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Night Rider


This was my deck that won first place at the tournament in Bloomington, IN, on December 8, 2018. I did not have the chance to test this deck at all before that tournament, and I have not played it since, so some of my ideas about this deck remain theoretical. The deck worked very well in every match at the tournament. That said, if I play this deck again, I plan to make some changes from this list.

The primary idea behind this deck is to fully focus summon ghostly mount through some combination of drawing into all three of those cards and the three resonance cards, and then using nightmare mounts to win. The theory is that Harold's ability should be enough to get rid of any units the opponent has with three or more attack (that can block nightmares). Harold's ability is also great for eliminating any unit-based threats the opponent has that might kill you before your nightmares are ready, and Harold's high life makes it easier to survive burn and other threats until the nightmares come on line.

The first five always consists of raptor herder, sun sister, and summon ghostly mount. The deck's main engine for surviving until nightmare mounts come online is to keep mounting sun sisters so as to resurrect raptor herder and other allies in order to keep a strong battlefield. Indeed, this engine is powerful enough that it can often win on its own, without even needing the nightmare mounts.

Depending on what the opponent is running, the other two cards for the first five can be picked from any of: Chained Creations, Gates Thrown Open, Anchornaut, Battle Mage, Iron Worker, Sonic Swordsman, String Mage, Hidden Power, Summon Spectral Assassin, or Harvest Soul.

It may be worth explaining here why Harvest Soul is not a mandatory first five for this deck. Harvest Soul is a great card, for sure, and I often included it in the first five at the tournament. But this deck usually only needs two spellboard slots: for ghostly mounts and gates thrown open. And this deck usually wins with nightmare mounts rather than Harold's potential for a large battlefield. So, although Harvest Soul remains a great card in this deck, it will often make sense to prioritize other cards for the first five.

It may also be worth noting that it will often be a good idea to discard raptor herder or another ally (if you run a first five with another ally) prior to the start of round 1 in order to draw another card. The idea here is that the mount plus sun sister combo will then be guaranteed to have an ally to bring back, and the extra draw can be very helpful in this deck.

If I think they are running creepers, my standard first five is: raptor herder, summon spectral assassin, sun sister, ghostly mount, and chained creations. I have not yet had the chance to test this against creepers, but the theory is to use chained creations to remove seedlings from the game. You should be able to get rid of at least one seedling round one, and then another one or two in round two. Probably, you will take some damage before removing all of their seedlings. But removing all three seedlings ends most of the threat from creepers, and even removing just two seedlings should greatly reduce the power of creepers. This first five is also potentially a good option if you think they might be running silver snakes, a poison+hydra build, or Cerasaurus or Archasaurus Mounts. Starting with chained creations slows this deck down considerably though, so this is probably only a good idea if you think removing a few conjurations will either cripple the opponent's deck or will be necessary for you to ultimately get nightmare mounts through so that you can win.

As another note, I often use summon spectral assassin as one of the cards in the first five, because using this on raptor herder lets you build a large battlefield so efficiently. But I generally did not go this route against opponents with nature dice for fear of cards like Nature's Wrath. Instead, if you think multi-unit damage cards like that are likely, string mage can be a great choice. String mage is powerful with mounts, either as a rider, or just because mounts can generate damage by dismounting the sun sister and also can use a lot of main actions mounting and dismounting, which in combination greatly helps string mage to do her magic.

If I use this deck again, I would consider removing iron worker, particle shield, battle mage, and/or anchornaut, in order to make room for one or more of the following:
-another raptor herder, string mage, and/or summon spectral assassin;
-one or two shepherd of lost souls;
-three dark presences;
-one summon salamander monk; and/or
-one summon turtle guard.

I might also consider replacing one of the illusion dice with another sympathy die, especially were I to add another string mage.


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