Constructed Epic is a very different beast than Epic draft. I have a lot of experience drafting, in both Magic over the years and Epic now (some Hearthstone, Solforge, and Duelyst). I have significantly less experience competitive deck building, largely because of the prohibitive cost associated. In this article, I am going to explain my current thoughts on constructed. As I play more constructed Epic, I assume that these opinions will evolve.
- A constructed deck must include at least 60 cards
- You may include up to 3 copies of each card
- For each 0-cost card you include, you need to include two 1-cost cards of the same faction. For example, if you want 3 Muses, you would need something like 3 Erases, 1 Sea Titan, and 2 Lying in Waits.
So, in order to build any potentially competitive deck, you just need 3 sets of Epic. You may include any number of the factions in each deck. Promo cards, such as the ones included with the Kickstarter, are not legal in competitive play until they are released to the public.
Constructed decks are a lot more fine-tuned then draft decks. Each card must serve a specific purpose, and it must fit with the rest of the deck. It is, however, much easier to utilize a situational card optimally, since you can set up your deck specifically for that situation. In the next section, I analyze some cards specifically for constructed play.
In constructed, it is also much easier to pull off devastating combos. For example, Courageous Soul + Secret Legion, Amnesia + Army of Apocalypse, Avenging Angel + Priest of Kalnor, Secret Legion -> Drinker of Blood + Flash Fire, Sea Hydra + Hurricane, etc.
As I always say, I think card draw is incredibly important in Epic. My initial feeling is that gold-recall ability cards are worse in constructed. I think you would generally have a better play then spending your gold to recall one card. However, playing a card to draw 2 also effectively increases you hand size by 1 for 1 gold. So, we will see how this pans out. In constructed, you are not going to ever draw out for a win, so I wouldn’t recommend trying. Prove me wrong.
Staying in faction is also a lot easier in constructed, since you can run 3 of each of the best cards for that faction. This also means that you can avoid the weaker cards in each faction. Due to this, faction balance focuses on the strongest cards in each faction, instead of the faction as a whole. In the small experimenting I have done so far, I like focusing on 1 faction and taking the creme de la creme of the other 3. Or, I go about 30 and 30 into 2 factions. 1 faction decks are also definitely possible, but each faction has its own weaknesses.
Some cards are significantly better in constructed and others are better in draft. If I do not mention a card here, its constructed value matches its draft value.
Angel of Death Constructed Notes (+):
Angel of Death is already an incredible card. Then you add Surprise Attack, Final Task, 3 Corpse Takers, and Necromancer Lord (if necessary) to get a Fast unconditional reusable breaking board clear. Yeah, Angel of Death is amazing.
Army of the Apocalypse Constructed Notes (+):
This is a card you can literally build your deck around. Inherent blitz champions (not Steel Golem for instance) are great with this, and there are plenty of other devastating things you can do with that many champions. In addition, if you bring discard pile removal like Amnesia/Guilt Demon or banish effects like Banishment, you can make it a really 1-sided play. The champions returning to play would not trigger Ally effects.
Corpse Taker Constructed Notes (+):
There are so many 1-cost champions that are amazing to play repeatedly in one game: Necromancer Lord, etc.
Dark Knight Constructed Notes (+):
Drinker of Blood Constructed Notes (+):
Drinker of Blood is also a lot better when designed around. I personally like Secret Legion on your opponent’s turn. On you turn, this + Flash Fire. At minimum do 14 damage and gain 10 health. (You would need to start with at least 2 health though, otherwise Flash Fire would kill you before you gain the health). Breaking board clears are great, and Surprise Attack is nice.
This card has carried me on its back for a couple wins, but I am still hesitant about it. I feel like its greatest strength would be in a token deck, and I don’t think tokens are any more viable in constructed than they are in draft. We’ll see as I’ll definitely make a deck with this card featured.
Final Task Constructed Notes (+):
There are so many strong targets for this card. Angel of Death becomes a Fast board clear. A blitzing Kong is a scary thought. In addition, if you use this on a champion that is unbreakable, it can’t break at the end of the turn. In other words, it stays in play permanently.
Necromancer Lord Constructed Notes (+):
Necromancer Lord is a monster plain and simple. You do not know frustration until your opponent plays a Necromancer Lord with Loyalty, returns another Necromancer Lord to play, and then returns your Kong to play breaking your Lurking Giant…not that I’m still holding a grudge or anything. (It might actually have been me who did it.) When you combine this with Corpse Taker, it can be a real pain removing them from the board unless you banish them.
Unquenchable Thirst Constructed Notes (+):
Avenging Angel Constructed Notes (+):
Courageous Soul Constructed Notes (+):
This card makes tokens a lot stronger, and it combos amazingly with Secret Legion. Unfortunately, I am still hesitant to use it since I don’t think tokens are viable.
Inheritance of the Meek Constructed Notes (+):
If you insist on a token deck, this is a really nice card to have. It is especially nice with The People’s Champion.
