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  1. #1
    Senior Member highmystica's Avatar
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    Red face SF Zaladar [C]rush Edition - Final

    I present the final version of this provided there are no changes to Loom of Fate and Meat Wagon. Like all the versions of this style of deck going back to C.o.t.C. it is one of the fastest and most consistent A.I. farming decks. Only kentuequi's Aramia Wisp OP deck can compete and it's major drawback for new players is the amount of gold it takes to build it.

    Hero (1):
    Zaladar
    Great hero with a great ability.

    Allies (17):
    Fire Snake *2
    Strong 1cc ally
    Hellsteed *4
    Ally that boosts first ally's attack and will be used to attack with latter.
    Spark *4
    Ally that grows with its fellow sparks.
    Rotling *3
    Ally that sometimes gets stronger, likes to eat Jasmine out of the graveyard.
    Flare *4
    Ally with good synergy with Spark.

    Abilities(3):
    Nocturnal Advantage *3
    Awesome ability, mostly to bypass hidden, stealth and weapons, but the +1 global amp is good too

    Artifacts (9):
    Shard of Power *3
    Global amp.
    Meat Wagon *3
    Pseudo global amp.
    Loom of Fate *3
    Used to manipulate Meat Wagon, but the draw is nice too.

    Total Cards: 29 + Hero (you only need 30 to play against the AI)
    Total Cost: 4050g or 3150g + 100 SC Elemental Starter Deck

    Resource Breakdown:
    1cc *16 cards
    2cc *4 cards
    3cc *9 cards

    Cost Breakdown:
    19 cards at 100g
    7 cards at 150g
    3 cards at 300g
    1 card at 200g

    Alternate Version - Only if you got multiple shadow starter decks:
    +2 Fire Snake
    -2 Rotling

    Temporary versions:
    When you first start out even this deck probably looks kinda pricey. So, when you are messing around with the initial incarnations of your farming deck you might want to aim for the following build before the version above:

    -3 Meat Wagon
    -3 Loom of Fate
    +3 Bazaar
    +2 Bloodlust
    +1 Nocturnal Advantage

    Total Cost: 3220g or 2120g + 100 SC Elemental Starter Deck

    Notice how none of the cards in the temp and final version of the deck are ones that you won't want. Good investment, huh?

    When you start out you will not have the right mix of allies, just take the cheapest 17 shadow or neutral allies you have in terms of CC and go to work. I recommend that you get 4 sparks and 4 flares as soon as you can (swapping them for the most expensive CC allies you have), then set up the temporary version of the support cards, then get the missing allies, then the final version of the support cards. And then you stand as a god before the AI.

    Technically, the temporary version is a DP deck. Obviously, it isn't as consistent as the final SF version, or what I was actually using during DP (comes real close), and it is better than what we were running around with during the pure CotC days and most importantly this build is insanely cheaper and can still stand up to pretty much any hero you throw at it. Essentially, the temporary version is the absolute cheapest you can make a Zaladar Farming deck, and the Final SF version is the strongest you can make it ignoring any future LL and beyond cards.

    CHART to help with temp versions.

    Playstyle:
    The basic premise is to weenie rush and just go for the hero ignoring allies except the ones that are annoying (like Jasmine). The Fire Snakes and the Rotlings are the least useful of the allies - don't underestimate the Hellsteeds. Kinda goes without saying that you want to play Flare after a Spark is already out.
    You want to aim for 3 resources, and then after that only sacrifice excess artifacts.
    You want at least 3 allies out before you play a global amp.
    It's preferable to use Shard of Power before the other global amps.
    Try to hold on to Nocturnal Advantage until they use a weapon or Into the Forest.
    Technically, you only need 3 allies to win, though chances are good you will end up with more.

    You will virtually always end up with more than 3 resources since there are nine artifacts and this is handy for using Loom of Fate. Loom of Fate isn't really included for draw (which is nice) rather for its interaction with Meat Wagon. Since you have 17 out of 29 cards that are allies you have about a 60% chance or better of having an ally on top with Meat Wagon out, and if you don't Loom of Fate has the same chance of pulling one up for you. I really love the Meat Wagon + Loom of Fate synergy.

