Justin shares a report of his and his brother Jayden’s 2019 National Tournament TEAMS-winning experience – including their full decklists!
After finishing second in TEAMS at Nationals in back to back years (2016 and 2017), Jayden and I decided to take a year off from TEAMS in 2018. We had not had many opportunities to play during the 2017-18 season and we were both fine with playing T2 MP on the final day of Nats 2018. However, a few tournaments into the 2018-19 season, I stumbled upon a deck idea that seemed perfect for TEAMS. It was a deck concept first attempted with the release of Cloud of Witnesses, but the new cards of Prophecies of Christ really gave it the consistency it needed. We played it in a couple of local tournaments as well as the Iowa state tournament and it worked beautifully. We decided to keep it quiet since there are some strategies that work really well against it, and consequently we did not use it for North Central Regionals. All the way up to Nationals we planned on using it…and then T1 2P was won by a Covenant with Death -centric deck. While Covenant with Death is detrimental to a lot of strategies, it is particularly devastating to the strategy of our decks, which relied on a lot of territory class enhancements— enhancements that would prove quite useless if they had to be played in battle.
With the thought that it was very possible the Covenant with Death decks would find their way into TEAMS, we decided to call an audible on Friday night. We spent a couple hours tossing ideas back and forth before Jayden mentioned a fun little combo he had seen Nathan L. use in T2 MP. The basic idea was using Elijah’s choose the blocker ability with Hidden Treasures active. Not only is Elijah cannot be prevented (thus not stopped by Covenant with Death ), but by pulling a blocker into battle, it meant that Covenant with Death would not restrict us from playing enhancements. We put the Throne of David offense around that combo, but we realized there was one card we would not actually need… Throne of David. Since Elijah was getting things started, we could then use enhancements like Faith of Samuel, Gathered Together and Not Alone to bring in the Throne banding chain to draw and search, and then of course bringing in Ahimelek the Hittite to bounce the blocking Evil Character, (which since we had chosen it, would typically not be a very serious threat).
It is safe to say that neither Jayden nor I could have imagined how effective the combo was. Like most players, we were aware of how quickly a Throne offense could get set-up, but also like most players, we knew there are ways to thwart Throne (often by not even blocking at all). By incorporating Elijah’s choose the blocker, we dictated the terms of nearly every rescue attempt we made. The consistency between the two decks was amazing. There were definitely rounds where one of us did not really do much on offense, but it was not needed because the other deck was rolling like crazy. The defense was built around the powerful ability of the The Babylonian Merchants to shut down the opponent’s searching, which is a huge advantage in TEAMS. Because of The Babylonian Merchants and the character stealing abilities of Nicolatian’s Teaching and Flying Scroll, it was typical that more of our opponent’s characters were captured or taken than they had left on the table by the end of the game.
Without a doubt, these were the most fun TEAMS decks Jayden and I have ever played, and it was great to finally accomplish our goal of winning TEAMS at Nationals. I fully expect to see a lot more decks like this in the coming season.
To buy singles, sealed product, and other gaming supplies mentioned, please visit Three Lions Gaming!