Mana Curve

0 6 9 9 12 6 3 5

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Ward 12
Guard 6
Prophecy 6
Charge 6
Breakthrough 1
Rally 0
Regenerate 0
Treasure Hunt 0
Plot 0
Slay 0
Lethal 0
Drain 0
Betray 0
Exalt 0
Last Gasp 0
Assemble 0
Pilfer 0

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Tournament Tier Merric Battlemage

By: Toczik
View other Decks by Toczik
Posted: 1 year ago
Updated: 1 year ago
Outdated (1.66.1 patch)
Crafting Cost: 20100crystal
Missing Soul Gems: Add your collection to see the soul gems you are missing.
+44
Patch 66.1 Update/Edit
The most recent patch featured a nerf to Thief of Dreams and Supreme Atromancer. These changes will require testing to see how to correctly adapt the deck.

Supreme Atromancer will almost certainly be kept since the deck is centered on the synergies and burst she provides.

My initial impression of Thief of Dreams is that it will need to be replaced. I will update the decklist once testing has been done on how the deck will adapt to the changes. The current candidate that is being tested is Blood Dragon.


_______________________________________________________________________________________

Introduction
Greetings! My name is Toczik and this is a deck that Dark.Phoenix and I have been constantly refining and, until just recently, have not released publicly.

Dark.Phoenix and I have both had great success in recent tournaments. Merric Battlemage is our favorite deck by a long stretch, and we wanted to share some insights on what makes this build play so strongly in the tournaments which we have had in our line up 100% of the time thus far.

For the sake of simplicity, and because it is already well written, see s_l_w's Merric deck here if you want an in-depth summary on the ideas and synergies that make Merric Battlemage what it is. This guide will seek to strictly outline why this particular build is possibly the most consistent, and strongest version to date.

On Deck Building and Key Card Choices
There are a few key decisions that drove the testing and card choices in the deck. The first one is minimizing variance with Cunning Ally. We want to absolutely maximize the deck's chance of consistently hitting, and the decision that 12 Strength cards (4 unique cards) was the optimal decision. We're strong proponents that in general if you think you should run 1 of a card you should run 3, and on that basis your choices are 9, 12, or 15 - and 15 is too much red in our opinion. Cunning Ally hits 73% - 86% on turn 3 depending on how much red you draw and if you used the coin. (For comparison those numbers are 67% - 78% with 15 red cards.)

The second major decision that is often not seen is using Skilled Blacksmith as the 3rd Intelligent 2 magicka creature. The trend when Crystal Tower Crafter was nerfed was to use Shimmerene Peddler or to not use a 2 cost creature in the curve. Peddler offered interesting lines of play, but it is very hit-and-miss, and often feels lack-luster. Peddler usually is win-more or just bad at contesting midrange strategies and applying pressure against control. Similarly, not using a 2 drop creature significantly hurts variance at curving out. This enables aggro and midrange to snowball more often, and can leave the deck unable to snowball against control. Skilled Blacksmith seems to be the strongest blue 2 costed creature, and it helps justify and synergize the deck building decision for 3 Sentinel Battlemace.

A short point on both Raiding Party and Sentinel Battlemace. Both cards are often seen either as a 2-of or 3-of in various forms in most Merric decks. This build doesn’t run Markarth Bannerman, so maxing out the Raiding Party is a necessity to maintain a key theme of using the charge minions to combo with Ice Storm, Merric, Supreme Atromancer, and weapons. Finally, running 3 of each also makes the deck highly consistent since every card choice that is not unique (Merric and Ancano) is maxed out so that the plays designed to secure wins and stabilize boards are not inconsistent. The final incentive for running 3 Battlemace is to increase the amount of reach through combos during later turns in the match.

Markarth Bannerman – this is possibly the largest, and most insightful thing the deck has to offer. Dark.Phoenix developed the idea, and while I personally had a difficult time accepting the fact numerous hours of testing have shown this to be the case. The card is not good (enough) to make the cut. If Bannerman goes off – you probably win, but if your opponent couldn’t answer Bannerman you probably would have won anyway. In an aggro or midrange matchup where you are being snowballed Bannerman is often too slow for a turn 5 play, and the board state becomes irrecoverable. Given the win-more nature of Bannerman in specifically Merric Battlemage the decision to cut him was made to substitute a more reliable, consistent alternative – Underworld Vigilante.

