I am updating this article as I may use it in my upcoming Bo7 Showmatch against World Champion John Tatain on Saturday, 5/20/17 at 2:00pm CDT (UTC -5).
Other decks in this core only digital alpha series include: Core Incremental Targeted Removal, Core Evil Tokens, Core Sage Army, Core Wild Champion Overload, Core Epic Humans, Core Resurrection Evil, and Core Rampaging Evil. They are all built following my Epic Constructed Process.
Current Deck List
As I update the deck list, I’ll update this picture and written list (currently prototype deck list).
3x Guilt Demon
Ice Drake was the next logical progression for me because it can function as 3 more Ceasefires, to an extent. (I also hadn’t used Ice Drake yet in a Core-Only deck.) Committing to Ice Drake meant that I would need 33+ Sage cards to reliably activate its Loyalty 2 trigger.
In order to play to the disruptive strengths of Ceasefire, Ice Drake, Spike Trap, I decided to fill my deck with airborne threats. Theoretically, this would allow me to fly past my opponent’s champions while slowing down my opponent’s attacks on the ground. Therefore, I added literally all of the Core-Only, Sage, airborne champions to the deck: Blue Dragon, Djinn of the Sands, Memory Spirit, Muse, and Winter Fairy.
For non-Muse, non-Spike Trap 0-cost Sage cards, I wanted Forcemage Apprentices to break my opponent’s Muses, and I wanted Hasty Retreats for 0-cost disruption. Hasty Retreat is the only 0-cost card in Core-Only that can stop a blocked attacking champion that gets Lashed/Raged, it can also buy me just enough time to finish off my opponent with my airborne champions before they either kill me or out-value me.
To maintain my all airborne champions strategy, I added Avenging Angel, Gold Dragon, and Angel of Light. (With regard to Angel of Light, I included it with the expectation that I wouldn’t hit my Loyalty 2 on it often. For Core-Only, a 5/6 ambush, airborne, gain 5 health champion is worth it here.) Not only are these blitz or ambush airborne champions, but they all also gain me a bit of health when played (assuming I play the blitzers as on-turn gold-punishers and they aren’t Hasty Retreated). This can let me shrug off hits by my opponent while I push my damage through. Watchful Gargoyle is also a strong, 0-cost attack disruption card too.
As one of my favorite cards, an airborne champion, and some amount of discard pile banishment, I wanted to fit in Guilt Demon. Not seeing any 1-cost Evil cards I particularly wanted (since I had enough health gain already to not want Drain Essence), I decided to throw in 3 Apocalypses and 3 Plagues to see how they worked. I figured I could use them to reset the board after disrupting it for multiple turns and forcing my opponent to commit more champions to play.
At this point I was struggling a bit to find cards to fill out the rest of the spots in my deck. The only other Good 0-cost card that looked appealing was Brave Squire, so I threw it in. Erase seemed fine because my goal was to outrace my opponent so a strong tempo play that draws me cards seems strong. Transform theoretically fits surprisingly well in the deck because it can answer all but untargetable threats, it doesn’t send the target to the discard pile, and since all of my champions have airborne, the wolf left over can’t chump block. Time Bender as another tempo play filled the last slot. Ancient Chant was the only card I considered for this deck that didn’t get added.
I naturally hit my distributions while building this deck with only cards I originally thought I might want.
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. (38)
Reliable (38): 3 Apocalypse, 3 Plague, 3 Ceasefire, 3 Erase, 3 Memory Spirit, 3 Blue Dragon, 3 Winter Fairy, 3 Djinn of the Sands, 3 Transform, 3 Watchful Gargoyle, 2 Spike Trap, 3 Hasty Retreat, 3 Muse
Unreliable (0 x 1/2 = 0):
33+ Primary Alignment Cards (33)
3 Blue Dragon, 3 Djinn of the Sands, 3 Winter Fairy, 3 Erase, 3 Ice Drake, 3 Memory Spirit, 3 Transform, 1 Time Bender, 3 Forcemage Apprentice, 3 Hasty Retreat, 3 Muse, 2 Spike Trap
1+ Mass Discard Pile Banish (0)
This deck is a fairly aggressive deck so if your opponent is able to deck out, you probably would have lost anyway. 3 Guilt Demon to provide some targeted removal though.
Anti-Sea Titan/Bounce Plan
Fly over my opponent’s Sea Titans and board clear them if they are applying not much pressure.
This deck has exceeded my expectations significantly. It has been a lot of fun going all out with this deck, constantly playing ambush/blitz champions, and pulling out a win as I drop to 1 or 2 cards in hand. The unrelenting pressure has just been too much for a lot of opposing decks. That being said, it can also fight a value game by focusing on my slow draw champions and gaining significant value out of Winter Fairy and Djinn of the Sands.
The Plague/Apocalypse package has been incredible as well. On the occasions where my opponent has been able to blunt my pressure with high-value champions like Sea Titan and Kong, Apocalypse + Plague have been able to reset the board while answering the few cards my opponent has that can effectively interact with me. Plague has also been fantastic winning me around 5 games with its 1 damage to face. That 1 damage to all champions has also resulted in at least 2 one-sided board clears removing multiple 1-gold champions, in addition to its shredding of Thought Pluckers, Forcemage Apprentices, and Necromancer Lords. This package has been so great for me in Core-Only that it has found its way into other decks, Core Epic Humans for instance. Brave Squire makes the board clears even that much more effective, I love it.
3x Guilt Demon
This is one of my favorite decks, and I stumbled across it just by experimenting with cards I had yet to use in Core-Only. I love experimenting with cards I don’t often use for this very reason.