The leadership team has tossed around the idea of making a meek Daniel Lost Soul for a few years now, but always with the impression that it would make the Daniel deck too strong because of The Foretelling Angel (TFA). With the push to promote meek cards in LoC we decided this was the perfect time to test that theory.
The idea behind this build is to maximize the number of Daniel cards in the deck to allow for an extremely explosive start thanks to The Foretelling Angel.
Enough cards exist to make an entire offense and defense out of cards with a Daniel reference. Now that we can have all Daniel Lost Souls too, the only cards that won’t have a Daniel reference are the Dominants!
But we also need consistency, specifically ways to ensure we get The Foretelling Angel ASAP. That requires that we use a few more non-Daniel cards (marked with a * on the list below). Fortunately those cards also help because they offer ways to shuffle the deck if a non-Daniel card shows up on top after TFA is in play.
This test deck ran an optimal 50 cards with a 10 cards Reserve.
Lost Souls – 7
6 meek Daniel LS (LoC Promo)
1 LS “Covenant Breakers”
Support & DAE – 3
Heroes – 10
Servants by the River
GEs – 7
*Wheel Within a Wheel
The Coming Prince
Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
Faith Unbowed (LoC)
Daniels Prayer (Summer 2020 Seasonal Promo)
ECs – 10
Soothsayers of Babylon
The Winged Lion (PoC)
EEs – 6
*Wages of Sin
Head of Gold
Dominants – 7
The Reserve cards are followed by the card(s) that are able to grab them.
Reserve – 10
Amram & Jochebed (Faith, Mene)
Moses (CoW) (Faith, Mene)
Undefiled (Abed-nego, Mene)
Faith of Amram & Jochebed (Faith, Mene)
Stone Cut Without Hands (Abednego, LS “CovB”, Mene)
Lost Anointing (Wages, Mene)
Great Image (Wages, Mene, Conj)
Regrets (Wages, Mene, Conj)
Mourn and Weep (Wages, Mene, Conj, LS “CovB”)
Seized by Babylon (Mene, Conj)
Thoughts About the Card Selection
The Lost Souls add consistency to The Foretelling Angel by increasing the Daniel card count, but you lose the consistency of having great LS abilities (Exiles, Prosperity, Remnant, Hunter, etc). The change in how you achieve that consistency feels like a wash to me.
The Daniel reference support cards are not all that effective. I usually get a use out FF each game but rarely want to capture my own Daniel humans (I want them to rescue with). It feels like I’m playing subpar anti-meta cards (DD instead of RBD, Jonah, etc). EJ is great in a pinch but giving it away hurts which was intended in it’s design.
Once set up, my normal rescue is Shadrach (for CBI banding) to Meshach (draw top card if it’s not Daniel so the rest will be CBN) to Abed-nego (as long as I’m not decked he ensures my top card is Daniel while Reserve supplies last) to Daniel to Servants by the River (CBN protects the humans from lone ECs) to Gabriel (picks apart their defense). This comes out quick enough that it’s pretty difficult to stop. Watcher is only here because of his Daniel reference and he provides an extra Hero to play Angelic Guidance. Even with 10 Heroes I’ve had a game or 2 where I started with none. Apart from adding a meek white Daniel (from Prophets) this is all of the Daniel reference Heroes that are available.
The Enhancements are all about setting up TFA, either initially or via shuffling. Faith also has a number of targets in the Reserve if needed. Faith Unbowed is a solid GE, easily the decks best option. But since the Daniel offenses strength is in its Heroes I have seldom had reason to play it. Mene is outstanding Reserve access that is almost always played on Daniel for +2.
There are plenty of solid ECs here (Lions, Bel, Nebby, Conj, Astro, TWL) and a few that are questionable (Chal, BS, Mom). Similar to the LS assessment, you gain speed and efficiency but lose out on the power you’d get from player more optimal cards.
The EE selection is solid. If this wasn’t a Daniel deck Cut Off and Neb’s Dream wouldn’t make the cut. The defensive plan is to stall until you win or until you can play a big Head of Gold or Seized by Babylon (from Reserve) to eliminate a large part of the opposing offense/defense.
The Dom package is pretty standard, with Mayhem in a flex spot because it can shuffle (for TFA), generate a LS or give card advantage when your hand is low. It helps with the turn 1 setup. The defense is subpar in order to remain all Daniel cards so I feel like it needs the double Dom block option of CM & FA. I question whether or not I should have DoN. HHI shuts down this offense hard! Plus DoN can be grabbed with Wages to thin the non-Daniel cards from the deck.
From the Reserve Great Image image wasn’t all that useful for me. It should probably be Scattered or Treasures of War (CoW). I also didn’t find myself needing Stone Cut Without Hands, but having 2 good Daniel cards to top deck with Abed-nego is nice when I want the rest of the band (mainly SbtR protection) to be CBN. A&J are a frequent go to card. Lost Anointing is amazing as always. Moses is nice but not always necessary and really can’t be played until after I’m set up since he stops my TC cards (except Faith). Maybe he should become Majestic Heavens (or some other LS gen), but that can only be grabbed by Mene.
About the “Explosion”
In the 20+ games I tested the deck, about half of the time it only got about 15 cards by the end of my second turn. But the other half of my games I was able to get 25-35 cards by the end of my second turn. That’s a pretty huge start! One game I was even 40 cards into the 50 card deck by the end of turn 2. Openings like that are what make this deck so fun to play!
Final Thoughts About Going “All-In”
What does it mean for this deck to get an explosive start? It means that you have a pretty powerful, hard to stop offense that doesn’t require much Enhancement support. It generally has to be dismantled in pieces over the course of multiple turns. You have a defense that can probably eke out a couple blocks against a top deck/player.
But the deck has 2 major weaknesses that cannot be fixed using Daniel cards.
1) Lack of LS generation – I cannot count the number of games I’ve been soul droughted. Adding any kind of LS Gen cuts into the decks consistency, or has to take up Reserve space and becomes less reliable. To really be competitive at a top level multiple soul gen cards are probably needed due to the deck’s speed when it works.
2) Lack of meta counters – I seriously miss being able to stop/slow down what my opponent is doing. Adding cards such as HSR, RBD, Jonah, Wasting Disease, The Babylonian Merchants, etc. all cut into the decks consistency or have to come from Reserve where they are less reliable early when they matter most – early in the game.
The “All-In” Daniel deck was a lot of fun to play. The best version will probably sacrifice at least a little of the “All-In” approach to fix the deck’s weaknesses.
Stay tuned to the Redemption Discord for details on the upcoming Summer Seasonal Promo – Daniel’s Prayer.
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