|Deck Cost: 10,700|
I've been playing and winning with this deck recently in AA2 rotation, score 43852 (at present). The wonderful thing about this deck is that it -wins- consistently, with no Legendaries whatsoever in the deck. Making it an ideal deck for a new player to build and play to climb ranks in rotation.
For more familiar players, the deck plays a bit like a cross between aggro sword and aggro blood- you're trying to hit face when possible but often saving evolutions slightly longer than most decks, either for big beaters like Hector or Phantom Cat, or situational board control like Actress Feria or Lyrial.
Early game, the deck is trying to pull standard aggro sword's desire to curve out, one-drop, two-drop, three drop. Although it is quite fine if you don't hit a one drop. Essentially you want to get in some early damage, possibly pick off some enemy creatures with value plays, and in general present more board presence.
Mid-game, it's possible you may hold back some. Setting up for an active turn 5 Hector is usually better than playing out small neutrals turn 4 and having a non-active Hector, if it comes to that. Saving a Hector as a turn 7 play after a Phantom Cat can also be a good call, it simply depends on the gamestate.
Late game, you're trying to push the last damage you need in several ways. Direct damage such as Phantom Cat or Hector or Storm Emeralda, flooding the board with a large number of small followers, or having a large follower the opponent can't answer. Even pinging with Angel of the Word or buffing with Wise Merman can sometimes get you there.
Card Choices- ie, the why:
Goblin- One drop neutral follower. Gets you started early, and is a neutral card.
Wise Merman- Similar to Goblin. Can also buff creatures to trade into wards or push damage.
Sektor- Sektor actually has an ability that tends to be overlooked in that it buffs itself +2/+2 with a high-enough cost neutral follower out. Performing a turn 7 Hector into 4/4 Sektor is great. Also, neutral.
Lyrial- Besides being a neutral follower, Lyrial is among the best two drops in the game, for that evolution ability. Can take out 5 toughness followers or ping those at 1. Or, in a pinch, ping the opponent.
Actress Feria- Buffs all the other neutral followers when she evolves. Helps thusly with both pushing damage and surviveability. Amazing in neutral decks.
Happy Pig- A new neutral addition that gives you life when it dies. The deck is also happy to have the additional 2 drops.
Baphomet- This card warrants some special attention in explanation. It does several things. The fact that it cantrips is self-explanatory, but there are some spill-on benefits. The card works like a tutor- it's going to either get another baphomet, Phantom Cat, or Emeralda. All three are cards you like seeing- the first in that it replaces itself, the second as both card draw and direct damage (and a beatstick), and the third as both hard removal and a beatstick. But additionally, playing a baphomet results in less non-neutral cards remaining in your deck, which helps Phantom Cat triggers, and helps Hector be more likely to come online with each draw. It's also never going to be a dead draw. I've turn 10 drawn into Baphomet, gotten Baphomet from it, played it, and gotten Phantom Cat for the win. It's a way to dig for win conditions.
Goblin Mage- Similarly~ Goblin Mage does what baphomet does, just slightly less effectively. It cantrips, but this does have the additional spill-on of sometimes hitting a one-drop to play on turn 4 with it, or keeping your hand stocked with neutral cards for Hector to be online turn 5. It can also dig up a baphomet, which can then further dig up cards you need. Turn 5 Goblin Mage digging up Baphomet digging up Phantom Cat is wonderful.
Angel of the Word- Making X/1's obsolete with style. Sometimes you just need one damage on something, and sometimes you just need to get one damage in on your opponent. She can also take out a 5 toughness with an evolution, which is worth noting, especially considering wards. Also another neutral follower- and all these neutral followers add up in good ways.
Grimnir- Usually it's fine to play him on turn 3, force some value trades or get a two-for-one, but at 10 points he can clear a board and that can be huge in some games that go long. Being neutral is added value here.
Angelic Knight- The pump is useful, the ward is useful, the being neutral is useful.
