Konan’s Guide to Beginner Decks

7

January 12, 2015 by KonanTheBarbarian

Partially Updated June 13th with Set 7.0 

If you haven’t read my New Player Guide, make sure to check it out, since there are tons of useful information – apart from decklists – that will make your life easier when starting with Solforge. I wrote this guide, because quite a few people who have read my New Player Guide still didn’t know which decks to start with and what the best way to spend Silver is. Simply referring to SolForgeLadder.com for example decklists was a little too vague for some beginners and they were a little lost among all the cards they have never heard of. This is a more detailed guide which shows a few decks to play with when starting SolForge from scratch and how they transition into tournament ready decks. If you haven’t signed up to Solforge yet please make sure to use Konan’s Solforge Referral Program Link.

What do good decks for beginners look like?

 

Let’s start with some decklists for beginners. I guess the most popular beginner deck is Nekrium Uterra (NU) Plants and now with set 6.0 out in the wild also NU Dinosaur. The nice thing about these decks is that they are very consistent and show you a lot about good deck design. Here is the first list:

NU Plants

3 Batterhide
3 Ebonbound Warlord
3 Grove Matriarch
3 Shardbound Invoker
3 Tanglesprout
3 Toorgmai Guardian
3 Xithian Direhound

3 Dysian Siphon
3 Lysian Shard
Dendrify
1 Howl of Xith

Batterhide is a creature with a weak Level 1 (L1) that gets Consistent and can be really strong with the good growth effects that the deck provides. It’s great finisher because of its ability to push Breakthrough damage.

You have tons of underdrops – cards that are still very good even if you don’t level them in Player Level 1 (PL1). Best examples are the Ebonbound Warlord and Shardbound Invoker, which only get their full effect when played underleveled. Cards with strong L1 stats, like Tanglesprout and Toorgmai Guardian, also fall within this category.

You’ve also got a solid removal/debuff package with Xithian Direhound, Dendrify and Dysian Siphon and more late-game reach with Howl of Xith.

On top of that there are nine cards in the deck which thin it out and thus make it more consistent. There are two Overload cards – Lysian Shard, which is best used to create a huge threat (preferably with Breakthrough) – and Xithian Direhound, which is good removal that leaves a body behind.

 

In general you should not use (more than one) Overload card in PL1, since you won’t have enough leveled cards in your deck if you do so. This particular deck is an expection. You can quite agressively use your Overload cards to stay ahead in PL1 and then gain more and more incremental advantage if you play your Ebonbound Warlord and Shardbound Invoker in PL2.

Toorgmai Guardian is also really interesting, since he is a plant that lets you remove plants from your deck – preferably ones that are not leveled. The deck consists of 15 Rares and 15 Commons and is therefore quite cheap to craft.

NU Dinosaur

3 Ebonbound Warlord
3 Shardbound Invoker
3 Xithian Direhound
3 Batterhide
3 Mosstodon
3 Swampmoss Ancient
3 Swampmoss Lurker
2 Plunder Imp
3 Dysian Siphon
2 Lysian Shard
1 Dendrify
1 Howl of Xith

With the release of set 6.0 there is actually a really interesting variant of the UN Plants deck that utilizes more Dinosaurs instead of Plants – both decks play very similar and share a lot of the staples in the unheroic format. The nice thing is that Batterhide is also a Dinosaur that get’s buffed by Mosstodon – along with all the other Dinosaur that you might have on board.

The next most popular archetype is Alloyin Tempys (AT) Defender. AT plays very differently from NU and is much more centered on having a strong late-game to crush you opponent in PL3 or later. The basic idea is that you play cards with the ability Defender that can’t attack, but have very good stats with a mix of cards that remove the Defender ability.

The best example for a Defender is probably Citadel Guard, which has currently the highest sum of stats (over all three levels) of all cards in the game. You probably want to play Citadel Guard whenever you can in PL1. The defender removal package consists of Vault Welder, Flamerift Instigator and Jet Pack.

As removal you have Oratek Battleband, which is a great card that is currently also played by some of the best decks in the metagame. It often lets you remove a creature, while being able to level one of your own. Always play it when you have to do a 1 for 1 trade with one of your opponent’s creatures (e.g. blocking a 14/5 with a 6/8 creature), because you are free in your leveling choice (e.g. you could level the Cinder Colossus, which has a weak L1) and level the Oratek Battlebrand on top.

This deck runs another card from the “-bound” cycle, the Cinderbound Barbarian. That is also your main target to get the Upgrade effect of Vault Welder. By the way – don’t be afraid to play Vault Welder without being able to trigger his Upgrade ability. His stats are good enough that that is not necessary.

