Deck of the Week Ep 5 – Cenbrow’s Three-Peat

Hello and welcome back to the deck of the week column! Each week, I’ll highlight a new deck: a recent winner of a premiere event, a deck that personally intrigues me, or maybe even a deck suggested by you, my awesome reader! Leave comments below if you have any deck suggestions.

This week I wanted to make like a Timetraveler and revisit Vault Tour Collinsville, a single-deck archon tournament that was highlighted by the first ever two-time VT winning deck, “Gasoline” Maximiliano, Dungeon Keeper (link to DoK). While I’m sure that would be a very fun deck to try to pilot, George Keagle, the actual pilot, was already on the 5th Planet Keyforge podcast where he discussed the deck and his experiences in detail. It was a great interview and I highly recommend it!

Getting slightly less attention was the fact that a deck made its third Top 16 – Cenbrow Roscomb-Nemonius, Eminence (DoK). That’s a pretty amazing feat – two Top 16s and a Top 8. Let’s take a look and figure out what makes this deck so successful.

The base stats from Decks of Keyforge tell us a lot. First of all, the pilot has played this deck competitively, A LOT. 38 games! Assuming that these are all the same pilot, the person playing this deck must be extremely familiar with the ins and outs of playing this deck. That is a huge factor in competitive play (this fact will likely play itself out when I embarrass myself on camera trying to play with it – stay tuned 😊 ). This deck is also quite powerful – top 1% of decks according to Decks of Keyforge (its v3 SAS was 91 for those more familiar with the previous system).

But what’s driving the SAS rating? Well because it’s so magnificent, DoK has a graph for that too:

The graph shows us that, in comparison to all the millions of other decks out there, it is extremely high in expected aember, aember control, and efficiency.

Looking at the list, almost every action and artifact either has an aember pip or gains aember through its effect. Many, like Virtuous Works, Neuro Syphon, Glorious Few, Bait and Switch, and Wild Wormhole, can situationally gain multiple aember.  Speed Sigil makes every creature an instant aember, if needed, although this is a two sided effect.

Speed Sigil is very interesting to me because the creatures in this deck don’t seem *particularly* synergistic with Speed Sigil. For one thing, none of the Shadows creatures have reap effects. The Sanctum creatures can come down and fight, which is something, but the best opportunity seems like probably Ganymede Archivist unless I’m missing something. But since this deck generates so much aember, maybe just being able to immediately reap with whatever creature is good enough. Either way, I think Speed Sigil will be one of the most interesting cards to play with in this deck.

The chart from earlier also shows where this deck is vulnerable. It doesn’t have much creature control, artifact control, or disruption. Based on that, my expectation is that this deck basically wants to race with very little interaction. It relies on a *lot* of stealing – triple Nerve Blast, double Urchin. Not to go too deep into spoilers, but a steal-reliant strategy like this may or may not be as effective when Worlds Collide enters the fray.

Let’s See it In Action!

But enough hypothesizing! Let’s see what this thing does in action. To do that, I took the deck through three competitive games on the Crucible. Let’s see if things play out as expected. For those who are not interested / able to watch the videos, I’ll provide a brief written summary of each match on how the deck played out in our matchup.

Game 1:

Opponent seems to get off to a slow start with a few 2 card turns. Meanwhile, I get a solid 4 card Sanctum turn to establish some shielded knights and then use poison wave + nerve blast to essentially get a one-sided board wipe before landing a double-Bulwarked Mother and a taunt-protected Jehu. Yikes. With 5 sticky Sanctum creatures, I eventually just call Sanctum repeatedly to burst with Jehu while commanding the board. Opponent really doesn’t have enough aember control to keep up and the third key is forged during Turn 7. This deck really escalates and pulls farther and farther ahead as the game goes on.

Game 2:

On the play again and a terrible Wild Wormhole gets the game started. Opponent gets off to a solid start with Shadows but I’m able to respond with a great Shadows turn of my own, featuring a one-sided board clear with Poison Wave. That card seems to play very well in this deck. Speed Sigil really throws gasoline on the game and leads to quick aember generation on both sides. I try to get WAY too cute with Reverse Time / Neuro Syphon and basically give my opponent a free key, but getting to replay Poison Wave turns out to be probably worth it. After forging key number 2, I’m immediately able to burst to Key 3 via Virtuous Works, Shoulder Armor, and reaping via Speed Sigil. Geeeeeez. This deck is FAST. Opponent responds with double Charette to keep me off check, but a five-card Logos turn featuring a Mother immediately fighting a Charette proves to be too much to overcome. I end the game with double Miasma in hand to all but guarantee victory if the game were to continue.

Game 3:

Going second for the first time is exciting! This game is a great example of how this deck wins even when it does not control the board. I sacrifice a little tempo to deal with an early Director of ZYX but catch up with a 5 card Shadows turn that gains me 6 aember and loses my opponent 2 aember. That’s a powerful turn. I’m lucky to dodge Burn the Stockpile for the moment….I immediately burst to 7 for key number 2. The stockpile is then burned ☹ and my ENTIRE board is cleared out by big Brobnar things. Luckily, Glorious Few and Virtuous Works gain me a combined TEN aember to get me back on my second key and check for the third. Opponent continues to dominate the board but I’m able to burst to eleven aember to take the game. Opponent ends the game with 13 creatures to my ZERO. What an interesting game of Keyforge, folks.


Thanks again for reading and happy Worlds Collide weekend!

Key_Cowboy (*pew pew*)

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