Decked Out Articles: The Bane Train – A Cryx Prime Deck

I felt like we were due for another Decked Out article. This time around I wanted to look at my current Cryx Deck. I have been a big fan of the low Rush costs, high VP counts, and solid stats that you can get with Cryx, but I have been hesitant to think of Cryx as top tier. I have previously found that the decks often felt inconsistent to me, due to a lower amount of resource cards that I can include in the colors that are amazing in the faction. But recently I have been focusing on aggressively cycling during the first two turns to search our resource cards, while only planning to buy a single card during those turns. This has really given me an increased appreciation of Cryx, and I will break down my strategies for you in this article.

The Deck

Witch Coven of Gnarlghast {Green}
~Will of Toruk x1
~Ritual of Sacrifice x1
~Deathjack x3
~Corruptor x1
~Pistol Wraith x3
~Satyxis Raiding Party x3

Warwitch Deneghra {Blue}
~Will of Toruk x1
~Necfactorium x1
~Ritual of Sacrifice x1
~Malice x3
~Bane Thrall Cadre x1
~Bane Rider Cadre x3
~Bane Knights x2

Sturgis the Corrupted {Red}
~Will of Toruk x1
~Necfactorium x2
~Corruptor x2
~Harrower x2
~Leviathan x1
~Bane Thrall Cadre x1
~Bane Rider Cadre x2
~Bane Knights x1

The Detachments

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Blue Detachment: Blue is the foundation of the Cryx; I don’t think you can pass up 3 Bane Rider Cadres. Additionally, you get one of each resource card. Blue also provides you with 3 copies of Malice. He may not seem like an amazing Jack, but he is cheap to Rush, worth a VP, and is often a 2 Power and 5 Health (or more) card. I filled out the remaining 3 cards with a Bane Thrall and 2 bane Knight Cadres, but I think those last 3 cards are pretty flexible. If you want to fit in something else I would recommend removing one of those 3 cards.

Red Detachment: Great for many of the same reasons as Blue. Red provides the other 2 Bane Rider Cadres, which are amazing, but the solid Jacks are the main appeal. Harrowers and Corrupters help maintain a high vp count while being really solid Rush options. The Corrupter can even provide some extra card advantage. The strangest pick for Red is probably the one Leviathan. It isn’t amazing, but the deck needs some Rush options that are cheaper than 8. I think that the inclusion of 1 or 2 Leviathans is key to keeping this deck consistent.

Green Detachment: I think the 3rd detachment is much more flexible than the first two slots. I can see the argument for running Yellow or Purple, but I roll with Green. This provides 3 Satyxis Raiders and 3 Deathjacks. Those 6 cards are the core strength of Green. Deathjack is a 4 Power and 5 Health card that Rushes for 7 and is worth a VP. Having 3 Deathjacks is huge for giving the deck consistent options. But the Satyxis Raiders might be the powerhouse card. I have had Feedback trigger 3-4 times and completely change a game by moving key cards that your opponent needs to the bottom of their deck. They also Rush for only 5 Command. Pistol Wraiths are a great tool for denying captures or combining with the Bane Thralls to put two cards at a location that can’t be destroyed.

The Casters

Sturgis the Corrupted: I wasn’t immediately impressed when I first read Sturgis, but he has definitely grown on me. I love using Sturgis to pull Elementalist Sorcerers, Trencher Sharpshooters, Ranked Attacks Cards, etc. from the primary location where we are fighting to the other location to facilitate a stronger position. Sometimes I just use Sturgis to pull a Gargantuan to Pyromalfic so it just gets destroyed at the start of my opponent’s turn. He is a great Warcaster, and I strongly recommend him.

Witch Coven of Gnarlghast: Witch Coven is one of the better Warcaster options in the game. Reducing your opponent’s Power to zero can cause a huge swing in the game. If I can run a Warcaster with this feat . . . I generally do. It is extremely important when you are trying to gain ground at the Gates of Sul. If you play her colors I would definitely include her in the deck.

Warwitch Deneghra: I primarily chose Deneghra as my 3rd Warcaster because I wanted one that Rushes for Command. Her feat means that she is a minimum of 4 effective Power, but can easily be more. She can swing a fight for Cryx at almost any time. But at the same time she is generally the first Warcaster I Rush because she doesn’t have the same level of importance as the other two.

