There are a lot of ways to go over the top of a midrange greed pile meta – adding more factions and haymakers, playing Azindel’s Gift or Aid of the Hooru, Vodakombo, to name a few. My favorite way, though, is Crown of Possibilities.
Given enough time, Crown decks will almost always be able to win the game with Unblockable Charge Double Damage 10/10s, so a slow meta is exactly where it shines. I have played classic Clockroaches to high master rankings in previous months when ladder was trending slow.
Recently, though, Aetherllama showed me an even crazier Crown deck:
4 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
3 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Second Sight (Set1 #207)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
4 Twinning Ritual (Set1 #79)
4 Ayan, the Abductor (Set2 #204)
4 Clockroach (Set1 #94)
4 Crown of Possibilities (Set1 #355)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
3 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
4 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
4 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
3 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
1 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)
4 Seat of Mystery (Set0 #61)
1 Xenan Banner (Set2 #201)
Aetherllama made it all the way to top 30 master playing this deck, and I played it to a winning record somewhere in the 30-60 zone. It turns out that giving more skills to already-good units makes them better. Deadly Black-Sky Harbinger! Echo Ayan! Flying Sandstorm Titan! Okay, giving more skills USUALLY makes them better…
Normally in Crown decks you want to save your unit-duplication spells Second Sight and Twinning Ritual until you have a Crown in play, or at least an Echo unit. Here the only Echo unit is Clockroach, so you won’t draw it that much, and you units are already good, so you don’t need Crown to win. It’s totally fine and often correct to just Twinning Ritual a Sandstorm Titan or Black-Sky Harbinger, and Second Sight can be used as a bad card draw spell to hit your power drops. 3 Titans in a row or double Black Sky Harbinger can win the game in the right matchups.
The weakest part of Crown decks has always been games where you don’t draw Crown, or games where you draw it late and don’t have time to build an unstoppable monster. A lot of that risk is mitigated by having a deck that can stand on its own and is enhanced by Crown, but not dependent on it. It’s almost like your deck is good and consistent when you can consistently play good cards…
Legend Crown is low on actual removal spells, with only 3 Permafrost and 3 Feeding Time in my current list, so you need to save it for threats that actually matter. Board stalls are fine if you have a Crown in play since you can eventually get an Unblockable unit and Dark Return it if it dies. If you find a Harbinger and copy it a few times you can just fly over a board stall, as well – try to trade off all of the Sandstorm Titans on the bard before you drop the dragon.
Deploying Crown as early as possible is nice, but if you need to play Ayan into Titan to not die against an aggressive start, it’s fine to play the game without deploying Crown until you have nothing better to do. The deck doesn’t have many comeback mechanisms (basically just Black-Sky Harbinger), so you need to contest the board always. Permafrost is nice for a double-spell tempo play turn, but it can’t be relied on as hard removal in a world of Desert Marshall and Shatterglass Mage, so try to turn the corner as soon as you can. Legend Crown has much more of a beatdown gameplan than traditional Clockroaches Crown, so don’t be afraid to attack and get into races (which you will win with Endurance and Lifesteal).
Legend Crown’s matchup against aggro is better than traditional Clockroach decks because of Ayan, Black-Sky Harbinger, and the fact that you aren’t committed to playing a 3 power do-nothing relic early on. The endgame isn’t as crushingly inevitable (usually – sometimes you duplicate a Clockroach 5 times then Dark Return it and there’s nothing your opponent can do), but that’s a fine trade-off to make with the omnipresent threat of Oni Ronin on ladder.
If you’re looking for a deck that plays a lot of good cards, but also does some silly things, give Legend Crown a try. The legendary units are cards you’ll want anyways, and I’ve yet to hear of someone who regretted crafting Crown of Possibilities. The deck looks a little schizophrenic, but it plays out much better than it looks on paper.
Until next time, may all of your units gain Echo and be duplicated.