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Next-level PVE Decks

Chronicles of Entrath is finally here! While you certainly could play through Adventure Zone 1 with the cards given to you for free, no doubt many players will prefer to flex their existing collection of PVP cards from their months of drafting and cracking packs. For that, we’ve asked eight contributors to each create a deck for one of the eight races available. Each deck adheres to the limitations imposed for said race at level 2 (the point where deckbuilding becomes available) and will focus on one of the three currently-available classes. Your particular race/class combo of choice may not be reflected in the choices below, but the deckbuilding limitations of each race are the same for any of the three classes—so it should still serve as a decent starting point.

Note that, when shard-rarity restrictions are mentioned, this refers to the maximum count of each individual card of that rarity and shard for a level 2 champion. This number overrides the traditional 4-of limit for individual cards. Format: Shard Common/Uncommon/Rare/Legendary

 

Ardent

Elf Mage – Kroan

Shard-Rarity Restrictions:
Wild 3/2/1/1
Ruby 3/2/1/1
Shardless 1/1/2/2

Level 2 Elf Mage
Troops (22)

3x Ashwood Soloist
2x Lightning Elemental
2x Nelebrin Skirmisher (Flames)
1x Periwinkle
3x Merry Minstrels
1x Charge Hulk
1x Grove Whisperer (Flames)
1x Grove Whisperer (Ferocity)
1x Titania’s Majesty (Flames)
2x Tempestous Bladedancer
1x Arborean Rootfather (Empowerment/Ferocity)
2x Eternal Sage
2x Syyn, Etherdrake Nomad

Artifacts (2)

2x Shrine of Prosperity

Actions (11)

3x Burn
2x Chlorophyllia
3x Crackling Bolt
3x Stirring Oration

Resources (25)

12x Wild Shard
11x Ruby Shard
2x Feralroot Acorn

Equipment

Head: Gardener’s Hat
Trinket: Poor Yorick
Chest: None
Gloves: Conflagration Handguards
Boots: None
Weapon: Electric Flail

The Elf Mage basically wants to smash things. This deck tries to get to an end-game in which you have a big unblockable troop that you can buff with the Elf Mage ability. Chlorophylia is still one of the best cards with it’s insane equipment, making it a free spell that ramps you. I advise you to take the talent that gives you the 1/1 fliers as your first talent, so that you have even more evasion troops in your deck. Both burn and Crackling Bolt should give you the ability to keep any nasty troops out of your way until you can win the game.

The Elf Restrictions for artifacts are a bit weird, but they give us access to cards like Syyn and Eternal Sage. If you don’t have either of those, you could replace them with something that has either evasion (for example Inductocopter) or is equally powerful (like Eternal Drifter or Eternal Guardian).

The shrines will most likely be the first cut if you unlock more cards, but for a starting deck they are pretty good and the double charges add up quickly.

 

Coyotle Mage – Piecetinker

Shard-Rarity Restrictions:
Diamond 3/2/1/1
Sapphire 3/2/1/1
Wild 3/2/1/1
Shardless 1/1/1/1

Level 2 Coyotle Mage
Troops (22)

3x Howling Brave
3x Dreamsmoke Mystic
3x Ghost Feather
3x Quick Strider
1x Sight of the Sun
1x Arcane Dreamcatcher
1x Lanupaw, Prophet of Fate
3x Nightsky Stargazer
1x Wakuna Crowfeather
2x Sacred Seekers
1x Starsight Oracle

Actions (15)

3x Arcane Focus
3x Crackling Wit
2x Repel
1x Soul Marble
3x Brightmoon Totem
3x Inner Conflict

Resources (23)

4x Diamond Shard
4x Howling Plains Bluegrass
3x Sapphire Shard
3x Shard of Instinct
3x Shard of Life
3x Shard of Purpose
3x Wild Shard

Equipment

Head: Headband of the Seekers
Trinket: Benjamin’s Orb
Chest: Mystical Shawl
Gloves: Gloves of the Bright Moon
Boots: Fleet Feet
Weapon: Scepter of Nightmares

