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The Three Bells call the All-Mother


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#1 HilariousPete

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:02 AM

Hello,

I've been thinking about one of the new cards from the latest AP, the Three Bells. The idea is to use it for bringing Shub-Niggurath into play which could then set off her spawn (which has been sacrificed into the discard pile for that to happen). A decklist:

3x Twilight Cannibal
3x Ya-te-veo
3x Collector of sacrifices
3x The Mage Known as Magnus
1x Ferocious Dark Young
3x Grasping Chthonian
3x Watcher of the Woods
3x Hungry Dark Young
3x Ancient Guardian
2x Y'Golonac
1x Small Ghouls
3x Shub Niggurath (Dark Misstress …)
1x Nyogtha
1x Shudde M'ell

2x Thunder in the East
3x Burrowing Beneath
3x Shocking Transformation

3x Snow Graves
3x The Stone on the Peak
3x The Three Bells

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Some comments on the cards and their function:

The Mage Known as Magnus: Shub Niggurath actually has to be in the discard pile for this to work ;-) By his action, it is possible to get rid of 1 opponent character as a nice addition. This can be virtually any non-AO, since Shub costs 6.

Ancient Guardian: The Three Bells is slow, it needs to exhaust 4 times to bring Shub into play. The Guardian shall speed things up.

Collector of Sacrifices should work nice with my characters leaving play because of The Three Bells.

Y'Golonac and Grasping Cthonian (support destruction) are powerful just by itself.

Ya-te-veo is slowing down rush decks, hopefully.

Small Ghouls, Nyogtha and Shudde M'ell are there to fuel the Mage. They are also a back-up character if I couldn't draw Shub. If playing against a Things in the Ground deck, they are also nice to have.

The rest of the characters are just Dark Youngs or cheap (Twilight Cannibal).

The Stone on the Peek helps against discard decks and possibly could bring back The Three Bells if destroyed by an opponent. Or it could bring back a Grasping Chthonian.

Snow Graves is a protection against recursion.

When The Three Bells are ringing, it should also be not easy for an opponent to keep The Large Man + Glimpse Of The Void running, because he needs to sacrifice The Large Man when his deck is having a lot of milling cards and not so much characters to sacrifice instead of The Large Man.

Thunder in the East is against Snow Graves on my own discard pile, Burrowing Beneath against Khopesh or other nasty attachments.

Shocking Transformation adds flexibility when needed (can fetch a missing Mage, a missing Ancient Guardian, Grasping Chthonian or Small Ghouls if I need skill).

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The deck sounds very promising at first, but against competitive decks, ringing the bell the 4th time is not easy I guess. Probably gets destroyed before that happens. And I guess it will have real troubles against rush decks.
Some Dark Youngs could be unnecessary, I am thinking about adding some Silver Twilight power (Master of the Myths, Unbound, Lord Jeffrey Farrington, Ritual of the Lance, Magnus Stiles bc. the Mage is a sorcerer, or Nathan Wick replacing the Mage and putting High Wizard of the Order into play for discarding Shub-Niggurath…)

Any ideas / further weak spots / comments?

Greetings,
Pete



#2 dboeren

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 04:17 PM

First, good job explaining the deck concept - this makes it easier to comment when you can see what context the cards are to be used in.

You have a lot of cards to destroy other people's support cards, but your deck depends on your own remaining untouched for possibly a significant amount of time.  There are a few things you can do that can maybe help with that…

1.  Cards that protect it.  Unfortunately, I don't think Shub has any of these, but if you ever mixed in another faction you could put in something with a cancel effect like Guardian of the Key, etc..

2.  Make it more annoying to destroy.  Again, Shub is no help.  But there is Artifact of the Lost Cities which at least gives a little deterrent.

3.  Speed it up so there is a smaller window to destroy it.  Here you can do more.  Eldritch Nexus, Wooden Homonculus, and Overzealous Initiate can all create new 1-domains for you which can help you to run through the Bells faster.  Cutting a turn or two off that time means less time for your opponent to find his support destruction or make it harder to recognize the threat in time.

