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FTS Midrange

Standard Deck By
AGhostlyToaster
Team Not-Tavrod

+16

Cost Curve

Type

Faction

Information

Another 3-faction goodstuff midrange I have been working on and enjoying - this one was the only deck I played on my way to masters this season. The overall record on the climb was 64-32, but the current version (after switching to Temple maindeck and Dizo's in the market) went 25-10 to finish it off. Let's talk about it, starting with the units.

4-drops are a sweet spot to help get board presence for Xenan Temple, to start blocking more aggressive decks, and to start beating down control decks, so there are eight here. Sandstorm Titan is the best overall option in my experience, taking all these roles into account. The majority of my games have been played with Vara, Vengeance-Seeker, but I switched to Saber-Tooth Prideleader about 40 games ago. Both are excellent; Prideleader is actually a much better aggro counter (with bonus relic hate), while Vara is a stronger threat and really, really helps this deck's plethora of removal handle aegis. It's a meta call between the two.

Heart of the Vault is Heart of the Vault. Threat, card advantage, light removal rolled into one.

Xo of the Endless Hoard is an easy inclusion in any higher-curve fire deck with a lot of merchants. He's here for the same reason he's everywhere: drawing him is card advantage, putting him in the market is "free," drawing him back from the market is more card advantage, and playing him when your opponent has exhausted their removal wins the game.

Supporting the pack of threats is a veritable pile of spot removal. 4 Torch is a given, 4 Desecrate is nearly as obvious. Annihilate is the other ubiquitous shadow kill spell, trimmed to 3 because it's just a little narrow and there are so many other options. Banish is a complete workhorse, both for killing most units at fast speed, and for hosing most relics. 4-8 maindeck relic answers makes this deck devastating to relic based strategies. The final spell is Quarry for crucial card filtering, especially great when it hits a 4-drop or fast removal.

Xenan Temple is one of those powerful sites that enables you to consistently remove a unit and draw a card, and then do even more if it lives. Card advantage and board control, naturally, are pretty much the gameplan, and this site at just 5 cost is a powerhouse to that end.

The market has been tricky to sort out, largely because of complications with the merchant package. I'd really like Auralian Merchant for the body and power boost, and originally played with it. However, the deck is simply far smoother with Temple maindeck and Dizo's Office in the market (3 main was clunky). Auralian merchant can grab neither Dizo's nor Cauldron Cookbook (nor Xo), which makes it a disappointing draw later in the game, defeating much of the purpose of a merchant. These cards are too important to the deck to replace either one with something from time, so Auralians had to go.

Since swapping the sites, I've chosen to play Cen Wastes Smuggler and Ebon Dune Smuggler to have 8 shadow smugglers, as the lifesteal from Dizo's is absolutely critical to get out of burn range after stabilizing in many games, and it is always a huge source of late-game value. I'm sure this is more important than extra access to Cookbook, which can be grabbed at your leisure in most cases, but running East Annex Smuggler over Ebon Dune to better juggle Xo is compelling when your life total isn't being pressured too badly in the meta. An additional benefit of the shadow market is playing Dark Return there, which is so good with this deck's threats (especially Heart) and sometimes gives you access to your opponent's cards due to Temple. Having a highly versatile unit-fetcher is the perfect final piece to the market puzzle.

Vara's Choice is the default early grab to scout your opponent's hand, and is great at many stages of the game for targeting difficult units like Icaria, the Liberator or Rost, the Walking Glacier. Using it on a unit in play is for emergencies. The Praxis Banner is the other typical first choice, when your power/influence need fixing, but is also frequently relevant into the mid-game.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! If you like playing HotV, Xo, and good sites as much as I do, this is your kind of deck.

Details

Shiftstone Cost
Does not include campaign cost
70,400

Premium Cost
272,000

Influence Requirements
4 3 2

Power Sources
16 16 12 18

Power Calculator
Shiftstoned Icon View Deck on Shiftstoned

Deck Rarities
10 23 23 16

Card Types
24 1 25 4 26

Contains Cards From Campaigns
Jekk's Bounty [Set1001]
Into Shadow [Set1004]
Homecoming [Set1005]
Trials of Grodov [Set1006]

Archetype
Midrange

Updated
August 5, 2019

Added
August 4, 2019

Views
3,783

Eternal Version
v1.46 - Dark Frontier

BBCode For Comments

Deck URL

Comments

swollenpigeon Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Took this deck to masters. Great tool box. Thinking about adding a board wipe to the market for aggro though.
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Awesome! I have had some people try Malediction in the market. It is really helpful in an aggro meta; I haven't gone to it myself because I think it is just a little underwhelming as a card and not as effective against yetis as I'd like, but it's certainly an option. I'd replace Dark Return if you want it.
Nazanir Eternal Version: 1.46.9
I'm loving the deck.

