Wallbreaker Yeti will likely most commonly be played as a situational counter, in both draft and constructed, and in that respect it fills a small but very important niche in the metagame. Read More »
Wallbreaker Yeti will likely most commonly be played as a situational counter, in both draft and constructed, and in that respect it fills a small but very important niche in the metagame. Read More »
StoneBlade has given us a most excellent gift of 24 new cards to shake up a very stale constructed metagame. This timely update has come at a momentous time as well. It’s just three weeks till the Forge Watch Invitational and I (along with everyone else who qualified) are busy scrambling to find the most broken pile of cards possible. What better way to start the testing process than to mercilessly judge these new cards and attach an arbitrary rating on to them.
0 Unplayable: These are hilariously bad cards that you would never want to include in a constructed deck. Example: Nexus Core (Hunting Pack)
1 Niche: These aren’t necessarily bad cards, but you won’t see them used that often. Usually have an ability that few decks would want or need. Example: Oxidon Spitter
2 Playable: The bread and butter of most decks. Example: Magma Hound
3 Staple: These are the powerful build around cards of the format. Most often, you’ll see full playsets in decks whenever they can be fit. Example: Epidemic
4 All-Star: The best cards of the set, these are cards that will be played for a long time to come. Example: Zimus, The Undying Read More »
It’s no secret that early set reviews do little more than give a cursory look at cards in what amounts to a vacuum. We can only draw vague conclusions about which cards are really going to be format defining, and what decks are going to dominate. The final metagame is always going to be a different picture than the one we initially thought would be painted. Now, in the final days before the new set of 24 cards drop and many other cards get errata’d, I’d like to look what I didn’t like about my set review, what cards really stood out as format changers, and the final health of the competitive metagame. Read More »
I’m back to take you on a journey through the fire and flames. The rating system is as follows:
0 – Unplayable – These cards should never ever be placed in a deck ever (ever ever never ever).
1 – Niche – Under regular circumstances, this card should not be played, but in certain decks may serve a key purpose
2 – Playable – Most cards fall under this category.
3 – Strong – Not a staple, but certainly better than average.
4 – Staple – Most of the cards here will be the centerpieces of many decks.
5 – All Star – Very rare that a card will be rated this highly. Cards that appear in here should nearly always be included in decks that contain that faction. Read More »
Since the Core Set released, decks that contain mostly spells have been on a lot of people’s radar. Why? Because it is a new, unique way to play the game. The challenge of beating an opponent with only a few creatures in your deck is hard to pass up. As someone who likes a challenge, during Gen Con I built my first version of spells; Tempys/Nekrium. The deck had 2 win conditions. A single copy of Lyria, and 1 Scorchmane Dragon (I didn’t have Zimus). The deck was not great. It could win a few games, but not with any consistency. It felt powerful, but there was something missing.
Enter Flameshaper Savant, the man of the hour. Finally I wasn’t just trying to get bits of value with Master of Elements and Static Shock, I now had an engine. But an engine needs fuel, and realizing that Flameshaper Savant was the real centerpiece of the deck, not the fact it was mostly spells, I switched over to Alloyin as my Faction Pair.
The deck’s improvement was immediately noticeable. Ghox and Energy Surge allowed me to consistently find Flameshapers, as well as create far superior spell chains. I settled on 8 creatures for the deck because every creature I added made the spell chains less consistent. After a bit of theory crafting and testing, I settled on this list.
3 x Flameshaper Savant
3 x Master of Elements
2 x Ghox, Metamind Paragon
3 x Energy Prison
3 x Energy Surge
3 x Static Shock
3 x Lightning Spark
3 x Uranti Bolt
3 x Firestorm
2 x Metasculpt
2 x Disintegrate
The deck may be named spells, but this is the true engine of the deck. One of the mistakes people seem to make is clogging their deck with other… stuff. The deck doesn’t need stuff, it needs Flameshaper and cards that make Flameshaper better.
Master of Elements
Massive body and free spells = winner.
Ghox, Metamind Paragon
“Why Ghox?” some ask. “Why not Stasis Warden?” others inquire. The answer is actually very simple.
