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Focus of the deck
This deck looks to maintain a stable board state through the early and mid portions of the game, then push for victory with the immense power of Alabaster Titan. Keeping as many friendly minions alive as possible is ideal because Titan has a much higher impact when more minions can make use of the artifacts it gives you.
How do I play this deck?
Primarily, your goal in the early stages of the game will be to make use of the mana springs to help you get your higher-impact cards on the board early. While the cards you’ll want in hand can vary by matchup, a general rule of thumb in the early game is that you will want to have a hand of a few flexible early game plays (some proactive plays such as Wings of Paradise and Silverguard Knight, and reactive plays such as Lightbender or Arclyte Sentinel). A midgame card such as Inquisitor Kron or Theobule in hand is acceptable, Theobule being particularly nice if you suspect you will be able to play it while you have a minion(s) on board that can capitalize on the many replaces.
Ideally, you will have molded your hand so that you have a higher-curve, and if you haven’t found an Alabaster Titan, you will want to be searching for one. The positioning of your minions should be done carefully. While you do have some minions in your deck that can have impact from anywhere on the board, keeping them nearby your general is preferred so that playing an Alabaster Titan will be much more potent.
This is the time you will want to be playing your Alabaster Titan. It is your primary win condition, and can turn even the smallest of board states into a tremendous force. If you are unable to play a Titan, try looking for other higher-impact cards to play, such as White Widow or Inquisitor Kron. Without any out-of-hand burst, you are dependent on winning the game through nothing but your board presence. Be sure to trade optimally on your opponent’s board until you feel you can make the final push for lethal.
The art of the Replace
Replace decks challenge the rule that you should always replace first. Between dreamgazer and Kron spawns, as well as which enemy a White Widow hits, your line of play could change solely because of what happens when you replace a card. Here are a couple tidbits that can help you figure out when, and how, to replace.
“I have dreamgazer and astral crusader in my hand. Which do I replace first?”
Almost always, you are going to be replacing Dreamgazer before Astral Crusader. Dreamgazer gets a minion on the board, and thins your deck to help you find other cards you will want later in the match (and hey, free minion :D ).Fringe cases where Astral Crusader is the card to replace are if the 2 damage from the dreamgazer replace is too threatening to your life total, or if you think Astral Crusader is the absolute only card you could draw in the next turn to have a shot of winning a game (since you can’t replace Astral Crusader and get it back on the same replace, though Aethermaster’s extra replace effect can technically remedy this problem).
How to white widow
To help your White Widows become the best snipers they can possibly be, it’s your job to help maximize their chances of hitting what you want. If there is a faraway threat you want your widow to hit, see if there are trades that can be made on board prior to your replace. Eliminating minions that can be reached on board can help white widow’s chances of reaching minions that you perhaps can’t reach.
How to Kron
Kron, with the many types of prisoners it can spawn, as well as the places where they can spawn, translate into many different potential outcomes when you make your replace. When considering your replace, think about what prisoner you want for the current board state, and where you might want it to spawn. It’s possible you could have other minions on board that can occupy undesirable spaces around Kron for the prisoner to spawn (e.x. if you want a rush prisoner to eliminate a minion, occupy a space where the rush prisoner could not reach said minion).
How to theobule
Theobule can be a devastating card. With the right setup, slamming Theo down can have a huge impact on the game. When using Theobule, you consider a lot of the same things as you would using White Widow or Kron (since Theobule is used to activate those cards multiple times).
With a White Widow on board, try getting your enemy’s units ‘ health stats into multiples of 2. In other words, you want all enemies on board to have an even health stat. When Theobule comes down, your White Widow will trigger many times at once, dealing 2 damage to a random enemy with each replace. Hitting an enemy that only has 1 health can reduce the damage output potential. While situations in-game may vary, this is the general rule of thumb for getting the most out of a White Widow + Theobule rapid fire wombo combo.
Kron + Theobule mainly involves getting Kron into the open. If Kron is crammed in a tight place with no open spaces around it, you won’t be able to spawn as many prisoners when you play your Theobule. I know that in the real world, letting prisoners out is probably not the best idea. In the world of Duelyst, however, allowing Kron to let his prisoners loose can be the gateway to victory. So leave your Kron with open spaces to spawn your prisoners.
One last thing to note when playing Theobule is to consider other plays you can make. This rule goes for any replace card. Do you replace first to look for a better play, or do you settle for playing a replace minion first to benefit from its replace effect? Playing a replace minion before replacing is usually a good thing, since you can make use of its replace effect, but you do pay mana to play them, and you could regret not replacing first if you find what would have been a more suitable play, but can no longer afford to play it. When considering if you will be playing Theobule on a particular turn, consider if you would want to play any other card in your deck if you happen to replace into it (e.x. If you have 7 mana and would rather play Alabaster Titan, try replacing for it before casting Theobule). If you think Theobule is your best option no matter what you might get on your replace, summon the minion before performing your standard once-a-turn replace. Theobule will replace your entire hand, meaning the contents of your hand will be unpredictable once it’s played, so summoning Theobule before your replace will at least let you replace one undesirable card from your newly-formed hand.
There is a lot of finesse that goes into piloting Replace Titan. Subtle details such as the timing of a replace can make a world of difference without you even realizing. The randomness that comes from your replace cards will require you to be flexible, adapting to whatever circumstances your replaces put in front of you. You can be the next person to embrace the replace, and tap into its wondrous potential. Last but not least, always replace first.
…or last…or some time in between. With a replace deck, you can never truly know. :P
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A defensive Titan variant that gives up some of the reactionary abilities of traditional Titan decks for the overwhelming swing plays that cards like Mechaz0r and S.I.L.V.E.R can give in addition to having Titan as a top end.
A Titan Stragos variant more focused on Titan.
Stoicrooster won 3rd place with this deck in Meltdown League Season 2.
This deck requires you to completely outplay your opponent. It won’t save you from direct damage. Amazingly satisfying deck to play.
Titan + Strategos = more Power
Deck played by YerBoiJosh in the playoffs of Meltdown League Season 2.
Constant sustain and buffs for your minions with a steady stream of draw keeps the energy and flow on your side for the majority of the game.
Titan list piloted by PonchoMango in the playoffs of the Meltdown League.
Titan list piloted by Galeru in the playoffs of the Meltdown League.
Hsuku’s favorite list with his own namesake card.