Currently my favourite deck in the game. I'm working on a primer over time. Feel free to reccommend suggestions, I've tried a lot of different cards, but I'm always willing to try more.
This is a deck Ive tried to get to work since I initially started playing the game. The concept of the deck is similar to Magic: The Gathering's Dredge, which is an aggro deck aiming to mill cards off the top of the deck to fill the graveyard and cast cheap or free cards from it to close out games.
This is the most consistent version of the deck I have playtested. Let's start by explaining why the major new package is here: Krull, Xumuc Occultist
and Know When to Hold 'em
: Y'all are probably sick of seeing these two cards, but these cards are part of what makes the deck so consistent. The Krull nerf practically unaffected the consistency in this deck except in very niche circumstances. The main purpose of Krull is to reanimate a card that lets you fill your void more by drawing and discard or grabbing a card out of the market. In addition, Krull can play some incredibly cheap Shoaldredger later in the game, which puts tons of power into play.
Know when to hold em actually has a toolbox as well, so it is not entirely reliant on having Krull in the deck.
: 4 power for 1 mana is a very strong rate, and it makes Know When to Hold em almost never a dead card, even against void hate. It can interfere with being able to play free Felrauks as early as possible, but the upside outweighs the downsides. Gatecrash Trooper
: This is the single weirdest card I have been running and have actually been very impressed by. Basically, read it as, "Reduce your technical deck size by 4, but let your opponent draw x amount of extra cards throughout the game." With know when to hold em, it effectively makes the card cantrip, which has niche situations if you are power screwed. Besides that, it gives you potentially two extra cards to discard to keep your better cards in your hand.
: This is the final card you can consider drawing with Know When to Hold em, but you very rarely do. The times you are are the nichest scenarios possible (You know you have a Felrauk on the bottom of your deck thanks to a scout, or you are fishing for him). Besides that, the card is a house and a great new addition to the deck. It can add an extra card to the void, very often being a unit to turn on Broken Contract, and it will likely be played for very cheap or free later on in the game. Its another card thats great against void hate, and Ive won games singlehandedly because of it after getting my void locked out.
Next up will be the main cards we want to cheat into play for cheaper or free. Besides Shoaldredger:
Felrauk the Outcast
: Honestly my favourite card in the game at this moment. Once you hit SSSPPP, any time you discard him you get to play him for free. Adding 5 power and making the opponent discard a card is fantastic, especially considering it'll sometimes not even take a card to do that. He can be clunky early, but the upsides are miles higher in comparison. Faceless One
: On the other hand, this is a 2/1 that cant block, which is far less power, but is much easier to play for free as you only need S influence. Its important for consistency and is able to apply quite a lot of pressure for free most of the time. It also allows the deck to trigger onslaught very expendable, which is relevant for 1 card I'll be talking about later.
After these, we come to the most important part of the deck, the ways to discard cards. These cards are all very important as they let the deck consistently do what it wants to do. Darkwater Vines
: Super important 1 drop. It enables a lot of self mill for 1 mana, attacks as a 2/1, and lets you get an onslaught trigger or chump block for free because of regeneration. Sporefolk
: Good ol' Sporefolk. Provides a 1/2 body and always throws 5 cards in the void. I run this over Malaise in the main deck since it is a unit, so it enables Shoaldredger to come online faster and immediately impact the board as a 1/2.
: Most efficient way to draw and discard cards in the game. The only downside is that you have to trigger onslaught, which means you can never do it turn 1. But besides that, the card just lets you filter your hand perfectly, and makes the deck that much more consistent.
: Good Ol' Cartographer. Just a loot on etb and a 2/1 for 2. Not much to say, just one of the better cards for rate.
: Low-key one of the best cards in the deck. A single turn looting with this card can enable great boardstates and a she always gives you a spot to spend mana. Well, at least 4 times. Also can attack for up to 4 damage that is harder to block.
