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Hemlock
08-13-2013, 12:28 PM
Hey all!

I kinda fell in love with the Sapphire deck we saw in the last twitch video, and decided that the evasive playstyle would be one of the first things I'd like to try out. Of course, that GenCon deck is far from perfect, so I thought I'd try my hand at optimizing it, using the cards currently spoiled. Tell me what you think!

Troops:
4 Ancestor’s Chosen (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Ancestors--Chosen,-The/279)
4 Thunderbird (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Thunderbird/33)
2 Flock of Seagulls (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Flock-of-Seagulls/276)
4 Cerulean Mirror Knight (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Cerulean-Mirror-Knight/32)
4 Vampire King (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Vampire-King/87)
2 Corrupt Harvester (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Corrupt-Harvester/121)
4 Menacing Gralk (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Menacing-Gralk/76)

Ancestor's Chosen peppers my deck with lovely Ancestral Specters, which are always a great draw. Thunderbirds put the pressure on early, while the Flock of Seagulls are basically a free block every turn. I included Cerulean Mirror Knights to turn all my late-game troops into card-draw machines; since they're evasive, my opponent will often be unable to block them, even if they wanted to. Vampire King, with any luck, will create a legion of fliers, and force my opponent to play much more cautiously. Corrupt Harvester provides some alternative evasion, and lifedrain is lovely, as the deck will often end up in an aggro race. The Gralk's exhaust ability is of questionable importance, since I'll already be able to fly past the opponent's troops in most cases, but blood/sapphire is a bit lacking right now in the 5-cost department. Urunaaz would be great if I can get it!

Actions:
4 Air Superiority (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Air-Superiority/275)
4 Murder (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Murder/112)
3 Countermagic (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Countermagic/270)
1 Life Siphon (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Life-Siphon/189)

Air Superiority is obscene in a deck like this. In fact, I'd say the deck's biggest weakness is the chance of not drawing it. Murder is fantastic removal, and gives my Vampire King corpses to animate. Countermagic is Countermagic. Life Siphon can help me turn the game around if it ends up being an aggro race.

Resources:
15 Sapphire Shard
9 Blood Shard

I'm not even playing Blood cards until turn three, and they're 1-threshold at that point, so gotta load up on those Sapphires.

Champion: Feather Floating Downriver (http://www.hex-datamine.com/cards/Feather-Drifting-Downriver/251)

I had a bit of trouble deciding between Feather and Herczeg. If you have some pointers for me here, I'd frigging love it. Herczeg's power would provide card advantage, which is generally fantastic, but might prove superfluous if my Mirror Knights can inspire enough fliers. Feather, on the other hand, really helps out my Ancestor's Chosen, Mirror Knights, and even the Harvesters, particularly if I have Air Superiority on the field. I think the unity of purpose Feather provides will be more valuable, but again, open to suggestions!

nekoangel
08-13-2013, 12:32 PM
no love for corpse fly?

Hemlock
08-13-2013, 12:37 PM
Corpse Fly doesn't really appeal to me, but I'd probably give it a shot when I end up testing the deck. I'm not really sure what I'd swap out, as I have plenty of 3-cost cards already... Maybe if my Mirror Knight strategy doesn't really pan out.

nekoangel
08-13-2013, 01:00 PM
well as much as i love thunderbird i feel he is an all sapphire include due to his double threshold requirements.
but i have no doubt that this deck will only get better as the rest of the first set reveals itself.

remember they dont have to all be flight enabled if your using the flight granting champion ;)

atm good fliers that are easy to cast that you can add are timebug and phoenix guard scout, other than that i would fill the hard to work out drops with cards like shrine of prosperity etc until more fliers are shown.

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-13-2013, 01:08 PM
Firstly, I don't think you want or need Uruunaz. Sure, he's big and a wincon, but this deck seems tailored to be a short/mid range aggro deck, and if you don't include him you top out at 5 which is just peachy and is worthy of the 24 source amount. With Uruunaz I'd recommend going up to 25, or even 26.

