Alice Origin Cluster Articles Deck Tech New Frontiers Saga Cluster

Lars Grams’ Deck Tech Series – “Falling Into a New Format”


Hello again FOW people. After a longer break, here we go again with the arrival of “The Seventh”, the latest and final set of the Saga Cluster. In this article I want to move away from theory and return back to practice, bringing you not one, but two brand new deck lists as a first glimpse at what the new set has to offer. Get your binders ready to build them and rock your locals right away. Have Fun.

Contents

Deck 1: Astema & Beatrice – Cthulhu Hand Control
Deck 2: Asmodeus & Carlina – Counter Kill Combo
Deck ideas still on the fly
Ending words



Deck 1: Astema & Beatrice – Cthulhu Hand Control

The first deck I will be showing is a Cthulhu Discard Hand Lock deck, which is capable of discarding our opponents’ hands to zero cards and then preventing them from further plays by discarding their newly drawn cards in the draw step. Before we go into depth as to how the deck functions, let us take a look at the deck list first.

Deck list

Cthulhu Hand ControlLars GramsAstema & Beatrice



Ruler:
Astema (TST-067) //
Astema [J-Ruler] (TST-067J)

Beatrice (TST-070) //
Beatrice [J-Ruler] (TST-070J)




Magic Stone Deck: (10)
4x Attoractia’s Memoria (SDAO1-033)
1x Magic Stone of Dark Depth (SDAO2-035)
1x Magic Stone of Scorched Bales (SDAO1-035)
4x The Magic Stone of the Six Sages (MSW-102)



Resonators: (26 of 40)
3x Tiny Violet (ADW-029)
4x Alecto, Unstoppable Fury (TST-024)
4x Wall of Terror (TST-033)
4x The Transformed (MSW-081)
1x Vergilius, Rebel against Satan (TST-063)
2x Alisaris, the Invader of God’s City (AO1-045)
2x Megaera, Jealous Fury (TST-087)
2x Shub-Niggurath, Gatekeeper of Outer World (MSW-092)
4x Umr at-Tawil, Keymaster of Outer World (MSW-096)



Chants: (14 of 40)
2x Gradius (ADW-022)
4x A Voice from the Void (TST-023)
4x Everfrost (ADW-033)
1x Abhorrent Revival (EDL-077)
1x Inferno (TST-086)
2x The Last Secret Sword (AO3-085)

How to win

As mentioned above, we win the game by discarding our opponents’ hands to zero cards, prevent them from building a board presence and then slowly poking them to death.

Key cards and play lines

The heart of the deck is 100% Alecto, Unstoppable Fury (TST-024). Not only is he able to put himself into play from the grave by removing 3 Resonators from our grave from the game, but he also has a “Null”-ability which triggers when we draw a card and force our opponents to banish a non-Magic Stone entity from their field, or to let them discard a card if they didn’t banish anything.

For those of you not familiar with “Null”, here a short reminder: “Null”-abilities are active, if we have zero cards in hand. Also remember, that if the “Null”-ability affects the playing cost of the card, or the card is a chant and the card is the last card in your hand, the “Null” ability is active “as you play the card”. This means if, for example, A Voice from the Void (TST-023) is our last card in hand, we can play it for free.

Since we want to get rid of our cards in hand ASAP, we play Beatrice (TST-070) // Beatrice [J-Ruler] (TST-070J) as our ruler of choice to start with one less card. We also play a lot of cheap cards that help to empty our hand or discard stuff from our opponents. Speaking of Cthulhus, Umr at-Tawil, Keymaster of Outer World (MSW-096) can remove himself for free, while also generating will for our other Cthulhu cards to be able play our whole hand on turn one. Wall of Terror (TST-033) is another very important card to make sure that our hand stays empty, i.e. “Null” is active, while also having the nice benefit of protecting our cards with barrier.

Once we established our combo around Alecto and Wall of Terror, we need to draw cards to trigger Alecto’s ability and let our opponents banish/discard their cards. Important Note: If we have zero cards in hand and draw multiple cards at once, Alecto will still only trigger once. Cards like the already mentioned A Voice from the Void, Tiny Violet (ADW-029) and the end of turn trigger of Beatrice will give us the card draw we need, to rip all the cards out of our opponent’s hand one by one.

Huh, we haven’t even mentioned our second ruler of choice, which is Astema (TST-067) // Astema [J-Ruler] (TST-067J). She’s a great support for the deck, not only being able to equalize the board and hand to zero with the nice The Last Secret Sword (AO3-085) + Inferno (TST-086) trick, but her trigger ability also supports the deck quite well. When our opponents banish an entity to Alecto’s trigger for example, Astema’s trigger to draw a card will go on the chase. Before it resolves though, we can use Wall of Terror to discard the new card, which means, that the card drawn with Astema lets Alecto trigger once again. Astema has also a strong Enter-ability on her J-Ruler side, able to kill 2 of our opponents’ J/Resonators. The fact that we cannot win / our opponent cannot lose the game due to her ability is not really relevant, because we’ll control the game until we’re able to turn off her ability with Gradius (ADW-022), or make her and Beatrice astral to then change our two Fallen Angel Rulers for a fresh Satan (TST-094).

