Thanks! And thus you have a Rhino Rampage deck! [Growth]/Bashing/Past.
“That’s just DeGrey-ding” or “You’ve made a monkey out of me”
The gameplan is to use Geiger’s Temporal Distortion spell on Jefferson DeGrey to bring out Disguise Monkey. Twice.
Feral/[Fire]/Finesse - Roaring Fire! In A Crowded Theater
Play aggressively with Finesse’s powerful early game spells and some T0/T1 hasty dudes. Two-Step + a haste unit is a lot of sudden attacking power. (+Centaur is good overpower). Discord (or Behind the Ferns) helps red starter’s fragile attackers survive to attack again. Harmony lets you get away with casting more spells - 3x 2/1 unstoppables is nothing to sneeze at, but it might be more situational for this dex. If you can get Jaina out as well, it works well with Fire Dart. Finally, Jaina whole suite of fire things gives you answers to Tower or pesky heroes who eat your dog & level up to heal.
Blood/[Bashing]/Balance - True Balance
You start with the perfectly balanced neutral deck, equally suited to an aggressive Blood build or patient Balance tech. Will you walk the middle road, or be seduced by an extreme?
There’s a surprising amount of synergy here - between Kidnapping, Nature Reclaims, and Tiny Chameleon, you can deal with units, heroes, buildings, and upgrades. Rickety Mine and Gemscout Owl help with leveling expensive Troq and Midori. Bashing units benefit greatly from Drakk’s haste sources, and include 3 economical vanilla units for Midori’s midband. If you have access to both Blood & Balance, your opponent /must/ respect the possibility of a Shoddy Glider + Wandering Mimic play - your reward for keeping the balance.
I think this one is an actual competitive deck, described in serious posts elsewhere.
The General Gets What he Wants -
The man who killed Grave’s father (I imagine the ghost of Daigo Stormborne would be confused fighting alongside Onimaru), and the same man who turned Geiger’s creations into an army used for oppression. If a man will not give up his sword, he can instead become his sword. For their own good of course.
Mirror, Mirror: [Truth]/Anarchy/Present. I theory-crafted this in the “What’s your favorite deck?” thread, but when I tried it out it was even more fun to play Chaos Mirror on Mirror Tokens than I had thought. I lost pretty hard, but it might be viable?
Green Lantern: [Growth]/Blood/Future. The goal is to get out GaLina GLimmer, Shoddy GLider, and GiLded GLaxx.
Casual: IsotopeX (Mono-Green) vs NikoBolas (Growth/Necro/Peace)
Ninja Deathstrike: [Ninjutsu]/Necromancy/Finesse
Combine Finesse’s precision with a ninja’s natural deadliness and stealth. Then Necromancy adds an extra helping of deathiness.
Gimme Dat: [Law]/Blood/Future. Community Service, Kidnapping, Ogre Recruiter, and Assimilate. Take what you want!
The Birds: [Peace/Truth]/Strength/Fire/Balance/Disease
Use Aven and Bird’s Nest at Tech 0. If running Balance, Gemscout Owl at Tech I. Depending on your specs, either Air Hammer, Roc, Molting Firebird, and/or Cursed Crow at Tech II.
My preference is [Peace]/Strength/Fire, with a Tech Lab, and maybe some General’s Hammers for good measure. Air Hammer seems so solid in a base race or in taking out Tech buildings, and Firebird hits all of the opponent’s defense. BUT, Disease gives you one slightly cheaper hero, and Truth gives you one genuinely cheap hero. Truth is probably the best, for copying Rook’s birds early, and copying Air Hammer later.
Sirlin’s Angels - Demonology/Finesse/Feral
3 combat oriented female heroes, you should always build a heroes’ hall!
Stranger Thugs - Strength/Growth/Bashing
3 demihuman heroes inexplicably working together!
Typical MTG Control - Law/Fire/Discipline
You’ve got Wrath of God, Lightning Bolts, and Disenchant plus lots of ways to answer potential threats. Jurisdiction gives you a toolbox of answers and depending on the starter you can be more aggressive or more controlling. Injunction as often as you can to really simulate an MTG control deck.
Token.dec - Necromancy/Growth/Peace
All your heroes make multiple tokens and you’ve got MoLaC available. Garth can also fetch an Over-sized Rhinoceros which isn’t on theme, but seems prettttty good.
Surprise! - Anarchy/Ninjutsu/Present
Lots and lots of haste options as well as some stealth. I think Inverse Power Ninja would go nicely with the Red starter. You can give all kinds of things haste which can make for some surprising turns. Maybe Drakk would be better than Zane?
Your Surprise! is actually one I’ve talked about with @Hobusu. It was going to be my next deck after CAWS. I was going to challenge you with it, actually.
