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Skycrag Midrange-Control

Throne Deck By
AGhostlyToaster
Team Not-Tavrod

+16

Cost Curve

Type

Faction

Information

Recently, I've been approaching Skycrag non-aggro decks from a lot of angles. What I've found is that the faction has predictably strong grinding and control capabilities via some of its best cards, but suffers from early game units that suck outside of aggro. That's why I decided to make a sort of unit-heavy control that relies on those strengths and dodges those weaknesses.

The best Skycrag card is Howling Peak, and it was in every deck I tested. Peak is the best card in this deck, too, as it copies a threat/win con while pushing a lot more value beyond that. All this deck's threats become very powerful in multiples, and the main units cost 5, curving neatly into Peak. The main win condition is Rost, the Walking Glacier. Most decks cannot cleanly remove him, only stall, and his massive overwhelm body provides inevitability. Getting multiple Rosts into play becomes extremely hard to handle, and this deck easily gets 2 and routinely 3 or more at once because of copy effects (just be mindful of possible fast removal blowing out your copy spells).

Sodi, Wingbreaker is less threatening on board but is another value engine which provides overwhelming advantage in multiples. The deck has tools to trigger her draw like Rost's overwhelm, Kaleb's Favor, and Snowballs. Sodi replacing herself the turn you play her is enough to generate some card advantage even if she is removed, but if one sticks to be copied the card draw potential is staggering. She is also deceptively sticky, as her 3/6 stat-line makes her pretty resilient to most factions' removal (Shadow is the exception). The onslaught is a huge swing in some matchups - don't forget you can trigger it by copying her.

Finally, Xo of the Endless Hoard is a backup win condition/big threat. He is pretty easy to remove and mainly here as a card advantage engine via Fate, but game-winning if he sticks and attacks and strong to copy. Jotun Hurler is the other great market fodder card of the game and super good in this deck as well.

Running 8 merchants was an easy decision, as the 8 primal merchants in the faction are the best available sub-4 cost units for this deck anyway (again, outside of aggro decks), on top of Skycrag having all the best market fodder and great market options. Jennev Merchant's aegis helps enable Sodi's onslaught and keep a target up for copying, and there are numerous damage spells that get a lot of value from Howling Peak Smuggler.

Most of the removal is comprised of damage spells: Torch, Snowball, Ice Bolt, Gun Down, and Hailstorm. Permafrost is critical in some matchups as non-damage removal, but has its own weaknesses. Because all removal is conditional in this deck, there are frustrating blind spots, but the overall package is flexible and comprehensive. Use your head with Ice Bolt, it is strong but the drawback is real. If the power is of value to your opponent at all then Ice Bolt is card disadvantage.

As for non-removal spells, Eilyn's Favor is included despite Cobalt Waystone being better because having power-fetchers which don't count as power leads to more consistent 3+ power hands during mulligan. Strategize is a virtual card advantage machine which works alongside merchants as payoff for Fate cards. The rest of your hand allowing, it is great to send a Fire Sigil or a 1-of spell to the bottom with Strategize to keep the deck running smoothly (these cards are meant to be grabbed by sites, not drawn at random).

Those 1-ofs are intended to be tutored for with Resurface from Garden of Omens. Garden is one of the key market cards and often the first grab. It doesn't pack as much value as the best sites, but it still generates a good amount of advantage by being left up. I especially make a point to grab it when I haven't drawn a Peak, both so that I can still develop a site in general, and because tutoring for End of Hostilities can take the place of Peak's Mirror Image in developing a game-winning board. EoH is not consistent enough to want several copies of, but works super well with our high-value copy targets and its ability to warp in after Resurface. With its cost at 5 due to the site, warping it just to copy a single Rost or Sodi is warping that unit at fair cost, which is a strong enough play. Creating two copies of either with the tribute active is backbreaking. Jennev Merchant is great at sticking to use as tribute. Besides sacrificing a small unit by attacking, you can hit your own stuff with cost-reduced spells or Ice Bolt off the site to set up the game-winning double copy. The other 1-of is flexible; I currently have Kaleb's Choice, but it could be...anything. Card draw, a different counterspell, removal, Royal Decree, whatever. I like Choice because it can be really good in a variety of matchups. I had Choice in the market, but since relic decks often have multiple good relic removal targets, it is nice to be able to destroy an attachment with the site and then get another hate spell out of the same market trip via Resurface, especially when your opponent thinks their Permafrosts have handled your two Rosts tidily.

The other most important card in the market is Molot & Nakova, a huge, difficult to answer win condition and nutty target for copy spells (which are hard to disrupt because of the aegis). Spark is triggered by the same easy face damage options that enable Sodi so well (with Kaleb's Favor also helping reach the power and influence for Molot). Hailstorm is in the market because running it maindeck I didn't get it consistently enough against aggro but hated drawing it, sometimes in multiples, against slow decks. This way it can nearly always be played, and is easy to connect with the spell damage smuggler. Cobalt Waystone helps keep your deck on curve and keeps an answer to burn spells in the market after moving Choice maindeck. The last card is a flex slot; I'm trying Honor of Claws right now since it is useful throughout a game and can fill the empty 4-spot on the curve. My friend Vaylin has suggested Re-Read, which I also really like. Other good options might include a counterspell like Swift Refusal or Unseal, or a threat/pseudo-threat like Jotun Feast-Caller or Mirror Image, but this can be whatever you find yourself needing.

Please enjoy and share your thoughts!

