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Uncommon Applications: Bleacher Jumping

Work in Progress
+1

Cost Curve

Type

Faction

Information

This is a deck part of my Uncommon Applications series, where I test out low-rarity Battle Lines cards in interesting Throne decks. This one tests out many new cards, but the main new addition is Rift Siphon.

This deck combines Rift Siphon with Iceberg Scattershot and Cheering Section. By default, the combo deals only 23 damage, but it also mills 23 cards and fills the board with 1/2's and 0/1's, leaving the opponent needing to deal with the persistent threat of Scattershot and all the totemites on the board. In addition, the combo can be pumped further with second and third copies of any combo pieces, and you can use Prosperity of the Reach to take an extra turn to continue the combo.

It also runs Youngblood Trapper, one of the 4 low-rarity Battle Lines cards in the list. It's a solid 2-drop that triggers Cheering Section, holds off aggro, and/or can ramp out combo pieces and/or combo turns.

Playing the Combo

You should aim to mulligan for at least one of the combo pieces and some amount of draw effects, but not if your combo piece is Scattershot and your draw cards are recruit units. Calm Instructor and Druid of the Sands are the main ways to draw Scattershot, while Calibrate can draw the other two pieces and Brenn's Insight and Injustice can get you any of the combo pieces. Calm Instructor and Druid of the Sands were two of the four interesting low-rarity cards I wanted to test in this deck, and they work very well to tutor this deck's unit combo piece, as well as its other units like Temple Scribe.

You want to play Cheering Section as early as you can afford, Iceberg Scattershot once you have the other combo pieces played outside of extreme circumstances (such as a Strange Gladiator being in play, where you just need to chance that you can play Scattershot first and Cheering Section second), but Rift Siphon provides a lot more choices. You have enough units to pressure your opponent with an early Rift Siphon, but you can also save it to play on the same turn you play Scattershot.

Combo Math

I said this combo deals 23 damage and mills 23 cards, but that assumes that your board is empty and you have 1 of each combo piece on the board. However, this combo's effectiveness is dependent on how many copies of each combo piece you have and your board state when you start the combo, which means the damage of the combo fluctuates with the current board state.

The easiest part to understand is how many cards you mill: you mill 1 card per Rift Siphon per point of damage you deal. You will not realistically mill your opponent with less than 2 Rift Siphons, and 3 will mill most opponents with most decks by itself before it kills by damage.

Damage is easiest to understand in terms of rotations, where a rotation is any part of the combo where you start with a board with only a handful of units and end with a board mostly full of totemites. You get 1 rotation, plus one rotation for each Cheering Section you have (by default it's 2 rotations, but sometimes you will get the second Cheering Section for 3 rotations). Keep in mind that if you start the turn with a full board from a previous turn's combo, then you will lose one rotation from that second turn, although keep in mind that Scattershot will usually die if you pass the turn without playing Prosperity of the Reach for the secondary rotation.

Each rotation deals 12 damage, minus the number of units you already have on the field at the start of the rotation, multiplied by the number of Scattershots on the field. For example, if you trigger the combo by playing an Iceberg Scattershot with a Temple Scribe on the field, the first rotation will deal 11 damage ((12 - 1 (Scribe)*1 = 11), and triggering the second rotation with another Scattershot will deal 20 damage ((12 - 2 (Scribe and first Scattershot) * 2), for a total of 31 damage.

Most cards in the main deck will start a second rotation, with the only exceptions being Calibrate, Amber Lock, Rift Siphon, and Cheering Section. The market copy of Containment Sphere will also trigger a second rotation.

Note that if you start your turn with a bunch of 1/2 totemites the turn following a combo that doesn't kill, then attack with those totemites instead of restarting the combo again. DO NOT sacrifice them for a second rotation UNLESS your opponent has no power AND your opponent has a lifesteal unit that will heal out of range of your combo, because Scattershot is very vulnerable to removal and will be killed by your opponent's fast removal if they have it. Attacking with your totemites will usually finish off your opponent, and you can start a new rotation after the combo is over.

Problems:

The biggest problem with this deck is with turn timers. This deck's animation times go well over your turn's normal time limit, and are slightly increased for each Rift Siphon you have. However, you can mitigate them with additional copies of Cheering Section, but can abuse them yourself by playing any Advantages you have from your first rotation to skip most of your opponent's next turn.

This deck also has problems with several different cards. Discard hate, Combrei Lawmage, and Aniyah, Master Sleuth all stop the combo from happening altogether by preventing you from hunting, playing totemites, and/or hitting the enemy player, while relic removal also prevents the combo from happening. Eremot's Designs and Disjunction are intended to deal with these effects, as most discard effects you need to worry about are either relics or are units that cost 2 or less. Face aegis is annoying, but you can ping it off if they don't have Aniyah. Dichro's Ruin is also a problem you use Disjunction for, but if your opponent has a face aegis then you can literally pop it with Scattershot and go infinite afterwards because Dichro's Ruin will kill off your totemites for infinite board space.

There's also a lot of 2-ofs and 3-ofs, all of which I've been testing with fewer copies outside of Midnight Reprive and Xultan Conclave. It's a problem because I keep getting into situations with this deck where I have all the cards I need to do the combo before I can realistically test stuff, which makes it hard to improve the deck.

Improvements:

Cull the Deck probably wants to be something else in the market, with the two most notable cards being D'Angolo Arson as an extra finisher and Recovery as a tool to pull cards from the void and/or field to filter and/or recycle combo pieces.

I'm also looking at replacing Amber Lock with more Temple Scribes. I have enough Calibrate targets and could use more recruit targets, but I wanted to test the deck with only 2 in order to see how the powerbase went.

Rating: 8/10

This deck tends to be a rather consistent combo deck that has a lot of avenues to win but also manages to find its combo pieces at good enough times.

Details

Shiftstone Cost
Does not include campaign cost
22,050

Premium Cost
156,000

Influence Requirements
2 2 1

Power Sources
14 10 12 16 5

Power Calculator
Shiftstoned Icon View Deck on Shiftstoned

Deck Rarities
19 36 20 4 1

Card Types
20 15 20 0 25

Contains Cards From Campaigns
Promises by Firelight [Set1007]
Stormbreak [Set1107]
Enter the Arcanum [Set1135]

Archetype
Combo

Added
November 13, 2023

Views
488

Eternal Version
Battle Lines

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