The Amazing Spider Tank

The Amazing Spider Tank
Spider-Tank, Spider-Tank. Does whatever a Spider-Tank does. Can he swing from a web? No he can't, he's a tank. Look out! He is a Spider-Tank!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Epic Deck Tech Theory: Championless Deck

I have been trying to think of a new theme for my Deck Tech series, and while thinking of the worst decks to create for my new Bitter Draft variant, I was thinking of an event-only deck that gave very little card draw, as well as provide no champions in order to win. But that got me thinking, can I create a decent deck using only events, with the only champions either coming from tokens, or stealing them from my opponent? Sounds like a fun challenge.

So my initial thinking is that I will be going with Evil and Wild, since they deal with the token cards I like. I could go Good, but they really require champions to be really good, and Evil and Wild are more in my wheelhouse. First I grab the obvious Evil token generators like Demonic Breach, Necrovirus, Plague Zombies, and even Inner Demon. While I'm in the color I also grab the obvious Evil 0-costs as well like Word of Summoning, Raxxa's Curse, and Plentiful Dead. I figure I will want some sweepers so I grab Apocalypse and some Demonic Rising for a surprise card that can finish a game for me. I also decide to give The Risen a chance, since I have so many Evil tokens running around. I finish off with Drain Essence, which is just such a good removal spell that gives me lifegain. I have two more spots for 0-costs. There are lots of options but Heinous Feast might be better for some discard pile hate.


I then go over to Wild, and I quickly see that I actually don't want that much from it. I could go into some burn spells but I decide to keep the token theme going. Hunting Pack and Wolf's Call seem fairly obvious, especially since I want to include Wolf's Bite. I then think about sweepers and direct damage, and Savage Uprising fits that bill quite nicely.

I am wondering about card draw and since I run all events, I imagine I will want Lesson Learned. So I quickly grab those, the obvious Ancient Chant to go along with it, and some Frantic Digging as well. I could go with Amnesia, and that would also be fine. 


Lastly, I decide I would like to put in Blind Squire for some trade-up options, and then I remember that Inheritance of the Meek is a pretty awesome sweeper when you run tokens, and Urgent Messengers is always a fun Draw-2-And card. 

Deck: 60 cards
Packs: Set One (3), Tyrants (3), Uprising (3)

Even though this deck may not be tournament worthy, I think it's an ok deck with a fun shtick. I'm sure there are plenty of you out there that could improve upon this deck. Thoughts? Comments? Let me know what you think, and as always, happy gaming! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Epic: The Card Game Variant Idea

Swapskeys (better name pending?)

This is a new variant for Epic: The Card Game. The concept isn’t new, but it turns common deckbuilding/drafting strategies on their heads, and opens the door for a fun, new way of playing Epic. The concept at its most simplistic terms, is swapping decks with your opponent before playing.

Depending on what format you want to play, after you create your deck, you will swap decks with your opponent, and then you will be forced to play with the deck they created, against the deck you created. Give both players enough time to look at their new deck before starting, and then start as normal. I call this format Swapskeys (spelling?).

This format forces you to rethink your strategy from the very start, before going back to try and win with a subpar deck. I think it sounds wonderfully different. My hope is that it will allow certain cards to see play that usually do not, as well as cater to a different set of deckbuilding skills.

Every player naturally uses the skill of what cards don’t fit in a deck, but this makes you actively search for them, rather than know when to avoid them.

Another great thing about this format is that since it’s such a simple concept, it can be applied to every aspect of current Epic play. You can try and construct the worst 60-card deck ever. You can Dark Draft and go for the worst cards and combos you can, while trying to stick your opponent with amazing cards that you will eventually get to use. You can deal out random 60 cards, or those random 60 sheets you can get at tournaments, and then draft your horrible concoction. I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a lot of fun.

For example, this first pack for Dark Draft would be much different if you were playing Swapskeys:



Now you don't have to be so depressed when you pass your opponent packs!

One recommendation, in terms of construction, is that I would think the best way would be to make a 30-card deck, singleton only, with a minimum of 15 champions in it. You can choose to abide by regular deck construction rules or not, I don’t think that matters as much. The reason for this is to stop someone from just taking all events, and turn the matches into a race to draw out first (it still may look like that, but at least there will be some champions to go for the win). Another reason is that with only 30 cards, you won’t be spending a ton of time before the game looking through your new deck before playing it.

I, personally, think that Dark Drafting this format would be a ton of fun, and could lead to some very interesting games.

