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  1. #1
    DP Visionary BlanketEffect's Avatar
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    Exclamation Raikka "Mutation Factory" [3.9] Turn 5-7 kills normal

    Last edited by BlanketEffect; 01-23-2021 at 07:16 PM.
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  2. #2
    DP Visionary BlanketEffect's Avatar
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    We spoke briefly about Rankett on the last State of the Era podcast, and I decided to make a deck built around it.

    Been playing it since the beginning of December 1st, and after almost 200 games played with it, it has a 75% win rate when player 1, 50% win rate as player 2, for an overall win rate of 66% on the ladder.

    There are a couple ways you can configure it, but after literally hundreds of games with it, I think this is pretty close to the absolute optimum build.

    Ideally, you're playing something like this:

    T1: Barrenland Gremlin
    T2: Abomination Factory > use Gremlin to eat the Factory and attack
    T3: Voracious Arachnid > use Factory to pitch either Devourer or Plightbred Runt to the Arachnid > play Rankett > activate to draw and grow allies

    Beyond turn 3 you're on your own. If you get an optimal opening draw, you will kill your opponent by turn 5-6.

    I'll let you figure out how to pilot it without an optimal draw on your own, as well as figuring out its weaknesses.

    It truly is a brutal deck.
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  3. #3
    DP Visionary BlanketEffect's Avatar
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    Bumping this because I want to see more people on the ladder using it. I’d like to see if someone can improve upon it and somehow make it even more consistent. I changed it slightly since the initial post, swapping out a Splicer’s Crown for a Distortion Harness, as this helps in two ways. First, it adds a bit more consistency to ensuring you get a Rankett in play, but also serves as a bit of location defense against opponents.
    Last edited by BlanketEffect; 01-23-2021 at 07:19 PM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Veles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlanketEffect View Post
    Bumping this because I want to see more people on the ladder using it. I’d like to see if someone can improve upon it and somehow make it even more consistent. I changed it slightly since the initial post, swapping out a Splicer’s Crown for a Distortion Harness, as this helps in two ways. First, it adds a bit more consistency to ensuring you get a Rankett in play, but also serves as a bit of location defense against opponents.
    I think you need more consistent draw. Because of Abomination Factory and cheap ally curve this deck depletes hand fast, and you need more than 1 card per turn to keep buffing board and refill it in case of removal. Also, because your hand empties fast you can't go higher than 5-6 resources which is the reason I don't like Supernova. You will play it to clear the board, but you can't regain it because it is hard to play an ally on the same turn. Instead go for super early game consistency and make peace with the fact if you lose the board you lose the game. Ideally opponent will need to use multiple or expensive removal to deal with your board which means they can't advance their own board state, so you get a chance to make a new wave of allies. But you need burst draw for that. So I would cut Novas for draw, either Amulet or Cultist. If you use Nova to close the game, then maybe Fireballs are more cost efficient in that goal.

    Here is my take on the archetype:

    http://www.shadowera.com/showthread....munculus-Lilyt

    I basically went for 4x of each card I consider key to the strategy.

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  5. #5
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    I concur that the deck was fun but very hit or miss. I like the new version, although it's a shame Flame Spitter is gone ... such a good synergy with Raikka.

  6. #6
    Community Manager SEF Mango's Avatar
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    I have to say... I ran this deck and found many opening hands simply unplayable. A common issue I ran into was not being able to activate the location. Having it in play was less an issue.

    Perhaps my hands were simply not optimal. I mean, with 4x factory, I should have a consistent option to activate the location. Just never worked out that way for some reason. I will give it another try. I think the total removal of crown is a bit hasty. Especially with it being able to remove some key wulven allies.

    Did you try ice wall at all to give a protector to help dig your way out of some slow starts?