At the start, it is advisable to play a mid-range coyotle deck—the strict shard/rarity restrictions of coyotle make it difficult to play the control-style decks you’ll likely lean towards in the late-game. There are some key cards here such as Arcane Dreamcatcher, Lanupaw, and Wakuna Crowfeather that can give you the upper hand during the earlier encounters in PvE. Arcane Dreamcatcher acts as a Stormcall that can allow you to push through for an alpha swing. Lunapaw is a powerhouse in a deck filled with prophecy cards as it can elevate to a powerful troop. The same goes for Wakuna Crowfeather since it highly benefits from all of the coyotle troops in this deck.

 

Human Warrior – JadiimJedi

Shard-Rarity Restrictions:
Diamond 3/2/1/1
Ruby 3/2/1/1
Sapphire 3/2/1/1

Level 2 Human Warrior
Troops (30)

3x Wounded War Hero
3x Ruby Pyromancer
3x Royal Herald
3x Arena Regular
1x Highlands Blackbelt
1x Protectorate Defender (Solidarity)
1x Jags, the Blademaster
2x Protectorate Clergyman
3x Elite Pyromancer
3x Vanguard of Gawaine
1x Royal Den Mother
1x Lord Alexander, the Courageous
1x Royal Falconer
3x Sly Huntress
1x Legionnaire of Gawaine

Actions (8)

3x Burn
3x Crackling Bolt
1x Volley
1x Gore Feast of Kog’tepetl

Resources (22)

8x Diamond Shard
10x Ruby Shard
4x Shard of Conquest

Equipment

Head: Gladiator Helm
Trinket: Warm Spellbox
Chest: Emberguard Robe
Gloves: Foreststalker Gloves
Boots: None
Weapon: Precision Bow

As a level 2 human warrior I like going the aggro route. The champion power is good for pushing damage either by removing a blocker or pumping up your team of attackers. The human warrior racial trait gives a nice bonus if you are able to create multiple troops either via low-cost troops or midrange threats with multiple bodies. Putting all of this together points us toward a human pet deck. We can add in some inspire troops, some cheap spot removal, and the multiple bodies we create can do the finishing work. The Foreststalker Gloves give us a good amount of power and turn the Sly Huntress into a game-ending threat.

As far as the first talent I like gaining a charge for every warrior you play with Affinity: Warriors. I have included a fair number of warriors in this build and the charge gain gives us the most immediate boost with Arena Regular and other warriors. As I level up I would want to have cheaper battling with Warlord: Agility, trained troops with Training: Combat and also the ability to grab a random trained troop out of my deck with Reinforcements.

 

Orc Warrior – Zubrin

Shard-Rarity Restrictions:
Blood 3/2/1/1
Ruby 3/2/1/1
Shardless 1/1/1/1

Level 2 Orc Warrior
Troops (29)

1x Charge Bot
2x Fang of the Mountain God
1x Quash Ridge Tusker
2x Lightning Elemental
2x Shamed Gladiator (Hatred)
2x Reactor Bot
1x Gortezuma, High Cleric
3x Arena Gladiator
2x Bloodsoaked Brawler
2x Brutal Commander
1x Claw of the Mountain God
1x Inductocopter Bot
3x Tormented Ritualist
1x Goremaster
2x Scraptech Brawler
1x Vampire Princess
1x Zoltog
1x Fury of the Mountain God (Destruction/Speed)

Actions (9)

3x Crackling Bolt
3x Kill
3x Crackling Rot

Resources (22)

9x Blood Shard
9x Ruby Shard
4x Shard of Hatred

Equipment

Head: Aqua Mask
Trinket: None
Chest: Kog’Tepetl’s Breastplate or Savage Regeneration
Gloves: Bracers of Brutality or Bloodsoaked Knuckles
Boots: Rotting Boots
Weapon: Electric Flail

