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Tinkering with the Meta: The Book of Arachnomicon

Hey there folks! It has been a long time since I wrote a solo article. With the release of the Immortal format and a new set of cards to play with, I have decided to come up with a new series that captures both a Standard and Immortal forms of a deck. Not only that, I will provide statistics and win rates of my first 20 matches with the deck. Please note, 20 matches is a small subset of data, but it is the best I can do given that I am only one person collecting this data (thanks to hex.tcgbrowser.com). I will also be discussing deck versions and show how I got to the final list. First I will be showing off the standard form and finally the Immortal version of the deck.

My initial thoughts when I saw Arachonomicon were, “I can either play this in an aggro Dreadling or Control deck.” With these, I decided to experiment with some Dreadling shenanigans and see how consistent the deck would be. Here is the deck that I originally brew up, and boy was it a fun one.

Dreadlings from the Underworld

Champion: Ivan Slagpot

Troops (26)

4x Death Seeker
4x Tech-tician
2x Dread Botanist
4x Warpsteel Shadowsworn (Minor Sapphire of Dread)
2x Nazhak Webguard
4x Skittering Cultivator
2x Dread Apprentice
4x Tribunal Magistrate

Actions  (3)

3x Gruesome Deed

Constants (6)

3x Dread Factory
3x Jorgen’s Workshop

Artifacts (2)

2x Arachnomicon

Resources (23)

2x Necropolis Coins
4x Zin’xith Silk
9x Blood Shard
8x Sapphire Shard

Reserves (15)

3x Blood Bearer
1x Gruesome Deed
3x Cheap Shot
2x Transmogrifade
2x Verdict of the Ancient Kings
2x Nazhak Webguard
2x Throwback

 

The role Arachnomicon plays in this deck is the “surprise” element of an extra turn filled with many dreadlings. Although we aren’t playing too many here, Arachnomicon can potentially blow out the match. The issue here is that you will not consistently get what you need. All it takes is a single removal of a troop and the deck will falter. If your opponent is too slow or running low amounts of removal, the deck can burst into a quick win even by turn 4 with some hands and some luck. Even with this, the deck has been sitting at a 65% win percentage with a 13 wins and 7 losses. The matchups are listed below:

A 65% win rate with the deck, but is there still something better you ask!? Remember that only 20 games are a small subset and isn’t a full idea of how consistent a deck is. It also depends on the decks that I was playing against. You can see here that I played against an arsenal of decks and the meta was not solved at this time.

 

So let’s look at my second iteration:

 

The Arachnomicon

Champion: Bloodspinner Zorath

Troops (15)

4x Exarch of the Egg
4x Phenteo the Blood Priest
4x Tribunal Magistrate
2x Brood Baron
1x Ryaalinth the Soulcursed

Actions  (16)

3x Transmogrifade
4x Arcane Focus
3x Strangle
2x Verdict of the Ancient Kings
4x Herofall

Constants (3)

3x Xentoth’s Malice

Artifacts (2)

2x Arachnomicon

Resources (24)

4x Necropolis Coins
8x Blood Shard
8x Sapphire Shard
4x Zin’xith Silk

Reserves (15)

4x Cheap Shot
1x Transmogrifade
1x Strangle
2x Steal Intel
2x Verdict of the Ancient Kings
3x Gemborn Prowler
2x Something Borrowed

 

Arachnomicon here can also be used as the “surprise” free Mastery of Time, except it isn’t as consistent getting out. Here, you are utilizing Arachnomicon’s effect to generate spider troops. Not only do these spider troops gain benefits from Tribunal Magistrate, it also provides fodder for Xentoth’s Malice. This deck has lots of tools to deal with the many Kagulichu decks as it can generate more card draw and many threats. This iteration also struggles with the want of more shards. There were many games I was getting a bit threshold screwed and would have loved more shards to play with, especially with. Of course the other obvious questions here are “Why is there no Deny” or “Why not use Well of Cunning?” Originally I did not have these cards at the moment to test with, so the most optimal build is actually listed here:

 

The Arachnomicon

Champion: Bloodspinner Zorath

Troops (14)

4x Exarch of the Egg
4x Phenteo the Blood Priest
4x Tribunal Magistrate
2x Ryaalinth the Soulcursed

Actions  (16)

3x Transmogrifade
4x Arcane Focus
3x Strangle
2x Deny
4x Herofall

Constants (3)

3x Xentoth’s Malice

Artifacts (2)

2x Arachnomicon

Resources (25)

4x Necropolis Coins
7x Blood Shard
7x Sapphire Shard
3x Zin’xith Silk
4x Well of Cunning

Reserves (15)

4x Cheap Shot
1x Transmogrifade
1x Strangle
2x Steal Intel
2x Deny
3x Gemborn Prowler
2x Something Borrowed

 

The interesting thing about Deny in this list is that if a spiderling enters play on your opponent’s turn, it will activate it’s -2 Cost for you. If 2 Spiderlings enter play, that is essentially a free Deny. Other things to note is that the Shard base is more consistent. You will see the record below:

Once again, another 65% win rate. One thing to note is the uproar of the Blood Ruby aggro deck. This deck struggles with the mix of aggressive troops that are brought out by the deck. However, I think with a little sideboard manipulation, this deck can succeed even that.

 

Finally, if you are interested in playing Immortal and you want to play a similar deck let’s take a look at this:

 

The Arachnomicon (I)

Champion: Bloodspinner Zorath

Troops (16)

4x Exarch of the Egg
4x Phenteo the Blood Priest
3x Tribunal Magistrate
4x Azurefate Sorceress (Minor Sapphire of Mischief / Major Sapphire of Subterfuge)
1x Ryaalinth the Soulcursed

Actions  (14)

3x Transmogrifade
4x Arcane Focus
3x Deny
4x Herofall

Constants (3)

3x Xentoth’s Malice

Artifacts (2)

2x Arachnomicon

Resources (25)

4x Necropolis Coins
7x Blood Shard
7x Sapphire Shard
3x Zin’xith Silk
4x Well of Cunning

Reserves (15)

4x Cheap Shot
1x Transmogrifade
3x Strangle
2x Deny
3x Gemborn Prowler
2x Something Borrowed

 

That’s right! Everyone’s favorite Phenteo / Azurefate combo. If you weren’t around for Set 3, the idea was to get at least 3-4 activations of Phenteo’s ability followed by a Quick Azurefate Sorceress for an ultimate bury win condition. Each Terrorantula hit would mill another 10 cards due to Azurefate Sorceress’s Inspire on Bury. Which would most likely by that point hit another Terrorantula….and another…you get the idea. This was played back in one of the 100k Invitational and had a strong blowout on Day 1. The deck has been a bit revamped with the new cards from Scars of War, but the sideboard may be easily changed depending on what’s currently popular in the format.

 

Hope you enjoyed reading! As always, thanks for reading and see you in the battlegrounds with some new tech!

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 Tinkering with the Meta: The Book of Arachnomicon

  1. What are your thoughts on scrios coins in the deck? They can potentially allow you to use phenteo twice on a turn

  2. Scrios Coins were a consideration, but I feel like that is getting too greedy. Scrios Coins can be used either on Phenteo or for Exarch (to bluff an opponent into attacking). If Phenteo is removed, you will have that Scrios sitting in your hand without the benefit of readying a troop. Now if you wanted to still test with Scrios you can remove a card from the main deck, remove a standard resource, and add 2 Scrios coins.

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