 

I feel that the deck is going to be rather slow to get moving - you have no cost 1 characters or cost reducers (Shub excels at reducers).  Maybe look at putting in some of these?  You can probably cut a couple of 3x cards down to 2x to make room, and lose Ferocious Dark Young altogether - there's no real reason to have him if there is only one of him.  Maybe try to cut some expensive characters to replace with cheap ones that are easier to get in play to feed to the Bells.

It may just be me, but I think a lot of support cards do fine with just two copies, depending how key they are.  You'll want a full set of Bells since that's core to the deck's functioning, but I don't know if you need three Snow Graves or Stone on the Peak.  As long as they show up after a while that's probably good enough.

Anyway, if you can find something to trim that could let you get in some cost reducers or a cost 1 character to help the deck spool up a little faster and maybe fit in some of the domain adding cards to help you ring those Bells a bit quicker.  There are a lot of "pay 1's" to be paid to keep exhausting and readying the Bells, not to mention you have to get those characters into play to sacrifice to it (and more cheap characters will help that too).



#3 HilariousPete

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:22 AM

Thanks for your comments! You are right about the speed of the deck, and also about not using Shub's resourcing/cost reduction cards enough… Also the other comments were pretty helpful. Probably adding Yog to the deck is a good idea. Takes some time to set the deck up, I'll post the new deck here when I'm somehow satisfied with it…



#4 HilariousPete

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:15 AM

Here is the improved version of the deck. Now it also includes Yog, which provides another option to bring Shub-Niggurath into play with Opening the Limbo Gates:

3x The mage Known as Magnus
1x Nyarlathothep
3x Eldritch Nexus
3x Ya-te-veo
2x Harvesting Mi-Go
3x Hungry Dark Young
1x grasping Chthonian
3x Ancient Guardian
2x Y'Golonac
3x Shub
3x Feed Her Young
3x Burrowing beneath
1x Shocking Transformation
3x Snow Graves
3x The Three Bells
2x The Stone on the Peak
2x Arcane Initiate
2x Pawn Broker
3x Flying Polyps
2x Journey to the other side
3x Opening the Limbo Gates

(51 cards)

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Opening the Limbo Gates + Snow Graves on opponent's discard pile is usually a much faster and safer method of getting Shub into play!

The primary function of The Three Bells has shifted, now it's the payload when I succeeded in having Shub in play: Sacrifice opponent's characters, while I sacrifice my Dark Youngs which can be brought into play cheaply. Additionally, the Bells are a back-up method of bringing Shub into play.

I also did include a lot of resource placement / additional domains (3x Feed Her Young, 2x Harvesting Mi-Go / 3x Eldritch Nexus), since Ancient Guardian, Three Bells, Y'Golonac, Pawn Broker and Ya-te-veo all need a payment of 1, and actually paying 6 for Shub and playing him normally is an option with this deck.

Nyarlathothep is in because I have speed and some control over placing my own resources with the 8 resource/domain-granting cards just stated, but my opponent usually doesn't. But Nyarlathothep is not the main part of this deck.

Pawn Broker helps me draw a card when I'm looking for it, as well as Journey to the Other Side does. He provides another option to put Shub into the discard pile.
Flying Polyps is an invulnerable character with the fast keyword -> nice addition, and also accessible via Shocking Transformation (which I reduced to 1 copy - the only main card in the deck which is not redundant is Shub-Niggurath, which is not accesible via ST anyway).



#5 COCLCG

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 05:43 PM

just FYI, to use limbo gate you need to be able to put an opponents character in play also, so snow graves will actually stop the limbo gate from being able to perform its action. for the effect to work, unfortunately both have to happen.



#6 HilariousPete

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:04 AM

Oh, that'd be a crucial point… Makes the combo not so good. Thanks for pointing that out.