The orc warrior is set to maintain a decent level of power leveraging charge gains and its charge power. The default charge power of Battle is fantastic to either push through damage and end a match or to remove pesky troops that remain on the board. As such, going into day one, I want my deck to take advantage of the talents we see. The Warrior Affinity talent is going to be huge in super-charging our deck. Long term, we are thinking about getting Berserking, Training, and Deployment to make each drop strong and a huge threat. Given the Affinity talent, we want most of our troops to be warriors. Rage looks like an interesting ability, but since it is about damage dealt to you, the best way to capitalize on it are with troops like Shamed Gladiator, Fang of the Mountain God, and Claw of the Mountain God. With a warrior focus, Fang, Claw, and Gladiator can sure make our deck, but we are not going to go our out of way for them as Rage is a latecomer to our talent tree.

I built the deck with some flexibility and a few slots can go in/out depending on what you have and what your needs are. These include Vampire King, MonsuunStink Troll, Fury of the Mountain God, and Xocoy. These big, costly troops can all slow the deck down, but they may act as win cons against the right decks. The deck will also change dramatically as you unlock more cards.

The equipment has some strong points, but much of it is built around uncommons/rares. The head and weapon are devoted to making Lightning Elemental pump out charges, the gloves allow Brutal Commander to search for orcs, the boots give your Crackling Rots more charges, and the chest slot is Claw of the Mountain God’s way of giving you additional push through, though this is probably the least useful of the five pieces.

 

Underworld

Dwarf Cleric – Hacky

Shard-Rarity Restrictions:
Sapphire 3/2/1/1
Ruby 3/2/1/1
Shardless 3/2/1/1

 Level 2 Dwarf Cleric
Troops (24)

3x Charge Bot
3x Gearsmith
3x Construct Foreman
3x Reactor Bot
3x Armitron
3x Pterobot
2x Inductocopter Bot
2x Electroid
2x War Machinist

Artifacts (6)

3x Construction Plans: Hornet Bot
3x Construction Plans: War Hulk

Actions (9)

3x Burn
3x Crackling Bolt
3x Sapper’s Charge

Resources (21)

7x Ruby Shard
6x Sapphire Shard
4x Shard of Innovation
4x Crackling Vortex

Equipment

Head: Hulk Helm
Trinket: Shocker Attachment
Chest: Tinkerer’s Robes
Gloves: Conflagration Handguards
Boots: Sapper’s Boots
Weapon: Graftable Augmentation Cannon

Shiny things to add if you collection allows:
1x Reese the Crustcrawler
1x Construction Plans: Ingenuity Engine
1x Construction Plans: Tower Hulk
1x Rocket Ranger
1x Ingenious Engineer
1x Eternal Sage
1x Tectonic Megahulk

This dwarf-robot deck focuses on the common robot swarm synergy that Frost Ring Arena decks often employ. As the deck doesn’t have Bertram Cragraven’s power to get an early Worker Bot, the early troops are necessary to get the Construction Plans going. However, the rarity restrictions mean that it’s not the sole focus of the deck.

Burn and Sapper’s Charge equipment makes all the direct damage removal do 3 damage, making for cheap, flexible removal for whatever you may encounter—as well as a ability to simply burn out lower-health encounters. Hornet Bot, Inductocopter Bot and Pterobot provide simple evasion via flight, while Electroid, War Hulk, and sometimes Charge Bot can attack for significant damage.

Hulk Helm creates a badly needed Worker Bot for your Construction Plans: War Hulk, the Reactor Bot and Armitron equipment provide cheap free robot-buffs, and the tried-and-true Tinkerer’s Robes rounds out the deck’s equipment.

It’s also worth noting, though this deck can be used by any dwarf champion out of the gate, the dwarf cleric’s Blessing Rod provides a free artifact to be turned into a War Bot by Construct Foreman.