The one negative about this format is that you have to let your opponent handle your cards. This can be a huge turn-off for some people. But then again, if you play Dark Draft, someone is using someone else’s cards already, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Another related, but slightly different way of playing this, and what initially inspired me to this format, is what is called Reverse the Whip. I got this from the game, Heroscape, from someone who probably got it from somewhere else, but I am not sure. In this format, you play a tournament, preferably constructed, except that when you cut to the top 4/8, you switch decks with your opponent for the match. You now have to beat the deck that got you to the top cut. This leads to some interesting deck-building quandaries. Do you purposely hinder your deck, in the hopes for an advantage in the top cut? You had better make sure you make it that far. Do you just try to build an amazing deck, and then hope for your superior playing skills to take you the distance? Or maybe, you come up with a unique deck that only you can pilot, and hope your opponent can’t figure it out? Could be interesting.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. Any further suggestions? Advice on a better name for the format? I could honestly see this format becoming something official, as it does require skill, and a different skill than what has been used for Epic so far (in a more indirect way), and White Wizards has said they wanted their big tournaments to showcase the biggest variety of skills in the game.

I hope you enjoy this new format(s) and I hope you enjoyed this article. Until next time, happy gaming!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Epic Dark Draft Decisions Pantheon (1)

This is more for fun since we have 5 cards from the new Pantheon set spoiled, so why not just draft them using the Dark Draft rules? For those of you unaware, I am considering this to be the first pack opened in a Dark Draft. I get to pick 1 card, then pass the remainder to my opponent, who will pick 2. So here we go with the first draft of Pantheon!

Steel Titan - I have talked about this guy before. I think he will be a Limited monster. If your opponent doesn’t draft certain cards, this guy can win you the game by himself. It is slow, but so is Sea Titan and that is one of the most sought after Limited cards in a draft. This card maybe even more so.

Steed of Scara - Loyalty 2 cards lose some of their luster in Limited. Evil is known for its amazing Loyalty triggers, but it requires a pretty decent investment into Evil cards, and that is not always guaranteed. This is a decent card, and even more so with Loyalty, but I think there are better cards in this pack.

Elf Shaman - In my final’s loss last year in a World Championship Qualifier against the eventual top-8- at-Worlds- player, Gabriel Costa-Gionni , he showed me the value of grabbing every 0-cost champion possible and just plinking down an opponent’s health while controlling the board. I have always liked Dark Knight and this card reminds of him. A 5/5 Blitzing 0-cost is annoying to just take, and you might force your opponent to spend their gold first. This is very high on my take-list in a draft. The secondary ability is nice, but probably won’t be a factor in Limited.

Will of Scara - Card draw in Limited is very important, and this is the only card in the pack that helps you do that. With a strong Evil dedication, this card gets even better. It’s also one of the cards that can take care of champions like the above Steel Titan, since you are not targeting the champion, only the play. However, you better hope they don’t have some chump champion lying around or it will be a waste.

Battle Angel - This card is alright in Limited. A 7/7 Airborne can be difficult to deal with, as it trades nicely with a lot of fliers. But it’s not doing much else. If you have a lot of Good events then she is better, but right now, Good is still the worst faction in general to go for in a draft. So when compared to the rest of this pack, I will probably pass.


So after thinking about the pack I’m going to go with Steel Titan. I think that’s a pretty obvious pick. I definitely never want to pass it to my opponent. That being said, I am technically giving my opponent a chance to grab a card that can deal with it, but I will take that chance. If I received this pack I would take at least the Elf Shaman, for reasons I’ve already mentioned. It would be tempting to grab the 2 Evil cards but I think Elf Shaman is a safer pick that doesn’t pigeon-hole me into a faction. My other pick would probably be Will of Scara. I can keep a lookout for other Evil cards but I won’t be killing myself to get them. Will of Scara will be a draw-2 or a Sea Titan/ Steel Golem/ Steel Titan, etc removal with some luck.

Well that’s it for the first pack worth of cards from the new Pantheon set. I can’t wait for some more to come around! What do you think, what would you pick?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Epic: The Card Game Pantheon new set examination (1)

At Origins 2017, we were introduced to the new Epic: The Card Game expansion called Pantheon. It will be another 60 card set similar in the vein of Tyrants and Uprising. Several cards were spoiled for us and this is what my article will be talking about.

Steel Titan - 13/9 1-cost Sage. Untargetable. Unblockable to champions with strength less than this card's strength.

My first thought is here is another card in the steel/titan category that I will inevitably confuse with the originals. As if I did not already have issues. I am looking forward to some better pictures but I can already tell I'm gonna love the art of this card. It is suitably epic. The card also seems quite awesome. I am unsure how much play time it will see in constructed, but my mind is already racing with using this card with Surprise Attack or Final Task, in order to attack with it sooner. Right now, the only champions that can actually block this guy without help are Burrowing Wurm, Kong, Mythic Monster, Rampaging Wurm, and Steel Golem I believe, That is a short list, and being Untargetable certainly makes things more difficult. Luckily he is very slow, but he will be a very strong pick in Limited I would imagine.

