Lights Out – Unexplored Shells

I think there is a lot left to explore in Eternal. The tier 1 and tier 2 decks are established, and most people act like those are the best decks, period. However, one of the most complained about cards, Crystalline Chalice, saw absolutely zero play for the first 6 months of open beta. When ECV posted his initial Chalice control list, the hive mind picked it up and started iterating, rapidly creating a monster that has remained a tier 1 archetype to this day. Do you really think we’ve found everything? I don’t.

I think there are a lot of sleeping giants and under-explored archetypes, and the only way to discover them is to try them. Play with new cards! Tell people what worked, what didn’t work, and how you think it can be improved. With more eyes and more hands working on a raw deck, it quickly becomes refined into diamond (or even master). Here are my picks for the most under-explored shells and cards in Eternal as we approach the Tale of Horus Traveler.

Sleepless Night


Sleepless Night is expensive, but the effect is incredible. You draw 8 cards for 8 power, staggered over a few turns. It’s possible to draw the Revenge copy before you empty your hand of the first four you draw, but it’s unlikely. Sleepless Night is incredible card advantage, something Argenport is often criticized for lacking.

You can’t just hit 8 power playing a normal game and curving out without skipping several turns, so you need card draw. Thankfully, Argenport actually has a good Wisdom of the Elders substitute, assuming you want to hit high power counts: Privilege of Rank.

Combined with Argenport’s wealth of excellent removal and the powerful anti-aggro package of Copperhall Bailiff-Auric Runehammer-Throne Warden-Harsh Rule, you have a shell worth experimenting with. I tried adding Makto since Sleepless Nights helps you find him quickly after he Revenges back into your deck:

sleepless argenport.PNG

1 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
3 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
2 Cat Burglar (Set2 #148)
4 Copperhall Bailiff (Set1001 #5)
3 Privilege of Rank (Set1 #157)
4 Slay (Set2 #236)
4 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
4 Steward of the Past (Set1 #287)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
4 Inquisitor Makto (Set2 #242)
3 Throne Warden (Set1 #514)
4 Sleepless Night (Set2 #170)
2 Sword of the Sky King (Set1 #186)
8 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
5 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Argenport Banner (Set2 #231)
4 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

Here’s a slightly older video showing the deck in action.

Perhaps this isn’t even the right shell – something more akin to Stokescar is where Sleepless Nights belongs. Either way, this much potential card draw at such a low deck building cost (you just have to be willing to play a longer game and capable of hitting 8 power) in non-Elysian factions has to have a home somewhere.

Justice-based Control

Copperhall_Bailiff        Auric_Runehammer       throne warden

Speaking of the Justice control shell, I think this package as a whole, and especially Copperhall Bailiff, is underappreciated. Bailiff into Auric Runehammer into Throne Warden doesn’t even need a 2 drop to shut down anything aggressive HARD.

I’ve used this shell to great effect in the above deck and in Mono Justice Control (AKA Giant Metal Dongers) to enable just about any late game package. Maybe this is the key to the elusive Big Rakano deck with Jekk and Icaria! All it takes is a heavy commitment to getting JJ influence early.

I mentioned a Sir Rhino special earlier (Stokescar), but there’s one card he insist is extremely powerful despite seeing no play:

Pearlescent Drake


Just look at this card – it’s got such big numbers! A lot of the complaints you hear from newer players about Sandstorm Titan could be applied to Pearly D. To paraphrase a reddit comment with my own find & replace:

“She’s punishing for new players as she’s hard to deal with, especially for Time decks who rely on Killer/Darude to deal with big Flying units and Reckless is the icing on the bullshit cake. Only Shadow can really remove it easily, every other faction needs a specific card (Permafrost, Vanquish, Deadly Wasp, Polymorph) to trade 1 for 1 and if you don’t have the answer have fun trading 2+ units.

On top of that she’s legendary so if you want to play a Primal deck as a new player, good luck. It’s kind of a ‘you must be this tall to ride the roller coaster’ sign at a theme park, except the requirement is so high there’s no kids allowed.”

Now, I don’t think Pearlescent Drake (or Sandstorm Titan) are actually overpowered, but there’s no denying that a 6/7 Flyer for 5 is powerful. Sir Rhino’s latest list:

Pearlescent Hooru

3 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
4 Protect (Set1 #132)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Eager Owlet (Set1 #144)
4 Kothon, the Far-Watcher (Set2 #218)
4 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
2 Whispering Wind (Set1 #202)
4 Aerialist Trainer (Set2 #219)
2 Copperhall Bailiff (Set1001 #5)
4 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
3 Hammer of Might (Set1 #170)
4 Shelterwing Rider (Set2 #223)
4 Pearlescent Drake (Set2 #127)
6 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
2 Cobalt Monument (Set1 #418)
4 Hooru Banner (Set2 #216)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

I haven’t played this deck as much as the others in my article, but I can confirm that it is powerful and close to breaking into top-tier play. It has a hard-to-interact-with flying clock, removal for the main threats you’ll face, and solid blockers against Oni Ronin decks in Kothon, Aerialist Trainer, and Copperhall Bailiff (there that card is again!).