You don’t have to level Ghox.
I must stress the importance of leveling in this deck. When you level the wrong cards at the wrong times, you lose. It’s that simple. There are already 9 cards that are completely level dependent, why would you want to add more? Every level dependant card that is added is another card that is useless after Player Level 1.
The obvious use is to lock down creatures that are too large for your damage based removal to handle, but there is an even more important function this card provides…
Giving your own creatures Defender.
One of the most powerful plays this deck has is locking down either your Flameshaper or your Ghox from attacking. Unless your opponent has a removal spell or large Aggressive creature, your engines will sit on the field for the rest of the game.
Free spells without a large body still = winner.
Kills creatures, goes to the face when the board is clear.
This one is more interesting. Leveling this card is not really a priorit,y because the Defender clause remains useful all game. I’ll often cast one a turn on an abnormally difficult creature while I wait for an Energy Prison.
Aggressive Echowisp is a problem, this is your answer.
I saw someone on the SolForgeGame Forums say, “…and we all know Metasculpt is terrible.” I couldn’t believe it. This is subtly one of the most powerful cards in the game. Can’t kill a Grimgaunt when its about to get huge? Sculpt it. Arboris 100/101? Sculpt it. Fleshfiend 3? You get the picture. On top of this, the card doesn’t need to be leveled until Player Level 2. That’s very important as card leveling order is critical.
This is the card that I get the most flak about. I will be the first to admit that this card is awful. I hate that I need to play this in the deck. Looking at the current card pool, I’ve exhausted all the playable removal that doesn’t need to be leveled (except for Sonic Pulse and Electro Net, but those cards playtested awfully). On top of that, the problem I started running into was not a “need more removal” problem, but a “need cards that don’t target creatures” problem. Disintegrate is a card I can cast that doesn’t need a target, and until better options come along, its probably staying in.
Spells is hands down the most difficult deck to pilot that I’ve used in SolForge. Spell sequencing, draw percentages, spell and combat math, as well as when to block, when to take damage, and when to just race your opponent to 0. Even in the finals match of the Tournament, I made many mistakes and I’m very practiced with the deck.
Player Level 1: Cast Flameshaper
The spell order is as follows:
Master of Elements
If you have Flameshaper in hand, find a way to cast it. I don’t care how much damage you are taking, if you can’t cast Flameshaper you lose. Of course there is the rare game where you draw only 1 or even 0 Flameshapers. That’s ok; don’t panic. That’s why you are allowed to level Energy Surge. Even in the games where you don’t have Flameshapers leveled, Energy Surge will dig them up for you. There was at least one occasion during the tournament where I only leveled one Flameshaper the entire game, and Ghox/Energy Surge made sure I found it every time.
Player Level 2: Stay Alive
Flameshapers and Masters usually do a pretty good job of clogging the board but you are often battling from behind at this point. Now you finally get the opportunity to cast all those other spells you haven’t even looked at yet. It’s common to be able to play Flameshaper 2, Master 2, Static Shock 1, and any other spell. This will easily help you battle back from most board states. You’re objective is to clear the board and keep it clear for the rest of the game.
Player Level 3 and Beyond: Win the Game
Once Player Level 3 gets going, you’ll have a large percentage of your engines leveled. You are likely drawing extra cards and generating excess damage which you send at the opponent. Besides continuing to keep the board clear, your priorities now change to locking your own Flameshaper with an Energy Prison, or just chaining tons of cards with Ghox and Energy Surge. Usually, if you have made it this far and are above 40 life, you are golden.
In the minutes before the tournament, I’ll admit I was sweating a bit. I had spent some time looking through the decks, and while a majority of the tournament was playing Nekrium or Uterra midrange style decks (both of which are great matchups for Spells), there were a couple of decks I knew would be problematic with if pairings did not go in my favor. SeomanReborn, I’m looking at you and your 3 Jet Packs.
Pairings went up and I breathed a sigh of relief. While I was in one of the pods where I would have to play a winner (which means a potentially stronger deck) both builds were Nekrium midrange and therefore pretty favorable with my Energy Prisons and Metasculpts set to snap off the scariest of the threats. The Jet Pack deck was safely on the other side of the bracket, so I wouldn’t need to worry about facing it early on. Sadly for MNPaladin, who was playing the same 30 as myself, he got paired up with SeomanReborn and lost a close 3-game match.
Both seraphimscall and Voidhawk played very well. Early on, I had to stave off aggressively-leveled Fleshfiends, Zimus, and Lyria from seraphimscall as well as the Xrath, the Dreadknight of Varna in conjunction with Unrelenting Dead from Voidhawk. Its value and ability combinations like these where Metasculpt really shined for me. If I couldn’t kill or lock down a creature with Flameshaper or Energy Prison, Metasculpt made sure I would be able to do so on the following turn. Four intense matches later, I faced MrHyde.
MrHyde played a card that I hadn’t considered during testing, and it bit me hard in that first game. During Game 1, he aggressively leveled 2 Explosive Demise which countered my Prisons and in the end killed me only a turn or two before I could have had the game myself. I needed a change in strategy. Game 2, I mostly eschewed Energy Prison in favor of aggressively leveling Energy Surge. This would allow me better chains in the mid and late game for the extra damage needed to remove his creatures from the board instead of locking them down with Prison. The strategy was very effective. While I had to make concessions in the early game and take a lot of damage, I was able to stabilize at around 40 life each game and render his Explosive Demises useless by never leaving a creature alive on his side of the field.
Skies had me worried; the combination of large Aggressive creatures and Phoenix to finish off my life total during the end-game seemed very dangerous. I was fortunate in the fact that instead he played a more controlling role with the deck. I was able to out chain his Flameshapers with my own and move on to the quarterfinals.
Decurion’s deck had an interesting focus on recurring creatures and removal using Scourgeflame Sorcerer as its main engine. Sadly, he was unprepared for Metasculpt and Energy Prison. Once the Flameshaper engine was revved, I raced to the finals.
The final match was the only match that got officially recorded. You can watch the match yourself here. The pressure and length of time I had been playing must have started getting to me because there are a number of misplays I made that, while not costing me the match, show that I still have much to learn about this game.
I have to say, its pretty fantastic to have won my first official Stoneblade sponsored SolForge tournament. I had played in many of the previous community tournaments, and while I had fun, I didn’t do as well as I could have. This was an awesome tournament put on by an amazing community of people. I’d like to specifically thank Kit101, Racecar0, and MNPaladin for all their help just letting me grind games against them all. May you all draw your Flameshapers and play them often.
Hello everyone! SeomanReborn here with another edition of The SolForge Report. We didn’t get a lot of information since StoneBlade has been preparing for GenCon and Kibler, their main public relations representative, was busy destroying people at the Magic: The Gathering World Championship. Kibler made it back in time for the stream and did it from Justin Gary’s house who also made a guest appearance. Many exciting things were revealed this week, so let’s get on with it! Read More »
Note: This article includes only those cards and changes available on the Steam Client as of the 7/16/13 update.
Since the latest card update, I’ve been experimenting a lot with deck designs. In today’s Forging the Deck, I’ve decided to write up my favorite (and most successful) of these experiments. Before I describe the deck, let me start by saying that the deck has three paths to victory: Rageborn Hellion, Enrage and Scorchmane Dragon. If you don’t think that those can comfortably coexist in the same deck… well, read on. I hope to prove you wrong. Also, while you read this article please keep in mind that this deck relies on building Card Advantage quickly, and using that Card Advantage to either win quickly or to allow it to get away with playing a Level 1 Scorchmane Dragon (aka an Egg) early in the game. If you do not understand Card Advantage, I strongly recommend that you go read both Noetherian’s and Cerebral Paladin’s excellent discussions of the subject before you continue reading this article.
