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Battle Royal(e): Tales and Treasure of the Dancing Pirate King

Ahoy, matey! Seems ye’ve slipped an’ fallen on the deck. What’s that? Why did I leave a bunch o’ cards on th’ floor? An’ who am I? Belay that talk, or I’ll have ye on shark bait duty. Then again, perhaps amnesia has struck your sorry skull? Well then, ye bashed buccaneer, a recap: We’ve been plundering from that insufferable idiot king an’ just struck the mother load of bounties. We WERE discussing how to best divvy up the lovely booty, but then ye started sniggering an’ slipped on that there deck. No, not the floor, the deck. Y’arr, being a pirate can be confusing sometimes.

Anyhow, there’s one bit o’ loot I can’t make heads or tails of…

The pirate unfolds a weathered sheet of parchment and you try to peek at the other side…

There be a… jumble of letters an’ numbers, far as I can tell… an’ a number o’ blank spaces, but no clues to what they be. Y’arr.

*folds the parchment back into his pocket* I’ll have a look around for some clues in a bit, lassy. No wait—laddy? …It’s very hard to tell with this eyepatch on. But it goes with the job, Y’arr.

Anyhow, your loot will be one of these sacred scrolls of The Dancing Pirate King!

…Why’re you laughing? ‘Tis a serious an’ grave tale that brought these into the hands of that greedy Gabriel; it all started with a terrible joke to an important visiting diplomat: “I offered Prince Talysen a feast in his honor for his arrival back to Gawaine—he said ‘I’ve already ate!’” Yes, I think that’s a terrible joke too. But… guess ’tis a tale fer another time.

So, here ye go, the scrolls of the art of deadly dancing. Pick only one, ye bilge rat! An’ belay with that guffaw!

*Hands over the scroll of the Buccaneer Ballet*

Deadly Dance: Buccaneer Ballet

Champion: Wyatt the Sapper

Troops (19)

3x Buccaneer
4x The Ancestor’s Chosen
2x Phoenix Guard Messenger
3x Salt Harpy
2x Mimeobot
3x Archmage Wrenlocke
2x Cerulean Mirror Knight

Constants  (4)

4x Incantation of Ascendance

Actions (13)

3x Dream Dance
2x Stormcall
2x Time Ripple
2x Peek
2x Oracle Song
2x Replicator’s Gambit

Resources (24)

24x Sapphire Shard


Crown of the Ancient Kings (The Ancestors’ Chosen)
Briny Robes (Salt Harpy)
Footwraps of the Stormcaller (Stormcall)
Song of the Ancestors (Oracle Song)
Gloves of the Archmage (Archmage Wrenlocke)
Timepiercing Javelin (Time Ripple)

…See? Surely you can now understand why the legacy of the Dancing Pira—please stop sniggering.

The win conditions for this deck are mostly The Ancestors Chosen, Salt Harpy and Incantation of Ascendance. However, you can win by several other ways including Gambiting your Buccaneer. Dream Dance feeds all of these win conditions which can quickly escalate to unstoppable levels if left unanswered. The deck is obviously heavily focused on draw, so that is what you will usually want to prioritize.

You have a lot of options to stall—namely Stormcall, Buccaneer and Time Ripple. However, it’s not always necessary to use these by the end of your opponent’s turn. In these cases, you’ll want to use your Oracle Song (now a quick action).

Mimeobot can help slot in more of the cards you need to draw, but bear in mind if it is used after Dream Dance the created cards won’t have the cycle effect.

With the +2 cost equipment on Time Ripple, you’ll seldom want to target your own troops with it to return them to your hand; however, +2 cost on opposing troops can be really devastating especially if they get shard-stuck or if you target a card that gives the opponent a negative effect on play (e.g. Shamed Gladiator).

Clues! At the bottom o’ the chest! I think this might be related to that jumble o’ letters an’ numbers from the page… seems th’ gaps be filled in by th’ clues in order? Hmm, di’n’t those cards you slipped on have sleeves on them earlier? I tell ye what… I’ll give ye 24 hours. Leave a comment in the space below if ye want the page. I may give it to ya… but a message as well to (use the title “Pirate Booty”) with the solutions to the clues an’ I’ll give ya two chances to have the page! The clues’re little good to me anyhow when I can’t read an’ all… Y’arr.We have a winner! Congratulations, Duzran.

1) The first name of the deck in this article was a double alliteration. The second alliteration’s starting letter.
2) The set 1 vennen PvP rare card names share this capital letter.
3) Shattered Destiny is the name of set _
4) The Fiveshards podcast can be abbreviated as 2_A
5) [Dream Dance+Chosen] and [the amount of ships seen in this deck] are the same as this.
6) A misheard, offhand comment from faraway nobility.
7) Whispered within words. Wonder what was whispered?

