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Green Is Good (Updated)

Gauntlet Deck By
ItsTenz
ItsTenz+7350

+46

Cost Curve

Type

Faction

Information

Do you like gold? Yes? OMG! Me too!

Do you like gauntlet? I mean, I do, but it’s ok if you don’t as long as you like gold enough.

A few years ago I found myself wanting to stockpile gold for an upcoming release and began to focus heavily on farming gauntlet. While doing so, I realized that it was an activity I enjoyed, but that also felt inefficient. The resources available at the time seemed lacking, and the decks I was coming across struck me as… suboptimal. It seemed as though many people were basically using whatever ladder decks were popular, and when I was able to find decks specifically designed to take advantage of AI play patterns, they were few and poorly tuned. Understandable, I mean, farming gauntlet probably isn’t a high priority for the majority of players. However, this led me to something of a quest to try and optimize the gauntlet farming process.

If this was an infomercial, this would be the part where a disembodied voice asks if you’re tired of losing to power screw, flood, or just plain boss degeneracy. Cue black and white montage of a man smashing his keyboard as his avatar explodes on screen.

THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY!

Well I have good news for you, there is! I mean, you probably guessed as much from the fact that you’re reading this in the first place. The decklist off to the side was probably also a bit of a giveaway. As I played there was one archetype that consistently stood out as being THE BEST. Yes, I believe capital letters are warranted. The deck has changed quite a bit between new releases and balance changes, but as an archetype, it has basically always held the distinction (for me) of being the uncontested best gauntlet deck.

So what is this mythical creation you ask?

The award for the best gauntlet deck goes to…

*Drumroll*

Mono J.

Now some of you might be skeptical upon hearing this and think, “Ok, well that’s just some random guy talking about what works best for him.” Which admittedly, yeah, you got me. But this seems to be a common format among people posting about how amazing their gauntlet decks are.

So what is the basis for my belief? Well, besides the fact that some decks just feel great when you play them, there is also the fact that I genuinely believe the deck is HIGHLY favored against ALL of the high MMR gauntlet bosses. I will go into greater depth about this in a bit, but the results bear this out.

A friend of mine asked me to share my (then) current list. I obliged and informed him that I had gone 37-0. He was impressed, and said something to the effect of, “I’d love to clear 5 runs in a row.” It was at this point that I had to clarify that I had cleared 37 FULL RUNS without losing. It had actually been 264 games before I finally lost. Yes, the deck is THAT good. And yeah, I consider it a strong endorsement when people hearing your results are impressed even though they’ve shortchanged you by a factor of 7.

Now, you might be thinking, “What’s so great about Mono J? Isn’t it just a bunch of justice cards?”

Yup. You got me again. In their defense though, justice cards are like, pretty good. This actually presents a problem when optimizing the deck. There are so many good cards available that you can’t even include them all in a single 75 card deck. In fact, you could probably build 2 or 3 viable decks using the extra cards that aren’t quite good enough. Additionally, many of these cards are very similar in power level, making it difficult to distinguish which cards deserve the coveted deck slots.

As an archetype, Mono J isn’t something I would consider to be particularly bold or unknown. I’ve seen many versions posted over the years, and I usually try them to see if there’s something I’ve missed. I’ve found that while these lists are functional, they aren’t optimal.

So how do you know which cards to include?

Well, mostly by playing with them. A LOT. In different combinations. Seeing what feels good, seeing what wins the most. There’s usually a pretty high correlation between the two. It ends up being a lot of work, but it’s also the sort of thing I enjoy and something I was probably going to do anyway. Fortunately, once the initial work was done with the existing card pool, it mostly became a matter of testing out a few cards whenever new sets were released. When it comes to gauntlet Mono J, if there’s a card that could reasonably be included, I’ve probably either tried it, or have a good reason for not including it. I’ll take some time to walk through my card choices.

-Units-

Ghostblade Outcast: This card does a lot for 1 power, and contributes heavily to being able to beat some of the cheatier AI draws. This card can single-handedly turn Sudden Death nut draw games from utterly hopeless into an absolute route. This card also dominates the Highly Skilled matchup as a 3/3 lifesteal for 1 that will Exalt to give one of your non-lifesteal units +4/+4 and lifesteal when it dies. Against more mundane opponents, the lifesteal is useful for racing or allowing a large unit to prevent the opponent from going wide. The AI also lacks the foresight to properly navigate around the Exalted keyword, which can be exploited to allow your temporary buffs to be carried over to another unit permanently. Exalted also makes Outcast a good target to buff with Justice Sketch as it will effectively require dealing with twice.

Shen-Ra, Unbreakable: Another strong one-drop. While not as versatile as Ghostblade Outcast, Shen-Ra is great at attacking. Mastery 10 may seem a bit daunting after the nerf, but this deck has the support to pull it off reliably ahead of schedule. Once her Mastery has been triggered she will also play defense quite well. This card is a great target for Tarra’s ability since there is relatively little downside to attacking with her. I mean, most of the time you aren’t going to be holding Shen-Ra back to block, right? This is a card that is better early, but her Mastery and invulnerability allow her to remain relevant if the game goes longer.

Kira, the Prodigy: Kira’s ability is a unique effect that synergizes well with the temporary pumps that are plentiful in this deck. Many enemies lack access to the hard removal required to beat a buffed Kira. Kira in conjunction with Crownwatch Tactic from Steyer’s Eyes, Helena, Skyguide, or Wind Conjuring can often race or blank the enemy board. Her 2 / 3 statline also makes her a solid stopper against most enemy one and two-drops. Don’t be afraid to hold off playing her until turn 3 if you happen to have Finest Hour when you’re facing a deck with Torch or Suffocate. Her ability is actually incredibly useful against Burn Scars where your temporary pumps won’t normally save your units from dying to Decay damage once they wear off.

Mistral Messenger: I had always imagined that a 2/3 flying, endurance unit at 2 cost would likely be one of the best defensive units possible for gauntlet, but figured that it would probably be a bit too good to ever be released. Now Mistral Messenger isn't exactly that, but it is pretty close. Being a 3/3 blocker on the second turn makes Messenger an excellent wall against aggressive decks, while Flying and Endurance mean that you won't have to choose between attacking or leaving it back as a blocker. Messenger's combination of keywords also lends itself very well to carrying Tarra's buff. Very often Messenger will come down on turn two and keep atttacking for two damage per turn until the game is over. As an additional bonus, Messengers keywords mean that it triggers Unseen Commando's effect.

Steyer’s Eyes: When I first saw this spoiled I was floored. A 2/2 flyer for 2 isn’t bad stat-wise, but the added versatility on this card is amazing. Admittedly, outside of the Best Served Cold matchup, you should basically never choose the Adjudicator’s Gavel option, but even ignoring that, this card is bonkers. Crownwatch Tactic is an excellent tool for racing, it can push damage or trigger masteries faster, and if it lands on Kira, some opponents can’t beat it. The Lingering Influence option is equally strong. Because you are guaranteed at least 2 power when you redraw your hand, and because of the fact that this deck’s curve tops at 3, any redrawn hand with Steyer’s Eyes will allow you to play every card in your deck. In the event that you don’t really need more power and can’t effectively utilize Crownwatch Standard, you can still discard a power to cast Lingering Influence and Scout to smooth out your future draws.

West, On the Trail: When this promo was first released I wasn’t sure how well it would compete with the slew of other two-drops. I know that some might look at the contract and think, “6 is waaay too much!!” There’s a lot to unpack here though. A 1 / 3 Flying, Endurance for 2 is actually pretty reasonable stat-wise for gauntlet. Against Sudden Death and Mindless Aggression, West is actually a very good early game blocker for their one and two-drops. Having two keywords means that West will benefit from Unseen Commando’s ability. The ability to scout while attacking is also quite strong, especially in conjunction with Flying and Endurance, which often make the attacks “free”. Now, getting to the contract. Is 6 a lot? Yes! Absolutely!... sometimes… The fact that it is a contract ability means that if the game is ending this turn or the next, you may not really be required to shoulder that burden. Now, not every unit is going to be worth tying up your power to remove, and a poorly-timed contract can absolutely cripple your ability to play the game. On the other hand, there are units which MUST be answered if you want to win, and West provides additional options for handling them. It is important to be able to discern when it is correct to use the contract and when to not, and also when it is in your best interest to hold West if the opponent is very likely to play good targets for the contract. Don’t be afraid to play West on turn 2 if you need a play. Ultimately, I think West, On the Trail is a strong inclusion in this deck that helps it to beat large, problematic units when you are short on market access.

Helena, Skyguide: This card has been changed so much that now it has come full circle. In her reverted state, she can combo with Kira, the Prodigy to end games in an extremely fast and dominant fashion. She is an excellent too for beating stun-heavy opponents and is an effective wall against most early enemy boards. She's great at pushing the last bit of damage you need, while her contract can also target enemy units to break Aegis. Helena makes this deck win faster and more often.

Tarra, Ever Loyal: Tarra has always been a powerful card and the sooner she comes down, the bigger an impact she usually makes. The Fearless Crescendo nerf really just made market Tarra a lot clunkier to play on turn 3 or 4. Now that I've moved Tarra to the main, I've decided to cut Varret, Hero in Training as his transformative nature makes him interact poorly with both Warcry and Tarra's buff.

Unseen Commando: This guy has been a staple of green gauntlet decks for years, and he still holds up. Flying and Lifesteal are both great keywords when it comes to racing. The +1/+1 trigger is very relevant in this deck, which is great because the AI does NOT account for it properly when determining how it holds back blockers. With Ghostblade Outcast, West, On the Trail, and Mistral Messenger, it’s not uncommon to be triggering Commando’s ability immediately on turn 3. If you are able to grant Kira, the Prodigy two keywords, she will permanently hold Commando’s buff. This card is great against Sudden Death and especially potent against Highly Skilled.

Valkyrie Enforcer: This was one of the first units I came across when I began playing Eternal, and it set an unreasonably high expectation for what a 3-drop should look like. A 3/3 flyer for 3 is already good and if you have other ways of interacting with your opponent, you shouldn’t be afraid to play it just to develop your board. Pretty much every enemy has units that are worth silencing though, and it’s usually just a matter of time until they play one. The Silence can help clear the air of enemy flyers and is one of this deck’s best answers to Sandstorm Titan. Its strong mix of evasive stats and a powerful ability makes Valkyrie Enforcer one of the most well-rounded cards you can include in your justice gauntlet decks.

Winchest Merchant: Nothing exciting here, just more market access.

-Spells-

Finest Hour: The AI doesn’t really play around fast spells and will basically walk into any sort of instant speed pump. It helps to trigger masteries, serves as situational removal, and can also protect your units from damage-based removal. An overall solid card and an additional method of interaction against an AI whose predictability can be easily exploited.

Justice Etchings: This card is basically a depleted power with SIGNIFICANT upside. Much like Steyer’s Eyes, drawing Etchings with two power will basically unlock this entire deck. If you need power, don’t be afraid to grab it without going to your market. Because most of the market costs 3, Etchings allows you to grab and play a 3-cost card on turn 4. Yes, having to exhaust a unit can be annoying, but it’s also fairly common to use it on a freshly played unit that couldn’t attack that turn anyway. The exhaustion price can also effectively be negated if you’re grabbing Wind Conjuring, as long as you are in a position where you are willing to either cast it prior to combat (Kira), or are strategically depleting a unit to bait an enemy attack. Just be careful if you’re desperate for power and facing a deck with counterspells.


-Power-

Justice Sketch: When I initially saw this card I thought the idea of paying 5 to do nothing, then paying another 5 to utilize its effect once would be much too slow. However, as there is pretty much always the option to play a sigil before this, you’re not really sacrificing anything to include it. So I tested Sketch and, Wow! was my prediction off. Yes, the card is “slow”, but it brings to bear a power level that allows you to grind out opponents in longer games, all with relatively little price in terms of deckbuilding. When I say that the card is “slow” I am referring to how many turns a game lasts, not how much time the game will take. As it turns out, once you start doubling the size of your units, opponents tend to die pretty quickly…

Rune of Law: Similar to Justice Sketch, Rune of Law is basically a free inclusion for this deck. Now obviously, you can’t utilize the Saddle Up as a combat trick, but it still has a lot of useful applications with things like pumping Ghostblade Outcast and triggering Masteries. It’s mostly something to do when you’re lacking other action.

