I originally threw this deck together before Gen Con because I wanted to subvert my “play threats on my turn” idea (which is a big part of Combative Humans and Untargetable Tempo). I also wanted to use some “bad cards” that weren’t seeing much play: Winter Fairy, Vampire Lord, The Gudgeon, Angelic Protector (Djinn of the Sands).
8/27/16 Deck List
3x The Gudgeon
1x Avenging Angel
2x Rampaging Wurm
As I mentioned, I built this deck to subvert the idea that I play threats on my turn, and I use “draw 2+ cards” on my opponent’s turn like Erase and Ceasefire. Instead, I am using “draw 2+ cards” on my turn, primarily Winter Fairy and The Gudgeon. (Djinn of the Sands, Banishment, and Draka’s Fire are similar.) The reason why I wanted to try this was that I consistently saw decks retreating into drawing on their turn so they would be able to react on their opponent’s turn. If you spend your gold first on your turn, your opponent can’t immediately punish you: they can’t attack with held back champions, and they can’t play new blitz champions to attack immediately.
The second part of this idea was to play threat champions on my opponent’s turn. Angelic Protector is the star for this aspect. You can safely play it on your opponent’s turn before they spend their gold (unless they have Blind Faith or an AoE banish like Divine Judgement). If they don’t, you will have an unbreakable, untargetable airborne blocker on their turn and a 5/9 airborne champion that can attack on your turn.
Ambush champions are particularly powerful because they can give you an advantage going into the start of your turn. If at the start of the turn you are the only player with a champion in play, you can attack and force your opponent to spend their gold or take damage. Crystal Golem and Vampire Lord are nice because they are hard to deal with. Angelic Protector, Memory Spirit, and Temporal Enforcer are all ambush champions with evasion (Airborne or Unblockable). Helion, the Dominator is just an excellent champion with ambush, and Surprise Attack can essentially give ambush to any slow champion. (I have also used it just to draw a card for free when playing a champion with ambush like Memory Spirit. This “cycles” the card. Your total number of cards in hand does not increase, but you draw one card deeper into your deck and put a card into your discard pile.)
If your opponent takes the damage, that is great. You can just pass your turn with a lead on the board and damage dealt to your opponent. If they spend their gold, that is great. You can now respond with a blitz champion and attack while their primary defense is down. Vampire Lord, Avenging Angel, Djinn of the Sands, and Rampaging Wurm are included for this purpose. (Juggernaut too, but it can be played while your opponent’s gold is up.)
The general goal of this strategy should sound very similar to my Epic: Limited – Get Ahead, Stay Ahead article, except I get ahead on my opponent’s turn instead of my own.
A large part of what makes this deck work is its versatile pool of 0-cost cards. Defensively, Lightning Strike is a great way to handle 5-defense champions like Angel of Mercy or Knight of Shadows while still allowing you to use your gold for a threat or “draw 2+ cards.” Raxxa’s Curse works similarly as a great answer specifically for Muse, Guilt Demon, etc. Fumble gives you protection after spending your gold while your opponent’s gold is up on their turn. Hasty Retreat and Vanishing are 0-cost cards that can bounce a 1-cost champion. Shadow Imp can repeatedly attack or chump block and then return to hand. Blind Faith can stop most crazy threats like Human Token Swarm or Juggernaut. Wither can break a surprisingly high variety of champions. Second Wind is free extra health, and Amnesia shuts/slows down discard pile shenanigans. Offensively, a lot of those cards can remove an ambushed in potential chump blocker as well.
Most of those 0-cost cards I run under 3 of in this deck, but Memory Spirit has been amazing for retrieving what I need when. If I know I’m against a deck relying on Drinker of Blood, I’ll return a Wither. Against a deck with a lot of high value 0-cost champions like Muse, Raxxa’s Curse is pretty nice. What’s really fun is dealing 10 damage with one Lightning Strike. Play LS, then Memory Spirit, and play that LS again, good stuff. Overall, my 0-cost events give me the extra edge to stay alive on my opponent’s turns and push damage through on mine. Memory Spirit helps me bolster whichever aspect is more important in each individual match, and it gives me an ambush 5/4 airborne champion too. (Returning Flame Strike, Banishment, and Drain Essence are also solid plays as well.)
In addition to the normal operation of the deck, Army of the Apocalypse can frequently work as a finisher or utility card. Since the deck is packed with inherent blitz champions (Vampire Lord as opposed to Helion), I can play Army and then swing with multiple 1-cost champions. This is especially devastating if my opponent’s gold is already spent for the turn, and/or I play an Amnesia beforehand. Crystal Golem and Winter Fairy also can provide me with some card draw when Army is used. With the combination of Army and Memory Spirit, my discard pile is constantly a threat that just a couple Amnesias can’t completely shut down over the course of a game.
One card I specifically want to call out in this deck is Rampaging Wurm. It is a monster. Due to the massive amount of 0-cost removal I run and Lash, this has put significant pressure onto my opponents. Since no one runs Rampaging Wurm that I have seen, it is unexpected the first time I send a 14/14 blitzer at their face out of nowhere (or at least it was unexpected). Once they know about it, they have to constantly worry about it. Due to this, my opponent might be more likely to let my Angelic Protectors or Memory Spirits get through, even when I don’t have the Wurm in hand. In addition, there are few things as satisfying in Epic as hitting face with a Rampaging Wurm. Even forcing an opponent to block with a 1-cost champion is satisfying. It is also Drain Essence and Kong resistant, and if my opponent wants to return it to my hand with Sea Titan after it completed an attack, that is fine with me (it will be there waiting). Recalling Lash is also pretty great, especially when you have this in hand.
This is currently my strangest deck. It is also one of my favorites and one of my best. In addition, I had largely written off multiple of these cards in the past. I love a lot of them now. Djinn of the Sands is one of my favorite cards, so is Rampaging Wurm. Vampire Lord is also pretty cool, and Avenging Angel when your opponent’s gold is down is quite satisfying.