Steed of Scara - 6/7 1-cost Evil. Airborne Blitz. Loyalty 2 - Deal 5 damage to target player. Players damaged by Steed of Scara can't gain health this turn.

When I first saw the art I thought we might have our first Evil dragon, but oh well. Still, this card is hopefully the first of many anti-Kark cards in the new set. This has many similarities to Strafing Dragon. The 7 health will really help its longevity, and although I miss the Ambush, the secondary ability of no health gain could be a difference maker against Kark. The loyalty factor will hurt its use in Limited, but I feel as though Airborne Blitz will always have a place, and I never mind going into Evil in Limited.

Elf Shaman - 5/5 0-cost Wild. Blitz - Opponents cannot gain health.

Now this is the kind of anti-Kark card I was waiting for. This is the exact ability I have mentioned several times that we need against Kark, and I am so glad it was made. I may not even attack with it. Just having it around and forcing my opponent to play a sweeper should be game changing against Kark. I think Wild has a decent chance at beating Kark already, so this should be able to be easily placed in a deck. You would have to invest a decent amount of Wild cards in order to get 3 in a different color since it's a 0-cost card, so that will have issues. In terms of Limited, this will definitely see play. A 5/5 0-cost Blitzer is always a welcome addition to a Limited deck. I really hope this isn't the only card that does this in the new set, though. I think thematically, an Evil card, maybe a 1-coster, with the same ability, should also be in this set. We shall see.

Will of Scara - Evil Event 1-cost. Draw two cards - or - If it is your turn, target player breaks a champion they control if able. You gain 1 gold that can only be used to play an evil ability or card.

This is the first event that we've seen. I love cards that allow you to play additional cards on your turn, and I love cards that encourage thematic decks. You will want to play a lot of Evil cards in order to get the most out of this card. There are a lot of fun tricks one can use with this, too. For one, it's a good way to get rid of the above Steel Titan. You can also use this to break your own Soul Hunter and still have gold leftover. I am sure we will see some other awesome combos with this card. As a removal and draw two option, this will definitely see Limited play, even without an Evil investment. I love the Evil faction, so I am looking forward to making some decks using this card.

Battle Angel - 7/7 1-cost Good. Airborne Blitz. - Tribute - You may return a good card from your discard pile to your hand.

Our first Good card from the new set, and it is of course another angel. I am not sad about this, as I love the angels, and the the art is pretty fantastic. I can practically see the drool through the internet from Tom Sorenson, as this will fit right in with his favorite faction. The 7/7 is a great statline, and having Blitz and Airborne are solid abilities. I really like the ability to grab my favorite 0-cost Good events like Blind Faith and Brave Squire and replay them. I am hoping we get some more Good support in order to have a more consistent aggro Good deck. Besides Kark being the most dominant deck in Epic so far, there really aren't any other representations from Good decks, which is sad. This is also a solid Limited pick, although without a strong Good investment (which is usually a bad idea), this card loses a lot of its merit. But hopefully that will change.


Well that is it for the spoilers so far. I can't wait for more to roll out. I think we've seen some awesome cards so far. Considering the title of the new set, I would imagine we will be seeing at least some names, if not the same characters, that we have from the kickstarter variant cards. I always have liked the Greek-god-like theme, so I'm looking forward to seeing what White Wizards can come up with.

I hope you enjoyed this article, I hope to be making more as more of the set is revealed. I am sorry for the long drought of articles, but getting a new job has taken more time out of my schedule. Have a great week and happy gaming!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Epic Deck Tech Theory: Dragons!!!

So for this deck tech I'm taking a more fun thematic route, and focusing on my favorite "tribe" from Epic:Dragons!

If you are a fan of Epic I bet a lot of you are also fans of dragons. I know for me part of my interest in Epic stemmed from the gorgeous art, and of course the art for the dragons is top notch. In other card games playing dragons can be a long trek as they are usually very expensive. However, in Epic I can play a dragon every turn if I want to! As Epic has grown, so has our pool of dragons from which to choose. So today I am posting a deck that is for the dragons. All the dragons. Dragons FTW.


So to start out I first am putting in the deck 3 copies of every dragon in the game:
Blue Dragon, Draka, Draka's Enforcer, Gold Dragon, Ice Drake, Pyrosaur (dragon for a day), Silver Dragon, Strafing Dragon, Thundarus, White Dragon. That's 10 different dragons from 3 factions (none from Evil), so that's 30 cards. The rest of the cards I'm gonna put in are events and 0 cost cards to even the deck out.

