# Pick, Ban, Win: A Guide to Tournament Preparation


Pick, Ban, Win: A Guide to Tournament Preparation

“80% of the work I do for a tournament is just preparation” -Mr. Akamarured, NGE Season 2 EU Grand Champion.

With the NGE Season 3 qualifiers going on, now is a great time to jump into the Shadowverse competitive scene. Yet even to an experienced ladder player, the many nuances of tournament play can easily seem quite daunting. One of the most important differences between tournament and ladder play is the sheer amount of preparation you’ll have to do to be successful (unless you’re just incredibly lucky). So good thing you’re here, because that’s exactly what we’re going to help you improve at in this article!

Play vs. Preparation

Let’s illustrate just how important preparation is with some maths.

The goal of preparation is to create as many favoured matchups for yourself as possible throughout the tournament, so we can analyse its importance by comparing the effect of having favoured matchups vs. better play on your chances of winning.

Say that the difference in winrate between a better player and a worse player is 10% for every single deck. Say also that the difference in winrate between a favoured matchup and an unfavoured matchup is 20%.

In a 2 deck no ban conquest format (like JCG, but more importantly because the ban complicates the math), the chances of a better player with both decks unfavoured and a worse player with both decks favoured winning each round would differ by

((60%*60%)+2(40%*60%*60%))-((40%*40%)+2(60%*40%*40%))
= 29.6%, in favour of the worse player with better favoured decks.

With only one deck favoured, the difference is still

((60%*50%)+2(50%*60%*50%))-((40%*50%)+2(50%*40%*50%))
=20%. (this is only an estimate, since pick order matters)

With a ban, the chances become even more heavily stacked in favour of the player who prepares better, and knows what to ban and pick first.

“But Mr. MLAQTS!” you whine. “Your initial assumptions were gross oversimplifications of reality!”

While I must admit that such is true, I actually chose to err on the safer side of estimates. For most tournament players (assuming that they are already familiar with the basic workings of their decks), experience and practice can only improve winrates in already close matchups, and even then by about just 8% at most. Meanwhile, the most polarized matchups (e.g. Aggro Sword vs. D-Shift) have winrate differences as great as 70% if both players are familiar with their decks.

For those who still don’t trust the math, HSK Akamarured believed in the value of favourable matchups so much that he decided to bring D-Shift (a notably difficult deck) to his final round in the NGE Season 2 Grand Finals last month after having only played it for a week, because he anticipated that his opponent would bring all control decks (a very favourable matchup for D-Shift). His prediction turned out correct, and Mr. Aka’s lineup was able to secure him the position of NGE Season 2 Grand Champion.

Tournament Formats

“Literally the only reason I lost is because it was closed decks. I  hate closed decks” -also Mr. Akamarured*

Tournaments, like people (and unlike macarons), come in various shapes and sizes. It is important therefore to learn about the differences between each, since your preparation will of course also differ accordingly.

NGE uses a 3 deck 1 ban conquest format for its qualifiers, so go ahead and skip this whole section if that’s all you care about (or just read it anyway for culture).

Numbers and Bans

The distinction between tournaments which will likely have the greatest effect on your preparation is the number of decks per lineup, and how many bans are allowed.

Since most metas are dominated by just one or two of the best decks, a format with more decks will require you to bring less optimized lists. It also becomes harder to target a specific deck or archetype with your lineup, since it becomes increasingly hard to find multiple decks which have a similar gameplan or matchups.

Bans are generally implemented to encourage lineup strategies which target a specific type of deck. In formats without bans, it is usually optimal to just bring decks with high winrates across the board, like those optimized for ladder play.

NGE uses a 3d1b format for its qualifiers, while JCG uses 2d0b. Most casual tournaments in the west follow after NGE in using 3d1b. In later rounds, both NGE and JCG switch to formats with more decks and bans.

Closed vs. Open

Yet another major difference between tournaments is whether decklists are “closed” or “open”. In closed decklist formats, players are unable to see the exact decklists of the opponent, while in open they are typically revealed to each player before bans.

In terms of preparation, an open decklist format discourages bringing odd decks or tech choices in an attempt to surprise the opponent. One also gains access to more information in deciding bans, which encourages bringing lineups to target a single strong deck or archetype.

Conquest vs. LMS

Conquest is a format in which each player must win one game with each of their decks to win the round, while in Last Man Standing, one must ensure that the opponent loses once with each of their decks.