    I removed Nova however, I will likely try adding it back. Or Fireball at the least. Getting that early damage in and then losing the board and saying GG just was no fun lol.
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  7. #7
    DP Visionary BlanketEffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veles View Post
    Hero: Raikka Spellseeker (41 cards)

    Ally (28):
    4x Barrenland Gremlin
    4x Plightbred Runt
    4x Cinderborn Fatebreaker
    4x Voracious Arachnid
    4x Brimstone Devourer
    4x Falseblood Cultist
    4x Lilyt of Orem

    Item (8):
    4x Abomination Factory
    4x Amulet of Conjuring

    Location (4):
    4x Rankett: Proving Grounds

    Deck Code: 942859B

    Simple and straightforward deck. Get ahead on board and make your allies big while strategically spreading out your buffs to play around single target removal or try to save your big ally with Cinderborn. Against mass removal like Tidal Wave you can play somewhat conservatively thanks to Lilyt. She alone can build a board they are forced to wave while you refill your hand with Amulet. This deck plays on low resources and you often don't need more than 5 per turn.
    Having played this archetype now in ~300 games, and having tried all sorts of variations of it to see what works optimally and WHY it works optimally, here are my issues with your build:

    Cinderborn Fatebreaker, despite being a Homunculus, is a sub-optimal ally for this build because as a turn 2 drop it won't help you to trigger Rankett on turn 3. Plus in a deck built around growing allies to huge and unmanageable levels for your opponent, it's too easily killed by every ability your opponent has. Additionally, turn 2 is not an ally-playing turn for this deck. It's when you want to play an item (Factory, Shards, or Crown) that are going to allow you to trigger Rankett on turn 3. Playing Cinderborn on turn 2 guarantees you cannot use Rankett on turn 3, stifling your draw power, as well as your board-buffing ability.

    Removing Flamespitter and Packbeast means only having Flameborn Devourer and Arachnid as turn 3 drops, which translates into incredibly poor chances of a turn 3 ally worth buffing with Factory - only Arachnid - since Devourer is a suboptimal ally to be used on the board in this deck. Plus in the current meta, Flamespitter is an excellent drop against Camaflouged Foe and sets up your Gremlin to kill it immediately after triggering its transformation because Flamespitter deals 2 damage to it when it gets attacked, despite Ambush.

    Supernova, in addition to being a board wipe, is a game ender, in SO many games. Plus either Armored Packbeast OR Voracious Arachnid survive it when Raikka's ability is used.

    Splicer's Crown is very needed, and serves a twofold usefulness. It can be used to trigger Rankett, as well as being yet ANOTHER turn 2 drop that can feed your turn 1 Gremlin, which is super key for the consistency of activating your turn 3 Rankett.

    No Crystal Shards means no early feeding of the grave which is useful for Splicer's Crown at any later point, and also means no turn 2 draw in the event you don't get a good opener. Plus, Shards is another turn 2 playable item that Gremlin can eat if you don't get a turn 2 Factory.

    Falseblood Cultist, as a 2/3 body, and also not a Homunculus, is a terrible turn 4 play, even for the sake of a little extra draw. But having taken out the Crystal Shards, now the deck is lacking quick, cheap draw power, and replaced it with slow, generally inefficient drawing (for this deck's purposes).

    Amulet of Conjuring uses your Shadow Energy, and you need SE for Rankett. Rankett is the heart of the deck, and also its primary draw engine. Also, your SE is used to fuel Arachnid'd ally kill ability. You need your SE, especially for Rankett. Without powering Rankett, this is just a flimsy Mage deck with weak allies, no hero ability, and no burn for support.

    If if you want more draw, add more Crystal Shards, which serve THREE functions in the deck, or Bad Santa, as it is cheap and efficient. Both are turn 2 playable, and allow you to begin replenishing your hand early and cheap. And in this deck, by the time you get to turn 3-4, if you have an optimal opening, you'll be topdecking. No, you need a functional Rankett by turn 3 or you're going to get dusted, repeatedly. Shards helps with this, Falseblood and Amulet do not, until it's already too late. Hell, probably 33% of my wins alone come by turn 5-6, by which time you'll just then be able to play Cultist or Amulet to any usefulness.

    I can't see how your build, for the multitude of reasons listed above, could be seen as an improvement. Almost every card you removed/replaced serves the deck with 2-3 core mechanics, and as such are highly efficient and synergistic together.

    I can't see how less useful allies, less viable turn 3 plays, less triggers for Rankett (which is what makes the deck work in the first place) and replacing the cheaper, faster draw provided by Crystal Shards with the expensive draw of Cultist who doesn't benefit from Rankett and is a weak body ally, and Amulet, which kills your ability to use Rankett by draining your Shadow Energy - can be considered an improvement on the original deck in any way.

