you will get 0 if you play The Great Parliament on turn 3. It is probably possible to put it in your deck anyway, I just wanted to draw attention to that tension.

Rakano

Rakano

4 Fearless Nomad (Set1 #311)
2 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
2 Protect (Set1 #132)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Glory (Set1 #314)
4 Rakano Artisan (Set1 #312)
3 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Crownwatch Deserter (Set1 #316)
4 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
4 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
1 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
3 Hammer of Might (Set1 #170)
4 Navani, Warsinger (Set1 #323)
3 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)

If there is one true and permanent law of Eternal, it is that there is always a Rakano deck (except, I guess, in the events that you are literally unable to play it). The approach here was pretty obvious – look through the multifaction Rakano cards, choose the ones that I thought were good, and then fill in the rest of the deck with stuff that made sense. A lot of people are gushing about potential opening like Champion of Glory + Fearless Nomad on turn 1, but I am also interested in things like turn 1 Rakano Artisan into 4/3 Sword of Icaria. Even cards like Navani and Crownwatch Deserter get a new life in a world where they are undercosted. The specific mix of interactive cards is going to be difficult to get right, and it depends on what you are seeing, but there is no question that Rakano is going to be taking down some 7-win runs. Some people have been talking about Ijin for the Event, and although I might be biased against the card, I feel like she is more unplayable than ever.

Edit: My first run was with this exact list and got a very easy 7 wins. This deck is extremely powerful and explosive, and may actually be the “Tier 0” of the event. Navani was an all-star.

Feln Tempo

Tempo

4 Knifejack (Set1 #257)
4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
4 Snowcrust Yeti (Set2 #105)
4 Twilight Raptor (Set1 #379)
3 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Argenport Instigator (Set1 #268)
2 Backlash (Set1 #200)
4 Gorgon Swiftblade (Set1 #377)
2 Rapid Shot (Set1 #259)
2 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
3 Whispering Wind (Set1 #202)
2 Beastcaller’s Amulet (Set1 #282)
2 Cabal Countess (Set1 #506)
4 Midnight Gale (Set1 #378)
4 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)
2 Impending Doom (Set1 #286)
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)

I am pretty sure there is an excellent Feln Tempo list that is playable in the event, but I am struggling to put together something that feels right. Twilight Rapter at 0 is clearly not fair, but outside of that I’m not totally sure what the deck wants. Ultimately I settled on a variant of a Feln Tempo list Ilyak posted the other day, but with room for 4 Gorgon Swiftblades and 4 Feeding Time. It is hard to tell if a deck like this will fall apart in a world where everyone is playing undercosted stuff, or whether it will just be better than its opponent’s at that same game plan. At the very least it will be happy to live in a world with less Sandstorm Titan.

Next Level

Felnscar Control

Felnscar

2 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
3 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
1 Suffocate (Set1 #251)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
2 Kaleb’s Choice (Set2 #188)
3 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
2 Rockslide (Set2 #189)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Feln Bloodcaster (Set1 #386)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)
4 Statuary Maiden (Set1 #387)
3 Withering Witch (Set1 #368)
4 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
2 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
4 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
5 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Fury (Set0 #53)
2 Feln Banner (Set1 #417)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)

This is returning to an old favorite. We are entering an event where Bandit Queen is expected to be one of the most common strategies, and I get to have access to 5 cost Black Sky Harbinger. Going through the list I have realized that you can basically build a Felnscar deck on almost entirely multifaction cards. Quarry as a 1 cost card is also going to be way more powerful than people realize. If you draw a castable card, quarry cost effectively 0 power. That, and it will let you play Black Sky Harbinger on turn 4, which sounds downright filthy. All you jokers who think Bandit Queen is the only playable deck, let me just tell you this: I’m ready for you.

JPF Midrange

JPF

4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
1 Bring Down (Set2 #217)
2 Herald’s Song (Set1 #196)
2 Kaleb’s Choice (Set2 #188)
4 Kothon, the Far-Watcher (Set2 #218)
2 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
2 Rockslide (Set2 #189)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
2 Whispering Wind (Set1 #202)
2 Eilyn’s Choice (Set2 #220)
2 Privilege of Rank (Set1 #157)
3 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
2 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
1 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
2 Rise to the Challenge (Set1 #320)
2 Shelterwing Rider (Set2 #223)
2 Duelist’s Blade (Set2 #226)
3 Kosul Brigade (Set2 #254)
1 Starsteel Daisho (Set1 #328)
1 Icaria, the Liberator (Set1 #329)
2 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
5 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
1 Hooru Banner (Set2 #216)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)
4 Seat of Fury (Set0 #53)

I feel like there is a good build of Fire/Justice/Primal midangy-control something-something to be built here, I just don’t quite know what direction to take it in. I am really worried that Harsh Rule will be too slow for the format in many cases (as well as being really bad against 2 cost Stand Togethers), so I prefer to swing to a more midrange approach like this. Cards like Duelist’s Blade and Rise to the Challenge get a big improvement when they cost 1 less, and Kothon on turn 1 is a huge issue for many aggressive decks. I might be getting too fancy here, and we should just stick to a traditional Icaria Blue list, but something in this space is certainly worth exploring.

