GenCon 2017 was awesome, and the Epic decks were Wild! In this blogpost, I will discuss the winning deck, which was created by Nick Blandin.
At the constructed qualifier, we saw a lot of wild decks. In fact, more than 80% of all decks in the qualifier were majority Wild, and nearly all of their game plans involved attacking with large champions with some damage as backup. For me, this is a sign that people are cautious about deck building after the recent bans. Of course, without Fumble, Ceasefire, and Blind Faith, champions that are big, blitz, or breakthrough become much better!
When it comes to constructed in Epic, the most obvious deck to build and to play is the Wild deck. Play a bunch of cards that deal damage, some big champions that do something when they’re played, splash some favorites from another alignment into your deck and you’re good to go. As a result, we had a lot of Wild on Wild matches! Let’s take a look at the winner’s decklist:
Nick Blandin – First Seed, First Overall
|3 Brachiosaurus||3 Lesson Learned
I would describe this deck as a Wild/Sage tempo deck, but built to have a good matchup vs other Wild decks. As far as Wild decks go, this deck is fairly flexible. Against another Wild deck, it plays slow champions that reverse an opponent’s lead, like Raging T-Rex, Kong, and Sea Titan, then follows that up with an arsenal of direct damage to pressure the opponent into racing for the win, with 0 cost defensive cards for huge blowouts.
One thing is for sure about Nick’s deck. If you give it enough turns and gold, it can defeat the opponent with just direct damage. Running 3 Flame Strikes, Fires of Rebellion, and Lesson Learned, plus many more both 1 and 0 cost direct damage cards means that even a 3 card hand over two turns will often be 15+ damage.
In addition, there are a lot of punishing plays for the mirror. Spore Beast and Hasty Retreat are the best ways to punish using buffs on attacking champions, especially Rage, and this deck has both! In the Wild vs Wild matchup, both of these are usually saving around 12 health as it stops a breakthrough attacker, then Spore Beast can even deal damage the following turn by removing a blocker from a breakthrough champion.
While there were several decks playing Kong and Sea Titan, the other two most surprising cards from this list were Rampaging Wurm and Wave of Transformation. While these cards are usually passed over for less situational options, they were amazing here. When almost every deck you run against is using damage to remove champions, and some do not even have ways to remove champions off turn, Rampaging Wurm can get there. With the high amount of direct damage in the deck, a single hit with this huge blitz champion will usually win the game. Against another Wild deck, Rampaging Wurm + Rage on turn 1 is sometimes all you need.
Wave of Transformation is on the other side of the coin. Instead of potentially winning the game, it’s an unconditional answer to anything. While this deck would have trouble clearing the tokens without Flash Fire in hand, even having a few additional turns gives this deck the opportunity to finish an opponent with direct damage.
The other thing that was different about Nick’s deck was that he wasn’t playing any discard pile banishment. This is the most dangerous against decks that constantly use the discard pile, either returning things or that have a lot of recycle cards. However, with the mostly Wild meta, we saw a lot of decks with a little bit of discard pile interaction tossed in. A Final Task here, a Smash and Burn there, but without any decks that could reliably punish a Wild deck with no discard pile banishment by using cards like Inner Peace, Soul Hunter, or lots of recycle, swapping out the Amnesia for Muse or Hasty Retreat was a good call by Nick!
I’m excited to see what the next constructed qualifier will look like now that people have seen this post-ban top 8 full of Wild based strategies. What do you think people will bring to the next qualifier? Let us know in the comments below!