As “flex”- slots you can use Aegis Wings, Glacial CrushBurnout or Steam Sentinel. If you happen to run into other defender decks – definitely use Glacial Crush – it’s your best option to remove Defender. Against NU decks Aegis Wings and Burnout are better options.

AT Defender

3 Avalanche Guardian
3 Kadrasian Stoneback
3 Citadel Guard
3 Crucible Colossus
3 Flamerift Instigator
3 Sparkstone Elemental
Vault Welder
Cinder Colossus

3 Oratek Battlebrand
3 Stone Brand
2 Chaos Twister

 

You may want to visit SolForgeLadder.com and say that you are new to the game and ask if someone could send you a few cards for an AT or an NU Unheroic deck, maybe even refer to this article and with a little luck there will be someone around that will share a few cards with you.

The mentioned decklists are all so called Unheroic decks (decks without Legendaries or Heroics) and you could use them for limited rarity tournaments on SolForgeLadder.com – there is a weekly event on Mondays if you are interested in competitive play. If you don’t care about tournament play you should try to add Heroics or Legendaries to the mentioned decklists to add your own spice.

Is there a good deck for the campaign missions?

Yes there actually is an UT Variant which is pretty good at beating the campaign mission. It’s basically a deck with only big cheap creatures and some hate cards that are good in most of the missions (they are also the only rares that you need for that mission). Herald of Destruction works great against all decks that summon creatures which are not played from hand and Oxidon Spitter simply negates Armor effects that are used in some missions. Umburk Glider is probably better than Deepranch Prowler, but both work and are the best target for Lysian Shard and Twinstrength, because of their breakthrough. The whole deck costs only 2 x 3000 = 6000 Gold for the rares and 27 x 150 = 3750 Gold for the commons.

3 Twinstrength
2 Oxidon Spitter (Rare)
3 Deepranch Prowler
3 Tanglesprout
3 Swampmoss Ancient
3 Lysian Shard
3 Thranik Ambusher
3 Ashurian Brawler
3 Shardbound Invoker
2 Cinderbound Barbarian
2 Storm Caller

What is the best way to spend Silver?

 

AdvancedSearch

In the very beginning I would probably try to forge one of the above decks if you can’t find someone to share some of the Commons and Rares with you. This should take you less than a week.

bluebasic140You should also participate in the Draft tournament as soon as you have 4 Tickets from your daily rewards. Since it is very important to get the Tickets from your dailies, you should take the advice from my New Player Guide and simply create a second account and send challenges to that account (and concede them) to get your online win. You could also do this if you are not ready yet to play online against other opponents with your starter decks and still want to get the tickets as rewards.

Once you have forged a good starter deck, the best way to spend Silver is to buy basic boosters, since you are missing most of the cards. On average the drop rate for basic boosters should be around 10% for Legendaries and 40% for Heroics. As a beginner you shouldn’t buy Legendary chests for 100,000 Silver – they give you a guaranteed random Legendary, but it’s better to spend a little bit more silver and forge the Legendary that you need. Also concentrate on getting Heroics first, before you start to forge Legendaries. There are a lot of powerful Heroics like Bramblewood Tracker and Borean Windweaver that are much more important than Legendaries for a lot of decks.

 

How can I improve my Unheroic decks?

Both NU Plants and NU Dinosaur transition well into the Unlegendary format, but Dinosaurs transitions better into the Standard format were all cards are allowed. Therefore I propose a UT Dinosaur deck here (although an NU version would also be possible).

Unheroic core:
3 Mosstodon
Swampmoss Ancient
Razortooth Stalker
Burnout
2 Lysian Shard

New cards:
3 Uterradon Rex
3 Umburk Lasher
2 Tremorsaur
3 Thunderstomp
3 Aetherphage
3 Borean Windweaver

In the Unlegendary format we have some additional tools to work with. First of all there are the staples Aetherphage and Borean Windweaver. Aetherphage is a great tool to disrupt decks that rely on spells like Oratek Explosives or Discordant Strike and Borean Windweaver is among the best utility Heroics in the game.

The rest of the Heroics all belong to the Dinosaur tribal with Uterradon Rex being the most prominent example of a tribal leader. Umburk Lasher is a great removal when combined with Borean Windweaver (or Burnout / Thunderstomp) and also a must answer card that can’t be ignored by your opponent. Tremorsaur can easily get huge when played with good timing – it’s not unusual for him to be a 12/8 when he gets active, but he can be lackluster when you are already ahead on the board and don’t take any damage. Thunderstomp is just plain aweseome removal and with 16 Dinosaurs in the deck you should never miss a trigger. Razortooth Stalker and Burnout are in the deck because they are both Tempys cards that fit the deck well. If you play allied cards like Umburk Lasher you should at least have 11 cards of the allied faction in your deck and this deck barely meets this requirement with the above-mentioned cards.

