The commonest type of theme deck in TCGs is the tribal deck; a deck whose cards share a creature type or work particularly well with that type. Hearthstone has its dragons, pirates and murloc decks, Eternal players field decks full of dinosaurs or grenadins, and Magic has in its long history had decks for more creature types than all other games combined, from the sublimely silly wombat or squirrel to the brutally efficient tier 1 humans, elves or merfolk. Likewise, SolForge has had its fair share of different tribal decks. Plants and darkforged rule the unheroic and unlegendary queues. Robots and dinosaurs have long been staples of standard. And zombies are just everywhere.
Today’s deck, whilst not a true tribal deck, is certainly in a similar vein. The Court of Life and Death is a deck all about the real movers and shakers of Solis- the royalty and nobility.
First and foremost, we have the ruler of all who live and die within the Nekrium mausoleums and necropoli- mighty Varna, Immortal King. Demons, grimgaunts, vampires and even powerful and proud dragons bend their knees in his presence. He IS the King.
Joining Varna on his icy throne are two queens. The first is his fellow Forgeborn Nova, Grove Queen. Very much his equal and opposite, Nova is the Queen of all that grows in the caves of the Uterra. Where she goes, a constantly growing throng follows in her wake. And as your creatures grow and evolve, so too does she grow in power.
Varna’s other bride is the mistress of both life and death- the twisted Dysian Broodqueen. As a ruler of the living force of the Uterra she brings with her a snake to do her bidding. But as her liege lord commands, she harnesses the power of death to sacrifice your lesser creatures to kill those of your opponent.
Next amongst the King’s retinue are the knightly orders that bring his order to the hellish lands of the Nekrium, the mighty fists of the King’s long and vengeful arm. On the one hand we have the cruel aristocratic vampire knights of the Ebonskull Knights, bondsmen of the infamous Vyric Ebonskull. Only a creature of the Immortal King’s stature could make these knights bend their knee to any other than their master. And on the other side we have the hordes of the Scourge Knights, pestilent zombies that kill with a withering sickness more devastating than any weapon forged.
And finally we come to the lords- the minor nobles and functionaries of court. Vampiric Ebonbound Warlords attend to Varna’s every whim, whilst Nova’s retinue of Tuskin Sporelords work tirelessly to spread her plant friends further.
Of course, no Forgeborn of Solis relies solely on their minions and allies. The most successful also harness other magics, to hamper their foes and bolster their allies. Dread Varna knows the secrets of sacrificial magic, allowing him to harness the lifeforce of his own minions to cast additional spells or summon extra minions. The pestilential magic known as Epidemic is also his to command, killing his foes en masse from afar. Nova’s more wholesome magics serve to summon still more plants to her cause and bolster her and her allies.
So there you have it- a deck fit for a king. And even if the deck never wins a single match, the fun I’ve had coming up with it makes it worthwhile. Next time you build a deck, maybe you should see what fun stories you can tell with your deck. Until next time, have fun and I’ll see you in the queues!