Since the release of the Rummy Labyrinth booster, I hadnt had an idea how the new build plays, and overall, there were a lot of negative comments about the new Magia cards that I believed were overly harsh and critical, which may possibly mislead other players.
So this multi-part blog is a mini project to try and build the new magia deck, share my thoughts after play-testing (I play both hands) and also if Magia vs Luard / Diablo is as bad as what it is rumoured to be.
At the moment, each blog will start with
A) draft decks for both Harri and Luard [and any feedback from previous parts]
B) win-loss records and possible notes (am still thinking how detailed this will be - i kept records),
C) thoughts after 3 to 5 matches about how the cards performed in the deck
D) proposed changes for the next version / part before rematch
Work in progress - learning how to make nicer tables - text is just very unsightly.
PM main deck:
G3: 3 Masked Phantom Harri, 3 Masked Magician Harri, 2 Flying Manticore
G2: 3 Face Magician Lappin, 3 Darkside Princess, 3 Flying Peryton, 2 Dreaming Pegasus, 1 Redstar Dualhorn
G1: 4 Lovely Companion, 2 Dagger Magician Ety, 3 Cutie Paratrooper 2 Masquerade Bunny, 2 Betty.
Starter: Pleasure Caster
Luard - to be shared later. I think it wont be too far off from what gets played usually, and wont affect much of my conclusions.
B) Wins and Losses
PM 3 win - SP 3 wins*
Note: Will need to recheck my records - I misplayed Cursed Eye Raven's effect, and this might have distorted two of the SP wins.
C) Thoughts after play-testing
Magia- For a few games, when I was able to use Lappin / Ety effect (when you cant stride yet), the outcome was really nice, and soulcharges were of good quality. Not sure if it was my deckbuild, but sometimes when you are already in a bad position (eg ride Manticore, but you have Cutie in soul), the soulcharge also becomes worse ( sc triggers instead of the missing grade / piece I need) - and thats the part about random soulcharges that I dont like.
Compared to my previous decks, this deck seems to hit for a lot less power and more inconsistency (from the random soulcharges - Dreaming Pegasus has been pivotal in ensuring a better soul). When I do get Pegasus to fix my soul, a lot of problems are fixed (eg I get to keep my units in hand, or call only as necessary for preparing against Diablo).
Now that I reflect about the games lost to SP, it is often due to letting the game drag too long - from the second stride onwards, as the Luard player, I start to gain massive advantage that helps to strengthen defenses through the start of the looping engine (see more below). Diablo doesnt seem to be the main factor.
Review of Pleasure Caster: I didnt like it - really because of the soulblast cost, as I value quality soul a lot more than one that is thick, and built randomly without a good ratio of beaters to boosters. It hasnt been on my primary goal to "get PGGs" in soul, magia them out and to use Pleasure Caster to return them to hand. Such situations have been fairly infrequent, and often leads to sub-optimal play, if you focus on it.
From 6 matches so far, trying too hard to call units from hand to prepare against Diablo hasnt been a good strategy, but I think I have found what works for me:
- Use Betty (from magia) to turn temporary calls into permanent rearguards to lessen the cost of counter-Diablo play
- Use Dragon Masquerade Harri - not as a finisher, but as a disrupter. In the two matches I do play him as the second stride, it didnt immediately win me the match, but it did make a Diablo stride on the next turn very difficult to execute, without overcommitting to the field from hand of Luard player. This let me survive the turn and use the third stride to finish the game.
Not an experienced SP player, but the deck was very easy to pick up and not difficult to play (compared to PM)
A lot of Luard's support enables loops of counter-charging, drawing, trigger recycling, once you established one loop, good to start on the other loops until it becomes self-looping engine - Dragsaver Erza is one that I could repeat fairly often once I get to Luard's third stride onwards.
Diablo doesnt seem that scary - because it is at best -1 to +3. Ogma is a lot more scary when he goes off except Ritual 5 needs a bit of work to enable.
Fodla + Cursed Eye Raven are one of in the draft deck, and I really like Raven, especially when I need to sacrifice stuff to setup ritual. My misplay of Raven was that I misread and thought the units it called are at stand (which would be too unbalanced if they could attack).
Overall, the deck is as I imagined, fitting in the mid-range aggro control type. Often draws a lot in midgame while setting up ritual, allowing them to prepare defenses as necessary while biding for the "right" time to strike. And honestly, Diablo needs a certain setup (if opponents counterplay, or you saw opponent drive check heals and have g-guardians ready).
One of the more interesting points I noted was decision-making on both sides to swing between Carnivore Dragon and Phantom Blaster Diablo. It is more efficient to retire with Carnivore if PM is preparing for Diablo but if PM doesnt leave a field, its a gamble for me to use Diablo effect and if I betted wrongly, I would have retired three units unnecessarily and not been able to finish him off.
D) Proposed Changes
Soulblasting units will need to be lowered - For the next version, I will be keen to try Hoop Master and/or Happiness Collector instead of Lovely Companion and Pleasure Caster.
Peryton and Cutie Paratrooper needs to be fixed in a certain ratio, not maxed out for both - likely to switch to 4 Cuties + 1 Peryton + 3 Dual Horns.
Lappin vs Darkside Princess - for now, seems Lappin is the better fit for the deck synergy so 4 Lappins.
Random soul charging is bad for getting soul ready for the finale - there's no point of having a 5 G2 soul with only one G1. Dreaming Pegasus bumps up to 3.
Change grade ratio from 12 G2 / 13 G1 to 11 G2 / 14 G1.
Manticore vs maxxing out Harris - probably will max out Harris.
Ety Dagger Magician vs Novelty Introductor - Would like to experiment with Novelty, and I think Novelty is just useful, no matter which stage of the game.
Starting to like Liafail more than Uscias - Liafail to 4, and Uscias can share the 4 slot with Macha.
Cursed Eye Raven - free fodder. Very nice. Only put a copy, until I see it dropping into damage zone more than occassionally, it will stay at 1 and hopefully in the deck.