Deck: 60 cards
Packs: Set One (3), Tyrants (3), Uprising (3)

I really want Surprise Attack so I can always play any of my dragons. I really want to attack on my opponent's turn before I spend gold, and they will most likely have to spend gold to get rid of any of my dragons, and when they do, I will hit them with another dragon.

I also wanted to make sure I could grab enough cards in the game so stuff like Frantic Digging, Erase, and Smash and Burn fit that role nicely, with S&B also doubling as solid removal. I have several little removal spells in Rain of Fire, Lightning Strike, Fireball, and Wolf's Bite. And my big sweepers are Wave of Transformation and Draka's Fire. I also threw in Amnesia for some discard pile hate and a Recycle trigger and Rage for some combat tricks.

As I said my goal for this deck is to play a dragon every turn. Preferably I will put one in on my opponent's turn, and then attack before spending gold on my own. I have a lot of very tough units so they should be able to trade nicely with most opposing champions, and their natural Airborne abilities will give them a lot of protection from chump blockers and the like.

I think this will be a very fun deck simply because of all the dragons. You can play out your very on Reign of Fire with your Rain of Fire's help. Light your opponent's cities on fire with the breathe of your great sky wyrms! Now where are my Evil dragons? Surely, some dragon could be corrupted, or maybe the carcass just reanimated?

It feels like an all or nothing deck, as when your dragons hit, they hit really hard. If Thundarus comes out and stays alive for a turn, you might just win. If Gold Dragon stays alive, you may gain enough health to make Kark jealous. Hopefully any negatives this deck has will be covered by the fun you will have with your dragons. I recommend picking up some Draka card sleeves to compliment your deck as well.

I hope you can have fun with this deck, I know I will. What is your favorite Dragon card art? Let me know in the comments. And happy gaming!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Epic: Dark Draft Decisions (16)

We know what Dark Draft is by this point, right? If not, check out my previous entries on my blog. Time to stop wasting space and just get into it, whaddya say?



Angel of Light - An awesome looking card, with an equally awesome alt art card IMO. That being said, it's a solid card in all manner of Epic play. Airborne and Ambush are always very good abilities to have, and 6 health helps survive a lot of the direct damage that exists in the game that are popular like Forked Lightning and Lightning Strike. You will also always get at least 5 health from her, and maybe even 10 if you manage to hit the loyalty, although I generally do not favor going Good in a draft.

Drinker of Blood - Ah, the bane of my existence. This stupid guy was probably a big factor as to why I didn't qualify for Worlds last year. I just kept trying to make a deck with this guy work and I should have seen the weaknesses and played something else. Oh well. It's a fun card to pull off, although very difficult in Limited. Still, if you manage to get some removal while he's out, he can be very decent. Having Airborne and Unbreakable on your turn is decent too.

Fairy Trickster - Airborne, Ambush, and Blitz is an awesome combination on a unit, and having it in Sage definitely helps. I do not like its ability very much. It's way too random. Maybe if you just think of it in terms of its keywords and being a 5/5, you will be better off. That 5 health does make it worse than Angel of Light though.

Murderous Necromancer - I never thought too highly of this card until I saw several other players play it and love it. It is growing on me. I might prefer it in Constructed where I can hit that loyalty more consistently, but that 6 life helps stay around, and if he can stay around, he can lock out an opponent forever, and keep supplying you with tokens. My favorite play would be to Surprise Attack him in on my turn, hit the loyalty, and then be able to use his ability and attack with zombies on my turn.

Pack Alpha - This is another card I've never thought highly of, and unfortunately still don't. Even if we eventually get Keira, Wolf Caller legal, this card is just too inconsistent for it to be worth it IMO. If you manage to have a bunch of other wolf tokens around, this isn't awful as it can make your wolves much better, but I think I'd rather take my chances elsewhere.

So if I am looking at this pack, the two cards I am debating are Angel of Light and Murderous Necromancer. I am not really in love with either, but I think they are the best options here. I also want to keep in mind loyalty costs though and I would rather go Evil, than Good. Also, I don't really want to pass my opponent 2 Evil cards if I take Angel of Mercy. So I think going with Murderous Necromancer is the thing to do here. I will definitely have to keep in mind that my opponent has an opportunity to grab 2 Airborne units with this pack.

If I received this pack I think I would go with Angel of Light and Fairy Trickster. Angel of Light I just like anyway, and I do want to give Fairy Trickster a chance. Plus, I don't have to worry about loyalty costs with FT and it might help me with Sage loyalty costs later. I am sure I can make use of 2 Airborne Ambush units. I think I may actually be happier receiving this pack second, actually.

So what do you guys think? Let me know. And happy gaming!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Hollow Knight Initial Review

This, like most of my articles, tends to be on the lengthy side, so feel free to scroll down to the bottom for a more concise pro/con list.

