Evil Geniuses Artifact player Swim explains one of the strongest decks currently in Artifact.
Hey guys, welcome back to part 2 of my SteelSeries Artifact guide. Now that we've covered the basics in part 1, let's tackle one of the strongest decks in the game, my personal current version of blue/green swarm/ramp.
This deck basically plays to go wide on the board, swarming through dimensional portal and Prey on the Weak, with board-wide buffs in Mist of Avernus, Drow Ranger, and Emissary of the Quorum. Try to cheat out Emissary early with your ramp tools: Stars Align and Selemene's Favor, as well as Aghanim's Sanctum to refresh your mana every turn. And for the lane you're losing, you can always boardwipe it with Annihilation or Eclipse.
This swarm archetype does very well against non-blue decks, as they won't have any way to deal with your wide board otherwise. Your squishy heroes are also a little vulnerable towards really aggressive hero removal, although decks that can remove heroes won't have an answer to your swarm. This deck plays for an ancient kill much more commonly than a normal deck, so don't be afraid to commit heavily on one lane if you aren't against a fellow blue deck.
Despite being one of the strongest decks in the game, playing this deck is pretty straightforward. Here's what you need to know:
- Deploy Drow Ranger where she'll be safe, often in the same lane as Kanna. Try to deploy your blue heroes as spread out as possible, as you want to be playing a lot of blue spells. When in doubt, put Luna on the left side of the board, because she's a bit better when her Lucent Beam triggers earlier into a turn.
Don't play Foresight, Arcane Assault, Diabolic Revelation, or Gust too early. In the earlygame, try instead to develop units or improvements that will help your gameplan. You want to save your draw cards for later, when you're running out of tools in hand to play.
Play Selemene's Favor forward. Think about which lane you want to give +2 mana to, although it will often be a lane on the right side of where you play it. This is because in doing so, you get the +mana on the same turn; imagine playing Selemene's Favor from left lane to right lane, and then on right lane using Stars Align into Emissary of the Quorum, an extremely powerful turn 2.
If you see an opportunity to get out an Emissary early, go for it. This deck can sometimes play emissary on turn 2 with just two of either Stars Align or Selemene's Favor, and often wins the game by doing so.
Keep in mind Stars Align gives you +3 max mana for the turn. If your tower has exactly 5 mana, and you have Stars Align and Aghanim's Sanctum, you can actually play Emissary by using Aghanim's Sanctum after you use Stars Align. This happens pretty often, and is game winning when it occurs.
Stalling a lane with Annihilation, Eclipse or Gust will require initiative. Plan around this, and either pass early in the previous lane to be able to wipe a board with initiative, or save your Arcane Assault to steal it back right before the lane in question. This will be the hardest skill to master while playing this deck. You will often have to pass far ahead in advance, and give up a lot of opportunities to play cards, or skip using effects like Emissary's active ability, just to be able to get initiative where you need it the most. In the lategame, don't be afraid to sacrifice a LOT of play opportunities for this; initiative gets more valuable as the game drags on.
- Don't buy Blink Dagger too early; if you get a lot of gold in the first turns of the game, and see one of your blink daggers but don't need it yet, simply pass it up. The item is there for more mid-lategame situations where you need the lane flexibility.
And that's it! Simple, right? This is a great deck to start out with because it's (relatively) straightforward, and at a very high power level. If you can master playing for initiative in the lategame, this deck will take you places!