This deck has been around for quite a while, and while the shell of it has changed a bit the combination of Decimus and Tectonic Spikes has been a solid central piece in many decks. It recently popped up on the power rankings and found itself rated fairly highly in a currently shifting meta. I rolled up Magmar on the dailies today and if I am going to play Magmar you know I am going to play something mid-rangy. One of the things I like about this list is that it is sort of this timeless core; Nine damage from hand on seven mana (possibly less mana, possibly more damage). Additionally this damage threat is very consistent, especially for a two card combo. Lets take a deeper look at this deck and what it can be for you if you are still dipping your toe into competitive Duelyst.
*Note from play testing the list- I finished this evening 6-4, but tossed one game I should have won by miss-clicking to play a thunderhorn instead of a Warbeast. They look a little alike and I was on the phone. 😦
What was good and should be core
Obviously we start building this shell by putting Decimus and Tectonic Spikes in the decks list, and I hope you don’t mind me gushing a bit more about these card. One of the things I like is that both are independently “good” cards. In a control deck Tectonic spikes dealing three damage might be thought of as a “worth it” downside to draw three cards, in an aggro deck three cards and three damage is super exciting. Decimus while by no means the most astounding four drop is a “must answer me” even if he is played naked onto the board. We all know that putting the two together is the next level of sexiness, but sometimes it is good to remember that there are plenty of “good” opportunities to cast them outside of being combo pieces. Besides Decimus and Spikes nothing is really “core” and you can tune the deck to how you want to play very effectively. Obviously I opted for the mid-range route, to the surprise of no one, by adding in a healthy mix of dual purpose cars and flavor of the month (soon to be nerfed) Thunderhorn.
What wasn’t good
So I usually test something a little wonky and this evening wasn’t any exception I tried a one of gargantuan growth and originally had greater fortitude in the deck as well. I quickly discovered that Gargantuan growth is not a Blood surge ability, a rare RTFC moment for me, and quickly cut it for Elucidator in a sad attempt to hide my shame. Greater Fortitude on the other hand was straight from the stock list on the power rankings and it was only after several games that I realized, “I never wanted to draw the card.” Assessing some of the things the deck was struggling with I decided that Repulsor beast was the easiest to fit in as a Doctor Dolittle style pushmi-pullyu that didn’t necessarily solve your problem, but played well with the rest of the deck. Additionally, in favor of Repulsor beast was that the deck could respectably compete with mid range threats you had to push rather than pull if you put off dealing with them till later.
One of the things that really makes me want to pitch this deck to our young bros is that the deck reminds me of Ravager in Magic’s Modern format. It isn’t always the best deck (sometimes it is) but it is always competitive. The nine damage for seven mana is border line nerf worthy, but the deck has never drawn the ire of the community and at this point it is probably safe to say that it won’t. Additionally, as the meta swings this deck can easily be adapted to fit various play styles. It is pretty easy to adjust the list to be aggro, mid-range, or control. As I mentioned before none of these styles suffer from its two core cards. In the past I have talked about how there are “legacy” decks that players have gotten so good at playing because they have played them since pre-beta that in those players hands they are tier 1 decks regardless of the format. Decimus Starhorn is in my opinion the easiest of those legacy decks to get on board for. After your initial forty games of learning to pilot the list, you will start settling into a deck that is highly flexible, doesn’t have a low power ceiling, and seems to be “bad” enough that it flies under the nerf radar. So, if you are looking to be a pilot who has one “core” deck that is their go to in a pinch I highly recommend Decimus Starhorn.