Author Topic: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck  (Read 601 times)

Offline CtheTree

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CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« on: March 02, 2021, 05:16:03 PM »
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Greetings Redemption fans! So on the Redemption discord in a conversation with RedDragonThorn I realized that decks rarely get posted on here. This could be due to a few factors but most likely I think it is because people in the community are not building many decks since due to COVID they do not have tournaments to play in. The only decks that really are getting built are for those that play on Lackey and in the online tournaments that Crashfach has been hosting. This is a small crowd.

I am relatively new to the Redemption competitive community (was a collector before that and came back to the game in 2019 after roughly a 10 year break from the game) but I am active in deck building as I am one of the few who regularly plays on Lackey.

I love deck building and want to see more deck building conversations happening. I had not posted most of what I have built because I wanted to save some of what I discovered for if I get to go to Nats someday. However, I have decided for the benefit of the community and the health of the game to share all that I have discovered. Over the last year I have built many decks so for a while I am going to start a little series called "CtheTree's Take On". In this series I will share the decks I have built for all of you to enjoy.

I figured I would start off with the new Daniel Deck which is gaining popularity. I have a slightly unorthodox approach to Daniel Deck which has yielded some interesting results.

Deck (50 cards): (* Denotes a non-Daniel card)


Lost Souls:

6   Lost Soul (Daniel 9:10) (Promo)
1   Lost Soul (Daniel 9:5) (Covenant Breakers)

Dominants:

1   Angel of the Lord (I)* (Added with hesitation, explained later)
1   Son of God (I)*
1   The Second Coming (CoW AB)*
1   Three Woes (RoJ AB)*

Fortresses/Sites:

1   Fiery Furnace
1   Lions' Den
1   Majestic Heavens (Promo)*

Artifacts:

1   Darius' Decree

Dual-Alignment Enhancements:

1   Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
1   Eternal Judgment

Dual-Alignment Characters:

1   Fifth Seal, Justice Seekers (RoJ)*
1   Nebuchadnezzar (PoC)

Heroes:

1   Michael (Ki)
1   Gabriel (Ki)
1   The Foretelling Angel (PC)
1   Daniel, the Apocalyptist (PoC)
1   Abed-nego (Azariah) (PoC)
1   Meshach (Mishael) (PoC)
1   Shadrach (Hananiah) (PoC)
1   Daniel's Guardian
1   Servants by the River
1   Watcher

Good Enhancements:

1   Faith Unbowed (LoC)
1   Daniel's Prayer (Promo)
1   The Coming Prince
1   Angelic Guidance (I)*
1   Consider the Lilies*
1   Wheel within a Wheel (FooF)*
1   Love Righteousness*
1   Stone Cut Without Hands

Evil Characters:

1   King Belshazzar
1   Conjurers
1   Belshazzar's Mother
1   Babylonian Soldiers
1   Lions
1   Soothsayers of Babylon
1   The Winged Lion (PoC)

Evil Enhancements:

1   Belshazzar's Banquet
1   Nebuchadnezzar's Pride
1   Great Image (PoC)
1   Head of Gold
1   Cut Off
1   Large Tree (TxP)

Reserve:

1   Scattered
1   Persian Horsemen / Persian Horses
1   Lurking (Promo)
1   Fire Foxes
1   Undefiled
1   The First Sacrifice
1   Lost Soul (Hopper) (FoM)
1   Noah's Ark (Ark of Salvation)
1   Cast into Lion's Den
1   Destroying Bands (LoC)
Christian, Husband, Father, Youth Pastor, Romans 11:33-36. Editor for Land of Redemption.

Offline CtheTree

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2021, 05:18:40 PM »
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Summary:

As you can see in the main deck there are only 10 non-Daniel cards. Four of these are doms and 5 of the rest are all consistency pieces for getting The Foretelling Angel out. If drawn correctly they can all search each other out (remember Fifth Seal/Justice Seekers counts as a white hero for Love Righteousness to search out). The last non-Daniel card in the main deck is Majestic Heavens which is critical for soul gen but it too can be searched out by Angelic Guidance (Majestic Heavens counts as a silver card) and Large Tree.

I feel that the best Daniel build is the one that has as few non-Daniel cards as possible. The reason is that non-Daniel cards are "speed bumps" in the draw off of The Foretelling Angel. The only real reason to run a Daniel deck is the speed of The Foretelling Angel. Most of the Daniel cards are weak compared to the cards you get in other meta builds. The way that Daniel deck can be viable is due to the potential speed of The Foretelling Angel. This deck can set up incredibly fast and win quickly. I only run four dominants which are all essential. Son of God and The Second coming are a must. Three Woes is very important for cards like "The First Sacrifice" which is quite important in this build. My first version of this deck did not have Angel of the Lord and was even faster than this one as a result but I found the offense did need Angel of the Lord as a support.

