No deck escaped without a loss in this pod, and no deck was completely shut out. Some cards from our previous pods played key roles (Mother, Key Charge) and some new cards got a time to shine. There was a problem with the stream last night, and so it is broken into two pieces.
Game 1 – Sapphire vs Dean
One Sentence Summary: Sapphire did a good job of stopping The Dean from winning, but actually forgot to try to win.
Card of the Match: Doorstep to Heaven
This card can destroy a lot of aember against a careless opponent. It isn’t quite as devastating as Bait and Switch, but it is a guaranteed stop to a key.
Notable Event: Psychic Network stole four aember, which just felt unfair, even though the game was over by that point. The Martian creatures were then able to act after that, which just dogpiled.
3 Keys to 1
Game 2 – Dactorat vs Deadclaw
OSS: Dactorat established a quick and punishing aember lead, but Deadclaw played the tortoise to Dactorat’s hare.
COTM: Neutron Shark
The ability to destroy artifacts on this card was incredible relevant.
NE: There was a big turn where Dactorat had a Troll pick up a Phoenix Heart and kill close to ten creatures with an Anger. Despite losing a lot of creatures to that, Deadclaw repopulated the board, and eventually won.
3 Keys to 2
Game 3 – Sapphire vs Dactorat
OSS: Sapphire was robbed of aember and dignity in this match.
COTM: Subtle Maul
This card is not subtle and I think I’ve used that joke before. This card crippled Sapphire’s hand over the course of the game.
NE: The Relentless Assault started on turn two, and didn’t let up for the rest of the game. To give an idea of how hard Dactorat was winning, the deck paid 16 aember to forge the fist two keys through a Jammer Pack.
3 Keys to 1
Game 4 – Dean vs Deadclaw
OSS: The board was filled with creatures, and then it wasn’t, but then it was again.
NE: Irradiated Aember did a lot of work in this game, but Deadclaw proved that it was resilient to board wipes again.
3 Keys to 1
Game 5 – Sapphire vs Deadclaw
OSS: Sapphire came into this game as a massive underdog, but left proving why the games are played.
COTM: Lash of Broken Dreams
This card has been featured before, but this bought the time needed in this game to win it.
NE: A Phosphorous Stars Clinched the game at the end to keep Deadclaw from using any creatures on the board.
3 Keys to 2
Game 6 – Dean vs Dactorat
OSS: This game came down to the wire, and Dactorat won the game despite starting the final turn with four cards in hand.
This guy is a solid size, and the aember bonus is nice. He won the game combined with Warsong, generating four aember after attacking twice with the help of Ganger Chieftain.
NE: The Speed Sigil was probably a misplay. It was two turns before Dean could make use of its own card.
3 Keys to 2
Dactorat, the Pugnacious Pike Adept – *Advancing*
This deck was responsible for one of the most oppressive games that has been played on stream. The Brobnar doesn’t quite mesh with the Logos side of the deck, but Relentless Assault and Ganger Chieftains work well with Macis Asp and Umbra. The Logos side has a lot of archiving, and more importantly, that archiving can be used as a win condition. It is very easy to put together several explosive turns, and this deck fought through some brutal hand destruction in one game to win. The aember control in this deck is crazy; eight of the Shadows cards and two Logos cards can steal from the opponent. Coward’s End and Phoenix Heart give this deck a way to deal with lots of creatures if it falls behind on the board. It was frustrating to play against this deck, and felt unfair while playing it. That’s the hallmark of a good deck.
Deadclaw “Lion” Osteotense – *Advancing*
While this deck is a novelty for the two mavericks, the results it put on the scoreboard are pretty convincing. The deck did a good job of controlling the board, and could draw through the deck very consistently. There were a number of powerful artifacts in this deck that could provide consistent effects. Key Charge works as a way to put a game away or to catch back up if you are falling behind. Bilgum Avalanche combos with Key Charge, and proved to be a solid card. Two Smaaash and Bumpsy give Wardrummer a decent amount of synergy. Sound the Horns combos with the two Regrowth. For aember control, Murmook, Bumpsy, Dextre and Ritual of Balance each slightly inconvenience the opponent, but can add up over the course of a game. Hunting Witch is a little lonely with only four other Untamed creatures, but the deck is good at controlling the board so he occasionally sticks around for the next turn. This deck has a lot of tools for a lot of situations.
The Dean of Bookford – *Eliminated*
This deck felt draw dependent and inconsistent but capable of some really powerful things. Knowing when to play Speed Sigil seems to be a skill-testing part of playing this deck. The Mars portion of this deck loves Speed Sigil, since Uxlyx the Zookeeper and the stunned creatures love the ability to activate immediately. Psychic Network is particularly good in this deck, since other Mars decks have difficulty starting the turn with any ready creatures. Dean was prone to large spikes of aember, depending on specific cards to try to close out the game. The deck did a moderate job of controlling the board, and had way to protect the problem creatures in this deck. Outside of Bait and Switch, this deck couldn’t stop an opponent from getting a lot of aember. It could only pick off a stray aember here or there, which isn’t always enough.
Engineer Sapphire – *Eliminated*
This deck didn’t get shut out, and heading into it’s last game, it certainly seemed like it was the underdog. The Mars is a bit of a mess in this deck, and there is often a dead Martian Makes Bad Allies or Phosphorous Stars just clogging up the hand. There are not enough Martian creatures, but the quality of the creatures is above average. Jammer Pack and Lash of Broken Dreams do a lot of work to tax the opponent. This deck has some high quality answers, but Sacrificial Altar did not get activated once in three games. Not the worst deck played on stream by a long-shot, but very clearly outclassed in this pod.
Known Errors: As a game mechanic, Stun is a not really clear if you read the cards as printed. Creatures that are stunned cannot be stunned again, so if you play two Smaaash in a turn, two different creatures have to be chosen.
Meta info: Justin had a bad night and won only one game. Nathan now leads the series at 38 wins to 34. Going first made up some ground , and is now only behind 6 games: 33 wins to 39 wins for going second.