Card #1: Scorchmane Dragon is normally thought of as a late-game bomb. You stall out, get to Level 3, and let the big fire-breathing monstrosity win the game for you. And sure, if you get that far, go ahead and play Scorchmane 3. But Scorchmane is really here because of his Level 2 stats. 12/12, Move 1 is incredible. Now, what if put an Enrage 2 on him, and have a 19/19, Move 1 creature? Or instead, put him on a board with a Hellion 2 so after he attacks he is just gave +2 attack to the whole board? In short, don’t think about Dragon as just a Level 3 bomb. Think of him as an extremely powerful Level 2 creature.
The problem with this deck is laying that egg without getting too far behind on the board. We’ll get to that.
Card #2: Rageborn Hellion will functionally win you most games. If nothing else, it’s the card that will draw the most attention in most games, thereby freeing up your other creatures. Hellion is wonderful for growing your creatures, especially if you can get multiple copies of it on the board at the same time. Hellion is also a good target for Enrage; a 5/11 creature can be annoying to deal with, and it keeps the Hellion buff on the field for that much longer.
Card #3: Ashurian Mystic has two roles in this deck, the same two that he serves in most decks. First, Mystic’s job is to proc Hellion, growing the attack power of all the other creatures on the board. And second, Mystic is a great finisher, especially if you’ve been leveling Enrage (and yes, you’ve been leveling Enrage, right?)
Card #4: Cavern Hydra is one of the great Card Advantage generators in all of SolForge, so of course it is in this deck. And you should never be afraid to play it. In fact, with this deck, Turn 1 Hydra is my favorite play. If my opponent ignores it, because its base Attack is a bit low, I’ll make him pay for it with Enrage or Hellion. If my opponent tries to kill it, in most cases doing so will only give me the Card Advantage that I’m looking for.
Card #5: Deepbranch Prowler is mostly here as a low-depreciation card to minimize the negative impact of late-game Level 1 draws, although Prowler’s natural Breakthrough does make it a fabulous target for Enrage. A 10/10 Prowler is difficult enough for your opponent to deal with that it’s not a horrible play on Turn 2; a 19/19 Prowler (which is a Prowler 1 + Enrage 3) is never a bad play anytime.
Card #6: Echowisp is a low-depreciation card that is excellent at recovering from bad board positions. It plays a much smaller role in this deck than in most decks you’ll find it in; leveling Echowisp is by no means a priority. But sometimes you’ll find that your opponent has you out-gunned and you just need to clear out the lanes, and Echowisp does that admirably.
Card #7: Magma Hound serves a very similar function–recovery from bad board positions–although it’s special ability is also often useful at helping to take down Grimgaunt Devourers (in tandem with another attack, of course) before they can feed. Of course, both Echowisp and Magma Hound are useful cards in their own right, both of them can be grown by Hellion, and both can be Enraged. That’s just not their primary function.
Card #8: Enrage is one of the primary leveling concerns of the deck, along with Hellion and Dragon. Early game, Enrage can help you generate Card Advantage; late game it can help you push through a punishing amount of damage.
Card #9: Lightning Spark is the primary creature removal in the deck. I have a slight preference for it right now over Uranti Bolt, although either spell works just fine here. It is mostly here to protect Hellion and to kill Grimgaunt Devourers, Spring Dryads, and other dangerous creatures before they can wreak havoc.
Card #10: Firestorm is here as an anti-Uterra spell. To be blunt, I would just as soon replace this spell with a creature like Flameblade Champion, Flamestoke Shaman, or Flameshaper Savant. But nothing takes out Echowisp (and Hunting Pack) like Firestorm, Echowisp is ubiquitous in competitive play right now, and this deck does have a little trouble against the fastest Growth decks without Firestorm. For all of those reasons, I cannot justify removing Firestorm from the deck at this time. As it is, if you are playing against anyone playing Echowisp, then you should plan on leveling Firestorm. Otherwise, it’s highly situational.
Try to get through this phase of the game, if possible, having played at least one each of Enrage and Scorchmane Dragon. Other than that, focus on generating Card Advantage using Cavern Hydra and Echowisp, and try to get the most out of your Rageborn Hellions, playing your Ashurian Mystics, Deepbranch Prowlers, and Magma Hounds only as needed to maintain Card Advantage and trigger your Hellion. If playing against a Growth deck, make sure to level at least one Firestorm.
The Level 2 versions of Enrage, Hellion, and especially Scorchmane Dragon are your priorities at this point. Focus on playing and getting the most out of those cards, using them to push through as much damage as possible. Alternatively, if you are playing against a faster deck, you will probably need to just survive–stall the game out until Level 3, when you can win with your bigger Dragon and your Level 3 Enrage. In that case, use your Echowisp, Magma Hound, and Firestorm to drag the game out, although do your best to level your Enrages and try to make sure you have at least one Level 3 Scorchmane in your deck.
At this point you are reliant on Enrage 3 and Scorchmane 3 to win the game for you, so do your best to get those cards into your deck if they are not there yet. In particular, look for opportunities to play an Enrage 3 on a Prowler or a Mystic, which can thereby push through damage even if you do not control the board.
I’ve found this deck is a bit complicated to play, but also a lot of fun. Enrage and Hellion both have great synergy in their own ways with Scorchmane 2, Hydra, Prowler, and Mystic. And of course, it is always nice to have that bomb in your deck if the game goes long. I’ve won with this deck on Turn 6 by stacking Hellions, I’ve won on Turn 9 by putting an Enrage 3 on a Mystic 2, and I’ve won on Turn 20 with a belated Scorchmane 3. Moreover, I like it because it doesn’t neatly fit into any of the current deck archetypes; I’m not sure what this deck is. And if nothing else, I hope it demonstrates that the latest patch opened up new metagame possibilities that we haven’t yet explored.
[Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, the card tooltips still reflect the old card text. We’ll get that updated as soon as possible for future readers. Sorry for the inconvenience!]
On Monday, six of the Forge Watch staff gathered together to celebrate the launch of SolForge’s new deck-builder live on stream. We each built a deck and paired off for three really fun (for us, anyway) matches. You can watch that stream below, but more importantly, you can see the decks we played as well! The video will have explanations on the purpose behind each deck and how you might play them. The decks weren’t meant to be the very best, but rather a representation of a few of the different popular deck types from our experience. We hope you enjoy them!
SeomanReborn here again with another Thursday SolForge Stream Update! This week Kibler dropped a crazy amount of information on the future of the game.
Kibler did a nice job of previewing the features of the deckbuilder and made a few decks with it. Here are some of the things it can do:
Welcome back to another installment of Forging the Deck, our SolForge deck-building column! This installment is brought to you today by grim2103.
This deck’s objective is to develop a board state in which your opponent is incapable of having creatures surviving a full turn cycle. This way, they never enter the offensive and therefor never get to attack. In light of that, games with this deck take a very long time, frequently going over 20 turns. Your weakest matchup is any deck that utilizes the keyword Swiftness, and you are strongest against decks that try to produce a strong late game.
Card #1: Scorchmane Dragon (2 copies). This is almost your only win condition. You do have Glutton, but he is a very low priority to play. The Dragon is something you want to focus on playing when you get the chance in Player Level 1. However, given the deck, even playing a Dragon 1 in Player Level 3 is fine. This deck starts its process in securing a win once it has set up a field it is comfortable with leaving put to take care of itself. If you are playing an aggressive (e.g., Swiftness) deck, you want to play these in Player Level 1, but otherwise, its OK to take time to set up the field and your deck (with respect to what cards you have leveled) for the first eight turns or so.
Card #2: Flameblade Champion (2 copies). It will be exceptionally rare for the Champion not to connect with an opponent (based on being blocked). If you are playing against a resilient deck with cards that keep coming back (such as a Nekrium deck filled with Yuru, Fleshfiend, and Death Seeker), then Champion is one of your best ways to repeatedly clear the board. It is a possibility to add a third Champion to the deck in exchange for only 2x Graveborn Gluttons.