Finally, well, is the Market and Merchants of the deck. This is the part I have touched the least, as merchants in the past have interferred with the deck's consistency, but now that Krull and other certain cards exist, merchants are better than ever.
and Blight Pass Smuggler
: Just the two shadow merchants, though Blight pass is much, much better than Kerendon in this deck thanks to 1 market card:
: No this is not just because it is a new card (admirably that was why the card was in there initially), this card is an absolute beast. With Blight Pass Smuggler, it can immediately threaten lethal with a berserk attack, and force all blocks on it. Also, you can put the buff on a lightning sprite and hit the opponent in the air. Finally, a 5/3 body can just put a lot of pressure on the opponent.
: Just a quick and easy way to discard 6 cards from the top of your deck. You grab this to try and play free Felrauks and faceless ones or to cheapen the cost of Shoaldredgers in hand. Finally it has synergy with another market card: Pillar of Dreams
: This is a card I'm debating on keeping in the deck, as it is a very slow card, but it does win games by itself and completely snaps stalls in half. Any unit that goes to the void increases your units in play by 1 power, with malaise and sporefolk, you can easily get +3/4 power to all of your units in a turn.
Seat of Cunning
: The deck only play a single basic sigil, so this card is almost always depleted. Its in the market because sometimes you really need that extra PS influence to enable Fel'rauk. Its happened more times than you would expect.
: The most consistently good market card in the market. You happily grab this in every match up. Aggro? Five health and smack a unit or two. Midrange? Smack a unit. Control? Smack the face and force the opponent to have relic removal.
Power Choices: Runs a 4 of all dual power cards except for Seat of Cunning, 1 basic shadow sigil, 4 Broken Contracts and finally:
4 Chairman's Contract
for extra self mill. I'm not sure what the exact math is, but having the extra self mill and free way to enable Darkwater Vines has, in my experience, been better than extra sigils to enable Felrauk faster and more consistently.
Generally Milligan hands with multiple powers that dont add influence. Try to go for a hand with not too many 'play for free' cards and more cards that draw discard than just discard. The deck is pretty consistent, out of all the games ive played with the deck (Not exactly sure how many, but at least 30, maybe 40+) Ive only mulliganed down to 6 once or twice.
General Gameplay: Against aggro, honestly, race them. With how consistent the deck is, it can very easily force them to use burn spells on units to attack with units, and you will almost always play more units than they will. Oblivion Spike and Dark Purveyor are your best market cards because they help you race, and 5 health is enough to take a burn spell or two.
Against midrange, this can be your hardest match up. Midrange units are remarkably larger than aggro units, so it can get hard to get in damage. Try to outpace them, and if a stall occurs, thats when Pillar of dreams is the absolute best. Also there are situations where Dark Purveyor can cheese out games, so look towards that as well.
Control is easy or difficult based on draws. With all of the card filtering the deck has, you can go on a grindy game plan after an aggressive start pretty often. Make sure not to overcommit to board wipes, but let down a decent amount of pressure. Your opponent will likely be forced to use removal on stuff like faceless one as the game drags on. Oblivion Spike is a house against control except against Sabre-Tooth Prideleader, so its a good way to get in damage, same with Dark Purveyor.
Basically, here is a couple of things I found out from playtesting.
is just not good enough in this style of deck, mostly cause it needs to be as aggressive as possible and while having a 0/1 recurring chump blocker is nice, its not good enough to run. Plus it makes insignias depleted, which matters occasionally.
No main deck removal is something that still baffles me, but imo its the right choice. Removal spells can make your draws clunky and make you unable to be as aggressive as you want to be. Maybe I'll test removal options if we get better unit based ones, like ravenous chupacbra from mtg (or Nekrataal or Shriekmaw if you remember older cards).
Finally, the deck is heavily unit based to optimize casting shoaldredger as much as possible, so thats why the great card advantage draw discard like honor of claws, Forbidden Research, or Rainfall Accord is not ran in the deck. Those card would be better if this was a more grindy deck rather than an aggressive one.
