Skirmish Season 2 is in the books, with an unprecedented number of events around the globe. Today we take a look at the new heroes on the block and example Blitz builds. Prism, Chane, Levia and Boltyn all made a huge splash on the Blitz metagame, with three of the four picking up victories across multiple continents. So if you need a deck to play, or one to test against, look no further!
Luminaris Prism is a value oriented midrange beatdown deck that isn’t shy of throwing a variety of distractions in, in the form of instant speed auras. The game plan of the deck is to hit the opponent hard and often with a range of seemingly undercosted attack actions in the shape of Heralds. This is achieved by flying onto the combat chain with Herald after Herald, often multiple times a turn thanks to Luminaris giving any Illusionist attack Go Again if a yellow color strip is in the pitch zone. The combination of some very threatening on-hit effects on the Heralds and the fact that almost all of them cost 2 or more presents the opponent with some very tough decisions to make when it comes to defending and being Pummelled...or not.
Overpowered attack actions do come with a cost of course; the curse and blessing of Phantasm. Dream Weavers is there to protect you on one big turn, but there is a lot of timing involved in playing around your opponents hand. Against opponents like Brute or Guradian, with decks stuffed full of six power attacks that can pop Phantasm cards, Luminaris Prism can go low as well, and focus on pumping out a stream of Spectral Shields and Auras, then chipping away with the one-power Go Again attacks.
The deck aims to defend efficiently with a combination 3 defense value Heralds, cheaply costed defense reactions, including the rarely sighted yellow Sink Below and well balanced armor suite. Once in the driver’s seat, the deck aims to slowly but consistently apply pressure or disorient the opponent with a balance of beat sticks and auras of inconvenience to eventually win through attrition. Pummel can be key for forcing through those final points of damage, so make sure to protect it where you can instead of just defending with it!
With Prism, you have one of the most streamlined, consistent, well rounded decks in all of the Skirmish Season 2 Blitz metagame. Consistency, balance and blessed beat sticks make Luminaris Prism a no nonsense, midrange powerhouse.
Chane brings a new concept and playstyle to the Runeblade class with his unique ability to play cards from the banished zone, resulting in massive card advantage, decision trees and never before seen lines of play. Chane is a midrange/aggressive style of Runeblade that utilizes Soul Shackle; it treats the banished zone as an extension of its hand in order to snowball an advantage and deal lethal damage to the opponent through an unreasonable number of actions per turn.
Key cards in the intricate web of Chane sequencing include but are not limited to; Rift Bind, Seeds of Agony, Bounding Demigon and Vexing Malice. Combine this multifaceted arcane and physical damage strategy with Go Again each turn thanks to Soul Shackle, a continuous stream of threatening card advantage, and you have a relentless deck that has proven to be one of the most successful in the format.
Pitch order can be critical when piloting Chane. In a deck where you will frequently end the game with no cards left in deck, what is pitched turn one is integral to the end game game plan as the game may very well end where it all began. Preserving cards like Rip Through Reality and Seeds of Agony by pitching them early and looking to hit them late game with Soul Shackle triggers is a key part of successfully piloting this deck.
Blitz format staples such as Enlightened Strike and even Command and Conquer can be found in some Skirmish winning Chane lists while others aim for a much more non-attack action focused strategy, looking to get the most out of cards like Rift Bind and the almighty Eclipse. Art of War is an absolute must for the deck as banishing a card to pay the cost of drawing two fresh ones when cards can be played from banished zone, is really a benefit rather than a detriment, making it one of the standout cards in Chane.
Chane can at times be a little slow off the mark while building up the Soul Shackle count. Once he gets going though, Chane can end the game by overpowering the opponent with some of the strongest synergies and slickest strategies seen in Flesh and Blood truly cementing the deck as Tier 1.
Levia is a mysterious hero. A puzzle waiting to be solved. A mystery begging to be unlocked. A treasure chest or Pandora’s Box?
Levia did not claim a first place Blitz finish in Skirmish Season 2. The Shadow Brute is a midrange deck that wants to attack a lot, preferably in the “second phase” of her game. Being one of the two Shadow heroes in Monarch, like Chane she dabbles in the dark art of Blood Debt. The early stage of the game, Levia’s “first phase”, sees the deck wanting to defend a lot and fuel the graveyard with a critical mass of cards, many of these ideally having the Brute-synonymous 6 attack value.
Cards such as Boneyard Marauder, Hungering Slaughterbeast and Endless Maw do double duty; turning off blood debt when banished, but also putting in work when it comes to actually attacking too. Some strategies with Levia insist on the “two phase” plan, defending as much as possible until it’s time to attack with no looking back. But if “doing nothing” for a few turns isn’t for you, there are straight up aggro builds which can be just as effective at filling the graveyard slowly but surely.
Levia rewards those with high risk tolerance. Scabskin Leathers is at its best in a Levia deck. Rolling for an extra action point or two almost every turn is how this deck really strikes the fear of God into an opponent. Scabskin Leathers are also notorious for the fear they strike in those wearing them. Rolling a one does happen and when it does Gamblers Glove can be your best friend! Making sure that Blood Debts are paid is also key - Emergency payment plans come in the form of Ebon Fold and Art of War, both of which can make Blood Debt payments at instant speed.
Cards of beastly power in the deck are showcased by Command and Conquer, Nourishing Emptiness which can easily attack with Dominate thanks to Levia's graveyard manipulation, and the ironically lifesaving Mark of the Beast. Again synergizing with Levia’s central strategy, the attack value on these cards is 6, 6 and 6.
The nuances and intricacies of Levia are legion. Each game is different and overwhelming your opponent with attack actions turn after turn and maintaining tempo is the ideal technique to instill terror in your opponent and pick up the W. Also, Doomsday is of apocalyptic power.
Levia rewards pilots with patience, perseverance and passion. The debts of the past cannot be allowed to limit the potential of the future. The Shadow Brute’s horrific reign of terror lays dormant, waiting to unleash hell on any and all opponents.
Boltyn is a versatile deck that likes to attack a lot regardless of how it’s built. Usually falling into one of two archetypes; aggro, striking down its foes with Radyn or a pair of Hatchets or Lumina Ascension combo, defending, charging the soul and finally unleashing a backbreaking flurry of attacks with Cintari Sabers ending with a defenseless opponent and either lethal damage or an acquisition of unending tempo.
The combination of early game pressure from Monarch standout cards such as Take Flight, Express Lightning and V of the Vanguard and burst damage that “isn’t quick, it’s sudden”, makes Boltyn’s Lumina Ascension combo build one of the most dangerous strategies in Blitz.
Lumina Ascension combo wants to defend early game while getting in with chip damage, charging at least once a turn to build the soul until at least three cards have enriched it. Come combo turn, Boltyn wants to charge the soul, use Snapdragon Scalers to Go Again then destroy Courage of Bladehold for a discount on swords for the turn. Sabers to be exact. Following the destroyed Courage, Lumina Ascension is played and a barrage of Cintari Saber attacks are made. An ‘ultra combo’ features Gallantry Gold, Take Flight and a very doable, double Lumina Ascension.
Staying true to the Warrior identity, Boltyn rewards weapon attacks. Whether it be one or six attacks per turn, Boltyn is an aggressive threat in the metagame and a valiant pillar of the Blitz format.