Firstly, I've been inspired by a similar if not identical thread by chaosangel2112, which can be found here
, I would not have considered doing this otherwise. Go have a look at his if you like mine. Or even if you don't. Anyway I got nostalgic since I used to write guides for DotA, way back when. I've labeled this as Walkthrough 1 because, hey, I might get the nerve to do this again eventually.
This is a walkthrough for people who don't have absolute confidence in their drafting skills, although players with moderate experience might find some useful tips too. It basically highlights some things that one should try to do and try to avoid. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong (but if I'm not, I may ignore you completely). I have relatively high confidence in my drafting skills, having hit 75 wins with the deck currently linked in my sig, a milestone only a few have reached so far. But I am by no means perfect, and I fail miserably with certain factions regardless of my card selection, choices, opponents, etc.
You may have seen your scroll bar by now. Fair warning: this is a massive wall of text, with lots of detail, broken up by relatively boring screenshots. I basically explain every single thing that goes through my head here, so start reading at your own risk. Also? This took forever, so be nice or leave.
Common choice here. I would lean on FD or Sleepers for personal preference, but particularly now. Masked Initiate is just bad, Sleeper beats it immediately and so does the Knight. Glorious Warrior is a good pick but I'll avoid it for the following reasons:
1. I don't like DoD. Just in general. Also pretty bad in draft unless you can play them well and/or get certain commanders.
2. For him to be truly effective (instead of just big) you need a morale deck, which is hard to build in constructed let alone in draft.
3. Assuming you can get a morale deck, all morale decks are slow and annoying, so no.
Between Sleeper and the Knight, I have to go with the Knight, especially as a commander. Personal massive edge in FD experience aside, the FD Knight is quite frankly a massive character for a 2-cost. More importantly, this opens up the possibility of getting double purity FD, which enables a lot of strong FD cards that allow me to have quick, efficient wins (Harbinger of Light
comes to mind).
Virtually no choice at all because Demon of Fear is so damn strong.
Aleta Tinkerer, while being quite powerful, is reliant (in this case) on me getting artificial characters and is best suited to getting one in the command zone, which we can't rely on happening, no matter how good it would be to roll a Splitter
for the final commander. So she's out.
Dragon is an example of FD cards that are out of place. FD lives by the rule that if you have enough resources to play something like that (or Bloodbath
, said anybody), you've already failed as FD because you've not killed them by that stage. Overall, big 11-cost high-priority target in the command zone? Not viable. I got stuck with one once because my other options all had Charge or something equally annoying, and my run ended due to Called Shot
blowing it up.
Kali is easily second place. She is one of the harder-hitting FD cards and lacks charge, making placing her in the command zone a strong pick. Her immolation effect is arguably useless due to her already hitting for 12 damage of course. This version of her does stop zombie cards hitting the graveyard though, which is useful circumstantially, but we try to avoid circumstantial cards even if they're stronger ones. Also, securing double purity FD this early doesn't do that much for me, because the only triple-purity FD cards are basically crap, regardless of whether or not I can make a triple FD deck work.
Demon of Fear. Where to begin? If you've been around the chat long enough, you'll notice a lot of people looking for the card and basically nobody offering it. That's a generally sign that its high value. This here has the meaning of it being one of the strongest and most versatile rares in the game, trumping epics and legendaries to an extent.
To be more specific, it suits what little I have so far. Demon combos very well with FD by displacing, well, their entire defense line, while the FD press the attack. The Demon itself is no slouch either, as 10/10 fliers are always problematic. It also opens up the whole Verore arsenal of nasties - Death Ray
to substitute FD's Exhaust
, Lightning Blast
, and Word of Command
for starters. Siphoner
with Word of Command and/or FD's Ferocity
can be made very potent surprise attackers, so that combo is another reason just to branch to Verore; FD pressure followed by Siphoners to finish the job is a legitimate threat in constructed and ranked, let alone draft. Picking up the Demon theoretically opens up double Verore, which has a lot of nasty stuff (Dark Blast
and Mass Death
specifically). DEMON WINS.
OK so I was preparing to be blind-sided by a range of Exile/DoD/Warpath cards, but this is just amazing. I have either of the aforementioned double purity routes available to me.
Lets ignore the Infected Devil, although it is strikingly efficient itself.