Card #3: Magma Hound (3 copies). Magma Hound is an effective way to create a two for one. His burn combined with Brimstone will bring down most things, so he often will allow you to spend a play on a card that you simply need to level (like a Dragon or Brimstone). While he has decent attack, don’t look to be trying to deal damage to your opponent with him. When you are playing him, you should either be doing it simply to level him up for later, or for clearing the board now. You have much better plays if you are considering playing him for the sake of getting damage on your opponent.
Card #4: Vengeful Spirit (3 copies). Essentially, consider him removal for situations in which you don’t draw the right kill spells at the right time. If you are playing against Armor decks (Alloyin) then you should level these up regularly (as well as Cull the Weak). There are very few creatures that the Vengeful Spirit will not kill. However, it typically only provides a one-for-one at best. It will be more likely to not kill a card, than to kill a card and survive. This means that sometimes, against the strongest creatures, the Vengeful Spirit won’t be good enough to kill something like a Scrapforge Titan 3 on its own. Even though it buys you time to deal with the Titan in other ways, try to focus on other forms of removal like Epidemic and Cull the Weak for dealing with global board control or single target removal more effectively.
Card #5: Graveborn Glutton (3 copies). He is in the deck for two primary reasons: he has high Attack and deals damage on death. If you happen to have an awful hand full of cards that can’t deal with a creature, then use the Glutton to block in this circumstance. Over time, the damage his death trigger adds up to be quite significant, since you are planning a very long game. However, he is rather poor in terms of controlling the board long term, so it is much more efficient to level up almost any other card in your deck. He is simply useful for providing a high Attack stat for harder-to-kill monsters in the case of a bad draw.
Card #6: Uranti Bolt (3 copies). This is enormously helpful in dealing with large creatures like Grimgaunt, Chrogias, and Titan. Since you deal damage over time through a series of cumulative effects, giving a creature Defender allows you enough time to bring these big creatures down in the late game (whether by holding off for Epidemic or Cull the Weaks).
Card #7: Lightning Spark (2 copies). This is one of the less useful cards in the deck. Again, its purpose is similar to the Glutton’s role. It is seldom used, but is great in the situations where it is needed. If you are unable to get your Dragon’s leveled, Glutton, Spark, and Firestorm provide your next best combination for a win condition. Early game you use it to clear out smaller creatures such as Fleshfiend or Graveborn Glutton. In the late game, when you have Brimstones to take care of the resilient monsters, you will use Lightning Spark as a primary method of burning an opponent.
Card #8: Epidemic (3 copies). This is your most effective removal. Level this any time you get the chance without causing a serious drawback to yourself. When you have Brimstones filling up the lanes, an Epidemic 3 is all you need to completely clear a board. Other than Brimstone itself, this has your highest priority to level.
Card #9: Firestorm (3 copies). This removal is almost as good as Epidemic since you should have Brimstones everywhere. Plus, over a long game you will notice the opponent’s hit points drop significantly from all the uses of this card. Again, you are playing for a long game that consists of dealing small amounts of damage to all of his creatures consistently. You win by either A) Scorchmane Dragon or B) random consistent damage that eventually kills your opponent (from Glutton/Firestorm/Spark).
Card #10: Cull the Weak (3 copies). Level up Cull whenever you have to deal with a midrange or late game deck that utilizes a strategy around a particular card (such as Grimgaunt, Packmaster, or Titan). It’s good removal, but it isn’t consistent with your strategy (burning with Brimstone and finishing a creature with things like Firestorm or Magma Hound triggers). To that end, you should only branch into Cull to deal with threats that either have to be dealt with immediately, or threats that you otherwise poorly handle (mainly Titan).
Cards #11: Brimstone Field (3 copies). You want to level up two of these in Player Level 1 if it is remotely possible. If you don’t have much choice in the matter, you can often get away with leveling only one as long as your level a lot of global removal (Firestorms and Epidemics). This deck is designed to create value over time. Brimstone Field and global removal effects synergize to create a board state that has one card killing many, many cards of opponents.
