Lexi from Tales of Aria gives us another option for an aggressive option in the Classic Constructed metagame. Opting to fully commit to an aggro lightning Lexi plain can ensure your fusion attacks are consistently fused and the deck has a streamlined goal – stack amplify damage effects to quickly reduce our opponents’ life total to zero. By utilizing Voltaire, Shock Charmers and New Horizon, we can sculpt powerful, synergistic hands that can overpower the most defensive and equipment heavy decks.
Class: Ranger Hero: Lexi, Live Wire Weapons: Voltaire, Strike Twice Equipment: Bull's Eye Bracers, Fyendal's Spring Tunic, Heart of Ice, New Horizon, Nullrune Boots, Perch Grapplers, Shock Charmers (3) Ball Lightning (red) (3) Bolt'n Shot (red) (3) Buzz Bolt (red) (3) Dazzling Crescendo (red) (3) Endless Arrow (red) (3) Frazzle (red) (3) Heaven's Claws (red) (3) Lightning Press (red) (3) Lightning Surge (red) (1) Pulse of Volthaven (red) (3) Sink Below (red) (2) Sleep Dart (red) (3) Snap Shot (red) (3) Three of a Kind (red) (3) Weave Ice (red) (3) Weave Lightning (red) (3) Buzz Bolt (yellow) (3) Frazzle (yellow) (3) Heaven's Claws (yellow) (3) Light it Up (yellow) (3) Ball Lightning (blue) (3) Electrify (blue) (3) Frazzle (blue) (3) Heaven's Claws (blue) (3) Weave Lightning (blue)
The choice of all nine Frazzles and six Buzz Bolts is the bread and butter of the deck. Our whole strategy revolves around fusing these arrows and going wide – attacking multiple times – to present exponentially higher damage output, ultimately forcing our opponent into defending.
Frazzles threaten an extra damage on each hit and synergies well with the additional point of damage from Buzz Bolt. A Frazzle on its own and in multiples works really well with our Shock Charmers. Each fused Frazzle increases damage from Shock Charmers in a 1:1 ratio with the resources we spend – if we spend two, we deal two damage, six is six damage and so on. This is also why we run a high blue pitch count. Such a good return makes it a great threat as the first attack in the turn, especially when we reveal a blue pitch Lightning card. This often forces opponents to defend that first Frazzle. Any attack after that is gravy. Buzz Bolt is a great follow up, so is Bolt’n Shot and Light It Up. Light It Up often works as an oversized Buzz Bolt – another great card at forcing blocks.
Snap Shot, Endless Arrow, Bolt’n Shot and Dazzling Crescendo are great as follow up attacks because we can shoot a one-cost arrow with go again first and then follow up with these zero-cost arrows off a single blue pitch – one to load, one to shoot with go again and finally, one to load our second arrow. Two attacks for five off a three-card hand threatens a lot of breakpoints, meaning we’re either getting damage through or stripping our opponent’s cards from their hand. This gives us space to set up bigger attacks next turn.
We need Lightning cards to fuse, but also synergies well enough with our core strategy of pushing through as much damage as possible. Although it’s an aggro deck, we still want the option to be able to defend well. This is why the list runs nine Heaven’s Claws. The card ticks all the boxes – it fuses our arrows, it’s a great attack to arsenal for later and it defends for three.
Lightning Surge and Ball Lightning help us fuse, work well alongside our fused arrows and are great options to arsenal. With New Horizon, we’re able to use Lexi’s ability flipping one of these attacks up, load an arrow with +1 and go again from Lexi, then play it out, follow it up with our Lightning attack with go again and continue the chain. Ball Lightning amplifies the damage and Lightning Surge produces that nice breakpoint. However, Ball Lightning does not defend and should be brought in only when we’re not worried about detrimental on-hit effects from our opponents. What’s also important is all the cards mentioned above are attacks. Whether they are arrows or Lightning attacks, it’s crucial we have a high ratio of attacks to non-attacks, as we want to be able to pressure every turn.
As for our non-attack Lightning actions, we have Weave Lightning and Electrify. Both of these help with fuse and help to push out damage. Running the Weaves helps us gain extra damage, by not having to give our arrows go again with Voltaire – Weave Lightning does this for us. Electrify is a great utility card in blue pitch – it replaces itself, gives us go again and combines nicely with the damage amplification abilities of Ball Lightning and Frazzle.
The gravy on top of our bread and butter set up are the cards that just make it all work and give us that push that wins games. First, we have to acknowledge Three of a Kind. This card can generate insane value with Voltaire. Being able to easily load up those drawn arrows and dump any remaining resource points to Shock Charmers creates a lot of value from the card draw monster that is Three of a Kind. With a single resource, we can shoot out two arrows and still have a turn from one card. The value is amazing.
Weave Ice and Pulse of Volthaven are the only Ice cards in the deck. This is because they’re both excellent at finishing a game off. The deck is amazing at dishing out a ton of damage, but once we start running out of gas, it’s hard to maintain that tempo. This is why Weave Ice makes the cut. Even though we primarily want to go wide on our turns, Weave Ice helps to set up that one big attack that helps to close the game out. It’s important to go for this play once our opponent is in lethal range, as we only have three of these and not all make it to late game. Pulse fulfills the same role here, this combined with a Weave Ice, can easily produce arrows that shoot for 12 or more with dominate and can zap with Shock Charmers on top of that.
Some decks have combat tricks and detrimental on-hit effects that can ruin our parade. This is why we have some protection in the form of Sink Below (Red). Sink Belows are played over Take Covers because of how often we have a card in Arsenal – reload doesn’t work with having a card in Arsenal. The defense reactions can help curb dominate attacks, stop pesky breakpoints and filter our hand to what we need at the time. Sink Below also helps us prepare for the late game, by saving key cards for later.
Against slower and grindier decks, we have the Lightning Press, Ball Lightning (Red) and Heart of Ice package. These cards help to overcome decks that run many defense reactions and try to fatigue us out. Setting up our Arsenal for big turns is crucial to win this matchup.
Sleep Dart gives us that nice disruption against specific matchups. It’s great against decks that heavily rely on their hero ability to carry out their game plan, such as Dorinthea and Levia.
We have a range of options that can be added to the deck list depending how our metagame looks. The most obvious addition is going for a more Icy build with cards like Channel Lake Frigid and Ice Quake.
Other than that, we can make other tweaks, such as testing different arrows such as Head Shot (Red), Salvage Shot and Searing Shot, or playing around with our Lightning cards like Electrify (Red) or Blink if we’re worried about cards like Arc Light Sentinel. Remorseless is amazing against decks like Briar or Katsu that love to play out multiple action cards in a turn. Generic attacks like Snatch, Command and Conquer and Enlightened Strike could all make the cut as well. At the end of the day, it’s all about experimentation and finding the right balance of cards we feel perform well in our local metagame, but also cards that we are comfortable playing and suit our playstyle.