Back to Wonderland

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Hello Everyone! This weekend was ARG states and I had been searching for a powerful and fun deck to play at the event.  For the past month now, my team has been working to develop a powerful Vlad list but unfortunately it has some issues that have not yet been worked out.  I decided to play something different at states and began looking for deck ideas.  The Friday night before the event, I finally had a revelation about what I wanted to play and began brewing up a list.  I spent the next day texting my teammates and tweaked the main and sideboard a bit until I was satisfied on the final list.

On Sunday, I was anxious and excited to play and to get a decent idea of some solid contending decks that would be in the new meta.  This time around, the Pennsylvania tournament was on the west end of the state, so my team decided to attend the New Jersey tournament as it was a 40 minute drive instead of 4 hour drive.   The turnout was pretty solid having a final count of 29 people registering for the event.  It was a decent size event and gave me 5 rounds to try my deck out and see how it played.  Here is the list I registered for the event:

Alice 01

Ruler: Alice in Wonderland/Alice, the Drifter in the World

4 Perceval, the Seeker of Holy Grail
4 Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant
3 Guinevere, the Jealous Queen
4 Rukh Egg
4 Lancelot, the Knight of Mad Demon
3 Hera, Goddess of Jealousy
1 Little Dread, the Fake Red Moon
1 Arthur Pendragon, King of the Round Table
1 Blazer, the Eater of Dimensions
1 Sussanowo, the Ten-Fist Sword
4 Laevateinn, the Demon Sword
2 Excalibur, the God’s Sword
2 Deathscythe, the Life Reaper
1 Horn of Sacred Beasts
2 Rapid Groth
2 Ame-no-Habakiri
1 Flames of Outer World
4 Ruler’s Memoria
4 Magic Stone of Heat Ray
1 Magic Stone of Hearth’s Core
1 Little Red, the Pure Stone

1 Sylvia Gill Palarilias
1 Melgis, the Flame King
2 Dream of Juliet
1 Susanowo, the Ten-Fist Sword
1 Flame of Outer World
3 Robe of Fire Rat
2 Realm of the Pure Spirits
3 Barrier of Shadows
1 Deathscthe, the Life Reaper


The Deck

Alice in Wonderland

After seeing the list, I know what you are thinking, I am crazy for playing the original Alice and yes I am a little bit.  I have always liked her as she does so much when she flips and provides an amazing amount of utility.  With Ruler’s Memoria being a fairly easy stone to build around, it was not difficult to play many of the best cards in the game in one deck and be able to Judgement Alice for any color I wanted.



To run ruler’s Memoria and ensure a consistent untap on turn one, the deck needs to run 8-10 regalia.  I chose to run 9 and I think this was a good number for the deck.  Percival makes finding more regalia easily and also works very well with Lancelot which is one of the best resonators in the game.

Rukh Egg

Another one of the most powerful resonators in the game.  This card allows you to tutor for any red resonators in your deck.  This finds Lancelot easily and I also included a small package of other utility resonators I played that could be searched up if needed.

Cheshire Cat

I took 4 of the best 1 drops in the game and put them all in the same deck.  Cheshire helps improve consistency of the deck and chump blocks almost everything in the format.


She provides more draw power for the deck and works very well with Rukh egg and Cheshire Cat.


He’s one of the best resonators in the game.  Left unchecked, he can very easily win the game and provides a very fast clock any point in the game.  His ability to pump himself and kill opponent’s resonators makes him even more of a threat and powerhouse.


I anticipated a lot of Reflect/Refrain and Change the Worlds so I felt this card was very good and slowing down those decks and giving us more draw power.  It also destroys Deathscythe which was very helpful as it was brought in against us several times.

Little Dread

I always liked little dread a felt she provides some useful utility.  I tried her as a one of and was sadly underwhelmed with how she performed.   She costs too much and she does not impact the board enough to truly be worth a slot in the deck.

Arthur Pendragon

This card was in theory a blowout against aggro.  Especially with Perceval, you can use this card to wipe your opponent’s field and then swing back with the giant resonator.  I only got to play the card once but I won the game when I did.


This was a 1 of against control.  It gives you a large threat that continuously returns and drains your opponent of their removal spells.  The card was nice but I feel was a bit expensive to be played in the deck.


