Deck Guide: Toxic Aristocrats

Overview


Since the Price of Power Expansion, maybe even before, Masquerade Ball disappeared. That might not change with this Guide, but it gives you an impression of how a classic Masquerade Ball deck could look like these days. And while testing, it turned out to be actually stronger than expected. 

One of the biggest weaknesses of playing this deck was always to get bled in Round 2, losing your Scenario or not drawing into it in Round 3. With the introduction of Jan Calveit as a card, we won’t have this problem anymore, as we can secure drawing into the cards we really need.  
To avoid the bleeding, we want to win Round 1 as efficient as possible. To help with that in addition to the tempo of Calveit, we play Ring of Favor, together with the Blightmaker and Mage Assassin combo. Fangs of the Empire with maybe Maraal or Cupbearer can also help to threaten some reach, while if necessary, we can take it with the removal potential of Vincent or grab a good unit with Vigo’s Muzzle

Obviously, you need a playable Round 1 hand to be able to do so, but with so many options to contest, you should be fine. If you feel not being able to secure Round 1, it might be an idea to hold Calveit, so your Scenario won’t get bled in Round 2 or even mulligan it away…but that’s a gamble and your call to take or not. 

The huge potential in this deck lies in its power combo: Masquerade Ball and Philippe Van Moorlehem. Protected behind Ffion var Gaernel, we should be able to gain a lot of points with our Thirsty Dames. Use your aristocrats wisely, you don’t need to instantly poison the unit you want to kill. Poison a unit with the spawned Fangs, then lock it with Philippe. Do the same with the other one and maybe even with Maraal as well. Gain statuses for your Dames and, depending on how long the Round takes, finish it off with Philippe and your remaining removals. 
Vigo’s Muzzle locks first before it grabs the unit, so it boosts your Dames as well as your leader ability Imposter. Keep that in mind to not waste points, but you don’t have to combine them necessarily. 

Pros: 
– A lot more flexibility to win Round 1 than old Ball decks, while also being consistent for your Round 3. 
– Versatile with thinning, points, removal and control. Even Bronze cards like Experimental Remedy, Van Moorlehem Hunter or Imperial Diplomacy can turn out valuable. 
– You can be toxic without being rude and Poison makes cool sound effects. Masquerade Ball is also better than Blue Balls

Cons:
Calveit Round 1 is not guaranteed, as well as your Blightmaker package. It needs a decent understanding of the matchup to know what Gold cards to commit Round 1. 
– Sequencing with Philippe, Dames and Poison is key to get the most points, but it might be weak against wide or no-unit decks. 
– It is not meant to be a 2:0 deck, as it needs some time to develop its power in a longer Round 3. 

The Deck

Core Cards

Ring of Favor helps you to secure Round 1, but be aware of your opponent might have it as well.

Masquerade Ball obviously is your main threat and gives you engines and removal

Philippe Van Moorlehem not only has a cool name, but can be really powerful if used together with your Dames and Poisons.

Ffion var Gaernel protects your important engines. Always play him in the Melee Row, as you want to defend your Maraal as well. 

Vincent Van Moorlehem is a decent removal for defenders, veiled units, Ciri:Nova or anything you gave Poison or Lock to. Together with your leader ability Imposter, it can be even a one turn removal. 

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