Where Do We Take Control From Here?

Hello everyone! Welcome to another article from yours truly, Tchamber5! I’m taking a week off from Beyond the Top 8 to take a look at the meta in a different way. More specifically, I want to analyze the different types of control decks that are currently viable and find out what makes them good or bad.

Control has always been a favorite archetype of mine. I love the puzzles that are being presented to you every turn with your sequencing decisions as well the deck building challenges it presents. Pre-nerf Temporal was one of my favorite ever decks in Eternal, and I was sad to see it go, but there are some very cool decks that have popped up over the last few days that tickle my fancy quite a bit.  Before we dive into the decks this week though, here are a few points that are important in control decks:

  1. Control decks are trying to control the game, and are rarely the aggressor.

Sounds obvious, I know, but It’s important to think about. Decks should be built to provide you with sufficient resources to maintain enough card advantage and health points to allow you enough time to enact your game plan. Decks that struggle with this are a tough sell.

  1. Control decks need a reliable win condition.

Note the use of the word reliable. If you are only running a single copy of Sword of the Sky King, You better have a back up plan. Channel the tempest? Sure, but if the meta is full of face aegis, you better have a plan for that. No matter what, you need a way to win, and you need to be able to find it at some point. Merchants can sometimes help out with this.

  1. Consistency is key.

An important part of executing the first two points, your deck need to be consistent. In many instances, this can be attained through proper deck building. This is a big reason why we see so many spells that provide card advantage in controlling builds. Take Temporal Control for example, which typically runs four copies of Brilliant Idea, four Wisdom of the Elders, and four Strategize.

There are a lot of other finer points to building a control deck, but these are three things that I always keep in mind, whether I am building my own deck or evaluating someone else’s. Let’s take a look at some examples from this week.

First, We have Hooru Control, from a couple of different sources I respect.

We have ManuS’ Hooru Control, which, for redundancy sake I won’t go too deep on, since he made a great deck tech video for it here, on Eternal Titans.

We also have a sweet looking Hooru Control from ETS Champion Erik9099, Which I think is an arguably better build than ManuS’ version, though they are fundamentally different in their game plan.

If we compare the two, I think that we can decipher a few common themes from these two deck lists. For one, Honor of Claws with privilege of rank is an insane card advantage engine. For four power and two cards, you are getting five cards in return. Which is a pretty good deal. Both halves of the combo are good on their own though, which is important here since you aren’t always going to have that perfect scenario. The slow speed of Honor of Claws is a little clunky, but the upside makes it worth it in my opinion, since this deck is so power hungry. Another similarity that these decks have is the full play set of Jotun Hurler. This is a pretty neat inclusion. You will almost never be casting the Hurler’s body, but the snow ball is so useful for picking off small units or simply popping aegis. The second upside comes in the form of synergy with Strategize and Honor of Claws, giving these spells a something to discard.

From here, the decks diverge quite a bit. While Erik9099 goes in a unit-less direction with cards like Sword of the Sky King and Channel The Tempest, ManuS leans more heavily on Korovyat Palace in conjunction with Throne Warden and Stormhalt Knife. Personally, I lean towards Erik9099’s build. One of the big draws to control is the fact that your deck makes all of your opponent’s unit removal useless, which is usually about a quarter to a third of their cards. I feel as though ManuS is running enough units to make your opponent’s removal good, but not enough to stay gassed up and have a unit to go with palace all the time.

Another deck that is among my favorite archetypes did very well in a tournament this week: Feln Control by SifuDanny!

I will start off by saying that I think this deck has some weird numbers. The fact that Danny is running zero Dark Return main is strange since Dark Return is so insane with every single unit in the deck. Suffocate is also only okay lately, especially with the rise of Palace decks, so to me, the easy choice is to cut Suffocate and add some number of Dark Return. Honor of the claws is also a little weird here with almost no synergy to power it up.

There are things I like about the deck a lot though. For example, I think that Vara is legitimately insane against the meta game right now, and she should be played more. Yes, it’s a little awkward with Champion of Cunning, but this deck gives you enough room to be able to sequence your turns in a such a way to negate the dis-synergy. Dizo’s office is of course, also very good, an It would take a lot to convince me that it doesn’t belong in a Feln mid-range or control deck. I love the mug in the market, and I think I want to look into a build of this deck that runs two or three main as well.

Lastly, lets talk about a deck near and dear to my heart: The Tchamber5 Temporal

This deck got some fun new toys in the new campaign, though I’m Not sure if all of them are keepers. Call for Aid has been very solid for me, fitting in perfectly with our game plan, which is usually to get out a temporal distortion as quickly as possible and then pivot into the driver’s seat with a big Big Brilliant Idea, or a couple of sweepers to run your opponent out of town. The gaining of one life isn’t exactly useless either, as there are some games in which every single point counts.

For win cons, we shift away from Channel the Tempest and rely more heavily on Sword and Stormhalt knife. As finishers. We also have a pit of Lenekta in the market as well, though That card is really just there as flood insurance. I am absolutely not sure of all the numbers. Honor of claws could probably be cut completely for something else, since it is much worse without any discard synergy(I was just trying it out after a team mate posted a similar list in our Discord). Scorpion Wasp is also very good right now because it kills aegis units, which is why it gets the nod here. You’ll notice that there isn’t any number of hailstorms in the deck either, and that’s because there are very few aggro decks right now, save for Rakano, which i honestly feel is a pretty decent match-up anyway.

I think that these three decks are really good representations of what a control deck could be right now in eternal. That being said, There is still room to tune or even come up with new control decks completely! I mean where’s a good TinPile when you need one?

That’s all for me today folks! As always, please leave your questions, comments, and suggestions in the comments below, or reach out to me on Twitter @Tchamber5

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next week.

-Tim

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