“Just a touch of poison!” – Feln Nightfall Tempo

Friends and lovers welcome to the first fantastic edition of the “ThatResolves Deck Tech” series. I’ve not even so much as touched an article since my spoilers with VS system but thanks to DiscoPistol on reddit giving me a nudge I’m shaking those cobwebs off and getting back into it.

Today we are looking at something a little bit different, an unrepresented gem on both the ladder and the ETS. The magnificent Feln Tempo:

2 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
3 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
4 Sabotage (Set1 #252)
2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
2 Backlash (Set1 #200)
2 Darkveil Agent (Set3 #160)
4 Miris Nightshade (Set3 #217)
4 Ripknife Assassin (Set1003 #13)
2 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Bloodscent Avisaur (Set3 #301)
4 Midnight Gale (Set1 #378)
4 Impending Doom (Set1 #286)
3 In Cold Blood (Set1003 #15)
4 Rindra, the Duskblade (Set3 #277)
4 Champion of Cunning (Set1 #371)
2 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
3 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
1 Amethyst Monument (Set1 #426)
4 Amethyst Waystone (Set3 #201)
4 Crest of Cunning (Set3 #267)
4 Feln Banner (Set1 #417)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)

 

Breathe it in! I’ve always been a fan of Feln tempo decks, no matter the game or format – I’m looking at you UB Delver in Pauper! This deck was really close with the introduction of  The Dusk Road as this gave us the powerful Nightfall mechanic as well as some potent threats like Rindra, The Duskblade and Miris Nightshade. Nightfall helps so much in armory match-ups as it’s often able to kill off a Auric Runehammer and prevent it from turning into a two for one – although our 5 toughness units from 4 cost and up makes it even more difficult to get value from. The deck was close and one of the first things I crafted with the new set but it wasn’t until the promo card Bloodscent Avisaur that we truly had a critical mass of Nightfall units and chunky evasive bodies.
It was a perfect storm and everything seems to have lined up, even the nerf/buff to Black-Sky Harbinger gave us a dragon finisher that would help us in some of our tougher match-ups where our opponents are able to pressure our life total and make use of the extra cards we will be feeding them. Sadly, the Argenport Instigator change meant we moved away from it as the SS on two can be difficult even with the full suite of dual influence powers but this bred a little creativity and was soon replaced by Ripknife Assassin who is a versatile threat both offensively and later on defensively when we are just going A+Space with our flying units.

This video was the first take on the deck and a lot has changed since then both in the deck and on the ladder but it should give you a good idea of the thought processes behind the deck.

You may have noticed the glaring omission to the deck though, a Feln deck… without any Strategize… without any Wisdom of the Elders. The honest truth is, we don’t need it and we don’t have the time for it. With 18 methods to trigger nightfall the cards flow anyway and when both players are drawing two cards a turn you want to be deploying threats and removing the opponents threats we can’t sit back and manipulate cards and let our opponents get ahead of us on board. Of course I’d like to Strategize to ditch some power late game but we have power sinks in Miris Nightshade – and let me tell you, Nyctophobia is a treat – Miris gives us access to some great reach and gives us really impressive lines where we are able to hold Amethyst Waystones in hand to deal extra damage for free. There are some absurd games you can win too where your Time opponent is able to stall the board and you can’t answer their titans to get through for damage where you can manipulate the games state to where you can A+Space for lethal.

This deck truly embodies the Philosophy of Fire and often we will win a game whilst our opponent has 9 cards in hand but only deploys one. Though in the games where our opponents are using their cards as efficiently as possible we are able to deny their right to nightfall too, say your opponent has no cards in hand and you could play a BSH or a Champion of Cunning and a nightfall trigger you can choose not play the nightfall piece  so they don’t get to draw as deep to a removal piece.

The Sabotage is a really important piece of disruption alongside the Backlash and though they may look strange alongside the nightfall sub-theme sabotage is giving you not only information but is often able to take the one interactive spell that actually mattered.
Leaving your opponent with Eilyns Choice when you’re attacking in with Miris Nightshade and Bloodscent Avisaur or instead leaving them with Hailstorm and going ham with Rindra and Impending Doom. Backlash is perhaps a little bit of an interesting piece over Unseal which is perhaps strictly better but Backlash has a few upsides over it – Backlash can pop an aegis and negate your opponent’s removal on Miris freeing you up to play her Nyctophobia. The two points of damage is no small thing either, alongside all the chips you’re getting in with nightfall this can quickly turn into lethal. Backlash can also cause some awkward positions for your opponent too if they’re trying to combine damage based spells with weapons Torch plus Sword of Icaria? No Sir. Hailstorm and an old Runehammer? No Ma’am. Of course Unseal is situationally better and I can see an argument for it as negating a permafrost on your Impending Doom against Skycrag is the bees knees though for the most part I think we will require the two damage over the edge cases.

The main strength of the deck is that it is flexible, I’m playing two Darkveil Agent as a removal magnet that compliments the amount of Unseen but you could shake this up and try Dreamsnatcher if you’re playing against a bunch of fire based beatdown decks or decks without as much removal.

Champion of Cunning is perhaps the best game ending threat we have access to and alongside our twelve dual faction powers we should be able to have both sides turned on and unlike feln we can really take advantage of this as we have so many evasive threats and are able to go wide to turn our good threats into great threats instead of turning our Feln Bloodcasters into 4/5 beaters we’re turning Midnight Gale into a 6/3 lifesteal or Rindra into a 7/5 overwhelm lifesteal – and let me tell you, that isn’t a race you are going to lose.

One of the more controversial inclusions is the In Cold Blood – not because the card is bad, but because the card has a warping effect on the game. I am really unhappy this card exists but I’m not going to refuse to play with it. Let me tell you, the first time you ICB a Hero of the People you will feel a touch of guilt. The first time you turn it into a two for one – play enough games on the ladder and this will happen – you’ll feel like an unstoppable monster.

I’ve gone deep with the positives, but what are the negatives? The deck is expensive, with cards that don’t cross over too much. Midnight Gale is a cheap unit that is hard to play, dies to torch and vanquish and costs 3200 gems to craft – it is a leap of faith sure and one I wouldn’t expect you to make if you’re trying to build a collection. You can of course work around this, Cloudsnake Harrier does a decent impression of additional Avisaurs, Cabal Countess can give you some surprise value and with a few changes to the removal suite Skywalk Enforcer can be quite the threat too.

It’s also very difficult to pilot correctly, you need to consider that you’re paying life too and that nightfall isn’t free – you’ll likely never lose to a Last Word but maybe that isn’t a huge issue if you’re not running into TinMan JPS on the ladder.

The Stonescar and Skycrag games are winnable but tough as they have one power units to make the most out of the extra cards though you have larger resilient units and a good amount of Lifesteal as well as evasion so you can squeak it.

Overall I enjoy the deck and will be posting another video for it this weekend as I just enjoy it and find it easy to ladder and grind with.

Below is a video with the last version of the deck but to give you an idea of how it plays better as seeing is believing.

The deck is scrappy, you fight for every win – but you will win, and you will feel rewarded.

So until next time, Breathe it in, it’s “just a touch of poison”!

 

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