Evil (30) [+3 Erwin]
2x Hunting Pterosaur
The potentially underrated cards that formed the core of what I wanted to do were Erwin, Time Walker, and Scarred Cultist. (Cultist got an incognito tier bump partially because of this). Erwin could theoretically let me hit loyalty in two different alignments which is interesting. Cultist seems like it could be quite powerful, but I wasn’t able to find a deck for it. Time Walker works with both, and it’s the card that keeps making me want to build a 30/30 Evil/Sage 0-cost champion deck. So, that’s where I started.
I’ve built 0-cost blitzer decks in the past (bounce-based and Banishment/No Escape-based), and the biggest hurdle is always Raxxa’s Curse. If I play Little Devil, attack, and it gets Cursed, I fall so far behind. Therefore, instead of focusing on blitzing 0’s for my bounce deck, I wanted to focus on value 0’s, namely Scarred Cultist, Hunting Pterosaur, and Forcemage Apprentice. All of these give immediate value when they enter play, are worthwhile threats if not removed, and are great to get back to hand. If one of these gets Cursed after I’ve already retrieved a card or broken a Muse/Plucker, I’m okay with that.
Next, I worked out which Loyalty 2 champions I wanted to pursue, since Erwin needs a justification for inclusion (beyond playing it before Time Walker/Reset for a free recycle). Obviously I needed to be able to hit Evil loyalty for Cultist, I always want Medusa if possible, Angel of Death is amazing, and Necromancer Lord has some nice tricks in this deck (Final Task, Time Walker, Scarred Cultist). For Sage though, the only particularly interesting one was Time Walker. Therefore, since it is impossible to get 33 of 60 cards in both alignments, I decided to focus on Evil (since I want to hit Evil Loyalty early and often) and drop my Sage count to 24, making room for the Hunting Pterosaurs.
While I seriously dislike including Loyalty 2 cards in factions with less than 33 cards of that alignment or 55% (see my Epic Constructed Process article), in theory, this deck has some tricks to subvert that soft-restriction. First, I only have 3 cards that need loyalty outside of my main faction. Second, these are cards I believe I’ll generally want to wait until a bit later in the game to use. Third, Erwin, once drawn, will spend most of the rest of the game in my hand, meaning I only need 1 more card to activate Walker. Fourth, Ancient Chant Recall off-turn can potentially provide that second Loyalty card, so can Scarred Cultist (although I cut most of my other 1-cost Sage champions…). I’ll be curious to see how well this works. I don’t want to play it safe and go down to 2 Walkers because it is one of the strongest cards in the deck. On the plus side, if I do draw all 3 Walkers, at least I’ll have loyalty for them.
So, the goal of this deck is to win by chipping down the opponent with 0-cost champions while outvaluing them by repeatedly playing incredibly powerful loyalty 2 champions. While less of a focus as in the past, playing a 0-cost champion and attacking or passing is a strong option for this deck. Where similar decks falter, however, is that they don’t have strong on-turn gold punishers to follow up. This is particularly true because Evil has historically had little to no worthwhile on-turn gold punishers. Steed of Zaltessa changes that. If your opponent spends their gold first on your turn, you get to hit them for 11 and leave a 7 defense airborne champion in play, incredible. (I think I want space for 3.) The fact that Evil now has a powerful on-turn gold punisher is a huge deal, and it is one of the reasons why a 6/5 version of Corpse Taker (Cultist) can actually be a powerful card, more on this in the constructed ratings videos. Winged Death is also a strong board-control gold-punisher.
Fairy Trickster is the final interesting piece of this build. Ideally, I’ll ambush it in off-turn, expend it to target my deck, and flip any of my 0-cost champions, effectively drawing and playing that card, not bad. I’ve used it in the past in similar decks, and it’s been okay, but I’m curious about experimenting with it in this deck. One interesting note is that if you use this off-turn and/or during combat and you turn up a slow champion, you can actually play that champion (effectively as if it had ambush). Surprise Attack on a body could be interesting, particularly with Winged Death, Necromancer Lord, Time Walker, Mist Guide Herald, and Winged Death. We’ll see.
Right now, I’m a bit lighter on card draw than I like to be, especially since I’m being overly generous and counting Fairy Trickster as card draw. Theoretically, the AoE bounces from Time Walker and Reset could keep me stocked with cards, but I won’t know until testing. Due to this lack of card draw concern, I shifted a bit away from Mist Guide Herald, which can in theory be pretty strong when it hits Time Walker. Due to the decreased MGH count, Final Task becomes worse, as does Teleport.
If I continue with this deck, I would probably end up cutting the Tricksters, MGH, Teleport, and decreasing the Final Task count. The 2-2 Little Devil Corpsemonger ratio might shift too. Hopefully the final two as of yet unspoiled Pantheon packs will give the final cards needed for these slots.