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New quest decks

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Re: New quest decks

Postby Agetian » 30 Jul 2016, 19:16

I started working on a blue aggro-control deck, possibly with some minor white splash (not sure about the splash yet), focused around Elemental synergy and generally themed around water (think e.g. waterbending from Avatar: The Last Airbender, someone like Katara if you know what I'm talking about).

The idea here is to have a variety of powerful Elemental creatures available at each CMC slot between 2 to 6 or so and an array of efficient counterspells and bounce for some control, especially early on. The finishers may include casting Master of Waves for an Elemental buff and a blue devotion-based addition of Elemental tokens and casting Levitation to make all the elementals Flying. Additional support can be provided via spells with Awaken which turn lands into additional Elementals, as well as enchant land auras that turn lands into Elemental creatures.

Here's the first rough draft that I have:

Creatures:
==========
3 Frost Walker // CMC 2 with power 4 but dies to an ability
2 Plumeveil // CMC 3, potent flying defender adding +3 devotion bonus, can keep some early midgame threats away
2 Shorecrasher Elemental // CMC 3, does not fly but gives +3 devotion and seems decent for its cost
2 Water Servant // CMC 4, does not fly by itself, +2 devotion, has buff abilities
4 Master of Waves // CMC 4, one of the synergy finishers, devotion-based Elemental tokens + buff
2 Cyclone Sire // CMC 5, flying, can turn lands into additional elementals
2 Roil Elemental // CMC 6, flying, can take control of opponent's creatures
1 Supreme Exemplar // CMC 7, a flying 10/10 elemental creature, doesn't fit the theme of water too much but can serve as a nail in the coffin if it gets to casting high CMC spells

Other Spells:
=============
2 Wind Zendikon // CMC 1 that can turn a land into a 2/2 flying elemental
4 Clutch of Currents // CMC 1 bounce for early control
4 Counterspell // CMC 2 counterspell, as efficient as it gets
2 Mana Leak // CMC 2 counterspell, early control
3 Cancel // CMC 3, ditto
3 Scatter to the Winds // CMC 3, ditto + Awaken (maybe go 4 Scatter / 2 Cancel?)
2 Levitation // CMC 4, one of the finishers that makes all creatures flying

Lands:
======
Now here I have two options - either go 24 Island (or tweak the count maybe, I don't know, 25-26 Island and cut a couple spells since there are high-CMC spells to be cast?), or splash a bit of white for Celestial Colonnade which can later serve as an Elemental manland, e.g.:

10 Island
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Tundra

I really need some ideas for improving this list here, and I have several question about optimizing this deck further, especially with the Forge AI in mind:

1) Is it worth throwing in a very high CMC creature into the mix (Supreme Exemplar) or is it better to replace it with something else, or maybe even cut it for an extra land?
2) Do you have any other ideas for some Elemental-based shenanigans that might add extra power to this deck list?
3) Is any kind of mana acceleration viable for this deck except for the usual Mox / Sol Ring mix for the potential "harder" version of this deck list?
4) What other spells might work well in this deck list (both creature and non-creature ones)? What would you change here, both when it comes to spells themselves and the proposed number of cards, given both the intended synergy and the intended theme of the deck?
5) Is any planeswalker viable here, or not worth it?

Any other ideas and advice for improvement would be highly welcome!
Eventually I'm planning to have an easier and a harder version of the deck (ideally Medium and Hard), any ideas for tweaks for those particular difficulty levels are welcome as well!

- Agetian
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Re: New quest decks

Postby timmermac » 30 Jul 2016, 21:38

Agetian wrote:I started working on a blue aggro-control deck, possibly with some minor white splash (not sure about the splash yet), focused around Elemental synergy and generally themed around water (think e.g. waterbending from Avatar: The Last Airbender, someone like Katara if you know what I'm talking about).

The idea here is to have a variety of powerful Elemental creatures available at each CMC slot between 2 to 6 or so and an array of efficient counterspells and bounce for some control, especially early on. The finishers may include casting Master of Waves for an Elemental buff and a blue devotion-based addition of Elemental tokens and casting Levitation to make all the elementals Flying. Additional support can be provided via spells with Awaken which turn lands into additional Elementals, as well as enchant land auras that turn lands into Elemental creatures.

