Hi, everybody! Today, we’ll be discussing the newly revealed Allegiance Rumble; full details can be found here, but the long and short of it is that your deck will need to be made up of only one attribute, as opposed to two.
I’m not entirely sure how much of this Gauntlet I’ll play, or even which attribute(s) I’ll select for my runs, but I do have some sample deck lists in mind. I thought I’d share them here, as while I don’t think any of these are particularly groundbreaking, I do realize that this isn’t a format most will want to test out in ranked play or even in casual, where “meta” decks might rain on your parade. Now that I think about it, I’ve definitely seen single-attribute decks in top 100 Legend on numerous occasions and they have been far from the least competitive decks I’ve seen at those heights, but my point still stands.
Without further ado, here are five stock builds you could probably get some mileage out of in this upcoming Gauntlet!
Deck of choice: Aggro
This one needs little explanation in my opinion. Mono-Strength Aggro (splashing Willpower for the likes of Crusader’s Assault and Ulfric’s Housecarl) is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, decks in the game. If you’re short on time for this upcoming Gauntlet mode and unsure what to play, well, you can always change six cards in a dominant ladder deck and see how that fares.
The deck’s dominance did lead to the Northwind Outpost nerf which hurts the deck somewhat, but not enough to make it unable to compete with other mono-attribute strategies in my opinion. Ulfric’s Housecarl’s nerf is irrelevant in this case as it needed to be replaced with the slightly worse Aela’s Huntmate for card draw to keep this deck only Strength.
Crusader’s Assault will also be missed, but it should go without saying that this deck is still incredibly potent. I included the Protector of the Innocent in this version as a supplemental two cost creature that might help if the single attribute decks turn out to tend toward aggression, and you could also include a bit more mid-game like Lumbering Ogrim if that turns out to not be the case. Garnag is fantastic, but felt unnecessary when initially thinking about this format because not only does this deck never want the game to continue past seven turns, but magicka ramp will probably be near unplayable and most other decks will also probably curve relatively low save for the Intelligence deck we’ll discuss.
This deck has the added benefit of being extraordinarily budget-friendly. Earthbone Spinner, the lone epic, can be replaced by Cast Out or Shield Breaker, and Reive and Aldora are not central to the strategy so you can play any other supplemental aggressive low-cost creature. Raiders are the most important legendary, but even adding in a card like Covenant Marauder or another two-magicka card like Mage Slayer or Orc Clan Shaman should get the job done.
Deck of choice: Item Combo
If you have watched many of my videos or streams, this decision for the mono-Intelligence deck should come as little surprise. Items have long been one of my favorite decks in the game, specifically the combo-oriented version pictured here which I believe is also the most powerful variant of the Item-centric deck. As with our choice for the Strength deck, the Item decks are easy choices for this Gauntlet as they are extremely blue-heavy already so few cards need to be substituted.
In the Sorcerer version, Enchanted Plates, High King Emeric, Sorcerer’s Negation, and nowadays, Galyn the Shelterer are common. In the Battlemage version, the only red card is Ancestor’s Battleaxe to add a tremendous amount of power. To make up for that lack, this mono-Intelligence version is using the Master Swordsmiths that the Sorcerer version takes advantage of as well as the new Treasure Map. With no Battleaxes (and only two Dragon Priest Masks, although that could easily be three – space is a concern), this deck is focused more on playing Items from hand rather than immediately dumping the big ones into the discard pile, so Swordsmith is a great way to snowball early. Treasure Map makes the card better and adds some card draw back since Plate can’t be used.
Ice Storm seems like a requirement in this format since Tokens are likely to be popular (we’ll discuss them in the Willpower section), and Journey to Sovngarde might not be good unless you queue against the Item mirror match since Control decks are likely not possible – oar at least not very good. The deck can be adapted as the meta becomes apparent, though. One thing this deck cannot do is function on a strict budget; Master of Arms is absolutely critical to the strategy (as is the Madhouse Collection for Gardener of Swords), and removing cards like Daggerfall Mage and Dragon Priest Mask also seriously diminishes the deck’s power.