Harbinger of Light was one of those good cards I was hoping to open up via double FD, however she is a bit lacking as a commander simply due to the fact that her surprise value goes out the window. General rule with charge cards is that they're wasted in the command zone. If I had no other good alternatives (i.e. the aforementioned factions I don't feel like adding to this mix), I would take it, but such alternatives exist.
Aerial Commando is one of my FD mainstays. Its flying and it hits quite hard. If they don't have removal, it will kill them, pure and simple. This, combined with a Demon of Fear, would be a potent mix, as the Demon can bounce any flying defenders an opponent brings out.
Verorian Hydra, on the other hand... quite simply, this card terrifies me. I will admit to not having used one before, but I have seen them in action and they do not disappoint. Saying they are vulnerable to removal is a misnomer, since most things are; conversely, this is quite difficult to kill through direct damage, since it heals it back at the end of the turn if it lives. Combined with my existing Demon of Fear, well, lots of options there... bounce blockers with the Demon so the Hydra can hit the fortress, use the Hydra as a wall while the Demon swings over their non-fliers, etc. Not to mention using Word of Command and/or Ferocity while the opponent has the initiative to protect the Hydra from kill spells.
Another reason to go with the Hydra is the power curve. Having this 6-cost in the command zone means that I can easily fill the deck with cheap FD attackers and Verore nukes, and then have a more expensive card guaranteed, on top of the Demon of Fear.
Also, having the Demon of Fear and the Hydra allows for some mind games - since you aren't going to play the Demon for 5, the earliest you're going to play is for 6 resources (albeit for wasted potential). But you're also going to play the Hydra for 6. So the opponent can't be sure what you're doing, and thusly can't aim a kill spell with certainty. Not to mention turn 6 is Mass Death Time... SO many mind games.
Overall, the purity granted by the Hydra opens up a lot more doors for me than the Aerial Commando, particularly Mass Death. Two purity FD only really gets me Harbingers, Call the Crusade
, Protector of the Dawn
, and Firestarter
(the rest being nowhere near as useful). Meanwhile, two Verore gets me Dark Blast, Mass Death, Subjugated Dragon
(far stronger than FD's), Vasir
(which I still think is too strong, particularly in draft) and more Hydras.
Couple more personal reasons to go with Verore (follow as applicable): I have a lot more experience AND cards in FD compared to Verore, so by leaning more on Verore here I stand to gain more in both (cards only if I go really far or grind out the IP to buy the deck, but the point stands). So yes. Verorian Hydra wins here.
Wow and we were doing so well. Alright these are all bad choices. ALL BAD.
The Swarmer is the first to go. We are not making a Swarmer deck. Those are reliant on other cards. Never even try to make a Swarmer deck in draft. Particularly as there are no Swarmers in FD or Verore.
Exhaust is normally one of my FD mainstays, but I don't normally have Verore death spells at my fingertips, so this is essentially a Death Ray that only kills for two turns.
Hubris is, as many have put it, basically a crappier Death Ray. It makes sure they are totally going to die, but if this is used on a blocker, its still going to BLOCK isn't it? In that case I'd rather have Exhaust. Admittedly, used on an attacker vs the Hydra, not so bad. An EXCELLENT card combo with Hubris is Infectious Zombie
, which I don't have access to in this deck. For this deck, the only reason I'd want to use this instead of Death Ray is if they had Aberion
. Or a flying Splitter or something.
Death Worshippers are not good to have in the deck. They make fine commanders, where they can bulk up on the blood of your enemies in relative safety without you having to use a turn to play a 2/2 for 3 and ruin your tempo. What happens when you get a Death Worshipper on turn 9? Are you really going to play it then?
End result: Exhaust. Reasons? Exhaust and Hubris are both essentially poor-man's Death Ray. But in this deck, the existing strategy indicates that I'll be attacking with large characters, so in that case it is better for the target to be exhausted and out of the way rather than a 1/1 that can still block.
Word of Command wins here. As discussed, I want this very badly for shifting around high-priority cards. Getting as many of them as possible will also remove them from the card pool completely, freeing up other useful goodies like Death Ray to show up instead. Knight is still good for sheer bulk, but I have one to play from the command zone on turn 2 already. Fleeting Footman has found a niche as an unbreakable blocker, and also remains in the support zone so you can Mass Death around him, so he is good for this deck as I'll be grabbing every Mass Death I see, probably. Demoralize is the only bad pick here, as I'm not aiming for a morale victory with those massive characters in the command zone. Footman will show up again for sure, seeing as he's common, so I can afford to grab 1-2 of him later.
