Toczik's Merric Dagoth (v2)

By: Toczik
View other Decks by Toczik
Posted: 2 months ago
Updated: 2 months ago
Outdated (Madness patch)
Crafting Cost: 27350crystal
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+15
Introduction
Hello, and welcome to what I believe is the newest reincarnation of Merric Battlemage. I initially posted this in its early form with substantial commentary, if you're curious you can see it here:  


Just like before I'm going to highlight major aspects of the deck, but I'm not going to overlap too much with the previous version's write up on the similarities. When I refer to "Merric Battlemage" - I'm referring to the style of deck which classically was extremely strong with the ability to easily shift gears at every turn. With previous nerfs the deck fell out of favor but I believe a new style of play has emerged for its return.

What's different from version 1?
The initial version was trying to combo with Fighters Guild Steward, but in testing a more efficient and consistent strategy is simply to utilize creature-ping effects with a high number of permutations to manipulate the field or card control as the situation requires. This is a similar concept as the new slay Warrior decks often use, but without the necessity of having a "loaded" graveyard.

Deck Concept and Card Choices
Overall the objective is straight forward, play as a midrange deck by default, react to the opponent's plays, and be extremely mindful of how you use your ping effects.

I'm going to list the ping effect cards below for simplicity - the information below is only a rule of thumb, every situation will vary by the details of your hand, the field, the opposing deck colors/type, and options available remaining in your deck.

Ping Effects:
  • Archer's Gambit - you should immediately be thinking lane manipulation, lethal 1-shot, slay/pilfer activator, or an expensive Rapid Shot. Similarly with Shadow Shift, respect the ability to move lanes as it's one of the aspects of this deck that is difficult to match.
  • Sword of the Inferno - besides pilfer and lane moving, this is very similar to Archer's Gambit. Extremely efficient trades can be made with ward creatures + sword in the midgame stage. Due to it's utility, Sword is simply a better Firebolt which is why the deck does not run it.
  • Quicksilver Crossbow - besides lane moving, this is also very similar to Archer's Gambit. As far as hierarchy goes for lethal pings, try to use/reserve the Crossbow.

Overall Archer's Gambit is usually the most valuable to save since it is the most flexible, Sword of the Inferno should be used first in non-lethal uses to make it more likely that your lethal play later will not kill itself, and Quicksilver Crossbow is only optimal with lethal and with Preying Elytra and should be used first for those specifically. The situation can always trump the above rules of use and always weigh the pros and cons of whether to optimize now or try to get more value later by following the rules.

Reminder's about miscellaneous card-specific use:
  • Gnarl Rootbender against control matchups, hold as many actions as possible to turn them into useful cards to close the match in. Don't be afraid to Rapid Shot Gnarl in cases where he would die anyway or against matchups that rely on hard removal.
  • Preying Elytra is a pretty strong threat without a ping often times in the shadow lane - get creative with getting utility like Archer's Gambit from shadow to field to ping and threaten to attack next turn to draw another 2 cards. Finally, like Gnarl, Elytra can cycle the items for card advantage - don't be afraid to cycle with only 1 trigger.
  • Cyriel is often prevented from pilfering, but if/when it resolves try to use a draw effect to pick up that reduced card the same turn.

Testing but likely to stay:
  • Cornerclub Gambler is still very strong to fix bad hands or against control after attrition'ing all their removal.
  • Icy Shambles is definitely optional, but currently seemed to fit best with the alternative option being Earthbone Spinner. Elytra could be cut to 2 copies if needed. Jiub is an interesting option to run over the 3rd copy.

Testing and still unsure:
  • Naryu Virian is an extremely interesting card. Turning any creature into lethal to activate creature-pings or simply out-value a midrange/control matchup almost instantly. Naryu acts as a 2nd Merric-at-Aswala to produce pressure from the established field.
  • Sails-Through-Storms is another interesting card that can be combo'd with a ping effect on summon to instantly produce momentum and threaten to simply win if unchecked.
  • Grummite Magus is currently being used to help favor the control matchup; depending on what the meta does this is easily transitioned into other late game like Beligerant Giant, Mighty Conjuring, etc.

Conclusion
Overall I really think the Merric-style concept is in a strong position right now in the emerging meta. Isle of Madness was a great addition to Legends and I can't wait to see what will be at the top after the dust has settled. I'm betting Merric will be one way or another.

Thanks for reading,
Toczik


***************************************************************
Edit log
All edits will be in chronological order and separated by a title/description.
  • Adjustments to favor midrange + adjusting control matchup cards:
    -1 Jiub
    +1 Preying Elytra
    Overall Jiub worked find and doing a 1:2 split is not bad. Due to adjustments to Ash Berserker the consistency for draw power is better.

    -3 Ash Berserker
    +3 Icy Shambles
    Ash Berserker was aimed at the control matchup, but often could lead to snowballing loses to midrange. Icy Shambles was added to regain tempo, but late game curve for control will require adjustments. This change has also been tested with Earthbone Spinner with good success as well - unclear which is best this early in changes.

    -3 Breton Conjurer
    +1 Garnag, Dark Adherent
    +1 Dawnfang
    +1 Brynjolf

    Breton Conjurer often worked, but to better adjust for the control matchup Garnag was added and drain/heal was moved lower in curve.