Hector- One of the key components of the deck. Hector can be either a 3-for-1 (sniping a creature, evo-rushing a second, and forcing a counter-rush or removal to kill him) or pulling a sort of burn-rune on the opponent and keeping you behind a reasonable-sized ward. There may be some games where he's not a turn 5 play- you just skip your turn 5 so you can have him online with direct damage the following turn, because the direct damage is usually worth the wait. Bonus- he himself is neutral, which helps if you have multiple in hand.
Phantom Cat- Probably the best reason to be running Bloodcraft for the neutral package. He's not neutral, so he fetches up with Baphomet, but you're almost always going to do at least 2 damage, and usually 4, plus draw more cards. Which, in addition to the immediate effect, helps you maintain board control longer.
Emeralda- I find 2 the perfect number personally- They can flat out remove a ward creature trying to prevent you from winning, an amulet that's causing problems, or a big bad dragoncraft beatstick that needs answered. Being able to storm with vengeance is wonderful, and being tutorable with Baphomet means you're more liable to be set up with one the turn you need one.
Why I'm not playing ...
other removal, or other bloodcraft followers-
I started out trying the deck with Razory Claws, and experimented with Savage Wolf- I was mostly disappointed with both, wishing instead for a neutral card either for Hector or Phantom Cat. I also found Savage Wolf a disappointing dig from Baphomet late game.
One thing I have not experimented with, but think is absolutely and perfectly viable, is to play Badb Catha. She's neutral, and has an amazing effect that would be great for the deck... but she's legendary and the deck -does- function well without her. On personal choice, I'd be most likely to try dropping the Grimnir's and a Happy Pig, but not having any I have no ability to test what would work best in practice. If you have her, though, I encourage the inclusion in the deck- just note that the deck vial price is much lower without her.
Similarly, Alice. I liquified my Alice set when she was nerfed, but if you have some, I'd certainly say it couldn't hurt to try her in the deck and see how it works, even with her current nerfed version. The tricky part is that as a 4 drop, she occupies an awkward slot for the deck, and would probably result in less consistent early game if included- though a potentially more powerful midgame.
The deck does just fine against most rotation decks, though some can pull out wins on the strength of deck draws. For example, you can usually fight through a couple big Dragoncraft plays, but if they keep coming there's nothing you can do. An early enough Daria boardflood can be hard to deal with, but Daria Rune tends to win or lose to itself, depending on what turns up from Daria. The mirror-match is... as you'd expect, a toss up. Shadowcraft is usually too slow to pressure and you get the win with direct damage. Portalcraft puts a lot more pressure on your creatures, but like Daria rune can win or lose to itself, and you can usually push through attempts to stop your damage push, or trade resources relatively efficiently and beneficially. Summit Temple Haven only needs you to pay attention to the damage it could do and play proactively. You can turn Summit Temple into a disadvantage for your opponent rather than an advantage if you choose your damage wisely. In a lot of cases though, you're only partially interacting with your opponent's deck, clearing certain followers to keep the most value you can on the board or requiring the opponent to trade in with you and proactively pushing damage. Once you play the deck, you'll quickly get a feel for it, and may be pleasantly surprised at how often the deck wins despite having a full 0 Legendaries. : ) Enjoy!
|GoblinFollower - Standard||1||x 3|
|Wise MermanFollower - Tempest of the Gods||1||x 3|
|SektorFollower - Rise of Bahamut||2||x 3|
|Lyrial, Celestial ArcherFollower - Rise of Bahamut||2||x 3|
|Actress FeriaFollower - Wonderland Dreams||2||x 3|
|Happy PigFollower - Chronogenesis||2||x 3|
|BaphometFollower - Tempest of the Gods||2||x 3|
|Goblin MageFollower - Rise of Bahamut||3||x 3|
|Angel of the WordFollower - Rise of Bahamut||3||x 3|
|Grimnir, War CycloneFollower - Tempest of the Gods||3||x 2|
|Angelic KnightFollower - Wonderland Dreams||3||x 3|
|HectorFollower - Wonderland Dreams||5||x 3|
|Phantom CatFollower - Wonderland Dreams||6||x 3|
|Emeralda, Demonic OfficerFollower - Wonderland Dreams||7||x 2|