While playing with these two special powers, it is pretty unlikely that you will have the 10 power required to activate more than one Research Lab in a single turn, so having more than 1 copy of Justice Sketch may not be useful. Rune of Law on the other hand, has a very immediate impact on the game. It can be difficult to predict which of the two might be more impactful ahead of time. For this reason I generally recommend holding onto one of each as it will give you more options than having two Sketches. Having one of each will let you make a more informed decision of while you are more likely to want once you have more information of how the game is going.

-The Market-

Manacles: This is a powerful attachment that many enemies have no real way of breaking. Forcing two units to sit out a race will usually skew things heavily in your favor. This card is also great for enabling lethal, because the AI will frequently leave back just enough units to block. This often means that they haven’t budgeted enough units for defense if you remove two potential blockers. This card does require caution, as cards like Deepforged Plate, Vodakhan’s Staff, and attachment destruction can be absolute blowouts. Manacles is really at its best when you know that the opponent has no way to interact with it. Try to be cognizant of the fact that if you Manacles two units, only one of which would die to Pristine Light, you need to be careful about breaking Manacles yourself and freeing the surviving unit. Also bear in mind that Manacles will not be effective if the opponent has a face Aegis.

Pristine Light: Now this is a CARD. It is difficult to overstate the degree to which Pristine Light absolutely CRUSHES some opponents. A well-timed Pristine Light can transform the Labyrinth Treasury, Power of Progress, Defender of the Spire, and Sibling Rivalry matchups into free wins. This card is one of the primary reasons that this low-curved deck is able to compete in longer games. You can even use a pump effect on an opposing unit to bring it into the 4+ attack threshold needed to kill it.

Wind Conjuring: This card has quite a bit of versatility to it. You can use the ready/Endurance effect to break stuns or ambush attacking units. +4/+4 is a lot for a combat trick, and is also very good at powering up Kira and Shen-Ra. If that wasn’t enough, Invoke can be game breaking or used to convert excess power back into fodder for Steyer’s Eyes or market access cards. I’ve played Wind Conjuring maindeck in previous builds, but I found it was less good in multiples. The first Wind Conjuring was usually the best one, which made it more attractive as a market option. Playing multiple copies maindeck would also sometimes lead to draws with too many pump spells and not enough units, resulting in losses to removal-heavy opponent's. As far as the Decimate on Wind Conjuring is concerned, well... yes, it is dependent on the game state, but I generally avoid Decimating unless I have 5 or 6 power.

General Fiera: Sometimes you want a proactive card from the market but aren't really in a position to defend Lord Steyer's Tower properly. Fiera is hard to kill, but that won't stop the AI from tryin. The AI is notoriously bad at playing against Fiera, which means that they will attack and block into her as though she wasn't invulnrable to damage. This makes Fiera a very solid tool when you need a threat or the ability to whittle down he opposing board.

Lord Steyer's Tower: Having cut Fearless Crescendo and having moved Tarra, Ever Loyal to the maindeck, I wanted another proactive card and Tower had historically performed well for me in that slot. I find myself grabbing Tower less often than General Fiera, but they serve different enough roles that I have found having both to be reasonable.

Now that I have covered the cards that made it into the deck, I will go over some that I get asked about frequently which did not.


Icaria, Valkyrie Captain: This is a card which I frequently see included in green gauntlet decks. However, it has never really been one which I’ve cared for. A 1/1 body for 2 is actually rather bad, you can slap some battle skills onto it, but Flying and Endurance aren’t keeping Icaria from dying to Vara’s Favor or Firemane Cub. A 1/1 body can’t really block opposing one-drops without trading either, and it usually can’t trade with two-drops period. The 1/1 statline is just a huge liability to overcome in gauntlet, and this deck isn’t really designed to capitalize on what Icaria, Valkyrie Captain has to offer. Her ability doesn’t really ramp this deck to anything worthwhile here and this deck doesn’t plan on reliably reaching the SIX Justice influence required to turn on her passive ability.

Iron Priestess: This card seems great on paper. That’s because it is. I spent a lot of time playing with Iron Priestess and I was fairly happy with it. You could discard it to Steyer’s Eyes to get the weapon, and the void clause made her a good investment for buffs. So why did I cut her? Well, I began realizing that I was dropping games more often after including her than I was with previous versions. I began paying closer attention to how the card played and started to realize that this card actually has an issue against the AI. As a 2/2 Valor unit, the AI does NOT like trading for Iron Priestess. and will basically only block her if their own unit is expected to survive. This commonly resulted in scenarios where the opponent had a unit too large for Priestess to effectively block, but that the AI wouldn’t use to block Priestess either. In the end, this made it too difficult to leverage Valor into a worthwhile trade which meant that you wouldn't even get a weapon. Simply put, it was overly difficult to trade effectively AND get the weapon, which largely resulted in only being able to do one or the other.

Ursa Squadron, Crownwatch Paladin, and Tinker Unionist: After West, On the Trail was originally released, I initially replaced the twice-nerfed Helena, Skyguide with West in an effort to lower the decks curve, and was playing 19-20 2-drops. The problem ended up being that not all of the 2-drops were able to scale well after turn 2. This basically lead me to the conclusion that the deck just couldn’t support so many 2-drops and reinforced the importance of their scalability.

Jada, Peacekeeper: I played with Jada for awhile, and the card wasn’t terrible. However, this deck’s streamlined curve meant that there weren't really a lot of ways to effectively take advantage of his ramping. Additionally, Jada is TERRIBLE against the Burn Scars boss. In combat, a 0/5 is unable to take any presence off the enemy board. The fact that everything has Decay means that Jada would eventually die without killing anything because the enemy will still attack into or block Jada with its smaller units. This made Jada a blank in a war of attrition against one of the most commonly seen bosses.

Prism Golem: A 5/5 for 3? Sounds great, right? For a lot of decks it would be. The thing is, Mono J has access to an all-star cast of three-drops. Unseen Commando, Helena, Skyguide, and Valkyrie Enforcer all have great stats, powerful effects, and FLYING. Winchest Merchant also flies and grants market access. At this point, the deck can’t really fit more three-drops without undermining its early game. Golem also tends to play better in decks that contain enough removal to keep the opponent from effectively double blocking it. While this deck does have access to combat tricks, there aren’t THAT many, and they can still only be effectively utilized if the opponent is willing to block your Golem to begin with. Prism Golem also suffers from other issues, it’s not particularly effective at racing flyers, it doesn’t work with Justice Etchings, and against Defender of the Spire it’s basically only useful as a card to ditch to Steyer’s Eyes or to send to your market.

Take a Stand: This card looked impressive to me at first. +4/+4 works very well with Shen-ra and Kira. Additionally, if you are able to unleash this card it can be absolutely devastating. So why isn’t it good enough? Well, unleashing it was pretty uncommon. The fact that it's not a body was sometimes a liability in removal-heavy matchups where every unit can count. Similar to the times which I played maindeck Wind Conjuring, I found myself dropping games where I ended up with too many pump spells and nothing to use them on.

Mystical Shackles: Good card, but it overlaps too much with Manacles. and Manacles is usually better. While Shackles has a smaller liability, dealing with two units is usually better.

Emblem of Kodosh: Emblems were often viewed as a free inclusion in many decks. The 1 damage is often irrelevant, and usually worth the flexibility and insurance against flooding. However, there are a few reasons why I do not include Emblems in my list. The first is that this deck has the means to utilize its extra power and isn’t really unhappy if it reaches 5 power. As a result, Decimating becomes a larger drawback. In addition to this deck’s ability to effectively capitalize on having more than 3 power, the inclusion of cards like Steyer’s Eyes, Fearless Crescendo, Justice Etchings, and Winchest Merchant allows for a way to dispose of excess power cards. As a result, the issue of flooding, the prevention of which is the primary motivation to include Emblems, is already greatly mitigated. While the 1 damage is largely negligible in most games, so are the number of times you will actually want to Decimate your Emblem. Lastly, the streamlined nature of this deck’s curve means that it really values having all of its power undepleted, and replacing four of your sigils with Emblems decreases your odds of having the sigil you need for Rune and Sketch. I found that while the downside of running Emblems was minimal, that I was Decimating them so infrequently as to not be worthwhile.

Seal of Devotion: A lot of people see a single faction deck and bring up Seal of Devotion, but I STRONGLY dislike this card. Just because you’re a single faction deck does NOT mean you should play this card. As with Emblems, removing four sigils from your deck does decrease the efficiency of your Runes and Sketches, but that’s not even the worst part . The fact that Seal of Devotion does not generate influence is VERY awkward. This means that having Seals in your deck will make it more difficult to utilize Justice Etchings to access your market. However, in more extreme, albeit rarer cases, you WILL lose games because you don’t have enough influence to play your cards. Drawing two copies of Seal in your opening hand is absolutely miserable and can ruin an otherwise great hand, and is a situation guaranteed to come up over a large enough sample size.

The potential payoff of getting a free card isn’t even that impressive, nor is it guaranteed. The warp animation is somewhat slow, which is less of an issue with non-power cards, but players typically begin their turn by playing power. Which makes sense, as you need power to play your other cards. The problem arises when you’re playing quickly, which ideally you will be. Even when everything aligns and allows for Seal of Devotion to be warped, if you’re playing too quickly, you still won’t have time to register that it’s on top of your deck before you’ve already played a different power from your hand.

Unlike many of the other suggestions which end up falling just short of what the deck wants, I think that including Seal of Devotion transcends the realm of suboptimal and ventures into the world of BAD. Do not play Seal of Devotion in this deck, it’s bad. Please consider this a public service announcement.

Cards that cost more than 3: This is a part of my gauntlet deck-building philosophy. The lower your curve, the less susceptible you are to power screw. Of course there are great cards which are more expensive, but gauntlet optimization is a numbers game where consistency shines and dropping games to power issues adds up. The risk of playing with such a low curve is the danger of being overpowered by the opponent’s more expensive cards later on. Fortunately, Mono J plays such incredibly powerful and efficient cards that it can still go toe to toe even in a longer game. The key is to streamline your curve as much as possible, without giving up too much of your win rate when games bog down. Cards like Mantle of Justice and Sediti, the Killing Steel are obviously powerful, but they’re not actually needed to win. Including more expensive cards really only serves to place an unnecessary burden on your power requirements for minimal benefit. If you play tightly, this streamlined curve is still able to win almost any long game while also having excellent early-game tools which make its matchup against aggressive decks very favorable.

It was previously the case that in high mmr gauntlet you would almost always be matched with one of ten final bosses. Since the release of Battle Lines, this has been adjusted to be a much wider pool of final bosses. I will leave in this already written section as it still applies, just know that this is not a comprehensive list of all the bosses which you are likely to face now. With that, I’ll take some time to talk about the matchups, key cards, and strategies for beating these bosses.

Burn Scars: Units have decay. This fight is essentially a war of attrition over who can field the most stats. The AI will generally always attack and always block, which means you can’t rely on a larger unit to hold off smaller ones. Burn Scars also has several ways of dealing damage directly to units so you can expect whatever units you field to come under fire. As a result, one-health units like Shen-Ra, Unbreakable and Ghostblade Outcast vastly decrease in value. Because they aren't good here, I will often hold them as fodder for Steyer's Eyes or market access. Make sure you are prepared for a Yetipult to come down once they hit 4 power and PPP influence. Decay means that the temporary pump spells lose most of their effectiveness unless you’re using them on Kira. Tarra is great in this matchup as the Warcry and doubled stats she gains help to fight an attrition war. Pristine Light helps keep Yetipult and weaponed units in check. Manacles is risky, as Burn Scars has Ruincrawler Yeti, and getting your Manacles broken can be absolutely devastating. If they end up going too wide you may need to rely on Curfew Enforcement from Lord Steyer's Tower to tone things down. While this matchup is often very attrition heavy, it is usually possible to race in the air if you have enough Flying presence or Unseen Commando. Be very careful with West’s contract in this matchup as all of the possible targets will cost less than 6, and will result in a significant tempo loss.

