October has been a busy month for me and I have not had the time to dedicate to Eternal that I have had more recently. Given that, it has been a slow and steady climb to Masters in Ranked this season, but I managed to hit it on the second to last day. I played a wide variety of decks on the way up, often whichever lined up best with my daily quests, but the two that I had the most success with were Champion of Cunning Feln and Four Faction Combrei.

Champion of Cunning Feln

4 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Feln Stranger (Set1 #409)
4 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Feln Bloodcaster (Set1 #386)
4 Push Onward (Set1 #213)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Deathstrike (Set1 #290)
4 Steward of the Past (Set1 #287)
4 Champion of Cunning (Set1 #371)
4 Scouting Party (Set1 #488)
1 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
2 Celestial Omen (Set1 #241)
1 Rimescale Draconus (Set1 #246)
8 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
9 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
1 Amethyst Monument (Set1 #426)
1 Cobalt Monument (Set1 #418)
4 Feln Banner (Set1 #417)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)

Champion of Cunning is one of the more unfair cards in Eternal and this deck abuses it nicely. The deck is innately pretty strong against various Relic Weapon control decks that have been popular. This build is also tuned to beat Rakano aggro which has been the most popular aggressive deck. The general game plan is to control the game with spot removal and nice blockers such as Feln Bloodcaster and Steward of the Past until you can draw a Champion of Cunning and win in a few attacks.

Scouting Party is a key part of the deck as it plays well in all phases of the game. Best case scenario it can draw you a bunch of cards and provide bodies to pump with your Champions. Worst case scenario it can buy you a bunch of time by chump blocking larger threats. In a medium scenario you often can draw a few cards and have a few Yetis left behind. Scouting Party has been particularly good against Rakano decks as it forces them to leave behind blockers, which just plays into your hand as you march towards Champion of Cunning. If they try to ignore the Yetis, the cards you draw are often enough to take over the game.

I have a small Celestial Omen package of Black-Sky Harbinger and Rimescale Draconus, but mainly the Omen finds either Champions or Parties. You can certainly try other things such as Azindel’s Gift or Snowcrush Animist. The Draconus has been decent now that it costs 7. It is nice that it naturally curves with the Omen.

As mentioned above, this deck does quite well against Weapon control decks. Feln Bloodcaster and Steward of the Past are just great answers to Sword of Icaria and Auric Runehammer. You have the card drawing to keep pace with their removal, and they do not have great fast speed answers to Champion of Cunning. You can often construct a scenario where you have a couple of small units in play, play another unit along with the Champion and just win on the spot. If they can’t sweep your Yetis, Scouting Party is also often a game winner. You just have to be careful not to overextend into Harsh Rule. Activating Feln Bloodcasters can be an important line of play to win the longer games, so try not to add additional Bloodcasters to the board unless you can activate them in the same turn if you suspect they have Harsh Rule.

As mentioned above, this list is tuned to beat Rakano aggro which seems to have emerged as the fast deck of choice on the ladder. Pretty much every card is either attacking the aggressive strategy or are your finishers/card draw spells. If you are running into a rash of Jito Queen decks, you might cut a few Annihilates for a few Plagues. Plague provides yet another way to crack Aegis shields at not a total card loss, but the current build has Vara’s Favor and Lightning Storm to do the same trick. Annihilate is an important removal card against Rakano and to beat Sandstorm Titan which can make your Champions less good.

This deck has a close matchup against the various flavors of Combrei decks that are out there. It often comes down to how many Desert Marshals they draw to deal with your Champions. It is common for you to be way behind on board, but an Annihilate on a Sandstorm Titan into playing a Champion can often end games out of nowhere.

Four Faction Combrei

4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
4 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
4 Secret Pages (Set1 #81)
4 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
4 Knight-Chancellor Siraf (Set1 #335)
4 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
4 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
3 Marshal Ironthorn (Set1 #174)
1 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
1 Celestial Omen (Set1 #241)
2 Mystic Ascendant (Set1 #116)
1 Azindel’s Gift (Set1 #306)
5 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
2 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
1 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
6 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
1 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
1 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
1 Hooru Banner (Set0 #57)
2 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)
4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)

I used this deck to make the final push into Masters. I was running into versions of this deck on my climb up to Masters, often by the top ranked players, so I figured I would give it a spin. The deck is quite powerful and resilient against many strategies. Everyone who has played a decent amount of Ranked Eternal should be familiar with Combrei decks – Desert Marshal, Valkyrie Enforcer, Siraf, Titan, Ironthorn, and Ascendant is a very common shell.

This deck goes for a more controlling route with Harsh Rule and Lightning Storm along with an important splash of Azindel’s Gift. The Gift is key to winning against other controlling decks. Scorpion Wasp plays a huge role against the Rakano Aggro decks as perhaps the best answer to Silverwing Familiar and suited up units in general. Combrei Healer plays a very important role in providing a nice life buffer to get you through to the mid and late game. It can force aggressive opponents to overextend into either Lightning Storm or Harsh Rule as they try to generate enough attackers to get by it.

I have often questioned playing Harsh Rule in a what looks like a unit deck on the surface. In reality, you often are playing out one early unit such as Healer, Siraf or Titan, to get your opponent to overcommit to the board. You then Harsh Rule for value and follow up with a Siraf, Ironthorn or Ascendant to take over the game while your opponent struggles to rebuild. Harsh Rule is one of the more powerful ways to beat the Rakano and other Time based midrange decks.

Some versions of this deck stretch the power base to include Wisdom of the Elders. I don’t believe this is necessary or worth the disruption to the Power base. Meeting the influence requirements has been very smooth with this current configuration. It actually can be a benefit having a slightly slower Lightning Storm as many Combrei decks are running Secret Pages, so if you can disguise the fact that you have Primal until you cast the Storm you can catch players off guard. I also recommend disguising the Shadow influence for as long as possible. A surprise Gift or Harbinger can be game winning.

These two builds are my top recommendations for Ranked play at the moment, assuming you don’t want to play an aggressive deck. Either Rakano or Jito Queen are both very strong options if you want to go the aggressive route. Here are the builds I recommend for these decks:

Jito Queen

3 Blood Beetle (Set1 #260)
4 Frontier Jito (Set1 #9)
4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
4 Knifejack (Set1 #257)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Pyroknight (Set1 #16)
4 Rapid Shot (Set1 #259)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Assembly Line (Set1 #29)
3 Shadowlands Guide (Set1 #280)
4 Shogun’s Scepter (Set1 #26)
4 Bandit Queen (Set1 #389)
4 Lurking Sanguar (Set1 #293)
8 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
7 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
2 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Stonescar Banner (Set1 #419)

Rakano Pants

4 Gilded Glaive (Set1 #125)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Pyroknight (Set1 #16)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Glory (Set1 #314)
4 Crownwatch Paladin (Set1 #139)
4 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Shogun’s Scepter (Set1 #26)
4 Silverwing Familiar (Set1 #152)
4 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
4 Deepforged Plate (Set1 #317)
9 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
6 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
1 Emerald Monument (Set1 #422)
1 Granite Monument (Set1 #423)
4 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)

These decks speak for themselves more or less.
Thanks for reading!

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