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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wtzky's Avatar
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    Eladwen "Frost Burn" - Tuned and tested!

    Ok, so ever since the days of 1.28 on the test server I have been working on this deck and testing/tuning it. It has been tuned for quite some time and is very strong despite how simple it looks on paper. I know that there are many Elad decks out there, and I realise how similar many of them are. Every card in this deck has been thought about, tested and retested with many different alternatives tried through many hours of play. Playing against a1 members in my testing phase I went 16-0 with it before my first loss. In quick match it is a killer and rolls through most players 200+.

    This deck is tier 1. It is strong, seriously strong. In fact, it has no auto-loss (hence the tier 1). I'm not saying it can't be beaten, and I'm certainly not saying there are no counters, but there are no heroes this deck will come up against where you are at a disadvantage from the get go.

    Analysis and tips on playstyle after the deck. Without further ado, I present to the SE forums "Frost Burn":

    Eladwen

    4 x Puwen Bloodhelm
    4 x Jasmine Rosecult

    4 x Lightning Strike
    4 x Fireball
    4 x Supernova
    3 x Arcane Burst

    4 x Retreat!
    3 x Misplaced

    2 x Snow Sapphire

    4 x Bad Santa
    3 x Bazaar


    Ok. Looks simple right? Why is it so strong?

    1. Damage output

    Simply put, this deck does a tonne of damage in the first 7 turns. With a perfect draw you can do 27 damage by the end of turn 6. That's enough to kill all but warriors. Turn 7 you can deal 35 damage. The deck is a death race style deck, with the added flexibility with the card choices to be able to play drawn out games if need be. Otherwise you go flat out - go for the throat and tighten your grip as soon as you draw blood.

    The most important card here is nova. The basic premise behind this deck (and I'll go over how to play the allies in a second) is to get your opponent below your HP as quickly as possible so that you can start blasting them with nova. It doesnt matter if you end the game with 1hp as long as they are dead. There is a very good video on that "elad is not OP, are you serious!" thread which shows why this strategy is so good; unless they have portal (more on that later) or play weapons (more on that later), your opponent just cant get a grip on the board and can't hurt you, whereas you can keep blasting from your hand.

    2. Consistency

    The reason I state that this deck is tuned is that it is consistent. There are almost no bad draws, and when you do get a bad draw you can rest assured that it wont happen the MAJORITY of the time.

    Let's look at why. By turn 5, the chance that you will draw 1 nova is 71.12%. Ok, so 30% of the time you won't be drawing the nova that you need (this is without bad santa or bazaar by the way). Does that matter? Well, ideally you do want those nova combos out as soon as possible. However, even if you DONT have nova, you can still dish out some serious damage with the other cards you will draw, namely fireball, LS and even arcane. Even if you somehow DONT draw ANY burn, that means you are drawing your allies - t5 drop of Jas + Puwen generally won't be ignored and your opponent needs to waste resources to deal with that while you wait for the burn that you require. In fact, by turn 5 there is a 98% chance you will draw a card that you need (fireball or nova).

    Now let's have a look at the general play style:

    Allies

    I know what you're thinking. No Kris?! Wtf?

    First let me say that the Allies here are included for a few different reasons. Sure, you can make a deck with NO allies and only burn, but then you need to include something else (and I believe Raph is posting his stall/burn deck behind mine), and that something else generally takes away from the consistency of the deck.

    So why allies?

    Firstly, they make for good foreplay. I mentioned before that you want to get as much damage to your opponent as you can before you start using novas. I've found puwen and Jas (ideal t2, t3 plays) to be perfect for this (and if you dont draw a puwen for t2, you should have a santa or bazaar or retreat at least). Well, why not Kris then? Simply because he needs an Aldon behind him to be truly useful and I have found Jas to be much more versatile.

