**Editors note: This article was submitted prior to Nationals but did not get published before the fun and festivities of Nationals began.
With the tournament season starting to come to close and Nationals upcoming here in a few weeks I thought I would go over an archetype that I used for most of the competitive season last year, including the offense that I used at Nationals last year: O.T. red. So, let’s get straight into it.
O.T. red has a few themes, but overall tends to favor various banding chains, large numbers, and has access to many interrupts and negates; many of which can be battle winners. I would say it is a bit difficult to run O.T. red standalone, but with a few support cards to help search out your offense then the offense runs smoothly. Some of the primary Heroes for O.T. red would be David the Shepherd, Joshua Son of Nun, Asahel, Ahimelek the Hittite, Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, The Angel of the Winds, and Spy. Enhancements that are likely and favored will be Bravery of David, Counsel of Abigail, David’s Triumph, Faith of Barak, A Soldier’s Prayer, Freedom!, Centurion’s Proclamation, The Battle Is the Lord’s, Battle Cry, Not Alone, and Foreign Sword.
Themes to Consider
Here are some of the theme pairing ideas with O.T. red
Throne of David – this version is among the fastest but is also the most band heavy. The Throne of David seems very natural with David being a primary hero anyways but Throne is certainly easier to disrupt since the printing of Revelation of John. If you are looking at this idea you will likely want to run The Angel under the Oak and Samuel for more consistency. Watch out for Samuel though as you likely won’t have much support for him outside of Not Alone and Capturing Canaan.
Judges – This focuses more on Joshua → Captain as the main rescue but also has good speed and consistency Hero wise. Finding enhancement balance for the 2 themes can be tricky as well as deciding on which judges to use overall. Samuel, Gideon, The Angel under the Oak, Jephthah, Ehud, Jair, and Israelite Archer are all good options to consider but you likely won’t have room for them all. Enhancement wise The Stars and Capturing Canaan are important and then it just comes down to preference on which gold enhancements you prefer to supplement the red.
Joshua Heroes – This is primarily what I ran at Nationals last year to supplement the O.T. red Core but with a small splash of judges for The Angel under the Oak and Samuel so that I could speed up the deck a bit. The primary addition here is Rahab who is a powerhouse that provides soul gen (for later turns), site access, and territory class protection for your Joshua heroes from things like Wrath of Satan. Rahab did take a bit of a blow with Image of the Beast and Three Woes being printed but it’s not likely she will be the most threatening thing to negate. Joshua, Captain, Spy, and Rahab are all very strong Joshua heroes, Caleb is another good one, but I chose not to run him as I preferred to run more copies of Spy. Joshua to Captain is such a strong rescue it’s hard to think of banding in another hero besides captain but Joshua banded to Spy is very strong and is even better with Rahab. Spy’s ability to withdraw himself is huge when you find your opponent sitting on a Scattered or No Straw that would have been auto-blocks for Joshua to Captain. As a small side note Bravery of David requires a lone hero in battle to gain full effect which Joshua to Spy can still take advantage of whereas Joshua to Captain cannot.
Priests – This is a little trickier to run in my mind, but there are many Teal cards that can work well with O.T. red. Trumpet and Sword is obvious, but things like Zadok Anoints Solomon and Pentecost are nice speed boosts to the deck as well. Silver Trumpets also allows your priests to band in Ahimelek whenever they have initiative which is very strong since there are many priests that can gain imitative easily and Silver Trumpets can be searched out as a priestly artifact with an ability like Eleazar, son of Aaron. Gabriel meets Zacharias finding The Angel of the Winds to get Ahimelek or someone that can band to an Ahimelek in play is also very hard to beat.
NT Red/AOG Offense – The Armor of God cards are strong and you don’t need a lot of them to make a hero difficult for an opponent. Children of Light made them better. I wouldn’t recommend trying to focus on placing enhancements as it will likely take away from the consistency and potency of the deck but having the AOG cards that offer protection can be very useful. Walking on Water is an underused National Promo that can also shine with N.T. red. Outside of the Generic N.T. red/clay AOG hero’s some other strong N.T. red Character’s would be the Centurion heroes: The Centurion at Capernaum, The Centurion and Calvary, and Cornelius. Cornelius in particular is notable since he can negate your Ram’s Horn and allow you to utilize its powerful effect multiple times.
