Hey guys. Back from an extended vacation from Eternal, brewing with the new set in Throne format because expedition is not yet my jam. Why? Because I love playing with ALL my cards to create absolutely awesome decks. So now, new set, new deck, new deck TECH, and in written format!
So what's the new hotness? ELYSIAN TEMPO! I tried TJP blitz with Sodi's spellshaper, and that...did not go over well, at all. In contrast, Elysian Tempo has felt pretty good. So what's the idea here? Tempo, tempo! Aegis units or overstatted time units combined with Sodi's spellshaper to keep the gas going. Deck may be subject to change, but for the first time in a long time, it feels like Elysian may actually be more than a joke of a faction. Let's go over the list.
BORDERLANDS LOOKOUT: new card in FoX--aka Timergoyf! Great blocker vs. aggro decks, and applies heavy pressure vs. 3F decks, and a 1-cost 3/4 is fantastic even later on in the game as part of a 2+1 or a 3+1 play. First impressions? Card lives up to the billing. Good card is good. If you're in any proactive time 2F, play a set. Period.
PERMAFROST: the tried and true best tempo card around in any primal up-tempo. 1-cost non-titan be-gone. You know it, you love it.
SNOWCRUST YETI: for curving into spellshaper, curve filler, extra aegis, repeated 2 damage for 1 cost. Skycrag and yetis players are extremely familiar with this little dork. He wins games. Play him!
DUSK RAIDER: honestly, one of my least favorite cards in the deck. 2/2s for 2 generally aren't fantastic, but unlike resolute monk, she dodges snowball, so we take what we can get.
ICE BOLT: this deck can't pop face aegis too easily, so I like ice bolt over equivocate as far as 2-cost removal goes in Elysian.
ROYAL DECREE: thank my teammate Erik for this. I'm sure that by now, many of you have gotten accustomed to his latest work of evil, (near) unitless Ixtun Control--a deck that's about as hard a control deck as Temporal and Sanctum control before it, now in Ixtun colors. I've run across this deck a few times already, even while grinding up silver from my vacation. It's a pain in the ass to face for sure, and royal decree essentially keeps the particularly nasty stuff out of the game. Not sure if it's as good in Elysian Tempo as it is in Ixtun Control with rereads, but so far, it's been reasonable. However, lack of ways to pop face aegis means it's definitely worse here than in Ixtun with its snowballs and torches.
SODI'S SPELLSHAPER: the new hotness! Not sure if it's better as a 4-of curving off of snowcrust/lookout, or a 3+1 to guarantee it if need be. Either way, you play this on a snowcrust yeti and it cycles for starters. Keep up the pressure and you can just run away with the game. Spellcraft it after you play it on Jennev merchant and it's a 2-for-1 for starters. If you're on the play and your opponent tries answering teacher of humility with their own 3/3 for 2, well, this suddenly makes things very, VERY painful. Either way, for those that are familiar with Curious Obsession from Magic: the Gathering, this card is basically that card--with one of the best removal spells attached. I can't say enough good things about this card, and I think it's one of the new ones that makes Elysian quite legit without resorting to shenanigans like nightmaul.
TEACHER OF HUMILITY: needs no explanation. Play it, get free wins. 3/3 for 2 is very good, the weights are obviously insane.
JENNEV MERCHANT: the only merchant in these colors with an aegis. Great Valley smuggler as a 2/2 for 3 without aegis just doesn't work, and Auralian Merchant doesn't contribute to the plan.
TOCAS: tempo decks are about power efficiency. More power means more plays means more advantage. I haven't tried new Gnash yet, but I haven't been disappointed with Tocas yet. It's also great to know that no combusts or finest hours are coming to blow you out. Obvious good card is good, and if there are better options, such as MusterGnash, feel free to let me know how it goes.
CYKALIS: he's the definition of up-tempo in time decks, pledge helps you get power if need be. Anyone that's ever played Praxis Pledge or Nightmaul knows just how good this guy is, and if you get berserk off of Dusk Raider, well, that's just an :icuPOG: if ever there was one.
SANDSTORM TITAN: 5 attack for 4 power, big endurance beater in other up-tempo matchups. If Praxis Displacer was her old 3/2 for 4 self, I might consider running her here. Prideleader may also be a consideration in this slot. Good old big ball of stats is still a big ball of stats, and having Darudes giving your opponent more beef to deal with is never a bad thing.
