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Deck Guide: Movement Elves

Introduction

Deadeye Ambush has been a very popular leader recently due to the Traps buff and the introduction to Eldain. But this encourages more non-interactive gameplay. If you are someone who wants to play an elf deck without any traps, do not worry as this is the right deck guide for you!

Main Strategy

The main strategy of the deck is to make use of the Elven Deadeye tokens to swarm the board for Gezras to get full value on his Adrenaline phase. The deck also has movement packages like Dol Blathana Sentry, Dryad Matrons and Cat Witchers as bronze engine cores. Feign Death plays a huge role in swarming the board for both Gaetan and Gezras. Vernossiel is great for a short round to setup for Gezras or Isengrim finishers. The deck is very straightforward as to what it needs to accomplish.

General Gameplan

The mulligan is very simple, if you draw Aelirenn you mulligan her as she will drop onto the Melee row when you control 5 elves on the board. If you have Sentry and no movement-based cards, you can mulligan it away. More than mulligans, the positioning of the cards play crucial role in this deck. All details regarding rounds and positioning will be explained below:

Round 1:
In round one, we want to try to get Aelirenn out from the deck as quickly as possible, so the more elves we have in hand, the better. We should commit the Swordmasters, Bombers and Bowman in this round to get as many elves on the board as possible.  We can mix this up with Cat Witcher and Dryad Matron to have multiple engines going at once. If a good situation arises for a purify or a lock, Ida or Ciaran can be used.

Round 2:
If you lost round one, we either have to commit Feign Death with Gaetan or Gaetan with Gezras. If we do not have Feign Death, our option is Vernossiel and Gezras, as Vernossiel can only spawn the tokens in the Ranged row.  You also have an option to commit Vernossiel and Isengrim. These are the kinds of commitments you need to be aware of if you are being pushed. We have to plan in such a way that we either save Feign Death or Gezras for round 3.

The Deck

A Page Out Of Decode's Match History

Round 3:
The final round is basically the same as round 2 – we set up the tokens for massive Gaetan value, and then we play Gezras and finish with Isengrim. It all depends on whether you used these cards up in an earlier round. If we give up Gezras in the first two rounds, then we can save Feign Death for round 3 and vice versa. Assuming you have held on to your main combo pieces, it is quite straightforward. Gaetan always played on Melee to setup GezrasVernossiel always plays on Ranged to setup Gezras

Combos

  • Dol Blathana Sentry with Cat Witcher, Dryad Matron and Gaetan is a very good combination.
  • Feign Death on the Melee row with Gaetan
  • Vernossiel on the Ranged row with Gezras
  • Double Matrons on same row so they can move and boost each other each turn.
  • Feign Death swarms easily, which will allow you to pull Aelirenn out of the deck if you have not been able to do this in earlier rounds.
  • Vrihedd Dragoon with Dol Blathanna Sentry is a classic movement combination.
  • Dol Blathanna Bowman to trigger the final Chapter of Feign Death is a great combination to get full value from both cards.

Conclusion

Looks can be deceiving when looking at this deck because at first glance it does not seem that great,  but when you try it for yourself I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The main thing to remember is the positioning and the board space for your Gaetan and Gezras. So far I have been enjoying this deck a lot. If your opponent didn’t draw an answer to your Feign Death, you almost always win that round. Well, I hope you like the deck as much as I do. 

Good luck out there!

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Deck Guide: The Hook

Introduction

Firesworn swarm has been one of the best devotion swarm decks out there. This time with the introduction of the new SY leader “Cleaver” this archetype has reached its new peak. Unlike Arachas Swarm, the firesworn can go tall and wide pretty fast. Every season I will try to recreate a type of swarm in at least one faction, this season I have chosen the Firesworn Swarm as Syndicate has received numerous buffs and changes.

Main Strategy

The deck has numerous combos, you have the Crownsplitters with Justice and Ferko for round 1. You have Cleaver to withstand any bleed. You have Ulrich into Fallen Knights for a push. You can create multiple Fallen Knights with Igor. Once Igor has been depleted you have Senior to convert Igor and a Firesworn token into Cutups.  Once you have swarmed the board you have the echo card Dies Irae for massive point swing in round 2. For round 3, you have the evolved Jacques and Gord for pretty strong finishers. These are the potential combos in this deck. The general strategy is to make use of the “Intimidate” and “Spawn” mechanics along with the Fallen Knights as much as possible. And during this process of making use of Intimidate you use a lot of specials to gradually increase the value of Gord for a strong finisher.

General Gameplan

In general, the deck plays itself as each and every card synergizes with each other even if your draws are super bad. The only draw that hurts so much is drawing Ulrich and having no Firesworn units in hand. This is where we have to be cautious as there are only 4 firesworn units in this deck. The rounds are as followed:

Round 1 Mulligans
Ideally in round 1 you need either Ferko/Justice and one Halfling Safecracker. If you draw Jacques or  Gord in round its good to mulligan them as they are your round 3 cards. If you have only Ulrich and no firesworn in hand it is okay to mulligan Ulrich for later rounds. In round 1, It is fine to commit Cleaver or Senior and save the Firesworn packages such as Ulrich,Fallen Knights and Igor to defend the bleed or push round 2. Ideally you need last say as Gord.