Armory

Armory

4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
4 Rakano Artisan (Set1 #312)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
2 Copperhall Bailiff (Set1001 #5)
4 Slay (Set2 #236)
4 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
2 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
2 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
3 Rise to the Challenge (Set1 #320)
4 Statuary Maiden (Set1 #387)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
2 Throne Warden (Set1 #514)
2 Smuggler’s Stash (Set1 #396)
2 Starsteel Daisho (Set1 #328)
1 Icaria, the Liberator (Set1 #329)
4 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
4 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
2 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
3 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
4 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)

Though some people may be very happy that Armory is out of favour in the meta game, DWD has given us all an opportunity to remember what things were like. 1 cost Quarry and Rakano Artisan, 2 cost Sword of Icaria and 5 cost Smuggler’s Stash are some of the highlights of this build. Obviously this will struggle against some of the fastest aggro decks, but it will certainly beat up things like Rakano and Felnscar. This is certainly a powerful archetype.

Edgy Brews

Dinos!

Dinos

4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
2 Accelerated Evolution (Set1 #351)
4 Evelina, Valley Searcher (Set2 #48)
4 Storm Lynx (Set1 #353)
4 Twinning Ritual (Set1 #79)
4 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Avirax Familiar (Set2 #46)
4 False Prince (Set1 #356)
4 Pteriax Hatchling (Set1 #354)
4 Avisaur Patriarch (Set1001 #13)
4 Nesting Avisaur (Set1 #225)
2 Hunting Pteriax (Set1 #363)
4 Twinbrood Sauropod (Set1 #113)
2 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)
7 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
6 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

Elysian Dinos is particularly interesting because of Pteriax Hatchling. The cost discount on cheap cards is more felt, and when you have a card that is fairly easy to abuse in terms of cost reductions and creating extra copies…. things get pretty funky. Imagine a curve of turn 2 Evelina, turn 3 Nesting Aviasaur, turn 4 Twin ritual and dump like 4 Hatchlings on the table. I am not including Initiate in this list because the power needs are really not that bad in a world with generous cost reductions, but this could be totally wrong. I am very much looking forward to a good version of this archetype. If Queen really is the tier 0 of the event, there is probably a way to build this deck (or a deck like it) to include Storm.

Stranger Aggro

Strangers

2 Combust (Set1 #392)
4 Ruthless Stranger (Set1 #11)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Fury (Set2 #187)
1 Feln Stranger (Set1 #409)
4 Grim Stranger (Set1 #372)
4 Hair-Trigger Stranger (Set1 #253)
4 Skycrag Stranger (Set2 #250)
4 Stonescar Stranger (Set1 #413)
4 Champion of Chaos (Set1 #402)
4 Bandit Queen (Set1 #389)
2 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)
4 Savage Stranger (Set2 #161)
2 Soaring Stranger (Set1 #229)
3 Swift Stranger (Set2 #24)
5 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
4 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Fury (Set0 #53)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)

Felnscar Stranger aggro gets to do some nutty things. To begin with, you get to maximize the power of your Champions since they will often be fully powered. Second, Hair-Trigger Stranger and Grim Stranger are much better as 1 drops, since it smooths out the curve which is otherwise glutted at 2. Third, it allows for better tempo turns, with things like Swift Stranger + Ruthless Stranger + Grim Stranger for a huge burst of damage for as little as 6 power. I am less interested in the Time based Stranger decks because the best cards in these decks tends to be the mono-faction strangers, while the Felnscar style builds really benefit from the multifaction cost deductions. Although I am not going to be writing about it here, I also hope that some FTP(J) Strangers build might be competitive.

JPS Control

JPS

2 Suffocate (Set1 #251)
1 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
1 Eilyn’s Favor (Set0 #24)
4 Kothon, the Far-Watcher (Set2 #218)
3 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
2 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
2 Eilyn’s Choice (Set2 #220)
4 Feln Bloodcaster (Set1 #386)
2 Privilege of Rank (Set1 #157)
4 Slay (Set2 #236)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
3 Inquisitor Makto (Set2 #242)
2 Withering Witch (Set1 #368)
4 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
1 Celestial Omen (Set1 #241)
2 Kosul Brigade (Set2 #254)
1 Azindel’s Gift (Set1 #306)
4 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
3 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)
3 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
2 Feln Banner (Set1 #417)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)

This is certainly a deck that is not struggling for playables, but instead is struggling for direction. There is seemingly infinite possibilities for building some sort of JPS control deck, though there are many challenges, such as keeping up with the tempo of our opponents as well as finding the correct mix of removal. Slay and Feeding Time are great in this format, but I have no idea what you will need beyond that. This deck is packed with a ton of finishers so that you can take control of the board and actually overpower your opponents as long as you are not out-tempoed.

