My name is Isaac Rancic and for the first article for FoW Library I have decided to explain our building process and provide an analysis of the deck that led me to win the last Saturday’s GP in Parma.
Since the release of the full Saga 2.5 and Saga 3 spoilers, I was 100% convinced that the deck to beat had to play Pricia, Seeker of Friends // Pricia’s Big Show (ROL-018), Melfee, Traveling Sorceress (ROL-017), Lykeion, the Magic Academy (EDL-062) and Fiethsing (MSW-053) // Fiethsing [J-ruler] (MSW-053J) as ruler.
We worked out multiple versions of the deck and in this article I will only use the versions that represented the most significant steps that led to the final decklist.
I’ve been working with my team, the Noname, and the SKT member Alejandro (editor’s note: current vice world champion and also writer for fowlibary!) for quite some time now, and since the first days of June we’ve been in contact to come up with a list that could satisfy everyone.
Pricia’s strength lies in the fact that not only does she create a strong board presence out of nowhere at instant speed while also being able to search for multiple copies of itself, but most importantly she allows us to manipulate the top two cards of our Main Deck in order to set up the perfect hand to protect the combo.
In the previous meta, Lorenzo and I created a combo-based decklist with Almerius (MSW-002) // Almerius [J-ruler] (MSW-002J) & Moojdart (MSW-042) // Moojdart [J-ruler] (MSW-042J), which essentially revolved around Silmeria, Summoner of Spirits // Dance of Spirits (EDL-012) in order to flip Almerius without any issue. This strategy proved to be successful, and Lorenzo managed to win the Italian Online GP without any sort of problems.
My idea was to recreate a similar strategy, trying to resolve Dance of Spirits (EDL-012) before the Recovery Phase and then being able to close the game in the same turn with Pricia, Seeker of Friends (ROL-018) undisturbed.
The main problem was that Pricia doesn’t have Swiftness, so we needed something to close the game in the same turn as we resolved Dance of Spirits.
So this was the first list we started testing:
Moojdart & Fiethsing 1.0
Our strategy was quite simple:
- Control the first turns with Lykeion, the Magic Academy (EDL-062), Welser, Master of the Six Sages // His Last Lecture (MSW-064) and Number Thirteen, Anti-Magic (ADW-088);
- Resolve Dance of Spirits (EDL-012) before the Recovery Phase;
- Cast The Awakening of Fiethsing (MSW-060);
- Search for two Pricia, Seeker of Friends // Pricia’s Big Show (ROL-018);
- Pricia’s Trigger and search for another two Pricias;
- Pricia’s Trigger and search for Traveler in Wonderland (SDAO1-030) and Tera Thunderfish (ADW-042);
- Activate Traveler ability and choose Fish as race;
- Gain Swiftness thanks to the Thunderfish;
- Attack and win the game.
The main problem of the deck was that resolving an Awakening of Fiethshing is hard in this meta and is super mana intensive.
Moreover, this list was completely exposed against a mirror deck in case the opponent had the coin and we did not want to rely on the roll of the dice to solve the match.
For these reasons the list was later discarded.
Moojdart & Fiethsing 2.0
The development of our tests led us to some considerations:
- The coin was a big problem and we had to find a solution in case we went first against mirror decks;
- The “combo” was difficult to resolve, and it was therefore necessary to introduce something better to finish the match after solving Pricia;
- It was necessary to introduce more spells in the deck to exploit Lykeion more;
- Academy Guard of Lykeion (EDL-039) was a big problem, especially when going first, and therefore it was necessary to find a solution in the form of an Addition, in order to challenge the eventual response of our opponent both by creature (Welser, Master of the Six Sages // His Last Lecture (MSW-064)) and by spell (Number Thirteen, Anti-Magic (ADW-088)).
