One Thousand – aReNGee’s Top 5s

We’re approaching the two year anniversary of RNGEternal, and in honor of reaching 1000 Twitter followers I wanted to do something special. Maybe not a lot of followers by Twitter standards, but its a lot for me – that’s a sixth of the followers of Eternal Card Game itself. I decided to do a bunch of Top 5s from all kinds of different topics, including lots of reader suggestions. I’d also liked to have top some of Neon’s word counts, although that’s an ambitious hill to climb (and I didn’t). If you’re into this sort of thing, I suggest you also check out LightsOutAce’s version – I’ll be stealing a few of his questions. I’ve additionally separated all the Top 5s into Eternal related and Quote related, so if you don’t care about a section feel free to skip it. No need for more preamble – lets get to it!

Eternal Related Top 5s

Top 5 Favorite decks to play

From time to time I actually do enjoy playing Eternal, and these were my all time favorite decks over the last two years to play. It’s both amusing and unsurprising that the majority of these decks have been changed enough that they are physically unplayable nowadays, and no longer function, but boy were they fun in their heyday.

1. Unstable Scream

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Unfortunately, I don’t have a video or deck list for this deck, although VSarius steps in and covers later versions in his Feln history article. Basically, this was a Haunting Scream deck – Levitates, Fanatics, and Beastcallers. Nothing too exceptional there. But thanks to a bug and an aggressive costing, it became so much more. This deck dates back all the way to patch 1.7 – the first or second patch of Closed Beta. Firstly, the bug – Unstable Form overwrote everything about a unit when it transformed it, including Haunting Scream’s “die at end of turn” clause and Madness’ “give back at end of turn” clause. This meant that you could turn your Screamed or Stolen units into permanent value. Secondly, Madness only cost 2 power. Sandstorm Titan may have looked like a heck of a 4 drop, but when you could spend 3 power to remove it, hit them, and end up with a 5 drop… Titan doesn’t look as good. Scream has always been a fun archetype to play, and this turbocharged version was no exception. Since it was closed beta, not everyone was in on the trick, and watching people try to play units into 2 cost Madness was fun. For me.

2. Party Hour

Echoscavate was slow. THIS was a combo deck, and every single piece has since received nerfs. Currently, Champion of Cunning is pretty good – large Aegis Flyer that pumps your team. Previously, it was better – try +2/+2, Flying, and CHARGE to every unit you control. This combined with a cheap Witching Hour for a quick two card 30 damage combo out of your hand. At last count, players started with 25 health, so yeah, lethal out of hand sounds good. This deck was nuts to play – the just-released Scouting Party reduced the cost of Witching Hour by five, and forced the opponent to play a sweeper or you’d just kill them with yetis plus Champion. Witching Hour reduced its cost on power, too, which meant that it was VERY common to have a 0 cost Witching hour by turn 7, or even turn 6.

This deck lasted about two weeks before they punched Witching Hour in the face, but it has a special place in my heart for justifying Feln Stranger’s serious constructed debut. At present, five cards played in that deck have received nerfs, been reworked, or removed entirely (six if you count Deathstrike moving from 4S to 4SS) – Levitate, Push Onwards, Champion of Cunning, The Witching Hour, and Scouting Party.

VSarius once again covers the deck in his Feln History article, and I have my own writeup and video playlist if you’re interested in seeing how it played out.

3. Skycrag Nonsense

Unlike every other deck on this list, this wasn’t a serious, top tier deck at any point. It wasn’t even a meta deck. This deck was just a pile of Skycrag cards I played for 2 weeks in May 2017 during my Masters climb that month. On stream, as it happened, and damn was it fun. The whole deck was built around enabling Scouting Party – Wump and Gunsmith as activators and Herald for the double Party turns. The deck wasn’t actually very good, but I had a lot of fun playing it and ended up popularizing it enough to need to face the mirror in my masters win-and-in.

Credit goes to LocoPojo for the Alpine Trackers, he did the legwork with a variety of other bad decks to find out that they weren’t terrible and the deck was named in his honor. If you want to see some low quality clips of this deck doing things, watch this video at your own risk.

4. Armory

I miss you
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I’ve played this deck and written about it more than any other, and I love it the most. It played a game you couldn’t duplicate in ANY other game, due to the unique nature of armor and weapons in Eternal. This is another deck that’s received a whole host of nerfs – Smuggler’s Stash and Charchain Flail, in addition to personal attacks on Inspire and Rakano Artisan. Players will remember modernized versions of the deck playing cards like Quarry and Throne Warden and Statuary Maiden. That’s not real Armory to me. Real Armory means playing Rolant’s Favor to enable Armorsmith in order to play a 3/6 Sword of Icaria on turn 3. In my day, influence was hard to come by, and Icaria was difficult to cast. Playing shadow influence to enable Smuggler’s Stash was actually hard to come by. It was the little combos that made it fun for me – I played Navani in it for gods sake. The deck was improved and tuned, but I was sculpted as an Eternal player in an era when a turn 2 Rakano Artisan into turn 3 Sword of Icaria with Armorsmith was considered a good curve.

Unfortunately, what I would considered to be my best articles on Armory were lost to time when the Eternal Forum shut down, but this later article covers all of the basic’s and you can see where it all started at number one of Neon’s top 10 decklists article. If for some reason you wanted to see me play Armory, this video predates the article by a couple of months.

5. Echoscavate

RememberWhen
That’s what Trailblazer used to look like.

We once again dive back into the days of Closed Beta, but fortunately a much better documented part of it. From original conception to deck tech and article, we have it all. The combo is explained in detail in the article, but in short giving the card Excavate echo allowed you to never run out of copies, turning your Void into an extra hand that you could tutor for with Excavate copies. This gave TJP control decks an unbeatable end game once set up, since you would never deck and couldn’t run out of threats. Now you may ask: why was this fun? I’m not historically the kind of player that would be excited by this kind of lock, and I wasn’t here either. But once you set up the loop, you got to do all kinds of dumb things. If you added card draw to the mix, you could do a lot of Excavate loops in one turn, and tossing in cost reduction just let you go nuts. My personal favorite was getting Dragon’s Eye in there and filling your hand with nonsense. Plus, who doesn’t love slowly killing an opponent through chump blockers with a 8/68 Sword of the Sky King?

Excavate is now Voidbound, and was in fact the first card to be Voidbound. It wasn’t because of this deck, however. Someone else saw this idea and though it would be a great idea to add Copperhall Blessing and no win conditions. They would go invulnerable every turn and wait for the opponent to deck out. Reddit was not pleased at being “held hostage” in 60 minute games, and this ticked the deck over into unfun territory. You could just concede to the lock, but nobody did that.

Top 5 Player Portraits

We sort of covered this in The Definitive Guide to Emotes, but I’m going to roll down my favorite Hero portraits to use. Using a non-premium Hero portrait is technically an option, but is extremely uncommon in the modern high stakes portrait metagame.

1. Icaria

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I didn’t come here to not rep my favorite characters. The wings are super cool and the portrait is fantastic. Icaria power creep is real.

2. Icaria again

icaria

She may be old news and commonplace now, but when she came out the impact was HUGE. She was one of only two portraits to have board impact and when those wings popped for the first time… I prefer the gentler version of Icaria nowadays, but the original version still packs a hell of a punch.

3. Ashara

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Yeah, its the newest portrait, but longtime veterans will remember that I used Ashara as my portrait before Icaria came out (and before that, I used the lady from Ancient Lore) so I’ve been a longtime fan. Her board impact isn’t very strong, but you gotta respect those chiseled abs and that unbeatable emote.

4. Wait, Wyatt?

wyatt

I don’t actually own this portrait, but I always enjoy seeing it on the other side of the table. Some crazy old man hanging out with a gun… approach at own risk. Once I hit thirty I’ll start using him.