How does a standard Dinosaur deck look like?
bronwildtamer-combined-std

I have written a set 6.0 preview article about Mosstodon and cover a few Dinosaur lists there, which you might want to check out.

Isn’t there any cheap competitive deck?

shardboundinvoker123

Set 7.0 Mono Uterra GrowWide

Core deck:

3              Enduring Vitality
3              Bramblewood Tracker
3              Lifeblood Dryad
3              Patron of Deepwood

Recommended addition:
3              Shardbound Invoker
3              Ether Wolves
3              Aetherphage / Snowdrift Alpha / Brightusk Sower
2              Ferocious Roar / Whispers of Dendris
X              Oros, Deepwood’s Chosen / Rootforged Avatar / Swampmoss Ancient

X              Scatterspore Eidolon / Echowisp / Deepranch Prowler
2              Call the Lightning / Dysian Siphon / Death Current


How does this deck work?

Mono Uterra is powerful, quite easy to play, rather cheap and gives you great flexibility for deckbuilding. The main idea is to play Enduring Vitality early on, then flood the board with Bramblewood Tracker / Patron of Deepwood and buff everything with Lifeblood Dryad (+ Enduring Vitality). The combination of this 4 cards is really deadly and for the rest of the cards you are quite flexible in what to play. It won’t make your deck worse if you use any of the suggested replacements (some of them are more tech choices than replacements).

What are the recommended additions?

As said above you have quite a big flexibility to build this deck and play around with different cards. I would just not put more than 3 non Uterra cards into the deck (while 6 would be the absolute maximum). On top of that just make sure to include at least 6 cards that can create some tokens (Ether Wolves, Brighttusk Sower) to be able to get some reliable Lifeblood Dryad triggers.
With the rest of the slots you can play around and optimize for the matchups that you face more often. Against decks that try to race you (so called burn decks) Call the Lightning is really good, while Aetherphage is great against spell heavy decks (or to protect you from Ambriels Edict). I the higher rarity cards and their possible (lower rarity) replacements in the same row.
Another great tech choice can be to include 2 Pythobomb, against those nasty Indomitable Fiend decks. If you face decks that build one big threat (Wegu, The Ancient or Alyssa Strifeborn) you should add Death Current or Spiritcleave. You could also try some of the new raid cards like Lorus, the Unrivaled or Hive Empress, if you have those.

Any advice for playing the deck?

The earlier you play Enduring Vitality the better it is usually. Just don’t be too greedy. As an opener I like creatures that create tokens, ideally Patron of Deepwood. Just make sure you always play Patron before your second card (if you have a non Uterra card in hand).
My recommendation would be to play Tracker as a 4/7 in PL1 if you have one Enduring Vitality active. I don’t like him as an opener or if he doesn’t get buffed, since you also want to build a board to get the Lifeblood Dryad trigger. Depending on your tech choices you can win most matchups, but mono Nekrium is great counter against this deck.

How do I get the cards for this deck?

The core of the deck consists of 3 legendaries and 9 heroics. Enduring Vitality and Patron of Deepwood (+ Rootforged Avatar / Brighttusk Sower / Shardbound Invoker) can be bought in a preconstructed deck for $5. If you find someone to cross share a Call of Deepwood deck with you, it will only cost $10 to get 3 copies of Vitality/Tracker.
It should not be too hard to get a trade for the Lifeblood Dryad here on the ladder(since it’s a very old card and was easy to get). If you are lucky and ask kindly in ladder chat some of the veterans might give you copy for free.
I would say the best way to get a Bramblewood Tracker is probably to forge them for 25k silver each, but you of course also try to get a trade for one of those. You can play the deck without any of them, but some of the matchups will definitely get worse without tracker.


7 comments »

  1. Kestralb says:

    Excellent guide. Thanks for posting this!
    I’ll definitely be sending new players in this direction.

  2. Sekire1 says:

    Very nice Guide, helped me a lot! 🙂

  3. EvilAaron says:

    Thank-you for all the helpful articles to get us new players up and running, or crawling as the case may be 🙂

  4. Mike says:

    The Broodqueen deck needs updating, them hermits >_>

  5. Janrok says:

    Sweet article!

  6. Syd says:

    Looks like some of the cards named don’t exist anymore? I couldn’t find Malice Hermit and Windspark Elemental in the card database (cards.solforgegame.com). Perhaps that database isn’t complete? Or perhaps I’m missing something.

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