Welcome back to another one of my articles! If this is the first article of my series that you are reading, let me give you a bit of an introduction. The goal of my articles is to provide players with new and successful decks that can help shape up the meta. Sometimes having a decklist is simply not enough, so the rest of the article is explaining my decisions on why I chose cards and how to play the deck against the current meta.
Although we do not have a release date yet, it feels as if Primal Dawn is almost here. We have been anticipating the release for quite some time, but surprisingly the meta keeps evolving with Armies of Myth. Since the ban of Titania’s Majesty, we’ve seen at least five other competitive decks that have been impacting the game.
However, today I’m going to present a deck that you may have seen on HexMeta.com or from watching my streams. In March, I have a total of 5 successful Gauntlet runs with this deck. Here is RS Action Burn:
RS Action Burn
4x Arcane Focus
4x Oracle Song
10x Ruby Shard
3x Heat Wave
3x Time Ripple
Why RS Action Burn over mR Action Burn?
Your first question while viewing this list is probably “Why play this over the mR Action deck?” That is a valid question, and at first glance the deck has similarities to the mR Action deck. However, the deck plays completely different. The best way to play RS Action Burn is to play patiently, as opposed to mR, where you are just throwing out Actions to destroy your opponent as soon as possible. mR loses steam without card draw or if your card draw is prevented. Playing with the Sapphire threshold opens you up to more low cost cards as you can see above. Compared to RS Action, mR Action can really only be played one way.
RS Action allows you to adapt to a diverse meta. Meaning you can switch the deck to a RS Control Burn styled deck due to the reserves tech. The goal of RS Action Burn is to surprise your opponent with a large amount of damage in one turn then drawing a couple more actions to finish the game off. The deck requires a heavy amount of patience and the best way to explain that is to clarify Arcane Focus. Surprisingly this deck proves that an Arcane Focus on turn one should not always be played.
Arcane On One
I had a discussion with a couple of my Rated Hex teammates about the use of Arcane Focus on turn one a couple of months back. I struggled with understanding the concept of holding back an Arcane Focus while it is sitting there in your opening hand. To my surprise, there are several examples as to why you would hold on to an Arcane Focus. The easiest example to understand is when Arcane Focus does not get played on curve. Meaning if you played a resource that gave you 0/1 and you have a turn two play, you should drop the turn two play rather than playing Arcane Focus out (especially if that turn two play is a Reese the Crustcrawler). Another example is when you wish to hold onto Arcane Focus to obtain an answer for the current board state. Say for example, you currently have no Countermagic in your hand and you need one later in the game. That Arcane Focus can help cycle a card to grab it at the best possible time. Whereas playing the Arcane Focus just for a turn one cycle is less efficient since the cards that show may not be relative for you at that time.
Then you have RS Action, where it uses Arcane Focus as fodder for Kindling Skarn and Sunsoul Phoenix. Also playing an Arcane Focus into a Kindling Skarn or Sunsoul Phoenix can determine the outcome of the game. Playing an Arcane Focus into a Sunsoul Phoenix will make that Sunsoul Phoenix a 4-cost when it enters your hand. There are also some neat tricks with Arcane Focus and Kindling Skarn which is stated below.
The Salamander and the Phoenix
The deck currently runs only 12 troops. Both Kindling Skarn and Sunsoul Phoenix are aggressive troops that rely on Actions. One cost actions are what really make this deck: Arcane Focus, Burn, and even Burn to the Ground. Burn to the Ground can be played for 1 (it will do no damage) and can help you either transform your Kindling Skarn or end up having a Sunsoul Phoenix on the board (or two..or three…or four).
While on the topic of transforming a Kindling Skarn, there are actually quite a few tricks that not many know about. While Kindling Skarn is in your hand and you play two Actions, play the Kindling Skarn on Main Phase 2. The Kindling Skarn will then transform at the end of the turn. This can also have downsides, meaning that if it is your opponent’s turn, you must play two Actions BEFORE the End Phase. Kindling Skarn will not transform after the End Phase is in progress.
Another neat trick with Kindling Skarn (although it may not relate to this deck) is that if you Mimic a transformed Kindling Skarn, you get a replica of that transformation. For example, if you Mimic a Hellfire Skarn, that replica will be created into your hand.
