Duel 1-1: Akroan Guards
The first opponent of the Campaign has a white weenie deck, not unlike Kytheon's, nothing special. In other words, don't expect to find surprises here. The general strategy to win is to trade blows with the enemy's Glory Seekers and Traveling Philosophers (both 2 / 2s), while also using the Eagles of the Watch (2/1 with flying) to attack undisturbed. Since Kytheon has more than double the enemy's creatures, it's easy to just keep attacking each turn and let the creatures kill each other (one of his creatures dies of yours). Only the Oreskos Swiftclaws can kill the Valiant Guards here - they never attack because they have 0 power - so help make the opponent waste his 2 / 2s and then play the Swiftclaws in the second main phase.
With this duel you can get four flies (Airborne), you can win with 5 or fewer cards from your library (Delver of Secrets) and reduce your opponent's life to 10 or less by turn 5 (Steamrolled). Using also Eagles, you can also win simply by attacking each turn until victory (Frenzied).
Duel 1-2: Warden Hixus
Hixus plays an R / W weenie deck. It is virtually identical to Kytheon's deck of this phase, except that the Mountains are splattered with Lightining Strikes (3 damage to the target creature).
There are only two of them and although they could kill any critter except Kytheon's Great Harts (2/4), they are usually used to kill Eagles of the Watch if there are any.
The good Warden will play his Eagles to make his way, but will often make them commit suicide by blocking the Swiftclaws and friendly Eagles, thus making their presence highly useless (as well as a waste of time). All in all Hixus has too few creatures, so this duel is worth more as a tutorial than a real challenge.
Duel 1-3: Harpies
Harpies use a B / G deck full of creatures with flying (Blood-Tool Harpy) and creepy crawlers capable of blocking creatures with flying (Canopy Spider, Gloomwidow). The deck also uses a useful combo with the auto milling aspect of the 4/2 Foresaken Drifters, which allows Pharika's Mender to retrieve fallen creatures. The Mender, if given the chance, will retrieve another Mender in the graveyard, preventing a creature from being lost.
Kytheon has two main weapons. The first is the Skyspear Cavalry, a 2/2 for CM5. The good thing is that he has a double strike - which allows him to kill Fleshmad Steed, BT Harpy and Forsaken Drifters without a scratch, and a second hit will kill the Mender and any spider at the cost of his life.
There are three of them in the deck and they eventually become a target for Spiteful Blow (destroys the target creature and the land), so prolonging the duel isn't much help.
Then there's the instant Glorious Charge (CMC 2) which gives + 1 / + 1 to all friendly creatures. While defensive abilities are obvious, it works best for surprise kill. Playing the level a few times will reveal matchups that usually occur: the 4/3 Mender blocking the 2/4 Great Hart, Gloomwidow against anything that flies, Fleshmad Steed vs. Oreskos, Canopy Spider vs. Eagles and Pegasus, etc. Glorius Charge ensures Great Hart wins his matchup, causes Skyspear Cavalry to kill anything with his first strike, makes every fly 1 - 1 for a spider, and makes the Traveling Philosopher win every matchup with Fleshmad Steed. There are four GCs in the deck, so be careful not to waste them!
Duel 1-4: Cyclops
Cyclops uses a red-green beatdown deck. Her generic creatures (Brushstrider, Bloodrock Cyclops) have power 3, while COOEP and Vulpine Goliath have power 5 and 6 respectively. Heroes' Bane, a hydra that starts out as a 4/4, can use 4 mana to double her counters, making it a major threat if not addressed immediately.
However, hydra can be chump blocked, unlike Bladetusk Boar, a 3/2 with intimidate (i.e. it cannot be blocked by non-red creatures). Combined with Lightning Strike and Pinnacle of Rage, each capable of 3 damage, you can lose life quickly if you play badly. Kytheon unfortunately has no spot removal.
