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  1. #1
    Senior Member blueblurr's Avatar
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    1.30 Zaladar Control "Anti-Meta"

    I cannot take full credit. I got the deck from Dharvo during playtesting and helped him tweak it a bit. But I was wondering what others thought. It does exceptionally well against the ally-heavy meta, especially Gravebone.

    The Deck...
    Hero:
    1x Zaladar

    Allies:
    4x Brutalis
    4x Infernal Gargoyle
    3x Death Mage Thaddeus
    4x Plasma Behemoth
    ---
    16 allies

    Abilities:
    2x Shriek of Vengeance
    3x Sacrificial Lamb
    3x Bad Santa
    2x Soul Reaper
    4x Shadow Font
    3x Energy Discharge
    2x Lay Line Nexus
    4x Mind Control
    ---
    23 abilities

    40 cards (39 + hero)

    The logic...
    On paper, the deck seems a little ally-light; but after playing many games, I have never had trouble with it or felt I needed more allies. The idea is to either gain or maintain board control until T5 and then react accordingly. I hardly ever sac cards after T5. The deck has no rushing capabilities, so do not expect to win on T6. It does, however, do well against rushes through ED, MC, and Zaladar's ability.

    Ally choices...
    Brutalis is there since he is difficult to kill and his 1 damage synergizes well with Zaladar's ability to take out 4-HP allies. Also, he can be dropped on T7 with Energy Discharge to clear the board. Gargoyle is chosen as the 3cc ally since I found Medusil and Bad Wolf were dying too easily. As much as I wanted to include Wulven Tracker in the deck, I found that 90% of the time he was dead or disabled before I even got to attack to use his ability. Thaddeus works wonderfully with Zaladar to hit the magical 4 damage mark, since he does 1 damage upon summoning; even if he dies before my next turn, he was useful. Behemoth is the flagship of the deck. He must be dealt with immediately or he can wreck havoc. I chose him over Molten Destroyer, since the deck is lacking on card draw, and I can use his ability as opposed to devote resources to more cards. Ogoloth is nice, but I find that he is really only effective in decks that can recurse him (Gravebone) or protect him (Moonstalker). Plus, the resource curve was already high enough.

    Ability choices...
    2x Shriek and 2x LLN seem to work well when held correctly against an opponent you think might drop a certain weapon/armor; between them, the deck can destroy any item in the game. The 3x Sac Lamb's should be held playing against Warriors and Wulvens to get use out of a crippled Garg or Capture Prey'd Behemoth. Along with Sac Lamb, 3x Bad Santa make up all of the card draw for the deck. I found that 4 Santas was excessive and 2 did not show up when I needed it; 3 was the sweet-spot. The deck top-decks very well, and even when light on cards, I was able to find responses to my opponents' threats. 4x Shadow Font and 4x Mind Control are a no-brainer and should be an auto-include in any decent Zaladar deck. I know that 3x Energy Discharge seems excessive, but here is my reasoning. If you only include two and one appears in your starting hand, you are going to have to more than likely sac it for resources. Then, later on when you really need one, you are looking at drawing a single card from your deck. It is much, MUCH easier to find one when you have two left in your deck. Finally, the 2x Soul Reapers are for late in the game when it's down to the wire, and like ED's they make good early sac fodder.

    The play...
    From my experience, the deck does not have much trouble going second. Given the choice, I might prefer going second. The deck does well with the additional card draw and shadow energy. Plus, as a control deck, I can better react to my opponent's threats. Turns 1-4 are about building board control through allies and Zaladar's ability, using Shadow Font on T4 if going first. T5 is when crucial decisions need to be made. If the opponent drops a threat on T5 (Behemoth, Minotaur (yay!), Molten, Raven), then by all means use MC. But what if he doesn't? Is it safe to drop a PB? Against mages, the risk of a Nova is always there and the last thing you want to do is load up the board for him to blow it away. It is a tough judgement call. Usually if you have nothing else on board at this point, you must. But if you went first and have 2-3 allies on board against a mage or priest, hold off dropping the PB. Maybe drop a 3cc ally if you still have one in hand to bait the Nova/Tidal, and then drop him more safely next turn. If everything has gone according to plan, you should have control of the board with a PB and maybe another ally with your opponent high and dry by T7. Zap away with your hero ability and PB until the bitter end comes.


