I hit legend on September 6th around 1am, starting that day at rank two with no stars. Since rank 5 I had been playing a semi-budget Spellsword Control deck featuring Black Worm Necromancer and Golden Saint and while the deck was super fun and had some cool moments (like Necromancer getting back Odahviing which was just as amazing as it sounds) it was really slow to grind and only had a win rate slightly above 50%. After grinding that deck on ladder for close to seven hours that day and only climbing one rank and falling into the serpent, at the end of the day I went to bed humbled and downtrodden.
As I lay there contemplating, it hit me: I should just SMOrc people. Why bother deciding what the best way to trade is when you can go face? Why try and fight for the board when you can go face? Why strategically avoid breaking runes and avoiding prophecies when you can just go face? These are the questions that ran through my mind as I leapt out of bed and headed to my computer and fired up ESL.
What I really wanted was a deck with a super low to the ground curve and as many charge creatures and fast damage I could jam into a list. So we had a Crusader deck with a low curve and one of the worst cards in the game, Intimidate, actually doing some work. The first draft I built of this deck before I played a game with it had Piercing Javelin and Triumphant Jarl at the top end, but I figured if I was going to play something this ridiculous in a world of Prophecy Assassins (and more importantly Moonlight Werebat) then I didn’t want anything even that expensive.
In all seriousness though, I had legitimate reasons for cutting them. The Javelins became two Cast Out and an Intimidate because the main reason Javelin would be in the deck is to remove guards. Both Cast Out and Intimidate could do that cheaper, allowing me to play multiple cards per turn most of the time. Jarl didn’t make the cut because I already felt like I had enough card draw in Eastmarch Crusader and Afflicted Alit; in most cases Alt is card draw because your opponent will often put you to 1-2 damage away from a rune break which makes Afflicted Alit a 2 magicka 3/1 that says, “Summon: deal two damage to your opponent and draw a card.” Pretty nifty right?
One of many notable exclusions is Burn and Pillage which is a card I’ve hyped since I started playing this game when it went into open beta. To be honest, I simply didn’t think of including it at the time though there is a good chance it should be in the list. However, it does make the list slightly more budget-friendly to not be playing another Epic!
The game plan of the deck is pretty simple. First of all, go face. Second of all, go face. Got it? Good. Joking aside, face is really the place the majority of the time with this deck. There are occasionally times where you are racing and you need to trade or when you can squeeze more damage out of a creature in the long run by throwing another one away, but those aren’t frequent cases. The big thing you’re going to do with this deck is constantly count damage and plan several turns ahead so you can maximize the return on the cards you play to deal as much damage as possible. There were a lot of games I managed to win that I felt I wouldn’t because I planned ahead well enough and was able to get creative in finding lethal. Other times I got super lucky and topdecked Charge damage.
There are turns in the deck where you’re not going to do much, especially when you have a hand full of Charge creatures that aren’t Nord Firebrand and you want to develop a Divine Fervor or wait until you have a little more magicka so you can suit up with a Steel Scimitar before crashing in. This deck doesn’t play around Prophecies well at all. There are a good amount of games where you run out of cards before you can kill your opponent, but there is enough fast damage in the deck that you can finish them off from cards you get from runes breaking or drawing for turn. Also, once your opponent has the board you’re going to jam pretty much everything in the shadow lane and be okay with it only getting one attack in, which is often enough.
A couple cards in the deck I would look at tinkering with the numbers for are Bruma Profiteer and Imperial Reinforcements. There are a lot of games where Bruma actually gained me too much life and I wasn’t able to draw any cards from runes for too long and couldn’t race my opponent, and then again there were a few games where it was an aggressive mirror and he saved my butt. I’m not sure which is the right way to go with him. Imperial Reinforcements, while being able to deal a ton of damage with Divine Fervor or Fifth Legion Trainer, is often really slow and easy to clear off the board. I think if I were to play the deck again I would cut 2 for 2 more Rampaging Minotaur.
This deck is pretty budget coming in with only 6 epics, a handful of rares, and a bunch of commons, and it definitely can steal some games. It certainly has some bad matchups, as more than one Healing Potion or a Pillaging Tribune are likely to just make you cry but against decks that don’t play a ton of heal this deck can do some pretty dumb amounts of damage quickly. Another big thing is its speed – if you’re looking to jam a lot of games in a short amount of time then this deck is for you because, man, are they over quick. Win or lose, you’ll know pretty early in the game.
Well that’s it for this time! I hope you all enjoyed the read. I’ve played the deck a couple of times on stream at legend rank and it didn’t perform exceptionally well to climb the legend ladder but your results may vary so feel free to tinker with it and give it a shot. Thanks for reading everyone, be sure to check out the stream Sunday through Friday starting between 10 and 11pm EST and until next time, remember face is the place!