Shadowfist Deck: Crosstraining by Stefan Vincent
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[posted 25 Oct 2003]
I made this deck for GenCon 1997, because I was tired of seeing all the usual Ascended speed, Architect zap, and Dragon/Architect comeback/Bomb decks. I won 1 of 3 games in the Final Brawl, and the next day tied for 4th place in the multiplayer championships. Along the way I learned a valuable lesson: don't play a nasty deck (and toasting stuff is nasty, even though this deck isn't high-volume like a good Reburial deck) if you want to make new friends :)
The deck is based around Rigorous Discipline and nifty things to copy. Butterfly Knight copied onto any other big hitter is formidable. Wandering Monk can be copied to opponents' Characters to force an auto-smoke if they're ahead of you. Ninja, Queen, and Lord Shi all make good sources for copying. And even copying the Displaced onto other foundations early in the game can really put the brakes on an opponent who's out the gate faster than you, and late in the game they can ruin a Dragon player's day (no more Ting Ting to Golden Comeback, sorry). I like to consider this resource management - keeping an Architects player below the threshold for Bomb or Dangerous Experiment, for example. This is the aspect of the deck that pissed people off, because it forces them to the change the way they play their deck, and not in a good way. I haven't played a deck with this much toasting potential in it since.
Dark's Soft Whisper is in here for the early game boost - failing an attack is easy in the early game, and the extra 2 (or more, if you have multiple Whispers) is extremely helpful. Power is good at any time of course, but the early game is where it really helps this deck. With a perfect draw it's possible to get the Ninja out on the first turn - Golden Candle, fail attack, 3xWhisper, Ninja. (that's never happened to me with this deck, although I have done it in a smaller deck that ran 5 Whispers. But I digress...)
There are lots of Turtle Islands because the tiebreak system used at GenCon the day before had emphasized burning-for-victory, so I swapped in the Turtle Islands to make me less of an attractive target. Didn't matter, since the tiebreak system was different in the championships. And there aren't any of the power FSS (Kinoshita House, Fox Pass, etc.) because I made a point of not packing them in my decks. It's a style thing :) The usual mix had a couple of Whirlpools, a Fortress of Shadow and a Monkey House in place of the Turtle Islands.
The deck works reasonably well, but probably wants to be a wee bit bigger to fatten the Events and give it more flexibility.
Foundation 5 Golden Candle Society 2 Wandering Monk 5 Darkness Priestess 2 Ice Healer Specialty 4 The Displaced Hitters 3 Butterfly Knight 1 Ice Shards 2 Lord Shi (lots of weenie foundations to boost) 3 Queen of the Darkness Pagoda 1 White Ninja Edges 1 Shield of Pure Soul (in every Hand deck :) Events 3 Dark's Soft Whisper 2 Violet Meditation 1 Confucian Stability 1 Positive Chi 5 Rigorous Discipline 2 Wind on the Mountain 3 Pocket Demon 1 Avenging Thunder (in every Monarch deck :) 3 Brain Fire (many Architect and Ascended decks to mess with) Feng Shui Sites 2 City Park 1 Field of Tentacles (many Family Estates to screw) 3 Inner Sanctum 1 Pinball Hall 2 Proving Ground 4 Turtle Island (GC97 point system favored burning for victory) Sites 1 Secret Headquarters 1 Shaolin Sanctuary 1 Fire and Darkness Pavilion (I wanted a Monarch non-FSS in the deck...)