I updated my old Merchant Combo deck
from last summer, taking advantage of the Black Market mechanic to give us a higher density of merchants. We now have 12 Time and Primal Merchants and 8 Shadow and Fire Merchants, so the deck is more about finding a quantity of pieces, rather than trying to draw specific cards, which is an issue the old version often faced. If you're unfamiliar with the combo, basically, we try to get Recurring Nightmare down to 0 cost, play an Iceberg Scattershot, and then slam the free Nightmare. The Nightmare pings the opponent for a single damage, doubles its attack value, and puts itself back into our hand. We then execute this loop as many times as our opponent has points of health, or until they see the writing on the wall and concede. Check out the old list to see the exact card interactions we use to go off.
UPDATE: I'm trying Xo of the Endless Hoard
in the The Praxis Arcanum
slot lately simply as more Market food that lets us actually do something on turn 2, and have tweaked the power base slightly to reflect it. The Time-producing Tokens have been replaced with the pair of Crests that I initially cut, since now none of the cards in the combo have double influence requirements. After playing around with Diogo Málaga, Elonze
combo, I realized the power of simply having more cards to swap out of our market greatly outweighs the extra cost reduction we get from the site. The Treasure Trove is also not to be scoffed at here, as getting deeper into the deck to find our missing influence or another Merchant is also big game. I think there's merit to playing Jotun Hurler
in this slot as well, as the Snowball can snipe some problematic units like Hojan, Crownbreaker
, or even bigger units if we have one or more Howling Peak Smugglers in play. However, I think having a cantrip in a deck like this is slightly better than having a piece of interaction that's only really good in corner cases.
Things to note:
- Don't blow your only Howling Peak Smuggler grabbing a Primal card! This deck can't combo off without an Iceberg Scattershot, which presents a unique challenge for our merchants. The cost-reduction half of the combo can be executed with several multi-faction cards, allowing for a great deal of flexibility with merchants, but the Fire part of the combo can only be grabbed with one of 8 merchants, so use them wisely!
- Don't be afraid to play a Crest on turn 3 instead of your first Merchant. This deck needs to grab 4 cards from it market in order to go-off, so waiting to build up more cards in your hand before you start to fetch the combo pieces is preferred if you can afford the time.
- You're pretty much only playing Journey Guide on the same turn you play a Shadow or Primal Merchant to go grab Nightmare. Never expect your "dorky" units to survive.
- If it becomes clear that your opponent has a torch or other fast spell interaction, try to pivot into Merchant + Avisaur beats. Even if it doesn't work out, you may just pressure your opponent enough that they spend all their power dealing with the units that don't actually matter
- Play your Common Cause before your merchants! I can't tell you how many times i've played one of the two remaining Merchants in my hand, only to find myself with a faction-less power card in my hand, only 3 colors of Influence and an egg on my face.