Here's the first rough draft that I have:

Creatures:
==========
3 Frost Walker // CMC 2 with power 4 but dies to an ability
2 Plumeveil // CMC 3, potent flying defender adding +3 devotion bonus, can keep some early midgame threats away
2 Shorecrasher Elemental // CMC 3, does not fly but gives +3 devotion and seems decent for its cost
2 Water Servant // CMC 4, does not fly by itself, +2 devotion, has buff abilities
4 Master of Waves // CMC 4, one of the synergy finishers, devotion-based Elemental tokens + buff
2 Cyclone Sire // CMC 5, flying, can turn lands into additional elementals
2 Roil Elemental // CMC 6, flying, can take control of opponent's creatures
1 Supreme Exemplar // CMC 7, a flying 10/10 elemental creature, doesn't fit the theme of water too much but can serve as a nail in the coffin if it gets to casting high CMC spells

Other Spells:
=============
2 Wind Zendikon // CMC 1 that can turn a land into a 2/2 flying elemental
4 Clutch of Currents // CMC 1 bounce for early control
4 Counterspell // CMC 2 counterspell, as efficient as it gets
2 Mana Leak // CMC 2 counterspell, early control
3 Cancel // CMC 3, ditto
3 Scatter to the Winds // CMC 3, ditto + Awaken (maybe go 4 Scatter / 2 Cancel?)
2 Levitation // CMC 4, one of the finishers that makes all creatures flying

Lands:
======
Now here I have two options - either go 24 Island (or tweak the count maybe, I don't know, 25-26 Island and cut a couple spells since there are high-CMC spells to be cast?), or splash a bit of white for Celestial Colonnade which can later serve as an Elemental manland, e.g.:

10 Island
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Tundra

I really need some ideas for improving this list here, and I have several question about optimizing this deck further, especially with the Forge AI in mind:

1) Is it worth throwing in a very high CMC creature into the mix (Supreme Exemplar) or is it better to replace it with something else, or maybe even cut it for an extra land?
2) Do you have any other ideas for some Elemental-based shenanigans that might add extra power to this deck list?
3) Is any kind of mana acceleration viable for this deck except for the usual Mox / Sol Ring mix for the potential "harder" version of this deck list?
4) What other spells might work well in this deck list (both creature and non-creature ones)? What would you change here, both when it comes to spells themselves and the proposed number of cards, given both the intended synergy and the intended theme of the deck?
5) Is any planeswalker viable here, or not worth it?

Any other ideas and advice for improvement would be highly welcome!
Eventually I'm planning to have an easier and a harder version of the deck (ideally Medium and Hard), any ideas for tweaks for those particular difficulty levels are welcome as well!

- Agetian
Air Elemental?
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Re: New quest decks

Postby Sloth » 30 Jul 2016, 23:36

tojammot wrote:Working on a Personal Sanctuary deck, is there an option for biasing the AI into searching for a particular card?
The AI will search for the most expensive card it can find, so Idyllic Tutor works if you don't include enchantments with cmc greater than 2.

Agetian wrote:I really need some ideas for improving this list here, and I have several question about optimizing this deck further, especially with the Forge AI in mind:

1) Is it worth throwing in a very high CMC creature into the mix (Supreme Exemplar) or is it better to replace it with something else, or maybe even cut it for an extra land?
2) Do you have any other ideas for some Elemental-based shenanigans that might add extra power to this deck list?
3) Is any kind of mana acceleration viable for this deck except for the usual Mox / Sol Ring mix for the potential "harder" version of this deck list?
4) What other spells might work well in this deck list (both creature and non-creature ones)? What would you change here, both when it comes to spells themselves and the proposed number of cards, given both the intended synergy and the intended theme of the deck?
5) Is any planeswalker viable here, or not worth it?
1) Supreme Exemplar is not so good here (the AI is generally not good at championing)
2) nothing
3) Lots of Islands
4) Mulldrifter, Spell Snare or Negate (for Cancel).
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Re: New quest decks

