Today we are going to stray from the slower more controlling decks I have been focusing on so far in Immortal, to look at something capable of lighting the queue on fire. Not only is today’s deck a fantastic choice for farming Hex Primal Immortal tickets as fast as possible, but it will also leave your wallet exceptionally happy with it’s price tag.
Let’s take a look at a Mono Ruby “Sligh” deck powered by Urgnock:
The basic gameplan of the deck is fairly straightforward. We play a low resource count with an even lower curve to allow us to quickly overwhelm our opponent’s with a go-wide strategy. Our average card quality is generally lower than what is present in other decks, but because we have a higher percentage of non-resources in our deck we can generally afford to be trading two of our cards for one of our opponent’s as we push damage through aggressively.
The core of our deck is centered around getting a slew of tiny, angry ruby troops into play as quick as possible. Some of our troops are fairly straight forward beaters that simply have good damage output for their resources:
Stalagmage may seem a bit out of place, but thanks to his diligence trigger he essentially attacks for three damage every turn.
While some of our other troops offer some flexibility in how we are able to attack with them:
Quash Ride Tusker is probably the single most terrifying troop in this deck. He essentially attacks for two additional points of damage every turn and makes all of our troop buffs count twice. Embertongue Skarn is a reasonable one drop that also has high enough toughness to give us some resistance to cards like Heat Wave and Scars of War. Unmerciful Tormentor is one of our best tools for attacking through opposing troops. Because most of our cards cost just one, we can generally empty our hand by the third turn of the game making Tormentor a one cost 4/4 fairly quickly.
Rounding out our troops we have the only card in our main deck that costs more than one resource:
On most boards Fierce Warlord is generally adding anywhere from three to five power for just two resources. More importantly though, Warlord gives our troops increased defense as well. This means they are able to attack profitably into opposing 1/1 troops such as Howling Brave and Cottontail Explorer.
Sometimes when talking about the cards a deck is playing it is important to mention some of the cards that were not good enough to make the cut. While I was streaming, the card we got the most questions about was this guy:
There are two reasons we are not playing Escape Goat. The first is that our deck is really low on resources most games. This means we generally will not have an extra resource to keep replaying a goat out every single turn when our opponent can block it. The second reason is the non-bo that Escape Goat is with Unmerciful Tormentor. If you are attacking with an Escape Goat your opponent can just block it to take the bonus off of your Tormentors in play.
Moving on to our non-troop cards we start with two pieces of removal / reach:
Because our deck is looking to end the game as quickly as possible these two cards are generally enough to clear any potential blockers out of the way that can be deployed in the first few turns of the game. Any game we play that moves past turn four, these cards double as a method of dealing those last few points of damage to our opponent once they have stabilized the board.
Then we have two cards that allow us to make our less than impressive troops a bit stronger:
Crushing Blow is a card that is powerful not only because of it’s textbox, but also simply because it is in your deck. Having access to Crushing Blow allows you to make bluff attacks to get in chip shots worth of damage. Remember when bluffing though that you can only do it when your opponent is in a position where they can afford to not block. In other words – if your attack is lethal, do not expect your opponent to try and play around a Crushing Blow. When being used in conjunction with Quash Ridge Tusker remember you can respond to Quash’s trigger with a crushing blow to double up the damage dealt.
Seeing Red is a card that is excellent against decks that do not commit threats to the board. Any time you can get in two or more hits with your Seeing Red’d troop the card has more than paid for its single resource investment. Just like Crushing Blow, if you put seeing Red on Quash Ridge Tusker, it deals double damage which gets most champions dead fairly quickly.
The last thing in the main deck to mention is our utility shard:
Something that I think most people do not do enough is play “off shard” racial shards in their deck that have a lot of a single race in them. Our deck just happens to be playing 20 orcs by default, so Quash Ridge Rubble is essentially a Ruby shard that has the upside of providing one of our troops with rage 1 when we already have two Ruby thresholds.
As we look to our reserves you will find mostly three ofs that look to “fix” specific situations. One thing to keep in mind with a deck like Ruby Sligh is that less is more when it comes to reserving. Swapping out too many cards will dilute your primary game plan too much. Let’s look at our four of reserves cards first:
Pool of Wrath is our solution to the really removal dense decks in the format. When bringing it in you will generally want to cut the Seeing Reds since they are fairly terrible against removal as they open us up to getting 2 for 1’d. Crimson Bolt is our Solution to Vampires and Ruby’s Favor is good at taking Dark Heart of Nulzann off of the table. Rustbucket removes larger troops from blocking that we otherwise could not attack through.
Finally we have a pair of Emberspire Witches for shutting down things like Succulent Cluckodon and we have a single copy of Heroic Outlaw for the aggressive mirrors. Generally you will put speed and double damage into the Heroic Outlaw for a surprise burst of damage. Do not forget you can target yourself with Scorches and Burns to make your Outlaw free.
As with all our matchup sections in these Immortal Technology pieces so far, I am mostly doing my best to guestimate what the popular decks in the format will look like. It will not be till after the first Immortal Championship next month that we will see the format start to really development around more tuned decklists.
The Blood based midrange decks are generally play-draw dependent for Sligh decks. When they are on the play and have Extinction on turn four you are likely going to have a hard time winning. When they are on the draw though or not fortunate enough to have the Extinction on time, they are generally going to be playing from behind. This is the matchup the Crimson Bolts are in the reserves for. Their Vampires will not only roadblock you, but win the game after they deal with your threats. We board in the Crimson Bolts and Pool of Wraths in this matchup. Trimming Seeing Red, two Skarns.
The Majesty matchup for this deck will likely be slightly in our favor. Both decks have a low starting life total and can goldfish a turn three kill, but the Sligh does not rely on a single card to do this and most of our deck is redundant. Past all of this we have cards like Scorch and Burn to interact with some of our opponent’s acceleration in the early game while we apply our pressure. I would likely swap the two Skarns for the two Emberspire Witches in this matchup for the Cluckodons they are likely to have in their reserves. Bringing in a pair of Rustbucket Distractors over a couple of Seeing Reds is also not unreasonable.
The Diamond Ardent Aggro-Midrange decks are likely going to be more difficult matchups for Ruby Sligh. Jospehina’s high starting life total is tough to aggro out and they are very good at gumming up the board. Rustbucket Distractor is one of our better tools in this matchup, but it is still an uphill battle. Depending on their build I would likely trim Scorch or Seeing Reds to fit in the Distractors post reserves.
If you want to see variations of these Sligh decks in action, check out my video archive below.
If you are looking for a powerful, proactive deck, that is easy on the wallet than Ruby Sligh is probably the deck for you! Not to mention you will have plenty of time during the Immortal Championships to eat your lunch.
Thanks for reading.