Fast Cycling Chosen Axes
Tabletop - Post FAR1.0
This article heavily draws from my previous Chosen Axes Tome Deck (CATD) in this site (https://www.wellofpower.com/userdeckguides/Chosen-Axes---Tomes), and for this reason I will continuously refer there to help with keeping the word count in check.
This deck is not just an update of the CATD to adapt it to the new FAR list. Conceptually, it tries to take additional steps in helping Fyreslayers against their most hated matchups: ranged warbands.
Even if the CATD had a clear gameplan to follow when fighting ranged warbands, I never achieved positive head to head figures against Thundrik. When thinking into which cards could help me in this matchup without destroying the core of the CATD against the rest of the field two upgrades came to my mind: Reinforced Armour and Cloak of Shadows. The inclusion of these two upgrades had a domino effect which is covered in the next section of this article.
(you can click the image for a deck builder link)
deck building guide
Glory Deck in CATD: Acolyte of the Katophranes, A Claim Retaken, Catching Up, Fired Up, United, Path To Victory, Scrum, Swift Capture, Strong Start, Scion of Grimnir, Furious Charge, Calculated Risk
We start from the glory deck presented in CATD, and make a couple of amendments. The most important stems, rather curiously, from our upgrade choice. Indeed, in order to incorporate Reinforced Armour and Cloack of Shadows we need to drop two upgrades from CATD power deck. Tomes are the most logical choice, as the rest of upgrades are critical in covering Fyreslayers other limitations. This also means that the big scorer, Acolyte of the Katophranes, needs to be replaced.
The main problem with that is that there are just no good big scorers for the sort of flexible warband we seek to buid:
· Supremacy forces you into a clear -conservative- direction, and at most will only be scorable in the first 2 rounds of the game.
· CATD gameplan revolves on both you and your opponent getting relatively low glory totals. Moreover, your upgrades are critical for your success. This does not bode well for Hoarder.
· Denial is easy stoppable when you see it coming, which means it is not suited for Bo3 events.
· Unstoppable Advance-like cards also commit you to certain playstyles, which means that they are great in some matchups and horrible in others.
Ideally, what we want is a card which does not really constrain us to any particular playstyle, while still generating a respectable amount of glory. Believe it or not, To the End seems that could fit the bill. When I was considering it –well, when I was essentially auto-discarding it XD- a reason against it was that it effectively forces you to mulligan your first power hand. Then I wondered: is that really a problem? Well, yes, it is. But, at the same time, it is not the end of the world. Indeed:
· CATD seeks flexibility. One of the strong points of not forcing you into any particular playstyle means that you are adaptable: you have various cards giving you mobility, accuracy and damage. In particular, discarding your 5 first cards will not, in general, let you without options later on. In addition, it won’t say a lot to your opponent, neither.
· How many times you draw a power hand which makes you wonder: “it has potential, but it is far from ideal… Should I keep it?” The inclusion of To the End helps a lot in these situations. Basically, you mulligan unless you have a dream hand –shortcut + confusion, oathsworn + treasure lust + scion of grimnir…-. With this, you will always be in one of the following situations:
--- You have a perfect start, at the cost of having a dead card in your glory deck (To the End).
--- You mulligan. With this, you will have an automatic +2 glory at the end of the game, and will have much more control on your power deck along the whole game.
So, as the boldest –dumbest?- decision in deckbuilding in this article, Acolyte of the Katophranes gets replaced by To the End.
The next and final amendment for the glory deck relates to Strong Start. What I really don’t like of this kind of cards is their snowball effect: they reward you for getting in an already good situation, but do not help you at all when you are struggling. Due to this reason, I decided to change it for Shortcut, which is excellent at passive glory generation if backed with at least 2 triggers.
Ploys of CATD: Shifting Reflection, Restless Prize, Oathsworn, The Earth Shakes, Treasure Lust, Countercharge, Upper Hand, Frenzied Search, Regal Vision, Piercing Stare, Aggressive Defense, Living Wall.
Upgrades of CATD: Activated Runes, Great Strength, Gloryseeker, Larval Lance, Tome of Offerings, Tome of Vitality, Tome of Glories, Tome of Insights, Tome of Diseases, Shifting Map, Blazing Soul, Faneway Crystal.
Our choices in the Glory Deck constrain our power deck in several ways. Specifically:
· The original CATD has only one trigger for Shortcut (Shifting Reflection). We need another one. Confusion fits the bill: aside from being the second trigger for Shortcut, it has certain utility as a positioning tool, and synergizes flawlessly with A Claim Retaken. As a result, it goes in. It will replace Upper Hand, which fortunately has been Forsaken.
· To the End forces us into a 20 cards power deck, and makes extremely advisable to keep Frenzied Search in. This means that we need to drop 2 cards from the current ploy deck. Regardless how harmful it is to lose them, Regal Vision and Restless Prize go out. Great as both them are for Fyreslayers, the first is somewhat situational (will only impact the game when combined with push ploys) and the second is less flexible than any push ploy in the deck.