Dank Piles

Haunting Scrap

Scream

4 Combust (Set1 #392)
2 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
2 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
2 Suffocate (Set1 #251)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Devour (Set1 #261)
4 Haunting Scream (Set1 #374)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
4 Direwood Beastcaller (Set1 #271)
4 Gorgon Fanatic (Set1 #375)
4 Madness (Set1 #267)
4 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)
2 Memory Dredger (Set2 #159)
4 Scraptank (Set1 #391)
3 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
3 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
3 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Fury (Set0 #53)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

This list goes out to my boy Ex Kirby, who stood by Scraptank when nobody else would. Is today finally his day? Does he get to be the star to the show? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that we now live in a world where we can Haunting Scream back a Scrap Tank. Ol’ Scrappy is going to get involved. The fact that Haunting Scream itself costs only 1 seems like a pretty big gain, as well as Madness + Combust costing only 3. Memory Dredger is also interesting in a world that Gorgon Fanatic only costs 2. This deck could be a total disaster, but it could also be busted in half. Which one? Only one way to find out!

Dank Combrei

dank combrei

1 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
2 Blistersting Wasp (Set2 #202)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
4 Piercing Grief (Set2 #143)
4 Banish (Set2 #207)
4 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
4 Hero of the People (Set1 #156)
4 Knight-Chancellor Siraf (Set1 #335)
4 Slay (Set2 #236)
4 Stand Together (Set1 #334)
2 Stonepowder Alchemist (Set2 #239)
2 Elysian Pathfinder (Set1 #108)
3 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
4 Inquisitor Makto (Set2 #242)
4 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
5 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
4 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
4 Seat of Mystery (Set0 #61)

This deck is derived from a list used in the last event. I am pretty sure someone who runs stock Dark Combrei through the event will have a pretty good shot, but we are going to go a little further than that. We are a powerful top end, so we are turning to Revenge Hero Shenanigans! Clearly the “combo” of Hero + Piercing Grief is not actually effected by the event stipulation, but you can build a deck around that where almost every card is multifaction. Certainly a lot of customization that is available here, but I am certainly excited by the curve of Hero of the People into Makto. Elysian Trailblazer is exceptionally greedy to be honest, but while we are at it, why not go crazy?

4F Greed

4F greed

4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
2 Find the Way (Set1 #513)
2 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
2 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Banish (Set2 #207)
3 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
4 Eilyn’s Choice (Set2 #220)
4 Knight-Chancellor Siraf (Set1 #335)
4 Slay (Set2 #236)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
3 Inquisitor Makto (Set2 #242)
3 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
1 Celestial Omen (Set1 #241)
1 Mystic Ascendant (Set1 #116)
1 Azindel’s Gift (Set1 #306)
1 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
2 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
2 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
2 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
2 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)
4 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)
2 Seat of Mystery (Set0 #61)

I discussed a version of this deck on a recent podcast. This is derived from Man5iac’s list from the most recent ETS. The core of the deck is very powerful, and relies on multifaction units and removal meaning the total decrease in cost to the deck is pretty substantial. Banish is a particularly good pick up in the even as it is both cheaper, and hits a wider range of units. I have not played with the deck nearly enough to co-sign this powerbase, so if a deck like this interests you, I would encourage you to just play through Gauntlet a couple times to ensure it is at least a functional powerbase.


Well, hopefully there is something for everyone in here. Lots of good decks to try out, and bad decks to mess around with! If I didn’t hit your favorite archetype be sure to let me know in the Reddit thread (or maybe even share a list). It is really hard to know what to do here because it feels like almost everything is viable and powerful. Other than Queen being popular, I have no idea what the meta is going to look like. Hope you all have fun in the event!

Love,

Neon

6 thoughts on “Event Primer – Temporary Alliances

  1. I wonder if there are JPT or FPT Crown shenanigans to be had as well? 2-cost Crown of Possibilities seems alright, along with 1-cost twinning rituals. Might even be worth running Accelerated Evolution (alongside Second Sight) for super-cheap buffs.

  2. It is possible, but I worry that you are just going to get beat up. This seems like an event that will be defined by tempo in many cases, so spending first few turns durdling seems dangerous. I really dont know honestly, since this metagame is going to be whack.

    1. I tend to agree, although I’ve been looking at non-Clockroach Crown style, and more about the use of Twinning ritual; with as much tempo/aggro in the setting, having a ready supply of new units seems wise and ritual is set to keep you stocked.

    1. Nah, he is too slow. Vadius is good when games are about blocking and removal. There are a lot of games in the meta that are going to be about using all your power each turn and killing your opponent. Obviously nothing *wrong* with him, but not what excites me