Core Evil Tokens 2 (Successful)

Foreword

With the addition of the “Attack Separately” button on the Epic Digital alpha, I decided I wanted to build an Evil tokens deck. Because I’m me, I built it from scratch in the updated deck builder instead of referencing my first Core Only Evil Tokens list. The decks turned out very similar, but this one is built to crush the Muse/Thought Plucker meta as hard as possible.

For those of you tired of Core Only Digital Alpha content, Origins is in a few days. When I get back, I plan on writing an article on my Friday random 60 tournament experience with Dark Draft too if I make top 8. (Similar to last year, wow…last year.) I also plan to write an article on the top 8 constructed decks on Saturday. (Hopefully it won’t just be all Kark.)

Deck List

Previous and future iterations of Core Only Evil Token decks

Evil (39)

Slow (9)
3x Infernal Gatekeeper
3x Murderous Necromancer
2x Necromancer Lord
1x Soul Hunter

Fast (17)
3x Demon Breach
3x Drain Essence
3x Inner Demon
2x Final Task
3x Medusa
3x Plague

0-Cost (13)
2x Corpse Taker
3x Guilt Demon
3x Plentiful Dead
2x Unquenchable Thirst
3x Word of Summoning

Good (3)

Slow ()

Fast (6)
2x Inheritance of the Meek

0-Cost (1)
1x Brave Squire

Sage (18)

Slow (6)
3x Blue Dragon
3x Winter Fairy

Fast (6)
3x Ancient Chant
3x Wave of Transformation

0-Cost (6)
3x Forcemage Apprentice
3x Spike Trap

Explanation

I honestly don’t remember exactly how I built this deck, so I’m just going to explain how it all works by breaking it down into its parts. In general, this deck trades on-turn gold punishers for a consistent flow of small attackers while protecting itself against Thought Plucker.

Establishing Token Package

The goal of the deck is to overwhelm your opponent with tokens. If you have more attackers than they have defenders and/or removal, you will chip damage through 2 or 4 at a time. The 4 best cards to do this are Murderous Necromancer, Demon Breach, Plentiful Dead, and Word of Summoning.

Murderous Necromancer is insanely powerful, arguably one of the most powerful cards in core-only, and the single most important card in this deck. Let’s start with the expend ability. Being able to break a champion every other turn and increase your board state means that your opponent needs to remove Murderous Necromancer or lose (same with all of the best Epic cards). At 6 defense, it can only be removed by a 1-cost card or multiple 0s, and, since it doesn’t need to attack to generate additional value, it can’t be broken in combat.

Further, Murderous Necromancer enters play with 3 zombies (assuming Loyalty 2). Therefore, if your opponent is only able to remove the Necromancer, the zombies can start attacking next turn. The only single cards in core-only Epic that can remove both Murderous Necromancer and its zombies are Angel of Death and Time Walker. Both of which can only be played on your opponent’s turn (unless Surprise Attack). Baring the worst case scenario of Surprise Attack + AoD/TW, this means that your opponent either needs to spend their gold to remove everything and develop nothing (Hurricane, Zombie Apoc, etc.) or at least part of the Murderous Necromancer will provide value. If your opponent board clears on their turn, you are able to spend your gold on off-turn gold punishers to put more threats into play. 2 Demons off-turn from Demon Breach is one such way to consistently keep your opponent under pressure.

Demon Breach has been great for me in this deck (even though I used to hate both it and Plentiful Dead). In addition to its roll as an off-turn gold punisher, 3 Demons on turn is a solid establishing threat generator for similar reasons to Murderous Necromancer: it is hard for your opponent to remove all the demons while also developing their board.

The recall effect is also great here because it guarantees that you’ll have a strong off-turn gold-punisher/establishing card in hand. Word of Summoning works similarly except it doesn’t commit your gold.

Plentiful Dead is another strong card in this deck. Being able to repeatedly add just 1 extra zombie has allowed me to push significantly more damage through during games. Murderous Necromancer + 3 zombies is great, but 4 zombies is a surprisingly significant boost, same with 2 Demons and a zombie.

In addition to applying pressure, that recurring zombie is great for chump blocking Sea Titans all day, and it can help mitigate the effects of Thought Pluckers (assuming your opponent doesn’t also have massive amounts of discard pile banish effects, many do). Finally, being able to keep it in hand for Loyalty 2 triggers is a big advantage as well.