This card punished Gwiber very hard.  It is a large powerful beater that can put a great deal of pressure on the opponent.  With so many people playing Gwiber this card was very helpful.

The Regalia

To run Ruler’s Memoria and ensure I had a regalia turn 1 I felt 9 was a good number to play.  Laevateinn gave Alice swiftness which was very useful on allowing her to be aggressive when she flips.  It also provides a way to banish our Rukh Eggs and Cheshire Cats for value. Excalibur was another source of Imperishable and gave Alice another pump when necessary.  The target attack was also very useful in enabling Alice to kill several resonators.  Deathscythe slowed aggressive rulers, like Bahamut, down and also provided another pump for Alice.  Horn gave the deck a way to go into the long game without decking and also provided a pump for Alice.

Rapid Growth

This card combos very well with Lancelot and gives the deck another way to make the resonators larger.  It also provides a card to discard to Guinevere that still provides value


This card with Lancelot is an incredibly fast clock and can be very difficult for an opponent to recover from in left unchecked for a few turns.  It also can turn any of our other resonators into larger more powerful threats.  It also makes chump blocking very unfavorable which helps get more damage through.


This was somewhat a filler random card that ended up being very useful.  I killed annoying blockers like Adambrali and caught the opponent off-guard.  I’m not sure if it’s worth playing moving forward but it was useful in several games.

The Magic Stones

Ruler’s Memoria allows the deck to flip Alice for any color as well as play card in any color without stumbling with the mana base.  Little Red provides another way to pump Lancelot or any other resonator of the chosen color.  Heat Ray and Hearth’s Core gave the deck access to the colors it wanted early without dealing damage to ourselves.

The Sideboard


This was for against Alice World.  I provided a large aggressive ruler that could apply a decent clock and was able to dodge the chump blockers on the ground.  I found her to be too slow honestly and I liked just keeping Alice in to destroy any Robes that I saw.


A similar idea to Sylvia as a more aggressive ruler. I never sided onto him and will most likely cut him moving forward

Dream of Juliet

This card was extremely useful and I sided it in most matchups.  I was able to destroy any problematic addiction like Barrier of Shadows or Robe of Fire Rat.  It also protected my Resonators from removal and at worst it was able to filter for another card.


This was for any deck that played Gwiber.  Having multiple chance to punish Gwiber players is very good and I sided him in most matches


Another piece of removal for annoying blockers like Adambrali that are difficult for our resonators to get passed.


For other aggressive decks.  I did not play against any other red aggressive decks but this card was played against me and was very good.  It is just as good against any other aggressive deck.


Helps protect against slower removal like Hastur or Susanowo.  It also protects resonators that aren’t attacking from removal spells.


Mainly for the Val 2.0 matchup to slow them down significantly.  Could also be very good against Reflect as a way to slow down orbs and its Judgement.

I ran a 3rd side for aggressive ruler matchups like Val 2.0  it slows them down and keep them from gaining imperishable which is useful


Tournament Report:

Game 1: Sylvia Control Win 2-0

The deck was very cool and was playing Green Black Red (I’m going to call this color combination Jund moving forward).  The deck has a good amount of removal but, my deck was too fast for it and beat it game 1.  Game 2 I resolved an early Realm of Pure Spirits and opponent had a difficult time slowing me down.  The game ended with me playing Arthur Pendragon and on my opponent’s recover phase tapping Arthur and sacrificing a Perceval to it to prevent all damage to it.  It wiped his field and I was able to swing in for the win on my turn.

Game 2: Jund Vlad Win 2-0

I was happy to see a Vlad player.  She is one of my favorite rulers and was excited to see his list.  Game 1 my opening hand was Laevateinn, 3 Lancelots, and a Cheshire cat.  My opponent was able to discard 2 of the Lancelot but I drew a Rukh Egg turn 3 and there were too many Lancelots for him to stop. Game 2 he resolved an early Robe of Fire Rat which slowed me down.   I was able to play 2 Heras and was able to apply pressure with them.  I Judgemented Alice shortly after that for green and destroyed the Robe and was able to overrun him afterward.

