Due to encouragement from the community Land of Redemption editor Chad has decided to post his series on deck building to LoR that he is doing on the forums. This week enjoy this article on his take on Daniel Deck!

Greetings Redemption fans! So on the Redemption discord in a conversation with RedDragonThorn I realized that decks rarely get posted on the forums. This could be due to a few factors but most likely I think it is because people in the community are not building many decks since due to COVID they do not have tournaments to play in. The only decks that really are getting built are for those that play on Lackey and in the online tournaments that Crashfach has been hosting. This is a small crowd.

I am relatively new to the Redemption competitive community (was a collector before that and came back to the game in 2019 after roughly a 10 year break from the game) but I am active in deck building as I am one of the few who regularly plays on Lackey.

I love deck building and want to see more deck building conversations happening. I had not posted most of what I have built because I wanted to save some of what I discovered for if I get to go to Nationals someday. However, I have decided for the benefit of the community and the health of the game to share all that I have discovered. Over the last year I have built many decks so for a while I am going to start a little series called “CtheTree’s Take On”. In this series I will share the decks I have built for all of you to enjoy.

I figured I would start off with the new Daniel Deck which is gaining popularity. I have a slightly unorthodox approach to Daniel Deck which has yielded some interesting results. I posted this article on the forums but then was encouraged to post it here on Land of Redemption as well. From now on I will post directly to LoR and post a link to the article on the Redemption forums.

Deck (50 cards): (* Denotes a non-Daniel card)

Lost Souls:

6   Lost Soul (Daniel 9:10) (Promo)
1   Lost Soul (Daniel 9:5) (Covenant Breakers)

Dominants:

1   Angel of the Lord (I)* (Added with hesitation, explained later)
1   Son of God (I)*
1   The Second Coming (CoW AB)*
1   Three Woes (RoJ AB)*

Fortresses/Sites:

1   Fiery Furnace
1   Lions’ Den
1   Majestic Heavens (Promo)*

Artifacts:

1   Darius’ Decree

Dual-Alignment Enhancements:

1   Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
1   Eternal Judgment

Dual-Alignment Characters:

1   Fifth Seal, Justice Seekers (RoJ)*
1   Nebuchadnezzar (PoC)

Heroes:

1   Michael (Ki)
1   Gabriel (Ki)
1   The Foretelling Angel (PC)
1   Daniel, the Apocalyptist (PoC)
1   Abed-nego (Azariah) (PoC)
1   Meshach (Mishael) (PoC)
1   Shadrach (Hananiah) (PoC)
1   Daniel’s Guardian
1   Servants by the River
1   Watcher

Good Enhancements:

1   Faith Unbowed (LoC)
1   Daniel’s Prayer (Promo)
1   The Coming Prince
1   Angelic Guidance (I)*
1   Consider the Lilies*
1   Wheel within a Wheel (FooF)*
1   Love Righteousness*
1   Stone Cut Without Hands

Evil Characters:

1   King Belshazzar
1   Conjurers
1   Belshazzar’s Mother
1   Babylonian Soldiers
1   Lions
1   Soothsayers of Babylon
1   The Winged Lion (PoC)

Evil Enhancements:

1   Belshazzar’s Banquet
1   Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride
1   Great Image (PoC)
1   Head of Gold
1   Cut Off
1   Large Tree (TxP)

Reserve:

1   Scattered
1   Persian Horsemen / Persian Horses
1   Lurking (Promo)
1   Fire Foxes
1   Undefiled
1   The First Sacrifice
1   Lost Soul (Hopper) (FoM)
1   Noah’s Ark (Ark of Salvation)
1   Cast into Lion’s Den
1   Destroying Bands (LoC)

Summary:

As you can see in the main deck there are only 10 non-Daniel cards. Four of these are doms and 5 of the rest are all consistency pieces for getting The Foretelling Angel out. If drawn correctly they can all search each other out (remember Fifth Seal/Justice Seekers counts as a white hero for Love Righteousness to search out). The last non-Daniel card in the main deck is Majestic Heavens which is critical for soul gen but it too can be searched out by Angelic Guidance (Majestic Heavens counts as a silver card) and Large Tree.

