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Piecetinkering: The Cycle Continues

Last month we created a deck that took cues from the Seaweed Behemoth in the Frost Arena. This time we’ll be looking at another deck that is used in the Frost Arena, this time by the Zodiac Shaman. Although the deck is mostly themed towards coyotle, there are not many coyotle cards that synergize well enough to make a deck out of (which might be why the deck Usually 1-2 months a year is one of the easiest to beat in the Frost Arena). Currently, there is no direct way to mimic the abilities of the Zodiac Shaman. The passive ability that he has grants the ability of a drawn troop to gain quick. His tri-shard charge power is a little easier to mimic: three charges makes all coyotle in the deck get +1/+1 and reduces their cost by 1. The card that best represents his charge power is Spirit Dance, which we will be using in our deck.


The Cycle Continues

Champion: Running Deer

Troops (25)

3x Howling Brave
2x Stargazer
4x Living Totem
4x Buccaneer
3x Sight of the Sun
4x Angel of Dawn
3x Arborean Rootfather
(Major Diamond of Endurance/
Minor Sapphire of Sky)
2x Ozawa, Cosmic Elder

Actions  (7)

3x Verdict of the Ancient Kings
2x Stormcall
2x Spirit Dance

Constants (3)

3x Soul Marble

Resources (25)

6x Diamond Shard
5x Sapphire Shard
5x Wild Shard
3x Shard of Instinct
3x Shard of Life
3x Shard of Purpose

Reserves (15)

4x Nature Reigns
4x Meek
1x Verdict of the Ancient Kings
3x Cerebral Domination


Run Deer Run!

Running Deer is the most suitable champion for this deck. As you notice above, most of the cards are high cost; we want to live as long as possible to be able to play these cards. Running Deer is not the only utility that will help us delay into the late game but I’ll go into that shortly.


The Shards in the Sky

The deck uses three different shards (Diamond, Sapphire, Wild)—all of these are associated with the coyotle. In the deck, we are running three of each of the dual shards granting the shards mentioned above (Shard of Instinct, Shard of Life, Shard of Purpose). Three of each allows us to quickly get the resources we need without sacrificing too much speed by making a full half of our resources non-basic. To help with threshold we are also running Howling Brave, which can additionally help us ramp into stronger cards.


The Stars and the Angels

Stargazer is a card you do not see too often, especially in competitive play. This is partially because each of its two abilities requires a different threshold, making it best suited for tri-shard decks. However, that’s not a problem for us here and its abilities—especially card cycling—are particularly relevant to our deck’s strategy.

We can use Stargazer’s cycle ability on the opponent’s turn to try to draw out an Angel of Dawn, which applies considerable pressure on our opponent. Stargazer could also help us fish for removal and interrupts as they are needed. For example, cycling to try and draw a Verdict in response to an Extinction could save you from a nasty trade. Stargazer is primarily a utility card, and that’s how it should be treated in this deck. If you are satisfied with all the cards in your hand, then healing for 2 per turn is not too shabby.


Recycling is Good for the Environment

We mentioned that Stargazers can be used to cycle cards into our hand, but a card that does it better is Arborean Rootfather. With Arborean Rootfather, we can pay 2  resources at any time to put it back in the deck and draw another card (which also reduces the cost of that Rootfather by 2). Once again, we are hoping that we get an Angel of Dawn during our opponent’s turn. You almost always want to use either Arborean Rootfather’s or Stargazer’s cycle ability on your opponent’s end phase and the reasons are twofold: floating resources until the last moment allows you to hold or bluff a Verdict and a lucky Angel of Dawn against an over-committed opponent could be devastating.

Arborean Rootfather also has the uncommon ability to socket two gems. Inside the sockets we have a number of options since we are in three shards. Once again, life gain is important, so for the major gem we are socketing the Major Diamond of Endurance (When this enters play, gain health equal to its Defense). In the minor spot we are using the Minor Sapphire of Sky (gives troop Flight). What’s not scary about a flying 8/8 troop that heals for 8 when it comes into play?


Delay and Destruction

So we already have multiple ways to heal to carry us to late game, but sometimes that is not enough. Buccaneers provide considerable tempo, and we are also running two copies of Stormcall to defensively exhaust their troops and save us from lethal or offensively exhaust their troops to clear a path for damage.

