This pod marks the half-way point for the first round. The games tonight were really close, with most of the games coming down to both decks being able to forge the last key within a single turn of each other. Several of the games came down to a decision: which card do you play around?
Game 1 – Patron vs Norfab
One Sentence Summary: The Horsemen proved that they aren’t all hype.
Card of the Match: Horseman of Famine
This game wasn’t really close, but the Horseman of Famine did a number on Norfab. The Horsemen don’t generate aember all that well, but using Famine to reap and kill opponent’s creatures is brutal.
Notable Event: Oath of Poverty was used to destroy Soul Snatcher before it could become a liability. Soul Snatcher was particularly good in this match since Patron’s creatures outnumbered Norfab’s the whole game.
3 Keys to None
Game 2 – Drone vs Ivory
OSS: Despite controlling the board for most of the game, Drone struggled to generate enough aember to win the game.
COTM: Gauntlet of Command
This card is a powerful way to get some use out of your guys immediately. In this game, with board control slipping away, Ivory was able to use this to take out problem creatures.
NE: Hebe the Huge crushed three elusive Mars creatures into paste early in this game. Those Martians represented a huge amount of Aember control that Ivory would have struggled to overcome.
3 Keys to 2
Game 3 – Patron vs Drone
OSS: The Patron charged back from 2 key deficit to win this game.
COTM: Oath of Poverty
This card generate the aember swing that allowed Patron to get back into the game.
NE: Drumble showed up at the end of the game to finish off Drone.
3 keys to 2
Game 4 – Norfab vs Ivory
OSS: Norfab fiddled with gadgets while Ivory stacked aember to the ceiling.
COTM: Commander Remiel
Ivory played two copies of Remiel in this game and this allowed Dew Faerie and Krump to activate during Sanctum turns. Remiel’s extra activation accounted or 6 aember, two dead creatures and 1 destroyed aember.
NE: A Key Charge put this game away before anything resembling a comeback could be assembled.
3 keys to 2
Game 5 – Ivory vs Patron
OSS: The Horsemen made a show of it, but fell short in the last few turns.
COTM: Key Charge
This card has been highlighted before and I promise you, it will be highlighted again. Key Charge won the game through an activated Lash of Broken Dreams.
NE: Drumble was played to try to win the game for Patron, but a Lost in the Woods made sure the captured aember was returned.
3 Keys to 2
Game 6 – Norfab vs Drone
OSS: Norfab played the game of its life.
COTM: Anomaly Exploiter
This card kept Drone’s board under control despite the fact that most of Norfab’s creatures where abducted or destroyed in the first few turns. This combos well with Logos creatures like Batdrone or Quixo, and is Logos’ best answer to big creatures.
NE: An early turn from Norfab saw a Phase Shift-ed Irradiated Aember combine with two Anomaly Exploiters to kill five of Drone’s creatures. Then Effervescent Principle destroyed three aember. Custom Office deserves an honorable mention for its performance in this game, since Drone was stuck with two Screechbombs and a Mighty Javelin in hand at the end of the game.
3 Keys to 2
Ivory of Zerzukull Refuge – *Advancing*
The performance of this deck is a little bit surprising, and its possible the rest of the pod was a little bit weaker than average. This deck won most of its games on the back of Key Charge and a pile of aember burst. Two Nepenthe Seeds are just silly, and allow this deck to play Virtuous Works or Smith over and over. The Sanctum and Brobnar do a solid job of competing for the board. There is just enough disruption to keep your opponent off a key or two, which is usually enough time for this deck to generate more aember than your opponent can deal with. Tireless Crocag, Sigil of Brotherhood, Gauntlet of Commands and the Commander Remiels are good at providing use of off-house creatures. The maverick Effervescent Principle is not a hindrance on this deck, and provides a nice surprise. The Untamed portion of this deck feels like it has the wrong mix of cards, since it only has one more creature than Full Moons.
The Patron that Condemns The East – *Advancing*
This is a solid, above average deck that gets a lot of use out of the Horsemen. There is a decent amount of cross-house synergy, since Veylan Analyst makes your Dis artifacts have even more upside. Knowing when or if to play Soul Snatcher is a skill testing part of this deck, but having Oath of Poverty to destroy it is nice. This deck has a respectable aember control suite of Lash of Broken Dreams, Drumble, Interdimensional Graft, Pit Demon, Dextre and Shooler. Those cards need a little bit of finesse to really hurt the opponent, but there are a lot of situations where just any one of those cards is enough to swing a game. This deck is a B+ deck that plays a fair game, but I feel like there are a lot of unfair decks that this deck couldn’t compete against.
The Deputy of Norfab – *Eliminated*
This deck is a lovable mess. There are almost as many artifacts as creatures in the deck, and the only way this deck can seem to win is if the opponent does little to stop your aember generation. Double Phase Shift is exciting and the deck seems to be doing its best when abusing them. I never thought I would think a deck needed Vezyma Thinkdrone, but this might just be the one time I will suggest that. For the most part, this deck feels like it is half of a combo deck. Its also rare that the Mars portion of a deck feels like it is the best part of the deck. This deck is impressively dysfunctional and I honestly can’t believe it won the one game that it did.
Drone Umeiqubheez Ammonius – *Relegated to WotW*
This deck lost two heartbreaking games and then lost to an objectively bad deck. Its difficult to pinpoint exactly what doesn’t work with this deck. This deck doesn’t have a lot of aember generation, and relies on its creatures to do most of that. Its aember control is modest, but since most of it is captured related, a lot of that aember can be reclaimed. One drawback of the Brobnar portion is that there are no ways to get your creatures into the fray immediately, so you are often letting your opponent get the first chance to swing. This deck does have an impressive amount of abduction, so it does well at getting rid of creatures in a way that you never have to deal with them again.
Known Errors: Dextre goes to the top of your deck when he is destroyed. He and Bad Penny have a habit of not going to the Zone they are supposed to.
Meta Info: This night was split down the middle for both players and turn order. Nathan maintains a lead over Justin, 41 wins to 37. Going second has 42 wins to first’s 36.