Fortunately the game gives players an Armored Ascendion and two "Honor of the Pure", which cleans up white creatures and (in AA's case) gives flying. Since none of the opponent's creatures can block flying, and they can't do anything other than take out Eagles and Swiftclaws, the duel is often over before it begins. In fact, if one is quick, it is possible to force good old Cyclops to chump block with most of his creatures. (Two HOTPs and a Supply-Line Cranes counter allow each Grat Hart to defeat a Vulpine Goliath!)
Given how soon Armored Ascension is achieved, it is extremely easy to achieve "Air Superiority" at this level.
Duello 1-5: Erebos Titan
The final duel brings Kython against Erebo's Titan. The titular creature does not actually appear, but sends several other friends, many with the constellation keyword (meaning the effect is triggered when one or the other spell enters the battlefield). Dreadbringer grants intimidation to its allies, Doomwake Giant gives enemy creatures -1 / -1, and Grim Guardian (1/4) takes 1 life from opponents. The more constellations accumulate, the worse things get! Marshmist Titan can also be played for lose if you let too many black creatures pile up - rare, but it can happen!
The obvious downside to this duel is that Kytheon can't handle the damage, while the opponent is gnawing through it. Beyond the 4/6 Doomwake Giant, Blie Blight (-3 / -3 to target and any creature with the same name as a target) and Lash of Whip (-4 / -4 to target) can quickly eliminate useful allies. Quag Sickness (-1 / -1 for each Swam the owner controls) is the antithesis of Armored Ascension, often canceling out its effects completely. The opponent will have four Quags, so it is important to check how many have been used, to avoid wasting one of the only AA data. Damnation will destroy all creatures on the field, but it's one of the last two cards in the deck, so 99,9% of players will never experience it.
Be careful not to put too many Skyspear on the field and not to choose the targets wrong for the Banisher Priest (when he dies the enemy re-enters the field). If the enemy has a Doomwake Giant and another enters the battlefield, it usually creates a "pleasant" cascading -1 / -1 creature destroy effect.
Completing this mission unlocks the "Ordeal of Heliod" achievement as well as unlocks three packs of boosters. Players who pass the first Campaign can create custom decks and have access to various daily / weekly missions.
Duello 2-1: Mage-Ring Bullies
Jace's first test is against the red magic of his Bullies which consists of spot damage (Inferno Fist, Volcanic Geyser, Ashmouth Hound) and some draconic beatsticks (Furnace Whelp, Volcanic Dragon). Ashmouth tends to be the most annoying to deal with, as its effect deals 1 damage every time it blocks or gets blocked. This means that each blocker with strength 1 dies instantly, and each blocker with strength 3 is killed in a duel.
Furnace Whelp can pump his attack, but still has a strength of 2, so one can simply kill a Nimbus of the Isles whenever possible. (NOTE it's a 5 CMC 3/3 with flying, so it doesn't do much). Phantasmal Dragon (5/5 for 4 CMC) is Jace's best follower, but like many ghosts, he has a fatal weakness: whenever he becomes the target of a spell or ability, even if it's Jace's, he sacrifices himself. Inferno Fist can take advantage of this and hit HP for 3 mana, so you have to be careful. That said, PDs can defeat Volcanic Dragons and all the rest of the Bullies' creatures, aside from Furnace Whelps.
For those interested in results, one can be obtained by winning all fights with a deck out (ie the opponent automatically loses because his or her library is empty). You can speed it up with Psychic Spiral, but Jace only has one and waiting too long can be counterproductive.
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Duel 2-2: Alhammarret
Alhammarret has a blue mill deck, meaning he'll try to destroy Jace's library instead of winning in a duel (although he might fire a few shots if 8/7 Goliath Sphinx appears on the battlefield). Sphinx's Tutelage Jace's two thousand cards per turn and potentially more, and combined with Telling Time or Inspiration can lead to a quick defeat. The rest of Alhamma's allies are defenders, often with strength 5 - enough for Phantasmal Dragon to kill them.
