- Battlefield 6
- Life 17
- Spellboard 4
Cards 30 / 30
Ready Spells (7)
Alteration Spells (3)
My local store has been running bi-weekly Ashes tournaments with the most recent OP kits (Jolly Rancher dice! Yum!), and since I need me some of those sweet, sweet alt dice I decided to go with what I know how to win with...Elephant Rider!
This is a very straight forward Elephant deck, using Rin because just about everyone else in my local meta plays Orrick and who wants to conform like that?
- Elephant Rider (7)
- Rin's Fury (-2)
- Changing Winds (2)
- Summon Butterfly Monk (1)
- Summon Winged Lioness (2)
Thunder Number: 10
I have literally never used any other cards than these for my First Five, but that's partially because no one in my local meta plays Illusion (a couple of decks splash it, but I've only had a die exhausted maybe twice in the three tournaments I've gone to). One player plays mill/discard, but in that case I just ditch the Butterfly Monks because they'll never attack, anyway.
So far I've taken variations of this deck to two out of the four Ashes tournaments we've held (took an abysmally awful Maeoni Snakes + Elephant deck the first tournament, and missed the third one), and it won me dice both times. This last tournament was very close, thanks to literally everyone there running Elephants. However, it pulled through on my one draw by dealing out more damage to their Phoenixborn than I took (thanks Butterfly Monk!).
The deck practically plays itself. Winged Lioness assassinates their low-life utility cards. Butterfly Monk prevents them from ever hitting what they actually want to hit. Elephant Rider stomps all over everything and lures them into taking 6 damage to the face a lot more often than you might expect. Rin Northfell's Ice Buff keeps Elephants alive in mirror matches and makes sure your Winged Lioness survives more than one round otherwise. Crescendo kills their higher-life units, and Molten Gold puts the last few damage on their Phoenixborn when they thought they were safe. Power Through makes Elephants ridiculously threatening or (more often) turns Winged Lioness into the Ultimate Killing Machine. Rin's Fury and Changing Winds both let you do far more work than should really be possible for an Elephant deck.
- Ice Trap: this was actually not in the deck at all for my two tournaments I took the deck (I was running 2x Heal and 3x Meteor). However, I played Heal exactly once when I drew it, and I would have won that match even if I hadn't used Heal. Meanwhile everyone and their uncle was playing the Flute Mage + Elephant Rider combo. So in goes Ice Trap! Depending on your meta, Polarity Mage or Heal might make more sense.
- Magic Syphon: this can offer great utility (no-meditate Molten Gold? Yes, please!), but I've also had games where I discarded both copies for meditation and didn't look back. YMMV.
- Summon Butterfly Monk: You could probably decrease the number of copies here. Having two copies in play is nice, but three is total overkill and most of the time I can't afford to pay for the second Monk, anyway. There was at least one edge case game where I wouldn't have made it without multiple Monks, though, so I've left it in. Plus who knows, maybe someone in my meta will try a swarm deck and I'll desperately need blockers.
- Meteor: I'm actually thinking of dropping this completely. (°ロ°)! At least in my local meta everyone else is playing Meteor + Elephants, so it's usually a dead card in hand. Again, YMMV.