    Not it trying to be dismissive, but I think this is a pretty solid case for why your version is a vast disimprovment on the deck, rather than an improvement.
    Last edited by BlanketEffect; 02-18-2021 at 04:05 PM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Veles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlanketEffect View Post
    Having played this archetype now in probably over 200 games, and having tried all sorts of variations of it to see what works optimally and WHY it works optimally, here are my issues with your build:

    Cinderborn Fatebreaker, despite being a Homunculus, is a sub-optimal ally for this build because as a turn 2 drop it won't help you to trigger Rankett on turn 3. Plus in a deck built around growing allies to huge and unmanageable levels for your opponent, it's too easily killed by every ability your opponent has. Additionally, turn 2 is not an ally-playing turn for this deck. It's when you want to play an item (Shards or Crown) that are going to allow you to trigger Rankett on turn 3. Playing Cinderborn on turn 2 guarantees you cannot use Rankett on turn 3, stifling your draw power, as well as your board-buffing ability.

    Removing Flamespitter and Packbeast means only having Flameborn Devourer and Arachnid as turn 3 drops, which translates into incredibly poor chances of a turn 3 ally worth buffing with Factory - only Arachnid - since Devourer is a suboptimal ally to be used on the board in this deck. Plus in the current meta, Flamespitter is an excellent drop against Camaflouged Foe and sets up your Gremlin to kill it immediately after triggering its transformation because Flamespitter deals 2 damage to it when it gets attacked, despite Ambush.

    Supernova, in addition to being a board wipe, is a game ender, in SO many games. Plus either Armored Packbeast OR Voracious Arachnid survive it when Raikka's ability is used.

    Splicer's Crown is very needed, and serves a twofold usefulness. It can be used to trigger Rankett, as well as being yet ANOTHER turn 2 drop that can feed your turn 1 Gremlin, which is super key for the consistency of activating your turn 3 Rankett.

    No Crystal Shards means no early feeding of the grave which is useful for Splicer's Crown at any later point, and also means no turn 2 draw in the event you don't get a good opener. Plus, Shards is another turn 2 playable item that Gremlin can eat if you don't get a turn 2 Factory.

    Falseblood Cultist, as a 2/3 body, and also not a Homunculus, is a terrible turn 4 play, even for the sake of a little extra draw. But having taken out the Crystal Shards, now the deck is lacking quick, cheap draw power, and replaced it with slow, generally inefficient drawing (for this deck's purposes).

    Amulet of Conjuring uses your Shadow Energy, and you need SE for Rankett. Rankett is the heart of the deck, and also its primary draw engine. You need your SE.

    If if you want more draw, add more Crystal Shards, which serve THREE functions in the deck, or Bad Santa, as it is cheap and efficient. Both are turn 2 playable, and allow you to begin replenishing your hand early and cheap. And in this deck, by the time you get to turn 3-4, if you have an optimal opening, you'll be topdecking. No, you need a functional Rankett by turn 3 or you're going to get dusted, repeatedly. Shards helps with this, Falseblood and Amulet do not, until it's already too late. Hell, probably 33% of my wins alone come by turn 5-6, by which time you'll just then be able to play Cultist or Amulet to any usefulness.

    I can't see how your build, for the multitude of reasons listed above, could be seen as an improvement. Almost every card you removed/replaced serves the deck with 2-3 core mechanics, and as such are highly efficient and synergistic together.

    I can't see how less useful allies, less viable turn 3 plays, less triggers for Rankett (which is what makes the deck work in the first place) and replacing the cheaper, faster draw provided by Crystal Shards with the expensive draw of Cultist who doesn't benefit from Rankett and is a weak body ally, and Amulet, which kills your ability to use Rankett by draining your Shadow Energy - can be considered an improvement on the original deck in any way.

    Not it trying to be dismissive, but I think this is a pretty solid case for why this version is a vast disimprovment on the deck, rather than an improvement.
    Well I never claimed it is an improvement, you asked for a different angle and I gave one for the sake of discussion and forum activity. All your criticisms are valid, and I haven't played nearly 200 games, but I'll play a devil's advocate regardless just for fun.

    So I 100% agree with you, from a standpoint of a deck built around having Gremlin in play starting from T1 which is the proper strategy, but my deck is built for cases where I don't have Gremlin T1 which also means I won't be closing the game fast.