Whispering Wind is a perennially-underrated card that does an excellent job of keeping the gas flowing in for low-curve decks. Shelterwing Rider is another underplayed, brutal threat. A 5/4 Flying for 4 is great, and if it gets ‘removed,’ a simple Protect can get it up and attacking again. And speaking of underplayed, brutal threats:



Just kidding; everyone knows this card is great.

So what do you think has some untapped potential? What cards or combinations have you had success with that no one else seems to appreciate?

Until next time, may you always draw Copperhall Baliiff against aggro.



  1. I’ve always said that the best Means deck is one that doesn’t play Means lol. Though I did just build a 4 color version that is winning 50% at masters. Not T1 or T2, but not bad either.

  2. Finding “hidden gems” is basically what I do. Experimenting is far more fun for me than grinding out rank, which honestly leaves me feeling like I wasted my time by cheating myself out of fun. I’ve found many that most players will not see because they keep repeating the same decks over and over. There is very few creative deckbuilders in this game atm. In all CCGs in general due to the ease of netdecking.

    So that’s why I like your ideas/thoughts Lightsout. The rest of the usual threads like this are basically repeating the same thing over and over but don’t realize it.

    Know what style of deck I’ve been shocked to almost never see? Overwhelm. I’ve run several and I always get players after the match befriending me to get the deck specs.

    Overwhelm decks are basically fire, Primal and Time and all versions of it work except mono and Skycrag. Shepherd’s Horn/Dawnwalkers alone can frustrate anyone. The hardest part for me making these decks is deciding which ones, as, almost any combination works. The Horn and it’s lowering of the cost of these units is flat amazing even with only one in play. Let’s also throw Obliterate into the mix and Flamestoker/Horn usually causes a rage quit. The reason I believe nobody is using it? No Harsh Rule…that’s it.

    Let’s take 2 Dawnwalkers in the GY and 2 Shepherd’s Horns in play. You throw out a Shatterglass Mage(another awesome unit going ignored), break up a chalice or obelisk or Azindel’s Gift or Crown and earn 18hp as the 2 Dawnwalkers come back into play. I’ve even pulled it off with 3 of each for 36hp gain. I can’t recall it’s name but even the Time 7/5 overwhelm works with all this. You can also easily make overwhelm decks and have nothing over 5 power cost. I won’t even describe how good False prince and Cirso works with this….

    That’s just an example. I’ve dozens of hidden gems. Ask me about them in game if you want me to expound on them. I’m Shadowcran+4689

  3. Mono Time is great against aggro and can out-value spell-based control, but as you said has difficulty dealing with units with abilities (even flying can be an issue for it). I do think Mono Time is one of the best Gauntlet decks if your goal is 7 wins, as it is super consistent and relatively fast.

  4. I’ve played some Means to and End decks, and in the end I thought the primal ones were a worse version of Scream Reanimator and the Stonescar ones were too clunky, but those should certainly both be revisited when we get new health gain cards.

  5. It’s not exactly an unknown deck, but I’ve had a surprising amount of low level ladder success with Mono Time with Sand Warrior. The deck has basically no removal, but it packs a surprising amount of other stuff. You always ramp properly, but you only need to keep a few power because you have three different ways of drawing it. Against aggro decks, you have enough stuff to play early to keep them honest and as long as you can get Sandstorm Titan/Rinarcs/Twinbrood Sauropod out before you’re in burn range, you win. Control decks are a little bit harder because you have so little removal, but with a good hand you can sometimes go faster than a slow deck, and you can also outvalue them later by continuously playing big bodies like Sauropod that they have to answer until they run out of removal, plus you have Dawnwalker for recovery. It’s consistent while still having some powerful combos, like Sauropod Wrangler into Sandstorm Titan and Sand Warrior on turn 3.

  6. I feel like the only thing keeping means to an end from playing at a higher level is the fact that reanimator decks are weak. It is a great void filler with an optional alternate win con… but stewy… I built one that had a win rate of 66% in gold 1. I dropped it to rush to masters. Maybe I need to pick it back up again?

  7. One deck that i keep trying to get to work to varying degrees of success is a mask of torment deck. I feel like one of the biggest issues with the card is summoning the tormentor just isn’t good enough.

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