Conduit Combo (jank deck tech)

“4-faction (copper) killers” is a super janky deck with some insane plays.  As this deck runs a lot of recursion, replaying Copper Conduit repeatedly will generate a very large Conduit.  Here’s a random screenshot showing a game with a 32/32 Overwhelm Killer unit.

32-32-copperbae.png

Other crazy plays include attacking with a conduit, returning it hand with Safe Return, playing conduit again, and using Killer on the weakest enemy unit…. with the Overwhelm damage hitting the opponent’s face.  Sometimes this can result in one-turn kills, with anywhere from 10-30+ damage in a single turn.

These styles of decks revolve around a few main sets of combos:

  1. Copper Conduit combos.  Whenever you reply Conduit via Dark Return or Safe Return, it gets even bigger.  If it has Killer via Predator’s Instinct, you will be able to use the Killer again.  Because Conduit has Overwhelm, there will be a lot of Overwhelm damage to the opponent’s face.  Pyroknight can be used as a bad Copper Conduit.
  2. Madness combos.  Madness lets you steal an enemy unit.  This combos with:
    • Predator’s Instinct – make an opponent’s units kill each other
    • Safe Return – this lets you steal enemy units into your hand and strips the influence requirements
    • Devour – sacrifice the Madnessed unit so that the opponent doesn’t get it back and you draw 2 cards.
    • There is also a 3-card combo with Madness, Predator’s Instinct, and Safe Return- you get to use Killer Twice.
  3. Optional: Killer / Predator’s Instinct combos.  Killer combos with Quickdraw units like Jekk.  It also combos with recurring units like Dawnwalker, reminiscent of Xenan Killers.

The power level of this deck is not high.  I tried to make a competitive version and could not get into Masters… possibly because there was too much aggro running around.  This is a deck you play for fun and the splashy plays that it creates.

Where this deck came from

I’m not sure but here’s what I do know.  This is a deck that I saw BTranMan and TheOverMaster play on stream.  According to them:

[TeriyakiBoyz popularized the 4-faction version.]
[LocoPojo teched out version of the deck with Jekk.  ]

According to Peppr:

that stuff has been around for too long to remember
as always, I don’t think it matters
I remember we mucked around with it a lot like 6 months ago
with Teriyaki, notably, BGT too
[BGT = BadGuyThankYou]

Safe Return MVP

Besides Copper Conduit, Safe Return is the second best card in the deck.  It is a combo piece with both of the main sets of combos (Copper Conduit and Madness).  It protects Copper Conduit against silence, which would otherwise wreck the synergies of this deck.  Safe Return also allows for splashy one-turn kills with Conduit and Killer.

Deck list – from BTranMan / TheOverMaster stream

4 Copper Conduit (Set1 #66)
4 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
4 Predator’s Instinct (Set1 #75)
4 Pyroknight (Set1 #16)
4 Safe Return (Set1 #330)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
2 Devour (Set1 #261)
3 Find the Way (Set1 #513)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
3 Madness (Set1 #267)
3 Righteous Fury (Set1 #322)
2 Grasping at Shadows (Set1 #292)
3 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
2 Jekk, the Bounty Hunter (Set1001 #11)
3 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
3 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
3 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)
4 Seat of Mystery (Set0 #61)
4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
2 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)

Deck list – my current list

4 Copper Conduit (Set1 #66)
4 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
4 Inspire (Set1 #129)
3 Predator’s Instinct (Set1 #75)
4 Safe Return (Set1 #330)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
1 Devour (Set1 #261)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
2 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
3 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
4 Knight-Chancellor Siraf (Set1 #335)
3 Madness (Set1 #267)
3 Scheme (Set1 #213)
2 Righteous Fury (Set1 #322)
3 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
1 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
2 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
2 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
1 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
3 Amber Monument (Set1 #420)
3 Argenport Banner (Set0 #64)
2 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
3 Praxis Banner (Set0 #59)
2 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)
2 Seat of Mystery (Set0 #61)
2 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
2 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
2 Stonescar Banner (Set1 #419)

My experiments with the deck

Power base: Having undepleted power is really important for holding up Safe Return, so I favor some mix of Banners in addition to seats.  Because a 4-faction influence base is pretty rough, I prefer to run more of the dual-faction power cards (both Seats and Banners).  I don’t like Find the Way because all of the sigils are depleted.  Perhaps somebody can math out the power base because I did not bother to do it.

