After a solid bit of tuning, I'm happy to present a fairly powerful aggro deck that's well geared to tackle the existing Expedition metagame. At times aggro, at times tempo, at times go-wide, this deck has real game against all the top dogs of the format. You know, just kill them.
You have to be willing to mulligan, sometimes aggressively, with this deck. You cannot simply just take any hand with things to do, you need to have a plan for killing them. A 6 card hand with Daru and another 1-drop is miles better than any 7 card hand that opens with Glen Scout into Asri Scout.
Card Choices - Units
All soldiers, all the time. You must.
- Attacking for 5 on turn 2 in expedition is basically the best thing you can do in the format, as almost no deck is equipped to answer a serious clock on turn 2. You shouldn't ever get to 6 power, but if you do, the amplify effect is nice.
Shield of the Line
- There are only 4 one-drops in the Elysian Soldiers card pool. Shield, Daru, Fresh Recruit
, and Veteran Strategist
. Veteran Strategist is absolutely not where this deck wants to be, so it ultimately came down to choosing between Recruit and Shield. Shield is simply the better card - it attacks sooner and it has the potential to be larger. As far as why you have to play another one-drop? See above.
- Seeing a full playset of these might give you the impression that this is an amplify deck. It's not, and it shouldn't be played (or built) like one. Elite does, however, get incrementally more powerful as you do the things the deck already does, and that made it an auto-include. You shouldn't play slower just to eek an extra amplify trigger out for Elite. Swing hard and swing fast.
- This is one of your more generic answers to things like Aegis Units and Autotreader, cards you'd struggle to combat. Don't be afraid to imbue this at a slightly smaller size so that it trades, immediately freeing up your other units to attack on the same turn.
- You're almost never going to get above TTTT, and this card is regularly just a vanilla 3/3. Regardless, a 3/3 soldier for 2 is good. Since it's the largest thing on your board most of the time, it'll quickly become the largest thing in your void too - Shield of the Line likes this.
- Knowing when to play this out and when to hold it for an amplify trigger is one of the trickier parts of piloting the deck. I can't tell you any hard and fast rules, but just remember: this isn't an amplify deck. Kill them. Hold it when it's better to, not just for value. You don't want to get caught up trying to out-midrange a slower deck. You can't.
- Speed Grafter's status as being a charge unit, a soldier, and a merchant, are absolutely perfect for this deck.
- I know, I know, I've said "this isn't an amplify deck" a few times now. It's still not, but just like Maveloft Elite, Asri's Scout's occasional
pump does real work for the deck as a whole.
Card Choices - Spells & Attachments Permafrost
- It's not exciting, but it's effective.
Send for the Reserves
- Half the time, this is only a 2/1 for 2 - but I'm okay with that. A lot of the deck's synergies and lines will revolve around it being exhausted for Daru/Cast Out, another body to get pumped by Unity, or something to stun for Maveloft Elite. The times when you can amplify it are nice, but don't hold out for trying to get 3 soldiers when 2 will get the job done sooner.
- This is the second best card in the deck behind Daru. It's an excellent tempo tool that will trigger amplify any number of times and give you another body on the board to play with. Some of the more interesting lines come when you have Asri Scout in play, deciding how much of your board to exhaust versus how many to take advantage of Asri Scout's trigger. The majority of the time, you'll play 1-2 soldiers and Cast Out on the same turn, exhausting only the new units and accepting a "free" 1/1 or 2/2 sentinel while you attack with your existing board.
- Dazzle is a fantastic and versatile card, stunning blockers and countering Equalize
- The last piece of tempo, I chose a 2/2 split between Dazzle and Frostwave for a couple reasons. First, Frostwave's ability to stun multiple blockers has been invaluable. Second, Dazzle (unfortunately) can do nothing to interact with Autotreader, which is a card that you can struggle to combat. Third, stun-two-and-amplify-for-one enables just enough of the deck's synergies to be legitimitely good. Last, the fact that Frostwave costs 1 and Dazzle costs 2 is relevant in such a deceptively powerhungry deck, freeing up the extra 1 power needed to trigger Daru Lee, or Cast Out, or play a Charge unit.
Card Choices - Market Unity Within
- It's near-universal, permanent, and cheap team pump. Just what an aggressive deck wants.
- This is functionally a 4 power 5/4 with charge that removes one of their blockers, making it a fantastic tool for providing reach.
- Coming out of the market as a 4/3 for charge that also pumps your team for the turn, this can be just what you need to close games out quickly.
- This card can do so much for your deck, from countering opposing Permafrosts/stun shenanigans, enabling belligerent lines with Cast Out/Daru, and functioning as a versatile trump card in the aggro mirrors.
- More often than not, I'm grabbing this to hit 5 power - either because I want to activate Glen Scout's Amplify, or because I have a second Grafter and intend to grab Moonstone Vanguard. Other than that, it'll help you achieve Alhed's first mode or may simply be the fourth power you need for Frostwave/Send with amplify.
Card Choices - Changes
You'll want to adjust the 2/2 split between Frostwave and Dazzle depending on the metagame shifts. You could shave a power, either Scout, or Send, to bump up the quantities of either as well. Similarly, you can tweak the market as you like. Read on for a list of possible additions.
Card Choices - Things I'm Not Playing... but I Could See It Fresh Recruit
- I played a couple permutations of the deck that played Fresh Recruit, Daru, and Shield, but I'/m happy with only having 8 1-drops for now. I could definitely see shaving a card or two and adding a copy of Fresh Recruit to help with more aggressive starts
- This card is very powerful against Valkyries, but its influence requirements can be a bit demanding.
- I'm a sucker for overstatted units, so I could see this. It's certainly good against Snowballs and mono-red nonsense.
Cards I Won't Play Alhed, Mount Breaker
- Way, way too slow.
- The first line of text doesn't hold a candle to Unity Within, which does the same but is cheaper. The second line, while powerful when it happens, requires you to play (and build) in a much more midrangey way than the deck can support. While it initially made the cut, I left it on the cutting room floor for being ultimately too kludgy, power-hungry, and inconsistent. Attempts to integrate Garrison into the deck and lean into midrange have always felt less competitive.
- While this is one of the few ways to Amplify N times at will for a fixed cost, this card doesn't do anything you want to be doing. Its best use-case is to skip your turn and refill your hand, but you can't afford to do that here.
- It's actual removal, which is nice, and you can activate it, but you have no way of making use of the additional market cards.
- Far too expensive for what it does, and it's not right for the meta.
- This should basically never be anything more than a 2/1 for 2, making it strictly worse than Fresh Recruit.
- It's a soldier and it's cute with Cast Out, but it's just not good enough.