Infernal Gatekeeper is the final piece of the Establishing Token package, but it isn’t as powerful as the rest. Essentially, if you play it early in the game while your opponent still has board clears and strong removal effects, you are just spending your gold and a health to maybe get a demon to stay in play (compare that to Demon breach where you lose no health and frequently get 2 demons to stay in play).

Where this card can shine is mid game after your opponent runs out of mass removal. When Infernal Gatekeeper can remain in play for a couple gold uses, its ally ability can really crank up the pressure quickly against your opponent. Play Gatekeeper, get a demon. Off-turn play Demon Breach, get 3 more demons. Start your turn with a 9/9 and 4 demons in play, solid. Infernal Gatekeeper even turns your Evil draw 2s into “draw 2, lose 1 health, make a demon,” I’d play that card.

Anti-Thought Plucker/Muse Package

As predicted, Thought Plucker and Muse have found their way into many constructed decks on the app. Even though I’ve been building my decks with 3-9+ answers, it still hasn’t been enough. So, I decided to ram the 2 most effective answers into this deck: Spike Trap (primarily for Thought Plucker) and Forcemage Apprentice. Unlike Wither, Flash Fire, and Fireball, Spike Trap and Forcemage Apprentice remove Thought Plucker/Muse and benefit me at the same time.

For the situations where I don’t have these answers in hand, Ancient Chant and Winter Fairy provide me with significant card draw to at minimum negate the impact of discarding cards. Blue Dragon can also be used to both draw a card and remove one of those two cards. Even just playing a Blue Dragon to enable you to use a Sage draw 2 to break a future Thought Plucker is valuable.

Plagues and Unquenchable Thirst help to round out the Anti-Thought Plucker/Muse package.

Supporting Package

Off-turn removal that leaves a body in play for you and nothing for your opponent is ridiculously powerful (Medusa). The fact that it can also be used with Plentiful Dead is important too. It can even be used on-turn to remove an ambushed in blocker.

Inner Demon works a bit similarly to give you fast removal that increases your board state, but it’s usually used as a 1-cost Evil draw 2, which is nice in and of itself for this deck.

Necromancer Lord and Corpse Taker allow you to replay some of the strongest champions in the game, Murderous Necromancer for example. Returning Winter Fairy and Blue Dragon can also be quite nice.

Final Task targeting Necromancer Lord can let you play any champion in any discard pile and keep it in play at fast speed. (Necromancer Lord breaks at the end of the turn, the champion Necromancer Lord returned would not). Final Task on Murderous Necromancer is also strong: fast break target champion and put 4 zombies into play.

Drain Essence and Unquenchable Thirst provide fast targeted removal that gains you health. Frequently these are the most important cards against aggro/burn decks.

Inheritance of the Meek and to a lesser extent Wave of Transformation allow you to remove most of your opponent’s champions while leaving you with token threats in play. Against decks with a lot of card draw or decks that rely heavily on tempo, I have found the off-turn use of Inheritance to be absolutely game-winning. However, saving Inheritance as an on-turn one-sided banish-board clear is pretty great against decks that can run out of steam. Plague is the final set of board clears, and it can help against Thought Pluckers (in addition to Necromancer Lords and Forcemage Apprentices). I chose Brave Squire as my single 0-cost card to go with Inheritance because Brave Squire works great with Final Task, and it is a powerful card overall.

Soul Hunter is something I’m trying out. It is a further way to punish Thought Plucker decks, since you can discard it to Plucker so it can start coming back for free. Against non-discard decks, Winter Fairy, Ancient Chant, Blue Dragon, etc. can frequently get you to the point of over drawing, which allows you to discard Soul Hunter as well.

Finally, Guilt Demon is just a strong card. It is also my primary discard pile removal since I can’t fit Amnesia into the deck.

Distributions Breakdown

Below are the break downs for each of my distributions based on my Epic Constructed Process article.