Prideleader is by far my favourite card from Grodov, and it's the MVP of the deck. I will admit I was skeptical taking it over Vara, but she dies so easily now with the nerf to three health, so that was a fantastic idea.
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Glad to hear it! Yeah, moving away from Vara was tough, but Prideleader just does a lot. Still think it's up to the meta which I'd like more but I think Prideleader is more reliable by far.
RandoMattz Eternal Version: 1.46.9
this might honestly be the first and proper "Jund" list that i found here, plus u wrote a perfect guide on card choices and how to pilot.
Props to you kind sir!
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Thank you :)
Axulus Edited Eternal Version: 1.46.9
What's the strategy against aggro? I'm usually dead by turn 4 vs aggro, 5 if I'm lucky. They have to draw horribly for me to have a chance, or I have to draw the perfect starting hand to defend against aggro (3 power, no crests, one sigil, two time influence, a fire influence, a shadow influence, two torches, an annihalite or banish, and a 4 cost unit, which usually gets killed by an icebolt or stunned by permafrost, so don't really help too much). Stuck in diamond II with the deck (0/100) after 15 matches and running about 30% vs aggro.
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Interesting, I have had pretty good success against aggro and so have others I've talked to. Which decks are giving you trouble? The answers to aggro are Torch, Annihilate, Banish, ambushing with Ebon Dune Smuggler and especially Prideleader (most important anti-aggro card in the deck alongside Torch). Desecrate when necessary. I think that's a lot of early game options. SST is really hard for many aggro decks, especially Yetis, to handle. And then Temple and HotV are strong for stabilizing once you get there - after that, you really want to market for Dizo's and it's game over. But it's about those little spurts of 3 HP plus abundance of cheap removal plus ambush, overall.
Axulus Edited Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Maybe I'm running into bad luck or am misplaying the deck, but I can't seem to stop any aggro deck that draws reasonably. I'm especially having trouble with red decks. My units are useless (one block and dead to torch), and they use various buffs (shugo tactic, rally). They usually will have gotten off 5 units by turn 4 and I'll have killed 2 of them, at which point I'm at like 11 health and can't hold on. Usually I'll have a starting hand with two kill spells and three power, and run into influence issues if it is a desecrate (not to mention the -3 health), and banish seems to be too little too late. I'll kill two of their units and get out one unit by turn 4, at which point I can't stop them.

I'm running great against the slower decks though.
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
If they have too good a draw you're definitely dead, but i can say it's all about prioritizing what you want to hit with what removal spell and what needs to be ignored.. Then using your 4-drops at the right time. Your midgame stuff stabilizes really well, so if you draw a reasonable amount of everything and manage it right hanging on until a big Dizo's turn is very possible. It's probably more variance than anything, to be honest.
hoilai Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Thank for sharing the deck. Went 32-12 with the deck from D1 to master today. I found the deck working really good against aggro and midrange decks while having a problem against some control deck.
AGhostlyToaster Edited Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Hi, glad it's working for you! I think I would agree, control decks are a tough matchup. Harsh Rule is a big problem, in particular. The way to win those matchups seems to be either get lucky and get an SST to stick early, or to just overload their removal by drawing too many threats. Heart is key there. Getting Temple off is really good, too.
abby315 Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Have you tried out Azindel's Gift? I swapped it in for Dark Return in the market after seeing a bunch of ramp in my meta and it's been very good. There's a lot of Ice Bolt running around that helps you get there, and it gives a good topdeck to your merchants while you wait around for them to finish the game. Of course if they stumble and you get it off while sticking a unit, it's just an insta-win. It's a little awkward having two 7 drops in there, of course.
AGhostlyToaster Edited Eternal Version: 1.46.9
That's a really clever idea. I haven't thought of it but I like it. I consider Dark Return the flex slot, planning to update the post with a list of alternatives for taste/meta. I'll include your idea.
Alvirian Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Thanks For posting the deck. Really good and fun deck to play. Explanation and guide was really well written and very helpful.
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Thank you, I'm glad you like it!
DarkBant Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Did you consider Azindal?
AGhostlyToaster Edited Eternal Version: 1.46.9
I did, I played with Azindel in the market for about 30 games to start off. He was occasionally good but mostly died to removal and didnt do anything Xo couldn't most of the time. Still a great choice though - I just find I need other things more.
DarkBant Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Fair enough. Great build! What did you mostly face against?
AGhostlyToaster Eternal Version: 1.46.9
Thanks! Lots of yetis, fire aggro, and solid amount of Praxis, otherwise just assorted stuff - some Jennev, Icaria Blue, Feln, a little Rakano and Combrei.
DarkBant Eternal Version: 1.46.9
PM when you have chance. Have a sweet list (similar but different colors) that's been testing well.