(This deck plays 3 Swordfish, 3 Octopus and 3 Frog-Tosser, the list seems to be bugged somewhat. Also, as Aqua has suggested it is absolutly viable to swap out the Choking Sands for Crystal Flower. I would suggest if you are in a meta with more big threats, Crystal Flower is the better choice. If you face a lot of red and g-y-Sac Choking Sands is a good option. This is something you have to experiment with and decide for yourself. Maybe even a 1-1 split is best for you. Thanks!)
3-Color Explorers was build to test the strenghts of the new explorers and the swordfish. It is an all-rounder but definitly best from early to mid game.
What I find good about this deck:
1. Because you only need 2 of each land, and your opening is so flexible due to the explorers, the games are very consistent, I find. Bad starting hands are extremly rare.
2. With Shifting Octopus and swordfish there is always a flexible taunt in your hand if you have to play save.
3. Both explorers where chosen because of their nice 4/6 statline. Few creatures have naturally six power, making them card to take down, while a buff with tiki allows the deck to take down the prevalent 6 health threats (this also applys to swordfish ofc).
Overall the deck has many tools to deal with your opponent and it's primary reason to be played is because it is very flexible. With that follows that it has no matchups that are unwinable.
There are, of course a few downsides to this approch to deckbuilding:
The 2-land maximum restricts card choices. There is no AOE, and no real hard removel. These weaknesses are mitigated (or have been tried to) by
AOE: the overall deckbuild with efficient creatures and (through Oradrim Fanatic) aggresive gameplay can keep decks who tend to play many creatures at once in check. The weakness of course still exists, and their seems to be no solution as of yet. Will have to be monitored.
Hard-Removal: Mirror Phantasm and Voice of Truth are a way to go around this problem, at least against single, massive creatures, like Soul Eater o.e.. However these do seldom help against big, but more numberus threats. (Decks like mono green are good against this deck, if they can stick one big threat after the other; and in general 7 attack creatures are a problem. Try to starve them of faeria as good as possible.)
This deck took me from Rank 7 to God-Rank with a rough winrate of about 70%. Since this was early after the patch the meta was obviously not defined yet, however I try to summarize what this deck is good and bad against:
- Nearly all Rush and Aggro decks: Early consitancy, good statlines, taunts, Choking Sands and Fanatic makes these matchups an easier experience. Yellow Rush is easier, I find, then red rush, but both are wins most of the time. (Keeping a swordfish if you know you play against rush is advised)
- Mono Red in general is a good matchup because they have a hard time removing your creatures, while you can make efficient trades and have good removel options. Be careful however with your health, you have no heal. Also, do not overextent, AOE with Firestorm or Garudan can wreck you if you do not keep an eye on it.
- Heavy control decks; this requiers decisive play and fast aggression. Generally this deck must always try to faeria starve his opponent and the heavier the control deck, the more it must do so.
Due to its flexibilty many matchups are a blank slate. Generally your gameplay is very important in these matchups and win or lose often hinges on who can make good trades/plays in the early game. Your good stated minions together with TIki and Fanatics mobility can help you with this.
The last point in my "good matchups"-list however leads to the bad matchups:
- Bargain: This deck is a problem. It has no problems to bring out heavy hitters who can oneshot all your creatures and who you cannot Frog-Toss, while you have no hard-removal, without giving you the option to fearia starve them as easily of other control decks. Propably your hardest matchup. Also, the new 7/7 with protection is a nightmare do deal with.
- Green-Yellow Sac: The hard part in this matchup is that you must not use your phantasm or your voice of truth on something that is not Soul Eater. Because of your lack of Hard-Removal, these 3 answers must be used against Soul Eaters. Thus, holding the board, or even getting board control without them is nesessary. Hold Chocking Sands for Bone Collector and Shaytan Assasians is important. However, if they play 2 or more Shaytan Assasians in their deck things get harder. Making a early move and maybe takeing out a early Bone Collector with a Fanatic combo is the best way to win, but not always guaranteed. Them drawing to many threats in quick succession often means a lose.
(Overall Tipp: mulligan Phantasm, Tale of the Old Turtle, Voice of Truth always. Only keep Frog-Tosser if you can keep it with 2 other early game plays including a elemental. Keep Caretaker only if you have a early game play and ideally a fanatic to make an attack on 1 side. Keep 1 Swordfish is often advised, but make sure to have a early game play. Keeping 2 Elementals can be risky, but managlable with a Tiki or a Swordfish. Keeping choking sands is hard to tell, however if playing against a lot of green-yellow sac or red it is a consideration.)
Some of you might also think: "But why play Tale of the Old Turtle? And why not Elderwood Embrace for Tiki Caretaker?".
Good questions. The deck needed a little bit of card draw against mid range matchups and played already a lot of creatures. Thus Tale of the Old Turtle was a natural include which allows the deck to go the extra mile. Often Tale is used after fighting for board presence. Since you fight for faeria it is often advised to double-collect on both your sides while attacking on your stronger side. It is not uncommen to run out of resources after an extensive fight. In control matchups and often in midrange matchups do not hesitate to frog-tosser extensivly. This however leads to small hands. A Tale after a fight can refill your hand and, if you have still faeria left, immediatly run out a new threat on your opponents well.
This also leads to my choice of Tiki Caretaker over Elderwood Embrace. Your creatures have naturally more health and thus profit less from the +0/+2 more that elderwood gives, while being a creature gives tiki the cost reduction by tale. Also, because you try and attack on one side, while leaving the other side often alone, Tiki is a easy harvester on the not-attacking side. However this is mostly preference. You can try Elderwood for yourself, it may well meet your playstyle more.
Some may also question why I did not include Garudan, if I needed AOE without breaking 2-2-2 lands. Well, Garudan is simply to expenisve, you can not afford to bank that much faeria.
Overall this deck is for you if you like playing flexible decks who have always a chance at winning, and if you like fighting and controlling the board. It is possible that the consitancy of this deck may help you climb ladder, but you have to test it.
Even if it was not intended, by having no legendarys in it, this deck could propably be considered budget as well. A nice side-effect for sure!
I will try and expand this introduction in the future, maybe a video or 2, or gameplay sequences who happen a lot etc.. However, as always, experimenting with it yourself will tell you more than I can in 10000 words. So give it a try and do not forget to have fun, that's what this is all about!
Until next time
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