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The Palace Plan

Gauntlet Deck By


Cost Curve




Hooru Kira has been around for awhile, but after the release of Battle Lines I am unaware if there is a currently accepted “stock” list, However, I believe that when the dust settles, this list is likely to end up pretty close to that. What I do know is that this list has performed very well for me, while also playing differently enough from other Justice midrange decks.

My only real updates for Battle Lines are two cards, Urge to Feed and Lystia, Flighty Mistral, but both have earned their spots in my opinion. I know that these cards are unlikely to be wildly controversial in this archetype, but I think that I can make a compelling argument to justify their inclusion. It is important to first understand how this deck typically operates, or in this case, wins. Korovyat Palace plays an absolutely decisive role in finishing most games, and is incredibly effective at doing so. Roughly speaking, across 130 games or so, more than 90% of the time (this estimate might be low) the game was ended by Korovyat Palace. It also did so quite rapidly, usually within 2 turns of coming down. In that same period of games I only recall playing Wisdom of the Elders 3 or 4 times, and not once did the opponent last long enough for me to finish Svetya’s Agenda. I know that colloquially this archetype is usually referred to as, “Hooru Kira”, but I feel like that name fails to acknowledge the importance of Korovyat Palace. Almost every game with the deck should involve developing a board, playing Palace, and then winning in a turn or 2. Don’t get me wrong, the deck totally can win without Palace, but you should be winning with Palace. (Side Note: If you do not enjoy decks with repetitive play patterns, you may not enjoy this deck very much.)

Understanding the importance of the role that Korovyat Palace plays is critical when evaluating the inclusion of other cards in this deck. Palace is actually just such a powerful and effective finisher as to justify favoring deck-building decisions that better facilitate it.

As a 1-cost spell that both draws a card and targets one of your units, Urge to Feed is a direct competitor with Levitate. Half of the units in this deck already have flying, so the temporary flying clause on Levitate is often wasted. This deck has enough flyers and lifesteal that losing in the air is not particularly worrisome, while the crushing nature of Korovyat Palace means that using Levitate offensively to sneak in damage is often irrelevant. Levitate’s biggest selling point as a fast spell is that it is a fast speed activator for Hojan, Crownbreaker’s renown, which is also fairly negligible. Giving one of your units +1/+1 on the other hand is often incredibly relevant in gauntlet where one larger unit can hold back multiple smaller units from attacking. At the same time, the extra power of an advantage can be really beneficial for setting up Palace sooner. I don’t believe that this deck has room to play both Urge to Feed and Levitate, and I think that Urge comes out ahead in the competition.

Lystia, Flighty Mistral is a generally solid card, but she also helps facilitate the Palace plan. This deck wants to consistently reach 6 power for Palace and 8 influence for Kira Ascending, and these requirements can create tension when it comes to accessing the market. Sometimes you will find yourself in the position of having to choose between holding on to business or guaranteeing your future power drops. The extra sigil from Lystia, Flighty Mistral essentially lets you have your cake and eat it too, while her 3/1 flying body also represents more damage when Palace comes down.

Overall, I think that Urge to Feed and Lystia are both welcome additions for the deck.

Two final notes:

1. The PVP version of this deck typically runs Vision of Austerity in the market. However, I am of the opinion that dedicated relic hate is largely wasted in gauntlet, and that you are generally better served having something else. Bearing that in mind, I consider this something of a flex slot, but Lay Siege has performed well for me so far. I considered replacing it with Manacles, but between Bring to Justice and Pristine Light, I haven’t really noticed a need for more removal.

2. The power base might look a bit weird playing 3 copies of both Hooru Painting and Hooru Cylix. I thought so as well when I originally stole the power base from someone else awhile ago. I vaguely recall going up to 4 Paintings at one point, but they actually created awkwardness multiple times in the late game by being depleted. This deck doesn’t actually have any turn 1 plays besides power, which means that there isn’t really any benefit for having undepleted power turn 1. As a result, you will almost always want to play a depleted power on the first turn. If I recall correctly, this, plus the power-hungry late game where depleted power was often a huge liability, was the reason for the weird Painting/Cylix split. Also, I believe that part of the issue was that if you draw a starting hand with 2+ Paintings, in addition to other depleted power, it would create situations where you couldn’t always have 3 power on turn 3 regardless of how you sequenced them. I know that anecdotally speaking, in the 18 or so runs I have done with the deck, that the power base has not been an issue for me. I more so have vague recollections than strong feelings on the matter though, so feel free to tinker with the power and draw your own conclusions.


