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  1. #1
    Senior Member Storknest's Avatar
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    Arrow Analysis of Rush decks in SF era

    Because everyone loves/hates Eladwen, Queen of Rush. Took longer than I thought to write up both because of content and RL, sorry it is later than I said it would be.

    So when I found I, currently, do better with Aggro and Rush type decks, I decided to see if Rush could work beyond Eladwen, the only Rush deck I tend to read about here. I started by looking at several Eladwen decks to see if there were any common patterns that made the deck type work and if they could be transferred to other Heroes. I came up with the following Basic Rush Template.

    Allies
    4x cc1
    4-8x cc2
    8-10x cc3
    4-7x cc4+
    need ally with card draw (Tainted Oracle)
    need ally with combat modifier (Aldon) or self boosting
    need allies with good stats (Puwen, Jasmine, etc.)
    possibly an ally with an interesting ability (think Layarian Seductress, Artful Squire, something that works with a particular Hero ability, etc.)

    Abilities, usually from Class
    4x Strong Class card (Fireball)
    3-4x Strong Class card (Lightning Bolt)
    3x Board Wipe or some REALLY Strong Class card (Supernova)

    Other Stuff
    3-4x card draw & something else
    3-4x card draw
    3-4x something else beneficial (example, Portal)

    With this done, I now had to figure out the cards that would work in Rush. Some work was already done, Human allies, Strong Mage cards and some choices for Other Stuff. Since Human was partially done, I started there and looked to see if SF brings anything new to be considered to the Rush deck type. Currently, I got the following 2 lists for Mages.

    Typical Human Allies
    cc1 - Kristoffer Wyld
    cc2 - Puwen Bloodhelm; Champion of Irum; Fatebeak Familiar; Elleanor, Princess of Ellos (1x only); Zealous Mystic;
    cc3 - Jasmine Rosecult; Aldon the Brave; Priest of Light; Layarian Seductress; Evolving Abomination
    cc4+ - Tainted Oracle; Riders of Ellos; Artful Squire; Armored Sandworm; Aeon Stormcaller; Marshland Sentinel (heroes needing SE sinks only); Viska, The Scarlet Blade; Irina, Guardian of the Swan; Fortified Wisp

    I will not go over ones known to be used. Regarding new additions, here is why I added them.

    Fatebeak Familiar - Currently has Puwen's stats but with a decent ability. Even if the stats are modified, if the ability stays, it can counter some good cc2 or less cards. While this can cause the loss of the ally, Fatebeak can change how your opponent plays if he relies on a cc2 or less card thus leading him to really get rid of Fatebeak through other means.

    Elleanor, Princess of Ellos - In the right situations, she can be useful getting stats of 3/1 or 4/1 with her boyfriend Aldon out and cannot be attacked usually. Because she can be counterattacked on your turn, has fragile health and is Unique, I listed her as 1x only.

    Zealous Mystic - The ability to take attachments from others for Haste is good if you play Treasured Heirloom. But Mystic also can function by removing any negative attachments from allies you want available such as taking Crippling Blow upon itself so your Priest of Light with higher attack can be used.

    Evolving Abomination - I have not played it yet so I only speculate it could have use. Usually when playing this deck type, I am either playing allies or abilities on a turn so this ally will gain something when the turn ends thus growing over time.

    Marshland Sentinel - I only list him as an SE sink if deemed needed. The ability to neuter an opposing ally attack to 0 is not something to pass up.

    Viska, The Scarlet Blade - Honestly, I think she is a touch OP. She does make for competition with Aeon.

    Irina, Guardian of the Swan - Two attacks per turn looks good especially in Rush.

    Fortified Wisp - weaker stats than Sandworm but the same damage reduction and possibility of attack going up.

    Skipping over the Class Ability cards, next comes the Other Stuff.

    Typical Human Other Stuff
    *Honored Dead
    *Road Less Traveled (formerly Bad Santa)
    Sever Ties
    Lay Line Nexus
    Portal
    Tome of Knowledge
    Treasured Heirloom
    Snow Sapphire
    Voice of Winter
    Saymeht's Retribution

    Skipping over the ones known about.

    Road Less Traveled - In my view, replaces Bad Santa for same cc, something to discuss and look into.
    Bad - you lose 1 card draw.
    Good #1 - your opponent gets ZERO cards.
    Good #2 - you can replay allies. Attack with Kris, RLT him, play again. Attack with PoL, RLT him, replay for Health Gain and opponent SE loss. Attack with Aldon, he takes damage and lives, RLT him, play again at full health.
    RLT > Bad Santa.