Arright, now back to work! I want this ship ship-shape by sundown! I want this floor so clean I could eat my dinner off it—which I intend to do! *rumbling* What was that noise?

Avast! The Kraken! Man the harpoons, ready the cannons, an’ prepare for the hardest an’ possibly worst fight of your lives! We can do this if we stick together! Have at ye, ye dancin’ scurvy piratin’ son of a Dingler!

*you fumble your musket and a shot fires, hitting The Kraken right in the eye. It drops into the water like a stone and sinks.*

Well. That was… not quite the battle I was expectin’. You may make quite a pirate yet, laddie!


Hextcg addict, Fiveshards PvE-orientated writer, know-it-all. Follow me on twitter for terrible jokes and Hex news/info:

21 Comments on Battle Royal(e): Tales and Treasure of the Dancing Pirate King

  1. All this pirate talk is making my brain hurt. Need… sleeves… so… bad.

  2. I like the “story mode” of this article, make it more fun to read. Great idea, waiting for more deck building articles in this style 😉

  3. I like the contest But I have no idea on the 6th one
    6) A misheard, offhand comment from faraway nobility.

  4. I’ve resigned myself to never getting one of those AA Bucc sleeves but hope doth spring eternal.

    Also, Yarrrrrr!!!!

  5. I love these puzzles!

  6. This seems like it’d be a fun deck to play.

  7. Pirates ahoy! Sweet article, love the pirate speech.

  8. Always great to see interesting theme decks. Great work with the article! That last couple of clues are throwing me off though. Hmm.

  9. I wonder how many decks overall there are in my deck?
    Overall I wonder if I sent too many of the same letters to my nobles recently.

  10. Ahoy! Ye sixth clue be givin’ me a bit of a itch in me wooden leg!

  11. Christian Russo (pjvedder) // May 28, 2015 at 10:04 am // Reply

    Great article! I want to give this deck a try.. i’ll have to see if I have all of those pieces of equipment to really make it work.

  12. Yes 6 an 7 are quite difficult

  13. Are you ready kids? “Aye Aye Captain”
    I can’t hear you! “AYE AYE CAPTAIN”
    Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
    “Spongebob Squarepants”
    Absorbant and yellow and porous is he!
    “Spongebob Squarepants”
    If nautical nonsense be something you wish
    “Spongebob Squarepants”
    Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish!
    “Spongebob Squarepants”
    Spongebob Squarepants
    Spongebob Squarepants
    Spongebob Squarepants


  14. A prince must be noble if he wishes to succeed. Then, the way forward will be far, far easier than you think.

  15. Interesting deck. I’ve a similar Sapphire-Wild one built around Spirit Dance (w/ equipment) and a lot of draw and cantripping creatures. Can quickly start powering out large creatures, flying and on the ground, in large numbers whilst maintaining card advantage in case of Extinction, but lacks the ability to interfere with the opponent that this deck leans heavily on as a tradeoff.

    What’s your thoughts on Yesterday in the deck instead of Stormcall? Less offensive utility, but between the Buccaneers, Phoenix Guard Messengers, Ancestral Specters and Archmage Wrenlocke-with-gloves, it’ll tend to move you into a winning position regardless and is a bit more reliable as a defensive measure, in case of a sluggish start against a powerful early draw from the Paladin of Nagaan or Xarlox.

    Now to think about the clues…

  16. I’m always OK with Incantation of Ascendance decks.

    I think Stormcall justifies itself because of card advantage (and potential bomb) from the equipment.

  17. Thought the questions weren’t too tough… then I got to #6 and #7.

  18. Very few people managed to get the correct answer to the clues. We’ve drawn a winner with the combined comment and email entries and the winner is Duzran! Congratuiations—you’ll be receiving an in-game mail with the AA Buccaneer Sleeves code very soon.

  19. Christian Russo (pjvedder) // May 29, 2015 at 5:30 am // Reply

    Congrats to Duzran!

    Can we get the answers to 6 and 7? I was pretty clueless.

  20. 6 – Ate=eight when misheard (it’s in bold)
    7 – W. The answer is W. Alliteration!

    Thanks for taking part! 🙂

  21. Christian Russo (pjvedder) // May 31, 2015 at 8:55 am // Reply

    oh man.. those definitely weren’t as hard as I thought. I wasn’t anywhere near the “ate/8”, but I was thinking “w”, but thought it was too obvious.. oh well! Thanks! I hope to see more articles like this in the future.

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