With the recent announcement about extended art being unlockable with gold, the currency will be in a greater demand then ever before—a good time to dust off those PvE decks and delve once more into the Frost Ring Arena to grind some gold. Because, let’s face it, we all want to play in the next Shards Cup with a fully extended art deck, am I right? Over the last few weeks I have been doing a bunch of runs again and tried a few different decks. One thing that bothered me is that the decks that are supposed to clear out the dungeon quickly often fail to get a a perfect run because of their inconsistency.
Let’s take the well known Orc Rush deck for example. If you hit the right drops it performs insanely good. Stumble once or twice however and the deck can be in a pickle against the AI. It might be the deck to clear the Frost Ring Arena the fastest with perfect draws, but when it comes to consistency it falls short. My personal preference in that case is that a deck takes 5 minutes more to do a full run but having a higher consistency in winning games. When it comes to the dwarf deck, which is more consistent, we discovered that the equipment for War Machinist will change in the upcoming patch. This of course doesn’t impact the deck right now, but it gave me at least some incentive to revisit a different deck that I remembered giving me good results in the Frost Ring Arena.
Sly Huntress Arena
Champion: Poca, The Conflagrater
* Equipment (5 of 6)
Head: Patch of the Rover
Chest: Duelist’s Tabard
Feet: Claw-Toed Kickers
Gloves: Foreststalker Gloves
Weapon: Electric Flail
As you might have guessed the deck is built around the Sly Huntress and the powerful Foreststalker Gloves equipment that is associated with it. Playing the Huntress on turn four (with four ruby threshold in play) you get a total of five Fox Pet (1/2 with speed) in play. They do die at the end of the turn, but often that doesn’t matter anymore. Imagine having a Ruby Pyromancer in play when you play the Huntress. That’s 10 power with speed on turn four. Now imagine having Jags in play, that’s 15 power because of the Duelist’s Tabard. Having both Ruby Pyromancer and Jags? That results in 30 power with speed—something most AI decks can not handle that early (or at any time in the game). Besides that the deck has a way of putting the AI in a tight spot early on with the other troops in the deck, and holds explosive outs for any situation.
The Heroic Outlaw, for example, is the latest addition and helped the deck quite a bit. It can give you an out in unwinnable games, because of their insane interaction with Jags. In one game I was facing Xarlox with two 5/5 Terrorantulas attacking on turn three. On turn four I was able to block one of them, went to 5 and got one Heroic Outlaw from the top five cards and had one in my hand. On my turn, I played Jags and with the combined damage from Heroic Outlaw I brought Xarlox from 25 to 0.
If you decide to take the deck into the Arena, here are some key points that you should try and follow while playing the deck:
- If you attack with Lightning Elemental, make sure you play all troops pre-combat. There is a bug that sometimes occurs with swiftstrike that will make you skip your second main phase.
- Always prioritize Jags over Elite Pyromancer. If either of them is already on the board and you have a 4-drop that you can play (especially Sly Huntress), it’s probably a better idea to play that instead.
- Try to calculate what play does the most damage this and next turn. Can you kill your opponent this turn?
- If you have an inspire troop on the board and you have Sly Huntress in your hand, play it. If no inspire troop is in play, it might be a good idea to keep it in your hand.
- Avoid using Poca’s charge power for only three damage. Wait until you can either pump your Lightning Elementals with it or there is either a Jags or Elite Pyromancer on board. Exceptions occur, because depending on board state, the AI will often block the elemental.
An important thing you have to realize when playing this deck is that the AI does not yet understand swiftstrike very well. This makes the Lightning Elemental an excellent troop. From my experience the AI will always block this troop as long as he’s not trading down when it comes to resources cost. I have seen the AI throw its unbuffed Living Totem in front, probably counting on a trade, and just losing it instead. This might be fixed in the upcoming patch, but there’s a good chance it won’t be. And even then Lightning Elemental stays very strong.
Those are the most important points to get you started. The deck is very fun to play as the deck is very versatile and creates fun situations. It requires a bit of practice and thought, which I prefer over playing a deck that does not.
With Armies of Myth on the horizon I’m sure there are some better options for some cards I included now. I’m not a huge fan of the Chimera at the moment and the Effigy has its moments, but might not be good enough. Highlands Blackbelt in particular looks very interesting and might make its way into the deck; it all depends on the equipment we get, though.
So there you have it, another deck to help you out while running through the Arena for the 100th time. Let me know how your experience is and if you changed cards and why. Thanks for reading!