Event Primer: Mating Call - Neon - February 15, 2019

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Greetings! This weekend DWD is hosting the “Mating Call” event, which uses the special rule that you must play 2 copies of any non-power card in your deck. Relative to other events that truly mess with the rules of the format, this modification is relatively minor. Still, I felt I should put together a small primer for the event to help folks get started.

So, what is the key to succeeding in this kind of event? First off, it’s important to think about how different kinds of decks will be affected by the rules changes. Aggro decks and combo decks are going to take big hits, as both archetypes lose access to their best cards. Midrange decks, on the other hand, will suffer much less as they generally have a deep reserve of playables, but may not make the cut in conventional versions of the deck. Control decks are in a weird spot. While there are usually enough cards to fill out a 75-card deck list, reducing access to key cards like Harsh Rule or Wisdom of the Elders may really disrupt the mojo of the deck. Markets are also closed for the event, which will greatly increase the difficulty of finding win conditions. With all this in mind, I would suggest that grindy midrange decks with high overall card quality are a really good place to start, though a well-built aggro deck might still be viable.

With that, let’s talk about some deck ideas!

Winchest

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2 Defiance (Set5 #77)

2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)

2 Suffocate (Set1 #251)

2 Torch (Set1 #8)

2 Winchest Cargo (Set5 #237)

2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)

2 Lost Scroll (Set5 #208)

2 Petition (Set4 #274)

2 Quarry (Set1001 #15)

2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)

2 Devastating Setback (Set3 #226)

2 Display of Ambition (Set5 #239)

2 Slay (Set2 #236)

2 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)

2 Regent's Tomb (Set5 #213)

2 Statuary Maiden (Set1 #387)

2 Vara, Vengeance-Seeker (Set1004 #19)

2 Vicious Highwayman (Set3 #275)

2 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)

2 Inquisitor Makto (Set2 #242)

2 Rizahn, Greatbow Master (Set4 #246)

2 Dizo's Office (Set5 #182)

2 Telut, Queen's Hand (Set1004 #12)

2 Xo of the Endless Hoard (Set5 #36)

2 Martyr's Chains (Set5 #110)

3 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)

4 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)

2 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)

4 Crest of Glory (Set4 #243)

1 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)

4 Crest of Chaos (Set3 #268)

2 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)

4 Crest of Vengeance (Set3 #264)

1 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)

When I read the rules for the event, I immediately knew the first deck I was going to build was Winchest. Grindy midrange deck? Check. Deep card pool? Check. Flexible against a range of opponents? Check. I’m not yet sure how greedy we can be with our curves, as I am very interested in cards like Martyr’s Chains and Icaria as mirror-breakers, but I wanted to be at least somewhat responsible for now.

Jennev 

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2 Jennev Cargo (Set5 #242)

2 Permafrost (Set1 #193)

2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)

2 Torch (Set1 #8)

2 Equivocate (Set1003 #21)

2 Find the Way (Set1 #513)

2 Kaleb's Choice (Set2 #188)

2 Purify (Set2 #176)

2 Strategize (Set3 #165)

2 Trail Maker (Set3 #65)

2 Xenan Initiation (Set2 #44)

2 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)

2 Display of Instinct (Set5 #244)

2 Mirror Image (Set1 #217)

2 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)

2 Crimson Firemaw (Set1002 #3)

2 Cykalis, the Burning Sand (Set5 #57)

2 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)

2 Cirso, the Great Glutton (Set1 #362)

2 Jotun Feast-Caller (Set3 #187)

2 Moonstone Vanguard (Set5 #68)

2 Heart of the Vault (Set2 #183)

2 Howling Peak (Set5 #219)

2 Xo of the Endless Hoard (Set5 #36)

2 Zal Chi, Herald of War (Set5 #245)

3 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)

3 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)

2 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)

4 Crest of Impulse (Set3 #251)

2 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)

4 Crest of Fury (Set3 #266)

2 Seat of Fury (Set0 #53)

4 Crest of Wisdom (Set3 #261)

1 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)

If Winchest was the first deck I wanted to build, Jennev was the second. This deck is packed with high octane digital cardboard! The game plan is quite simple – throw giant monsters at the opponent until they die! This was another deck where I was wondering how greedy to be. This build was honestly fairly disciplined compared to what is possible, so if the event ends up being really grindy, there are certainly more options to explore.

