Epic: Base Set Evil Alignment

Evil cards feature many demons, vampires, undead and horror-centric concepts. Their overall theme is to control as hard as possible while punishing over-extension and going in for medium damage. The alignment tends to rely heavily on strong but mass-produced tokens and Blitz on the ground for damage.

Most of their champions are either mass-produced 2/2 Zombies or 4/4 Demons; with several blitzy, unbreakable ground attackers and a couple notable airborne. This leads Evil to rely very heavily on its control mechanics to set the pace of the game and get in damage. It has an easy time responding to any threat card.

Most of Evil’s individual damage attempts are rather weak. Let me illustrate this:

  • Condition Data
    Sum gold Evil champion power 66
    Avg gold Evil champion power 6
    Sum silver Evil champion power 18
    Avg silver Evil champion power 3
  • The data in this table shows that Evil gold champions are about the same as Good champions on average, even though there are less Evils. Their averages in both sections are a bit higher when discounting zombie tokens and anything that produces zombie tokens as these are definitely the weakest point in Evil. Don’t count too much on zombies unless you can get a lot of them immediately (Murderous Necromancer/The Risen). They essentially exist to block non-breakthrough champions and render them useless.

*One champion was discounted as it confounds the data. Necromancer Lord has 1 Power but operates more like a reusable Event, so it was left out. Thrasher Demon was counted as a 3/3 for Silvers since it should always attack immediately.

What might be surprising is the relative high power of your Silvers. Most of the time, Silvers are 1/3 or less the power of a Gold champion but in Evil, this is not the case. They are usually around 1/2 or better depending on what you choose to run in your deck. Note that for this data, the Zombie and Demon tokens were counted in Silver simply because Evil uses them as an offensive method

The clearest strategy in Evil seems to be pumping out a lot of little guys while popping your opponent’s big ground stuff so they have a clear field. It’s nearly trivial for you to play a kill every single turn on your opponent’s turn, then drop multiple Demons/Zombies/Silvers and just go to town. This also leaves you with a decent defense wall and many combinations of blocking to get efficient block-kills. Opponents will have to rely on board wipes to start gaining their own advantage while denying yours. “Swinging wide” is actually a completely viable strategy in Epic, it’s usually just not done since board wipes make that very costly. This will be Evil’s greatest strength and weakness.

While their average gold champion power is high, it’s pretty clear that their total is nowhere near Wild’s 116, giving them a ratio of 57%, the lowest in base set. Though it’s not that far off from Good—only 5%.


Offense

Defensive strategies in Epic have to eventually service an offensive strategy and somehow deal 30 damage. Evil’s offense is nothing to write home about, so it needs to have decent defense or its bodies on the field aren’t going to be very good for much at all. Defense can be serviceable in Evil if used to create a massive token wall or use large champions to block off attacks while throwing kill cards at anything it can’t block. In Evil there are 6 reliable single-target kills and 4 board wipes.

With 30 possible copies of something that can kill, you won’t have any trouble figuring out how to stall and build your army, then push the red button to start over. With so many threat cards in Evil (5) you can easily make a deck that forces opponents to run dry while you’re controlling, setting up a wall and then finally going for offense. You could even grind-game using the same tactics.

  • Condition Data
    Sum gold Evil champion defense 65
    Avg gold Evil champion defense 5.9
    Sum silver Evil champion defense 14
    Avg silver Evil champion defense 2.3
  • Evil clearly has the worst defense in base set by far. It’s significantly lower than Good and Sage, having only 53% of Wild’s 123 defense sum. That’s easily 20% less than the others and that’s a major problem. The average body on an evil gold is 6/6 and the average silver is 3/2. Obviously all these numbers can slightly increase if you run as many Demon tokens as possible and try not to use, for example Corpse Taker, as an attacker or blocker.

So how do you make these bad Evil bodies on the field workable? The simplest solution is to exploit their gratuitous number of board wipes and kill cards to “filter” the game down for your opponent. For example, if you have a few of your average Evils out (6/6) and a few average Wilds out (9/9), what you can do is tilt the average downward by killing their best stuff (Burrowing Wurm, Kong, etc.) and leaving the weaklings to get trampled by your army. Then you can just expoit the huge number of Demons and Zombies to swing wide and block wide—even blocking for a kill sometimes.


Defense

Once again, “best card” is always going to be a difficult concept to define in a rigorous way. As usual, I’m going with how these cards compare with other cards that do the same job in any alignment. So I present Necromancer Lord and Trihorror.

Evil’s best cards aren’t necessarily in the same candle light as other alignments but they are pretty amazing. Necromancer Lord is a very fast unit that can grab the best units in the game, so it has to be mentioned. I don’t know of any way to construct a working Evil deck without Necromancer Lord since you can get anything you’ve killed (or that has died) which is quite a lot. Take care to use this ability to deny Recycle as well, which can deny your ability right back. As for Trihorror, I’m not saying it should go in every Evil deck but I am saying it’s one of their best cards and outclasses several other huge breakthroughs. A Burrowing Worm with nothing to lose when it dies, ouch. One of the terrifying things you can do with this is Final Task it out for 12/12 blitz+breakthrough and then when it dies at the end of turn you get three 4/4 Demons. Using this in combination with Infernal Gatekeeper is a road to a demon army. The best part is how it survives board wipes.

Honorable mention: Infernal Gatekeeper.

Infernal Gatekeeper just dumps Demons on the field everywhere. Normally, you would be wary of losing 1 life for some trash tokens that can easily be replaced but in a color that has life drain, Infernal Gatekeeper works really well, especially for Demon army decks. At first, it’s a purely defensive card, allowing you to tank the average Wild if you can throw a zombie in there and then pump Demons for a really wide swing.

murderous_necromancer
Overall, despite Good being considered the weakest alignment in base by most fans, Evil is skirting the line pretty close. It lacks any usable form of body on average so most of its strategies rely on the opponent’s champions being targetable and breakable. Some won’t be, so Evil has to come up with some creative ways to remove a lot of badass Sage cards. What’s great about Evil is how it can reach outside its own deck to pull more offense and defense out of the aether with the mass of tokens.

It can easily generate them three at a time, so with Zombies you’re talking 6/6 getting added to the field and with Demons that’s 12/12 (that Trihorror makes more sense to you now I bet). The best part being that they’re split up so if you want, you can attack in a group as though it were one big creature all along!

While Evil’s negative points are really negative, its good points are really good. This alignment has the most kill I’ve seen in any of them and can easily and consistently board wipe and spot-remove all day. Since it can just cripple any deck that relies on permanents over flashes, Evil tends to hamstring winning points while gathering up its own. This makes it decided not the weakest alignment in base set, nor even close despite its low body numbers.


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Alice

Alice is the webmaster of VMundi, author, editor, mathematician, and autodidact. She has over 6 years of publishing experience writing articles for various self-run sites. Her interests include game design, economics, Game Theory, graphical design, quantum mechanics and mathematics.

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