Aselia Teaches Shadowverse: PTP Rune
Aselia / August 16, 2017
Hiya, it’s me, Aselia (you know; the person who builds bad fun decks for entertainment). This time, I will be showcasing my take on a Path to Purgatory Snowman Runecraft deck – built in the second season of Wonderland Dreams. Games with this deck are pretty fun, and the deck itself does not perform too terribly. You can see the list on the right.
The list aims to establish control in the earlygame, and continuously generate Snowmen through repeated Summon Snow and Rimewind going into the midgame. Generally, this allows you to accumulate enough shadows to play PtP by turn 7-9, while also maintaining board control with powerful Rune removals.
The only new card, Mister Heinlein, Shadow Mage, is a powerful card, especially when combined with Altered Fate, as it greatly increases the consistency at which you can activate your Snowmen, as Spellboostx5 is the magic number for this deck. Rimewind, Summon Snow as well as Fate’s Hand reach maximum effectiveness at a counter of 5, while it also provides a large benefit to Fire Chain and Fiery Embrace to deal with Wide and Large boards, respectively.
In addition to these standard removals, we also run the Winter’s Caprice>Angelic Barrage combo, which is a perfect answer to sticky or wide boards, such as Nephthys on turn 8. This variant is teched against slightly slower Midrange and Control style decks, however as the win condition is Path to Purgatory, be wary of control decks that you suspect may run Bahamut, and attempt to bait one out accordingly.
As a PTP deck, your objectives are to reach 30 shadows and have at least one Path to Purgatory active on your area as fast as possible. Your most potent Shadow generators will be Snowman generation cards, so these should be spellboosted as soon as possible.
Generally, Altered Fate should be saved for the last few shadows needed for Path to Purgatory, but there are occasions where you will need to use it as a cycle.
When Evolve turns kick in, your main targets will usually either be Timeworn Mage Levi or Snowmen. However, feel free to use Evolution Points as liberally as you want to clear the board as you see fit. There's no problem in playing Summon Snow and evolving a Snowman to clear or force a response.
Large snowman boards will inevitably be perceived as threats. Nobody wants to take 5 damage to face, and certainly nobody wants to permit possible Conjuring Force shenanigans. The deck has enough removal tools to have Evo points to spare, so use them freely to keep the board nice and clean-- your opponent will be forced to react. You’re advancing your win condition all the way.
Let’s take a look at what sorts of Removal we have, since this is a key aspect of playing the deck.
I have grouped all the removal spells into five main categories; each serving a different role in the decision-making process of your turns, as you will usually want to keep the opponent's board as clear as possible.
If you suspect your opponent runs heavy threats, save Fiery Embrace and use it only when necessary. Ex. Bahamut
If your opponent has sticky followers, use Winter’s Caprice to remove their effects. Ex. Ultimate Carrot, Mordecai the Duelist, Ouroboros.
These removals will usually be used in the early game to take out weaker units. Angelic Barrage is particularly good against Aggro Sword, Skeleton and Bat decks.
These are heavier removal spells that revolve around a random engine. You will usually want to play Secrets of Erasmus when the enemy area only has heavy threats. Fire Chain can be spellboosted to high damage values, enabling a powerful and flexible wide clear if necessary.
Kaleidoscopic Glow can be used on Snowmen or Levi if you need to draw or spellboost. Glow and Rimewind should only be used on enemy followers that do not have a significant fanfare (or evolve) effect. Ex. Do NOT use on Demonlord Eachtar, Freshman Lou, Winged Sentinel Garuda, etc. Unless absolutely necessary. Make sure to make the best of your removal options, and use Evolves on Snowmen and Levi to keep the board clean.
There are also three spells that I tag as ‘Special’:
- Kaleidoscopic Glow – This can be used to bounce Snowmen or Timeworn Mage Levi back to your hand for either extra value, while generating a count of Spellboost and a card. Do not be afraid to use Glow in this way, but you will want to keep it against Haven, and is usually a good option for answering most Turn 2 plays.
- Secrets of Erasmus – If you feel the game is going to be a grindfest, playing Secrets of Erasmus on turn 9 with its Enhance ability grants a powerful body. This is great to punish slow opponents, as well as create a Kill-on-Sight threat. It’s a good way to get extra value while stalling out a few more turns for Path to Purgatory.
- Rimewind – This is one of your powerful shadow generators. This is best used at 4+ spellboost to cause a tempo loss to your opponent. For example, if your opponent evolved a Rahab and traded it into a 1/1 Snowman, you can play Rimewind on it to reset its stats, create a board of Snowman, as well as force your opponent to spend 4 more play points to put it back into play.
Altered Fate; and How to Use It
Altered Fate is best used as late as possible. This is for two reasons:
- All spellboost cards immediately lose their value upon casting Altered Fate.
