Spinecleaver Sajj

Scioness Sajj

Category: Diamond+ Deck

Archetype: Midrange

Spirit: 8680

Patch: 1.96

Author: AlphaCentury

Submitted: 2018.10.16


With good matchups against Eggs, Fault, Wanderer, and Titan, this Spinecleaver Sajj deck is actually very well positioned in the meta. Finally a tournament viable Sajj deck?

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AlphaCentury is one of Duelyst's original Grandmasters. He is known for consistently breaking the meta with "solitaire" combo decks and no-fun control decks, as well as optimizing a variety of other archetypes. When he doesn't lose in round 2, he is also a tournament force to be reckoned with. He has Youtube and Twitch channels where he shows off cool decks. No he is not full of himself, thank you for asking.

It’s no secret that Vetruvian has the highest diversity of good decks right now. Golems give a strong early game package which can be played in any deck, and sandswirl a strong tempo/removal tool. After of these staples, how you choose to close out the game is up to you. So far we’ve seen the Fault/Rae/Ka package tear up the ladder, aggressive cards like Flameblood to speed up the deck, golem builds with Sirocco, control Cipheron builds. I’ve tested many more niche decks: OTK birds combo, Pantheriquarian combo, “Give and Take” dusk drinker combo. However, the deck you are about to see is perhaps the first good Vet deck this meta to feature Sajj, and has great matchups against the current meta.

Early Game

The early and mid game should be played like any other Vetruvian deck. The core package of golems, Bloodtear, Herald, Spelljammer, First Wish and Sandswirl provide a truly fierce early tempo game which will outpace any unoptimized deck. As always, be looking to keep a full hand and a huge board. Ensure you stay close to your opponent so you can reach backline threats with Sandswirl if necessary. Be aware that often bouncing your own minions with Sandswirl is correct: Bloodtear gives extra cheap ping, Herald gives often crucial extra healing, and bouncing Dreamshaper gives you infinite cards.

Sajj also brings her own tools to the table. Her BBS will force your opponent to position carefully with their units, or else give you a free kill. Ank gives you powerful 4 damage reach into the backline, and threatens continual value, but be careful not to rely too heavily on it. Zephyr will either force your opponent to play defensively, or catch them by surprise with a board wipe. And Falcius gives some early tempo and healing, but is best used with your BBS to take out huge threats.

Artifact Package

The artifact package we run revolves entirely around Spinecleaver. Playing an early Spinecleaver should always be a priority. Even if you don’t get amazing value from it, it will “activate” your metal melds. Playing a 2 mana Spinecleaver allows for huge swing turns. For example, Metal Meld + Ank + BBS on 6 mana, or Metal Meld + Zephyr + BBS on 6 mana, or Metal Meld + Falcius + BBS on 7 mana. With these surprise plays you should be able to generate a large number of totems.

If you play an Ank early, then you are diluting your Metal Meld pulls. This is something to keep in mind – sometimes it is correct to play Ank and then Spinecleaver next turn and then Meld back an Ank if they kill it. Other times you will want to hold off on Ank to guarantee your Melds pull Spinecleaver.

Since our strategy is focused around Spinecleaver, 1x Planar Foundry is in to ensure we hit the artifact. This is the reason for only 2 Anks – we want to up our odds of pulling Spinecleaver. However, I feel after testing that more Planar Foundry are unnecessary, as it is often a dead card.

Late Game

Heading into the late game, you should ideally have some totems up. At this point, you have two ways to play, and will have to find the balance between them. The first is to try to survive as long as possible, and let your totems kill your opponent, since you will inevitably win the long game. Each totem hits at the end of both players turns, so 2 totems = 4 damage per turn, for example. The other way is to start killing them faster, generating more tokens and going face with your minions. Obviously you must evaluate your clock and your opponents and do what needs to be done.

There are some things you should keep in mind. Firstly, EMP exists and will dispel your totems and break your artifacts. Be ready for it. Secondly, you can punch your own totems. This lets you hit with frenzy without taking damage, and lets you “undispel” dispelled totems. Third, this deck has a lot of matchups where the corner is your friend. Against creature based decks, sitting in a corner surrounded by three totems is a win condition. Obviously your opponent will not let this happen, but being in the corner with a Spinecleaver equipped will often limit the amount of damage you take.


I’ve said that this deck has a lot of good top tier matchups. Lets think about it. Against Fault, we can equip Spinecleaver before their Fault turn. Then if they Fault, we can play either Zephyr or Ank and cover most of the centre column with totems. Fault also generally struggles removing Spinecleaver. Against Titan, if we can set up totems before their 7 mana turn, it makes the Titan a lot less scary, as the totems will ping off the artifacts. Against Eggs, the Spinecleaver itself does a lot of work, overwriting the eggs from rebirth minions. Against Wanderer, we can easily answer the 7/7 body with either Sandswirl or Falcius. The deck then simply does not have enough answers for Spinecleaver and totems. Setting up Spinecleaver can also stop them dropping a lot of their threats.

We don’t talk about Stategos.


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Comments 4
4 thoughts on “Spinecleaver Sajj
  1. Amazing decklist. However, why the mono? Not sure why you run mono when you’ll just be replacing your relevant cards and all those random vet cards won’t neccesarily help with you win condition.

  2. Was bored so decided to play a few games with this list, was wondering why I couldn’t find BoA to kill that backlined Shadowdnacer/Sworn Avenger/Ki Beholder, looked at the decklist again, no BoA


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