Gen Con 2017 Random 60 Qualification

Foreword

I went 3-0-1 during the Random 60 portion of this qualifier. I lost a game in the final round.

Random 60

Random 60 is a “limited” Epic Card Game format where you build your deck from a random pool of cards at the beginning of the event. In Random 60, each player is given their own unique list of 60 cards with between 13 and 17 cards of each alignment. Each player uses only the cards on their list to construct a deck of exactly 30 cards. (Constructed Epic deck-building restrictions do not apply, you may include as many 0-cost cards as you have access to in your pool.)

60 Card Pool

If you don’t like your first card pool, you are able to mulligan. If you do, you get a new list of 56 cards with between 12 and 16 cards of each alignment. If you don’t like your second pool, you are stuck with it.

Would you mulligan this pool? Why or why not?

First Pass

When I first go over my list, I look for

  • auto-includes (star: )
  • strong alignment-independent cards (solid arrow:FactionIndependentArrow)
  • strong alignment-dependent cards (dashed arrow: FactionDependentArrow)
  • strategy-dependent cards like Revolt (line:StrategyDependentLine)
  • effectively unplayable cards (line through: StrikeThrough)
  • generally unplayable cards (dashed line through: GenerallyUnplayable)

All cards without a mark are viable, but not incredible.

Wild

Raging T-Rex is a huge incentive to play Wild because it is the best card to play turn 1 going first. I also have other solid Wild cards such as Smash and Burn + Fire Spirit/Fire Shaman + Rain of Fire/Hurricane/Savage Uprising/Draka’s Fire/Fires of Rebellion. Unfortunately, I’m missing many of the rewards for going Wild: Spore Beast, Draka Dragon Tyrant, Draka’s Enforcer, Strafing Dragon, Pyrosaur, Scarros Hound of Draka, Brachiosaurus, and Feeding Frenzy.

Sage

Knight of Elara is my only incentive to go Sage, but there are plenty of other strong Sage cards.

Evil

Evil is by far my most rewarding alignment with Murderous Necromancer, Rift Summoner, Plentiful Dead, Spawning Demon, and Angel of Death. Unfortunately, Spawning Demon and Plentiful Dead require 1-cost, Evil, draw 2s to make them all-stars. In addition, Trihorror, Soul Hunter, and Heinous Feast (since I have Grave Demon) aren’t amazing. Luckily, Grave Demon, Corpsemonger, and Dark Knight are always powerful.

Overall

I kept this list because of Kong, Palace Guard, Grave Demon (a mass discard pile banish effect), and a supported T-Rex. Also having Blind Faith, Dark Knight, Corpsemonger, Ogre Mercenary, and the other auto-includes solidified that choice.

Second Pass

Once I complete my first pass with the deck list provided, I gather all of the cards I can play and divide them into cards I am certainly playing (star), cards I want to play (dotted star), cards I might play (unmarked), and cards I won’t play (strikethrough).

While getting out and dividing the cards, I initially separate them by alignment and cost (as seen below). In addition, I separated the 1-cost cards I am likely to cut into the right column of each alignment.

The only notable card that did not make this first rough cut was Mist Guide Herald. I think MGH can be a powerful card because it can dig you to a card you need, or at least a card that is playable, while also giving you a 3/2 airborne body, which is far from irrelevant. When you put MGH into play, particularly off-turn with Final Task, Surprise Attack, or Resurrection and hit something like Sea Titan, Kong, or Time Walker, it can be insane. However, if it turns up no 1-cost champions you want to play, it can be terrible. Without Final Task, Surprise Attack, Resurrection, or Dark Offering, I have no desire to take that risk. (It can also accidentally banish key cards like Amnesia in Control/Midgrange decks.)

Distributions Pass

Once I have the general shell of the deck, I make sure I have an acceptable amount of cards for the 8 distributions mentioned below (sometimes there are special distributions like 1-cost cards to recall Inner Peace). Meeting these distributions almost always guarantees a reasonable deck.

Distribution Breakdown

  • 14 Wild (Primary Alignment)

Den Mother, Draka’s Fire, Entangling Vines, Fire Shaman, Fire Spirit, Fireball, Fires of Rebellion, Hurricane, Kong, Raging T-Rex, Rain of Fire, Savage Uprising, Smash and Burn, Wolf’s Bite

I have a bit more than I need (10+), so I may cut a couple.

