Lights Out – Soulfire Drake Is The Best

There is one constant of Eternal’s ranked ladder, and that is that Oni Ronin will always find a way. With the popularity of decks packed full of slow removal (Slay, Vanquish, Harsh Rule, relic weapons), you want to accompany your Oni Ronin with some Charge units. And there’s one Charge unit who rises above them all (literally, with Flying):

Soulfire_Drake.png

Not only is Soulfire Drake a large, evasive Charger, he also gives your OTHER units Charge (half of the time). Drake’s natural predators are Desert Marshall and Sandstorm Titan, but with the metagame of Argenport midrange and removal pile forcing Time decks out, Soulfire is free to run wild. I’ve been all about the Soulfire Drake recently, so I’ll take you through  few of my lists.

Charge Rakano
rakano charge.PNG

3 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Steady Marshal (Set3 #105)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Glory (Set1 #314)
4 Crownwatch Paladin (Set1 #139)
4 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
4 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
1 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
4 Unseen Commando (Set3 #122)
4 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Whirling Duo (Set3 #254)
4 Soulfire Drake (Set1 #47)
8 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)

Rakano is my pick for the best ladder deck right now, and it is succeeding even with people gunning for it. The combination of Whirling Duo and Unseen Commando squashes other aggro decks, and almost every unit in Rakano gets buffed by Commando, to boot. Charge is an insane skill to get Warcry buffs on, as well, as I’m sure any aggro player can attest.

Another thing Rakano has going for it is how adaptive it can be. There’s a surprising amount of room to adjust to the meta. I’ve cut Oni Ronin completely and played more Swords of Icaria and Auric Runehammers to fight removal pile, I’ve cut Crownwatch Paladin for more Finest Hours and Protects when small units are prevalent, and I’ve added Cinder Yeti to deal with blocker-based decks. Unearthly has even gone so far as to create a version I like to think of as “lol nice Sabotage” in 40-unit Rakano:

3 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Steady Marshal (Set3 #105)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Glory (Set1 #314)
4 Crownwatch Paladin (Set1 #139)
4 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
3 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Cinder Yeti (Set1002 #1)
4 Unseen Commando (Set3 #122)
4 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Whirling Duo (Set3 #254)
4 Soulfire Drake (Set1 #47)
7 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
6 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

Rakano is focused, deep, resilient, and extremely powerful. If your only goal is to win on ladder, I think some variant of Rakano aggro is where you want to be. It plays a ton of powerful, cheap cards and has a proactive gameplan, so it rarely fails to function.

Rakano may have a better matchup against aggro and decks that are weak to Vanquish, but Stonescar is still as strong as ever, and has some new anti-aggro of its own in Vicious Highwayman.

Stonescar Gunslingers

gunslongers.PNG

1 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Argenport Instigator (Set1 #268)
4 Hideout Pistol (Set3 #215)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
4 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
3 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
1 Ashara, Ruthless Assassin (Set3 #220)
4 Cabal Countess (Set1 #506)
4 Champion of Chaos (Set1 #402)
4 Bandit Queen (Set1 #389)
4 Vicious Highwayman (Set3 #275)
1 Jekk, Hunted Fugitive (Set3 #36)
4 Soulfire Drake (Set1 #47)
5 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
4 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Crest of Chaos (Set3 #268)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Stonescar Banner (Set1 #419)
4 Common Cause (Set3 #279)

I started with Elunex’s list, and quickly discovered that Jekk was clunky and slow in a world full of Annihilates and Vanquishes. You need a certain density of Gunslingers for Common Cause (somehow Champion of Chaos is not a Gunslinger despite having both a gun and a sling), so there is still one Jekk and an Ashara, Ruthless Assassin filling the quota. Common Cause does an excellent job of making sure your Champions of Chaos are turned on on time and you can afford to play Cabal Countess and Soulfire Drake – it is definitely worth playing, and you don’t even have to sacrifice card quality to do so.

The main allure of Stonescar is that you have basically infinite Charge units – full sets of Bandit Queen, Vicious Highwayman, and Soulfire Drake, plus Cabal Countess as another pseudo-Charger that dodges Harsh Rule and other slow removal. If your opponent is relying and removal instead of blockers, they are not going to have a good time against Gunslingers. Removal pile decks like the one Camat0 won the ETS with are a joke for Gunslingers.

This is the month where I’m finally learning how to play aggro, and Soulfire Drake is the main reason why. I love that adorable little rapscallion, and if you give him a chance, I think you will, too.

Until next time, happy Charging!

LightsOutAce