Underworld Vigilante has two critical functions. Bannerman is used (when it goes off) to provide reach damage at the end of the match to secure a win which is why it is so devastating. Underworld Vigilante has the added benefit of immediate impact to control the board at critical turns acting as having 3 additional Lightning Bolts to control the field – in particular the shadow lane. Through extensive testing this immediate impact quickly became apparent to not only increase consistency (6 “Lightning Bolts” to spot remove something like a turn 5 … say, Markarth Bannerman) but also essentially outclasses Bannerman in almost every measure except the win-more situation where Bannerman actually sticks, swings, and you aren’t losing because of doing nothing on turn 5.

We’re beginning to wrap up the distinctions with how this Merric Battlemage is built. One card that is not currently (but hypothetically could) make the cut is Belligerent Giant. There are a lot of pros and cons with Giant, but right now with the recent nerf forcing Giant to play into the field lane – along with adding more red and just being too clunky at times it is not currently being ran. This card certainly could see a spot in the deck in the future but doesn’t feel worth it and is clunky for furthering the key theme of burst in Merric Battlemage.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts
One of the defining themes of Merric Battlemage is burst potential. This build is attempting to maximize the burst (unavoidable damage like Lightning Bolt) and reach (likely damage such as charge and weapons). Opponents under 16 health are under constant pressure defeated in two turns if unable to heal and 34% of the cards push this burst potential to be a consistent and reliable threat. Combinations include the standard Nord Firebrand with either Battlemace, Merric, and Atromancer as well as unique reach plays like Vigilante and Battlemace for rune-skipping reach from hand.

I’m starting to stream and frequently play Merric Battlemage so if you want to see the deck in action check me out at Toczik1919. I’ve played the deck so much I have it 100% premium!

If you made it this far I hope you got something out of this review. In my opinion Merric is one of the strongest decks in TESL and I intend to keep it at tier 1 for as long as possible.

Feel free to comment if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thanks,
Toczik

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23 Comments

Its very refreshing to see a guide on Tes legends that avtually goes into depth on cards! I feel more people should follow your example when creating decks! Keep up the good work!
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
Thanks! I agree in a review involving a competitive deck there should at least be commentary on key card decisions that might not be obvious or are different from the standard the deck typically is seen running.
Vinwoch 1 year ago
Good work and thx for sharing
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
Thanks!
Gj mate, keep it going, this deck looks awesome!
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
It's easily my favorite deck to play. Difficult but rewarding with the recent patch.
This is the type of write-up I'll gladly support with a thumbs up. It's nice to have successful tournament players sharing the theory behind their picks. When I was playing other merric versions I definitely felt the lack of 2-drops and once you are behind on board, the bannerman isn't what you'd want to play on turn 5. Took this list for a spin and it felt very solid. Keep it up Toczik!
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
Thanks! Hope you've had a good run with it.
And still, Merric Battlemage only ended up Tier 3 in the current meta snapshot... a rating I can't really support as I have been mostly playing this deck (or versions of it) during August with a very high winrate up into higher legend ranks...

Thanks for posting and keep up the good work!
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
Well it's important to keep in mind the snapshot is suppose to be the state of the deck as an average on specifically ladder. With the recent nerf it has fallen further down Tier 1 or possibly top of Tier 2 strongly depending on matchups.

The deck is significantly stronger in a tournament setting where you're using it to have certain strong matchups.
Dutio 1 year ago
Fun and complex, finally an interesting battlemage deck (but ye, no more then 1 Atromancer after last patch, 3 atromancer slows too much and requires to reach late game, opposite of what burst aims for, 1 is enough)
Thief is a gamble and out of sinergy with the deck, nowadays is not reliable anymore. A fun deck btw...
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
The issue with cutting Atromancer down is consistency in having it when you need the pressure she generates. I'm currently messing around with the builds to reduce or remove her but the variations with her thus far are still stronger in the limited testing I've done.
Dutio 1 year ago
...until you try it on ranked


LOL...

fun deck, regardless. On casual maybe lol
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
The deck definitely can shine more in a tournament setting with filling specific roles in matchups. Keep on trying the deck is very rewarding to win with but can harshly punish a minor misstep.
Dutio 1 year ago
on gauntlet? 0 wins 3 lost lol
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
:/. I managed an 8-2 but variance in Gauntlet is pretty high. Midrange/token matchups in my experience work the best in recent ones.
Well... this deck seems dead.
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
It's definitely a little weaker and at times slower than before, but most decks were hit with the nerf which evens the blow more or less. Mistakes are more harshly punished now which can make adjusting to the deck frustrating but very rewarding when it does what it is designed to do.
As someone stated earlier, the deck is fun, but only in casual.
1 Reply
Toczik 1 year ago
Keep on practicing. The deck has a high skill cap - especially with the recent patch. :)
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