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Casual to Competitive - Deadliness (TCG)

04-21-2009 (Tue), 01:00

Either option is bad for Varanis. One feeds us cards and possible interrupt effects; the other lets us speed our resource count ahead of his, making his interrupts less powerful.

By Ben Isgur
4/21/2009



Cracking Blood of Gladiators packs reveals Stab in the Dark, labeled as probably the best answer to Myriam . . . ever. In addition, the Rogue class received potentially one of the best cards ever printed: Deadliness. The card single-handedly allows for the most absurd trades available in the game. Imagine a game against Kil'zin. You go first. On the Shaman’s turn 3, he plays Perdition's Blade and attacks you with it. He also attacks with the Bloodsoul he played earlier in the game. That’s a pretty standard board for the opponent. You ready for your turn, place a quest, and play Deadliness, destroying Orders from Lady Vashj, Bloodsoul, and Perdition's Blade.

 

You spent 4 resources to gain (essentially) a 5-for-1 in card advantage terms—the dagger, the ally, the quest, and the 2 cards he would otherwise have drawn. In addition, you traded your 4 resources for 3 of his resources—2 for the dagger and 1 for the ally. But you've also denied him one resource every turn for the rest of the game. In raw resource advantage terms, that's probably 4 or 5 resources, but it has also prevented him from making little combos that must be done in one turn, like Kil'zin's flip and Sha'kar. He’ll have to wait an extra turn, which may let you stop Sha'kar. It’s a long example, I know, but I hope my point got across. Here's what TastyMuffin of Canada put together:

 

Hero: Ravenna
 
 

Allies

1 Rehgar Earthfury

3 Naliss the Silencer

4 Vexmaster Nar'jo

2 The Abominable Greench

2 Sayge

3 Blood Knight Kyria

4 Doshura Risestrider

3 Cromarius Blackfist

 

Equipment

2 Shuriken of Negation

3 Bloodsea Brigand's Vest

 

Abilities

3 Knock Out

3 Head Trauma

4 Deadliness

4 Purloin

4 Stab in the Dark

 

Quests

4 Forces of Jaedenar

3 Silvermoon City

4 Solanian's Belongings

4 Information Gathering

 

The deck’s basic plan is to quickly strip the opponent of useful answers to its resource destruction abilities, then (shockingly) destroy their resources. It capitalizes on the destruction of one or two resources by playing the rather enormous-sized Naliss the Silencer or Rehgar Earthfury, hopefully before the opponent can reasonably handle either ally. The deck hopes to prevent the majority of threats to its survival from hitting the table by relying on its discard effects, while adding some pressure to the opponent using Sayge and other mid-to-late allies. So, we'll see what we can do . . .

 

To begin, we need to pick and remove one of the two 6-drop allies, then change the other to a 2-of, primarily to create space to add a few abilities. Naliss is a very interesting card, but Rehgar provides us one more answer to Weldon Barov and the "Black Ice" infestation. Naliss does so in a similar fashion, turning off their protectors, but costing resources to do it. The deciding factor between them is a question of utility versus power: Rehgar is only really good against "Black Ice," but if you have to pick a deck for a card to be good against, that's the one. In addition, he's completely, totally, ridiculously, and gamebreakingly good. Naliss is quite solid against the deck, but also randomly useful against other decks (like Mother Misery!). Rehgar will take the spot, because this deck is in need of some pure power. To round out the allies, we're going to remove two Doshura Risestrider in favor of two Sayge. This is because we are certain to play four copies of Deadliness, as well as four Solanian's Belongings, so we already have quite a bit of redundancy in terms of "kill their exhausted guy." Redundancy is good; too much redundancy is bad. Those extra two copies of Sayge will ensure that opposing control decks have something to worry about aside from their depleted resource count. Varanis, for instance, could either Nether Fracture our Head Trauma or Blade of Wizardry our Sayge, not both. Either option is bad for Varanis. One feeds us cards and possible interrupt effects; the other lets us speed our resource count ahead of his, making his interrupts less powerful.

 

With that done, we leave the allies section with two free spots, which we will save for the abilities section. In equipment, we'll leave the Shuriken alone but cut Bloodsea Brigand's Vest. It allows us to accelerate our resources, but what does this deck plan to do with that? We need to focus more on denying resources, a role our abilities fill well, rather than improving ourselves. Those spots will be spent on the repeatedly mentioned abilities. Five slots.

 

The two abilities we want to add are . . . (drum roll) Thud! and Pick Pocket. Pick Pocket, when coupled with Purloin and Stab, can be extremely silly. Imagine, if you will, a game against "Black Ice." You open the game by Purloining his Fizzle or The Taste of Arcana. You see two Myriam Starcallers and a Weldon Barov. Oh noes! The good "Black Ice" player, may, at this point, play a Myriam face down. If you saw a quest in his hand, and then he played a face down resource, it might be reasonable guess that he has done just that. If he played a quest, then he has set him up for the silliness of Pick Pocket your two Myriams, Stab in the Dark your Barov, /dance. Pick Pocket is, quite literally, the only card that can frequently net you a 2-for-1 as early as turn 2 for only 1 resource. Thud! is a general utility card, and when played correctly, is very powerful at avoiding a turn 4 Myriam or helping you to evade interrupts. All of this is in addition to letting us set up targets for Deadliness! We're going to add four copies of each, cutting two quests and one ability. For the ability, we have a choice between Knock Out and Head Trauma. One offers consistency, while the other can create problems if the opponent has the ability to complete the quest in response. In addition, Knock Out can be Fizzle'd. We'll cut one copy of it, going down to two.

 

Finally, the quests and locations. Forces of Jaedenar and Solanian's Belongings seem like very obvious, solid inclusions in this deck. Past those two quests, the water is a bit murky. Since I've mentioned we need to cut down on our face-up resource count, we will likely have to cut Silvermoon. It is a powerful card, but we're going to need all the card draw and card filtering we can get. The Darkmoon Faire fits quite nicely in with the vast number of abilities we have with the ability to be useless at later points in the game. All of our discard effects and five of our resource destruction effects are cards we seldom want to draw on turn 11. The Darkmoon Faire will let us throw them away to try and find that elusive Greench. We'll replace Silvermoon with that, and then spend our last two quest slots on Outland Sucks!. This helps fill in our slight lack of cards to play on turn 3, and will often fuel us up two cards. So, here it is:

 

Hero: Ravenna

 

Allies

2 Rehgar Earthfury

4 Vexmaster Nar'jo

2 The Abominable Greench

4 Sayge

3 Blood Knight Kyria

2 Doshura Risestrider

3 Cromarius Blackfist

 

Equipment

2 Shuriken of Negation

 

Abilities

2 Knock Out

3 Head Trauma

4 Deadliness

4 Thud!

4 Pick Pocket

4 Purloin

4 Stab in the Dark

 

Locations

3 The Darkmoon Faire

 

Quests

4 Forces of Jaedenar

4 Solanian's Belongings

2 Outland Sucks!

 

I hope you enjoyed reading, and hope to see your comments both in my inbox and on the forums. Test the deck out—I think it’s one of the strongest I have worked on, both at the onset and at conclusion.








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