Rakano

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2 District Infantry (Set1 #134)

2 Fearless Nomad (Set1 #311)

2 Finest Hour (Set1 #130)

2 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)

2 Pyroknight (Set1 #16)

2 Torch (Set1 #8)

2 Warhelm (Set1 #14)

2 Champion of Glory (Set1 #314)

2 Crownwatch Paladin (Set1 #139)

2 Highland Sharpshooter (Set5 #197)

2 Hojan, Crownbreaker (Set5 #86)

2 Ironfist Chancellor (Set4 #108)

2 Master-at-Arms (Set4 #121)

2 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)

2 Reinvigorate (Set3 #112)

2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)

2 Vanquisher's Blade (Set4 #112)

2 Cinder Yeti (Set1002 #1)

2 Shogun's Scepter (Set1 #26)

2 Unseen Commando (Set3 #122)

2 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)

2 Whirling Duo (Set3 #254)

2 Inquisitor's Blade (Set1003 #9)

2 Deepforged Plate (Set1 #317)

2 Obliterate (Set1 #48)

4 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)

2 Shugo Standard (Set4 #1)

5 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)

2 Crownwatch Standard (Set4 #97)

4 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)

4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)

4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425) 

The only aggressive deck that I am confident in is Rakano. Incredible cards like Unseen Commando and Valkyrie Enforcer don’t event see play in the standard version any longer, meaning that are lots of great cards to take off the bench. If the format does end up in an ultra-greedy fest, it would be pretty sick to come in and beat everyone up with Oni Ronin and friends.

Mono Time

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2 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)

2 Disjunction (Set3 #63)

2 Friendly Wisp (Set1 #82)

2 Resolute Monk (Set5 #48)

2 Teacher of Humility (Set4 #67)

2 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)

2 Xenan Initiation (Set2 #44)

2 Amaran Stinger (Set4 #68)

2 Dawnwalker (Set1 #86)

2 Lunar Magus (Set3 #69)

2 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)

2 Cykalis, the Burning Sand (Set5 #57)

2 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)

2 The Praxis Arcanum (Set5 #56)

2 Venom Rider (Set1003 #5)

2 Veteran Mercenary (Set2 #252)

2 Xenan Obelisk (Set1 #103)

2 Alhed, Mount Breaker (Set4 #87)

2 Moonstone Vanguard (Set5 #68)

2 Striking Snake Formation (Set1 #112)

2 Worldbearer Behemoth (Set3 #87)

2 Mystic Ascendant (Set1 #116)

2 Thundering Kerasaur (Set4 #93)

2 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)

2 Pit of Lenekta (Set5 #74)

21 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)

4 Amber Waystone (Set3 #51) 

Time has a remarkably robust roster of playable cards, so much so that I struggled to figure out how to build this deck! Do we want to skew our curve lower to have a “tempo” feel, or do we focus on our beefy mid-game, possibly with some ramp? This deck is something of an amalgamation between these ideas, which isn’t great, but I was having a hard time deciding, so here we are. Shout-out to Nauminous who posted a deck somewhat similar to this in the A+Space discord!

Combrei

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2 Defiance (Set5 #77)

2 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)

2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)

2 Awakened Student (Set1 #331)

2 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)

2 Icaria, Valkyrie Captain (Set1003 #7)

2 Teacher of Humility (Set4 #67)

2 Trail Maker (Set3 #65)

2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)

2 Knight-Chancellor Siraf (Set1 #335)

2 Stand Together (Set1 #334)

2 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)

2 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)

2 Sheriff Marley (Set4 #131)

2 Sword of Unity (Set4 #249)

2 The Great Parliament (Set1 #338)

2 Amilli, Cloudmarshal (Set3 #136)

2 Marshal Ironthorn (Set1 #174)

2 Moonstone Vanguard (Set5 #68)

2 Worldbearer Behemoth (Set3 #87)

2 Minotaur Ambassador (Set1 #346)

2 Mystic Ascendant (Set1 #116)

2 Thundering Kerasaur (Set4 #93)

2 Telut, Queen's Hand (Set1004 #12)

2 Martyr's Chains (Set5 #110)

3 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)

3 Amber Waystone (Set3 #51)

5 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)

2 Crownwatch Standard (Set4 #97)

4 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)

4 Crest of Progress (Set4 #247)

4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)

 Combrei is in a very similar place to mono-Time. There are some powerful, up-tempo beaters, and there are late game bombs, but I’m not sure where to focus the decklist. It should be noted that cards like Martyr’s Chains are especially absurd in this metagame, as no one has access to the market, making relic removal much less common.

