I was challenged by another Discord Moderator to find a deck that could successfully play multiple Bloodrite Kalis. I accepted their challenge and quickly confirmed that sacrificing your board position was generally a bad thing. I needed to build around cards that would add value when sacrificed. Naturally, I looked first at cards with Entomb. Umbren Reaper, Venomspine Hydra, Recogulator, and Slumbering Stone all looked like they had potential.
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Ultimately though, the first two were too slow for all of the aggro in the meta and so reluctantly I cut them from the list. Umbren Reaper could be argued as a flex option as it will often stabilize the board assuming you aren’t already being run over. Slumbering Stone is great! The combo of getting a unit when it dies means that I still get the option to block something. I was disappointed in Recogulator. It looks like it might be good in this type of deck because it leaves behind 2 bodies. Unfortunately this card is a trap. I say this because it means that you can not play your first Bloodrite Kalis until turn 5. Turn 5 is a very important turn because it is typically the transition point between aggro and midrange strategies. It is the turn that Harsh Rule is played. Playing the Recogulator would either cause you to overextend into a harsh rule or would be very underwhelming to things like Sandstorm Titan and Impending Doom.
Feeling death was often approaching too quickly I tried shifting to a strategy that was more token based. I shifted to playing the Fire and Shadow Strangers. Sadly I discovered that killing them all at once didn’t work well and only generated a token for the Clever Strangers. What I did learn from this was that Grenadin Drone, Assembly Line and Autofurnace (now Scraptank) were cards I was looking for to slow the aggressive decks. I also saw the value in Lifedrinker offering essentially 4 health and removal.
Building off the realization of Lifedrinker, I concluded I was missing a faction and building the deck the wrong way. Adding Justice into the deck would allow Harsh Rule to shore up the matchup against a lot of the early aggro decks. I also would gain the ability to use Armorsmith like the traditional Armory decks. Armorsmith has a sweet little combo that allows you to gain units and health (in the form of armor) as long as you have 2 armor.
Finding a home for the armory pieces in the deck was going to be difficult, however I continued to check for other pieces of tech so that when it came time to make cuts I had the complete picture. I had forgotten about the glue of Armory in Rise to the Challenge. The list was becoming tight and I had to start dropping what I felt had been key pieces up to this point.
The Scraptanks became less vital as I could search for them with Rise to the Challenge. I was also running into the issue where I could run out of gas in some cases and where I would not be able to recover in others. While Smuggler’s Stash added a lot to the deck’s ability to win, I felt there had to be something to take advantage of the giant Bloodrite Kalis I was creating. I found my answer in two very different places.
Torrent of Spiders fit the token theme and had not quite made the deck to this point. That all changed when I was facing down a set of Sandstorm Titans. Thinking to myself:
I need to draw my Statuary Maidens to deal with these!
It struck me that I had 12 units in the void and 5 Direfang Spiders would be much better. This solved some of the stabilization issues and at 3 power I could wipe my board and then replace it with Spiders. I also had the Slumbering Stone and now Armorsmiths that could provide additional bodies after the Bloodrite Kalis for nothing. My problem was there was no way to get through a few small units and killing one a turn wasn’t enough. Losses mounted as opponents were able to stabilize and answer the one threat I had in Bloodrite Kalis. Things changed after I played an Armory opponent and they played Treasury Gate. That was the final piece of this puzzle. I would get a giant unit along with my Kalis. I could then swing with the Kalis to remove a blocker and win with the unit. This also stacked with each additional Treasury Gate allowing me to get even more value out of each weapon.
This is the list I settled on.
1 Charchain Flail (Set1 #3)
4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
3 Slumbering Stone (Set1 #255)
1 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
1 Rolant’s Favor (Set0 #18)
2 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Assembly Line (Set1 #29)
3 Bloodrite Kalis (Set1 #397)
2 Lifedrinker (Set1 #275)
1 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
4 Torrent of Spiders(Set1 #272)
4 Armorsmith (Set1 #163)
1 Deathstrike (Set1 #290)
4 Rise to the Challenge (Set1 #320)
2 Statuary Maiden (Set1 #387)
3 Treasury Gate (Set1 #164)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
1 Autofurnace now Scraptank (Set1 #391)
2 Smuggler’s Stash (Set1 #396)
1 Whispers in the Void (Set1 #303)
3 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
3 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
3 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
4 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
4 Stonescar Banner (Set1 #419)
This was a great deck building exercise. I enjoyed the deck I brewed and it’s a lot of fun to play. The biggest take away for this deck exercise was that I ended up favoring the curve more than top end power which paid off. This experience showed me there are still lots of decks out there to discover and I am extremely excited to discover them.