    -3 Quin'rawl Burglar
    +1 Sails-Through-Storms
    +2 Grummite Magus

    With additional healing added earlier in the curve, Burglar was superfluous and while fun - not good enough. Sails-Through-Storms instantly threatens to snowball against control. Belligerent Giant was initially tested, but was often hit and miss against control based on situation and was replaced with Grummite Magus to significantly improve the matchup and Magus having guard significantly increases value and impact of Luzrah gro-Shar.

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18 Comments

Loving the deck and the comprehensive guide. Thanks a lot for sharing!
1 Reply
Toczik 2 months ago
If you're gonna do it - do it right. Thanks for tuning in and best of luck on the ladder!
Flo Dio 2 months ago
Naryu Virian is the only card I'm lacking.

How would you replace her?

I really like your list btw
1 Reply
Toczik 2 months ago
It really depends on what you're facing consistently or finding yourself having a difficult time against. She's a unique legendary so not playing her won't be too noticeable since you don't draw her most games anyway.

I'd probably put in a 3rd of your 7-drop of choice if you want a better matchup against late game decks, or even throw in something fun like Jiub who can combo and help against aggro/midrange.
Koravel 2 months ago
Whats the logic for skilled blacksmith with 8 items in the deck- 11 with the daggerfalls if you can trigger them- versus something more meta like harpy?
1 Reply
Toczik 2 months ago
There's quite a few reasons on why Shrieking Harpy isn't used, but another 2 drop certainly could be.

Harpie's pros are shackle and prophecy - the deck already has 0 prophecy as it is so you may as well pretend Harpie doesn't have it. Sanctuary Pet also shackles but has better synergy with the other cards in the deck and usually you play one or the other - most often whichever fits the color you happen to have.

Skilled Blacksmith is definitely not a must-have, but the 2-drop slot ideally wants to have 3 defense stats so that it can live against other midrange-2-drop creatures from attacking and/or survive when Sword of the Inferno is used. There really isn't very many 3 defense stat options and Skilled Blacksmith at least has the use of reducing weapons which does come into play particularly in games your Daggerfall happens to go off 1+ times.
Vladi 2 months ago
Can a blacksmith be replaced by poetic armiger?
There is a chance to get at least something useful. faced with the fact that against aggression I sit with a full hand absolutely useless cards in this situation.
1 Reply
Toczik 2 months ago
Only testing will tell; it also strongly depends on what you're playing against consistently and how you play the deck as well. I personally don't lose often to aggro, but more often to midrange or really hardcore control. Try teching the deck a bit for aggro if you're finding that matchup troublesome and add 2 Morag Tong Aspirant over the 7-drop slot.
Vladi 2 months ago
Thx.
I will try different options, while I have not changed anything, but the winrate is minus. although just removed _flow, which is now the top 3. trifle, but nice.
And I think precisely to throw out Naryu and put a red year.
If I don't have Daggerfall Mages what do I do?
Sorry for my English is not my first language
1 Reply
Toczik 2 months ago
Get them as soon as possible if you want to play blue-colored decks. Between now and getting them just use whatever you have that makes the most sense, this isn't really aimed with a budget lens as the deck has a high skill cap which usually means you should have all the cards before you'll be able to pilot it properly. Best of luck though.
Toczik wrote:
Get them as soon as possible if you want to play blue-colored decks. Between now and getting them just use whatever you have that makes the most sense, this isn't really aimed with a budget lens as the deck has a high skill cap which usually means you should have all the cards before you'll be able to pilot it properly. Best of luck though.

Thank you. Just today got the gems for my first one. Two more to go
1 Reply
Toczik 2 months ago
Depending on your in-game level, if you're still leveling up you can possibly still get free ones based on your avatar selection. Having a "breton" avatar when you level up to levels 24 and 32 will give you a random legendary of the following:

"Breton: Daggerfall Mage, High King Emeric, Supreme Atromancer"

So 1 in 3 if you don't have High King Emeric or a 1 in 2 chance if you already have High King.
Well this deck is absolute pile of crap
1 Reply
Toczik 2 months ago
It would be pretty hard to maintain rank 50+ legend if the deck is simply bad. If you care to try it more, it definitely takes a very specific playstyle (if you played with Merric Battlemage you'll already know that style, otherwise it has to be learned) that has a high skill cap of entry to yield success.
Arguzspb 2 months ago
Well, i tested this deck 3 times. At first look - not bad. But what about silence? No cards, that provide this option. I guess need to replace some of 4 drops to earthbone spinner, for example.
1 Reply
Toczik 2 months ago
Yea, the 4-drop slot is exceptionally malleable in this deck. I haven't quite updated the main page yet on this - simply hinted at it, but more or less your deck will adjust slightly as you play based on the most common meta you're seeing at the time which goes as follows:

You have about 5-7 "flexible slots" for 4 drops. You should use 2-3 of each 4 drop that is best suited for your commonly seen matchup:

Earthbone Spinner - vs midrange to silence tempo plays
Nervous Giant - vs midrange/control if red ping is rare
Dres Renegade - vs midrange using significant shackle
Icy Shambles - vs aggro/midrange that keep snowballing
Royal Sage - vs control that keeps slow-rolling your momentum
Dawnfang - vs aggro/midrange that neutralize drain
Out of curiosity, why didn't you include gardener of swords?
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