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Epic: Zombie OTK

You cannot typically perform an OTK (one turn kill) in Epic, from full health. Dealing 30 damage in one turn, is very difficult; or even dealing very close to it like 25 after some health is lost. It can be done and usually relies on attacking while using some sort of sure-fire boost like Battle Cry or Deadly Raid on a massive token field. This deck shares only one real thing in common with that approach: tokens. In this deck, we are going to use pure burn to kill someone in as close to one turn as possible. How? First, we need to establish two engines: draw and zombie production. If you get a Drinker of Blood early in the game, the draw engine is less important. Here’s how it works: draw Drinker of Blood and some sort of board wipe, preferrably a silver-costed wipe so you can do this without giving the opponent two responses. A gold will have to wait until their turn, which is 2 responses (one on yours, one on theirs) and some silvers like Hands From Below will provoke a gold response on your attack, which is 1 response. A 0-response solution would be Wither or Flash Fire. Okay, now that you have your weenie board wipe and Drinker and your zombies are all out (including opponent zombies or both players having weak other champions depending on your possible out), now the magic begins. Nuke. Win. Drinker of Blood will make each opponent lose[es] two life and you gain two life for each champion that breaks at this time. If you’re responseless at the time, you auto-win.

This means, it cannot be stopped by The Gudgeon because it does not target, is not useless in multiplayer since everyone loses the life, and cannot be punished even when it fails to force a loss of all the remaining life because you will gain all that ridiculous amount of life for yourself. So even if you fail to get all 30 or 28 or whatever the situation, even if you do 18-20, you’re getting that much and they’re losing that much. Such a gap usually leaves opponents unable to defeat you before you do something minor and win. Don’t forget that one of your outs is Flash Fire which will do 2 more damage on top of that. Special note here: even though some cards in this deck give zombies to the opponent, which is technically usable by our Drinker of Blood OTK gambit, the decklist notes will not count them as usable since you never know what an opponent will do with it once it’s theirs.

Here are a list of play flow tips that should help you:

  • If you don’t have Drinker of Blood, mulligan aggressively around 3-4 cards
  • Set up zombies slowly early on, so as not to provoke a board wipe
  • Do not attack with early zombies for the same reason (plus you don’t want them dying off)
  • You will have way more silver board wipe wincons than you know what to do with. Don’t be afraid to waste a few Hands From Below for extra tokens
  • Make sure you always respond with Plentiful Dead before your intended response! You need multiple activations of this
  • Don’t pay attention to life costs as you will gain the life back
  • Make sure to use Necrovirus as early as possible to set up zombie “extensions” (where you get more than you visibly had available later)
  • Use The Gudgeon not just to draw a ton but to stop discard control from ruining your Plentiful Deads and Necrovirus

Legend for deck keypoints:

  • OPP – Counts as playable on the opponent’s turn. This is essential to keeping good rhythm and affecting game play every single turn. Doesn’t count re-usable.
  • DRW – Draws at least 2 cards, or is a draw engine. Required to keep playing cards every turn including on the opponent’s turn, especially if you’re board wiping.
  • TKN – Produces zombie tokens.
  • RMV – Any type of removal whether spot or board wipe, including weenie removal since our deck profits here.
  • MVP – Don’t squander these as they’re your best cards. (ACE for Events)

Zombie Counter: For tracking average zombies per card at the end.

Za Warudo
muse
spike_trap
flash_fire
plentiful_dead
hands-from-below
wither
drinker_of_blood
zealous-necromancer
the-gudgeon
winter_fairy
thought_plucker
crystal_golem
hurricane
battle-cry
stand_alone
reap-or-sow
necrovirus
zombie_apocalypse
final_task
the_risen

Key Point stats

Keypoint totals:

  • OPP – 39 total cards. 65% of the deck works well on the opponent’s turn.
  • TKN – 21 total cards. 35% of the deck is used to attack or present a large body.
  • DRW – 39 total cards. 65% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • RMV – 27 total cards. 45% of the deck can directly damage.

Intersection – 210% total, spillover (intersection) of 210%. Cards, on average have 2 of the deck’s key points on each card. Therefore each draw in this deck has a quality rating of 2.


Draw quality (+10). Reminder this is extra over the normal 100%.


Plus the above!

Please note that card quality does not mean anything objective. It’s a subjective self-measure of how well the deck does what it says it wants to. It measures synergy.

Zombie Counter: 18 total produced from unique cards

This means the average number of zombies per card is 18/20 or 0.9. That’s pretty intense. For every card you play, you get around 1 zombie. After 10 cards, you have 9 zombies on average. Though that would be assuming you were playing random cards from your hand with no goal in mind so really it ends up being far more. Essentially, a hand of 7 will have 6.3 zombies per card available to it. Adjust this on the fly to account for your particular game’s quirks, and for the value of Zombie Apocalypse in your game.

