Last Article Justin and I discussed Creation of the World Genesis. This idea has been around for a while so for this week I thought we could discuss a new deck theme from Revelations of John—Martyrs.
Martyrs primarily utilize clay and white, however many disciples are martyrs, so purple has a strong showing for martyrs too. The biggest questions to consider with martyrs are: What brigades to utilize and what other Heroes to use with the martyr theme? These two questions are very related in that your Hero choice or preference for Enhancements can determine which colors you utilize with them. However, for a deck to be centered around martyrs I feel that it must contain heavy utilization of clay, white, or both; otherwise it should be considered a splash of the martyr theme. Some likely cards that will be in any martyr build will be Angel from the Sun, Justin Martyr, Polycarp, Faithful Witnesses, Antipas, Fifth Seal/Justice Seekers, Blood of the Lamb, Word of their Testimony, Overcome!, Resurrection of Martyrs, The Golden Altar, Guardian of Your Souls, and Paul. The amount of these cards in a Type 2 deck may vary, but these cards should be the core of most martyr builds.
The Main Considerations
Other than how many of each card in the core set of cards to run the main consideration is going to be on which other brigades or themes you will want to use with Martyrs.
Primary options will include:
• Clay for either Churches or just strong clay cards
• White for Musicians, Daniel theme, The Garden Tomb, and possibly even Ruth theme
• Silver for a Revelation Heroes theme or just strong silver stuff
• Purple for Disciples
• Green for Prophets and other green support cards
• some combination of the above
There are a few Cards that will fill multiple brigade and theme options and I expect to see these cards have higher priority for decks than cards that only fit 1 theme.
Cards like these would be:
Heroes – Barnabas, Philip’s Daughter, Music Leader, Agabus, John the Revelator, John the Apocalyptist, The Woman with Child, The Two Witnesses, Great Multitude, Priests of Christ, David the Psalmist, Daniel (CoW), The Four Living Creatures, Reassuring Angel, The Angel of Might, The Angel of the Winds, and Bride of Christ.
Enhancements/Other – The Lord Rebuke You, Word of Christ, Vengeance of Eternal Fire, Walking on Water, Nunc Dimittis, Passover Hymn, Live Coal, The second, fifth, and sixth bowl of wrath, Day of Fury, Faith of Abel, Faith of Moses, Faith of Moses’s Parents, Faith of Samuel, Lamb’s Righteousness, Praise from Prison, The Song of Moses, You will Remain, Heavenly Temple, The Garden Tomb, Ark of the Covenant, Book of Life, and Patmos.
Briefly I’ll cover some of the cards that have less flexibility than the cards mentioned above from the various brigades you might decide to use.
Clay – will likely utilize Peter, Claudia and possibly splash a church (Colossae, Philippi, or Jerusalem likely). Will utilize Enhancements like Elymas Struck Blind, Mercy of James, Eternal Covenant, Peace, and Snake into the Fire. Acts Enhancements for Peter, Greeting, and Entertaining Angels may also be tried.
White – Musicians, Garden Tomb Women, or Ruth Heroes may appear as a theme. Susanna and Fearless Traveler will be good as well. Enhancements might include Consider the Lilies, Words of Encouragement, Love Righteousness, and Spirit as a Dove for most themes. “He is Risen”, Scarlet Line, No Need for Spices, and Magnificat if there is a large N.T. women presence. Magnificat, Hate Wickedness and other “involves music” cards for Musicians (such as Musician’s Chambers). Ruth Enhancements for Ruth Heroes as well as Boaz’ Sandal as a support artifact. A Child is Born should appear in the Reserve any time The Woman with Child is in the main deck.