Hollow Knight is a new game I only found out about less than a month ago. It was a Kickstarter effort from the unknown indie Australian studio, Team Cherry. If I had heard about it earlier, I would have backed it instantly. Hollow Knight is a 2D action adventure game in a sprawling, connected, underworld. It has a Metroid-esque feel to it, although I would compare it very favorably to Salt and Sanctuary. You play as the title character in a cavernous world inhabited by bugs. You have to fight your way through the impressively large world, exploring new areas, and discovering what happened to the locals in a way that reminded me of Dark Souls. There are tons of enemies to fight and learn about (over 130!), as well as 30 Bosses to defeat. There are maps you have to find and plot out, abilities to learn and equip, and jumping puzzles through an amazing landscape.

What really caught my attention with this game is the amazing art. It is beautiful, evocative, eerie, and wonderfully atmospheric. When I am not being attacked by the various denizens I like to just stand back and look at it all. There are gentle waterfalls, lush greeneries sparkling with lights, crystal caves, and intricate and abandoned cities. The music is also amazing. It reminds me of a Miyazaki film, and in fact, I could easily see it being made into an anime film that I would immediately buy. There is just this tinge of sadness and intrigue guiding you along as you try and find what happened to the world. You can't help but feel sorry for the various husks you run across, or the old man weeping for his grub-children, or even killing an enemy when you know they only got infected by whatever evil is plaguing the land.

The gameplay has a lot of platforming, with an equal amount of combat. You start out with 5 health, and anytime you get hit by an enemy or projectile, you lose 1 health. You start out with a special ability that has you "gain souls" by hitting enemies, and then if your soul gauge is filled enough, then you can spend them to heal 1 health. It is a nice balance that keeps you from getting too frustrated when you mess up. If you die from an enemy you lose all of your money (Geo in the game), and your soul meter thingy is cracked. You respawn at your last save point and have to find your way back to where you died and fight a shadow of yourself in order to get back all of your money and repair your soul meter. If you happen to die before defeating your shadow, you lose everything. Luckily, Geo is found in all enemies and there are plenty of them as they continuously respawn if you leave the room.

The platforming takes a little getting used to, as you jump higher depending on how long you hold the button. Once you get used to it it's very well done, it just feels different from most platformers. The combat is very similar to Plague Knight and other classic action games. You need to figure out your enemy's attack pattern, which will most likely include some kind of jumping, and then attack when you have a window. The enemies are varied enough to give you a lot of different difficulties, and the bosses can be hard, but it never felt unfair. I always knew what I did wrong, so there was a fair learning curve.

In terms of difficulty I have been finding this way easier than Salt and Sanctuary or Dark Souls, however I have only played 10 hours so far, and am far away from the end of the game I feel. The developers say that for 100% completion will take around 30 hours, which I easily see happening to me, which is a ridiculous deal considering the $10-$15 price tag. There are loads of achievements including speed runs which I would be trash at, but I look forward to hearing what the community can do. This game is not a cakewalk though. The platforming combined with the action gameplay can be very hard. Fair, but hard. You can quickly get overwhelmed by enemies and you will assuredly die many times. I don't mind that but this game is probably not for little kids.

Also, speaking of the community, so far it feels a lot like the best parts of Salt and Sanctuary and Dark Souls. It is still early, but I look forward to reading a lot about the lore that people have discovered, and the tales told by players that have searched every nook and cranny. There is no PVP section yet or anything, but I could see it implemented later. The developers have left it open that there could be DLCs if the game sells well enough, and it really should because I am loving the game.

The map is staggeringly huge. In classic video game fashion, the map you have is very bare bones. Even the map received with the deluxe edition is severely lacking in information. The world is much more vast than the map looks, as each section is filled with passages and rooms and stages. It is a huge world that you can easily get lost in in a good way. Similar to the first Dark Souls, you will constantly be surprised when you unlock a door and find yourself in familiar ground, finally discovering a secret passage that links two areas previously unreachable.

I have heard people complain about the map. The map above is not the map you get at the beginning of the game. Heck, you aren't even given a map at all! You have to find the map first. Then in each large section you have to find Cornifer the Cartographer and buy his portion of the map to expand yours. Then, when you are in your town/sanctuary you can buy various things for the map like locations of venders and even a compass (that you have to equip) that marks your location on the map. There is a lot of exploration in this game and there isn't really an easy way around it. To buy all the various map pins and stuff from the vendor costs over 1,000 Geo, and considering the beginning enemies only drop around 5 each, it can take a while to buy everything. I don't think it's a huge issue, as a grinder like me amasses stuff like that while I am gleefully exploring, but I have to acknowledge that that gameplay isn't for everyone. This is similar to complaints about Dark Souls. The game doesn't hold your hand, you have to figure out where to go and how to unlock things. It's a challenge.

