During NKFL season 20 I made a deck choice that made the season much harder than it needed to be. I’m going to share my stats for the season, and explain why my deck choice didn’t pan out, and made another deck look worse than it is.
I have previously shown my method of tracking deck performance in NKFL, but it’s not a complex idea. However, I do recommend you go back and read it if anything is unclear.
These are my records over the last 3 seasons. It is worth noting that in Season 18 I played in Bronze, 19 in Silver, and 20 in Gold. You can see a clear improvement from 18 to 19 as I gained some knowledge into hexad. It is not wonder that I didn’t do as well in Gold as the competition is much harder, but I attribute some of the losses to a mistake I made in deck selection.
C. T. Ward, Escriba de la Belleza did far worse in season 20 than previous seasons, and my first instinct was to assume that the better players and decks in Gold outmatched it. However, upon further though, I believe the real culprit is Aquaoxyl, the Monk Hacker.
First, let’s talk about C. T. Ward, Escriba de la Belleza. The deck is in many of my lineups for two main reasons: Board clears and Archive hate. It does both exceptionally well. An Unlocked Gateway can be followed up with a Carpet Phloxem to clear the board a second time and play some creatures afterwards. The deck features two Archive hate cards in Dysania and Zphyz Knowdrone, both of which can be played multiple times if the stars align with Archimedes, Help from Future Self, and Key Abduction. This deck gets banned, I assume, mostly due to the Archive hate, but I still like having the board clear option against board heavy decks.
C. T. Ward, Escriba de la Belleza is a tech deck. I wouldn’t take it to an open Archon event, as it is a tool that can deal with specific issues. It does pose a specific issue an opponent must deal with, or provide a well-rounded matchup against many decks.
Next, let’s have a look at Aquaoxyl, the Monk Hacker. This deck features a Lateral Shift and I think of it as a toolbox deck. It has several strong effects and tricks it can pull off: Collar of Subordination with Crash Muldoon is a fun one that allows me to take over an use an out-of-house creature. Exhumes with many interesting play effects. And an Orb of Wonder to get the right card at the right time.
However, what this deck does not have, is real Æmber control. This means that I don’t want to play this deck into burst decks. Similarly to C. T. Ward, Escriba de la Belleza, it is matchup dependent and not a well-rounded deck. While I don’t consider this a tech deck since it doesn’t solve a specific problem, it is limited in application.
Tech Decks in lineups
Both in Hexad and Triad best of one, You will be forced to play all but one of your decks. This means that if your lineup has more than one situational deck, whether it is a tech deck or some other deck that has situational matchups, you’re going to be forced to play one or the other every match. A lineup for Hexad or Triad can only have one deck you aren’t prepared to play against a big part of the meta.
In retrospect, that was also a big issue with my season 18 lineup. Both C. T. Ward, Escriba de la Belleza and Flare the Conspicuously Philanthropic are situational decks, which forced me to play them into unfavorable matchups. The same, of course, happened in season 20, but I suspect that my opponents were also better at taking advantage of the situation.
In conclusion, I think the reason C. T. Ward, Escriba de la Belleza performed poorly in season 20 was because I added another situational deck to my lineup, forcing me to play it when I didn’t want to. And perhaps Aquaoxyl, the Monk Hacker was simply not up to par, which has a similar effect.
As always, if you have any question, comments, or just want to join a great community, the Santumonius Timeshapers Discord is open to all.
And if you wish to join NKFL season 21, you can still do so in their discord.