Set: Tempest of the Gods
As a lover of control decks in other card games, Tempest of the Gods is a refreshing change from the aggressive meta of the previous expansion, Rise of Bahamut. With heavy endgame decks like Ramp Dragoncraft and Aegis Havencraft, I thought I would try my hand at a control deck with my favorite class, Swordcraft. The two new legendaries, Gawain of the Round Table and Roland the Incorruptible, serve as great additions to the Control Swordcraft archetype.
= Sample Decklist =
= Roland the Incorruptible =
Roland the Incorruptible is the reason why Swordcraft can contend with late game behemoths. Heavenly Aegis doesn’t do much when it only does four damage to your Ward walls and your face. Ouroboros doesn’t do much when eight attack is suddenly four. It also protects your late-game followers to turn equal or unfavorable trades into favorable ones. Durandal turns Frontguard General from a stone wall to a brick wall, Lucifer from a one-turn heal into a potential multi-turn heal, and Fangblade Slayer from a single-target removal spell to a nightmare.
While drawing multiples sucks, Roland is so necessary in some matchups that running at least two is recommended. I personally run three because Roland is so important in the Ramp Dragon matchup.
= Albert, Levin Saber =
If Roland the Incorruptible is your shield, Albert, Levin Saber is your sword. Your last Evolve point is precious because a top-deck Albert can become a surprise victory. Don’t be afraid to play him early for board clear or just early face damage if you have multiple Albert, Levin Saber in your hand.
I haven’t found the “Can’t be damaged until the end of the turn this card is played” to be quite useful, but in a pinch Albert can be used to remove multiple enemy followers in the late game like a mini-Alexander.
= Gawain of the Round Table =
Gawain of the Round Table and Jeno, Levin Vanguard are important because they are powerful four cost followers that also have relevance on turn 6. While Otohime used to be the turn 6 of choice, she does not do enough proactively to be worth running anymore. The only six cost follower I use is Tsubaki as answers to late-game followers.
Jeno is best on turn 4 and Gawain is best on turn 6 because their Rush allows you to save Evolve points for your turn 7+ followers.
Gawain’s cost reduction of Commander cards helps you play Roland the Incorruptible and Frontguard General earlier to stem off aggression. Most importantly, he has 3 attack which bumps to 5 to challenge any Dragoncraft’s Rahab, which Floral Dancers cannot contest.
Keep in mind, Gawain’s cost reduction does not reduce Albert’s Enhance cost. Double saber strike is at the earliest on turn 9.
= Lucifer =
In its initial form, this deck struggled with aggressive decks like Vengeance Bloodcraft. Despite protecting myself with a wall of Wards, I would lose to inevitable burn spells. Lucifer behind a wall of wards or just with Durandal support can easily heal for multiple turns.
Israfil is probably better in this slot but I don’t own a copy of her. That being said if there is a deck in which Lucifer is superior, it may be this one since it’s possible to get multiple turns of healing when he’s sitting behind a Frontguard General and protected by a Durandal.
= Alexander =
This is my attempt at beating Shadowcraft. Skeletons spawning everywhere with Prince of Catacombs? Alexander can take care of that. Bunch of zombies from Death’s Breath? Alexander can take care of that.
I’m not quite sold on him yet so feel free to experiment yourself.
= Cyclone Blade and Support Cannon =
The weakest part of Swordcraft is its lack of mass-removal. Cyclone Blade is the only AoE card in our arsenal. However, Cyclone Blade requires a follower already on the field. A fun card I have found success with is Support Cannon. Where Cyclone Blade is reactive removal, Support Cannon is proactive removal. Play Support Cannon when you’re just about to swing control of the board (which is actually usually turn 6 so playing Support Cannon on turn 5 is perfect). Playing Roland on turn 7 to create a solid wall is great but also destroying an enemy with 4 defense is even better.
Feel free to experiment with my decklist! How much success have you gotten?