Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
1 Ungolim the Listener
3 Daring Cutpurse
3 Fighters Guild Recruit
2 Finish Off
3 Murkwater Witch
3 Snake tooth Necklace
3 Thieves Guild Recruit
3 Morkul Gatekeeper
3 Withered Hand Cultist
2 Deshaan Avenger
3 Earthbone Spinner
3 Blood Dragon
2 Cliff Racer
3 Snowy Sabre Cat
1 Allena Benoch
3 Child of Hircine
2 Savage Ogre
3 Vigilant Giant
1 Tazkad the Packmaster
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
1 [card]Ungolim the Listener[/card]
3 [card]Daring Cutpurse[/card]
3 [card]Fighters Guild Recruit[/card]
2 [card]Finish Off[/card]
3 [card]Murkwater Witch[/card]
3 [card]Snake tooth Necklace[/card]
3 [card]Thieves Guild Recruit[/card]
3 [card]Morkul Gatekeeper[/card]
3 [card]Withered Hand Cultist[/card]
2 [card]Deshaan Avenger[/card]
3 [card]Earthbone Spinner[/card]
3 [card]Blood Dragon[/card]
2 [card]Cliff Racer[/card]
3 [card]Snowy Sabre Cat[/card]
1 [card]Allena Benoch[/card]
3 [card]Child of Hircine[/card]
2 [card]Savage Ogre[/card]
3 [card]Vigilant Giant[/card]
1 [card]Tazkad the Packmaster[/card]
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The first important note is don’t focus too much on the abilities written on the cards, they’re useful but it’s all about the high hp they have. If your opponent lightning bolt + crushing blow’s your child of hyrcine then you 2-1’d them, they spent more mana, and they probably already took a hit. Now they have no removal in hand, what are they going to do about the next one?
Next keep in mind that you are a defensive deck. You’re looking to kill around turn 9-12, that’s where you’ve gotten the most benefit out of chaining big guys together and early aggressive creatures don’t contribute to that, that’s why we have such a reactive early game and no burn and pillage/jarl. It is still enough pressure that we don’t have the same hist grove weakness control decks do.
Strategy-wise the early turns are pretty simple, the cards just do whats written on them. Turn 5+ if you want to play a defensive card over something big and fat you need a very good reason to do so. Remember if you blow all your defensive cards clearing, your opponent rebuilds next turn then you’re stuck with big guys in hand and die. If you play big guys, take a ton of damage, THEN play your defensive cards you now still have a big guy in play to answer/race their rebuild.
In terms of options for deck-building you should always adapt to the metagame of the day. If you keep losing to a deck at a rate you feel is unacceptable feel free to change things up. Pyromancer is good against slaughterfish decks, shadow shift is good against ramp scouts, charge guys help against control decks.
For budget options yes Alena can come out for the 3rd finish off (or a single leaflurker). Withered hand cultist can break down into shadow shifts and finish off if necessary (or pyromancers if the meta is good for them). Tazkad and the 3rd vigilant giant aren’t mandatory but be careful that you’re weakening your proactive threat count. They can potentially turn into the 3rd cliff racer and 3rd savage ogre. Pahma-raht Renegade is also a card with some potential if you crack some in packs.