Your matchup against a Tempys’ Swiftness deck is bad enough to call for special attention. Against these decks, you want to forgo Brimstone Field altogether (Note: This is the only matchup where you do not want to fill the lanes with Brimstone). In this matchup, focus as much as you can on your creatures, particularly Flameblade and Dragon. Additionally, if you have enough trouble with the matchup, consider putting in two Rumbling Earthshakers in place of the Lightning Sparks in order to create a high Health mobile creature to simply stay on the field to deal with Swift creatures. You can furthermore attempt to stabilize this matchup by removing 1-3 Uranti Bolts in favor of a third of Dragon, Champion, or Earthshaker.
Essentially, your goal while playing against a Swiftness deck is to set up for a short-term defense rather than a long-term one with Brimstone. Your best method of winning is getting a Dragon 3 on the field in Player Level 3.
Grave Pact: Don’t play it. You don’t have enough creatures to be able to play it consistently. You do have Vengeful Spirit, but you don’t have a way to create a consistent method of getting Grave Pact at the perfect times.
Volcanic Giant: He is another good method to try and put a stop to Swiftness decks and worth considering. He also likes to accidentally kill the opponent over time, though if you are playing him, you are playing him because you need him as a blocker, not as a damage dealer.
Flameshaper Acolyte: You do often get the chance to level up lower level cards than most decks do, since you will have many turns that kill off your opponent’s creatures easily. However, the deck relies too much on specific cards being leveled early, and the Acolyte needs to be leveled consistently to be effective. Furthermore, since you have such a reliance on cards like Epidemic, your Flameshaper doesn’t stay around long enough to be truly effective.
Darkshaper Savant: Similar to Flameshaper, but even less useful. More times than not, the Acolyte will be dealing damage to the opponent since your removal typically takes care of the creatures anyway. Darkshaper does not synergize with the goal of the deck, so he is a bad idea to get mixed up in it.
Fleshfiend: He is probably a better option than Volcanic Giant in creating a resilient body to stave off Swiftness creatures, since he keeps coming back and survives several Epidemics. Still, the deck doesn’t focus on creatures, and while he can be good at blocking for the Swiftness creatures, so you should only be playing him if you find you can’t deal with the Swiftness deck matchup at all.
You need to level the right cards to deal with your opponent. Focus on getting two Brimstones down. Your next big priorities should be Epidemics and Firestorms, and if you get a spare play, dropping a Dragon. More times than not, you will not be able to level more than one Dragon. Wasting plays is the biggest way to lose with this deck, and your goal is to set up for a long game, where you will only need one good bomb to play repeatedly. Otherwise, focus on leveling up cards to counter your opponent: Cull if they play late-game bombs or Champion and Spark if they play resilient creatures.
Keep the pressure on with more Brimstone Fields, hopefully being able to play both Brimstones that you leveled up in Player Level 1. Keep in mind that your Brimstones are only as effective as the weakest lanes. If you have an empty lane, then your opponent can play into that and ignore the rest. You need to fill your lanes as quickly as possible. Further, simply try to develop more of your global removal to be as potent late game as you can make it. If you can’t play your Dragon 2, don’t worry about it too much. You should only be concerned with staying alive. Don’t thinking about hurting your opponent or even winning until you have locked down your opponent in position where they can’t win themselves.
Now, fill up your last empty lanes with Brimstones and start working on replacing your Brimstone 1s. Again, your Brimstones are only as effective as your weakest ones, so keep them all as powerful as possible. Once you have secured the board without a doubt, start thinking about playing Glutton 1s (yes, assuming you haven’t been leveling them yet because you are busy leveling the global removal), Lightning Spark, or Dragon to finish off your opponent.
This deck is pretty easy to win with against any deck that does not try to win before the end of Player Level 2. Against those decks, you will have to mold your strategy and be much more careful not to waste a single play in order to beat them. Think up some strategies on how deal with creatures (particular Swiftness ones) that avoid your primary long-term and slow removal strategies. Also, keep in mind that, with this deck especially, your life is a resource. Use your life as an indicator on how much time you have to spend setting up your method to win. Don’t spend it too quickly, but also don’t hesitate to take some hits early. There will be very few games that you don’t end low on hit points.
Let us know what you think of this deck in the comments below!