Weaknesses of the deck

Since the deck uses quite some graveyard interaction with Alecto and A Voice from the Void, Dante, Fallen Angel (TST-054) // Dante, Fallen Angel [J-Ruler] (TST-054J) really hurts the gameplan of the deck. Also decks which can operate without having cards in hand or get many cheap entities on board (to have stuff to banish to Alecto) can be a problem. Wolfgang, Guide of the Demonic World (ADW-075) // Wolfgang, Guide of the Demonic World [J-Ruler] (ADW-075J) falls into that category for example, since he plays his Demonic Worlds for free with his ability and Residents of the Demonic Worlds (ADW-067) is a great banish fodder which comes back from grave for free every time a Demonic World enters the field. Therefore, make sure to prepare your sideboard for that matchup (playing The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072) for example).

Honorable mentions

I have also been experimenting with a similar deck list, but instead of Astema & Beatrice, I tried our good old nightmare ruler combination from last format Moojdart (MSW-042) // Moojdart [J-ruler] (MSW-042J) & Fiethsing (MSW-053) // Fiethsing [J-ruler] (MSW-053J). Since the redraw of the deck is more limited, I used Mariabella, Sincere Engineer // Heart-to-Heart Talk (ROL-013) (playable with Fiethsing’s activated ability) in combination with Improved Healing Robot (ADW-037) to recycle A Voice from the Void for more draws. Also, Moojdart’s activated ability is great to trigger Alecto and the triple mulligan of Fiethsing is helpful to start the game with some Umrs and Alectos in hand.



Deck 2: Asmodeus & Carlina – Counter Kill Combo

The second list is a very spicy one. Its main idea is to abuse Asmodeus’ Demon (TST-045) to let our opponents not only lose a bunch of life, but also the game. Let’s dive right into it:


Deck list

Counter Kill ComboLars GramsAsmodeus & Carlina



Ruler:
Asmodeus (TST-044) //
Asmodeus [J-Ruler] (TST-044J)

Carlina (TST-075) //
Carlina [J-Ruler] (TST-075J)



Magic Stone Deck: (10)
4x Epic Stone of the Blood (EDL-097)
2x Magic Stone of Black Silence (AO3-090)
4x The Magic Stone of the Six Sages (MSW-102)



Resonators: (45 of 60)
4x Spirit of Knowledge (MSW-046)
4x Wall of Terror (TST-033)
4x Agrade, Giant Pig (TST-034)
4x Avenger of Amadeus (ADW-047)
4x Asmodeus’ Demon (TST-045)
4x Fallen Angel of Black Tears (TST-055)
4x Graveyard Keeper of the Demonic World (TST-057)
1x Mikage Reiya (AO3-046)
4x Vergilius, Rebel against Satan (TST-063)
4x Geryon (TST-084)
4x Magna’s Guardian Beast (SDAO2-025)
4x The Mimicking Beast (TST-091)



Chants: (14 of 60)
4x Memory of Disappearance (AO1-031)
2x Table Manners (TST-042)
4x The Awakening of Fiethsing (MSW-060)
4x Light of Raze and Revive (AO1-059)

Additions: (1 of 60)
1x Castle of Beatrice (TST-078)


How to win

The main plan to win the game revolves around Asmodeus’ Demon (TST-045), which on enter removes the top 2 cards from the game and gets two [+100/+100] counters for each Resonator removed. He then can remove a [+100/+100] counter to let our opponents lose 100 life points and give us 100 life points. Now the question arises, how to get as many [+100/+100] counters as possible on the demon. The answer is Avenger of Amadeus (ADW-047) in combination with The Mimicking Beast (TST-091), which gives us one hundred!!! [+100/+100] counters, to drain 10,000 life points from our opponents.


Key cards and play lines

Let’s take a look at the core combo of the deck: Magna’s Guardian Beast (SDAO2-025) gets Asmodeus’ Demon (TST-045) and Wall of Terror (TST-033). Asmodeus’ Demon triggers and gets up to four [+100/+100] counters. Now we use Wall of Terror (TST-033) to discard Avenger of Amadeus (ADW-047). Since he hits the graveyard, his ability goes on the chase to put itself back into the deck. In response to the ability, we now use the activated ability of The Mimicking Beast (TST-091) to remove Avenger from the game and put 10,000 ATK divided by 100 which equals to 100!!! [+100/+100] counters on Asmodeus’ Demon and drain the opponent for lethal. Keep in mind that The Mimicking Beast cannot put [+100/+100] counters on itself while being discarded. Therefore you get to choose another target (J/Resonator) in the field (check out the German translation of the card).

