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  1. #1
    Cerddorion
    Guest

    Building a control deck

    How yall are? If this is in the wrong category, my apologies. I just wanted to share my thoughts on building a control. I am in the player development program of my guild, Warriors of the Blue Phoenix, and I was given a task. Below is the report of my results, and the deck I built. I am by no means an expert on the subject, so don't beat me up too much. ^_^ With who knows how many new players breezing through here, I thought it would be nice to share my experience as a (somewhat) new player, since I've less than a year of play experience. So, enjoy and any and all comments are welcome, since it all helps to raise the overall level of play.

    Control Deck Report


    A control deck is one that plans on winning through a more methodical way of playing. The main goal is to control the field of play and what impact your opponent has on it until such time as you can flip the switch and go on the offensive. A control deck tends to include lots of cards that counter expected threats. This is one of the most common styles because it is so consistent. There should be a good mix cheap removal effects and high cost finishers. The win conditions that these decks run are extremely powerful and pretty much end the game in a hurry once they are in play. Control decks tend to only run into trouble when playing against something that they simply are not properly equipped for, or when sufficiently rushed by a rush deck.

    Control decks play a game of attrition. They will trade allies and abilities with their opponent, doing what they can to stop or minimize the initial damage taken until, in the mid to late game, they can lock in their win condition. The control player wants to draw out the game while maximizing their own resources. Trading one card for two of the opponentís (Lightning Strike on two low hp allies) and/or disrupting the interaction of the opponentís cards are key strategies of a control deck. Control players play for time, because eventually one deck will beat another.

    A control deck gains the edge not through tempo, but through card advantage. Control decks have to weather the initial storm of damage and just have to keep pace with the opponent until he runs out of steam, at which time the control player is able to put into play his own strategy. In Shadow Era, card advantage is gained through cards that allow you an extra draw per turn, such as Tome of Knowledge, Stardust Extractor, Elizabeth Winterborn, Glass Chalice of Knowing or Wizentís Staff. In a pinch, other draw cards could be used, but since they would also give the opponent an extra draw, these are not as desirable.

    Control decks are more complicated to build and play because they focus on shutting down the opponent and winning the late game. This takes a higher level of understanding when it comes to a particular deckís strategy and that involves a good bit of play and familiarity, not just with your own control deck but also with the prevailing meta. The priority is to stop the opponent from executing his game plan and has particular appeal to those who enjoy long, complex games.

    So, with all this in mind, I began to build my first control deck. The task was to build one with Jericho as the hero, but with only two Tidal Waves and no Embers of the Just. Seeing as how Iíd never set out to build a control deck before, this was a challenge. It wasnít just the pool of cards that hindered me, it was my mindset, that being one which said you can only win by relying solely on allies as your win condition. Before I built this, I needed to know what the prevailing decks were. Since the meta is so wonky right after the World Cup, I just used the top 8 decks as a guide, the thinking being that if I designed a control deck with those in mind, its chances would be pretty good. These decks are ally heavy and, in the case of the hunters, rely heavily on their heroís ability. The question was then, How do you slow them down? Hereís my first version:


    Hero: Jericho Spellbane

    Allies (15):
    3x Radiant Wisp
    3x Devoted Knight
    3x Armored Packbeast
    3x Justicar Alysia
    3x General of Unaxio

    Abilities (36):
    3x For Unaxio!
    2x Strength of Conviction
    2x Spirit of Devotion
    3x Rain Delay
    3x Divine Connection
    3x Lingering Essence
    3x Focused Prayer
    4x Holy Shield
    2x Treasured Heirloom
    4x Zail's Hymn
    2x A Legend Rises
    3x Confluence of Fate
    2x Tidal Wave

    Items (8):
    3x Incense of Atonement
    2x Glass Chalice of Knowing
    3x Clockwork Soldier

    60 cards


    The goal of this deck is to deal damage to the opponent via Incense of Atonement. There are a few different ways to draw cards: Treasured Heirloom, Confluence of Fate, Spirit of Devotion, Radiant Wisp. For Unaxio! goes so well with this deck, comboing well with Incense, Wisp, and CoF, especially once Divine Connection is in play. Who doesnít love being able to ping your opponent for free every turn, with a free draw? Clockwork Soldier is nice to have when you need to play Tidal Wave. The General is there so that you can fetch whatever ally attachment you may need at the time. Itís too bad that he only gets ally attachments now.

    The problems with this version, however, are many. Thereís lots of clutter in this deck. I was drawing lots of attachments that I either didnít need or had no target for. Rush decks were a pain, of course. But the main hole was that there was no way to slow down the opposing hero.

    These were addressed in the next version.

    Hero: Jericho Spellbane

    Allies (18):
    3x Radiant Wisp
    3x Layarian Seductress
    3x Devoted Knight
    3x Armored Packbeast
    3x Justicar Alysia
    3x General of Unaxio

    Abilities (33):
    4x For Unaxio!
    3x Spirit of Devotion
    3x Rain Delay
    3x Divine Connection
    3x Curse of the Aldmor
    3x Focused Prayer
    3x Holy Shield
    4x Zail's Hymn
    2x A Legend Rises
    3x Confluence of Fate
    2x Tidal Wave

    Items (8):
    3x Incense of Atonement
    2x Glass Chalice of Knowing
    3x Clockwork Soldier

    60 cards


    +3 Layaran Seductress
    +1 For Unaxio!
    +3 Curse of the Aldmor
    +1 Spirit of Devotion

    -3 Lingering Essence
    -2 Strength of Conviction
    -1 Holy Shield
    -2 Treasured Heirloom

    In this version, I went back and looked to clear things out and go for utility. The Seductress helps to slow the opponentís rush down, while giving me an extra target for my attachments. The other big addition was Curse of the Aldmor. This card really helped to slow down the opposing hero, even if he uses Shadow Font. The usual play was Hymn followed by Curse, hopefully with Incense already in play. The only draw back was when I had to use Tidal Wave, but most times I was losing then anyway.

    The bad match ups were solo decks and resource and item destruction. Aggressive decks can be a challenge, as well, but it depends on the build. Undead decks can also be a horrible matchup.


  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Is the final verdict of control style decks? Are you still going to travel down this path? I was looking for control style decks and found this thread. Thanks for the hard work!

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