Decks to Beat: ToP Lizard Wizards

Once, in the distant mists of time, I conducted an examination to try and come up with the “typical” Breeder deck when that concoction was having its final day in the sun (before Kali-Ma and Embassy of the Crane had their way with it). With so many Phoenix decks making the cut these days, and so many of those Temple of Purity Nonhuman Shugenja decks, I thought it might be worth running out here again.

Well, turns out that there’s less homogeneity among these decks than you might think, but still I think it’s a useful exercise when it comes to figuring out what you need to playtest against.

Stronghold: Temple of Purity
Border Keep XP
Bamboo Harvesters basic

The Stronghold is, of course, fixed by the nature of this exercise (you can’t just lump the Library of Rebirth decks, even the nonhuman-based ones, in with these). Use of BKXP and BH basic was nearly universal.

Celestials/Events/Regions (5):

1x Imperial Gift
1x Jurojin’s Blessing
1x The Wall is Breached
2x ???

Use of Imperial Gift (to fetch Sacred Rosary of the Constrictors, if nothing else) is universal, and use of Jurojin’s is almost universal. There’s a wide, wide variety of choices, many of them meta used for the final two slots, with Sun’s Aspiration (for the extra Gold) the most common.

Holdings (13):

3x Silver Mine
3x Ageless Shrine
1x Temples of Gisei Toshi
1x Traveling Peddler
1x The Mystical Merchant
4x ???

Pretty obvious for the basics here – 2G Holdings that produce 3, and the card draw Holdings. The most common selection for the final few slots is a playset of Jungle Stockade. A random Incense Mill is probably a good placeholder for the 13th Holding slot.

Personalities (22):
3x Quelsa
3x Kunji
1x The Dark Naga
1x Kunji xp
3x Natsumi
3x Shiba Sansesuke
3x Isawa Shunsuko
3x Tess’kss
2x ???

Use of Quelsa, Kunji (basic and XP) and The Dark Naga was universal (Sansesuke was universal as well, but a few decks actually didn’t run three of him, which surprised me). Natsumi, Shunsuko, and Tess’kss were not as universal, but are still the standard. The most likely Personality for one of the final slots is Fukuzo xp. After that, either Asako Chukage (if you’re packing Ring of Water) or a random Sleepless One.

Strategies (23):
3x Sneak Attack
3x Sundering Strike
1x A Game of Dice
1x Creating Order
1x Closing the Gap
1x Serenity in Air
2x Broken Cipher

This is probably the most variable part of the deck. You can pretty much always expect to see the 12 cards listed above, but after that it’s kind of all over the place, including possibilities such as a chi-death package (Frozen in Place/Theological Indecision) and possibly some assortment of Ranged Attacks (Siege Volley, Precision, No Hiding Place). A decent gauntlet rounding out of this might be:

3x Oblivious
1x A Yojimbo’s Duty
2x Indecision
1x The Heir’s Wrath
4x ???

OK, that’s not really entirely rounded out, is it? A two-pack of No Hiding Place is a common addition, but make sure your overall package includes enough Ranged Attacks. For example, a pair of Siege Volley or Precision. That combination showed up in about half the decks.

Spells (12):
3x Mara’s Touch
3x Strength of the Tsunami
3x Channeling the Fallen
3x ???

Mara’s Touch and Strength of the Tsunami are universal, Channeling the Fallen not as much. The final three spots are most likely a playset of A Dragon’s Favor (at which point you’re probably going to have hit enough Ranged Attacks to make 2x No Hiding Place part of the gauntlet deck) or 1x Pearl of Rage + 1x Unnatural Flood + I guess a random A Dragon’s Favor.

Items (2):
1x Sacred Rosary of the Constrictors
1x ???

The second slot here is probably Blades of the Black Dragon. If not, then that slot is generally not an item at all.

Rings (2)
1x Ring of Fire
1x ???

There’s always a Ring of Fire here, but the second Ring is entirely up in the air. Ring of Water here, plus Asako Chukage for the final Personality slot, is an option.

And that Fate deck is still only 39 cards anyway. I’ll round it out with a 13th Spell.

ToP Lizard Wizards Gauntlet Deck

Temple of Purity
Border Keep XP
Bamboo Harvesters

Dynasty:

1x Jurojin’s Blessing
1x The Sun’s Aspiration
1x The Wall is Breached
1x Imperial Gift
1x Disgrace

3x Silver Mine
3x Ageless Shrine
3x Jungle Stockade
1x Incense Mill
1x Temples of Gisei Toshi
1x Traveling Peddler
1x The Mystical Merchant

3x Quelsa
3x Kunji
3x Natsumi
3x Shiba Sansesuke
3x Isawa Shunsuko
3x Tess’kss
1x The Dark Naga
1x Kunji xp
1x Fukuzo xp
1x Asako Chukage

Fate:

3x Sneak Attack
3x Sundering Strike
3x Oblivious
2x Broken Cipher
2x Indecision
2x No Hiding Place
2x Precision
1x A Yojimbo’s Duty
1x Serenity in Air
1x A Game of Dice
1x Creating Order
1x Closing the Gap
1x The Heir’s Wrath

3x Mara’s Touch
3x Strength of the Tsunami
3x Channeling the Fallen
2x A Dragon’s Favor
1x Pearl of Rage
1x Unnatural Flood

1x Sacred Rosary of the Constrictor
1x Blades of the Black Dragon

1x Ring of Fire
1x Ring of Water

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