Guest contributor Karatevater spoils a decklist he has been working on to help shake up the meta!
Hello, fellow Hexers! I am proud to present to you my very first Hex related article about a deck that I really wanted to share with the community. The recent Blood Cup showed us a lot of experimental decklists already, but the dominant decks were still composed of mostly set 1 cards. As a result I did not see a lot of new ideas in the in-game constructed queues, as people are hesitant to explore the possibilities we have with the new set 2 cards in a competitive environment.
But here I am to show you what is possible with the new cards 🙂 This deck has performed really well in the 8-man queues and got me a few wins already, being especially effective against the currently popular decks such as Darkspire Control and Xantosch’s S/D Control variant that has been seeing a lot of play in the constructed queues since the Blood Cup.
Like almost all of my competitive decks, this one is centered around my favorite card in Hex:
Archmage Wrenlocke was already an insane card in set 1, but with the addition of low-cost actions like Verdict of the Ancient Kings that are helping us to dig through our deck while protecting him, his power is reaching a whole new level and allows for him to be more of an engine to our strategy instead of just being an added bonus. In my personal experience, it is now entirely possible to drop a Wrenlocke and never have him leave the board again, which can make him an efficient draw engine to dig into our other cores.
With Archmage Wrenlocke as our key card, it is pretty clear which card type will take up most of our deck space to get maximum value out of him: Actions. And set 2 brought us an amazing set of new actions that suit our plan so well! What if I told you that there is a card that allows us to dig deeper into our deck while it duplicates whatever action we need the most in our current matchup? Well, here it is:
While people might argue that using Scheme in a deck means card disadvantage, this is only partially true. While it does not have an immediate effect on the board, it is the fuel to our engine, which is built to draw as many cards as possible. And with Wrenlocke being the key card in our deck it is extremely beneficial to have a way to increase the amount of actions we can potentially draw, especially when the actions we’re scheming are designed to do both—help us draw more cards and have an impact on the board.
But to understand what I mean, let’s take a look at the full decklist at first:
|S/W Infinity Miracle|
Champion: Wyatt, the Sapper
With the full decklist, it should now be clear what our win condition is: Drop the bombs that are Arborean Rootfather and Zeedu and run them into our opponent’s face turn after turn with our schemed Mastery of Time. All those cards are so amazing in this deck, because they provide the card draw utility we desperately need at different stages of the game respectively. While Arborean Rootfather allows us to dig for the utility we need in the early game, coming back at a cheaper cost later, Zeedu will provide the huge card draw in lategame that ensures that our opponent will not see another turn again once we start scheming our Masteries of Time.
However, this gameplan will demand a lot of available resources to be executed properly and forces us to build the deck with that in mind. Thus, we should be looking for ways to cast those high cost cards as soon as possible, as well as casting as many high cost cards as possible once our resource base comes online. This leads us to my two favorite cards that have been added with Shattered Destiny that give us just the utility we are looking for to speed up our game:
Both cards help us to compensate for our weak early game as well as maximizing our card draw once we start our infinite chain. Genesis Pool Naiad is the perfect card to hold on your start hand, as it allows us to get to our critical threshold of five resources more quickly. With her in your opening hand, starting with 5+ resources besides her suddenly becomes an amazing play. Having five resources and Wyatt’s charge power ready at turn three is the dream. Other than her being amazing utility to ramp up to our threshold, she’s still good enough as a chump blocker to win another turn for us to dig further into our deck and still is not a wasted draw in the lategame, as she allows us to play all the resources we possibly draw instead of discarding them, so we can use Wyatt’s charge power every other turn once we start the chain.
Sight of the Sun creates us a lot of space in the early game without even being on the board, as we know we can recover quickly from any potential damage our opponent can dish out in the early stages with just one or two activations of his ability. With all the high cost cards in our deck and the ability to ramp up to 5+ resources really quick, as well as Mastery of Time enabling us to use his ability to full potential multiple turns in a row, you can go from 1hp back to 20hp within a single well played turn. And this is by far more likely than it sounds due to our great synergies.
Other than creating that much needed space in the early game, Sight of the Sun is the crucial enabler for our combo and besides Archmage Wrenlocke should be protected at any cost. Ideally, you want to play sight of the sun with five resources open and protect him with a Verdict of the Ancient Kings, but if you can dodge a removal with Time Ripple, that is an acceptable play too. If you manage to keep him on the board for one turn, so you can make use of his ability, things usually just start snowballing from here. Dropping Archmage Wrenlocke + Mastery of Time on turn four is huge, so is playing Zodiac Divination + anything you can potentially get out of the draw. Remember that almost everything you can potentially draw in this deck can create an even bigger card advantage over your opponent.
This leads me to the next card that the competitive scene sees rather skeptical:
While it is completely true that the resource cost of this card is way too high for the average deck, it does hardly even matter for us. All we are trying to achieve is to get the best possible value in terms of card draw out of a single card. I have tried Crackling Wit, Peek, Oracle Song… they just did not have the impact this neat little card had, especially because our casual card draws barely create a card advantage that matters when you do not have Archmage Wrenlocke on the board, which you shouldn’t take for granted. Zodiac Divination basically nets you +2 cards off a single action with the added bonus of decreasing their resource cost by 1. This is especially sweet because we play so many expensive cards that we’re looking to chain together. If you have a Sight of the Sun in play when casting Zodiac Divination, it is basically free, heals you a big chunk of health, and allows you to play whatever you drew. This card deserves so much more attention!
The sideboard becomes really important for almost every matchup with this deck. While the maindeck provides us with enough tools to win round 1 against most matchups, the nature of the deck leaves us vulnerable against early aggression. As you can see the deck completely lacks any form of permanent removal as it is focused around getting maximum efficiency out of your own turns.
Against aggro, Buccaneer provides a much needed bounce, combined with a solid 2/2 body that can delay your opponent’s plans for quite a bit. The same goes for Mentor of the Song, but instead of the bounce he provides us with a low cost draw spell that has more synergy with our deck. When I can, I try to use the Mentor over Buccaneer, but sometimes you simply need both.
Countermagic and Nature Reigns are supposed to be used against control decks. Nature Reigns allows you to deal with Pact of Pain, Soul Marble, Zombie Plague, etc. in case you could not counter them and Countermagic provides you with additional protection for your own gameplan.
While a lot of players might consider this card outright bad, I’ve found myself in a lot of situations where I thought: “Damn, I wish I had Shoggoth in my sideboard.” Not only do I often find myself drawing more cards than I could ever need anyway, so much so his ability would actually be playable in that situation, but there were some games where my opponent had an army of Ancestral Specters that took unnecessarily long to break through and almost caused me to time out. It is situations like that where Shoggoth could really shine, but I did not really want to take the risk to test it in a competitive environment yet, as he would be a replacement for Arborean Rootfather and holding a card with an ability that shuffles two cards back into your deck instead of drawing one in the early game might actually be pretty bad. On the other hand, it would often be worth it to protect your Wrenlocke at the expense of two cards when you’re able to hold a Mastery of Time or Zodiac Divination; I will just have to do more testing.
This is another nice card I’d consider for the sideboard, but that also needs some more testing. Not only does she have a 3/3 body for only a two-resource cost that puts her out of Burn range, but she can also help to deal with sometimes problematic matchups that use Menacing Gralk and render our Sight of the Sun useless. Usually, Countermagic does the job, but I guess a troop like this can give us some more aggressive options.
So that is the end of my first article here, and I hope you are as excited about the deck as I am. I tried to cover most possible scenarios for this deck and give you some insight into my thoughts when building decks like this. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments.