Going into the Quarterly Championships, Argenport was the deck to beat in Expedition. Its main weakness felt like 8 sweeper decks (Four each of Shen-Ra Speaks and Ageworn Vestige) with Xulta Arcanum. These decks generally come in 4-faction forms that are base TJP or TJS with a single Fire Sigil to find with Seek Power or Amber Acolyte and have Arcanum as their only Fire card.
Neither third faction seemed to add that much in exchange for the decreased consistency. Primal primarily gives Wisdom of the Elders, which isn’t THAT much better than Ancient Lore, and Forbidden-Rider Outcast, which is great but not really on-plan for the deck. A board advantage unit isn’t really what a deck based around infinite sweepers and draw-2s needs. Shadow cards are more dubious, with stuff like Eremot’s Designs when I don’t think aggro is that prevalent or powerful and Incarnus, which is sketchy to say the least in a 4 faction deck. Grinva, Breaker of Will is big game and very good, but the Grinva TJS deck wants to play Office instead of Arcanum and is a different deck.
As such, I focused on building a deck with only FTJ influence to beat Argenport. If last week was Argenport winning the Infinity War, this week would be the Endgame.
4 Defiance (Set5 #77)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Kairos’ Choice (Set7 #151)
1 Seek Answers (Set6 #238)
4 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Eager Offering (Set7 #45)
2 East Annex Smuggler (Set6 #227)
4 Pearl Abbey Smuggler (Set6 #231)
4 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
1 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
4 Ancient Lore (Set1 #105)
4 Shen-Ra Speaks (Set7 #176)
2 Twinbrood Sauropod (Set1 #113)
4 Ageworn Vestige (Set7 #88)
4 Xulta Arcanum (Set7 #206)
2 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
3 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Combrei Insignia (Set6 #230)
2 Rakano Insignia (Set7 #156)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
4 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)
4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
1 Edict of Kodosh (Set7 #68)
1 Edict of Grodov (Set7 #46)
1 Qirin Ascendant (Set7 #175)
1 Lumen Reclaimer (Set3 #80)
1 Ravid, Insect Master (Set5 #72)
The members of Team Rankstar had a great time playing Endgame, and while it didn’t beat Argenport convincingly enough for many of us to play it in the quarterly championship, the resulting deck is amazingly fun and quite good. TheBoxer, MurderofCrowss, and I were all hanging out in top 40 with it last week, so it has some legs on ladder.
Keeping to three factions makes for a fairly smooth power base, and increased access to Fire allows us to play Kairos’ Choice, which has two exciting modes. In matchups or situations where 3 damage to a unit isn’t good, you can re-buy a Merchant to hit the market again or protect a Ravid from removal.
The core of the deck is the 8 sweepers and the Xulta Arcanums that allow us to out-grind nearly any deck. A seasoned Argenport player who knows how to navigate control mirrors can be a tough matchup, and the plan there is often to use Lumen Reclaimer to deck them. The rest of the deck is card draw, spot removal, and a couple Twinbrood Sauropods to tie the room together. They can block against aggro, pressure control, and provide market fodder for the six Smugglers.
The 1-ofs in the deck are singletons because you never want to draw multiples of them. Seek Answers is an extra power sometimes, but gas when you need it, and the super-clunky nature of it hurts less in a deck with Shen-Ra Speaks. Vanquish is very conditional, but having one extra removal spell is nice when you don’t want to blow a sweeper on a singular threat or want to kill a Tasbu before Spellcrafting Vestige so your opponent doesn’t draw a bunch of cards. There are only 6 Smugglers because you don’t want to flood on them, and there isn’t much market fodder outside of removal that is bad in the current matchup and Twinbrood Sauropod. Against control, 6 Smugglers and Kairos’ Choice is enough to loop Sauropods and get Ravid or removal as needed. Just be sure to count how many Smugglers you have left and save one to get Lumen Reclaimer when you run out of cards in your deck (this deck draws a LOT of cards!).
Ravid is a strange-looking card in the market, as he isn’t commonly regarded as a powerhouse, but he has great synergy with Xulta Arcanum, frequently granting you three Humbugs the turn he comes down to provide Flying defense or pressure the opponent. The Humbugs can be awkward when shuffled back into your deck with Reclaimer, but it doesn’t come up often and you have extra draw 2s in your deck from Arcanum’s Vital Arcanas by then.
Qirin Ascendant is the attachment removal and gets the nod over Unmake since you often are fetching attachment removal against aggressive decks with Permafrost. The Edicts are standard and self-explanatory. Reclaimer is mostly for the control mirrors, but it is a 4/4 for 4 that can block in a pinch.
Endgame excels against midrange unit-based decks, and the aggro matchup isn’t bad with 4 Defiance, 4 Kairos’ Choice and 4 Scorpion Wasp to bridge to the sweeper-filled endgame. Ageworn Vestige is an amazing stabilization tool even as just a 6 power relic weapon, as it effectively gains 9 health. Aegis-heavy strategies can be an issue if you don’t find a Scorpion Wasp, and dragon decks are difficult matchups because Eclipse Dragon dodges most of the removal and they always have multiples with Dragon Forge. The best way to fight dragons is to use Defiance to buy time to use a sweeper, then set up Ravid to block in the air forever while you race back with Pearl Abbey Smugglers. Smugglers can quickly become 6/5s or bigger in this deck, and I’ve had them hit double-digit strength multiple times.
If you like drawing cards and sweeping the board, you’ll love Endgame. Just don’t play it on your lunch break – games against Argenport or other control decks often take 15 minutes or more!
Until next time, may all of your influence come together.