Shiftstone Cost
Does not include campaign cost

Premium Cost

Influence Requirements
3 2

Power Sources
25 14 14

Power Calculator
Shiftstoned Icon View Deck on Shiftstoned

Deck Rarities
8 21 25 4 15

Card Types
31 0 23 1 25

Contains Cards From Campaigns
Dead Reckoning [Set1003]
Homecoming [Set1005]
Shadow of the Spire [Set1087]
Awakening [Set1095]
Hour of Glass [Set1115]


November 11, 2023


Eternal Version
Battle Lines

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Deck URL



Smiguli Edited Eternal Version: 23.11.09
Hi, I only have 1x Crafty Infiltration, but wanna try the deck out without splurging 9600dust. Any thoughts for replacements? Bonus points if they're not legendaries or niche rares.
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 23.11.09
Realistically, Crafty Infiltration is one of the best, if not, the best card in the deck. It is also a unique effect, so there aren't really any functional replacements for it. That being said, You can probably use a few cards as filler in the meantime though, preferably units.

I would be looking at stuff like:

Tarra, Ever Loyal
Unseen Commando
West, On the Trail
Mistral Messenger
More Hooru Envoys + Finest Hour/Levitate
241ackerman Eternal Version: 23.11.09
Tried this list out and honestly haven’t liked it as much as the stock list for pvp. Lystia feels very situational and doesn’t do the primary thing I want a 3 drop unit to do in gauntlet, which is brick a board of 2/1s for 1. And your reasoning for urge competition with levitate seems suspect cuz you can just run both, the math on crafty is a bit worse, but it’s still 94%(opposed to 96%) hit rate, so that’s fine and dandy. I’ve also really been disliking styers eyes in the list, often not wanting to play it and having copies pile up in hand. Your comment about the general fiera is also whack, she requires no build around to be super bomb and simply a card that says I win the game if you don’t break aegis, the bubble shields and merchants are more than enough for her to be the most broken and best market option for the deck. Would also strongly recommend lawmage, it interacts with all the decks that can actually beat you in a really positive way
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 23.11.09
I completely disagree with your assessment of Lystia. I almost always get a a justice sigil from her, and it is very common to have her brick the opponent's early board for a turn, especially if they kill your two drop.

My reasoning for Urge and Levitate being competition is that they do similar things.16 targeting spells is enough of a critical mass for the Kira/Envoy engine, and when I've played with 20 in the past it would sometimes create awkward draws. The problem with Levitate is that the flying is often not relevant when you need to play defensively, and having to cycle it on anything besides Kira, Hojan, or Envoy just ends up being lackluster. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Finest Hour was better than Levitate in this deck for gauntlet. Killing a unit or saving your own is often better than drawing a card and giving a unit flying. I don't want to run both because I don't want to cut the other cards in the deck. I think Hooru Envoy is basically the worst card in the deck, but cutting it completely would also detract from the engine anyway. I think Urge is better than Levitate. The lackluster way that Levitate played in the past was one of the very reasons that I wasn't impressed with this archetype in gauntlet prior to Battle Lines. The Crafty math was negligible and never impacted that decision.

Cutting Steyer's Eyes in this deck sounds suspect to me as it's a proactive 2-drop that also guarantees you can actually play the game. The deck flows much smoother with Eyes, and between Eyes and Lystia, it is quite rare to miss power before turn 6. I've rarely found Eyes to be dead or piled up in my hand either since it's super easy to fit into the curve, especially when you wouldn't otherwise have a power to play that turn. Having the option to play Crownwatch Tactic is also really important against more aggressive decks. If you cut Eyes, presumably for Lawmage (?), I think you are going to start having more power issues, and the deck will less consistently hit both 3 and 6 power on curve.

You can play Fiera in the open market slot if you want. She might be better than Lay Siege, but no, I don't find her "super bomby" without support. Like yeah, the card is good and often will win you the game... eventually. I think that she will rarely do it faster than Palace. So when you say that Fiera is "the most broken and best market option for the deck", well, I can tell you that the deck functions perfectly fine and wins quickly without her, would you say the same about Palace?

