In case you haven’t and decide not to, the general premise is that I found 20 decks in a ~150 deck collection I feel are worthy of testing for competitive play, I ranked them, and will start by trying out the first 10 to see if I can find a good Archon Solo deck and a Survival/Triad lineup.
This time I’m going to test decks four through six based on the ranking I described in the first article and see how they fare against random player on thecrucible.online.
(Left in from First three decks, if you’ve read it, you can just skip ahead to the first deck)
If you haven’t done so, I recommend BDQ Podcast’s episode on Testing Efficiently. They outline a method of testing decks quickly, which can be summarized with the idea you don’t need to finish every game, you just need to see if the deck does what it needs to do.
For this method, though, you’ll need friends to test with that are in the same mindset, and it is much preferred to do so offline rather than on the crucible online. Since not everyone has that accessibility, and it’s sort of rude to just scoop against people online just wanting to have a good game, I’ll do what you might do, and just play the games out.
But the premise that a deck needs to do what you want it to do is very sound, and so before playtesting, I will assess the deck and figure out what I want it to do. Then, I will play it and note if it did what I wanted it to do, and put more stock in that than win/loss record.
Æmber Control 1 – This may deserve a 2 just for the high amount of cards that control Æmber, but I give it a 1 for not having real Æmber control in Sanctum.
Expected Æmber 1 – Good, but not amazing.
Creatures 1– Can’t really hold a board well, but has some nice pesky creatures for my opponent to deal with.
Creature Control 1 – Spirit’s Way is one of my favourite board clears, granting no chains, and there is a Key to Dis to top it off.
Artifact Control 1 – I haven’t fully formed my opinion regarding Gorm of Omm, but it seems to me it’s much better against artifacts you must destroy, as you don’t need to hold it until they play it.
Dead Cards 0 – Screaming Cave doesn’t work well in this deck. Hallowed Blaster is dead. Two dead cards are fine.
Combo Potential 0 – Just no combo material.
Disruption 1 – Some really disrupting Dis creatures, but will be hard to make them stick.
Affinity 0 – Not really my jam, but let’s see how it goes.
Total 6 – On the high end.
Honestly, I’m not sure. Protect the Weak on some big creatures and hide some Disruption behind them? If i’m ahead, maybe Soul Snatcher can dissuade my opponent from killing them? Let’s see how it goes.
My opponent quickly builds up a board, to which I respond by playing Key to Dis and passing. They use their board to reap, and I sacrifice my Key, plop down a Charette and a Soul Snatcher.
I play A Faygin and some Urchins killing my own creatures with Relentless Whispers and Seeker Needle. I run away with the victory as they can’t kill my things without making me forge.
I get Key to Dis into Soul Snatcher again. My opponent seems to be oblivious of my Tentacus and gives me a bunch of Æmber. I pull ahead and win simply for knowing how to play with Soul Snatcher in play. That is even with my Lash of Broken Dreams stolen.
Next game i’m going to discard Soul Snatcher even if I get to see how the deck plays without it, as I trust high level opponents to play better with it in play.
I mulligan the Soul Satcher away, not something I would do, but I want to see the deck without it. I draw into it turn 1. Then on my turn 2, I draw into Key to Dis. This combo haunts me. I put myself at a severe disadvantage by trying not to play it. I get to play around a little with the Screaming Cave instead. It’s not awful, but not very good either. I’ll have to play a game 4.
I mulligan away a hand of Urchin, Urchin, Nerve Blast and a of non-creature Sanctu, cards. I get BRIGed when at 7 Æmber to none, but I build up a big shadows board in response. They go to check for second key and stun my shadows board. I am forced to stop them with Champion Tarbis being Inspired, and not unstun my board.
I give up the key to unstun my shadows, and they are not able to deal with it in time, even capturing 9 Æmber with a couple of Aubade the Grim and A Gatekeepr.
The Sanctum here can be a bit uninspiring (except for the Inspiration) and I can see how drawing into a lot of Sanctum can leave me in a tough spot. I do enjoy the deck though, and it is one where I enjoy playing Soul Snatcher, which is not too common. I definitely want to take this one to the next level.
Æmber Control 1 – The lash along with Doorstep can be really strong, but I’m mostly counting on my Sanctum for Æmber control, a 0 might have been a better score.
Expected Æmber -1 – There definitely seems to be a lack of Æmber generation, however with 22 creatures I expect to be able to reap.
Creatures 1 – Some powerful creatures that can hold a board, but mostly just many of them.