Feln

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2 Auralian Cargo (Set5 #232)

2 Dark Return (Set1 #250)

2 Permafrost (Set1 #193)

2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)

2 Shakedown (Set1004 #18)

2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)

2 Fenris Nightshade (Set4 #204)

2 Rindra's Choice (Set4 #261)

2 Strategize (Set3 #165)

2 Vara's Favor (Set0 #35)

2 Devastating Setback (Set3 #226)

2 Feln Bloodcaster (Set1 #386)

2 Hailstorm (Set1003 #11)

2 Mirror Image (Set1 #217)

2 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)

2 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)

2 In Cold Blood (Set1003 #15)

2 Rindra, the Duskblade (Set3 #277)

2 Vara, Vengeance-Seeker (Set1004 #19)

2 Champion of Cunning (Set1 #371)

2 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)

2 Caiphus, Wandering King (Set4 #309)

2 Daraka, Queensguard (Set1003 #12)

2 Dizo's Office (Set5 #182)

2 Vara, Fate-Touched (Set1 #307)

4 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)

3 Cobalt Waystone (Set3 #151)

6 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)

4 Crest of Cunning (Set3 #267)

4 Feln Banner (Set1 #417)

4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)

Feln midrange/control looks quite solid to me. You have some versatile removal, a punchy top-end, and plenty of solid midrange threats. It is pretty easy for me to imagine big aegis threats like Feast-Caller and Champion of Cunning running away with the game. I chose to include Caiphus as well, given how solid he has been in traditional versions of Feln, and we have a decent density of recursion/copy effects.

TJP Control 

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2 Defiance (Set5 #77)

2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)

2 Bring Down (Set2 #217)

2 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)

2 Disjunction (Set3 #63)

2 Equivocate (Set1003 #21)

2 Petition (Set4 #274)

2 Strategize (Set3 #165)

2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)

2 Eilyn's Choice (Set2 #220)

2 Hailstorm (Set1003 #11)

2 Moondial (Set3 #70)

2 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)

2 Ancient Lore (Set1 #105)

2 Avigraft (Set5 #95)

2 Eternity Core (Set5 #58)

2 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)

2 Stronghold's Visage (Set1 #339)

2 Vital Arcana (Set4 #89)

2 Brilliant Idea (Set5 #143)

2 End of the Story (Set4 #138)

2 Leave a Witness (Set2 #100)

2 Sword of the Sky King (Set1 #186)

2 Temporal Distortion (Set3 #96)

2 Channel the Tempest (Set1 #244)

2 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)

2 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)

3 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)

2 Cobalt Waystone (Set3 #151)

4 Crest of Progress (Set4 #247)

4 Crest of Wisdom (Set3 #261)

2 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)

4 Crest of Order (Set4 #253)

2 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)

For the final deck, I wanted to cook up a dedicated control list. TJP Control has not been great on the ladder recently, but maybe it will be better in the event? My main problem is the win conditions. I fear it is going to be difficult to close out games with only 2 Sword of the Sky King and 2 Channel the Tempest. There is part of me that wants to splash Knucklebones, as it is a very reliable win condition, and is just a ton of fun!


That’s it for this week! I feel like Winchest is a heavy favorite to be the best deck, but we still need to play the games to know for sure. Thanks so much for joining today! I plan to stream my event runs starting at about 9 or 10 pm EST. Follow me on Twitch to see how my decks perform! Be sure to check out my Podcast with SiRhino that was released today, as we cover everything going down in the Eternal community You can also share your thoughts on these decklists on Reddit, Twitter, or in the A+Space discord! Looking forward to seeing you in the queues!