Rita's Thrall doesn't suit this at all, ignore it. Exhaust we've been over, also ignore. Torch Bearer is an extremely effective 1-cost, while Dark Blast is a strong finisher card to back up the big creatures (and potentially allow you to block that turn as well, if its close). We're still looking at commons and we'll see them all again later. I'm going with Dark Blast.
As I said, we'll be seeing them. The only difference here is the Lightning Blast, which is another valuable 1-cost for us. Given the potential havoc from Siphoners if I get enough of both of these, I would place it higher than the Torch Bearer, although its not a guaranteed use on turn 1 as the Torch Bearer is. Dark Blast remains useful but I want to watch my power curve, so I'm going to grab a 1-cost... Lightning Blast.
No contest, Death Ray all the way. Verore's bread and butter right here. Fleeting Footman is the next choice, the other two can be ignored.
Choices getting tougher here. Naturally the issue is that we want the Siphoner and the Ferocity, and this is the first we've seen of either of them. Its worth pointing out that Word of Command is MUCH more effective than Ferocity though. Torch Bearer appears again, looking at my power curve its tempting to snap one up now, but we'll see them again later. Siphoner it is.
Death Ray hands down, moving on.
Another Death Ray, good! This gets them out of the card pool and allows for easier decision-making. Lightning Blast is the next priority here but Death Ray comes first.
Well instinct says Hydra because its badass, but the other options aren't obvious no-nos either.
Infected Purifier is a cost-effective card thats essentially two-in one. Additionally, that second portion of it remains in whatever combat zone its in (instead of Infected Monk
's ability), so while it can't dodge a Mass Death that way, it can tank it and then be free to attack the enemy.
Rift is just a gamble... I had one in a draft deck before and rolled a Phase Bot with it, so it doesn't suck, but it certainly isn't a priority. If I get full Siphoners and need 1-cost spells, I'd consider it.
Lightning we'll ignore since its common among uncommons here. Having another Hydra in the deck lets me play it then use Word of Command or Ferocity on it for surprise attacks, so that wins. Also I don't appear to have characters.
Mass Death! OK so Mass Death or... Pras? I haven't seen Pras used but I haven't been playing much besides draft either. Admittedly, with a clear path, Pras with Word of Command or Ferocity would be an amusing way to nuke a commander, but Mass Death is so much better. Pras' viability is also conditional on them having remaining commanders. Called Shot I hate using and Reflective Shield is nowhere near as good as it used to be.
Ugh. This is just... sigh. No. Not happy. Thrall can be ignored completely. Perils... is often a waste of space. By the time you get it (because I'm not grabbing more at all, not a chance), their command zone will likely be empty. If its not, then theres something in there that you have to pay 5 to kill... whatever it is has done its damage by this point unless its a big 11-cost dragon.
Aether Acolyte, like the Death Worshipper from the first choice, is a card that has to be out early or be in the command zone to function - you can't afford to pull it on turn 9 or 10 or so, play it, and wait for it to get bigger, and you can't rely on it being in your opening hand. Also they're being nerfed before I can finish this deck, not sure how but they are.
Which leaves the Legionnaire... which I really don't like that much, but it beats this rabble. Also my third character in the deck. I'd just really rather have another Siphoner for that.
So this is an intermission while the server was down. Taking stock of my current picks...
1. Got a Mass Death, good.
2. Got all three Death Rays, good; this frees up the pool somewhat.
3. Currently 3 characters and 8 spells, not so good. Even with a FD/Verore slash-and-burn deck, I want to aim for AT LEAST 50/50 chars/spells, preferably more characters.
All Word of Commands, Siphoners, Lightning Blasts
Any Mass Death I can get my hands on
Also some small FD characters for early pressure, (preferably Torch Bearers because they're cost-efficient)
More Dark Blasts are welcome
Siphon Structures as well due to their extra functionality with Siphoners
Veroria would be nice too
Everything I just listed besides Veroria, Siphon Structure and Mass Death is common, so that should be easy enough to do if I don't get more Death Worshippers or Acolytes in my face.
I'll also take this opportunity to move to a second post due to being owned by the forum's character limit. Has happened before.