Hi all, this is a breakdown of the unique Combrei build that Avyoine and I brought to last weekends LCQ, Eggs. Last month I played this deck to a 51-8 win record, all the way to Rank 2. I ultimately made a misplay in the decider game into Top 8, but Avyoine ended up finishing very strongly at Top 4! I'll try to explain why we thought this deck was a good idea for the tournament and what I've ended up changing :)
So to start off, there is one major change from our LCQ decklists:
4x Desert Alchemist
over 3x Defiance
, 1x Stormhalt Plating
Unit based removal is fairly strong against Skycrag Mid due to interrupting killer from Kenna, Uncontained
or dealing with Plunk, Wumpkin through aegis. My friend Watchwolf92 actually suggested this to me prior to the tournament, but I didn't have much time to test it, so I think that was a mistake in hindsight :P
Anyway, the reason we liked this deck going into the tournament and ended up bringing it started with what we thought (somewhat correctly) would be a Kira/Elysian meta. Combrei has access to very efficient silence removal in Valkyrie Enforcer
and Desert Marshal
, and these two decks are extremely vulnerable to it. From there, I decided I'd like to try to build a more unit based version of Combrei instead of the popular Relics variant, allowing you to run the powerful payoff Svetya, Merciful Orene
to go over any other late game strategy with random small justice units.
This is where the name comes from, actually! If you'll use your imagination for a second, you can see that Aegis acts very much like an egg, being oval shaped and cracking under the slightest pressure (a spell). It even sounds like eggs! And since Svetya gives an egg to every unit in your deck, it makes perfect sense and no one can say otherwise. Okay, ramblings and bad puns aside, here are some key cards for this list and why they were included:
Maindeck 4x Enter the Monastery
This is by far the single best card in the deck. It draws two cards while playing an undepleted sigil, making it a 2 cost Wisdom of the Elders
that ramps. If you have no use for the extra sigil, you can still market it away.
4x Justice Etchings
A unique payoff to unit based Combrei, it lets you access the market in a card neutral way for only 1 power. It doesn't take up any real deck slots since it can also be used as Seek Power
, so this is a great spell.
4x Icaria, Valkyrie Captain
I like this card a lot, but many people consider it bad since it dies to Jotun Hurler
. I'd argue otherwise, since you're able to easily see if your opponent has triggered a fate effect and deduce that they have a Snowball
. If they do draw one, playing her as a 5 drop can be very powerful as well. She's a strong 2-for-1 if you can activate her.
4x Sediti, the Killing Steel
Sediti is mostly just another way to gain card advantage while developing threats. He curves very well from activating Icaria on turn 3, and if you warp him then you immediately draw a card. The curse is hard for non-aggressive decks to deal with unless they sacrifice units by attacking into you.
4x Svetya, Lightbringer
Okay, this is a very slow card that hasn't seen play in a long time, but it fits perfectly here because you're accelerating your power with ramp. If you're able to cast Svetya, Lightbringer
while the board is at least even, it forces most decks to pass their turn. She additionally gives your deck +2/+2 whenever you activate her Surge effect with a dual, which synergizes with cheap units.
4x Diana, Faith's Shield
While it has a small stat line, it still has enough health to block many units and can notably trade with Plunk. Gaining four health is a great way to stall until the late game, and the combination of stalling and drawing a card makes this effect essentially free. If you buff her with either Svetya then she becomes a serious threat that the opponent has to deal with quickly.
4x Desert Marshal
, 4x Valkyrie Enforcer
As I mentioned earlier, these two cards are used as removal that can still be targeted by Etchings and buffed by Svetya.
4x Builder's Decree
Very flexible card that can be used to Exploit
for free + play unit(s). If you reach 9 power it's nearly impossible to recover from. If you're facing decks where you have a large amount of inevitability (like Skycrag Mid) it can be used for 1 to make your opponent skip key turns.
Market 1x Gavel's Insight
- It's essentially a fast speed version of Bore
that also combat buffs.
- An incredible comeback mechanism, you market for this quite often to reset the board state going into late game.
