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Future Tech: Life(gain) and Death

I think you all know this great feeling: when you look at the card for the first time, and it just begs you to build a deck around it. I’m taking about those cards whose deck building potential is obvious at first glance—and once you see them, the ideas of how to utilize them start swarming your head. Most of the times those cards are rare or even legendary, so before you actually start building decks around them you have to gather what you need—however, sometimes the developers give us a present and release an uncommon that can give life to a new strategy or revitalize an old one.

Meet Paladin of the Necropolis (well, you should have met one already for sure. Numerous times even, I would wager.) The effect of dealing damage for healing is plain, simple, but incredibly powerful—if we do utilize it well. And believe me, we will do.

The first and the most obvous idea is pairing the Blood Paladin with his Diamond counterpart: Righteous Paladin. Throw together some health-gain–utilizing cards (Paladins, Incantation of Righteousness), add the tools to gain health (Vampire King, Adamanthian Scrivener, Ivory Pawn), add some utility, and you’re good to go.

BD Lifegain

Champion: Gozzog

Troops (22)

4x Adamanthian Scrivener
4x Living Totem
4x Righteous Paladin
4x Paladin of the Necropolis
2x Hopeheart Unicorn
4x Vampire King

Actions and Constants (14)

2x Pact of Pain
3x Incantation of Righteousness
3x Ivory Pawn
2x Life Siphon
4x Murder

Resources (24)

9x Blood Shard
11x Diamond Shard
4x Shard of Retribution

Reserves (15)

1x Pact of Pain
2x Hopeheart Unicorn
2x Life Siphon
4x Solitary Exile
3x Meek
3x Extinction

Our champion choice is quite obvious as it works with all our lifegain tools and does so outside of combat (unlike Dimmid). In fact, you will use this champion every time you play the Paladin of the Necropolis with very rare exceptions; dealing 2 damage for 2 charges makes for a very fast clock.

There’s a chance that Soul Marble would be a better choice than Incantation as it gives us a much more powerful effect, but the reason to choose the latter is that we can build it up as the deck performs its primary function. Of course, you can also remove some cards to add Angel of Dawn and tune your deck the “classic BD Midrange with Paladins” way, which should work as well. Another card to consider is a Royal Den Mother—double proc for Scrivener, then two bodies for the Incantation/Marble effect.

Another way to use our new blood friend is rebuilding the good old mono-Blood control into a midrange deck with a fast clock provided by Paladin / Gozzog:

MonoB Lifegain

Champion: Gozzog

Troops (16)

4x Giant Corpse Fly
4x Paladin of the Necropolis
4x Vampire King
4x Wakizashi Ambusher

Actions (19)

4x Inquisition
2x Pact of Pain
4x Murder
4x Extinction
3x Terrible Transfer
2x Life Siphon

Resources (25)

21x Blood Shard
4x Crackling Vortex

 

Reserves (15)

1x Terrible Transfer
3x Monsuun, Shogun of Winda’jiin
4x Xentoth’s Inquisitor
2x Chaos Key
1x Life Siphon
1x Pact of Pain
3x Withering Touch

The idea here is very simple: hand disruption, control, and a ticking clock. Not much to say about the deck, as all the cards are quite obvious by themselves—but you still might want to shuffle it a bit by moving cards between maindeck and reserves depending on matchup expectations. Another option is going the Darkspire path, but the mix of 2 different strategies will probably not work as well as we’d like. Better leave the orcs alone.

Those two initial lists might give you an impression that Paladin will be dedicated to mostly tempo builds, but that’s not really true; he can fit perfectly well into an aggro deck too! But you won’t be playing the typical “play a troop – F5 – F4 – F10 – repeat” aggro, because remember what I said about Gozzog with Necro-Paladin? They don’t require you to attack. And we will add more ways to deal non-combat damage to prepare an enemy for the killing blow!

BR Ping Parade

Champion: Gozzog

Troops (24)

4x War Machinist
4x Arena Regular
4x Reactor Bot
4x Paladin of the Necropolis
4x Charge Hulk
4x Fury of the Mountain God (speed/damage)

Actions (8)

4x Crackling Bolt
4x Crackling Rot

Artifacts(4)

4x Bottled Vitae

Resources (24)

9x Blood Shard
8x Ruby Shard
3x Crackling Vortex
4x Shard of Hatred

Reserves (15)

4x Murder
4x Xentoth’s Inquisitor
3x Crushing Blow
4x Burn

The MVP of this deck is certainly the Bottled Vitae—it procs the triggered abilities of all 16 of our pingers. War Machinist is the weakest link there though; with only 12 artifacts, he rarely shoots more than twice per game. The best replacement for him might be Fang of the Mountain God, who is even more reliable in bringing his older brother into play faster but doesn’t deal damage at all while facing a wall of blockers. Another downside to Fang is that our games do often come down to a race and those few points dealt to you might mean your death.

For the sideboard, Murder and Inquisitor are there to deal with the worst nightmare of this deck: the Vampire King. Crushing Blow’s main purpose is letting our Reactor Bot connect with the champion after we play a Vortex and a Crackling action or Bottle. Burns are simply not to lose to faster aggro. When playing this deck, remember not to store too many charges in your pocket; the deck has a lot of charge gain, and if you wait for your Paladin to hit the board before spending them all you might end up dying with couple points of damage short of victory and with a bunch of charges to spend. And it’s not an exaggregation that most of our damage comes from small packets so every packet matters. The deck has little to no reach and if they manage to stabilize, finishing the game won’t be so easy. Another suggestion I might have for the list is fitting 1-2 copies of Gore Feast, which can let you do the killing blow in situations when you couldn’t reduce Fury’s cost to the appropriate level.

So that’s three different paths for using and abusing Paladin of Necropolis’ potential. As always, I appreciate all the feedback you can give about the decks I’ve shared, so don’t hesitate to post in the comments, on reddit or contact me in game. See you next time!

Future is a veteran Russian player coming from offline TCGs such as Berserk TCG and WoW TCG. A stalwart in the competitive scene both in community organized events and in official tournaments, Future provides expert analysis on strategy in both constructed and limited.

2 Comments on Future Tech: Life(gain) and Death

  1. Fabriazp (@fabriazp) // March 10, 2015 at 7:52 am // Reply

    Nice article, liked the 3rd one.

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