Priest of Kalnor Constructed Notes (++):
I consider this card nearly worthless in draft, but I constantly want to use it in constructed. This card makes a lot of other cards a lot better. My personal favorite might be Gold Dragon in a Good deck. This card alone is a lot of why I currently go 30 Good cards in some decks.
Resurrection Constructed Notes (+):
There are so many strong cards that Resurrection works great with. I had one game where I blocked a couple champions with Kong, my opponent used something like Rage so everything died, then he played Raging T-Rex. When he tried to end his turn, Resurrection. I broke the T-Rex and got a 13/14. I was quite pleased.
Vital Mission Constructed Notes (+):
I mainly want to use this on my The People’s Champion in a mass health-gain deck, but I feel like the health gain for my opponent would be less important in constructed as well. I’m not sure how I’ll rate this card once I have played with it a bit.
Amnesia Constructed Notes (+):
I feel like Necromancer Lord and Army of the Apocalypse are going to be a big deal. In addition, the fact that it replaces itself is so nice. It’s possible that this could be weaker in constructed then in draft though. The main reason, you’re not going to draw out in constructed, but that is a real threat in draft.
Ancient Chant Constructed Notes (+):
I feel like this is going to be a beast of a card in aggro decks with recycle. Essentially draw 3 from one card on your opponent’s turn seems pretty strong. I do really like card draw, but I feel like aggro might shun it a bit. In that situation, I see this card shining.
Memory Spirit Constructed Notes (+):
Some events are very good to get back for an extra use, Erase for instance. Interestingly, if you use Resurrection to return a Memory Spirit to play, you could return the Resurrection to hand before your opponent gets a chance to stop you, I think. Same is true with Surprise Attack and Final Task, if I am correct.
Muse Constructed Notes (+/-):
Muse is one of the best cards in the game. It is so powerful, that I believe all decks should have 0-cost cards specifically able to get rid of Muse. Because of that, Muse might not be worth running. Who am I kidding, Muse is still strong enough even if you just force a 0-cost for 0-cost trade.
Psionic Assault Constructed Notes (+/-):
Against an aggro deck that burns through their hand quickly, this could be devastating. Against my decks that will probably hope to stay at 5+ cards constantly, this is less strong, in theory. Dropping below 5 cards can be pretty huge though, especially if you have more than 1 faction with Loyalty 2/Ally effects.
Time Walker Constructed Notes (+):
This card helps 0-cost blitz champions. Bouncing board clear is strong. Surprise Attack makes this great. This is a very strong constructed card.
Turn Constructed Notes (-):
I think bounce is great, and I think Erase will be in a lot decks. If bounce is prevalent, Turn becomes much worse.
Warrior Golem Constructed Notes (+):
A 4/2 blitz that can recycle itself. This card seems perfect for a Sage aggro deck.
Lash Constructed Notes (-):
Lash is an incredible card, but I am not sure if I want to spend a gold to recall it in constructed. I will still definitely run the card, but I’m not sure if I want multiples in a deck. I am also not sure if I can get enough use out of it. We shall see.
Lightning Storm Constructed Notes (-):
Lightning Storm is still a great card for 6 divisible damage. Once again, I’m just not sure if I want multiples or if I want to recall it for a gold. This card does still break a lot of cards that are great in constructed. In addition, Lightning Storm on opponent’s turn, recall on your turn immediately, then Lightning Storm on your opponent’s turn is still pretty strong.
Sea Hydra Constructed Notes (+):
Tribute -> Draw a card makes me happy, and this combos well with cards like Hurricane and Angelic Protector. This + Angelic Protector gave me a nice 18/23 champion after I blocked a Steel Golem. There is something satisfying about needing to use a d20 to represent counters.
Surprise Attack Constructed Notes (++):
If you deck runs any of the following, you probably want 3 Surprise Attacks: Angel of Death, Dark Assassin, Drinker of Blood, Murderous Necromancer, Necromancer Lord, Soul Hunter, Succubus, Thrasher Demon even, Trihorror, Gold Dragon, High King, Lord of the Arena, Palace Guard, The People’s Champion, Thundarus, White Knight, Blue Dragon, Frost Giant, Sea Titan, Steel Golem, Time Walker, Winter Fairy, Bellowing Minotaur, Burrowing Wurm, Jungle Queen, Kong, Pack Alpha, Raging T-Rex, Rampaging Wurm, Sea Hydra, and/or Triceratops.
In addition, this also thins your deck a bit too. In other words, you effectively have a 57 card deck. This is because when played, you draw a card to replace it and you still play a champion from your hand.
Wurm Hatchling Constructed Notes (+):
In a predominantly Wild deck, this 0-cost card attacks as a 10/10 breakthrough, on its first attack.
I am going to be posting some decks in the next week and explaining how they are supposed to work. As I play them, I will describe how they actually work, if they are worth further play, and how I plan on tweaking them.
All Epic Card Game images are owned by White Wizard Games, Copyright 2016.