With Nationals over and the new tournament season not yet into full swing now is a great time to reflect on the past season and explore new ideas for the next one. This past season I used a bit of a dark horse theme nearly all season which ended up taking me to a RNRS 2nd in T2-MP. For Nationals itself it was a bit of a mixed bag, but ultimately the potential behind the deck is clear to see. So, without further ado let’s look at my current favorite theme/color in Redemption in TEAL.
The Basics (wait you said Teal?)
Teal has been generally accepted as inferior to just about every other brigade, and in many aspects there may be some truth to that. Teal largely lacks the variety of battle winners, has less cards to choose from, and is slower than other options for the most part. This alone has led players to assume it just isn’t as good as other brigades. However, teal with its Priest theme, in my opinion, is the best brigade to pair with other brigades/themes. It beats out Silver in my book because when silver is paired with other brigades you rarely rescue with the silver stuff—it just makes the other theme better. Teal does not have to be paired with another brigade, but it makes enhancement selection more difficult.
Teal has 3 main themes: Tabernacle Priests, Solomon’s Temple Priests, and Zerubbabel’s Temple Priests. There are some N.T. priests as well and priests outside these themes that are also very good and fit into other themes, which is part of why teal is so easily pairable. Some notable teal Heroes would be Joshua the High Priest, Ahimaaz, Phineas son of Eleazar, Eleazar son of Aaron, Ezekiel, Melchizedek, Eli the Priest, Dutiful Priest, Priests of Christ, The Four Living Creatures, and the very powerful Every Tribe. Priests like to take use of their respective Temples/Tabernacle and Artifacts. High Priests give players access to one of the most powerful and difficult to deal with Artifacts in the game in Urim and Thummim. Enhancement-wise Zeal for the Lord, Gifts and Offerings, Holy unto the Lord, Grain Offering, Burning incense, Gabriel Meets Zacharias, Trumpet Blast, Scapegoat, Jehoiada’s Strength, First Fruits, and Pentecost are the best options to consider regardless of theme or pairing. Also, The Angel of the Winds is a good fit for most teal decks because in general teal has just a few very strong Heroes, and many more who are just okay. You want to get the strong ones out fast in order to give yourself the best chance early in the game.
Exploring Theme Options
Tabernacle – Tabernacle priests just got a boost with The Tabernacle National promo and can even give you a CBN Interrupt battle winner in Zeal for the Lord or a potential play first Gifts and Offerings every turn. Those are just 2 options among many. Zadok Anoints Solomon is incredible for Tabernacle Priests—especially when paired with another O.T. theme. Eli’s Sound Advice is also an amazing card for Tabernacle Priests that only gets better with Eli the Priest or another Judge in play. As for characters, just use whichever Tabernacle priests you like. The better ones are straightforward and there aren’t many bad options. Better pairings for this theme would be O.T. Themes like Throne, Judges, Musicians, O.T. Red, Prophets, and Abraham Genesis.
Z Temple – Zerubbabel’s Temple is an amazing protection fortress and Filling Zerubbabel’s Temple is a fantastic way to search it out as well as being a battle winner. Joshua the High Priest is one of the best teal Heroes and fits in this theme. Other than that, the Z Temple Priests seem to pair better with green because of Haggai and likely will either see this color pairing or will just play mono Teal.
Solomon’s Temple – Solomon’s Temple offers an interesting instead that pairs well with Kings of Judah whether good or evil. Temple Priests is a fantastic Hero and is generic to boot. Temple Dedication is also very good for the theme as well. Kings and Musicians are the better pairings here.
Overall it seems like the easiest theme to pair with another color is Tabernacle Priests. Because of this though it is also the most difficult to pick what to do and since the other 2 Teal themes are relatively straight forward I will mostly look at pairings from a Tabernacle Priest standpoint. Do not assume Tabernacle Priests is the best option for pairings, it is just the most versatile so there is more to discuss/strategize for with pairings than the other 2. Also keep in mind that anytime you pair one theme with another theme of a different brigade it becomes difficult to balance them due to the amount of options you will have.
Throne – It’s a little tricky figuring out what to use from Throne, but you will definitely want to use Abigail, David the Shepherd, King Saul, and Ahimelek the Hittite. Using Heroes like Angel Under the Oak and Samuel may also help provide more consistency and speed. Melchizedek should already be in the deck and Every Tribe gets full use of its abilities with this pairing. Enhancement-wise stick to your top preferences for the purple Throne theme like Counsel of Abigail. The Silver Trumpets becomes amazing with Ahimelek the Hittite and is searchable as a priestly artifact.