Silver – Revelation angels (particularly from RoJ), Angel of Warning, Attending Angel, Gabriel, Captain of the Host, and Michael are likely. Chamber of Angels may be in the deck or not but Heavenly Temple should be played with Martyrs and silver. Enhancements would likely include Angel’s Sword, Angelic Guidance, Angelic News, Birth Foretold, Everlasting Beings, Flaming Sword, Gabriel meets Zecharias, Overwhelming Presence, Protection of Angels, The Third Seal, Revelation based Enhancements (from RoJ) and any dual alignment cards from RoJ that also fit with the defense being used.
Purple – Disciples and Ethiopian Treasurer are the only Heroes to really be considered. Priority is given to disciples that were martyred. Enhancements will likely include Authority of Christ promo, Disciples of the Lamb (if all Disciples are included), My Lord and My God, Faith as a Mustard Seed, and Reach of Desperation. Four Drachma Coin gives more speed with Peter. Fishing Boat is possible to play as well depending on how many Disciples are included.
Green – Anna, John the Baptist, Simeon and previously mentioned green Heroes. Baptism of Jesus, Provisions, Two Bears, and Spiritual Warfare are possible. Hidden Treasures may be played. David’s Music may be in the Reserve for match-ups against demon-based defenses.
That’s a lot of cards… so, what should you do?
Overall the list of potential cards for a Martyr-based deck is large. There is no way to fit in everything that could work well with Martyrs. Clay and N.T. white will fit more naturally since that is what martyrs are and I believe that will work better than the other options. White Musicians with Martyrs will also be good since white is the primary color overall. Going with silver, purple or green as a major part of your deck I believe will not work as well when trying to work as a Martyrs deck since they are the Martyrs normal colors. That being said, purple and green may be more viable as a Martyr deck if particular focus is given to the Martyrs in those colors, however you then may have to lose some of the other “core” martyr cards so it might not be a true “Martyr” deck at that point. Silver I think is very viable with Martyrs but I feel that will likely end up being more about Revelation Angels than Martyrs and will end up having to lose many Martyr “core” cards to support the Revelation Hero theme. However small splashes of green, purple, or silver for very specific cards may end up being good. Example of this would be featuring more green Heroes so you can more reliably use Nunc Dimittis, possibly use Provisions, and have access to David’s Music in the Reserve; featuring silver a little to have easier access to Heavenly Temple, Angelic Guidance, and possibly Protection of Angels as another involving music target; and featuring small amounts of Disciples so you can use cards like My Lord and My God, Passover Hymn, Authority of Christ promo, and Four Drachma Coin. Be cautious of over-doing a theme that might compete with the ultimate goal of the decks playstyle. Just because a play is strong doesn’t mean the reliability of the deck should have to suffer.
Concluding Thoughts for Joe
Overall Martyrs are very powerful and versatile and I expect them to appear in many forms. It’s hard to say just how good each of these forms will be but I think overall that will be determined by the decks overall balance rather than which theme is supplementing Martyrs. Sticking to mostly clay and white will probably serve players better for the most part, but light splashes of other themes and colors just might prove to be as good or better. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations. Type 2 offers players the chance to get creative. One idea I am personally looking at is a Martyr variant that utilizes The Song of Moses effectively. Be willing to explore ideas and you just might be surprised at the results. As for Martyrs expect to see them, have a plan against them, and don’t underestimate them. They’re here to stay.
Wow! So many possibilities that Joe outlines. My personal favorite combination so far has been the Martyr/Musician combination, but by no means should you assume that’s the best or strongest way to go. Though they’ve been overshadowed somewhat in the more recent sets, Disciples never really got weaker, and now they get some new support by virtue of many of them being Martyrs—especially Thomas, Thaddeus and Peter. Angel from the Sun now gives a player 3 options for getting an early Thaddeus (along with Reassuring Angels and The Angel of the Winds) and although he’s known more for his late game power, don’t underestimate the strength of an early game Thaddeus (particularly with the addition of Three Woes to shut down a potential Coliseum). Martyrs will definitely be a force with which to be reckoned as we continue in the major tournament season. Be sure to check back soon as we continue to tackle the diversity of Type 2!
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