    That's it! I hope to hear some good criticism (and maybe a little praise?) in following posts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blueblurr's Avatar
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    Shameful bump since this fell off the New Posts lists in minutes for some reason. Any feedback, suggestions?

  3. #3
    Senior Member razcrux's Avatar
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    Great write up!
    Raz (Sebastian)
    Creative Game Designer
    --
    (Was once a member of the Wulven Design-Team)

  4. #4
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    Very good write-up. How many games have you played with this deck?

    Do you ever run out of firepower vs Gravebone? I would have thought Eternal Renewal would be handy, in case GB keeps recursing and you run out of stuff to throw at him.

  5. #5
    Senior Member blueblurr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GondorianDotCom View Post
    Very good write-up. How many games have you played with this deck?

    Do you ever run out of firepower vs Gravebone? I would have thought Eternal Renewal would be handy, in case GB keeps recursing and you run out of stuff to throw at him.
    Thank you. I've played about 20 games (haven't kept count) with the deck. Dharvo includes Eternal Renewal in his version. I don't think it's a bad inclusion; I just find that I would rarely be using it. I feel that it's only viable versus mil decks, and I haven't really seen that happening in 1.3. Only interesting/overlooked point is using it after a Soul Reaper. A lot of people see this as potential lost with allies not coming back, but it can be used to revive all of your Mind Controls and Shadow Fonts in one clean swoop. If 42 cards was the minimum, I would immediately add 2, but right now I simply cannot find room for it in the deck.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bobwei's Avatar
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    This is an excellent deck.

    I have a question regarding two situations you mentioned against GB. 1st situation: He does T5 PB, you MC. Then he T6 another 5cc and resurrects his PB, how would you get back board? 2nd situation: you have a gargoyle and a PB in hand. you cast a 3cc (gargoyle) for fear of nova on T5, then he novas on T5. On T6 you cast a PB. Then he casts dagger, so PB back in hand. how would you react to take back board? If you LLN, then it's time for him to cast PB first. Then what to do? If MC, the same problem like the 1st situation will probably happen again.

    (All the trouble exists due to LLN and MC both cost 5, tempo loss)
    Shadow Era, ETC

    Evolve Through Cooperation

  7. #7
    Senior Member wreon's Avatar
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    My biggest issue with this deck is the lack of ER. With the select number of allies that you run, it seems very susceptible to board wipes, considering none of your allies can survive a supernova.

    This reminds me of Ken's deck, with lesser allies. One of the moves that I liked from Ken's deck was ER + SR, one clears the allies, the other brings back all the deadly MCs and SFs.

  8. #8
    Senior Member blueblurr's Avatar
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    @bobwei: 1st - Against GB, always hold the MC's until you absolutely must use them. If you have ways of killing the PB's with allies+ability (maybe using a SF), do that instead. Make him use up his SE, and THEN bring out the MC's so he won't be able to immediately bring them back. 2nd - If you have another Garg in hand (I never sac Gargs versus GB or most mages), drop him to start wearing down the dagger. Hopefully some lucky SF's or MC's drawn will let you keep the board. Assuming you don't have another Garg, then it's time to go fishing for ED. Use Santas or Sac Lambs to try to find an ED. Hopefully he feels confident now and fills up the board with three or four allies. Then on T7 or T8 you can drop an ally and wipe them away. I don't think LLN is the immediate answer to getting rid of DoU due to the extreme tempo loss, as you said. LLN is in the deck mainly to take out big armors that get in the way (SS, KP, Crescendo).

    @Wenhui: I think you are right and I need to find a spot for ER. I am a complete stickler for 40 card decks, so I must remove a card somewhere. I am thinking -1 Sacrificial Lamb and +1 Eternal Renewal, since the Sacrificial Lamb really only gets the most benefit playing against warriors and wulvens, neither of which are very popular in the current meta. I really hate having only one of a card in any deck, but for ER, I cannot really justify there being two.

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