In the current meta in Redemption it is all about speed. This deck enables you to get the tools you need fast to make three successful rescues. Most other decks need more than four doms to win a game but I am starting to think the Daniel deck does not. In fact I think having more doms is a detriment since they are a speed bump to getting what you need to win the game.

Consistency:

I have gold-fished this deck numerous times and have found it to be rather consistent. However, it requires incredibly precise play. I have gotten the deck to 20 cards or less by the end of turn 2 almost every time. I have gotten down to 10 cards or less by the end of turn 2 numerous times. The version that did not have Angel of the Lord was even more consistent since it has one less speed bump. The one issue I have found with consistency is that the deck really needs one or two more Daniel heroes. It is a shame when no heroes show up on the draw. Also 1-2 more tutors for The Foretelling Angel would be nice. Right now I believe the only tutors for it main deck that exist are: Love Righteousness (snags Fifth Seal/Justice Seekers), Consider the Lillies, Fifth Seal/Justice Seekers, Daniel's Prayer, Angelic Guidance, and Wheel within a Wheel. With the possibility of drawing TFA itself there are 7 total ways to get TFA out on turn one. One more would make it more consistent especially if there were more Daniel heroes.

A key to consistency is using your shuffles strategically. Most other Daniel decks have Mayhem, Wages of Sin, and Faith as other shuffle options. I tried these and found they are nice for shuffling but they are also potential speed bumps for TFA! Also only one of them (Faith) can be searched out by the other shuffle cards in the deck. I have found that Love Righteousness, Consider the Lillies, Fifth Seal/Justice Seekers, Angelic Guidance, and Wheel within a Wheel are the best shuffle options because they have the potential to search each out. Of course the Daniel shuffle cards (Daniel's Prayer and Large Tree) are great as well. You have to use these wisely to get the maximum draw off of TFA.

Offense:

The offense centers around banding Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Daniel, Servants by the River, and normally Gabriel together. This is a strong band especially with CBN support from TFA. It protects LS's from evil cards, protects human heroes from lone EC's/discard, negates evil characters and NT enh's, prevents the next enhancement, draws 1 (which is nice due to Majestic Heavens topdeck), can ensure a Daniel enhancement on top from reserve due to Abednego, and discards an EE from opponents deck with Gabriel. Add having Eternal Judgment out and this is a tough band to stop. The one downfall of Daniel decks that are not fast enough is it takes too long to assemble this band. In this build I normally have the full band assembled by turn 2 and almost always am really close by turn 3. I should also mentioned that after Nebby has blocked once if he survives he can be a great addition to the Daniel band as a hero due to his toss ability! I think that sometimes gets overlooked.


Continued on next post...
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 02:07:14 PM by CtheTree »
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Offline CtheTree

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2021, 05:56:12 PM »
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Offense Continued:

The main rescues I aim for are 1) Playing Faith Unbowed in territory to provide essentially CBN protection of the aforementioned band or variants of it. If played correctly that is pretty much a guaranteed rescue. 2) Using The First Sacrifice to get rid of their block from hand not once but twice thanks to The Coming Prince. This stops stuff like Scattered and the like which can possibly stop the Daniel bands. 3) Using Angel of the Lord to win a battle. 4) Using Eternal Judgment, Undefiled, or Daniel's Prayer to negate their enhancement that they play in battle.

The offense is capable and quite strong if you get it assembled. The key though is having a fast enough deck to get all of your tools out. I have watched Daniel decks falter because they are too slow and you really need quite a bit of set up to win battles with this offense.

I do hem and haw back and forth about including Angel of the Lord or not. I do feel it is necessary to ensure 3 successful rescues at this point.

Defense:

I believe I found a key to a successful Daniel deck defense. The key is including Lion's Den to grab Persian Horsemen from reserve. This is vital since the deck then has two EC's that can grab strong block components from Reserve in Conjurers and Persian Horsemen. They can both grab Lurking (which creates a block with Fire Foxes from reserve), Scattered, and Destroying Bands (which is strong with things like Lions and Nebby's toss being available).

Another key discovery is Large Tree. Most Daniel decks run Wages of Sin as another shuffle option and it does work but is a potential speed bump for TFA. I find Large Tree (which can be played on Nebby or Belshazzar) as a great alternative since it can grab Majestic Heavens which is another speed bump or Lion's Den. It has worked great since it is a Daniel card and pretty consistently I have either Belshazzar or Nebby out to play it on with how fast this build is. Nebby also likes the 1/1 being added to him each turn since he has a toss ability.

