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  1. #1
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    [Primer] Amber Rain - Valse Impromptu (An Aggro-Control rendition of Amber)

    Amber - Valse Impromptu

    Introduction

    First and foremost, thanks to the guidewriters in this section of the forum: I've read some older Amber guides who inspired me to play her, and this decklist should be a bit similar to some others, but I wanted to give a better insight on the deck itself.

    Amber Rain is a Warrior Human Hero in Shadow Era, whose skill in combination with the rest of the cardpool available for Human Warriors allows her to play a really strong Aggro-Control (commonly refered to as "Tempo") strategy. Being an Aggro-Control deck means that you are playing the most versatile kind of deck possible, one that rewards good play more than most other decks in the field. Generally, an aggro-control player has to know when to play aggro (or be the beatdown, go for the face, play a low-economy game, finish as fast as possible) against slower decks and when to play control (card advantage and quality, field manipulation, favorable trades and X-for-1 scenarios, inevitability) against faster decks. And since you are the one who decides the pacing of the game on the fly, it's almost like leading your opponent in an improvised waltz of death and sorrow. Thus, the deckname, Valse Impromptu.

    Now, why Amber? Well, not only Amber has a great cardpool to select from (Her weapons, Retreat!, Layarian Seductress...), but her quick skill along with her weapon allows her to go for the face when aggro, take care of more threats when control, and overall keeping the board clear and accelerating your deck, putting her right in the middle of the spectrum compared with the slower Boris or the sometimes faster but more ally reliant Tala.

    Card List:

    Hero: Amber Rain

    Allies (16):
    4x Yari Bladedancer
    4x Priest of the Light
    1x Spirit Warden
    2x Fleet-footed Messenger
    3x Layarian Seductress
    2x Yari Marksman

    Abilities (17):
    4x Crippling Blow
    4x Retreat!
    2x Glimmer of Hope
    2x Smashing Blow
    4x Blood Frenzy
    1x Enrage

    Items (6):
    4x Jeweler's Dream
    2x War Flail


    First, allies.

    Most of them are a reasonable drop on an empty board. Most of them have high health and most have effects that allow them to be useful even if they only last a single turn, and lots of those effects are removal of pseudo-removal. The tradeoff is that they mostly have low attack, but the weapon package compensates for that.

    Yari Bladedancer is the best 2 drop for removal available for Human Warriors. It has good attack for racing your opponent down, good health, and paired with another ally, you can remove some bigger allies that otherwise would counterattack you. Layarian Diplomat is also another choice if the meta calls for it, and he does more the turn he is summoned, which is the theme of the allies in this deck.

    Priest of the Light solves one of the big issues this deck has: Hero Powers, mainly those based on removal (Zaladar, Nishaven, Praxix). 1 life is also cool (nulls one turn of Blood Frenzy), and good attack, but lacking in health for a 3-drop. Recurring this with Retreat! breaks the legs of decks that rely on Hero Power.

    Spirit Warden is a tech choice (AKA a matchup-specific card, in this case, graveyard recursion decks). It also has great toughness.

    Fleet-footed Messenger has a great effect for cycling additional unneeded weapons, Blood Frenzies and Healing attachments. Also has nice toughness and Haste, which makes him a good weapon breaker.

    Layarian Seductress has not-so-good stats, but considering that you don't want to have that many resources available, she's just such a good delay option for you... Great when you are a bit behind and trying to regain control, or on the draw, but a bit bad on the play, so you only run 3.

    Yari Marksman is great removal and has nice attack for racing. He's the start to turn a bad board into a winning board. Being your bomb, you run 2.

    Now, for the attachments/items/support abilities:

    Crippling Blow and Retreat! are real stars in this deck. So cheap, yet so effective in buying yourself some turns to really dominate the board early on... When the opponent spends all of their 4 or 5 resources on a single ally and you just stop them, with no bigger cost to you, even more so with JD equipped... Use them right in the earlygame and it's really hard for an opponent with no mass removal to retake the board. Retreat! has another function of allowing you to replay allies with summon effects, like Layarian Seductress, Priest of the Light, and Yari Marksman.

    Glimmer of Hope, I feel, is better than Bad Santa, since you only want to use it to fish for a Blood Frenzy or Jeweler's Dream, and you'd rather not give more cards to your opponent if possible. 2 is enough to bump your Turn 3-to-5 Blood Frenzy to very consistent levels.

    Smashing Blow is against weapons and armor: they are oppressive when you are behind, and slow you down when you are ahead. Artful Squire is another chance, but costing 4 is hard on your gameplan.

