Scourgeflame Archers

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Starting cards are any ranged creature and Blood Singer. If you have a ranged creature, keep Kobold Barracks and/or Gift of Steel.

Your top priority is to get a ranged creature in front of your orb and attacking the enemy as soon as possible. Hopefully, this will force them to rush you and, most importantly, abandon their wells. Buff this ranged creature with Kobold Barracks or Gift of Steel as soon as you see an opening to hit their orb on the same turn.

Second priority is locking down one of your wells – you should be able to do this on the same turn or shortly after you buff your ranged creature. The best creatures for this are Blood Singer or Sagittarius, if you have a choice, but the important thing is that you have a creature there.

Third priority is extending your lands in front of your well so that a Scourgeflame Specter can reach the enemy orb on the same turn it’s played. This is less important if you have a spare Flash Wind in your hand, but still useful regardless.

A typical game goes like this: a ranged creature deals 8-12 damage to the enemy orb before they can answer it, then, while their creatures are near your orb, you sneak a scourgeflame specter next to their orb and hit them for (at least) another 5 damage. In the next few turns, you’ll likely win through scourgeflame specter or a combination of specter’s combat damage and blood singer’s damage on death as well as additional ranged pressure.

This deck is vulnerable to hard removal decks due to a low number of creatures and somewhat weak against rush decks, but fairly strong against everything else. If you’re having trouble against blue or green, this deck will help.

I usually don’t like red decks, but I have a lot of fun playing this one. As of May 13th 2017, this deck has helped me hit rank 5.

Land type(s): Neutral, Mountain, Desert
Faeria cost: 3.6
Difficulty: Intermediate

3x HOLD THE LINE! (1f)
3x GIFT OF STEEL (3f 2M)
2x HELLFIRE (7f 2M)

First game went like this - I summon one blood singer, and then on turn 3 - Boulder Thrower.
Enemy instantly kills it with flame burst + Seifers Wrath. Next he has 2 Brutes, one of them buffed with gift. It took me a Hellfire, 2 Blood Singers to kill one (1) brute, also using combat and barracks to do so. 5 cards for 2. Next I spawned another archer - instantly killed by seifers Wrath. Another archer - also killed by Seifers. At this point the enemy had his own Scourgeflame near me…

At no point I was able to deal even 1 ranged damage to anything…

This deck seems to lose against every single deck that has red in it, and to all rush decks.
If you are against red might as well surrender at the start. Archers are pretty much immediately killed by direct damage spells. If the enemy doesn’t have these for some reason, they just make a land beeline for them - as soon as one land is placed near the archer its game over. Pretty much any creatures make them useless, since you will either trade 1 for 1, and in almost all cases this is really bad trade, or choose to attack the orb - the archer will dioe next turn regardless. Or the enemy might just lock them with any taunt, forcing they to die.
I have no idea how you reached rank 5 with this. You can prolong archers life with flash wind - but only for one turn, next turn it always gets killed by something else.

At least to me it doesn’t seem like a good idea to run with a deck which automatically loses if the enemy has direct damage spells.

Red burn is absolutely the hardest match-up. Not impossible, but definitely tricky and should alter which creatures you play first. And yes, the enemy will beeline towards you – you want this, that’s the point of the archers. Stalling creatures with Imperial Guards is very useful in this scenario, as is pushing the creatures back with Flash Wind. If all else fails, put a Kobold Barracks in between the attacker and your archer.

I made a mistake in not talking about starting land placement with this deck, too, and I think that may be part of the problem. You want your first land to be placed directly in front of your orb, then start placing lands on the side opposite of what your opponent chooses – this forces them to spend turns placing lands to get near you while controlling which hexes they can move into, if you place a ranged creature at your well.

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About the lands - I actually already played like this, since I tried running decks based on ranged creatures before. Thing is, if the enemy goes second, they can put a land directly next to the archer in two turns. I just find archers way too weak without health buffs. They die to pretty much anything. Only in one of 6 games I managed to do more than 10 damage to the orb before the enemy somehow completely prevented me from ever doing more damage ever again.

Getting a deck based on ranged creatures to work is hard since their lack of mobility and low health tend to get in the way. As such it will always be weak to rush / spell damage, so the critiques above are to be expected… My take on it as a fellow ranged creature lover : good work !