Ijin's planned a final exam for Kemmo! He needs to be able to produce a Bladebreaker
in time for the exam or he'll never be accepted as a Master Smith! Can Jishu and her team of tutors help Kemmo come up with a finished Bladebreaker
in time to continue on his way to becoming a Master Smith or will he be stuck as an apprentice while all his friends go on to full careers?
I've included 4 copies of 3 of the 5 cards with specific Kemmo synergy (Crowd Favorite
and Gravemarker Oni
being the excluded ones as the former is slow on a completely different scale and Tribute
is a bad trigger), meaning that they can pull a Bladebreaker
directly (commonly referred to as Tutoring, thanks MtG). Since 1 copy of Kemmo's Blueprints
is in the market, that means that if you play Kemmo with no support in hand, 19 of the cards in your deck are now bladebreakers or cards to tutor them (counting the merchant).
This deck is currently experiencing success in Gold II, I'll update later with where I feel it start to top out.
Edit: I didn't play much more before the end of the month, gonna be putting the climb back up in Match History
- Nothing shuts down faster decks quite like Defiance
does and since this deck is a ways from speedy, it seems wise to include it.
- Chosen over Seek Power for the upside of Scout
and the fact that we only ever need 1 Fire influence in the first place and shouldn't have any trouble getting that first Justice influence.
- Every fire deck without Torch
is criticized for it, so since we need a little bit more interaction and there's no reason against it, it's been included.
- With a Bladebreaker
attached, she's an evasive 8/8 with Lifesteal
and if you've already got Frontier Jito
out, then she has Charge
, too, and can be used as a very nasty 4-cost surprise.
- With the introduction of Jishu, the Burning Brush
, going (a little) tribal here becomes a very good idea. If Jishu is already out, Bladekin now has Overwhelm
while growing which is a blast at parties and even more fun at home. Jishu giving Oni Overwhelm
is a very nice thing and it blends very well with the goal we already have of making them huge.
- Jito gives our Unmoored Valkyrie Charge
and has charge himself, allowing us to surprise-push big damage and generally generate value the same turn they're played. If Jishu is already out and has already tutored you a Bladebreaker
, then it's the perfect time to pay 5 to play a 10/9 Charge
and teach your opponent a thing or two about how cool Kemmo, Ijin's Apprentice
•Jishu, the Burning Brush
- Jishu's importance has already been hit on with the other Oni
(giving overwhelm to make their damage mroe evasive), but her real value in this deck comes from her Onslaught
effect. Tutoring a Bladebreaker
to be drawn next turn is fantastic and if there are Bladebreaker
s in your deck, Kemmo should be on your field so the Onslaught
trigger should be no problem at all. Jishu's tutoring is weak to deck-discard effects, but strong against hand-discard effects. I expect at some points you'll have multiple tutors in your hand at once, so sometimes you'll get to decide whether your opponent's deck has more interaction with your deck or your hand. The most important aspect of Jishu's tutor is that it cannot be negated, counterspelled, or nullified in any way. The only way to stop her tutor is to kill/silence her in hand or mill the deck before the weapon is drawn.
- My personal favorite of the tutors, Blueprints get the Bladebreaker
in hand immediately and comes at a lower cost than Rise to the Challenge
so at 6 power this is a Bladebreaker
. The Onslaught
effect isn't worth it if you could also play a Bladebreaker
the same turn unless you expect to be hitting face more than 7 times with the same unit without the opponent dying or or removing it (or you're expecting board-clear very soon).
•Kemmo, Ijin's Apprentice
- The whole reason this deck was built! His Warcry
is pretty incidental, the Summon
effect is why he's a real legend. 3-cost 7/7 weapons (again with fairly incidental Warcry
) are killer and his drawback is obviously that you have to draw into them. With all the tutors in this deck, though, it's harder to draw Kemmo than it is to draw a Bladebreaker
. The best thing about the Warcry
is that it lets you know when there's a Bladebreaker
high in your deck. If while tutoring you see that a Bladebreaker
is buffed, draw a different one as the buffed Bladebreaker
is soon to come anyway.
- All of Silverwing Familiar
's cost has been spent on battle skills. With only 1/1 it's trash even with Lifesteal
, and Aegis
, but that changes once it has a weapon. Aegis
means it will take at least 2 spells to remove, Flying
means when you play the Bladebreaker
you'll either get to wreck face or kill some evasive unit(s), and Lifesteal
means the comeback is real. Assuming you have every unit on the board, Silverwing Familiar
is your best weapon target: difficult to remove, difficult to block, and Lifesteal
if they do block it.
•Unseen Command - Mostly here for the Flying
combination, the passive is great since every unit wielding a Bladebreaker
has at least 2 battle skills (excepting Kemmo, Ijin's Apprentice
and Jishu, the Burning Brush
) and 7 units have at least 2 before any alterations.