To solve all these points we had to make significant changes to the list:
– We had to cut the “combo” Tera Thunderfish (ADW-042) + Traveler in Wonderland (SDAO1-030) in favor of Sigurd, the Covenant King (AO3-082) + Magic Stone Research Institute (MSW-087): Sigurd allows either aggressive plays in the early turns or the classic combo with 4 pricia + institute in the late game;
– We introduced A World Invaded (MSW-067) to contest the opponent’s board in case of losing the dice roll and starting first: the possibility to play it thanks to Fiethsing on turn two makes it a very good answer to the opponent’s board and it is not dependent on other cards like Pulsing Thunder (ADW-089);
– We introduced both Tsuiya, Cursed Spawn of the Star // Curse of Ragnarok (EDL-094) and Lumia, Princess of Rebirth // Wings of Light and Darkness (ROL-005) to exploit Lykeion even more, while at the same time providing us with tools that can generate relative “card advantage” in grindy matchups such as Violet, Atomic Automaton (ADW-030) // Violet, Atomic Automaton [J-Ruler] (ADW-030J), Ragnarok, Invading Dragon Lord (EDL-096) and Olivia, Thunder Empress (ADW-039) // Olivia, Thunder Empress [J-Ruler] (ADW-039J);
– Finally, we introduced Secluded Fox Village (MSW-076) to be able to efficiently counter Academy Guard of Lykeion and at the same time make even weak resonators like Melfee possible threats thanks to the active effect of the card.
The deck responded very well to the problems that had arisen from the previous version, however we still had two major flaws:
– Playing only one Neverend, Fairy Tale Dragon (MSW-043) wasn’t enough to protect against a combination of mass removals plus coordinated responses against a grindy Matchup as Violet;
– Playing only Sigurd as a finisher led the deck to depend too much on Institute and, given the number of addition hate in the format, the deck often tended to burn through its resources and didn’t have enough damage to finish the game.
Moojdart & Fiethsing 3.0
At this point the American GP came in our aid and the insight Paul Martinson had was exactly what the deck was missing:
Magna’s Guardian Beast (SDAO2-025) was what the deck was missing in order to rely on an efficient and protected finisher, without having to rely on other cards outside of Pricia itself.
We decided to cut Tsuiya since it was too slow compared to Faurecia’s Journey (AO3-035) and to remove Sigurd since the deck didn’t seem to need a double finisher anymore, able to rely on Magna Beast which allowed us to create a very strong and eternal board.
Happy with our choice, we spoke with Alejandro who rightly decides to further improve the list and destroy our dreams in just 3 matches.
Moojdart & Fiethsing 4.0 (almost done)
The problem with Tsuiya is that, since it costs two will, it is too slow for this meta, especially in mirror matches where the game is often decided on the second turn. Dark Alice’s Smile instead costs only 1 mana and can be played easily with Melfee and still be able to also cast one Pricia’s Big Show and Lykeion in the same turn.
With hand control and multiple answers to turn one melfee on the play, not only in the form of Welser, but also thanks to Necronomicon Barrier, which is efficient also during the mid/late game, the deck no longer depended on the coin to win mirror matches, making the dice roll a non-determining factor in the outcome of the game.
Alvarez, True Demon Castle (ROL-022) is a card we’ve been testing for a long time, but it never found a place in the Main Deck because there wasn’t a strong enough target for it… until the introduction of Neverend, being able to kill it easily thanks to the -200/-200.
This way Sigurd could be used either while being ahead, searching for Institute, or while behind, looking for Alvarez.
The only thing missing in the list at this point was an efficient mass removal, not dependent on other cards and able to work both if we were ahead and if we were behind.
Fortunately Brandan Bremont’s list came to save my day: I watched the video of his match during the online GP and I realized how much A Duet of Darkness (MSW-066) was the card I was looking for: flexible, able to generate card advantage and able to easily remove The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072) / Tiny Violet (ADW-029) / Exorcist Mage at the Academy (EDL-003) / Academy Guard of Lykeion (EDL-039).
Moojdart & Fiethsing 5.0
After a month of testing and thousands of messages on Whatsapp/Discord/Facebook this is the final result.
