Cult of the Bejeweled

Discussion in 'Deck Building' started by exythe, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. exythe

    exythe War Monkey

    In order to commemorate reaching 1600 rank (edit: now 1700!) for the first time, I thought I'd post the build that got me there. But first, a bit of backstory.

    You see, I like to play around with all kinds of parties. I have a slot saved for a three person team of every race/class combination. None of them got me this far. Nor did my 2War Frenzy team. Nor my Burfft Build. Not even my masterpiece Elf Wizard that got me all the way to 1593, breaking several milestones along the way. However, playing with one team for so long was starting to get stale, and playing at such a rank was becoming stressful, so I thought I'd make something easy to play, quick enough to win chests at a comfortable rate, and let my rating fall where it may. An MP Farming deck, if you would.

    To my surprise, my ranking went up.

    And with that in mind, may I present to you my latest work of art, 'The Cult of the Bejeweled', AKA 'GottaGoFast', AKA 'Team **** the World!'.

    You stand among a group of other promising glory-seekers. Would-be adventurers, treasure hunters, or soldiers. You are here to receive your training and be initiated into an elite order of loot-havers. Your eyes turn to a trio of elven warriors entering the room, but you don't bother distinguishing between them. They're all pretty much the same, anyway. One of them steps forward, opening her mouth to speak.

    Who cares about her name
    Level 1-higher-than-you Elf Warrior

    "Now, listen up! You want to be adventurers? An adventurer does two things, and two things only!
    1. Kill stuff.
    2. Acquire loot.
    If you want to be efficient at the second, you must first be efficient at the first! What that means is, be an Elf! None of that scruff about being born a dwarf. You want to kill things, you need to be next to the killee, and the sooner the better. Once in range, Bejewel that sucker. That is the only thing that matters, and the rest of your gear is only there to facilitate it. For example...

    This shield? For drawing more Bejeweled.
    These tacky slippers? Bejeweled.
    This ringmail here? Bejeweled.
    Even this helmet, many things will help you draw more bejeweled, but this helmet alone will cause your enemies to quake in fear when they see the glory of the coming of the sword! And this dagger, its sole purpose is to help draw more shortsword, so that THEN you can draw more bejeweled.

    Even so, it is not enough that your enemies be jeweled, it is paramount that they be jeweled QUICKLY! To this end, it is important that you stop thinking. You will die roughly 50% of the time, this much is assured. It is better to die quickly and without honor, that your successors might have a chance to succeed. If your enemies have blocks, even the dreaded parry, do not waver, for you have like, 5 more attacks, anyway. If they have armor, just keep bejeweling, they'll go down eventually. And perhaps most importantly, remember this. If your opponent's clock isn't ticking down twice as fast as yours, you're probably trying too hard.

    Now go! Charge headlong into battle! Be fast, be fearless, bejeweled!

    Their eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the sword!
    We have claimed the point of vict'ry wild running cross the board!
    No-thinking five-minute-games for an easy, stress-free hoard!
    Our elves go thrusting on!
    -a traditional elvish dashing song
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
    Maniafig, apdo, Mama Mia and 17 others like this.
  2. Drakkan

    Drakkan Ogre

    Great build .. and more interesting -> no single epic and legendary item .. this should go to CH Schoolbooks ;)

    I've been explaining power of 3 warrior for quite some time (mostly after MF nerf was announced ..) .. and I've also been trying to explain (to newcomers mostly) that you don't need all the "fancy" Legendary stuff (with not that much success ;) )

  3. Pawndawan

    Pawndawan Champion of Cardhuntria

    Thanks for this! I'm fairly new to the game in general, so I really appreciate simple MP build with no epic and legendary stuff. :)
  4. exythe

    exythe War Monkey

    Turns out it's actually a pretty vicious deck when you take the time to think things through a bit.

    As this deck has managed to hit 1700(though I don't expect it to last), I thought I'd talk some more about how and why it works, as opposed to my original post telling you to run up and hit things. (although to be fair, that pretty much is all that it does.)

    One thing I've noticed while playing 3-of-a-kind teams is that they often get a kind of synergy by being so focused. For example, running 3 wizards instantly turns every one of your opponent's parries into a dead card. Likewise, since none of your character's want to close to melee, you can sometimes turn that into a greater advantage than having an entire team's melee capability funneled onto a single character, which is exactly what we're trying to do. It's simple to run in with a parry and tank our opening attacks. It's common to run away when the second dashes into range. It's much more difficult to come up with an answer when a third elf rushes up, packing Elven Maneuvers and 30+ damage.

    Additionally, just as having lots of identical cards with lots of traits makes a deck more consistent, having three identical characters makes your team more consistent. This is good news for those who want to draw a few key cards as soon as possible, such as All Out Attack, or a damage booster such as Savage Curse/Unholy Wellspring. However, this deck is already consistent. 2/3 of your deck is composed of the high-damaging attacks you want to see, making it highly likely that not only will you have the cards you want from the very first turn of the game, but also that you can count on drawing more.

    However, all this is just trying to justify things after the fact. In truth, I stumbled upon this quite by accident. I did not build this deck to have a high rating. I did not even build it to win. I built it to do one thing only: to end matches, quickly and efficiently.

    Its success in doing so highlights an important lesson that is easy to forget. There is only one way to win a match, and that is by gaining Victory Points. There are only two ways to do so.
    1. Control the Victory Squares.
    2. Kill your opponents.
    There is often a lot of overlap between the two.

    When I first started putting this deck together, I was pretty sure I wanted Cautious Mobility for the tokenless cycling. Once I had that, I was pretty sure I wanted lots of Vicious Thrusts, as together, they have greater retaliation than Barbed Platemail, and that's on top of already being a high-damage step attack. So I used Sharp Spetums. I saw the Devastating Blows, and I thought, "ignore armor! punish failed blocks! extra damage against revealed racial moves! pair it with Scouting Run for 17 damage attacks!". I even tried to be clever, going one further and pairing a Bern's Untouchable Mail I had with 3xClub Of Devastation. And it worked reasonably well.

    After a number of games, when I stepped back and looked at the numbers, I found myself wondering why I wasn't running Bejeweled Shortsword instead. Devastating Blow did work, but it needed 2 revealed cards just to break even! It effectively ignored armor, but the lower damage meant that I was usually coming out behind, as the difference was equivalent to 2 Reliable Mails! And with only 3 Scouting Runs in my entire deck, I had no idea why those were even factoring into my strategy; they were just too unreliable. The solution was so simple, that I had completely overlooked it.

    The question I wasn't asking myself was, 'is this more effective than not-being-clever?'. This is the same question I have since asked of any number of my support priests, or my control wizards, or my elven lavamancers. Sure, it's fun, it's interesting, but given your goals, does it help more than a more straightforward build would? Particularly, does it help you get more Victory Points than plain, straight-up damage?

    You can gain a lot of Points by playing creative and interesting and nonsensical builds, but they aren't always Victory Points. And that's not necessarily bad. The more important thing is that whether your goal is to have interesting games, or to win as much as possible, or just to end matches quickly, that you're playing something that you like and enjoy.

    Here, I'll try to describe how I've been playing it in more detail. A lot of the tactics used are small things, intuitions and details, built from experience and from a familiarity with the game. Thus, pretty hard to describe, but here are some of the general rules I've been following.

    Your strength is fast, reliable damage.
    Your general strategy is:
    1. Force an engagement. Having three elves gives you a good ability to do so, but whether it's by rushing to the VPs, charging your opponent, or a mixture thereof is not always clear, and depends on what they are doing.
    2. Once engaged, use your sheer damage capacity to down someone as soon as possible, putting your opponent at a drawing disadvantage. You'll probably have ~80 damage in hand when your teams first meet, so you have a pretty good shot.
    3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until match is over.
    The rest is execution, but here are some points.
    • Regarding what to keep in your hand, it generally goes parries>attacks>armor. This (rarely) changes depending on whether or not your opponent is wizard-heavy, but it usually doesn't. The parries not only block those nasty heavy hitters, but lets you draw an attack anyway (probably). The armor just generally isn't worth giving up a 7-11 damage attack for, since it would need to soak 4+ hits to make up the difference.
    • Once in range, determining your Marching Order is the key to your effectiveness. Generally, you want to move anyone with a parry in first to absorb attacks, then cycle the farthest elves in, in order to give the closest ones a better ability to chase down retreaters. Exceptions are a mixture of what cards you have, your opponent has and is likely to have, the HPs and positions of everyone involved, and any relevant attachments, and all of that would take far too long to detail. But I'm sure you can figure it out yourself.
    • The Thrust-Maneuvers combination plays a bigger role here than I like to admit, and by itself has saved me any number of games. It's the sole reason I chose Rageblood Dagger, in order to bring the Thrust Ratio to ~1/5. Thinning movement is why I chose Sticky Slippers. Being aware of which elves are Maneuvering can swing an entire match.
    • Just because someone is in range doesn't mean you have to use all of your attacks on them. It's usually a good idea, but sometimes it's worth it to hang onto a card or two so you can threaten a larger area. Sometimes, it's also worth doing a bit of calculating and ignoring the closest target if you have a good shot of finishing off someone else that turn.
    • Vicious Thrust is for more than closing. It lets you threaten multiple enemies at once. If you can flank someone, you can prevent their retreat, as well as bypass blocks if 2 elves can alternate backstabbing the same target. And though it rarely comes up, I feel obligated to mention that if someone is running Jump Back, you can sidestep them to make their jump get caught in your own Zone of Control.
    • If two elves need to move to the same spot, and one has a Vicious Thrust they can use, consider moving that one first, that they might move out of the way later.
    • Reminder: You can target your own team with Scouting Run if no one else is in range.

