Elysian Midrange (Tempolysian)

It seems that Elysian Midrange is reasonable strong on ladder right now as I’m around #10.  While I don’t believe that my deck list is original, one key idea is that Xenan Obelisk is good with almost anything.  You don’t have to go the Shimmerpack or Marisen’s Disciple route with it.  You can simply play it with good units.

I took a more tempo-oriented route, playing all the False Princes and Praxis Displacers.  Some decks will lose if you play 2-3 Praxis Displacers one after another on their key blocking unit.

While I’m not sure if Slow is good, the card certainly raises the skill cap on this deck and makes you run down the timer a lot.  Cards like Backlash and Slow make this deck one of the more nuanced and skill-intensive decks in the metagame at the moment.

Deck list

4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
1 Levitate (Set1 #190)
4 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
2 Slow (Set1 #70)
4 Backlash (Set1 #200)
1 Storm Lynx (Set1 #353)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
1 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 False Prince (Set1 #356)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Praxis Displacer (Set1 #100)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
4 Xenan Obelisk (Set1 #103)
4 Cirso, the Great Glutton (Set1 #362)
1 Crystallize (Set1 #232)
2 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
8 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)

Card discussion

Slow:  If you double the cost on expensive cards, it may be the case that the game will not go on long enough for the opponent to be able to play the card.  For example, against Stonescar burn variants, turning a 5-cost card into a 10-cost card means that the card will be almost unplayable.  The matchup is unlikely to go on so long that the Stonescar burn player accumulates 10 power.  Making expensive cards unplayable is the first thing that Slow does.

The second function is that it shows you the opponent’s combat tricks, removal spells, etc.  When you cast this, you will get a pretty good snapshot of the opponent’s hand.  Simply count the total number of cards in the opponent’s hand.  Then, scroll through the Slow interface to see how many cards are revealed.  Write down all of the revealed cards.  Total cards minus the number of revealed cards is the number of sigils and power cards.

Keeping track of this allows you to anticipate their next lines of play.  Based on how good the opponent’s hand is, you can determine whether or not you need to take more risk if you are behind on the matchup.  Against combo decks like Kalis, Slow allows you to see if the opponent has Madness combos assembled.  If they do have combos in hand like Madness + Combust, you can play around the combo.

If you wait until later turns to cast this, the opponent will have drawn more cards.  In rare situations, you may want to delay casting slow because key cards in the matchup are more expensive.  If expensive cards are unlikely to be cast right away, you can cast slow right before the opponent can begin to play key cards.

Levitate:  It can do one of a few things:

  1. Absolutely nothing.  Levitate gets cycled to draw another card most of the time.
  2. Ambushing flying units.  When the opponent attacks with a flyer, you can make one of your defenders fly to pick off the attacking unit.  Some people get really salty at this… it’s amusing.
  3. Strips aegis.
  4. Giving your units evasion to push through damage.

But I’ll be honest with you: this card does a lot of nothing and occasionally makes people salty.

Storm Lynx:  I was never really excited about this card.  In later stages of a game, it’s a bad card that gets outclassed by the broken units in the game.

Praxis Displacer:  Repeatedly bouncing a somewhat expensive defender like Sandstorm Titan can win you games.  You generally want to be using Displayer on your opponent’s key units.  However, in a pinch, you can bounce your own Temple Scribe to draw a card.  Or, bounce a unit back to your hand to reduce the blowout from your opponent playing Harsh Rule.

Crystallize:  Two may be the correct number.  Against Armory, the card isn’t good.  Against Elysian mirrors and Big Combrei, Crystallize can break through big board stalls.  Against Elysian decks however, you can often win simply through tempo.

Predatory Carnosaur:  Both the killer dino and Thunderstrike Dragon are good in the 6-power slot.  Dragon is better against Armory.

Cirso, the Great Glutton:  The card is like a Sandstorm Titan that opponents don’t know how to play against.  The interactions with this card are a little weird.  After blockers are declared, the effect will trigger and there may be a response window.  Do not play combat tricks during the first window, as there will be another response window after units are transformed into pigs.

Aegis blocks the effect, so aegis units can be good at blocking Cirso.  If more players understand Cirso, the power level may go down.

Backlash:  Backlashing Harsh Rule will often win you a game.  It also protects your units from combat tricks like Rapid Shot.

This is one of the more interesting cards to pilot.  The power level of this card may go down if opponents get savvier about the response windows where backlash gets revealed- backlash only gets a response window to spells, unlike other fast spells.

In some matchups, you want to save Backlash for key spells.  Against Elysian decks, Crystallize is a key win condition so you often want to save Backlash for that.

Backlash is good in the current metagame since almost all decks that you face will have good backlash targets.

The 2 damage is surprisingly relevant.  Those 2 points of damage can knock out relic weapons, deal lethal damage, etc. etc.

3 copies may be correct.

Obelisk:  It synergizes with almost all units because it makes them more resilient against burn, relic weapons, Black Sky Harbinger, etc. etc.  And it does help you attack through board stalls and push through damage.  It also makes Cirso more difficult to block.

Playing against Harsh Rule

If an opponent commits good units to the board on Turn 4 (even though they have high health), it is likely that the opponent does not have Harsh Rule in hand.  If the opponent is playing removal on your units, they probably don’t have Harsh Rule in hand.

Closing Thoughts

Elysian Midrange is mostly just a pile of goodstuff.  My list runs Wisdom of the Elders simply because it’s a good card… even though it doesn’t fully synergize with the beatdown plan.  In the current meta, it turns out that Backlash is a decent card and that Obelisk is a card that you can play in almost any deck with units.

Somehow it all works.

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