    The other reason to include allies, especially Jas, is that she makes for a good meat shield. Once again, you want to have a healthy advantage over your opponent. Jas is great because she is a cheap ally that can't be ignored. Even crippled she can cause some havoc. Jas can combo to allow you to widen the gap between your hp and your opponent (eg. distract + fireball on t5 allows you to get an extra shot in with her before you nuke her away), you can play multiple Jas down on the board where aldon is unique (Jas t3, t4 is sometimes better than LS t4) which can be important against a darkclaw deck for example. Jas also combo's well with retreat as we all know. Overall, she just works better than aldon and for that reason, Kris gets overthrown by Puwen. Also, I like the fact that Puwen doesnt automatically die to Death Mage.

    Burn

    Speed is key here. Usually you can almost ignore what your opponent is doing. Use your draw to get your combo running and start burning away. I tend to start my burn combos at t4 or 5 (as I like the ally foreplay first) and then once I have my opponent by the throat I ignore what he does and tighten my grip. Here is the death race style, and if I happen to get out-damaged then so be it (doesnt happen though)

    The reason I don't like delay is that I don't really need it. The SS is actually pretty situational which is why I only have 2 of them (I don't need to have them by a certain turn) and I haven't added VoW because I would need 4 to have a realistic chance of getting it out by t5 (71% with 4 of them, only 45% with 2 of them - not consistent enough).

    Misplaced does not delay you because of the cost and works in so many ways. It is devastating against portal where you may find yourself otherwise behind on health, and is a key card against lone darkclaw or even moonstalker (full moon). It is also fun to delay your opponent who may play a bazaar - you get the extra card and then misplace, making him have to play it again and waste resources on a turn while you hopefully get some damage in. If I could, I would run 4 of them, but removing one would stuff up my odds of drawing x and y by certain turns.

    Arcane is a recent addition and used to combat weenie rush. It's not a perfect solution but it does make the deck more playable against this tactic and takes away from it being an auto lose situation. Otherwise it would be something that I would sac early if I anticipate no weenies.

    What to Sac

    This isn't always automatic. You want to have 2-3 useful novas per game ideally and the question is whether you should sac an early nova or not. It depends a bit on who you are up against, but generally auto-sac for me tends to be arcane (unless facing decks with potentially a lot of weenies) and snow sapphire (early). Other then that, some general rules to keep in mind (sac the cards that are weaker): fireball > lightning strike, retreat > misplaced, bad santa > bazaar (because it can't be destroyed/misplaced) and Jas > puwen (early. Late game allies generally are an auto-sac)

    Some other points

    - You can actually swap the 4 puwen out depending on your playstyle. These are the only 4 cards that can leave this deck. Some alternatives include: +2 fire +2 gas, +1 arcane +1 misplaced +1 bazaar +1 SS, +4 VoW, +4 Kris, +4 TO, and so forth. I don't feel that those particular alternatives suit my play style with this deck, but there you have it.

    - You can play this deck slowly. You're allies are actually strong enough and you have some good board control cards (arcane, LS, nova, ability) that you can enter into board control battles and deal damage slowly. This works well against heroes that have heaps of heal or when you are stuck with a "bad" draw. The snow sapphire helps here.

    - Retreat is used to get rid of nova-proof fatties, on early turns to avoid damage and to generally consolidate your board while they whack the hero

    - Except for extremely rare circumstances, Elad's ability should always be aimed at the opposing hero

    - Against weapon heavy decks there are a few ways to go about it. First is to ignore everything and go for speed burn damage. Second is to use your retreat, misplaced, snow sapphire, LS and arcane to get to very late turns and combo hard by saving your FB and nova for the final kill. Third is to go for the board and try to use your allies as a meat shield.