This deck is by far the strongest most consistent deck I have been able to make since I started playing Epic upon its release (over a year ago at the time of writing). That’s a very powerful statement given exactly how deep and complex Epic is as a game. Neverthless, its strong potential for non-respondable wins while working consistently and having multiple outs as well as defense makes this deck intensely hard to contend against. Even when using direct counters such as banish removal and discard control, the deck has protection and a plan. Once I come up with a weakness, I’ll be posting it here. This deck can win even when it gets a bad hand, though a bad start is always going to cripple you

It’s not even punishable. In the rare cases where the deck must go for OTK and cannot make it all the way, it’s gaining over 20 life and reducing the opponent that much too. Even in the upper teens of damage, you’re still making a gap that puts the opponent in critical condition and you way up in untouchable areas. If you think you’re not going to draw your win condition, you’re dead wrong. This deck is all gas and draw engines. Your biggest hiccup is against heavy life-gain decks but that was already covered in the part where you cripple the opponent with a less-than-full OTK. In the future, I hope to make the Wild gold choices stronger, but that will either require new insights or a new set release. I hope you all take this and stomp your local competition into the dust! Have fun.

By the way, the name comes from the stand of DIO from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, who is an all-powerful vampire that stops time to pummel you so you can’t respond. It seemed appropriate.

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Epic: Dragon Deck

Requires Tyrants expansion.

Often, most decks will try to combine alignments at least in part. For a Dragon deck, we must define exactly what we want the deck to do and let the colors flow organically into the deck from there. When considering what it means to have a “dragon” deck, first consider what they do well: Thundarus buffs them, they all have airborne, they are all big bodies. So the primary method of winning in this deck will be to get out Thundarus and go to town with powerful finisher effects. Getting Thundarus isn’t as easy as it sounds, so the deck will require a massive draw engine. This will have the side-effect of increasing our hand quality immensely and making us able to use any dragon effect we need in a given situation.

One of the major ways to win is going to be over-extending a successful hit with Mighty Blow or Rage. This will make the strong air the deck has stand out even more and push further than an opponent expected. Setting up one of several draw engines will be the deck’s early game goal, along with fielding some preliminary dragons to get in a few bites of damage while forcing their spot-removal out. Thundarus is one of the hardest to remove cards natively in the game since it’s so huge and unbanishable. It basically requires pure break, so a well-timed Mighty Blow is going to foil any attempts at removal short of bounce. Since every dragon is pure threat, you can easily whittle down an opponent’s spot-removal ahead of time, and since many of them are also flashes, you will likely get quality out of every dragon that died.

Legend for deck keypoints:

  • OPP – Counts as playable on the opponent’s turn. This is essential to keeping good rhythm and affecting game play every single turn. Doesn’t count re-usable.
  • DRW – Draws at least 2 cards, or is a draw engine. Required to keep playing cards every turn including on the opponent’s turn, especially if you’re board wiping.
  • AIR – Can actually do some damage in the air. Primary win strategy.
  • RMV – Removal, whether spot or board wipe.
  • MVP – Don’t squander these as they’re your best cards. (ACE for Events)
サーンダルスが倒せない (I cannot defeat Thundarus)
keeper_of_secrets
muse
rage
strafing_dragon
draka-dragon-tyrant
drakas-enforcer
gold_dragon
thundarus
blue_dragon
ice_drake
transform
raging_t_rex
surprise_attack
stand_alone
thought_plucker
lying_in_wait
winter_fairy
mighty_blow
hurricane
army_of_the_apocalypse

Key Point stats

Keypoint totals:

  • OPP – 36 total cards. 60% of the deck works well on the opponent’s turn.
  • AIR – 24 total cards. 40% of the deck is used to attack or present a large body.
  • DRW – 42 total cards. 70% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • RMV – 15 total cards. 25% of the deck can directly damage.

Intersection – 195% total, spillover (intersection) of 95%. Cards, on average have 1.9 of the deck’s key points on each card. Therefore each draw in this deck has a quality rating of 1.9.


Draw quality (+10). Reminder this is extra over the normal 100%.

Please note that card quality does not mean anything objective. It’s a subjective self-measure of how well the deck does what it says it wants to. It measures synergy.