    Difficulty, ranked hardest to easist:
    Boris
    *Amber
    *Serena
    Eldawen
    Gwenneth
    *Victor
    Nishaven
    Zhanna
    *Lance
    *Jericho

    Caveat:
    The heroes marked with a * are speculation, based on my experience with the C.o.t.C. and D.P. versions of this deck and some of the heroes I haven't faced since C.o.t.C. And just because they are marked as being more difficult you don't need to fear them, they just tend to take a little longer that is all (except Boris who might last a lot longer depending on how lucky the AI is). Just so you know there is only one card that beats this deck and it has to be backed up with specific cards. Yep, a single card and it isn't even carried by the hardest of heroes to go up against. The card is Ice Storm. Only priests carry it and they have to get damn lucky and back it up. T3 Ice Storm followed by T4 Wizent's Staff and then T5 Tidal Wave will possibly kill you, possibly, maybe. It will become a hard match regardless. The thing is is they need those three cards on those turns and it's not like the AI is running around with tuned priest decks, it is a rare string of plays. I don't remember losing with the current version, but I have been hit with that same combo in previous incarnations of this deck and it hurts. Without that combo priests are really easy. The other cheap AoE spells like Arcane Burst and Lightning Strike happen a turn too late (T4) to give the AI much hope. Like all the Zaladar farming decks ever posted it doesn't really matter which hero you face off against, I'd avoid Boris because he has the potential to make the match rather long.

    Changes from my D.P. and S.F. beta versions:
    Bad Santa was dropped in favor of Loom of Fate because they were esentially filling the same role and Loom of Fate is cheaper at 1cc and has staying power.
    I dropped the Frostmares and went back to a mix of allies closer to the D.P. version because I found that it was preferable to have three more 1cc allies over 3 hasted ones because it worked more consistantly with Loom of Fate in the games where you had 4-5 resources. Ironically the hasted 2cc allies ended up slowing this deck down.
    I changed the ratio of Fire Snake and Rotling to 2:3 (from 1:4) because in the starter deck you get 2 Fire Snakes and I only ever rarely got to use Rotling's ability.

    You can check out the versions of this kind of deck from earlier expansions HERE.

    Update:
    So I've had a lot of time to test this and at first I wondered if it was slower that my DP version because of the difference between Bloodlust and Meatwagon, still can't tell after months and months of play if it is or not. It is I have noticed more consistent - virtually all matches take 5-6 turns going first or 4-5 going second depending on which Hero you are facing. Also it recovers really well against board wipes (the DP version required the lucky draw of a Bad Santa to pull it off). Loom of Fate I have found to have another purpose than what I mentioned when I originally posted - it comes in really handy if you got a bunch of bad draws. Fun thing about this deck it has has a stronger advantage going second over going first VS the AI because of Zaladar's ability. Go second and win a turn earlier, gotta love it.

    Regarding farming decks:
    All things considered this deck's value will decrease for you over time. Starting from the time you can afford your first starter deck till you can make a competition deck you are happy with is basically the only time when having a deck like this is the most helpful, after that it just becomes little more than a handy tool. I've recommended these kind of builds to all my friends I've introduced to this game. Only one still uses them regularly, guess who the newest player among my friends is ... and he shouldn't be using it at all because he has an extensive MtG background. I have another friend that refuses to use this deck and ONLY plays the AI. Over two years at this ... well, he is perfectly content throwing together random stuff and playing the AI. Weirdos.
    So people when they start out want to know the "best" way to earn gold. This is not the best way (the other thing farming is referred to is grinding for a reason), it is the fastest way to earn gold (if you don't have the time to really compete in Meltdown) - the games are just so much quicker and you will win 99.9% of the time once you have the final build. The best way to earn gold when you start is probably Meltdown, you don't need a library and you are exposed to a huge array of cards. The catch with Meltdown is that you have to build a deck each time so the games take longer than the other formats. The most satisfying way to earn gold when you start is plain old ranked matches. Sure, at my level they are satisfying but nothing like first starting out when you say hit 200 for the first time and then every five levels over seemed like a massive accomplishment. So yeah, this deck only exists for quick and dirty farming when you need or want gold as soon as possible.