    - The death race mentality is not always as instinctive as you may think. Most people are used to going for board presence and I have seen some games where team mates of mine have gone for the allies with a nova in hand when the better play would be to get damage onto the hero, ignore the allies on the board (who most likely will spend a turn going for YOUR allies) and then casting nova. It feels strange at first to ignore what the opponent is doing, but it works

    And there you have it. I know that's a long wall of text and I actually have a lot more I can say about this deck including how to play against certain heroes and counters, but it's late and I need to sleep. I'm sure I'll have a lot more to post soon

    Edit: I should add that the reason I'm posting now is that most people have caught on that elad is powerful but I believe the meta is starting to shift slowly. This deck is old (so to speak) in this meta for me and I wanted to make points on playstyle and considerations to help people along with future decks.
    Last edited by Wtzky; 11-11-2011 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Added the deck using GDC deck builder
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Wtzky's Avatar
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    1.29 Update:

    Here is the updated version of my deck for 1.29. Keep in mind the same strategies work as above. The only difference is that now you have Dagger of Unmaking to help you out. I will talk a bit more about how to use it after the deck...

    Eladwen

    4 x Puwen Bloodhelm
    4 x Jasmine Rosecult

    4 x Lightning Strike
    4 x Fireball
    4 x Supernova

    4 x Retreat!
    3 x Misplaced


    4 x Bad Santa
    4 x Research

    4 x Dagger of Unmaking

    Noticeable differences in this deck:

    1. No Snow Sapphire
    - With Dagger of Unmaking, you don't need as much protection from allies. Against heavy weapon users you are basically counting on your burn to outdamage them. Hit them hard and fast so that their expensive weapons don't have a chance to knock you about

    2. No Arcane Burst
    - Against weenie rush decks, Arcane burst really helped to stem the tide. Now you are relying on bouncing back allies with Retreat and Dagger of Unmaking. It does limit your use of Nova somewhat, but allows you to instead play some of your allies down at later stages of the game, thus making up for the lost Nova damage.

    3. Research instead of Bazaar
    - to be honest, both work just as well in this deck. I have been using Research lately only because this deck plays slightly slower with Dagger of Unmaking in it. It is less of a "go at breakneck speed" and more about combo damage. Research does work quite well with Jasmine as well. It is just a personal preference at the moment. I definitely would recommend either Bazaar or Research - just go with whatever is working best for you

    4. There are 4 x Dagger of unmaking
    - be careful against warriors who run King's Pride that Dagger doesn't keep bouncing back Kris which can really hurt you. Other than that, you want this out at t5 against any decks that run allies, which is why I included 4. This ensures you get one when you need one (a bit like having 4 Nova). You can always sac spares that you don't need.

    Now to variations that can work well. Similar to what I posted for my 1.28 version:

    - You can actually swap the 4 puwen out depending on your playstyle. You could also subtract 1 Dagger. These are the only 5 cards I feel can be swapped out of this deck. Some suggested alternatives:
    -> -4 Puwen +2 fire +2 gas
    -> -4 Puwen, +4 Kris
    -> -1 Dagger of unmaking, -1 Puwen +2 Snow Saphire
    and so on. I don't feel that those particular alternatives suit my play style with this deck, but there you have it.

    So there you have it. Updated "Frost Burn". I hope you like the deck, feel free to ask any questions you may have
    Last edited by Wtzky; 12-17-2011 at 06:34 AM.
    Resident dealer of Dead Man's hand of A1: Evolution in Theory

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  3. #3
    Senior Member bicin's Avatar
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    wow, long post..

    very good deck..

    i'll comment later
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  4. #4
    1.27 Tournament Champion Raphael Majere's Avatar
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    As usual, I like to talk a little about History. (Was a history student in my college days)

    My own experiences.

    Towards the end of 1.27, before 1.28 hit the test server, MasterStrategist and I played a few games. He has a very interesting Elad. (This is still 1.27) Which uses Bazaar and BS. Much like what we call the 'common Elad' now. This was something special in 1.27.

    The next day, I had the good fortune of meeting LD in the chatroom so I quickly played some games with him using Master's deck. LD immediately told me that Elad would be dominant in 1.28. Talk about a visionary.

    So when 1.28 hit, a few of us got down to work immediately on Elad. Wtzky, Xen00b and I, shortly joined by Kamman, followed by the whole gang.

    Wtzky, IMO, came up with the best Elad deck at that moment. He also was also the forerunner in showing us/me how to play it 'correctly' or rather, in the best possible way.