5. Lady Rider

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I used this one for a long time, too. Pale Rider avatars are pretty uncommon so you stand out from the pack, and this is the coolest of the four.

Honorable Mention: Molot and Nakova

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Can we please retcon these to have some kind of extra? Every other portrait has at least some nonsense surrounding the portrait, Molot and Nakova have nothing. Which is a shame, because the actual portrait is super cool and breathes fire! Some board impact is all they’re missing to be top tier.

Top 5 Cardbacks

The cardback metagame is much more constrained than the portrait metagame, especially because most of the cardbacks frankly aren’t that exciting. I’ll run down the five choices I like the most.

1. Fall of Argenport

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This is my favourite cardback and one of the two I actually use. It’s got some stuff going on so its worth looking at, but not enough that it gets distracting or stops looking like a cardback. Importantly, it also doesn’t look dumb in the actual hand.

2. Wolfsbane

Wolfsbane

Don’t ask me about the visual effects around the above card I dunno. I’d like to use this cardback, but I have as yet been unsuccessful in even running into a DWD cardback, let alone beating them. People who have it generally use it to show it off.

3. Doorbot

DoorbotCardback_Gif

Now, I don’t actually like this cardback personally, but many people do. For my tastes, this doesn’t look anything like a cardback at all and its also super distracting. But such is the digital medium that it doesn’t really matter wh the cardback looks like logistically. If you love Doorbot, this is your cardback.

4. A Search for Answers

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Low key but clearly unique. Good for players that aren’t trying to draw attention to their cardback.

5. Spoils of War

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We’ve actually now passed the cardbacks I actually like. This one is just okay, you can combo it with Wyatt for moderate effect. If that’s your thing, go for it.

Dishonorable Mention: Enemies at the Gate

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This cardback looks awful, especially in hand when it gets cut off. I don’t recommend it.

Top 5 Players aReNGee Respects

There are a lot of great Eternal players out there. However, there are players that for one reason or another have earned my respect above and beyond just being a good player. They’re essentially my Eternal heros, the players I look up to and wish I was. Please note the honorable mention is here for a different reason.

1. finkel

finkelsdoneitagain
This was originally a picture of finkel in second, but on a whim I pm’d him and asked him to get Rank 1 for a screenshot. Sorry, SkeeJay.

No, not Jon Finkel. Eternal finkel! Everyone on this list is known for their ladder dominance, and finkel is no exception. He took back to back rank 1 finishes in September and October 2016, and has remained a top ten ladder player all the way to the present day. However, it’s not really his play that makes me look up to finkel, its his ability to be three steps ahead of the metagame. He was featured in Neon’s Top 10 Influential Decks article twice, for his groundbreaking work on Shimmerpack and his namesake Finkel 4F. He was also responsible for the development of Flight School, the first deck to abuse Diving Rod (then called Instructor’s Baton, hence the name). Finkel’s lists have always been a little weird (he’s a deckbuilder, not a tuner) but he’s been an invaluable resource for me in finding out what the metagame will soon look like. Where finkel goes, success follows.

finkel has recently gotten back into writing Eternal articles, and you should definitely check him out.

2. Sunyveil

Sunyveil is a bit of an oddity on this list. On the one hand, he’s the player I know the least about and haven’t interacted with very much. On the other hand, he’s the only player that’s made me go “Holy shit” multiple times while watching him play. When Suny is on, he’s flying, and I’ve never seen a better pilot. I should probably also mention he’s a Pro Tour level MTG player, something I’m sure many of us have aspired to at one time or another. Sunyveil represents the pinnacle of Eternal gameplay to me, and I’m extremely excited that he’s started streaming regularly. Well worth checking out!

3. Unearthly

To discuss Unearthly, I must take refuge in the realm of metaphor. Unearthly is basically the greatest Samurai in the world, who then lived long enough to see swords fall out of style and be replaced with guns and tanks and planes. As with all great samurais, he fought on with his blade in this hostile world and won a disturbing percentage of the time. Rakano is that blade, and with it in hand Unearthly was unstoppable. NO ONE has won more tournaments that him, and his tournament success in 2017. Unearthly to me represents uncompromising mastery over a deck that is able to fight through all obstacles. He’s basically an anime protagonist. Unfortunately, time and adversity beat Unearthly down, and when his blade rusted through from neglect Unearthly hung up his swords.

4. Sarius

In contrast to the rest of this list, Sarius is a wanderer. He joins up for a new expansion, plays for six weeks, then moves on. This is a pattern that has been repeated time and again. The thing in, for those six weeks, Sarius is one of if not the best players in the game. His piloting is top tier and his game sense is one of the best I’ve ever seen. He’s also able to actually articulate himself, and has written some of the best received content on RNGEternal. If he actually dedicated himself to Eternal, he’d be higher up.

5. camat0

It’s a little hard to put camat0 on this list since I know him so well that its hard to respect him, but his accomplishments alone prove he really does deserve it. On ladder, he’s frequently rank 1 and has been top tier for as long as leaderboards have been around. In tournaments, he’s literally a World Champion and the most successful player ever (at the ETS level). In addition, camat0 has never compromised his ideals – he builds all his own decks and plays them, no matter how bad they may be. And he’s had a few stinkers over the years, but also some big hits – his World Champion winning Removal Pile deck was meta defining and he’s showing the same spark with his Charge Rod builds nowadays. He’s also one of the most mentally stable players I know – when the rest of this list tilts, they really tilt. Camat0 is able to laugh through anything – misplays, bad luck, or hostile chatters. He’s also got the attitude of a champion – always owns up to his mistakes and he’s the greatest critic of his own play. With a great attitude and success after success, camat0 squeaks onto the list in last place.

Follow him on Twitter for bad decks and memes.

Honorable Mention: Angrychicken

Angrychicken may have only had one trick, but it was a damn good one. THE player during 2017 Season Three, he swept the Season Three Invitational with a Combrei list that would go on to be known as the Chicken 75 and one of the defining decks of competitive play for the next season. A student, Angrychicken didn’t have much time to play in the next couple seasons, but he came back for a Worlds showing that put him just outside of Top 8. His game sense and insight was also notable – he had some really interesting lines, like cutting Harsh Rule postboard because people played around it anyways, and holding Xenan Obelisk to 8 power to surprise people with an alpha strike. He’s a player I’d like to watch play and interact with more in the future.

Top 5 Decks aReNGee claims to have invented

This is a highly contentious section, not least because the very idea of “inventing” a deck is pretty ephemeral. Someone has the idea for a combo deck based around card A and card B – they can’t get it to work, but someone else sees it and makes it work. Who’s the inventor, the one with the original idea or the one who made the functional deck? What if it gets a much better rebuild and that becomes the “stock” deck? Finally, what if someone makes a deck that’s e.g. 4 factions. Are they the “original creator” of all future decks in those factions? Add this up to the difficulty of proving to be “first” and the fact that players often develop things independently of each other and its a mess. In this particular case, I’m going to put up decks I built myself and as far as I know, the first to write an article about. I certainly believe that I coined the names that stuck to these decks. All of them will stretch back to Closed Beta, because the player base was a lot smaller, iteration was a lot slower, and aReNGee played a lot more Eternal.

1. Camelless Control

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Truedawn’s Camelless Control Build

I’ve told this story before, actually every time I get the chance, because its my worst name. The deck and its article are lost in the Eternal Forum shutdown, but it was briefly mentioned in Neon’s Top Ten Decks article. The list above is an accurate representation of what the deck looked like, but was not actually my build – a player named Truedawn developed it independently during the same time frame. Essentially, Madness (the card) was running rampant on ladder during this time, and both Truedawn and I found the best way to counter these decks was to cut units altogether, leaving the opponent with plenty of dead cards stranded in hand.