Since we play Carlina (TST-075) // Carlina [J-Ruler] (TST-075J), this combo is already possible on turn 1 if we hit a The Magic Stone of the Six Sages (MSW-102) and have the three cards for the combo already in hand (Magna’s Guardian Beast, The Mimicking Beast and Avenger of Amadeus).

When we are talking about [+100/+100] counters, we are of course talking about Asmodeus (TST-044) // Asmodeus [J-Ruler] (TST-044J) as well, which is Carlina’s Tag partner in this deck. Since we play a combo deck with two limitations: 1) We can only play 1 card each turn and 2) Our deck must contain 60 cards, there are other possibilities to win the game and more cards to support the combo.

Another option to win is Asmodeus’ God’s Art, which can transform small Resonators into a threatening board with many [+100/+100] counters, while also giving them Swiftness when Asmodeus is on his J-Ruler side. Vergilius, Rebel against Satan (TST-063) is also a very strong resonator, which can win games by itself, with his powerful ability to burn the opponent. Graveyard Keeper of the Demonic World (TST-057) also synergizes with [+100/+100] counter generation and fills our board with zombies, while also increasing our life points.

Since we are searching our deck to find our main combo pieces with Magna’s Guardian Beast or The Awakening of Fiethsing (MSW-060), cards like The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072) and Exorcist Mage at the Academy (EDL-003) are threatening to interrupt our play lines. Due to Carlina we cannot play any counters to protect our combo, however the new set also introduced other ways which help us get rid of the beforementioned floodgates. Fallen Angel of Black Tears (TST-055), Geryon (TST-084) and Table Manners (TST-042) all have activate abilities to get rid of the floodgates. And thanks to Carlina, we should almost always have the upper hand when it comes to having enough will to do stuff.

The Castle of Beatrice (TST-078) helps us with resources in the late game. Important Note: Since The Mimicking Beast removes the Resonator in grave as part of its cost and therefore we can still use it, because Beatrice’s Castle only prevents the removal of a card in grave by an effect and not by paying its cost.


Weaknesses of the deck

Since we can only play one card due to Carlina, this deck is pretty weak to counter spells. Also, board stat negation like Alice’s World of Madness (PofA-081) or The Forest of Darkness (ADW-092) might be a problem, because Asmodeus’ Demon only has 200 DEF and target removal will most likely turned off with the protection of Wall of Terror. I have not played that much with the deck though, so this is mostly speculation but I can imagine that heavy discard like the Cthulhu deck above might also be problematic.


Honorable mentions

If you want to go more into the Gravekeeper of the Demonic World zombie spam direction, you could also include Flute, Captive Dragonoid Child // Group of Comets (EDL-004) for a constant production of [+100/+100] counters. Epic Stone of the Blood (EDL-097) is also useable, especially with Asmodeus’ ability to turn its Revenge ability online. Also Reya, Spawn of the Star // Twinkle of the Star (EDL-011) is a nice option to gain more [+100/+100] counters. Once the field is full of zombies, you can also use Lord of the Undead // Deadly Dive (EDL-086) for a lethal zombie bomb.



Deck ideas still on the Fly

Some other decks I’ve seen or been playing around with are:

  • Asmodeus & Belial hard control

Basically, a similar concept like Yggdrasil, Malefic Verdant Tree (ENW-068) back then. Don’t die (thanks to Belial (TST-073) // Belial [J-Ruler] (TST-073J)‘s God’s Art), use your RFG area as your second hand, gain a lot of life and go for infinite resources with Castle of Beatrice, Improved Healing Robot (ADW-037) and/or Deathscythe (AO3-065). Alisaris, the Invader of God’s City (AO1-045) makes sure you always have a card to draw.

  • Milest & Fiething Inferno – Last Secret Sword combo

The idea of this deck is to play Melfee, Traveling Sorceress (ROL-017) followed by Secret Duel in the Moonlight (AO2-002) and pay 3000 Life to draw 3 cards. Then play Inferno (TST-086) to equalize Life and finish the last 1000 Life with The Last Secret Sword (AO3-085). Very interactive and much wow.

  • Astema & Carlina Atom control

Personally one of my favourite deck ideas. The “one card per turn” limitation of Carlina can be played around by discarding Atoms with Tiny Violet (ADW-029) and Violet, Flame of Providence Distortion (TST-022). Astema’s ability trigger makes sure you always have a full grip of cards and Inferno acts as a reset button in case you fall behind too much.



Ending words

I hope this article gives you some inspiration for your deckbuilding going into the new format. Be creative and, most importantly, have fun playing the game.

In the end I’d like to thank JPK (editor’s note: also a writer for fowlibary!) who is a great person to play with and motivates me every time to build something new that beats his last deck I got stomped by 😉!

Stay safe and till next time.

Cheerz

Lars

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User Review
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About the author

Pl0x

29 years old
From Germany
Playing since 2015
Attended worlds twice 2018 and 2019

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