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Epic: Tyrants Alignments

Good tends to normally have some pretty weak ground bodies but some things change in Tyrants! Let’s take a look at each new Good card and see how they stack up, what they add the alignment, or the game as a whole.

blind-faith

Before, Good was hurting for a “killer” silver. Where Evil has Corpse Taker, Sage has Muse, and Wild has Rage, Good really relied on simply throwing a few silvers together and hoping they came up when needed. Not to say any were bad, but they’re not holding a candle to the general purpose use of Blind Faith. With Blind Faith, you can recycle (so very often replacing itself, making it a free card) and blank out the textboxes on your opponent’s champions. “Abilities” and “Powers” refer to both the general textbox rules, the shaded areas (while it is in the discard pile), and the bold strip of keywords at the top (Airborne, Ambush, Blitz, etc).

This isn’t to say that an opponent just has to sit there helplessly, but you can make it so they can’t do things like use Jungle Queen to play cards as Ambush. This is extremely useful for removing Breakthrough from an incoming attack if you only have weak human tokens. A well-timed blind faith also lets you block some air attacker, maybe kill it, and turns off its potential Righteous. This is what advanced gamers were looking for. I promise you’ll find so many uses for Blind Faith you won’t want to leave home without it!

markus-watch-captain

Often times in this cruel, cruel world, an opponent is going to start with a Thoughtplucker, Psionic Assault, Knight of Shadows or other levels of annoyance in their opening hand. Any time they get some incidental discard (or set up an engine), of hand control, you can find yourself annoyed, hosed, ready to rage-quit or all three! Markus, Watch Captain has your back.

As the Good tyrant, he at least had the common decency to be one of the top bodies in Good overall. As the Tienshenhan of humans, Markus starts big and can get big. Given this fact, the ability to essentially get free gold any time an opponent uses a discard effect (which is extremely common, regardless of your meta), is pretty amazing. With proper loyalty, he’s just a Triceratops that replaces Breakthrough for the ability to stop token spam. That’s if he’s not being incredibly anti-meta with his discard protection. Markus may find himself being slotted into every deck, even at 1 copy, just to threaten the “no fun allowed” crowd.

rabble-rouser

Really what we want to look at with Rabble Rouser is human spamming in general. Base set Good had some pretty nice human token spamming and support. However, it doesn’t hold a candle to the horror of Tyrants human token support. Rabble Rouser himself comes down with blitz and the ability to not only grant humans but double them like some sort of insane Krenko Mob Boss on crack. With the stupidly high number of ways to get human tokens (and give them all blitz) this is going to turn into a nightmare.

Insurgency gives us that nightmare. Let’s say that instead of six humans with blitz, you got four humans with blitz, unbreakable and +1 offense each. What if all your human tokens got those buffs? That’s Insurgency, which granted has no alternate draw 2, but a properly built deck can make that work. I won’t be spending much time talking about alternate versions of existing cards and their trade-offs (such as Forced Exile) but Insurgency warrants a mention simply for its buffing. Revolt is another that, ignoring Rally the People‘s “Recall” text, is strictly better, buffing everything by +2 after.


paros-rebel-leader

Paros, Rebel Leader is yet more buffing along with production! This gets quickly out of hand, turns on your Inheritance of the Meek and the new Quell for a major one-sided board wipe. Much of what helps a human token deck also have unbanishable, such as the new Noble Martyr (who can put six into play when allied from the discard, plus facechecks for 7 blitz immediately) and People’s Champion.

Throwing in a High King and Thundarus gives you more partial one-sided board wipes to the aforementioned plus Divine Judgement.

Evil had a shaky start in set one with very poor champion bodies and a total lack of support for their best strategy—demon tokens. All of that changes in Tyrants, with a major overhaul to Evil’s arsenal.

raxxa-demon-tyrant

Starting off strong with amazing demon token support is the Evil tyrant himself: Raxxa. Raxxa is narcissistic and what he wants most in the world is to make every demon like himself. He brings along his own two personal demon token bodyguards and then gives every one of them +2/+2, so they can all be 6/6 like him. Oh and he can totally nuke weenies with 2 defense. This is a growing trend with demon tokens: far more of them. Remember how he can weenie-nuke? Try that after a Zombie Apocalypse or Wave of Transformation.

Spawning Demon was the savior of the demon token strategy. Despite having to compete with some amazing silvers, Spawning Demon provides the same effect as Infernal Gatekeeper without the gold cost, and at event speed! Of course you can pull some fun stuff, such as ambushing this in, paying your gold on the response, getting that demon for a life, and blocking with both your silvers for 8/8, though who wants to lose their engine? Everything like this pairs nicely with Raxxa’s Curse, which kills a silver and gives a demon token (totally invaluable with your own Reaper live). And of course, you have a coup de grâce in the form of Raxxa’s Displeasure which is the most one-sided board wipe (demons never die) I’ve ever seen in Epic.

reaper

Reaper is really just a free kill every turn, since you don’t care that what you kill turns into a demon token. You have far more of those. Reaper even doubles the output of spot-removal like Medusa and Bitten. Pairing it with Raxxa’s Curse means “no, actually you don’t have one but I do” after you kill something. This is one of Evil’s biggest on-board threats.