I love the various characters I've discovered so far as well. From Cornifer the Cartographer, to the self proclaimed and grumpy, "knight of the people", Zote, Hollow Knight is just teeming with memorable creatures and stories.

There are also a lot of items and abilities in the game. You start out with only 3 slots, and some abilities take up 2, but over time you will gain more slots and abilities and you can really shape your character. For example, I love gaining extra souls from enemies and auto summoning the Geo that explodes from the enemies so I don't have to pick each piece up. You also have various abilities that unlock as you play including a mid-air dash and a hadouken-like soul fireball that incinerates enemies. With the promise of additional characters to play as, and with the limited amount of items you can hold, I see this game as having a lot of replayability and experimentation.

Heck, and this is all with only 10 hours of gameplay. I might only be a 3rd of the way through! There are so many other abilities I have yet to unlock, and characters to meet! Apparently I will eventually learn how to invade the enemy bugs' dreams, and will learn more about the lore there. I can't wait!

There have been a few technical glitches, all framerate stutters. They haven't been crippling but it definitely has been noticeable. Every once in a while it boots me to the desktop and I have to frantically click back into the game before an enemy hits me. It has only happened a couple of times though. The worst section for this is the drowning city. I have heard the developers are aware and are figuring out how to fix it. It definitely isn't game breaking though.

Anyway, if any of this even sounds remotely intriguing, at least go watch some videos or trailers or something, because if nothing else you will be gifted with a treat to the eyes and ears. Check out this game, as it may be my surprise hit of the year. I hope you enjoyed this "little review", I plan on talking more about the game as I delve into it even more. Happy gaming!

Here is a quick pro/con list for people:

Beautiful Art style
Tranquil soundtrack
Over 30 hours of gameplay for $10-15 for a dedicated gamer
Tough, but fair, gameplay

Framerate issues
Lack of map and direction can leave a player confused at times
Tough gameplay if that's an issue for people

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Epic Limited Tournament Battle Report

So this past Saturday saw the first Epic tournament at my local gaming store. Due to a lot of timing conflicts and short notice, we were missing every one of my regular gaming group which consists of like 10 guys, so that left a rather large dent in the crowd. Still, it wasn't a qualifier or anything, and 3 other people managed to show up, so it was still a good time. We had decided to do the Limited format, which was used last year for qualifiers. Each player gets a list of 60 single cards, split into 13-17 cards in each faction. Each player must then draft a 30 card deck using that list, with no other deck building requirements, which means if you had 30 0-cost cards in your list, you could take all 30 (don't do that). You can mulligan your list once and receive another list with 4 fewer cards, but nobody went that route. This is a really fun format for newer players to play as it helps showcase a lot of cards throughout the tournament, and gives all players a chance to discover new combos.

This was my list along with my picks:

Evil (14)
Wither - X
Raxxa's Displeasure
Plague Zombies
Hands from Below
Thrasher Demon
No Escape
Spawning Demon
Dark Assassin
Final Task - X
Drain Essence - X
Raxxa's Enforcer
Inner Demon - X
Drinker of Blood
Apocalypse - X

Good (13)
Rescue Griffin
Inner Peace
High King
Chamberlain Kark
Urgent Messengers - X
Blind Faith - X
White Dragon
Angel of the Gate
Rally the People

Sage (16)
Hasty Retreat - X
Reusable Knowledge
Warrior Golem
War Machine - X
Blue Dragon - X
Memory Spirit
Ogre Mercenary
Fumble - X
Sea Titan - X
Velden, Frost Titan - X
Erratic Research - X
Temporal Enforcer
Stand Alone
Frost Giant - X
Muse - X
Shadow Imp - X

Wild (17)
Sea Hydra - X
Wolf Companion
Feeding Frenzy
Smash and Burn - X
Rain of Fire - X
Savage Uprising - X
Surprise Attack - X
Bellowing Minotaur
Fires of Rebellion - X
Flame Spike - X
Brachiosaurus - X
Flash Fire - X
Cave Troll - X
Burrowing Wurm
Lurking Giant - X
Great Horned Lizard - X
Hurricane - X

When I am playing Limited, I almost always scan the list to check for a few preferential things. I look to see if the majority of cards are in Wild and Sage, as I believe those are the 2 best factions for Limited. A high number in those means I will most likely be able to build my deck using mainly those cards. I also look for a few key cards that I think are always good in Limited like Sea Titan, Steel Golem, Drain Essence, Surprise Attack, and Muse. I check to see what kind of 0 cost options I have, as well as what drawing options I have like Ancient Chant. I also look for sweepers as those are very important, as well as discard pile banishing. This list actually misses a couple of these marks in really good drawing options, amazing 0 costs, and discard pile banishing, but it has just enough in them as well as some amazing champion selections that I decided to keep it.

