A Tale of Two Power Bases
Two distinct and innovative archetypes prevailed at recent Eternal competitive events.
Tobboo's Rakano Valkyries showcases a new breed of Midrange Rakano, while Isochron's Adapted Green Feln presents a fresh take on J/PS Control.
Let's take a look at their power bases using the Eternal Power Calculator:
Rakano Valkyries - ETS First-Place Finisher (S3W3)
Tobboo piloted Rakano Valkyries to a first place finish at RNG's Eternal Tournament Series S3W3, showcasing a new breed of Midrange Rakano deck-building.
This novel archetype is made possible in large part thanks to a couple of exciting new Power Base tools introduced with the Fall of Argenport.
It is no secret that Icaria the Liberator wins games but...although she is in Rakano colors, she has almost exclusively been played as a build-around finisher in 3 color Control decks that splash or .
A pure and proactive deck might seem more fitting for the leading Rebel Valkyrie. But the aggressive slant of Rakano's early game has typically necessitated a 3rd color to compensate for the lack of card draw and power gain needed to reliably play a 7-cost Legendary with Influence requirements.
That appears to be changing now with with some help from a Crest and a Gunslinger Mage.
Another round in the chamber
Anticipation for the Crest of Glory has been on-going since Crests were first introduced during The Dusk Road. With the release of Fall of Argenport they are finally here, and not suprisingly a full set is included in Toboo's list.
However, it is an unsung 2-cost unit that has unexpectedly made big Icaria even more playable. Not only does Bulletshaper immediately provide some much needed on Summon, he also has the ability to grant a +2 Power boost that potentially enables Icaria as early as Turn 5.
Bulletshaper x4 is a big part of the reason why Tobboo's total number for and sources in this deck comes to a whopping 25 and 35 respectively.
It can be challenging for many decks to meet triple Influence even in one color. But the Power Calculator shows us that Tobboo can quite comfortably expect to draw enough Influence to hit all of his Fire and Justice requirements on time, including both and .
For this type of Midrange strategy, dropping units when you need them is what makes the difference between winning and losing. Amilli, Cloudmarshal on Turn 5 into Rizahn, Greatbow Master on Turn 6 followed up by Icaria, the Liberator on Turn 7 represents a beautiful curve.
And while this sort of dream play will obviously not happen every game, it will not be due to lack of Influence. Tobboo's lowest probability for the entire deck is 88% - and the rest reach well into the 90s.
Onward to Glory
Although Power Cards are kept to the minimum of 25, a combination of Power-drawing units and spells bring the total number of Power sources in Tobboo's list to an impressive 37.
Bulletshaper, Seek Power, Icaria: Valkyrie Captain, and Privilege of Rank all combine forces to give Rakano Valkyries one of the most reliable Power Bases imaginable, and this undoubtedly contributed to Tobboo's first place finish in the ETS.
You can read more about Tobboo's experience with this deck in his own words at Eternal Titans.
Adapted Green Feln - ECF First-place Finisher
While Tobboo's Rakano Valkyries demonstrates a new Midrange archetype for a faction pair typically associated with more aggressive decks, Isochron's Adapted Green Feln paints a fresh take on a classic Control-oriented approach.
What first stands out on the Influence Chart are low percentages for borh triple and quadruple Primal, dipping to 64% for and 59% for .
Numbers this low would be almost unthinkable for nearly any Aggro or Midrange strategy. However, a Control build like this one can make it work thanks to an abundance of filtering and card draw.
Although Isochron has chosen to include only one additional Power Card beyond the minimum of 25, Adapted Green Feln contains no less than 14 additional card draw effects including Seek Power x4.
Assuming they are able to play at least two of these before Turn 8, Isochron's chances of drawing enough Influence to play Channel the Tempest on curve approach a much more comfortable 80%. (See columns 10-12 on the chart - these represent 10-12 draws beyond the opening hand when going first).
A similar statement could be made about Jotun Feast-Caller (). And it is worth noting that both of these cards are themselves also sources of additional card draw.
While is among the most expensive Influence costs in all of Eternal, the Power Odds table shows us that hitting 8 Power is even more difficult.
Influence costs aside, the chances of drawing enough Power to play Channel the Tempest do not become even remotely favorable until after 14 draws. The same can be said for Sword of the Sky King.
These examples illustrate why card draw is so important to decks that rely on 8-cost cards as part of their win condition.
Scouting, Culling and Marketing
At the same time, Isochron has built in plenty of filtering and it helps to have a Plan-B. Each of the 12 Crests available to are included, along with 3x Cull the Deck and 2x Strategize.
In addition to mitigating power flood, these filter effects allow Isochron to pass up any cards which may be too expensive to play in the early game. Jennev Merchant also provides an opportunity to trade away overpriced cards and store them for later use after a second Merchant is drawn.
Although 12 crests also mean 12 Depleted Power Sources, Isochron's strategy does not rely on playing cards as early as possible. If Depleted Power delays Permafrost or Annihilate for a turn, it is not likely to hurt Isochron in the long run.
The ability to Scout is worth more than Undepleted Power when you are not racing. This holds true for units as well. There are no units that cost less than 3 Power, while most are more than 5.
Isochron expects to spend the early game drawing cards and removing threats until enough Power has been gained to play valuable units such as Black-Sky Harbinger or Throne Warden.
These evasive units might just win the game on their own. If not, they help prolong survival enough for Isochron to eventually draw the resources needed to finish the job with Channel the Tempest and/or Sword of the Sky King.