With the current meta being dominated by the ever-present Twisted Fate, Go Hard deck. I set out to make 3 new decks that could do things differently in the new season’s Gauntlets. Face is the place in these decks, as in, we want lots of damage from units swinging for the enemy Nexus. So lets get started shall we.
The preconstructed deck Forged for Battle added to the game store with the Cosmic Creation expansion tries to show the synergy from Taric cloning Blade of Exile (and level him up quickly by creating it in the first place). However, the preconstructed deck is too slow and lacking in certain key meta-defining spells, so I’ve remixed it to remove tempo destroying dead weight such as Out of the Way and the new lackluster buff card Sharpened Resolve. Instead, Pale Cascade creates monstrous value by giving you two card draws with Taric, and Hush assists in everything from blocking Elusives to stripping a pile of buffs from a powerful Fiora.
Blade Squire was dropped due to how slow it is at generating a Reforge fragment, (most enemies will ignore it or play around killing it when possible) and replaced with Precious Pet, which can more consistently deliver damage and get better trades on defense. The largest creature change-ups though, are the addition of Shiraza the Blade and Wrathful Rider as very powerful Blade of Exile and Reforge buff targets. Shiraza permanently gaining the Quick Attack and Overwhelm combat keywords, along with +2 damage makes her into a must-kill threat, and Wrathful Rider with even temporary Overwhelm can end a game by pulling a low-health target to smash into.
If you’re familiar with Nightfall decks based on Diana and Nocturne you’ll recognize the core structure of this deck, but with the addition of a few Cosmic Creation cards I feel it is stronger than ever. Replacing Behold the Infinite with Supercool Starchart is a move endorsed by pro player NicMakesPlays as well, and you can see his version of this deck here. I favor running a few more spells and leaning harder on the new Evershade Stalker to activate Diana and Nocturne’s level up and other benefits, but at the core the same objective as before remains: get value from activating Nightfall and end the game with a combination of Elusive, Overwhelm, Fearsome, and direct damage.
I personally favor Moonlight Affliction over Cygnus the Moonstalker as well, because it directly counters the new meta of Zoe and Fiora decks, along with Hush. The fastest way to end most games though, remains through leveling Nocturne and pushing through a big swing where everyone is Fearsome and few enemies are able to block them. This variation loses some of the late game potential Behold the Infinite had, but also ensures you’ll actually be able to play whatever cards you Invoke the turn after you draw them at the latest, and that increased consistency is worth it.
People have been trying to make self-damage work as an archetype since the game was released, and it has always been lacking. Vlad himself has been buffed, while his supporting cards were nerfed, and nothing seemed capable of making this archetype into a powerful threat. Until Scargrounds. The evolution of this deck has been fun to track, as 10 of the cards in it are from Call of the Mountain and are vital to it. While of course the deck performs better with Scargrounds in play, you can still easily win games against people who are unprepared for how much damage Tarkaz, Scarmother, and Basilisk Bloodseeker can push without it.
Develop your board and use Crimson Curator to get lots of value, use your combat tricks to keep vital units growing until you get a chance to swing with them, and use Might to make Unscarred Reaver or Vlad into game-ending threats. That is the obvious strength of this deck, most of the cards in it can turn from decent value into absurd value once they’ve been thwacked by Tarkaz, Vlad, Awakeners, or Death Lotus enough times. Katarina, though, is the secret sauce that allows you to keep swinging with all your powerful and tough units until you’ve destroyed the enemy Nexus, while also bringing a powerful Champion spell in Death Lotus and a free Blade’s Edge into your plays.
Be sure to let us know if any of these decks helped you win Gauntlets or attain higher ranks. And if you made any changes be sure to let us know in the comments below what changes you made.