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Ranger of the Force

Is it me or my deck?

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I’ve had some ups and downs (love/hate) with this game since it’s release.  This is a deck that has houses and cards I like but I can’t seem to win with it.  On paper it seems decent:  Has decent aember generation, decent creatures who protect my important creatures etc. but it gets defeated quickly.  So as the title says, is it me or my deck?

https://www.keyforgegame.com/deck-details/fed54b60-0f43-417a-ad0d-30501dcc8903

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Almost all of your aember generation is tied to reaping. Before Brain stem antenna and crystal hive, you only have 12 aember being generated in a single pass through your deck. Both of the cards I called out are hard to quantify, but you only have 4 mars creatures and 2 of them come into play stunned, so your return on these cards is going to be a bit low. Average aember generation for a deck is 17.5, so opponents out pacing you is semi-expected. Your deck could make up for this number with some strong anti-aember cards, but your deck only has 1 (Doorstep to Heaven), all of the rest of your anti-aember is what I think of as weak anti-aember, which can be very useful, but isn't usually enough to overcome low aember generation. 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the in depth analysis.  From what I gather from it, in order to enhance my aember generation outside of reaping I would need to cycle through my deck as quickly as I can.  Outside of that piece of advice, how would you recommend piloting this deck to get the most out of it?  Sounds like reaping is my bread and butter.  At the same time I need to play cards to cycle through my deck which means  turns that I abandon reaping.  

Edited by Ranger of the Force

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Short answer: it is your deck. I made an overview with the 30 decks I played most with (at least ten times each). Mars is the worst house for me, and Sanctum comes in second worst. And in your Untamed pool you are missing some of the best Untamed cards (like Hunting Witch, Dust Pixie, or Chota Hazri to name just a few). At least I would have a hard time with your Mister Liliza.

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Your mars is weird and doesn't work

Emp is good here because you have a low creature count, and artefact killers are rare. But otherwise it's "the bad":

- key abduction, cristal hive and brain stem antenna don't work becausz you have no/little archive and very few mars creatures. 

- phosphorous stars is a BAD card because it chains, stuns you, and it's not like dis' gateway that synercises with their cards. Most of the time it's a dead card you'll want to discard from your hand. 

-mothergun's a mediocre artefact. Best thing about it is it rhins out your deck. 

You can have some good turns maybe with cristal hive and ulyk that's dropped, given brain stem, then you drop other mars creatures to chain reap with ulyk and maybe an other house's creature... Only good thing with the house, and really situational. 

 

Your house sanctum is ok. They are your creature and aember control with some capture and the doorstep but nothing spectacular really. Low creature count again, but they're pretty good (especially anaphiel-bulwark combo)

 

And finally, the worst imo: untamed that doesn't bring aember. You have 2 troop calls and a regrowth but nothing to bring aember from that like a hubting witch. All your creatures are good at attacking stuff so they may control the board but they don't do anything on the turn they drop so you have dead turns. The dew faerie will get toasted for sure. 

Mimicry's the only really good card there with maybe using a good enemy action but that's really opponent dependant. 

 

Yeah, your aember generation is bad, you don't have combos, all your efficient turns are delayed and the opponent may just prevent you from doing anything, you may have some contol if the opponent doesn't have any but you basically can't manage elusive creatures since your control is mostly by fighting... You can't prevent the opponent from doing whatever he wants unless untamed or by chaining yourself... 

 

Bleh. 

 

Look for the synergies and combos in decks to see if there are any combos around. If there aren't any, it's already a bad sign. Also look for immediate aember generation (one of my best decks can generate about 30 aember in the same turn with the right combo: hunting witch, 2 pixies, flaxia, return 3 creatures to hand, repeat de drop, then use nepenthe seed to grab the return to hand and repeat again. But most of the time you can only get a part of the combo and make a bunch.). 

 

Aember wins games. Controlling aember ruins enemy games. Controlli g thz board only wins rounds. 

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21 hours ago, Wandalf the Gizzard said:

@Gaukli How do the other houses rank in power in your experience?