There are two ways to win this duel:
• FIGHT: Phantasmal Dragon has enough power to kill Wall of Air and Belltower Sphinx, Goliath Sphinx is too powerful to be defeated in this way, but can be bounced off and / or canceled to get rid of.
• MILLING: the best way is to start with Psychic Spiral (to avoid it being milled later). This card causes Jace to put the graveyard into his library and then thousand the opponent's library for the same amount. Alhammarret's methods can easily destroy Jace's deck, but as long as he has 5 mana to cast Spiral, he can turn things around and (often) win on his next turn. Without Psychic Spiral, Jace has no way to fight his mentor's strategy.
Duel 2-3: Trovian Separatists
Jace's third battle is in enemy camp against a black and white zombie / swamp deck. Mutilated, Leeches, and Nightmare handle damage based on the number of swamps they control - this makes the latter two incredibly strong, and the former surprisingly good at clearing the battlefield.
Winning can be difficult given the weenies mindmage monsters and expensive flying creatures (Nimbus of the Isle, you suck!), But it's not impossible. The best strategy is in the new addition to the deck: Sphinx's Tutelage. It serves both as a milling strategy and, if necessary, a source for drawing a card. Millare frees us of all unpleasant creatures, especially the 5/3 Mass of Ghouls and its Nightmare / Leeches entries, but also of cards that can eliminate Phantasmal Dragon, such as Quag Sickness. If one manages to come up with two Tutelages, each one thousand 12% of the opponent's deck - combined with Azure Mage and Divination, which frees us from a lot of hassle (note that canceling a Quag Sickness on a Phantasmal Dragon kills the enchantment, but PD will still sacrifice himself since he was a target. Don't waste counterspells!).
The duel doesn't always go so smoothly, but if you manage to have a Tutelage and a Phantasmal Dragon in the opening, the players are well on their way to victory. The best part of the milling is that it also cancels the Gravediggers, so that you no longer have to constantly contend with Nightmares and Leeches.
Furthermore, a graphic glitch in this duel allows us to see if the opponent has a Nightmare or Leeches in hand.
Duel 2-4: Ampryn Core Soldiers
Ampryn has a mono-white soldier deck with no spot removal, no target instants / spells / abilities, and no recycling. In other words, the opposite of battle 1-3. All creatures except Enlistment Officer (3/4) and Captain of the Watch (3/3) have strength 2 or less, even if COTW gives + 1 / + 1 and vigilance to his comrades.
Our hero's deck, on the other hand, is properly polished. Gets a third Tutelage and three Jace's Phantasms (+ 1 / + 1 which becomes + 5 / + 5 when the opponent has 10+ cards in the graveyard).
Air superiority is at hand in this duel, as only dueling tricks can kill Phantasmal Dragons and 5/5 Phantasms. The opponent has a couple of cards that can do this: Show of Valor gives + 2 / + 4 to a single target while Glorious Charge, Keython's pivot, gives + 1 / + 1 to all friends. Veteran Swordsmith gives + 1 / + 0 to his allied soldiers, so combined with the dueling cheats, be careful to have creatures that block everything with 1-2 power under them.
Duel 2-5: Alhammarret
The final battle of the Jace chapter is similar to the previous Alhammarret test, only more difficult. Relatively. This time, in addition to the creatures he had before, he swapped the 0/6 Murmuring Phantasms with the 0/6 Hover Barriers with flying, and the 1/5 Walls of Air with the 0/2 Fog Banks (which are not damaged in duels) . Of course the real hassle is that a third of his deck is dedicated to instants, especially counters. Essence Scatter and Overwhelming Intellect only affect creatures, but Clash of Wills can be used on all spells. Unsommon, a bouncer Jace has used in previous games, is thrown in the middle as a precaution.