- Casting Altered Fate immediately gives your opponent information on your deck.
There is a significant advantage of withholding the fact that you are playing PTP, as Conjuring Force Snowman is the immediate assumption most players will make when Summon Snow/Rimewind is played. Because of this, your opponents will likely play into your gameplan by using excessive resources to clear your snowmen and netting you Shadows.
Of course, this does not mean if you have a poor hand, you should hold off on Altered Fate. If your hand lacks options, or you do not have the cards needed for the matchup, play Altered Fate even if you are losing Spellboost value. That is why Heinlein is in the deck-- so you can quickly regain spellboost as necessary.
Sometimes you will have to play Summon Snow in suboptimal situations, but anything 3x~ summon is very solid. Do not be greedy with the deck as you have many resources at your disposal through Fate’s Hand and Altered Fate. Remember: you are effectively a control deck until Path to Purgatory is activated. Your deck can afford to go hard on removal options: you’re generating at least one shadow anyway.
So you’ve built the deck, and queued into your first game. Now what? There are a couple cards that you want to look for while piloting PTP Snowman. I have modified the decklist to include rating tiers for your mulligan, and opening hand:
- S – You will almost always keep this card
- A – This card is usually good to keep, but may depend on matchup
- B – Matchup-specific, though if you have cards you need you can keep them
- C – You will usually toss this card, though spellboost cards are useful to have in your hand if your early plays are locked in (Angelic Snipe, Insight)
- D – You do not want this card in your opening hand.
Keep in mind that several cards are much better in certain matchups-- for example, Kaleidoscopic Glow is not a wise keep vs Dragon, but Angelic Barrage is powerful against Aggro Bat (but is a poor keep vs Vengeance).
The following cards are generally the ones you will auto-keep, aside from Summon Snow (this is your top priority). You will also want to have some Spellboost value such as Fate’s Hand, Fire Chain or Fiery Embrace as you prepare your 1/1 board floods.
Now, you are opening the game. What is the best way to pilot the deck? Pretend you’re control. You absolutely want to be boosting a Summon Snow, and casting it on turn 3 or 4 to generate a board. Insight, Angelic Snipe, Magic Missile and Kaleidoscopic Glow are great for this purpose. Against 2 defense targets in the early game, you can choose to use your 1 damage pings on them, especially if you happen to have Angelic Barrage, though if you are going second with either Summon Snow or Timeworn Mage Levi in your hand, you may opt to go for face instead. Kaleidoscopic Glow is especially great against Haven, enabling you to bounce their Countdown Amulets to mess with their ordering.
Once the snowmen are down, you will want to boost more cards, either Removal (Fire Chain, Fiery Embrace), more Snowman generators (Summon Snow or Rimewind), or Fate’s Hand. If your hand does not look good for the future and you have Altered Fate, go ahead and use it now. However, make sure to keep track of how many Path to Purgatory you have discarded.
By this point you should have more or less an even board, and sufficiently spellboosted removal options to answer your opponent's threats. The midgame will vary depending on your hand and your opponent. For example, if you are against Midrange Shadow, and your opponent has 3 units in their area, you will want to attempt a full clear due to the threat of Demonlord Eachtar on turn 7. Against slower decks like Haven or Dragon, you either want to generate more Snowmen, or take the opportunity to boost, refresh, or cycle your hand to search for Path to Purgatory or more shadow generators.
It is important to have a rough idea of your opponent’s game plan at this stage as well. Prepare for Rhinoceroach OTK Forest by playing Mister Heinlein; start boosting up and saving a Fiery Embrace against Dragon, boost up Fire Chain against Aggro Blood or Midrange Shadow, etc. Your decisions will greatly impact how you set up your finisher.
At this time, you usually want to have around 30 shadows by turn 7~9, or enough cards to Altered Fate into 30 shadows. On these turns, either bait out threats or play Path to Purgatory/Altered Fate. You can bait a threat by swapping to an aggressive option such as evolving a Snowman to your opponent’s face (this usually suggests that you are preparing for Conjuring Force combos), or just go for the Path to Purgatory. Watch out for Dragon (Bahamut) and Blood (Emeralda)'s amulet removal options.
Post-nerf, I've been experimenting with several janky decks, and thus I came across Snowman PTP, which has actually proven decent. While the aggro matchup is generally bad, Angelic Barrage and Fire Chain can dramatically swing the board in your favor vs Aggro Sword and Aggro Bat, quickly running your opponents out of steam. Meanwhile, against Midrange decks such as Shadow, PTP can usually come out fast enough to win the game. While I would not recommend playing this deck if you wish to ladder very very quickly, this deck is rather fun in my opinion, and actually is not as bad as it seems. Give it a run if you like this sort of deck. It may surprise you.