Welcome back to Immortal Technology. Today we are going to continue looking at some of the more unfair decks in the format. Today’s deck is fairly near and dear to my heart. Once more, we have taken a deck that was successful in a previous Standard format and made some minor adjustments for it to be able to attack the Immortal Metagame.
This is the Sapphire-Wild Mastery of Time Winter Moon combo deck that I top 8’d the first Hex Primal Immortal Championship with:
Even when it was Standard legal, this has always been one of the stranger decks in Hex. At its core we are playing a non-interactive deck that has the primary goal of accelerating into Psychic Ascension as quickly as possible:
Once we have ascended into a Paragon of Thought, we then play a bunch of actions to generate troops which we follow up with Mastery of Time:
Which immediately lets us start a new turn and start attacking with the troops we have generated. Ideally, we then continue playing copies of Mastery of Time until our opponent has been attacked to death by our army of random troops. We keep this flow of Mastery of Time going in a couple of different ways. The first is by creating additional copies of Mastery of Time:
We then use a variety of different pieces of card selection to ensure we can find our copies of Mastery of Time:
Arcane Focus is just a wonderfully flexible card. In the early game it can help us find that resource we need and in the late game it can help us find whatever action we need to get us out of a given situation. Peek is a very powerful card in a deck that can sometimes go long like this combo deck does. While Peek only looks at a couple of cards in the early game, in the mid-late game Peek can start to see upwards of 6 cards.
Change Course is one of the best things we can be doing early in any Winter Moon deck. If Change Course is our first play of the game on turn two, it puts two cards into our crypt that we can immediately put back into our deck with our champion power. The sooner we get more Winter Moon’d cards back into our deck, the sooner we start generating a critical mass of cards.
Speaking of critical masses of cards, we have two fairly powerful actions that generate multiple cards all on their own:
Oracle Song is one of our best cards turn three on the play, while being slightly awkward turn three on the draw. The reason for this is because we do not have that many things to play out on turns 1 / 2 that do not draw another card. That means if we did not have something like a Chlorophyllia on turn two, we will have to discard after playing our Oracle Song on turn three.
Zodiac Divination is an extremely powerful card in Winter Moon as the game goes long. This is because we can put the cards that have their cost reduced by Divination back into our deck so we can play them again.
We round out our main deck with a pair of Wild cards and a Sapphire problem solver:
Chlorophyllia is a card I mentioned earlier and it is easily one of the best cards in our deck. Not only does it accelerate our resources, but it puts a card in our crypt early so we can start Winter Mooning as soon as possible. Because Chlorophyllia plays a shard, it also accelerates our charges, which means we can often champ power on turns two and three.
One of the important thing to keep track of while playing is the number of Wild resources remaining in our deck. This is because we need to know when we are no longer able to fetch a new resource with the Chlorophyllias that we draw. Another small thing that comes up on occasion is that when our Change Course puts a Wild Shard into our crypt, we want to put it back into our deck right away. This gives us a chance for any Chlorophyllia we play to draw a card if it hits that shard.
Lullaby is essentially Mastery of Time copies 5-8 when playing against decks that can only win the game by attacking. The most important thing to take note of when playing Lullaby is that if our opponent does not have reach in their deck, meaning a way to deal damage outside of combat, we only want to Lullaby lethal attacks. The only point of health that matters is our last one.
Time Ripple is a main deck “catch all” card in case anyone is playing something especially hateful game one, such as Frost Wizard or Drowned Shrine. Worst case scenario, Time Ripple can often act as a means of buying ourselves time by bouncing a lethal attacker, especially when it is something scary Titania’s Majesty flipped into play.
The one major upgrade this deck got from set 6 that it did not have in the previous Standard format is in the resource base:
Thanks to Well of Instinct, not only do we have a better resource base, but we also get to play fewer slow shards in our deck.
This Sapphire-Wild Turns deck has some of the more polarizing matchups of all the decks in Immortal. This means that in most matchups we are either heavily favored to win or fairly likely to lose. While this can lead to some matchup variance during an event, it does generally make reserving fairly easy.
The best matchups for the SW Turns deck are the Wild Aggro decks. These decks cannot interact with our actions at all and they cannot win the game outside of combat. This means Lullaby is always going to resolve and it is always going to buy us another turn. We literally do not reserve in type of matchup. Our game plan is better than theirs and we do not need to change it. If we see something like Drowned Shrine post reserves we might consider bringing in a couple more copies of Time Ripple over the Academy and a Change Course.
The Blood based midrange decks are another good matchup for the SW Turns deck. They tend to have a lot of removal in their main deck that is almost completely blanked against us. They also do not have the ability to interact with cards on the chain and, outside of Necropolis Coins, they generally do not have a way to reduce our health outside of combat. Their best card against us is easily Withering Gaze, which is why we bring in a second copy of Psychic Ascension out of the reserves in case they take our first copy away. Again, we start by trimming Change Course in this matchup.
“This means that in most matchups we are either heavily favored to win or fairly likely to lose.”
Other Sapphire based decks in the format are a bit more difficult for us because they have access to cards like Verdict of the Ancient Kings and Countermagic, but often these decks lack a clock to actually kill us. This means even if they are disrupting our combo, we generally have plenty of time to set back up and try again. At any rate, we bring in a few cards against other Sapphire decks, namely our own copies of Verdict of the Ancient Kings and our second Psychic Ascension. If our opponent is not aggressive we can trim a couple copies of Lullaby and a Change Course. If they are aggressive, I would trim the Academy and two Change Courses.
The hard matchups for the SW Turns deck are the Ruby based aggressive decks like Angus and Urgnok. Not only do these decks apply pressure on the table quickly, but they also have reach to kill us outside of combat once we have Lullaby setup. These are the matchups where the bulk of our reserves come into play. We essentially transition from a combo control deck into a midrange deck with some health gain. We make the following changes:
The goal being to stabilize the board and then beat our opponent down with a Wrathwood Master Moss. It is especially powerful when Harvest Moon prophecies onto Master Moss, because the four health on deploy happens when the Moss returns to play as a 2/2 after dying.
If you enjoy having all of the fun in a given match while your opponent watches you play then Winter Moon Taking Turns is almost certainly the deck for you. Put it together and take control of your next Immortal match!
Have a question about this archetype that I did not cover in the article above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Thanks for reading.