Thank you for reading if you did, and have a fantastic day.
Edit#1: So after a comment on Reddit from u/RockstarCowboy1 mentioned Jotun Hurler, as well as other options, I decided to test him out and have grown to prefer him over gatecrash trooper.
: Works similarly to Gatecrash Trooper where it provides two cards instead of 1 for discarding purposes, but it also makes it so the deck can fight off aggro and actually be able to remove at least some number of units. The snowball also lets you finish off units that have blocked a faceless one or the like, which helps as you want to be able to keep attacking. Ive discarded the hurler much more often than playing him, but it is a reasonable thing to do very late in the game.
Edit#2: So I recently got Stormbreak and man I love it. Well, specifically the two cards I have been testing, but others look sweet and I'll build around them eventually.
: I have a story about this card. So when it first came out and I was looking at it, I thought, "Oh, this is a sweet control card, but sadly it doesn't work well in dredge." This was because I thought the card said it drew a unit or spell that dealt damage. I did not realize until my reddit post yesterday that the unit and spell parts are seperated, meaning it draws any unit and spells that do damage.
So yeah, hes gonna be in, happily. He mills 2 less than sporefolk, which can matter to enable fast Shoaldredgers, but the extra health, lifesteal, and card draw are highly valuable in the deck. I haven't made any final decisions, but expect it in the main very soon.
: This is the first card I have heavily debated splashing. Card does everything you want, it discards units to cheapen shoaldredger and play them for free, it makes an extra body most of the time, and is pure card advantage when you have few cards in hand. In addition, its amazing to reanimate with Krull and Haunting Scream. The only issue is the fire influence requirement. Ive been testing the power situation, and it does noticeably slow down playing free Felrauks, as well as the deck's aggro game plan. I need to figure out the power situation, but it feels really good whenever I play it and I'm hoping I can fit it in.
Edit#3: Grenahen is in, and pillar of dreams has officially been replaced with Haunting Scream.
: Ah, I miss the days of 2 mana scream into the gorgon infiltrator. But reminiscing aside, the card has mostly proven its worth because its basically 7 damage later in the game. It can also do a lot more after a dark purveyor, but that happens much less frequently. Thanks to Almost for recommending it.
Edit#4: Crafty Occultist as well as a powerbase update has been confirmed. Personally I am not 100% sure if it is fully optimal, but I have much more fun with this variation than the pure feln version, so that is what matters.
Chairman's Contract has been cut because it makes powers too inconsistent when you are trying to get SSSPPPF. Feln Insignia was also cut because it'll no longer be played undepleted. In their place is 4 of each of Stonescar Portrait (helps against aggro and more consistently gives the deck undepleted power turn 1 and 2) and Skycrag Banner (unreported when it is needed and fixes power.)
Edit#5: Oh boy, Revelations is an absolute dream for me. This set slaps when it comes to enabling void shenanigans. So of course I had to craft this busted card day 1ish: Elding of the Final Hour
: Dear lord, as great as the card feels to play, she is unbelievably busted and will be nerfed soon. But for now, enjoy your consistent turn 2-3 4/4 with keywords which let you aggro down the opponent much faster than before. In addition, shes a good scream target and feels decent to hard cast in those awkward situations. She replaced 3 Jotun Hurlers, so I can Know when to hold em when I need the snowball, and 1 lightning sprite.
is back as a two of, replacing the remaining Lightning Sprites. Its been a good card, but for now the deck needs to be faster paced.
Also mild market update, Malaise
has been replaced for Defile
because of Grand Suppressor
, and the Seat in the market has become a Stonescar Banner as having the extra way to get fire influence has been better than influence fixing for Fel'rauk.
I am sorry if this deck or other shadow based discard decks are causing you pain, but hopefully Elding gets a fair nerf and everything becomes more fair.