I'd actually go up to 4 Menacing Gralk if I were you. It'd be nice if it were a 4/4, but it's not too bad in the size department, but more importantly, its ability is a potential wincon, and also multi-purpose. If you're the more aggressive deck and need to push through damage one way or another (wild is the only shard without any creatures capable of flight, after all), the exhaust is good on offense. If you find that you're taking more damage than you're dishing out, the "they don't ready during their next ready step" is groovy for defense. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a better 5 drop wincon in saph or blood when all is said and done, but for now it's not shabby at all.

Unpopular opinion inc - I'm not a fan of Life Siphon. It's always card disadvantage. If you win off the back of it, the CD doesn't matter. But if you're in such a position that you'd win off the back of it, in most cases you probably would have won anyway with what is almost certainly a superior board state. I'd prefer something that will actually impact the board, like more creatures. An evasive deck like this loves a card like Buccaneer; you get a blocker on the ground (or another aeronaut thanks to Feather), and you slow down the opponent - which could be important, given that ground-based aggro decks such as orcs are likely to have bigger guys.

Personally, I feel like Cerulean Mirror Knight's potential is too conditional. You play it, and it's not an aggressive drop. You then have to have and play one of your 3 cost or more troops to get anything out of it, and then that troop has to survive and connect. You could always go with something like Command Tower instead and give your fliers an extra attack boost. Honestly, I think a more optimal card will be spoiled in the coming months, but CMK just doesn't feel right with this deck.

And another potentially unpopular opinion - while Flock of Seagulls is a great card, it has a more controlling deck in mind. In this deck, if you have the aggro matchup it could help, but likely no more than another aggressive troop could. Against a control deck it will likely just sit there, not helping you win the match quickly before the opponent gains control. Unfortunately though there aren't many decent options at the 2 mana slot. You could always go with Time Bug - not exactly the strongest beater, but he is evasive and comes out early, trades with most other early fliers, and you do give yourself the off-chance of getting an extra turn (and more importantly an extra combat phase).

I will say though that this deck was pretty hard to evaluate - it's right in some of the places, but it feels like to get tuned and polished it really needs more spoilers.

archonhades
08-13-2013, 02:10 PM
Flock of seagulls -- I agree with whats been said before, much more controlling card.
Corrupt harvester -- While a good card i'm not sure it fits the deck.

I think i would be tempted to drop blood and go diamond instead for totem and phoenix guard. I can only imagine once more troops are revealed sapphire/diamond flyers will be a solid archetype.

Hemlock
08-13-2013, 03:00 PM
Thanks a ton for the feedback, everyone!

@Neko: I think Thunderbird is one of the best cards in the deck - pretty central, in fact. Since I'm loading up on the Sapphires, I'm not sure I need to be too concerned about the double threshold, but I'll keep that in mind. Time Bug underwhelms me, and Phoenix Guard Scout seems subpar - a Flight gem Shamed Gladiator might be an option, though.

@Jax: Yeah, I need to snap out of Urunaaz's siren song. I'll add some more Gralks, too. I'll keep the rest of your advice in mind when I get around to playtesting, or when I see the whole set; I'm not convinced that I have better options yet, but I understand your arguments for those cards being weak points.

@Archon: Why don't you think the Harvester fits? Aside from not getting Air Superiority's boost, I think it matches the deck's goals quite well.

I could see myself switching to Diamond if they get better fliers (I like Living Totem a ton), but I'm not sure they have enough to offer now, and I'd sure miss my Vampire King.


Also, just did some test draws on Hex Datamine which prompted a slight shard-shift.

archonhades
08-14-2013, 04:02 AM
my main contention is, as you said, its lack of synergy with air superiority. But it is evasive so i suppose it fits well enough.


Also, just did some test draws on Hex Datamine which prompted a slight shard-shift.

I highly recommend Hex metrics (http://hexmetrics.ni.tl/tools/resourceDraw) resource calculator. It's not perfect and everyone's interpretation of acceptable risk is different but it helps quantify the various ratios.