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Primordial Knowledge – Escape Goat

Feb 10, 2017

With Scars of War spoilers rolling in, it’s time to start brewing and theory crafting! It’s impossible to know how any of these cards or decks will play out until we get to see the whole set and play with the cards, but hopefully considering some of these strategies will give you a head start when brewing with Scars of War.

New Brews

A lot of folks are getting really excited for Mono Diamond Aggro after Scars of War due to the powerful new two drop Daughter of the Poet. The recent dominance of Mightsinger of Ages and Matriarch of Flames is reason enough for us not to ignore this powerful entry in the cycle. Thufirhawat recently suggested a post-Scars of War Mono Diamond brew, and I like where he’s headed. Here’s a version of his deck with some modifications for new spoilers and personal preferences.

Mono Diamond Brew | Champion: Ada the Apparitionist


Troops

4 Intrepid Conjurer
4 Daughter of the Poet
1 William Rowan
4 Warparty Guide
1 Pious Paladin
1 Hero of Legend
4 Ardent Crusader
1 Moonrise Elder
4 Elder of Lost Ages
3 Totemic Elder
2 Righteous Vanquisher

Actions

2 Diamond’s Favor

Constants

3 Decree of Banishing
2 Ardent Fellowship

Resources

24 Diamond Shard


Ardent Crusader socketed with Minor Diamond of Protection
Moonrise Elder socketed with Major Diamond of the Ardent
Totemic Elder socketed with Minor Diamond of Wind


The idea of the deck is to be aggressive, yet resilient to removal with Daughter of the Poet, Elder of Lost Ages, and Totemic Elder redeploying troops. Diamond’s Favor is another huge boon to the deck, providing both an answer to Crocosaur and protection from damage based removal.

Depending on how the meta shapes up, it could be correct to run the full four copies of Diamond’s Favor main. Decree of Banishing is an incredibly powerful new removal action which provides efficiency over the oft played Bring to Justice. I’m also excited to try Ardent Fellowship in the deck. It will frequently provide a +2/+2 buff to your board, making Ada the Apparitionist’s fliers that much more threatening.

Daughter of the PoetArdent Fellowship

An archetype I’m particularly excited for is tempo. Tempo decks generally pair cheap, aggressive threats with counter spells and removal to outrace an opponent while answering their threats. Such decks are generally very rewarding to play as they often provide numerous decision points for which you are appropriately rewarded or punished based on your quality of play. The Set 4 Boris Blastforge deck was one example of a tempo deck. However, it was eventually overshadowed by other decks also leveraging the sheer power level of Rune Ear Hierophant with Spellshield. There have been quite a few spoilers so far for Scars of War which make me hopeful tempo can return to the meta game.

Let’s start our tempo discussion with a brew.

Diamond Sapphire Tempo | Champion: Malzok


Troops

4 Cerulean Sage
4 Thunderfield Seer
4 Cloud Runner
4 Forbidden Tomeseeker
4 Cyclone Shaper
3 Silver Talon Adjudicator
2 Typhoon Skyshaper

Actions

4 Transmogrifade
2 Diamond’s Favor
4 Deny
3 Consult the Talon

Resources

11 Sapphire Shard
3 Diamond Shard
4 Howling Plains Bluegrass
4 Well of Purpose


Deny is an especially exciting card. While on the surface it may appear less powerful than Countermagic, I believe we will all come to fear it the same, if not more. Cost reduction abilities are incredibly powerful, especially in a tempo shell. Frequently, the counter spells in a tempo deck are used as much to protect your threats as to stop opposing threats. In a deck like this, Deny can easily cost one or even no resources, allowing you to not only make multiple plays in a single turn, but also protect the threats you do play. Typhoon Skyshaper and Diamond’s Favor serve as additional means for protecting your threats while also serving as a threat and removal, respectively, themselves.