    Hope this little guide helps.
    Last edited by highmystica; 07-06-2016 at 09:14 PM. Reason: Added information

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kylt's Avatar
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    Just to get an idea, you earn 40G when you win against CPU. So you need to play 85 games to get 3400G before building this deck. (73 games if you purchase Ele starter deck).
    IGN: Kyltz

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pat Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylt View Post
    Just to get an idea, you earn 40G when you win against CPU. So you need to play 85 games to get 3400G before building this deck. (73 games if you purchase Ele starter deck).
    This is true if you are at level 12 or above. Otherwise it will be more since

    A win against the computer can yield 20G/100XP, 25G/125XP, 30G/150XP, 35G/175XP and 40G/200XP from levels 1, 4, 6, 8 and 12 onwards respectively.

    This is also assuming you don't buy starter packs with your SC and sell the contents for gold - from the 25 SC earnt for each level gained

  4. #4
    Senior Member highmystica's Avatar
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    Well, as it is it's cheaper than the other posted farming decks and more importantly it's consistent against the human opponents. If you want to go cheaper you could swap the three Loom of Fate for three Bazaar, and drop the Meat Wagon for an additional Nocturnal Advantage and two Bloodlust, but then it wouldn't be a SF deck.

    The cost with those changes would be: 3220g or 2120g + Elemental Starter Deck

    As an aside I can win about two and a half games in the time it takes to play one quick game.

    Update: Actually with the current meta as it is now around the 300 lvl I can play 3 or more AI matches in the same amount of time as ranked.
    Last edited by highmystica; 07-04-2016 at 12:22 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member highmystica's Avatar
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    bump for the new players I was telling about this deck

  6. #6
    Senior Member highmystica's Avatar
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    Zaladar's earlier farms

    Archetypal flashback versions:
    Just so you can see the roots of Zaladar's farm.

    CotC - Spark Effect:
    Hero (1)
    1* Zaladar

    Allies (17)
    4* Brutalis
    4* Fire Snake
    3* Hellsteed
    2* Dark Flayer
    4* Carniboar

    Abilities (8)
    4* Bloodlust
    4* Bad Santa

    Artifacts (4)
    4* Shard of Power
    CotC - No Spark Effect:
    Hero (1)
    1* Zaladar

    Allies (17)
    3* Brutalis
    4* Fire Snake
    3* Hellsteed
    3* Carniboar
    4* Spark

    Abilities (8)
    4* Bloodlust
    4* Bad Santa

    Artifacts (4)
    4* Shard of Power

    Firstly, I am not responsible for this build, and I have no idea who I copied it from - I found it in my old SE notes. During the days of pure CotC there was something called the spark effect, and we hated it. Anyway, what would happen was if you had multiple Sparks out plus a Shard of Power then if one of your Sparks died they would ALL die. So that is why the CotC version is so different from what you might expect (-2 Dark Flayer, -1 Carniboar, -1 Brutalis, +4 Sparks) without knowing about the spark effect. This deck was good at the time, just had to be picky which heroes you played against. Incidentally, the allies chosen in this case favor higher health because you simply don't attack as fast and they have to endure longer for you to get your Shard of Power out and what not. Also Bad Santa is favored over Bazaar because the AI tends to play Bazaar anyway, though honestly I believe I was running a mix of the two.

    DP - First Crush
    Hero (1)
    1* Zaladar

    Allies (17)
    1* Fire Snake
    4* Hellsteed
    4* Spark
    4* Rotling
    4* Flare

    Abilities (9)
    3* Bloodlust
    3* Bad Santa
    3* Nocturnal Advantage

    Artifacts (3)
    3* Shard of Power

    So yeah, the first non Wulven "crush" deck I made. Just so you know the "crush" refers to the fact that there are 3 different kinds of global amps and it is a weenie rush deck and that I guess I made it being that I'm the only one that uses Crush in deck names. For a very short while the spark effect did effect the DP meta, and there were posts prior to that change. I think I posted the most recent DP one prior to the change and I was already using Sparks again because of the Flares, but it wasn't tuned because I was still getting DP cards.

