Copy Ruckus Rouser
2+ times, play a huge Clutch of Talons
, fill the board with dragons, merchant for Kaleb's Choice
with the 8 power generated from Clutch or play a Xo of the Endless Hoard
or Flame Blast
if you're not worried about sweepers.
targeting an active Rouser along with other units can double your power, setting up a lethal Flame Blast or massive Clutch. Bottoms Up
serves a similar role and can act as a finisher with Ixtun Merchant
's Overwhelm, a Humbug
, or a Screamed Rouser. I prefer having more Entomancies in the deck because it can deal with Sandstorm Titan
, Telut, Queen's Hand
, or any other unit preventing your dragons from closing the game. Flame Blast can also be pointed at an active Rouser to set up larger Clutches or a 2nd Blast.
lets you play out a Rouser on 4 without concern for its safety. If it gets killed you can scream it back to go for the combo on 5 power if you have a Mirror Image or on 6 power with Sudden Schism
. You're in trouble if Rouser gets silenced or transformed, so use caution around Valkyrie Enforcer
, Statuary Maiden
, and Feeding Time
. You can also Scream a Merchant at the end of the combo to grab Clutch, Blast, Choice, or even Skycrag Banner
if you need the 3rd Primal or 3rd Fire influence for the wincon in-hand.
While the deck is very fun to play and most games feel close, I still haven't found a build that can sustain a 50% win rate, so don't play this if you want to climb the ladder. Unfortunately, the deck's win rate will drop further if it gains popularity and opponents learn to make better market decisions and stop wasting fast speed removal on Merchants.
Hard mulligan for Rouser/Ixtun Merchant, as the deck doesn't do much when it can't bring the Ruckus. I almost always go down to 6 cards if my first redraw doesn't have Rouser/Ixtun Merchant. Even with a Strategize
in the opening hand, if there isn't a Rouser in the top 12 or 13 cards of your deck, you lose against all but the most glacial of control decks. In general, go for PPP before FFF when playing Seek Power
since the Flame Blast kill is much harder to pull off than a sizable Clutch. The Shadow splash is light, so it is often correct to seek for your second (sometimes even third) Primal or Fire influence before your first Shadow influence unless your hand is clogged with Shakedown
Against aggro you need to play turn 3 Merchant into turn 4 Rouser to have a chance and pray they waste their torch on the merchant. If you can't play a merchant on 3, you might be forced to block with your Rouser to survive, and that spells doom unless you have the Scream/Mirror Image immediate follow up. Most of my wins against aggro have come with me at <5 health.
The deck matches up decently with other removal-light combo decks like Chainbrei and Talir/Voda. Both decks can have access to Desert Marshal
, which will mess you up, but, when undisrupted, I believe this deck goes off on turn 5 more consistently. Telut and/or Sword of Unity
plus Icaria, Valkyrie Captain
gives Chainbrei an out to a large Clutch, but Unstable Form
and Entomancy can help you fight through.
Against Harsh Rule
control decks, pressure with Merchants when you can and take your time to set up a large Clutch with Kaleb's Choice up or try for the Flame Blast kill before Cobalt Waystone
comes online. Against Regent's Tomb
decks it can be smart to hold a merchant until the combo turn to avoid getting your Clutch, Blast, or Choice sabotaged. Playing a smaller Clutch to pressure and bait out a Rule can be better than emptying your hand to play the max number of dragons.
If you suspect the opponent is holding up Torch
and you're not under immense pressure, merchant for Kaleb's Choice
before going for the combo. You get the power from Rouser's trigger immediately after casting a copy effect, so you'll have the power to cast Choice when your opponent tries to kill your Rouser in response to the copy spell. If you have to go for the combo into an opponent holding up fast removal like Equivocate
, play your most expensive copy effect first as you still get the power from the Rouser trigger. Clutch at 8-12 power can still win the game or stall it out long enough for a second try at the big combo. It can even be correct to lead off with Flame Blasting or Humbugging your Rouser if your opponent's fast removal is face-up. Any copy effects left in hand are good at making additional dragons post-Clutch.
End of Hostilities
is usually just a Mirror Image with Warp that gives you +6 power with Rouser as the deck has no tribute enablers, but keep an eye out for any lines where suiciding a merchant or spent Rouser enables a double copy on the best unit on the board. Flame Blasting your Rouser activates tribute and can generate the power to do things like play Xo and immediately double copy it. The deck only has 2 copies of EoH because a hand with two EoH goes off 2 turns slower than a hand with any other copy effect and a single EoH, but the extra 2 power can really matter when trying for the Flame Blast kill.
If the combo pieces don't come together, sometimes you can buy time by casting 6-power Clutches on Jennev Merchant
. If your hand lacks Clutch or a lethal Flame Blast, you can try to get there with a 10-power Xo+Mirror Image Xo turn.
The card cost increase from Amplify works differently for spells and weapons. Amplified spells increase in effective cost, so Mass Entomancy on Rouser can double your power, whereas amplified weapons do not increase in effective cost, so Clutch of Talons only ever gives 8 power when triggering Rouser. DWD has confirmed that these disparate Amplify interactions between card types are intended and not a bug.
Props to Almost's WWH combo decks for the inspiration to include Haunting Scream.
This deck is one Clutchkeeper
short of being clutch tribal.
Alternate version for those that do not want to craft 4 Clutch of Talons: Drunken Clutch Ruckus Game's over boys.