I feel that the best Daniel build is the one that has as few non-Daniel cards as possible. The reason is that non-Daniel cards are “speed bumps” in the draw off of The Foretelling Angel. The only real reason to run a Daniel deck is the speed of The Foretelling Angel. Most of the Daniel cards are weak compared to the cards you get in other meta builds. The way that Daniel deck can be viable is due to the potential speed of The Foretelling Angel. This deck can set up incredibly fast and win quickly. I only run four dominants which are all essential. Son of God and The Second coming are a must. Three Woes is very important for cards like “The First Sacrifice” which is quite important in this build. My first version of this deck did not have Angel of the Lord and was even faster than this one as a result but I found the offense did need Angel of the Lord as a support.

In the current meta in Redemption it is all about speed. This deck enables you to get the tools you need fast to make three successful rescues. Most other decks need more than four doms to win a game but I am starting to think the Daniel deck does not. In fact I think having more doms is a detriment since they are a speed bump to getting what you need to win the game.

Consistency:

I have gold-fished this deck numerous times and have found it to be rather consistent. However, it requires incredibly precise play. I have gotten the deck to 20 cards or less by the end of turn 2 almost every time. I have gotten down to 10 cards or less by the end of turn 2 numerous times. The version that did not have Angel of the Lord was even more consistent since it has one less speed bump. The one issue I have found with consistency is that the deck really needs one or two more Daniel heroes. It is a shame when no heroes show up on the draw. Also 1-2 more tutors for The Foretelling Angel would be nice. Right now I believe the only tutors for it main deck that exist are: Love Righteousness (snags Fifth Seal/Justice Seekers), Consider the Lillies, Fifth Seal/Justice Seekers, Daniel’s Prayer, Angelic Guidance, and Wheel within a Wheel. With the possibility of drawing TFA itself there are 7 total ways to get TFA out on turn one. One more would make it more consistent especially if there were more Daniel heroes.

A key to consistency is using your shuffles strategically. Most other Daniel decks have Mayhem, Wages of Sin, and Faith as other shuffle options. I tried these and found they are nice for shuffling but they are also potential speed bumps for TFA! Also only one of them (Faith) can be searched out by the other shuffle cards in the deck. I have found that Love Righteousness, Consider the Lillies, Fifth Seal/Justice Seekers, Angelic Guidance, and Wheel within a Wheel are the best shuffle options because they have the potential to search each out. Of course the Daniel shuffle cards (Daniel’s Prayer and Large Tree) are great as well. You have to use these wisely to get the maximum draw off of TFA.

An example of the incredible speed of this build just happened recently. I was goldfishing the deck and by the end of my second turn only had 1 card left in the deck: Three Woes. For a start like that though you have to draw a couple of the doms normally in the first two turns. However, starts of having 10 or less cards by the end of the second turn and even the first are pretty common with this build! I have to stress the importance of using your shuffles correctly though. It is critical.

Offense:

The offense centers around banding Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Daniel, Servants by the River, and normally Gabriel together. This is a strong band especially with CBN support from TFA. It protects LS’s from rescue, protects human heroes from lone EC’s/discard, negates evil characters and NT enh’s, prevents the next enhancement, draws 1 (which is nice due to Majestic Heavens topdeck), can ensure a Daniel enhancement on top from reserve due to Abednego, and discards an EE from opponents deck with Gabriel. Add having Eternal Judgment out and this is a tough band to stop. The one downfall of Daniel decks that are not fast enough is it takes too long to assemble this band. In this build I normally have the full band assembled by turn 2 and almost always am really close by turn 3. I should also mentioned that after Nebby has blocked once if he survives he can be a great addition to the Daniel band as a hero due to his toss ability! I think that sometimes gets overlooked.

he main rescues I aim for are 1) Playing Faith Unbowed in territory to provide essentially CBN protection of the aforementioned band or variants of it. If played correctly that is pretty much a guaranteed rescue. 2) Using The First Sacrifice to get rid of their block from hand not once but twice thanks to The Coming Prince. This stops stuff like Scattered and the like which can possibly stop the Daniel bands. 3) Using Angel of the Lord to win a battle. 4) Using Eternal Judgment, Undefiled, or Daniel’s Prayer to negate their enhancement that they play in battle.