Company of Exiles: Whenever you play a spell, play a random unit with cost equal to that spell’s cost. I’d imagine it’s pretty obvious that you want to have spells in your starting hand against this boss. Unfortunately, Mono J only contains 12 actual spells. Fortunately, this deck also has ways of generating extra spells between Rune of Law and its market. This fight tends to be fairly random, both because of the boss stipulation, but also because the boss’s possible draws have a HUGE variance in power level. Sometimes they’ll do basically nothing and keep replaying a Snapping Brushstalker that you can bounce until they die. Other times they will have a perfect curve of removal into multiple Crystallizes or Striking Snake Formations. In the first scenario, it’s usually pretty easy to run them over even with a mediocre hand. In the second scenario I’ve found that the ground will usually stall out with random ground units, and you will need to finish the game in the air. Try to avoid getting blown out by their fast spells like Decay, Backlash, Cirso’s Meddling, and Flash Freeze. Also be wary of committing too many units into Crystallize or Icequake. A decimated Wind Conjuring can be two guaranteed spells, while Lord Steyer's Tower can generate three on its own. Company of Exiles is one of this deck’s more difficult matchups as they can stall you hard in the later game, while its high spell-density, in conjunction with the boss fight stipulation, means that the majority of its deck will be 2-for-1’s

Defender of the Spire: Players start with 5 influence of each faction. This boss can be a nightmare for a lot of decks, fortunately, Mono J is not one of them. This is a boss that dies HARD to this deck’s market. Pristine Light and Manacles absolutely crush this matchup, while West, On the Trail can handle most of their units as well. Their only unit that really dodges these effects is Champion of Glory. This means that if your first hand does not contain a way of accessing your market, you might want to redraw. Valkyrie Enforcer is another extremely strong card in this matchup as it’s Silence effect will completely shut down or drastically reduce the strength of every unit in their deck. Expect the ground to stall pretty quickly and that you will most likely need to win in the air. Defender of the Spire does have some removal in the form of Flash Fire and Devouring Shadow, but besides that, it’s mainly just huge units, and they will rarely play more than one card per turn.
Typically, you will want to try to get some early tempo with small units and combat tricks. Eventually they will drop a large blocker you can’t easily get through, at which point you develop your board. You then neutralize their board with Pristine Light or Manacles, which allows you to push damage. Finally, you finish them off by going around or over whatever follow up blockers they might have for the next turn or two.

Highly Skilled: Units get +1/+1 for each of their battle skills. Almost all of your units have either one or two battle skills and will benefit from this stipulation. Ghostblade Outcast is particularly incredible in this matchup for the reasons I discussed earlier, and can carry almost any game against this boss. Your units without battle skills aka, Shen’ra and Kira will quickly become outclassed without additional support, and you should weigh that into your decision to redraw. Valkyrie Enforcer is also quite good in this matchup as it is a great answer to Hero of the People and Unseen Commando. If you really need to get rid of an enemy unit, don’t be afraid to trade down in a double block. Highly Skilled has basically no interaction or removal outside of Skycrag Wyvarch and the occasional Finest Hour, although if the game goes too long, you may need to worry about Eilyn, Clan Mother. The way Highly Skilled usually wins is through large, Lifesteal, Flying units, and fortunately, Mono J is very good at both combating these, and also fielding its own Flying, Lifesteal units. West, On the Trail is probably one of your best 2-drops in this matchup, and a 3 / 5 Flying, Endurance unit for 2 is often worth playing without waiting to contract even though this deck will probably have targets for it. Most of this deck's units are very good in this matchup.

Labyrinth Treasure: Units cost 1 less. Mono J is primarily comprised of units, so this is stipulation benefits this deck pretty heavily. Labyrinth Treasury plays some really beefy units though, and can overpower a lot of decks if the game goes long. Labyrinth Treasury has a lot to look out for, Desert Marshal and Scorpion Wasp for Ambush units, Desert Marshal and Valkyrie Enforcer for Silence effects, Predatory Carnosaur as removal, and Knight-Chancellor Siraf and Marisen, the Eldest if the game goes long. Due to the inclusion of several overstat’d units, the ground tends to bog down quickly, and you will most likely end up needing to win in the air. Between Silences, Scorpion Wasp, and Sandstorm Titan this can be easier said than done. This is another matchup where Pristine Light shines, both as an answer to multiple large units, and also as a means of handling multiple Sandstorm Titans. West, On the Trail is guaranteed to have good targets in this matchup, and it is usually best to hold him until you can afford to use his contract. If the ground stalls, Justice Sketch can go a long way toward winning this matchup.

Limitless Possibilities: When a unit is drawn it gets a random skill. This boss stipulation is one that Mono J, with its heavy unit density, takes advantage of well, and you should be looking for a unit-heavy opening hand. Be wary of Ambush units. If they have a handful of cards and they’ve passed with all of their power still available, you should probably expect to be ambushed. Sometimes you can be certain because they will have passed with open power when they could have played a copy of an Echo card which you know they are holding.

Mindless Aggression: Units have Charge. This is one of the scarier bosses is gauntlet, and I will usually play very defensively against it. Racing tends to be dangerous and is more difficult if you’re leaving back blockers for Infiltrate units. Fortunately your Endurance units get to play offensive and defense simultaneously while also dodging Execute. Your goal is mainly to survive and then mop up after. The Lifesteal from Ghostblade Outcast is an excellent tool for stabilizing your health, but watch out for Annihilate and Torch. Set yourself up to avoid losing to Umbren Reaper, Shogun of the Wastes, Argenport Ringmaster, and Steelbound Dragon. Wind Conjuring and General Fiera are some of your better market options in this matchup.

Power of Progress: Players can play an extra power card each turn. Mono J isn’t really a deck that takes advantage of this stipulation particularly well. Fortunately, this is another matchup where Pristine Light is game-breaking. Market access goes a long way toward winning, and I will prioritize it when redrawing. Mystic Ascendant is the scariest card in their deck, and things will quickly get out of control if you can’t answer it. Fortunately, the inclusion of West, On the Trail gives you even more answers to their critical units. One saving grace in this matchup is that the AI will always play out as much power as it can. As a result, they will often be running low on power cards by the time they play their more expensive Empower units. This also means that once they’ve run out of cards, you no longer need to worry about them playing an Empower unit and power on the same turn.

Sibling Rivalry: The first time a player reaches 5 influence of a faction, play that faction’s scion. This is a great matchup for Mono J as all of its power generates the same type of influence. Pristine Light and Manacles are both excellent answers to the opposing scion, and West, On the Trail can serve as an emergency backup. Ideally, you will want to be casting Pristine Light BEFORE your scion has come out. This is usually a pretty easy matchup, but I will specifically look for market access in order to avoid losing to an opposing scion showing up as early as turn 2. Power heavy hands are also better against this deck since you are greatly rewarded for playing your fifth.

Sudden Death: Units have Double Damage. The true boogeyman of gauntlet, and the bane of many slower decks. Once again though, Mono J is basically the best deck for combating boss shenanigans, and I genuinely believe this matchup is heavily in Mono J’s favor. While the games do tend to feel close, I can’t actually recall the last time I lost this matchup. Mono J has a lot of things going for it here, the combination of which is basically impossible to find elsewhere. To start, all of your power should be undepleted, and you will never be color screwed. This is something which can’t be said about ANY two color deck, and is incredibly important against a boss that can absolutely DESTROY you if you stumble on power. The next thing Mono J has going for it is its extremely streamlined curve, including eight highly relevant one-drops. Ghostblade Outcast and Shen-Ra, Unbreakable are both incredible first turn plays in this matchup, and with some additional support can basically carry the game. Mono J also has access to quite a bit of Lifesteal, which makes it much easier to race or outright stabilize. Access to Flying units and Silence also helps to mitigate how much damage you take from non-combat sources like Ticking Grenadin and Umbren Reaper. I redraw very aggressively in this matchup, looking for Ghostblade, Shen’Ra, Steyer’s Eyes, Kira, and Unseen Commando. This is one of the few matchups where market access is actually a secondary concern. Your first priority is to avoid dying in the first four turns, which leaves very little margin to be taking trips to the market with cards like Winchest Merchant or Justice Etchings. This can be an extremely punishing matchup so it’s important to both set yourself up for success and to play tightly.

So yeah... Mono J is basically a perfect storm of upsides that other decks difficulty competing with. It sidesteps the power issues inherent to dual-faction decks without really sacrificing its card quality. All of its power is effectively undepleted, it doesn’t get color screwed, it has an incredibly low curve that tops at 3, it has access to 33 power sources, and it has flood mitigation. The streamlined curve means it doesn’t easily get run over, while Pristine Light and Justice Sketch allow it to come out on top in longer games. Mono J isn't lacking for Lifesteal or Flying, two of the best battle skills in gauntlet. With very favorable matchups against all ten of the high MMR gauntlet bosses, Mono J is pretty much the best bet for quickly clearing a run. The reward difference between a 6 and 7-win gauntlet run is almost 50%, which means that consistency is a huge factor when it comes to farming gold, and well-piloted Mono J is about as consistent and fast as you can feasibly get.

Admittedly, piloting this deck does mean a lot of decision making, especially concerning power mitigation and market choices. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, as once you’ve hit 3 power, every card in your hand becomes a potential play. Mono J’s high flyer count means it is good at winning in the air, which tends to result in quick games. After my initial 37-run streak prior to the release of Cold Hunt, I did another 28-run set with my updated version for comparison. I timed each run, and went 27-1. My one loss came in the 22nd run against Dragon’s Den after they literally played 20 attack worth of units by turn 3. Despite such a monstrous start, the game was still salvageable if not for a hastily made and catastrophic misplay on my part. Between the deck, myself, and my opponent, I would say the deck deserves the least of the blame for that one.

So let’s talk numbers. Using my original sample data, the average time it took me to complete a 7-win run was 19 minutes and 41 seconds. After factoring in my failed run, this resulted in a GPM (gold per minute) rate of 40.08. My average game lasted less than 3 minutes, which is comparable to some of the more aggressive gauntlet decks I’ve seen which have noticeably lower win rates. These times were, however, a product of playing very quickly.

My results are essentially the upper limit of both speed and win rate possible with this deck and are probably pretty close to a theoretical maximum. That being said, it would be unrealistic to expect the same results if you are new to piloting the deck. What you should expect is one of the most powerfully consistent decks which rewards experience, of knowing this deck, as well as knowing your the opponent’s. As your familiarity increases, so too should your speed and win rate. Balance changes have taken a toll, but the deck is still very good. Ultimately, Mono J can effectively hit the upper limit for consistency without being too far from the realistic boundary for speed. If you like gold and winning, and you’re willing to put in the time to learn the deck, then I can not recommend this deck enough. Good luck, and good grinding!

-ItsTenz

Details

Shiftstone Cost
Does not include campaign cost
44,900

Premium Cost
228,800

Influence Requirements
2

Power Sources
25

Power Calculator
Shiftstoned Icon View Deck on Shiftstoned

Deck Rarities
8 13 27 4 11

Card Types
43 1 10 1 25

Contains Cards From Campaigns
Stormbreak [Set1107]
Hour of Glass [Set1115]

Archetype
Unknown

Updated
December 15, 2023

Added
December 4, 2021

Views
19,527

Eternal Version
Battle Lines

BBCode For Comments

Deck URL

Revisions (Since last major patch) December 5, 2023


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Comments

StandardFiend Eternal Version: 24.01.31
It's a good deck, and it's pretty easy to learn, but the fact is I still can't get through 2 gauntlets in a row without the AI royally screwing me. And I don't mean I'm getting outplayed with average draws (because an "average" draw for this deck is still pretty damn good), I mean the AI is topdecking like Gabriel Nassif at Worlds every turn. It just happens way too frequently.

