Decked Out Articles: Buddy System – A Trollbloods Prime Deck by LightningGod

I’m Patrick (LightningGod on the PP Forums); otherwise known as that guy in the orange hoodie. After winning the Friday and Sunday Kingmakers at Lock and Load 2015, I’m sure people are curious about my Troll deck, which I am hereby naming “Buddy System.” Everything in the deck has a buddy or combination to watch out for, and I have a lot more fun running this one than the ‘all the Mulgs and Sorcerers’ style deck. I’ll be borrowing Omnus’ format for this, because he said I could, and also because I’m lazy. Now, onto the deck list . . .

The Deck

Calandra Truthsayer, Kriel Oracle {Purple}
~Assemble The Chieftains x1
~Mulg The Ancient x1
~Earthborn Dire Troll x3
~Storm Troll x1
~Elementalist Sorcerers x3
~Dire Troll Mauler x1
~Troll Whelps x2

Borka Kegslayer {Red}
~Assemble The Chieftains x1
~Bonds of Blood x1
~Mulg The Ancient x2
~Dire Troll Mauler x2
~Storm Troll x2
~Champions of the Kriel x2
~Kriels War Banner x2

Grim Angus {Green}
~Assemble The Chieftains x1
~Troll Impaler x3
~Bonds of Blood x1
~Earthborn Dire Troll x2
~Pyg Bushwhacker x3
~Winter Troll x2

Winds of War – Faith and Fortune
Locations – Invasion of Sul

The Detachments

Purple: The heart of the deck, I suppose. Earthborn Dire Trolls (EBDTs) and Elementalist Sorcerers make up the bulk of the detachment, with the rest filled out to suit my tastes. The Whelps are purely there to shame my opponents and assist with captures. You laugh now, but wait until you can’t kill these little jerks. They could be replaced with Mulgs, but I found during testing that Mulg came up far too often and would often clog my reserves, so I trimmed two of them out. Slag Trolls are also an acceptable replacement, if you don’t want to mess around with the Whelps (though Slags are a pain to rush without help from a banner or Borka).

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Red: With Red comes power. Full of Mulgs, Maulers, and Champs, the Red detachment punches you in the face with a big meaty fist. It also layers in a few extra discard mechanics with the Storm Trolls, and a bit of speed with the War Banners.

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Green: Green is about speed and hurting your opponent (both his chances of winning and his feelings). Full of Impalers to burn their hand and quick Pygs to assist captures, as well as the last two EBDTs to pump up your elemental cards (seriously, get two of them at a location with a Sorcerer or a Storm/Winter and watch your opponent try to chew through all that health).

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The Warlocks

Calandra Truthsayer, Kriel Oracle: What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Calandra’s awesome. Combine her with Impalers for a huge swing next turn.

Borka Kegslayer: Borka gives you one amazing turn, so watch for the opportune time to leverage him. Ideally you want a hand full of war and at least two Storms/Impalers or Mulg and a Storm/Impaler showing in your reserves.

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Grim Angus: Grim is my man. The only CMD warlock in my deck, Grim is there to field the Green detachment, and generally get on your opponent’s nerves. Never rush him unless there’s at least one Impaler present.

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Winds of War and Locations

Invasion of Sul: This is almost a no brainer with Trolls. Narrow Streets chokes the game down to a single location, which you can easily force a Sorcerer and Mulg into, and grinds the tempo of the game way down. Gates make it really easy to capture by spamming Pygs, Whelps, and all manner of light trolls, overwhelming your opponent’s ability to kill them all. Walls make all the support Warriors as tough as warbeasts, and the Acropolis lets them fight outside their weight class. Considering how few warriors are in the deck, compared to warbeasts, I’d hesitate to attempt an auto-capture Sulon’s Fortress, but it is a great resource if you get it.

Faith and Fortune: Winds of War is mostly a preference thing. I suggest playing around with all combinations and finding out which one works best for you.

How to Play this Deck

Try to get a solid resource card into your deck on turn 1 and 2. Buy just one, cycle your deck, and make sure to bank on turn 2 to kick off your aggressive cycling. Always cycle light warbeasts, Whelps, and Pygs in the opening turns if you have extra cards in hand. Don’t be afraid to cycle Earthborns, Maulers, or Mulgs (only if there are two Mulgs showing). There are plenty of them, and they’ll come back around. Seriously, unless the game ends on the first Late Wind of War, you’ll see the bottom of your reserves at least once. Any big trolls you tuck away early on will be clutch in the end game.

1st Priority – Assemble the Chieftains, obviously.

2nd Priority – A Dire Troll Mauler. Great resources, can play from hand in a pinch, and is the perfect amount of strength and health to kill support cards while tanking a location.

3rd Priority – Bond of Blood. Solid resources and can be used for movement shenanigans when the situation calls for it.

4th Priority – I guess the fourth would be Trollkin Champions. They’re 2/2 resources and some VP. If desperate, can be played from hand, though this is not recommended.

5th Priority – Really, you shouldn’t be buying anything other than one the four previously detailed cards in the opening rounds. Just keep cycling your deck. Aim for a Kriel War Banner, an Elementalist Sorcerer and Mulg in your reserves heading into round three.

Sending Cards to the Occupied Forces

Before a Shuffle: The 1/1 Food Stores are obviously the first to go. After that, it depends on what’s come up. You need to learn to read the deck and see what you need to have floating around. If your opponent has been killing your War Banners and Sorcerers instead of letting them capture, then you’ll need to keep some 2/0 resources floating around to get them back onto the field.

