Deck Drilldown – Ruby Deck Wins

Aug 9, 2017

Today we are going to be taking a break from looking at the midrange and slower combo decks that we have looked at so far in this format to analyze a deck that is brutal and efficient—Ruby Deck Wins.

Champion: Angus the Arsonist


Nothing screams “consistency” like a main deck that is almost entire four-ofs and a resource base composed of 21 Ruby Shards. Before we dive into the specifics of the cards that we are playing, commenting on our champion selection is worthwhile. After Angus had his damage reduced from four damage to three, people started trying other champions with Ruby decks. While other champions offer a higher starting health total than Angus, none of them are nearly as aggressive. Our opponent being three points of health lower is often the difference between them getting another turn to try and stabilize and not.

The start of our powerful onslaught starts with three different one-cost troops:

Baby YetiBoltspasmEscape Goat

In a format full of people playing slow shards that do not make a temporary resource the turn they are played, curving out 1-2-3-4 is very strong. While Baby Yeti is fairly unimpressive by itself, Boltspasm and Escape Goat push a lot of damage very quickly if they are left unchecked. Escape Goat is especially valuable in our deck because it can consistently trigger Assault on our Lazgar’s Vengeance every turn, even when the board becomes clogged up.

Righteous OutlawFrothfang Cackler

Righteous Outlaw is a must answer threat for any deck that is depending on playing early troops. If we get our first attack in with Righteous Outlaw, it threatens to flip and kill whatever blocker our opponent can leave back starting the following turn. If they do not give us a troop to shoot down, we can instead start generating Valors to make our troops larger every turn.

If Righteous Outlaw does need to transform into the Scarlet Swordsman, it will interact well with our other two drop, Frothfang Cackler. Because Frothfang can power up one of our other troops, it adds six points of damage to a swing with our Scarlet Swordsman. When we do not have a Swordsman, Cackler is still three additional points of damage the turn we play him and 2-3 points of damage every turn after. When the board gums up, Frothfang Cackler also combines well with our evasive threat to continue pushing damage:

Boltwing Phoenix

Boltwing Phoenix hits slightly less hard than something like Matriarch of Flames, but it also offers a bit more flexibility. Not only is it an evasive threat, but it is extremely resilient to Blood-based removal. Because Boltwing can die every turn without staying dead, it can also give us something to sacrifice to an opposing Dark Heart of Nulzann over and over again. Finally, Boltwing can be a makeshift sweeper by either trading in combat or killing it with our own actions.

We top off our curve with the most powerful four drop Ruby has:

Mama Yeti

Baby Yeti has been misbehaving and Mama is ready to take out her frustration on our opponents. Not only does Mama hit for nearly a quarter of our opponent’s starting health per-hit, but when she does get blocked, she crushes past any smaller troops that jump in front of her.

After our troops, we round out our deck with three different actions that serve as removal and reach:

CremateFireballLazgar’s Vengeance

Cremate and Fireball are efficient in terms of the resources they require and the damage they output. Cremate can often be free in the mid-game after our opponent has traded with or killed our early troops. Fireball deals three damage for just a single resource. Finally, Lazgar’s Vengeance is really the card that puts these Ruby aggressive decks over the top. Not only does Vengeance provide reach for dealing the last few points of damage to our opponent, but alongside threats like Escape Goat and Boltwing Phoenix, we can also use it to break up a board stall to allow our troops to start attacking again.

While it was mentioned once above, the fact that we are playing all standard Ruby resources instead of a mix of Coins and Ice is worth commenting on again. In a deck like this, not being able to curve out is a huge detriment that the small advantage the slow shards can create does not make up for most of the time.

As we move past our main deck, we have a few different tools for solving various problems in our reserves. We start with a key card for keeping other small troop decks in check:

Runic Missile

Runic Missile can often two-for-one our opponents, occasionally trading up on mana, even. At the very least, it will kill something like an opposing Boltspasm, while coming back later to deal one damage to their health total.

Next we have a pair of removal actions that are flexible in different ways:

Burning IrePrimordial Sabretooth

Burning Ire is fantastic against the Blood troops that often give Ruby Aggressive decks fits, such as Vampire Princess and Bride of the Damned. Primordial Sabretooth is good at killing things that generally stonewall Ruby decks, like the Crusaders.

Next we have a pair of cards that are excellent against the more controlling decks in the format:

Reginald’s RiposteMindpyre

Riposte can stop a critical piece of removal and let us send it back at our opponent or it can snag the action they were hoping to generate some card advantage with once they have run us out of threats. Mindpyre is a card that just sits on the table and demands an answer as it slowly wins a longer game for us.