I don't understand how you were able to go 37-0, other than by some astronomical luck.
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 24.01.31
The deck was a bit better prior to the Crescendo nerf but it is still very strong and pretty fast overall. I managed a 31 run streak with the list that was posted at the time of your comment, and as an archetype, it was not uncommon for me to have 20+ run streaks with various iterations of Mono J over the years. A big part of getting those kind of results is seeing the opponent name, knowing what your best game plan will be, and knowing which cards of theirs you need to play around. The deck was built with very little tolerance for error to help lower the curve and make it less susceptible to power issues and getting run over early. I think that the most common issues I see are people not mulliganing pretty average hands or prioritizing their market pulls properly.

Don't get me wrong, across a sample size of literally hundreds of games luck will also sometimes be a factor for both sides, but I wouldn't consider the amount required for such a feat to be, "astronomical". I haven't been playing a lot lately, but if you're interested in some pointers, want to watch me play the deck, or want me to watch you play it, feel free to add me in game.
StandardFiend Eternal Version: 24.01.31
Appreciate the reply.

I'll keep playing it and see how it averages out. I seem to have exceptionally bad luck in Gauntlet, like really on the wrong side of average over a significant amount of time, and I'm not saying that it in any way reflects the quality of your deck.

I would definitely like to watch you do a run or two though, maybe that will give me some insight into lines I'm not taking that can turn seemingly cheating AI draws into something manageable. Request sent.
241ackerman Eternal Version: 24.01.31
Still one of the strongest decks in the format, would recommend trick shot ruffian for that last market spot though, card slaps even post nerf
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 24.01.31
I'm not sure that Ruffian necessarily fulfills a role that this deck needs, but I could see it filling one that it wants. Tower is by far the card which I find myself pulling the least, but it's also there for grindier games. I suspect that Ruffian probably would make the deck win slightly less, but slightly faster, so it might make the gold grinding rate go up overall. Now that I've cut Crescendo, it's probably worth trying it out.
241ackerman Eternal Version: 24.01.31
I can see that, I’ve actually started playing primal splash for crafty and replacing the tower with market palace, honestly feels a lot better imo, dropped the amplify lands, but they’re both pretty mid anyway
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 24.01.31
Rune is pretty mid but I find myself winning with Sketch like 1-3 games per run these days. I feel like I would miss it immensely. I'm sure Crafty would be pretty insane in the deck in general, and I can Imagine some other primal cards like Permafrost or Hooru Pacifier also being pretty reasonable. I know that I have very much missed Sketches the times I have tried splashing another color though because I found myself flooding significantly more without the utility powers. At the point where I was trying to support a second color, I could also no longer guarantee that Sketches were reliably undepleted too.
241ackerman Edited Eternal Version: 24.01.31
I think if you want it x15 duals x2 sketch x8 sigil is very viable

Edit: pacifier I would avoid bc it shuts down exalted from outcast, which has been awesome in my experience.
Random_7945 Eternal Version: 23.12.06
Do you think Scalesworn Patrol will go in the deck?
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 23.12.06
Short answer: No.

Long answer: I know some people will put it in the deck, but having played with the card when it was first released as well as immediately before I updated my list, I strongly believe that it is worse than the other 3 drops. The inscribe on the card is generally irrelevant because this deck's power is already quite good. I also found that Patrol resulted in a lot of awkward feeling turns where I was playing a 3/2 naked turn 3, wasting power turn 4, or just not having power to proc it (especially the games I was stuck on 3 or 4 power). If you really want to play Patrol, you can potentially justify its inclusion over Winchest Merchant, but my only loss with the updated version of the list in 22 runs owed heavily to never drawing market access. I personally believe that the other 3's offer more turn 3-4, while Merchant offers more flexibility and power in the later game.

I doubt that anyone playing Patrol will outright hate it; it's not a bad card by any means. This deck just has a lot of competition for 3-cost cards and I think that Patrol falls short of the other options.
Sabrewulf81 Eternal Version: 23.12.06
Welcome back Green is good! Now is very Good!
TheLegacy Eternal Version: 23.12.06
Helena buff 12/6/23. Green is good rejoices!
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 23.12.06
Even more so actually as I had put her back in the deck 2 days before that. xD
Bloodystr1ker Eternal Version: 23.10.20
This is a GREAT gauntlet grinder! Thanks for sharing and constructing this deck. I do LOVE gold. ;)
Lynk1193 Eternal Version: 23.10.20
First off, let me state. I am not a fan of Mono decks! However, the Win Percentage of this deck for a Gauntlet deck is amazing! Especially at the master level.
I am recently new to the game but have been diving in pretty hard. Still learning the basics of building a deck myself. I would love to see you update this for Battle Lines, some of the new Opponents in the master level, are just demolishing this deck by like turn 4-5 sometimes even on a good mulligan draw.
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 23.12.06
Sorry for the late reply, but I have recently updated the list for Battle Lines after some testing and the deck is performing VERY well again for me. Feel free to add me in game if you have questions or just want to see me play it.
Sabrewulf81 Edited Eternal Version: 23.08.17
I wanna build this deck?Is it still good to make gauntlet? Thanks in advance
GrandTali Eternal Version: 23.05.24
I have made your deck when you first posted it but I haven't given it a lot of time... until now! It has at least an 80% win rate at the moment and overall it is a super fun deck!!! You sir have created a monster!!!!
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 23.05.24
The Helena double nerf hit the deck pretty hard. I will fondly remember the days of curving Kira into Helena and having a 5/7 and 3/4 flying, endurance unit on turn 3. Not only did that win A LOT but it also did so very fast and often required little other support. The Crescendo nerf Is also felt pretty strongly, though it manifests more as a lack of speed than power. I am glad that you enjoy the deck.
detrickster Eternal Version: 23.05.10
I replaced Varret, Hero-in-Training with Hojan, Beloved Son right off the bar, and it seems to be a great solution to voidking's concern of "running out of gas" as well as adding some extra power options from inscribe. What are your thoughts?
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 23.05.10
I think that Varret helps a lot against more aggressive opponents as the 2/3 body is very good against most early units. It also scales pretty well if you can flip it. Like a lot of the deck is designed to be cheap cards which still scale well if the game goes longer. Varret does this in a way that Hojan doesn't. I don't really value the inscribe highly because the deck rarely struggles to hit 3 power, and a lot of the time you are trying to stop at 4 power anyway with etchings, eyes, and crescendo.

I should also point out that this is not just a hypothetical opinion, I had actually tried Hojan at one point. It was in a different slot, possibly replacing Helena after her second nerf and I just wasn't really that impressed by the card in the deck. I almost never have issues running out of resources with the deck either so I don't particularly view that as an actual concern if you're playing the deck optimally. Like replacing one unit with another won't even necessarily make you better against removal heavy decks, but putting hojan in that spot will definitely make you worse against the more aggressive decks.

While I think that the issue of running out of resources is usually something you can mitigate through mulligans, tight play, and good marketing choices, I don't think that Hojan would even be my first choice to combat that. I would probably choose something like Sediti or Fort Smasher.
metaBrook Eternal Version: 23.03.08
Hey Tenz, I look at this list fairly often and I notice that Tower is gone from the deck completely. Maybe that's the right call, but I'm shocked to see that someone as meticulous as you would leave that out of the write up! Please share your thoughts about what predicated this huge change.

P.S. There are some haters here. they are being jerks and I'm impressed by your dedication to reasoned dialogue.
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 23.03.08
I removed Tower quite awhile ago after having it die a bit too often against Midnight Storm playing back to back Black-Sky Harbingers or Burn Scars killing it when the 1/1 valkyries died to Yetipult. There has basically always been one slot in the market that was significantly less utilized than the other four, and I have cycled through several reasonable replacements since I originally posted the deck. I think that when I have made updates I really only mention what I previously had in that spot, and with Tower being removed like, four cards ago? I haven't bothered to continue referencing it. I imagine the card is still perfectly reasonable if you wish to play it.

Nerfs have taken their toll on the deck, but clearing runs is still pretty easy imo. Since posting my Behemoths of Thera update I did a 19 run streak with Monarch Cloak in that spot before dying to power screw in a game where I suspect Equalize would have been able to stabilize me at the end. There have been games where I missed Equalize for the strength and uniqueness of the effect, but it is also pretty infrequently desired. Of all the various cards I have tested in the market flex slot, Monarch Cloak is probably the card that I have pulled the most as it is proactive and fairly good when you are ahead, even, or slightly behind.

Ultimately, no card has performed so amazingly in that slot that I believe there to be a clear winner. I recommend picking one of the options that suits you, and potentially try something different if you're not happy with what you've got there.

As far as discussion goes, I am generally happy to engage with logical debate and I think people are typically cordial. This isn't really my best deck anymore, and the nerfs did decrease the amount I enjoy playing it. That being said, I am still happy to demonstrate what it can do for anyone interested, and I don't see much reason to not continue to hear out other card suggestions as well.
VoidKing Edited Eternal Version: 23.02.08
I mean no disrespect here, but I feel it necessary to save others wasted time/possible resources. This deck does have some decent interaction, but to say that it won 264 games in a row is just... well, let's just say I most certainly do not believe you.

The only thing this deck seems to do really well, at all, is run out of gas. I strongly encourage keeping 1 land hands, as doing that and drawing into 1 or 2 (max) more lands is the only way you'll be able to barely push through a win. And if the Gauntlet has removal... forget about it.

Kudos for your efforts, but the best Gauntlet deck is definitely a particular version on mono white that I have. This deck doesn't even remotely come close to how good that deck is at Gauntlet, and even I wouldn't pretend it won 264 games in a row.

This deck would be lucky to even make it to a Gauntlet boss, let alone beat it.

On the plus side, though, it is relatively cheap to build, so there's that. I didn't have to spend a single shift stone to try it.
detrickster Eternal Version: 23.05.10
Not sure where your skepticism comes from. Have you actually tried it? I am currently on my 5th consecutive completed gauntlet without a loss after discovering this today... If you didn't have the same success as OP and myself, it's possible you are doing really stupid stuff like.... starting with only 1 power, lol. Never heard of something so ridiculous. I did make one change and I think it addresses your concern of the deck running out of gas. Hojan Beloved Son is a great addition, as it gives it a mid-game boost as well as the inscribe ability if the power cards aren't coming. I just turned a few of the 4-of-a-kinds into 3-of-a-kindsl to make room.
VoidKing Edited Eternal Version: 23.05.24
My skepticism comes from results. I have grinded the gauntlet for over 10 years. It's a bit ridiculous for you to think I would make this comment without having tried it, but I understand some people probably do, do that.

Trust me this is and always was garbage for gauntlet. I know this is an extremely late response. My apologies for that.
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 23.05.24
Eternal hasn't even existed for 10 years. It's a bit ridiculous for you to make this comment. PERIOD.
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 23.02.08
I mean, I don't particularly care if you believe my results or not since the game gives me the rewards for beating the bosses regardless. I've demonstrated the deck's capabilities to others, and at this point several people have been able to achieve success with it. I mean, maybe you're not very observant, but there are several such people that have commented to that effect here. Your lack of success strikes me as a reflection on your (in)ability to pilot the deck properly more so than the deck itself. Complaining about running out of gas and recommending that people keep 1 power hands only further serves to reinforce that. And for the record, this is not even my highest win rate gauntlet deck anymore.

P.S. - Still waiting to see that amazing Hooru control deck you mentioned a year ago.
VoidKing Edited Eternal Version: 23.05.24
P.S. I'm sure you would like to see it. Though it's not the best at gauntlet.

I would never share it with you. You need to get over that. I don't know how to put this any clearer: The hooru deck is good for a control deck against gauntlet, however, we all know that control isn't the way to approach gauntlet in the first place, so it's nice to have an option that can actually always (almost) win it. If you're the type of person who enjoys playing control and also likes playing gauntlet, this is the best.