For a closer look at how to play this deck, as it is fairly complex and one of the few combo decks in Legends, I recommend this video of mine from a few months back that discusses a very similar version.
Deck of choice: Tokens
Token decks are already essentially Willpower decks that splash into another color, with all being legend-capable and Crusader the most popular option. As the most competitively viable deck with that much Willpower, they become the natural choice for a format like this as most Control decks that use Willpower rely heavily on the other attribute involved. In tokens, the secondary attribute is just there for a bit of support.
To compensate for the lack of Ulfric’s Housecarl, both Priest of the Eight and Eastmarch Crusader are maxed out in this version. Cleric of Kyne also gives us another two-cost to make up for either Goblin Skulk, Wind Keep Spellsword, Wardcrafter, or Orc Clan Captain depending on which token variant the deck was previously. Haafingar Marauder adds to this deck’s ability to snowball when it gets aggressive, though it’s quite possible that including a third Imperial Reinforcements and Imprison is better than them, or better than two other cards in the deck somewhere.
The Phalanx Exemplars do seem good in the format, as other Token decks and Strength aggro decks are likely to be very popular, and having three Examplars and three Hive Defenders allows this deck to function well in the defensive role before it attacks against those decks – ideally after full board control is achieved or Dawnstar Healer is played.
Deck of choice: Goblins
This deck is a slightly modified version of the most recent Goblin Assassin I was playing, although Goblin Archers are very potent as well. Either way, the only Goblin deck you’ll be able to play in this Gauntlet is all green!
Again, that’s fine, since Goblins are already extremely heavily into Agility with either Intelligence or Strength providing additional damage or other cool tricks like Archer’s Gambit. All of the Goblins in the deck remain intact. Murkwater Guide is a reasonable inclusion although it did disappoint me somewhat, and Shamans and Brynjolf are included due to how aggressive the metagame is likely to be in this format. Moonlight Werebat could also be a reasonable tech if aggro is the name of the game. If you require another two-magicka creature, I recommend Gloomlurker, although Fighters Guild Recruit seemed better at combating the Strength and Willpower decks.
Despite the flex spots, the name of the game is simple with this deck: hit your opponent, and do so quickly, preferably with a board powered up by Murkwater Skirmisher. It’s an effective game plan for Goblins in ranked, and it should be an effective game plan in the Allegiance Gauntlet as well.
Deck of choice: Midrange
While Endurance has no decks in the metagame that use the vast majority of cards from its attribute like the other four we’ve talked about, Endurance is known for its powerful on-curve creatures and helps make decks like Midrange Sorcerer and Midrange Warrior work as well as they do. Therefore, the natural conclusion is that a standard “curve-out” Midrange strategy is around where a mono-Endurance deck wants to land.
That’s exactly the kind of simple strategy the posted list aims for, with such Midrange staples as Wind Keep Spellsword and Young Mammoth, this time getting to use Stalwart Ally and Gloom Wraith. The Allies and Dark Guardians on turn three, as well as the amount of two-cost creatures including the new Barrow Stalker, should actually make this deck reasonable against aggro strategies like the Strength and Agility decks we’ve talked about, and it can put the pressure on anything slower.
Night Shadow, Nahagliiv, and Skeletal Dragon are there to help stabilize should this deck still be playing the defensive role in ‘those later turns. Skeletal Dragon, Bone Colossus, and Ancient Lookout all have synergy with each other, as Bone Colossus buffs the other two by +1/+1, and Lookout makes free 1/1s from Skeletal Dragon and Nahagliiv. Besides use with the dragons and Colossi, Ancient Lookout is just another decent two-magicka creature.
Overall, this is the least tested of the decks I’ve presented today, but I do believe it has solid card quality and if you’re looking for a deck slower than traditional Aggro but Items Combo isn’t up your alley, I’d recommend this one or something close to it.
There are probably other options out there for mono-attribute decks, but if you’re looking for something quick, I think any of these are decent enough options. I expect the meta will develop fairly quickly with this Gauntlet, as it has in previous Gauntlets such as Pauper and Skyrim-only which is one of my main problems with these limiting formats, but evolving your decks to tech against the appropriate popular decks is still critical and can give you an edge. Until next time, good luck!