Decked Out Articles: Playing decks at 30 VPs

I keep getting asked what is the “30 VP Format” that we have been talking about? It seemed like a good time for a Decked Out Article. In short: this has become an interesting alternate format that we have started playing in the Seattle area. No rule changes, with the exception of restricting the number of Victory Points you can include in your deck.

Update: This is now an official Kingmaker format called “Showdown”

How did this get started?

We had a Kingmaker with 12 players, and we started talking about doing a Kingmaker just for Faith and Fortune. Everyone was really excited at the idea, and we put it on the calendar. Faith and Fortune has some really interesting faction deisgn and many of us were excited for the format.

The issue we started to discover was that many of the players in our community do not own Faith and Fortune, and we still have a small group of players. We didn’t want to run an event that some people couldn’t participate in. This is when I came up with an alternative: we could have a tournament where decks were restricted to 30 Victory Points or less. This would encourage players that wanted to use Faith and Fortune to attend because they weren’t as far behind in Victory Points, but it would also allow players to experiment with their favorite factions. Perhaps some interesting themes could arise, like a Tharn deck from Circle, or a Winterguard deck from Khador. I ran the idea by my players, and we decided to roll with it.

Why 30 Victory Points?

I found that most of the Faith and Fortune factions could build in the mid 20’s. So I wanted the other factions to have to play close to that. 30 Vps seemed simple, and it would force the Warmachine and Hordes factions to make significant sacrifices, while still being able to field the cards the factions were designed around.

Building 30 VP Decks

At first, it seemed like more players were interested in playing Faith and Fortune factions, so I started building some 30 VP decks for other factions to see what I could come up with. I started by putting together a Circle deck designed around the Celestial Fulcrum and Reeves Master Hunstman. I followed that up with a Khador deck designed to focus on Warriors like the Battle Engine and Man-O-Wars. I found both decks very interesting and fun to play. I tried them out against some of my locals and had a great time, but I wanted to try even more ideas.

30 VP Legion

I quickly found Legion to be extremely versatile in this format. Shepherds, Incubi, Blackfrost Shard, Coalescing Dragonblights, Blighted Mutations, and Harriers provided a nice mix of cards without VP’s to keep the overall VP count down. Combine that with Proteus only being a single VP, and the Archangel only being 2 VPs . . . I felt like Legion could really pack a ton of power into the 30 VP format. Here is my current 30 VP Legion deck.hc_proteus

Kallus, Wrath of Everblight {Purple} 7 VPs
~Guidance of Everblight x1
~Coalescing Dragonblight x2
~Throne of Everblight x2
~Hex Hunter Cult x2
~Blackfrost Shard x3
~Incubi Swarm x2

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight {Green} 13 Vps
~Guidance of Everblight x1
~Coalescing Dragonblight x2
~Archangel x2
~Scythean x3
~Longbow Archer Champions x2
~Longbow Archers x2

Bethayne, Voice of Everblight {Blue} 10 VPs
~Blighted Mutation x2
~Archangel x1
~Proteus x2
~Nephilim Soldier x2
~Throne of Everblight x1
~Longbow Archer Champions x2
~Blackfrost Shard x2

hc_blackfrostshardThis deck focuses on the extremely powerful Archangel and Throne, while pairing them with the Blackfrost Shard + Superior Range Combos to make it very difficult to remove cards during your opponent’s turn. This deck is a ton of fun to play, and I think some version of this will be one of the stronger decks at 30 VP’s.

30 VP Trollbloods

I thought it would be a good idea to also try modifying a current deck and just drop cards with victory points. Trollbloods seemed like a natural pick for this. Runeshaper Sorcerers, Trollblood Bouncers, Runebearer Elders, and Warders of the Kriel are all 0 VP cards that are quite good for their cost. I figured I would work in some those and get the deck down to the restriction.

hc_warders

Calandra Truthsayer, Kriel Oracle {Purple}
~Assemble The Chieftains x1
~Mulg The Ancient x3
~Dire Troll Mauler x1
~Elementalist Sorcerers x3
~Runebearer Elders x2
~Runeshaper Sorcerers x2

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia {Red}
~Assemble The Chieftains x1
~For Kith and Kriel x1
~Mulg The Ancient x2
~Dire Troll Mauler x2
~Troll Bouncer x2
~Warders of the Kriel x2
~Kriels War Banner x2

Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller {Orange}
~Shamanic Ritual x2
~For Kith and Kriel x1
~Dire Troll Mauler x1
~Troll Bouncer x2
~Elementalist Sorcerers x2
~Sons of Bragg x3
~Kriels War Banner x1

I think this is the deck to beat at 30 VP. This deck is more vulnerable to the mixed Economy/Rush play than other decks are in the standard format. So lowering the amount of Victory Points makes this deck even better, and it was already one of the best. I would consider this deck the “gatekeeper” of the 30 VP Format. If you think you built a great deck . . . try it versus this deck. Mulg and the Elementalist Sorcerers will likely be a permanent staple in Trollbloods.

hc_trollbouncer

My Retribution Deck with 28 Victory Points

Ret is probably my favorite of the Faith and Fortune factions. I think they are one powerful release away from being on par with Warmachine and Hordes. My current deck is designed to focus on rushing Imperatus or a Banshee in conjunction with a warrior. Arcanists help with your hand. Halberdiers + Wailing can make breaking a location very difficult. But Nayl is my first choice to pair with a Myrmidon. Here is the deck:

hc_nayl

Rahn {Purple}
~Wrath of the Retribution x1
~Arcantrik Innovation x1
~Scyrah’s Blessing x1
~Imperatus x3
~Banshee x1
~Gorgon x3
~Arcanist x2

Kaelyssa {Green}
~Wrath of the Retribution x1
~Pheonix x2
~Eyriss x3
~Nayl x3
~Mage Hunter Strike Force x3

Vyros2 {Red}
~Wrath of the Retribution x1
~Arcantrik Innovation x1
~Scyrah’s Blessing x1
~Imperatus x2
~Banshee x2
~Sentinels x2
~Halberdiers x3

Lately I have been considering dropping Rahn, but I am not really sure for what. Ossyan is probably the next best choice, but may not yield an improvement in deck performance. I don’t really want to drop Purple because it has 7 of the jacks for the deck. It would really hurt to lose those. I think Blue and Orange could be considerations after Ultimate Weapons, but I really don’t know what I would drop.

hc_banshee

I have been able to keep up with the 30 VP decks with this one, but it is still a struggle. I am not sure I could beat Trollbloods with an equal skill level opponent. But I still find this deck to flow well and have a solid design. It makes me excited for future Retribution releases.

Conclusion

Currently I am running one standard Kingmaker and one 30 VP Kingmaker per month. We are having fun with both. The nice thing about this format is that it doesn’t change any of the rules in the game. Learning to play this format also helps people get better at playing in a standard Kingmaker, while still providing a different experience. If you want to build a deck for a slightly different format, or you just want to welcome your friends that love the Faith and Fortune factions, then try this out. I think you will enjoy it.

~Omnus

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