Hot Takes For Filthy Net Deckers III

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Credit to LocoPojo

We got hit yesterday by a pretty important set of patch notes. Lots of stuff going on here, most of which is exciting! We are not yet certain when the patch will hit, but I thought I would cook up another quick edition of my “Hot Takes…” series to give you some retooled deck lists built to take the balance changes into consideration. If you want to get a more thoughtful conversation about what I think of all the card changes I should have a podcast episode dropping soon!

As a disclaimer, these decks I’m going to share are 100% untested, and are totally a result of theory-crafting, so if they don’t quite work the way you want don’t be afraid to change them! There is no way I will cover every deck possible, so if you had ideas of something you think gets a boost from this upcoming patch, share it in the Reddit thread! Since I know you came here for deckslists and not small talk or “disclaimers” let’s cut to the chase!

Argenport Midrange

argenport

1 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
1 Protect (Set1 #132)
1 Sabotage (Set1 #252)
2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Argenport Instigator (Set1 #268)
2 Talon of Nostrix (Set2 #74)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Auric Interrogator (Set1002 #13)
2 Bloodletter (Set2 #235)
4 Copperhall Bailiff (Set1001 #5)
4 Slay (Set2 #236)
4 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
4 Impending Doom (Set1 #286)
2 Lethrai Falchion (Set1 #285)
4 Tavrod, Auric Broker (Set1002 #18)
6 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
2 Emerald Monument (Set1 #422)
6 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Argenport Banner (Set2 #231)
4 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

Although Bart might find a home somewhere, I would start off by keeping him on the sidelines for now. One of the most important roles Bart played in old Argenport decks was anti-aggro quarterback. You basically need to saddle him up with lifesteal weapons, climb on his back, close your eyes, and hope that he would carry you to the finish line. Now you no longer have that luxury, since 4 is just way to slow to get started on a plan like this. This is why I have replaced Bart with defensive cards like Talon of Nostrix and Copperhall Bailiff. The weapons package has also been noticeable shaved since the star weapons user has been kicked off the team.

Xenan Killers

Killers

2 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
1 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
1 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Argenport Instigator (Set1 #268)
4 Blistersting Wasp (Set2 #202)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Xenan Initiation (Set2 #44)
4 Auric Interrogator (Set1002 #13)
4 Ayan, the Abductor (Set2 #204)
4 Banish (Set2 #207)
4 Dawnwalker (Set1 #86)
3 Vara’s Choice (Set2 #206)
2 Deathstrike (Set1 #290)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
2 Xenan Obelisk (Set1 #103)
2 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)
4 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Amber Monument (Set1 #420)
6 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Mystery (Set0 #61)
4 Xenan Banner (Set2 #201)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

This is very clearly just a slight tweak from LightOutAce’s ETS winning deck. I made space for 3 Vara’s Choice by shaving 2 Deathstrikes and 1 Predatory Carnasaur. I am personally inclined to start with 3 Choice given that drawing 2 in the early game can be a bit of a drag. I am certainly excited about this card though. Killers is a tempo oriented deck, so Vara’s Choice is a great addition! If you like the safety of Deathstrike, you could also cut a couple Blistersting Wasps instead.

Lifeforce

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 12.48.13 AM

2 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
3 Sanctuary Priest (Set1 #73)
3 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
1 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Oasis Seeker (Set2 #41)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
3 Xenan Initiation (Set2 #44)
4 Ayan, the Abductor (Set2 #204)
4 Banish (Set2 #207)
2 Vara’s Choice (Set2 #206)
2 Deathstrike (Set1 #290)
4 Devoted Theurge (Set1002 #6)
4 Katra, the Devoted (Set2 #208)
4 Beckoning Lumen (Set2 #59)
2 Slimespitter Slug (Set2 #167)
8 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
5 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Mystery (Set0 #61)
4 Xenan Banner (Set2 #201)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

This is my initial take on a revamped Lifeforce deck. I have not decided what I think of Becky yet to be totally honest. Getting hit by Torch is such a big deal. Then again, a lot of the cards in this deck get hit by Torch, so it might not be quite as big of a deal. I did not max out on Vara’s Choice in this list since Lifeforce is an inherently synergistic deck (you need a critical mass of synergy cards, and you don’t want to dilute that with removal). This list doesn’t play Dawnwalkers or Cult Initiates, though they are worth testing and considering. Certainly a deck I am looking forward to trying though!

Hooru Skies

Skies

1 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
1 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
2 Protect (Set1 #132)
1 Backlash (Set1 #200)
1 Bring Down (Set2 #217)
4 Cloudsnake Saddle (Set1 #199)
4 Eager Owlet (Set1 #144)
4 Kothon, the Far-Watcher (Set2 #218)
3 Paladin Oathbook (Set1 #140)
4 Tinker Overseer (Set1 #138)
4 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
3 Whispering Wind (Set1 #202)
2 Aerialist Trainer (Set2 #219)
1 Eilyn’s Choice (Set2 #220)
4 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
3 Hammer of Might (Set1 #170)
4 Shelterwing Rider (Set2 #223)
1 Crystallize (Set1 #232)
1 Pearlescent Drake (Set2 #127)
7 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Cobalt Monument (Set1 #418)
4 Hooru Banner (Set2 #216)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

I think the buff to Shelterwing Rider is a big deal. The card can be really annoying for some decks to handle. As you can see with this list there are a lot of 1-ofs. That is partly a function of having no idea which interaction is best right now, and also a result of having Whispering Wind in the deck. It is easy for me to imagine a few different directions to take this deck, but this feels like it is playing the most good cards. I should specifically note that this deck played 4 Cobalt Monuments. That might be an ambitious take, but I love the card, so I made room.