My general rule of thumb is to look at what I’ve been putting into the deck and take out redundancies. For example, if my Storm Trolls and Impalers are getting killed and sent back into my deck, I’ll remove some 0/2 resources to balance them. I feel this is the hardest part to explain, and really is just a skill you’ll develop by playing the deck over and over again (though, if your opponent kills a Winter Troll, make sure to get him out of the deck ASAP).

Menite Temple: Winter Trolls get sent to the moon, as do Whelps and Pyg Bushwackers. After that, if your deck is still running thick, aim for Storm Trolls and Impalers (but only if you’re out of warlocks).

Combinations!

Since I’m calling it Buddy System, I may as well elaborate. Everything in the deck has at least one thing it likes to buddy up with. The simplest way to run it is to rush everything you can, but keep an eye out for particular combinations to hurt your opponent with.

Mulg + Sorcerer: I think Omnus has gone on about this enough in his Troll article, so I won’t go into much detail. Suffice to say, get these two onto a location and watch your opponent’s heart sink.

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Kriel War Banner + Anything: I like these guys better than the Sons of Brag. They rush for half the cost (4 Cmd instead of 8) and still reduce your rushing costs by 2. There are only 2 in the deck, so hold onto them and try not to use them at the Temple of the Creator (unless rushing them allows you to get Mulg and a Sorcerer out there). If your opponent kills them, rejoice, as they are just as easy to play from hand. As you play the deck, you’ll start to spot the turns where you should use Borka instead of the Banner, to get a better discount on your warbeasts.

Impaler + Warlock: This one is my favorite. The Impaler is so cheap to rush that it is almost never a problem to get a Warlock to go with it. At the start of combat, for each Impaler at a location with a Warlock, your opponent must discard a card. It isn’t difficult to burn half their hand with two Impalers and Grim. Or, as mentioned earlier, swing the following turn by sending one or two of them with Calandra, removing your opponent’s resources and bolstering your own.

Storm Troll + Storm Troll: Double up on these little guys and wipe a location to hit your opponent right where it counts by making him discard a card for every Storm Troll. If he moves to block a capture and leaves a single card at the location, pounce on him and make sure he can’t retaliate as hard next turn.

Borka + Warbeasts: One of my favorite team ups. If you can manage it, rushing any combination of Storm Trolls and Impalers with Borka will make your opponent cry. Borka brings enough strength to the table that even the 2 power of the lights warbeasts can do serious damage and usually clear a location. Even if you don’t need the extra power, if you’re going to sweep your opponent off, pile every Storm and Impaler you can on to it, forcing them to discard as many cards as possible, hamstringing their counter attack.

Kriel War Banner + Winter Troll: At first, I saw the Winter Troll, and, like many of you, dismissed him. Poor resources, strange mechanic, no VP. Why would I want that loser in my deck? Then I started to look at how much stuff my green detachment could rush. With a Banner, I can rush four cards easily in a turn. To stop that capture, without discarding a card to fight and kill something, my opponent has to rush three cards to that location, which is easier said than done.

Storm Troll + Winter Troll: Doubling up on discards is never bad.

EBDT + EBDT: That’s 16 health to chew through. To avoid having your opponent hate you, please point this out to them when you drop two of these guys together, as it is not readily apparent that they give each other, as well as themselves, +1 health each. Flavor to taste with other elementals.

Dire Troll + Pyg Bushwhackers: Superior range and big health makes for a great team. The Sul locations make the Pygs even better. Watch out for Hex Hunters, Tristan Durant, or Blighted Passage when fighting at Castle of Keys.

Whelps + Invasion of Sul: Just about every Invasion location makes these little idiots amazing. Walls make them tough, Gates protect them, they can fight at the Acropolis, and are warriors for auto-capturing Sulon’s Fortress. The Temples sends them to occupying forces, so they don’t bother you anymore. I guess Narrow Streets suck for them, but they suck for everyone.

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Potential Changes

Winds of War: Though the Faith and Fortune are my favorite (seriously, if ever have a game where you rush four cards in the late WoW with a War Banner, then flip Final Reckoning, you’ll love them too), I’ve been looking at Castle of Keys WoW. There are some particular combinations that almost outweigh the additional card draw granted by Faith and Fortune. I will continue to mess around with it, but in the end, I feel that the early and mid Redirection work better for my deck than a mid and late. Also, mid game Desperate Measures is amazing, but watch out for the mid Redirection immediately after! It will ruin your day.

Whelps: These guys could come out for Slag Trolls or more Mulgs, as I stated earlier. But I find that I don’t need the extra Mulgs, and the Slags have a prohibitively high rush cost, so they’re only good with Borka.

Champions of the Kriel: I could probably replace them with Bouncers. I may mess around with this, even though it gives up a fair bit of VP and resource versatility.

Conclusion

Currently, this is my strongest deck to date, and would be more fun for me if it didn’t make my opponents hate the game. Seriously, never drop this deck against a newer player, as it may drive them away. That having been said, I do enjoy this deck, mostly because of the green detachment. Pygs and Impalers are such fun cards. I feel it combines all the strengths of the Troll detachments into one big bundle of fun and morale crushing hate.

Keep on shuffling, players!

~LightningGod

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