Combining it with things like Zealous Necromancer means a zombie token with every single kill from Reaper, to even out the trade of demons. More than that, it means Reaper can convert your own zombies into demons when necessary, which is usually a great idea the moment Raxxa makes his appearance.

zealous-necromancer

I was a bit skeptical of Zealous Necromancer’s potential before I actually investigated him more and played a few games out. Once I did though, I fell in love. This card single-handedly wins games. The first clue that it’s solid as hell should be the Ambush + Draw. Any time you have OPP+DRW on a champion for free, you’re starting off on solid ground. But on top of that, the ability is so loosely worded that you can do all kinds of crazy things.

Imagine, if you will, a demon token engine. I know, hard to fathom. Imagine that you never swing with them and only keep them up for blocking purposes, usually trying to kill on the block. Every time you lose a demon token and every time the attacker dies, you get a zombie. This becomes absolutely outrageous in a very short period of time. Any opponent not packing weenie-nuke is going to have a hard day. Wiping the field of 2, 5, or 9 defense at a time (there are board wipes for each) is absolutely imperative once Zealous Necromancer makes the scene. I’ve used this to repeatedly stall out for the perfect card, even a second copy of it. I’ve used it to appear like I’m building up a huge zombie defense wall only to swing with all of them plus him, then play Raxxa’s Displeasure and swing into an empty field with demon tokens. Truly a champion of nightmares.

the-gudgeon

I don’t even understand how White Wizard design team keeps pumping out excellent cards without the game taking off as an international craze like this. The Gudgeon is one such amazing card with many uses. Let’s take for a moment that he protects you from burn, all freeze (except unblockable), discard control, just a surprisingly large number of cards that target players.

Obviously, not all burn (Draka’s Fire comes to mind) and not all of everything, but the protection is worth mentioning. The Gudgeon essentially forces a response. With it being unblockable, it’s not something an opponent is going to remove with most existing board states. Any time it provokes a hand response, it’s essentially operating like a true net +2. Which is absolutely great. Don’t deal with him? Well eat your 2 damage every turn. And sure, he’s easy to kill but it’s much harder when he’s untargetable too due to the effect of Royal Escort. Which is in an alignment that buffs humans. Like The Gudgeon.

Epic-icon-sage-lg
Sage started off the strongest in set one, relative to all the possible categories, making them the most solid pure color as well as the most splashable. Tyrants, by comparison, isn’t making that significant of a leap but still manages to keep Sage in the game, maybe even still in a station slightly above others.

helion-the-dominator

Starting off with the Tyrant: Helion the Dominator. At first, I was unimpressed by Helion. He’s flashy but seemed to be a bit too niche for me. However, there are some things you boys, girls and others need to know. “Gain control” can target things you already control. I confirmed this with Nathan Davis at White Wizard personally. So right away, we have an 8/8 (respectable) Ambush, that can loyalty to take away the toys and even get those toys killed after an attack is declared. Just his existence will make you rethink attacking with your strong champions first. On top of this, if he’s played on your turn after playing a nice big silver champion like Ankylosaurus, that champion gets to attack with blitz. Yes, you can do the same thing with Turn but allowing your existing gold champions to double attack.

We’re not done. Let’s take Forcemage Apprentice, one of the best cards for consistent damage in the game, and give him that effect twice. Okay, so he doesn’t have blitz or re-prep but Helion can at least take out multiple utilities/tokens at a time or just hit face at his leisure.

shadow-imp

Shadow Imp is a treasure. “Pinging” to death with 2 damage is usually the job of Forcemage Apprentice but now you get to double down on that. Shadow Imp is unblockable, so that 2 is hitting, has blitz, so it’s hitting every time it comes in, and has ambush so it can eat a hit in a pinch or come down at really weird times. On top of that, you can attack, pay a gold to ally it back to hand, play it and attack again. This combined with the “gain control, prep it, blitz it” effects are causing Sage to have a very blitzkrieg style of offense which allows them to just constantly re-use attacks.

One of the better attacks to re-use are unblockables and the biggest unblockable is Knight of Shadows. As a 9/4 with the same effect as Thoughtplucker on Tribute, he threatens to come out swinging. Granted, he’s speedless but can be paired with Turn once he does get rolling. Nine to the face every turn is nothing to laugh off. Especially when paired with a +2 effect.

temporal-enforcer

It’s the year of the unblockable! Temporal Enforcer isn’t screwing around. All those amazing time cops in Sage are back but this time with the body of an unblockable rogue. So much utility was never had in one card! Paint this picture in your mind: setting up an unblockable on your opponent’s turn, making them lose a gold via bounce, and setting up re-usable silver bounce (token kill too) all in one card. How does that sound for a deal?

