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  1. #1
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    Smile Zaladar Suicide Black

    Current rating: 420

    1x Zaladar
    1x Soul Reaper
    3x Infernal Gargoyle
    3x Plasma Behemoth
    2x Energy Discharge
    4x Spark
    4x Transference
    4x Mind Control
    4x Here Be Monsters
    2x Shriek of Vengeance
    3x Bad Santa
    Total 31 cards.

    I have been playing Zaladar since 1.23. Mostly against un-errataed portal of course and with good success. I have made minor tweaks since then and am now share the why and how of this deck.

    The way this deck works, reminds me of the Suicide Black decks of MtG. Sinkhole and Hymn to Tourach are mirrored by HbM and Transference respectively.

    This deck is flexible. You can play aggro or control. The combination of your opening hand and your opponent help you determine which approach to use. Generally, against humans, double spark stops blakes dead and is great to play while triple spark is good against almost everything. On the other hand, you can focus on control and Here Be Monsters and Transference your opponent out of the game.

    Card choices:

    Soul Reaper: I am not running Eternal Renewal, so this is likely to gain a bunch of life. Great after aggro starts and against mage decks. Often even gaining 6 life can make the difference between victory and defeat. You never want to draw more than one. Not as good when playing control as that approach sacrifices many creatures.

    Infernal Gargoyle: A pain in the ass to remove. Often in removing it, opponents waste enough tempo to let me get ahead. With that said, not an amazing card and often gets sacrificed.

    Plasma Behemoth: Wins the game. Wins without retaliation and through rain delay. 7 damage a turn in a single card. Almost as tough as gargoyle. Certainly feel free to sacrifice these if going aggro and sacrificing one may be ok even for control.

    Energy Discharge: Eh? I generally sacrifice the first copy. Costing 5, Mind Control is often better, but having one in reserve is nice against anyone who seems likely to over-commit the board.

    Spark: Go go aggro! Randomly wins games. Kills Blakes or dies to 4-power blakes giving you time to fry them. Also immune to Death Trap in multiples.

    Transference: Your primary card advantage and disruption engine in one.

    Mind Control: I run 4 so that I draw it often and am not too afraid to trash one. Generates the best type of card advantage-position advantage.

    Here Be Monsters: Kills Gwen, delays Sandras/Poison Gas, clears your hand for Bad Santa abuse. Tempo is great. Go go Sinkhole!

    Shriek of Vengeance: Dances on Gwen's corpse, Eats opponent's Bazaars after getting a free card. Eats Rain Delay. Considering pushing to 3 so I can trash 1 more easily. Do watch the tempo hit though.

    Bad Santa: Bazaar is bad because even if you play it when you can get more cards, the situation may change down the road and you will regret your opponents having access to 2 cards a turn. Bad Santa you use when your opponent's hand is full or sacrifice it. Low cost and flexibility. Beautiful.

    Cards I am NOT running:

    Eternal Renewal: sure I can win with recycling, or I can put pressure on my opponent and just win. I have died to decking perhaps 2% of the time. Not having 2-3 cards in my deck that generate card disadvantage helps me every game.

    Life Infusion: Card disadvantage.

    Shard of Power: Great for aggro starts. completely useless long-term against everything. My creatures have staying power, this removes it.

    Belladonna: Low durability makes me dislike her. Can perhaps be ran instead of Gargoyle for better resource curve. Still, sooo fragile.

    Armor of Ages: This actually costs 6. By the time I have 6 resources, I either already removed their board turn 5 with Energy Discharge or neutered it by Mind Controlling the biggest threat. Often overkill. If you like the control approach more, you can go for it and run a copy, but it feels like an oversized rain delay that doesn't protect your creatures. Also, not running this makes opponent's Shrieks dead.

    Bazaar: See bad Santa.

    Blood Lust: Used to be in the list as a 1-of. Not a bad card. I don't like possible dead draws though.

    Strategy tips:

    * When going first, your optimal start is turn 1 Spark, turn 2 Bad Santa. You have some board presence, nullified your opponent's card advantage, and are thus in a good position to either drop more sparks (aggro) or start dropping HBMs (control).

    * Generally play HBMs before Transferences. Tempo hits hurt and if you draw Bad Santa, you can get the card advantage back. If you don't, you still get to Mind Control before they can Sandra Lock you (or HBM lock you back).

    * Taking early damage sucks, but it's not the end of the world. Eventually you will blast that Blake and Mind Control Aldon.

    * Late game remove Discharge and keep Mind Controls.

    Specific Matchups:

    Gwen: Stop her from getting to 5 resources. The creatureless version is a walk in the park as you sacrifice Mind Control to HBM her to set her a few turns back, and then kill her with her own Bows via Transference. A Behemoth+Shriek when she finally gets a bow finishes the job. The version with creatures is more annoying as you actually need Mind Control/Discharge. Remember, a second Spark survives death traps.

    Majiya: If she can HBM you a few times and then Poison Gas/Engulfing Flames before you recover, you may be in trouble. So HBM her first and try to keep 1 or two creatures on board at all times. Don't over-commit until you are fairly sure the Supernovas are gone. Energy Discharge is horrible, Soul Reaper is amazing.

    Zaladar: In the mirror match, you have more focus and less useless cards than most current builds. Generally, you are better off focusing on control as early sparks will eventually be eaten. Some really amusing interactions when Mind Controlling Sparks back and forth. Feel free to Shriek a Bazaar, Behemoth gets around Armor of Ages anyway.

    Bugs

    Zaladar can only target the opposing hero directly the first time you activate his ability each game. Each subsequent time, there must be at least one creature under that player's control.

