Welcome to the second installment of our Frozen-themed T2 deck-building series, “Do You Wanna Build a Type 2?”! If you haven’t already, check out the first article here and things will make a lot more sense…
Now last time I started off with a parody of the song, but I realized that took way longer than it should have so hopefully you weren’t expecting another one in this article. If you were, I’m really sorry but you’ll have to settle for just the T2 stuff this time…
In the first article, I talked about several ways of choosing what strategy or theme to use for your first T2 deck. Hopefully you’ve decided on that because now we can start building a T2 deck! And it’s even more exciting if you’re building aT2 deck…For the First Time in Forever!
I am going to split this article into two parts. In Part 1, we’ll go over Dominants, Lost Souls and Sites. In Part 2 we’ll look at Artifact selection and ratios between Characters and Enhancements.
Let’s start with dominants. Awesome thing #1 about T2: minimum number of Lost Souls is 14 so we get to use at least 14 dominants—woohoo! With that in mind, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to use 14 dominants. In fact, many of my best T2 decks have been in the 10-12 range when it comes to dominants. Because of the larger deck size of T2, their impact is typically far less than in T1.
For example, Destruction of Nehushtan loses some power when my opponent can easily have a second copy of the artifact that shuts down my offense (or defense) waiting in his artifact pile. My opponent could be running two copies of Caesarea Phillipi and all of a sudden my Shipwreck is much more limited. Even New Jerusalem is sometimes left out of T2 decks because it’s more difficult to draw into both Son of God and New Jerusalem, and if you hold Son of God in your hand while waiting to draw New Jerusalem, sometimes bad things can happen, especially in T2 multi-player…
Here’s a breakdown of the dominants:
New Jerusalem—typically always in my deck, but I’m not afraid to use Son of God by itself in the right situation. During a 2015 Nationals game, my opponent drew a Revealer Lost Soul that ended up revealing my Hopper Lost Soul and Angel of the Lord. I decided to use Son of God (played during the draw phase) without using New Jerusalem to negate and rescue that Revealer so that my Hopper and Angel would go back on top of my deck, and I would be able to draw them on my turn. Because my opponent had very little defense at the time, using Son of God in that way essentially got me two rescued souls even though I gave up the chance to use New Jerusalem.
Grapes of Wrath—I run Grapes in as many T2 decks as I can. It’s a great blocking card if I’m losing and if I’m winning it’s still great if there’s an annoying evil character I’m having trouble getting around.
Guardian of Your Souls—this is one that sometimes makes the cut and sometimes doesn’t (though for a T2 multi-player deck it should always be used).
Harvest Time—can be useful but there’s lots of soul generation available and this one only works if your opponent has exactly zero souls in play so it’s rarely worth running.
The Holy Spirit—if you are using a NT offense with some Fruits of the Spirit, The Holy Spirit can be a very strong card. Cost free recursion is amazing, especially when combined with cards like I Am Holy.
Blinding Light—I’ll be honest, I haven’t really tried this card out. It’s obviously meant for Saul/Paul-based decks, but there are also some other potential fun uses. That being said, it’s not very strong for being a dominant.
Christian Martyr—always use.
Burial—always use since it is a free block due to the Rescuer’s Choice rule.
“The Rest” – all other evil dominants I consider dependent on the type of deck you are running and what cards your opponent might use that could stop you. If you are susceptible to a certain artifact or site shutting you down you want to use Destruction or Shipwreck. If your defense is prone to slow starts you could use Falling Away to help keep the game close while your defense sets up.
Much like T1, Mayhem can be a game-changer…but you never know if the change will be good for you or for your opponent. Vain Philosophy is a great card, but in T2 your opponent is more likely to have multiple copies of the card you want to underdeck (and probably ways to get the card back that you end up choosing). Strife is a good play in certain decks (especially any deck that uses evil side battle cards like Idle Gossip or King Rehoboam). Doubt? Mm…no.
Now that we’ve covered dominants, let’s hit briefly on Lost Souls. Awesome thing #2 about T2: we can double up on Lost Souls! 2 Hopper Lost Souls! 2 Awake Lost Souls! Yes please! In the first article, I mentioned how one way to begin building a T2 deck is taking a balanced T1 deck and start doubling up on the cards so you might be tempted to simply double all the Lost Souls from your T1 deck.
However, with the Rescuer’s Choice rule in T2, the Lost Soul selection for T2 decks can be quite different than T1. Lost Souls that give you a benefit when your opponent rescues them (for example the Resurrection Lost Soul and the Fool Lost Soul) lose some of their power because the opponent can choose to rescue other Lost Souls and avoid rescuing the one you want them to rescue. Here are a couple things I like to keep in mind when I’m selecting Lost Souls for my T2 deck:
- Avoid using Lost Souls whose abilities “conflict” with your other souls or cards
- Use a mix of Souls—use some that give you a benefit and some that are more difficult for the opponent to access. Consider “offensive” vs “defensive” Lost Souls
- Consider how much synergy you can create between your Lost Souls and the other cards in your deck
Typically I will add the Lost Souls to my deck last because of that last point—I want to see how the rest of my deck takes shape before I decide which Souls to add. Typically you aren’t going to be “using” Lost Souls to help you win so you want the Souls you choose to support the cards you will be using (characters and enhancements) to win rescues and blocks.
Finally let’s discuss some Site strategy. Some Sites are very theme specific and if you are using that theme, there should be no reason not to run them. I think the best example of this would be Damascus with a Pharisees defense. Using two copies of Damascus will help get your strong Pharisees out of your deck fast, or if you draw them later in the game you can recur them from the discard pile. Both are great options and I like using cards that give me multiple options.
Some themes don’t really have a Site that goes with them and that’s fine. Sites are certainly not necessary for a competitive deck. That being said, I would recommend using Dragon Raid promo (unless you have some other Site access cards) because Sites do show up in a lot of T2 decks and you don’t want to lose opportunities to attack for lack of access.
I would like to touch briefly on one specific Site that can be a game-changer: Nazareth. Because of the larger deck size of T2, searching becomes a very strong ability. However, if your deck does not include many search abilities (or maybe the ones it does use aren’t very important to your strategy), then you should strongly consider using Nazareth because most of the time it will slow down an opponent who is relying on search abilities to set up their offense and defense. Protecting your hand and cards in territory is a nice added bonus as well.
Wow, that was a bit of a long one so hopefully you took away some tips or ideas that you can use for building your first T2 deck, or maybe improving your existing deck. Be sure to check back for Part 2 of this article as well as future articles in our “Do You Wanna Build a Type 2?” series!
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