 

Necrotic Mage – DeckOfManyThings

Shard-Rarity Restrictions:
Blood 3/2/1/1
Diamond 3/2/1/1
Ruby 3/2/1/1
Sapphire 3/2/1/1
Shardless 1/1/1/1

 Level 2 Necrotic Mage
Troops (12)

2x Chimera Guard Fallen
3x Gemsoul Feeder
3x Deadeye Slicer
3x Shadowblade Assassin
1x Mistlord
2x Deepgaze Disciple
1x Deepgaze Champion
2x Eye of Lixil
1x Lixil, the Deathless Gem
1x Midnight Shepherd
1x Prodigy of Volosolov
1x Eternal Sage
1x Forgotten Monarch (Sky/Solidarity)
1x Sepulchra Bone Walker
1x Living Totem
1x Angel of Dawn
1x Monsuun, Shogun of Winda’jin
1x Soul Marble

 Actions (9)

3x Shardcall
3x Kill
1x Purge
2x Shard Ward

Resources (24)

4x Sepulchra Crypt Dust
4x Shard of Retribution
1x Shard of Purpose
1x Shard of Cunning
1x Shard of Conquest
1x Shard of the Ancients
1x Shard of Life
1x Shard of Hatred
4x Diamond Shard
3x Blood Shard
1x Sapphire Shard
1x Ruby Shard
1x Wild Shard

Equipment

Head: Mask of the Steel Assassin
Trinket: Fragment of Memory
Chest: None
Gloves: Prodigy Gloves
Boots: Bone Walkers
Weapon: Swift Slicer

When tasked with coming up with a character to play, I immediately knew it would be necrotic. The lore behind them really excites me, and I am a sucker for trying new things in decks. Playing all five shards in a single deck is definitely Hard Mode, and couple that with the most skill intensive of the classes—the mage—I set out looking for a challenge and hopefully reaping rewards because of it.

Another reason I want to go five shards is that the necrotic mage ability allows me to pull a card off of each opposing champion’s deck and put it in my hand for 6 SP. With a massive variety of opponents, going five shards will allow me to play whatever card I pull.

When it comes to troops, necrotic are all about the shift keyword, and we won’t be ignoring that. Beyond the five-shard abilities, we want some of the key shift abilities to move powers around on troops as needed. Chimera Guard Fallen will give our troops a boost to attack power when they swing, and Gemsoul Feeders will allow us to lifedrain some health to offset the low mage starting health.

 

Shin’hare Cleric – Mokog

Shard-Rarity Restrictions:
Blood 3/2/1/1
Wild 3/2/1/1
Shardless 1/1/1/1

 Level 2 Shin’hare Cleric
Troops (27)

2x Rune Ear Commander
1x Shiitake Chef
3x Moon’ariu Sensei
1x Ritualist of the Spring Litter
1x Minion of Yazukan
1x Monsuun, Shogun of Winda’jin
2x Keeper of the Wounded Petal
1x Hop’hiro, Samurai
1x Cottontail Recruiter
3x Concubunny
2x Bucktooth Commander
1x Bucktooth Roshi
2x Wakazashi Ambusher
1x Uzume, Grande Concubunny
1x Sora
2x Fertile Engorger
2x Blossoming Concubunny

Actions (10)

2x Abominate
3x Kill
3x Crackling Rot
2x Feeding the Young Ones

Resources (23)

9x Blood Shard
10x Wild Shard
4x Crackling Vortex

Equipment

Head: Samurai Kabuto
Trinket: Manual of Martial Technique
Chest: Roshi Cloak
Gloves: Kit Catchers
Boots: Sous Chef Slippers
Weapon: Cut of the Mountain

The shin’hare cleric is very much about maximizing the use of their fertility magic. This means we want to take advantage of troop generation and broad buff effects. After your deck covers its bases you can add in removal, reversion, or evasion troops. Then as your champion grows in level, the enhanced Blessings will help your top-end troops grow with +1/+1 buffs and boost your self-healing ability.