I only have 9 0-cost cards which is a little under what I'd normally go for (15), but I liked the 1-cost stuff I had so much I hoped it would be enough. My plan after looking at my list is to full out pressure my opponent with large champions that are not easily taken care of. I should be able to weather all of my opponent's removal effects and then just power through any defense they have.

We played each player 1 time (best of 3 games) to figure out rankings for when we cut to the playoffs using the Dark Draft format. My deck worked exactly as planned. I always tried to mulligan for a couple of large threats and card draw. I just kept pressuring, trying to Ambush in threats so that I could force my opponent to spend their gold first on my turn, so I could punish them with another threat.

One of my favorite plays was in my second game where both of us had gone very aggressive. My opponent had attacked with a giant Burrowing Wurm and I was forced to block with my Lurking Giant since my Sea Hydra was exhausted and I only had 10 life left.. Then on my turn I attacked with my Sea Hydra and my opponent Surprise Attacked in a T-Rex and blocked and killed me. I then used Final Task to grab his Burrowing Wurm and attacked in for the win.


Muse was also a huge reason I did so well too. My first game my Muse stayed alive for 3 rounds, giving me a huge hand advantage that greatly attributed to my win. I also was able to use my Sea Titan to bounce my Muse back to my hand so I could use it again on another turn.

Velden was also quite amazing as he routinely removed several demon tokens from the board and then proceeded to do a ton of damage, or force my opponent's hand to spend a lot of resources trying to get rid of him.

In my fourth game the Sea Hydra actually did a lot of work. I was in the lead but only had 3 cards in hand, with no other card draw. I did have Sea Hydra though. So I spent my turns playing Sea Hydra, drawing a card, and then when Sea Hydra eventually died I just recalled it and did it all over again. When my opponent finally Amnesia-ed my discard pile I had caught back up and drained his hand size and was able to end the game after a few rounds.

Blind Faith was yet another all-star. I used Blind Faith to remove Draka's flying, to be able to target and destroy a Steel Golem, to remove Breakthrough on a Burrowing Wurm, and to render a Thought Plucker useless and easily killed my a human token, lol.

I managed to win all of my matches and was the first seed going into the playoffs. In my first Dark Draft I tried to go with Wild and Sage mainly, and it paid off. My opponent had grabbed a few Good stuff in his first couple of packs so he stayed there as much as possible, leaving me some very choice options. My opponent was not the most knowledgeable opponent when it came to Epic, and the strength of Wild/Sage really showed through in our matches. I had a Thought Plucker and a Knight of Shadows and I used both of those to drain my opponent's hand both games. I kept controlling the board while I slowly burned my opponent out.

For the final matchup I had played the opponent who came the closest to beating me in the regular rounds. In the first pack I was passed a Medusa and a Soul Hunter, and they were the best cards in that pack. I then opened a pack with Raxxa, and was passed an Apocalypse and Final Task, which were also the best cards in the pack. Needless to say I kept drafting Evil when I got the chance. I sprinkled in some choice Sage and Wild cards when I got them, but I was very much in Evil. My opponent grabbed a decent amount of Sage and Wild, with some Good fliers. It was a very close matchup.

My token generation definitely was my biggest asset. My favorite play was Final Tasking my Trihorror to deal 9 Breakthrough damage, and then generate 3 demon tokens on my turn when it broke at the end.

I lost the 2nd game, although it was a very close one. I just wasn't able to withstand the 2 turns of Gold Dragon life swing and was eventually worn down. I believe a Tricerotops finished me off. My poor human token...

In the 3rd game I opened with Raxxa, and then on my opponents' turn I Erased his only champion on the board and put out a Spawning Demon. On my turn I began to attack with demon tokens and for several turns my opponent was forced to spend his gold before I did. Still though, it was a close game. He had Drain Essence and a Lesson Learned so he healed a lot of damage in the game. I managed to keep draining his health though and Medusa was able to help draw out my opponent's gold to enable me to attack with a Juggernaut for the win.


It was a very fun and friendly tournament. We all laughed and joked around, and nobody was taking it too seriously. People were excited to try out the new cards and try out some new combos. We all agreed that a Pyrosaur is very annoying if one (me) is relying on demon tokens to survive. Steel Golem is the bane of everyone's existence, and Frantic Digging can help you draw an insane amount of cards in a game to come back from a Psionic Assault.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed this little writeup. I hope to have many more friendly tournaments like this that will hopefully have a lot more players participating. Anyway have a good day and happy gaming!

