Constructed Epic: Human Token Swarm

Epic Box

Foreword

I reference Human Token Swarm decks all of the time. This is my current version.

First Posted Deck List

HumanTokenSwarm

Evil (6)

Slow (2)
2x Drinker of Blood

Fast (2)
2x Zealous Necromancer

0-Cost (2)
2x Wither

Good (42)

Slow (6)
3x Rabble Rouser
3x The People’s Champion

Fast (23)
3x Forced Exile
3x Inheritance of the Meek
3x Insurgency
2x Quell
2x Royal Escort
3x Secret Legion
2x Standard Bearer
3x Urgent Messengers
2x Vital Mission

0-Cost (13)
3x Blind Faith
3x Courageous Soul
3x Paros, Rebel Leader
1x Priestess of Angeline
3x Revolt

Sage (9)

Slow (0)

Fast (6)
3x Lesson Learned
3x Wave of Transformation

0-Cost (3)
3x Arcane Research

Wild (3)

Slow (0)

Fast (2)
1x Battle Cry
1x Surprise Attack

0-Cost (1)
1x Flash Fire

First Shot Explanation

Human Token Swarm decks are nasty. They can do 30+ damage in one turn with nothing starting in play and just 3 cards (Secret Legion and any 2 of Courageous Soul, Paros Rebel Leader, or Revolt). Going second, I have won on my first turn of the game with this deck (Standard Bearer on his turn. Paros on my turn, and then I slow rolled out Secret Legion and Revolt trying to draw out removal without over-committing.) If you aren’t prepared for this deck, it can crush you.

One of the most devastating parts of the deck is Drinker of Blood. If you have a lot of tokens out and then Drinker on your turn followed by Flash Fire or Wither, you can just win. Or, as one member of the Epic Card Game Fan Page on Facebook laid out: Rabble Rouser on your turn. If your opponent doesn’t remove it, Secret Legion at the end of their turn and expend Rabble Rouser. On your next turn, expend Rabble Rouser, play Drinker, and then Flash Fire/Wither for 60 damage and 60 health.

The problem with this deck is that it can be countered (or at least disrupted) by a lot of cards: Surprise Attack/Final Task-> Angel of Death/Frost Giant/Time Walker, Plague, Wither, Zombie Apocalypse, Ceasefire, Secret Legion, Blind Faith (strips blitz, would not strip buffs from cards like Revolt), Insurgency, Quell, Ice Drake, Stand Alone, Wave of Transformation (not great but still saves you for a turn), Fireball, Flash Fire, Hurricane, Lightning Storm, Wolf’s Call, Draka’s Fire, and other cards disrupt it to significantly smaller extents.

Every deck needs to run at least a few of these cards to deal with this and similar decks. If you don’t, you run the risk of just losing instantly. If you don’t think anyone will run this deck, you are welcome to take that gamble. Thankfully, a lot of these cards are just super strong anyway.

I argue that Insurgency is the most important card in this deck (aside from Drinker of Blood) because it prevents the most answers (Flash Fire, etc.).

I don’t think I have seen anyone else include Zealous Necromancer, and I am still not sold on it. I have liked it the situations I have played it though. Conversely, I do not include Deadly Raid or multiple Battle Cries because I don’t think they prevent enough answers. I feel that Dark Leader is a bit weak too. The Risen could be quite interesting in combination with Zealous Necromancer.

Royal Escort is a new addition to the deck. It literally only answers Wither, but it is a nice ambush setup before the attack. It can also protect your Rabble Rouser. Unfortunately, it would prevent you from targeting your own human tokens with Wither for the Drinker Combo.

I’ve been holding off posting this deck because I originally thought Human Token Swarm decks would be the deck to beat. While I’m still considering playing it at Origins, I think enough decks will be running counters to it that it probably wouldn’t go all the way.