Music – David and A Soldier’s Prayer involve music! That alone is very strong and it can provide a lot of value from something like Music Leader, but there are other cards that involve music that are also red. Sing and Praise (Priests), and The Stars are notable for red. Adding a small Throne splash can give you access to something like Royal Parade to search out. Outside of Music Leader other strong musicians would that could be added easily would be Chenaniah, and Ethan. There really shouldn’t be a large splash of heroes for a small music theme but there is more focus on containing a couple of niche cards that involve music and abusing A Soldier’s Prayer. An example I was exploring was playing Not Alone on David off The Throne of David and banding in Ahimelek and Ethan with Ethan recurring A Soldier’s Prayer so that I could get back Not Alone and repeat the process.
Closing thoughts from Joe
Overall O.T. red is very Strong and has plenty of options. I would be wary of having too many banding cards as Household Idols is brutal. Most of the themes suffer pretty greatly to Household Idols so having ways to negate artifacts and neutral cards is heavily encouraged by me. Also, things that affect draw and search like Hezekiah’s Signet Ring and Rain Becomes Dust also hurt so the advice on having ways to deal with artifacts should not be understated. Territory disruption can also hurt depending on the scope of the effect and what theme you’re running and thus was part of the reason I utilized Joshua heroes since Rahab solved many issues there without drawing much ire herself. Patriarchs Jephthah may not be warrior class but is very strong and if you want something a little more reliable Uriah the Hittite can be recurred with Eternal Covenant. Uriah also can be a double-edged sword with him providing CBN to Discard abilities but with caution he can be a valuable asset. (I find it easiest to utilize him off something like Battle Cry where I will use Ahimelek to win CBN anyways.) Faith of Joshua is a card that seems natural for those utilizing Joshua heroes but can also get Ram’s Horn out and so shouldn’t be underestimated. Coliseum can hurt you but I still think it is ok to run a few CBN enhancements as ASP provides the speed to utilize them before one is out often and things like Foreign Sword can help with Coliseum. Although Foreign Sword is the best, there are several other weapons that red can utilize so don’t be afraid to try them—Warrior’s Spear has devastating potential and worst case it becomes LS generation and Sword of the Spirit will be a good meta call with the new demon support that Revelation of John unleashed. The last thing I’ll touch on is defenses to pair with O.T. red. Overall there isn’t a bad pairing in my mind but some characters that work better with red are King Achish, The Roman Jailer, and my personal favorite and possibly the strongest O.T. red hero in the game once converted Naaman (especially with a converted horses). Personally, I’ve found O.T. red to be very versatile and fun to play with a variety of themes and, it even played well at Nationals despite the errors I made.
Try out some ideas that you like and it will likely translate well to an effective and fun deck. That’s the beauty of Type 2.
Thoughts from Justin
I’m a huge fan of the versatility that O.T. red offers. Banding, CBN discard, search capabilities and two Choose the Blocker Heroes will give you a ton of options. However, the versatility can make it tempting to try and include everything, and I think that’s where people may get tripped up with making O.T. red work. Supplementing red with one of the themes Joe mentioned is definitely a good plan, but my advice would be to keep it to one additional theme/focus otherwise you won’t have the consistency. One theme in particular that I’ll mention is teal. Adding some High Priests gives you access to Urim and Thummim, which is a huge advantage with the versatility of red. For example, if you have Urim and Thummim you can look at the opponent’s hand and then decide if you need to use Uriah/Bravery of David or if it’s better to use Jael/Asahel to choose a specific blocker or if the simple Joshua/Captain band will get you a free LS. If you go that route, consider using a defense that can take advantage of opponent’s hand protection (i.e. either you get to look at their hand with Urim and Thummim/Spy or if their hand is protected, you can get free blocks with characters like Entrapping Pharisees and Emperor Domitian).
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