Mana Curve

0 0 5 12 12 7 5 9

Cards Attributes

Card Distribution & Keywords

Guard 14
Prophecy 6
Drain 5
Plot 3
Last Gasp 3
Exalt 3
Wax 0
Wane 0
Slay 0
Treasure Hunt 0
Ward 0
Regenerate 0
Pilfer 0
Breakthrough 0
Betray 0
Charge 0
Lethal 0
Assemble 0
Rally 0


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Renegade Nightmares

By: Lyra
View other Decks by Lyra
Posted: 5 months ago
Outdated (FrostSpark patch)
Crafting Cost: 16100crystal
Missing Soul Gems: Add your collection to see the soul gems you are missing.
Control deck playing around Arrest, Dres Renegade, Vigilant Ancestor, Throne Aligned, Thieves Guild Shadowfoot, Moonmoth Castellan, and Bringer of Nightmares.

All but the last of the above mentioned cards involve allied shackled units. Arrest turns an enemy threat into a permanently shackled ally, Vigilant Ancestor is an efficient body per cost but is permanently shackled, and Throne Aligned buffs, gives guard to, and shackles an allied creature. Dres Renegade solves all of these self-shackles by removing them all. Bringer of Nightmares provides an additional way to potentially remove the permanent shackle by transforming the target into something useable.

There are many ways to undo the self-shackle, including Dark Rebirth, Night to Remember, Winterhold Illusionist, sources of unsummon, and probably a few more. Each of these has its own problem though. Dark Rebirth, Night to Remember, and sources of unsummon (like Close Call) take the slot of cheap cards needed for early and midgame board control and defence. They can easily become dead cards in your hand, especially if you can't find the specific creatures you would like to resummon. Winterhold Illusionist has the issue of timing: the resummon happens only as your turn ends, and takes up a highly contested 5 mana slot.

Dres Renegade is already commonly used to fix these issues. What's different about this deck is that it tries to get more total value from him by also using Throne Aligned, a potentially powerful defensive or even offensive tool. So there are now three distinct scenarios where Dres Renegade gains extra value beyond a 4 cost 4-4 guard.

Bringer of Nightmares is not a commonly played card, but offers more total utility than the previously mentioned and rejected means to undo self-shackles. Bringer of Nightmares does not remove shackle, it simply transforms the permanently shackled card into a new card which is not shackled. Depending on what card Bringer reveals, this may not be an acceptable option. This is ok though, because if he brings a bad card you simply turn an opponent's threat into a liability. If he does find a good card, you transform the currently useless permanently shackled card into an active asset.

Bringer of Nightmares gives you the ability to find new tools not available to the class, to turn useless cards or cards whose main function is now in the past (like a Thieves Guild Shadowfoot) into new threats for the enemy to deal with, and to subvert the threats of enemy cards in a way that bypasses ward, last-gasp abilities, silence-proof abilities, and action-targetting-immunity.

So for example, the greatest midgame threat Warrior can put into play is Sower of Discord. This threat is scary because it's a 5-5 guard whose last gasp does 5 damage, so it can often do at least 10 damage for just 5 mana, or even if you destroy it before it ever attacks it trades for at least one of your cards while still dealing 5 damage. Like Cast Into Time, Bringer of Nightmares can eliminate Sower without triggering the last-gasp which would deal 5 damage to your face.

One weakness of Arrest is that it can sometimes become a dead card if the opponent is only using weak creatures. This can happen when fighting an aggro deck who is just swarming the board with creatures or when in a lategame scenario with an opponent who is topdecking. If the opponent is only playing cheap creatures you feel compelled to not waste Arrest on them since it would be inefficient in terms of cost. However if these little creatures keep attacking you while you wait to draw a more suitable response they can eventually kill you. Bringer of Nightmares offers a potential solution: if you Arrest a weak creature you can the following turn transform it into something good using Bringer.

Similarly Thieves Guild Shadowfoot may nab a card which is completely useless or Moonmoth Castellan may generate a terrible guard. Bringer can make these playable.