Some stand-out options for troops are Rune Ear Commander, Shiitake Chef, Ritualist of the Spring Litter, Hop’hiro Samurai, Cotton Tail Recruiter and Crackling Vortex. The Commander is high on this list because it is uncommon and its equipment Cut of the Mountain generates a Battle Hopper at the start of each turn—and free troops are awesome. Shiitake Chef with its equipment is a ton of value; these are rare drops from the Set 2 Wheel of Fate and are hard to get but extremely useful. Ritualist, Recruiter and Hop’hiro form the core of this play style. They are cheap, make great synergy and will get you out of jams very often. You should max these out in copies when possible. Creating a Blessing costs 2 charges and Vortex generates just that, which we can include four of since resources aren’t affected by rarity restrictions. Pile your deck full of blessings to help make sure you keep your valuable troops alive. Shin’hare clerics are tough bunnies and can take a few punches to the face.

Evasive troops can give shin’hare trouble so always be sure to carry some form of removal in the deck even if it is just vine lashes.

 

Vennen Mage – CoachFliperon (guest contributor)

Shard-Rarity Restrictions:
Blood 3/2/1/1

Sapphire 3/2/1/1
Shardless 1/1/1/1

 Level 2 Vennen Mage
Troops (23)

2x Fertile Engorger
1x Cerulean Mirror Knight
3x Thunderbird
3x Giant Mosquito
1x Storm Cloud
1x Exarch of the Egg
3x Buccaneer
1x Monsuun, Shogun of Winda’jin
1x Phenteo the Brood Priest
1x Vampire Princess
2x Cloud Queen
1x Xentoth’s Inquisitor
1x Vampire King
1x Reese the Crustcrawler
1x Eternal Sage

Artifacts (1)

1x Shrine of Prosperity

Actions (12)

3x Arcane Focus
2x Call the Grave
3x Crackling Wits
3x Crackling Rot
1x Extinction

Resources (24)

8x Blood Shard
8x Sapphire Shard
4x Shard of Cunning
4x Crackling Vortex

Equipment

Head: Bloodsucker Helm
Trinket: Benjamin’s Orb
Chest: Thunderstrike Chestguard
Gloves: Kit Catchers
Boots: Rotting Boots
Weapon: Shogun’s Curved Dagger

Our first goal is to stabilize to make sure we don’t die to early aggressive opponents. Fertile Engorger is just an amazing tool in that regard with its glove equip transforming the Battle Hoppers it generates into Killblade of the Milky Eye—which provides multiple lethal troops at a very low cost. Giant Mosquito head equip also provides a much needed low-cost Lethal option that should deal with any big treat from above. It also provides a small amount of lifedrain which is very relevant to the low-health mage. Rounding up the stabilization plan we get a few of the usual constructed staples in as many copies as we can.

Once we’re stable, how do we win? The Reese, vampires, Inquisitors and Sages of Entrath should be able to handle the finishing blow.

Now for the special mage-related tech! First one is Thunderbird with the perfect equipment for the mage, providing a charge when played! This plays well with the “stabilize and kill with evasive troops” theme of the deck. Most of the players who played in set 1 drafts know how strong an unchecked Thunderbird can be. With the equip, it can also help you get that 6th charge you were waiting on to get a second champion power activation. The “crackling” duo really impressed me in testing. The first of any crackling action cast is nice, but after that, the second one is often a second or third champion power activation on the spot… and anything beyond the second crackling action played is instant SP refill for more spells! For the rare artifact, Shrine was an easy choice as the added charges now have a lot more value. Last but certainly not least, Cloud Queen: Cloud Queen is a very capable blocker that will in a pinch get you to your next champion power activation. Of course, with all these charges you are gaining, the free Storm Cloud she provides can often be a win condition on its own.

When playing the deck, remember that in campaign mode, you get a free mulligan. This is how we can fit those 4x Crackling Vortex in the shard list so do not hesitate to mulligan early and often to improve your hands!

FiveShards Managing Editor and Co-Founder. Relentless drafter and occasional panelist of the 2TurnsAhead podcast. Plays cards with Hex team "Rated-Hex".

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