The Other Decks

With the new Kingmaker rule,s it is very important to figure out which Winds of War Deck and which Location Deck are the right pick for the deck you are working on. You need to think about what locations will benefit your opponent more than you, and which Winds of War cards you will get more advantage from than your opponent.

Winds fo War: I decided on Castle of the Keys for Cryx. Calculated Sacrifice is great for getting the deck thinned early. Decisive Assault is really good for rushing Satyxis Raiding Parties. Cautious Advance can allow for a second purchase durning the first two turns because of the extra banked card. Cryx also has more desire to get the Bane Rider Cadres back out of the deck, so the Redirections aren’t bad for Cryx as other decks.

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Locations: I can see Cryx players reaching for any of the location decks exception Hordes. I think my first choice would be Invasion of Sul. Menite Temple is so useful for preventing these low resource cards from going back into your deck and great captures for Cryx. The Acropolis is insane for Cryx. Pistol Wraiths at the Walls of Sul are also extremely dumb. But I can see the Faith and Fortune Locations being a nice pick too.

Playing Cryx

The goal of the Cryx deck is to put constant pressure at locations with their low Rush cost cards while generating an above average amount of Victory Points even before capturing. The deck is designed to combined Rushing a Warrior and Warjack each turn as often as possible. This deck also destroying 6-7 Health cards much easier than most decks. The key to getting the most out of Cryx is to manage how many of the 1/1 resource Warriors and Warjacks go back into your army deck. You want your draws to allow consistent Power and force captures to avoid too many weak resources to bog down your hands. Keep these aspects in mind as we look at the specific avenues you can take to accomplish this.

Aggressive Cycling

This tactic is probably more important to Cryx than any other deck. Circle, Trolls, Legion, Khador, and Cygnar call all run a huge suite of resource cards and sub-resource cards in the detachments that they want. Cryx really caps out at 8 resource cards and has 0 sub-resource cards. What this means is that Cryx can be incredible when it gets good resource cards, and often falls short when it doesn’t.

Screenshot_2014-12-16-10-12-48-1

Aggressive Cycling is a tactic I developed to facilitate decks running less resources by running them more efficiently. The goal is to discard your hand to cycle into your resource cards during turn 1 and turn 2. You want to buy a single resource card during those two turns and also bank 1 card at the end of turn 2. If you accomplish this, you will only have 5 cards in your Army Deck after you draw your 6 cards at the end of turn 2. Which means you get to shuffle your deck at the end of turn 3 and move another card to your occupied forces. Every turn you can keep this going allows you to thin your deck and get even more value out of each resource purchase. Your deck will be stronger and more consistent. In addition to that, you can cycle away mediocre cards to help you get to more of your Bane Rider Cadres, which are probably the best Warrior card in the game. It also allows you to make sure you have a good combination of Warjacks and Warriors to Rush when you hit turn 3 because of all the cycling you were able to do. You can discard 7-9 of the cards in your first two draws to cycle and still have a card to bank after buying a resource. There are a few rules to follow while cycling cards:

1.) Don’t cycle away Bane Rider Cadres if you can avoid it. They are so cheap to Rush for their power level, and they are worth two VP’s.

2.) Avoid Cycling more than two of the same Rush cost. As an example, I do not like cycling through more than 2 of any combination of Satyxis or Pistol Wraiths.

3.) My preferred reserves to have going into turn 3 would include Satyxis, Bane Rider Cadre, Deathjack, and Malice.

4.) It is often a good idea to leave a resource in your reserves at the end of turn 2 so you have an option to buy it during turn 3.

5.) If you start with a 3/1 or a 1/3, I would still cycle for a 4/4 if possible, but don’t cycle away the other resources until you know what you are going to buy.

Buying after Turn 2

My preferred times to buy cards are often when my opponent Rushed or deployed just enough to stop me from capturing. but I still have a card left at the location. If I can Rush 1 card, buy a resource, and still end my Battle Step with two cards at the location . . . that is a solid choice. But I also find it important to recognize when to let your opponent capture a location, to give you a turn to buy resources and cycle. I generally ask myself a few questions . . .

