What can I say about my favorite FJS mid range deck in eternal, that’s not been said before? I guess if I had to give you a Rizahn, it would be that these colors just keep on getting better. While I don’t think Icaria armory is the way to go with it any more, the deck still has a ton of tools to pull you through most games. Let’s start with the list that got me to masters this month with a record of 29/11.
While playing this list I found out just how good Rizahn, Greatbow Master is. I know when the set came out a lot people were on the fence about if this card is worth making. I’m here to tell you this card fixed a big problem this deck had. I can’t tell you how many games I would stabilize the board with Icaria while playing against Skycrag Aggro just for them to top deck burn a turn or two later. The Greatbow Master being able to come down a whole turn earlier than Icaria and killing something and hopefully giving you three life back is huge. Its a must answer threat for any aggro. Another problem that the bowmaster solved with this deck was not being able to finish the last bit of life your opponent had. I still remember last year in the top 4 of the ETS needing to draw a torch in two of my games to finish off HiThar. Boy, do I wish we had Rizhan then. While the above list is the one I got to masters with I would say having Statuary Maiden in the market got me some auto wins. So I ended up changing the list to this.
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
3 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Cull the Deck (Set4 #202)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
2 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
3 Kerendon Merchant (Set4 #217)
4 Slay (Set2 #236)
1 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
2 Rise to the Challenge (Set1 #320)
2 Statuary Maiden (Set1 #387)
2 Vicious Highwayman (Set3 #275)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
4 Rizahn, Greatbow Master (Set4 #246)
1 Starsteel Daisho (Set1 #328)
4 Icaria, the Liberator (Set1 #329)
3 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
3 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
3 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Crest of Glory (Set4 #243)
3 Crest of Vengeance (Set3 #264)
1 Granite Waystone (Set3 #1)
3 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
1 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
1 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
1 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
1 Statuary Maiden (Set1 #387)
1 Azindel’s Gift (Set1 #306)
1 Crest of Vengeance (Set3 #264)
If you would like to see some games being played and get a feel for the deck check this video out.
As you can see we have two Maidens main for the time decks and we cut back on Highwayman. I still like Highwayman but he more or less fits in the deck for popping aegis or destroying a weapon, plus getting a +5/+5 from an Icaria attack isn’t bad at all. I think a lot of people call me crazy for playing him in a Harsh Rule deck but I very rarely play him on turn four unless I’m up against rally decks. In those type of games he is still really good versus all those token decks going around and if you are wanting more answers than I would up the count on him. We went up one on Vanquish and down one on Annihilate, this is also another meta call for me. I felt like almost every match up I played I would rather have Vanquish over Annihilate but again if those crazy berserk Territorial Elf decks come out of the wood work on ladder and try to hit you for 14 plus damage on your turn 2 you might want another answer to their crazy draw.
Okay so lets get down to the real reason why I chose this for my first meta Monday: The Merchants.
Having the ability to choose which one you want in your list could have a huge impact on how your deck is built and played. I’ve thought a lot on how I wanted to write this part of the article and have decided to break down each merchant with what the deck and market would look like with them in it. Also I will be listing a few changes to the each market you could apply in your list. I will start with my favorite merchant for the deck, Kerendon.
Lets start it off with the list I showed you guys already. If you’re facing a lot of big time decks on ladder you will love having this deadly unit on the field, not so much if you’re going against rally decks. As with most markets I play I like to have access to one dual influence power to help with fixing of influence or just making sure I can make it to the mid to late game. Second card up in the market is Dark Return. Here is one card I was asked about on stream a lot why I chose it over a card like Smugglers Stash. While I think stash is a great card we really can’t take advantage of the big weapons. Plus most of the time I wanted to cast Dark Return and play my 6/6 Icaria in the same turn. After trying out all three merchants I can say I missed Dark Return more from the market than any other card. Third card up is Annihilate, having a piece of removal is always a good choice in the market and being able to cast merchant and Annihialte on turn five is really good for us since all of our big bombs start hitting on six and seven. Fourth card is Statuary Maiden, I’ve already talked about how great Maiden is and why I moved some number of her in the main. Last up in the shadow market is Azindel’s Gift. I thought I would like this card against control more, but honestly almost ever time I got to cast it the opponent had gotten the answer for it with his merchant. That being said I could see Smugglers Stash in this spot. My thoughts on it is your opponent has to play around the Gift. They just can’t, its too much of a blow out if they don’t. So by never having that relic and your opponent going to go get relic hate you put a dead card in his hand. Remember that though when you go to cast Rise to the Challenge and are thinking about getting a weapon.
Next merchant up is Ixtun Merchant. This merchant being a 3/3 with overwhelm is a great option if you’re going for the beat down early. It seems to have no down side unlike some of the others. As always I have a power in the market but had to change to Crest of Glory. By doing that I put the other crest back in main. That being said we still get access to Statuary Maiden for it being a dual influence unit. Now that we are in red we get relic hate in the form of Bore. Bore is really good in this market because after destroying whatever relic you needed to, it gives you a copy in return. So if you have another merchant you can use that free value to replace it back in the market for another card. Since we don’t have Azindel’s Gift for the control match up Flamestoker is the card of choice so you can race your opponents. Last but not least is Icaria the Liberator, this one is huge for going fire merchant. No longer do you have to wait to top deck for your bomb after turn seven, you can just merchant and get her and not miss a beat. Also by having her in the market you don’t get blown out as much when you face Rain of Frogs or In Cold Blood. By only having three Icarias main board now we can play another Maiden. If you hadn ‘t noticed yet I like her a lot and think she is a great card in this meta.
Last merchant up is Winchest Merchant.
While I like flying units a lot I’m not a fan of its 2/2 body on three with everyone else that plays flying units gets Unseen Commando or Valkyrie Enforcer. I will say before bashing too much on this merchant I’ll admit I’ve played way less games with this list than the other two. Back to the market though, right off the bat we have a power, you guys know how I feel about power in the market so moving on. Second card up is Vanquish, while not being as good as Annihilate in most games it’ s still nice to have a tutor effect for it in the market. Third market card and this one is huge is Harsh Rule. By having a sweeper that you can get on turn three or four while also giving you a body to block allows you to not worry so much about those aggro games. By putting one in the market I added in another spot removal main and you guys could have guess it,the fourth copy of Annihilate. As we come to the fourth market card just like fire merchant we get to have Icaria, the Liberator because of the dual influence. I will say coming in on the last card of the market Sword of the Sky King demands a answer. Its not like Azindel’s Gift or Flamestoker in the other lists that take a turn before doing something. This card does some damage when cast. With it being a 8/8 relic weapon it will make quick work if unanswered.
So I’ll go over some other cards that might go in these lists. Some of these cards that I’ll be going over didn’t make the lists because there is no room in deck or I haven’t got to test them as much as I wanted. First I’ll go over the main deck then the market.
The number of merchants in each of my list is three because we are playing so much draw and scout. I could easily see them going up to four, but most of the time I don’t like seeing more than one unless I’m in the late game.
Tavrod, Auric Broker -Endurance 5 cost double justice and shadow influence/ Minotaur. When Tavrod attacks, draw a Minotaur and weapon from the top 5 cards of your deck. Give them +5 Attack and discard the rest. He could fit in the deck as a must answer card, but I feel like if we did that we need to go way up on Auric Runehammers.
Lingering Influence– 1 single justice influence/ spell. Draw a Justice Sigil from your deck. Scout. This one is very interesting. I never had a problem hitting power in MOST of my games but this definitely helps that that plus scout is such a great tool for this deck. One thing I could see myself doing in the late game is playing this just for the scout and using the sigil I got to swap a card in the market with.
Wanted Poster– 2 cost one justice influence/ curse. When the cursed unit dies, draw two cards. This card is great if you come across a lot of mid range in the meta, but I think we can’t have that many do nothing cards early with all of this aggro going around. I even don’t mind this with control since we will have the time to ship this card to the market for something better.
Jekk, the Bounty Hunter- 6 cost single fire and justice influence/ Gunslinger. Quickdraw Summon: Silence and stun an enemy unit. I could see a world where I might play Jekk in the green market over vanquish. Having a silence and a stun effect on a huge threat could be devastating on your opponent.
Rise to the Challenge– 4 cost single fire and justice influence/ spell. Draw a unit or weapon of your choice from your deck. It gets +2 Attack. I think this one is a little weak and too slow to pull off, but being able to find whatever is buffed after a Icaria attack seems kinda sweet.
Devastating Setback– 3 cost double shadow influence /spell. The enemy player discards a spell or attachment of your choice from their hand, or each unit gets -2/-2 this turn. I like this card better than Sabotage. Most of the time turn one Sabotage and a turn four is the same thing for the match ups you want it in, but this gives you more options besides just being that. This card being in your market really depends on how much rally decks you’re facing and how crazy you want to hate on them.
Smugglers Stash– 6 cost single fire and shadow influence /spell. Draw two units and two weapons from your void. I said this early I like this card, but I think you have to change your main board around to really make this card worth your while. Maybe this goes in the same list as Tavrod or Sword of the Sky King.
Give one of your Vaklyrie Aegis. This one seems really neat. Since both of your bombs in this deck are Valkrie’s having a one power protect could be a big blowout. Another play is when facing the mirror and trying to race to who gets first Icaria you could always play this the turn before so yours is all ways bigger than theirs.