As you can see, there is complexity to Kindling Skarn and Sunsoul Phoenix because of the many options that are available to you.
Another complex troop is the last troop in this deck: Thunderfield Elder. Thunderfield Elder synergizes with Sunsoul Phoenix as well as the powerful Acitons in our deck. Sadly though, Kindling Skarn does not benefit from the copied Action.
An Extra Copy Keeps the Sunsoul at Bay
Each of the Actions that Thunderfield Elder can prophesize is quite scary, especially if it hits a Burn to the Ground. Oracle Song allows you to draw 4 cards for a 3 cost. A Ragefire is also quite optimal because the Ragefire will go back into your deck with its copied form (this has surprisingly won me several games). Burn is probably the worst thing that you can copy in the deck, and even that isn’t bad. However, Kindling Skarn does not benefit from the copied action.
Thunderfield Elder does not work with Kindling Skarn. Meaning that the copied Action does not buff the Kindling Skarn. So for example, if I get a copied Burn Action and play it while Kindling Skarn is on the field, I will only get a buff once for the Action that I played. The copied Action is not considered being played. However, this is still adequate, because the copied Action creates another instance of the card in the Crypt. Meaning if I played that Burn Action that was prophesized by Thunderfield Elder, I will have two Actions in my Crypt..
The reason why this deck does not contain any interrupts main deck is because of Thunderfield Elder. We do not want to hit a copy of Countermagic or Verdict of the Ancient Kings. It will do absolutely nothing for us in the matchup.
If you are playing against mR aggro, you can actually switch this deck to a control action deck. Meaning, you can get rid of your Thunderfield Elders and add Countermagic and Verdicts into the deck. Always remember that if you are bringing in many interrupts, try to remove the Thunderfield Elders, or lessen their count.
Charging the Savvas
I tried testing the deck with both Benvolio and Savvas. The problem with Benvolio is that there is a chance that I do not draw an Action. However, with Savvas, I know for sure I’ll be drawing an Action 100% of the time. The charges from Crackling Wit and Crackling Bolt allows me to easily get the charges up for a devastating turn three. This is especially true if I have more than one Sunsoul Phoenix in my hand. There were many games that Benvolio was just always dead for me and I always wished I had just one more action to either transform a Kindling Skarn or resurrect/play a Sunsoul Phoenix.
Switching to a Control Deck
The ability to switch to a control deck can catch your opponents off-guard as they try to counter your deck with more removal. Bringing in Verdict of the Ancient King, Countermagic, Heatwave, and even Archmage Wrenlocke makes the deck play completely different. You end up trying to keep a single threat safe, while removing any other threats from the field.
If needed to, Heatwave exists to take care of decks with lots of early pressure from troops. However, in my time in the Gauntlet this was a rare occasion besides against mR aggro.
Matchup Tips Against Wintermoon
Try to keep your Kindling Skarn back in case of a Carnasaurus. Safely hold a Burn up to safely keep Kindling Skarn alive. If you notice your opponent has played a Sapphire shard first, you are safe to play Skarn on turn one.
Always be mindful of Crocosaur and try not to over extend unless you have a plan. Remember if your opponent is playing the full control variation, they only have one Crocosaur in the deck so you can rush. Sometimes a single Thunderfield Elder constantly swinging in has won me the game. Of course, I followed it up with a burst of damage in one turn with Sunsoul Phoenix and Actions.
Matchup Tips Against Mono-Ruby
Game one can be a bit rough, but if you are able to prevent their card draw with Psychotic Anarchist and Cerebral Domination, you have the game in the bag. Without their draw engines mR will struggle hard against this deck because we have lots of card draw available to us. In game two, we have a huge advantage because we can safely remove our card draw for Heatwave, Verdict of the Ancient King and Heroic Outlaw.
Matchup Tips Against BD and Mono-Blood
These decks are a little bit more difficult to deal with since we don’t have good removal against Vampire King, Angel of Dawn, and The Killipede. Your best bet is to race them as fast as possible and hope for a Crackling Bolt against a Vampire Princess. Game 2 and 3 I advise switching to a control deck to take care of the larger threats. Archmage Wrenlocke is great against this deck especially if you can consistently draw Ragefire to deal with their major threats.
I hope you enjoy this deck that I’ve been tinkering with and good luck in the future. Thanks for reading!