The ban of Titania’s Majesty has affected the game in many different (mostly good) ways. The one that is the most important for me is that slow decks are finally viable again. That means we can get back to brewing control decks; but before we go, let’s take a moment to look back.
Before, the champions were mostly the additions to the deck, supporting its main theme. The decks were built, and then the proper champions were assigned to it. Yes, in some, the champion was one of the main reasons the deck would have worked (e.g. set 1 Gore Feast), but it was still an addition to the deck; not its base. The Armies of Myth, among other things, have brought us a couple of champions that you can build your deck around. One of them is, of course, the Winter Moon.
Being dual-color, Moon feels kind of restrictive. However, with the newest addition of Arcane Focus, Sapphire’s ability to filter through the deck can’t be underestimated. Also, those shards have received a couple troops that generate card advantage – Windsinger, Master of the Hunt and Augur of Sirion – which will clearly be options to consider if we go the “troops” way. That is where we are going to start.
Moon and Friends
Champion: Winter Moon
While this deck is not really built around Winter Moon, it does have some nice Prophecy synergy built in with its charge power. Seer and Brown Fox Scout, along with filter spells, give you something to do early in the game, while Reese and Windsinger serve as the main lategame threat. The different variants of this deck were seen here and there, so you are probably familiar with the context by now. Lets go for the next one right away.
Champion: Winter Moon
Good old infinite cycle. Every turn they let you live, the probability of going solitaire mode is increased. The deck packs 8 early cycle cards, a couple deck-thinning Chlorophyllias and a Syzygy – Scheme – Wrenlocke – Mastery lategame engine. The main win condition is Chronic Madness, but for those who don’t really like mill, Crash of Beasts will probably do just as good. However, you will want to include a 4th copy, as well as replace 1-2 sapphire shards with wild ones. For survivability, the deck relies on Countermagic and Yesterday, while also being able to side in some anti-aggro dinosaur tech (another possible reason to increase the wild shard count). With the main constructed format in the game being best-of-1 for some inconceivable reason, playing it in gauntlet might upset you. So, it could be a good idea to test the grounds with something more “orc-unfriendly” before bringing it in a certain day and time.
For Scheme plays, you want to go for one of the two patterns. First is, if you already have a Wrenlocke in hand/play, it’s often a good idea to go Scheme-for-Scheme right away. However, in most situations, I prefer playing the first Scheme into either Mastery of Time or a shuffled cycle/draw spell (any of them), then shuffling it with the champion ability and playing the 2nd Scheme into the first – this way, later, you will be able to chain Schemes, even with Wrenlocke removed. Another thing that feels way better than it looks is getting your Mastery of Time interrupted/discarded – this way, just like in a previous example, you will be able to start chaining it, even without the mighty Archmage around. Also, in the gauntlets, you can see a player named Biz running a very different and very exciting list of SW Moon Mill; but I won’t spoil the fun of exploring his deck while playing against it.
But, what if you want to play a chain-combo deck while being somewhat resilient to troops decks? That is entirely possible!
Champion: Winter Moon
This deck is essentially an old BS Spell Control. However, again, an addition of Winter Moon lets you play a card you didn’t really want to ever see in your deck before: the abovementioned Scheme. Yes, this deck is weaker against other controls than Moon Mill, but it works much better against tempo-ish mono-blood and blood-diamond decks that have become the frequent guests in the gauntlets again. The list is still not really well tested. It has won me a couple of gauntlets, while going 2-3 in a couple of others. But, from what I see, it feels promising and I’m probably going to keep improving it.
That’s going to be all for today. As always, feel free to leave your feedback in comments!