As you may have noticed, Soul Marble pairs quite well with Buccaneer. Most of the time, with Soul Marble, you want to transform it into Soul Armaments. This will allow most of our weaker troops to be decent contenders mid-game. Putting counters on Soul Marble puts heavy pressure on the opponent because they know once it goes online they are going to have a hard time trying to gain board advantage.

“But Soul Marble takes forever to put counters on!” Aha…that’s what you think!


A Second Sight

Sight of the Sun is a Legendary coyotle that hasn’t seen much competitive play, but his power is easily overlooked. With resource sinks like Soul Marble and Living Totem, the ability to to exhaust Sight to fully replenish your resources is a great boon. The life gain is just the cherry on top.


Summon Ozawa, Cosmic Elder!

There are two cards left in the deck that I saved for last. Spirit Dance will allow us to strengthen all the troops in our deck while also reducing their cost by 2. This can potentially hit an Ozawa or Arborean Rootfather that is still in the deck which, for 8-drops especially, is quite a big deal. Once Ozawa, Cosmic Elder safely hits the board, we can relax a bit. Your health will quickly escalate out of control and there is little that your opponent can do to come back from such a devastating lead. Most likely, at this time, you have Soul Armaments up and your Ozawa is nicely secure with the spellshield keyword.


Reserving the Reserves

Nature Reigns – Bring in against decks that have powerful constants or artifacts. For example, bring in Nature Reigns when your opponent is playing Diamond and has several Soul Marbles.

Meek – Meek is a great removal action. Bring Meek in when you see Cerulean Mirror Knight, Storm Cloud, and other high-impact low-cost troops.

Verdict of the Ancient King – Bring this in when you are dealing with an action- and constant-heavy deck. We already have three in the main deck, but bringing in a fourth will definitely not hurt.

Cerebral Domination – Cerebral Domination is mostly great against Sapphire. Prevent them from using Countermagic and Verdict of the Ancient Kings and your turn it’s much safer.

Constantina – Once again, bring this card in against mono-Sapphire. They will most likely be playing Menacing Gralk. This is a great way to prevent your troops from being exhausted, and will quickly make Gralk a dead draw for your opponent.


If you enjoy my articles or want something different, please let me know in the comments below. I will also be giving away two Shattered Destiny packs to whoever can suggest a more optimal build than the list above (please also explain your reasoning as to why you made these changes). Please make sure to keep the theme of the deck, and don’t forget your in-game name! I hope you enjoy this deck that I’ve been tinkering with! Thanks again!

Piecetinker is new to the competitive scene of TCGs. Despite this, he placed Top 8 in both the HexTCGPro July and Invitational tournaments. Primarily focusing in Constructed play, Piecetinker will continue to learn and improve his skills. You can find his Twitter here.

2 Comments on Piecetinkering: The Cycle Continues

  1. My immediate concern when seeing this deck is the potential inconsistency with running three different shards. If sapphire is cut, the deck loses some of its control and tempo aspects, but gains consistency, perhaps better threats and some ‘wrath’ insurance.

    From the maindeck, I would cut the following 13 spells:

    2x Stargazer (no more sapphire to loot)
    4x Buccaneer
    3x Verdict of the Ancient Kings
    2x Stormcall
    2x Ozawa

    I would add the following 14 spells:

    3x Mentor of Oakhenge
    3x Chlorophylia
    2x Repel
    4x Wrathwood Master Moss
    2x Wrathwood Colossus

    The shard base would be simplified from 25 total resources down to 24: 10 Diamond, 10 Wild, and 4 Shards of Life.

    Wrathwood Colossus seems straight up better than Ozawa. It gains life immediately, crushes over chump blockers and is a poor target for Murder. Master Moss also has Murder/Extinction resistance. Mentor is a great value blocker and has pseudo evasion. Chlorophylia acts similarly to Buccaneer, allowing you to cast bigger troops faster. Repel is much needed removal.

    However, I think I’ve gutted the spirit of the Coyotle and just made a standard Wild Diamond legendary.dek. 😐

  2. Troops
    I would remove Ozawa, because of his high cost and replace him with something Hybrid-ish like Royal Diplomat, using the gems Spell shield and the +1, +1. This will give him three utilities with his already Steadfast to go off of making him versatile.

    (Add) 3x Frost Wizard—————————————————> I would go ahead and add some Frost Wizards for those decks that like to cycle.

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