The rest of the defense is straightforward with Belshazzar's Banquet being a nice block and trying to pull of a well timed Head of Gold or Great Image.

The last thing I will emphasize is the great importance of The Winged Lion (PoC). He is so important in a build this fast since he ensures if you deck out that a Daniel card can be put in the deck to be on top for TFA. Also he can recur Mene, Mene for reserve access. The latter is vitally important for getting offensive tools from reserve. He can also reserve a Daniel card from hand for Abednego to topdeck which is vital for having CBN support from TFA.

Continued on next post...
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 08:15:01 PM by CtheTree »
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Offline CtheTree

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2021, 05:56:46 PM »
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Reserve:

The reserve is key for Daniel deck. Obviously there are plenty of tools for creating blocks for the defense that Conjurers/Persian Horsemen/Mene Mene can grab.

Noah's Ark is very important for protecting the offense and TFA. The First Sacrifice is great support for the offense.

Undefiled and Cast into Lion's Den are important for Abednego to have to topdeck to ensure CBN support from TFA. Undefiled is a nice negate as well for the offense and Cast into Lion's Den is a tool against annoyances like KoT (PoC) or Red Dragon (although he is a bit weaker due to Michael often being in play). Also Persian Horsemen can grab Cast into Lion's Den.

Support:

For soul gen I have found Majestic Heavens to be best since it can be grabbed with Large Tree or Angelic Guidance and can topdeck Hopper for extra soul gen. Meshach can draw hopper after it is topdecked. Also Heavens provides some extra reserve access.

Reserve access beyond Majestic Heavens is enough for evil with Conjurers/Persian Horsemen being able to grab the evil tools. Mene, Mene also can help here.

For good Cov Breakers can grab The First Sacrifice or Noah's Ark. Abednego can grab the Daniel enhancements from reserve.

Mene, Mene is the key reserve access tool and since it can be recurred by The Winged Lion it is not a one trick pony!

Darius Decree is a nice budget Golden Calf (for the enhancement part of the ability) and Fiery Furnace can be a great way to get a good dom out of the deck.

Conclusion:

Overall I think this version of Daniel deck is solid and I do believe it is superior to versions that have more non-Daniel cards. It requires really precise play and is a tight build.

The strength of the deck is getting 3 rescues as fast as possible, and having SoG+TSC to seal the deal. The defense can get enough blocks to survive and I believe a big part of that is the way the reserve is set up not to mention Lion's Den.

Do you have any thoughts on this build? Any ideas for it?

EDIT:

An example of the incredible speed of this build just happened. I was goldfishing the deck and by the end of my second turn only had 1 card left in the deck: Three Woes. For a start like that though you have to draw a couple of the doms normally in the first two turns. However, starts of having 10 or less cards by the end of the second turn and even the first are pretty common with this build! I have to stress the importance of using your shuffles correctly though. It is critical.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 08:05:36 PM by CtheTree »
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Offline Sean

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2021, 08:45:26 AM »
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Not sure if you have done this or if it would be helpful but have you ever used Gabriel's search on your own deck?
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Offline sepjazzwarrior

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2021, 11:44:04 AM »
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I like your build, large tree to lions den to persan horsemen is pretty cool, would totally use it if i wasnt using CwD.  Have you found soothsayers and bels mother to be very useful?

Offline Reth

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2021, 05:29:06 PM »
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I really like themed decks!  :D :thumbup: - Hope to see a competitive Exodus-themed build or a Genesis one (no flood, no creation - maybe Patriarchs 'n' stuff) one day!

Offline TheJaylor

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2021, 01:28:49 AM »
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Looks really solid. Didn't realize how strong the Daniel band had gotten to be with the layers of CBN protection. Have you found the defense to be sturdy enough? I guess the shear amount of resources you can get very quickly helps, but the main problem I've seen with the deck is just not having many strong blocks.

Also, did you consider using Vain Vision or Mayhem in your Dom slots? Obviously it's not great when either gets stuck on top, but both of them work well with Foretelling by either setting the top or shuffling a non-Daniel card. Maybe just the four Dominants you have is the best option to run as few non-Daniels as possible, but they might be able to add enough value to be worth it.

No Astrologers? I suppose if the deck is decking out in the first few turns you won't have anything to reveal anyway, plus the only non-Daniel evil card you have is Woes, so I guess I see it. Having another magician for Conjurors and Soothsayers seems like it'd be good though.

Are Mene, Mene and Majestic Heavens the only ways to get Ark out of Reserve? Has that been consistent enough the same turn you get Foretelling? With all the Artifact searching these days it seems likely that a lot of decks can get to Endless+Flying Scroll just as easily as you can get to Foretelling.

