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An Introduction to Chane, Bound by Shadow

Chane began his journey as a disciple of Solana, the city of Light. During his research into the ancient tomes of the Great Library of Solana, he started to notice discrepancies within the old texts. Information was being withheld by those in power. He and other scholars tried to reveal the truth about this, but were banished from the city in return. They became an enemy of the state. Chane continued his pursuit of knowledge in Demonastery, delving into the realm of the shadow, using scriptures banned by Solana to unleash arcane powers. Using forbidden rituals, inflicting pain on himself, Chane was able to reach new arcane powers of the shadow, eventually opening a portal to another dimension. There, he would make a lifelong connection to a being that granted him unimaginable power, at a cost…

“Chane was raised within the order of the Disciples of Pain. He was taught the history of humanity, the gravitas of the old ones, and the true nature of Solana. Like his brethren, he sought to harness the suffering of humanity, to welcome the bloodletting, sanctified torture, and self-flagellation which littered his own initiations into the Disciples. As his pain threshold grew higher, Chane felt his connection to the Shadow grow stronger, allowing him to see the true nature of Rathe for the very first time. In that moment of transcendence, he felt the true weight of his duty to humanity.”

 

 

Header - The Duality of a Runeblade

First and foremost, Chane is a Runeblade hero. He utilizes arcane and physical attacks to come at his opponents from two very different fronts, making it difficult for his opponents to stop both kinds of damage. The balancing act of playing out non-attack actions and attack actions is also at the core of any Runeblade’s DNA. For Chane, non-attack actions are a key component to playing out many of his Runeblade attacks from the banished zone. The rituals – non-attack action cards –  are what enable his powered up strikes – attack action cards.

Galaxxi Black (Regular)Bounding Demigon (Red) (Regular)Unhallowed Rites (Red) (Regular)Seeping Shadows (Yellow) (Regular)

This creates one of the main constraints of building a powerful Chane deck. Having enough non-attack action cards to ensure you can play out your powerful Runeblade attacks from the banished zone is essential to not be stuck with blood debt cards you cannot play. Cards like Captain’s Call, Mauvrion Skies and Come to Fight are some good options to make sure you can play those attacks out.

Captain's Call (Yellow) (Regular)Mauvrion Skies (Blue) (Regular)Come to Fight (Red) (Regular)

 

Header - Bound by Shadow

Tome of Torment (Regular)Ghostly Visit (Red) (Regular)Void Wraith (Red) (Regular)

On top of being a Runeblade, Chane has access to the Shadow talent. This means as a Chane player, you can play shadow cards in your deck. The Shadow talent gives you the ability to manipulate the cards in your banished zone, such as playing out the cards mentioned above or cards like Ghostly Visit and Void Wraith.

This synergizes well with his hero ability. Soul Shackles are a great way for Chane to create powerful turns by letting most of his Shadow cards, Runeblade cards and his weapon attacks gain go again. But this power comes at a cost. As Chane accumulates more and more Soul Shackles, his debt grows. The more shackles on the board, the more cards Chane has to banish. Some he can play out, fueling his turns, but if he cannot, those Blood Debt cards can start to cost Chane his life total. Also, banishing lots of cards can cause Chane to run out of cards in the deck, so create Soul Shackles wisely.

Soul Shackle // Ravenous Meataxe (Regular)Ghostly Visit (Red) (Regular)Howl from Beyond (Red) (Regular)

One way to start off on your Chane journey is to play low cost, high impact blood debt cards, such as red Bounding Demigon, red Unhallowed Rites and red Ghostly Visit. These attacks are great at giving you a card advantage when banished, but also are impactful enough when you draw them. The more blood debt cards in your deck, the higher the chance of banishing them, but also there is more pressure to play them out as they are banished.

Operating off the banished zone is a unique, yet challenging part of playing the Shadow Runeblade, but with enough practice, you will learn how to maneuver your turns for maximum efficiency. Once you get the hang of the basics, you can play around with the more expensive blood debt cards, such as red Howl from Beyond, yellow Seeping Shadows or even red Void Wraith. Also, as you get more comfortable with blood debt, adding blue versions of cards like Bounding Demigon or Unhallowed Rites can increase the odds of getting things banished. Tome of Torment is another card not for the faint of heart. It can create significant card advantage, but utilizing it efficiently requires a lot of practice.

There are a few cards that shine in Chane. Cards like Art of War can create amazing card advantage, as you can banish a shadow attack action card to Art of War’s ability and then play it out on the same turn. Soul Reaping, being a Chane specialization, can create tremendous value when paired with some strong blood debt cards. Shadow of Ursur is a great hand fixing card. It allows you to get cards from your hand to the banished zone if they then get extra effects, such as a red Rift Bind or red Unhallowed Rites

Art of War (Regular)Soul Reaping (Regular)Shadow of Ursur (Regular)Shadow Puppetry (Regular)

While Soul Shackles makes it easy to grant certain attacks go again, it’s not the only tool Chane players have at their disposal. Shadow Puppetry is a perfect non-attack action card to let you play out Bounding Demigons and Rift Binds from the banished zone. Cards like blue Mauvrion Skies and blue Captain’s Call are also great at allowing you to keep coming in with attacks. 

 

Header - Advanced Pitch Strategy

Chane’s hero ability and the consistent increase of Soul Shackles from turn to turn make him snowball over the course of the game. Sometimes keeping a single blue pitch card can be enough to fuel an explosive turn, as you continue to banish threats at the start of your turn with Soul Shackles. But there many nuances that you can utilize as a Chane player to make your game even stronger.

Paying attention to the pitched cards is one of them. In a standard 60-card Classic Constructed deck, if you draw four cards each turn and create a Soul Shackle every turn, the first four cards that you pitch in a game will all be banished on your ninth turn of the game. As draws and banishes work out to 4, 1, 4, 2, 4, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 4, 6, 4, 7, 4, 8. On the ninth turn, you will banish eight cards, four of them being the four cards you pitched at the start of the game. This works assuming no extra cards drawn during the game and drawing up to four each turn. This means you have a lot of control of your end game through how you pitch in your early game. By paying extra attention to pitching cards like red Howl from Beyond, red Rift Bind or Shadow of Ursur in those early turns, you can actually be setting up to create powerful turns in the late game.

 

Header - Top Deck Manipulation

Dimenxxional Gateway (Red) (Regular)Tome of Torment (Regular)Tome of the Arknight (Regular)Blood Tribute (Red) (Regular)Ebon Fold (Regular)

Another strategy you can utilize is trying to manipulate the top of your deck for beneficial effects like Dimenxxional Gateway to then draw what you need at the right time and put powerful banish cards on the bottom of your deck for later on in the game. The instant – Blood Tribute  – also synergizes nicely with Tome of the Arknight and other card draw effects, but can be used at instant speed in response to a Soul Shackle trigger. The card can help to set up your banishes if you really need to hit, while also setting up the bottom of your deck for future turns. By consistently casting non-attack actions to filter your deck, you can create powerful Rift Bind turns to wipe your opponent away. 

Rift Bind (Red) (Regular)Dimenxxional Gateway (Red) (Regular)Tome of Torment (Regular)

Chane is a powerful, yet complex hero introduced in Monarch. Being the first set to introduce talents, Monarch stepped up the depth of the game in all four of its heroes. Chane requires a unique skill set to master, such as banish zone management, pitch stacking and advanced sequencing. I highly recommend the hero if you have previous experience playing a Runeblade hero, or are up for a challenge. The good thing is, the basics are quite easy to grasp and the natural power of the hero can win some games, while practicing the skills mentioned above makes for a worthy challenge and keeps the hero engaging. 

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