- Truly a card which needs no introduction, the Winchest Merchant
is here to make it easier to find Kemmo, Ijin's Apprentice
and tutors (specifically Kemmo's Blueprints
). We'll talk more about this in the Market section.
•Rise to the Challenge
- Another tutor! The oldest tutor of the bunch, Rise to the Challenge
also gives us a +2/+0 on a Bladebreaker
as well as the option to search out Kemmo, Ijin's Apprentice
(or any other unit should you feel the need) if you've made it to 4 power and can't find our beloved apprentice.
- Stormhalt Knife
is included in case you're struggling against aggro and watching your precious health dwindle away. Once you're at 10 health, you can tutor and play it to help you hold out until you can buff up a Lifesteal
- We're not looking to lay down the law early on, so we can play some depleted power at the start. Having the option after 5 power to put Lifesteal
on something without it is pretty nice, but I'll have to see how the deck is playing to be sure we're not starting with too much depleted power (or I could not be lazy and just model it instead). Update: Standard may be better as a market card as I am rarely using it for anything but depleted power. Swapping for crests is a good idea if you have them.
The market definitely needs some tuning. The only things that are certain are additional access from the main deck.
•Kemmo, Ijin's Apprentice
and Kemmo's Blueprints
- Here to give us additional access and make it easier to draw/play them. What else is there to say?
- Always seems like a safe inclusion, it's good to have silence with a body in the market.
- Gives us consistent access to Lifesteal
after 5 which can be a real ass-saver if you just need that 1 more turn to get out more permanent Lifesteal
and boost it.
- The deck is fairly weak to Permafrost
and other stun so it's good to have a way to break the curse if you need to.
Let's talk first about the ideal hand, the dream hand. My ideal hand is Crest of Glory
, 1 sigil, Kemmo, Ijin's Apprentice
, Jishu, the Burning Brush
, Bladekin Apprentice
, Frontier Jito
, and Unmoored Valkyrie
. The ideal way for this to then play out is playing Crest of Glory
and bottoming anything but power turn 1, playing another depleted power turn 2 (or the sigil if I have to), and then on turn 3 playing undepleted power into Kemmo. Then, if Kemmo is removed I either 1) play Frontier Jito
and attack into Jishu, the Burning Brush
if I have gotten a 4th power, or 2) play Bladekin Apprentice
to play Jishu, the Burning Brush
triggered. If (1) and Jito sticks, next turn is Unmoored Valkyrie
and a Bladebreaker
for a Charge
8/8 to swing with (or block if necessary). If (2), you can play Unmoored Valkyrie
that turn and Bladebreaker
on it or Bladekin Apprentice
, whichever wasn't removed.
Now let's break down what makes this hand ideal for me.
•At least 2 power: The 3rd power shouldn't be hard to come by (64% to stay on curve if you go 1st, ~80% to stay on curve if you go 2nd), so the real key is having something undepleted. Don't waste the Diplomatic Seal
on influence fixing turn 2 unless you have another undepleted power, most of our power is FJ or J, so getting to 2J shouldn't be any issue. Playing Diplomatic Seal
to get Fire influence should only be done turn 3.
•Direct access to Kemmo: Not needing to wait to draw him or market for him is a big plus. It saves us a turn not having to market and it makes it a lot easier for us to play him if we already have him. Having Kemmo is more important than having a tutor as we have more tutors and ways to get tutors (or Bladebreaker
s) than we do ways to get Kemmo (19 v. 11) and playing him as close to on-time as possible is the goal. Kemmo > Merchant > Rise to the Challenge
•A tutor: Having a tutor ready is great, but not as important as having Kemmo, though some tutors (and the merchant) will do both. It's fun and easy to draw tutors and Bladebreaker
s, so don't be afraid to try it. The best tutor to have depends a little on the rest of your hand. If you have some Onis
, Jishu is gonna be the best because she'll turn every Oni
into a great weapon candidate. Having Jito means you're more likely to get the onslaught against a removal pile and having Bladekin gives you one of the best targets we have since the damage is evasive and Quickdraw
forces them to accept a lot of bad trades if they want to clear her away. Without Onis
, you want Kemmo's Blueprints
since you can play it without needing to draw another power (as opposed to Rise to the Challenge
and it doesn't need you to push into a bad trade just to get the Bladebreaker
•Other units: Having targets for the Bladebreaker
is important. Having just a merchant will do in a pinch since you still have the Flying
for evasion, but ideally you want something like Bladekin, Silverwing, Commando, or Unmoored (which is really to say Jito and Kemmo are the last units you want to put Bladebreaker
: Having Scout
is really handy to get you closer to everything you want. I always scout very aggressively, bottom-decking anything that isn't what my hand is lacking. I've bottom-decked Kemmo b/c I already had one in my hand, but that's probably not the smart choice in terms of probability of drawing into our Bladebreaker
s and tutors, I'll have to run the numbers on that, though. But if you need Kemmo and you have a tutor, bottom-deck additional tutors. If you only have 2 power, bottom-deck things that aren't power (or Kemmo/tutor you're missing). Most every unit is a good target for a Bladebreaker
so you don't need to worry about tossing good units on the bottom trying to get to what you need.