- It curves nicely from Winchest Merchant
and if you onslaught it then it's the same effect as Enter the Monastery
1x Sword of Unity
- Strong way to gain life and protect a threat (or your entire board) from being removed.
1x Svetya, Merciful Orene
- The main payoff of this deck, it turns every unit into an amazing draw that can win the game.
I'd like to extend this guide by talking some more about the theory behind building it. At this point you should have a solid understanding of card choices, but I will try to go in depth on how I came to this exact list and what your goal should be in a typical game. This might get pretty long, so if that doesn't sound interesting to you then feel free to start playing now. :)
Alright, I'll start by explaining what went so terribly wrong in my life for me to end up playing Svetya and Sediti in the same deck. It all started with last months balance patch, which included serious nerfs
to fire-based aggro and the popular Moon Room
list. While nothing particularly interesting received a buff, these changes had a very important impact on the meta. Pokpok, Rockpacker
was brutally assassinated in his sleep, forcing the other grieving Yetis to retire out of fear for their lives. Oni Patrol
unconditionally dies to Jotun Hurler
, one of the most widely played cards in the game. League Explorer
became less consistent, requiring an activated Champion of Fury
's worth of influence to cast on turn 2. In addition to all of that, Depth Charge
became a single, removable relic, instead of playing multiples whenever explorer attacks. Aggro players were not feeling great, so this type of strategy saw a steep decline in playrate and became much less of a concern.
This is what initially sparked my interest in Combrei. The deck has one of the strongest late games possible, being able to lock out your opponent and kill them with one copy of Builder's Decree
. It has a major flaw, though. Running no units besides Diana, it's very easy to develop the board and deal lethal damage while they're stuck playing Power Stone
s to ramp. Combrei does have a way to counter this, and it's one of the most unfair cards in the game, despite it's ironic name. If you do end up drawing Equalize
, almost no deck can kill you in time before you outscale them with powerful threats. Alas, you do not always draw it, and there are ways to combat it with the use of counterspells and face aegis, The Throne Room
being the most notable. Wait, Throne Room was just nerfed! No longer being able to grant aegis, there is nothing left in the meta to stop me! I will cast sooo much equality, and everyone will be powerless (literally, most of the time) to do anything about it!
Or something like that. However, relying entirely on an overpowered 3 cost sweeper still didn't seem optimal to me. This is when I began to notice top players showing interest in Kira Ascending
and Wump Ascending decks. Wait sorry, wrong card, I meant Jarrall Ascending
. Anyway, my first thought was that I could run Desert Marshal
and Valkyrie Enforcer
as cheap units that act as kill spells against the type of cards these decks play. The main problem with these changes at the time was that I still had a deck which was all-in on ramping and then casting Equalize
. Playing units instead of developing extra power or putting relics into play to reduce my handsize did not synergize with this core gameplan. So unitless equalize did not work for me, this hybrid version with silence units didn't work, and eventually I ended up cutting the best card in the deck. This led to outrage in the eternal community, I was getting constant messages and hate mails telling me how stupid this was, until I inevitably added it back (but in the Market this time). Okay, so with Equalize
in the market I can be comfortable adding units to have a better early game, and I have 8x access to the key card of the deck thanks to Justice Etchings
and Winchest Merchant
From here the deck is pretty self explanatory, I added more justice units and decided I wanted to use Svetya, Merciful Orene
to go way over other Combrei decks (or whatever else people may think of for the LCQ). If you survive to 8 power and successfully play her, every unit in your deck becomes protected against removal and must be answered immediately. This combination is quite strong, since they have to use two removal spells any time you draw a unit. There is no real way to beat this other than killing the Svetya player before they draw too many cards, which becomes difficult thanks to extra draws from Diana or warping Sediti. Svetya, Lightbringer
locks your opponent from playing units, which is the easiest way to kill you and so it helps stall.
I think that is about all I wanted to talk about regarding building this deck, most of everything else is covered through the individual card section :) I know that was pretty long, but I hope it was also informative. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the deck!
Congrats again to Avyoine on his top 4 finish! He should be super proud and I'm grateful that he would entrust his deck choice to me