I know I haven’t been as active as I would have liked to have been posting new deck brews to Reddit. The reason being I have been testing multiple versions of a handful of decks.  Due to the meta game being in constant flux, I felt like I needed to test a lot of different changes as quickly as possible.  I wanted to start with a Time Shadow Fire build but quickly realized I needed something closer to a tier one deck.  I eventually decided upon a Combrei Tempo deck shell.

I believe that Copper Conduit is underrated for its power level. I was confident that there was a deck where Copper Conduit could play a stronger role then that of just curve filler.  Knowing Copper Conduit plays well with Dawnwalker led me to do some testing and I realized that Clockroach is a perfect card to work with this duo.

Set Reviews
Time | Primal | Shadow | Fire
| Justice | Elysian – Combrei | Feln – Stonescar | Rakano – Factionless
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I discovered early on in Beta that Dawnwalkers with Killer were very powerful. This realization evolved into the “White Walkers” deck, which played and looked a lot like “Overwhelmaton”.  I knew that if I were going to play multiple Dawnwalkers I would want Predator’s Instinct.  With these thoughts in mind, the first pass of my deck worked out to look like this:

4 Copper Conduit
4 Dark Return
4 Predator’s Instinct
2 Slumbering Stone
4 Ephemeral Wisp
2 Secret Pages
1 Vara’s Favor
1 Bloodrite Kalis
2 Brimstone Altar
4 Clockroach
4 Dawnwalker
3 Lifedrinker
4 Sandstorm Titan
2 Statuary Maiden
3 Smuggler’s Stash
3 Umbren Reaper
1 Stonescar Maul
4 Fire Sigil
5 Shadow Sigil
6 Time Sigil
4 Seat of Chaos
4 Seat of Impulse
4 Seat of Mystery

I believe this build offers a number of interesting card combinations. Initially you might notice the Clockroaches but the lack of Crown of Possibilities. Why is this okay? When you have cards like Dark Return and Smuggler’s Stash generating extra card advantage you just don’t need a billion abilities.

Playing the deck quickly showed me that killing my own Clockroaches was an option so that I could prepare to redraw them. Attacking with Clockroaches in this deck offers a lot of upside. If it dies I get to draw it and a copy it again. If it is unblocked then I’ve dealt damage. These options often lead to giving my Clockroach Killer and running it in for a direct trade. If it trades I can then draw it from the void to get two Clockroaches with Killer in hand. These options felt like excellent value and all I needed was another Dark Return or Smuggler’s Stash to get two more Clockroaches.

The rest of the deck centered around stabilizing my life total and sustaining the inevitability of ever growing Clockroaches until I killed my opponent. There is a gained advantage that occurs when you play a Clockroach and it isn’t tempo but rather incremental card value.

After playing this version of the deck for some time I decided it wasn’t effective enough in ranked play due to the disproportional amount of aggro players attempting to fight “Party Hour”. The fast meta game allowed this type of deck to be run over and never achieve the longer game it was aiming for.

That experience led me to shift to playing Copper Conduit in a tempo build. Testing this deck showed me that I can use bounce spells to generate card value. I can generate additional card value by directly buffing the cards and creatures I currently have in play. I was already doing this with Predator’s Instinct but bounce spells allowed me to bounce and reuse things like Aegis, Killer, Summon and abilities like Silence. This helped create the following deck:

4 Copper Conduit
4 Initiate of the Sands
4 Predator’s Instinct
4 Safe Return
4 Slow
2 Desert Marshal
4 Paladin Oathbook
1 Rebuke
3 Teleport
4 Dawnwalker
4 Siraf, Crownwatch Hero
2 Stand Together
4 Valkyrie Enforcer
2 Vodakhan’s Staff
4 Sandstorm Titan
8 Justice Sigil
9 Time Sigil
4 Combrei Banner
4 Seat of Progress

I had a lot of really fun games with this deck where I was able to win past hordes of blockers by bouncing a Copper Conduit with Killer and replaying it to Overwhelm over a Yeti Spy for the win. The largest issue with the deck was that only the Sandstorm Titan or a stacked Copper Conduit would bring back the Dawnwalkers. This deck had potential as a tempo deck however I wasn’t experiencing the success I had hoped for.

I decided to move on to something else given my goal of building a great value engine in a new deck. The deck I was looking for focused on building value and what creatures might have the highest ceilings for value?

Silverwing Familiar presented an interesting consideration. The problem is that you have to invest too many resources into it to make it good.

Paladin Oathbook was the card I was looking for. Oathbook provided a risk-free way to invest in Silverwing Familiar without risking a full card on only the Familiar. I could fit this value engine in where my curve would allow. I didn’t mind including a second or even a third in the deck.

Jamming 4 Oathbooks lead me to the realization that Tinker Overseer synergizes very well with these relics and a 2/2 flyer that becomes a 4/4 flyer turn 3 was the type of value I wanted. This lead to the following deck that performed well in the pre-nerf Party Hour Meta.

4 Copper Conduit
1 Infinite Hourglass
3 Initiate of the Sands
3 Predator’s Instinct
3 Safe Return
4 Tinker Apprentice
2 Desert Marshal
4 Paladin Oathbook
2 Teleport
4 Tinker Overseer
4 Silverwing Familiar
1 Stand Together
3 Valkyrie Enforcer
2 Crownwatch Cavalry
3 Karmic Guardian
2 Praxis Displacer
2 Scepter of Nobility
3 Xenan Obelisk
7 Justice Sigil
10 Time Sigil
4 Combrei Banner
4 Seat of Progress

The exciting part about all of this deck building was that it allowed me to use a number of different cards that hadn’t been effectively utilized in serious constructed lists. I was able to prove to myself that some of these cards can hold their own and help create new and interesting ways to approach the game.

Add to that the budget friendliness of my list and the points I was able to acquire in Diamond and overall I was very pleased with the experiment. I think moving forward there is a lot of risk / reward evaluation that can be done in deck building and I am excited to see what else is out there.

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