Triple B

knight_of_elaraThis is a deck I’ve been wanting to build for a while. It takes the Big Blitz archetype and throws in Breakthrough! The original idea for this deck came to mind when I discovered the interaction between Knight of Elara and breakthrough champions. Because of timing, Knight of Elara will transform all blockers into 2/2 wolf tokens before damage is calculated. This means your opponents will have to think twice about sending their biggest champions to block your breakthrough damage. And, yes, Sea Titan is not immune to the effect either. Without further adieu, the deck list:

 

Fast (15):velden__frost_titan
3x Battle Cry
3x Fires of Rebellion
3x Helion, the Dominator
3x Hurricane
3x Winds of Change

Slow (27):

3x Brachiosaurus
3x Frost Giant
3x Juggernaut
3x Knight of Elara
3x Rampaging Wurm
3x Steel Golem
3x Triceratops
3x Velden, Frost Titan
3x War Machine

Free (18):
3x Arcane Research
3x Flash Fire
3x Lash
3x Muse
3x Rage
3x Vanishing

winds_of_changeThe main objective of the deck is to get out big, beefy champions with Blitz and give them Breakthrough with events like Lash and Rage. Winds of Change makes your champions even bigger while giving all of them Breakthrough as well!

Most of the champions in this deck have at least 10 Defense, so don’t be afraid to summon a Hurricane if your opponent has a field full of tokens!

Velden, Frost Titan and Vanishing will also help get your opponent’s blockers out of the way! And, of course, when Knight of Elara attacks alongside all of your breakthrough champions, the blockers shrink, forcing your opponent to block with more champions or take a lot more damage.

The biggest drawback of this deck is the lack of off-turn removal. I’d like to fit Erase in here somewhere, but I’m not quite sure what to cut to make room for it. Surprise Attack might also be good to include to help the wild champions attack sooner (or just surprise your opponent with a beefy blocker!), but again, I don’t know what to cut.

As I play with the deck, I will be tweaking it, so expect updates!

Epic Deck Building Guide

So you’ve purchased three sets of Epic and you’re ready to start building your own Constructed deck. But where do you begin? This guide will show you my personal approach to deck building, and is in no way a hard set of rules that must be followed. It is intended for newer players, though veterans may find it useful as well. Deck construction is an art and requires a lot of time and thought.

  • Get organized
    You can’t put cards into your deck if you can’t find them. Organizing your cards allows you to navigate your collection quickly to find the cards that you are looking for. I keep my collection in three-ring binders, one for each set. Within the binders, I organize my cards by alignment, then cost. Each cost is organized alphabetically by speed (Events and Ambush champions first). Whatever your method, make sure you are able to find the cards you are looking for.As an added bonus, I find when I organize my cards I tend to read through some of them which helps me find great ideas to build around.
  • drinker_of_bloodFind a win condition
    What is your deck trying to do? How are you going to win? These are probably the most important questions you can ask when designing a deck. Your deck should be able to tell a story that describes how it will win the game. Do you raise an army of human tokens to overwhelm the opposition? Or maybe you want to sacrifice a hoard of zombies to Drinker of Blood? Perhaps you want to stall the game for a while until you can drop Chamberlain Kark for that final push to 60 health.
  • Determine your key cards
    Key cards are those that fill your win condition. In Drinker of Blood decks, these are Flash Fire, Drinker of Blood, and cards that put lots of non-Demon tokens into play for easy removal. These cards are the heart of your deck and should always be the first to go in.
  • Study the meta
    If lots of players in your area are playing token decks, you might consider including cards like Quell to deal with large numbers of tokens. If your friends like to play with Drinker of Blood or Vampire Lord, you’re probably thinking about adding some banishing or bounce removal. This is meta-gaming. The meta game is the state of competitive play, representing decks and cards your opponents are likely to face. The meta is perfect for determining what kinds of threats and answers you should include in your deck. Build your deck to suit the current meta.
  • Watch your costsraging_t_rex
    An important aspect of Epic is that while Gold is the main resource in the game, it’s not the only one. Epic uses mechanics like revealing cards (Loyalty) and even spending your own health to use powerful effects. You will need to make sure you have ways to meet those costs. If you’re going to use cards with Loyalty, you will want to have a lot of cards that share that card’s alignment so you can ensure you will be able to reveal two cards when you play it. When using cards that cost health to use, consider adding cards that will restore your health.
  • Full Playsets
    I can’t stress this point enough. Epic allows only three copies of a card in a sixty-card deck. If you want to see your cards (why are they in your deck in the first place if you don’t?), you will want to maximize your chances of drawing them. Now, you’ll hear players talk about how some cards diminish in value as the game goes on (for example, using Apocalypse to clear the board then drawing a second one), but to be honest, having fewer copies means less chance of even drawing one when you need it. The recent World Championships have proven that the decks that won the most had the the most “three-ofs”.In a sixty-card deck, you can only have, at most, twenty 0-cost cards, which does not divide by three. I’m not going to suggest dropping to eighteen (though I do consistently), but I will suggest that if you go the full twenty to try and add as many copies as possible of cards you want to use, and try to avoid singletons if you can.
  • eraseDraw Power
    Your hand of cards is the most important resource available to you in-game. Your hand represents the options you have to choose from when determining how to respond to your opponent’s plays. Having more cards in your hand gives you a better chance at having the right card to play. You should always have plenty of cards that allow you to draw more cards (generally modal Events that offer Draw 2 cards as an option).
  • Cut to sixty cards
    I know, it’s tempting to put all of your favorite cards in a deck. But the best decks stick to the absolute minimum for the most consistency. If all of your cards are three-ofs, you’ll still have twenty unique cards in your deck. Hopefully it’s not too difficult to cut some of those extras!
  • Play test, play test, play test!
    This is mostly for competitive play, however it can apply to local play groups. If you’re going to build a deck, why not make it the best you can? A lot of combinations look good in theory (I absolutely love the idea of repeatedly sacrificing Soul Hunter to Reaper every turn), but in the end they turn out to be less than worthwhile. Play-testing is probably the best way to weed out the cards that aren’t helping you win. If a card isn’t performing well, look for a better alternative. Every card in Epic has its uses, but not all of them are going to make the cut.