The offense is capable and quite strong if you get it assembled. The key though is having a fast enough deck to get all of your tools out. I have watched Daniel decks falter because they are too slow and you really need quite a bit of set up to win battles with this offense.

I do hem and haw back and forth about including Angel of the Lord or not. I do feel it is necessary to ensure 3 successful rescues at this point.

Defense:

I believe I found a key to a successful Daniel deck defense. The key is including Lion’s Den to grab Persian Horsemen from reserve. This is vital since the deck then has two EC’s that can grab strong block components from Reserve in Conjurers and Persian Horsemen. They can both grab Lurking (which creates a block with Fire Foxes from reserve), Scattered, and Destroying Bands (which is strong with things like Lions and Nebby’s toss being available).

Another key discovery is Large Tree. Most Daniel decks run Wages of Sin as another shuffle option and it does work but is a potential speed bump for TFA. I find Large Tree (which can be played on Nebby or Belshazzar) as a great alternative since it can grab Majestic Heavens which is another speed bump or Lion’s Den. It has worked great since it is a Daniel card and pretty consistently I have either Belshazzar or Nebby out to play it on with how fast this build is. Nebby also likes the 1/1 being added to him each turn since he has a toss ability.

The rest of the defense is straightforward with Belshazzar’s Banquet being a nice block and trying to pull of a well timed Head of Gold or Great Image.

The last thing I will emphasize is the great importance of The Winged Lion (PoC). He is so important in a build this fast since he ensures if you deck out that a Daniel card can be put in the deck to be on top for TFA. Also he can recur Mene, Mene for reserve access. The latter is vitally important for getting offensive tools from reserve. He can also reserve a Daniel card from hand for Abednego to topdeck which is vital for having CBN support from TFA.

Reserve:

The reserve is key for Daniel deck. Obviously there are plenty of tools for creating blocks for the defense that Conjurers/Persian Horsemen/Mene Mene can grab.

Noah’s Ark is very important for protecting the offense and TFA. The First Sacrifice is great support for the offense.

Undefiled and Cast into Lion’s Den are important for Abednego to have to topdeck to ensure CBN support from TFA. Undefiled is a nice negate as well for the offense and Cast into Lion’s Den is a tool against annoyances like KoT (PoC) or Red Dragon (although he is a bit weaker due to Michael often being in play). Also Persian Horsemen can grab Cast into Lion’s Den.

Support:

For soul gen I have found Majestic Heavens to be best since it can be grabbed with Large Tree or Angelic Guidance and can topdeck Hopper for extra soul gen. Meshach can draw hopper after it is topdecked. Also Heavens provides some extra reserve access.

Reserve access beyond Majestic Heavens is enough for evil with Conjurers/Persian Horsemen being able to grab the evil tools. Mene, Mene also can help here.

For good Cov Breakers can grab The First Sacrifice or Noah’s Ark. Abednego can grab the Daniel enhancements from reserve.

Mene, Mene is the key reserve access tool and since it can be recurred by The Winged Lion it is not a one trick pony!

Darius Decree is a nice budget Golden Calf (for the enhancement part of the ability) and Fiery Furnace can be a great way to get a good dom out of the deck.

Conclusion:

Overall I think this version of Daniel deck is solid and I do believe it is superior to versions that have more non-Daniel cards. It requires really precise play and is a tight build.

The strength of the deck is getting 3 rescues as fast as possible, and having SoG+TSC to seal the deal. The defense can get enough blocks to survive and I believe a big part of that is the way the reserve is set up not to mention Lion’s Den.

From commentary on the post I made about this on the Redemption forums some intriguing ideas came up like Vain Vision (PoC) or The Bronze Laver as options for getting past non-Daniel cards on top of the deck. Also The Terrifying Beast or Astrologers could be good alternatives as evil characters in place of Soothsayers of Babylon or Belshazzar’s Mother.

Do you have any thoughts on this build? Any ideas for it?

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2 thoughts on “CtheTree’s Take On…Daniel Deck!

  1. Emmanuel Echavarria

    I love what you did here. The creativity is amazing with only tuning 4 Dom’s. I would have never thought about that. I must try this out. Thank you.

    1. Chad Post author

      Thank you Emmanuel. It was cool to play against your version of the deck in the recent online tournament!

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