JOTUN FEAST-CALLER: not yet convinced on this guy in the list, simply because a 5-drop feels a bit out of place in a deck playing 1-drops. However, he's an aegis fatty that can run away with the game if he lives long enough, and I think you have enough spot removal to get him going. He's marginal for me so far.
First off--no seats! If you're not playing pentawarps, you don't need all the fixing in the world, meaning we can cut what I think are the worst duals in the game (by far).
TIME SIGIL: people play ice bolt. You don't want to give your opponent free kill spells!
AMBER WAYSTONES: incidental lifegain helps against aggro, and we need them for teacher.
COBALT WAYSTONES: they help vs. equivocate, vs. burn, vs. decree, and so on. Free face aegis is never bad.
EMBLEM OF LINREI: another new FoX card that's every bit as :icuPOG: as it looks. So, mechanics pointer here: when you decimate on the turn you play this power, you don't lose the power for the turn. That is, if you're on 4 power and play an emblem and decimate it, you still have 5 power for that turn, allowing you to slam feastcaller, or Cykalis + snowcrust yeti, and so on. Some of the biggest issues for low-to-the-ground decks in the past have been A) flooding out and B) lack of ability to stick threats once removal started flying. Linrei's Emblem is, in my opinion, old Jennev Merchant, except now coming from your power base! Higher threat density, and aegis is so valuable in today's meta thanks to my teammate Erik ushering in a new age of control winter.
CRESTS/BANNERS/INSIGNIAS: obligatory fixing duals. Yadda yadda, no explanation needed here.
DIPLO SEALS: essentially, the faction requirements for the deck are TTPPP. Generally, when your influence demands are 5 or less, diplo seals are par for the course, and give the deck more unconditional undepleted power that can also fix, meaning we can curve out more reliably.
SWIFT REFUSAL: because sweepers. Thanks, Erik. Also negates burn.
ROYAL DECREE: 3+1'ing this so far, but I'm not sure the deck should have as much of an emphasis on royal decree without a good way to pop face aegis. This might just turn into another ice bolt, or the permafrosts might go to 3+1. So far, I've liked the ability to be more proactive here, but once again, Erik just likes this card so I went with it for now.
SODI'S SPELLSHAPER: fantastic card is fantastic, so we want the option to see it as much as possible.
MIRROR IMAGE: low-to-the-ground primal decks should always run one in the market for merchant -> mirror -> merchant lines. This is pretty non-negotiable IMO.
JOTUN FEAST-CALLER: aegis fatty, draws cards.
Initiate of the sands: snowballs abound. You need to have a very good reason for running 1-health units in this day and age with all the hurlers and other snowball generators running around.
Saber-tooth Prideleader: might be worth it in titan's spot. However, I do like the big beefcake as far as beatdown goes. 5 per swing is substantially more than 3.
Sodi, the metamorph: too expensive influence-wise when the deck is smoother without seats, and when we're devoting space to emblems. I think emblems and Sodi are mutually exclusive in Throne/ranked/constructed, and I like aegis better than "3-drop that loses to torch."
Equivocate: this deck is bad at popping face aegis, so I'd rather have ice bolt.
Phase out/be-gone: this deck isn't exactly aggro, so time temporary removal isn't the greatest here, especially when we have access to better primal technology.
Gift of Battle: no pump? No gift.
Maindeck negates: the amount of aegis in this deck should be sufficient to match up well into spell-heavy decks without needing to pack such situational cards maindeck. If we had my favorite card game mechanic (cough), then they'd definitely be there. As it stands, we pack an efficient one in the market.
Levitate: doesn't really do much for the deck IMO. You want this when you're trying to OTK people. When you're just trying to tempo them, you want to lean on power and card efficiency, and I'm not sure levitate really gets us there.
Accelerated Evolution: just hasn't been playable since the nerf back in set 4. Un-nerf this card, please, DWD!
Praxis Displacer: ditto.
Crystallize: this deck has enough spot removal that you shouldn't stall out, and you should be able to swing wide often enough without needing this.
Maul/Tidal Forces: this deck's bad at popping face aegis.
Clutch of Talons: deck doesn't want to get to 6, and you have decimate powers here, so emblems don't play well with clutch, and I like the aegis beats out of the power base more than the dragon that needs a unit to stick.
Okay, that does it for this deck tech. Enjoy :D