Obviously, the downside is “dies to removal” but don’t most things? The extreme level of bounce in Sage makes it worth mentioning though that bounce does not always lead to a gold advantage. Make sure you’re not doing something weird like bouncing a silver, a blitz, or an incredibly powerful Tribute/Loyalty. You really don’t want opponents to repeatedly use cards like Raging T-Rex and draw up a storm. That having been said, it makes speedless cards all the weaker as true removal is no longer even necessary. And it means speedless cards without any sort of re-usable entry effects are more dangerous to run. Anything with Blitz or an entry effect of yours is going to be amazing with Temporal Enforcer, even making Frost Titan a re-usable freeze without opponents being able to take him out.

Wild has never screwed around. The fun doesn’t stop in Tyrants. Remember when Wild had very little it could do with airborne? That changes.

draka-dragon-tyrant
“You’re a god. If you want two Drakas on the planet, then you make two Drakas.” —Nathan Davis

Draka, Dragon Tyrant is now the largest blitz airborne in the game. Before, that prize went to Djinn of the Sands with his full counter armament. On top of that, Draka sports a weenie-nuke that can wipe the entire field of tokens, utilities, multiple silvers, and says to opposing air blockers “you better have 13 defense if you want to live through this”. Just as horrifying is Draka’s Enforcer which gives such a respectable 7/7 ambush body you’d think it wouldn’t also have airborne. That means the Enforcer can kill most of the average airbornes it ambushes in to block, without dying. On top of that, drawing a card.

Any time you have OPP+DRW on a champion, you’re in good hands. Wild getting such over-the-top airbornes really helps determine what two colors a “dragon” themed deck would want to be. Given the loyalties required on all three Wild dragons and both Sage dragons, the deck maps itself. Good dragons are mostly poptarts anyway.

brachiosaurus

Have you heard of our lord and savior, Brachiosaurus? This is the first legal card that can add gold in the game. Despite being restricted to Wild, the gold itself automatically sets Brachio up as a completely free field development most of the time on a super respectable breakthrough body. Can life get any sweeter? It’s a dinosaur, which means Chomp! and Great Horned Lizard can buff it. The latter of which is extremely respectable in its own right with ambush, blitz, breakthrough.

Adding to the massive pool of breakthrough is Ankylosaurus. This little 7/7 silver is as close to maxed out as a silver can get. With the highest (non-legal) silver body in the game being 8/8, no breakthrough, Ankylosaurus is really pushing the limit. It’s excellent when added into a pure breakthrough group attack, since it makes that group one of the scariest things in all of Epic. It’s difficult to block effectively and everything is contributing to the final push for damage. However, it should probably only be used in addition to Wurm Hatchling, not as a replacement even in a dino-buff deck. Growth is worth something by itself.

helion-the-mindsculptor
Helion the Mindsculptor
Anything I haven’t directly covered either with pictures or even as a reference, I consider to be sort of “background”. Maybe you run it, maybe you don’t. Not to say that any of those are bad. Forced Exile is an amazing card on par with Bitten for near-staple removal, but those cards are, for the most part, already understood to a large degree and a non-novice player will be able to see exactly where they fit into their deck.

Other cards such as Dark Offering are too reliant on deck design to say anything general about (especially with the awful rule 5.0: which states that unbreakable champions cannot be targeted by “break” effects, even though there is no such rule for unbanishable!). With this in mind, let’s move to a product review.

What do I think of Tyrants? Maybe I gave something away with my take on The Gudgeon, but the card design is absolutely brilliant. Every single alignment got exactly what they were missing. I don’t want to betray White Wizard’s attention to detail, so let me list all of them:

  • Evil gets demon tokens, token buff, zombie token spam, more proper draw, and more proper OPP
  • Good gets better bodies, more cohesive human support, more human token support, nice utility and protection, more life gain, more speed
  • Wild gets more airborne, dinosaur support, more breakthrough, more severely needed blitz, more incidental effects
  • Sage gets more technical and specific support, more hand control, more unblockable, more permanent bounce, more ping damage

Here is what each still lack in my opinion, and I look forward to seeing in the next set (Uprising):

  • Evil needs bigger bodies and more airborne. This should stay their weakness but doesn’t have to be this weak
  • Good needs bigger ground bodies and better silvers. This should also stay their weakness but needs improvement
  • Wild needs a few more airborne and more focus on blitz. Again, having blitz as a weakness is okay but blitz is far too important to have this few/weak bodies of
  • Sage needs even more ping damage. It has basically everything else covered right now and therefore could use a new direction after ping damage is achieved

