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.

57be61fa4c3cafbd75fc04e4ef0a5937_original
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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Hopefully you all found this an informative and helpful article. If so, be sure to share this with your friends!

Epic: Sage Deck

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

While decks are not required to stay “pure” colored, Sage does pretty well by itself just as a pure alignment. In fact, a pure Sage deck is pretty hard to mess up, since the cards to make a winning strategy are just so obvious. See, Sage can choose several of the winning strategies in Epic and not really lose out on anything. It can easily do freeze, simplify the game for opportunity swings, breakthrough (+blitz) on the ground, or burn, or airborne.

Please be aware that Sage does not have a lot of credible threats, which means your opponent gets to advance their field more, causing you to use more spot-removal and board-wipes. The deck accounts for this as best it can by including as many threats and removal cards as possible without sacrificing synergy but ultimately every deck will have at least one weakness otherwise it won’t do anything quite well.

The basic field you’ll be going for is huge pressure with stuff like Juggernaut or Steel Golem, which rarely hit directly but have their own benefits besides. While setting up air superiority with your Avenging Angel, Djinn of the Sands, or Blue Dragon. Make sure to never have more than 2 champions on the field until you go for game. Ping with burn damage and do a few small damaging gambits while drawing as hard as possible. You’re aiming to draw into one of the following 3 finishers: Frost Giant, Ice Drake, or Deadly Raid. At that point, rack up a field, hope they don’t take the 1-turn window to board wipe (bait one early if you can) and slap down your winning-move. If you fail, wait for a board wipe and start over and try again. You should see a finisher approximately every 7 cards, meaning your opening hand might even have one. This is important because if you fail, it’s just a short 8 cards from the opening hand to another one. This deck has so much draw that it’s easy to facilitate this gambit happening 3 times in one game. If not, you can likely just use gap-play just like Good.

Another weakness of this deck is the lack of silvers. Which can also be a strength since each card from hand is going to be worth more. However, Sage can draw pretty much as much as it wants and doesn’t care about losing a few silvers. The problem is that so few really fit with the deck that it makes it very difficult to squeeze them in. There also is enough multi-color room for Corpse Taker, so you do have that going for you, especially if it gets you back Frost Giant or Ice Drake and lets you go for game.

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 – In a bizarre twist of fate this includes anything the deck considers a main offensive play including freeze, burn, airborne, and so on. Getting any of these regardless of how you mix and match it will still be game-tilting.
  • CTL – Removal (Control). Spot-removal used to control threats on the field and filter the opponent’s best Champions away.
  • MVP – Don’t squander these as they’re your best cards.
Schrödinger's Wizard

 

 

forcemage_apprentice
amnesia
muse
corpse_taker
avenging_angel
time_bender
memory_spirit
blue_dragon
steel_golem
wave_of_transformation
turn
lying_in_wait
transform
juggernaut
djinn_of_the_sands
frost_giant
ice_drake
deadly_raid
bitten
zombie_apocalypse

Key Point stats

Keypoint totals:

  • OPP – 11 unique, 33 total cards. 55% of the deck works well on the opponent’s turn.
  • OFF – 9 unique, 27 total cards. 45% of the deck is used to deal damage.
  • DRW – 10 unique, 30 total cards. 50% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • CTL – 5 unique, 15 total cards. 25% of the deck can filter the field and answer threats.

Intersection – 175% total, spillover (intersection) of 75%. Cards, on average have 1.7 of the deck’s key points on each card. Therefore each draw in this deck has a quality rating of 1.7.


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.

Card Changes

Right now, there are only 6 cards (10% of the deck, or 1/10 draws) that can confound loyalty/ally.

  • Loyalty/Ally – 5 unique, 15 total cards. 25% of the deck requires at least two other Sages.
  • Removable – 2 unique, 6 total cards. 10% of the loyals can be removed if something better is used.
  • Confound – 4 unique, 12 total cards. 20% of the deck screws up 25% of the deck. Decently low screw rate but sometimes might need the 4 cards in hand to guarantee loyalty, however we have enough draw for it to be trivial.

Removable Cards:

  • Steel Golem. Removable if you can find better offense and control stacked into one. Just remember that this is a less killable Rampaging Wurm, so it’s pretty risky to remove but control might be favored in this spot as the deck has a lot of offense.
  • Time Bender. Basically the poor person’s High King/Dark Assassin but for Sage. Nevertheless, it does do its job, albeit at a less permanent value. Removable as long as more control replaces it.
  • Amnesia. It’s a pretty optional silver mostly here for the draw, banish control and a cool combo with Zombie Apocalypse. You can put anything that will fit here especially Keeper of Secrets. If you somehow get 6 more Evils, Thrasher Demon is something you can’t go wrong with as it usually draws gold advantage.
  • Lying in Wait. If you get rid of this, I highly suggest Stand Alone. This made it in since we usually go for draw or removal on the opponent’s turn anyway and try to play something like a threat or flash on our own turn. If you feel that there is a lack of board-wipes in your meta, go for Stand Alone as it will make keeping your progress easier and you can deal with whatever they have left usually.
Currently there are no replacement suggestions which is in large part due to the way the deck works. A base mono(ish) Sage deck is going to work essentially like this every time. There’s a permutation I didn’t go for that includes Sea Titan and Erase, which seeks to maximize as much gold advantage as possible. This one instead goes for the most consistent take on a swing-for-game win. There is a viable version that grind-games for as much gold advantage as possible that uses the aforementioned two cards as well as this deck’s Time Bender. Essentially baiting the opponent into playing champions and then punishing them while keeping its own advantage and field presence. It never hard-stops the opponent though and relies on hand removal (Psionic Attack, Thoughplucker) which this deck also cannot fit.

Enough about what the deck isn’t, here’s what it is: A crush-rushing aggro as hell Sage deck. I bet you didn’t see that one coming. We’re abusing the ridiculous library of offensive champions Sage has access to with the equally-stupid access to direct attacks and damage. While we’re at it, our hand will usually never go below 4, often staying around 6-7 in my experience. You can blindly play right into board wipes no problem as long as your champions are getting something extra when they come into play (flashes). You almost always have the right answer in any situation too. This deck seems to wreck the pants off of Good, go about even with my Evil and Wild decks. Whether that’s because I’ve built a good Sage deck or bad other decks I can’t really say but nevetheless this is your signature aggro Sage deck.

As discussed in the Sage alignment analysis, it can easily go toe-to toe with Good’s airborne, beats all other airborne, and beats the bodies of both Good and Evil. Its biggest problems are the lack of threat targets to stave off spot-removal of its attackers, lack of silvers for multi-play turns, and difficult time sometimes dealing with wide Token spam swings unless you run Lying in Wait and some more board-wipes.