PS: Go back the Epic Digital Kickstarter App. It's going to be awesome. It's a great deal. You can even get a free entry to a world qualifying match. This is the last week so give it a try!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Epic: Dark Draft Decisions (15)

Here is the 15th Epic Dark Draft Decisions. For the new readers, here is what I'm doing:

I use a random card generator to generate a hand of 5 cards from a complete singleton set of Epic, which includes the Core, the Tyrants, and new Uprising sets. I will then analyze the hand and decide what I would tend to pick if I were to draw that hand in the Dark Draft format of play. I will decide which card to pick if I got that pack, as well as which 2 cards I'd pick if I got the remaining 4. For the sake of consistency, I will assume this is the first pack I open.

For your information and as a reminder, here are the Dark Draft rules from the official website:

Dark Draft (2 players)
  • Shuffle a stack of at least 120 cards. Deal 5 to each player.
  • Each player takes 1 card out of their hand of five cards and drafts it, then passes the other 4 to the other (at the same time).
  • Each player takes 2 cards out of their new hand of four cards and drafts them, then discards the remaining two cards into a shared face-down discard pile.
Both players now have drafted three cards. Repeat nine times to get to a 30-card deck, shuffle and play.
This is a fun, fast, and skill-testing draft format for two players. Many of our competitive events use this format in the playoff rounds. This format is used in our World Championship. Source:
So what's up, doc?



A battle between 0 cost Recyclers! First of all, feel sorry for yourself that you have to give 2 of these to your opponent, but be thankful you at least get to choose first.

Blind Faith - I love this card in Limited. I also love this card in Constructed. I think it's stronger in Limited though because there are certain cards like Steel Golem and other giant monsters that can be difficult to deal with. This gives you an opening to wipe them out normally. This gets rid of the biggest evasions out there like Untargetable, Unbreakable, Airborne, etc.

Second Wind - Health gain in Limited can be, shall we say, limited. A Drain Essence is almost always a sure first pick. Second Wind is just a simple amount of health gain that can replace itself. It can save your life or give you that second wind you need to pull off a win (see what I did there?)

Word of Summoning - This card has been underestimated I'd estimate. I really like it. A 4/4 body for free is a wonderful chump block, but it's a decent amount of damage if it attacks on your turn as well. Plus, it's Evil, so it can help you out with those loyalty triggers that Evil usually needs.

Spike Trap - This is one of those cards that rarely makes its way into Constructed decks, but is almost always drafted in Limited. It's probably because Sage has so many awesome 0-cost cards that this one gets the shaft, but it is a good one, especially in Limited. For 0 gold, you have the ability to destroy a vast amount of attacking champions. It even hits untargetable and unblockable and airborne champions as well! Also, if for some reason your opponent decides to attacking with a group of weenies (because they are afraid of a Ceasfire), or they want to force you to block with a bigger champion), you can wipe them all out with this card. Fun stuff. Plus, it's Sage, which is an always desirable faction for loyalty triggers.

Wolf's Bite - I think this is a card that really grew in popularity leading up to Worlds last year. It's a very solid card. With Thought Plucker and Muse and other low health champions being auto picks for Limited, this is bound to find a target. It's useful as an offensive as well as defensive tool. Getting a weenie blocker/attacker, and replacing itself with Recycle is just delicious sugar-frosting (none of that whipped crap thank you very much), not to mention helping out Wild loyalty triggers which is a personal favorite of mine.

This one is rough. I think it comes down to Blind Faith, Spike Trap, and Wolf's Bite. I like Second Wind and Word of Summoning, but I think these others are better. In terms of loyalty triggers Spike Trap and Wolf's Bite are better than Blind Faith, but only because I don't care for Good as much in Limited. Blind Faith is an amazing card though. I think that I might prefer Wolf's Bite over Spike Trap, only because I know I will always need it to hit certain champions, or chump blockers, and it gives me a free blocker/attacker, while Spike Trap does not. So now it is Blind Faith vs Wolf's Bite. I think I have to go with Wolf's Bite. This really is a tough one because Blind Faith has saved me in many games, but it isn't always a guarantee that my opponent finds and picks those juicy targets. I feel more confident that I will completely need and use Wolf's Bite in a game than Blind Faith. I really couldn't blame someone from going for it though, I doubt they would be disappointed.

If I got this pack I would be very happy. What I would pick would greatly depend on what I chose from my pack. If I picked something Evil, I'd definitely grab Word of Summoning for one of my picks. If I grabbed something Sage, I'd definitely grab Spike Trap as one of my picks. In a void I'd probably choose Spike Trap and Blind Faith.

Do you guys agree? Let me know. And happy gaming!