While the LMS format is rare, one is encouraged to just bring strong decklists with good matchups across the board, since the winning player stays on the same deck. Meanwhile in Conquest, lineups targeting a particular deck can be very effective, since each player must win with both decks to win the series.

Qualifiers vs. Finals

Larger tournament series like JCG and NGE are divided into qualifier and final rounds. Generally, bringing consistently good decks will prove a better strategy in qualifier rounds, while one is more encouraged to anticipate and snipe particular lineups in finals rounds, especially in formats like NGE where one is allowed to bring a different deck against each opponent. Highrolling lineups may also prove more effective in finals rounds, since less matches are to be played overall, which optimizes the chances of each deck actually highrolling through every round.

3d1b Open Conquest

Three deck one ban open conquest format is the one used by NGE, and considered by many to have the greatest strategic depth of any format. In this format, each player brings three decks to the event. Before each series, each player is able to see the decks of the other player, and to pick one to ban accordingly.

Each player must then play until each deck wins once. A deck that has already won may not be played again. The first player to win twice takes the series.

What to Bring

The primary consideration in deciding what decks to bring to a tournament is to give yourself as many favourable matchups throughout the tournament. Therefore, the two primary strategies which immediately come to mind are to either bring three decks which are good across the entire meta, or to try and counter a specific deck or archetype which you anticipate many people will bring.

In metas where only one deck is dominant, it is generally good to find counters to that deck as soon as possible, since almost everyone will be bringing it, and many will not even be experienced because they expect the deck to be banned. This is what HSK Akamarured did in Season 2, bringing Ramp Dragon, Nephthys Shadow, and Phantom Cat Neutral Blood in an effort to snipe out Spawn of the Abyss Neutral Blood. As we know, he was successful.

As the season progresses though, counters to the dominant deck will become more prevalent, and such a strategy becomes less effective as more people begin to bring counter decks rather than the deck you are trying to target itself. This is why for such a strategy to be successful, it is essential to search for counter decks early on, and to keep them secret for as long as possible.

Meanwhile in metas with more than one very dominant deck (such as right now, with aggro sword and PDK both extremely popular), it is usually a better idea to bring a more widely adapted lineup. It is usually impossible to have positive winrates against all of the most prevalent decks in a meta, because otherwise that deck would just be the new best deck in the meta. In such metas, bringing the most prevalent decks themselves is generally a good idea.

The Third Deck

An important and often underemphasized consideration in any lineup is what to bring for your third deck. Generally, your third deck should have a similar gameplan to your other two, though bringing three decks of the same archetype (e.g. 3x aggro) may be unwise because the archetypes interact with other in a rock-paper-scissors-like dynamic, making your lineup very vulnerable to the right counter.

This may be less of a problem in metas where very few (less than three) viable decks of a certain archetype exist, in which case it may be fine to bring three decks of the archetype which loses against the missing one. For example, if there were only 2 viable control/anti-aggro decks in existence, a triple aggro lineup may be effective, since you are almost guaranteed to always face at least one deck that is weak against aggro.

If you are bringing both of the most prominent two decks in the meta, your choice of third deck should be based on the matchup of the former two decks against each other. For example, I believe Aggro Sword right now to be slightly favoured against PDK. Thus, I would want to bring a lineup targeting PDK, with the intention of always banning Aggro Sword. Thus, I may choose something like D-Shift Rune as my third deck, and tech my own PDK to be more effective in the mirror.

On the other hand, if I believed PDK to be favoured against Aggro Sword, I could instead opt to bring something like Neutral Forest as my third deck, and tech my own Aggro Sword to be more effective in the mirror, with the intention of always banning PDK.

If the two most prominent decks in the meta have an approximately even matchup, one should consider if there is any third deck that is extremely favoured against either. For example, if I believed Neutral Forest to have an 80% winrate against Aggro Sword, and D-Shift Rune to have a 60% winrate against PDK Dragon, I may opt to bring a lineup targeting Aggro Sword even if Aggro Sword were slightly favoured against PDK Dragon, because my lineup would still be more favoured against Aggro Sword overall than the other lineup would be against PDK Dragon.

Finally, one should not tunnel vision on countering one particular deck unless the matchup is extremely favoured for one side. If you opt to bring a deck with a good matchup against a specific deck, and bad matchups against everything else, then you’ll be awfully screwed against an opponent who does not bring the deck you’re targeting, or if you somehow lose the intendedly favoured match because of bad luck.