Postby Agetian » 31 Jul 2016, 05:55

Ok, I cut the following:
Supreme Exemplar - too high CMC + AI not very good with Championing
Scatter to the Winds - AI doesn't use this with Awaken here nearly as much, it's a base CMC 3 counterspell that requires a lot more open mana during the opponent's turn to be used with Awaken (and the deck is based around being able to cast higher CMC (4-6) spells later on in the game).
Celestial Colonnade and white splash - the deck is better off focused on mono-blue.
I also removed Shorecrasher Elemental - even though it's {U} {U} {U} and seems to give +3 devotion, the AI casts it as a Morph first and therefore it's typically not useful for the AI's first one or two rounds of Master of Waves, which are generally relevant. Instead, I added some double-blue cards, such as Air Elemental. Was also thinking about Water Elemental but couldn't find a spot for it yet.

My current list is as follows:
==============================
2 Frost Walker
3 Plumeveil
2 Watercourser
4 Master of Waves
2 Air Elemental
1 Cyclone Sire
1 Mulldrifter
2 Roil Elemental

2 Wind Zendikon
2 Spell Snare
3 Clutch of Currents // the AI seems to use this with Awaken often enough, probably one of the most used cards when it comes to Awakening lands.
1 Rush of Ice // also has Awaken, however, the AI seems not very good with choosing the optimal target for this. Keep or replace with something else (e.g. fourth Clutch of Currents)?
3 Counterspell
3 Mana Leak
3 Negate
2 Levitation

24 Island

I was thinking about the following: maybe add Bident of Thassa (as a one-of or two-of) for a card drawing engine instead of Mulldrifter, which feels a bit slow for its price (and not very useful for devotion if used with Evoke)? Or is the AI not good with using Bident of Thassa for card advantage?

I'm not sure about the numbers of different cards. Does anyone have any ideas for a rebalance for the deck to feel a bit more consistent?..

I'm also not very sure what difficulty level this deck would qualify for. Probably Medium as it is? Will need to test a bit in AI vs. AI matches.

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Re: New quest decks

Postby Sloth » 31 Jul 2016, 11:58

Agetian wrote:I was thinking about the following: maybe add Bident of Thassa (as a one-of or two-of) for a card drawing engine instead of Mulldrifter, which feels a bit slow for its price (and not very useful for devotion if used with Evoke)? Or is the AI not good with using Bident of Thassa for card advantage?
It's possibly a good addition try it out.

Agetian wrote:I'm not sure about the numbers of different cards. Does anyone have any ideas for a rebalance for the deck to feel a bit more consistent?..
Levitation seems weak now that a lot of the creatures already have flying.

Another idea i had today: Spreading Seas or other disruptive auras that add to devotion (Claustrophobia, Threads of Disloyalty).

Agetian wrote:I'm also not very sure what difficulty level this deck would qualify for. Probably Medium as it is? Will need to test a bit in AI vs. AI matches.
It's clearly medium. It has some powerful cards, but the AI won't play it well enough for hard.
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Re: New quest decks

Postby Agetian » 31 Jul 2016, 12:11

Thanks, I'll try these ideas out! :)

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Re: New quest decks

Postby Agetian » 02 Aug 2016, 19:30

Ok, here's the current iteration of my elemental-themed deck. I decided to keep one Levitation in because it seems to make a world of difference when the AI gets a chance to have it out in conjunction with a Master of Waves or two (and with good devotion at that, plus Levitation itself gives +2 devotion if it's put out before Master of Waves).

Not sure if 23 Island would be enough, I played quite a lot vs. this deck and I'm not really sure about the land... but if extra land is needed, what would be reasonable to cut here?

Also, does anyone have any other recommendations about changing card counts?

