Deck Club: Our Robot Overlords

Welcome to the first article in what we hope will be a series dedicated to looking at deckbuilding strategy and sharing some of our deck ideas.  Since the release of Legions of Death, Victor and Travis have spent a lot of time talking about what makes an effective Necron deck and trying to come up with competitive decks for either warlord.

Travis Provick: It can be a bit tough to know what to put in a Necron deck.  You have the whole card pool of common units to pull from and you can choose to add any number of different factions as allies.  All that choice is exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming.

Victor Naqvi: Absolutely.  Figuring out the right angle of attack for a new Necron deck can be challenging.  You want to be careful about not going to crazy with the number of allied factions and consider whether your non-unit choices favour allied units or Necron cards more.

TP: Anrakyr the Traveller seems like a more straightforward deck to build between the two warlords, but my first deck with him was relatively mediocre.  But I’ve been very impressed by a couple of the Anrakyr decks you’ve come up with.  They have been very strong.

 

Anrakyr – Discard Toolbox

Anrakyr the Traveller (50 cards)
Army (29)
2x Death Korps Engineers
2x Decaying Warrior Squad
1x Elysian Assault Team
1x Freebooter Kaptain
2x Harbinger of Eternity
1x Praetorian Ancient
5x Pyrrhian Eternals
3x Rogue Trader
3x Sacaellum Shrine Guard
2x Sanctioned Psyker
2x Standard Bearer
2x Steel Legion Chimera
3x Tallarn Raiders
Attachment (6)
2x Promotion
1x Pyrrhian Warscythe
3x Resurrection Orb

Support (3)
2x Eternity Gate
1x Slumbering Tomb

Event (12)
1x Awake the Sleepers
3x Drudgery
3x Mechanical Enhancement
2x Reanimation Protocol
3x Recycle

VN: Anrakyr’s biggest asset is his discard pile.  Every card in his signature squad cares about this resource.  To that end, I wanted to build a deck that was all about treating my discard pile as a toolbox from which I could pull cards I needed for whatever situation I was in.

TP: That’s a great way to look at it.

VN: This deck didn’t need to fill up my discard pile as quickly as possible, so the deck eschews dedicated mill cards like Weight of the Aeons and even Flayed Ones Pack.  Instead, the only card I included beyond Anrakyr’s sig squad was 3x Recycle.  Effects that allow me to discard from my hand allow me to pitch units that are far more useful in the discard pile from my hand; units such as Decaying Warrior Squad and the first 2-3 copies of Pyrrhian Eternals.

I then needed to decide which faction was to be my enslaved faction for this deck.  I chose to stick with one faction to increase consistency, so I needed to have a faction that had a lot of utility in their units.  Enter the current golden child of Conquest, the Astra Militarium.  AM units are cheap to play out, have good command presence, and can function as either command cappers or combat units.  I also had access to some really good situational cards like support hate in the form of Death Korps Engineers, increased survivability with Steel Legion Chimera, and a nasty combat surprise with the new Standard Bearer.  All three units are excellent targets for Drudgery, so I have no hesitations in discarding them for use later.

Harbinger of Eternity is almost what I would call a ‘secondary warlord’.  Once he hits the table, your discard toolbox expands even more.  Discarding an event to shield one of my units and still having the ability to fire off the event reduces decision pressure and. especially in the case of an event like Mechanical Enhancement, can result in a virtual +4HP to one of your units (2 shields + 2 HP).  Harbinger also gives my Recycles a second chance, allowing me to dig through my deck even more.

TP: It’s tough to play against you when I don’t just have to worry about what you might have in your hand, but what you have in your discard pile.

VN: Having all these tricks means I need more money than cards from the command struggle, so I included 3x Rogue Trader.  I don’t worry about having too many tiny bodies. If I’ve discarded my Praetorian Ancient I can use Anrakyr’s ability to get him back in the late game as a scary 5 ATK, Armorbane juggernaut.  And in a pinch, I can always rotate my enslavement dial to whatever my opponent is playing and pull the biggest guy from their discard pile.

After playing this deck a few times, I’ve found that the deploy stall game is huge.  It’s not unusual for me to have turns where I will play Recycle, then play Eternity Gate, then activate my Slumbering Tomb, then use Reanimation Protocol to heal my warlord, then use my Eternity Gate – all before playing a single unit to a planet.  It’s not hard to outmaneuver my opponent on command this way.

 

Nahumekh – Steel Wheels

Nahumekh (51 cards)
Army (30)
1x Assault Valkyrie
4x Destroyer Cultist
3x Doom Scythe Invader
1x Harbinger of Eternity
1x Leman Russ Conqueror
3x Piranha Hunter
3x Rogue Trader
3x Standard Bearer
3x Vash'ya Trailblazer
3x Warriors of Gidrim
2x Wildrider Squadron
2x Wildrider Vyper
Attachment (5)
2x Gauss Flayer
2x Promotion
1x The Staff of Command

Support (6)
1x Obedience
2x Sautekh Complex
3x STC Fragment

Event (12)
2x Backlash
2x Hate
2x Mechanical Enhancement
2x Reanimation Protocol
3x Recycle

TP: I started off with the goal of making a 3-ally Nahumekh deck to leverage his ability and the ability of his signature unit (Destroyer Cultist). To maximize that value, I wanted to be able to keep my units from non-Necron factions alive for multiple turns – something that Mobile facilitates really well.  I also wanted to try to get my Staff of Change in play as quickly as possible.  This led me to Earth Caste Technician and Vash’ya Trailblazer in Tau.  I already knew that resources in Necron decks could be an issue, so I also put in Sael’um Pioneers.  With two scouts in the beginning of the list, my first deck attempt went all in on a Scout/Tomb Blade Squadron strong command deck to see if the Tomb Blade’s ability was perhaps stronger than I originally believed.

VN: And how did that go?

TP: Not well, which was largely as expected.  After a few losses I went back to the drawing board with a better feel of how a Nahumekh deck plays in practice.  My next experiment was going to be an Elite deck, and I was curious about the power level of the Doom Scythe Invader.  Trailblazers would still be great, so Tau stayed.  Piranha Hunters would guarantee me card draw even in situations where my opponent would challenge me for command – a problem that my first deck had, and they would never die.  I’d really liked the impact Standard Bearers were having in other decks, and I thought being able to ready exhausted Elite units would only increase their contribution. AM also has great vehicle targets for Doom Scythe, so I chose them as my second ally. Wildrider Squadron seemed like one of the best targets for Doom Scythe in the game, and Wildrider Vyper are great Elite units that have the survivability via Mobile that I like to have in a Nahumekh deck, so Eldar rounded things out for allies

VN: Yeah, I think you hit on a viable list with this one.  You were a bit light on resources at times, but it was a tough deck to deal with. Any advice for someone who brings this deck to a game night?

TP:  It’s ok to let your opponent take the first planet or two as long as you are building some command presence and tools for later rounds.  Try to use Recycle to seed at least one target for Doom Scythe early.  Be careful how much damage you let Nahumekh take. You really want to be able to use his ability in critical fights and 6 health is not very much. Don’t forget that you can use Obedience to move units from HQ at the beginning of the command phase.

I don’t think this deck is top tier, but it is a lot of fun to play and it can be pretty competitive.

 

Please let us know in the comments what you think of either of these decks.  Or tell us about the Necron decks that you’ve built.

One thought on “Deck Club: Our Robot Overlords

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