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This is my new favorite deck. It combines together two combo decks, which work surprisingly well together:
(1) Wandering Monk OTK
(2) Illusion of Grandeur + Tale of the Old Turtle / Dream Keeper
(Combo 1: Wandering Monk OTK)
Cards like Curious Biomancer, Tale of the Old Turtle, and Ulani, Oversky Shaman can draw several cards in one turn, rapidly growing your hand size. Then, Dream Keeper can draw 8 new cards, increasing Wandering Monk’s attack by another 8. In most cases, this isn’t the win condition, but it gives a large threat on board in the early game, and may push your opponent to keep some creatures close to their orb to try to forestall an OTK. That gives you time to build up the second combo.
(Combo 2: Illusion of Grandeur + Tale of the Old Turtle / Dream Keeper)
Unlike a Bargainer-style Illusion deck, the key to making Illusion work in this deck is to have a lot of low-cost creatures (and hold onto them until they cost 1 or 0).
11 of the creatures cost 2, meaning they’ll trigger Illusion after one shuffle from Dream Keeper (or when drawn from Tale of the Old Turtle, they’ll trigger Illusion and give a big tempo boost to boot). Another 6 creatures cost 3, meaning they’ll trigger Illusion after two Dream Keepers or a Tale of the Old Turtle.
Overall, the deck plays similarly to sac. Build up a defensive base, and wait until you have a large Illusion, which will happen around the time finish drawing your entire deck, usually when your opponent still has 10-15 cards in their deck.
Sac, incidentally, is something this deck really struggles against. It’s 8-8 so far, but ~4 of the losses were against sac. Illusion’s just not as fast as Soul Eater. It also struggles against midrange red because red can efficiently clear off all the small creatures before you have time to get out an Illusion. It does will against blue and green.
A couple of games, I was left with multiple Tale of the Old Turtles in my hand at the end, so I swapped out a third Illusion for Banon to avoid killing myself with fatigue damage. I ended up winning those games before dying of fatigue, and I haven’t needed to play Banon yet, so I’m not sure yet if that’s the right decision or not.
The deck’s both fun and challenging to play. It’s tricky to balance between playing creatures to survive, and holding them to buff Illusion after a Dream Keeper shuffle. It can have some truly delightful swing turns, where you play 4 or more small creatures one after another. Give it a try, and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Land type(s): Neutral, Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert
Faeria cost: 3.6
3x WANDERING MONK (4f)
3x TALE OF THE OLD TURTLE (6f 2L)
3x BONE COLLECTOR (2f 1F)
1x TIKI CHIEFTAIN (2f 2F)
3x BLOOMSPRITE (2f 2F)
3x SPIRIT OF REBIRTH (3f 2F)
2x ILLUSION OF GRANDEUR (7f 2L)
3x CURIOUS BIOMANCER (3f 2L 2W)
3x DREAM KEEPER (4f 1L 1M)
1x ULANI, OVERSKY SHAMAN (4f 1L 1M 1D 1F)
3x HAUNTED WILLOW (2f 2F)
1x BANON, CAPTAIN OF THE RADIANCE (7f)
1x ULANI, DEFENDER OF OVERSKY (2f 4W)