|Deck Cost: 26,300|
EDIT: No Altersphere here yet? Really? Sub Nicholas Stalwart for Shadow's Nicola, and Substitution for Manifest Malice.
1-18-2019 update - Changed to 3 Tyrant and 1 PTP, which in my experience has been considerably better. Renamed deck to Hinter-Tyrant, in hindsight.
Here's a fun, cheap, surprisingly viable list for unlimited.
PTP, Hinterland, Deathly Tyrant, Forbidden Art- any combination of these.
Top priority is getting your draw cycle going and filling up your hand. Other than that play a strong defensive game.
Pros: Strong control, decent healing. Multiple, powerful late game win-cons combining board nukes and ridiculous burst. Capable of aggressive early curve for necessary chip damage.
Cons: Slightly prone to bricking from PTP/Tyrants early game. (Hence only 2 of.)
Sacrifice of tempo/board as you prioritize card draw/control. Fairly slow for unlimited (earliest lethal typically turn 8, sometimes 7. More comfortably 9+)
Altered Fate: This is a tricky card to master involving luck and good judgement. It'll grant shadows equal to your hand size. Don't worry if you burn some PTP/Tyrants in the process, you have very flexible wincons to fall back on. Keep careful track of which ones remain in your deck. You may use it as a last resort anti-brick early game, but ideally get as full of a hand as possible for its use.
Soul Conversion/Demon Eater: Ideal targets are ghosts, Fran, Skull Beast and, situationally, lurching corpse. Nicola as well late game to prepare his wincon (though the surest way is using an evo).
Hinterland: Ideally, you'll want to activate him the turn you drop him. This is best achieved by playing AF with a fat hand beforehand. However, it's perfectly fine dropping him to set up altered fate/Tyrant/PTP. Before dropping him turn 7, consider if you can instead set up a board that will activate him next turn instead. In many cases this will be the stronger move, unless you are racing to use Tyrant ASAP (against D-Shift for example). In slower match-ups, turn 9 combo with Altered fate for a sure activation can be a wise move.
Remember this- Shadows gained = Hand-size (including hinter). You will likely want to trade any followers with andreal's effect before dropping hinter, so you burn skeletons instead of your deck cards.
Deathly Tyrant: Your powerful, unexpected wildcard. If I have another lethal move available, I use that instead. Why? One less player who expects and plays around him. He has the potential to completely flip a game around just when an opponent thinks they've secured their victory.
Often times I've ended up not even using AF, instead dropping hinterland turn 7 for turn 8 Tyrant lethal. Other times AF will set tyrant up by turn 7. It can be a wise move to hold onto a Fran's curse to combo with him to deal with wards.
ALSO, consider turn 8 AF -> Tyrant lethal. It's a gamble, but if you're backed into a corner against scary D-shift or roach, it very well may steal you the game, as it has for me a surprising amount of times. (Even AF -> AF -> PTP can do it some games)
PTP: Amazing post AF, ill-advised to bother setting up in advance. You only want to drop it when it nukes the board. Most opponents will concede at this point if they haven't secured lethal. The safest wincon but with the grindiest style.
Fran: Amazing as a control tool and for board pressure/draw fodder. The only catch is, you'll want to avoid eating 6-shadows for servant unless absolutely necessary. It will likely set your game-plan back a turn, but in some cases that may be the correct move.
For strong consideration: Cerberus. She's powerful, heals you, chips, gives 3 shadows, all in 1 compact card- why did I take her out of this deck again? (OH RIGHT GOLDEN CITY) She sorta clogs up the draw plan and could hurt early game, but she may very well be worth it. I'd sub for Moon & Sun, maybe seraphic?
Also of note: Moon & Sun. This is a flex slot in the deck, but I prefer her because 1. Helps against aggro 2. Can trade into big followers 3. Grants 2 shadows, maintains hand-size.
General rule, go for curve and keep 1 soul conversion/demon eater if you have a good target for it. Going 1st, prioritize followers. Going 2nd, I'd hold onto 1 control tool (ideally manifest). Followers are key for draw however, so don't invest too heavily in the control.
