I haven't touched expedition since FoX released, but I've been hoping the new set would finally deliver enough support for the FTS sacrifice archetype DWD has been pushing sorta half-heartedly. I thought I might only enjoy it in Throne because a lot of good token generators and other key cards are absent from expedition, but I was surprised to find that DWD printed a lot more quality cards for the deck than I expected - enough that I think this is actually really good, and has the tools it's looking for. I've only had a day to play at this point, but in that time I rose from the bottom of bronze to the doorstep of diamond with an extremely consistent 75-85% win rate.
This is fundamentally a control deck, with the aim being stalling to survive, maintaining command of the board (at least enough to stick the site), and eventually amassing insurmountable card advantage. However, you do want to be proactive in getting your engines set up, which tends to work in harmony with staying alive. We'll discuss a few different ways to actually close out the game, but the principle is always surviving and drawing.
Everything in this deck revolves around sacrificing units profitably, and to do that, we need good token generators. Luckily, EoE brought with it probably the best two options in the game. Display of Destruction
is sort of a given for the deck. 3 bodies for 3 is a great rate for sac fuel, especially at fast speed to ensure they're up at the start of your turn, and that's almost always what this card is for. The damage mode is a really useful second option, with the ramp mode a rare third that can enable the occasional big turn and power some of the big cards here that directly reward sacrifices. Perhaps even more exciting is Kato, Arena Herald
. This is a reliable 3 bodies for 2 power with built-in sweeper resistance. Late in the game, it brings an 8/8 to the board alongside double sac fodder for just 2 power, and gives you ample opportunity to get a second 8/8 for just 1 more. (If it says 9 on the shade, sacrificing it will summon the 8/8.) The shade's 1-power self-sacrifice is also a great boost when sac-matters cards are in play. I cannot overstate how much of a boon this has been to the sacrifice archetype. Play 4 in all FTS sacrifice decks, Throne or Expedition. Ephemeral Wisp
is the other BEST token generator, turning every power into fuel. Nahid's Choice
is a solid 2 bodies for 2, with the often useful alternate mode winning it a place in the deck over less versatile options.
Another new token card that's good here is the time market spell, Crack the Earth
. A market spell that gives a token was the natural first option; access to Induce Madness
and Mysterious Waystone
sealed it. These two relics represent win conditions out of the market for different matchups. If your opponent wants to play to the board, they will absolutely not be able to keep up with a functioning sacrifice engine once Induce Madness is in play. I've come back against everything up to massive flying stranger boards with this. In most games this is my first market pull, but it isn't exclusive. Mysterious Waystone is an alternative win condition for decks that will try to grind us out, and has also been really strong, particularly against relic weapons. Otherwise, a Scraptank
is here as a threat and tokens in one card in case board presence is what you need. I experimented with Eremot's Machinations
, but essentially never wanted to get it. I also tried Ancient Excavator
to lend the relics some backup, which is super slow, but does its job as intended in extremely grindy games where a removed relic is your best chance of winning, especially Mysterious Waystone matchups. I'm going to borrow Oblivion Spike
from Twiddles' similar list, as I didn't even notice it was in Expedition and it seems like a more consistently relevant draw as a 2-for-1, finisher, or emergency removal. Ark of Sol
rounds out the market with a Bargain option, providing early ramp or late-game sacrifice procs without spending a card. Don't forget this is here like I do, and don't just automatically use it when available - if the power isn't relevant, save it for later on when sacrificing is extra profitable. As for market timing, it's quite flexible due to the spell's low cost and fast speed. If I already have a read on what I'll need, I will sometimes play it on 1 power if possible to prepare banners or block something unexpectedly, but it's useful throughout the game as sacrifice material or an Ark of Sol trigger due to the fast speed. Because the spell is so cheap and everything it can fetch is on 5 cost, I think it's usually sound to play the spell when the body is needed and a card can be spared, rather than always waiting until you need the market card.
Echoes of Eternity also brings Strange Burglar
and Dova, the Fearmonger
. Strange Burglar is like Stonescar Scrapper
but draws an extra card for just one unit and has a small buff for wide boards. This card is absolutely absurd for this strategy, and I appreciate how much DWD pushed it, because without Burglar this deck would be a shell of itself. Dova, then, is like Tasbu, the Forbidden
; it isn't quite as powerful and is more limited to the sacrifice strategy, but has easy influence requirements and does a lot for the deck between tons of card draw, power fixing with Pledge, occasional mastery providing both a win condition and sacrifice fuel, and just an on-rate body. It's very context-dependent whether you want to save Dova to draw off as you play it or simply develop it as a threat and possibly go for draw later. Finally, we have Profane Nexus
. When supported properly, this site is incredibly powerful for its cost and playing it early on is a key to a lot of wins. Devour
is the most valuable spell, but Sol's Fury
is often the first you play in order to protect it. Last Rites
revives Wisps, don't forget. When Obrak, the Feaster
comes out, don't be afraid to use it as sac fodder if it isn't going to win you the game or you don't want to throw units away at the moment.
While I was initially skeptical, I've come around on Kindling Carver
. Although it has some drawbacks compared to straightforward card advantage options like Eager Offering
or Nahid's Distillation
, the early-game digging capability is incredibly valuable for consistently getting things online, and it helps get immediate value off Dova or Induce Madness with free triggers for them every turn. Carver really delivers both consistency and synergy and isn't something I'd consider skipping anymore. This does increase the burden on our sacrifice fuel, so be mindful of what you'll need going forward and don't get Carver-happy if you have something more important coming up.
Finally, Destruction Chant
is way better than a seek power or especially a cargo; I just have 2 because Ark of Sol and Pledge ease its burden considerably, as does digging with Carver. And then there's great sac removal in Combust
and Worthy Cause
, which are both utterly devastating with Induce Madness in play.