Tavrod, Auric Busted is a good card and all, but Minotaurs are boring. And he doesn't fit in Armory as well as I'd like. Discarding all your copies of Smuggler's Stash
is just dumb.
So I went back to Blue Armory, and found that it was working pretty well despite the meta changes this season. But Lightning Storm
wasn't getting anything done; and I had too many opening hands that were a pair of Icaria, the Liberator
, three Harsh Rule
s, and a pair of Starsteel Daisho
s. A full house, you say? Pshaw!
So I trimmed the fat, and brought in Kothon, the Far-Watcher
to get some board presence and tempo going. This deck has some very heavy influence and power requirements, and Kothon offers some alternate lines of play in the early game, and somewhat mitigates the bad opening hands which can stop this deck in its tracks. He baits a lot of torches too, which helps the weapons survive later.
Last season's version (with Lightning Storm
and no Kothon, the Far-Watcher
) was performing decently but had too many dead draws to climb; and after the adjustments reflected here, I began climbing right away, and moved up a rank to D1 with a 5-1 record or thereabouts. With one exception, those games were all hard-fought control victories: parry the early attacks, run the aggressor out of removal, and topdeck a threat after stabilizing. (In one case, however, I started with great tempo and just steamrolled.)
Future changes I am considering: cutting Rise to the Challenge
down to 2-ofs, to make room for another Sword of Icaria
plus either an Auric Runehammer
or a Duelist's Blade
. This build is more proactive, and early weapons are valuable with all the Minotaur decks and other pants-based strategies on ladder at the moment. Early weapons are also good against Chalice decks. Other than that, the power base could use some tweaking; the banners are better in this build with Kothon, but it feels a bit too much like a puzzle and could use more reliable flow.
EDIT: Just reached Masters with this deck (from the bottom of D2). Feels solid against the meta, and although I don't keep stats for videogames, I estimate it had a 70% winrate at the minimum. Most losses were due to bad hands; to be honest, I never felt this deck was unfavored in any matchup I saw. Kothon, the Far-Watcher
has been a superb inclusion: he fits in with the deck's demanding power base and solves the early-game issues that plague other builds. In fact, he supports the Armory strategy so well that I now have a hard time imagining the archetype without him. He has all the flexibility you could ask for in a card and none of the downside.