We’re back again with Rogue Deck Doctor, the brewer’s workshop where we take whatever crazy nonsense gets thrown at us and throw it right back better than ever. Every challenge is an opportunity, and every opportunity is an excuse for maniacal laughter, Muahahhaahhaah!
This week we’re looking into the recently buffed Mecha-Yordle-maker, Squeaker. This little guy has always been right on the cusp of playability and never quite able to slip over into the competitive realms. Now that he clocks in at a chonky 2/2, could this be his time? Let’s check it out!
Beginning Building the Mecha
It’s an interesting conundrum that the less restrictive the starting prompt, the more difficult it can be to see the way to the final product. Squeaker has three different points of synergy that we could lean on, and part of our process is to figure out which is the best direction to turn.
The first and most obvious is that this little friend produces the mighty Mecha-Yordles. If we were going to look in that direction primarily then some kind of aggressive midrange Rumble archetype might be the way to go. Get some early beats in, and let the Mechas close it out for you.
Secondarily we see the powerful Augment keyword. Lovers of this ability tend to congregate around Viktor and/or Curious Shellfolk. We can get our units impressively pumped up in no time if we generate cards off of every action we end up taking.
Last, but certainly not least, is the discard synergy. This can occasionally be a problem, but with all the cards in the game that enjoy being discarded these days, it is more often a bonus if you build around it. Boom Baboon, for example, lets you throw a unit straight into play.
Hey, wait a minute… if I decide that we are in Bandle City as well as Piltover and Zaun, I don’t need to choose. I can acces all of those synergy points. I’ve got to admit, I’ve always been more of a “yes and,” gentleman than a “no but,” sort. And come on, doesn’t Viktor Rumble Mecha Yordle Shellfolk just sound like a ridiculously fun pile to pilot?
When we start looking for what cards fit in an overlapping synergy-based deck like this, we want to find as many as possible that fill multiple rolls. That way we don’t end up having hands that look like garbage because all of our cards work with other cards that haven’t shown up to work today.
Therefore, for this deck we want to as often as possible play created cards that we don’t mind discarding. If they synergize with Curious Shellfolk as well, that’s just the icing on top of the cake.
Also, in the one-drop slot I very much enjoy having a few Yordle Squire around to help us out. They won’t get up to any Shellfolk shenanigans, but they’re still just a solid early body that will clog the board and help our game plan.
Rounding out our crew of multi-synergy helpers are Conchologist and Ferros Financier. Both of these will occasionally get you very powerful tools that you will enjoy having around, doubly so if Curious Shellfolk is about. And if they miss, we have plenty of folks that will happily discard the trash for you.
For our last few small helpers, I like to throw in a couple of Ballistic Bots to decks like these. They can provide some long-term burn-out potential, trigger our leveled Rumble, help Viktor achieve his revolution, and grow gigantic while doing it. All in all, great team players.
Winning The Game
Wait, we’re doing all these cool things, but how do we actually win? Outside of finding some unreasonably nonsensical pile of keywords on Viktor or stealing something our opponent is doing with Curious Shellfolk we don’t really have a proactive, well-defined path to victory here.
Luckily there’s a powerful evasive keyword that we can grab ahold of in multiple ways that will assist our unreasonably sized Augment friend in actually closing out games. Yep, that’s right: with Overwhelm benched from these regions, Elusive is going to reign supreme as our game-closing plan of choice.
Rainbowfish has done some serious work in many a deck, and this one will be no exception. Suiting up either of our champions or a large Augment unit will end the game quite quickly, and I also like the spicy Scavenged Camocloaker here for a touch of extra card draw and speed when we need it.
This brings us to the last couple of cards in our deck. And this is the point where we really need to start asking the important questions about what our deck is missing. All decks will of course have different levels and priorities on each of these, but the basic checkmarks on my notepad here include the following
- A way to win.
- A way to make that win consistent.
- A way to consistently spend our mana in the first couple of rounds.
