Hi everyone, and welcome to our newest series: RuneterraCCG Deck Doctor!
Most of you might be familiar with the concept of ‘deck doctoring’. In this article, we will be picking a deck from the lists submitted by our readers, and then working to improve and ‘fix it’ on different levels.
First, there will be the raw matter-of-fact analysis of the submitted deck and which axes of improvement we might need to tackle. To illustrate this first part of the article, we’ll be attaching a gameplay video to showcase the deck as it was offered to us.
Once we establish the flaws the deck has, it is time for the doctor to work their magic. We’ll be explaining all the various changes to the deck, trying to keep intact the essence and the core idea of the original creator. We’ll be closing things out with another gameplay video – this time showcasing the deck in its new form, after the ‘doctoring’.
For this first installment of the series, we’ve chosen a submission by Soybeans, a very active member on our Discord. Their “Atrocity Poros” deck seemed like a great starting point for this series – its concept looks very fun and, being a combo deck, it has a unique approach on how to reach its win condition efficiently.
Soybeans was also kind enough to attach an in-depth explanation of his concept when submitting it, highlighting the various combos that were possible. Their opinion on the deck so far is that it is probably too gimmicky to be a viable archetype – but there are still a lot of synergies we can work with in this build, with a 10/10 Fluft of Poros on turn 5 being the ultimate payoff!
The main win condition of the deck is to build the biggest
Outside of that particular combo, the deck is also capable of generating a ton of raw pressure on the board – it can summon a huge Fluft of Poros, discounted by Oblivious Islander, as early as turn 5!
Here’re some examples of crazy starting sequences building up to the Heart of the Fluft play:
- 2 Poros + Poro Snax
- Mighty Poro + Poro Snax
- Mighty Poro + 1 Poro + Mark of the Isles
- 4 Poros + Mark of the Isles
Even if you don’t have Atrocity, Fluft of Poros with Overwhelm (thanks to Mighty Poro) is a menace by itself. Alongside other pressure tools like Viego or a buffed-up Mask Mother, it could serve as a good Atrocity setup, lowering the opposing Nexus’ health before going for the kill.
Amongst interesting cards to support our heavy hitters, we can also see the Ethereal Remitter to transform the Heart of the Fluft once the Fluft of Poros has been dealt with, summoning a random 8-drop instead of a 4/4 body.
Overall this deck looks like a combo list sprinkled with tempo possibilities over it. Using the pressure in the midgame, we can set up for the Atrocity later on. Let’s send this creation to the doctor to hear what he thinks about it now.
After my first look at the deck, I’ve been left with some mixed feelings.
Right from the start, I recognized a fun combo and a lot of good ideas to support it, which shows some genuine creative skills from Soybeans when it comes to building around his idea. But looking at the support cards around the combo, I also saw a lot of things that didn’t really fit together and made the deck unreliable.
The first thing I like to do when picking up a combo deck is to play it in a very straightforward way, just trying to brute-force the combo every single game and establish if this is a good enough win condition to go after.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with Soybeans on his analysis – Heart of the Fluft isn’t a good enough card in today’s metagame to be considered a viable win condition.
The other problem was that the deck felt like a pile of weird cards that fell apart every time you didn’t draw into your combo pieces. This is the main issue that I wanted to try and fix with the deck, making it more reliable and giving it some tools to stabilize in certain matchups, instead of trying to impose our will on opponents who will generally have a better win condition than we do.
In their submission on our Discord, Soybeans talked about several issues, and one that struck me was the lack of survivability they felt the deck had.
This particular conclusion felt weird to me because we are a Shadows Isles Freljord deck – a pairing that is known for having some of the best tools in the game to slow down almost any opponent. This aspect is definitely something we can and will work on.
A combo deck needs to be consistent in accomplishing its gameplan. The first thing I tried to fix in Soybeans’ deck was trying to make the list explosive when it comes to its combo, but also to help it reach its combo in a more reliable and safer way.
Let’s start with the Avarosan Sentry, a very useful card for any deck looking to adopt a defensive role in the early game. This unit blocks, draws you a card, and is pretty cheap so you can play it early or use it as a ‘soft pass’ later on. It looked much more suited to the deck than Babbling Bjerg, that felt too expensive, usually losing us a lot of tempo.
Then we have the Darkwater Scourge replacing the Kindly Tavernkeeper. When I saw the Mask Mother in the deck, I was very surprised to not see one of its best allies in the game. If you played the Cithria Matron deck at the start of the summer, you should know how good this combo can be and how helpful it is to stabilize in the mid-game.
Now, let’s move on polishing the combo itself – finding more ways to reliably draw into our pieces as well as summoning enough Poros for the Heart of the Fluft to be as effective as possible.
At first, I thought the deck didn’t play enough Poros but after some testing, I actually agree with the original choices of Soybeans. I considered the new-ish Poro Sled, but it felt too slow. Also, we want a low number of Poros in the deck so the Poro Herder can reliably find the Heart of the Fluft with its draw effect.
One change I made though was Braum taking over for Viego, the inclusion of whom I didn’t understand in Soybean’s iteration of the deck. Braum is great at blocking, therefore buying us time while also generating some Mighty Poros, one of the best units to combine later with the Fluft of Poros.
Lastly, I wanted to add some high roll potential, and you can witness it in the video below if not convinced. The Fabled Poro as a 1-off copy is a perfect follow-up for our early Poros, giving them a ton of keywords that will be later combined onto our Fluft of Poros. As we are playing 3 Stalking Shadows, only 1 copy of the Fabled Poro is enough.
Something this deck might be missing is reactive spells – but unfortunately, 40 cards aren’t enough to make room for that, so I had to make some sacrifices. But if we’re considering it, Mark of the Isles probably would be amongst the first cuts I would make if looking to include some of those spells.
I want to thank Soybeans and everyone else who submitted their decks and explanations. This series doesn’t aim at any competitive goal whatsoever, and it was very refreshing for me to work on this piece.
I will happily do it again and encourage anyone who wants to share their creation with us to join our Discord and head to the “deck-doctor” channel. And of course, please feel free to share your feedback for this new series in the comments below!
If I could give some words of advice to you aspiring deckbuilders: always keep in mind the reason why you want to build your deck, whatever that might be.
Whether it is for competitive purposes, trying to counter something specific, or simply because you see a combo in the game you want to abuse, being clear on what your goal is will make it much easier to build around it and maximize its potential.
Also, remember that a deckbuilding process has different layers to it – with the core of the deck coming first, then the flexible cards coming as direct support to it, and lastly tech cards that help for specific situations.
As it became customary, I invite all of you to join the RuneterraCCG community on Discord or Twitter and find myself on Twitter as well. If you’re looking to sharpen your deckbuilding skills, feel free to message me or book some coaching at Metafy.
Good game everyone,
If you have a deck concept that you want to be featured in our Deck Doctor series, feel free to join our Discord server and submit your creation!
As a thank you, the original creators of the decks chosen for the articles will be granted a month of access to RuneterraCCG Premium – on us!