Email me if this user writes something new!



By:
Friend's eMail:



» Report article

Tools of the Trade - Gwon Strongbark (TCG)

04-22-2009 (Wed), 01:00

Game 3, I am on the play and two Mikael plus two Starshot, combined with a Nature’s Reach and a Circle of Blood, allow me to assume the aggressive role. I finish him with a big flip turn dealing 15 damage.

By Phil Cape
4/22/2009



Last time I talked about new Alliance heroes, I left you with three reasonably promising decklists. While the forum response wasn’t quite at the level of my Horde article, one deck stood out above the others in the forums and PMs I received: the Gwon Strongbark token deck. Here is the starting list that I proposed in my original article:

 

Hero: Gwon Strongbark

 

Allies

4 Antikron the Unyielding

4 Mikael the Blunt

4 Mya, Dragonling Wrangler

3 Weldon Barov

 

Abilities

4 Insect Swarm

4 Nature’s Reach

3 Gift of the Wild

3 Moonfire

3 Hibernate

3 The Natural Order

3 Reforestation

4 Force of Nature

3 Nature Unleashed

 

Locations

4 The Circle of Blood

 

Quests

4 Oshu’gun Crystal Powder

4 The Defias Brotherhood

3 To Serve Kumisha

 

I played a couple of games on MWS and made one minor change before taking it to a Battleground:

 

-3 To Serve Kumisha

+3 Forces of Jaedenar

 

Forces is very reliable in this deck, and while it doesn’t dig as deep as Kumisha, sometimes your problem won’t simply be solved by finding an expensive card. I also put together a fairly simple side deck:

 

3 Barkskin

3 Band of the Inevitable

4 Starshot

 

Like I mentioned before, I was most concerned about how this deck would fare against fast aggressive decks, so I maxed on Starshots rather than Barkskins. All of the cards in my side deck are fairly straightforward, proven powerhouses against their intended matchups.

 

Round 1: Chad Gaynier with Plague Demonsoul

 

Chad was playing a list nearly identical to the Plague deck that Top 8ed the recent Darkmoon Faire in Koln. He offers me tokens on turn 2, which I accept, then Eye of Kilroggs me. I allow it, as I have two Moonfires. His turn 3 offer of additional tokens is declined, Rain of Shadow takes out his blue brothers, and I resign myself to playing this game with very few cards. Fortunately, I draw a few quests and start building a decent number of resources. I win this game because I am able to keep The Circle of Blood pumping out tokens with my Moonfire, and he cannot remove my Nature’s Reach. Game 2, he offers me more blue brothers, but I’m not falling for those shenanigans. He has an Eye and a Banish for my two Nature’s Reaches and a devastating Rain of Shadows to answer my Force of Nature. He clears my hand too early and cruises to an easy win. Game 3, I once again have the Moonfire/Circle of Blood “combo,” and it allows me to win through four board sweeps. It’s worth noting that you want to set up your Circle so that it is fully charged and ready on your opponent’s turn. That way you can make the token at end of turn and give them the smallest possible window in which to kill it, as well as dodge potential board sweepers.

 

1-0

 

Round 2: Terry Dodich with Varanis Bitterstar

 

Terry is playing the newly popular “Slow Mage” deck. This tournament is shaping up to be a real trial by fire for Gwon, as this is yet another opponent with a tier one deck. Game 1, he handles my early tokens well, but I do manage to stick a Moonfire on him with a The Circle of Blood in play. Then, in one turn, I am able to flip and hit him with four tokens for a sick 12 damage. After that, he can’t find a heal in time and dies to random points from Moonfire and gladiator tokens. Game 2, I maneuver the early turns carefully, offering up a Moonfire into his one open resource on my own turn. He bites with a counter, and I land Barkskin. With my abilities now uncounterable, I go to work with Nature’s Reach and Force of Nature. He clears the board with an Engulfing Blaze, then The More, the Scarier, then another Scarier. But, with my abilities now uncounterable, he has a lot of dead cards. He finds a Spell Suppression for my Barkskin, but I am able to Reforestation it when he has only two available resources. He dies on turn 8 to Force of Nature plus hero flip.

 

2-0

 

Round 3: Ryan Dodich with Desecrator Stormclaw

 

Ryan is Terry’s son who has been playing Desecrator Aggro for a while, and he has become quite good with it. I watched him play his previous round and was impressed with the manner in which he paced his threats and played towards his outs. This would be the true test—I had a feeling that red control would be a pretty good matchup for me, but this deck was fast and I didn’t have many ways to catch up in a race. Game 1, he has a relatively slow mulligan draw (no 1-drop) and I’m able to overpower him with cards through the midgame as I complete a pair of Defias. Game 2, I have an awesome hand. I can’t imagine how I will lose. Well, he showed me. My Starshots couldn’t kill all his allies because of a Thunder Bluff and I made the mistake of forgetting that his ALAMO won’t pump Himul Longstrider. On turn 7, I think I can save myself with a Nature Unleashed, but his pair of war stompers and an ever-growing board pushes those bears around with ease. When I ready on turn 8, I have a great hand and lots of ways to stop him . . . but I can’t stop everything, and my damage total is too high. I got tempoed right off the board this game. Game 3, I am on the play and two Mikael plus two Starshot, combined with a Nature’s Reach and a Circle of Blood, allow me to assume the aggressive role. I finish him with a big flip turn dealing 15 damage.