Details

Shiftstone Cost
Does not include campaign cost
60,550

Premium Cost
275,200

Influence Requirements
4 5

Power Sources
18 24 16

Power Calculator
Shiftstoned Icon View Deck on Shiftstoned

Deck Rarities
13 22 17 1 18

Card Types
25 4 20 5 26

Contains Cards From Campaigns
Dead Reckoning [Set1003]
Homecoming [Set1005]
Trials of Grodov [Set1006]

Archetype
Control Midrange

Updated
August 25, 2019

Added
August 20, 2019

Views
4,926

Eternal Version
v1.46 - Dark Frontier

BBCode For Comments

Deck URL

Revisions (Since last major patch) August 21, 2019

Comments

eljeffedemagico Eternal Version: 1.46.10
I really appreciate the resiliency of this deck. it has helped me greatly!
TheL0rd0fSpace Eternal Version: 1.46.10
This deck looks dank af.

Don't have any Rost, Molot, or Xo right now though. :(
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.10
Hope you get to play with them all soon, super fun cards :)
Hanoth Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Fun deck, played a few games and its been good :)
TheZombiePriest Eternal Version: 1.46.9
This deck is very nice, i love it !
I reached master for the first time with it.
Thanks a lot :)
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Congratulations! :)
Talares Eternal Version: 1.46.9
I switched Hailstorm for Torrential Downpour as I like its synergy with Howling Peak Smuggler
Euler007 Eternal Version: 1.46.9
You keep talking about the importance of Kaleb's favor but it's not in the decklist...
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
It comes from Howling Peak :)
Euler007 Edited Eternal Version: 1.46.9
I knew that...
(d'oh)
Schwilly19 Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Would you consider Cradle in the market?
AGhostlyToaster Edited Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Interesting thought. However, I don't know that we have the kind of spell density needed to get real value off it. How often are you playing more than one dragon? I don't see it as very valuable unless the answer is "most of the time." I think paying 3 to get a 5/5 flyer turns later is a lot worse than just playing a good unit in the market at, say, 5 cost.
Nazanir Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Something for your consideration, but sites are also fuel for Cradle, so if you can play a few sites, keep them up for a couple of turns, you'll get maybe a couple of dragons off. Coupled with the spells the deck already has and "freebees" like Snowball and Treasure Trove I think it's worth a try.
VaylinArcher Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Cradle out of the market would be bad and would be better suited main because if you're going to the market, you want to pull Garden, Molot, or Waystone. Marketing for a relic that does nothing when played is not really what you want in a market card.
Seifangus Eternal Version: 1.46.9

Any other cards you’ve considered as 1-of bombs to fetch with Garden? Flame blast, main deck royal decree, even something like Channel?

BTW, always dig the detailed write ups and solid deck building. Gotta be the one of the best innovators on all of EWC right now.
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Good question. Besides a draw card like Wisdon or Honor I did consider Decree, but I don't play it much these days. Flame blast is actually very interesting, I hadn't considered it.

Thank you, that means a lot to hear :)
djwarpt Eternal Version: 1.46.9
I'd like to second that. Great write up; I always appreciate the detail. I liked the Flame Blast idea so much I had to try it; plus, my OCD nature wanted 25 power and an even number of spells anyway. So far, so good.
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Thank you :)

I just made a few slight tweaks myself, including straightening out the power base to 25. I put in an extra favor, though, as fewer than 29 sources is pushing it. I was going to replace Unseal with Flame Blast but I decided to put Kaleb's Choice in the maindeck instead.
djwarpt Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Yes, I did some additional tweaking, and I agree that 4 Favors are the way to go. I also ran into the problem that Unseal doesn't deal with existing Permafrost, and I would often want to Resurface Kaleb's Choice, so it went into the main deck as well. I just wanted a couple more spells, and I ended up cutting 1 Hurler and 1 Sodi for 1 Honor of Claws and 1 Innate Conviction. I don't know if it's actually good enough, but it works as a nice resurface when you're low on power and want to push damage after Ice Bolt from the garden because the Warp allows you to play it immediately. Honor is just another draw engine if I'm running low. Sounds like we're pretty much on the same page though. Also, I tried running Cradle in both main deck and market and couldn't get enough value.
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Thanks for all the input, Conviction is a cool idea I hadn't thought of. Had the same reasoning behind moving Choice main as well. Right now I have Honor in the market because I never found myself getting it when it was a 1-of main. I still rarely do so still might jump to Re-Read or something.
VaylinArcher Eternal Version: 1.46.9
I also entertained Conviction just for the warp value. However, I didn't know if the 3 damage was relevant enough most of the time and you still have to trigger onslaught for full value. Unfortunately, skycrag doesnt have a lot of warp spells worth playing.
djwarpt Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Oh, 1 last thing... I really like Re-read in the market because it allows you grab whatever you want to use again, Hailstorm, Kaleb's Choice, Honor of Claws, etc...
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Yeah, my pal Vaylin just went to that and I'm considering doing it too after I play with Honor some more to feel that out. Glad to hear you like it
VaylinArcher Edited Eternal Version: 1.46.9
I found out that I really wanted Kaleb's Choice back in the market. I had a game where Re-read helped me win, but its way down on the list of cards i want to pick from the market. I'm actually going to try Bore as the replacement 1 of main. Where I'm currently at on ladder, there's a lot of Jennev right now and being able to deal with permas so I can block/attack would be huge. Since Garden is usually the first or second pull, it might work out.
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
The openness of the flex slots is something I'm enjoying about playing this deck. So many good options. Bore main is a cool idea because it is much easier to take advantage of the extra card it creates as market fodder if you don't have to market for Bore to begin with.
djwarpt Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Yes, so Innate Conviction is rarely that good; I just liked the card and sometimes it is amazing. But oh wow, somehow I hadn't considered Bore; I think that has to go in, and then you can put Kaleb's Choice back in the market. Great idea!