Welcome back to Immortal Technology! I hope everyone has been enjoying themselves finally getting to play in the Immortal Queue first hand – I know I have! It seems only fitting that the first combo deck we dig into in this column is one based around the only card to be banned in Hex’s standard format to date:
Before we get into the details, let’s take a look at a decklist, shall we:
4 Howling Brave
4 Walking Calamity
4 Genesis Pool Naiad
3 Lithe Lyricist
2 Stingshot Sniper
4 Heart of Embers
4 Arborean Rootfather (Minor Wild Orb of Brawn / Minor Ruby of Ferocity)
To start with, let’s take a look at why Majesty was banned in standard:
While cheating out these big scary threats is fairly manageable when it happens on the fifth turn of the game, our deck tries to maximize making things unmanagable for our opponents by playing Titania’s Majesty far ahead of schedule:
In addition to these accelerants, our champion, Cressida_, provides us with a second point of acceleration on our third turn. This means that for any game where we play three resources in three turns and have one of our three accelerants, we can play Majesty out on the third turn of the game.
When everything’s going right in our deck we are generally winning the game. That being said, just because we are casting an early Majesty does not mean we are winning the game. After all, Majesty is kind of a high variance card – it only looks at the top five cards of your deck for a scary monster. To help add some consistency to our combo we play a few copies of this legendary elf:
Periwinkle lets you dig ten cards deep for a lethal threat and also makes your expensive cards more difficult to interrupt against sapphire decks.
Past all of the cards that help enable us to do degenerate things, we flesh out the rest of our deck to help us play a “fair” game of Hex when we are not comboing quickly:
Stingshot Sniper and Heart of Embers can both be played at a reasonable time when we do not have any of our acceleration going. They also both double as means to help keep our opponent’s board in check, while also helping to enable Feralroot Acorn as an additional dual-shard. Heart of Embers is also a reasonable threat to hit with Majesty when Calamity and Rootfather are not around since its Valor damage gets doubled as well.
Like Heart of Embers, Crocosaur is another card that is removal, reasonable to play out when we draw it, and still makes for a reasonable hit when spinning the wheel on a Majesty. There are not too many threats in the format that live through a double damage Crocosaur battling them.
Rounding out our threat / utility cards we have four copies of Gargalith. Gargalith is a potent threat when you find him with your Majesty and a more than reasonable utility card when you draw him in the early and midgame.
While I had reasonable success with the above list, there is no doubt in my mind that these listed are likely still far from optimal. One of the biggest issues with decks like Majesty is what you are doing when you have draws that involve drawing all of the bombs you intended to cheat into play. Looking to solve this issue, one of my buddies sent me this gem that went largely unnoticed in the Scars of War spoilers:
While Chark Mart can have a real risk associated with it, it also has a very real upside when it survives. Because we were already playing four copies of Genesis Pool Naiad, we can even start replenishing our lost resources the same turn we play out Chark Mart. Because Chark Mart is also providing us with additional charges for our champion power, every resource essentially provides three resources.
A draft of the deck with Chark Mart looks something like:
Decks like Majesty prey on the midrange decks in the format that do not have profitable ways of interacting with cards on the chain. Blood-Wild Kagu and Mono-Blood Vampire lists will be tilting out of their seats as they Inquisition your scary threat away only to have another bomb lying in wake on the top of your deck. When reserving against the Blood-based midrange decks we will want to remove some of our acceleration in favor of Wrathwood Master Moss. This takes some of the “air” out of our deck, while increasing our threat density.
The next best style of matchups for Majesty are the aggressive midrange decks that lack traditional reach such as the diamond-based Ardent Crusader decks. Not only do these decks generally lack a fast clock, but they often have no means of disrupting the cards in our hand or on the chain. I would reserve fairly minimally in these matches as well. Likely just swapping some number of Periwinkle for Burn to help slow down their first couple of plays.
“Decks like Majesty prey on the midrange decks in the format that do not have profitable ways of interacting with cards on the chain.”
Close matchups for Majesty are the Mono-Ruby Angus aggressive decks. While they also lack disruption for our game plan, they generally provide a much faster clock than the diamond-based aggressive decks and thus are able to punish our low starting life total with most of their draws. Mulliganing is critical in these matchups. Keeping a 7-card hand that does not do anything before the fourth or fifth turn is never acceptable when you need to race.
When it comes to reserving against the Ruby aggressive decks we want to morph into a sort of midrange-control deck. Burn, Wrathwood Master Moss, and Cluckodon can all come in. I would trim the Chark Marts, the Gargaliths, and some of the copies of Calamity.
The harder matchups for the Majesty deck tend to be the disruption-packed sapphire based control decks that have access to things like Verdict of the Ancient Kings and Countermagic on top of things like Strangle and Inquisition. They can generally pick apart our threat-light draws and keep our top decks from killing them with interrupts.
The key to playing against control with a deck like Majesty is knowing how to sequence the threats that you have. You have to identify which of your “must answer” threats are least important for a given situation. You then lead with those threats to try and run your opponent out of answers before sticking your most powerful card. Our biggest advantage in this otherwise bad matchup is that sometimes we “just have it” on the third turn when they have not had time to sculpt their hand. This can allow us to steal some games we would otherwise lose.
When we reserve in these matchups we want to again trim our acceleration and bring in additional must-answer threats such as Wrathwood Master Moss. Drowned Shrine of Ulthar can counteract their card advantage they seek to bury us with and Ruby’s Favor is a great tool for killing annoying cards like Dark Heart of Nulzaan if they have it.
If you want to see some of the brewing process and game play for these Wild-Ruby Titania’s Majesty decks check out my video archives below.
What do you think of my takes on Titania’s Majesty in Immortal? Is there a different direction you would take the deck in? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
Thanks for reading.