Judges – This is what I used this past tournament season. Angel Under the Oak becomes a natural inclusion and can get you Eli the Priest to make sure you have access to a Teal Tabernacle High Priest/Judge. Ehud, Gideon, Moses, Samuel, Joshua son of Nun, and Jephthah are good considerations. I don’t recommend Jair in this pairing due to the presence of Dutiful Priest, The Angel of the Winds, and Every Tribe. If you are running Moses, Aaron becomes a natural inclusion for the deck. Eli’s Sound Advice is amazing for this pairing and Zadok Anoints Solomon is also fantastic for getting an early Angel Under the Oak. Pick your favorite gold enhancements and run with it. It will be fast and consistent.
Musicians – Temple Dedication is great here. The Twenty-Four Elders has plenty of ammunition since you will likely have plenty of Artifacts around. David the Psalmist is a good king which helps Every Tribe and is a great Hero regardless. Running Samuel and Angel Under the Oak may be advisable to get David the Psalmist more consistently and provide speed. Overcome isn’t O.T. but is incredibly powerful and can be searched out with Consider the Lilies or Fifth Seal. Music Leader and music enhancements like Love Righteousness, Hate Wickedness, and Word of Christ are also good options. Don’t forget that The Tabernacle triggers off musicians too so Ithamar Son of Aaron and The Tabernacle also benefit with this theme pairing.
O.T. Red – Much of O.T. red was discussed in Throne. Ahimelek, David the Shepherd, Joshua son of Nun, Samuel, Angel Under the Oak, Captain, and The Silver Trumpets are all normal inclusions that also can appear in Throne decks. Rahab, Spy, Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, and Asahel are other options that are not as played in Throne. Foreign Sword is a great DAE for this as well. Trumpet and Sword is a great teal/red enhancement to consider as well. Red has many great enhancements so choose your favorites and try it out.
Prophets – There are quite a few teal/ green prophets the most notable being Ezekiel. The Watchman is also amazing here and all your O.T. green cards are searchable via a Zadok Anoints Solomon. Aaron is also teal/green so including him and Moses may be good. Barnabas is N.T. but is great for providing soul gen in a pinch. The Angel Under the Oak, Samuel, David the Psalmist thing mentioned under the Musicians section also is great here and possibly better since both Samuel and David are green. Hidden Treasures is great for any deck featuring prophets and running Search and A New Beginning is also pretty great with it and great in general. Other than that, Two Bears, Provisions, Ezekiel enhancements, or Isaiah enhancement depending on what you are playing are all good options.
Abraham Genesis – The reason I specify Abraham Genesis is because you will likely want cards from his theme. Melchizedek is already likely in the deck and is part of the Abraham Genesis theme. Isaac can function the same as Ahimelek for this theme and works well with The Silver Trumpets. Abraham can search those options out as well as Angel at Shur so there are plenty of good options here. As for enhancement choices and character choices beyond the Abraham stuff that goes down to player preferences. Japheth, Jacob, and Obedience of Noah, Reuben’s Torn Clothes, Faith of Noah, and Faith of Isaac are all options that should be considered.
Final thoughts from Joe
There are a ton of options for Teal! You may have noticed that almost all the options for pairings I mentioned were O.T., but don’t think N.T. themes can’t pair with teal. Gabriel Meets Zacharias takes a stronger role when pairing with N.T. and provides plenty of great options. I suspect that N.T. clay, white and silver will be the easiest to pair with teal when it comes to N.T. themes. Gabriel Meets Zacharias looks weird without many N.T. Heroes in your deck but it normally is used to get The Angel of the Winds to find your O.T. Heroes like Japheth, Isaac, or Ahimelek (or someone that can band to them) for a very strong play. Ram’s Horn is an Artifact that is amazing with priests and warrior class guys that you use. It can be used multiple times if negated by something like Temple Priests, Cornelius, or Three Woes and has a Joshua reference (even though it was printed as exodus as a mistake) so it can searched out via Faith of Joshua. Also, don’t be afraid to utilize strong options that might be in color but off theme a little. Examples would be using Joshua the High Priest regardless of theme, using The Woman with Child with musicians, or using blue Ehud or Ira with Abraham Genesis. Don’t be afraid to explore your options. Teal has many and is very enjoyable to play so try it out.
Thoughts from Justin
When Teal was first released in the Priests expansion, I used to splash Teal into nearly every deck mainly because of the power of Urim and Thummim. Even just having two High Priests was enough for me to justify running it, and typically I would choose Phinehas, Son of Eleazar and Joshua the High Priest and then use Zeal for the Lord and perhaps Trumpet Blast. In 2007 when I won T2-2P, I used two decks, teal/purple and teal/silver, to help me take the title. These days, it’s not nearly as necessary to include a teal splash for Urim and Thummim because of the many additional cards we have for being able to look at someone’s hand, but as Joe outlined so well, it’s a very easy theme to pair with something else to give your deck more versatility or to fill a weakness that another brigade or theme may have.
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