Here’s what I think Tyrants did poorly, despite loving the card design of the set:

  • The production values were not up to my standard. Star Realms and Epic set 1 were almost there in card stock and right on the money everywhere else. But this card stock is flimsier and a bad “matte” feel instead of waxy smooth like other games White Wizard has released. This is a noticeable drop in quality.
  • Some of my copies and many of friends of mine had bad miscuts. Not within their own bleed, more like into the very next card.
  • The ink run sometimes had different layers run incorrectly. My Raxxa Tyrant for example looks like a cheap 3D glasses effect (slightly) because of the tiny misalignment of the cyan ink.
  • Again with the ink, the black was far too dark (in fact all darks looked like they weren’t proofed in CMYK mode), at least on every print run I’ve personally seen. The text therefore looks way too bold relative to the clean thin look of set 1.
  • The $5 SRP makes sense for turning a profit margin but no sense given the production quality. I understand that as a smaller print run than base (less cards, maybe less funding), they must have had higher costs, however it’s not okay to also have worse quality on the print run if your price point is higher.

Also, I believe that they did some things right that were absolutely an improvement. Just, for example, the spread of new tactics despite having a minor fraction of the card pool of base set, is rather impressive. Allowing us to re-use old cards to a significantly more complex degree is the hallmark of great design. The new token art was a vast improvement over the old and getting a free token in every pack finally made the extreme token decks I’ve built feasible. Despite all the imperfections on the physical front, Tyrants remains such an excellent sequel to the Epic base set and will really put naysayers to shame.

White Wizard is clearly a company with a love for competitive card games and with some smart minds behind them. I recommend getting three of everything so you can compete to the fullest in Epic constructed. Combined with base set, it’s cheaper and more fun than any TCG on the market.

For more Tyrants strategy, watch these videos:

Raxxa’s Revenge
Draka’s Rage
Markus’ Command
Helion’s Deceit


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Hopefully you all found this an informative and helpful article. If so, be sure to share this with your friends!

epic-icon-wild-lg

Epic: Wild Deck

If you haven’t checked out the base set Wild analysis, do that now!

Unlike some other alignments, Wild is actually capable of not only fitting in other decks but being pure by itself and still holding up. A pure Wild deck can in fact compete with a unique strategy that’s difficult to pull off with any other type. By sitting behind very large and threatening bodies, then lobbing burn damage directly to the opponent’s face, it can essentially create one of the safest win conditions. The general idea is there, though some of the specifics are slightly different. Packing cards like Lash or Rage helps to surprise damage someone who decided to throw a blocker under the bus.

The logic goes as follows: drop a threat, usually one which also doubles as a flash, then on the opponent’s turn, simply lob fireballs and lightning at them. The threat exists to draw removal from their hand, preventing the opponent from drawing 2 off an event (one of the worst things you can let an opponent do). This keeps the opponent’s hand size dwindling instead of increasing and frees up your gold to deal direct damage. You never really run out of threats so the moment they run out of removal, you’ve essentially got an easy game. Use any living or blitzing attackers with Lash and Rage to cause massive damage on the sly. Bonus points: use Mighty Blow after declaring Lash/Rage for +14 Unbreakable Breakthrough. This is usually a game ender and Mighty Blow is therefore an Ace.

If you’re drawing on schedule, you should be able to see 0.3 burn cards per card, which is 4 burns in about 13 cards. Thirteen cards are easy to draw (you start with 6 unless you went first, simply play two cards that draw 2 and wait three turns). Since the average burn damage in this deck is slightly under 6 damage per each (counting the permanents like Fire Shaman twice each), this means you’d only need 5 burns to win the game on average. If you can pull off a surprise Breakthrough, you might need anywhere from 3-4 burns to win. Herein lies why you only need to dig through 13 cards for 4 burns. Adjust that strategy within the game as you go based on how much total burn you can rack up after about your 8th card. You may have to rely more or less on your offense champions. Make sure you’re using primary drawing techniques like Raging T-Rex since he can go through 2 cards while also setting up a threat. The same goes for Triceratops to a different degree, as he has his “Lash/Rage” built in but at a lower draw amount.

Your basic weaknesses are freeze and airborne, with a lot of spot-removal. This means Wild has a really tough matchup against vanilla Sage. It can really suck when you plop down all these huge bodies and the opponent just ignores them with airborne. The good news is that unless they both have ground blockers and you don’t have the ability to get Breakthrough, you can still out-damage them if they try to race you. The bad news is that when they combine spot-removal with airborne, it’s very difficult for you to win out, especially if you’re coming up dry on burn. Not as common but a player that can block with a lot of champions to break yours while drawing a lot of cards can outpace you without any downside. That’s where you would need to use your surprise cards.