However, I don't understand why Opening the Limbo Gates needs to put either 2 characters or none in play ;-) The FAQ states that players should resolve as much of an effect as possible. (If no special phrases as "then" and "if able" are used.) Can you please explain it?



#7 .Zephyr.

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:47 AM

I also find this "sometimes as much as you can, sometimes all or nothing" really confusing.

 

From what i get now its do as much as you can with a few exceptions.

T/willpower cannot go insane and invulnerable cannot be wounded, any effect that attempts to do it can't even trigger so other parts also don't happen.

When there is word "choose" you have to do this choice in order to trigger effect. If there are no legal targets you cant trigger the effect. (But choose and do X to a card Z. Means you chose card Z, this is targetting requirement. Effect X might not happen and its fine, unless it tried to do sth that cannot be done.) I think that if this was properly explained in faq it would be less confusing, now its split in different paragraphs that seem to contradict one another, they don't but its hard as hell to get what they mean.

 

Limbo gate is actually the example in faq:

 

(1.5) Choosing Targets

The word target is used to indicate that an effect is directing a player to choose 1 or more cards for an effect to resolve on. Not every effect that resolves on a card is targeted. An effect that resolves on 1 or more cards without specifically using the word “choose” is not a targeted effect. A player cannot trigger a card effect that requires him to choose a character, support card, or story card if there is no card of that type that he is able to choose. For example, a player could not play Opening the Limbo Gate (Core Set F116) unless every player’s discard pile contained at least one character card. In addition, a player cannot trigger a card effect that requires him to choose a certain number of targets if there are not enough valid targets available. Also note that if a card is targeted, but becomes an illegal target (e.g., via a Disrupt: action), the targeting effect is then ignored. For example, if Darrin plays the triggered ability on Slavering Gug (Core Set F124) on Tommy’s Jack “Brass” Brady (Core Set F61), Tommy may choose to use Jack “Brass” Brady’s Disrupt: action, which would return him to Tommy’s hand. Assuming both players subsequently pass, the Slavering Gug’s ability now resolves. However, since Jack “Brass” Brady is no longer in play and is thus an illegal target, the Slavering Gug’ s effect is ignored.

 

(Brass example is weird for me timing wise…) Cannot is absolute and prevents cards from being legal targets, as stated here:

 

 

(2.30) “Cannot”

If an effect has the word “cannot” in its description, then it is an absolute: Effects that attempt the described action will not affect any card that “cannot” be affected by such an effect. It is an illegal target and any card effect that seeks to specifically affect that card cannot be triggered.

 

 

 



#8 HilariousPete

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:39 AM

.Zephyr. said:

I also find this "sometimes as much as you can, sometimes all or nothing" really confusing.

 From what i get now its do as much as you can with a few exceptions.

T/willpower cannot go insane and invulnerable cannot be wounded, any effect that attempts to do it can't even trigger so other parts also don't happen.

When there is word "choose" you have to do this choice in order to trigger effect. If there are no legal targets you cant trigger the effect. (But choose and do X to a card Z. Means you chose card Z, this is targetting requirement. Effect X might not happen and its fine, unless it tried to do sth that cannot be done.)

 

Yes, this is/has been confusing me…

The 1st cited FAQ section where Limbo Gates is stated isn't really covering my case, since I'm talking about the case where both players have a character in their discard pile.

But the 2nd cited FAQ section hits the nail, because of the definition of cannot, I'm not even allowed to trigger Limbo Gates. Ok.

One question to check if I got it right: When I want to do something similar and trigger Y'Golonac's ability on a ready character, the effect can be triggered and (the first part) will fail. That it can be triggered is because there is no rule that says "ready characters cannot be readied again", in contrast to having Snow Graves on an opponents discard pile?



#9 Hellfury

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:58 AM

HilariousPete said:

Oh, that'd be a crucial point… Makes the combo not so good.