•Do not accept a hand with only 1 power
, even if it has everything you could possibly want. I know this may seem like common sense, but if you do it you're most likely going to end up behind and subsequently losing. Turn 3 is our most important turn and having 3 power then is crucial. If you start with 1 power and go 2nd (meaning you get to draw every turn) the probability of making it to 3 power on turn 3 is 16%, with no accounting for whether you end up playing depleted turn 3. If we assume you're fine with missing turn 3 b/c you already have all the pieces assembled (Kemmo & a tutor) and another turn will still let you break even, know that it's ~30% to draw 2 power in 3 draws.
A hand with 1 merchant is pretty nice since that makes 14 non-merchants desirable cards which we may be able draw into so that we then know what to pull from the market. Default to Kemmo, though, if you don't draw into him beforehand.
•Against Skycrag watch for Kaleb's Choice
. Most Skycrag decks I've seen either run none (using Unseal
instead if there's any counterspell) or 2 (usually in addition to Unseal
). Kaleb's Choice
can sweep the leg pretty hard when you push in with your big, exciting unit, but there's a good chance they would have just counter-spelled the tutor (if you used Kemmo's Blueprints
) and wouldn't wait to kill the attachment (though the smarter play is killing the Bladebreaker
•Will struggle against rat decks and similarly relic-centered decks as a Justice market keeps us away from Bore
and there's neither Rakano nor Justice relic-hate
isn't really a big thing in this deck. The best thing you can get from it is probably the ability to tell when there's a Bladebreaker
near the top of your deck so you can not tutor that one
•A pretty glaring issue is that there isn't really much of a backup plan. If you can't get Kemmo and tutor a Bladebreaker
, it turns into a really sloppy go-wide deck. Thankfully, there's not much trouble assembling the pieces since Rise to the Challenge
gives us 11 ways to draw Kemmo and we have abundant tutor access. Most any hand with Kemmo or a merchant should be kept.
matters in this deck since the fact that we are slower than our opponents means they'll have plenty of opportunities to hurt our face. Because of this, 12 units have lifesteal (4 of those only while holding a Bladebreaker
) and once we're at 5 power, 4 more options show up in the form of Crownwatch Tactics.
If weapon tutors are rotting in your hand and you can't find a Kemmo to save your life, the Stormhalt Knife
is in this deck so that they can still be of use.
•I'm thinking about adding a couple of Vanquisher's Blade
s but I'm not quite sure what to trim for them, so that may come after some playtesting.
•I've considered using Crownwatch Legionnaire
in place of Unseen Commando
as a large Endurance
unit with Lifesteal
gives us more solid defense against units with only a slight sacrifice to our offense (as we lose the evasion of Flying
). More to come on this, I suppose.
•With all the different methods of pushing damage and making that a cool thing, I may have lost a little bit of focus and we'll see how that plays out. 4 natural charge units with a potential boost to 7, 15 potential overwhelm units, 14 flying units, and 7 lifesteal units with the ability to go to 10 and
4 Crownwatch Tactics. Plus the 4 quickdraw and 4 aegis units. I'm still not a strong enough deckbuilder to decide whether this sort of diversification is a good or bad thing. On the one hand, more ways to deal with problems, but on the other there's reduced ability to do things consistently. Time will tell all.
I got 4 Kemmos from packs and figured since I already had a playset (and 800+ shiftstone waiting in Kemmo's Outlaws (Theme Deck)
) and liked his effect a lot, I might as well try to build around him. When I tried, Rise to the Challenge
and Crowd Favorite
were the only weapon tutors, but since then they've just kept adding more support. Whoever it is at DWD that loves Kemmo so much and keeps pushing for additional support, just know I love him, too.
I never found myself wanting any of the market fatties, so they've all been replaced with tech.
Telut, Queen's Hand
was always too expensive for this deck, Valkyrie Enforcer
fits better with the cost and gives us some valuable silence.
Sediti, the Killing Steel
also ended up a bit expensive and the influence was hard to reach; we're better off with a cursebreaker in Reinvigorate
Reyna, the Unwavering
is also a bit costly and we have aegis and the ability to re-build big units easily so the protection from shadow wasn't as helpful as it could have been. I've swapped the Crownwatch Standard
s out for Crest of Glory
so one has gone to the market to still give us access to Lifesteal
when we need it.