Gauntlet is a free to enter mode against the AI. It is a key method to acquiring cards and gold early on when you are starting to build your collection in Eternal. You can also use it to play some quick games with a new deck to get a feel for it.

Today I want to look at what I would play to grind Gauntlets on a budget. Each of these lists contains zero rare or legendary cards. Each are very effective at winning Gauntlet games at a high rate and reasonable speed. I wanted to provide a list for each of the five main factions so you could have some variety to pick from to get started. Once you build up a collection you could even craft a few of these decks to switch between.

When you are starting to build your collection, it is often best to battle in the Gauntlet, Forge, and Draft a number of times before testing the Ranked waters. You can certainly improve these decks with Rares/Legendaries, but it might be best to find a solid Ranked deck and work towards building one of those rather than spending Shiftstones upgrading these builds. See this article for some powerful ranked decks you might want to build towards.

Without further ado, here are the decks!

Feln Infiltrate Control

4 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
4 Suffocate (Set1 #251)
4 Twilight Raptor (Set1 #379)
2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Gorgon Swiftblade (Set1 #377)
4 Lethrai Ranger (Set1 #270)
4 Desperado (Set1 #273)
4 Gorgon Fanatic (Set1 #375)
4 Trickster’s Cloak (Set1 #369)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Deathstrike (Set1 #290)
2 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)
7 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
8 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Feln Banner (Set1 #417)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)

This is an Infiltrate Control deck that aims to trigger Infiltrate mainly be removing opposing blockers. The deck does have Trickster’s Cloak to force the issue if needed. The deck plays out as fairly controlling, often winning after dealing with all of your opponent’s units. Feln sports some of the best removal in the game along with plenty of card drawing to keep ahead of your opponent. Some rares that would improve this deck would be Champion of Cunning, Direwood Beastcaller, and Steward of the Past. If you add the Beastcallers, you might also want to play some Haunting Screams to combo with them. You can cut or trim Feeding Time, Wisdom of the Elders, or Trickster’s Cloak to add these.

Elysian Echoes

4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
4 Accelerated Evolution (Set1 #351)
4 Second Sight (Set1 #207)
4 Static Bolt (Set1 #194)
4 Storm Lynx (Set1 #353)
4 False Prince (Set1 #356)
4 Pteriax Hatchling (Set1 #354)
4 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
4 Cloudsnake Harrier (Set1 #225)
4 Sapphire Dragon (Set1 #236)
4 Twinbrood Sauropod (Set1 #113)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
6 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Amber Monument (Set1 #420)
2 Cobalt Monument (Set1 #418)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)

This deck is looking to abuse the Echo mechanic with Second Sight and Cloudsnake Harrier. Normally you’d want Clockroaches and Crown of Possibilities here, but this deck gets by with Twinbrood Sauropod and Accelerated Evolution as replacements. There are also some generically powerful cards like False Prince and Permafrost to round the deck out. The main game plan is to generate a large army of flying and endurance units using Echo to draw plenty of extra cards along the way.

Combrei Lifesteal

4 Gilded Glaive (Set1 #125)
4 Elder’s Feather (Set1 #128)
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
4 Awakened Student (Set1 #331)
4 Crownwatch Paladin (Set1 #139)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Brightmace Paladin (Set1 #147)
4 Silverwing Familiar (Set1 #152)
4 Vodakhan’s Staff (Set1 #336)
2 Healer’s Cloak (Set1 #98)
4 Karmic Guardian (Set1 #341)
4 Praxis Displacer (Set1 #100)
7 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
6 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Amber Monument (Set1 #420)
4 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)

This deck is all about assembling a large Lifesteal unit. Brightmace Paladin, Silverwing Familiar, and Karmic Guardian are great bodies to put Vodakhan’s Staff and Gilded Glaive onto. The deck is filled out with some powerful Combrei cards like Desert Marshall and Awakened Student. You probably don’t need me to tell you about all of the legendary cards that can fit into this deck, but for starters you probably want some Sirafs and Sandstorm Titans instead of Praxis Displacer and Brightmace Paladin.

Stonescar Weapons

4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Slumbering Stone (Set1 #255)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Blackguard Sidearm (Set1 #266)
4 Obsidian Golem (Set1 #398)
4 Ornate Katana (Set1 #23)
4 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
2 Beastcaller’s Amulet (Set1 #282)
4 Oni Quartermaster (Set1 #32)
4 Deathstrike (Set1 #290)
4 Smuggler’s Stash (Set1 #396)
4 Nightsworn Chieftain now Warband Chieftain (Set1 #395)
2 Stonescar Maul (Set1 #52)
5 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
6 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
2 Amethyst Monument (Set1 #426)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
2 Granite Monument (Set1 #423)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Stonescar Banner (Set1 #419)

This is a budget version of the Smuggler’s Stash Stonescar deck I wrote about here. While we lose some absolutely key pieces like Champion of Chaos and Statuary Maiden, there are some decent replacements in Slumbering Stone and Warband Chieftain. Beastcaller’s Amulet is a little harder to make work than Shogun’s Scepter, but it can still produce a big board presence. Smuggler’s Stash and Oni Quartermaster are still here and they are still great.

Rakano Weapons

4 Gilded Glaive (Set1 #125)
4 Elder’s Feather (Set1 #128)
4 Fearless Nomad (Set1 #311)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Crownwatch Paladin (Set1 #139)
4 Ornate Katana (Set1 #23)
4 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
4 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
2 Crownwatch Deserter (Set1 #316)
4 Silverwing Familiar (Set1 #152)
4 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
3 Morningstar (Set1 #313)
7 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
5 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
2 Emerald Monument (Set1 #422)
4 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)

Rakano Weapons is probably the most common early Ranked and Gauntlet deck that most people play. This is the list I recommend if you have no rares or legendaries, and it still does a fine job of executing the game plan. The plan is simple, play a unit and attach large weapons to it such as Morningstar or Gilded Glaive. This list also takes advantage of Elder’s Feather which can be an important way to break a board stall. See this article for a non-budget version of the deck.

Hopefully this article was helpful to players just starting out in Eternal. There are certainly other possible builds in each faction that you can build on a budget, or even some mono faction builds, so don’t hesitate to explore the possibilities! These builds should help you beat the Gauntlet reliably and to have some fun along the way. Remember, if you don’t want the Gauntlet to get more difficult you can concede the last game.

Thanks for reading,

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