Is this a turn where I get a discount on the purchase? (The discount could mean that I can Rush at least 1 card and purchase)

Am I about to reshuffle my deck? (If yes, I am more likely to let them capture so I can buy valuable resources before the shuffle)

Is the location 6 or less VP’s? (The less VP’s they get out of the situations, the easier it is to make up for)

Would I have to use a Warcaster to stop my opponent from capturing? (If I have used more of my Warcasters than my opponent, this becomes even more relevant.)

Have I already captured more locations than my opponent? (I am willing to give up a capture in the mid game if it will leave me stronger for the late game))

Would it move important cards to their occupied forces pile? (Mulg, Behemoth, Archangels, etc. Anything that my opponent wants to go back in the deck are my preferred choices to allow a capture from)

Do I have 2-3 resource cards currently in my reserves? (Two is a risk, but three almost always means I need to seriously consider a buying turn)

Can I buy a 4/4 resource card? (3/1 or 1/3 resources cards are nice for Cryx, but the 4/4 resources are amazing for Cryx)

Any one of these situations is not enough. Two is often enough for me to strongly consider it, but if three line up at the same time . . . I generally go for it.

Deploying Cards

It is very important to recognize when to Deploy cards and when to Rush cards. When Satyxis Raiders, Bane Rider Cadres, and Deathjack are discarded from locations and you draw them . . . try to deploy them if possible. Get them out of your army deck to keep it thin and packed with average or better resources. Malice is also a 1/1 Resource, but I am more likely to remove him as part of shuffle than to deploy him. Just keep in mind he may need to be deployed from time to time. Pistol Wraiths, Corrupters, Bane Knights, and Bane Thralls aren’t really improvements to the deck, but they are high priority deploys.

Your goal should be to keep your discard pile to 7 or less cards, and to make sure your army deck is at 5 or less cards after you draw your hand. Then, if you need to draw a new hand and your Army deck has 5 cards, it will require you to shuffle your discard pile. 7 cards is key because you can move one card to your occupied forces and that leaves 6. Then you draw one and leave 5, so the cycle can continue each turn.

Tip: At the start of your turn, you should look at how many cards are in your discard pile. If it is 0, you can discard and purchase a total of 7 cards. If there is 1 card in your discard pile, you can discard and purchase a total of 6 cards. If there are 2 cards in your discard pile, it is very important to bank a card and deploy a card from your hand to make sure you keep your deck lean.

Potential Changes

3rd Detachment: You don’t have to play green, but it is what I consider superior to the other options. But Purple can definitely be in the conversation. You would still have access to a couple Deathjacks and a couple Satyxis Raider cards. I think the primary benefit of Purple is getting to include Scaverous as one of your Warcasters.

Bane Thrall Cadres: I go back and forth on whether I want to include these cards. I find the 9 Rush cost to often be tough to spend for. I am currently including a couple because I want the option to combo them with a Pistol Wraith. I also like the late game purchase for 5 Command to earn 2 VP’s. They also don’t hurt the deck because they are decent Resources.

Leviathan: This is probably the weakest card in the deck, and I could see people playing without it. I have been playing with one or two so that I have 4-5 total Warjacks that rush for 7. I think this helps the deck consistency. But you can run an extra Corrupter instead if you wish.

Malice: This deck can run a 4th Malice. I currently don’t because I have issues with the Character rule and Malice sitting a Location for too long. He is lower power than most of the cards that generally accompany him, which makes him a low priority card to destroy. He is also a 1/1 Resource, so he is high on the list for cards to deploy if you draw him. But even with that in mind I still consider putting in the 4th.

Goreshade: I can see the argument to switch Deneghra or Strugis for Goreshade to help with deploying cards. I chose Strugis primarily to disrupt the Elementalist Sorcerer. Deneghra was my 3rd pick because I wanted at least one Warcaster that rushes for Command.

Conclusion

I hope this article is useful for you as you try out the deck or work on a Cryx deck of your own. Cryx is fast, aggressive, and powerful. But that doesn’t mean it is easy to play. Knowing when to deploy instead of Rushing is very important. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

~Omnus

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