I thought I'd share my go-to gauntlet grinder. I've used it for quite a while. It is fairly consistent, as long as you're careful with your decisions (I guess that's the case with gauntlet grinders in general). And, it usually makes it through a full run relatively quickly.
Here's a quick rundown:
- Stall with removal. You have ways to gain life with cards like Whirling Duo
and Vara, Vengeance-Seeker
. So, don't fret if you find yourself losing health early to aggro decks.
- Rise to the Challenge
is great in this deck. But, you gotta think about what's best to pull depending on your matchup/situation. Icaria is often a tempting choice (and super fun), but sometimes you want Dichro or Vara. Deepforged Plate
is really good against stun decks or permafrost. It's also good to put on Duo or Vara for more life gain.
- BE CAREFUL about using Vara. Her anti-aegis can make Icaria an easy target. You don't want both out at once unless you're desperate.
- One of my favorite combos is Wanted Poster
+ either Slay
. I had Mystical Shackles
, but you DO NOT want to silence the unit with the wanted poster. Sometimes, you can hit a unit that has a wanted poster with Vara's Favor
. Kill a unit, draw 2 cards, and draw a shadow sigil from your deck all for either 4 power on one turn, or 4 power across 2 turns.
- Dichro, Conqueror
is such a good card against certain matchups. It wrecks soldier decks, grenadin, and aegis. And if you get more than one out, it's often game over.
- Poacher's Menagerie
really is one of the best gauntlet cards. It can really help stall. But, it's not the win condition. I don't even always play it. It's often a 'win more' card, but it can save your bootay from hot water.
- I've never really used a market for this deck.
- The powerbase can be optimized. Instead of the crests, I've had extra seats and tomes. With your opening hand, you (ideally) want at least 3 power cards that cover all three colors (or at least 2 power cards with a favor or cargo). And you want to prioritize green and black since there are more cards that require two black or green to play. Even if you're making it to turn 4 without two black and green influence, it's usually not that big of a deal since you have key cards that only require 1 influence of its respected colors. By turn 4, I usually have a nice distribution of influence.
Just be smart when deciding whether or not to keep your opening hand. The deck is a little on the expensive side power-wise, but it still managed to work nicely. The removal and life gain mitigate the fact that it is often a slow-to-start deck.
There are probably ways to make the deck run more efficiently. For example, Sword of Icaria
could probably be subbed out for something else. But, I like to use it for aegis units and as a way to buff cards like Duo and Vara.
I've run this with 4 copies of Vara's Favor and 2 copies of Desecrate. I'm not quite sure which ratio I like more. 4 copies of Favor helps with finding a much needed shadow sigil, but 3 copies seem to work too.
I can't think of anything else, so that's pretty much it. Happy grinding!