The name shows my own peculiar humor when it comes to deck names. Patrick Chapin built a deck called Next Level Blue, which added a handful of new cards to a Mono-Blue deck. Later, players took out some of those cards and coined the deck name Previous Level Blue, which I found hilarious. Moving back to Eternal, the first big control deck was a deck called Camel Control (which was of course TJP) that used Amaran Camel to gain life while drawing cards before winning the game with Channel the Tempest. Once decks refined themselves just a little, the build was unplayable and I was famously (so I claim) bet that I couldn’t win 2 games out of ten. I couldn’t, so I did what I could to make it so I could win two games. The name was a nod to the former Camel Control that had just been replaced. The deck was still horrible and would remain so until the Echoscavate technology was discovered, and players universally hated the name, so it didn’t really work out that well long term.

2. Icaria Blue

Yeah, I’m responsible for starting this deck name trend and all horrible derivatives including nonsense like Icaria Gold and Icaria Black. There was previously a 4F Armory deck that played FJPS, and I was looking for a way to play Armory that included Primal. I ended up having to cut the entire “Armory package” to make room for all the blue cards, and ended up building a control deck that stalled until it played Icaria. I didn’t actually like the deck very much, so I didn’t write an article about it, but I thought the design process was interesting so I made a video about it as proof of concept and some gameplay videos. It ended up becoming the pet deck of a number of people who ended up on RNGEternal over the years, so that was kind of cool, but once again people hated the name. Unlucky.

3. Traditional Armory

Once again we’re at the mercy of the Eternal Forum shutdown – I wrote all my articles on Armory (5+) on that site and they never made the move to this one. All I have about Armory from that time is the above video, this interview with Neon, and this later page with a decklist. Anyways, I wasn’t the first to play Armory, that proud distinction goes to ThatOneGuy as credited in Neon’s Top Ten Decks article. I was the first to really hammer it into a working list, and grow and develop it over the first couple months of the games history. It was a labor of love, and then they shot my baby over and over with nerfs and midrange power creep and released a total of Throne Warden to support the archetype in the last two years. Yes, I understand there is a FJS Removal Pile deck that is the “successor” to Armory but it sure as hell isn’t a spiritual successor and I don’t play it. Armory for me is the time when Ispire -> Artisan -> Sword of Icaria was a solid curve.

4. Party Hour

The article of this deck got eaten by, you guessed it, the Forum shutdown (RNGEternal launched October 2, 2016) but the video remains! Even in Neon’s article where he credits me with the deck, he notes that creation of this deck was a contention issue and many people developed it “as soon as they saw Scouting Party”. I do have three arguments in my favor – first, I didn’t need to wait around for four copies of Scouting Party to know the deck was WTF Broken, so my video/article pair came out first. Second, I had been actively iterating on a different Witching Hour deck the week of so I was already in that development space. Third, and most importantly, my name stuck. Some people hated this name too (notice a theme?) but overall people liked it so I’m happy we went this way. Other suggestions were junk like “Witching Party” so I think we dodged a bullet there.

5. Nothing

That’s it, actually, I didn’t develop any more decks worth mentioning. Echoscavate comes closest, but someone else came up with the combo and I just put it in the Camelless shell. I’ve made a few builds of decks that were popular for a few weeks or months, but never anything more than that. I’m frankly stretching the term “invented” just for ownership of four decks, mostly because finkel is generally credited with 3 and I’m highly competitive. Anyways, those are the four decks I think of as “mine” even if the first sucked, I didn’t like the second, the third died, and I danced on the grave of the fourth.

Top 5 articles aReNGee wrote

I wrote a LOT of different articles in my time. Here are the five that I enjoyed writing the most.

1. The Definitive Guide to Emotes

Yeah, its a bit of a cop out, but this was a huge undertaking to actually put together in addition to being 5 thousand words long. Of course, this article is more than double that length, but still. I did a mock scientific take on the incredibly nonscientific art of emotes, presumably to the amusement of all. Give it a look if you want to up your BM game!

2. You had to be there – a Closed Beta Retrospective

In my experience, nothing do card game players enjoy more than anecdotes about when the game made even less sense than it does now. This article is just a collection of those anecdotes. You know what to do.

3. One Set, One Year – A Retrospective

This was, at the time, an extremely controversial article. Hitting all the key points of an entire year of gameplay is a daunting task, and one that I thought I made a spirited attempt at. This is a fantastic read if you’re curious about the early metagame in Eternal, doubly so if you were there and you want to laugh about all the places I was wrong. Unfortunately I’m not aware of any other “Eternal Historians” so its difficult to compare notes and find out what was really happening, but this is a good starting point and hopefully an entertaining read.

4. Best of Three (but its text [again])

This may be the greatest piece of fiction I’ve ever written. The original Best of Three (but its text) introduced the format, but did incredible disservice to the characters within. This version refined the archetype and I flatter myself managed to convey information in a snappy, easy to read way that was both humorous and useful. It was a really fun challenge to imagine how the conversations may have played out, and then replace the dumb things the person would have actually said with insightful comments about the most recent tournament. I would to make more of these, but they have some of the highest time to word count ratios of any article format.

5. Corner Cases: Test your Eternal Knowledge

This article holds a special place in my heart. At the time of printing, many of the interactions required knowledge of which bugs had been patched and which bugs had not, and several answers were “patched out” within a week. I think five or six still have the correct answer – good luck finding out which!

Honorable Mention: The Building Better Series

Building Better was a series of deckbuilding articles I did to try to help players improve as deckbuilders. I don’t know how successful I was, but I do think that they’re interesting reads to help you think about deckbuilding and reveal a lot about my own process in particular. It’s also the content series I’m most proud of.

Honorable Mention: Dusk Road Top 5s

I don’t actually like this article very much. I was going to do a full set review, then Neon pushed his out in twenty eight hours and I felt like I was left holding the bag. I did this Top 5 article instead which I more or less phoned in. I don’t think it was very good, but I would be remiss to not mention it during a Top 5s article. The one I did for Omens of the Past was much better.

Honorable Mention: 2018 Season Two Viewer’s Guide

It looks super weird to have this on here, because Viewer’s Guides aren’t supposed to have any content – just the key information about the tournament. However, I did nicknames for all the players and greatly enjoyed myself even if few people read or appreciated it. Give it a look if you like – its funnier if you know the players, especially Kang’s.

Top 5 Useless Cards

There are a lot of cards in the Eternal Card Game. Here’s a selection of some that I wish weren’t.

1. Randori

Randori

The art is dumb, the card is unplayably bad, and the name causes me to suspect a Neural Network was involved. Yes, there are memes around how bad this card was, and there was that one time in which it made a slight impact on a game, but I really, really dislike useless cards like this. I’m fairly sure that its just here to ruin Acquisitive Crow for everyone. Plus, Skeejay likes it.

A quick Google search reveals Randori (乱取り) is a term used in Japanese martial arts to describe free-style practice. They should have used this free style practice to design a real card instead.

2. Azurite Prixis

Azurite Prixis

Speaking of useless… We reach to a Null Rod quote for this one. “It does nothing?” “No, it doesn’t do anything.”

3. Wanted Poster

Wanted Poster

My position on this card is well documented. My reasons are not. This is not the article to expound upon them, however, suffice it to say I think this card sucked at 1 power but got bailed out by the power of Oops All Removal Spells Control in that metagame.

4. Lunging Wisp

Lunging Wisp

Suppose you’re a new draft player and you see a card that’s tough to evaluate. “1/2 isn’t a lot of stats” you think, “but it has Ambush and a relevant type line so surely its meant for something?” It isn’t, you got played, but you’re playing it anyhow, and it hurts me every time. The “dream” of surprising a 1/1 or trading with a X/1 depresses me. When did we start teaching our children to aim for ground instead of the stars?!?

5. Idol of Destran

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This actually made one play, once, and it wasn’t even in the players deck. A common occurrence, because this card should never be in anybodies deck. The original meme legendary and a very safe 800 shiftstones.

