There’s been quite some buzz recently about a certain deck Sizouney has put on the radar: Snowmemes. A good many people have been asking us when we would write an article about it, so we decided to do that now!
Snowman Rune’s gameplan is to flood the board with snowman tokens, which are difficult for the opponent to consistently remove. The snowman player can then chip away at the opponent’s life until they can finish with burn or a huge conjuring force turn. The deck is very robust and preys on many decks in the meta.
Sizouney recently brought this list to NGE, landing himself into the NGE Invitational with a first place qualifier finish. Much of his success in the event could be attributed to his excellent piloting of the Snowman deck (Well, that and peanut butter icecream). Before NGE, Sizouney and some other members of HSK had also had good success with Snowmen, including:
> Sizouney’s 6/0 run for a first place finish in The Shadow Nexus Dream League
> No losses throughout 6 weeks of the Hallowed Sky Team League
> A handful of other good performances in events like ExG
>Szerros second place in Morning star League finals
> Several grandmasters climb finishes
The deck’s cards can be classified into five categories:
2) Board Control
3) Win Condition
4) Cheap Spell
Many of the cards fit into more than one category.
Angelic Snipe: Burn, Board Control, Cheap Spell – A cheap and versatile spell. Most hands can find a use for this card, either for picking off followers or just finishing the game.
Insight: Cheap Spell, Draw
Use this to dig further into your deck or to spellboost your hand. Just a great cantrip in general.
Timeworn Mage Levi: Burn, Board Control, Draw, Cheap Spell
What doesn’t Levi do? Any hand gets better with Levi so long as you have an evolve. Versatile and a great way to flip the board. Try to not play him on turn 2 though unless you really need the tempo.
Magic Missile: Burn, Burn Control, Cheap Spell, Draw
Angelic Snipe and Insight in one card; those 1-damage pings can stack to great effect.
Conjure Golem: Board control, Cheap Spell
A cheap follower to play early on which also spellboosts your hand.
Kaleidoscopic Glow: Draw, Board Control, Cheap Spell
One of the most powerful tempo swings in some matchups, though hard to use in others.
Enchanted Library: Draw
Incredible card against slower decks, though we only play one because it’s too slow against aggro and takes up board space. Keep this in your opening hand vs. slower decks like dragon or haven.
Summon Snow: Board Control, Win Condition, Cheap Spell
The pressure that Summon Snow creates is incredible for 3 mana. A fully charged Snow can be 5/5 worth of stats over 5 bodies. The fact that the stats are split up makes this card incredibly hard to deal with.
Piercing Rune: Board Control, Cheap Spell, Burn
When combined with an evoed follower, the tempo swings piercing rune can create really can be quite disgusting. It can be hard to play without the evo cost reduction, but is still sometimes able to fill the curve nicely.
Fates Hand: Cheap Spell, Card Draw
A bigger insight that you have to work a bit for. This card allows for incredible combo turns since it can be reduced to 0 mana. Combos great with Conjuring Force and Daria.
Rimewind: Board Control, Win Condition
Kind of like a massive Kaleidoscopic Glow, Rimewind is able to flip tempo and threaten board by creating tons of snowmen that can be evolved and buffed. Keep it in your opening hand.
Conjuring Force: One of the deck’s main win conditions; the threat of conjuring forces your opponent to respect all of your snowmen. Combined with just one or two snowmen or a Blade Made, this card can produce up to 10 burst damage.
Blade Mage: Board Control, Win Condition, Burn
Blade mage is a combo card that takes some time to set up, but becomes quite versatile once its cost is sufficeiently reduced. It can clear small minions, provide tempo or direct burn, or be used for an OTK with Conjuring Force.
Enchanted Sword: Win Condition, Burn, Cheap Spell
The spell version of blade mage. Use it as cheap damage, ideally during a combo turn.
Fiery Embrace: Board Control, Win Condition.
Used much like a Dance of Death, Fiery Embrace can kill key minions for cheap or allow you to push more damage on a combo turn, even through opponent wards.
Daria, Dimensional Witch: Draw, Board Control, Win Condition, Cheap Spell, Burn
Daria basically does everything. In a deck like this, you typically want to use her as a hand refill after you’ve spent most of the useful cards in your hand. Daria digs through the deck incredibly fast to help find key cards, usually giving you a free or close to free spell to play.
You generally want to have Summon Snow or Rimewind in your hand as soon as possible; preferably before using any spells. If you dont find either drawing aggressively will usually be correct.
Keep one snowman card
Rimewind is your strongest snowman card. It provides a huge tempo swing, especially going first, by sending back an enemy follower and creating a huge board for yourself. This card should be your highest priority if you can help it.