But Alhamma isn't the only one with an updated arsenal. In our little mindmage now use "Jace's Mindseekers", 4/4 with flying that milla an opponent for 5 and let them play one spell / spell among themselves for free (note: counter spells found in this way cannot be played for reasons of time, but Vision Skeins, Traumatize and Unsommon are fine).
It is possible to force your way through this match (Alhammaret starts life 40), but the game suggests that it is better to win by deck out. A Sphinx's Tutelage gives a good starting advantage and gives a milling bonus every time Vision Skeins show up (both players draw 2 cards).
Traumatize, which halves a player's library, is the most important weapon in this strategy and fighters have few. Whoever gets one first usually ends the game.
Duello 3-1: Josu the Cursed
Josu uses a life-gained based deck. Daggerdrome Imps (1/1) have lifelink, while Urborg Siphon-Mage, Last Kiss, and Consume Spirit all damage the target to heal themselves. Harrowing Journey which can do 3 damage and draw 3 cards, can be used with any player. Opponent's creatures are mostly weenies, aside from the 5/3 Mass of Ghouls.
Liliana's deck is decent in this matchup, even if she doesn't have big cards. Unlike Jace's campaign, however, she has an abundance of 1-2 creatures (Black Cat, Shambling Ghoul, Shambloing Goblin), plus Gravedigger and Nantuko Usk. This last card can sacrifice a creature to give itself 2 counter + 1 / + 1, meaning it can survive most spells if there are friendly creatures nearby ...
It's a fairly ordinary duel, with Liliana's weenies trying to make their way into the opponent's life-stealing strategy. Fortunately, players receive Bone Splinters (kill a target, if someone offers themselves as a sacrifice) and Cruel Revival (kill a target and claim a zombie from the graveyard; instant speed) to speed up the duel.
And it really needs to be speeded up because Liliana loses life and has no way to regenerate. With the Gravediggers combo, with Nantuko Husk sacrificing them, you can do a beatstick every turn. Use a G. to retrieve another from the graveyard, sacrifice the one on the field for + 2 / + 2, and play the second G. to retrieve the one you just sacrificed, and on until you have mana.
Duello 3-2: Hermit Witch
Poor Liliana! She got into a duel with a monogreen Innistradi witch. The deck is based on the Morbid keyword - that is, creatures get + 1 / + 1 counter if they come into play on a turn in which another creature is dead. This allows Boar to become a 5/5, Somberwald Spider a 4/6 and a gravetiller an 8/8. It is almost unfair that the witch has an almost unblockable Orchard Spirit (2/2), Darkthicket (2/2 and can become a 4/4) and the deceitful
Dawntreader (2/2 and can sacrifice herself to bring Forest into play). Many players are struggling in this duel, here are some suggestions:
• Do you remember Nantuko Husk's makeup? He gets + 2 / + 2 each time he sacrifices a creature, until end of turn. Eat a Gravedigger to send it to the graveyard, then use the second Gravedigger to retrieve the first. Once Nantuko Husk regains enough strength, the opponent will want to block him to avoid 4-6 damage every turn. Going on the attack reduces the opponent's ranks and wastes precious resources.
- Take advantage of the opponent's tactics.
- Save those Bone Splinters and Cruel Revivals! When a Morbid-boosted critter enters the field, players will want to take them out as soon as possible.
- Remember that Rise from Grave affects both graveyards, not just yours. Liliana can steal creatures to bolster her ranks! Sure, the tactic isn't the best if it doesn't get + 1 / + 1 counters, so sacrifice a creature before going into action (Morbid unleashes regardless of which creature dies; it's okay to die attacking too).
Duel 3-3: Archangel
The messenger of heaven uses, surprise surprise, an angel-themed mono-white deck. All angels are 3 / 3s, apart from 5/5 Archangel (VOTP creates a 1/1, Emancipation Angel bounces a friendly target, SOTL has first strike and vigilance). All in all, a few flying creatures and some easy play (Glory Seeker, Pillarfield Ox) until the heavy weapons come out.