    Fun little thing you can notice is that the cost of the Zaladar farming decks has gone down considerably from the days of CotC till now while at the same time becoming more consistent. Even swapping the Sparks in now that you no longer have to worry about the spark effect the CotC version is the most expensive. The DP version certainly trimmed the cost down both in gold and CC, and now for SF it is crazy cheap. Presently, there is nothing that the LL cards contribute to the Zaladar farming decks, yet, hopefully something will be added in the future updates that can take this into the LL era.

    The driving philosophy of the Zaladar style farming decks has changed very little. From the very beginning you wanted to set it up so that you can cast Bloodlust after Shard of Power and hit the enemy hero as hard and as quick as possible. With DP we gained access to a great card - Nocturnal Advantage, and they got rid of that damn spark effect. So with three different global amps it became easier to really punish the AI. Flares helped quite a bit as well. It was really satisfying to try and play both Bloodlust and Nocturnal Advantage on top of Shard of Power (though to pull that off you were stuck playing against a warrior, otherwise the AI dies before you can pull it off). For the most part the SF version didn't do anything to speed the deck up on average vs the AI, rather made it more elegant and dynamic, recovers better from those unlucky games and is cheaper to make. Also because Loom is cheaper to use than Bad Santa you end up with more resources and plays all around.

    Hope you enjoyed the tiny bit of Zaladar farming history.
    Last edited by highmystica; 07-07-2016 at 01:05 AM. Reason: formating

  7. #7
    Senior Member highmystica's Avatar
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    Zaladar's Transformation

    Just an easier way to visualize the temp decks w/ the final version:

    CotC Zaladar's Biology 101 Class:
    Hero (1):
    Zaladar

    Allies (15):
    2* Deathbone
    2* Keldor
    2* Infernal Gargoyle
    2* Brutalis
    1* Plasma Behemoth
    2* Fire Snake
    2* Belladonna
    2* Spark

    Abilities (8):
    2* Shriek of Vengeance
    2* Transference
    2* Extra Sharp
    1* Here Be Monsters
    1* Eternal Renewal

    Artifacts (6):
    4* Bazaar
    2* Shard of Power
    DP Zaladar's Backyard Garden:
    Hero (1):
    Zaladar

    Allies (17):
    2* Fire Snake
    4* Hellsteed
    4* Spark
    3* Rotling
    4* Flare

    Abilities(6):
    2* Bloodlust
    4* Nocturnal Advantage

    Artifacts (6):
    3* Bazaar
    3* Shard of Power
    SF Zaladar Crush
    Hero (1):
    Zaladar

    Allies (17):
    2* Fire Snake
    4* Hellsteed
    4* Spark
    3* Rotling
    4* Flare

    Abilities(3):
    3* Nocturnal Advantage

    Artifacts (9):
    3* Shard of Power
    3* Meat Wagon
    3* Loom of Fate
    Alternate Version:
    (depending on your library)
    -1 Bazaar
    +1 Extra Sharp
    *I'm not actually sure if they updated the initial hero decks when they updated the initial starters, if they haven't you'll at least be able to make the Alt Version.*
    Alternate Version:
    (depending on your library)
    -2 Bloodlust
    +2 Meat Wagon
    Don't bother with more Meat Wagons unless you have Loom of Fate or Bad Santa to replace the Bazaars and give you draw that will manipulate Meat Wagon.
    Alternate Version:
    (depending on your library)
    -2 Rotling
    +2 Fire Snake
    * Made from your initial deck + the 100 SC Elementalis Deck.
    * Hardly worth a deck name - lol.
    * Cheapest you can make a real good farming deck currently. * The most consistent farming build currently available for Zaladar.