    Saymeht's Retribution - Broad destruction of card types for the same cost as Sever Ties.

    Well, that's Human done except for Class Ability cards, still looking that over. My ally list was much larger so I tried trimming it down with picky criteria. I have only had time to try Aramia Rush with modest success and on the Live Server I have done Jericho Rush with meh success seeing Priest has Tidal Wave as a rough equal for Supernova's board wipe.
    There are times I'll make up words and slip them into conversations just to see if anyone is actually protempifying to what I'm saying. - I'm not normal

  2. #2
    Senior Member Storknest's Avatar
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    Next comes the ability of doing Rush in Shadow and there problems are revealed. I would just like to note beforehand it may seem I am advocating Shadow should get some of the Human gimmicks, I am not. Rather I point out things to show Shadow should get something that fits it allowing for Rush decks while maintaining the difference between it and Human.

    When making the Ally list of possible strong allies, one thing noted is that Shadow has a harder time competing with Human for strong attack and low cc allies. I posted another topic where I did a numbers list of allies gained by each side, Shadow for a couple of sets had it harder at the cc1 and cc2 slots. Even with SF offering more choices, when comparing choices offered there are some not as strong as Human choices. This makes Shadow Rush have a different feel than Human Rush. Here is a list from all three sets of allies I consider worth choosing.

    Typical Shadow Allies
    cc1 - Rotling; Plightbred Runt (only if you have a way to discard it)
    cc2 - Ironhide Karash; Frostmare; Harbinger of the Lost; Fatebeak Familiar
    cc3 - Infernal Gargoyle; Medusil; Death Mage Thaddeus; Morbid Acolyte; Death Collector; Sun-blighted One (Gravebone only); Rampant Krygon; Grimghast; Voracious Arachnid; Brimstone Devourer (only if you have a way to discard it); Slingblade Demon
    cc4+ - Plasma Behemoth; Wulven Tracker; Shadow Knight; Ogloth the Glutton; Furrion Terror; Corpse Hurler; Falseblood Cultist

    There are some good choices now and this list also illustrates some of the differences between Shadow and Human.
    - There are only 2 Hasted allies, both only available now compared to 3 Human ones that came in different sets. Between this and fewer low cc allies, Shadow cannot hit as fast as Human.
    - There is more discarding going on. Corpse Hurler and Falseblood Cultist both have abilities used upon a discard while Plightbred Runt and Brimstone Devourer have effects when discarded. Harder to maintain hand size.
    - There is nothing like Priest of Light or Honored Dead with something comparable to Life Gain.
    - There is no overall boosting of attack power like Aldon though Grimghast can provide protection. Individual boosting is there (Rotling, Voracious Arachnid, Ogloth) though at a price.
    - Only 1 ally with damage protection (Gargoyle) half that of Human ones but cheaper.
    - Until Cultist, Wulven Tracker was the only ally with card draw.

    These differences clarify why Shadow has had some problems with Rush decks. This does not mean Shadow needs all those abilities, instead it needs to find a way to work with its own before any fixes, if any, are needed. The abilities it does have:
    - Low cost damage reduction (Karash, Gargoyle, Medusil).
    - Instant damage abilities allowing allies not to be put at risk (Thaddeus, Ogloth, Hurler).
    - Bringing allies back from the graveyard (SBO in Gravebone, Shadow Knight) kinda like card draw but you know what you are getting.

    Unfortunately that is a small list compared to the Human strengths. More on this will be shown in the next part. Now I will go over Shadow allies from SF since the prior set allies are known with few exceptions.

    Rotling - An exception from DP, I figure this to be the current strongest cc1 ally for a Rush deck. The CotC ones have nothing comparable to Kris. Rotling may not have quick attacks but of all cc1 allies, he brings the ability to self-boost his stats except in the very early turns thus no need for an Aldon, that makes him my #1 choice.

    Plightbred Runt - Is on the list due to its effect, at the same time that requires it to be discarded. Discarding an ally for effects seems stronger in Shadow than in Human but if discarded from hand that runs counter to keeping hand size up that Rush needs. Also discarding questions whether Runt should be treated as an ally, a non-ally or both for deck building.

    Frostmare - Kris meets Fire Snake, similarity to the former gets a spot. Could even be counted as both cc1 & 2 freeing up a few deck slots though cc1 play is conditional.

    Harbinger of the Lost - Shadow’s lite version of Champion of Irum, it is less dependent on opposing allies for stat boosting that is a good thing. Potential self boost like Rotling, how it gets boosted also gives consideration for the allies with effects when discarded.