Creature Control 1 – The two Ortannu’s can potnetially really damage an enemy board, plus the Three Fates and some small damage from Beambucklers should keep opponent board in check.
Artifact Control 1 – A Gorm of Omm is sometimes all you need.
Dead Cards -1 – Carpet Phloxem is probably not going to do much, and Mothership support is always an Awkward card. Generally the Mars here is no terribly inspiring.
Combo Potential 1 – I think I read the 3 Marrows as Maruck the Marked, and was expecting to be able to play the Bindings on them for capture. There is still oneMaruck, and Abond can bump the armor to 2, which is great. Probably not that great of a combot hough.
Disruption 1 – Streke and Tezmal can be really strong, and Lion and Abond can keep the alive longer. The three Marrows can be quite disrupting too.
Affinity 1 – I just want to play double Ortannu.
Total 5 – Probably rated higher than it should
I must stick to the board and reap, while stalling my opponent. Board clears may be an issue. I don’t look at opponent deck lists during initial testing as it helps reveal weaknesses, so hopefully we’ll see how I deal with a board clear if I don’t play around it.
I have a fun first turn where I play Ortannu’s Binding as my opener, then they respond with double Ember Imp which I easily clear with my Carpet Phloxem. I guess it isn’t completely useless. They also discard Gateway to Dis, which is probably rather unfortunately for them, as a couple of turns later they are staring down a 6 Mars creature board.
After my Ortannu’s come down, they concede, and I agree to a rematch.
They open by acknowledging discarding Gateway was a mistake, and yet a few turns later they are staring down the same size of a Mars board. Worse, I got an invasion Portal out. I only go out of Mars once to be able to shuffle my discard to keep going with my Invasion Portal.
Then my opponent drops Hysteria into Fair Game combo, which I’ve never seen before and gois to 16 Æmber.
With my Doorstep Maruck, and Lash in my discard due to Invasion Portal, I have no outs and concede.
I cut this one short as it’s obviously not a competitive deck, but it is a fun one!
I do see some more exciting things in the deck, discard Ortannu’s Binding with Invasion Portal for faster retrieval seems fun.
I kind of want to buy a deck with the 3 Maruck’s I initially thought it had.
If I owned it, I’d play it at Chainbound.
Æmber Control 1 – Has Æmber control in all three houses, and plenty out of hand.
Expected Æmber 1 – Good but not great, though I’m hoping Speed Sigil with Mars will boost it up.
Creatures 0 – This would be a 1 if there was any way to protect the weak creatures.
Creature Control 1 – Double Amonia Clouds plus Gateway should take care of anything. And if I combine with either Total Recall or Hysteria, I can even save my own.
Artifact Control 0 – Just a use of an enemy artifact is not enough, even with Speed Sigil.
Dead Cards -1 – Fear, Phosphorous Stars, Hand of Dis.
Combo Potential 1 – I am excited to see some Mars Synergy.
Disruption 1 – Ember Imp, Succubus, Hysteria. It can be dsruptive.
Affinity 1 – As said, excited. I like Speed Sigil Mars.
Total 5 – Accurate for once!
Hold the board, play around with Mars synergies.
I bounce an Onyx Knight when they have Ortannu in play, but it seemed to have helped them out when they play Pit Lord the following turn and the promptly kill it.
This time I’m the one facing a large Mars board, luckily I have my Gateway.
I take back the board and then close it out with a Total Recall for 7.
I misplay my opening pretty badly, playing a Special Delivery into their Nexus.
I got my Speed Sigil our but it hurt me more than helped, with them playing Faygin Urchin and then reap and go again.
By the time I got the Mars board the game was over.
I face off against a Martian Generosity deck that goes off pretty early, and I don’t really have any answers. But the thing that made me decide I had enough is holding this hand:
You just can’t afford to be holding that hand in a competitive game. Here is where the -1 Dead Cards stat shows.
It’s a fun little deck, but not competitive. It’s just doesn’t have the consistency of high power you need to win top level games.
-1 in Dead Cards probably means a deck is not going to be competitive, unless it has some serious combo power.
A Doorstep and a Lash are not sufficient out of hand Æmber control. You need something more to make those work. Some out of hand capture at the very least.
Speed Sigil does not make up for low expected Æmber.
Contact and afterward
I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch, so this was a but slower to come out and took more time.
I went a little light on the editing, as I don’t have the energy, and I sort of expect people that have come this far to know most of the cards.
As always, you can follow me on twitter for updates. And join us at the Sanctumonious discord server if you’d like to chat with me, or join an awesome community of keyforge players.
And the sanctumonius community now has a website (which I made), come have a look.