Game 3: Reflect Pumpkin Witch Combo Loss 1-2

I honestly was not expecting pumpkin witch at all.  The deck played just like Alice world so I expected that but what very surprised when he played pumpkin which and the chained Adambrali until I died.  Game 2 I sided into Sylvia and after a tense game with lots of hate from his side I was able to swing for 30 and kill him in one shot.  Game 3 he had 2 Robes of Fire Rat by turn 3 and there wasn’t much I could do before he combed out and killed me.

Game 4: Reflect Pumpkin Witch Combo Loss 1-2

Game 1 I didn’t not mulligan enough and flipped a Ruler’s Memoria turn 1 with no regalia and he played 3 Change the Worlds and then Law of Silenced me 2 turns in a row.  He then proceeded to combo off and kill me with pumpkin witch. Game 2 I had an aggressive start with Lancelot and, when he played a robe of Fire Rat, I Judgemented Alice and destroyed it.  Game 3 I did not get a Ruler’s Memoria until turn 4 and a Robe of Fire Rat kept my lance in check until he could combo off.

Game 5 Reflect World Loss 1-2

At this point, both of my other teammates that came to the event were 2-2.  I was unfortunately was paired against one of them this round and I knew one of us was not going to have a chance to top 8.  Game 1 he combed out quickly after turn 2 playing a Gwiber.  Game 2 I rushed with Lancelot and overran him before he could go off.  Game 3 was very tense and I had lethal on board.  He top decked an Alice World and won.

I place 16th out of 29 people which I was ecstatic about, especially with the deck I was playing.  I was genuinely surprised to see pumpkin witch and did not expect to see that at the event.  I was honestly floored with how useful Alice was all day.  With Laevateinn, she could kill Gwibers for 1 mana, she was able to remove any problematic addition on the field and can gain life to help race an opponent.  I did not expect her to perform as well as she did and was very happy that she did perform well.

Moving forward I do have some flaws with the deck.  Cthugha was a card I was hesitant to play but after playing the deck, I really want to play this card.  It provides an explosive aggressive start especially with Rukh Egg.  I originally wanted to fit Adambrali onto the deck but had trouble finding a place and was concerned he did not have swiftness.  After seeing pumpkin witch I think I can shift the deck around to fit him in the deck as well.  Rapid Growth did not do much and I found myself siding it out most games as well as Little Dread and Blazer.  These cards did not do enough and I will definitely be cutting them moving forward.

After the event I spent some time looking at other results and have some ideas for improving the deck.  I was so impressed with the deck and seriously feel it could do well.  The real issue I have is combo decks are tough to play against.  In any card game, combo decks are a tough and stressful deck to play against as they have the potential to win at any time.  I have played Magic for many years and have loved the modern format.  There are several combo decks (or there were before the banning) in the format and the most prevalent one was called splinter twin.  For those that are unfamiliar with magic, modern or the Splinter Twin deck, the deck played a control/tempo deck the tried slowing the opponent down and applied some pressure with a few creatures (resonators) until they either killed their opponent or they combed out which was creating an infinite amount of creatures with haste (swiftness).  The deck was powerful and I played it for many years myself until I began playing this game.  The combo decks in this game feel like they play a very similar way which is great and really fun.  It makes it stressful for an opponent who is not playing a combo deck as the real option to beat it is to run them over before they have the chance to combo off.

I feel this was the main reason I had a tough time beating my 3 combo opponents.  My deck was decently aggressive but not aggressive enough to really ensure a kill before they have enough time to win.  I am happy that I did play against these decks enough and I was able to see the issues with my deck.  I now have a much better idea of what the meta is going to look like before the new set releases.  I am definitely going to continue looking into this deck as it truly did perform above and beyond my expectations and I feel a simple tweak into a more aggressive deck will help it be able to beat the combo decks in the meta.  I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences and I really suggest trying the deck out yourself.  I was blown away by it and had a ton of fun playing the deck (it also turned so many heads during the event.  Nobody expected Alice at all!)  It impressed people enough that I was asked to do a deck profile for a YouTuber that was at the event.  Check out his channel, Deep Wood FOW, as well as my deck profile below.  Thank you all for reading and check out our podcast, On the Chase, on Friday where me, Lane, and Gerds talk about our experience at states!


On the Chase Podcast Episode 2: Treesus

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Hello Everyone!