    Blood Frenzy is absolutely mandatory. One life for one card is simply broken, ask any Magic player. Since you don't concern yourself with card quality for trading (Retreat! is at -1 for card advantage, for example), you simply need more cards, as to not lose steam later on. Care on the timing to drop this, since it does not lead to board advantage.

    All 3 healing attachments have their qualities. Mettle is slower but safer, Enrage is the fastest but not permanent, Rampage is the middle term but has bad synergy with some of your removal. I run one Enrage and that's enough for me, I seldom need it.

    Lastly, weapons:

    Jeweler's Dream: We all know this card is broken with Amber. Best case scenario it's 12 damage to the face for a net +4 resource, and most times, at the very least, it pays for itself. This is just plain acceleration and makes the deck so opressive when on a lead it's not even funny.

    War Flail is your bomb, the weapon that will remove most annoying threats and deal a lot of damage, up to 16. Run 2 since it's expensive.

    This list is not set in stone though, you should swap some things if needed to take care of popular decks!

    Some Considerations:


    Unlike a Midrange deck, which mostly plays whatever card is individually strong and has good aggro and good control cards, an Aggro-Control plays mostly cards that can be used both in an Aggro sense and in a Control sense. The midrange deck, or even a pure aggro or control deck has good agressive cards or good control cards, but their cards aren't versatile enough. On any given game, a portion of cards are amazing and the other portion is not, while on an aggro-control deck all the cards are good at any given moment. Yari Marksman is a huge beater or removal. Crippling Blow is protection for your creatures and removal. You get the drift.

    This means that you need to be able to correctly identify if you need to be the aggro player or the control player. Since your deck can easily shift between both modes, you are pretty much always ahead of the curve in Rated games: most decks won't directly counter yours, unless it was created with that purpose. Being able to exploit this fact leads to better winrates. At the same time, the deck is really hard to play correctly, since every single play changes the state of the board and forces you to alter your plan and assess if you are still on beatdown or control mode. This is an interactive deck, not a deck that is looking to do its own thing every game. Every game is different, every game is fun, and every game is a chance to learn how to better play your role.

    A thing you have to keep in mind is that you are mostly concerned with having a stronger board than your opponent. This means that spending life on Blood Frenzy, taking damage to remove allies and bouncing cards back to the opponent's hand are all choices you are willing to make to achieve a stronger board position. Every ally has to be dealt with swiftly, every weapon of armor broken as soon as possible. The opponent must not play the match. Make his life hell. This is what I mean by Aggro-Control also being a "Tempo" deck: you are the sole person who decides the pace of the game. If an opponent loses a turn due to a Retreat! but you still have enough resources to put down one of your allies, that's a major gain of tempo for you. Most of the time, you are the agressor, you keep the pressure, but if you recognize you are going to lose the get-to-zero-life race, just change gears! Controlling the pace of the game is what you do best, so do it!

    Also, beware on dumping cards as resources every turn. Since your cards are very versatile, you want to avoid dumping them as much as possible. Some times, if I don't have JD in hand for turn 4, I don't even drop the 4th card in the resource pile. And I rarely go above 5 resources (the exact amount for War Flail). Be mindful of how you spend your resources to maximize the differential between what you, and your opponent, is spending.

    Matchups:


    Unfortunately, I'm not going to post a "matchups" list, simply because I don't have that much experience with every single matchup and there are lots of brews going on. I am currently around ~280 rating with the deck with 9 matches played (7-2, my 2 losses being my first 2 games back before tweaking the cardlist), and I'm sure this deck can go quite high. You can search for "Hallgrimsson" in-game to watch some games, I really only play Amber. You can also contribute your thoughts on specifics and I may add them with due credits to the original poster.
    Last edited by Hallgrimsson; 10-09-2016 at 03:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pat Jay's Avatar
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    hey nice deck

    but I think you might need more draw since JD is your main weapon and you need to have a good draw in order to capitalise on the resource acceleration

    I would suggest

    -1 enrage
    -2 war banner
    +2 bad santa

    bad santa will help you fish for the blood frenzy which is what you need

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    I'm not a fan of Bad Santa in this deck, since this deck plays better on famine than on feast scenarios (AKA a low card count game). The rate for a Blood Frenzy T3 draw currently sits at ~60%, which isn't that high considering how it's one of the most important cards you have, but if I'm going to take a card advantage hit, I'd rather use an one-sided effect like Words of the Prophet or, even better, Glimmer of Hope (card filtering, digs deep, incurs no card advantage loss and ups the Blood Frenzy ratio to ~75%). Also, dropping Banner means I need some stronger allies for rushing the opponent down, and I'm not that keen on cutting it just yet. Dropping an Enrage, Spirit Warden and a Smashing Blow for Artful Squire and 2 Glimmer of Hope might be a good call. Also, I could playtest dropping 2 Banners for an Aldon and cut the number of cards in the deck to 39 overall.
    Last edited by Hallgrimsson; 06-22-2015 at 09:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member maxi1230's Avatar
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    Hey, nice to see a big deck posts and analysis
    However I can't open the link... Could you please copy the List and post it here?