DenyDiamond's Favor

The evasive one drops in this deck don’t just power Deny, they also let you Mobilize out Consult the Talon and Typhoon Skyshaper. In this deck, Consult the Talon will rarely cost the full seven resources whether you’re using your one drops to Mobilize it or reducing the cost with Cyclone Shaper. This is another deck where Decree of Banishing may be at home as well, although I’ve leant toward the quick removal in this build.

Cerulean SageTyphoon Skyshaper

While I love this Sapphire/Diamond tempo brew, I’m sure there’s a different shard combination most players immediately thought of when they saw Deny. The most obvious home for Deny is in Sapphire/Wild next to Brown Fox Scout. Here’s a brew for that too.

Sapphire Wild Deny | Champion: Boris Blastforge


Troops

2 Young Seer
4 Thunderfield Seer
4 Brown Fox Scout
4 Forbidden Tomeseeker
4 Cyclone Shaper
4 Rune Ear Hierophant

Actions

2 Vine Lash
4 Transmogrifade
4 Deny
4 Call of the Deepwood
2 Consult the Talon

Resources

10 Sapphire Shard
4 Wild Shard
4 Howling Plains Bluegrass
4 Well of Instinct


Rune Ear Hierophant socketed with Major Sapphire of Sorcery and Minor Wild Orb of Vigil


I’m going out on a limb here and guessing Well of Instinct comes out in Scars of War. Deny works incredibly well with Quick troops as they allow you to take advantage of Deny’s cost reduction during your opponent’s turn. Brown Fox Scout is arguably the best quick troop currently in the game, particularly for tempo or control decks. Moving from Diamond to Wild gives us quite a few more powerful options in the troop slots, but suffers from somewhat weaker actions. Boris Blastforge paired with Vine lash helps us mitigate this some while also providing additional evasion. I’m also a big fan of the recently spoiled Call of the Deepwood. While on the surface it looks like a moderate limited card, I think Call of the Deepwood could have surprising applications in constructed. While a random five drop typically isn’t fantastic, I believe paying only four for the troop makes this card’s worst cases not so bad. The faction limitation further reduces the pool of variance. Thus the band of variance for this card seems to range from “fine” to Dreamweaver Ancient. I believe Call of the Deepwood will really start to shine when you prophecy it or reduce its cost with Cyclone Shaper. While not possible in the above list, copying Call of the Deepwood with Thunderfield Elder seems especially brutal.

Call of the DeepwoodConsult the Talon

Another archetype which is likely to be a format frontrunner is Angus the Arsonist Burn. Between Ruby’s Favor and Lorenzo the Wyrmsinger, the deck is already looking to have made up what it’s lost in set rotation. Ruby’s Favor provides not only reach, but an answer to Dark Heart of Nulzann and a huge combat trick. All for the low, low cost of one resource. Ruby’s Favor is the sort of low cost, high utility all-star which is liable to push major artifact threats like Dark Heart completely out of a format. A control or midrange deck relying on Dark Heart can’t afford too many games where it loses its five cost game winner to a one cost action. Ruby’s Favor does enough that it’s likely to be a staple four of in every Ruby deck’s 75.

Ruby's FavorLorenzo the Wyrmsinger

Lorenzo the Wyrmsinger looks made just for Angus. He’s the sort of card you only ever need to draw one of, but want to see at least one of every single game. Lorenzo will make turn 5 terrifying for every Angus opponent as he serves to offer twelve damage in a single turn, eight of which is nearly impossible to interact with. The latter is really what makes Lorenzo so formidable. The Angus player maintains priority until Lorenzo’s trigger activates, meaning the only way to interact with the Wyrmsinger is with a counter spell or life gain. While I don’t expect Lorenzo to be bashing in for the full twelve very often, I think his ability to threaten eight damage of reach on turn five makes him a staple for the Burn deck. Let’s take a look at a list.