The deck features:
– the 20 core cards of the deck (Melfee, Pricia, Lykeion, Welser and Nr. 13) which, as you might have noticed, are the only cards never touched during this month;
– 3 Dark Alice’s Smile and 2 Necronomicon Barrier allow us to have early game control over our opponent’s hand and over Melfee/Pricia. The strength of the discard lies in the fact that once Pricia is eliminated from our opponent’s hand, he will have nothing more to do and will have to rely on topdeck, while we can continue use our Pricia and set up our topdeck;
– 2 Finishers: Magna’s Beast or Sigurd depending on the situation. The first is an all-in strategy and you can do it only if certain to finish the match within few turns, while the second can be played even in Midgame to start applying pressure and forcing our opponent to respond even to our Melfee on steroids thanks to the Institute;
– Valentina is a great card in the mirror match, being able to steal our opponent’s board without exposing us too much;
– The inclusion of the 2 Witches is necessary to let us pick the right witch at the right time depending on the situation.
The side was built primarily to beat Ragnarok, which is our absolute worst matchup, Violet and the mirror match:
– The Showdown with Ragnarok (EDL-018), Release (AO3-016) and Flute, Shion’s Attendant (ROL-011) allow us to expose ourselves without suffering too much from the abilities of the opponent’s ruler, thus countering the initial impact generated by the strength of the Dragon ruler;
– The package Almerius (MSW-002) // Almerius [J-ruler] (MSW-002J) + Mikage Reiya (AO3-046) + The Final Stance (PofA-111) is very strong against Violet, giving us a lot of life points and allowing us to play the game without being too afraid of Atomic Bahamut (ADW-016) or Violet’s flip;
– Satan’s Phantasmal Body // Flame of Outer World (MSW-091) is exclusively against Violet, being able to kill the ruler as soon as she judges without being able to response to our card;
– Dispelling Stone (EDL-001) is good against the mirror and Ragnarok, being able to destroy Institute/Lykeion for just one will.
Tips & Tricks
– Mulligans: Your goal is to play Melfee + Pricia 2x + Lykeion on turn one and you should mulligan just for these 3 cards, without looking for any other cards as long as you do not have all 3 of them in your initial hand. Once you have these three cards in your hand you can then go and refine your hand with other cards such as Welser, Dark Alice’s Smile and so on. Do not keep anything unnecessary during your first 2 mulligans, because the more cards you keep during your first mulligan the less cards you will see during your other mulligans;
– Pricia is fundamental to the deck so try not to use it unconsciously: if you feel that it can be countered, it is much better to not play 2 Big Shows on turn 1 and just play Lykeion paying one will rather than risking it to be countered by Faurecia’s Journey and this concept can be applied also to Lykeion: it is better to keep it untapped and just chill rather than risk to tap out and lose the game in that moment;
– Big Show allows us to manipulate the top of the deck as we like, so if you are afraid of discard effect it is better to keep good cards on top of your deck, instead of drawing it in your turn, and draw it when needed thanks to Moodjart’s filtering ability;
– When sideboarding, you must not disrupt the essence of the deck! The less you side in, the more your deck will be able to work as it should;
– Don’t be afraid to skip to call a stone if it allows you to activate Neverend multiple times! Saving your board is much more important than calling a stone in some situations;
– The basic combo of the deck consists of 4 Pricia + Magna + 2 Neverend, but nothing forces you to go for something different such as 4 Pricia + Magna + Neverend + Black Witch for example if you are in a mirror match, or 4 Pricia + Sigurd + Institute if you need more damage;
– Do not play all your Pricias from the deck if you are not able to finish the game in the same turn or if you don’t have a way to get Pricia back in your hand, otherwise you might risk losing the game on the spot if they manage to remove all your Pricias!
If you have read this far, I thank you so much.
The purpose of my article was not to simply give you a guide to the deck, but to help you understand the choices that led to the creation of the final list.
Although the deck may be very simple and straightforward, it is super hard to play perfectly and requires a lot of testing, making it not suitable for inexperienced players, so don’t choose this deck unless you feel really confident while playing it.
So I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope to see you soon during next events, until then ciaooooooo!