Constructed Epic: Duel Decks (Tall vs Wide)

Epic Box

Foreword

In this post, I am including 2 constructed Epic decks. They are designed to be played against each other, with just 3 sets of the base game. The idea to do this came from Harold, a reader and Epic Fan, and it is an excellent idea. With these decks, players can experience Epic constructed play without needing 2 players to have 3 sets each.

In addition, I designed these decks to be largely opposite of each other. The first deck wants to get out big champions and run over their opponent. The second deck wants to get out a lot of champions and run through their opponent.

Tall

Epic Tall

Evil (0)

Good (9)

Slow (0)

Fast (6)
3x Ceasefire
3x Resurrection

0-Cost (3)
2x Brave Squire
1x Watchful Gargoyle

Sage (21)

Slow (11)
2x Frost Giant
3x Juggernaut
3x Sea Titan
3x Steel Golem

Fast (3)
3x Stand Alone

0-Cost (7)
2x Forcemage Apprentice
3x Keeper of Secrets
1x Muse
1x Spike Trap

Wild (30)

Slow (11)
1x Jungle Queen
3x Kong
3x Raging T-Rex
1x Sea Hydra
3x Triceratops

Fast (9)
1x Lightning Storm
3x Lurking Giant
3x Hurricane
2x Surprise Attack

0-Cost (10)
1x Cave Troll
2x Fire Shaman
2x Flash Fire
2x Lash
3x Wurm Hatchling

Wide (Based on Plentiful Dead Deck)

Epic Wide

Evil (42)

Slow (15)
1x Angel of Death
1x Dark Assassin
1x Drinker of Blood
3x Infernal Gatekeeper
3x Murderous Necromancer
3x Necromancer Lord
3x Trihorror

Fast (16)
3x Bitten
3x Demon Breach
3x Final Task
3x Inner Demon
2x Medusa
1x The Risen
1x Zombie Apocalypse

0-Cost (11)
3x Guilt Demon
3x Plentiful Dead
3x Thrasher Demon
2x Wither

Good (6)

Slow (0)

Fast (4)
3x Inheritance of the Meek
1x Secret Legion

0-Cost (2)
2x Courageous Soul

Sage (9)

Slow (0)

Fast (6)
2x Crystal Golem
1x Deadly Raid
3x Erase

0-Cost (3)
3x Hasty Retreat

Wild (3)

Slow (0)

Fast (2)
1x Mighty Blow
1x Surprise Attack

0-Cost (1)
1x Flash Fire

Conclusion

I am not going to go into too much depth on the strategy of these two decks. A lot of the fun of constructed play is figuring it out as you play. I also did not include Tyrants cards in either deck. Feel free to upgrade these decks as you see fit.

In general, Tall deck is much more straightforward to play. It doesn’t really run out of cards in hand either. To win, this deck has to get 1 or 2 attacks through with big champions.

Wide deck requires a lot more concentration to play well. Effective chump blocking is critical. Also, a lot of your fast cards work better on your turn. To win, this deck must chip away at your opponent’s health.

As an aside, I am beginning to think I underestimated Demon Breach and Plentiful Dead. 3 demons on your turn, with one card, isn’t bad. Plentiful Dead also works quite nicely.

4 thoughts on “Constructed Epic: Duel Decks (Tall vs Wide)”

  1. I always thought you were a bit insane for undervaluing both Demon Breach and Relentless Dead. Free tokens and/or 3 for 1’s aren’t to be under-estimated.

    I play a LOT of magic. And being able to relentless dead, demon breach, relentless dead. Effectively gaining 5 tokens for 1.5 cards (both of which can easily be brought back) is pretty insane.

    Also Breakthrough isn’t THAT common (although Airborne is); so chumping is quite effective. Plus on offense; assuming you can go wider than your opponent than they begin to quickly run out of blockers for your army of attackers.

    1. Yeah, you make good points, and I am beginning to come around to that way of thinking. Originally, I undervalued Demon Breach in particular because I always felt like the demons would just break against my opponent’s larger champions, and I wouldn’t get as much value out of them. In addition, growing wide seemed less viable with the plethora of board clears. I still don’t highly value playing it on your opponent’s turn, but that could change.

      Playing my Plentiful Dead deck and experimenting with Demon Breach did demonstrate just how easy it is to reestablish your board. I play a Demon Breach on an open board and that is 3 4/4s you have to deal with or some damage will get through on the next turn. You could board clear (Hurricane is a real champ against tokens), but then I can just reestablish my board with another Demon Breach. So, I am coming around. I do think Raxxa, Demon Tyrant is significantly better, but I now expect to see both in decks.

      I do plan on updating my ratings for cards soon, since I have to add all of Tyrants anyways, and both of these cards’ ratings will be increasing, to an extent. I am still not yet at the point where I would consider them high value picks in draft though.

  2. Well, to that end I think what I like about Tokens is that it FORCES the board clear. Single target removal tends to be available fairly cheaply in this game; typically at instant speed (what you call Fast) and/or with a positive upside… say Medusa…. or Banishment (assuming you cast it on your turn).

