The DoorwayThe Story:The struggle has reached the Garden District, namely the Estate of B. Ramsdale Brown. Your opponent is trying to strike a decisive blow against one of the Lodge's havens. Caught offguard you've had little time to prepare the Rituals and defences. Resources away from the frontline are scarce, but you know that as long as you can hold out for long enough then reinforcements will soon arrive. Using B. Ramsdale Brown's well connected status, Lodge supporters from across the continent are about to start flooding through The Doorway, situated in the heart of his Garden District manor. Meanwhile the women and children are trying to evacuate through the same. Not all of them are going to make it and when Nathan Wick with his High Wizards arrive, things are going to get bloody.
The Deck (50):
Characters (35):3 Argent Adept3 Rich Widow3 Guardian of Dawn3 Recruiter for the Lodge3 Thule Zealot2 Master of Blades2 Lodge Housekeeper3 Knight of the Outer Void3 Master of the Myths [R]1 Silver Twilight Enforcer1 *Professor George Angell1 *Lord Jeffrey Farrington3 *B. Ramsdale Brown2 *Nathan Wick2 High Wizard of the OrderEvents (8):2 Hanyatl's 1:93 Initiation3 Steal the SoulSupports (7):2 *The Doorway2 Hermetic Seal3 *Garden District
Basic Deck overview:A cost reduced control deck. Pure Silver Twilight Mono - 50 cards total.Uses Garden District combined with Argent Adept / Rich Widow for free Character cards into play at no cost (up to one every player's turn). There are 32 Lodge Characters in the deck to facilitate this. Also has Initiation (0 cost) that can be recurred with B. Ramsdale Brown and again with Argent Adept / Rich Widow this can make it relatively free and allows for 3 cost Characters to be played with 1 Resource. Nathan Wick can also get Lodge Characters into play without using a Domain.Thule Zealot for domain control and recurred through Knight of the Outer Void or The Doorway, or from the discard with B. Ramsdale Brown.
Master of Blades and Silver Twilight Enforcer for some Garden District / Nathan Wick surprises in the opponent's Story Phase, as well as being a threatening card once known.
Lodge Housekeeper and Hanyatl's 1:9 (with 11 possible into play cards to trigger) for Support control.
Hermetic Seal and Professor George Angell for recurring triggered effect Disrupts.
Lord Jeffrey Farrington and High Wizard of the Order for board control / Character removal.Steal the Soul is a very good card for in-Story surprises, both in attack and defence, as is The Doorway for desperate measures.All Events and Supports are 0 or 1 Cost to cater for the reduction to Domain Resources from recurring Thule Zealot. It is sometimes the case that Domains remain at 4 Resources several turns into the game. With a starting hand of Knight of the Outer Void / Thule Zealot / Initiation or Thule Zealot / The Doorway you can immediately set up a recurring Resource removal that if not dealt with will permanently stall some decks at 4 Resources (or 3 if they go second). With a 2nd Thule Zealot it is possible to wear the Domains down to only 2 resources (using Initiation).As most of the engines require low cost cards, this allows my 3 cost Character pool to be a nice sandbox of Characters. These can be stored in the Resources and retrieved using Thule Zealot (Resourcing correctly is vitally important for and against this deck) or searched for with the Recruiter for the Lodge.I have seen this deck on occasion put 2 x 3 cost, 1 x 2 cost and 1 x 1 cost (Rich Widow) Characters on the table as well as Garden District on the first turn (Which can easily start spitting out 2 or 3 cost Characters for free from the beginning of the game). Having two Characters of cost 3 on turn 1 is usual if starting with B. Ramsdale Brown and Initiation, thus bypassing most deck's ability to counter a rush with low cost removals. This is further compounded with Resource removal and the return of opponents cards to their hand.
Lastly, you may be concerned that 9 of the 'fleeing civilians + collateral damage' Characters have 0 icons, and I admit it does look weird in your deck. This is somewhat mitigated by the high amount of Characters (so 26 still have icons - a bit closer to regular). I view these Characters as 'pre-paid events' investing in lower cost (or free) high cost Characters, whilst also getting a card on the table that is open to insanity and wounding. Steal the Soul can be used with these icon-less cards to block opponents on their turn.Deck Strategy:First priority is the Thule Zealot engine. Having one of these in hand with either Knight of the Outer Void or The Doorway will put immediate pressure on the opponent to remove this. The Recruiter for the Lodge can help kick-start this engine or compound it with a 2nd Thule Zealot. After that or if this isn't possible then focus on getting high cost Characters into play for free or at reduced cost as fast as possible. Simples.
Once you have the Domains down to 2 or 3 Resources get Nathan Wick (possibly from the Resources) and use Initiation to put him into play. From here keep the soft lock on the Resources by recurring a Thule Zealot and use The Garden District and Nathan Wick to put Characters into play. At this stage start activating The Garden District at the end of your Story Phase if planning to use Nathan on your turn. This will either allow you to use any Characters put into play by him as part of the cost, or give The Doorway an action to interrupt and use it to return one of them to your hand before they go to the discard. Hopefully you'll have a High Wizard or Jeffrey Farrington to do this every turn with.There are a couple of tricks which would become apparent after piloting the deck a few times but to make it easy here they are:With Knight of the Outer Void / Rich Widow / Argent Adept you have a draw card engine that activates just before your Draw Phase, which is when you're likely to have less cards in hand than the opponent. Just return Rich Widow with the Knight's Forced Response, Respond by putting Rich Widow back into play and then Respond and draw a card using Argent Adept. A single Rich Widow can be used this way to cater to multiple Knight of the Outer Voids.It is usual to activate the Garden District during the Operations Phase of your own turn, followed by the Story Phase in the opponents turn. This could lead to some nice surprises but if the Character is not immediately useful you can put it into play at the end of the phase using any Master of the Myths that you've played out that phase as part of the cost, before they would otherwise return to your hand anyway.Deck breakdown:0 cost - 10 cards1 cost - 14 cards2 cost - 8 cards3 cost - 14 cards4 cost - 4 cards
Icon breakdown:Terror - 0 (11 Willpower)Combat - 19Investigation - 17Arcane - 30