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Epic: Base Set Sage Alignment

Sage cards feature wizards, magic, crystals, ice, magic constructs and other arcane concepts. They control the most out of all alignments and have unblockable offensive habits. Using a combination of literally “unblockable” Champions, burn damage, freezing, and control, Sage can easily swing for game in very large chunks of damage albeit far between. Sage usually has an answer for any situation.

The biggest weakness of Sage is likely to be their lack of threats. While they can usually answer any threat or just work around it, Sage themselves generally do not have Champions that force action from the opponent, at least not on a spot-removal basis. This is because their Champions tend to be flashes rather than of the permanent type.

The few permanents they have, such as Steel Golem tend to be hard to remove anyway as they have Untargetable. Only about 5 Champions in Sage qualify (2 of which are hard to get rid of, but not impossible like Steel Golem and Sea Titan) and of those five, most hardly qualify as threats at all, usually just sporting big Airborne bodies or the ability to deal small burn damage. Their strength then, is in the ability to use lots of powerful flashes usually at Event-speed. Let’s take a look at the Power distribution for Sage.

  • Condition Data
    Sum gold Sage champion power 84
    Avg gold Sage champion power 8.4
    Sum silver Sage champion power 12
    Avg silver Sage champion power 3
  • This table’s data shows that Sage is 84/116 (Wild total) or 72% of the max, making Sage the second-highest Power card pool available. Their average is also 8.4 which is very close to Wild’s 8.9, so their averages don’t even suffer degradation. With such high Power bodies, 5 very usable airborne, 3 very usable big bodies (10+), 3 freeze cards, and even a breakthrough, Sage adds a ton of very usable offensive Champions to its library of high-control and high-draw. With so many “clean” methods of offensive strategy, which to choose? Generally, you want to maximize as many of those as possible without sacrificing other things the alignment is good at.

Two champions were discounted as it confounds the data. Thought Plucker has 1 Power and Time Bender has 2 Power but operates more like a reusable Event, so it was left out. Forcemage Apprentice was ignored in Silvers as it has 0 Power and is only used for direct damage (of which it can reliably get 6 each round).

Despite the high average power of Sage Silver champions, they cannot do the same kinds of hurt as Evil due to the fact that Evil Silvers have better abilities. They can grow, break things that block them, are unbreakable, more of them have blitz, and can control discards. Remember that all of these statistics come with caveats. For example, Sage has some interesting dynamics in their Airborne champions, which warrants a comparison with Good’s.

  • Alignment Sum Avg Max
    Good 36 / 49 6.0 / 8.2 10 / 15
    Sage 29 / 27 5.8 / 5.4 8 / 8
    Evil 17 / 14 5.7 / 4.7 6 / 5
    Wild 6 / 6 6.0 / 6.0 6 / 6
  • So can Sage do better than Good if they try for an Airborne strategy? From the data, it’s pretty obvious that Sage is better than Wild and Evil all around with airborne. However, it’s a bit fuzzy with its ability to compete with Good in the air. The max absolutely can’t, but if one tailors one’s Sage deck specifically to deal with Good, you can include a 6/8 to deal with their 6/8, an 8/8 for their 6/6, a 6/4 to their 5/6, and a 5/4 to their 4/5. All having superiority in these mappings (or at least a tie). Good still has a 10/15 and a 5/9 that you can’t answer. What I’m saying is that Winter Fairy can’t really compete with Good at all but the rest of your stuff can do same or better as long as you can kill Thundurus and Angelic Protector (good luck).

As Sage can clearly rival Good in the air, is better than anything but Wild on the ground, and can freeze anything it can’t pierce right through, it’s actually one of the stronger offensive strategies, requiring very little defense to make up for it.


Offense

Defensive strategies in Epic have to eventually service an offensive strategy and somehow deal 30 damage. Sage’s offense is already spectacular both on the ground and in the air, and anywhere it doesn’t presently have superiority. Therefore, it can be lax about defense. But it isn’t. Sage sports some pretty great defense.

Including some Untargetable champions as well as four things above 9 defense (a 10, 12, 13, and 14). Nine is a specific number in epic that refers to the best average, which is a 9/9 as well as two prominent kill events Hurricane and Drain Essence which deal 9 damage. Though two of those are actually immune to the targetting of Drain Essence anyway.

  • Condition Data
    Sum gold Sage champion defense 89
    Avg gold Sage champion defense 8.9
    Sum silver Sage champion defense 10
    Avg silver Sage champion defense 2.5
  • While Sage’s Silver defense is so bad it rivals Evil, the Gold defense rivals Wild! With an 89/123 it has  72% of Wild’s 123 defense sum. The same as its offense ratio. So this means the average body of Sage is 8/9, while Wild is 9/9. Obviously these are rounded and both alignments can increase their average by omitting weaker cards. Just by running some of your best offensive strategies in Sage, you get good defenders for free. This means your biggest battle against things like Evil and Wild will be your ability to control the outliers. Evil is going to control you and you have to control Wild. In the air, you have to control Good’s outliers. This makes a powerful one-two punch of body-control for Sage.
transform

Its control is serious business too. Transform is strictly better than Bitten, possibly better than Inner Demon (depending on whose turn you have to use it on) and also potentially better than Banishment (again depending on whose turn). The same goes for Wave of Transformation. It also has powerful hand control in the forms of Thought Plucker and Psionic Assault which can easily be 2 discards each, plus both can be recurring.

Time Bender is a recurring ability to banish your opponent’s best Silvers or bounce their Golds every turn. Sea Titan comes in with the same bounce, netting you gold advantage. Time Bender can boardwipe with bounce, netting either a loss or gain with gold depending on how you time it. Turn gives you control of something, and the conditions change based on whose turn it is but you can get it permanently, which is +1 gold use for you, -1 for the opponent if it’s permanent! Stand Alone is one of the best board wipes when you have supremacy, usually air supremacy. All of the Sage control is very high quality; they aren’t scrounging for effects here. If anything, it’s difficult to decide what not to put into a deck.


Defense

Best champions are always going to be partially subjective but after picking criteria, you can at least try to be impartial. So here is Djinn of the Sands and Ice Drake.

Sage’s best champions are very serious indeed. Djinn of the Sands is the best airborne+blitz in the game, sporting an 8/8 body immediately due to its counters, with the option to draw when you’re in desperate need. This can beat out any air champion besides Thundurus or Angelic Protector, the latter of which can’t kill Djinn either. It’s a truly horrific card that gets slapped down and immediately threatens 27% of your life total, then threatens to do it again next turn. For this reason, Djinn of the Sands has to be dealt with immediately. He’s not even color locked!