Liliana doesn't have many flying creatures (just two Crows), but she does with what she has. His deck now has Butcher Ghouls and corruption spells. The first is a 1/1 with immortal - that is, when he dies, if he didn't have it, he immediately returns to the battlefield with a counter + 1 / + 1 (This makes him the ideal target for a sacrifice, since death does not reduce the presence in the field). Corruption damages based on the number of swamps a creature / player controls, plus heals Liliana for the same amount.
Liliana has seven target-killing cards, plus the breakup caused by the deaths of Black Cats, Shambling Goblins, and Vengeful. In addition, these discards can yield pure gold with Rise from the Grave (Remember that any card stolen with RTFG returns to its original owner if the Banisher Priest exiles it and dies).
Duello 3-4: Raven Man
Raven Man has a mono-black deck with flying, making most matches a contest to see how quickly Liliana can crowd the field and force the birds to block her normal types. Carrion Crow (2/2) and WelkinTern (2/1) are bland, but Raven Man also has a couple of surprises in store. Murder of Crows lets a card be drawn when a creature dies, one discarded afterwards; Screeching Buzzard is a Black Cat with wings, giving an obligatory discard to death; Skeletal Vampire (3/3) can produce bat tokens and sacrifice them to regenerate. Minshrieker can also be a surprise. By expanding mana to mill the opponent's card, he receives + X / + X, with X shares at the mana cost of the millata card.
Liliana doesn't have many flying creatures for this duel, but she has a few tricks up her sleeve. Among them, one less Cruel Revival and one more Rise from the Grave, which allows her to steal flying creatures from Raven's graveyard.
In addition, he has three Soulless One zombie avatars, whose power is equal to the number of zombies on the field and in graveyards. This makes them obvious targets for Essence Scatter and Unsommon, but once they're out, the road to conclusion is short. Finally, Liliana always receives 2 Leechridden Swamp (nonbasic) lands that allow her to do 1 damage to the opponent by spending one mana and tapping. While the advantage of dealing damage is obvious, it's most useful when you only have two mana left at the end of the turn and you have nothing to spend it on. The ability to deal non-dueling damage in this way works in synergy with Liliana's corruption spell, her only way to heal herself.
Mindshrieker is an interesting card to resurrect and a good long-term strategy, but there are only two of them, so it's not always an option.
Try not to waste time or cards, plan ahead and remember that Raven Man cannot recover anything from the graveyard.
Duello 3-5: The 4 Demons
Liliana's final chapter includes a pact with 4 demons to ensure youth and beauty. To complete the mission he must defeat them all in battle with a deck of 60 cards. The order is Griselbrand, Razaketh, Belzenlok and Kothophed; they start with life 8, 10, 15 and 20 respectively. When one is defeated, the opponent leaves and the next arrives. Each side draws three cards.
Demons have a terrific shared deck. The weenies are 3/2 Barony Vampire, 2/1 Child of Night (lifelink) and a 1/1 Typhid Rats (deathtouch). However, it is the demons who fight. Bloodgift Demon (5/4 with flying) gives the player a card each turn and 1 life damage; Indulgent Tormentor also deals a card, unless the opponent pays 3 life or sacrifices a creature. Shadowborn Demon (5/6) destroys a creature upon its arrival and force the wielder to sacrifice each turn until his graveyard has 6+ bodies. Rune-Scarred Demon (6/6) searches the deck for a card and puts it in his hand.
Desecretion Demon is a 6/6 with flying for 4 CMC, but it has a downside: Each player can tap during the duel by sacrificing another creature. Tapping it also puts a + 1 / + 1 on it, making it a constant threat. Finally, Harvester of Souls, the only non-flying demon, has deathtouch and can draw a card whenever a non-token creature dies.