Top 5 Baffling In-Game Bugs

Eternal has been in Beta for a long, long time, and the game was not always programmed… perfectly. Here are some of the weirder in game bugs (client bugs abound as well, but are beyond the scope of this article).

1. How does this even happen?

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So, a card named Vision of Austerity was released. Here’s what was supposed to happen – you played it on an enemy relic, it transformed it into a curse, and they couldn’t play additional copies of that relic. Pretty good against Xenan Obelisk or Armory’s weapons (which was still a Real Concern at that time). That’s not exactly how it played out. While it worked when cast normally, if you targeted a Relic Weapon and an opponent had Aegis… The Aegis popped, the weapon died through the Aegis, and your opponent got a mysterious unnamed curse that gave negative attack equal to the attack of the weapon that was just destroyed. They could still play Relic Weapons with that name, they just had lower attack, even negative attack at times.

2. Just watch the video

You can actually embed Youtube videos on WordPress! \o/ The funniest thing about this bug is that it was not, in fact, a bug. This exact interaction was documented in the patch notes a few days beforehand, which we obviously can’t prove anyone read. They would have had to leave a comment showing they were aware of… oh, they did.

3. Literally Pay To Win

I don’t have an image of this happening (since its hard to take a picture of a deck during gameplay) but during the Party Hour era it was discovered that casting Rain of Frogs on a non-premium card would not transform premium versions of that card. It immediately became optimal to run a 2-2 split of premiums and non-premiums for that competitive edge (because Rain of Frogs was a commonly played card at that time, believe it or not). Apparently they were considered different cards by the game. This was quickly hotfixed so we could go back to playing 4xPremiums.

4. Legal Targets are Optional

I also don’t have a picture for this one, but after working correctly for a year and a half, Levitate decided that requiring a unit in play was too restrictive. Instead, you could click it as if to cast it, and instead of selecting legal targets click Skip, Right Click, or hit spacebar to pass, and Levitate would be played with no target, drawing you a card. Pummel also shared this bug, and was hotfixed within a few days. I don’t know why this happened.

5. It just looks expensive

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This bug happened a lot, lasting through multiple patch notes that swore they fixed it. Basically, Stone Cudgels are supposed to cost 1. Well, sometimes they cost 4, or at least appeared to. Some of the time they showed as playable when you had 1 power (as above), other times you needed 4 power to play them (but they only used 1). There were even times when you could have 4 cost cudgels alongside 1 cost cudgels. I have no idea how or why, but it was pretty baffling.

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Top 5 Worst ETS Winning Decks

In the long and storied history of the Eternal Tournament Series, there have been many great moments, great players, and great decks. These are not them. These are the weird, the wacky, the just plain misbuilt decks that nonetheless managed to win a tournament despite their disadvantages. Special emphasis is given to bad decks that managed to win multiple tournaments. For your convenience, each deck will have a caption with the date it won, the pilot, as well as a link to the finals of the tournament they won, in case you wanted to watch them win.

1. The Deck That Wasn’t – Stonescar Midrange

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January 14th, 2017 – JockeD
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March 4th, 2017 – Francois

The greatest trick Stonescar Midrange ever pulled was convinving you it existed. This deck is one of the most hilarious examples of a collective hallucination slash selective blindness by the entire Eternal community. My take on it, with the benefit of hindsight and two years of experience, was that this was never a deck. It was actually the pieces of several decks stuck awkwardly together and pushed forward by pure card quality. We knew at the time that Stonescar Midrange only lived on card quality, we just didn’t realize how much.

So right when people started playing Stonescar Midrange, there was a Bandit Queen/Rally Stonescar deck that was pretty popular. When you played it, one of three things happened – it died to itself, the opponent played Lightning Storm and it lost, or it killed the opponent. The third was by far the most common.

A little later on, there was a deck called Stonescar Burn. It did a lot of things differently, but it basically leveraged the incredible reach of Umbren Reaper/Soulfire Drake/Flame Blast to kill any opponent who wasn’t able to deal with its high quality early game units in Champion of Chaos, Pyroknight, and Argenport Instigator. Many a screen was punched when an opponent “stabilized” only to die to a 8+ damage Flame Blast.

Both of these decks were fine choices and indeed, Stonescar Burn dominated the top tables for the better part of 8 months (Jan – Aug 2018). Stonescar Midrange was what you got when you actively decided to play a worse deck, simply because you could. Statuary Maiden was the theoretical “draw” to the deck, but the deck only had two real ways to activate her for value – Torch and clunky Deathstrike. In theory, the deck could play a longer game than other Stonescar decks, but what was the point? Burn had one of its burn spells to draw to and Rally usually won by turn 4. Midrange had no card selection, no late game trumps, and was playing awful, awful cards like Infernal Tyrant. How, then, did the deck find success? Well, it turns out that that early game core was broken enough to carry it most of the way, and it picked up the rest of its wins against decks that tried to play the Void into Maiden/Steward (which used to silence any unit that entered the void. Good times).

Later builds of the deck like Francois picked up pieces of Stonescar Burn to fill in the gaps, basically operating like a bad version of that deck. He’s basically playing a regular Stonescar Burn package with 4 Quarries and the four drop package of Maiden/Steward/Subvert. Don’t ask me about Subvert, there’s a whole other cult/religion/hive mind about the playability of that card. However, his deck does play the strong cards and can still win games.

To effectively discuss JockeD’s deck, we must first start by assigning blame. His deck is a (worse) build of Stonescar Midrange called Stonescar Maulers, which was popularized by LocoPojo. Basically, the plan went something like this: Smuggler’s Stash is a draw four, that will fix Stonescar’s lategame! But we need weapons… Cue Charchain Flail and Stonescar Maul! We continued to cut good cards for worse substitutes and bring the deck further away from the tuned, player killing package that was Stonescar Burn. By playing bad versions of it, we helped to hide Stonescar’s power and delayed deserved nerfs by months. However, LocoPojo is far from the only culprit here – players like myself, ManuS, and myself again helped to push it onto the people and more recently Mulligan and Counterbob have been trying to reinvent the dream. Three sets later, Stonescar Midrange still doesn’t exist as a deck, because it still has no tools to go over the top. Card filtering is finally here in the form of Quarry and Cull the Deck, but you have no card advantage or trumps and you midgame units have been nerfed for aggro’s sins, so you can’t play a true midrange game.

Stonescar Midrange is the first deck on our list not because it was poorly built, but because the whole archetype was flawed and required a conscious decision to reduce your winrate in order to play it. The data backs it up – the week it won, it had a lower overall winrate than the more numerous Stonescar Burn decks. I feel personally responsible for all the poor souls who were deceived into playing Stonescar Minus, and hope they can forgive themselves, if not me.

2. Wait, This Isn’t Closed Beta – Mono Justice

July15 Illunga
July 15th, 2017 – Illunga

I usually have a pretty good idea of why most of these players ended up where they did, even if I have no idea how they won with it. That said, this one came out of left field. There was not set release around this time, the meta was quite well defined. Illunga just kind of… decided to play Mono Justice. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Now, there was a successful Mono Justice deck in closed beta and ten days before the tournament LightsOutAce posted an article about his escapades with an unrelated (bad) Mono Justice deck that may have contributed, but neither of these quite match up with what Illunga brought. My limited understanding of the Archetype is basically Aegis unit plus weapons, which was a popular Rakano strategy at the time. So why not play Rakano? One can only guess. Protect was a busted card, but this deck has a ton of questionable decisions. 2 one drops, four oathbook. 4 Eager Owlet, twelve other flyers. Stalwart Shield does its best Deepforged Plate impression which is… not a very impressive one. He’s playing Runehammer because… I’m not sure, but camat0 approves. In lieu of explanation, I can but gesture to the Detains in the sideboard. This deck is beyond my ability to explain. I rewatched it win, and I still can’t tell you how or why… although it faced TonyGeeeee in the finals, so that may have contributed.