Ice Drake is a game winning card. With a body that goes toe-to-toe with the average Good air champion, he can ambushed in at the end of the opponent’s turn to freeze all their stuff from blocking you, then immediately be part of the upcoming mass-attack. Even if your opponent is playing some control, he’s a flash not a permanent and so it’s not possible to stop that freeze with control. The best an opponent can hope to do is board wipe since you telegraphed your big attack. Ceasefire was actually an annoying one to run into since they can stop the kill-shot and still draw. When you see Ice Drake in your hand, plan for your endgame.

Honorable mentions: Juggernaut and Frost Giant.

Juggernaut sports breakthrough+blitz which is practically unheard of. In fact, it’s the only champion in base set with this combination. That means it gets to throw 9 damage out immediately, which is 30% of someone’s life, and they can only mitigate it, not stop it. Since it’s unbreakable, it’s truly unstoppable too. Juggernaut is a threat of the highest caliber and must be responded to on the next turn or with banishment immediately. This is basically Djinn of the Sands-lite, as blitz+breakthrough is roughly equivalent to blitz+air most of the time. The draw a card tops the crazy cake with a fuck-you candle and since it’s the only part behind loyalty, it could technically go in non-Sage main decks. Frost Giant is sported here for the exact same reasons as the Ice Drake, except he isn’t color-locked at all, just doesn’t have as good a backup plan (airborne) and can only be used on your turn. Nevertheless, he wins games.

In summary, Sage has great offense, great defense, excellent control, sometimes higher quality cards than other alignments, what little burn it has is great, not extremely color locked, great draw, and basically great everything. Its only real weakness is a below average number of threats to draw required opponent control like a lightning rod, which means its attackers get hit with the control (which is not what you want), however some of its attackers are unbreakable or untargetable which makes up for it.

Sage generally has an answer for everything during play. Opponent plays a bunch of silvers? Make them discard so they can’t recover easily, skipping gold turns. Opponent can summon a bunch of huge things to block? Freeze them or burn directly. Opponent’s groundlings are too much to handle? Air superiority. Opponent has lots of blitz? You have lots of control that works well on their turn. Unbreakables? You have banish. There aren’t a lot of situations that can be drummed up that Sage can’t somehow escape if the player is good enough or conservative enough leading up to it.


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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: Evil Deck

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

Epic decks are not required to stay “pure” colored. So when you talk about having an “Evil” deck, what you must know is what it means to be Evil. Evil is all about messing with your opponent so that you can strike back. Weaken them, minimize their plays and use your own to make a stand. You must choose an offensive strategy in this game and there are only really a few: you can swing in the air, freeze, swing wide, simplify the game for opportunity swings, breakthrough (+blitz) on the ground, or burn.

Evil has a lot of options including burn (Soul Hunter and Blood Drinker), airborne (Succubus and Angel of Death), wide (Demon and Zombie token production), breakthrough (Trihorror), and control (myriad of kill cards). However, most of them would fail miserably as there are only 1-2 cards that can participate in the offensive strategy, leaving Evil high and dry most of the time and easily stopped. The strategies that they can most easily and consistently deploy are swinging wide and control. This actually makes for a deadly combination. Each time they use a spot-removal card, the field becomes filtered such that the opponent’s field is relatively weaker. Not just in number but in quality as well, since you as the Evil player want to target what hurts them the most.

As for the wide method, Evil excels at this. With good (and unbreakable) Silver champions as well as tons of token producers, it’s trivial to get this engine going. When attempting, you’ll want an easy way to get 3 Demons or 6 Zombies to try this. Force the opponent to block your unbreakables or big stuff, then attack individually with each token/silver to deal damage over what they can afford to block realistically (using groups to threaten kills where applicable). This method is extremely weak to board wipes. If a board wipe hits, it might not just stagnate your strategy but potentially force you to minus if you overextended to get your tokens and silvers out. In general, each gold is worth 5 zombies or 3 demons. In addition, if you used any of your spot-removal before the next board wipe, that also counts against cards that you minused. Be very aware of this as you play an Evil deck. Try a low-cost way of baiting out the first board wipe early. This can cause an opponent to waste a turn and leave you with free-reign to use your control and tokens for 7-8 turns if the game lasts that long.

However, you always have the ability to respond to threats. Don’t worry if an opponent board wipes after playing a threat and having it broken. This generally indicates that you have wrecked their main play and they’re doing damage control trying to drain your hand. That’s the moment you should immediately stop playing conservatively since you know they’ve used up a threat and a board wipe. Aggro hard.

Note about board wipes and this particular deck: This deck is not weak to board wipes even if its main offensive strategy can be. This is because of its ability to dodge AOEs. Any time you have lots of silvers with Blitz, you can easily recover from a just-played board wipe. The same goes for some golds with blitz and anything unbreakable on your turn. Trihorror also dodges board wipes due to its ability and Final Task can bring back Trihorror, unbreakable stuff or just whatever is needed. Corpse Taker can immediately return something after an opponent board wipes so you can just re-play it. If you play smart, growing your field back from a board wipe is trivial in the deck on purpose.

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 – Used for anything that helps you swing wide (or produce Tokens which can also swing wide). Main offensive strategy. Doesn’t necessarily only mean “Tokens”.
  • CTL – Control. Spot-removal used to control threats on the field and filter the opponent’s best Champions away.
  • MVP – Don’t squander these as they’re your best cards. Deck has more MVPs than usual due to specific plays.
Demon Nuke
dark_knight
thrasher_demon
wither
guilt_demon
thought_plucker
murderous_necromancer
infernal_gatekeeper
trihorror
medusa
necromancer_lord
the_risen
final_task
drain_essence
demon_breach
dark_assassin
bitten
apocalypse
zombie_apocalypse
angel_of_death
inheritance_of_the_meek

 

Key Point stats

Keypoint totals:

  • OPP – 12 unique, 34 total cards. 57% of the deck works well on the opponent’s turn.
  • TKN – 10 unique, 29 total cards. 48% of the deck swings wide.
  • DRW – 7 unique, 21 total cards. 35% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • CTL – 7 unique, 20 total cards. 33% of the deck can filter the field and answer threats.

Intersection – 173% total, spillover (intersection) of 73%. Cards, on average have 1.7 of the deck’s key points on each card. Therefore each draw in this deck has a quality rating of 1.7.


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.

Card Changes

Right now, there are only 6 cards (10% of the deck, or 1/10 draws) that can confound loyalty/ally.

  • Loyalty/Ally – 6 unique, 17 total cards. 28% of the deck requires at least two other Evils.
  • Removable – 1 unique, 2 total cards. 5% of the loyals can be removed if something better is used.
  • Confound – 2 unique, 6 total cards. 10% of the deck screws up 28% of the deck. Low screw rate and basically only ever need the 3 minimum cards to activate a loyalty.

