Deckguide: SmAcolyte

This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  ghoti 6 years, 3 months ago.

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    Acolyte decks have always had a great end game (plenty of raw damage and lots of fireball suppression) but they’ve also been ponderous and inconsistent thanks to the triple whammy of having low recruit, a slow and fragile early game, and two resources to manage. There’s nothing worse than generating tons of crystal or gold but having nothing to spend it on.

    Two of last week’s changes really helped acolyte decks out, though. First, Gage became dual cost. Now you can play him on t1 and sell him for 1g/1c when you’re done with him and ready to bring out bigger units. That’s huge. Second, Katie’s recruit got bumped up to 3 to keep her on par with Pep and Ench. Putting her out with a mixed resource deck will DOUBLE your recruit, making it much, much more likely that you’ll draw units you can spend your resources on.

    Here’s the deck:

    A few highlights:

    There is a 62% chance I’ll draw a Gage on t1. If I know I’m playing a gold deck I’ll typically put him in front to steal any resources the opponent produces. That’s a gamble, though, because if there isn’t any gold to steal (e.g if the opponent plays a knight or drops an Ob into slot 1 above their Harden in slot 2) then I only have 3 other cards I could possibly play on t2 (second Gage, Mana, Mana) and chances are good (between 33% and 71%, depending on my initial draw) that I’ll miss my t2 drop. If my opening hand includes the other Gage or either Mana or if I’m playing someone I suspect will lead with damage or another resource, I’ll typically put Gage in back to produce 1g/1c. If I draw Mana, he goes in the back row to produce gold.

    Best case (happens most of the time) I have 3g/2c on turn 2. That gives me the resources to buy 9 of the 17 remaining cards in my deck and only an 8% chance of missing my t2 drop even though my recruit is only 3. That’s higher than I’d like, but just about as good as you can get a hybrid deck, particularly when you don’t have any 0 or 1 cost units.

    – With moderate draws and a minimum of wounding, I can start to drop a wizard plus a Lare/Jade each turn starting on turn 4. That can be too slow for super fast rush decks and for forest decks (and the draws aren’t always good and the wounding isn’t always minimal), but if I live to turn 6 and most of my units are not wounded then I’m able to produce 6-8 fireballs plus 40 or so fight. The deck tops out at 8 fireballs plus 48 fight(or 51 if I’m not worried about wound and bring Epherius down to the front).

    – Beginners won’t have the cards to run this deck, but it doesn’t rely on a ton of rares, either. In fact, there is only one rare (Jade) and six uncommons (2 each of Lare, Branan and Yaran); the other 10 cards are all commons. Even the Jade isn’t necessary as long as you have the other acolytes. In fact, substituting a Grom for Jade would still give you 37 top damage while lowering the highest cost unit from 9g to 7g and making the deck more resilient to wound. The real linchpins are Gage, Lare and Branan.



    I notice you extoll the Katie buff but then don’t run her here. Could you speak to that choice?




    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  wistijohnston.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  wistijohnston.


    Good stuff, Grae. Acolyte decks’ inconsistency is what put me off them but the recent changes are huge for hybrid. What’s your endgame lineup? Jade, both Lare, the Wizards, Healer, Harden?

    @ezra Too funny – I was going to say Katie’s right there in the first column but it’s actually Jolien. Reminds me of the time I loaded a thin crystal deck with Tamurum instead of Loom.


    Clive Lau

    Hi all,

    I am trying to build an acolyte deck. My problems with it is that it is too slow and that it has next to 0 defense against multi-wound. Any tips?



    Steal their gold so they can’t buy stuff.



    Yeah, the Katie/Jolien thing was an accident. I took apart the deck and rebuilt it so it’d look pretty, but in the course of that I mistakenly put Jolien in for Kaite. Fixed that after a hilarious double take when Jolien came up.

    Ghoti, you got the end game down. Harden will be in if I expect or fear wounders; Durant if healers are causing trouble; Bin if I need the extra 5 damage.

    aaaaaaardvark, the solution to multiwound is fireball. Heavy backrow wound (or early, light, backrow wound) is tough, but dealing with frontrow wound is straightforward. Make sure your wizards and healer are out. Keep your front row light with the expectation those units will be wounded for a turn. Keep the others in back. Then, if they drop Spike/Rune in front they will get one multiwound strike in but then get fireballed. Haven’t played a game yet where I have my endgame line out versus Era, but with 8 fireballs going out each turn I don’t think even Era would be able to deal without very lucky placement.

    Also, Raijinili’s got the right idea. Generally it’s better to keep my Durant in back for the recruit and my Gage in back because reliable resources are sometimes needed over risky steal situations, but if I have both Durant and both Gage in play it can be really fun to drop them down to the front line for a turn just to fuck with people. Even if you’re not super successful with wounding or stealing it can force people into making sub-optimal plays in later turns because they’re worried about the possibility of denial.



    What would you do if the enemy had this?
    1. Spike <–> Rune
    2. Harden <–> Epherius

    The only thing I can think of is, “hit them so low they can’t get up again.” But if you’re fighting, say, Cliff or Wren on the third and fourth row (units with defense), you can’t Fireball them unless you have Attackers hitting them (which you won’t due to Spike, since you only have max 2def total).



    I’ve spent a couple days testing this and it’s pretty strong against farm decks. Between the Gages, Durants, and wizards, it’s really hard not to have a couple units’ worth of disruption out by turn 4. I lost to a Spike deck after getting a bad second hand, a knights deck, and got absolutely rolled over by a forest foxes deck, of all things. Tik & Squint on the front and Doken in the back is too much wound for Epherius to handle, as noted by Grae.

    @raijinili Jade in your slot 1, Harden in your slot 2 keeps everything below safe, and Epherius heals both your Jade and Harden the next turn. I’d recommend moving the Harden down after that turn, of course…Gage and Durant are great filler, and if the opponent guesses wrong you get a wound or steal in.



    If I saw that, rather than wounding again, I think I’d move my Spike to the back (with Bran?) and aim for Epherius, or just try a Durant. Your full back means you can go deep, but if I have a health buffer, I can take a risk by filling the back for one turn. So you’d have to rush me down fast enough?



    I’m typically erratic with my Epherius placement for just that reason. I like to put him below Branan if I’m worried about a double arrow from Spike. Branan will absorb Spike’s second arrow and Epherius can heal him up. I’ve lost a couple of games to surprise hits to my healer, but by the time that happens the opponent is typically crippled enough for me to finish them off or at least have enough time to cycle through and get Eph out again.

    Ghoti, did you make any changes to the deck or find substitutions you’d like to make? I’ve tried to think of a way to better counter rush decks, but haven’t come up with anything that does the trick without messing up the draw or resource curve.



    @beardgrae some thoughts. I’ll experiment some more with it after hitting 50 for the week.

    Possible additions

    Gernt – he can be in the front row to block something and you can sell him back for full cost
    Hiro – front row gold production to stop rampage
    Hagel – front row crystal production to stop rampage, but this deck doesn’t need crystal as much as gold
    Evelyn – alternate healer with gold production
    Payne – probably a bad idea; backup healer and stops thin barb decks with good placement. Not sure I like this because he’s out of place in the endgame lineup.

    Possible subtractions

    One Durant – two arrow might be excessive, and this deck certainly doesn’t need the extra 2 recruit
    One Bin – better chance of Gage or Mana on T1
    Harden – could swap for another defensive unit
    Epherius – probably a bad idea; could swap for another healer. Not sure I like relying on single heals.

    I like the deck the size it is, since one of the strengths is a fast Lare, after which you can really pump out the rest of the lineup. I’m probably going to try out Harden for Gernt and dropping one of the Durants for either a second Gernt or Evelyn.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  ghoti.
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