    Medusil - An exception I list because I have hardly seen her since CotC. Since players will pay cc in a Rush deck for Jasmine’s ability, Medusil’s lower cost ability for allowing safe attacks on opposing allies should also be considered and her stats & cc are the same.

    Sun-blighted One - I only include this for making a Gravebone Rush deck since he boosts her to Shadow Knight stats through his ability.

    Rampant Krygon - Currently a beloved little bugger due to Haste and ability despite its low stats.

    Grimghast - I have run the anti-Aldon and found people target him as much as Aldon. Don’t know why I have seen no one else use him.

    Voracious Arachnid - Grows with every ally death and provides an SE sink to potentially kill other allies.

    Brimstone Devourer - Like the Runt due to his effect when discarded.

    Slingblade Demon - Through his ability, has the potential in a Portal deck to allow double attacks with allies on the board, can also do ally tricks like RLT.

    Wulven Tracker - Prior to Cultist, the only Shadow ally close to Oracle that could give card draw. No discard that Cultist has but he needs to deal damage for the draw to work and that puts him at risk.

    Corpse Hurler - Like Thaddeus, he can deal damage through his ability though it costs a card that may be one of the 2 dealing an effect when discarded.

    Falseblood Cultist - The Oracle of Shadow but with higher health and costing a discard for the draw when played.

    Moving on the non-ally, non-Class Abilities. A lot of strength missing here, tough to replace Bad Santa like RLT, card draw is also harder to find.

    Typical Shadow Other Stuff
    Undying Bond
    *Sacrificial Lamb (formerly Bad Santa?)
    Shriek of Revulsion (formerly Sever Ties)
    Lay Line Nexus
    Portal
    Tome of Knowledge
    Bloodthirsty
    Snow Sapphire
    Voice of Winter

    Undying Bond - Get back 2 allies and if you have Undead (some are on the list), a temporary attack boost.

    Sacrificial Lamb - Closest to RLT, you can get 1 more card but lose an ally thus board position.

    Shriek of Revulsion - Does Sever Ties and more.

    Bloodthirsty - Since Human had 1 Attachment on their list, best of the choices with attack boost and card draw.

    So far I tried Raikka Rush that had a tough time and Logan but he never made it to play against anyone, I first test decks against the AI figuring if the AI can decently beat me I should not play it against Human opponents and Logan never got past the AI often enough.

    Overall, it seems Shadow hurts more in the Rush department, mainly from card draw, the one mechanic Rush needs to be viable, and possibly lacking other qualities such as a Shadow replacement for Life Gain and having tougher choices on allies with fewer low cc ones needing boosts due to no Aldon. Certain cards also lean towards using the discard mechanics of Runt and Devourer, add in Reactorary for Elemental.

    If I missed something, let me know. So who tried Eladwen with RLT?
    There are times I'll make up words and slip them into conversations just to see if anyone is actually protempifying to what I'm saying. - I'm not normal

  3. #3
    Member DollMaster's Avatar
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    I only want to say, the old rush deck is still work.
    I try "Storm" Nis on TS only change 4 cards to Roadless Travel, and got a good result.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Storknest's Avatar
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    Never heard of Storm Nish but I know Eladwen and Nish are good with Rush, I wanted to see if any other Hero was.
    Simple version, seems Shadow has it harder than Human, some classes may have it a bit rougher too.
    There are times I'll make up words and slip them into conversations just to see if anyone is actually protempifying to what I'm saying. - I'm not normal

  5. #5
    Member Blaydemon's Avatar
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    Nice writeup Storknest, thanks for taking the time to do this for everyone
    E T C
    Eliminate The Competition
    Embrace The Craziness

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  6. #6
    Senior Member ipoop245's Avatar
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    One more reason why it's harder to rush as Shadow because there is no " win-win" cards , only "win-more" cards ( TH vs Bloodthirsty , TO vs Wulven Tracker ) , and we all know that low cc allies hardly survive long enough to deliver 2 attacks , which makes shadow rush runs out of steam extremely quickly .

    There's Edgenel's rush Elementalist which focus on ramping super hard to kill allies to the opposing hero's face It's around 300 rating the last time i saw the author using it . It's the only successful non-mage rush deck i've faced . Fun deck but the games will be very one-sided , you either take your opponent down on turn 5-6 or get stomped hard when opponent manage to stall successfully .
    It's always good to go back to your previous achievement and realize how mediocre it was , because it means that you have improved a lot since that time

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