Welcome back to another installment of Market Research. Today I would like to talk about Winchest Merchant and Justice Markets. As for Winchest Merchant itself, the card has arguably the worst stat line of all the merchants (only Kerendon Merchant compares), as a 2/2 flier is just not much pressure or added value compared to Jennev or Auralian Merchant respectively. However, some decks demand high access to their Justice cards, making Winchest Merchant a situationally-strong pick.
Today I'll reflect on the history of one of my favorite ranked play decks—Xenan Killers ('Killers'). It's a deck that has gone in and out of meta success since the early days of Eternal. This article will analyze lists in chronological order and discuss the angles at which each version of Killers attacked the meta. This article primarily relates to ranked play, but at the end I will include some of my thoughts on where I see this archetype in Gauntlet.
Before I jump in to talking about the Skycrag and Praxis cards that fit into these shells, I would like to mention that in my previous article, when talking about mono Fire cards in category 2, I missed Groundbreaker. This was a grievous oversight, as Groundbreaker can be very important for decks with a lot of burn in them to ensure that the opponent doesn’t stabilize with a single Lumen Defender or what-have-you.
Anyway, back to our systematic approach to Markets.
As a paid player who'd crafted complete sets of each card in the game, when Set 4 landed I faced the prospect of farming over 30 new rares (to say nothing of legendaries) just to keep my experiments viable enough to play in ranked. It was too much. While I'm sure many players have provided more financial support to DWD than I have, I've paid for easily a handful of at-release AAA titles and I'm the kind of person who waits for Steam sales.
Here’s a survey of what works in Ranked.
Right now, Argenport is more or less on vacation. Why? Because both Winchest and Kerendon Merchant are absolutely terrible for AP midrange’s up-tempo gameplan. Simply, 2 attack units for 3 that die to Torch are not where you want to be for a fairly up-tempo deck.
The single most common Fire market card is Bore, and for good reason. It is one of the most powerful cards that fit into category 2 in the game, let alone in Fire. When I make a Fire market, Bore is always the first card in, and while I am always willing to believe there is an exception, I have yet to remove Bore from a Fire market. Highly recommend.
However, I said we would go at this systematically, and so we shall.
Eternal players don't really have creative names for their decks. Sure, sometimes you'll get a fun name like "Blitz" or "Scrappy Hour', but most of the time it's just faction-archetype titles (like "Stonescar Aggro" or "TJP Mid") or a portmanteau of the key cards in the deck (like "Kennadin" or "Icaria Blue").