Summon Snow is a bit weaker, but has the merits of being a 3 cost card which means it can be used with other impactful cards, such as Piercing Rune or Kaleidoscopic Glow.
keep one 2 cost draw card at most
-You want to keep cards such as Insight and Magic Missile over Kaleidoscopic glow when going first. Kaleidoscopic glow doesn’t gain much value on turn 2 if you’re going first, since the most your opponent can have played is a 1-drop.
Do keep in mind though that Magic Missile + Angelic Snipe Kills a 2 drop on turn 3! Sometimes this combo can be worth holding onto. You’re not playing Dshift, so don’t feel forced to toss your spells around like a madman!
Keep Enchanted Library versus Dragon and Haven
Library is a card that has a lot of value in slower matchups such as Dragoncraft and Havencraft. These classes are especially hard to deal with because of their healing and big followers which demand answers, so the extra cards help significantly. We only play one though since it has no effect on play and is useless in many matchups.
Keep Conjure Golem versus aggro
-Going first against shadow, Conjure Golem is your highest priority keep, to prevent the opponent from easily overwhelming you on the board. Sometimes, you’re forced to keep Levi just to not die super fast, and there’s simply no helping that. Don’t be greedy!
Keep one snowman card
– Again, rimewind is always your highest priority! Summon snow is good, but if you have to choose between the two, prioritize Rimewind.
Keep Kaleidoscopic glow
– This card is ESSENTIAL for staying alive against more aggressive matchups such as shadow, sword and blood. The reason we want to keep this over Conjure Golem is so we don’t take too much damage while waiting to attack, and don’t get completely walled off by grimnir.
This is not the case against Dragoncraft or Dshift, but keep in mind that it’s still very good against other Runecraft archetypes, such as Daria or Fast Dirt.
Keep Enchanted Library vs Dragon and Haven
Same reasoning as when going first. You need more cards to finish this game.
Your game plan differs somewhat by matchup, but we will attempt to sum up your general course of action in most games before elaborating on specific matchups.
The Early Game
With your Snowman card in hand, charge it up as fast as possible while trying to gain its maximum value. Don’t feel forced to use insight early if you have no cards to spell boost, as it is still a prime play on turn 3 to smooth out your curve, or fodder for Conjuring Force
Stay alive vs aggro, burn face vs slower decks and apply that snowman pressure!
Try not to pop your summon snow on turn 3 unless you have the magical Insight -> Conjure Golem -> Summon Snow with 3 charges. Sometimes however, your hand might be forced if you can get a stronger t5 rimewind. These are things you have to consider and judge for yourself.
Save combos such as magic missile + angelic snipe to take care of 2 drops, rather than doing miniscule damage to their face! Don’t worry, you’ll get your tempo swings in due time~
Mid game / evo turns and beyond
This is the point where you should get your snowmen out.
If you’re going first, rimewind swings the tempo in your favor a LOT.
Try to alternate summoning snowmen and evolving Levi/impacting the board with spells, to make sure you don’t waste value by using a fully charged rimewind while you have 2 snowmen in play. We’re still playing a combo deck, no need to tempo your opponent to shreds!
Try always to ask: Is an Insight better off used to spell boost my hand/draw a card now than saved for later? The decision can sometimes determine an entire game.
Although this deck is powerful when you get the full combo, in some games (especially versus aggro) you’re going to need to use certain pieces to survive through the early- to mid- game. Ideally though, you want to hold as many low cost spells as possible for when you unload your combos.
*while it’s important to know how much damage you can do with conjuring combos sometimes it’s ok to not use the full amount if you might not get enough time. The deck has enough burn from spells and Blade Mage*
Hold on to Daria if you still have a hand full of valuable cards and can afford to, since she is much better as a finisher than as a tempo play!
However, if you are out of cards, or if she is the only play to get you out of a catastrophic situation, then by all means allow her to save your life!
End game / Closing out the game
Your average game length will be 7-9 turns
You have 3 ways of getting Conjuring Force onto the board
1. Play it before anything else as a tempo play
*ONLY IF YOU CAN AFFORD NOT PLAYING ANYTHING ELSE! THIS IS A BIG AND SCARY GAMBLE WHICH CAN COST YOU THE GAME OR WIN IT*
2. Play it when you already have a board if the opponent was not able to clear fully.
3. Play it along with cheap Blade Mages and spells
Following Conjuring Force up with a low cost Daria is super strong, since she allows you to play 0 cost Fate’s Hands and 2 cost Enchanted Swords. Also helps with fishing for other low cost spells and 1 cost Blade Mages.
And to leave you off with a few screenshots of what you can do with the deck when played correctly, and some examples of ways you can find lethal. or just otherwise flashy lethals.
We call this an avalanche in the business.
Quickly took control of the board and the hand is filled with tools to end the game and refill.
So maybe I didn’t need all that damage but look at that reach!
All in all Conjuring Snowmen is an incredibly strong and fun deck to play in tournaments. It does best in metas without cheap AoEs or amulet removal. This article was written by both HSK Sizouney and HSK Szerro.