Liliana's deck now has a 6/6 Grave Titan that produces 2/2 twin zombie tokens when attacking or entering the battlefield (each token counts as a creature) There are also two Lords of the Undeads which gives all other zombies a + 1 / + 1 and can retrieve zombies from the graveyard for a small cost (tapping fee). Grave Titan is not a zombie card and therefore can only be retrieved from the graveyard with Gravediggers (who are zombies, so just one more step!).
Duel 4-1: Kaladesch Artificers
Kaledesh Artificers have a red-blue artifact deck.
While many creatures are weenies, they have good synergy: Scrapyard Mongrel gets + 2 / + 0 and trample, Aspiring Aeronaut gets flying, Reclusive Artificer handles damage based on the number of artifacts one controls. The artifacts in this case are 1/1 tokens with flying created by Ghirapur Gearcrafter, Thopter Engineer and Aspiring Aeronaut.
Dueling is easy and the secret is an abundance of spot removal, so what it can't deal with with brute force it can eliminate with backup. Despite this, many Chandra cards are weenies so you have to play smart.
• Young Pyromancer produces 1/1 tokens when an instant or spell is played, and there are several in the deck
• Chandra's Phoenix (2/2 with flying for CMC 3) returns alone from the graveyard
• Pyre Charger (1/1 with CMC 2) is interesting and players can give it + 1 / + 0 for each mana spent ("dragon's breath" ability)
• Easy-to-use magic like Fiery Impulse can be very useful
Duello 4-2: Foundry Security
The second battle is against a colorless artifact-themed deck. Crumbling Colossus (7/4) is the most powerful, but sacrifices himself after attacking; Chief of the Foundry gives all artifacts + 1 / + 1, while Steel Overseer can tap to do the same thing. Runed Servitor (2/2), Ramroller (2/3 but often becomes a 4/3), Rusted Sentinel (3/4) and Guardian Automaton (3/3) make up the rest of the deck.
• Ramrollers become 4/3 and attack every turn if an opponent controls an artifact
• Primal Clay can enter the field as a 0/6 defender, a 3/3 vanilla or a 2/2 with flying
• Crumbling Colussus is like a Juggernaut on steroids, plus he has trample
• Chief of the Foundry (2/3) and Steel Overseer (1/1) are weak, but can help allies
• Foundry of the Consuls can sacrifice (costs 5 mana) to produce two 1/1 ornithopter tokens that won't attack while Chandra's Phoenix is around
The only new addition to Chandra's deck is Manic Vandal (x3) which allows her to destroy an artifact.
Duel 4-3: Kaladesch Wildlife
Chandra is faced with a monogreen beast deck.
Briarpack Alpha (3/3 with lightning) gives + 2 / + 2 to a creature and Ambush Viper (2/1 with lightning and deathtouch) and can be played at instant speed and make great chump blocks. Scute Mob gets + 4 / + 4 each turn if its owner has 5 or more lands. Scavengin Oooze can exile creatures to the graveyard to give itself + 1 / + 1 for each. In the opposing deck there are also Craw Wrum (6/4), Obsinate Baloth, Huntbeast and Giant Badger (2/2) which gets + 2 / + 2 when used to block. But the most dangerous is Lost in the Woods if played early.
Chandra's aces up her sleeve are Embermaw Hellion (4/5 with trample) and Outrage (4 damage to target and 2 damage to its controller).
The theme of the duel is opportunistic play, you have to be reactive and let the enemy waste the cards. It helps to start with a good hand (a Phoenix, a Pyromancer or two, and some instant). Killing Oozes and Scute Mobs should be a priority, the rest of the problems are related to creatures, try to manage them. Don't be ashamed to go through the duel again a couple of times.
Duello 4-4: Baral's Liutenant
Chandra's penultimate duel is against a soldier-themed mono-white deck (ten spells that prevent attacking or blocking in any way).