Finally, you can sort of think of Bringer of Nightmares as an affordable Mantikora. For seven mana you put a 4-4 body into play while either nullifying an enemy threat or upgrading a useless allied unit to an allied threat. Compare to Mantikora which for ten mana puts a 6-6 body into play while removing one enemy threat. Mantikora however is of little use if you are already completely in control of the board or if the board is completely barren. In the latter scenario it's not the greatest play ever, but you can potentially play Bringer of Nightmares onto an empty board and transform himself into whatever he shows. This is a gamble, which is why it's best to play him when there's at least one enemy creature in play and/or at least one useless allied creature in play, but ultimately in such a scenario the only opportunity cost is that you could have found another 7 cost card instead. Control mage doesn't really have better options, so even that element is insignificant.

And so in addition to those cards and the typical removal sources found in any control mage deck, the options I've chosen are Vivec City Pilgrim, Feasting Hunger, Elusive Schemer, and Undying Dragon. These offer three sources of healing, a source of potentially repeating card draw, and an additional guard, giving the deck 14 reliable sources of guard.

I omit common options like Shrieking Harpy, Wardcrafter, Daggerfall Mage, Cloudrest Illusionist, Hive Defender, the now popular Piercing Twilight (I made this deck before that card was released), and cheap removal like Execute, Firebolt, Reverberating Strike, and Grisly Gourmet. Ultimately these are all still good cards, and you are welcome to swap out any of the non-essential cards for these if you prefer them.

I'll consider Moonmoth Castellan to not be essential, despite its interaction with Bringer of Nightmares. I will say that Castellan is a little unwieldy here, since there are no 1 cost actions to make triggering her Plot requirement easy. This means that Moonmoth Castellan really costs at least 6 or 7 mana and should not be considered an early game defender, despite ostensibly having the same cost as a Hive Defender. So it won't hurt my feelings if you do choose to swap it out for something else.

Other cards you should consider teching in individual copies of are as follows: Firestorm if you're fighting lots of tokens or hard aggro. Immolating Blast if you're fighting lots of Tullius' Conscription. Memory Wraith if you're fighting lots of Soul Tear, Odirniran Necromancer, Journey to Sovngarde, Falkreath Defiler, etc. Dismantle if you're fighting lots of decks relying on supports, such as token decks using Divine Fervor, Doomcrag or Telvanni decks using Namira's Shrine, Altar decks, or Hlaalu Manor decks. You should have a solution to every other possibility. Basically consider the decklist as the blue print, not the be-it-all-end-all list for victory. This exact version works for me, but you may need adjust it based on your experiences or preferences.

I have also omitted typical lategame staples such as Ancano, Laaneth, and Sotha Sil. These are also excellent cards, but the deck's endgame is quite full. Making room for these would significantly change the dynamic of the deck, as you'd have to whittle away at copies of Bringer of Darkness or Arrest.

Crafting-wise this deck isn't too bad, there being really only one possible hiccup. Bringer of Nightmares is essential for the deck but is normally not used in any serious deck. I personally think the card is very powerful and potentially playable in many midrange or control decks, but ultimately I can't strongly recommend you craft them if you don't already have them. If you're missing just one copy you can swap it out for Ancano and call it a day.

Dawn's Wrath and Miraak are core in any Willpower control deck, so if you lack these they are certainly worth crafting. Likewise Ayrenn is core or playable in literally any Mage deck so there's no reason not to craft her. Undying Dragon is not essential to this deck. If you don't have her I recommend looking at the list of possible tech choices to equip your deck against specific decks. However, if you want instead to maintain the exact same curve, Tel Vos Magister can replace Undying Dragon.

Ice Storm is essential, but it's also core in every Intelligence control deck and playable in some midrange decks, so you should have it. Vigilant Ancestor is essential to this deck, but it has enough usefulness in a myriad of different decks that it's definitely worth crafting.

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1 Comment

kayahaze 5 months ago
This deck is fun. Was short of 1 Bringer of Nightmares so put in Ancano. Tempted to craft another Bringer though as i will maybe use this deck on learning about teching cards.
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