The last card in our reserves is probably our most flexible one:

Ruby’s Favor

The primary reason Ruby’s Favor is in our reserves is for the “sacrifice an artifact” mode that is especially useful against more controlling decks leaning on Dark Heart of Nulzann. That being said, Ruby’s Favor is flexible because, at worst, it is three points of direct damage for just two resources. In matches where we have cards we want to cut, but nothing seems fantastic to reserve in, Favor makes for good “filler.”

Match Ups & Playing the Deck

Ruby Deck Wins is a deck that is essentially always the aggressor regardless of the matchup it is playing. Our troops do not block well, and the point at which we try to pump the brakes and play defensively is generally the point where we start losing. The question we always want to be asking ourselves is “what is the quickest way we can reduce our opponent’s health to zero.” We should only use our troops to block or our reach to interact with our opponent if doing so gives us a chance to deal even more damage.

Our best matchups in the format are the slower combo decks like Sapphire-Blood Escalate and the Reanimator decks when they have clunky starts. These decks are often slow to implement their game plan, and our aggression is very consistent and closes the door very quickly. In general, we want to trim our Cremates and our Lazgar’s Vengeances since they will not have many troops to be killing in favor of cards like Reginald’s Riposte and Mindpyre.

The Blood-Diamond Constants deck varies some in the configurations people are playing, but on average all of them are reasonable matchups for Ruby Deck Wins. The variations of constants playing Papa Goot for their champion are especially good matchups for Ruby Deck Wins because of Goot’s low starting health total. In this matchup we do minimal reserving, swapping out our three copies of Cremate for three copies of Primordial Sabretooth. These allow us to kill things like Vesper even when they grow a bit large.

The Mono Sapphire Empress matchup is a close matchup, but Ruby Deck Wins tends to be favored in the post-reserves games. We can often steal games on the back of Lazgar’s Vengeance clearing their board and post reserves we get to bring in Primordial Sabretooth and Ruby’s Favor to clear out some of their larger threats. We want to trim our copies of Cremate and a couple of Fireballs to make room for these more efficient pieces of removal.

The Redlings matchup with Ruby Deck Wins tends to be coin flip dependent. Their deck is a bit more powerful than ours, but their resource base is also far less consistent since they are playing two different shard types and Coins. The answer to the question “do we want to try and block this turn” is never yes unless they are attacking for lethal the following turn. When we are behind, the best way to catch up is by drawing the right cards to allow us to push through lethal. This is a matchup where we want to reserve out Cremate and some Fireballs yet again for better removal. This time copies of Primordial Sabretooth and Burning Ire.

The Blood-Wild Deathcry matchup is one that can be hard for Ruby Deck Wins depending on which half of their deck they draw. Cards like Blightblossom and Rune Ear Hierophant leaving behind blockers when they die make our attacking plans excessively poor. Boltwing Phoenix is one of our best cards in this matchup since it can generally fly over the top of whatever our opponent is putting into play. Post reserves in this matchup, we want to cut Boltspasm and two copies of Righteous Outlaw since they get blocked so quickly to bring in our three copies of Burning Ire and three copies of Primordial Sabretooth.

The Sapphire-Diamond Control matchup tends to be a bit difficult for Ruby Deck Wins. Dreaming Fox has 25 starting health and their copies of Silver Talon Adjudicator make getting them dead fairly difficult. One thing to keep in mind is that we do not want to use our champion power until it is lethal in this matchup. This is because dealing extra points of damage to them can often turn on the health gain clause on Silver Talon when it otherwise would not be. Again we go to trimming our Cremates and three copies of Fireball to bring in two Reginald’s Riposte, two Ruby’s Favor, and two Mindpyre.

Gameplay Videos

If you want to see some videos of the Ruby Deck Wins in action, check out my stream archive below.

Wrapping Up

If you are looking for a deck that is fast and efficient to make laddering go quickly or allow you plenty of time to eat lunch between rounds of the Hex Bash, then I would highly recommend checking out Ruby Deck Wins.

Have a question about this archetype that I did not cover in the article above? Let me know by leaving a comment in the forum!

Thanks for reading,
~Jeff Hoogland

Jeff is a professional gamer who enjoys the competitive aspects of HEX: Shards of Fate. Constructed is his preferred format and he is always looking for that new piece of technology to give him a leg up on the competition.


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