Giantface of the Governor’s Deadlands
Quirk: Duplicate Rare
An inherent limitation to any card rating system is when duplicates act like an entirely different card. These synergies can sometimes slip through the cracks.
On his Discord channel, Brett Pendragon stated that he wanted to stream a bunch of meme games, win or lose. I was inspired to pick up a 2x Gambling Den deck.
Is it really gambling if you remove the risk?
The Other Rigged Lottery
Even a single copy of Gambling Den can be incredibly skill-testing for both you and your opponent. The tide of the game can turn if, and when, you play the card and when you each ‘gamble.’
I no longer use the Den unless there is a 50%+ chance of winning or I have 1 or no Aember. I always use it when I have 0, as should you. Using the Den for thrills can, and will, lose games. I’ve had opponents whiff and fail to forge when they had 6 or 7 aember. I have also had opponents not use the Den for an entire game, even when they’re at 0. You’re simply playing the odds. Be consistent! Additionally, never use it when your deck is empty!
When the ‘House’ Always Wins
Of course, the trick here is landing my second Den. With two in play, ALWAYS use them if you don’t have an empty deck. Many opponents will figure this out as well, so I try to only play the second when I am way ahead. You reveal the top card, so even if you’re wrong, when you use the second one, you already now know what’s there. You’ll break even, at the least .
The Dis line-up in ‘Giantface’ is almost entirely disruption. You have Lilithal, Malison, Infurnace and Lesser Oxtet to control aember. Malison can also mess with their battleline to help get around things such as taunt (especially Titan Guardian), while Infurnace can pull double-duty and purge your own cards to improve your draws after you flip the deck. Lesser Oxtet can burn through your hand to help dig for what you need.
For creature control, you’ve got two copies of Etaromme and Festering Touch, a single Bloodshard Imp, and the classic favorite, Key to Dis. Finally, the house rounds out with a little recursion through Exhume and Not Finished With You (which I recently had pointed out to me I’d been adding the word ‘Yet’ when speaking to others).
For cool in-house tricks, I like to use the Bloodshard Imp to reap my own Infurnace or Oxtet to death, bringing it back with Exhume or shuffling back in with Not Finished With You for later. The other creature control cards can get the job done as well.
Giantface’s Shadows suite has our combo, of course, but also features aember, creature, and hand control!
Mug is interesting as it’s part board and part aember control. You can pick aember off your own critters, off the opponent’s creatures (even if they’re warded), and add 2 bonus damage (sometimes enough to kill the creature outright). Inky Gloom is great for messing up the opponent’s plans, Spike Trap is an excellent rattlesnake, and the 2 A.Vindas pull flex-duty as ward-poppers, finishing blow, and hand control. If you have both of your Subtle Mauls out, you can try to live the dream and potentially force 4 discards on your turn.Trust No One usually just gets me one, but sometimes it really hits! Just don’t forget not to play it if neither of you have creatures on board, as all you’ll steal is fizzy-lifting drinks and unceremoniously get nothing. Good day, sir. Finishing off the house are Breaker Hill, who grants Action: Steal to the neighbors (I wouldn’t want to live in their neighborhood) and of course the two copies of Seth’s basement card operation. Spoiler alert: his dad is a judge and it doesn’t go over well.
Last, but certainly not least, is Star Alliance. Much like the flavor of the house itself, Star Alliance is all over the place in this deck. Lay of the Land and C4LV-1N for draw. Xenotraining and Qincan for aember disruption. Zap and 2 Red Alerts for crowd control. Tactical Officer Moon for battleline shenanigans, popping wards, and sniping tiny elusives. Force Field to protect Qincan or C4LV-1N, and Explo-rover as an extra body or to protect Moon on the attack. Last, but not least, you have Tachyon Pulse for Artifact wipe, including your own artifacts should your opponent be a better gambler than you!
Bringing it all together
Giantface has a few excellent inter-house synergies as well. Spike Trap and Key to Dis are Omni, so you can keep the opponent on their toes (let’s be real though, we’re all sitting down when we play this) with the threat of activation, forcing them to play around it. Lay of the Land can also be used to stack the deck for a Gambling Den trigger. Be mindful of how many cards you draw at the end of your turn! I often Exhume Qincan back for a surprise steal. Finally, Breaker HIll’s Action gifting lets your play around Bloodshard Imp’s capital punishment for the crime of reaping and it doesn’t matter which house Breaker’s neighbors are either. You will notice Breaker Hill, Qincan, and Bloodshard Imp are your lightning rods in Giantface. Your opponent will attempt to kill them at any opportunity.
So, what do you think? Want to try Giantface of the Governor’s Deadlands on the crucible? Win or lose, I have had many people comment on how much fun they had playing against this deck. Feel free to try it out! If you discover a combo, synergy, or line of play I didn’t mention, sound off in the comments! This is the first of many deck techs, so I hope you enjoyed it! Look for Protoman_UA in the competitive rooms on the Crucible. I’m always testing something! Hope to see you all at Worlds!
Terrence aka Protoman of United Archons