Again, this guide is not a set of rules that you need to follow. These are just some handy tips to help you get started.

If you have any suggestions for things to add to this guide, please feel free to comment.

Thoughts on Chamberlain Kark

Ever since he was first spoiled Chamberlain Kark has been the most controversial card printed in this game; either youchamberlain_kark love him or you hate him. The first time I saw the card I was skeptical; it was a picture of an image on a phone. Somebody had to be pulling our leg, right? Wrong. When I learned the card was real I thought White Wizard Games had made their biggest mistake; just ask Jelle Lansdaal. But after watching the Epic World Championships last weekend, I’m starting to think WWG might have made the right choice after all.

I’m going to start by saying this: as much as I dislike Chamberlain Kark’s existence as an alternate win condition, I do not think he should be banned. At least not yet anyway. I’ve come to understand the arguments on both sides, and I want to see how he affects the meta-game.

Now, there are two major problems that Chamberlain Kark poses:

  1. You have to design a deck specifically to deal with him. Seriously. There’s no way around it; if you’re going to beat a Kark deck, your deck has to be designed specifically to deal with him. But that’s not all; competitive Epic does not use sideboards, so you also need to make sure your anti-Kark strategy can be effective against others as well.
  2. He’s boring to play with and against. Kark decks don’t really have any interaction with the enemy; all a deck consists of is mass removal, health gain, draw, and, of course, Chamberlain Kark. A game against a Kark deck is literally just a battle trying to keep the Kark player’s life total below the win threshold without having to worry about your own. And don’t get me started on Kark mirrors; those come down to whoever’s lucky enough to draw Kark first. Not fun at all.

However, there is one good thing the Kark brings to the table: he shortens Control mirrors significantly. Because of the presence of cards like Amnesia and Heinous Feast, two control players can theoretically play endless matches, simply by looping through their decks and gaining a lot of life. Games end eventually, but Kark allows a player to just end the game once they cross a certain threshold of health.

While not exactly a first pick, I think Kark is decent in limited formats. He’s a 9/12 body that lets you get a little extra health on the side. A little on the slow side, but an excellent blocker. And if you pick your cards right, you might even be able to pull off his win condition.

That being said, I reiterate: I do not believe Kark should be banned. Instead, I think he should be restricted to one copy. This allows White Wizard Games to have their meta-shift, it makes it easier to deal with Kark, and the Control Mirror can end quicker. It’s win-win-win.