If you would like to see the deck in action:
KazePlays on Twitch
Hey guys! This is a new list Ive been running in Masters with a decent success rate. At its heart, it is a tempo build striving to take early control of the board with the aid of glasshopper and reduced cost pledge units. Presence is maintained with a suite of efficient removal spells until the match can be closed out with charge units, of which there are twelve. Most games will end (by death or concession) on turns 4 to 7. If the game carries on longer, you will usually be able to out value your opponent regardless, utilizing a host of recovery options and unit retrieval from the void.
In case you are interested, I've been given permission to link a similar deck with a fantastic guide authored by DarettiMomsSpaghetti. His list was posted about a month ago, and has also gotten a lot of well deserved attention. I'm not certain which list is "better" in relation to the current meta, but I encourage you to try out both and post any suggestions you might have for improving the core concept. With additional refinements I hope to see this archetype evolve even further.
His list can be found here: Secret Xenan Aggro v1.21 (full deck breakdown w/ updates)
Here are some thoughts on card selections:
: Really love this card and it has proven itself strictly more useful than Dark Return
. Most effectively used to quickly retrieve a Glasshopper
or Teacher of Humility
on turn 2/3. The prior will naturally net you an additional pledge drop, all of which are insanely good, while the latter shuts down the Hooru/JPS Control decks that are so prevelant in upper ranks. Two is perfect in my opinion, though up to four is not unreasonable
: You might question why I would include this, but it has several critical functions. First and foremost, it will clear the way for a Teacher of Humility
or Amaran Stinger
to hit face on turn 3/4, while leaving you enough power to drop another threat. Second, you can bounce back your Glasshopper
to replay on turn 3 to net an additional pledge unit. Third, it generates a shadow influence, allowing you to cast your SS removal even if you didn't draw into the right resources. It is an undervalued card, and irreplaceable in this deck. Annihilate
: Some of the best single target removals in the game. Six total in whatever combination suits you would be best. They are very efficient and flexible. Glasshopper
: Amazing and Broken. You love this is your starting hand, especially with Be Gone
and any one of your pledge units. If you don't start with one, its alright. This card generates incredible value at any point in the match.
: This is an amazing inclusion, both offensively, defensively, and as spot removal. With a total of twelve charge units, you will be able to close out most games by turn 5 or 6. Three is a solid number.
Teacher of Humility
: Every time I face Hooru Control with this in my starting hand, I smile. Every. Single. Time. Four of them are a must have. Even if you don't get the damage through to trigger, a 3/3 body on turn two is awesome. Amaran Stinger
: It is sensible to include four of these in almost any deck running Time. They avoid being pinged off by tricks that deal less than 4 damage, and they generate insane value. Use Be Gone
or one of your removals to clear the way and let the stingers do their thing. Kerendon Merchant
: Better than smuggler in my opinion. Deadly is an awesome battle skill, and he fetches the most important market cards for high(ish) IQ techs. Star-Reader's Blade
: This is such an amazing card. It has so many uses in this deck, and you will never regret placing one on any of the units in this deck. Bringing back a Glasshopper
on turn three is probably my favorite use, but it will never let you down. Three or four feels really good.
Cykalis, the Burning Sand
: Our favorite unit to pledge. Once you get the ball rolling with 2+ of these, especially with Dread
to bounce them back, the game is yours. They are also great for removal with Rapid Shot. Don't be afraid to toss one out there to contest the board, as you have overwhelm too, netting you 9 total damage for 3 power with a Glasshopper in play. The damage immunity on summon is great, too, allowing you to wait and use RS defensively the following turn. 4 x of these is required.
: Definitely want to use a full playset of these, as this card has so many functions. Two Dreads back to back can switch one another from your void indefinitely. Antics like this are great, effectively giving you infinite card advantage. Also frequently used to retrieve Glasshopper
and Amaran Stinger
as well, which are great tempo plays. The lifesteal is also great for bouncing back in a match you are falling behind in. This will score you surprise wins against Rakano and similar aggressive decks that run out of juice after turns 4/5. Don't be afraid to summon Dread without a unit in your void, as you will often be able to pull him back using Last Chance
. Getting the damage + Lifesteal is always worth it.
While the meta is still working itself out, I've found this to be one of my most consistent lists. This is especially true since you don't really see any Xenan representation in the last several tournaments. Net-deckers will have little or no idea how to deal with you. This fact alone gives you an edge over anyone playing a cloned list, which we are all prepared for and play against ad nauseum. Assuming this build stays under the radar for at least a few days, you will have a huge advantage. This will likely change in the next few weeks, so enjoy it while we can! Cheers.