    BTW: The reason the final version of this deck doesn't use things like Frostmare is because it actually slows you down due to the 2cc cost and that you have to give up 1cc critters to make room (lessens the chance of laying something down every turn too).
    basic example:
    t1 - drop Rotling
    t2 - drop 2 Rotlings - hit for 1
    t3 - drop Shard of Power - hit for 9
    t4 - drop Meat Wagon + Loom of Fate - hit for 9 or 12
    t5 - drop Nocturnal Advantage and two 1cc allies hit for 12 or 15
    t1 - drop Rotling
    t2 - drop Frostmare hit for 2
    t3 - drop Shard of Power - hit for 6
    t4 - drop Meat Wagon + Loom of Fate - hit for 6 or 8
    t5 - drop Nocturnal Advantage and Frostmare - hit for 10 or 13
    Total = min 31 to max 37 Total = min 24 to max 29

    Of course that really simplifies it. It ignores the hero ability, or possible synergies with the allies. Because the allies are so cheap and there is a strong possibility that you won't get your global amps like that you'll end up with more critters that hit just as hard or harder when you lay out your global amps. And pity the AI if they keep stalling you with things like Into the Forest and Holy Shield ... You will hit them insanely hard (i.e. 10 - 20 pts of dmg that you can't even use because everything is now dead). I saw a video on youtube that I linked to in this POST. In the first match it shows what the AI can do armed with a real bad untuned Shard rush deck (Nishaven is annihilated). So you should feel pretty secure using one that is tuned and does scary stuff all the time.

    The thing is you need to realize that playing a shard deck vs the AI or against another living breathing human is a lot different. There are guides out there to look at for a real competition shard deck, and hey you already have most of the needed cards, and now you have a happy farming deck to last until you get the gold to make this deck and your initial hero into competition decks.

    A better breakdown of the dmg output of this deck is HERE.
    Last edited by highmystica; 07-23-2016 at 11:37 AM.

  8. #8
    DP Visionary Shadows R Us's Avatar
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    Great write up and history.
    The Paladin of Punxsutawney
    Warrior of The Blue Phoenix
    Greatness, Reborn

    IGN: BP Shadows R Us

  9. #9
    Senior Member Kylt's Avatar
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    Very neat guide! But I have to say, I would not recommed this to beginners. It's pointless to spend gold to just get more gold in the first place, and those cards are not really used outside of the deck. While I have no intention to put down the above great write up, I suggest this deck for farming which works with cards that can actually be used in competitive level.


    Hero: Nishaven or Eladwen

    Allies (16):
    4x Kristoffer Wyld ~140g
    4x Puwen Bloodhelm ~100g
    4x Blake Windrunner ~100g
    4x Aldon the Brave ~430g

    Abilities (13):
    1x Extra Sharp ~90g
    4x Bad Santa ~460g
    4x Fireball ~150g
    4x Supernova ~260g

    = 30 cards ~ 6850g

    All of the cards can either be found in the starter deck (as I remember) or worth buying for competitive play usage, except Blakes. You can sub him for any 2cc ally above 2 atk. This deck can also win by t5 and definitely wins by t6 if played correctly. Nishaven is slightly faster than Elad since he can wipe the board when AI is taking ages to make an attack with their allies.



    Btw, can we still farm gold agaisnt AI?
    IGN: Kyltz

  10. #10
    Senior Member highmystica's Avatar
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    WTF Kylt !?! Don't put bad advice on a guide for new players. That's just mean and kind of pathetic. What's wrong with you? Nishaven actually is the worst of all the mages for farming, Human or Shadow. Of the Human mages Aramia is the best followed by Eldawen (Eldawen is better for new players - Aramia is expensive to make). There are actually guides to make a good human farming deck, or you can check HERE (sadly that list hasn't been updated in awhile).

    I wish that somebody would post a real good updated farming deck for the Human faction. Er, rather one that fits with my idea of what the requirements for what a farming deck should be. My problem with my Human farming decks is that they cost so much to even bother typing out or you have to pick and choose your fights, neither case is helpful for the new people that will find a farming deck useful. Maybe, I should change my mental max cost for human farming decks to 6k ignoring the cost of the hero because you start out with a human deck and will need less cards to flesh it out.

    Anyway, for brand new players Eldawen is now the best choice for farming as a human. She used to be tied with Boris, but the Raikka deck changed that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylt View Post
    Btw, can we still farm gold agaisnt AI?
    Yes, but you Kylt are forced to use only your deck to do so!

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