Is that spelled out enough for you this time? Should we go back to grad school so we can relearn English words? What do you want from me?

This deck is extremely sucky. I'm sorry. I didn't build it. Blame yourself. Don't get mad at me because I pointed it out.

Next you're going to tell me of my lack of success... I don't play online vs. people. I just like('d) playing gauntlet. My white deck still stands as the best gauntlet deck ever built. No I'm not sharing that with you either. Get over it. Your next move is to say that I am shitty at playing real people, then my response is going to be that I have played real people (not online, cause that's pretty lame, let's face it), but in real life. I was 2nd place in states in 2006 in Oklahoma for MTG. NOW you're next response is to get offended that (you think) I've compared Magic to Eternal, in which case I'll be forced (of course) to correct you and say that these games do have similarities, though that's not the point.

Ya deck sucks and always did at gauntlet. Sorry to be truthful.

P.S. I'm sorry this post is so old and I'm just now responding to it. The game got boring because they always ban shit that's fun to play with, and that undermines the one thing a video game is supposed to do (be fun). I lost interest.
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 23.05.24
First off, there seems to be some confusion on your part. You are responding to something you already responded to months ago. Maybe you thought that I viewed your last comment to me as something worth responding to. I didn't. You are acting like I'm obsessed with your decks when you are the one responding twice to the the same post months apart as though i just made it. Is THAT spelled out for you? Should YOU go back to GRADE school?

I initially stopped responding because someone had pointed out your post history that made you seem... completely unhinged. Reading your further comments has really only reinforced that. Basically, everything you said predicting my counterpoints was so far off target it is actually mind-boggling. It's like you're tilting at windmills, but the windmills aren't real either.

I have zero desire to see your decks. The fact that you seem to be under this delusion is... delusional? My point was always that your claims of greatness were backed by... nothing. That you were unwilling to subject them to the most minimal form of scrutiny. Not only that, but you also said this.

"This deck (my green deck) doesn't even remotely come close to how good that deck (your time deck) is at Gauntlet, and even I wouldn't pretend it won 264 games in a row."

That bit right there was the metric by which I know that your deck is not, "the best". Is it good? Probably? It's not really that difficult to build a serviceable monotime gauntlet grinder, people post them here pretty frequently. It's impossible to judge though since no one has seen it. Again, to be very clear, I'm not saying that I have any desire to, just pointing out your fear of scrutiny. I find it amusing that you claim your deck is, "the best" without even being able to match or exceed my results. Logic dictates that the deck that performs worse (yours), is not the better of the two, much less, "the best". I mean, I suppose I shouldn't be shocked by your ability to overlook simple logic when you were also willing to overlook the sea of otherwise positive comments extolling just how much success people have had with the deck.

"Next you're going to tell me of my lack of success... I don't play online vs. people. I just like('d) playing gauntlet. My white deck still stands as the best gauntlet deck ever built. No I'm not sharing that with you either. Get over it. Your next move is to say that I am shitty at playing real people, then my response is going to be that I have played real people (not online, cause that's pretty lame, let's face it), but in real life."

Your only level of success I know is what you have claimed, or in this case, weren't willing to claim (mine). Whether or not you play against people has zero bearing on gauntlet, the fact that you'd think I would point this out is nonsensical. I don't know why you'd assume that another person would connect these two things.

While on the subject of things unrelated, you said this,

"I was 2nd place in states in 2006 in Oklahoma for MTG. NOW you're next response is to get offended that (you think) I've compared Magic to Eternal, in which case I'll be forced (of course) to correct you and say that these games do have similarities, though that's not the point."

Since you brought this up, I'll be forced (of course) to correct you and say that, this was the only thing you got remotely close. I mean, you made multiple incorrect assumptions to get to this point, so your prediction that I would not see your third assumption as particularly relevant was... less than prophetic. I'm not offended that you've compared Magic and Eternal. Why would I be? The games have obvious similarities, and it's not like there is any mystery as to why. This is not a secret. But yes, I don't find your "success" in Magic to be particularly relevant to playing gauntlet in Eternal, or particularly successful in Magic either. I doubt that I would be alone in thinking this.

Yeah, "success" is in quotes for a reason. You brought up Magic states in the other post history I was shown, and that post was already like 5 years old when I saw it. I dunno, I'm genuinely not trying to be mean here, but this is just... sad. The fact that you are continuing to use your performance in an inconsequential event, in a different game, from almost two decades ago to prop up your side in internet discourse is just... unfathomably sad.

Finishing second place in Magic states 17 years ago is NOT the relevant accomplishment that you seem to think it is. I sincerely hope you don't go around telling people this offline. Magic States is NOT some pinnacle of competitive play. On a more personal level, this part actually made me laugh. I've played in three Magic States tournaments in my life. It just so happens that my very first was in 2006, which I won with a pile of cards I spent the night throwing together instead of sleeping. I also finished second place in the third one I played. I don't brag about it, or really bring it up at all for that matter. It's not out of some virtuous sense of humility either, it's because it would impress NO ONE. I'm sure a few people know that I won many years ago, but I doubt anyone even remembers my second place finish. I look back at those events fondly and remember how exciting it felt at the time, but in the greater scheme of things, it was so long ago that it's just not relevant to anything anymore. If I were to try to validate my Eternal gauntlet prowess, or even my Magic ability for that matter, using my past performance at Magic states, I would be viewed as an irrelevant laughingstock.

What is relevant, however, is all of the consistent results myself and others have had with this deck. YOUR inability to replicate OUR results is just that; YOUR inability. I don't see people dunking basketballs and think that dunking is literally impossible because I can't do it. I mean, I used to be pretty decent at local soccer two decades ago, if I can't do it, who possibly could? I can't, so it must be impossible. Surely, it couldn't be some failing or lack of ability on my part!?

This is basically how you come across.

If you are playing this deck with the same lack of logic and predictive capabilities that you have brought to this discussion, then it's really not that hard to see why you couldn't achieve good results.
VoidKing Eternal Version: 23.02.08
Getting offended doesn't make you any less wrong. I was just wanting to save anyone else the wasted shiftstone. And the Hoolu Control deck is still really good, actually, not as good as the mono white, but both shatter the hell out of this pile of garbage.

Blame it on my piloting capabilities if that keeps your delusion. I don't care. I have plenty of success and pilot just fine with decks that don't suck ass.
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 23.02.08
I'm more amused than anything. If i thought your comments were particularly offensive I'd have simply deleted or ignored them.

Allow me to recap the situation:
1. I have made claims about the capabilities of a deck.
2. I have demonstrated these capabilities to others on NUMEROUS occasions.
3. Several other people have been able to achieve similar levels of success.
4. You challenge these claims because YOU haven't been able to replicate them when the primary variable is YOUR ability to pilot the deck.
5. You make claims about your decks but are unwilling to subject them to the most minimal form of scrutiny.

If you want anyone to think that your perspective is even remotely credible, start by posting your decks. Feel free to also demonstrate their efficacy to third parties. Time your runs. Have others replicate your results. You claim to have the best gauntlet deck, while also acknowledging that it performs worse than what I have claimed. So you say that I'm not credible. I have been happy to demonstrate the deck's capabilities to others at their request. You have been unwilling to post a single decklist.

People can draw their own conclusions about credibility from that.
VoidKing Edited Eternal Version: 23.02.08
Yep, I did draw my own conclusions and credibility from playing your deck. It sucks. I'm sorry you think it's good. I proved it by seeing nothing but underwhelming results. I've been smashing Gauntlet since long before you've played the game. My gauntlet decks probably have spoiled me, so when I see a mediocre deck like yours trying to boast that it's the greatest, I'm just not impressed and I feel I should say something to the part of the community that may not know better than to just take the word of some noobie who's just trying to stroke his own ego. I'm sorry.

And yes, I will not post a deck list. That's correct. I gain nothing by sharing them.

By all means, anyone in the community that wants to run out of things to do, have two sub-optimal units, and nothing in hand by turn 4 while your opponent is still sitting on a mountain of cards and even more board position, feel free to play this deck, but don't say I didn't warn you.

AGAIN, I was just trying to save other people's shiftstone so they didn't waste it on this pile of shit you seem to have gone all in for (for some mind boggling reason). Some of us actually want to win. In short, you can "think" what you think, and I'll "know" what I know. It's as simple as that.

I guess my standards when it comes to Gauntlet decks are just much higher than yours.
Somnambulist Edited Eternal Version: 23.02.08
It does take a little time to get used to how this deck is played, but beyond that, it is still one of the best Gauntlet decks I've run--Tenz Stonescar deck I just started running today, and has been more reliable for wins, but has a longer play time. In the end that deck is better. Feel free to share this mono white deck you're referring to though. I still regularly crush bosses with this deck, even though it hasn't yet been updated for the new release.

Edit: for comparison to the other Tenz deck.
VoidKing Edited Eternal Version: 23.02.08
I appreciate the honest response. I'm sure I'm not piloting to 100% efficiency like a veteran of the deck who's played it nonstop, don't get me wrong, but I swear that can't possibly account for how many bad hands this deck is liable to draw on top of simply running out of gas like, almost, nothing I've ever seen.

I've got nothing against it on an intrinsic level, nor do I have any problem with Its Tenz. Why would I? I wanted it to be good. I mean, if you're super lucky, the deck can definitely explode, AND I acknowledge that when it wins, it wins fast. That is not, at all, negligible when considering farming for coins in gauntlet (which is why, as good as the Hooru control deck I have is, that Its Tenz mentioned, while great at win/loss ratio is too slow to really farm with. It's a control deck, after all. But it's fun from time to time).

Also, I do want to state that I acknowledge that this deck seems very good against bosses, in particular, which is a definite plus, but you still have to get to them.

As for the mono white deck I mentioned, I literally just beat the gauntlet again for fun. Sometimes I wonder if it CAN lose (though, of course, I know it can). I am not going to boast 264 wins in a row or anything 'cause I haven't been counting, but I, honestly, can't remember the last time it has lost to a single gauntlet match, boss or otherwise. It's probably been a year since it lost, though I don't spam the gauntlet over and over. Save for, maybe a few months, spread out, over a year, I'll generally play the gauntlet a couple of times a day.

But, aggro is not a great format for Eternal. It requires too much "perfect" draw right from the get-go. The only aggro deck I ever trusted was the Alessi deck with Creation Project before they nerfed it. That deck was broken, to be fair, but I hated that nerf.

I've been playing Gauntlet on the regular since 2017. I know how to pilot. And, I'd be happy to share the mono white deck with you, but I'm afraid of Eternal recognizing "too good" a Gauntlet deck and subsequently nerfing it. If I knew you better, I would. Maybe I could screen share the deck with you one day, then you could see for yourself if I'm full of shit or not.

Anyway, I appreciate your cordial reply.
Somnambulist Eternal Version: 23.02.08
I'd really like to see it, if you ever felt up to sharing in any context. Doesn't have to be on here. I've been playing off an on for the last five years or so, but wouldn't say I'm great at building--though I think I'm pretty good at piloting. I do think this Green deck needs a minor update, but I'm still winning about 90% of the runs I make with it.
VoidKing Edited Eternal Version: 23.02.08
I don't know why you didnt' email me when the window of opportunity was open, but I just played the gauntlet again with mono white, and it was insufferably bad at giving me crap hands while it gave itself the nuts! But you know what? I still went all the way and beat the boss. I swear this mono white deck is the gauntlet's worst fucking nightmare!
Comment Deleted
Somnambulist Edited Eternal Version: 23.02.08
I'm thinking the new Monarch Cloak might be worth replacing Wind Conjuring or Manacles
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 23.02.08
Yeah... so I'll be honest and say that I often don't feel like playing the chapter missions as soon as they come out and since I rarely close the client I don't always remember that I haven't completed the mission if I'm not actively wanting to play with the card. This happened with Nom Nom and with the delay I haven't had a chance to acquire cloak yet. The card looks very good, but I'd probably replace the Equalize slot if anything or try to play it main deck. One of the big boosts that the card has to offer is the redundancy that it can give to a card like Tinker Unionist, which could then be used to farm enemy units with its taunt, though I would not be surprised if that line of building would end up better in a rakano shell.
Somnambulist Edited Eternal Version: 23.02.08
That does make more sense, as Equalize is always a last-ditch usage. I also think you're right on about Tinker+Monarch Cloak, it would work great, but not in this deck, since it already excels at tricking the AI into giving up units with fast buffs. I also usually win well before the power spike where that unleash would really get nasty.
Candy Eternal Version: 23.01.25
I was looking at cards like Call of Freedom from Thera that might be a great help for getting cards like Kira, the Prodigy
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 23.02.08
I tried Call of Freedom and it wasn't particularly noteworthy. I think that the nerf to Fearless Crescendo makes the market a lot clunkier in general and Call doesn't synergize particularly well outside of its interaction with Kira and Ghostblade Outcast. I think that for the most part the deck can fulfill most of Call's function through either Wind Conjuring or Tarra.
Mnasyllus Eternal Version: 22.12.09
I'm a new player and want to thank you for such an insightful write up. I've seen a fair few deck lists with NOTHING written... even as a veteran MTG player, a deck list with no write up is wasted time (and space) IMO.

