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Ultimate lifeforce

Gauntlet Deck By


Cost Curve




My current gauntlet grinder list. Still a work in progress because I haven't yet crafted 4 Ayan, the Abductor.
The idea is to outdraw the opponent by using The Merriest Mandrake + Ultimate abilities, Beckoning Lumen + Lifegain or Beckoning Lumen / Sandstorm Titan / any other recursed and pumped card + Friendly Wisp, which potentially combines with The Merriest Mandrake for a disgusting 3-4 cards drawn and two life gained. Of course, the more The Merriest Mandrake in play, the more absurd the card draw becomes.
Card choices:

+Katra, the Devoted is the winning condition, ideally played only when you can proc her lifegain inmediately. It is a slow card, however, and the deck CAN win without her, so I don't think marketing her is better.

+Veteran Strategist has been performing great. It is a cheap very resilient unit, that can cheaply proc lifegain or utlimate requirements. Additionally, helps with fixing.

+Friendly Wisp is not a great card on its own, but can turn a game around very easily, and combines really well with the rest of the kit. Try to keep it alive (for instance, by not playing it) until you can proc the ultimate. Otherwise, the card is just bad.

+Dreamsnatcher is the secondary winning condition, when the board is stuck beyond what a katra can win. I have milled the enemy decks more than once. Additionally, helps proc Katra, the Devoted or Beckoning Lumen on turn 4, or The Merriest Mandrake turn 5.

+The Merriest Mandrake is a great addition to Xenan, and a really fun card to mess around. That said, the deck works without it, so sometimes it is better to play The Merriest Mandrake as removal bait, and then play the rest of your hand. Also keep in mind the deck has a couple of ways of getting a unit back from the void.

+Ayan, the Abductor synergyses perfectly with both The Merriest Mandrake and Katra, the Devoted that the next two cards I will craft will complete my set. Ambush makes it almost certain that the card will live till turn 4, allowing it to proc Katra, the Devoted, Beckoning Lumen or The Merriest Mandrake. The ultimate can also help proc Friendly Wisp.

+Kerendon Merchant: best merchant for stalling, by far. It could have been a black market, but the deadly stat is just too useful.

+Beckoning Lumen has surprised me, being the most consistent card in the list. Procs Friendly Wisp and replaces itself inmediately with any life-giving power played to get to 4. As I have mentioned, The Merriest Mandrake + Beckoning Lumen + Friendly Wisp = a ton of cards.

+Sandstorm Titan has a mild synergy with Friendly Wisp, but is mainly here for it's body, endurance and flyiers-hate. We all know and love(/hate) him.

As for the non-units, I will just say that the ratio between Suffocate, Talir's Intervention and Annihilate seems right, but I'm not 100% sure. Also, Devastating Setback has been performing quite well (they will probably leave when I craft the remaining Ayan, the Abductor, though).


Market choices:
+Emblem of Makkar is the slot I always reserve for power. The deadly body can sometimes matter. Dealing one damage to yourself matters not.
+Immortalize is a great recursion option, which is always needed when the deck depends on a few key pieces. When in doubt, probably grab this.
+Vara's Choice as an answer for multi faction fatties. Almost never used it to attack the opponents hand, as Devastating Setback has that covered.
+Cruciation is a much worse Annihilate that procs lifeforce, and that has been enough.
+Xenan Temple works great with the deck, providing lifegain and a big body that can proc Friendly Wisp. The killer effect is also nice.

The power base has been fairly reliable, although being screwed every once in a while can always happen (will happen). However, I am by no means an expert when it comes to building decks, so please, improve it (and then tell me how to do it).
I have run into five of the bosses, with little issue. I fear that the deck may struggle against the multi faction deck (the one that plays all champions). Other than that, sudden death can always kill you, with a good enough initial draw.

The deck works very well, and is not so expensive, so keep it in mind when you go grind. Any suggestions are welcomed.


Edit. Changed the power base, to reduce flooding and increase the chances of gaining life. Also added some changes to removal so that it can better defend against relic weapons. All in all, I think it is a definite imrpovement.


Shiftstone Cost
Does not include campaign cost

Premium Cost

Influence Requirements
2 2

Power Sources
19 21 15 2

Power Calculator
Shiftstoned Icon View Deck on Shiftstoned

Deck Rarities
14 24 27 4 8

Card Types
35 0 17 1 27


February 3, 2020

January 22, 2020


Eternal Version
Promises by Firelight

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Deck URL

Revisions (Since last major patch) February 3, 2020



venomquartz Eternal Version: 1.49.3
Thanks for the deck and the writeup! Seems pretty solid and consistent. I did note (only through three runs though) that I never went for Immortalize in the market. Never seemed to need it with 2x Dark Returns.
ElmoLesto Edited Eternal Version: 1.49.3
Thanks for the comment. I have just updated/improved the list (probably will do again when the new set is released) so I recommend that you try out this version. Regarding immortalize, I feel it is kind of a failsafe for when you don't know what to get out of the market, but need to play the merchant (either to keep pressure or to block against a fatty). It allows me to sacrifice the merchant without regret as I can get it back to get something else later. That said, I'm open to suggestions for any replacement.