Removable Cards:

  • Angel of Death. This card is great but basically exists for you to dodge your own AOE as explained before and then get an extra attacker out of it. Not quite synergistic and can be replaced by Avenging Angel (Good).
  • Drain Essence. It’s pretty extra in this deck but works well for the purposes of healing. If you want something else that can help you stay alive while benefiting from existing control, try Drinker of Blood which also dodges your AOEs.
  • Demon Breach. While it’s part of your attacking strategy, Demon Breach is just one of those cards that can easily be changed into something else without much loss occurring at all. It’s helpful but can sometimes fall flat. For something that really helps you swing wide, try Deadly Raid (Sage).
  • Wither. Can be removed for the final copies of Deadly Raid and Avenging Angel if you don’t have all three of each in. Keep any remaining copies.

This is also covered in “Deck Stats” but here is a comprehensive list of the major cards recommended for this deck if you swap anything (within Base Set).

avenging_angel
deadly_raid
drinker_of_blood

Listed in order of desirability. Check below for what to replace and the updated Deck Stats.

Replace:

  1. Angel of Death
  2. Wither

Deck Stats:

  • No positive change. Purely for aggro and protection.
  • Small amount of control omitted.

Replace:

  1. Demon Breach
  2. Wither

Deck Stats:

  • OPP +5% (both are bad on opponent’s turn but this one has draw)
  • DRW +5%
  • Small amount of Control omitted.
  • Overall +10% (change to intersection/card quality)

Replace:

  1. Drain Essence
  2. Wither

Deck Stats:

  • OPP -3%
  • CTL -3%
  • Overall -6% (change to intersection/card quality)
  • Change is purely for more bodies, more AOE dodge and draining/direct damage which is consistent

Stats with All Changes

  • OPP59% of the deck works well on the opponent’s turn.
  • TKN48% of the deck swings wide.
  • DRW40% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • CTL30% of the deck can filter the field and answer threats.

Intersection – 177% total, spillover (intersection) of 77%. 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%.

New loyalty problems:

  • Loyalty/Ally – 5 unique, 15 total cards. 25% of the deck requires at least two other Evils.
  • Confound – 4 unique, 12 total cards. 20% of the deck screws up 25% of the deck. Not a horrible screw rate, about a comfortable need of 4 cards in hand for Loyalty.

Recommended change method for maximum deck efficacy. No efficiency changed, only card quality.

Stats with 2 Changes

Using only Avenging Angel and Deadly Raid, the stats become the following:

  • OPP62% of the deck works well on the opponent’s turn.
  • TKN48% of the deck swings wide.
  • DRW40% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • CTL33% of the deck can filter the field and answer threats.

Intersection – 183% total, spillover (intersection) of 83%. 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%.

New loyalty problems:

  • Loyalty/Ally – 5 unique, 15 total cards. 25% of the deck requires at least two other Evils.
  • Confound – 4 unique, 12 total cards. 20% of the deck screws up 25% of the deck. Not a horrible screw rate, about a comfortable need of 4 cards in hand for Loyalty.

Recommended change for less efficacy but the same efficiency as the above with slightly less card quality than the default.

This deck tends to be very fun to play for someone who enjoys field control and tempo-geared decks. Your own champions are about middle-power when they come down and you can filter your opponent down to that level with control cards. You’ll basically never run out of hand either. Always having a board wipe in hand for the right moment is crucial in Epic and this Evil deck has it in spades. Being able to answer any threat feels so safe and comfy. Evil really lacks decent bodies and hardcore Demon support in the base set but we make due with what we have here. Using a few “go for game” cards like Inheritance of the Meet, The Risen, or Deadly Raid can make the game end very quickly and suddenly if the opponent is not prepared.

This deck is easily frustrated by anything that can pull out a lot of healing while successfully fogging it. Thankfully, it’s difficult to actually pull something like that off against this deck. It can also become very easily frustrated by human token spam as it lacks much air or breakthrough.

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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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Epic: Good Deck

Goodbanner

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

In Epic, you really need to choose one of only a few offensive methods to get in your damage and win. You can go with Airborne, Breakthrough, burn, swing wide, control, or freeze. This deck chooses to exploit the fact that Good has the best airbornes in Epic and use this fact to its advantage to beat out other Airborne strategies, as well as fogging direct damage (and some Breakthrough) with life gain. It can’t really do anything about freezing except for Ceasefire. Make sure you’re wiping the field regularly to stop their damage buildup on the ground from getting too intense.

Common Plays

Use your cards listed in the decklist’s Offense category, to swing in the air, dealing damage. Here’s how you should do this in general, based on a few factors:

  1. Always swing if the opponent has no blockers in the air. Use just one of your champions to attack if you think you might have to block.
  2. With Gold Dragon, swinging into air blockers is fine if you can gain some health back. Try to keep the Dragon up so you don’t lose it.
  3. Ambush in Angelic Protector (or use Brave Squire) on your own turn if they block your air and it would die. It now won’t die.
  4. Don’t try to use removal when attacking as a group. You’ll still be counted as blocked. Use group attacks if you need to reduce the opponent’s opportunities to play gold cards.
  5. Always use “bait” cards before your MVPs. Bait is stuff that the opponent must kill such as High King, or else they’re going to eat dirt every turn.
  6. Thundurus should usually be played before Gold Dragon. It’s bait, Gold has blitz anyway, Thundurus can block for a turn, and it doesn’t matter if it’s telegraphed since Gold Dragon is worth more to you.
  7. Always try to pair Lord of the Arena with Faithful Pegasus over other humans since it gives you 13 damage in the air.
  8. High King and other removal should always target firstly, threats, then air blockers, then other things. Threats are other things similar to High King that force you to respond or the opponent will gain too much ground.
  9. Use Brave Squire on your air attacks when you see an opening, since you get the protection and the (practically) double damage.
  10. Ceasefire is best used when an opponent starts with their weakest champion.

Offense Priority

Play attackers in this order of priority:

  1. Angel of Light/MVP if you will die without gaining the life.
  2. Angel of Mercy if an MVP is dead (grabbing in Offense Priority order)
  3. Thundurus if playing Gold Dragon next turn, or needing bait for either MVP
  4. MVP (Avenging Angel and Gold Dragon)
  5. Angelic Protector if an MVP is attacking on your turn. Or if one is out and it’s the opponent’s turn and they are attacking.
  6. Angel of Light if you have nothing else.
  7. Angel of Mercy if you have nothing else (though at this point, you can probably resurrect any of the above).