The Deck

Round 2 Defend
Say for example you drew only bricks and could not even commit Senior or Cleaver round 1, it’s fine now you can commit Cleaver as he can easily withstand a bleed by him alone. If Cleaver is not enough you can commit Ulrich or Senior thereby saving 1 Fallen Knight for later rounds to combo with Igor. If the opponent is pushing you to a point where you have to commit Igor, it is fine to use Igor too for the bleed defense as you ideally need 1 Fallen Knight and any card that swarms for example Jacques in round 3.

Round 2 Push
If you have won round 1, you can easily push your opponent to their limit with Ulrich into Fallen Knights and Igor alone. As Igor also procs Fallen Knights as he spawns more Fallen Knights its too much tempo for the opponent to handle. By the time they get to Igor you can either Dies Irae or full leader so that your Fallen Knights are already hard to remove. This is where the deck shines, once Igor has given its value its very hard for opponent to catch up unless they have Yrden or Igni. If you feel like the opponent is not respecting you push you can commit Stage 2 : Jacques along with Fallen Knights which will be so much points for the opponent to catch up. Once you have swarmed enough the last Dies Irae will not only boost the units  on board but also procs all the Intimidates on the board.

Round 3
Ideally after a strong push/defend in round 2 the final round is usually short. Therefore Gord is the ideal short round finisher. Usually in my games, I always have Jacques,Dies Irae, 1 last Fallen Knight and Gord. These are plenty for a short round 3.

Combos

  • Ferko -> Justice -> Halfling Safecracker: This gives you early game thinning,tempo and an engine on board. It is a very good opener.
  • Cleaver in-between Cleaver’s muscle/Ferko/Safecracker for more Intimidate points as there are a lot of specials in this deck.
  • Fallen Knights with Cleaver’s Spawn this is a devastating engine proc, each spawn from cleaver will proc ALL the fallen knights on the board plus a 5point muscle on board it is too good for a cost of 4 coins.
  • Igor with Fallen Knights Spawn, Ah Igor what a card! Igor on deploy with Insanity alone is a strong proc for Fallen Knights as well as Cutup Lackeys from Senior. Senior and Igor go hand in hand.
  • Ulrich -> Fallen Knights -> Leader spawns, Ultrich devotion ability allows your Fallen Knights to be safe from 5point removals such as payday,coated weapons,etc. Once the copy has been played from hand the synergy with leader is very good as you have two Fallen Knights instead of one with the help of Ulrich.
  • Leader Spawns -> Senior, this is a classic combo among the Firesworn leader as it also enables Tribute ability on Senior. Other cards that enable Senior are Smuggle and Dip in the pontar as they are Profit 3.
  • Igor -> Cutup Lackeys from Senior, If your fallen knights and one of your Cutup Lackey has been removed you can use Igor to recreate another Lackey and keep the bonded ability active.
  • Smuggle procs Intimidate and Spawn along with a profit of 3. This card is highly underrated, it procs ALL Intimidates and Spawn ability that’s insane. Also allows you to pay Tribute to Senior for more threats for you opponents to handle.
  • Using crimes over the course of the game allows Gord to be very big as a finisher.
  • Fallen Knights->Jacques->Dies Irae. Note: Jacques in round 3 will benefit profit 1 for each firesworn card played after Jacques is on board. That card can either be a unit or special. It is very good in round 3.
  • Fallen Knights -> Fire Disciple is a lot of points for a 4 provision card. Disciple also has the Smuggle syndrome of being underrated. For a 4 provision card, it gives you profit of 2, also can spawn a token for your Excommunication. Once the Fallen Knights are on the board, the single proc of this 4 provision card is almost equal to Cleaver’s spawn. That’s how strong this card is in this deck. You can even create a copy of this with Ulrich if you never drew Fallen Knights.
  • Excommunication on a firesworn token is a great tutor as you can see you top three cards, Ideal round 2 tutor. If you want to be cheeky, you can Excom Joachim to stop your opponent’s Quadruple combo 😀

Replacements

There are not that many replacements to be made in this deck. The only replacement I can suggest is Dip in the Pontar -> Shakedown. The main purpose of Dip was for Dies Irae deathblow and removing pesky bronze engines like Larva etc. Other than this, I do not see any replacements.

Conclusion

This deck is by far the most fun and powerful deck I have played this season. It gives you that satisfaction of spawning and proc’ing the Fallen Knights and have a huge Gord as finisher. There are too many threats for the opponents to handle. So far my loses with this deck are game deciding not to give me either a tutor or not give me Gord. Hence I conclude that, if you get a chance to thin in this deck please do. If you succeed in thinning earlier the deck itself will suggest combos per round. 😀