I’ve currently trying out Ninjutsu/Anarchy/X, precisely for the Stealth (as @ARMed_PIrate knows). Although I prefer the White starter with it. My latest try is with X=Balance (stealthy Basilisks are pretty useful, plus it gives me a way to destroy upgrades and potentially fliers), but I’m not settled on that. I’m not quite sure what Present brings to the mix - other than more haste and being generally great, of course!
@NikoBolas - I would change your Sirlin’s Angels deck, replacing Finesse with Fire. I’m not sure River is really a “combat hero”, Jaina seems much more fitting, both thematically and gameplay wise (your other 2 heroes smash them directly, while Jaina lurks behind and destroys buildings with Flame Arrows etc).
When I think of a “combat” hero, I think they midband at 3 and maxband at 5, gaining +1/+1 at each stage. Both Vandy and Cal do this, but you’re right River is a little smaller even at maxband. She does provide some utility (as would Jaina!) as well as some speed (not sure if you need it with Vandy).
Hero strategies in general seem fragile because if you misplay or your opponent finds a weakness they can quickly benefit from the 2 free levels.
Law of Nature
In nature more often than not, Balance = Strength.
[Balance], Strength, Law
[Law], Balance, Strength
[Necromancy]/Past/Wheel – You die in the Past, you Die Forever.
Objective: Prynn maxband, Trash 1 unit (+1 with a seer), Netherdrain Prynn to midband, Blackhand resurrector her after she dies to fading upkeep.
Pull it off and you PROBABLY win! Even works on targetable tech 3s! Spend a bit of gold, never have to deal with any more pesky Pirate Gunships.
3rd wheel, probably not important to the pairing, but sticks around trying to be interesting.
Could be anything.
Looking over your thoughts in the thread against Eric, I noticed you didn’t consider Discipline as a third spec. Do you think it would be worth it for Training Grounds?
Can honestly make an okay argument for quite a lot of specs, even outside of tech 2 reasons.
Discipline has a 2/3 sparkshot -> 3/4 readiness hero at the 4 gold midband level which is quite spectacular. Tech 1 also brings sparring partner (cheap, really strong effect if you can keep it on the field, as even non-combat heroes have decent enough stats and leveling with a mere +1/+1 to defend reasonably against many combat tier heroes) and Rambasa twins as a two in one garth maxband target.
Strength has Rook, who is pretty self explanatory in terms of early hero drops – not much at tech 1, but birds nest and possibly entangling vines are strong enough that you probably don’t care.
Sets lacks the same kind of statblock as the others but maintains a respectable offensive capability or can be quite taxing to attack if not patrolling early on. Tech 1 has a beefcake with IPN and speed of the fox/hidden ninja give some irritating options.
At tech 2, Discipline has all variously good units (and a few mystics too!), strength is possibly least exciting generically as not much exists to boost Doubling, though grappler is respectable, and De Gray is situational, while Glorious Ninjas, and Porcupines are quite good.
The important thing to remember is that Tech 2 is a fairly long way into the game, so first I would be asking to examine what specifically you want to be bringing in for the early stages; a combat hero and something strong in the early game is probably as good or better to be thinking about than any modest tech 2 considerations like training grounds.
Mostly just revolves around Wandering Mimic. Hopefully the Nullcraft can imbue it with haste and flying. Zane can maybe do haste if not. Geiger can maybe add sparkshot. Balance can add most of the abilities somehow.
Anarchy mostly chosen because haste and flying are both key and Zane can add haste easily. Anarchy also allows Chaos Mirror which is fairly strong with Nullcraft. That can help survive until the Mimics come out.
Faerie Dragon also has some synergy with Nullcraft. Just hit a unit for 1 with the nullcraft and put a Faerie Dragon rune on it and it dies.
Pirate Gunship is pretty good air power too with a tech lab on Anarchy. Temporal Distortion could also be pretty good with hasty flying mimics as could the Geiger max band ability.
With this deck you probably don’t want to sit long at tech 1, if you can avoid it. The idea is to use cheap stuff to hopefully hold off the opponent for a few turns and allow you to do devote gold to early tech 2. Maybe even skip tech 1 entirely and just tech spells before turn 2 and mimics before turn 3 so they will be in deck for the second go around with the aim to get P2T3 tech 2 with mimics casted and swinging on P2T4.
The threat of Zane coming out does OK at convincing the opponent not to mount the strongest possible offense also, which is helpful.
Don’t you want Future for the Air Force?
The only Tech 0 flyer is purple, the only Tech 1 flyer is Gargoyle (though you could argue Bird’s nest is a pseudo tech 1), but probably doesn’t fit in the air force. Present doesn’t actually have any flying.