Opponent Turn Priority

General case for how to spend your gold on an opponent’s turn:

  1. Inner Peace/Angel of Light if you will die without the life gain.
  2. Stand Alone if you will die without it or as “nuke timing” to open up a blitz attack on your next turn
  3. Ceasefire if the opponent will attack with a total of 10+ damage outside their first attack, especially if they attack with their weakest first.
  4. Banishment if something must die on the opponent’s turn to live/protect something, etc.
  5. Ambush blocker if you will die without it. (Choose the least valuable)
  6. Resurrection/Angel of Mercy if an MVP is dead or will die
  7. Brave Squire/Angelic Protector if an MVP, Thundurus or Angel of Mercy (with those targets) might die
  8. Noble Unicorn
  9. Use various Draw 2 effects if your own hand is 3 or less.
  10. Ambush in an Attacker setup (see Offensive Priority)
  11. Courageous Soul to set up a decent attacking turn.
  12. Other things (Inner Peace because you want to, Angel of Light because why not, etc.)

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.
  • AIR – Airborne, as is required for this strategy to work. Higher number means the deck has lower overall Power but is more consistent.
  • 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.
  • PRO – Protection. This could be anything from unbreakable to untargetable but basically means this unit provides or has protection from enemy cards so that the main strategy won’t crumble.
  • MVP – Don’t squander these as they’re your best cards.
GOOD Stuff
faithful_pegasus
brave_squire
courageous_soul
priestess_of_angeline
stand_alone
inner_peace
divine_judgment
high_king
banishment
ceasefire
resurrection
noble_unicorn
lord_of_the_arena
palace_guard
angel_of_mercy
angelic_protector
thundarus
gold_dragon
avenging_angel
angel_of_light

Key Point stats

Keypoint totals:

  • OPP – 12 unique, 36 total cards. 60% of the deck works on the opponent’s turn.
  • AIR – 7 unique, 21 total cards. 35% of the deck swings in the air.
  • DRW – 5 unique, 15 total cards. 25% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • PRO – 6 unique, 18 total cards. 30% of the deck can protect you or your cards.

Intersection – 150% total, spillover (intersection) of 50%. Cards, on average have 1.5 of the deck’s key points on each card. Therefore each draw in this deck has a quality rating of 1.5. This could potentially be increased by using some Sage cards but would reduce ally and loyalty probabilities.


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.

Card Changes

Right now, there are only 3 cards (5% of the deck, or 1/20 draws) that can confound loyalty/ally. Using Memory Spirit which is the first choice, would drop that to 1/10 cards but may not be so bad.

  • Loyalty/Ally – 6 uniques, 18 total cards. 30% of the deck requires at least two other Goods.
  • Removable – 3 uniques, 9 total cards. 15% of the loyals can be removed if something better is used.
  • Confound – 1 unique, 3 total cards. 5% of the deck screws up 30% of the deck. Very low screw rate and basically only ever need the 3 minimum cards to activate a loyalty.

Removable Cards:

  • Inner Peace. I mentioned this in the deck list but Inner Peace can be removed for something like Memory Spirit (Sage) which hits AIR, OPP and can re-use events such as Ceasefire or your AOEs. Right now, it’s being used to repeatedly trigger Loyalty/Ally over and over, so this may be the last one you attempt to remove. If it does get removed and you want something similar in its place, go for Mighty Blow (Wild, DRW, OPP) which has one keypoint over Inner Peace and can slap down at the right moment to win the game 2 turns earlier. When the opponent is at 14-16 life and you have one attacker, Mighty Blow is excellent. Its uses are going to be mostly limited to openings that you have created, however.
  • Palace Guard. Basically just here for the body. It’s a great card but if an attacker such as Winter Fairy (Sage, AIR, DRW) goes here, it can give draw. The deck has a lot of removal as-is.
  • Lord of the Arena. It’s re-usable Palace Guard so you should consider keeping this over it if you remove only one. And definitely remove this before Inner Peace as it’s one of the repeated-use ally cards. While its 2-card combo is really amazing, Lord of the Area is basically just removal you have to work for and is worse than High King most of the time. Though it and Palace Guard are both good blockers and that’s why both are still in the deck. Possibly remove for Winter Fairy, Wave of Transformation, or Kong if you really want something beefy that can kill. I recommend keeping Lord over Kong since it has blitz. Try to replace with something that has ambush or blitz and can be a legit attacker (specifically, Memory Spirit if you don’t have it in already).
  • Priestess of Angeline. She’s really just here for the extra life on top of Angel of Light and Inner Peace. If you do replace cards such that you now have at least 6 Sage that cost gold, you can run three Muse (Sage, OPP, DRW) over Priestess of Angeline.

This is also covered in “Deck Stats” but here is a comprehensive list of the major cards recommended for this deck if you swap anything (within Base Set).

memory_spirit
muse
winter_fairy

Listed in order of desirability. Check below for what to replace and the updated Deck Stats.

Replace:

  1. Palace Guard
  2. Lord of the Arena

Deck Stats:

  • OPP +5%
  • AIR +5%
  • Overall +10% (change to intersection/card quality)

Replace (only if using 6 gold Sage):

  1. Priestess of Angeline

Deck Stats:

  • OPP +5%
  • DRW +5%
  • Overall +10% (change to intersection/card quality)

Replace:

  1. Palace Guard
  2. Lord of the Arena
  3. Consider Memory Spirit and Muse first!

Deck Stats:

  • AIR +5%
  • DRW +5%
  • Overall +10% (change to intersection/card quality)

Stats with All Changes

  • OPP – 14 unique, 42 total cards. 70% of the deck works on the opponent’s turn.
  • AIR – 9 unique, 27 total cards. 45% of the deck swings in the air.
  • DRW – 7 unique, 21 total cards. 35% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • PRO – 6 unique, 18 total cards. 30% of the deck can protect you or your cards.

Intersection – 180% total, spillover (intersection) of 80%. 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%.

New loyalty problems:

 

  • Loyalty/Ally – 4 uniques, 12 total cards. 20% of the deck requires at least two other Goods.
  • Confound – 4 unique, 12 total cards. 20% of the deck screws up 20% of the deck. Basically, you’ll need 4 cards in hand most of the time to activate one Loyalty.
  • Reminder that technically Muse doesn’t cause a problem for the Ally cards, only Loyals, so this math is slightly off (looks worse than it is).

Recommended change method for maximum deck efficacy. Less efficient method, but not prohibitively.