Amber Acolyte: A bad Seek Power, but I prefer to run it for even more fixing.  It can be Devour fodder.

Grasping at Shadows: This is like a bad Dark Return (and Dark Return is really a bad Safe Return)… but you can run it so that there are more combo pieces.  The double Shadow influence requirement is rough.

Digging for combo pieces:  I went a little crazy and ran 4 Quarries, 3 Schemes, and 4 Inspires.  It seems like a good idea to dig for the combo pieces… though I’m not sure if I went overboard.

Madness / devour:  Not an amazing combo because it has low board impact once you assemble it.

Righteous Fury:  You run big units, so it can generate large life total swings.  The card helps you survive low health.  Because you can recur units, the card disadvantage from 2-for-1s is not as bad.

Amber Monument:  Minor synergy with Killer and Righteous Fury.  In many matchups, playing big units is a good idea anyways.

Jekk, the Bounty Hunter:  As mentioned earlier, he synergizes with Killer.  His silence effect is helpful against Combrei legendaries.  However, I’m not entirely impressed with Jekk.  Unlike Copper Conduit, Jekk does not get stronger with recursion.

Dawnwalker:  Dawnwalker has been nerfed to come back exhausted, which means that it can’t use Killer right away.  I’m not impressed with Dawnwalker… it’s too slow against aggro and too slow against control.

Harsh Rule:  It helps you survive against aggro, but it’s not great because you still need to close out the game.  The deck isn’t always great at closing out games because hitting your combo pieces is often necessary.  It does however buy you time to durdle while you try to pull together the combo pieces.

Siraf:  She is fairly resilient as a defensive unit, being 3/4 and multi-faction.  She can be used as a Righteous Fury target in a pinch.  Her ultimate is not a great win condition because this deck does not run Boardstall Titan to make the game drag out.  However, opponents may think that her ultimate is good and will hopefully drop their silences on her… instead of saving it for Copper Conduit.  Yes, Copperbae is more powerful than Sirafbae in this deck.

Combrei Healer:  When you recur her, her toughness starts to get ridiculous.  This is a defensive unit to shore up the matchup against aggro and armory.  (The aggro matchup is close to a lost cause though.)

Mulligan

An ideal hand would have a full combo like Copper Conduit + Dark Return.  In practice, we have to settle for less.  We want to look for hands with one combo piece and another card to dig for them.  Hands without any combo pieces or filtering cards (Quarry, Scheme) generally aren’t great.

Siraf and Amber Monument are not win conditions.

Difficult to pilot

The deck is hands down the most difficult deck that I’ve tried to pilot.  For example, Safe Return is a combo piece for both Copper Conduit and Madness.  You have to think about whether you use it for Copper Conduit or for Madness.

There are many lines that you can take and it’s easy to miss lethal (winning on your turn with a lethal attack).

The power base also requires a lot of thinking.  Whenever you play Copper Conduit, it uses up all of your available power.  If you want to protect Copper Conduit with Safe Return, you have to play an undepleted power after playing Copper Conduit.  So, undepleted power in your hand is a valuable resource that you have to manage.  Being able to hold up Safe Return is really important as opponents may play removal or silences on your Copper Conduit.

Why this deck is bad

The matchup against aggro is terrible.  For the most part, the combos aren’t good against aggro.  The combos do absolutely nothing if you don’t manage to draw the combo pieces.  Even if you do have the combo pieces, the combos are slow and take time to affect the board.

Closing thoughts

Right now, there’s too much aggro running around for this deck to be good.  Maybe if the meta were to down… the deck would become vaguely viable.  Of course, the deck has other weaknesses- void hate and silence effects are particularly problematic.

Most opponents don’t know how to play against this deck.  You can make bluff attacks into opponents because most people have no idea what’s in this deck.  If the deck becomes more popular, I think that opponents will figure out how to beat it.  For example, silences should be saved for Copper Conduit and Siraf’s ability should mostly be ignored.

The deck’s power level is not good.  However, I really enjoy this deck because it’s weird, janky, and does some absurd stuff.

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