    Sparks have quirks As mentioned before, they tend to survive Death Trap as the health loss (1) for trap is calculated before the boost for Spark's own ability.
    Also, LOSING control will never lower the health/power of any of the Sparks involved, but GAINING control of a Spark does increase the bonuses.

    Conclusion

    Please provide constructive criticism and suggestions.


    Disclaimer

    I am writing this at 2:30 AM. Forgive any spelling/grammar errors.

  2. #2
    DP Visionary Padawan Pete's Avatar
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    What heppens when you deck out?
    Grand Watchman of the Ancient Blue Citadel
    Warriors of the Blue Phoenix
    Greatness, Reborn.

    Don't just witness the greatness;
    Stride with us.


    To join the demonstrably greatest guild in the history of Shadow Era - click here

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padawan Pete View Post
    What heppens when you deck out?
    I almost always win or lose way before then. The deck has enough cards for 18-21 turns. This is enough time.

  4. #4
    I like it, but I think ou need something more offensive, maybe Belladona, since she hits hard and you draw a card.

    But I like it a lot.
    Taste my blade!

  5. #5
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    Elementals die to aggro/burn.
    A1 Manic Brewmaker - Theorycrafter - General Peanut Gallery - Maker of Perfect Nonsense - All Around Stupendous Badass
    My View on Shadow Era, it's meta, and forumites: http://www.shadowera.com/showthread....l-with-it-.-.-.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Calmdown's Avatar
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    That's not really suicide black at all. It's an elemental control deck running Spark, which in itself is a control mechanism if you get it early.

    You're not winning games off the back of your super strong Suicide Black concept, you're winning games off the back of:

    Zaladar

    4x Mind Control
    4x Transference
    3x Energy Discharge
    2x Shriek of Vengeance

    <insert some other cards here>

    and a sprinkling of knowing how to play it.
    Calmdown * Shadow Era Designer * Logan Stonebreaker & Brutal Minotaur Fan Club

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calmdown View Post
    That's not really suicide black at all. It's an elemental control deck running Spark, which in itself is a control mechanism if you get it early.

    You're not winning games off the back of your super strong Suicide Black concept, you're winning games off the back of:

    Zaladar

    4x Mind Control
    4x Transference
    3x Energy Discharge
    2x Shriek of Vengeance

    <insert some other cards here>

    and a sprinkling of knowing how to play it.
    Only two Energy Discharge, and seriously considering cutting it back to 1.

    And yes, ultimately I am winning by using powerful Shadow Era cards correctly. Some of the plays feeling similar to my old Suicide Black was personal observation/flavor.

  8. #8
    Senior Member lightside's Avatar
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    Rebel7284, I really liked this write-up. A few comments before I look over it again...

    -I like the 1x Soul Reaper. It's like the 1x Enrage in many warrior decks, and helps offset the damage from Energy Discharge or just gets you that extra turn needed to finish off the opponent.
    -I like the 4x Sparks as well, and I could see how they win the random game going first with a good draw. Question: If you don't get them in your opening hand and you are going second, do you just end up committing all 4 to the resource pile as you draw them? Or are they ever useful to you mid- or late-game? (I would just resource-pitch them in that situation, personally, to fuel cards that cost 5)
    -Bad Santa? Ideal turn 2 play after going first with Spark? I completely understand the logic behind your explanation, but everybody else hasn't had heaps of praise for the card. I wonder, are you onto something? I don't have the gold right now to actually go out and test the Bad Santas, so I'm wondering if anybody else has had the pleasure of trying it out with success, too?

    Anyways, great deck and great write-up!

  9. #9
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by lightside View Post
    Rebel7284, I really liked this write-up. A few comments before I look over it again...
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by lightside View Post
    -I like the 1x Soul Reaper. It's like the 1x Enrage in many warrior decks, and helps offset the damage from Energy Discharge or just gets you that extra turn needed to finish off the opponent.
    Yes. This card consistently makes Jovai's statement of "Elementals die to aggro/burn." untrue.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightside View Post
    -I like the 4x Sparks as well, and I could see how they win the random game going first with a good draw. Question: If you don't get them in your opening hand and you are going second, do you just end up committing all 4 to the resource pile as you draw them? Or are they ever useful to you mid- or late-game? (I would just resource-pitch them in that situation, personally, to fuel cards that cost 5)
    That depends, the first impulse is generally to sacrifice them. However, that's not always the best choice once you have enough resources around. If your opponent has Aldon out and you can't/don't want to Mind Control, dropping a Spark forces him to attack it (otherwise you Zaldar+Spark to kill it next turn). This puts Spark in the graveyard where you get 2 more life from Soul Reaper. Essentially you gained 5 life from Spark just like Elementalis would. And hey, if you're winning anyway, an extra attacker can help seal the deal too.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightside View Post
    -Bad Santa? Ideal turn 2 play after going first with Spark? I completely understand the logic behind your explanation, but everybody else hasn't had heaps of praise for the card. I wonder, are you onto something? I don't have the gold right now to actually go out and test the Bad Santas, so I'm wondering if anybody else has had the pleasure of trying it out with success, too?
    It does force you to make choices, however:
    1. A lot of the top tier decks have card advantage engines whether it's Research, Majiya, Blood Frenzy and often spending 2 resources to give them 0 or 1 card while you get a net of +2 cards is great.
    2. Bad Santa has great synergy with Here Be Monsters as that tends to leave opponent's hand full as your own hand shrinks rapidly.
    3. Occasionally your opponent trashes everything and leaves a dead Transference in your hand. Bad Santa + Transference, while technically card parity, will often help solidify a winning position as you got up to 4 useful cards while they have 2. Don't do this against mages when low on life obviously.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightside View Post
    Anyways, great deck and great write-up!
    Thanks again. =)

  10. #10
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    Very good Deck. I love it.

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