Stats with 2 Changes

Using only the first two changes, Memory Spirit and Muse, the stats become the following:

  • OPP – 15 unique, 45 total cards. 70% of the deck works on the opponent’s turn.
  • AIR – 8 unique, 24 total cards. 40% of the deck swings in the air.
  • DRW – 6 unique, 18 total cards. 30% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played.
  • PRO – 6 unique, 18 total cards. 30% of the deck can protect you or your cards.

Intersection – 170% total, spillover (intersection) of 70%. Cards, on average have 1.7 of the deck’s key points on each card. Therefore each draw in this deck has a quality rating of 1.7.


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

New loyalty problems:

  • Loyalty/Ally – 4 uniques, 12 total cards. 20% of the deck requires at least two other Goods.
  • Confound – 3 unique, 9 total cards. 15% of the deck screws up 20% of the deck. You’ll need 4 in hand for some loyalties but not all of them.
  • Reminder that technically Muse doesn’t cause a problem for the Ally cards, only Loyals, so this math is slightly off (looks worse than it is).

Recommended change if you prefer a middle ground on extra efficacy while only giving up a small amount of efficiency.

 

My final thoughts on this deck are that it’s very fun to play and when it “goes off” it’s almost sure to win. It has to go off, though. Most specifically, the trends I notice winning the most games are the following:

  • Using at least 1 MVP for at least 3 of the game’s turns total
  • Nuking for at least +3
  • Drawing at least 6 extra cards off things like Noble Unicorn
  • Using Thundurus’ ability ever
  • Attacking in the air 5 turns

If you can do any of these, you usually end up winning. If you can do several, you can significantly increase the chances that you win. Though Good is widely regarded as the worst pure alignment in base set (and I can agree with that), the problems it has can be mitigated if constructed and played correctly. This is my attempt to put it as on-par with other decks as possible. By giving it minimum 1.5 card quality, it means the draws in this deck go significantly farther than a generic Good deck. At the 1.7 modified version (which I prefer, actually) the card quality is so significant that you can get 2-3 of those winning points bare minimum every game.

Its goals seem good enough that the card quality is leaning more toward an objective measure of how good it is, rather than a pure synergy assessment. Swinging in the air, drawing cards and playing on the opponent’s turns are some of the most fundamentally necessary things in all of Epic. Protecting the ability to swing in the air is very nearly the same as doing more of it as well.

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Epic: Base Set Good Alignment

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Good cards feature many angels, priests, military soldiers and human-centric concepts. Their overall theme is to defend as hard as possible while punishing over-extension and going in for medium damage that is difficult to block. The alignment tends to rely heavily upon Airborne to deal their damage. Most of their champions are either going to produce a lot of 1/1 Human tokens or fly overhead and attack directly. Naturally, this means that many of Good’s champions are going to be weaker. It’s a natural fact in Epic that when a card is a token or airborne, it’s weaker to balance out the game’s combat system.

When you combine two types of damage generation (medium and weak), you get a very slow offensive game. This means you have to make up for it with defense. Good has just the means to take care of defense. Let’s break down their actual power bodies, not regarding abilities at all.

 

  • Sum total of Gold Champion Power = 72
  • Average of Gold Champion Power = 6*
  • Sum of Silver Champion Power = 13
  • Average of Silver Champion Power = 2.17

*One champion was discounted as it confounds the data. High King has 0 Power but operates more like a reusable Event, so it was left out.

As you can see, with their golds being an average of 6 Power, they aren’t competing very well. Their power sum is 72 total, which reflects their standing against the highest power alignment, Wild (116), which is 62% of the total. Being about 2/3 of the best isn’t very good when you have this much room for gradation. Therefore, Good must (and does) have an alternate solution. Instead, it uses the fact that it can gain a lot of life, block with ambush, play its options close to the chest, and swing over the heads of most blockers in the game. In fact, their average for airborne golds remains the same at 6.

  • Sum of Airborne gold power = 36
  • Average Airborne gold power = 6

They even have an airborne silver that’s a 5/5. The total non-good gold airbornes is 52 out of 10 cards, which is 5.2 average. This means, the average Good airborne beats the average non-Good airborne by 1 point in damage. So if the two were to just swing over and over, one card from good could kill in 5 turns, while every other color would take almost 6 turns. Reminder, that’s just a control scenario and doesn’t necessarily reflect any given game. This does mean that Good’s entire offensive strategy is to kill in the air.

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Defensive strategies are all about surviving while setting something up. Since ultimately the game must revolve around killing at 30 damage in constructed (never try to draw out in 60-card constructed), defense is a way to set up one’s offense. As Good has a pretty bad offense, it must therefore have good defense. Its primary strategy seems to be sitting behind huge blockers, huge numbers of small blockers, and gaining life en-masse to keep the opponent placing out Champions.

Once there are enough on the field, Good wipes the board and punishes the overextension, swinging in those moments where you start over fresh with very little board presence. As such, spot-removal in Good is actually best used on the opponent’s turn just after a board wipe (or the game start) to keep the opponent’s pace low while you swing with airborne. Or else when the opponent plays an airborne blocker. Or else when you have ambushed an attacker on your opponent’s turn, you can play spot removal on your turn. Any of these three will net you the best possible use of tempo control with spot-removal, and stave off that eventual board wipe while letting you chip some damage.

If Good can hit with 1 flyer per turn (average) for 5 straight turns, they can usually win barring odd scenarios. Generally, this means their defensive strategy is to just stuff a ton of humans onto the ground (or midrange blockers on the ground to stop breakthrough) and spam life replenishment on the opponent’s turns where they aren’t using spot-removal. Inner Peace is a particularly nasty reusable life gain that can sometimes fog an opponent’s entire attacking turn even if you have no blockers. Otherwise though, it can steadily pad out your life for those inevitable turns where the opponent takes the upper hand.

  • Sum of Gold defense Champions = 90
  • Average of Gold defense Champions = 7.5*

*One champion was discounted as it confounds the data. High King has 1 Defense but operates more like a reusable Event, so it was left out. Again.

As a percentage of the highest alignment Defense, Good has 73% of Wild’s (123, avg 9.5) defense, which is the highest again in Base Set. This is pretty good when compared to the other alignments which are all below Good, though Sage has 87 total, which is very close to Good’s 90. It’s significantly tankier than Evil but its tokens are much weaker and Evil also uses token walls.

Good really starts to shine with its life gain. As the average damage from the highest (Wild) is 9 per Champion, Good must therefore gain 9 life per turn per champion that it does not block to break even. Cards like Inner Peace and the Righteous-givers really take this to heart. Namely two ridiculous cards that I will cover later can easily make you not only break even but be practically unkillable.

Defining what is the “best card” is always difficult. What I’ve chosen to go with is how these cards compare with other cards that do the same job in any alignment. So I present Gold Dragon and Avenging Angel.