There are VERY few decks that do not have any characters in them. I have only encountered 1 (ONE!) single deck that worked from not carrying any characters.

With the Burrowing Beneath card, you can time its function to destroy a snowgraves and then plant opening the limbo gate on the table to good effect. without much if any worry.

Its not bad to have snow graves on an opponents discard pile. YOU are in control of that and YOU can decide when it should go away with burrowing beneath to gain the most benefit from opening the limbo gate. Remember, YOU also get to choose the character in the opponents discard pile to bring into play.

 



#10 .Zephyr.

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:07 AM

 That's how i understand those rules.

(personally i think level of complication is unnecesary, if i ware to design those interactions i'd just go with do everything as much as possible; and just write explictly on cards that want "all or nothing". Refusing to trigger them even after they have been played but disrupt changed situation is so damn confusing…)



#11 HilariousPete

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:55 AM

.Zephyr. said:

That's how i understand those rules.

Ok, good

Hellfury said:

With the Burrowing Beneath card, you can time its function to destroy a snowgraves and then plant opening the limbo gate on the table to good effect. without much if any worry.

Its not bad to have snow graves on an opponents discard pile. YOU are in control of that and YOU can decide when it should go away with burrowing beneath to gain the most benefit from opening the limbo gate. Remember, YOU also get to choose the character in the opponents discard pile to bring into play.

Sure it's still a good combo. You're right, I can determine when to play Opening the Limbo Gate. (Supposed I have all the cards in my hand, which is now usually 1 more: a support removal). The combo is just not as good as I initially thought it were. Now it's pay 6 (2 for Burrowing Beneath, 4 for Opening the Limbo Gate) and Exhaust the Mage and remove a card that is intended to stop my opponent's recursion, to bring Shub into play and exchange opponent's best non-AO character with the worst from his discard pile (which may be identical after the Mage's destruction). Before, it was a cost 4 + exhaust the Mage to destroy 1 character and bring Shub into play…

And I add 1 Thunder in the East to my decklist. I think I need at least this additional (cheap) support removal, the other 4 were originally thought for my opponent… The additional card shouldn't be detrimental regarding my deck size, since it allows me to draw another card after its usage. (As Feed Her Young does, too.)

 

 



#12 dboeren

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 03:06 AM

Hellfury said:

HilariousPete said:

Oh, that'd be a crucial point… Makes the combo not so good.

 

There are VERY few decks that do not have any characters in them. I have only encountered 1 (ONE!) single deck that worked from not carrying any characters.

Yog discard deck?  Anyway, I don't think anyone was suggesting that an opponent's deck would have zero characters.  They also need at least one of those characters to be in their discard pile and to be able to retrieve them (no Snow Graves).  Getting someone to the discard pile happens eventually but depending on your deck may not happen very early in the game - speaking from my recent games with a mono-Silver Twilight deck.  Shub should have less trouble with this as they pack more Combat effects than ST does.  Snow Graves as you pointed out are under your control.  You can choose to remove it (provided you have a card to do so) and you can choose not to play it until you draw such a card if you prefer.



#13 Runix

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:01 AM

Interesting deck.  I admit I'm becoming more interested in Shub, as they have a lot of interesting strategic options available, and discard pile fishing is definitely one of their strong suits.  Magnus is a particularly good addition, as he is fantastic at quickly feeding both discard piles.

One possible addition would be Black Dog.  One potential problem with these Rube-Goldberg type decks is that they need time for the machinery to get set up.  Bouncing blockers like the Black Dog or Master of the Myths really help that, by buying time in the early phase of the game.  I would favor Black Dog here, as it's faction-friendly and may get a character or two of the enemy's into the discard pile to allow Opening the Limbo Gate to get triggered.



#14 HilariousPete

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 11:16 AM

Yes, Black Dog sounds like a good addition. I just can't decide which card to take out for it ;-) Probably 1x Pawn Broker. I didn't have such big problems in drawing Shub with the additional card draw on Feed Her Young as I feared.






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