  • 25 Card Draw

Draka’s Fire, Fire Spirit, Fires of Rebellion, Hurricane, Raging T-Rex, Rain of Fire, Savage Uprising, Smash and Burn, Wolf’s Bite, Crystal Golem, Djinn of the Sands, Erase, Knight of Shadows, Lesson Learned, Memory Spirit, Ogre Mercenary, Reusable Knowledge, Spike Trap, Heinous Feast, Inner Demon, The Gudgeon, Blind Faith, Inheritance of the Meek, Noble Unicorn, Urgent Messengers

I have significantly more than I need (15+), so I’ll probably cut multiple.

  • 11 0-cost Cards

Fire Shaman, Fireball, Wolf’s Bite, Forcemage Apprentice, Ogre Mercenary, Spike Trap, Corpsemonger, Dark Knight, Heinous Feast, Blind Faith, Courageous Soul

I’m barely above my minimum (10+), so I’m only willing to cut 1 max.

  • 8 Slow Champions (1 On-turn Gold-punishers)

Den Mother, Fire Spirit, Kong, Raging T-Rex, Knight of Shadows, The Gudgeon, Palace Guard, (Djinn of the Sands)

I’m under my maximum (10-). An extra on-turn gold-punisher would be nice, but since I have a mass discard pile banish effect, not 100% necessary

  • 6 Ambush Champions/Off-turn Gold-punishers

Entangling Vines, Crystal Golem, Memory Spirit, Grave Demon, Angelic Protector, Noble Unicorn

I’m above my absolute minimum (3), but I could take more.

  • 2 Mass Discard Pile Banish

Grave Demon, Heinous Feast

I only need 1.

  • 3 Board Clears

Hurricane, Savage Uprising, Inheritance of the Meek, (Draka’s Fire, Rain of Fire)

An acceptable amount.

  • 7 Targeted Removal (2 Slow/5 Fast)

Kong, Palace Guard, Fires of Rebellion, Smash and Burn, Erase, Inner Demon, Rain of Fire

Only 2 defense-independent off-turn removal effects, but that is probably fine.

  • 5 1-cost Good Cards that can Recall Inner Peace

Angelic Protector, Inheritance of the Meek, Noble Unicorn, Palace Guard, Urgent Messengers

I only need 3.

Distribution Considerations and Cuts

I unequivocally cut Lesson Learned, Knight of Shadows, The Gudgeon, and Heinous Feast. Lesson Learned: I didn’t have enough strong 1-cost events to use with it, and I didn’t have anything else I was willing to cut for it. Knight of Shadows: I didn’t need the card draw, I had no other discard effects, and I’m not a big fan of the 4 defense. The Gudgeon: I didn’t need the card draw. Heinous Feast: I didn’t need the mass discard pile banish nor the card draw.

The last four cuts were significantly more difficult. I ended up cutting what I did because

I’m personally not a huge fan of Inner Demon, so that got cut. Same with Savage Uprising, since I didn’t have too many 0-cost champions. Rain of Fire and Fire Spirit work great with Smash and Burn and Fire Shaman, so I wanted to keep those for the synergy. Urgent Messengers seemed too strong to cut. Therefore, I cut the only remaining questionable slow champion, Den Mother, and the least impactful ambush champion, Angelic Protector.

While making these final cuts, I reconsidered Demon Breach, Helion’s Fury, Knight of Elara, and Chomp!, but I ended up including none of them. Demon Breach could provide additional threats both on-turn and off-turn. Helion’s Fury was additional removal, but only on-turn. Knight of Elara has blitz, but I didn’t have enough Sage to draw a card, and Chomp! is off-turn removal, but not quite as strong as the rest of my options.

Last Minute Adjustment

Once I got down to the 30 cards above, I decided I wanted another off-turn hard-removal card that could answer Thundarus (or Burrowing Wurm). While I think these are bad cards, they can win the game if unanswered, and Erase was my only card that could answer Thundarus by itself (since Thundarus dodges my Palace Guard and Inheritance of the Meek, unless I have Blind Faith). Therefore, I swapped out Urgent Messengers for the generally weaker card Inner Demon, since I didn’t need the card draw.

Memorable Moments

I do not remember much about the matches played at this point, but I remember being surprised just how effective Courageous Soul was for me. I was able to play it frequently on my opponent’s turn to an empty board and attack for 4 damage with my gold up. Even though it was just a worse Dark Knight in those situations, that was still enough to get damage through. In addition, the +2 offense to my champions allowed me to threaten lethal damage on at least one occasion.

I also got the chance to go over a couple players’ 60 card pools with them after our matches (as well as going over my pool). As frequent readers know, I like talking about Epic, and being able to have discussions which can change my opinions in real time is even better, especially when we have common game examples to reference.

If you would like to read about my top 4 Dark Drafts which I won to qualify for Worlds 2017, check out my earlier articles (part 1, part 2).

Coming Soon

I am planning on recording at least one video of me building a Random 60 deck in real time.

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