So basically what we have is a Scout Tempo deck that looks to take control of the board early and snowball out of control from there. This sometimes means playing a little awkwardly compared to what standard lists do, like just leaving a threat that you can remove on the board in favor of advancing your own board. Also, an important note: you want to plan your turns several turns ahead and just adapt as you go. This isn’t a good reactive deck and needs to push its advantage whenever possible.
The deck does have some reach with Crushing Blow, House Kinsman, and Tazkad, so there will be games where you have to play towards that. Be wary later in the game of using Crushing Blow on a creature that you really don’t need to as well as creature placement if you think you may need to play and sacrifice Kinsman in the same turn for extra damage.
The big draw for me to play the deck and the main reason I built it was for the turn five (turn four with the Elixir of Magicka) plays of one or more Soulrest Marshals into Black Worm Necromancer to bring back one of our solid early game cards that had died already. I got a lot of turn four/five concessions from opponents while playing this deck by having sixteen or more uncontested power on the board that early in the game.
First off, the biggest thing I’ve heard from people who’ve seen the deck was about playing a Vicious Dreugh over the second Shadowfen Priest. This was for two reasons; one was to lower the curve on the deck as a whole making it so I didn’t have more five drops than four drops, and the second was to be able to kill opposing Divine Fervors on curve more consistently as I was playing my fair share of Token Spellswords on my way up the ladder. The second choice that may seem a little off is the 1-2 split with Leaflurker and Finish Off. While Leaflurker is an all around better card this was again for Magicka curve considerations.
Now that that’s addressed I’m going to get into the curve pretty in depth from the bottom to the top. At the bottom of the curve we’re playing the full three Curses and I’ll be honest, if I could play more than three I would. This card was just such a huge tempo swing so many times and seriously made me consider playing Goblin Skulk to try and draw it more. It combos so well with the Finish Off effects as well as killing one-health creatures like Dune Smuggler and neutralizing Fighter’s Guild Recruits, I was never sad to draw it. We have our early game package of Ungolim the Listener and a handful of efficient two drops, all of which we’re okay with getting back off of Black Worm Necromancer. We’re also playing Shadow Shift as a two-of for some card draw and a way to get around guards or move lanes for good trades.
A good chunk of the deck’s value is in the three-Magicka cards, Young Mammoth, House Kinsman, and Haunting Spirit all being stellar things to have die and get back with Black Worm. The four drop slot is a little less exciting with Werebat being the most impactful card by a decent margin, though Midnight Sweep has been surprisingly good on four as well, making attacking our board awkward for our opponents. The five drops in this deck are what makes the deck so explosive though, with both Soulrest Marshal and Black Worm Necromancer being able to dump a lot of power in play quickly. Leaflurker and Shadowfen Priest are both excellent cards as well but definitely bottom of the list of things you want to do on turn five most of the time.
At six we have a pair of Night Shadows which is an amazing card every time you get to attack with it. Besides the Drain, being able to clear a threat while pushing damage with Breakthrough is great. At seven through nine we have a stand-alone Bone Colossus, Tazkad the Packmaster, and a Red Bramman. The Tazkad doesn’t really need an explanation as it’s just one of the most powerful cards in the game. The Bone Colossus was included so we had something that had a little more bang for our buck later on and helped take back a lane we’d given up on earlier in the game. Red Bramman is an odd inclusion given the style of deck we’re playing and the main reason he’s there is to handle aggressive decks spamming the shadow lane late game, as we have no AoE effects at all and very few guards.
I had a blast playing this deck with a decent win rate. I’m still working on the deck when I have time as I don’t think what I played to legend is the final build and some tinkering can be done. Here is the current version of the list as it stands.
We cut the Bone Colossus and the Red Bramman (which has the added bonus of making the deck a lot cheaper) for a Snake Tooth Necklace and a Territorial Viper. Necklace is because there are a lot of times against aggressive decks where we need a fast way to gain life and it happens to combo amazingly with House Kinsman. Viper is basically our green Piercing Javelin because when we don’t draw a Finish Off effect or a way to proc it then we have a VERY hard time with big threats without losing a lot of card advantage in the process. We also went ahead and cut the Vicious Dreugh for the second Shadowfen Priest because we haven’t seen as many Divine Fervors as we did previously and the silence can be clutch at times.
There are a few cards that definitely could be tested out in the deck that I just didn’t have or want to craft at the time such as Lucien Lachance and Nahagliiv. Both are powerful cards, so if you have them feel free to try them out over a Deshaan Avenger and a Shadow Shift, for example. Another card that could definitely fill a similar role as Red Bramman is Giant Snake. Right now I’m not sure where I would want to fit it in but you can try him out wherever you like to see if it performs well.
If you made it this far I definitely appreciate you taking the time to read the article and hope you enjoyed the in-depth look at a deck I think has a lot of potential. Feel free to give the deck a shot, tinker with it however you like, and let me know how it goes. Until next time good luck on ladder!
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