Cards 30 / 30
Alteration Spells (3)
- 3× Devotion
Conjuration Deck (3)
- 3× Silver Snake (Maeoni)
I originally made this deck back before we were introduced to the wonders of [[divine:power]] and [[sympathy:power]] dice. In the classic version, your first round involved summoning an Iron Rhino, giving it bypass through Hypnotize, and pumping it by 2 with Maeoni's Strike ability. The objective was to kill your opponent in three attacks (pumped Rhino hits for 7 damage, and every Phoenixborn but one dies in 21 damage). All this paired with the idea that Maeoni Viper will probably trade favorably against most opponents in a straight up slugfest simply due to her massive life total.
Well, it's 2018, and that means we now have more choices when picking hard-hitting units. Iron Rhino was the initial default simply by sporting 5 attack, which once was the highest non-conditional attack in the game. Now, we have Holy Knight which also has 5 but is way cheaper, and Elephant Rider which hits for a whopping 6 and is also hard to deal with. Finally, we have a full playset of Summon Silver Snake that can be used as either a backup strategy in which Elephants focus on the units instead of the Phoenixborn, which usually feeds Silver Snake, or they can make some rather effective blockers for your own Phoenixborn.
So we don't need to do anything too complicated here, most of the power is located within the first 5, and the rest of the deck either helps you support that first 5 or adds another chunk of damage to the opponent. Since our battlefield is basically just the one creature, our goal is to hold down the rest of the board with supporting cards like Kneel and Meteor, which we can also offset with Devotion (or just Elephant Rider doing its thing). Because we shaved a couple dice moving from Rhino to Knight, we can afford to play one Empower to further boost our damage every round; 16 damage instead of 14 can be a huge difference for a couple Phoenixborn.
Now unfortunately this deck does suffer two absolutely crucial weaknesses: Redirect and Regress. For a single [[charm:class]] or the relatively cheap [[ceremonial:class]] - [[basic]], your opponent can completely cripple you out of an entire round, which will likely be the difference between victory and defeat. Luckily, we have some countermeasures: Dispel makes for a solid, cheap method of removing Regress on a crucial turn, and Law of Sight will make it impossible for opponents to mess up your math with Redirect.
If you're a little hesitant about always taking tons of damage to the face, you can try to offset some pain with Chant of Protection, or you could always swap out the snakes for a Unit Guard option like Gilder or Biter. Turtle Guard is also good, but it's bit on the costly side.
If you'd rather focus more on defeating the opponent's units themselves, Elephant Rider should probably get more priority over Holy Knight, and otherwise you might consider Emperor Lion and Power Through for a replacement threat.
If all you want to do is hit even harder, throw in a Holy Relics or three.