It is time for another Blood Warriors Guild Weekly Deck. The guild’s challenge this week was to build a cool Isle of Madness Crusader deck. Many, many great submissions and one winning deck emerged: Midstorm’s Mania Crusader that is leveraging Thadon, the Duke of Mania. This deck is a mid-crusader with aggressive elements, spot removal, and self-healing through Drain.
The curve is highest in 2-drops, closely followed by 3- and 4-drops, and this supports an aggressive front when needed. Also there are 15 prophecies, which also lends toward aggressiveness. That said, the deck also can play the control style of play against more aggressive decks, with 15 cards with Guard, Piercing Javelins, Cloudrest Illusionists, two Grand Inquisitors, and Executes. The deck also has an available means of recovery with 3 Bruma Profiteers and 3 Golden Initiates. This deck has the available tools to make it through almost any match as long as its very carefully determined which role you play in relation to the other players. Are you more aggressive? Or are you safer playing a game more board control?
Mania Crusader – Building Blocks for Success
The deck consists of many of the great tools Crusader has to offer. You usually win games with this deck by controlling the field lane. Here, you want to (and have to) dictate trades to pilot this deck successfully. Some early-game control tools:
- Execute removes any creature that comes with 2 power or less. Ideal to deal with Barrow Stalkers, Ald Velothi Assassins, Wind Keep Spellsword, Daggerfall Mage, a Fighter’s Guild Recruit or a Morag Tong Aspirant to name a few of the prime targets.
- Rapid Shot offers card draw, to remove a Ward or to gain card advantage by trading favorably into one of your opponent’s creatures.
- Stormcloak Vanguard offers early-game removal as well as card advantage by putting a 4-cost 5/5 into your hand. Note, the Vanguard can be buffed by Fifth Legion Trainer or a Morkul Gatekeeper if you want to remove a bigger threat during a later turn as well.
- Tiny Dragon is another early game removal card, particularly effective against token decks.
- Guards, like Green Pact Ambusher, Hive Defender, Khuul Lawkeeper, Morkul Gatekeeper and Candlehearth Brawler will allow you to block your opponent’s early-game.
- Cloudrest Illusionist is a true, smart, female power-house allowing you to trade effectively and to keep control of the Field Lane.
- Grand Inquisitor and the two Blood Dragons are just another great removal option. The Dragon even allows you to circumvent any Guards your opponent might have thrown your way.
- The Red Year is your last resort when you need a turnaround.
- Aspect of Hircine can be a finisher with a reach of 6 damage or another shield of protection as a 12/12 Guard. Flexibility is king!
- Thadon, Duke of Mania allows you to gain more card advantage by drawing cards continuously, as long as you manage to control the Mania lane.
- Belligerent Giant allows you to unsummon a Guard or a Lethal creature or something else you need removed (temporarily at least). It’s also your only support removal in this deck. Use it wisely…
- Vigilant Giant for the power, the protection and the draw…
You will note – this deck is all about tempo and card advantage. It should be relatively easy to trade favorably and keep lane control to beat down your opponent. The tricky piece is to be recognizing whether you need to play the aggressor with this deck, or whether you need to control your (more aggressive) opponent.
Outlook & Deck Variations
Thadon and the Mania lane have added another cool option for card draw in Crusader. Midstorm has been playing with the idea further and has iterated the original deck a little. This is the current version:
A somewhat less aggressive version of this deck is the following one. Here, we have included Shining Saint – she works like a mini-Cloudrest Illusionist, but also can pull off her magic in the Shadow Lane. Equally, Crusader’s Assault provides even more card draw to ensure you can find Thadon or some of the other “big guys” in this deck. Penitus Oculatus Agent is another great choice to “remove” some of your opponent’s Guards, Wards, Lethals (or Rallies etc) to ensure that you can trade or go-face as desired.
Let’s go and earn the Duke of Mania title with this deck (if you haven’t already) and have some fun and success on the ladder!