3. Good Deck, Bad Build – Praxis Midrange

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July 29th, 2017 – Kcnabrev
Aug5 Ogreman
August 5th, 2017 – Ogreman
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August 12th, 2017 – Swann

This one really grinds my gears because the initial list by Kcnabrev was bad, but it was at the start of the format and everything was new and unrefined. Fine. Then the exact same list, card for card, won the next week as well under a different pilot in a theoretically more refined environment. Now then, lets criticize examine this list. I’m going to pray assume that 3 Heart of the Vault was reality of not having enough shiftstone instead of a sin. I’m even going to charitably ignore the Amber Acolyte, a card that we still played at this time for some reason. There’s a fairly random collection of early game units (Friendly Wisp, 11 enablers) and fun-ofs, but my real complaint is Obliterate. Tavrod had not yet been released so it could still kill things, but why the hell are you trying to play a clunky removal spell in your midrange deck?!? This deck was super threat light (11 units with 5+ atk, plus Dawnwalkers), had no use for its random units (besides Obelisk in SB) and was forced into using Obliterate as removal because it couldn’t establish tempo with its light threat count. Things needed to play out perfectly for this deck to work, and I guess things broke its way twice. Variance will getcha.

Then Swann picked up the deck, including the Obliterates. He did add the Xenan Obelisks to the main deck, and boy did he need them, because he cut down to only ten cards to bring back Dawnwalker naturally. He also included 4 copies of Purify, a card that at the time cost 3 and was both fast and wildly unplayable. He’s gone for a Mysic Acendant plan rather than the much more familiar Carnosaur in order to… allow his Obliterate deck to grind? I am a big fan of his 1 Justice sigil transformative sideboard with Stand Togethers that I’m a big fan of, and Great Paliaments that I’m less of a fan of. Overall, Swann is less guilty of misbuilding than the previous two, but he just shows that in this metagame any pile with a couple Heart of the Vaults could win. Or as we’d soon learn, just about any pile…

4. A Month Too Soon – Argenport Midrange

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August 19th, 2017 – camat0

You know those joke decks on ladder, usually Rakano, where someone builds up a board of units then Harsh Rules it? Well, someone took it to a tournament and, predictably, won because [insert salty quote here]. Let’s talk about the good stuff going on here – camat0 is leveraging the most powerful card to come out of Omens of the Past. No, not Slay, the obvious answer, and not Bartholo, a card I will complain about at length later in this article. No, camat0 decided to build his deck around constructed powerhouse Spirit Guide. I’ve included a link to the card in the expectation that you’ve never seen it before. He’s also playing an incredible twelve single target removal spells, sixteen if you include Auric Runehammer, and backing it up with Harsh Rule in case he… didn’t draw enough, I guess? His win conditions were a bunch of 3/3s and 5/5s, including Inquisitor Makto, which people really should have caught on to by this point.

camat0 of course sailed through the tournament without a care in the world and it made for refreshing change from the three previous decks that also made this list. Had I to speculate, I would suggest that camat0 is both very good and very lucky and everyone else had no idea what they were doing either. Fortunately, for the first time in history, this deck didn’t catch on and Argenport was relegated to meme status for a full month until a guy named Horus Traver decided to go look for his family or something I don’t remember the plot of the adventure.

5. It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time – Felnscar Control

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December 31st, 2016 – Shedd
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January 7th, 2017 – IlyaK

Okay, this one’s kinda on me. At the time, as dumb as it sounds, Shimmerpack was a real deck and the combination of Instigator and Lightning Storm was a really poweful strategy against them. Now, Feln was as wildly unplayable as ever, so I put it down. I did make the mistake of mention it to Neon, and he took off with it. IlyaK picked it up from there and the rest is history.

We’ll start at the end – this deck died for a really funny reason. No matter what you did, this deck was 0% to win against Armory, and that was A Real Concern back in those days. Now, IlyaK’s version is more refined than Shedd’s list, but both versions have horrendous power – IlyaK at least only needs FPPSS if he totally sacrifices Champion of Chaos, while Shedd needs double Fire as well (and is playing multiple Furnace Mages maindeck in an attempt to salvage the Armory matchup, which I promise did not work). Shedd’s version is best described as a pile of cards that are legal to play in Eternal and all happened to be Fire, Shadow, or Primal. IlyaK’s deck is more refined and best resembles later versions of Felnscar – Feln + Torch and Statuary Maiden. While IlyaK’s build isn’t bad, Felnscar is in bad shape in this environment – the powerbase isn’t there to support non-Time 3 faction decks, and it had a popular unwinnable matchup. The deck rapidly tapered off after these two wins.

Honorable Mention: Good Build, Bad Deck – Kalis

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March 25th, 2017 – Waladil

Poor Kalis. This build is about as good as you can build the deck. The problem is… that’s not very good. This deck was fringe in 2016 and the slight updates of four months of development didn’t really help it out. Kalis struggled against a multitude of different strategies in different ways and could only really come together if it made a board and killed it for a Kalis against an opponent who couldn’t threaten your Kalis back. Congratulations to Waladil for his success, but that’s about as far as you can take Kalis. At least one person was excited…

Honorable Mention: You Could, But Why Bother – Dark Combrei

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March 18th, 2017 – Pingonme

Sometimes, you’re just ahead of your time. Months before Slay would be released and Dark Combrei would truly be unleashed, Pingonme tried his hand at a Combrei deck splashing Shadow for Sabotage and… Subvert? And in exchange for these two cards, it cut Stand Together and Protect. So, to get better against spot removal and Harsh Rule, it exchanged its existing answers for worse answers. Yeah, I don’t know.

The deck worked, mostly due to the pure muscle of the Combrei core, but as with Stonescar Midrange I really have to ask why you would bother. You could Subvert your opponent’s Icaria or something, but you’re already playing the most powerful cards in the game, so why not just play more of them instead of splashing SS to try to steal them.

Honorable Mention: Tuning is Optional – Praxis Rally

apr 21 2018 Magikarp
April 21, 2018 – Magikarp

Our most recent example of truly atrocious tuning, and the only one from 2018. Magikarp confidently asserts that you need exactly one Seek Power in your Alluring Ember Rally deck because… um… you do. His deck is filled with odd, unexplained choices in the number of cards he’s playing. He’s also playing Heart of the Vault in his Rally Aggro deck, but because it worked this was considered “innovation” rather than “a mistake”. This was a deck that gained a lot from later refinement, although apparently not enough to drop the one of Seek Power. Still, while it was untuned, the deck was both playable and competitive and would go on to terrorize ladder for a few months and inspire this tweet:

Top 5 Weakest World Championship Decks

The 2017 ETS World Championships were the culminating event of about 14 months of Eternal gameplay. Taking place over four days of play at a rate of about 8 rounds of play per day, the World Championships were much more of a marathon than a sprint. With a grand prize of $1000 on the line, stakes were extremely high and there was a ton of stress on the deckbuidlers. In addition to needing to pick a deck that could survive four days of varience, the tournament opened with Round Robin so you needed a deck with game against the entire field. Some deckbuilders played it safe, some went deep in an effort to get ahead of the metagame. Here’s the five decks that I think flopped the hardest.

The World Championships in their entirety are available to be viewed via this playlist. For both your sake and mine, please do not ask about the ruleset.

1. Hooru Flyers

LocoPojo
LocoPojo (5-10 in RR1)

POJO WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!? Name throwback aside, its hard to find a lot of good things to say about this deck. Wild Cloudsnake sets the bar low and Tinker Overseer kind of hammers home that there will not be a lot of good cards in this deck. Cloudsnake Harrier brings its spell damage to enable… 3 damage Backlashes? 5 damage Lightning Strikes out of the sideboard? There wasn’t a lot of power here, nor was there too much synergy. Playing all flyers enabled cards, yes, but they were cards like Skyrider Vanguard, a card I actually wasn’t aware of until decklists were submitted and which even LocoPojo deemed insufficiently powerful for maindeck play. LocoPojo had a strong start to his career and then a gradual decline as he cast more and more and played less and less. Regardless, he’s a great caster and we’re lucky to have him.