What to Ban/Play

Once you’ve decided what to bring to a tournament, deciding what to ban is fairly easy because you should have already planned it out in preparing your lineup. In general, you should be banning any deck which has a positive winrate against two or more of your own.

If an opponent brings two decks which seem favoured against your lineup, you should leave up the one with a worse winrate to either of your decks, and try to queue into that matchup. Try to predict what your opponent will ban before making your own; this will also help you predict which deck the opponent will play first, which you can use in deciding in what order to play your own decks.

After bans, if the opponent still has one deck that is highly favoured against one of your own, you must try your best to predict whether he will play that deck first or second. If you predict correctly, you will be able to queue your unfavoured deck into the other matchup, increasing your chances of winning that matchup and subsequently the series.

Predicting your opponent’s pick order is a skill developed over time, but if you cannot get into your opponent’s mind, you should in general try to pick the deck with the most unfavoured matchup against either opponent deck first, to minimize your chances of queuing into that matchup. Conversely, if you have one deck with an extremely favoured matchup, you should queue that deck first so that you guarantee yourself the favoured matchup, even if you lose to the opponent’s other deck first.

Conclusion

Tournament preparation is a difficult skill which is improved by experience, but we hope that this guide can at least help you get started in recognizing what is important to consider. No amount of article reading can make you into an expert though, and the best way to improve is just by trying it yourself. Now is an excellent opportunity with week two of NGE Season 3’s Open Qualifiers occurring next weekend. We highly encourage you to register for it here, as well as joining the HSK Discord here, where you can find more resources for improving as a Shadowverse player, and as a human being in general wait no jk we’re all degenerate monkeys.

 

Its Chilly in here: A comprehensive guide on Snowmen


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

~~Decklist~~

The deck’s cards can be classified into five categories:

1) Draw
2) Board Control
3) Win Condition
4) Cheap Spell
5) Burn
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.




~~Mulligan guide~~

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.


Going first:
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!

Going second:

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.

~~Gameplan~~

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.

A Look Through the Glass on Reaper Roach

A Look Through The Glass On Reaper Roach

Hey Everyone Im Szerro from team HallowedSky (HSK) Some of you may recognise my name, others may not. This past weekend The Shadow Nexus hosted the first major tournament since the release of Wonderland Dreams. Participants were permitted to bring two decks, each including no fewer than ten Wonderland Dreams cards. It’s probably no surprise that for my first choice I went with the metas new big bad Abyss Blood. For the second, however, HSK PancakeReaper cooked me up something a little more interesting: Neutral OTK Roach. I ended up being the only person in the top 16 to bring Forest and there were a few reasons I brought this deck to the tournament.

1) I expected to see a lot of Abyss Blood and this deck feels very strong in that matchup.

2) Very few people have figured out a good Forest list, and as such I didn’t think people would expect such a fast deck.

3) I feel most comfortable playing forest and this feels like one of the strongest Forest decks I’ve ever played.

I already knew i was going to be playing Abyss Blood this tournament since I believe Spawn is far too strong to not play. I wanted something that I thought would compliment a deck that only cares about getting its combo kill off. This is why I took Reaper Roach, it’s similar to Abyss Blood in that it only wants to stay alive just long enough so that it can kill as fast as possible, but does it in a more cultured way. Both decks do a very good job at punishing decks that aren’t optimised well due to their high burst damage, but even more cohesive lists need to be wary as as the burst damage these decks possess can turn an opponent’s slight mistake into a very fast lethal.

The Decklist
Reaper Roach.png

This list is pretty similar to how Roach has played in past formats, though there are some newcomers with the addition of Wonderland Dreams. WD very quietly gave Forest some incredible tools with Elf Twins Assault, Beauty and the Beast, and Through the Looking Glass.


Elf Twins 2

Wow what a powerful card. Elf Twins is probably the best 2 mana removal spell in the game right now. Without the help of Through the Looking Glass your elf twins should average around 2-3 damage on 2 targets, this means that by around turn 4 you can usually pick off a 2 drop and a somewhat healthy 3 or 4 drop. That is a massive tempo swing. Once combined with through the looking glass Elf Twins starts to deal upwards of 5 damage for 2 mana, where it can reliably deal with 4 drops and higher single handedly.