Code: Select all
2 Air Elemental
2 Claustrophobia
3 Clutch of Currents
3 Counterspell
1 Cyclone Sire
2 Frost Walker
23 Island
1 Levitation
2 Mana Leak
4 Master of Waves
1 Mulldrifter
2 Negate
3 Plumeveil
1 Roil Elemental
1 Rush of Ice
2 Spell Snare
2 Spreading Seas
2 Threads of Disloyalty
1 Watercourser
2 Wind Zendikon
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Re: New quest decks

Postby Sloth » 02 Aug 2016, 19:58

Looks solid. In case Island numero 24 is needed, i would cut an Air Elemental.
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Re: New quest decks

Postby Sloth » 04 Aug 2016, 12:12

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Re: New quest decks

Postby Agetian » 06 Aug 2016, 06:18

Alrighty, here are two versions of the mono blue devotion-based Elemental themed deck:

1) This is the version I posted above, except I added 24th Island and cut one Air Elemental:

"KATARA 2 (original)" | Open
1 Air Elemental
2 Claustrophobia
3 Clutch of Currents
3 Counterspell
1 Cyclone Sire
2 Frost Walker
24 Island
1 Levitation
2 Mana Leak
4 Master of Waves
1 Mulldrifter
2 Negate
3 Plumeveil
1 Roil Elemental
1 Rush of Ice
2 Spell Snare
2 Spreading Seas
2 Threads of Disloyalty
1 Watercourser
2 Wind Zendikon


2) And here's the second version which relies a little less on permission in favor of more disruptive and beneficial auras that give additional devotion, plus it has a little bit more creatures and a little bit better mana curve (IMO). One additional Levitation is added as this deck has more non-Flying creatures. This version seems to perform a little bit more consistently when it comes to Master of Waves and stuff:

"KATARA 2 (more auras, less permission)" | Open
1 Air Elemental
2 Claustrophobia
3 Clutch of Currents
3 Counterspell
1 Cyclone Sire
3 Frost Walker
24 Island
2 Levitation
4 Master of Waves
1 Mulldrifter
3 Plumeveil
2 Roil Elemental
1 Rush of Ice
2 Spreading Seas
2 Threads of Disloyalty
2 Water Elemental
1 Watercourser
3 Wind Zendikon


Both are quite fun to play against. Please let me know which version you like more and if there are any additional changes you would make.

- Agetian
Last edited by Agetian on 07 Aug 2016, 04:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New quest decks

Postby tojammot » 07 Aug 2016, 00:47

With the release of more tribal support, I cobbled together a hard version of the Imperial Guard quest opponent.

Imperial Guard 3 | Open
1 Canopy Vista
4 Cavern of Souls
3 Forest
1 Fortified Village
4 Plains
4 Sunpetal Grove
1 Temple Garden
4 Windswept Heath
2 Angelic Overseer
3 Avacyn's Pilgrim
3 Champion of Lambholt
4 Champion of the Parish
3 Fiend Hunter
4 Hamlet Captain
2 Heron's Grace Champion
2 Mentor of the Meek
1 Riders of Gavony
1 Sigarda, Heron's Grace
4 Thalia's Lieutenant
3 Veteran Armorer
3 Descendants' Path
3 Oblivion Ring


Already it's holding up well but if there's any further improvements, I'm all ears.
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Re: New quest decks

Postby tojammot » 02 Sep 2016, 02:43

I'm thinking of a creature casting deck with cards like Soul Warden, Elvish Visionary and other etb creatures. I have a white version with Eiganjo Free-Riders but there's much better potential if I ran WG with Roaring Primadox.

I also made an Aluren deck, I just need a name.

Unnamed 3 | Open
quest-Test 2

Main:
4 Aluren
2 Augury Owl
2 Beastmaster Ascension
4 Coiling Oracle
4 Council of Advisors
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Essence Warden
4 Forest
4 Hinterland Harbor
2 Island
2 Marshaling the Troops
4 Merchant of Secrets
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Nulltread Gargantuan
1 Polluted Delta
4 Pyknite
4 Tropical Island
1 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wistful Selkie
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Re: New quest decks

Postby Sloth » 04 Sep 2016, 08:27

I'm afraid the AI will not attack enough with these creatures. How did testing go?

SOme possible additions: Reclamation Sage, Eternal Witness
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Re: New quest decks

Postby tojammot » 04 Sep 2016, 22:51

Sloth wrote:I'm afraid the AI will not attack enough with these creatures. How did testing go?

SOme possible additions: Reclamation Sage, Eternal Witness
Well, the AI sometimes mills itself, for starters. Also, even without Aluren the AI can make risky decisions especially with Beastmaster Ascension. Alternatively I can put Epic Struggle and make an alternate win condition.
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