30+ Cards that can Draw/Recycle/Recall/Etc. (35.5)
Reliable (33): 3 Inner Demon, 2 Final Task, 3 Plague, 2 Corpse Taker, 3 Plentiful Dead, 3 Word of Summoning, 2 Inheritance of the Meek, 3 Blue Dragon, 3 Winter Fairy, 3 Ancient Chant, 3 Wave of Transformation, 3 Spike Trap
Unreliable (5 x 1/2 = 2.5): 2 Necromancer Lord, 3 Demon Breach

20 0-cost Cards (20)
2 Corpse Taker, 3 Guilt Demon, 3 Plentiful Dead, 2 Unquenchable Thirst, 3 Word of Summoning, 1 Brave Squire, 3 Forcemage Apprentice, 3 Spike Trap

20- On My Turn Cards (14)
Champions (14): 3 Infernal Gatekeeper, 3 Murderous Necromancer, 2 Necromancer Lord, 3 Blue Dragon, 3 Winter Fairy
Events (0):

1 Soul Hunter is technically slow, but I never want to actually play it, I only want to discard it, ideally.

33+ Primary Alignment Cards (39)
3 Infernal Gatekeeper, 3 Murderous Necromancer, 2 Necromancer Lord, 1 Soul Hunter, 3 Demon Breach, 3 Drain Essence, 3 Inner Demon, 2 Final Task, 3 Medusa, 3 Plague, 2 Corpse Taker, 3 Guilt Demon, 3 Plentiful Dead, 2 Unquenchable Thirst, 3 Word of Summoning

3-9+ On-Turn Gold-Punishers (11)
Standard (0)
:
Non-Standard (11): 3 Inner Demon, 3 Medusa, 3 Drain Essence, and 2 Inheritance of the Meek

This deck does not run any real on-turn gold-punishers because it relies on slowing chipping down the opponent with tokens and off-turn gold punishers. Final Task can work as an on-turn Gold-Punisher if needed. 3 Inner Demon, 3 Medusa, 3 Drain Essence, and 2 Inheritance of the Meek can all function as on-turn gold punishers if your opponent spends their gold to ambush in a blocker. Instead of punishing your opponent with a blitz champion, you punish them by breaking their champion, expanding/maintaining your board state, and pushing damage with your champions already in play.

3-9+ Off-Turn Gold-Punishers (13)
Standard (6): 3 Demon Breach, 3 Medusa
Non-Standard (7): 2 Final Task, 2 Inheritance of the Meek, 3 Wave of Transformation

Demon Breach and Medusa are fairly standard off-turn gold-punishers. Final Task is great when used on Murderous Necromancer or Necromancer Lord specifically. Inheritance and Wave are non-standard off-turn Gold-punishers. The reason I include them for this deck is that they can essentially remove all/most of your opponents threats, while leaving you with threats, that can attack on your next turn, forcing your opponent to remove them to remove your threats/play blockers before you spend your gold on your turn.

1+ Mass Discard Pile Banish (0)
This deck relies on 3 Guilt Demon and 2 Corpse Taker for targeted discard removal.

3 Drain Essences or Comparable Health Gain (3.66)
Reliable (3): 3 Drain Essence
Unreliable (2 x 1/3 = .66): 2 Unquenchable Thirst

3-9+ Muse/Thought Plucker 0-Cost Answers (9.5)
Reliable (8): 2 Unquenchable Thirst, 3 Forcemage Apprentice, 3 Spike Trap
Unreliable (3 x 1/2 = 1.5): 3 Blue Dragon
Honorable Mention: 3 Plague

Anti-Sea Titan/Bounce Plan
Chump block Sea Titan forever. Attack with more individual champions than it can block. Board clear it eventually, if needed.

Thoughts/Concerns

I’m not a huge fan of Infernal Gatekeeper. It has worked in midgame situations, but it hasn’t felt powerful that often. I’m still testing Soul Hunter, but I think I like exactly one in this deck. Final Task is incredibly powerful, and it might deserve to be a 3 (probably cutting 1 Infernal Gatekeeper for it.)

Overall, I have lost very few games with this on the app, and it is a lot of fun to play. Just don’t forget to use “attack separately,” particularly in non-Realtime (Duel) games.

Conclusion

Due to heading out to Origins tomorrow, I don’t have the time to go through and add all of the card links today, but I’ll update this when I get back. Also, I won’t have a chance to post until I get back because I’m not lugging my desktop with me this time. (I’ll try to at least tweet a few updates though: @TomSEpicGaming.)

2 thoughts on “Core Evil Tokens 2 (Successful)”

  1. Nice writeup. This looks similar to something I’ve been brewing. I’m inspired to revisit murderous necromancer.

    1. Thank you, and Murderous Necromancer is indeed a beast. It was the MVP in one of my Random 60 match wins at Origins this year.

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