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Both of these cards make you invincible while they’re on the field (since Righteous means you gain your Power as life when you damage anything), have the average airborne damage in Good (6) which is 1 higher than the mainstream, both attack immediately, and both swing in the freaking air. It’s actually difficult to say which of the two is more insane. Basically, when either of these cards hit the field, the opponent has to get rid of them immediately or you’re going to dominate the game. These cards will easily win you games. At 6 total copies (in every Good deck), that’s 10% of a constructed deck. If you set up a draw engine with a Noble Unicorn, after your opening turn, it only takes 4 draws to see one of them. Their biggest weakness is hurr-durr “dies to removal” which is basically anything’s weakness.

Honorable mentions: Angel of Mercy and Angel of Light.

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These two are provably less ridiculous champions, however they both have a major advantage over Avenging Angel and Gold Dragon—Ambush, so you can play them on an opponent’s turn, have super-blitz (basically prep them on your first attacking turn), use their abilities one turn earlier, and open up your turn for more options including life gain and spot removal. Angel of Mercy is amazing since it can get back all of the other 3 cards after they inevitably die. Since there’s practically no opportunity cost for not playing her, you have every incentive to hold on to this angel until the perfect moment. Angel of Light is one turn of Inner Peace slapped onto a fast airborne champion. That’s just amazing. Thier Power is all average or below, but since this makes 4 really good airbornes for you (and most decks struggle getting even that many), you’ll definitely have air superiority for the fight. With 10% more added to you deck, you now know that 20% of your deck are going to be some of the best cards in the game and that makes it very easy to draw (about 1 of these four cards in the opening hand).

Overall, Good is widely considered to be the weakest of the four alignments as of the base set. I can see exactly how players would reach that conclusion both theoretically and in practice. Good has the worst overall power, only a mid-line defense, and relies way too heavily on stalling—a tactic that is historically bad in card games, since it gives opponents more turns play terrifying cards. It can also be very frustrating to play against as it gains a ton of life, which naturally tests the patience of card gamers.
Are you just griefing me? You’re not even hurting me, this game is just taking forever. ~Some Asshole

 

However, the good points that Good has are the best. It has arguably the best two champions in the base set and can both protect and resurrect them almost endlessly. Not to mention the scary draw engine it can use to get to these champions. However, two does not a deck make. This is where Good starts running into trouble. Their biggest weakness is actually consistency. Some games, Good “goes off” and does some pretty spectacular stuff, allowing it to compete and often win. Other games, it bricks and continues to brick. By the time you get what you need to fix everything, the game is already lost. Epic doesn’t have time for all this gathering.

Worse still, two of its best four cards are alignment-locked to Good (and Angel of Light is dependent). With very little ability to splash in other alignments that may fix its weaknesses, Good ranks firmly as the lowest of the four pure colors in base set.


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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 Card Game Review

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Epic is a game where two Elder Gods are vying for superiority. Each can call upon mighty champions or game changing events to alter destiny. The cards themselves and the gameplay really exemplify this. But is this game worth a shit?

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The game is fully card-based, so what you get is a cheap box full of cards. The box won’t hold more than a single sleeved preconstructed deck (60) of cards despite it coming with 128. The box is also low quality. Basically, getting a storage option is necessary to keep the cards protected. If you buy 3 boxes for a full playset, get a large storage option (384 sleeved cards).

The cards themselves are of middle quality. I was able to safely have 20 matches shuffling these before I saw wear on the edges enough to make me want sleeves. On a scale of “Yu-Gi-Oh” to “Vanguard” I give them a “Pokemon”. Anyone who has felt all 3 know that Vanguard is amazing, Yu-Gi-Oh feels like you pulled it out of a garbage dump and Pokemon is dead center. I did find out that the cards are slightly hydrophobic, which no other TCG is to my knowledge besides Cardfight Vanguard. It gets major props for that smooth waxy finish protecting it.

The card frame design is pretty amazing considering the subpar quality of White Wizard’s other game, Star Realms. This far and away beats other card games out there right now.

The art in this game is fabulous and takes your breath away like in Star Realms. White Wizard seems to have found a handful of amazing artists who they reuse frequently and are on par or better than Magic’s new Zendikar art.

How does a game of Epic play? Each player can have Champions (cards with Power/Defense) in their deck or Events, which are cards that go to the discard after resolving.

First, players each gain 1 “gold” which is used to pay for all of the powerful champions. Gold champions must make up at least 2/3 of a player’s deck. Currently, only 1 gold cost Champions exist which is necessary due to how the game is balanced. Champions with a 0 cost are silver and can be played any number of times per turn. However you may only have up to 1/3 of a constructed deck being silvers.

Next, the turn player draws a card and play begins. The turn player may attack in any order, play cards in any order, and attack-and-play in any order. What this means is that you can start right off with an attack, then play a Champion, then attack, play an Event, etc. There’s no fixed phase system in play. This greatly increases the number of choices a player has. When a Champion is placed into play, it goes into the “Preparation” zone face up. This denotes that it cannot use its expend (turn sideways) abilities or attack that turn, but can block on the opponent’s turn. If a Champion has blitz, it ignores those restrictions while in that zone. Before this phase is actually a step where the turn player prepares all of their champions, taking them out of that zone and turning them vertically.

A player may attack and play cards until they are either content with their actions or have no more to take, then end their turn. This is the last time an opponent could play a card on the turn player’s turn. Only Events and Champions with Ambush can be played on an opponent’s turn and only during specific moments. These moments are:

  • When your opponent attacks, you can play an ambush or event
  • When you would declare a block, you can play an ambush or event
  • When your opponent’s turn starts to end, you can play an ambush or event

These seem limited, and relative to other games they are—but for Epic this is just right. There’s no “stack” in Epic, and they got rid of the old version of this game’s hideous “the line” as well (Epic was once an old terrible TCG). Instead, due to the new rules about when cards can be played, a card is fully resolved before priority of play passes to another player. So for instance, if you ambush in a Champion when the opponent attacks, you have time to declare it as a blocker too!

Combat essentially works the way you think it will (attack, block, subtract power from defense, break 0 defense champions) but with an important twist: An attacking player may declare an attack group of any size. This completely ruins the problem in Magic the Gathering where two players’ fields become a Game of Chicken. Your opponent can also block with any size group against yours. Usually both players have equal field standing and will be attacking and blocking one at a time. This is because a player chooses how her Champion’s power is divided among the opponent’s defense which could leave a player with many broken Champions depending on the situation. Combat feels fresh and fast in Epic, with many “back and forth moments”.

You start with 30 life. Attack your opponent directly or play burn events to reduce their life to 0 and win!

There are 4 factions, Good, Wild, Sage, and Evil. Each have a unique feel and do different things without straying too far from one another.

Good

Focuses on spamming tiny humans for guard, airborne angels (air champions can only be stopped by other airborne) and rapidly increasing their health. They feel powerful as they continue to move the opponent’s goalposts. Most of their attacks will be in the air and direct while having a huge ground army for guard as well as playing keep away with life. This makes for a gap-engineering play style.

Evil

Has several ways to synergize its champions, often by getting many types of boons from spamming mid-point demons or weak zombies. When I say “spam” in this game is mean it. Put 3 zombies into play. 3 demons. 6 humans. 4 wolves. Fuck your face. In addition Evil can nuke the most and has highest sheer quantity of spot removal.

Wild

Wild decks drop big shit that’s fast and aim fire at your face. Tons of their best stuff has Blitz which allows you to do things NOW, Ambush which is for very impatient people who want to summon on an opponent’s turn, and the ability to take huge 18 power champions and Breakthrough opposing guard for spillover damage. What if you aren’t going spasticly fast or hard enough? Make them eat fireballs to the face.

Sage

Sage focuses on having an answer to everything. Between constantly increasing their hand and options, Sage can usually play cards on their turn and opponent’s every round. With absolutely ridiculous endurance and reduction of chance, it’s rare you can come up with a situation to put Sage into that it can’t get out of. All your stuff is unkillable? Okay, they are just wolves now. By the way, freeze your whole field while I hit you in the air and drop dragons on your champions. My turn…draw 2 cards.

The actual exchanges in the game require tight assessment from both players. There is a lot of interactions. Despite this, you cannot stop your opponent from doing anything. It just happens to you. The best you can muster is an after-the-fact play. With 2/3 of cards costing 1 gold (the rest are free) and each player getting 1g per each turn (yours and your opponents) games can afford to have epic exchanges right off the bat with no boring buildup such as in magic, but no spunk-gargle cardspam such as in Yu-Gi-Oh. My best take on the feel is “Midgame in a MtG World Tournament” at all times starting at turn 1.

Throw the rulebook away. It’s useless garbage and worth less than the paper it’s printed on. My first 10 games were incorrect due to its terrible wording. Get the rules from the official site.

Magic players will struggle. You will constantly try to “translate” the game into MtG terms and fail because this is not Magic. In addition, you won’t be able to keep up with the deadly pace if you’re used to turns 1-3 being “do nothing but set up”.

Some reviewers and casual board gamers have called Epics games “swingy”. The idea being that since every single card is game shattering, it just randomly screws you. However, I have not found this. Maybe because my opponents are pro tour material. Every single card played can turn the game so that counts for your own. The entire game is about seeing the right play and reducing misplays.

Final Thoughts

Can I recommend this game?

I am morally obligated to. It beats every TCG on the market despite not being one (it’s an ECG, or Expandable Card Game). Epic comes with 1 of every tournament legal card you need. 3 boxes ($10-14 each) gets you a full playset and enough to cube draft. The base box has 4 balanced 30 card preconstructed decks. It has a reusable sealed format built in to each box as well as draft and open draft. The rules support multi-player and even some unique multi-player formats. The main site also states that more formats are coming. Basically $30-46 gets you every card for every format for a great game.

Verdict: We’ll be supporting this one on V-Mundi.

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If you’re looking to get started more on Epic, try the following:


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VMundi Changes

VMundi has undergone some changes as of late. The most notable being the theme, which is now responsive, mobile-friendly, retina-friendly and optimized. Also different is the inclusion of more games, which for now is just my own Digimon Battles. The logo is also slightly different, as I lost the original Illustrator file and took this opportunity to remake the brand. Visually, the site is still very similar but functionally, it is different and will continue to become more different.

Vanguard updates will be reduced to only the most important things (not the most commonly played), which will free up time for myself.

New authors will be coming on to help with the increased workload. New games will be supported and my own projects will be posted here.

Download Digimon Battle Evolution

Digimon Battle Evolution is a Digimon card game for two players made by me. Based on the Playstation 1 title “Digimon World: Digital Card Battles” with several changed and updated rules, many altered cards (plus new cards) and completely new game features and concepts. Pick a powerful partner Digimon that easily evolves. Play a deck containing any of eight types of Digimon, or mix-and-match types.

Each player will send out their Digimon, evolve, and support them with their own cards. The Digimon battle until one player achieves 4 KOs! Digimon Battle Evolution is an Expandable Card Game, (ECG) and is free for life. Several expansion sets are currently planned.

Download & Play

Currently the game is completely finished. Organizing a printable version of 300 unique cards (with different printable counts) is quite difficult and has not been completed.

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TABLETOP SIMULATOR MODULE:

 http://steamcommunit…s/?id=710666368

Or search “Digimon Battle Evolution” in the Steam Workshop for TTS.

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Van-Guardians Live Stream — Interview

This is the third Van-Guardians Livestream from Team 2XC featuring an interview of me with guest commentary. It’s over 2 hours long—the interview is just above one hour! Host Jonathan Mindham and the rest of these guys do well at providing informative and entertaining video so I suggest checking out the rest of their content and subscribing.

Draw Trigger Details

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One thing you may encounter in your journey to become a great Cardfighter and especially when figuring out how to construct a deck, is the idea of Draw triggers providing you the necessary card advantage to win. So let’s examine that idea, with the full understanding of the types of card advantage in Vanguard (the previous link) and how Draws fit into that ideal in your deck. There’s no question that decks do usually require some level of an advantage engine whether that be from gaining additional attacks (depriving the opponent of shield cards in hand) or adding more to your side of the board to provide both more shielding and more units on the field. How decks do this generally depends on the particular method of advantage they want to get, which is split into gaining their own cards or depriving the opponent of cards. Draw triggers do not fit into the second front, since they add no additional pressure or threat to your existing board state but can only add cards to your hand. Read more

New Video – Deck check on Za Warudo

This new video goes over the decklist found in the Nova Grappler clan section and highlights the various plays and uses. Particularly, the fact that it has no bad ride and how devastating its wins can be! Check it out and be sure to leave me feedback on videos. Most of my videos, for so long as I have a terrible webcam and nothing actually good, will likely be spur of the moment things I do once I get home from locals. Enjoy.

(Hi Zac from Alien games!)

From the Video Description in case anyone from here misses it:

MINOR CORRECTION: Rule 7.3.1.3 – 7.3.1.6 where you actually do declare attack, then boost, however for some reason Bushiroad has “on-attack” and “on-boost” abilities activate after the boost only, not directly after the attack. Well, chalk that up to weirdness. So yes your Mond stands the VG booster and each samurai gets +15k.