I greatly appreciate you sharing the effort you put into choosing each card.

Even if I don't craft your decks, definitely be looking em up for your Eternal insights! Thanks!!
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 22.12.09
I get that not everyone wants to read a huge article about a deck and I went in with my eyes wide open to that fact. I mean, i get it, doing write ups, especially if you're posting frequently can become a pretty big commitment. The way I saw it was, this was a writing project which I enjoyed doing for its own sake. I wasn't really that invested in people having to read what I wrote though. At the same time, I do feel as though there is a real lack of written material pertaining to the game and so I figured I would provide more for those that were interested.
Furious_George Edited Eternal Version: 22.10.12
I built and ran this a fair few times just recently.

I had spent a lot of time theorycrafting what the best gauntlet decks would have to look like buildwise, and as soon as I saw this list I knew it was going to be a sublime monster of craft.

I just wanted to congratulate you on building such an exemplar of efficiency, it is a really impressive piece of work.

You made excellent arguments for the pure sigil power base, and against adding 4x stuff like the warp power or the charts.

I would like to suggest that picking one of these bonus types of power, probably charts, and adding just a single copy, gets you the bonus of an occasional power draw while avoiding the downsides you argued against.

You could also put just a single or double copy of the warp power or the scout one, or the one that gives a 4/1, depending on what you think gives the best bonus, I personally think its probably charts with the 4/1 or the warp power as a runner up. The key is making sure to keep it to only a single or double at most, which avoids the problem draws almost entirely, especially if you keep it to the one.

So yeah, really hard to improve on perfection, but if you dont get carried away, -1 sigil +1 star charts i think gives you a significant upgrade
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 22.10.12
There is a slightly lesser issue which I have seen when including one or two copies of Seal of Devotion, Having fewer copies in your deck means you naturally draw it less, so you see the card less, and in turn are thinking about it less. i have witnessed a pattern where people play less than 4 copies, and become more forgetful of its inclusion, causing them to miss out on the benefits. Missing warp when you're playing too quickly is very very real though. While trying to play at maximum speed, if you're holding a Sigil, then ideally your focus is on absorbing what card you draw for your turn as you autopilot playing that power. It ends up being a lot to track if you are also trying to remain vigilant to the top of your deck. Even if you could manage this perfectly, i think it would probably require enough extra focus that it would become draining to both your efficiency and your gameplay experience.

As to the real heart of the matter though. This deck does not want factionless power. I understand the temptation. It may seem like it comes with little risk. However, I think that this is a risk which is easy to misjudge. Market access is pivotal in many matchups. Justice Etchings is an important part of that equation. This deck often does not draw more than four power, and in every game where one of those powers is factionless, Justice Etchings no longer functions as market access. Even in games where you draw more than four power, if youve played a factionless power during the first four turns, you are still setting yourself back in how quickly you can access your market.

Let's analyze the potential rewards. In roughly half of the games, the ones where you are going first, Star Charts is a strict downside for its inclusion. When you draw it, it is worse than a Justice Sigil. This deck has an extremely streamlined curve. This means that even in the games where you are going second, unless you draw Star Charts early, which would greatly increase the odds of interference with Justice Etchings, the Power Burst is unlikely to have a relevant impact.

Sibling Rivalry is an opponent which I expect to play roughly 1 in 70 games. It is a boss where drawing a factionless power can be absolutely devastating. Justice Etchings is often critical to deal with an early scion or a bunch of large units. Additionally, factionless power likely delays you from summoning your own scion. I think the cost of including factionless power is potentially huge in this matchup. The reason that this matchup is so favorable owes heavily to two things that factionless power sabotages. Now this is probably one of the most extreme examples, but there will certainly be plenty of other situations where factionless power ends up being a detriment to Justice Etchings or Trickshot Ruffian. And here's the thing, you can have a really high game win rate with the deck, like 99%+. In order to justify Star Charts inclusion you'd want the following to be true:

1. You are on the draw.
2. You probably need to draw it early.
3. You need it to not interfere with Justice Etchings if market access is critical.
4. You need it to actually win a game you would otherwise have lost.

I think that if you account for those factors, you will find yourself with a very tiny fraction of a percent where you actually want the card. I suspect that the amount of games it will cost you will probably increase by a factor of multiples. In fact, in the time I took to respond to this post, you could probably have played enough games with the card to come to a similar conclusion as what I just discussed. But these are the primary reasons as to why I view factionless power as anathema for how this deck should be built.
Furious_George Edited Eternal Version: 22.10.12
Thanks for the reply, you state your case very well. I am sure you have played the deck far more than I have as well. I just have never had any games where the singleton caused me any kind of problem, it has never made me mulligan something or caused me to not be able to make a play, or even throw me off a single damage from the one drop buff guy, and i have had numerous draws where the free power burst made a large difference.

The throwing off market possibly for the one turn seems like the most legitimate complaint, and again a very small potential problem weighed vs a very small upside. I will keep an eye out for this the more i play with the deck, and maybe someday down the road i will decide it isnt worth it. As of now i have not had it come up at all yet.

Even in the small number of games where you both draw the charts and won't win without the earliest possible market access from etchings you still have draws with eyes where you can change either the burst or the charts itself over into the fourth justice, so even in those exact situations you still can use the deck to work around circumstances that amount of the time, so the number of games where the charts loses you the game there still isnt even 100% of those games you draw charts in, only those games where you also don't draw eyes, and/or the games where you could only win with one of the other eyes activations, lol.

I am aware of the issues and i am actively waiting and watching to see how often they happen to me, but you also get a free lotus petal some non-zero number of games, and either for the extra mana or the extra card to use as market/steyer fodder, the upsides have massively outweighed the potential downsides for me so far.

I would love to be the guy who could do all the spreadsheet work and show the effect of either configuration. I have a very low sample size, but it includes 0 downside and a very small upside, so thats all i really have to work with, and I think that is probably telling, and not the result of some confirmation bias.

I suspect that the charts will contribute to more games won than lost, and even be so good as to be worth playing more than the one. But things get pretty complicated and my gut feeling is that just having one keeps the problems to a minimum, basically since I don't ever want to draw more than one, i don't think i should play more than one.

If you are still very interested in the deck and comments, how do you feel about this, a much larger change i made?

For detail, i wanted to try a number of cards in one slot or another, the list is so tight though that even after hours of thought i could only find two slots of wiggle room, -1 Fearless Crescendo and -1 West, On the Trail

I could not justify any other changes to myself, did not want to mess up the deck, what it does, how it runs, or the curve all too much.

These two I went with, you get slightly less market access, and slightly less large boy protection, but these two were among the only cards that i really do not want to draw and try to cast 4 of in a single game, both cards have diminishing returns, and drawing and casting 3-4 of either seems like a lost game, one for all the debt, and the other for all the wheel spinning.

Anyway with my two hard won slots i tried a number of things, but eventually settled on my favorite being 2x Kodosh's Stranger. It has the come into play warcry type buff, that also has the very minor increase to utility of casting the other stranger(s) afterwards, and it adds to the density of must deal with threats that convert one turn bonuses into permanent upgrades, like kira does on the card, or the mastery cards do functionally.

So a pre combat hour, trickshot, eyes buff, whatever all stick around due to the doubling effect, but it is also an extremely attractive target for flying/lifesteal or what have you. Like many of the other cards in the deck, flying, lifesteal, endurance will all contribute to the card getting out of hand very quickly if not immediately dealt with, and of course even when immediately dealt with you get the warcry type buff for your mana spent along with whatever it trades for.

It was so pleased with the card and how it was performing that i very quickly started wanted to draw it more than any other 3 drop, so i eventually took the plunge and trimmed commando and enforcer down to 3 each in order to fit the whole 4 of on stranger. It has led to many quick wins, and feels quite a bit like having kira 5-8 at 3cc. Even one turn of it hitting with a lifesteal buff before being removed has put many games away for me.

So my whole changes were:

-1 Justice Sigil +1 Star Charts
-1 West, On the Trail , -1 Fearless Crescendo, -1 Valkyrie Enforcer, -1 Unseen Commando, +4 Kodosh's Stranger

I realize this is a lot of change, but maybe you could try it out and let me know what you think, or tell me how you already tried it and its actually terrible vs some boss im not thinking of?

Again i am sure you have vastly many more games than me with this deck, but i cant help but want to try one thing or another even with as tight and tuned a product as this is.

The real thing you should be proud of is how few slots i could find to play with at all. I really could not find any besides crescendo and west, and then once i liked stranger so much, the only things i could cut for 2 more were some number of other creature 3 drops.

On a mana note dropping the -2 two drops to add +2 3s did smooth the mana curve out just the tiniest bit, but i would not want to alter it any more really, it was playing out its hand in a very satisfying fashion the majority of my games.

Anyway I would like to hear your thoughts, i think the deck is an excellent, superb, sublime piece of work even to start with, just such a beautiful list.

I have been very happy with my small changes, which is all that really matters, and i have played plenty of games with either configuration as well as the in between.

I want to thank you for the list, and all the time you spent on it, on the original writeup, and all the time spent to replying to this and all the other comments.

Thanks so much!
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 22.12.07
One of the issues with testing new cards in a gauntlet deck where you aren't expecting a large difference in results is that the sheer amount of time required to relevantly test a change is A LOT. This is especially true when dealing with sample sizes of dozens of runs. As a result, this means that most of these changes end up needing to be judged as a function of theorycrafting, as well as an intuitive feel for how the cards play. I do think that Star Charts does not make sense from a theorycrafting perspective, so i did proceed to play with it. Granted, this is only a small sample size, but it did feel like enough to get an idea of how it played. Here are my impressions:

In 3 runs I drew Star Charts 3 times. In only one of those games was I on the draw and actually drew a Power Burst. During that game I didnt even have a good opportunity to use it and it negatively impacted the bonus from my Trickshot Ruffian. In the other two games I neither received the Power Burst and it interfered with my access to undepleted Justice influence turn 1, and in one of those games it also decreased the effectiveness of Trickshot Ruffian. I did manage to win all three games, that being said, if I had been facing slightly faster opponents while being denied one or two power over the course of my first three turns I could have very easily lost two of them.

Admittedly, this was a small sample size. However, it didn't take much for me to have an overwhelmingly negative impression for the inclusion of Star Charts in this deck. The three times I drew it resulted in zero actual benefit, while it also felt detrimental to draw it. Every. Time. I feel confident in saying that when drawing Star Charts feels like a punishment, especially when that card doesn't make sense to me from a theorycrafting perspective, that its inclusion is incorrect.