 

3-0

 

Round 4: Matt Quinn playing Jonas the Red

 

Matt is paired up this round as I am the only undefeated left in the tournament. In fact, we realize that every other player who is 2-1 had already played me (Chad, Terry, and Ryan), so Matt is the only player left for me to face. The only card that I think I have to be worried about here is Overkill, so I plan to either empty my hand and leave plenty of face-up quests or quest constantly to keep my hand full. Game 1, he throws some burn at my early guys while using Whisper Knives to try and keep them under control. He does not have Overkill on turn 5, and I draw three Forces of Nature. A flip on turn 7 puts him to nearly dead, and he finds the Overkill to stabilize on the next turn. However, I immediately draw Moonfire and spam him out in two turns. Game two, I mulligan into a real stinker of a hand: five quests, Mikael, and Nature’s Reach. However, I draw a Circle of Blood to activate my Crystal Powders and parlay that into a Force of Nature plus Defias on turn 5, followed by more and more Defias. He can’t keep up with the constant flow of tokens and eventually succumbs.

 

4-0, 1st place

 

Well, that went far better than expected! While I do think I faced some tough matchups, I think the notion that the token deck folds to a couple of board sweepers has been roundly refuted. Three of my four opponents packed area of effect damage, some even playing multiple types. My tokens died constantly, and yet I was able to keep producing more—cheaply and quickly enough—that my opponents could never really stabilize. Fact is, a lot of the current crop of control decks don’t worry about finishing you very quickly, preferring instead to lock you down and grind you out. At several points in most of my games, my board presence was pathetic. The problem was that they never presented me with a threat of their own, thereby setting a limit on the amount of time I had to peck away at their health. My tokens are certainly cheaper to produce than their answers to my tokens, and so you patiently grind the health total down, keeping an eye out for opportunities for the big swing with your flip.

 

While the deck performed admirably, there are certain portions that did not do as well. Nature Unleashed did not do what I needed it to do against the aggressive decks and was always too slow and vulnerable against control. One thing I didn’t really realize fully when I made the initial deck is how easy it is to get Circle up and running. Once it is, you really don’t want to leave it unused, meaning you are playing off-curve a large portion of the game. While this is pretty sweet for beating everyone’s new favorite Mage ability, it makes a card like Nature Unleashed into an effective 8-drop—way too slow for this deck’s goals. Hibernate was the other big stinker – I never needed or wanted to use it, and it always went face down in the row. The only application I could see for it is to target my own allies, but unfortunately it only hits non-token allies, limiting its application further. The final card I was unhappy with was Antikron. Maybe the format has shifted a lot, but he is no longer the powerhouse he once was, and he is even worse in this deck because of my natural vulnerability to 1-damage AoE. I think swapping him for Korthas Greybeard would be a very positive change, as Korthas can not only survive a Rain of Shadow but also save another token!

 

The Moonfires were very, very good, and I will definitely be adding a fourth copy. The synergy with Circle of Blood (for what it’s worth, I think this is the best location ever printed) is powerful and very difficult for control decks to stop. With a fourth Moonfire in the deck, I want to revisit one of the other cores that I considered for this deck: Moonkin Form. With Sowing of Seeds, Moonkin Form becomes a very viable card that I would be happy to include. Here is my updated list:

 

Hero: Gwon Strongbark

 

Allies

4 Korthas Greybeard

4 Mikael the Blunt

3 Weldon Barov

 

Abilities

4 Insect Swarm

4 The Natural Order

4 Moonfire

3 Moonkin Form

4 The Sowing of Seeds

3 Stormfire

4 Force of Nature

4 Nature’s Reach

3 Gift of the Wild

 

Locations

4 The Circle of Blood

 

Quests

4 Forces of Jaedenar

4 Oshu’gun Crystal Powder

4 The Defias Brotherhood

 

Side Deck

3 Barkskin

3 Band of the Inevitable

4 Starshot

 

You can see there are some other changes: Reforestation and Mya left the deck. Mya was functionally replaced by Sowing, and Reforestation was just a bit too slow. I still like the card in theory, because it’s like a Tatulla the Reclaimer for 1 more that targets and is harder to kill, but I don’t know if I can fit them. Overall the curve has gone down, and the deck has a more focused game plan than before. Against control decks, you push damage while maintaining card advantage to beat their board sweepers. You also have a sizeable amount of burn to close the game late. Against aggressive decks, your burn and cheap allies should allow you to turn the tide early and then win on the back of your superior attrition game and explosive damage potential from your flip.

 

I know everyone is excited for the upcoming Realm Championships (especially with that prize support—wow!), so next week I will start taking a look at what to expect when you sit down for your three rounds of Constructed on day 1. I do urge those of you who are still looking for a deck to take this deck seriously and test it, because in some metagames, it will be an utter smashing. Tune in next week!








No comments available

Please login with a character to comment.

 



Registration is free and anyone can join!

MMOCluster user name
Email
Password
Type your password again.


banggu
Image: Eyz 1
Zazue727
Image: holypimp 1
RAqib

Mini blog

11-01-2014, 18:29
Warjunky: Moin Moin! weckt eure müden leiber und lasst euch mal online sehen :D 0

09-04-2014, 22:52
Bassejr: How do I delete my mmocluster acc? 0

08-14-2014, 19:20
Alyria: Ok Wlod kommt am 13.11. 0

08-08-2014, 11:12
Spliz: Hui, ich bin nach langer Zeit mal wieder hier, muss ja immer mal wieder reinschneien :D Ist noch wer von den alten Leutchen da? Mein Gewürz zum Beispiel? 2

07-13-2014, 23:47
Alyria: Herzlichen Glückwunsch der deutschen Mannschaft zum Weltmeistertitel 0


Write a mini blog yourself: