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Building Dromai on a Budget

Dromai is the new Draconic Illusionist hero in the Uprising set. Dromai, being an Ash artist, specializes in transforming the Ash material into various forms, most impressively, dragons!

While Uprising has blessed us with beautiful marvel versions of dragons and even Aether Ashwings, all these cards have regular versions, which are accessible regardless of your budget. In this article, I will outline my own version of a midrange Dromai deck that you can use to start your Dromai journey with. I will present my go-to 60-card deck and four pieces of equipment, but I’ll leave the discovery of preboard options for different matchups up to you. 

 

 

Class: Illusionist
Hero: Dromai, Ash Artist
Weapons: Storm of Sandikai
Equipment: Heartened Cross Strap, Hope Merchant's Hood, Silent Stilettos, Silken Form

(3) Dunebreaker Cenipai (red)
(3) Dustup (red)
(3) Embermaw Cenipai (red)
(3) Invoke Azvolai (red)
(3) Invoke Cromai (red)
(1) Invoke Dominia (red)
(3) Invoke Kyloria (red)
(3) Invoke Miragai (red)
(1) Invoke Tomeltai (red)
(3) Invoke Vynserakai (red)
(3) Invoke Yendurai (red)
(3) Rake the Embers (red)
(3) Ravenous Rabble (red)
(3) Sigil of Solace (red)
(3) Sink Below (red)
(3) Spears of Surreality (red)
(3) Sweeping Blow (red)
(3) Embermaw Cenipai (blue)
(3) Energy Potion (blue)
(3) Passing Mirage (blue)
(3) Sweeping Blow (blue)
(1) Timesnap Potion (blue)

See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/vwyAKnOj/

 

Header - Dragons Upon Dragons

At the core of this deck’s strategy are dragons. One of my favorite aspects of the Invocation cards is the fact that they all defend for three. This might seem an odd thing to be excited about, but what this means is I can happily play as many dragons in my deck as I want, defend with the ones I do not like in the particular matchup and play out the ones I do like. It also means we can build Dromai in an aggressive shell, midrange shell and as a control deck. Having high defense is a unique feature for Dromai when compared to the other Illusionist, Prism. 

Invoke Miragai // Miragai (Regular)Invoke Cromai // Cromai (Regular)Rake the Embers (Red) (Regular)

Against decks with a lot of six-power attacks, dragons like Miragai and Cromai provide much needed evasion against getting our dragon illusions popped. These cards are crucial in getting off our big attacks and it is often a good idea to save these for when we draw some of the more impactful dragons like Vynserakai or Kyloria, so we can play them both on the same turn and dodge getting our turn shut down by a single 6 power block.

Invoke Yendurai // Yendurai (Regular)Aether Ashwing // AshInvoke Azvolai // Azvolai (Regular)

One of the most important skills as Dromai is knowing when to attack with dragons and what order to do it in. Let’s say our opponent plays roughly nine six-power attacks. We have a Yendurai, four Aether Ashwings in play and we just played an Azvolai.

What’s the best way to sequence our attacks to play around the opponent having a six-power attack? I would always lead with the Aether Ashwings, because we aren’t as fussed if an Ashwing gets popped, and if our opponent is waiting to pop a Yendurai or Azvolai, we at least get some damage in. After Ashwings, I would attack with Azvolai because he pushes one arcane damage through and can potentially deal two more if our opponent is saving the six-power popper for Yendurai. If we think they have it, we could even not attack with Yendurai and save him for the next turn. In essence, the rule of thumb is to attack with our least important dragons first, then swing with the more important ones later on. 

Another tip against decks with lots of poppers is to build a board presence first, before going for dragon attacks. For example, you have just started a game against Oldhim. You have a few ashes and drew a hand of two Yendurais. An interesting play would be to play those two bulky dragons out, not attack and pass. This puts your opponent in a dilemma: do they deal with the dragons on their turn or attack you directly? Then, on future turns, once you amass more dragons, you can try to pair those up with dragons like Miragai and even Aether Ashwings to lure out some six-powers from the opponent. 

 

Header - More Than Dragons

While dragons are our core strategy, they just aren’t as effective against certain decks. Let’s take Fai as an example. They can pressure our life total really well, and simply clear our dragons with their attacks. On top of all that, dragons enable all kinds of their on-hits.

In these matchups, it’s okay to play a defensive game plan, build up some Ash and play back with strong one or two-card hands. This is where cards like Embermaw Cenipai and Dustup shine. These efficient attacks help to chip away at our opponent’s life total while we can spend most of our attention mitigating their attacks. Then, when we sneak in a Yendurai or Kyloria into play, they will have to respect it, especially if we have gotten them to low enough life. Defensive cards like Sink Below and Sigil of Solace help us to survive the most threatening turns and give us room to play out our big phantasm attacks and slowly invoke some dragons. Remember, for each attack that goes into your dragon, is one attack less that goes towards your life total. These allies are a great way to soak up damage against aggressive decks. 

Rake the Embers (Red) (Regular)Ravenous Rabble (Red) (Regular)Sigil of Solace (Red) (Regular)Spears of Surreality (Red) (Regular)

Other than dragon Invocations, this list has a number of cards that help our dragons gain go again, while also impacting the board state. Spears of Surreality, Dunebreaker Cenipai and Ravenous Rabble are great offensive options that not only enable our dragons, but push through damage. Four or five damage for one cost is a great rate and shines against decks without too many six-power attacks. If they use those on our attack action cards rather than dragons, it opens the room for our dragons to attack in the future.

A useful pocket play I like to use is pitching my Ravenous Rabbles early game. Then, later on in the game, when those Rabbles come back, they are a lot more threatening on the opponent’s life total and most likely have a lot more dragons they enable. The best early game play is to pitch a red Ravenous Rabble to play out a blue Sweeping Blow. It seems counterintuitive at first, but it’s a great setup play for late game. 

Dromai has a very unique play pattern and it will take some time for players to figure out how to play her. Dragons as permanents are a new addition to the Flesh and Blood gameplay in this frequency. This game play offers a huge range in terms of deckbuilding for Dromai, but even the playstyle itself can completely change the way different Dromai players approach the deck. I hope this deck list and strategy are a useful start on your Dromai journey and that some of these pointers help you find your footing with this brand new Illusionist. 

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