    Of course, the meta moved along and all of us now have our own version. (Hatts, Kamman, GDC, LD, Blanket, Me, etc, etc and of course, Soothslyr (Champion of the recent Crown Tourney and Finalist in the yet-to-conclude Finals of Pop-up Tourney) )

    To share my version, that was made at the beginning of meta. IMO, now a fun deck to play. Wins warriors hands-down.

    "Eladwen - Endless Winter"

    1 x Eldawen

    4 x Rain Delay

    4 x Lightning Strike
    4 x Fireball
    4 x Nova
    4 x Retreat

    4 x Misplaced (You can swap this for SD, AB, or PQ)

    4 x Snow Sapphire

    4 x BS
    4 x Bazaar
    4 x VoW

    Enjoy and have fun!

    Edit: Xen00b's deck is very close to mine, although we developed it independently.

    PS: The VoW/SS Armour combo has been around fro a VERY long time. It's more relevant in this meta now. Soothslyr sums it best: the shriek nerf made it hard to destroy VoW/SS. Hence when playing this deck, never attack/defend with VoW. You'll need it to stay on board as long as you can.
    Last edited by Raphael Majere; 11-10-2011 at 11:53 AM.

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  5. #5
    Junior Member Slugaren's Avatar
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    I was just pondering what the hell to do with my Eladwen, both of these suggestions look consistent as all holy hell.
    I'm going to give something along these lines a try instead of what I've been having trouble with myself. Also, excellent strategic write ups from you two.

  6. #6
    Senior Member N3rd4Christ's Avatar
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    Great decks... Prepare for the onslaught of erm less experienced players copying this.


    Time to get working in the Eld counter for when ratings resets happen
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  7. #7
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    The only flaw to this deck is that it gives lots of cards to the opponent. An equivalent deck with Blake and Kris in place of BS and Bazaar will laugh in its face.

    "You give me cards ... I give you pain! Bwahahahahaha"

    Needless to say, having no draw sucks if you don't face this deck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kamman13's Avatar
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    Just wanted to follow up on GDC's post- Other variants of Witzky's deck (i.e. Kris and blake mainly) fare better in the mirror match-up, or can fare better against certain decks. But Witzky's deck wins out on all around consistency. The power of puwen and jasmine is subtle, but extremely effective.

    Also, Raph, since you brought up history- I'd like to point out that I was on the scent of 1.28 Elad for quite some time. Of course that deck was slightly off base, but I was basically drooling for her ability change in the weeks leading up to 1.28.

    My thoughts and ramblings:
    The art of death racing
    Hitting em with all you got
    In defense of bazaar
    Card draw engines and card draw advantage
    Damage Strategies in SE

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  9. #9
    Senior Member He-Man's Avatar
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    I have nothing useful to add to the above, so imma just say: great deck Dr. Wtzky!
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  10. #10
    1.27 Tournament Champion Raphael Majere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamman13 View Post
    Just wanted to follow up on GDC's post- Other variants of Witzky's deck (i.e. Kris and blake mainly) fare better in the mirror match-up, or can fare better against certain decks. But Witzky's deck wins out on all around consistency. The power of puwen and jasmine is subtle, but extremely effective.

    Also, Raph, since you brought up history- I'd like to point out that I was on the scent of 1.28 Elad for quite some time. Of course that deck was slightly off base, but I was basically drooling for her ability change in the weeks leading up to 1.28.
    Oh yes, missed out on that cos I was not paying attention to 1.27 Elad.

    Kamman was the first one who caught my attention and subsequent interest and pursuit of Death Race. His Nish deck went very far in Q4 of the Masters 1.27 Tourney. IMO, just as iClipse created the best deck for Gwen in 1.27, Kamman had the equal feat of doing it for Nish.

    Superb deck - A1 was very excited when Kamman joined us. Just as 1.27 was winding down and losing interest, Kamman surprised us with amazingly gameplay, unique approach and great thoughts behind innovative deck building.

    IMO, one of the rare death race experts of the game.

    Good heads-up, Kamman....

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