Between Mono J and Hooru Kira, I have played a lot of Lawmage in gauntlet. I was never particularly impressed with it. The effect can be a bit hard to evaluate as you won't necessarily see it when it is actually working, but at the same time it is pretty easy to tell when it isn't affecting the game much. A lot of games though are basically the AI playing their most expensive card every turn. As a 2/3 valor it's good turn 2, but my issue with the card was that it never scaled well in the later turns. Kira, Icaria, Eyes, and, to a lesser extent, Hojan, usually scale much better than Lawmage. Lawmage's inclusion always felt like more of a concession to throne PVP degeneracy. As far as interacting with decks that can beat this deck, I am not entirely sure what you are specifically referencing. I have yet to lose with this list and the games haven't felt particularly close, but I see that you mentioned Sudden Death and Mindless Aggression in another comment. I think that Lawmage is worse than Eyes in both of those matchups. Lawmage is like, slightly better on turn 2 when:

1.) They play drone turn 1.
2.) They have 2-damage charge units and you're on the play.
3.) They play Assembly Line on 3 or 2x 1-cost units on turn 2.

If your 2 drop dies to Torch or Annihilate anyway, which it often does, then Eyes is better if you get a scout out of it. Stumbling on power for even a turn in the early game can easily lose you the game on the spot against these decks, and Eyes does an excellent job of preventing that. The ability to play Crownwatch Tactic later on is often gamebreaking in these matchups as well, so Eyes tends to retain its potency for longer than Lawmage.

After Behemoths of Thera had released I played this deck with Levitate instead of Urge and Lawmage instead of Lystia. They both felt like weak links to me. I think my clear rate was around 75-80% at that time. After Battle Lines came out, I was looking to update the list just to see how it performed. Can things potentially be improved? Sure, but I figured after clearing 18 runs without losing I was fine with posting the list as it was and was happy with the changes I made. It has both felt and performed better for me than the older list with Lawmage and Levitate. I'm currently 20-0 with it now, and hadn't really felt the need to change anything until I actually start losing. I mean, it sounds like our lists are still pretty similar, I am curious what sort of results you had between the two. I'm not sure if you like yours more because it wins more for you, or it feels like it wins faster, both? I'd be happy to try yours though.
4177C Eternal Version: 23.11.09
I use steyers eyes as a free scout, by discarding a sigil a lot of the time.
Sabrewulf81 Eternal Version: 23.11.09
The problem of Guntlet is aegis and fly unit, all other things is a joke!
241ackerman Eternal Version: 23.11.09
Double damage and charge bosses actually.
4177C Edited Eternal Version: 23.11.09
I have been playing a list similar to this. I have general fiera in mine and a couple of aegis units. The ai doesn't realize they can't kill general fiera and it is kind of easy mode.
Sabrewulf81 Eternal Version: 23.11.09
Can you please share your Deck sir please, I he a some problem in Guntlet thanks!
4177C Eternal Version: 23.11.09
Yes, but I just want to point out I got most of my list from ItsTenz. He is a much better builder. Green is good is the pinnacle of gauntlet decks.
4177C Eternal Version: 23.11.09
Now that I look at it I think I got my deck from buckwheat. I still love itstenz decks and I don't want to take away from his work. Please keep the decks coming you do great work.
Sabrewulf81 Eternal Version: 23.11.09
If you want to send a message in pvt with the fiera deck i give it a try thanks in advance
Sabrewulf81 Eternal Version: 23.11.09
I lost most of the time with green is good, I'm a noob! :/
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 23.11.09
I don't think that there's enough Aegis in the list presently to make Fiera worthwhile. Space is also really tight and in order to make Fiera work, I would need to make space for both Fiera, as well as more Aegis units. Fiera is a great card in gauntlet, but I also think that she is more of a build-around card in her own right. This deck is already pretty heavily built around Kira Ascending though, and I feel like trying to build around two different pillars in the same deck would likely result in doing two things worse than if I was only trying to focus on one.
4177C Eternal Version: 23.11.09
Good points, I wasn't really telling you to change this list just passing on what I have found.