Having started playing Eternal less than a month ago, I was naturally looking for budget options to test out and see how much I enjoyed this game.
I started off in ranked with a cheap Night/Maul deck (as my first campaign was Into Shadow, and I have enjoyed playing tempo with interaction in other games), and that was smooth sailing up until gold. After running into a small-but-frustrating wall there - losing far too often to other aggressive decks - I decided to look for other options.
That's when I saw one of Sunyveil's budget options that looked like a lot of fun: https://eternalwarcry.com/decks/details/PKStXM8r3pw/budget-skycrag-control-set-5
I was a bit wary at first. Was it worth crafting? Could the deck really win with just the power of one site in the market? Well, needless to say, it exceeded my expectations. Not only did it have a lot of interesting lines to play, it just. kept. winning.
This list is my personal take on the shell (it's quite close, honestly - Sunyveil is a really good deck builder), and exactly what I was running upon hitting Master rank. By no means am I saying this version is better, but I'll explain in depth below why I changed what I did, and what I might want to change further down the road. If you're completely unfamiliar with what the deck is trying to do, make sure to first take a look at Sunyveil's article here
Card Changes / Discussion: Permafrost
- 1 mana interaction is incredibly important, but I trimmed to 3 here because of how questionable stun is in the current Palace meta. I'd like to take this out entirely, but I couldn't come up with anything to replace it with.
- I had a couple copies of this, and decided to try it out. While we have a ton of stuff to do on 3, I preferred this over Rebel Illuminator
in many matchups due to speed. You get a card to ditch to Strategize
or a merchant right away, and can play her on 3 if need be. Worst case scenario, you build yourself a 5/5 flyer on 4.
Aeva, Eilyn's Elite
- This is a card I got from a pack and was testing out. The Tribute is almost never relevant, but the body isn't bad and the Infiltrate effect can translate to a lot of card advantage vs other control decks.
- While this card is surprisingly good, by the end it felt like one of the most cuttable ones in the deck.
Torgov, Icecap Trader
- Another I got in a pack and was trying out. Often ending up as a 7/8 in this deck, he's quite solid. Bloodthirsty Brawler
- A card I never ended up crafting 4 of. I wasn't sure how good it would be at first, and even though it was
solid, due to some other changes I made in the deck I decided against going for the full 4 before I tested other options. In that time, I made it to Master...
- Speaking of those changes, I ended up slowly cutting these from the deck. It's a great finisher combo with Bloodthirsty Brawler
, but given this deck relies heavily on power 6-drops from the Market to win games, having this Transmute can be an absolute nightmare.
- On the flip side, I'd play 8 of these if I could. Deceptively strong, this keeps the deck's engine going. It also allows you to keep increasing your power without making difficult decisions on whether or not you need to hold out to swap power for action in the future. Absolutely amazing synergy with the deck.
- I'm running Cobalt Waystone
over Clan Standard
in the market. I prefer not only having the power the same turn, but also the Aegis against scary stuff like discard and Maul
Okay, so what's the verdict on the creatures tested in this deck? What's the ideal setup?
I really like the 2/2 split on Skycrag Scalebreaker
and Rebel Illuminator
, but it's not worth crafting the Scalebreakers just for this. For ultra-budget purposes, I'd stick with the 4 Illuminators, and the 4th Permafrost and Brawler over all of the rares I used. I've left the list like it is simply for posterity. The main point is that all of these creatures have synergy with the deck and can be flexed in if you have them.
If you like this style, it's probably best to work toward one of the many Jennev control lists with similar themes (one just recently won the ECQ).
If you want another top tier control deck that is more easily accessible, grab the Homecoming campaign and work toward either a Hooru or Ixtun list. Special mention goes to ManuS' version of Hooru
which is incredibly
cheap once you have Homecoming (you can get the Chains from a 2500g theme deck as well).
If you really want to keep playing Skycrag, you'll probably have to work it out yourself. Obvious includes would be Crests in the mana base, more Peaks, and some amount of Xo.