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Tales of Aria: Day 1 Blitz Decks

Tales of Aria is here! And if you're anything like me, the spread across your table after cracking your packs has inspired more deckbuilding ideas than you can possibly explore! Where to begin?

Let Drew, Kevin, and I show you what we've been brewing.

Glacial Oldhim - by Drew Cordell

Card image of Winter's Wail

Oldhim is a defensive hero, built to weather the storm, block heavily, and swing back with Winter’s Wail. I’ve optimized this day-one list to improve your odds of fusing crucial attacks, and having an ice card to pitch for Winter’s Wail’s cost, threatening a Frostbite token on almost every turn.

Keep your life and equipment healthy, taking strategic blows on the way down to mirror your opponent’s life. Put on some counter-pressure and set up for a powerful Awakening turn that can be used to swing the tempo of the game permanently in your favor.

Card image of Awakening (Blue)

Awakening is likely the most powerful thing Oldhim can do. Tutoring up a strategic attack- and being able to play it for free while also blocking out the previous turn- can and will shift the tide of battle.

Card image of Forged for War (Yellow)

Lean into Forged for War, an old favorite that breathes powerful new life thanks to having an extra equipment slot with Rampart of the Ram's Head. Defend heavily, fuse attacks, and don’t be afraid to arsenal any element cards you used for fuse so you can use Crown of Seeds to replace the card, prevent some damage, and have the resources to block with Rampart.

Card image of Crown of Seeds
Card image of Rampart of the Ram's Head

Stay tuned for my Pro-Subscriber exclusive series that will go in-depth for all things Oldhim in Classic Constructed!

Blitzkrieg Briar - by Kevin Brayer

Defense not your style? More interested in bringing the rain than weathering the storm? Then look no further than Blitzkrieg Briar. This aggressive deck is all-in on Briar's Lightning synergies, looking to besiege opponents' life totals nonstop with a mix of go again attacks and arcane damage.

Card image of Rites of Lightning (Red)

Vela Flash, Rites of Lightning, and Arcanic Shockwave are the core attacks of this deck, and Weave Lightning combos well with each as both buff and fusion enabler. Plunder Run, Electrify, and the collection of Tomes all contribute to our velocity as they allow us to see more cards and help generate Embodiment of Lightning tokens.

Card image of Pulse of Candlehold (Yellow)

Tome of the Arknight is at its best here in conjunction with Pulse of Candlehold. Since we're not aiming to play a long game or dual fuse anything, the combination of Pulse and Tome will generate an Embodiment of Lightning token for you and let you put two cards from your graveyard back in your hand. If you've played an attack action this turn, you can also do something similar with Crown of Dichotomy, using Spellbound Creepers to play Tome at instant speed to keep the turn going.

Card image of Spellbound Creepers

Inspire Lightning is a key card for this deck. Most opponents aren't likely to bring more than Arcane Barrier 1 or 2 against us, which means that it potentially represents some unblockable damage. Since it doesn't have a built in 'go again', it works best with Flash, Vela Flash, and Spellbound Creepers.

Card image of Flash (Yellow)

Rosetta Thorn was my original weapon of choice, but having access to Nebula Blade also allows us to play some mind games with our opponents. If you think they'll go heavier on Arcane Barrier in an attempt to stymy our Thorn damage, we can sidestep that somewhat by playing Nebula Blade instead.

Card image of Nebula Blade

So when the heavens part and you can entwine your fingers around your Tales of Aria plunder, take a moment and feel your pulse electrify, surging with lightning and pure arcanic power, imbued with sacred rites from the tomes of old, giving you the power to defeat your opponents in a flash.

Icy Lexi - by Alex Truell

In my view, Ranger is at its very best when it's focused on disruption. That meant a pure Ice strategy was the obvious first build. This deck leans hard into Shiver's ability to give arrows dominate, and snowballs advantage over the course of the game by screwing up the enemy's cost-to-damage ratio.

Card image of New Horizon
Card image of Shiver

New Horizon gave us the long-awaited 2nd arsenal slot, and as a longtime Azalea player, I quickly found how essential that was for Lexi. Unlike the Pits native, Aria's Ranger is locked into playing out whatever you place in your arsenal; and because of fusion's pattern of play, you're likely to arsenal an Ice card (aka- not an arrow) at the end of your turn. Many turns start with Lexi revealing an Ice card in arsenal to Frostbite an opponent, followed by loading an arrow into the 2nd arsenal slot with Shiver.

Card image of Weave Ice (Red)

Let's talk about Ice cards for a moment. The elements (Ice, Lightning, and Earth) largely defend for 2, so they impact your deck similarly to Generics. Ranger already struggles with defenses, so leaning heavily into Ice cards puts you in a bad defensive position.

Ice cards also don't Fuse- the Elemental cards rely on Ice to reach full potential, but Ice is not, in and of itself, playing that game.

All of this is to say that your Ice pool needs to be carefully chosen and no larger than necessary. As usual, Ranger is deck building in multiple lanes, and looking to draw into an ideal distributions every hand.

Card image of Winter's Bite (Yellow)

Ice cards have 2 roles in your deck. The first is to trigger fusion; the second is to play easily from arsenal to keep your deck flowing. Their pitch value doesn't matter much; these aren't cards for pitching. Actions with 'go again' became the predominant choice (though a few 6s made the cut because Prism exists).

Those familiar with Ranger playstyles should find themselves at home quickly with this deck. The usual strategy of 'dominate a tall arrow with nasty hit effects' is still true, though Lexi gains incremental advantage in cost-to-damage efficiency as the game progresses.

Card image of Shock Charmers

Equipment-wise, I'd call the Legendary suite of Tunic and Charmers the default, with Snapdragon Scalers rounding out the uniform. If you're on a budget, you can look at Coat of Frost or Deep Blue for the chest slot; but if you have to go without New Horizon, you'll probably need to look at substantial modifications to the deck's composition. Legs go first for Nullrune.

Discussion (2)

Reader

Nathaniel Hale

2 years ago
How about posting some decks that don't require multiple $100 legendary cards? Not everyone has the money or the luck to have multiple legendary cards. The company seriously needs to fix the rate of legendary cards. A card that just came out should not be $200 like New Horizon is
Author
Editor

Alex Truell

2 years ago
This isn't a fair criticism of a decklist. The cards exist, and the strategic options merit exploration. If you DO pull a Legendary, you definitely want to use it. Additionally, substitution is an important skill to develop. You should be able to look at a list and identify what the card's role is; then determine if there's a substitute, or whether the deck hinges on it. Finally, I did address substitutions in my Lexi deck; the core strategies rely on New Horizon, IMO, but you can swap out the other Ls without a problem. If you don't care for these Day 1 lists- which we worked hard to develop and test- you can use LSS' preconstructed 'day 1' blitz decks.

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