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Thursday, April 9, 2015

#FoW - RUG Jeanne d'Arc Control Overview

I have to say, when I first saw this particular colour combination for a Jeanne build, I wasn't really a fan of it. As much as Green/Wind supports the deck by making it a bit more faster and consistent, it doesn't contribute to any sort of winning strategy the deck might want to have. For example, if you play Green to accelerate the deck, you need to play ''Gretel''. If you decide to play Gretel, at least 90% of your magic stone deck needs to be comprised of Wind magic stones for her to hit the ramp consistently. If you play that many Wind stones, it means that you're limited in your Red/Fire magic stone count and consequently, means that you cannot fully take advantage of Jeanne's second [Activate] ability and cannot exploit big finishers like ''Gilles de Rais, the Golden Dragon'' at their full potential. 

So why exactly do you ramp for? Sure, with ton of will you can more easily swarm the field with weenies but without any real mean, it'd just be a question of time before you'd get crushed and walled by stronger opposing resonators and finishers. If Jeanne is really the only winning strategy, what do you do after she has been taken down? These were the kind of questions I was asking myself while building the deck until I realized that the advantages the Wind attribute gave the deck could easily fix that flaw. 

People who personally know me knows that I love the word ''consistency'' when talking about card games. The reason for that is simple : it solves all of the possible problems a deck might have, and RUG Jeanne Control is no exception to that rule. ''Gardea, the Guardian of Heaven'', upon entering the field, lets you search and pick a magic stone of your choice from your magic stone deck and put it on top of the latter. Of course, its primary utility is to go fetch ''Moojdart, the Fantasy Stone'' to set up your Jeanne d'Arc that might come later in the game while preventing future whiffs from Gretel's ability. After doing that, however, the other use Gardea has is to fetch one of the four ''Magic Stone of Blasting Wave'' you might not already have to, again, set up future Jeanne d'Arc plays, but to also set up possible Gilles de Rais plays. Running multiple copies of Gardea grants consistency in having the Fire will needed in the late game and as a result, justifies the use of will-hungry fire finishers in the deck.

Speaking of consistency, ''Oz, the Great Wizard'' is another Wind resonator that makes the build a bit more consistent all while also making the name of the deck, ''Jeanne Control'', warranted. Similarly to Gardea, Oz can tutor a card from the deck upon entering the field but unlike the former, his searching target is limited to 1 cost spell cards from the main deck. This ability is great as not only does it provides consistency in getting what you want when you want, it also provides access to very strong spot-removal spells to control your opponent's board with. Among the 1 cost spells you can fetch with Oz, ''Thunder'' is the very popular choice because of its low cost, sheer power and utility. The other popular choice is ''Inquisition'' which is one of the best spot-removal spell in the game when playing ''Jeanne d'Arc, the Flame of Hatred'' or ''Nameless Girl'' as J/Ruler. Of course, there are plenty more spells worth mentioning that can be searched with Oz depending on the match-up. For example, ''Rapid Decay'' is a great spell to have in hand when dealing with Weenie decks such as Grimm while ''Duel of Truth'' is very good 1 cost, instant spell that lets you get the most out of your big resonators without necessarily committing to resting them. Although, by default, ''Inquistion'' and ''Thunder'' are the staple spot-removal spells the deck should always have in its arsenal.

Earlier, I talked about accelerating the deck and making it faster with certain cards, and although I think it's pretty obvious which card I was referring to, I still think it deserves a mention. Like aforementioned, Gretel is one who those cards that will make the deck way faster with her ability to ramp early in the game. Paired with other ramp supportive cards in the Wind attribute like ''Elvish Priest'', getting your big resonators out and pulling off your big combos as early as turn 3 or 4 is now more than likely to happen. Moreover,other than the obvious speed advantage she gives you, running multiple copies of Gretel grants other little perks that are very beneficial to the deck. For one, she makes ''Absolute Cake Zone'', which is a necessity in the deck, a way better card than it already is as being able to cancel a spell all while replacing itself is not something to scoff at. Secondly, because of her human race, she's the only resonator in the entire deck that supports Nameless Girl's ability to J-Activate for free. However, only having Gretel supporting Nameless Girl is not quite enough as her J-Activate requirement states that the human resonator in question needs to be put from the field to the graveyard this turn. This is where ''Witch's Dagger'', another engine that accelerates the deck, comes into the picture. 

Witch's Dagger is the ''Addition : Resonator'' version of ''Voice of the False God'' in the sense that they are both generally used for the same purpose : gain card advantage and bring Jeanne d'Arc for free. What differentiates and makes ''Witch's Dagger'' a slightly better option is the fact that, unlike ''Voice of the False God'', it doesn't need to wait on having a human fodder on the field for it to be used as a draw engine. The fact that it is cheaper and will net you a +1 regardless of what race you have at your control makes it a way more consistent engine.

Then, we have our big finishers that makes the best use of the draw and accel engines mentioned above. ''Gilles de Rais, the Golden Dragon'' is one of the few resonators in the game that greatly helps Jeanne d'Arc and the deck to get that extra push needed to go for game. Indeed, while Jeanne can sometime act as a One Man Army because of her big body, it's sometime not enough to get the definitive win and this is when we need Gilles de Rais to come in the picture and take the game away.

Gilles de Rais, while very expensive, is a very impactful finisher. The combination of the abilities [Flying][Swiftness] and high ATK power boost makes it so that it's really hard for our opponent to react and have a definitive answer once he hits the field and swing at the fences. In this particular build, Gille's ATK power caps at 1600 if all of the Blasting Wave magic stones are in the magic stone area, so timing is definitely key when committing into summoning him. Considering he'd most probably be taking your whole turn, you want to make sure to drop him safely and at a point in the game where once he's summoned, your opponent is at risk of losing the entire game because of him. He's definitely the unit to use if you want an heavyweight, high risk/high reward resonator as a finisher. 

Deck profile video of my personal build.

All in all, RUG Jeanne Control is a really solid deck that covers a lot of match-ups in the current meta. It has raw power with The Flame of Hatred and Gilles de Rais, toolbox utility with Gardea and Oz, removal capabilities with Inquisition, Xeex and Thunder and finally, a functioning engine behind of it all with the likes of Gretel, Elvish Priest, Cheshire Cat and Witch's Dagger. It's definitely a deck to consider if you like anti-meta decks as well as the consistent control oriented playstyle.

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