With Alice Clusters’ powerful cards gone, some Lapis Cluster cards may come to the forefront. Often these cards were suppressed and now have some space to see play.
With the loss of many Darkness control spells, removal has now become a premium. A main board Rapid Growth offers counter play for the aggressive decks for Darkness’ nerf and damage approach. So non-targeted removal appears to be a better line of play. Two cards to think about are An Encounter with Cthulhu, and Death at Midnight. Beware, while these two cards offer amazing value against Pricia, both are terrible against Fox playing Demonic Dead. Pick your poison!
Card draw for any attribute outside of Wind can be difficult to come across. Now that Space-time Anomaly has gone, control decks will need to find a way to refuel their resources. Three options lie in Release, Valentina’s Reach, and The Truth of Time. Valentina’s Reach appears to be the most versatile, drawing cards or discarding your opponents’, while The Truth of Time appears to be the most efficient.
Hard removal is difficult to find, and one resonator to aid you in stemming the flow of aggressive resonators is Rachel, Nephilim Commander. If you can stick a Rachel on the board and potentially protect it, you may find yourself able to stabilise. Offering Alhama’at mana counters when you nuke something, we may find this resonator the centre piece of control moving forward.
Melgis, King of Black Flame can be a straight swap for any aggressive deck previously running Pricia Pursuant. He fills a similar role with a better reach potential at the cost of Precision. While Melgis had seen play in Alice and Lapis New Frontiers, I think he can really make a mark on Lapis cluster now and moving forward.
Another card that can plug right into a Pricia aggro deck is Fiery Soldier of Milest. He lands on the board and triggers Pricia’s ruler side Resonance to give him Swiftness. The most important part of this idea is his 600 defence. This asks the opponent to chain removal, or play into Rapid Growth. If the opponent chains removal, they play into Severing Winds. I think could be potential found in this resonator but only when paired with this Ruler.
There was a time decks ran Interdimensional Vessel, Apollo to simply bounce their resonators when targeted by removal. This idea was faster than playing Wind Secluded Refuge, and was not attribute locked. In Lapis cluster we keep the Wind Seclude Refuge but we also have another tool, Feithsing, the Fate Spinning Winds. She offers two options: Quickcast and bounce a resonator of yours, or inheritance to buff a resonator by +600/+600. These are two important aspects and offer counter play to control, hitting both hard removal and damage/nerf removal. An added bonus is that inheritance is an activate ability and does not play into Severing Winds – the most played card in the cluster.
If you’re looking at rotating early, or have already rotated out Alice cluster, stay tuned for a competitive primer. The competitive primer will briefly go over what you can expect from a “GP meta” and will give you tools on how to build moving forward.
For those who missed it myself, Lin, Toby and Archie unboxed a couple of Echoes of the New World booster boxes and talked about which cards were best –