Beauty 2

There’s something about this card that just really feels like a Forest Legendary to me. After playing a single Through the Looking Glass you can pretty reliably have Beauty as a 7/8 with spell resistance by turn 6. Landing a Beauty on a close to empty board Usually means your opponent won’t be able to kill her. If you can do this and get a single hit to face with Beauty you should be able to end the game with a roach lethal shortly after.

looking glass.jpg
              Into the Looking Glass is the oil that makes this deck deck run smoothly. It can be used to Power out Elf Twins and Beauty, it cycles for cheap, and it can turn your Roach’s into neutrals allowing Alice to buff them for bigger Roach turns. It even fills up your two drop slot so you can consistently draw something to play early game or let you dig cheaply when you need to find a tool you don’t have in your hand.

             The inclusion of these cards is essential to the structure of the deck, and does wonders for the consistency of Forest’s game plan. The ability to remove 1 and 2 play point followers in favor of greater spell density means our Goblin Mages will pull a Roach 100% of the time. This in turn makes the free Goblin Mages we get from Feena all the more powerful, allowing us to simply leave them in hand and threaten a Roach turn. Furthermore the addition of Beauty and the Beast to the top end of our curve compliments Aerin and Roach both, serving as a substitute finisher in a pinch and providing a strong follow up for when Aerin walls your opponent out.

The general strategy of this deck is to sculpt a hand that will be able to burst someone down while keeping the opponent’s board under control with its strong removal options. You’ll want to use all of your cheap minions to sneak in chip damage when possible, and exploit  your beefy minions to take chunks out of the opponent on the occasions you can get them down. Ideally you want to hold all of your 0 cost cards so that you can get one huge burst turn that will either end the game or almost guarantee that you can end it next turn. I really believe this deck is incredibly strong if you can take the time to learn how it works and it’s also incredibly fun to play. I’d like to leave you with a few tips for playing this list.

1) Your 0 cost cards are very important, being able to represent up to 4 damage each when thrown into a really big Roach turn. Use them wisely.

2) Some quick numbers to be aware of with roach math, 5 mana will let you roach twice and play a Guidance.

0 cost + 0 cost + Roach + Guidance + Roach = 8.

As long as you’re playing two Roaches in a turn any additional cards played before the initial Roach is an additional +2 damage

0 + 0 + Roach + Guidance + Roach + Roach = 14



3) During the combo turn be as efficient with play points and board space as possible. Sometimes you’re better off using a Nature’s Guidance on a Faerie and not a Roach.

4) Sometimes your best play is to evolve an Elven Princess Mage or Feena just for the 0 cost card even if you aren’t attacking with it. Sometimes it’s right to evolve even if it means you will not be able to draw a card next turn. 0 cost cards will be a better draw than whatever could have been at the top of your deck more often than you’d think.

OTK 1


OTK2A small display of why saving your 0 costs are so important to the success of the deck. Hands with 3 0 costs spells are able to single handedly deal upwards of 20 damage.


Finally the last thing i have for you is a little Q&A i had with HSK PancakeReaper, the person who made the decklist and gave it to me the night before the event. He is an incredibly talented Forest player and deck builder and I thought the reasoning behind his deckbuilding may help you understand the deck more.



Why Will of the Forest and not Dance of Death?

Pancake: That’s kinda obvious for me, it helps better against Alice and can clear Abyss if they don’t evolve it.

What do you think is the best card in the deck?

Pancake: Besides Roach, I think Elf Twins Assault does wonders for this deck. I think it’s basically the main reason why Forest can even survive this meta. As a May replacement it hits 2 targets  and scales well into the late game

Why only two Beauty and the Beast?

Pancake: I found a lot of situations where Beauty and the Beast doesn’t work against wide boards, and they just ignore it and go face. So I think two is a reasonable number, while also allowing me to run Aerin at the same time. Aerin basically does what Beauty can’t, and that’s protect your face.

Why Khazia over Goblin Leader?

Pancake: Kaiza guarantees that you have at least 1 neutral card in hand, which synergizes well with BnB, Alice and Elf Twins. You also always have a 2/2 to contest the board.

Do you think this is the best deck right now?

Pancake: It’s definitely strong for sure, but “best” I’m not too sure about. I think it needs a little more time.


Pancake, what do you want to name the deck?

Pancake: I don’t know, I don’t name my decks, I just call it OTK. You can have the liberty of naming it.