Legend for deck keypoints:

  • OPP – Counts as playable on the opponent’s turn. This is essential to keeping good rhythm and affecting game play every single turn. Doesn’t count re-usable.
  • DRW – Draws at least 2 cards, or is a draw engine. Required to keep playing cards every turn including on the opponent’s turn, especially if you’re board wiping.
  • OFF – Anything with a body above the Wild average of 9/9 OR above a 4/5 airborne. Counts for cards that can lend huge things breakthrough or huge power.
  • BRN – Fling directly at face.
  • MVP – Don’t squander these as they’re your best cards. (ACE for Events)
Power Overwhelming
wurm_hatchling
rage
lash
fireball
fire_shaman
army_of_the_apocalypse
transform

 

raging_t_rex
strafing_dragon
burrowing_wurm
triceratops
surprise_attack
rampaging_wurm
rain_of_fire

 

jungle_queen
mighty_blow
lurking_giant
hurricane
hunting_raptors
flame_strike

Key Point stats

Keypoint totals:

  • OPP – 11 unique, 33 total cards. 55% of the deck works well on the opponent’s turn.
  • OFF – 11 unique, 33 total cards. 55% of the deck is used to attack or present a large body.
  • DRW – 9 unique, 27 total cards. 45% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • BRN – 6 unique, 18 total cards. 30% of the deck can directly damage.

Intersection – 185% total, spillover (intersection) of 85%. Cards, on average have 1.8 of the deck’s key points on each card. Therefore each draw in this deck has a quality rating of 1.8.


Draw quality (+10). Reminder this is extra over the normal 100%.

Please note that card quality does not mean anything objective. It’s a subjective self-measure of how well the deck does what it says it wants to. It measures synergy.

As mono-color decks go, pure Wild works out quite well. Any given card is going to have a lot of quality to do what it needs to do. Complete with lots of poptarts, burn and offense, Wild is tough to beat. It takes a lot of airborne, removal and freeze. Though most alignments are also weak to the last two. It does suffer from a great lack of pure removal, relying only on its burn in dire situations, which is still often not enough. Despite that, the strategy of sitting behind big (card drawing or otherwise) threats while lobbing fire overhead is very “power overhwelming” indeed. The greatest strength of this deck is the not-so-apparent moments it can go for game. I find myself often being able to win while the opponent is at 11 or less just by having Fireball and Flame Strike in hand, neither to which an opponent can respond.

There’s this sort of life threshold the opponent approaches somewhere around 15 remaining to 8 remaining (a huge range) where they are in danger of immediately losing. This is especially powerful when combined with an opponent who takes a mulligan. Any opponent daring to mull 3 against this deck will find itself dying at 18 life to 11 life, usually without a way to stop it reliably. The most powerful combination you can try in this deck is Mighty Blow + Lash/Rage/Breakthrough + 10+ Power champion. Even if blocked, it can easily do around 15 damage. In combination with a blitzkrieg approach and lots of draw, while forcing the opponent to not draw, I have to say this deck is extremely difficult to deal with.

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Epic: Base Set Wild Alignment

Wild cards feature dinosaurs, savage beasts, flames, lightning and other chaotic forces of nature. Wild has the best ground bodies in the game and the most direct damage via burn. Of course, this combination is completely unfair since it lets you sit behind huge threats (and walls) while throwing lightning bolts at someone’s face. Many of the Wild champions are so huge, they basically scream “kill me now or you die”, making them significant threats.

In addition, they can swing with those huge bodies, have an opponent throw something weak under the bus, and then the Wild player drop Lash or Rage to suddenly start dealing breakthrough at asinine numbers. More ridiculous is when you combo this with +10 Unbreakable from Mighty Blow and just kill someone in one turn. It happens. The huge threats, fireballs and surprise factor make Wild a serious opponent for anyone to face. In addition, because many of their huge bodies are flashes, which means they often get to serve as unstoppable effects plus having innate threat. This is a powerful combination when you drop a Kong or Raging T-Rex (or similar) and then just sit behind that threatening body, forcing some control from your opponent. This is an easy way to get ahead since you give up nothing.

What’s especially effective when using Wild is throwing down Champions on your own turn (usually creating a threat plus gaining a flash) then while your opponent is busy fumbling with responses, on their turn you’re waiting to drop 5-8 direct damage per card, with some of your cards being free. This is exacerbated by Fire Shaman which allys for 3 damage to a target. This is similar to, but not necessarily better than, Sage’s Forcemage Apprentice. You can usually guarantee about 6 extra damage per round out of this champion and if you play Flame Strike on one of those turns, you’ve dealt 14 easy damage. On top of that, you’re usually going to draw into at least one Fireball per game which you can save for a turn where you chain that in there and deal a total of 17 damage. This alone is 57% of someone’s starting life total! When combined with other sources of burn and an opponent screwed enough to mulligan against Wild you can easily deal so much damage that an opponent dies in 3 turns or less.

