In my last article, I mentioned how Bravo is an excellent pick for this Skirmish metagame. There’s only one problem – many of the Ira players are adjusting to beat tall Dorinthea by running Unmovables. Unmovables totally destroy Bravo and make the matchup nearly unwinnable… oops! I was geared to walk the talk and play the Guardian hero in a local Blitz Skirmish this weekend, but more and more often I’m hearing of people considering running the dreaded defense reaction in their lists.
More Unmovables you say? Great – this makes Kano even stronger in the metagame! I’m expecting a ton of Iras and a ton of Dorintheas, with little to no Kanos present. Based on this, I’m doing something I’ve always advised against – switch to Kano with literally zero testing.
You hear time and time again how the deck is incredibly powerful, but you need the practice. Any small mistake and you can lose the game. I say “bring it on.” It’ll be a beautiful experiment and I’ll be the guinea pig!
I do want to play Kano, but the Johnny in me won’t allow me to play your stock standard list. If I’m going to do it blind, I want to have an element of surprise, and there are many avenues for Kano to do so.
This has always been a heated addition to Kano builds. They don’t synergize well with your hero ability, but they do help to protect your fragile life total. Some, like Fate Foreseen and Absorb in Aether, have very beneficial abilities on top. The new “tech,” popular from Jasin Long’s Calling Kano list, is blue Unmovable. It’s a blue pitch card, it snaps Zephyr Needles and it halts Dorintheas. However, it’s still a defense reaction and hence a dead card to Kano’s hero ability. The counter argument is that it would have been a blue card anyway, so the Kano activation wouldn’t have been very good regardless.
Defense reactions help to stall the game out a bit and seem to work well with the OTK setup game plan. Frankly, I don’t think I’ll have the capacity to pull that off many games in a row with no practice, but it gives me some food for thought.
Something that in theory pairs well with the defensive OTK setup is life gain. I always thought this could be a decent plan for Wizard, especially in Blitz, to stall the game out. Tome of Fyendal, Sigil of Solace and Sun Kiss can gain a huge percentage of your life total and help you survive until you know your pitch order. Again, cool idea in theory, but I’m not sure if I can even remember the pitch order even if I live to that stage.
Aether Flare and Low Cost Spells
Combining cards like Aether Flare with Reverberates, Snapbacks and Scalding Rains helps to dish out a ton of damage out of nowhere. The low cost on the cards means it’s possible to chain a spell combo with a single blue. The hardest part about doing so though is hitting that Aether Flare from the top of your deck and casting it at instant speed and making sure you can follow it up with a damaging spell. Cindering Foresight seems like a natural fit, as it helps to set the combo up and amplifies the damage of the spells too. I really want to try out the build, but I’m worried that good players will prevent the initial chunk of damage and in turn shut the combo down.
Let’s Get a Bit Crazy
Now, this idea is totally whack and that’s why I love it. What if I run two Crazy Brews and Gambler’s Gloves? Kano hugely benefits from life gain, extra action points and extra resource points. Many Kano players preach about how Energy Potion is the best card in the deck. How about an extra two copies then?
My mind is going wild about the possibilities of hitting this, having a five cards hand with some Aether Flares and some Energy Potions. I do want to try this at an Armory at some point, but at the same time, Top 8’ing that Skirmish event would be nice too.
Ultimately, I’m going to pull some bits and pieces from the above ideas and run a solid standard Kano list with some tiny tweaks. The two-cost spells seem really solid overall at pushing through Nullrune 4 and are very punishing against Dorinthea on Nullrune 3. I always wanted to try out Cindering Foresight, as the Opt 3 and an extra one arcane damage seems extremely powerful, especially with a substantial amount of blue pitch cards.
Class: Wizard Hero: Kano Weapons: Crucible of Aetherweave Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Fyendal's Spring Tunic, Gambler's Gloves, Metacarpus Node, Robe of Rapture, Storm Striders, Talismanic Lens (2) Aether Spindle (red) (2) Blazing Aether (red) (2) Cindering Foresight (red) (2) Forked Lightning (red) (2) Stir the Aetherwinds (red) (2) Tome of Aetherwind (red) (2) Voltic Bolt (red) (2) Chain Lightning (yellow) (2) Lesson in Lava (yellow) (2) Sonic Boom (yellow) (2) Tome of Fyendal (yellow) (2) Aether Spindle (blue) (2) Cindering Foresight (blue) (2) Energy Potion (blue) (1) Eye of Ophidia (blue) (2) Gaze the Ages (blue) (2) Reverberate (blue) (2) Rousing Aether (blue) (2) Unmovable (blue) (2) Voltic Bolt (blue) (1) Zap (blue)
I’ll be writing a follow-up article next week about my Skirmish results. The best thing about this approach to the Skirmish is that if I do really well, I can say I’m naturally good at the game. If I bomb, I can say I was right and that you shouldn’t play Kano with zero practice. Whatever the case, make sure to check out the results next week!