2. TJP Mistakes Were Made

LoveUP
LoveUP (3-12 in RR1)

Sorry, LoveUP. This deck was the fourth TJP deck at the tournament, with the other three being identical TJP Midrange lists from team Eternal Titans. This deck had a lot of the same problems as TJP Midrange, which it compounded by going widly off strategy midway though the decklist with Cirsos and Reality Wardens and Carnosaurs that took an already stressed powerbase and broke it in half. More often than not this deck simply could not cast any of its cards in time to have a chance in the games it played.

3. Vodacombo

AngryChicken
Angrychicken (8-7 in RR1)

Unlike most of the decks on this list, this one wasn’t poorly tuned – it was build intentionally lopsided. As implied by his deck name, Angrychicken gambled that there would be no aggro decks at Worlds, and that the metagame would be all about who could go over the top of the expected Midrange piles. To enable that, he went with the biggest Combrei deck he could, cutting all of the anti aggro tools in favor of more top end. All of them. Even in the sideboard there was nothing, because he believe that the matchup wasn’t salvageable no matter what he put in his sideboard (and he was probably right). Unfortunately for Chicken, there were at least five true aggro decks plus some aggressive Midrange decks, so he got run over a lot. The gamble did not pay off.

4. Skycrag Aggro

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childroland (8-7 in RR1)

Let’s say you were expecting a field of Sandstorm Titans, so you turned to a deck that has no outs to that card. That’s more or less what happened here. While other players turned to the more expected Stonescar Aggro decks, childroland stuck to his guns and brought his trusty Skycrag Aggro deck. This is actually pretty close to what a “normal” SPG Skycrag Aggro deck looked like, at the time. It was also well prepared for Sandstorm Titan, packing plenty of tech cards. Only… the tech cards weren’t very good. Rampage to push through? Steelfang Chakram? Polymorph works, but sucks. This deck basically lived and died by how many of its good cards it drew, which was more or less just Champion of Fury and Vadius. An ambitious and bold deck choice, but not one that I think paid off.

5. Praxis Midrange

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Toth (8-7 in RR1)

The less said about the deck name, the better. Unlike the other decks on this list, this deck made Top 8 and Toth201 ended up placing 4th overall – quite a good result. That said, previously in this article I ripped Praxis decks to shreds for running Obelisk or Obliterate, and Toth is running both, in addition to no ramp cards whatsoever and the Amber Acolytes that we now know are just wrong. Also Champion of Impulse, for whatever reason. Toth201 did have a powerful curve and twenty ways to bring back Dawnwalker without relying on Obelisk, so the deck was certainly powerful. It also had a solid sideboard strategy for crushing Midrange decks. However, it leaned hard on its Torch effects to survive against aggro and had limited options in the sideboard to improve that matchup. With a little better tuning, Toth201 could have been our World Champion.

Honorable Mention: TJP Midrange

Mouche.png
Tobboo (9-6 in RR1), VSarius (9-6 in RR1), and Mouche (2-13 in RR1)

I hated this deck at the time, and I hate it now. Few decks have inspired players to say dumber things than TJP Midrange, including such witticisms as “Power screw is player error” and “Kothon is an 8 drop”. This is basically the dreaded TJP Midrange of Set 3 but six months earlier, which meant that instead of powerful threats and a reasonable powerbase it had difficult to cast threats and a TTJJPP Diplo Seal powerbase, which started innumeral memes about team Eternal Titans. This was the Eternal Titans team deck, and it put all three players into the Top 8 despite being the expected deck, so it couldn’t really be that bad. However, it was a deck with weak power and weak threats pushed along by the sheer power of Stand Together, Xenan Obelisk, and Crystallize in a mostly reactive metagame, so I refuse to credit it as being that good, either. Mouche’s RR1 score is a testament to what can happen when the rolls don’t go your way.

Honorable Mention: Big Xenan

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SirRhino (9-6 in RR1) and LightsOutAce (7-8 in RR1)

Once again, results make it hard to complain – SirRhino came in third. However, I’m going to complain anyways – they brought four main deck copies of Annihilate into a metagame where multifaction aggro was the expected front runner. They also used the card Champion of Mystery at all (and it was quite good that tournament, actually). This deck doesn’t look like it should work, but it kinda did – it played a solid control game against aggro and did a long, hard grind against midrange. For the tournament environment they found themselves in, the deck worked out, but this was a great example of a conservative build that was nonetheless an aggressive choice. Afterwards, it went back to its naturally state of being playable if you’re named SirRhino and nowhere else… which is kind of what happened at Worlds, actually.

Top 5 Screenshots of aReNGee on the Ranked Leaderboard

1. November 2016

Rank1Nov182016byamile

Look at that! Clear rank 1, nearly a hundred points ahead of anyone else. In these days, you got reset to Bronze 3 and got to climb 1200 points to Master. Every season. Yeah, that got old fast. This, plus one other similar screen shot, are the only recorded times that RNG has been rank 1.

2. July 7, 2016

Ladder July 7 12 pm

This was the first season with a real leaderboard, I think, so I took lots of screenshots. Getting 400 points for Master was easy enough now, but getting up to 500 was not easy as the system clamped you really hard and you needed an 80% winrate just to stay in place, so I was pretty proud of this one. Of course, Chapin and finkel went on to get 600 points this season and totally bop me, but at least I had a bunch of points for a normal player.

3. End of October Season 2016

Ladder Oct 31 1213 am

Noticing a theme yet? I was only a real top 10 threat back in 2016. This was a fun pic because I had so many friends on the leaderboard, and I ended up in 8th at the end of season. I’m rarely top 50 nowadays, and never at the end of season, so that was kinda cool. Of course it predates Dire Wolf Digital printing lists, but you can find the end of season rankings here.

4. July 23, 2018

Di1_wwRXsAU6Uxy

This one is really important because its recent. I’ve been called washed up for two years, so it does me good to prove that I can still hack it on ladder, at least to an extent. I am starting to notice a worrying trend where camat0 is consistently higher rank than me.

5. DWD has my back

unknown

I have no idea when this is from (though I guess September or October 2016 based on the names on the list) but this represents one of the rare times that Dire Wolf Digital acknowledges that camat0 is really just holding a place on ladder for me. I can’t remember the history of this pic but I’m certain I defeated camat0 in single combat and took his rank shortly afterwards.

Honorable Mention

unknown-1

This didn’t quite make the list, but is notable for two reasons. Firstly, Popohad was our first Master in a matter of hours after reset – I’ve never seen such a large gap between first and second before or since. I’m fairly sure we got reset to Gold 3 this season though, so it was “just” a six hundred point climb. Additionally, this is the only recorded moment in which Bradykin was high ranked than aReNGee and would certainly have been deleted if not for the historical significance of Popohad’s accomplishment.

Technically not a mention

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This screenshot is disqualified from this list due to not having me in it, but it is really funny to see a decimal amount of points on ladder. Gotta work for even half a point!

Top 5 Screenshots that do not involve the Ranked Leaderboard

I’ve got a lot of other good stuff kicking around my hard drive in two and a half years of playing Eternal. Here are five of my favorites.

1. ALL THE ACHEIVEMENTS

Game2Easy

I played some nonsense 5F Nictotraxian deck in Gauntlet or something to test some stuff, just churning through my deck. At the end of the game, which I apparently won instead of conceding like I usually do, I got so many achievements they literally spilled off the screen – there were at least one or two below Skill Up.

2. Got There

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There’s a recurring theme in this article that I believe that other people don’t think I’m very good, and I feel like I have to prove myself. Well, I have a ranked 10 win streak. I think this is the screenshot from before the wipe, but I earned it again post wipe.