    If it pleases you, I thought I'd also share my favorite moment playing with this deck.

    Batford's Parlor_(Ranked)
    One of my elves was trading blows with an enemy warrior as the first engagement, and both were left with no cards and very low HP. Elf 2 was parked on a VP and out of range for the turn, and while Elf 3 had enough to finish the job, Elf 1 was stuck in the square she needed to move to.

    Worse, my opponent had already started passing, gaining initiative for the next round. If I let the round end, I was certain my elf would be killed first thing.

    My solution? I ordered that my own elf be backstabbed by a Raging Strike.

    After a long pause, as I waited for my opponent to pass once more, my elf used a Vicious Thrust to move that last square and finish off the other warrior, thus leaving us both with 2 characters remaining.

    Maybe not the best call, but it certainly was fun!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  5. Jarmo

    Jarmo Snow Griffin

    Thanks for the experience-forged insights, Exythe! Very illuminating!
  6. Juxtapostion

    Juxtapostion Hydra

    This sounds awesome! I am excited to try it. I have little time between parenting and work to play so an efficient build with out those hard to find legendaries is clutch!
  7. Stexe

    Stexe #2 in Spring PvP Season

    I made a similar deck a while ago that used Sprint, Team! to get in close and to ensure all the Bejeweled awesomeness was used. It worked really well, but wasn't as reliable as a Blind Rage cycling deck.
  8. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    Not everyone have the items for that you know? - like i dont even have 1 crazy sal's
  9. Wildarm

    Wildarm Ogre

    Good build for MP chest farming. You can generally corner a character and unload enough to kill them. If the opponent doesn't draw his counter to that(movement generally) then you can get some easy wins

    I've also see this deck outmaneuvered by a good player via team dashes and sprints. Same pincer can work against you since you typically exhaust all your moves charging your opponent
  10. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    The problem is that if everyone starts using this deck it will become a 50/50 chance of winning
    Grimmace likes this.
  11. Wildarm

    Wildarm Ogre

    If all were using it then better players will be able to stretch that to >50% win rate. The best players would of course create a counter deck to the meta and dominate
  12. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    no, it would all count on the card draws and i said NO to the people who say that you need skill when facing an opponent with the same deck!
  13. Youbo

    Youbo Orc Soldier

    I don't agree with you. Skill play a large part as much as luck. It easy to see in fixed deck leagues,where everyone have the same deck but I get 3 wins/4 on average.
  14. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    thats because they play vs 0 or 100 elo players who dont have a clue what they are doing :p
  15. Jarmo

    Jarmo Snow Griffin

    You just said no skill is necessary when playing with the same deck. Try to make up your mind.
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  16. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    PROOF! just beat a 1620 elo person we were using EXACTLY the same items and deck and i won and i have less elo than him so i SHOULD be worse right? - but nope :p
  17. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    you need a BIT of skill :p which you dont even notice that you are getting as you play for a long time
  18. Jarmo

    Jarmo Snow Griffin

    I take umbrage at the mere insinuation that these are the same thing and at such careless use of words in general. Obviously we do not value them equally. Good day to you, sir.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
    Flaxative likes this.
  19. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    What i meen is everyone says you need lots of skill - i thought everyone understood that :( but i guess as a non-born and raised english/american i cant really give my thoughts across.
  20. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    And good day to you too, sir.

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