And we are back! It's been a tough few weeks as we had to shut down to lockdown here in New Zealand but we have been hard at work behind the scenes to bring new Arcane Rising content for you.
First up is Top 8 competitor from the Constructed Auckland Calling $10k Jacob Pearson, he talks to us about his first take on Runeblade that he is trying out in the first online Tabletop Simulator League.
Nic- Fab Empire
Peacock is a Runeblade archetype utilizing powerful synergies between some first under-rated cards to power out massive combos hoping to finish with a Pummel (P) riding on the back of Command and Conquer (COC).
These combos can see Viserai playing upwards of 10 cards in a single turn, using many tomes of learning to complete his Arknight Ascendancy.
Now let’s see the janky engine that powers the Lords Library.
Okay hear me out here, Lead the charge is the best card in this deck. It enables this deck to exist. It enables the Arknight to read all the books from his lords’ library. It enables us to lead ourselves into the dark dimension and come out the other side blade swinging. In short it enables everything!
This seemingly “draft chaff” common from ARC allows our deck to combo off with very little setup. Being able to play a lead the charge into Mordred Tide into any of our eight maindeck Drawn to the Dark Dimension (DDD) for free is crazy good value. DDD even gives us another card so we can finish with a “free” Runeblade attack or simply a Read the Runes to setup for an even bigger turn.
When playing Lead the Charge keep in mind of how many are being played and when they are being pitched to optimize your big combo turn potential, can't run out all your tomes unless your leading the charge.
The Backup Plan:
Then maybe Pummel some more.
Pummel must be one of the cards from Welcome to Rathe which has seen the biggest buff from all the new cards.
All our Arknight attack actions wear a Pummel proudly while themselves costing little to no Resource to play. Meaning we can push through lots of damage on turns where we find ourselves needing to defend aggressively.
Pummel also happens to work very well with two of the new 2-Cost generics that we received in Arcane Rising.
These cards are absolutely monsters when backed by a Pummel. I have been behind on 20 life and this two-card combo has thrown the tempo back in my favor so hard it pushed me all the way to victory.
The fact these two cards cost a total of four resources mean that we require only 1 blue pitch card and our tunic counter to Pummel our opponents. Meaning that we are not forced to save our hand and take a savage beating in order to swing the tempo back (looking at you crippling crush)
A Runic Defense:
This is what puts the deck over the top.
Out of all the new class Defensive reactions Arknight certainly got the goods. Blocking and turning on the key to our engine for zero cost? Sign me up! Your turns can be easily planned around setting up one of these defensive reactions from arsenal, as ending your combat chain with a Runeblade attack action will almost always net you a Runechant. Setting you up for some sweet blocks.
Unfortunately, these bad boys do come with a cost. They make the math bad.
Along with our signature bad boy Pummels they decrease the odds of hitting our Tomes. With the current configuration we play 24 “Attack” actions and 23 standard action cards with a total of 15 reaction style cards. This means near the start of our games we should often try to play more on the defensive side. Setting up some Runechants and defending heavily, maybe even throwing a “peacock” in the mix. Meaning when we do go for those long bouts in the library we will not be punished for it.
Making the ride Smooth:
Every deck has its “off” turns and Peacock Runeblade is no different.
Luckily there is a few things that are good in situations like these:
Having your strategy be consistent is what separates the good decks from the great ones.
The old man punches hard for little, buying you time to get your Runechants in a row and your books stacked up. Or even pulling off the top with a DDD after leading the charge for a cheap savage end to your combo.
*Sigh* now lets get to the eye.
Whats that saying? Knowledge is power and the Eye is all knowing?
Eye is very strong in this deck. Being able to know what is coming into a tome or a DDD is huge for knowing how much resource can be spared on our defense or whether we can hold the fort and wait for a better turn to strike out with our combo. Even in its worst case scenario it smooths your draws and makes your hands playable – better hope to get one in your packs!
Hopefully our equipment lineup looks pretty self-explanatory, we’ve got the tunic, the wizard hat helmet thing, our anti Kano tech, some Mage Master Boots to make our reading fast and some badass Gauntlets which may be better than you think.
Most people look at Grasp and see it’s a 2-block value equipment without a text box.
I look at Grasp and see a pair of lategame Harmonized Kodachis.
Don’t worry I know I’m crazy just hear me out. With a blue pitch and a tunic on three we can do a bad Kodachi impression by making a Runechant and attacking with blade for two separate sources of damage. Doesn’t seem great but anyone who has played more than one game against a ninja knows how truly back breaking this can be.
However, it doesn’t stop there. This Kodachi impression truly highlights the strength of Arknight. Having your damage split up means your opponent must make a lot more decisions around resource management. Really ‘pummeling’ your opponents for their mistakes.
In flesh and blood these decisions are even more important than normal. These decisions you make one turn can trigger chains of events many turns later. Making Viserai a headache to combat for even the most battle-hardened veterans.
Hero: Viserai, Rune Blood
Weapons: Nebula Blade
Crown of Dichotomy
Fyendal's Spring Tunic
Grasp of the Arknight
Mage Master Boots
(3) Amplify the Arknight (red)
(3) Arknight Ascendancy (red)
(3) Command and Conquer (red)
(3) Drawn to the Dark Dimension (red)
(3) Eirina's Prayer (red)
(3) Enlightened Strike (red)
(3) Fate Foreseen (red)
(2) Lead the Charge (red)
(3) Mordred Tide (red)
(3) Pummel (red)
(3) Read the Runes (red)
(3) Reduce to Runechant (red)
(3) Unmovable (red)
(3) Drawn to the Dark Dimension (yellow)
(1) Eirina's Prayer (yellow)
(3) Lead the Charge (yellow)
(3) Pummel (yellow)
(3) Reduce to Runechant (yellow)
(2) Remembrance (yellow)
(3) Tome of Fyendal (yellow)
(3) Become the Arknight (blue)
(3) Drawn to the Dark Dimension (blue)
(1) Eye of Ophidia (blue)
(3) Pursuit of Knowledge (blue)
(3) Tome of the Arknight (blue)
(3) Whisper of the Oracle (blue)
Thanks to https://fabdb.net for their awesome deckbuilding and collection tools.
Viserai is a powerful hybrid class with a lot of build options, I can certainly see a more control-style build utilizing Sloggism and Arknight Ascendancy for some absolutely devastating late game turns. Or on the other end of the spectrum going lower and faster with attacks like snatch, disregarding the Peacock plan for even more combo potential.
As it stands the decks seems to do very well against aggressive builds as they struggle to have the resources to fend off our massive two-pronged attacks. Unable to pressure us back due to the value we get from our Equipment and class defensive cards as well as our three card peacock plan.
However our control matchup is nowhere near as strong. Depending on player skill and how controlling the deck is I would say the best we can realistically hope for is a 50/50 chance at the win.
For more of an in-depth view at how the deck plays stayed tuned as we are planning on posting some exhibition matches in the coming weeks.
If you want to see more of this content from me let me know and share it with your FAB family, who knows I may just make this a regular occurrence.
Hope you found this entertaining and informative! May we find each other on the battlefield of Rathe.