    Without Gremlin or T2 ally you are going to play an item into T3 ally and hope your opponent didn't have T2 and T3 plays and/or doesn't have removal for the T3 ally. If that T2 play isn't AF you can't trigger Ranket (aside lucky Shard discard) and even if you go AF into T3 ally, it is just asking to lose the game on the spot to single target removal. Playing Crown or Shards on T2 without Gremlin on T1 is horrendous for tempo and actually puts you in card disadvantage. I don't think that is better option than going T2 and T3 ally which increases chances of having an ally in play going into T4, which is the only time I plan on using Raikka's ability if even or behind on board.

    There is only one 3cc ally really worth buffing and that is Arachnid, buffing Spitter or Armored Packbeast is the same as any other Homunculus with Spitter having better synergy with Raikka's ability but I plan using her ability at most once per game anyway. Alternative play for T3 if not having a 3cc ally is Abomination Factory+another Gremlin or 2cc ally+Gremlin. End result is similar, to buff 2 allies with Ranket or in case of mega nuts draw of T1 Gremlin, T2 AF, T3 2cc+another Gremlin, 3 allies. In either case I am pretty down on cards in hand and drawing 1 card from Ranket just isn't enough going forward as I don't want to bank my win on 2 allies and I want to go wider or have a refill.

    So for T4 there is Cultist which isn't Homunculus but triggers Ranket with Runt or with Devourer if Arachnid is in play. It is also another discard outlet to trigger Devourer/Runt in cases AF wasn't drawn and played by then. If you have AF already in play, option to discard multiples of Runt/Devourer in one turn can be handy as well. It also helps draw into Ranket itself if it wasn't drawn by then or opponent flipped it or played their own location, while not completely forsaking tempo.

    Drawing 3 cards from Amulet is huge. It means you always have discard outlet for AF or Cultist and more allies to play. Ranket costs 1se to trigger so you always have SE regardless of Amulet. Amulet will be destroyed but if you drew 6 cards with it, it is more than enough. Amulet also helps you draw into more copies of Ranket in case opponent plays their location or flips Ranket. By having lower cc Homunculus it is easier to flood the board with 2cc allies than with 3cc allies. And having 2 different discard outlets with AF and Cultist+Runt means that despite them having lower stats than 3cc allies you can grow them faster.

    Ranket is not reliable for draw. Drawing one card per turn is often not enough for this deck, especially with suboptimal starts. On top of that, opponent can flip it, remove it or play their own location.

    Shards without Gremlin in play is card disadvantage for you that helps opponent draw into answers.

    Splicer's Crown without Gremlin in play on T2 is card disadvantage (and even then a weak play), and later in game redundant Ranket enabler between AF, Cultist+Runt, Lilyt and Arachnid.

    If possible, I never buff Cinderborn aside from Ranket triggers. He is easily removed, but most common stuff he dies to remove any ally you have anyway: CB, CP, Hymn, Fireball, Gambit, NYM, DFA, Power Surge. Difference is he protects your bigger allies and the most important ally which is Arachnid. If he dies to something random, opponent still spent resources and did sub optimal play that turn which slowed them down or prevented them completely to get on board with an ally.

    So the goal was to make deck more resilient to removal and less reliant on T1 Gremlin, because Shards and Crown are close to useless on T2 without it in play and AF significantly weaker. I win less by T5, but there were several games that I won after being close to drawing my entire deck due to constant waves of allies that are reliably being buffed +2/+2 each turn. I want to create boards that are hard to take down by combat and opponents are forced to spend their resources on removal, while I refill my hand with hyper draw and develop another hard to remove board.

    Regardless of build, this archetype is lacking better 2cc allies, and it is pretty bad in a meta where opponents play their removal for 0cc thanks to resource cheating locations and allies. And also Elementalis is doing the same thing, but better.
    Last edited by Veles; 02-18-2021 at 06:46 PM.

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  9. #9
    DP Visionary BlanketEffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veles View Post
    Well I never claimed it is an improvement, you asked for a different angle and I gave one for the sake of discussion and forum activity. All your criticisms are valid, and I haven't played nearly 200 games, but I'll play a devil's advocate regardless just for fun.

    So I 100% agree with you, from a standpoint of a deck built around having Gremlin in play starting from T1 which is the proper strategy, but my deck is built for cases where I don't have Gremlin T1 which also means I won't be closing the game fast.

