Following up on hitting Masters with Feln control in Throne
, I decided to give it a try in Expedition too. Given that around half the opponents I faced were also running FPx, that seems to be a pretty popular plan at the moment, hence a few of the card choices - this deck is tuned pretty heavily to win the mirror, and suffers a bit against aggro as a result. For reference, the three most common decks I encountered during my climb were Feln Control (the mirror), FPS Control (the pseudo-mirror), and TJP Soldiers.
Card Selection Units Grenahen
- speed bump for aggro, it provides an early body while drawing a card ~75% of the time. It doesn't line up amazingly against the valor units run in TJP soldiers though, so an easy cut.
Jufi, Sprite Seer
- a bit small to start out, but a great card to have in drawn-out games - drawing Dragon's Eye
always feels amazing, and Jufi can grow really big, especially if you start chaining D'Angolo Might
s. You pretty much only ever want to play it on 5.
Torgov, Ice Trader - a very respectable body, and one of the better ways to beat aggro. Torgove also provides card filtering (always useful) and can represent a large threat in the lategame.
- a bit expensive for a removal spell, but it's one of the better options currently available in Expedition - it often leaves behind a body to chump block with, and if you eat something small (or nothing at all), lifesteal is a great way to stabilize. Alternatively, just play a 5/5 lifesteal to win against aggro.
- fantastic card, it provides immediate impact in the form of relic / site hate, plus an evasive body that's hard to kill and a ton of card filtering if it can connect. Davia, Azurebreaker
- one of the best control finishers currently available, IMO. A big body with aegis that generates both immediate card advantage and incremental advantage via stuns. Getting back card draw or a removal spell is great, and this deck has a ton of nice spells to cast off her.
- cheap removal. Permafrost can be a bit awkward against Lay Siege
, but it's better in the mirror due to it hitting larger threats. On the other hand, it also leaves bodies behind to enable opposing D'Angolo Mights, which can be annoying.
- proactively deals with problem cards and provides a ton of information. Plunder is also quite nice to smooth out awkward draws.
- pings small units, pops aegis, lets you hit more power drops.
- protects against enemy Exploits. Not always relevant, but I found myself wanting another card or two to hit power drops, and I've been underwhelmed by Feln Blueprints
Nectar of Unlife
- shrinks or kills enemy units early, provides card advantage and recursion in the lategame. Can be a bit weak against aggro, but excellent in the mirror.
- I was running into the mirror often enough that it felt like a reasonable maindeck inclusion. If it's bad, then plunder / market / discard it, but it provides a very real clock against other control decks.
Alternatives Vicious Overgrowth
- in earlier versions of the deck, it's much better if you're facing a lot of aggro or need answers to sites.
- in earlier versions of the deck, extra copies of Permafrost most of the time, but making a flyer is occasionally relevant.
Card Advantage Wisdom of the Elders
- gold standard card draw. Fast speed, provides card advantage, not embarrassing to recast with Davia.
- big card draw effect in the lategame, feels fantastic to cast off Davia. Between Davia, Torgov, and Evolving Olzial, there are usually plenty of big bodies for enable it, and it's the card that tends to define the endgame in the mirror.
A pretty balanced mix of Primal and Shadow. Primal Sketch
provides a bit of free value in the lategame - it's somewhat rare to actually activate, but also a pretty low opportunity cost. Rune of Illusion
is also somewhat rare to actually use, but, again, it's a pretty low opportunity cost and helps stabilize if you're low on life (or want to sneak through a big Jufi for lethal)
Market Vine Grafter
- one of the better market access cards available, since the berserk from Rage Grafter
is largely irrelevant. Provides a solid blocker against aggro and makes something else harder to kill. That said, paying five to access the market can be a big tempo hit if you're under a lot of pressure.
- a solid option to fetch against aggro, giving it regen means you can generate a bunch of bodies and muck up the board.
- a spot removal option. I don't know that I ever actually fetched it - this slot was originally Dichro's Ruin, before I moved it to the maindeck.
Toll of Warfare
- mostly here to hate on opposing Davia decks, but it's also good against Shorthopper
Fall to Ruin
- board wipe for aggro - if you can clear the board while you still have gas in hand and your opponent is out of resources, that's usually sufficient to seal the game.
The Speaking Circle
- another option to fetch against opposing control decks if the board is stable, and can dominate a game if left unchecked.
Notable Exclusions Cover From the Storm
- it was in the earliest versions of the deck, but I found it was pretty bad against the most common aggro matchup (TJP Soldiers) due to a lot of their threats having 4+ health.
- it's better fixing than the Favors, which definitely is relevant... but I'm not really a fan of the card, largely because activating the Heirloom feels so underwhelming. Swap it in if you're not concerned by enemy aegis / discard.
Channel the Tempest
- an option if you want to go even bigger in the mirror, but costing nine means the game is often over before you get to it.
- it's a fine tempo play, but a 2/2 is underwhelming in the mirror, and it can't always attack safely to draw a card.
Piloting the Deck
This is a control deck - your objective is to kill all of your opponent's stuff, draw cards, and eventually take over in the lategame.
A good opening hand will usually include some cheap interaction - having a Defile or other removal spell to deal with an early aggro unit is usually a good idea, and Exploit on turn 2 is pretty much always a good play.
In the midgame, focus on hitting all your power drops while trying to keep the board under control. It's okay to trade some life if you need more cards, but don't get too greedy.
In the lategame, your opponents will usually be out of resources, at which point winning is arbitrary - beat down with Davia or Evolving Olzial, or just drown your opponent in card advantage. Against opposing control decks, the game is often defined by who gets to draw the most cards - Jufi is great here as another way to draw cards with the Dragon's Eyes, and using Exploit to attack your opponent's hand before they can play their own big card draw spells is also relevant.