• Banisher Priest (2/2) exiles target creature until it leaves play
• Captain of the Watch (3/3) produces 3 tokens and gives + 1 / + 1 to other soldiers
• Grand Abolisher (2/2) allows enemies to activate spells only on their turn
• Heavy Infantry (3/4) stops a target as it enters
• Imposing Sovereign (2/1) brings a tapped creature onto the battlefield
• Silent Arbiter (1/5) allows only one attacker / blocker for each phase of the fight
Basic Rules: • Chandra's Ignition is a sweeping effect, but it also kills most of Chandra's creatures (minimal loss as they would still be spellbound)
• Arcane Teachings gives + 2 / + 2 and allows the creature under spell to tap to deal 1 damage to a target (helps get rid of pesky weenies). There is only one, don't waste it!
• Captain of the Watch empowers soldiers, if eliminated before blockers are declared often leaves the attacker for a walk - this requires (1) unenchanted blockers (2) no Grand Abolishers (3) no Silent Arbiters
• Opponent has no flying creatures, so use Chandra's Phoenix well
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Duel 4-5: Captain Baral
Baral uses a mono-blue control deck:
• Dungeon Geists (3/3) stop a creature until there is a DG in the field
• Gold-Forged Sentinel (4/4) e Goliath Sphinx (8/7) hanno volare
• Invisible Stalker (1/1) with hexproof and unblockability
• Stealer of Secrets (2/2) draws a card when dealing damage in a duel
• Steel Wall (0/4) is a cheap 1-mana wall
• Tidebinger Mage (2/2) taps a red creature as long as TM is on the battlefield
• Wall of Frost (0/7) gives a Crippling Chill effect to each blocker
Chandra has Exquisite Firecraft (a spell that hits with 4 damage and has a bonus that makes it uncountable) and Flameblast Dragon (5/5 with flying) that allows you to pay X when attacking to X a target creature or player. has great potential but will generally be bounced and claustrophobic, but when it works it can kill any target.
• Baral will counter a lot
• The opponent has only three flying creatures with a relatively high mana cost
• Using Ignition and Fury is the only way to get rid of Invisible Stalkers, other than having them chump block
• Wall of Frost (0/7) is difficult to destroy without blocking it and ending it with an instant / spell. Thankfully, the other wall is a 0/4 artifact that can be destroyed with Manic Vandal.
5-1: Vampire Stalkers
Nissa's first battle is against a black and white vampire deck. While they are all good for nothing with strength 1, some (Gull Draz, Cullblade) get a noticeable boost when the opponent is 10 0 less for life. Until then, Nissa's powerful defense cards block the enemy offensive.
Our adorable elf has a powerful, albeit slow, green beast deck. It has one of the best planeswalkers (Nissa's Chosen a 2/3) and one of the best attack cards (Charging Rhino). Combined with the 1/4 Hitchclaw Recluse, Grazing Gladehart's healing ability and Wildheart Invoker's strength (+ 5 / + 5 bestow skills). The deck is formidable, and Nissa's Lazy Image counterbalances the slowness of the deck by managing to take multiple forests at a time.
5-2: The Roil
Nissa gets an upgrade: Dark Mobs. These 1/1 weenies die for everything, unless Nissa has 5 forests, then they start getting + 4 / + 4 turning them into great attackers.
• Living Tsunami is an interesting card (4/4 with flying), but it must send an island to its owner, so let it be sacrificed. That is, when played, the opponent cannot increase his land.
• Primal Bellow is perfect here to lure blockers
• The two most annoying creatures here are Æther Figment and Gomazoa, the first is a 1/1 unblockable and the other a 1/3 defender who can tap to return to the deck or send others to us (even when it doesn't block)
A good starting hand must be good for the enemy's fast weenies, the only way is to have a Hitchclaw Recluse and having a Primal Bellow is a blessing, don't waste it! Given the possible destruction of land, catching a Pilgrimage soon doesn't hurt.
This mission is unique in Magic Duels because to win you have to lose! The battle represents Nissa's descent into a hideous vision and in the end, the condition to win is the summoning of Emrakul.
