All the Vanar Sentinels are good, and lead to pretty solid “gotchas” if played into. Really what makes this deck work is that Basilysk and Dowager hose the strategy they watch for so hard that they can actually be game-winning on their own: Basilysk is extremely difficult to remove via damage spells, and Dowager being on the backline makes it a little harder to deal with via general attack. Freeblade isn’t as threatening by itself but is a solid bit of tempo in the early game. With Faie’s BBS to close out the game, as long as you can get a couple of good hits with a flipped Sentinel, that is often enough to get there.
Inspired by Reeeee69’s budget build.
- Moonlit Basilysk
- Drake Dowager
- Aspect of the Bear
- Hailstone Prison
For the most part these aren’t pure removal spells but all provide some nice tempo. Cryogenesis forms a nice card advantage package together with Snow Chaser (idea stolen from DeathsAdvocate).
- Snow Chaser
- Primus Fist
- Primus Shieldmaster
These are mostly self-explanatory. If you’ve established a Basilysk, try to hold a Hearth-sister to allow it to get in once it’s grown sufficiently large.
- Luminous Charge
While restricting ourselves to only rares we don’t have the tools to really abuse the walls from Charge, but it’s still a solid card. It buys you time, especially against Magmar, and a leftover token makes a nice target for Aspect to ambush something nearby. Razorback ends games quickly with any established board but is especially good if you can trap the enemy general with Charge tokens.
Early game, play out your Sentinels to force your opponent into awkward play patterns. A competent foe will usually be able to avoid triggering a single Sentinel, but things get a lot harder if you can play out multiples, which hopefully lets you get them with one of your gotchas. Late game, use Warbird and Razorback to push damage for the victory.
Sidegrades: Blistering Skorn in place of Razorback. On its own it’s a good source of AOE, and when combined with L. Charge offers the potential for an 11 damage burst out of hand on 9 mana. However, Razorback is more synergistic overall.
Upgrades: Bloodbound Mentor is one of the best cards for Faie and is the real priority craft. Next are Malicious Wisp (arguably Vanar’s best card) and Spelljammer (the prototypical tempo card and another popular Faie inclusion). Beyond that, depending on the direction you want to go: Lady Locke + Gravity Well for a Snowshot-style wall deck; Alcuins (+ Concealing Shroud) for burn; Letigress et al. for purest tempo.