Dash control and the power of command
This past weekend was the first big online tournament played on Tabletop Simulator and hosted by our friends over at Metrix Daily and Card Merchant. This event saw 34 people from multiple countries playing 5 rounds with a cut to top 8, competing to win-a-case of Flesh and Blood. First i want to say thank you to the team the organized and ran this event, it is not easy to run something which hasn't been really done before and from a layers point of view the whole event ran perfect, no major delays, nothing!
Onto the deck i decided to played for the weekly league hosted by the same team. I was testing out a Dash Control deck that played similar to the Ninja deck piloted by Sasha to win the recent Auckland Calling 10k. The basis for the deck is to use Induction Chamber with your Teklo Plasma Pistol to make a better Harmonized Kodachi. I was a fan to Sasha's deck from last season which played out by mostly attacking with 2 Kodachi's per turn and making a 3rd attack for 4 or 6 damage. Often this leads to grinding your opponent out of resources so Induction Chamber with Pistol ends up with a similar game plan.
So we have our starting point with the deck so what do we want to be doing? Well one of the best combinations to come out of Arcane Rising is Command and Conquer + Pummel. These two cards together are so strong, to the point where i feel like they will define the format and will force players to either play it in every deck or be forced to build around it by playing less defense reactions. Command and Conquer is so hard to deal with from the opposing side. What are your options when facing this? Block 6 and get blown out by Pummel? Take 6 and lose your Arsenal and maybe a card in hand? Over block and have almost no cards and the Command player can keep their Pummel for later? There is often no good way to to deal with it and still have a good follow up.
Next are the defensive cards which form the core of the deck. Unfortunately the Mechanologist class does not have any defense reactions but we did get Dissipation Shield and Enchanting Melody in Arcane Rising. Dissipation Shield is good as it blocks for 4 most times and it can stay on the field until you are ready to use it at the cost of reducing its effectiveness each turn. The same can be said for Enchanting Melody but has the downside of you opponent being able to force pop it with a weapon attack before you are ready to use it.
Welcome to Rathe gave us a good foundation of defense reactions to put in the deck so i played the full set of Unmovables, and the staple Red Sink Below, as well as Springboard Somersault from the hero decks. Arcane Rising also gave us some new generic defense reactions in the form of Fate Foreseen which i decided to play the Red and Blue.
How do we win the game? Well other than attacking with multiple Pistols per turn we play a suite of 6 Drone of Brutality. Attacking twice with Pistol and following up with a Drone for 6 is pretty good as it most often is a double block from your opponent or they are taking damage. Drones are also a target for the Pummels we play in the deck as well. The other 2 cost attack action i play is the new card Pursuit of Knowledge. This card forces your opponent to block it otherwise you get to draw a 5th card at the end of your turn, in a control deck is very strong. We also have to play the best attack action in Welcome to Rathe which is Enlightened Strike. Estrike just hits hard, its hard to block and can help get bad cards out of your hand so you can dig deeper in your deck.
Some other good generic cards that fill in the deck i played were Sigil of Solace to gain life against aggro and arcane decks, Snatch for some good 4 damage and draw and Remembrance to put back those Command and Conquers over and over again.
The glue that holds this deck together are the next 3 cards. First up is Spark of Genius which allows us to find the very important second Induction Chamber and later in the game it finds us Dissipation Shields. Then we have the staple of a lot of control decks in the form of Timesnap Potion and Tome of Fyendal. Its such a great feeling when start your turn by removing a 3 counters from your Fyendal's Spring Tunic, flipping Tome from your Arsenal to draw 2 cards and gain 6 life. It allows you to take a turn of damage then gain it back in your turn and still push for a big turn. These two often allow you to gain at least 12 life and some games up over 40 when you put them back with Remembrance.
Now the interesting part is the choice of equipment. I chose to run Tunic over Dash's Heart as there are no Boost cards in the deck and the 1 resource every 3 turns is really good, and Mage Master Boots which gives your Tome of Fyendal Go Again when you don't have a Timesnap Potion. Goliath Gauntlet lets us push a big Command and Conquer + Pummel in the late game to hopefully seal the deal. We also play Arcanite Skullcap just to block with and Achillies Accelerator and Nullrune Gloves to deal with Arcane damage.
So that was my deck for week one of the Arcane Rising format which took me to a 2-1 finish in completed games in the weekly league. Cards i didn't like were the Enchanted Melody because my Dash opponents could just attack with Pistol and pop it, the blue Drones as i think the 3 Red all you need and you can play other blue cars over it and some of the Unmovables. Unmovable is becoming a bit of a liability in the world of Command and Conquer so in the future i might be cutting back.
The future of this deck is looking strong as can be seen by Dash's showing as a huge 30% of the meta in this weekend Win-a-Case event and Dash Control making a Top 8 appearance. I think i might try and add more blue pitch cards with 3 defense to help against Command and Conquer and maybe Last Ditch Effort as an endgame plan that is also a blue pitch.
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