My best decks either have nice steal with Shadows or amber burst and key cheating with untamed. Logos, Brobnar and Dis are not winning me games but are excellent in supporting my strategy, for example by giving me more control, more cards, or a superior board.

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20 minutes ago, Deuzerre said:

I'd go as far as saying that there is almost no very good deck without shadows, in its current form. Steal is just too good at both control and generating. 

Nah I’ve had plenty of good decks without shadows, besides there’s steal elsewhere logos can get it, dis has a decent amount, etc. Even without steal the right sanctum cards can mean tying your opponent up with lots of capture and hard to kill creatures, untamed by far can out produce aember compared to most houses, dis can cripple your hand, Brobnar can keep good board control while producing aember simultaneously so you don’t often have to choose to reap “or” Attack. Just about getting the right cards, the only one I might view as the weakest I’ve had is mars and that’s just because they seem to have the hardest time combining off other houses.

Shadows is just the most straight forwards but it’s really hard for them to establish a dominant board presence and I often see them out performed by dis.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, TwitchyBait said:

 

Shadows is just the most straight forwards but it’s really hard for them to establish a dominant board presence and I often see them out performed by dis.

I can imagine that Dis does this. Actually I lost against strong Dis control decks often. Unfortunately I lack one myself.

Edited by Gaukli

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Dis is good for the ground control, but shadows has a ton of immediate steal (orphans, bait and switch, too much to protect, routine job, one last job (to an extent) ), steals with synergies (phantom, faygin,...), steals with damage or limited conditions (nerve blast, whispers). Most of these combine a strong ability to react to the opponent immediately (without any setup) and no chains and even generating aember on their cards. 

Other houses may control the board more efficiently (dis) , draw better (logos) , have more lasting power (though elusive maked them somewhat tough), removing aember from the board (brobnar) or do a bit of everything more efficiently (mars) but none are as good at countering the opponent while buffing themselves at the same time. 

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7 hours ago, Deuzerre said:

Dis is good for the ground control, but shadows has a ton of immediate steal (orphans, bait and switch, too much to protect, routine job, one last job (to an extent) ), steals with synergies (phantom, faygin,...), steals with damage or limited conditions (nerve blast, whispers). Most of these combine a strong ability to react to the opponent immediately (without any setup) and no chains and even generating aember on their cards. 

Other houses may control the board more efficiently (dis) , draw better (logos) , have more lasting power (though elusive maked them somewhat tough), removing aember from the board (brobnar) or do a bit of everything more efficiently (mars) but none are as good at countering the opponent while buffing themselves at the same time. 

Shadows is good certainly, but they’re hardly “necessary” to have a strong deck is my point.

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14 creatures seems light to me. Your opponent should be able to control board state in terms of creatures. 

12 Cards that make an amber for playing doesn't help make up for the low creature count. 

You do have a fair number of cards that mass stun, but mass stun is a slowing effect, your opponent just skips a beat for removing the stun effect.

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18 hours ago, TwitchyBait said:

Shadows is good certainly, but they’re hardly “necessary” to have a strong deck is my point.

Just had a tournament yesterday evening. 11 players.

All but one had Shadows
The only Brobnar were tripe gauntlets decks
Over half had logos inlucing one with a nepenthe seed + library access + phase shift + untamed key charge. That was the deck without shadows.
over half had untamed with pixies and hunting witch.
Scarce mars and Dis.

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56 minutes ago, Deuzerre said:

Just had a tournament yesterday evening. 11 players.

All but one had Shadows
The only Brobnar were tripe gauntlets decks
Over half had logos inlucing one with a nepenthe seed + library access + phase shift + untamed key charge. That was the deck without shadows.
over half had untamed with pixies and hunting witch.
Scarce mars and Dis.

Ok? We have them every week, sometimes shadows are in the top 3 decks and sometimes they’re not. Point is you still see strong decks with good combos show up even with no shadows, lots of decks have them but not all or even a vast majority. **** many have them and are still ****, one of my own lowest sas rating decks has shadows just luck of the draw.