Kodosh's Stranger was originally included in this deck and was very good. It allowed the deck to potentially win very quickly and I had excellent results with the card. Then they nerfed it. I told myself that the card was still good though because its offensive power hadn't been reduced and it could still win games just as quickly. I continued to play with the card after its nerf, filled with optimism that one of my favorite cards would still be quite good. Unfortuntely, I started dropping a lot more games and I came to realize that the nerf was the reason. One-health units are simply not reliable in gauntlet, there is just too much that incidentally kills them. The other big downside of the nerf was that as a 2/2, Kodosh's Stranger could attack as a 4/4 unaided, which allowed it to often swing into an opposing unit with impunity. However, as a 2/1 it only attacks as a 4/2, which means it trades with most units and can't attack unaided. The card just wasn't good enough anymore. I also find it a bit strange that you are actively advocating for the inclusion of Kodosh's Stranger while also advocating for removing one of the card's best enablers in Fearless Crescendo.

You mention that removing two of the 2-drops in favor of 3-drops smoothed the curve out. I do not see how removing a less expensive card for a more expensive one is likely to make draws anything but clunkier. Maybe I'm missing something, but you'll probably need to clarify that position. I suspect that trimming any copies of West, on the Trail is wrong though as it is often the best 2-drop in the deck, even just playing it out on turn 2.

My original goal with my write up was to demonstrate a very effective method of farming gauntlet in the hope that it might become more accessible and enjoyable to others. I knew that losing in gauntlet can be frustrating and was probably one of the biggest turn offs to some. Toward that end, I was seeking to maximize my win rate with the deck. If you enjoy the deck more with your changes then I am glad, but I do have reasons (both theorycrafted and tested) to believe that they will result in the deck being less stable and losing more often.
Furious_George Edited Eternal Version: 22.10.12
Addendum to all this too, I have been kind of underwhelmed with Tarra, Ever Loyal. If you hate my other changes, maybe try Kodosh's Stranger there in that slot insead?

Me I have loved it so much i want it t3 without worrying about market fiddling. I have still been trying pretty much every other 3 drop there you can think of, i have not loved anything yet. Currently trying scalesworn, been through lots of the other usual suspects. Too bad Furious Magniventris is alrdy kinda busted at 4, cause if he cost 3 im pretty sure that would do it for me. Or i wish Sediti, the Killing Steel cost 3 lol
Furious_George Eternal Version: 22.10.12
Other cards I am going to give a whirl here, but have not had the time to put in the games with include:

Brigade Hall
Endless Steps
Orene's Scepter
Fort Smasher

I think if smasher had flying/overwhelm or similar I would already be very happy with that, oh well
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 22.12.07
I have basically tried any remotely reasonable 3-cost justice card in the market, including all of the ones which you have listed. As far as a proactive market slot, Tarra, Ever Loyal has always been the best. She represents a lot of resource extension in the matchups where you need it. She is admittedly worse when you are facing a lot of removal heavy decks, but when that happens I will usually just play her with another unit on the same turn. If you want to replace anything in the market then I would recommend going after Equalize.

On a side note, while I am happy to respond to most comments, the sheer volume and breadth of topics discussed here make me wonder if these might be the sort of things better discussed through dm's. I am more than happy to continue this discussion either in game or through discord if you would find either platform more convenient. My ign is included at the top if you would like to add me in game.
Strike Edited Eternal Version: 22.08.17
This is fun I personally put Xulta Loyalist in market … at times it can be a tougher card to pull out but that 3 cost shift and the constant dropping of +1/+1 buff helps when you run into board stall situations granted this might “slow” the gpm but it seems to help (me at least) with survivability in tough spots. Another huge benefit is the 1/1 gets applied to Shen-Ra, Unbreakable which is Next Level Awesome.

Not to mention that when it emerges it’s a 6/6 endurance unblockable(1 turn) that if attacking alone goes 7/7 … many many games for me is single attack for 3 turns with another unit then loyalist emerges and it’s game over with the 7 points of unblockable face damage.

Candy from the gauntletics post mentioned Star Charts and
I personally added a couple Emerald Coin but these are just minor changes to the power draw …I don’t have any negative aspects to the swaps YET !! but the instant I do I will adjust the swaps.

Also noticed that the gauntletics deck has some Fort Smasher which is different than what’s posted here & market is slightly different.
Options options options.
Pencilholder Eternal Version: 22.06.08
Any change to this deck with unleashed?
Giannig Eternal Version: 22.03.02
Sensei, Helena was nerfed, do you think she's still worth to keep around or you have any idea on a substitute already?
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 22.03.02
I saw this a bit ago but was waiting to respond until I had an opportunity to do more testing. I've tried making some changes, including moving Helena to the market in place of Tower, but I keep coming back to the original list as being better than the changes I've tried. So while the nerf is definitely a blow, I think that Helena continues to justify her inclusion maindeck.
maslovk Eternal Version: 22.03.02
I'm not a sensei, but I'm pretty sure that endurance+flying is OP combo and stat nerf is not so awful.
maslovk Eternal Version: 22.02.02
Is this deck still good? I can't say what happens, but I had 5 bad runs in a row O_o
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 22.02.02
It is very much still the best archetype in gauntlet in my opinion. Very little has changed since the time of my initial write up. None of the cards have really been changed, and neither has the decklist. The only major change was that the Sibling Rivalry boss received an overhaul to a much higher power level. That said, this deck still performs very well against it, and Pristine Light and Manacles are still very good at dominating the matchup. If you're running that badly with the deck then I suspect that it is, at least in part, a function of piloting. Feel free to add me in game if you want to see me play it or want me to watch you play some time.
TheGreenLing Eternal Version: 22.02.02
Great deck, But I see no reason not to have 4x Emerald Waystone. Its Free Armor. Am I wrong?
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 22.02.02
Waystones weren't included for basically the same reason that I avoided Emblems; the benefits are so minimal as to not outweigh the danger of having your Runes and Sketches ending up depleted more often. The extra armor is largely irrelevant, but missing out on power during early turns because it's depleted can be absolutely crippling against the more aggressive decks.
Pencilholder Eternal Version: 22.02.02
Hey, I've just noticed that you still answer questions from players. That is great! I'm not really adept at deckmaking, but I feel like after using them for a while I sense some cards that could be switched out. For your deck I did not really. Everything seems to fit very well together. The only complaint I have is that I sometimes struggle against mass removals such as harsh rule. I thought about adding Orene's Scepter instead of Wind Conjuring in the market for that. What is your opinion about this? I'm very curious. I would also like to see other decks from you in the future (even if they aren't as successful). Have a good one!
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 22.02.02
Well I still check this site relatively often to see what sort of ideas other people are throwing around in the event that it might give me inspiration, so it's pretty easy for me to see if someone has asked a question. I'm perfectly happy to answer them as they show up.

Wind Conjuring is simply too important in my opinion. In much earlier versions I was playing it maindeck, with Copperhall Bracers in the market. It ends up being too versatile as a card really. Against the stun heavy decks it helps to protect your unit investments. The synergy it has with both Kira and Varret against decks with damage based removal can often win the game on the spot. Due to the fact that the AI will take any advantageous block, Conjuring is also one of this decks better ways to remove the AI's best unit from the board, especially when Manacles or Pristine Light wouldn't otherwise be practical. The ready effect on Conjuring is also great for ambushing enemy units against decks like Mindless Aggression as well. And in a general sense, being able to add 4+ damage (due to Unseen Commando) to an unblocked unit allows for games to be won much cleaner and quickly, so I find the reach quite valuable as well.

I personally do not struggle with mass removal decks. There really aren't that many, and it usually comes in the form of Harsh Rule. If you can remember which decks actually have Harsh Rule, (there's like, 3 off the top of my head) it becomes much easier to play around. You mostly have to just measure out your threats a bit more carefully and avoid dumping all your resources into it. I will usually try to play 2 threats at a time in those situations so that Harsh Rule isn't backbreaking, but having one of my units removed won't leave my board empty either.

Orene's Scepter has some pretty clear appeal to it, especially against the removal heavy opponents. I don't actually believe that Conjuring would be the market slot that it would be competing for though. I think it would be more likely to overlap with the function of Tarra or Tower. My issue with the card is that I think it is much narrower in its function than either Tarra or Tower. It's not nearly as proactive, and it doesn't actually do a whole lot when the opponent isn't holding a bunch of removal. Realistically you aren't reliably able to play scepter until turn 4 or later most of the time, which is usually after you've already spent resources developing. I think the reason that Tarra and Tower function so well in this slot is that while they provide some resilience against removal, they are also capable of just steamrolling an opponent caught without it in a way that Scepter can not.

All of that said, Orene's Scepter is a card I have largely dismissed at the preliminary stages of testing based on theorycrafting. Feel free to try it out if you'd like, and let me know what you end up thinking about it, as I would be curious if your experience reflected my own lines of thinking.

As far as other decks, well, I certainly have many. Not all of them are updated for the most current release, and none of them perform nearly as well as this one. Green is Good has set something of a very high standard for me, so while I still test plenty of other decks, it is usually pretty apparent that I won't be able to expect anything approaching the same level of performance. I haven't been playing as much gauntlet recently since as of the time of my original write up, I hit a personal milestone gold wise, got sucked into the Cold Hunt draft format, and then binged the Scion draft format quite heavily. That said, it seems like there's probably enough interest that I should look into posting further decks, so I probably will once I find myself in need of something to do.
Giannig Edited Eternal Version: 22.02.02
Great deck! I also was tinkering with mono j but those flashy svetya telut wins weren't very consistent (even tho they were super fun). Have you got any idea on how to replace tarra and the palace in the market?
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 22.02.02
I've tried a variety of things in the Tower slot, but Tower ends up being the card I most want in that slot. There just really isn't much else that can provide the same level of resources if the game turns to attrition, while also being somewhat difficult to answer. I've tried Scalesworn Patrol in that market slot with the release of Valley Beyond, as it made the market entirely fetchable with Fearless Crescendo, but I wasn't impressed. In practice, this deck's power is so good I never once fetched it to inscribe as power, you can't really grab and utilize its effect turn 4 with Etchings, and even though the effect was reasonably powerful, if the opponent answers it immediately, it ends up being too low impact. Additionally, I would often find myself in a position where I didn't really want to be holding the power I'd need to empower Patrol, as the other cards I could hold onto would generally be more impactful, and the deck isn't really wanting to have access to more than 5 power anyway. All of that said, I could see Scalesworn Patrol being a potentially reasonable replacement for Tarra, but as both are campaign cards, you may not find that to be a practical solution. Perhaps cards like Hojan, Beloved Son , Sediti, the Killing Steel , or Amilli, Cloudmarshal could serve as Tower replacments, but they are far more susceptible to being removed by a single card. Tarra and Tower essentially serve the function of proactive development and resource extension out of the market, and while nothing else is likely to do it quite as well, that should be the function of whatever replacements you end up choosing.
EmbraceRemovalPile Edited Eternal Version: 22.01.13
Hi! returning player here and this deck shows really good potential, even when I have to sub out mainly the campaign cards due to not having access to them. I was wondering if there are any good/usable replacements for Tarra and Steyer's eyes until the campaigns are unlocked? (Currently just putting 2 hojans and 2 sirafs as placeholders for steyers, but not sure what to replace Tarra since there seem to be nothing that can replace her power level) Thanks in advance
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 22.01.13
I tuned this deck with an eye toward making it function as smoothly as possible without regard for budget or expense. As a result, substitutions were not something I really kept in mind while building. Campaign cards tend to have more unique effects, which can make effectively replacing them more difficult. Bearing in mind those disclaimers, I would probably replace Tarra, Ever Loyal in the market with Brigade Hall. They are both reasonably proactive 3-cost bodies with upside which can help win some of the grindier matchups.