    Assassin of the coming winter
    Warrior of the Blue Phoenix
    Greatness, Reborn

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pat Jay's Avatar
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    If you play bad Santa on T2 going first ... you get no card disadvantage if your opponent played nothing on T1

    In fact you get card advantage

    Pretty sure bad Santa is the best secondary draw card to your deck...

    Check out:

    http://www.shadowera.com/showthread....%96-Amber-Rain
    http://www.shadowera.com/showthread....en-of-Warriors

    Ideally you want to play blood frenzy on T3 and bad Santa helps you do that

    But yeah feel free to experiment with other draw engine

    Point is... you need more draw

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lightning Fury's Avatar
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    Good breakdown. Can't open the link though, can you post the deck here?
    “Let the wilds temper you, and if you weather it, in time the prodigal will return, a viper to his master’s bosom. Pawn takes king.”

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  7. #7
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxi1230 View Post
    Hey, nice to see a big deck posts and analysis
    However I can't open the link... Could you please copy the List and post it here?
    I edited the list into his post.

  8. #8
    Senior Member maxi1230's Avatar
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    Thanks Gondo.
    Yeah the first thing is that you need more Draw. You're deck is a bit more control orientated so Tainted Oracle or Treasured Heirloom might be the way to go. Also Confluence of Fate can be considered.
    I don't know about War Banner, maybe The King's Pride is better, for defense as well as attack.

    Assassin of the coming winter
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    Greatness, Reborn

  9. #9
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    Okay, so first, thanks for the edit, Gondo. I didn't include the list at first because I was running short of space for the post with the character limit, I wasn't sure I could include it.

    Now, most of the things that appeared here are in favor of more card draw, to drop more things with JD. First, the card draw needs to be cheap on the list and mainly to look for Blood Frenzy, so no Tainted Oracle (too slow, too expensive). Treasured Heirloom would be a better choice and even a substitution for War Banner, but for the most part you are planning NOT to lose your allies at all unless it's direct removal and it is slow. Bad Santa, as Pat said, is good for bombing the opponent for card advantage, and thus better on earlier turns before people dump their hands into the field. Later on, I think Glimmer of Hope is better if you want to deny your opponent choices but find one of your own for something, but I'm gonna test both Santa and Glimmer of Hope. Confluence of Fate would be great, if not for the fact that it's kind of slow, but it cantrips and gives you some 5 or 6 other draws per game (All your CBs, BF and the healing attachment). Sometimes it's nuts, sometimes it's not.

    King's Pride is a card I've always wanted to play, but damn if that ain't expensive to drop! You really aren't looking to dump that many cards into the resource pile with this deck, since most cards are versatile enough to warrant use in any matchup. Since pretty much everyone wants Banner gone, it means that the card is considered bad, and I generally agree, but if I want to remove it, I need some way to exert more pressure onto the opponent, and that means another ally for me. I've been thinking about cutting Viska for Braxnorian Soldier, and Banner for Irina (she's awesome with Yari Bladedancer, for example, but not that great on an empty board). That also means I don't always need to dump 6 cards into the resource pile.

    So, overall:

    -1 Enrage
    -1 Spirit Warden
    -2 Banner
    -2 Viska
    +2 Brax Soldier
    +2 Irina
    +2 Bad Santa/Glimmer of Hope

    Maybe -1 Smashing Blow +1 Artful Squire

    And test to see if Confluence goes well in this specific decklist. With Irina in, Treasured Heirloom gains more value, which further pumps Confluence, but I'm not sure on what to cut to make space for it.

  10. #10
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    Bumping since I've came back to test this deck again and it's doing as fine as it's always been. I've tweaked a couple of cards (mainly cutting chaff for 4x PotL). The deck is quite streamlined as is, the only flex I'm considering being Layarian Diplomat over Yari Bladedancer. I'd encourage people to test it, it's a great deck to learn the intricacies of the game playing a deck that's not relying on gimmicks, but on very fundamental and timeless concepts, while also being a deck capable of strong results if you are a good pilot.

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