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Should You Play This Deck?:
This is a list I’ve been playing for a few seasons now. Its always done well, but the meta is pretty favorable for it now. While I’ve taken this deck to S-rank #1 in the past, I peaked at S-rank #6 this season with it. Wanderer is weak versus arcanysts which gives this deck the edge in those match-ups. Fault Zirix is about 50/50 and Ragnora is slightly unfavored.
The early game for the list is pretty simple. All you have to do is try and stick your arcanysts on the board so that you can later buff them with Kindling or Owl Beast. You should mulligan for:
- Scroll Bandit
- Chakri Avatar
- Sparrowhawk (If you have a 2 drop or going second)
- Prismatic Illusionist (If you have a 2 drop or going second)
- Ghost Lightning (Keep versus Lillithe and Ragnora)
- Owl Beast (If you have a 2 drop)
This is where you should be looking to buff your minions. Owl Beast and Kindling are the best ways to do this. Try to have at least two arcanysts on board before you use either of these unless they enable very favorable trades. You should also be looking to develop some threats so Chakri Avatar, Owl Beast, and Trinity Wing are all great plays in the mid game that will force your opponent to remove them. This will let you then develop on your following turn which will force your opponent to answer your stuff or fall behind.
A good opponent will try and remove your arcanysts so that you can’t get value out of Owl Beast. Try and bait removal on things like Scroll Bandit and Chakri Avatar so that your midgame threats can stick. Also consider playing around aoe removal/dispel like Plasma Storm, Tempest, Lightbender, Sun Bloom, Rebuke, etc. This will lead to an incremental advantage for you and enable you to continue to keep some arcanysts on the board.
You can actually OTK someone with this list with a few arcanysts on board + Kindling, but most of the time your wins come through beating your opponent down with buffed up two drops and spell combos. So, look to stomp your opponent’s face in with your board while you can. You can also win through Four Winds Magi’s ability, Blue Conjurer generating too much value for your opponent to deal with, and Mantra in combination with Shidai’s BBS.
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Going wide with Arcanysts, with two potential combo finishers.
A “Slowfurnace” variant that can go well over the top of most decks while also providing a lot of burst damage.
Snowball a board with key arcanysts and plenty of spell synergy.
A competitive Arcanyst Lilithe deck. Ramp out your Arcanysts, and let their tribal synergies take over. Includes spell recursion and late-game bombs.
Once a monster of a deck, Vanar Arcanysts is now a fine option as a value deck, with a few neat tricks. Most of the minion shell for it available as neutral rares it makes a good budget option also.