Against aggro, definitely keep lady grey and other control tools. (I wouldn't ever go all in control though, need draw engine)
---Some specific match-ups---
Aggro Blood. Pretty unfavorable. You'll want Lady Grey for certain, seraphic blade is handy for Vira, probably should avoid lurching corpse for lack of trading. Deathly Tyrant is a must for victory, however you shouldn't mull for him, but aim for him post AF. They'll put themselves in lethal range for you. Hell, I've stolen a few games with evo-ing 3/3 Tyrant when they got careless.
Mid-shadow. Quite favorable. Honestly this let's you play quite straight-forward control, and often they'll be wary and try cleaning your board expecting gremory/eachtar. Aim for Hinter into PTP, as once you get the board nukes going their game plan falls apart. Don't have to worry about playing the long game, you can grind them down and they lack ways to finish you without any board. You can generally take 1 wave of eachtar to face it if means securing a hinter or PTP set-up in the process.
Golden City Haven. Even, Favorable? (birdy storm variant is scarier) Don't bother setting up a board. Go full on draw engine, soul converting whatever in the process. They'll banish it otherwise. Usually if it's just 1 purehearted they'll hold onto their wide banish expecting Cerb or something. Also, you can also set up a board (lady grey evo) and combo with seraphic on golden to severely disrupt them. Best to aim for finishing with Hinter -> Tyrant as they'll often have Seraph to finish you turn 9.
Try and hold onto a Lurching Corpse for Holy Mage. Combo with Fran is amazing.
Mid-Sword. Plays Similar against Mid-shadow, but you don't want to drag on too long as they have more reach late game. Also, try to avoid being obvious about setting up PTP/Hinter so they don't counter with Queen Magnus. Generally they will be paranoid and keep clearing your board, so use this to your advantage.
Aggro Sword: this can go either way. Honestly, you can just play straight control and have them concede with your lady greys/Amaterasu. Definitely prioritize the control/healing plan and let the hinter stuffs take a back-seat. When they lose the board they have a hard time recovering. Hopefully you won't brick with your wincons early game.
Roach/Dshift. In both cases, you want to aim for AF into Tyrant. Roach is very unfavorable. D-shift, you can disrupt their game-plan more via leaving no targets for them via soul conversion, and you can be more greedy with a careless AF "do-nothing" turn. Sometimes just straight-up passing is the right move, when all you're doing is dropping a follower for them to remove. However you'll need to get in your chip damage for tyrant as well, so you'll want soome kind of early game presence to attack with.
That's about the gist of it. It's a deck that's very flexible and honestly takes a bit of time becoming familiar with. There are a lot of interesting combinations and moves you can use, and it may take a skilled shadow player to draw out the full potential of this deck and adjust it to their tastes. It's very strong against board-based decks and is capable of racing with other win-cons. Most importantly, it's a blast to play and you'll often give your opponent quite a surprise.
|Skull BeastFollower - Standard||1||x 3|
|Lurching CorpseFollower - Rise of Bahamut||2||x 3|
|Demon EaterFollower - Wonderland Dreams||2||x 3|
|BelenusFollower - Starforged Legends||2||x 1|
|AndrealphusFollower - Starforged Legends||2||x 2|
|Lady Grey, DeathweaverFollower - Brigade of the Sky||2||x 3|
|Purehearted SingerFollower - Starforged Legends||3||x 1|
|Fran, Monster GirlFollower - Brigade of the Sky||3||x 3|
|Deathly TyrantFollower - Standard||6||x 3|
|Hinterland GhoulFollower - Dawnbreak, Nightedge||7||x 3|
|Nicholas, Stalwart InventorFollower - Brigade of the Sky||4||x 2|
|Altered FateSpell - Standard||2||x 3|
|Seraphic BladeSpell - Brigade of the Sky||2||x 2|
|Moon and SunSpell - Dawnbreak, Nightedge||3||x 1|
|SubstitutionSpell - Chronogenesis||3||x 3|
|Soul ConversionSpell - Standard||1||x 3|
|Path to PurgatoryAmulet - Standard||4||x 1|