Welcome to another episode of Team Twisted Fate’s on the Chase Podcast. This week we’ve got Gerds, Lane, RJ, and Sean with us to talk about some more spoilers and what we think of them thus far. Before anyone asks, we will be rotating our cast members in and out of podcasts depending on who goes to events, what schedules are like, etc… so the title card will change according to who we have! This podcast was recorded on 2/15/16.

On the Chase Titlecard SLGR

Intro/Outro song credit:

“RetroFuture Clean” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

That Dragon, Cancer

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That Dragon, Cancer
is dealing with the heaviest of material, the death of a child, and the game does not feel equipped to carry it. An autobiographical game, by couple Amy and Ryan Green, That Dragon, Cancer is the story of their infant son who was diagnosed with cancer and, eventually succumbs to his illness, and how they cope with that reality.

When I first heard of the game, I let out an audible “Oof.” Cancer sucks. I went in with an open mind. The death of anyone from cancer is tragic and couple it with the death of an infant son and it’s all the worse. I expected to feel bad when I left the game. I did not expect to leave the game feeling disappointed.

Disappointment is a tricky word when talking about something like this. It implies that there was expectation – it implies that there was something worth going into this game for – an almost excitement at the possibilities. When talking about material like this, having expectations or anything of the sort can put one out to be a monster craving a tragedy, but I was excited because it looked promising. It looked like it would take a mature look at life and death.

I’m going to be straight about this: I did not like this game. I didn’t not like it because of its subject matter. This isn’t a case of “Well, it made me feel sad, so it wasn’t fun.” I was disappointed because the subject matter is close to the Green family and I was looking for this tragedy to be explored with a deft hand or a raging fist or something more than what was actually put on display.

That Dragon Cancer
The Faceless Joel Green

The art style is completely minimalist in nature. The art creates a layer of separation. A faceless child is not a child I’m looking to know, but that’s what’s in this game. It’s a distracting feature. It doesn’t seem to bring any meaning to the game or bring any element besides being the throw away art style of the game. The father, Ryan Green has his beard and glasses, and the mother, Amy Green, has her eyebrows and hair, but Joel, their son, lacks any identifying marks. It creates this layer between the player and the drama unfolding.


It’s totally understandable that they wouldn’t want to model their son’s face for this, but nothing looks well made. The art style instead of elevating any sensations actually puts a barrier up between the player and the game. The fantastical elements feel more like shadow plays than something to be believed. It works to cohere the magical realism and the realistic bits but at the cost of making the entire game suffer and harder to connect with.

The small interactions between the player and Joel feel more intrusive than actually revelatory, and this is the part that feels strange to mention in a game like this, but so important to highlight. A lot of progressing involved turning around and then turning back to allow the “objective” to load in. There were moments where that wasn’t clear. There was moments were it felt like I was waiting for the game to move on. The gameplay feels sluggish, when it doesn’t feel like it’s bugging out and breaking.

These interactions feel cumbersome and they intrude upon some larger moments of the game.There were moments where I had questioned if the game was making me wait, as some sort of statement towards waiting for results or waiting for the inevitable, or if I needed to restart because the actual game was broken. When given control, everything feels so floaty and “game-y”, which is to say there’s too much feedback, too much control to the player, while simultaneously, frustrating to control, using a click to move style of movement. It felt like the “game” sections were added to adhere to some strict guideline of “game-hood,” but there’s no goals to them but connection, and again, the art style gets in the way. The “games” instead of bring the player closer actually act to push them further away.

These small little hitches and frustrations continue to snowball and get in the way of the narrative, but pushing that aside, it never dug deep enough. The writing touches on questions of faith and grace and religion, but instead of plunging into them, instead it feels like it plays on the surface, while simultaneously never being subtle. It never rises to try and answer any questions, but instead just…comes to a conclusion of the son ultimately dying.

The game is split into 14 tragic little vignette of magical realism and fantastical ideas. Few seem connected enough and instead it feels like a smorgasbord of suffering. It makes it hard to make a connection. There’s special emphasis on Ryan, it seems. A lot of moments center around his suffering. His narrative arc follows the story of acceptance of their son’s death. Amy’s on the other hand, felt far more interesting. She was the one waiting out for a miracle. She was waiting for something to save the day. Her story felt caged away though and never touched upon.

