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Icaria of the Vault

By Shine



Cost Curve




This deck deck started as a deckbuilding challenge to find a way to curve Heart of the Vault into Icaria, the Liberator, but then changed into the quest of finding if a midrange deck could be made to beat the dominant aggros of the current patch.

The result is better than what I expected: this deck has a good matchup against all the common played aggro (stonescar, rakano and skykragg), while keeping a reasonable winrate against midrange and control decks. In fact, the control matchup is pretty great, as 3+2 Icarias and 4 HotV make for a great lategame. Midrange decks are this list Achille's hell, as all the cheap removal we are packing don't do much against Champion of Mistery and similar midgame bombs.


Strategy and gameplay:

The deck is an aggressive midrange, and the general strategy should be the one of playing threat after threat only stopping to remove enemy blockers or lifelinkers, evenutally overwhelming them by sheer card value. However, between the presence of only one effective two drop - Awakened Student, and the necessary influence fixing, the deck can be kinda slow in starting to deploy creatures. To compensate that, there are a lot of reactive early play in the form of Torch, Purify and Desert Marshal to not fall behind in tempo against aggro and faster midrange.

Random note on how to play :

I usually attack with Whirling Duo against aggro if they are tapped out. If you leave it to block and eats a Torch or a random removal, you lose effectively 3 life, and almost always they can remove it.

While waiting for 11 influence for Knight-Chancellor Siraf may look good, it is usually better to just play it even around 8 or 9 influence, as it forces premium removal out of their hand, and clears the way for Icaria and HotV to stick.

Similarly, don't play Siraf into open 4JJ if you don't have Whirling Duo or HotV. Auric Runehammer punish that play hard.

Against feln, rise to the challenge should almost always get a Runehammer. Both black sky harbringer and champion of cunning can run with the game and you only have 4 vanquish to 1 for 1 them.

Don't play awakened student on turn two on the draw against deck playing Valkirie Enforcer or silences. As a 2/2 he's not going to block anything, while as a 3/3 it usually trades.

NEVER play a sandstorm titan against a justice aggro to block if you can play a removal instead. They can just vanquish and tempo you out. Similarly, play removals before Siraf etc. against other aggro.

Purify can be used to counter permafrost or wanted poster. I once got a scoop on turn 5, by silencing my titan with two posters!

You should always win against Icaria Blue, for some reason. They just have the wrong answer for the threats in the deck.
Similarly with scream reanimato: between the silences and

How to fetch influence

One of the trickiest part of playing the deck is fetching influence with Find the Way in the first turns without slowing down too much. I Usually prioritize getting mana against decks which are slower than this one, and playing cards even in a mana shortage against faster ones.

After getting JJ and TT, go for FFF, then TTT before getting the third J.

Some note on card inclusion

Desert Marshal the card is there because it is amazing against Stonescar. It acts as an answer in their turn to bandit queen or Vicious Highwayman. It can also allow nice blocks on champion of chaos. Against Rakano it gets huge value by turning champion of glory into a 1/1, and trading with all their 2 drops.

Budget replacement:

It is hard to play a budget version of the deck, as it wins by raw card quality, and there is not so much outside legendaries.

Still it is possible to replace:

Knight-Chancellor Siraf with Combrei Healer which improves aggro a lot, but is bad vs control

Some Icaria or HotV for copies 3 and 4 of Rise to the Challenge without harming the deck much.

Sandstorm Titan can be replaced by Crimson Firemaw

Possible card inclusion:

The list posted is tuned for aggro, if you find playing mostly against grindy deck (like current masters):

-1 Desert Marshal
-1 Auric Runehammer

+2 The Great Parliament
+2 Rise to the Challenge


Shiftstone Cost (Does not include campaign cost) 59,300
Premium Cost 228,800
Influence Requirements 3 3 3
Power Sources 14 15 12 16
Deck Rarities 16 25 10 15
Card Types 25 3 22 25
Archetype Midrange
Updated March 1, 2018
Added February 28, 2018
Views 5,562
Eternal Version v1.28 - Draft Changes
Deck URL

Revisions (Since last major patch) March 1, 2018



BadBug Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Thanks for the helpful guide.
I need help dealing with fast aggro on the diamond rank - especially skycrag, its just overwhelming real fast :/
Gaze73 Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Why no Mystic Ascendant? Seems like a perfect fit with so many powers.
Sabriel Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Hi Shine! This is my favorite version of Naya that I've seen someone else post so far, and have been having a lot of fun with variations close to this! My current build has been adapted from this and I'm currently 16-2 with it. [happyto post my changelist if you'd like!]
aPear Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Started playing a version of this today minus the heart of the vaults, plus 2 deepforged plate & 2 starsteel daisho. It's been working very well on the ladder, it's exciting how fast you can consistently get icaria out!
aPear Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Thanks for the list!
JTJag Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Aw yeah, now this is a greedpile I can get into.
Aphelion Eternal Version: 1.28.7
This is almost verbatim what I said to myself while I read this list.
FitzChiv Eternal Version: 1.28.7
looks like a cool deck honestly. I dont really get the single parliament even if its just one. why not just use one more hammer or rise or another icaria?
Shine Eternal Version: 1.28.7
It should be probably cut from the mainlist. It is a card I am currently testing, as I am unsure whether or not it is better than the two you listed and if it deserves the spot in the deck. IF so it should be probably more than 1 copy.
BadBug Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Thanks for sharing, is there any reasonable replacement for siraf ?
Shine Eternal Version: 1.28.7
I would go for 3 combrei Healer and 1 rise to the challenge. After that, craft Siraf!
BadBug Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Thanks, i'm missing 2 Sirafs. I filled their place with parliament but im not 100% sure about it. maybe ill try the combrei healers you have suggested...
Rainbird Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Concerning the mana base:
According to these tables, hitting the mana requirements with 90% probability requires:
TJF by turn 2 => 16 T, 16 J, 16 F
TT and JJ on 4 => 22 T, 22 J
FFFTTT on 6 => 25 F, 25 T
FFFJJJ on 7 => 24 F, 24 J
25 F, 25 T, 24 J
You have 10 spells drawing you sigils. That leaves you with 15 F, 15 T, an 14 J required influence as power cards.
You currently have: 14 F, 15 T, 12 J.
Your could switch one Seat of Impulse for a Rakano Banner and take one unit out for a Amber Acolyte for example. Then you should be in good shape.
Shine Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Thank you for the feedback. Those tables are going to save me a bit of work in the future. This reminds me that time should always have more influence than FJ, as you can cast Find the Way with it in order to get out of a influence screw, which you can't with rakano influence.

I will try testing with +1 rise to the challenge and +1 amber acolyte for a mini tutor package and see how it works.
Skrike Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Really love the idea of this list, Im missing a couple legendaries to play it yet, but I wonder if friendly wisp would work to help with card draw late game, or diplomatic seal to help even out the manabase in early game. Looking forward to reading the guide you post later.
Shine Eternal Version: 1.28.7
Thanks! I always wonder if someone actually reads them, when I write those guides. If you want to give me feedback on what you would like to find written in them, it would be welcome.

Diplomatic seal I would say no, as I find myself struggling for influence up to the 7th turn, and you need both dual lands and basic sigils to have them untapped.

About friendly wisp: the draw is great, but the deck has only 11 target for it, and before posting the deck I tested with wanted poster, which has also 11 targets, and found it unreliable, yet situationally great. I fear it will be the same, but I will try a few games with it, maybe adding 2-3 worldbearer behemoth for consistency.