Steyer's Eyes is the more difficult of the two cards to replace though. There really isn't much that can offer the same level of flexibilty while also serving to stabilize your power. Hitting three power with this deck is critical, so I believe that should be the foremost consideration when trying to replace Steyers Eyes. I would probably consider either of the Hojans first. The 2-cost version can help find power and will always be playable, which means it won't be stuck in your hand if you do have the misfortune of failing to find a third power. The 5-cost version has inscribe and can be monstrous if allowed to go unchecked. I would not be surprised if an "optimal" replacement for Steyer's Eyes involved trying to fit in 1-2 utility power cards like Crownwatch Standard or Emblem of Kodosh. You could ostensibly replace Steyer's Eyes with any reasonable 2-drop without being much worse off for it, but you will probably drop more games to power issues. Ultimately, you will have to toy with that yourself and try to find something that feels good for you though.
FuriousGambler Edited Eternal Version: 21.12.16
Thank you for sharing and the in depth guide.
I built very similar decks before myself, so it is nothing really new to me.
But I wanted to leave a feedback about my results (didn't use Gauntletics, just tracked GPM):
After 34 Runs: 1 lost to a boss and 1 to something earlier, 32 runs with 7 wins. GPM: 36,88 which is a sweet 2213 gold per hour.
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 22.01.13
Those results sound great! Just under 37 GPM is a threshold I doubt I would surpass without giving the game 100% of my focus, something which would increase my burn out speed pretty quickly. I also feel that 32-2 is the sort of win rate that very few gauntlet decks can realistically achieve. I think experience and familiarity with the opposing decks really do go a long way toward improving both win rate and win speed with this deck, which is great for experienced grinders picking it up. I also feel as though being able to earn more than 2000 gold per hour makes the prospect of grinding gold for drafts, league, or campaigns SIGNIFICANTLY less daunting. Truly well done, and I hope you enjoyed piloting the deck!
FuriousGambler Eternal Version: 22.01.13
The burn out is definitely something that can happen, so I either try not to play too many runs in a short time or many runs then taking a break for a while, alternatively I play other decks (which I tracked separately). They are probably less efficient but fun to play and changing a deck helps not to get burned out.
Also I forgot to add my two fastest runs were 17 minutes, my slowest was 30 mins (that was a mess of the worst draws and circumstances, still won though)
And yes, I enjoy it.
Comment Deleted
pashathemadrussian Eternal Version: 21.12.16
Thanks for the deck, i am running 4x Trickshot Ruffian instead of 4x Shen-Ra and the deck still slaps. The 12.8 k in saved shiftstone makes my gauntlet runs feel extra sweet, warm, and fuzzy. Thanks again for a fun winning Gauntlet deck.
VoidKing Edited Eternal Version: 21.12.16
This is a decent deck for it's premise, but I'm so sick of this group pretending like they got the gauntlet "figured out."

This deck suffers from what all aggro decks suffer from. You have to get lucky. The gauntlet will get luckier. I have, at least three, better gauntlet decks ready to go and they all do better than this one.

This deck is a joke. It's not terrible, but, come on...a gauntlet buster? Get real. I'm more impressed with UJ control...

Save your shiftstone! They just want you to spend it on garbage like this!
pashathemadrussian Edited Eternal Version: 21.12.16
I am a Gaunlet noob and only lost once with this deck so far, clearing 9 or 10 runs, 5 or 6 of those in masters, having never been able to clear a masters run before. I don't run the 4x Shen-Ra, instead running 4x Ruffian, which puts this deck in the rare stratosphere of affordable gauntlet crusher deck. All in all this deck is the nutter butters of Gaunlet farming, to a fair extent my limited experience in this game mode should be taken into account, please do share your gauntlet lists, I am finally enjoying this mode and would love to see how your lists perform.
Nordos Eternal Version: 21.12.16
I do admit, I am quite interested in better lists. Could you please supply these? Why does a Hooru (?) Control list have a better winrate? What is the curve? What do you mean with control?
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 21.12.16
"I'm so sick of this group pretending like they got the gauntlet 'figured out.'" The claims made here are entirely my own, based on my own data and extensive testing. Others may agree with me; I have not been shy about sharing my decklists with anyone that has asked. I am making a claim based on results, a claim which I wholeheartedly believe. Between my original post and now, I am currently 67-3 in runs and 480-3 in games with this list. These losses were largely avoidable and attributable to pilot error. None of these losses were against final bosses, and none were due to power issues. I have cleared 20+ runs without losing multiple times with this deck.

I’ve seen so many posts about how gauntlet is too hard, you can’t farm it, the AI cheats, etc. Well maybe people get sick of hearing that? As far as I am concerned, this is demonstrably false. I have used this archetype to quickly and consistently farm gold for years, literally MILLIONS of gold. It is my opinion that yes, this qualifies as "figured out". Did I make a bold claim? Sure, but it's also one I have been happy to demonstrate for anyone that cares to watch, and have done so for several people already.

I have played aggro decks in gauntlet, a lot of them have bad matchups or fare poorly against specific cards. This is not an aggro deck. It has a streamlined curve and can win games quickly, but that doesn't mean it suffers the same weaknesses. If you believe it does then you have either not played it enough or aren’t playing it properly. This deck scales much better than aggro decks in longer games. There's a difference between playing cards like Oni Ronin and League Explorer and playing cards like Ghostblade Outcast and Kira. Most aggro decks also do not include the same density of Flying and Lifesteal units which excel at stabilizing and closing gauntlet games. This deck’s market is also capable of handling many of the situations which aggro decks typically struggle with.

You speak like a person that believes that "luck" is some huge factor that you have no control over. It's not. This deck mitigates power screw, influence screw, flooding, and depleted power issues without sacrificing card quality. This deck can survive or even win while stuck on 2 power, and between the redraw, etchings, and Steyer’s Eyes, getting to 3 power is extremely easy. This deck is built to be resistant to the most common power issues, and has more redundancy to its market access than most other decks. You can get unlucky and still win. When it’s all said and done, if you know what you are doing, this deck’s average draw is capable of beating most good or even great draws from the AI.

I am skeptical of your claim to having multiple better decks. How many runs did you play with my list before reaching that conclusion? Of course decks will perform better for some people than others, but that is more a reflection on the pilot than the deck. By all means though, feel free to post your decks which have greater than 99% win-rate and frequently clear 20+ runs in a row without losing. Bonus points if they can regularly do it in under 20 minutes. The fact that you seem to be impressed by the idea of using a two-color control deck to farm gauntlet kinda undermines your credibility. As a control deck, I can guarantee that it will have boss matchups where it performs poorly, and as a two-color control deck I can guarantee that it will experience more frequent power issues. Still, I would love to see these decks.

I don’t particularly care how people spend their shiftstone. People can play whatever decks they feel like. Regardless of my results, this may not be the deck for everyone. Piloting this deck properly involves a lot of decision making based on what you’re playing against. You may not enjoy this or do it well. My purpose was only to demonstrate what this deck is capable of; quickly and consistently farming gauntlet better than anything else I have seen.
Strike Eternal Version: 22.08.17
LoL @ VoidKing
That dude is high or otherwise impaired. I notice he didn’t post his “two” decks that are soooo much better.
You built a deck that’s consistent and fun. Good work!
Vaerth Eternal Version: 21.12.09
Thank you for the awesome right up and the really awesome list. This got me to master on my first run with it. Really great work here!
AlDebris Eternal Version: 21.12.02
Thank you very very much for this. I really love your proposal here, and I love even more your commitment to it (all these detailed explanations; hours of writing at least; thank you; you're the best). Tried your deck, even if I had to adapt it quite a lot, cause I'm kind of a new player and I don't have the cards nor the shifstone (nor the money) to spend in all these crazy legendary cards I don't own (I did break my purse to get 4 copies of Kira tough). And it's working; Oh boy does it kick asses… And maybe I have a suggestion, a slight modification, a trick I found and I sometimes use in monocolor decks, were you cannot really notice the negative effect: adding a couple of Rune of Illusion, maybe three but no more. It's shadow influence but it's power all the same, and maybe you'll not use it every game due to the cost, but it can make your already boosted Kira well… lifesteal and Unblockable… which can win you a game in no time I guess. Anyway, thank you again for your very valuable posting.
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 21.12.02
While doing my write-up, budget-based replacements were something I considered addressing, but it was already quite lengthy, and ultimately, I had a very specific list which I was putting forth as being optimal. I will admit that Rune of Illusion was not a card I had really considered though. While it does sound interesting, I don't believe it is necessary with the large amount of Flying units the deck already has access to. The inclusion of Rune of Illusion, a non-sigil power which does not provide Justice influence, would basically result in similar issues as the ones which I outlined with Seal of Devotion. I'm also generally an advocate of playing Etchings and Prism Golem in most monofaction decks, so while off-color Rune of Illusion does strike me as a cool idea, it's also not one I'm comfortable advocating. I'm glad that the overall strategy is performing well for you though, and if you (or anyone else for that matter) care to discuss the deck further, or wants to watch me play it, I've made my IGN public at the top of the page. Feel free to add me.
Strike Edited Eternal Version: 22.08.17
Final comment—maybe just use the “sideboard” option in deckbuilder for what cards you “might” consider as replacements.
(Especially the budget substitutes)
For example a person above replaced the pocket of Shen-Ra, Unbreakable for Trickshot Ruffian
Granted the implementation of budget options will depend on the player but hopefully they will figure it out.
ElderGnome Eternal Version: 21.12.02
Wow, great write up. Thanks!
StarBright Eternal Version: 21.12.02
Thanks for the extensive write-up! Definitely the most fun I've had playing mono-J in gauntlet.
ItsTenz Eternal Version: 21.12.02
I know that there have been plenty of other versions of Mono J floating around for awhile, but I really feel like there is something enjoyable about playing a tuned and cohesive list that is just great at doing what it's meant to. I'm glad that you're enjoying the deck and wish you the best with your runs.
metaBrook Eternal Version: 21.12.02
Here we go.
Alover Edited Eternal Version: 21.12.02
Astoundingly good, and with an astounding degree of painstaking tweaking and tuning, a masterfully crafted deck and writeup.

I have been playing this deck for weeks prior to this release (thanks ItsTenz!) and approaching 30 GPM myself, which is insane for me. However, as explained above, once you understand the nuances of the deck AND the AI decks, you can achieve 40 GPM, which is essentially a theoretical maximum for Gauntlet. This is a remarkable rate and I will be timing and recording some more runs as I am getting closer and closer to 40 myself.

ItsTenz, what about a single Find the Moment to replace one of the Varret, Hero-in-Training?

And your thoughts on Copperhall Bailiff in place of the market site (because it's a more accessible, and cheaper, way to tone down a wide AI board that's getting unmanageable). I have found I just can't make it to the site in time very often?

You have advanced the boundaries of Gauntlet research, well done!!!
ItsTenz Edited Eternal Version: 21.12.02
I am generally not a fan of Find The Moment outside of a hypothetical combo deck. +2/+2 for 2 is worse than Martial Efficiency, and the contract bonus is very demanding on your power, something which can already be felt with Helena, Skyguide. This deck is also so streamlined that I don't relish the prospect of leaving 2 power open on the chance that I will *maybe* need the trick. I'd also hesitate to remove any of the two-cost 2/3's as they contribute significantly to early game defense. Not only do they make the deck better against aggressive openers, but 2/3 bodies will also cause the AI to avoid attacking during early turns, which can easily shave 5-6 seconds off of a game. That might not seem like much, but it does add up over hundreds or thousands of games.

As for Copperhall Bailiff, the card was originally included in previous builds, but was largely mediocre. It was hands down the least frequently utilized market card, which lead to me exploring other possible options. The point of that slot wasn't so much to be an answer to your opponent's board as it was to be a proactive means of advancing your own when you lacked a unit for Tarra, Ever Loyal to target. On an empty board, Bailiff is... less than stellar. Owing to how impactful the other market options were, I was basically already in a position where I wanted Winchest Merchant for more market access. This in turn opened the market to allow me to play Tower, a card which is excellent at taking over games on its own, and is relatively resilient in the face of removal in a way that Copperhall Bailiff is not. Having access to Tower also really helps to shore up the deck's matchup against the Company of Exiles boss, and Curfew Enforcement, with its ability to be amplified, is often as good or better, than Copperhall Bailiff.
Aurilyn Eternal Version: 21.12.02
Needs more images of B-Team characters holding knives, but I can attest that the deck is solid.