3. Ignore everything in the screenshot

BasicallyCantLose

This screenshot is hilarious to me because literally everything on my side of the field was removed from the game, including my rank. To start with, we weren’t actually the 8th and 11th ranked players on ladder – but we were last month. In those days, you displayed last month’s ladder rank in game rather than your current one, so it was really important to have a good finish or you’d be stuck with it all month. Secondly, this is a lethal setup, but the cards I’m using no longer exist (though the art has been reused on Reunite and Forsworn Stranger) so I’ve included them below.

New Stranger was just a cheap echo Stranger, Subtle Stranger did the heavy lifting. Basically, I was going to play Subtle Stranger, then a bunch of echo strangers to mill the opponent, and finally they were going to die to the Black Iron Manacles on them at the end of turn. This was the first game I played with the deck and also my only win. It didn’t get there very often, but this was a very satisfying win.

4. Every Damn Time

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This has been my experience every single time I play Aid of the Hooru.

5. No really, Ever. Damn. Time

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C’mon.

Top 5 Eternal Memes aReNGee Made

If there is one thing that aReNGee is known for almost as much as negativity, its flaming players! Wait, that’s not what this section is about at all. Memes! I like to quickly make memes in Microsoft Paint to describe how I’m feeling at any particular moment, then paste them into Discord. Here is a selection of my favorites from over the years. Once again, expect lots of honorable mentions.

1. Literally anything related to Inspire

In case you hadn’t read the rest of this or many previous articles, I really liked Inpsire and am very sad that it’s gone. I’ll never not upvote memes related to Armory nerfs (while lighting a solitary candle in Armory’s memory).

2. camat0/Rizahn memes

The island bowl thing is camat0’s Discord Icon, if that clears anything up. camat0 and I have had some fun meme battles back and forth on Twitter and Discord over many things, but especially the playability of the card Rizahn. I originally rated it very low, thinking that it would only be playable in FJx Control decks. This is true, but those decks are very good so I look like a moron. Regardless, camat0 continues to overrate Rizahn. I am especially amused when he did his own Evidence You’re Right/Evidence Your Wrong meme and I was able to fire back with the one above, because camat0 played Rizahn Control that week and scrubbed out.

3. Bradykin

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This meme is not about any player in particular. It instead refers to the futility of trying to play Temporal Control in any metagame, but especially right after The Dusk Road was released. This one got used a lot whenever someone brought Temporal Control, which was often two to three matches before that player dropped from the tournament.

4. Tony’s Career

While TonyGeeeee’s Eternal career is in and of itself a popular meme among tournament players, and organizers, and viewers, etc… This particular set of memes refers to one particular tournament. Armory had been nerfed the night before (I believe this was the Charchain Flail/Smuggler’s Stash nerf cycle) and TonyGeeeee, a notorious Armory no-trick, had registered Armory anyhow. So the first meme was created, poking fun at how Tony’s career was dead before it began. Then he randomly won a couple games and was going on a tear, so we had to reverse it. He instantly lost to Komodo and so the final meme was borne, we all had a good laugh, and TonyGeeeee dropped.

5. Memes making fun of Tournament Players in general

I don’t do these very often beause they’re basically only funny to the Tournament Organizer crowd (a niche market if there ever was one) but sometimes too many people will all screw up the same way at once and I’ll feel compelled to make one of these. Neither meme caused any positive change but I felt better after venting.

Top 5 Eternal Memes that did not make the previous list

These are basically memes 6 though 10 on the previous list, but I had a lot I wanted to share.

1. Old School Fears

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Back in closed beta, there were 3 constants.

  1. We knew there would be a wipe at some point.
  2. Players asked if the wipe was today, every minute of every day.
  3. We used this meme a lot.

Just like the seagulls in Finding Nemo, Discord was just a chorus of “Wipe?” “Wipe?” “Wipe?” anytime literally anything was announced, or looked like it might be announced, or players just wondered. It was even more annoying than it sounds because people applauded someone else for making this meme even though I made it 🙁

2. Salt

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A popular member of the “Tournament players are morons” cycle, this was made in March 2017 or something where Chalice had started winning a bunch of tournaments because it was pretty good. People did not want to put down decks that previously worked, but did not beat Chalice, and instead complained about it endlessly and called for bans. Calling for bans is a rare thing even for our playerbase, so you know they were very salty. This meme offered the opinion that maybe there was another way… but mostly it counter complained about the people complaining because that’s what we do here.

3. Draketholo

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This meme was created as part of a recent Twitter battle between myself and Neon, but it actually calls back to the horrible, horrible days when turn 3 Bartholo, turn 4 Lethrai Falchion was a curve and people had to play all kinds of bad cards to counter it because Unblockable + Aegis does not make for interactive gameplay.

4. Vanilla 2/2s

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I never liked Blackhall Warleader. I still don’t, but I finally found a meme to express in clear terms to camat0 exactly why its terrible.

5. Throwback

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This one is a throwback to the long ago days when Rakano was a deck and Unearthly was a player. When both of these were true, he exclusively played Rakano at every single tournament (except for the Midseason Major, where he submitted a deck funnier than all the memes on this list) and he would always agonize for days about what he was going to play. Really it just meant he was agonizing over which 4 drop he was going to try in Rakano this week.

The Quotes Section

RNGEternal uses a bot named Nightbot on Twitch (and in Discord) and it has a feature where you can add and call quotes. We’ve used this feature to add 176 quotes by various member of the Eternal community. As long as you’re a subscriber on Twitch, you can call a random quote with !quote or a specific quote with !quote # (where # is the number of the quote you want to call). View the full list of quotes here!

Now, 176 is a lot of quotes to break down into a single Top 5, so I’ll be doing breaking them up by author. Expect lots of honorable mentions!

Top 5 Quotes (by aReNGee)

1. There wasn’t a plan, but it looked cool. (Quote 7)

There is no quote more indicative of my Eternal playstyle than this. I play a lot of decks by feel and I love to go with my gut and do what feels right. Often this completely flops, but sometimes it looks pretty cool along the way. And that’s what I’m really here for – looking cool. Feel free to tell me it’s working.

2. At the end of the day, you’re going to have to accept that competitive Eternal will at some point involve playing Eternal. (Quote 150)

After a heated discussion about the many benefits of creating numerous annoying hoops to the tournament process to reduce the variance caused by actually needed to play the card game Eternal to a minimum, a frustrated aReNGee lashed out with this quote. This is a reminder we all need at some point – this isn’t Super Smash Bros.

3. You can add depth to chess by putting a gun in the room. (Quote 151)

This was a part of the same argument as above – depth for depth’s sake is not always good. Chess with a gun IS deeper and more complex than regular Chess… but is it really better? Not all depth is meaningful depth.

4. Jawbone Greatsword gives Rakano a way to kill Pacifier (Quote 155)

Oops. Sometimes my keyboard gets ahead of my brain, and apparently the metagame. This doesn’t work very well, and my shame has been immortalized.

5. I was hoping for catgirls, but sure. (Quote 145)

This one sorta stands on its own.

Honorable Mention: Redshift is just f.lux for the universe. (Quote 92)

f.lux is a computer program that alters the colors on your screen in order to reduce eye strain, especially at night. Redshift is a physics phenomenon that basically does the same thing – adjusts the color of the universe in certain circumstances (presumably also to reduce eyestrain).

Honorable Mention: Rumor has it that Ghave was shuffled into a regular 52 playing card deck, tossed in the air, and he went infinite 3 times on the way down.

Unfortunately, this quote is funny to me and basically nobody else. Ghave is a Magic: the Gathering card famous for being able to go infinite with basically any other card. A frequent comment on MTG subreddits during spoiler season is “Hey, this goes infinite with Ghave!” to general disdain because yes, of course it does, everything does. Intruder Alarm is a another frequent culprit. This quote extends this line of thinking to the point where you no longer need human interaction, or even Magic cards.