Ruby Aggro | Champion: Angus the Arsonist


Troops

4 Baby Yeti
4 Boltspasm
4 Righteous Outlaw
4 Matriarch of Flames
4 Mama Yeti
2 Lorenzo the Wyrmsinger

Actions

3 Ruby’s Favor
2 Cremate
4 Fireball
3 Lazgar’s Vengeance

Resources

22 Ruby Shard


Hmmm…that’s odd. A 56 card list can’t be right. It seems like four of our cards have escaped…

 

Escape Goat

Enter Escape Goat:

Escape Goat

Escape Goat is likely a new staple in aggressive Ruby brews and I believe will find its way into quite a few other decks. While no more than a Baby Yeti on turn one, Rage means it will quickly become a powerful threat. Additionally, its bounce ability means it is very difficult to remove and will likely eventually get in for damage either by going wide or once an Escape Goat fueled Lazgar’s Vengeance clears all blockers. Ruby Burn decks frequently need to swing into unfavorable blocks just to squeak through a couple points of damage. These attacks usually result in the Ruby player sacrifcing Baby Yetis, Boltspasms, or even Matriarchs for free just so that one or two troops get in for damage. Escape Goat allows you to make these attacks while losing a lot less. Not only that, but eventually your opponent will be forced to block Escape Goat and let your other troops in once the goat reaches lethal attack power.

Escape Goat pairs exceptionally well with Lazgar’s Vengeance. So well in fact that I’d consider running a fourth Vengeance in the above deck. Escape Goat plus Lazgar’s Vengeance provides you a very low risk play that grants your one sided board clear a greater sense of inevitably. The ample number of one drops in this deck also makes it not so unlikely that your turn five Lorenzo will have a free Lazgar’s Vengeance to back him up and threaten a whooping sixteen damage after clearing blockers.

If we want to be a true escape artist, we can add some Sapphire to the mix. Prophecy enables some truly righteous Escape Goat plays, particularly if you can hit a goat with Lanupaw’s Sight. When blocking Escape Goat means you’ll be able to replay it and draw a card, your opponent will be left with some incredibly difficult decisions to make. Such shenanigans seem perfectly suited to a deck like Prophecy Burn. Let’s take a look at a list.

Prophesy Burn | Champion: Morgan McBombus


Troops

4 Baby Yeti
4 Escape Goat
2 Flickering Gobbler
4 Matriarch of Flames
4 Mama Yeti
1 Siege Engine Gemini

Actions

4 Fireball
2 Combat Training
4 Ruby’s Favor
4 Lanupaw’s Sight
4 Lazgar’s Vengeance

Resources

12 Ruby Shard
3 Sapphire Shard
4 Shard of Innovation
4 Well of Innovation


Since we’re losing Ragefire to set rotation, I opted to revisit Jeff Hoogland’s Ruby Assault budget list. This deck takes advantage of Escape Goat’s ability to fuel Assault by playing the full set of Lazgar’s Vengeance alongside a Siege Engine Gemini. Ideally I’d like to find a deck that can properly utilize Starcaller Ancient as well in order to offer opportunities to make copies of prophesied Escape Goats. Escape Goat is an incredibly interesting card which I’m sure will worm it’s way into several archetypes.

Brew Talk

Be sure to tune in to my stream tonight at 3:30 PM PST. While we can’t yet play the decks we brewed today, I will be talking about them and other things to expect from Scars of War constructed and likely playing something on the Constructed Ladder. As always, there will be Primal Pack and free Draft, Sealed, and Evolving Gauntlet code giveaways.

See you on the ladder,

Varranis | Twitch | Twitter | Team Fade 2 Karma

Varranis is an analyst for professional gaming organization Fade 2 Karma. He has played countless TCGs over the last eighteen years and brings a unique lens to HEX theory crafting and deck building based on his historical experience. Varranis has numerous tournament wins and top finishes to his name across several popular TCGs and has coached and supported players in world championship level events.

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