Mentor Midrange

Mentor

1 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
1 Protect (Set1 #132)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
2 Dragonbreath (Set2 #108)
4 Kothon, the Far-Watcher (Set2 #218)
4 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Whispering Wind (Set1 #202)
4 Aerialist Trainer (Set2 #219)
2 Eilyn’s Choice (Set2 #220)
4 Spellshield Architect (Set2 #221)
4 Spirit Guide (Set2 #83)
4 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Shelterwing Rider (Set2 #223)
4 Watcher of the Big Ones (Set2 #130)
2 Nostrix, Lord of Visions (Set2 #229)
1 Leave a Witness (Set2 #100)
8 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
8 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
2 Cobalt Monument (Set1 #418)
4 Hooru Banner (Set2 #216)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)

This deck is going to be really hard to build properly in my opinion. Nostrix’s ability has gone from “nice bonus” to “big deal”. Before if you drew a Nostrix buffed unit in the late game it rarely made a difference. Now drawing anything with a Nostrix bonus and it is suddenly a monster. One of the challenges in building something like this is being heavily incentivized to playing virtually all 4-ofs in your Nostrix deck, since hitting the buff is so valuable. This deck does go in the direction of using Watcher of the Big Ones, and although I am sceptical of him from my time playing a similar deck, he is worth another shot now I suppose. If that doesn’t work out for you feel free to cut him for either Torgov or Wisdom of the Elders.

Praxis Midrange

Praxis

4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
2 Friendly Wisp (Set1 #82)
4 Power Stone (Set1002 #4)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
4 Xenan Initiation (Set2 #44)
4 Dawnwalker (Set1 #86)
4 Purify (Set2 #176)
4 Crimson Firemaw (Set1002 #3)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
4 Obliterate (Set1 #48)
2 Shatterglass Mage (Set2 #181)
4 Heart of the Vault (Set2 #183)
2 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)
7 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
7 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
3 Amber Monument (Set1 #420)
4 Praxis Banner (Set2 #171)
4 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)

This deck made some modest gains after Tale of Horus Traver off the back of Crimson Firemaw, but got dunked by Argenport decks, so it has receded from the meta. The buff to Purify seems like a great addition for a deck known for its clunky early game. Obviously having Purify at slow speed stinks, but Praxis isn’t exactly known for its interaction on the stack, so it is not a huge cost.

Moment Tokens

Moment

4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Find the Way (Set1 #513)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
4 Assembly Line (Set1 #29)
4 Purify (Set2 #176)
2 Secret Pages (Set1 #81)
4 Ancient Lore (Set1 #105)
4 Xenan Obelisk (Set1 #103)
4 Humbug Swarm (Set2 #60)
4 Obliterate (Set1 #48)
4 Moment of Creation (Set2 #185)
8 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
9 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Praxis Banner (Set2 #171)
4 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)

LocoPojo keeps telling me that Moment of Creation is good, and I keep on not believing him. I would hazard a guess that the change of 8 to 7 is not going to change my mind, but I thought I would give an honest attempt at the deck. Purify moving to 2FT is a much bigger change for the deck than Moment of Creation in my opinion. This particular build takes on a “big tokens” posture, although it is possible that an FTP Moment/Cradle build might be better. This list was really focused on just maximizing spells and playing as few units as possible, but it might be worth fitting in 4 Heart of the Vault because it is just so damn good. I would probably go -2 Secret Pages, -2 Ancient Lore to make room.

FTJ Armory

Armory

4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
2 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
4 Power Stone (Set1002 #4)
4 Rakano Artisan (Set1 #312)
4 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
2 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
2 Knight-Chancellor Siraf (Set1 #335)
2 Purify (Set2 #176)
2 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
3 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
2 Reforge (Set2 #23)
3 Rise to the Challenge (Set1 #320)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
1 Marshal Ironthorn (Set1 #174)
1 Shatterglass Mage (Set2 #181)
2 Heart of the Vault (Set2 #183)
1 Jekk, the Bounty Hunter (Set1001 #11)
1 Mystic Ascendant (Set1 #116)
1 Starsteel Daisho (Set1 #328)
1 Icaria, the Liberator (Set1 #329)
3 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
3 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
1 Praxis Banner (Set2 #171)
4 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)
1 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
1 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)

Decks like this have circulated since closed beta. Though some players swear by them, I generally think they are merely “fine”, and suffer from being an unfocused mutt of Combrei and Armory. The change to Purify might be a nice addition to a deck that already experiences a glut at 3, but was never under the impression that a deck which had access to Desert Marshall was struggling from lack of silence. I have packed 4 Powerstones into the deck, which could very easily be wrong, but at least gives the deck a kick start. What I do know is that the individual card quality in this deck is very high. Maybe that is good enough? The 1-of package of units is perhaps overly broad, and should be tuned to suit what you are seeing on the ladder/what you find the deck can actually support.


For the record, there are a lot of decks that don’t need to change anything to be totally serviceable. Decks like Feln control or Armory could probably get away with changing 0 cards from last week. Still, I wanted to get this out there so all of you could have an edge when the patch hits! Hope these takes are hot enough for you filthy net deckers! Love’m? Hate’m? Got something else spicy? Hit up the Reddit thread and share your thoughts!

Love,

Neon