A moment of levity from the conclusion
A moment of levity from the conclusion

It feels like it’s fumbling with itself. It introduces symbols and metaphors and seems to either reveal them too early for them to pay off, or never returns to them. The beginning of the game involves feeding ducks, but never does anything with it. It feels out of place. The landscape, if one pays attention, has the striving motif of the game, which is budding black branches, symbolizing cancer. Instead of letting that bloom, within the first three chapters, it’s obvious what they mean and instead settle into the background and lose their power for being revealed so early.

The mini games feel so out of place. There’s a point early in the game, wherein Ryan dreams of his son, soaring through space on balloons, and being bombarded by those black branches. It quickly becomes obvious there’s no end but to succumb. The problem is, the process is so long and there’s no content to revel in or any interactions to do besides dodge, that it actually becomes a game of running into them to end the section earlier, as grim as that might be when you extrapolate that metaphor.

The game’s imprecise nature is highlighted through a small little faux-cart racing segment. That Dragon, Cancer attempts to use this segment as a way to highlight the ways in which cancer can seem like a loop around a track. Each lap, you’re collecting medication, and it’s costs are shown at the end. The problem is, the game never goes into the Green’s fiscal lives. It’s the only section of the game that hints at a sort of financial struggle, if there even was one. The controls are imprecise and feels clunky and strange. There’s no objective, but the insinuation of just to collect stuff. It becomes clear though that there’s no choices, or again, any interaction, it simply goes around.

One of the final chapters, taking place in a church, went on for so long that I had to look up a video to see if there was something I was missing – if there was some puzzle I had perhaps missed. Instead, I had to just wait. But that was one of my problems throughout the game. I wasn’t sure what was intended, and what was a glitch? Was I clicking an objective too much? Or was I not turning around at the right time? Was I waiting too long or not waiting for something?

That Dragon, Cancer never focuses. The second half of the game takes on an extended metaphor of a sea of misery, but besides that, everything seems very disconnected – that sea is left fairly quickly, and constantly interrupted.  Everything seems to come together to distract the player instead of giving any enlightenment.

On the Chase Podcast Episode 1

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Greetings ladies and gentlemen. Team Twisted Fate has started our very own podcast. In our pilot episode we discuss the evolution of the game’s meta since we joined in with The Millennia of Ages set and we talk about some of the spoilers revealed for the upcoming set The Moonlit Savior. If you guys have any suggestions about what we should talk about in future episodes, leave a comment and tell us what you want to hear!

(Please bear in mind that we are working on improving our equipment in order to provide a better listening experience and it will improve as time goes on!)

Hope you enjoy the first episode of On the Chase!

~ Lane

On the Chase TitleCard Fullhouse


We Have a Logo!

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Look at how nifty it is!




Crimson Girl Blast

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Hello everyone! I’m here this week with another brew. I was requested a few weeks ago to brew a Crimson Girl list and I was excited to do so.  I have always likes Crimson Girl and felt she had a lot of potential.  I really wanted to use the new Pricia in the deck because her with Crimson girl J-activated means 4x boost which is crazy.  I initially wanted to abuse banzai attack with small resonators for an explosive kill. Here was my first Crimson girl draft:

Crimson Girl in the Sky/Little Red, the True Fairy Tale

Crimson Girl

4 Familiar of Holy Wind
4 Elvish Priest
3 Ziz, the Bird that Envelops the Sky
3 Fruit of Yggdrasil
4 Lancelot, the Knight of Mad Demon
3 Pricia, Beast Queen in Hiding
1 Snow White, Valkyrie of passion
3 Magic Matchstick
4 Thunder
3 Refarth, the Castle in Heaven
4 Ame-No-Habakiri
2 Beastly Attack
2 Banzai Attack


4 Magic Stone of Moon Shade
4 Magic Stone of Blasting Waves
1 Little Red, the Pure Stone
1 Feethsing, the Holy Wind Stone


As I tested the deck there were several problems I ran into.  The first issue was the mana base.  The deck was evenly split between green and red.  The cards were also very greedy each requiring 2 red or green will to cast, which made it very difficult to cast cards on curve.  The second issue was the deck was fairly slow and had very little interaction.  The deck had a lot of trouble dealing with larger resonators and was very weak to removal.  I next tried running a mostly red deck with green for crimson girl and Pricia, but the deck still struggled as it had almost no interaction and was easily stopped.

