It's time to start filling out the decklist lineup, and simply put, some heroes have had all avenues explored. There's not a whole lot of room for innovation.
After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Eladwen burn has been around as long as the game itself in one form or another. It's a staple of the game, and today, I'm going to share my own version of the classic archetype.
|Hey there, hot stuff... err, cold stuff? I dunno, just don't kill me.|
You start out in ally beats mode, and stay there as long as you maintain board control. Your primary goal here is to deal as much damage with allies as possible. Don't ignore enemy allies, but don't waste burn on them either. If you have the choice between attacking an ally to death or Jas charming it, go for the Jas charm. Nothing says you can't kill your opponent and spread the love at the same time.
As soon as you lose control of the board, IE your opponent has allies and you don't, it's time to ignore the board completely and beat face. You're now in what's called a 'death race', where you're racing to deal lethal damage before your opponent can. Use half of your Lightning Strikes and all of your Supernovas to keep enemy allies at bay, but you care more about dealing damage than not taking it. Don't even bother playing allies unless you've sacced way more cards than you need to already, or you can afford them after clearing the board with Supernova.
That's literally all you need to know to play Eladwen rush. Simple, yet effective.
Of course, I'm going to say more about it anyways.
In traditional Boweh style, It's time for a breakdown of each individual choice.
Eladwen: Elad in this deck does so many things that Nish can't do. First of all, the lower shadow energy cost makes Elad easier to use than Nishaven. Nish's ability also forces you to switch modes, whereas Eladwen's ability can be used to maintain ally mode. Lastly, Even if both Elad and Nish can't kill the same threats, Elad's freeze can at least keep them at bay. Nish does nothing to fight off Armored Sandworms.
I guess Eladwen's just more experienced at fending off big worms.
Kristoffer Wyld: The great thing with Kris is that he serves more as burn, but happens to be an ally on top of that. A hasty one damage can make or break games, and Kris is twice as effective with an Aldon in play. On top of that, Kris interacts with Retreat to double his damage output. This is one ally that still does things while in face mode.
|Not that I want to spend much time looking at that face.|
Puwen Bloodhelm: Dirk kills Dirk. Puwen kills Dirk. Dirk doesn't kill Puwen. Blake dies to Death Mage Thaddeus, Brutalis, and Kristoffer Wyld. Katrin... well, she's Katrin. This is a pretty obvious choice.
Jasmine Rosecult: The staple in pretty much every human deck, Jas is just that good at shutting a board down. In this deck, she doesn't have an Aeon to hide behind, but is still good by herself. Buffed with Aldon, she can take down most mid-size threats, and any that don't die to her are frozen in place. Even if she wasn't such a good card, I'd still play her just as an excuse to look at that art.
Aldon the Brave: This card is actually similar to Kris in that it increases your damage output the turn it hits the board, a very powerful effect. Aldon increases the effectiveness of your ally team and is a good way to follow up a turn three Jasmine.
Priest of the Light: Due to Aldon being unique, sometimes you just need another three drop. I don't care for this card much, as three health is rather vulnerable and the SE reduction is hard to profit from due to Shadow Font's popularity. PotL is mostly here to fill out the cost curve.
Bad Santa: The burst draw of choice for all aggro decks, this can be used to blow opponents out of the water following up after a turn one Kris, getting a full hand back while the opponent gets nothing. Plus, who doesn't like presents? 'Tis the season, after all.
|A fresh sack of burnt flesh? Oh thank you Santa! How did you know?|
Retreat!: Useful aggressively while still in ally mode to not waste precious burn, this card can also be used defensively once in face mode, or on a friendly PotL or Kristoffer Wyld to double their effects. If you play one before a Bad Santa, you can also get some card advantage out of it.
Fireball: Burn baby, burn. Standard stock damage spell. Try not to waste on allies unless absolutely necessary to stay alive. Instead, use it to beat face. More than beat face, this card burns face to a crisp.
Lightning Strike: Reduces the opponent's life AND board control at the same time? Sign me up!
Supernova: This is one hell of a way to end a game. Be careful to not kill yourself with one of these, but don't be afraid to make a game a draw if you don't have less painful burn to win with. Playing this card also broadcasts that you're officially in face mode, so be weary of other opponents who know their Eladwen matchup.
|That poor guy just wanted a hug.|
Ley Line Nexus: Sometimes, you just need to blow s**t up. Use LLN for pesky Spelleater Bands, Soul Seekers, The King's Pride, or other cards that could potentially cost you the game.
Tome of Knowledge: Slow, but once you start saccing allies and burning face, the extra cards will be affordable and you'll be glad you had them.
|This dude really needs to use Google.|
Your opening play will tend to look either like Kris, Bad Santa/Puwen, Jas/PotL or Puwen/ToK, then Jas/PotL. Your Turn four, depending on the situation and your cards, will either be Aldon (possibly no sac) or some combination of Bad Santa, ToK, Puwen, Retreat, and Jasmine's charm. It's usually at this point that you just stop playing allies, beat with them for as long as possible, and try to finish up with burn. Ideally, your opponent will be so focused on trying to deal with board presence that they won't see the fireball win coming.
Your sacrifices are pretty easy. One Supernova is okay to sac, since if you play all four in a game you've pretty much killed yourself. Sac extra Puwens when possible, even in ally rush mode. They're simply played for their cost, you have better options from turn three onward. It's okay to sac a Lightning Strike if your hand is full of burn, but never sac Fireball, regardless of circumstances.
Also remember that you don't need to keep saccing cards. You can skip your turn 5 resource easily; the only cards at that cost are item destruction and a boardwipe. Unless you need either, keeping the extra card in hand is an equally fine option. You don't NEED to sac an extra card to keep using Tome of Knowledge, for example, because if you're losing a card from your hand just to pay for tome then you're not actually gaining a card. I've seen Elad players go as high as 12-14 resources, and it's really not necessary. You shouldn't ever need more than 8-9 throughout the course of a game. Hell, I've won games with Elad still only at five.
Once you get comfortable playing the deck, try to think about your plays from the opponent's point of view. Try to play in such a way that will confuse the opponent as to which mode you're really in. Playing allies at odd times or burning face early can change how the opponent sacs, which will be to your advantage in the long run.
Be sure to explore the rest of the site for more articles, decklists and other Shadow Era content.
Until next time,