With our ploys set, it is time to look at our Upgrades. Fortunately, the job here is half-done. Indeed, the whole purpose of iterating on the CATD was to improve our odds against ranged warbands with the addition of Reinforced Armour and Cloak of Shadows, which means that both of them go in. As we want to have a 20 cards power deck, this means that we need to drop 4 upgrades, which will be all tomes but Tome of Glories –the choice between Glories and Offerings is hard, as both of them are very good. I choose the former because I have the feeling that Tome of Glories helps more when I am struggling, while Offerings is a bit more a “Win more” card-. We also make a couple of additional tweaks:
· Shifting map gets replaced by Potion of Rage. Less glory later for much more accuracy in a critical attack –which if successful will give us the glory anyway -. Seems a good proposition. Moreover, we have lost accuracy in our ploys by dropping Upper Hand, so we need to compensate.
· With the new FAQ Prized Vendetta has become brutal. Its Fuelled by Fury reprinted into an upgrade, and definitely needs to go in. It replaces Larval Lance. Great as it is, for Fyreslayers it is only useful in the third round of the game, so is the natural candidate to go off.
Note that the deck only makes use of one restricted card. This means that there is ample space for manipulation. Even if I recommend the deck presented in this article above potential tweaks, there are some cards which definitely could be considered. In particular:
· Changing Shortcut by Strong Start and Confusion by Restless Prize. This makes your Glory Deck worse but improves your power deck, as Restless Prize is epically good. I prefer not doing the change for the reasons stated above, but it would be a defendable choice.
· Inclusion of Pit Trap, Encroaching Shadow and/or Lethal Ward. In order of priority, these cards should replace Living Wall, Countercharge, and Aggressive Defense. I am not a fan of losing any of these cards, but it must be admitted that auto-damage cards help a lot aggro-wise, giving an additional degree of unpredictability to the deck which can at times tip the balance at your favour. Again I prefer the deck proposed in this article as it is, but it could be worth experiencing with at least some of these cards.
· Tome of Offerings: The upgrade deck is great as it is, and I prefer Tome of Glories instead of Tome of Offerings for the reasons I stated above. However, Tome of Offerings could be considered as a replacement of Prized Vendetta, as even then we would still have two accuracy related upgrades. Not my preferred choice though: At the end of the day, nobody cares about the amount of glory that a missed attack would have rendered.
Despite previous point, if you pretend to include any direct damage ploy (see previous bullet), then it could be worthwhile to swap Tome of Offerings by Gloryseeker.
We have already discussed the main strategical difference between this deck and CATD: When to mulligan. As mentioned, this deck is built with the idea of mulliganing aggressively. We will restrain of doing so only if we draw a monster hand which combos flawlessly into our objective deck. In this sense, this deck is reassuring: either you have an epic draw which you should be able to capitalize on, or you will most likely end the game with a +2 glory from To the End.
Just a word of caution, though: To the End does not generate enough glory to justify keeping it along three rounds. If it is part of your initial glory draw definitely discard it at the end of the phase, or consider cycling it if you have one activation without any clear purpose in mind. If this is the case, you have no extra motivation for mulliganning your power draw.
Playstyle against Ranged Warbands
Playstyle insights given in CATD apply here, but now you have two new and shiny cards in your sleeve: Reinforced Armour and Cloak of Shadows. These two upgrades make you extremely more resilient to ranged warbands attacks -Reinforced Armour shuts down two profiteers and all fastriders, while Cloak of Shadows gives you a top notch defense against ranged attacks-. Ideally, one of these upgrades should go to Fjul, and the other to Teft.
These two cards are crucial against ranged warbands, to the point that you should contemplate keeping your starting hand if you draw one of them.
Aside from the previous considerations, CATD principles apply. See for additional details.
Playstyle against the rest of warbands
CATD principles apply. See for additional details.
Additionally, it is worthy to mention that Cloak of Shadows can be very valuable against Mollog, forcing him to get adjacent to you or face a 2-shield defense. This opens the door to the use of Aggressive Defense.
This Fyreslayers deck builds upon the fundamentals of CATD, and strongly improves its chances in a couple of adverse matchups. In addition, the deck proposes an aggressive mulligan mindset, which in most cases ends up with an almost free +2 glory reward at the endgame while giving the Chosen Axes player much control on his power deck from the get go.
As CATD, this deck centers in providing Fyreslayers with maximum flexibility, giving them both decent passive glory generation (the glory deck generate 6 glory points with 0 interaction) and enough tools to go face to face with any aggro oriented warband and come out on top. In this sense, it is also worthy to mention that the deck only makes use of one restricted card, which means that it is resilient to forthcoming updates of the FAR list, and is also easy to modify to accommodate any particular playstyle.
If you reached this point, I thank you for your patience and hope you found the read interesting. Any feedback on the deck or the article itself is more than welcome ;)
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