    Whereas most board removal is fairly limiting. It typically does nothing else for you; affects you just as much as them; and doesn’t draw you additional card. Also; most board wipes are only castable on your turn. This means that you Coin to board wipe and your opponent can end of turn to just re-deploy a bevy of threats. Forcing you to have to board wipe… again! And if you are board wiping than you aren’t developing your board state that well either…

    (although as you pointed out Hurricane does fill an interesting niche; and I’m very interested in building a heavy Wild dinosaur/big-guy deck where-in the vast majority have >9 toughness to survive hurricanes and/or Draka’s Fire)

    ((to that end how does Breakthrough interact with pre-existing damage in this game? In Magic if a 10/10 trample is blocked by a 6/6 which already has 5 points of damage on it from earlier in the turn.. then then Trampler will get through for 9 points of damage to the player… not sure how that interacts in Epic))

    Demon Breach and 1:Recall cards in general are very interesting in this game… they represent a tension between Tempo and Card Advantage… which is very unique in CCGs and likely ends up being the main distinction between an Aggro vs. Control deck. By using say your coin on their turn to return Demon Breach you are essentially giving up a play to draw a card (hopefully a good one at that)…. this is clearly the domain of a slower, more controlling deck. Whereas an aggressive deck is just going to want to keep deploying threats to end the game as quickly as possible.

    This is what makes a card like Erase so amazing; not only is it removal but you also draw two! The downside of course is that you just gave them a free-draw into (likely) one of their best creatures (by putting it back in their hand). But if you are positing that you are going to end the game before the cards in their hand matter; then this is an obvious win. (similar to the way a Delver deck works in MTG)

    1. 1st point, completely agree. Single target removal is plentiful.

      With regard to tokens forcing board removal, I would agree that it is the best way to force it. Board removal should usually be used when you are down significantly in number of champions on the board, whether that is due to tokens, 0-cost champion swarm, or over-extension. (It’s also a way to deal with untargetable champions.) Every deck should pack board removal since I believe it to be essential in Epic. With tokens, you are able to swarm your opponent the most efficiently and draw out that board removal early with fewer cards you need to commit. Once the board removal is gone, you are much more able to swarm out and crush your opponent.

      I would argue, however, that board removal can be some of your most useful cards in your deck, assuming you choose carefully. I don’t think I ever actually use Apocalypse or Divine Judgement in any of my constructed decks; as you say, they are very limiting. (But you can at least draw if you don’t need them.) The rest of the board clears fill very interesting niche roles.

      Wave of Transformation is basically your panic button. It stops anything and on your opponent’s turn too. A solid board clear I frequently include in decks.

      Zombie Apocalypse is similar, but if you build your deck with a lot of champions and/or discard control, it can be incredibly one sided.

      Inheritance of the Meek is the token deck’s dream, and it is an all-star in the Wide deck above. Off-turn banishment that doesn’t hit your army can really punish your opponent.

      Stand Alone is incredible for Tall because it allows that deck to clear out basically all of your opponent’s tokens while keeping your biggest threat, and it is playable on their turn.

      Hurricane as you mentioned is incredible for similar reasons.

      Quell is a beast for both Tall and Wide decks because it can deal with either without affecting your army.

      Angel of Death gives you a 6/5 airborne on top of board removal. In addition this, and all of the other breaking board clears can trigger cards like Trihorror and Soul Hunter. They also don’t touch the vampires or Juggernaut.

      Time Walker clears tokens, and it can let you attack twice with 0-cost blitz champions. Surprise Attack and Final Task also turns both this and Angel of Death into off-turn board wipes.

      Raxxa’s Displeasure ignores demons and there are more than just demon tokens.

      Reap or Sow can be a board clear when needed or 4 zombies.

      Plague can hit a Secret Legion attack or Necromancer Lord off-turn and still draw + recycle.

      Finally, you have the 1-cost token sweepers (and tyrants) Draka Dragon Tyrant, Draka’s Fire, Helion the Dominator, Markus Watch Captain and Raxxa Demon Tyrant. Basically, if you are worried about tokens these are excellent. Draka’s Fire also works wonders for burn.

      Wither, Fireball, and Flash Fire all work nicely for sweeping non-demon tokens as well. Also, since they are 0-cost, they can deal with ambushed in low defense chump blockers.

      So, as I said, all decks should run some form of board removal, but you have very interesting options at your disposal. As a side not, you can also attack on your turn and then board clear after they ambush in a blocker, even the “If it is your turn” board clears aren’t truly “sorcery speed.”

      With regard to breakthrough, existing damage has no effect. In your scenario, you would only do 4 damage since Epic only looks at the printed defense value of the blockers. Further, if
      you attacked with a Triceratops (10/10 breakthrough) and a Kong (13/14) together and they are blocked by a Strafing Dragon (6/6) and Pyromancer (5/7) together, your Triceratops, by itself, would need to do enough damage to exceed the defense of both Strafing Dragon and Pyromancer before it could deal damage to your opponent. Kong’s damage is irrelevant. If you then Lash Kong, Kong would do 4 damage to the player and Triceratops would still do 0. If your breakthrough champion is blocked and you completely remove the blocker(s), you will deal full damage to the player.

      **EDIT**Correction: I read the complete rules found here (http://www.epiccardgame.com/rules/). When you deal damage with multiple attacking champions with breakthrough, you add all of your breakthrough damage and subtract all blocking defense. So with the Triceratops (10) and a Lashed Kong (13+4=17) being blocked by the Strafing Dragon (6) and Pyromancer (7), there would be 27 breakthrough damage – 13 defense for 14 damage to the defending player. Non-breakthrough damage is ignored in the breakthrough calculation. **EDIT**

      Epic hand management, I would argue, is very different from other games. I wrote about this in my post Epic: 5 critical aspects which you can find here: http://www.tomsepicgaming.com/?p=124.
      I actually have a lot more I want to say about this, so I will make a post about it soon. The main parts are the 1 gold per turn resource system, prevalence of board removal, prevalence of card draw, prevalence of targeted removal, and disruption in general. In Magic, I am almost exclusively a mid-range player, but I would say tempo/mid-range (I largely consider them to be the same thing in Epic), control, burn, and combo are going to be the dominant deck archetypes. Aside from Burn, I currently can’t see a pure aggro deck doing well. I very much could be wrong though.

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