After testing these different iterations, I decided to try a different take on the deck.  By playing Pricia and Ziz the deck was already going in a slower direction, so I decided to build the deck slower with a greater amount of interaction.  One card I have always wanted to brew with is Elizabeth.  She has a great amount of combo potential and the combination of her and crimson girl is really exciting.  I decided to put a small vampire package into the deck to support Elizabeth and the interaction in the deck.  Here is the next list I tried:

Crimson Girl in the Sky/Little Red, the True Fairy Tale

4 Elvish Priest
4 Ratatoskr, the Spirit Beast of Yggdrasil
3 Ziz, the Bird that Envelops the Sky
3 Lora, the Blood Seeker
3 Elizabeth, Shadow Princess of Blood
3 Fiethsing, the magus of Holy Wind
3 Pricia, Beast Queen in Hiding
2 Carmilla, the Queen of Vampires
4 Scorn of Dark Alice
3 Stoning to Death
3 Refarth, the castle in Heaven
2 Spiral of Despair
3 The Beast Queen’s Counter Attack


2 Magic Stone of Darkness
1 Magic Stone of Wind
1 Magic Stone of Moon Shade
4 Magic Stone of Black Silence
1 Little Red, the Pure Stone
1 Feethsing, the Holy Wind Stone


The Resonators

Elvish Priest

These provide mana acceleration to play our resonators faster.  These allow us to play our three cost resonators on turn two, which helps the deck win faster.


This card was used mainly to protect Pricia from removal like Carmilla or Susano.  It also enabled our green resonators to be cast on our opponent’s turn which also helps them dodge removal.


Probably the best of all the resonators that have the evolve mechanic.  Turning into an 800/800 flyer is very good and he gets larger when Crimson Girl is J-activated


This was the main reason the deck was built.  She evolves our Ziz when she enters the field which is very good and she naturally givers herself a double power boos whenever she is pumped.  She goes into overdrive when Crimson Girl flips getting a 4x boost with any pump spell.


These gave us some protection against aggressive resonators.  Preventing damage from a resonator for a turn is helpful in buying time until we can assemble a large enough force to overwhelm our opponent.  She also provides mana acceleration allowing us to cast multiple spells in one turn.

Lora, Elizabeth, Carmilla

This was a small vampire package I put in the deck and it really over preformed.  Elizabeth was actually a much better win condition than Pricia and was able to quickly become giant one we J-Activated.  Carmilla gave the deck removal and a decent sized body to keep us alive against more aggressive decks.  Lora provided a way to find whatever vampire we need at the time.

Scorn, Spiral

The discard package of the deck, most decks I build with darkness in it have a discard package in them.  This is because discard is so powerful in this game.  It allows us to get rid of problem cards before they are problems and greatly limits the options our opponent has to play with.


This card is always great.  At instant speed it allows you to kill any resonator.  This card is great and I would have liked to play another copy in the deck


This allows us to J-Activate for free and gives a small boost to our team.  In a pinch, this gives any of our resonators an extra boost.

Beast Queen’s Counter Attack

This card surprised me in how powerful useful it was in this deck.  I acted as removal some of the time and was the main way Elizabeth killing chains were started.  I liked having this card in the deck and it has shown that it deserves a place in the deck.


This new iteration of the deck was a ton of fun to play and was surprisingly explosive.   I had several games where I killed my opponent in one turn using Elizabeth.  The interaction between Elizabeth and Little Red was amazing and extremely powerful. Being able to recover her and attack again with an added pump every time an opponent’s resonator dies is powerful ability. Compounding with the extra pump that Crimson Girl provides give the deck the capability to one turn kill opponents out of nowhere.

The biggest issue I had with the deck was it was a little slow. Unfortunately in this meta, the deck is just a little too slow to really be viable at a larger tournament but could be a fun option to play at your local store.  Moving forward I would probably cut some of the green and focus more on the vampires and disruption with the deck. I hope you enjoyed reading and keep your eye out for my next article here on Of Dice and Pens.