Nissa's paraphernalia hasn't changed much, aside from three copies of Baloth Woodcrasher a 4/4 (CMC 6) that gets + 4 / + 4 and trample when her mainland ability goes wild. However, all creatures are vulnerable to Flame Slash (the enemy's 1 mana 4 damage spell), rendering offensive abilities essentially useless in this duel.
Some players have managed to win with brute force tactics, but it's much easier to play defense - as the game wants. This means trying to get as many creatures with power 4 (Hitchclaw Recluse, Rhinos / Baloths and above all Scute Mob), this prevents the attack and therefore the annihilating effect.
Without Scute Mob players will need to use Primal Bellow / Wild Insticts for a quick elimination. In fact, the only time defensive players will want to attack is when a hand can be brought up to block a weaker creature. Annihilator doesn't work when it crashes, so don't miss out on good opportunities.
5-4: Boggart Tribe
The Boggarts use a goblin-themed black-red deck. None are more powerful than 2 / 2s, but it doesn't really matter in their offensive which is based on killing Nissa's critters with non-dueling damage and tactical sacrifices. It's a very fast deck.
• Boggart Loggers (2/1) with forestwalk; can sacrifice to kill Forest / Forestfolk
• Facevaulter (1/1) can sacrifice other goblins to get + 2 / + 2 until end of turn
• Goblin Fireslinger (1/1) can tap to deal 1 damage to Nissa
• Goblin Warchief (2/2) gives + 1 / + 1 to other goblins, lowers their cost by 1
• Hornet Harasser (2/2) gives a creature -2 / -2 when it dies
• Mudbutton Torchrunner (1/1) deals 3 damage to a creature / player when it dies
• Tar Pitcher (2/2) can sacrifice goblins to deal 2 damage to a creature / player
• Weirding Shaman (2/1) can sacrifice goblins to create 2 goblin tokens
This time Nissa's ranks are replenished by Dauntless Dourbarks, creatures with CMC4 and power equal to the number of forests, which makes them very powerful in the later stages of the duel, but obvious targets in the early stages (the Boggarts can sacrifice themselves to destroy the Dourbarks! ).
Victory is achieved by lasting longer than the Boggarts, or by keeping pace. This means swapping dead and chump blocking until a Dourbark arrives.
Hopefully the opponent gives Nissa time to heal with Gladehart and trample with Baloths. A good starting hand usually has a couple of Nissa's Chosen or Hitchclaw Recluses, plus a Primal Bellow. If you catch a Dourbark and manage to protect it in some way, luck can turn sooner than expected.
Nissa's final battle is against her Gilt-Leaf cousins who have an elf-themed black-green deck. Elf decks are good for crowding the field, powering each other up, and searching for lands. In this case they also have many ways to kill targets (Eyeblight's Ending, Hunter of Eyeblights) plus Prowess of the Fair's ability to produce eleven tokens when a nontoken elf dies, so their camp is rarely empty.
Nissa has some new features in her deck, Battlewand Oaks (1/3) gives + 2 / + 2 when a land or treefolk enters Nissa's camp, making it formidable for defensive play and strong enough to attack too. Boundless Realms doubles the number of lands it has, an obvious advantage. Sapseep Forest is a nonbasic land that can spend mana and tap to heal a life of Nissa.
Elf decks are weenies, and no Dwynen creature is better than 3/3 (Hunter), although Scarred Vinebreeder can change that temporarily. The main targets to wipe out are Imperious Perfect and Hunter Eyeblights. Wild Instincsts, as usual, is a great way to spot the biggest targets.
For the rest there is not much to say about the duel, compared to others it is much simpler and easier. Smart players will keep an eye on their opponent's mana, especially if they have Vinebreeder in play or 3 mana. A good starting hand usually includes Nissa's Chose or Hitchclaw Recluse.
Video Solution - Playlist
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Video Solution - Nissa - First Match
Video Solution - Nissa - Second Match
Exit date: 2015