- A way to stop our opponents from winning with attackers.
- A way to stop our opponents from winning with backliners.
- A way to deal with our opponent developing into us before attacking.
- A way to deal with an open attack.
- A backup plan.
For our win condition in this deck, we are primarily planning on doing crazy shenanigans with our champions, Mecha-Yordles, and shellfolk. If the 'grind them out' plan isn’t working fast enough, then we can make our large units Elusive and go to town on our undefended opponent.
We’re a bit lacking on card draw here. While we are kind of hoping that the threat density we are presenting will make up for that, having a touch of extra selection definitely wouldn’t hurt.
Our early curve is just filled with units that will happily satisfy both criteria three and four. However, we currently don’t have, erm, any way whatsoever to deal with a backline engine from our opponent. Might be worth looking into that.
We’re also rather lacking in ways to punish either developments or open attacks. We kind of shine in the last category, though – our entire deck is one big backup plan, with all the card creation we have going on. Spin the wheel and see what falls onto your opponent’s head this time.
Looks like our big sticking point here is our lack of interaction. Luckily, we are in a region that does that quite admirably.
Sump Fumes seems like a natural inclusion for our deck, as it will basically always be active. Beyond that, Mystic Shot and Pokey Stick are just generally solid cards in our regions that few decks leave home without at least a couple copies of. Pokey Stick in particular will also give us that small additional bit of card draw we were requesting.
Fine-tuning our Deck
At this point the deck looks like this:
While we’ve made it up to the requisite forty cards here, I think we can do a little bit of improvement on at least a few of these ratios. Just seems a little basic for a Rogue Deck Doctor brew right now, doesn’t it?
Scavenged Camocloaker and Rainbowfish are both powerful additions that will help us close out games. I think four is probably too many, though, and will lead to some bricked-out draws. Let’s cut one of each for the sake of smoothness.
Mystic Shot is a very good jack-of-all-trades-style effect, but with power on the creep it’s not quite as ubiquitous as it used to be. Ballistic Bot as well is quite important, but can fare a bit badly with Challenger and Vulnerable-granting units being everywhere. I think those are both quite reasonable trims.
Curious Shellfolk does some amazing things, but with all the different ways we have to spend our mana I think three might be a bit much. I’ll also trim a Trinket Trade here as its biggest synergy point will come up slightly less often.
This gives us six solid slots to work with. I’d like to introduce a few Aftershocks to the mix here, just to give us a touch of extra versatility in dealing with landmarks. And Wallop and Minimorph will make sure we’ve got some solid outs to any stacked-unit nonsense.
And the final bit of the puzzle, la pièce de résistance… what brew would be complete without adding in the power of friendship? When in doubt, Give It All and throw all of your unit’s stats and keywords together to absolutely destroy any opponent lacking an answer.
Behold, the finished creation!
Now *that* is a little bit more like it.
While this deck may superficially resemble a Curious Shellfolk-style control deck, the play patterns here will be significantly different. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, because sure as sunlight the memes will come for me, but the key word here is, sigh… “orthogonal.”
You’re going to end up being able to set up a cadre of different threats each of which require subtly different answers that your opponent will have to deal with. And each time they do, they will trade tempo or go card negative, allowing you to slowly build advantage till it is insurmountable.
Beyond that we have an impressive number of controlling tools to shut down our opponent’s game plan. There aren’t many units that are going to be able to survive the flurry of burn we’re capable of pointing at them. Aphelios, for example, takes one look at these three-damage burn spells and scarpers.
The other important thing you’ll need to do with this type of deck is look for your opportunities. We’ve got three ways to create Elusive, plus Give It All. While we’re not often forced to go all in, looking for the moments when our opponent gets greedy or taps out of their answers will be a big way we grab wins.
I hope you all enjoyed this journey into Squeaker-Ville and perhaps the little guy will finally find a home. I’ll see you all next time on Rogue Deck Doctor, and until then may RNGeezus bless your Manifests!