So in short, distract with big things (maybe they’ll even hit), smack them with direct. It’s a lot like Good’s Airborne strategy but with a backup.

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One of their most glaring weaknesses is the absolutely poor spot-removal. All of it deals numerical damage which isn’t just subject to the unbreakable problem but also managing Defense numbers. This means that their removal is entirely opponent-dependent, which is effectively probability-dependent. Worse, they only have one board-wipe—Hurricane! You might think of Wild as being hyper-destructive and wielding all the forces of nature against you but not really, they simply don’t have the removal to stack up like that. It can be said that cards like Kong and Chomp! are “effectively unlimited” but really it glosses over the fact that you will have things you just cannot kill, such as Thundurus and many things in Wild.

Speaking of things they have very little of, Wild has only one airborne champion—Strafing Dragon. Granted this guy will give you nightmares and make you paranoid as hell but he’s the only one Wild has in the base release. He has respectable offense, defense, is extremely fast (both Blitz and Ambush) and can hit something or someone for 5. This means that Wild’s only real offensive strategy is to use surprise huge-bodies or surprise-burn. Speaking of speed…

If you look at card speed, you’ll note that cards might have Blitz or Ambush. For Wild champions, 7/13 of them can attack or expend on your first turn since putting them into play (e.g. Blitz or Ambush) which is incredibly important for tempo. However, about 3 of these cards aren’t very playable in base set (Pyromancer, Pack Alpha, Bellowing Minotaur) so you’re left with an effective 4/13 which is only 31% of your total roster. Evil isn’t faring a lot better with its 6/12 absolute but 5/12 (Dark Leader) effective, which is 42%. Good has a crazy 10/15 with respectable 9/15 (White Knight) being reasonably playable, coming to 60%! Sage sports absolute speed 9/13 cards with all being playable, coming out to 69%! Every color has better speed unit selections than Wild, so please try not to fall for the trap of thinking that Wild is fast. By volume, Sage and Good are tied for the fastest and relative-wise, Sage is the fastest.

Obviously Wild isn’t all bad but it does have some glaring weaknesses for a mindful player to exploit. Basically everything not mentioned here will tear your face off though.

Best champions are always going to be partially subjective but after picking criteria, you can at least try to be impartial. So here are Strafing Dragon and Burrowing Wurm.

I challenge you to make a Wild deck better because these two are not in it. That’s a challenge you will fail for sure. Strafing Dragon is easily one of the best champions in the game’s card pool and completely restricted to Wild. The ability to ambush this in to block something while also hitting to the face is ridiculous. On top of being able to bring it out, immediately hit for 5 to the face, then swing in the air for 6 and you’re basically looking at a part-flash-part-threat champion. Any time you see something like that bundled together, it’s just a poptart.

Burrowing Wurm is horrifying and will cause people to wish they wore their brown pants that day. Sporting the highest offense and defense in the game (legally playable) along with Breakthrough so no one can escape its wrath, you should no longer care that it isn’t fast. Essenitally, this thing is going to swing and when it does, you’re getting hurt a lot. It’s probably the biggest threat card in the game alongside Avenging Angel. The best part is that it’s not color-locked at all.

Honorable mentions: Raging T-Rex and Jungle Queen.

I’ve never built a Wild deck to date without Raging T-Rex. The easy source of cards for something you want to put on the field anyway is just like free candy. Dropping this card is an excellent early play because it can bait out removal you’d rather not have spent on your other big stompy champions. Also, it sets your hand up for all of the diminishing that will happen to it in Wild.

Jungle Queen is horribly mean. If your opponent plays this card, they have something in mind for ambushing in, most likely a Kong or Burrowing Wurm. Basically assume horrible things will happen to you if you attack while she’s up. The fact that Queen forces the use of removal before an attack (or suffer the consequences) makes her so excellent for controlling someone who has control. The best part is that when she dies, you’ve already gotten a card out of her for your troubles. Both Raging T-Rex and Jungle Queen serve that similar purpose. Her ability to buff all of your already huge Wild champions is just extra.

To summarize, Wild has a lot of serious pressure it can place on opponent’s along with its threats being backed up by painful promises. At the same time, it lacks speed, air strategies (though burn could be argued to be as good) and decent removal. Supplementing Sage Freeze such as Frost Titan can really help Wild make the best use of some of its biggest things. The combination of champions being used to get flash effects while doubling as threats can easily give advantages to Wild that are hard to match. Even with perfect 1:1 control, Wild can come out ahead qualitatively.

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