This is a deck concept built around the card Whistling Quill
to draw a lot of cards per turn, usually a majority of the deck. On the turn you play Whistling Quill on yourself, any non-unit card that hits the enemy player will draw you a card, even if the Whistling Quill itself leaves the field after it gets destroyed or sacrificed by another relic weapon.
The core of the deck includes Warning Shot
, Lutestrung Bow
, Pitfall Trap
, Thicket Trap
, Passionate Artisan
, Tomb of the Azuremage
, and 2 Dragon Forge
s. Passionate Artisan reduces the cost of all of those relics by 1 (turning Lutestrung Bow and Pitfall Trap into free cycles with Quill), while Tomb of the Azuremage provides both an extra dimension of consistency (drawing 2 cards per turn while discarding 1 actually increases consistency a lot more than simply drawing 1 card per turn) and a win condition that deals massive damage in one turn. Dragon Forge is extremely valuable as a tutor for Whistling Quill, although it is only at 2 copies because it's a dead card during combo turns. Skycrag Blueprints
helps us get the power we need to combo while also getting us an out to win the game, Torch
helps control the board and/or lets us continue the combo, Unstable Form
provides discard fodder that can sometimes get us a win condition, and Crafty Occultist
gets us some card draw that also lets us use our discard fodder without Tomb of the Azuremage.
In the market, Draconic Ire
helps us deal with attachments in a way that contributes to our win condition, Hailstorm
and Full Tilt
are useful board clears if the opponent gets too far ahead on the board, Honor of Claws
provides some draw in case we don't have our combo pieces, and Molot & Nakova
is intended as an alternate win condition in case our relics get destroyed, silenced, transformed, etc. We use Howling Peak Smuggler
as our choice of merchant for her ability to put fire or primal cards in the market, but in reality I think Caravan Delivery
would be better for market access because it leaves us card-neutral and contributes to Tomb of the Azuremage's damage output. If I did that I would replace Hailstorm with Elemental Fury
and Honor of Claws with Surveying the Rift
to match the new color requirements, but in that case there's the possibility that I replace Hailstorm with something unrelated since I haven't needed to use Hailstorm most of the time.
This deck still needs refinement. I am not sure if running 4 copies of Unstable Form is ideal, or if it would be better to replace some copies with Herald's Song
to provide some value when the board is mostly clear but we need to draw into our win conditions. I'm also not sure if having 4 copies of Skycragg Blueprints is optimal, as it's possible that running 3 copies it and Dragon Forge increases consistency by quite a bit. The core Whistling Quill package is definitely great and shouldn't be changed, but there are a lot of variables with the supporting cards that could possibly use some work.
Some tips for playing the deck:
- Warning Shot and Thicket Trap both have inscribe. Avoid inscribing Warning Shot as much as possible because it's an extremely valuable combo piece. Thicket Trap can be practically used for its inscribe effect early on, but if you have a cost reduction on it you should almost never be inscribing.
- Play Passionate Artisan as soon as you can to increase the likelihood that you get cost reductions on as many relics as you need. However, you no longer need Passionate Artisan after the second copy and can send any further copies you get to the market and/or discard them to Crafty Occultist and/or Tomb of the Azuremage.
- After your first Passionate Artisan trigger, you can discard any card during your combo that doesn't deal damage, including Crafty Occultists and Howling Peak Smuggler. Discard them last in case you need them the following turn or you have spare power left over at the end of your turn, but if you have to choose between "continuing the combo" and "getting value out of your units" then you should generally continue the combo.
- 2 - 1 > 1 - 0. In other words, playing even 1 Tomb of the Azuremage makes the combo considerably more consistent compared to just a single Whistling Quill.
- Don't be afraid to sacrifice relic weapons to continue the combo. You can double up the card draw of your combos by using additional Whistling Quills and continue combo chains by using Lutestrung Bow while sacrificing relic weapons, both of which are extremely valuable. Do be mindful of where your combos are clearly going to end though, if you start running out of cards to play it can be useful to set to continue your combo on the next turn. Also remember to try attacking with Whistling Quill before sacrificing it to Lutestrung Bow (since it has extra attack) unless you think you can get a face hit in after playing Thicket Trap later on in the combo (where that damage could have been used to cycle the Quill).
- You are looking to draw at least 3-4 cards off of Whistling Quill. However, you can make exceptions against aggressive decks, and even then you should at least draw 2-3 cards, including cycling Whistling Quill. On this front, it's usually most useful to start your combo around 4-5 mana, but you can do smaller combos on 3 mana if you need to clear the board with Thicket Trap.