    Without Gremlin or T2 ally you are going to play an item into T3 ally and hope your opponent didn't have T2 and T3 plays and/or doesn't have removal for the T3 ally. If that T2 play isn't AF you can't trigger Ranket (aside lucky Shard discard) and even if you go AF into T3 ally, it is just asking to lose the game on the spot to single target removal. Playing Crown or Shards on T2 without Gremlin on T1 is horrendous for tempo and actually puts you in card disadvantage. I don't think that is better option than going T2 and T3 ally which increases chances of having an ally in play going into T4, which is the only time I plan on using Raikka's ability if even or behind on board.

    There is only one 3cc ally really worth buffing and that is Arachnid, buffing Spitter or Armored Packbeast is the same as any other Homunculus with Spitter having better synergy with Raikka's ability but I plan using her ability at most once per game anyway. Alternative play for T3 if not having a 3cc ally is Abomination Factory+another Gremlin or 2cc ally+Gremlin. End result is similar, to buff 2 allies with Ranket or in case of mega nuts draw of T1 Gremlin, T2 AF, T3 2cc+another Gremlin, 3 allies. In either case I am pretty down on cards in hand and drawing 1 card from Ranket just isn't enough going forward as I don't want to bank my win on 2 allies and I want to go wider or have a refill.

    So for T4 there is Cultist which isn't Homunculus but triggers Ranket with Runt or with Devourer if Arachnid is in play. It is also another discard outlet to trigger Devourer/Runt in cases AF wasn't drawn and played by then. If you have AF already in play, option to discard multiples of Runt/Devourer in one turn can be handy as well. It also helps draw into Ranket itself if it wasn't drawn by then or opponent flipped it or played their own location, while not completely forsaking tempo.

    Drawing 3 cards from Amulet is huge. It means you always have discard outlet for AF or Cultist and more allies to play. Ranket costs 1se to trigger so you always have SE regardless of Amulet. Amulet will be destroyed but if you drew 6 cards with it, it is more than enough. Amulet also helps you draw into more copies of Ranket in case opponent plays their location or flips Ranket. By having lower cc Homunculus it is easier to flood the board with 2cc allies than with 3cc allies. And having 2 different discard outlets with AF and Cultist+Runt means that despite them having lower stats than 3cc allies you can grow them faster.

    Ranket is not reliable for draw. Drawing one card per turn is often not enough for this deck, especially with suboptimal starts. On top of that, opponent can flip it, remove it or play their own location.

    Shards without Gremlin in play is card disadvantage for you that helps opponent draw into answers.

    Splicer's Crown without Gremlin in play on T2 is card disadvantage (and even then a weak play), and later in game redundant Ranket enabler between AF, Cultist+Runt, Lilyt and Arachnid.

    If possible, I never buff Cinderborn aside from Ranket triggers. He is easily removed, but most common stuff he dies to remove any ally you have anyway: CB, CP, Hymn, Fireball, Gambit, NYM, DFA, Power Surge. Difference is he protects your bigger allies and the most important ally which is Arachnid. If he dies to something random, opponent still spent resources and did sub optimal play that turn which slowed them down or prevented them completely to get on board with an ally.

    So the goal was to make deck more resilient to removal and less reliant on T1 Gremlin, because Shards and Crown are close to useless on T2 without it in play and AF significantly weaker. I win less by T5, but there were several games that I won after being close to drawing my entire deck due to constant waves of allies that are reliably being buffed +2/+2 each turn. I want to create boards that are hard to take down by combat and opponents are forced to spend their resources on removal, while I refill my hand with hyper draw and develop another hard to remove board.

    Regardless of build, this archetype is lacking better 2cc allies, and it is pretty bad in a meta where opponents play their removal for 0cc thanks to resource cheating locations and allies. And also Elementalis is doing the same thing, but better.
    Good points, Veles. While I think the archetype functions best when its aim is to go for the fast kill, I agree with your assessment of its struggles without getting the early Gremlin on the board. The general lack of useful (2) allies for the deck is, as you illustrated, one of the biggest hindrances to the deck's ability to improve on consistency whilst still being built for the fast kill.

    Im not sold on Cultist, although I do see you're reasoning for it. I'm slightly more convinced of Amulet's potential. May try to figure out how to work 2-3x of them into the mix.

    Thanks for the thoughts!
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