New Dead of Winter archetypes with Androod

Introduction

Hey everyone! Androod here taking a look at some potential sweet new decks that are made possible by Dead of Winter. With new sets come new brews and I’ve been itching to get started since the beginning of spoiler season. What I have for you today is a few points I’ve been kicking around waiting for the new set to drop. Without further adieu let’s hop right in!

 

Blood/Diamond Verdict

 

Verdict is a mechanic I’ve heard a lot of varying opinions on. While the mechanic in a vacuum is not very powerful since your opponent gets to choose and will likely have a choice that isn’t greatly impactful presented to them I think there is some potential here. The Hex design team has made it very clear that single instances of verdict are not intended to be powerful. Many verdict cards have either a repeatable trigger, multiple instances of the keyword, or simply have the word verdict stapled onto a card that could still be reasonable otherwise. All these factors give us the workings of a reasonable engine which brings me to the following shell that has a few things going for it.

 

Champion: Adoni-Zeddek

Troops:

4x Sunrise Specter
4x Dawn Charger
4x Umbral Guard – Gems: 4x Minor Blood of Tombs
2x Day Rider

Spells:

4x Guidance
4x Guiding Light
2x Winter’s Grasp
4x Gloaming Edict
3x Hailstorm
4x Herofall
4x Zeddek’s Judgment

Resources:

4x Blood Ice
5x Blood Shard
4x Diamond Ice
4x Wax Sacrament
4x Well of Retribution

 

  • The deck has a low-curve, proactive game plan which is always a bonus in a new format.
  • The deck is FULL of fateweave meaning it’s going to have a wide range of keepable opening hands and be able to consistently make plays every turn.
  • It is more than happy to take a nightfall or daybreak off of a verdict trigger due to Day Rider and Dawn Charger
  • It is an aggressive game plan with a bit of reach. It is not unreasonable to think Umbral Guard can get buffed up to 5 ATK between the Minor gem of Tombs, Gloaming Edict, and verdicts. This means your verdict triggers are hitting the face for five! In addition to this direct damage you also have the evasive troops in Hail Hawks, Sunrise Specter, and random Phantoms from verdicts.
  • Incidental life gain is also nothing to scoff at. The deck has ways to gain little bits of life between Daybreaks, Sunrise Specter, and Guiding Light.
  • Dawn Charger also has a lot of synergy with the rest of the shell. Bouncing our Guiding Light over and over gives us repeatable fateweave which means control over our draw step and more Hail Hawks. Even when it has to bounce itself it triggers additional verdicts off the Gloaming Edict. These combined with the whole being a 4/4 for two thing bring a lot to the deck.
  • Zeddek’s cheap charge power lets us get away with playing some chargeless Wax Sacraments. These free bodies can act as roadblocks when we are racing another aggressive deck or even grow a little bigger with our verdict triggers and be a real threat against a control deck.

 

Wild/Sapphire Transform

 

The Pippet revolution is upon us! Corey has been Jonesing for a good transform deck and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these new additions where from him bribing Burkhart to make it happen. I tried REAL hard last season to make a Puff deck work but it just didn’t have all the pieces. However we got some new toys with Dead of Winter so let us take a look at what this shell could look like!

 

Champion: Puff the Rainbow

Troops:

4x Merrymaker
4x Whimsy’s Familiar
4x Party Fungi
4x Sour Grum’puss
3x Vision of Zeota
4x Whimsy Witch
4x Changeling Cuties
3x Jinglejinx Witch – Gems: 4x Major Sapphire of Clarity

Spells:

4x Evaporate
4x Runebind
2x Jubilant Destiny

Resources:

4x Ludicrous Libations
4x Sapphire Ice
4x Sapphire Shard
4x Well of Instinct
4x Wild Ice

 

This is an archetype that is hard to evaluate without getting a feel for it first hand since it has not really existed before but it has some cool tools and synergies.

 

  • The curve in this deck is obnoxiously low. Especially when you throw a Major gem of Clarity in the Jinglejinx Witch to make it a two cost. Eight upgradable one cost troops backed up by Runebind and Evaporate leads to some fast openers.
  • Our Drop of Whimsy from Ludicrous Libration combos nicely with our Puff power giving us a free upgrade to a five cost troop. I wouldn’t be surprised if this interaction is what prompted the Puff nerf lowering the cost of the Butterfly and increasing the activation cost.
  • This deck has a high level of synergy but individually weak cards. When this thing is firing on all cylinders it can steamroll someone but it won’t have much in terms of come back potential.
  • Merrymaker is a great addition that the archetype did not have last season. It was hurting for more recurring transforms and this one drop fits that bill while being relativly easy to enable with Ice and Vision.  
  • I’m not convinced Runebind is a great card for this deck but wanted to try it before dismissing it. There is notable anti-synergy with Vision of Zeota giving the opponent the ability to Fateweave a resource and Mat Bimonte’s vanity card Sour Grump’puss preventing our own cards from returning to their normal state.

 

Diamond/Ruby Candles

 

Candles is a deck that never really caught fire. It saw some play shortly after the release of Frostheart but was quickly pushed out by Eternal Seeker and Lazgar’s Vengeance. Now that Lazgar’s is banned and Kagu has rotated it may be time to bust out these cute little fire hazards again. Below is what I would consider a reasonable starting point.

 

Champion: Cassia Goldenlight

Troops:

4x Scion of Lyvaanth
2x Lyvaanth

Spells:

4x Guidance
4x Light the Votives
2x Return to Cinder
4x Wrath of Elements
4x Runic Candescence
4x Wax Dawn
2x Wings of Wax
3x Confession of Embers
4x Choir of Lumos

Resources:

4x Diamond Ice
4x Diamond Shard
4x Ruby Ice
3x Ruby Shard
4x Wax Sacrament
4x Well of Conquest

 

  • Dead of Winter gave us quite a few of quality Illuminate cards. If the last few seasons have taught us anything it’s that cost reduction should be respected and Choir of Lumos gives us the potential to have a heavily reduced Illuminate three. It is almost arguable you should just be playing Wax Sacrament in any diamond deck and it’s obviously much stronger in this shell than any other.
  • Wrath of elements is the best piece of removal we have seen in a long time (ever?) but due to its elemental stipulation this is one of the only decks that can really abuse that. Combined with Return to Cinder and Confession of Embers Candles has access to some top shelf removal.  Note that it can also be used to get rid of pesky constants and artifacts.
  • Confession of Embers also combos nicely with Lyvaanth himself. This dragon doesn’t mind taking a hit for three and gives us a few candlekin for our troubles.
  • This deck also has an easier time refueling than most aggressive decks. A Light the Votives into a Confession of Embers can bring your board from 0 to 100 real quick when the game enters top deck mode.
  • Wings of Wax also gives us a nice bit of evasion by letting our candles take to the air with Lyvaanth

 

Closing

Rotation is always an exciting time, no one knows what is good, bad, or otherwise but hopefully this is a good starting point. Dead of winter brought us some exciting new mechanics as well as new tools for existing ones. I look forward to experimenting with these new cards and hopefully bringing you all some new brews once the set releases. Happy hexing!

 

-Mike Kletz (Androod)

@Androod27

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