Offline CtheTree

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2021, 03:15:15 AM »
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@Sean: Interesting you should mention that. While I was typing the post I realized Gabriel is another option for shuffling my deck to reset for TFA. I think it could be a good play in some situations. There are some enhancements like Cut Off that are there just for the star ability that could be discarded by Gabriel without causing much damage to the deck.

@sepjazzwarrior: I really liked Soothsayers as an option for slowing down an opponent. They are great for stopping a dom from being played for a bit or another key card. The only issue is if a Daniel card is not on top of the deck and Daniel enters battle then he negates them and an opponent can play the card from hand if it is a dom. Bels Mother is honestly there mainly to protect Nebby and King Belshazzar since they are two of the better blockers. I honestly might slot The Terrifying Beast (PoC) in for Soothsayers or Bels Mother. Terrifying Beast is great with so many people running SH and Ark of Salvation. In the version of the deck where I did not run AotL I ran Terrifying Beast and it can be a good situational block and is a Daniel card.

@TheJaylor: The defense is not the best but I find my build to be better than most Daniel deck defenses due to being able to snag Persian Horsemen easily. With Nebby, Persian Horsemen, and Conjurers I have three solid blockers. Belsh Banquet is a block and I can reuse it with King Belshazzar. I find my build does have enough blocks to make it by. I do think I want The Terrifying Beast (PoC) in place of Bels Mother or Soothsayers. Have not decided which to cut though.

I did consider Mayhem. It is a real toss up. I would not cut one of the four I have for it but it could be worth adding it as a fifth dom. Personally I found it is not worth it especially since the deck does draw so fast and no real card advantage happens off Mayhem due to Doms and enh being in hand that cannot really be played down right away. You also often end up shuffling non-Daniel cards back into the deck with Mayhem. Vain Vision may be better due to this. I had not thought of it and frankly for this build I think it is superior to Mayhem since you do not run the risk of putting non-Daniel cards back in the deck and can strategically manipulate the top 6 for TFA. I will test it out and see how it does! Cool idea.

Astrologers would be nice for the extra Magician support. Astrologers is essential in builds that run Wages of Sin and more non-Daniel evil cards. Could be good if someone hit me with Mayhem and I have some non-Daniel evil cards from my reserve in hand! Might be worth putting them in instead of Soothsayers due to the possible clash Soothsayers has with Daniel's negate. Precise play though does avoid that issue.

Regarding Noah's Ark I have found Mene/MH (and don't forget Cov Breakers can get it too) consistent enough to get Noah's Ark. In an ideal world I would like to have more but that would mean adding more non-Daniel cards.

Thanks for the ideas guys. I think I am going to try to incorporate Astrologers and The Terrifying Beast in place of Soothsayers and Bels Mother. Also Vain Vision is intriguing!

The biggest issue with the Daniel deck still is there just are not enough heroes or tutors to guarantee a T1 TFA. 7 options in the deck (which includes TFA itself) to get TFA seems like enough but with limited heroes it just is not. Love Righteousness and Consider the Lilies both require a white and silver hero turn 1 to get TFA since through Fifth seal they link to Angelic Guidance as the direct tutor. The other tutors only require one brigade of hero to work but often you draw the tutor but not the necessary heroes to play the tutor(s). Until you get TFA the deck does really struggle. Ran into this in a game with TheGuardian yesterday on Lackey. Once you get TFA things get rolling real fast but until then it is miserable.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 03:47:34 AM by CtheTree »
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Offline I Am Bread

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2021, 11:20:49 AM »
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Have you thought on maybe adding The Bronze Laver to the reserve? It's a good way to cycle through your deck a bit faster, especially if your stuck on something. Although it may be better in main deck
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 11:45:23 AM by I Am Bread »
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Offline CtheTree

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2021, 02:08:57 PM »
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@I Am Bread: I like the idea of Bronze Laver. Kind of has the same impact as Vain Vision which was mentioned by TheJaylor but is able to be used more than once. Sounds like a good thing to test!
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Offline CtheTree

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Re: CtheTree's Take on Daniel Deck
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2021, 12:19:14 PM »
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Due to encouragement from some in the community I have decided to publish this series on deck building that I am doing on Land of Redemption. The above posts are now in an article at LoR here: http://landofredemption.com/?p=10732

From now on I will publish my "CtheTree's Take On..." series on Land of Redemption and will post a link to the article here on the forums in the deck building section.

Thanks everyone for all of your feedback so far and feel free to send more feedback my way if you have any!
Christian, Husband, Father, Youth Pastor, Romans 11:33-36. Editor for Land of Redemption.