The first pod of our holiday streaming blitz featured a deck that was much better than the other three and a deck that was much worse than the other three. The middle two decks were evenly matched, and a few cards falling either way would mean that one or the other would have qualified over the competition. These games ran a bit long due to the fact that there were a lot of board wipes and ways to control the opponent’s aember.
Game 1 – Annie vs Citizen
One Sentence Summary: Everything changed the day the Martians arrived.
Card of the Match: Invasion Portal
This card fueled the Martian engine late in the game. Portal allows the Martian player to hammer home on Mars again and again while still having creatures to play.
Notable Event: There was a turn with Relentless Assault, Ganger Chieftain and Wardrummer that could have been played about a thousand different ways. After that turn, the game went south for Citizen, so that turn was probably pivotal.
3 Keys to 1
Game 2 – Ratring vs Shackleton
OSS: Shackleton made a game out of it, but the game was an exercise in delaying the inevitable.
COTM: Mind Barb
This card hit a Burn the Stockpile, ensuring that a key was allowed to be forged.
NE: A Lifeward ensured that Shackleton couldn’t commit more resources to the board early on and made sure that Shackleton stayed on the back-foot for the rest of the game.
3 Keys to 1
Game 3 – Annie vs Ratring
OSS: Ratring came close to averaging a stolen aember a turn.
This was only in play for two turns, but it stopped Annie from forging two turns in a row. This essentially turns any creature into a combination of Noddy and a Dew Faerie. If it is played on a creature that has another reap effect, then that creature has to be killed by your opponent if they want to play the game.
NE: Between the Poison Waves and the Ammonia Clouds, there wasn’t much of a chance for low power creatures to hang around on the board.
3 Keys to 2
Game 4 – Citizen vs Shackleton
OSS: Shackleton let Citizen build up a false sense of security before winning with Citizen’s own card.
Yep. This card again. Mimicry is just an incredible card, is unparalleled in its versatility. In this game it wiped the board while Shackleton was incredibly far behind.
NE: The Mimicry play was the big swing that Shackleton needed to stay in the game, and there was a Coward’s End in the discard pile with the Spirit’s Way. The decision was kill all but one creature with the Way or kill all and take the chains.
3 Keys to 2
Game 5 – Annie vs Shackleton
OSS: When both decks have a lot of creatures but not a lot of aember generation, the game is long and grindy.
COTM: Ammonia clouds
This was played quite a few times during the course of this game, and it cleaned up a lot of problem creatures each time it was played.
NE: There was a turn where Shackleton could have used Nepenthe Seed to play Lifeweb twice, which would have significantly shifted the aember balance, but it wasn’t used. Shakleton had Burn the Stockpile in the discard pile so its possible it was correct to hold the Nepenthe Seed to threaten that.
3 Keys to 2
Game 6 – Citizen vs Ratring
OSS: Ratring extorted the poor Citizen.
COTM: Lash of Broken Dreams
This is another card that’s been highlighted before in a previous pod, but it forced Citizen to pay 18 to forge two keys. That made all the difference in this game.
NE: A Cleansing wave was played for five, which is a significant amount of aember, but the Lash taxed Citizen’s keys heavily.
3 Keys to 2
Ratring, the Thief of the Arena – *Advancing*
The Shadows portion of this deck does not steal as much as other decks seen in our tournament, but it was certainly violent. With two Pit Demons, Ratring doesn’t have to rely solely on the shadows to control the opponents aember. A Gateway to Dis is always nice to have access to. The Brobnar in this deck is very medium, but Burn the Stockpile and Bumpsy do some work. This deck doesn’t have a lot of aember burst, but it makes up for that with a solid board presence and smothering aember control. Not the flashiest deck that we’ve played, but Ratring’s record speaks for itself.
Camilla “Annie” Glaulittle – *Advancing*
Annie has an impressive Mars selection of cards. The Dominators can protect Zyzzix and John Smyth and two Squawkers are a nice addition. This deck is relying fairly heavily on Shadows to keep the opponent from outright winning. With that said, the Shadows in this deck is capable of quite a burst of aember. Smiling Ruth doesn’t seem to be a particularly good card, and we didn’t see her ability used in this pod. The Logos in this deck speeds the deck up, but does rely on having creatures on the board to generate aember. Annie has a lot of creatures, so if it loses the board then generating aember gets more difficult.
A. Shackleton, Rainsea’s Public Traitor – *Eliminated*
Shackleton slightly under-performed in this pod, but this is a mid-tier deck based off the power level of a few cards. The deck isn’t quite coherent enough to be consistent, but Mimicry will just steal a game. The Brobnar in this deck will keep the opponent’s creatures stunned forever, but without a true board wipe, it can be hard to clean up all excess dudes laying around. Lifeweb, Murmook and Ritual of Balance provide a surprising amount of Aember control from Untamed, and paired with the Play effects from several Shadows creatures provides a moderate amount of disruption. The deck is missing some of the oppressive Shadows cards, and the deck is filled with tiny creatures with no great ways to protect them. If this deck is on the offensive, there is a lot of skirmish to keep the creatures sage.
The Citizen who Practices The Truth – *Relegated to WotW*
This Citizen should probably practice Keyforge if it wants to be taken seriously. The major drawback to this deck is the lack of aember control. There are only a pair of Sequis and a Raiding Knight to stop your opponent from running away with a game. Too many times this deck would fall behind and have no way to actually stop the opponent from racking up as much aember as possible. This deck did fine while competing for the board, and Coward’s End is a solid wipe for this deck. Mantle of the Zealot is awesome on Troll, Inka the Spider or Dew Faerie. The deck is really missing a Full Moon or Hunting Witch to take advantage of the three Niffle Apes and Troop Call. This deck is heavy on creatures, light on aember and not very efficient. I think you can do worse than this deck, though, and it probably has some good match-ups out there.
Known Errors: At some point I lost track of how many times each of us had gone first, and so the spreadsheet is wrong about that. That’ll get corrected in the next few days.
There are several situations where we forget to grab an aember from a card that we’ve played, but usually Twitch Chat is there to remind us.
Also, Bad Penny is easy to forget, even after all the games we’ve played.
Meta Info: Justin and Nathan split the wins for the night, so Nathan maintains his lead at 44 games to Justin’s 40. Going first lost some more ground, and is now at 38 wins to going second’s 46.