Honorable Mention: My Spanish isn’t very good, that may have been Portuguese (Quote 47)

This one comes from a time when I was casting LoveUP, a Brazilian Eternal player. His deck was in Portugese and I read it out in my best Spanish accent because I am not actually able to distinguish between languages very well. It later clicked that they do not speak Spanish in Brazil (although they do in Argentina jajaja)

Top 5 Quotes (by SirRhino)

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SirRhino relaxing in his natural habitat

1. Winning a game raises your chances of winning the match. (Quote 14)

2. Permafrost is great except for all the times it isn’t. (Quote 48)

3. 0 costs a lotttttt less than 1. (Quote 50)

4. Dying is a bad way to win the game. (Quote 162)

5. First give Firemaw charge with Magus of Celerity, then cut all the combo pieces for good Praxis cards and voila. (Quote 160)

Honorable Mention: If RNG climbing ladder isn’t enough evidence that Feln is by far the strongest deck out there, I don’t know what is. (Quote 18)

Read together, the first four quotes give the impression of a man who is not afraid to say the obvious, and that impression would be completely correct. SirRhino is known for deadpanning sentences halfway between a joke and… I hope he doesn’t actually believe it, anyhow. Its not easy to get any actual insight out of him, since he treats a deck with no wins and a deck with 100 wins with the same amount of enthusiasm.

Top 5 Quotes (by LightsOutAce)

1. I always sound like a tool, that’s kinda my thing (Quote 52)

2. Why win the game when you can draw more cards? (Quote 3)

3. On the plus side, I drew 41 cards, so who won that game? (Quote 37)

4. I wasn’t done having fun yet! Get back here! (Quote 53)

5. We’ve reached the just playing cards at random part of the game (Quote 36)

LightsOutAce has been streaming for a looooong time now, and his real personality has been exposed. Not that he ever tried to hide it, with his first quote on this list basically describing his entire streaming career. A man defined by card draw, Ace has had plenty of good quotes and large dong(er)s over the years, as well as some actual insight in his fifth quote.

Top 5 Quotes (by Rekenner)

1. At least RNG didn’t completely decide to fuck me, I guess. (Quote 120)

2. I can’t even get it up for anything smaller than an 8/8 Daisho, tbh (Quote 31)

3. The murders will continue until the board state improves. (Quote 63)

4. Is your goal to get to masters or to run as far away from ladder as possible? (Quote 9)

5. They played a t1 yeti spy of course the rest of their hand is garbage. (Quote 124)

There is more to say about rekenner that can be listed in this article or indeed, legally revealed to the public while the case is still before the courts. Suffice it to say that these quotes paint a good picture of the man – bitter but hilarious to listen to. I can offer you two pieces of insight – the third quote is referring to Ashara and he hates having his name capitalized, which is why I did it in the title.

Top 5 Quotes (by the rest of RNGEternal)

1. “Some people play Azindel’s Gift, but some people also snort glue.” – Neon (Quote 79)

2. “It’s kind if like Hearthstone except everything has Taunt and some things have more Taunt than others” – TheSkeeJay (Quote 143)

3. “I have faith that skeejay is a better deck builder than… ok nvm” – flash2351 (Quote 82)

4. “hmmm yea. ok I just… you know… uhh.. well. thinking.” – MillerTool (Quote 13)

5. ” it makes everyone stay down and sit still while you fuck them. That’s my style” – Bradykin (Quote 71)

Believe it or not, not everyone on RNGEternal has enough quotes to make a full list of five each. Here are the defining quotes of each remaining member – Neon’s insight, SkeeJay’s metaphors, flash’s… support, MillerTool’s ability to vocalize his thoughts, and Bradykin’s ability to say dumb shit.

Top 5 Quotes (by camat0)

1. jajajaja (Quote 96)

2. I’m not presenting any valid argument, just trash talking. (Quote 125)

3. Could he know something I don’t? No, he is trash. (Quote 131)

4. I need Unearthly to die. (Quote 98)

5. Is mirror better? In rakanner words weeeeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllll… (Quote 132)

In contrast, camat0 is one of the most often quoted members of the community – mostly because he shittalks freely and always laughs when shittalked in return. Jajaja has become the official laugh of the ETS and as you can see from his quotes, the reigning World Champion does not have a high opinion of others. Someone knock him off his throne!

Top 5 Quotes (by everyone else)

1. I’m just saying you guys aren’t even arguing, you are just shouting back and forth “I’m right” – Unearthly (Quote 170)

This is basically just arguing on the Internet in general but boy do we do this a lot in Eternal.

2. Switching decks when you hit a bad meta pocket is like sleeping around just because your girl got her period. – finkel (Quote 25)

I’m confident this is the funniest thing every said by any finkel. Ain’t got no time for side decks.

3. Losing quickly is a form of tempo. – Unearthly (Quote 83)

Tempo as a definition is kind of meaningless, which is why this quote is less wrong than you’d hope.

4. “You know its an Overmaster deck when you say you broke it and its playing Watchwing Conscript” – Hulk (Quote 128)

Did I mention I like quotes that make fun of Overmaster?

5. “Having trouble against a stranger deck with the new Triumphant Stranger? Simply introduce yourself to them. They will stop being strangers and lose the bonuses.” – TheBearProphet (Quote 27)

Remember, if they don’t know you you’re also a stranger to them so you get the bonuses as well.

Honorable Mention: Ranked #1 by RNG? We lost. – herad (Quote 123)

Why does no one trust my rankings? Spoiler Warning: They lost.

Honorable Mention: We all read the rules. – Overmaster (Quote 119)

Rarely does a blantant lie make it onto Quotebot, but here we are. Whether he means read in past or present tense has been lost to the ages, but regardless he’s just dead wrong, as Overmaster himself and many other players would go on to prove in short order. Most of the players don’t even know what day the Invitational is, never mind the format.

Top 5 Copypastas that made it to Quotebot

I’m not actually aware of that many Eternal copypastas, but these are the ones that made it to Quotebot.

1. Son, your grandfather started this match all those years ago and when he was too weak, he passed the mantle of Chalice player down to me. I too have grown too old and it is now your duty to finish this game. It is a grueling ordeal but I believe that you can be the one to finish this game. Now go and bring glory to crystalline chalice. (Quote 23)

The one that started it all! Team League was always slow as fk to play, but this one got broken out for the first time during a particular painful sequence of Chalice vs Feln, into Chalice vs Chalice, into Chalice vs Feln again. I’m not saying it took a while, I’m saying two generations died during game 1.

2. Is Feln even a bad matchup for Grenadins? I mean theoretically, but it sometimes doesn’t play out like that. – Overmaster (Quote 89)

Sometimes things happen. Very insightful. This quote was parodied extensively in the past but now seems to have been forgotten. I’d love for us to remember it and make fun of Overmaster some more.

3. You guys do not respect my deckbuilding the way you should tho. The 3 times I’ve brought out new serious decks they have become meta mainstays. That 3 for 3 record is not something a lot of people can spout. Wait until you smell what the Hulk is cooking. – Hulkbuster (Quote 122)

This one kind of stands on its own lmao.

4. When you were climbing ranks, I learned the art of the brew. When you were slamming Tavrod on curve, I mastered the infinite combo. When you wasted your days grinding Stonescar Aggro to Masters, I splashed for A New Tomorrow. And now that your ladder is burning and your barts have crumbled to dust, you have the AUDACITY to come to me for help. – Locopojo (Quote 43)

Yeah, we stole another copypasta to make this but its a pretty good version for Eternal.

5. “That’s not the question we’re trying to answer. We’re trying to answer whether or not he’s rekt’d here. He is. Just because he could be more rekt’d, or more efficiently rekt’d, doesn’t mean he is not currently, to some degree, rekt’d.” – RubySolve (Quote 16)

I was there. He was rekt’d.