6/10/16 Fine Tuning

Removed: -2 Forced Exile, -2 Vital Mission, and -1 Priestess of Angeline

HTSRemove

Added: +1 Standard Bearer, +3 Erase, and +1 Spike Trap

HTSAdd

I am in the process of fine tuning all of the decks I expect to either play or play against at Origins. After doing some more testing with this deck, I decided to focus this deck more around winning directly with a combo. To this end, I removed the Vital Missions and most of the Forced Exiles because they provide a small enough edge for an opponent to survive. Erases were added instead because I don’t want the game to go long, and the draw 2 is a huge deal; if the first assault doesn’t win you the game, you need to reload for a second one.

Priestess of Angeline doesn’t offer enough to warrant a card spot, especially since this deck ideally wants to win in the first 3 turns. I also might not have 2 cards to recycle.

Standard Bearer has been very nice. I underestimated the static +2 offense buff and the fact that you can set it up on your opponent’s turn.

Spike Trap is another way to trigger Drinker: play Drinker, attack with all of my human tokens, immediately play Spike Trap to break them all. I would prefer another Flash Fire, but I don’t currently have the Wild 1-cost cards to support it.

I might, however, add some Flame Strikes etc. for finishing off an opponent. In that case, I would bring at least 1 more Flash Fire.

5 thoughts on “Constructed Epic: Human Token Swarm”

  1. Tom,

    This is the deck that we found that qualifies as the “Nastiest” capable of consistent OTK (one turn kills) as you mentioned by taking the Draw instead of the play.

    I hadn’t considered the Drinker of the Blood tech.. but that’s pretty nice.

    In my experience only a deck laden with cheap board off-turn board wipes has a hope of surviving against this deck and our revised DinoStorm lists have grown to incorporate more such wipes in order to handle it.

    As you said it depends on how advanced this meta truly is and how equipped and well-tested people will be this coming week/weekend.

    1. Yeah I’m really looking forward to seeing what goes down at Origins. Also, don’t forget that this deck can kill even if you take the play. Secret Legion gives all Humans blitz, not just Human Tokens.

      Courageous Soul x2 + Secret Legion (48)
      Secret Legion + Revolt x2 (41)
      Paros x2 + Secret Legion (32)
      [2 non blitz 3/1 humans left over, since they would come into play form the ally affects after Secret Legion grants blitz]

      Or any combination of 2 of these 0-cost cards with Secret Legion.

  2. re: Necromancer…

    the way that it’s worded and batches work in Epic how is that going to resolve if you have a bunch of human tokens out and the ZNecro and they board wipe?

    In MTG they’d all die and the ZNecro triggers would be a zombie into play for each creature that died… but the wording of “and is still in play” makes me think this isn’t how this is going to work in Epic.

    1. Correct. ZNecro was worded specifically so it would not produce tokens in a full board wipe. They play Apocalypse as the first card of their turn, everything breaks and you get no tokens. (Same thing with Drinker, but Drinker at least is unbreakable on your turn.)

      ZNecro can be nice because it helps you maintain and grow an army. All of your humans will turn into zombies when they break, which is nice for chump blocking and chump attacking. Your opponent’s non-zombie tokens will also give you zombies when they break, so it discourages their chump attacks/blocks.

      Overall, I like it more for the stickiness it gives your deck that forces a full or at least 4+ damage board wipe to take out everything. Wither, Flash Fire, and Fireball won’t cut it by themselves. But, since this is largely a OTK deck, that stickiness might not be relevant enough, still haven’t decided.

    2. As a side note, for lingering triggers, if you have the Reaper in play and play a Succubus, interesting things happen. On playing the Succubus, you put the Tribute and Loyalty abilities from Succubus and the Ally ability from Reaper all in to a heap. Then, you resolve them all in the order you would like.

      So, if you resolve the Reaper ability first and target Succubus, the Succubus would break and you would get a demon. Then the Tribute ability would still resolve, and you would still draw a card (since Succubus doesn’t have the still in play wording). Finally, the Loyalty 2 trigger resolves, but I would recommend opting not to reveal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *