Welcome to this weeks trip to the Black Market, where you can get the decks you want without the price, courtesy of Team Rankstar! Last week, we delved deep into Xenan midrange, which can be found here. It turns out, i hadn’t fully written off Xenan for the Eternal Tournament Series invitational last weekend, and myself and I_Am_Monstrum decided to bring it. I went 2-4 after some rough beats, and Monstrum made day 2 with a 4-2 record, but worked a overnight and slept in Sunday, so who knows how far he would have went! Overall i was super pleased with how this deck turns out, and i hope to continue bringing high quality decks to people attention. Enough about last week, let’s talk about this week, as we explore Argenport Chains.
Argenport chains is a deck many have worked on since the release of set 5, but hasn’t put up any major tournament results yet. Powered by some of Eternal’s strongest cards such as Martyr’s chains, harsh rule and Regent’s tomb, Argenport Chain’s is a deck not to be slept on in the coming weeks. Myself, Magikarp, Aetherllama and I_Am_Monstrum have all made our own builds of this deck, all to a fair amount of success and i think together we’ve come up with a deck that can definitely hang in the current meta
4 Defiance (Set5 #77)
2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
3 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Vara's Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Wanted Poster (Set3 #106)
4 Hidden Road Smuggler (Set5 #210)
4 Slay (Set2 #236)
4 Regent's Tomb (Set5 #213)
4 Vara, Vengeance-Seeker (Set1004 #19)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
4 Inquisitor Makto (Set2 #242)
3 Dizo's Office (Set5 #182)
2 Sleepless Night (Set2 #170)
4 Martyr's Chains (Set5 #110)
5 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
2 Emerald Waystone (Set3 #101)
6 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Argenport Banner (Set2 #231)
4 Crest of Vengeance (Set3 #264)
4 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
1 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
1 Devastating Setback (Set3 #226)
1 Burglarize (Set4 #224)
1 End of the Story (Set4 #138)
1 Solitude (Set3 #243)
Unlike our previous decks, this deck doesn’t necessarily give up cards for its version, instead let’s look at cards we decided against including:
Lost Scroll: Although a very powerful card, this isn’t the best shell for a ramp ability. We don’t have many ways to take tempo early outside of Regent’s Tomb, and because of this we don’t have the pay off. Along with being quite a bad top deck when your trying to close out the game.
Auric Runehammer: One of my all time favorite cards, Auric rune hammer doesn’t make the cut in this meta game. Depending on the state of the meta, Runehammer can truly be one of the game’s strongest cards, but the fact that weapons cannot hit sites, and there are a ton of units with health more than four right now makes me move away from the powerful weapon. This card could definitely be added if Aggro becomes more popular, or Aegis units.
Marshal Ironthorn: A card I’ve heavily considered playing over Makto, Ironthorne is just on the edge of being what this deck needs. Ironthorn allows for quick Martyr’s Chains and Dizo’s Offices, while also having a relevant ultimate that must be killed.
Sword of the Sky King: Another card I wish I could fit into this deck, Sword of the Sky King is a fantastic finisher and gives us way more game into Temporal Control. As aggressive decks become more popular, we cant afford too much top end which forces us to leave out the trusty Sword of the Sky King. If the meta slows down I would happily market a Sword or look to move some into the main deck.
Cull the Deck: Really, its a choice between Cull the Deck and Wanted Poster. I’ve opted for the critical mass option in Wanted Poster allowing us to see more raw cards but lose out on selection as we need a ton of both power and interaction in order to survive.
The Game Plan:
Typically, the game plan is simple: play a site, and protect the site to generate value and slowly run the opponent out of resources and eventually get to Martyr’s Chains to close out the game. In some match-ups, you can win with damage, and in others, you get to live the dream of Solituding someone to death.
Against Aggressive Decks: Look for early removal, Defiance, Vara’s Favor, and Annihilate along side some life steal in Hidden Road Smuggler and Vara, Vengeance Seeker. Although it can be tough to end the game, you can run them out of resources quite easily and force a concession with sites. If not, I’m sure Elias and Dizo can end the game swiftly. Don’t worry about trying to set up your game plan, dealing with theirs will let you close however you want.
Against Midrange: Against midrange decks, you want to try and hit your power drops and find a way to get ahead on tempo. Usually, this is done via combining fast speed interaction with Regents Tomb or Vara to pull themselves ahead and use Makto + more removal to keep sites and alive and stay ahead. Once ahead, you can start using Chains to put pressure on the opponent. Against midrange you want Annhilate, Slay, Regents Tomb, and Hidden Road Smuggler in order to facilitate your game plan while slowing down your opponents.
Against Control: Against control, only a few cards matter: Makto and Sites. Both of these cards can generate absurd amounts of value, and put the Control player on the back foot early on. Although, on paper your removal may seem dead, it’s not. You can hit cards like Merchants and The Great Parliament so don’t get rid of them all. Look for early Regents Tombs and power to cast them. Hidden Road Smuggler into Devastating Setback can be a strong early way to hit the hand, but this is where our Solitude shines, and is most likely how we close out the game.
Argenport Chains is a super powerful deck, that has a very dynamic play style. Your role changes game to game, rewarding the players who seriously master this archetype. This deck has game into basically every deck, except for Nightmaul, which is likely near unwinnable. Many players simply loving playing site after site, which has been my signature move since the release of Defiance. If that’s what you crave on the ladder, this is the deck built for you.
Thanks for joining me this week on our trip to the Black Market, and hopefully you enjoyed! There will be no video this week, as my audio file corrupted so I hope you enjoy a clip of Bassoon Buffoon dying to Solitude.
If the embed is not working, check it out HERE.