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Posted (edited)

Chill.
I'm not saying shadows makes a deck good.
I'm just saying that for a deck to be very good, it's hard for it not to have shadows.

Edited by Deuzerre
typo

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It’s the steal mechanic, it sets your opponent further from their win condition while at the same time bringing you closer. Shadows just happens to have a lot of it.

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I can't see decks at work and finally remembered to take a peek while I was at home. It's probably the deck. This deck reminds me a lot of the very first deck I got. It's got good cards, it's got a good house combination and everything is there. I would be willing to bet when you have the right draw and the deck fires off correctly it is an easy win. 

That's how I felt about my first deck when I opened it and saw it and went 2-1 in a premiere tournament with it. What was the problem with it, and my guess as to what the problem is with this deck? It's inconsistent. A lot has to go right for the deck to work properly to get you the win. You have to draw the right cards at the right times, play them correctly and be in the right situation, and it especially helps if the same thing is not happening for your opponent. 

Unfortunately, when it doesn't happen the deck doesn't perform. That's how it goes with my very first deck and I'm guessing that's how this one goes too. Don't get me wrong, I'll bet it's a lot of fun to play with (my favorite ones to play with are my "worst" decks in a sense) but that doesn't mean we ignore the analysis that it is just not inconsistent. I believe that most players are making the best choices they can when they play and usually if you do make a bad choice you can see it and correct it for future games. Or you can be like me and refuse to learn and make the same mistakes but I digress... :P 

Get a new deck if you want, but I think if you keep playing with this one when you do win it's going to feel real good! There is something satisfying about taking a "finesse deck" (as I used to call the bad decks) and getting a win with it.

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Sometimes you just get a dud deck and you just have to set it aside and only pull it out when you want a challenge or handicap yourself while teaching a newbie.  I'd look for another one, man.

On 3/21/2019 at 6:27 PM, TwitchyBait said:

Nah I’ve had plenty of good decks without shadows, besides there’s steal elsewhere logos can get it, dis has a decent amount, etc. Even without steal the right sanctum cards can mean tying your opponent up with lots of capture and hard to kill creatures, untamed by far can out produce aember compared to most houses, dis can cripple your hand, Brobnar can keep good board control while producing aember simultaneously so you don’t often have to choose to reap “or” Attack. Just about getting the right cards, the only one I might view as the weakest I’ve had is mars and that’s just because they seem to have the hardest time combining off other houses.

Shadows is just the most straight forwards but it’s really hard for them to establish a dominant board presence and I often see them out performed by dis.

I've found in a few of my decks that Brobnar can jump out into crazy aember generation if you've cleared your opponent's board or they've blocked all your fighting. Then all those "ready & fight" cards suddenly become 'ready & reap.'  I generated 12 aember with brobnar in one game when an opponent foggify'd me.

And I agree that one shouldn't underestimate hand crippling. The deck I have that earned a power level at a constructed tournament is one that screws badly with opponents' hands.

On 3/22/2019 at 4:58 AM, Deuzerre said:

Dis is good for the ground control, but shadows has a ton of immediate steal (orphans, bait and switch, too much to protect, routine job, one last job (to an extent) ), steals with synergies (phantom, faygin,...), steals with damage or limited conditions (nerve blast, whispers). Most of these combine a strong ability to react to the opponent immediately (without any setup) and no chains and even generating aember on their cards. 

Other houses may control the board more efficiently (dis) , draw better (logos) , have more lasting power (though elusive maked them somewhat tough), removing aember from the board (brobnar) or do a bit of everything more efficiently (mars) but none are as good at countering the opponent while buffing themselves at the same time. 

By far the best thing in Shadow is Bait & Switch (though I'd love to watch a deck with a maverick B&S).  That card is one that I agree is too good and should have had 2-3 chains put in its text. Especially as the most common use is to drop it right after forging a key. The rest is good and solid, but manageable by most decks with good piloting, making Shadows a solid house.  Bait & Switch is the only thing that pushes them over the top (and I'm hoping it's either gone in Age of Asc or has a more balanced version printed).

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