Thread: Fortune Cassandra Rush (T1) Overview | Forums

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    Fortune Cassandra Rush (T1) Overview





    CONTENT

    I. Introduction

    II. Current Issues

    III. Message to new players

    IV. Classification of the deck - you can find current deck examples here

    V. Thoughts on cards from the decks

    Vi. Important enemy cards

    VII. Matchups and tips

    VIII. Counters to Cassandra - link

    IX. FAQ

    X. Other/Old
    - Sideboarding




    I. Introduction

    Welcome to the fortune Cassandra overview. This thread has become a center for Cassandra's deck development, a place where you can find everything you need to create and play the deck on a competitive level. Since it's an overview, it doesn't focus on one deck but on spectrum of decks. It's just astonishing how complex Cassa fortune is and how many variations (all that are T1 decks) one can find. The post you are reading contains information from many players, gathered in one place for your convenience. I hope that the following insight will prove beneficial to you. Also feel free to post parts that you believe are missing or any suggestions that could improve the thread (but please be mindful of my time )

    The overview is divided in sections to make it easier to find the information you are looking for. Start with checking out Current issues where one should find information about new expansions and current projects (what will be added to the thread etc). If you are a new player, make sure you read Message to new players. This thread was created for experienced players (since the T1 tag) but we are happy to help you become one - just read the overview before you ask a question. Also please note that this is not a place to seek general information - the thread is strictly focused on one hero and competitive play. The Classification of the deck part goes through many variations of the deck. Ideally every variation should include deck examples and replays and we strive to make it possible but sometimes, especially just after new expansion, it's hard to find quality replays. When you find the deck you like, please read the Thoughts on cards from the decks. It contains useful information that should help you use the cards to their full potential. After this, one can read about Important enemy cards to familiarize oneself with the cards you may encounter and that may cause some troubles. The Matchups and tips (that one day may be finished) aims to give players a proper guidance in the most popular matchups or, alternatively, in the Counters to Cassandra one can seek advice on how to deal with the hero. Before you ask any questions, take a look at FAQ - maybe it's been already answered. Finally the Other/Old chapter contains some less important or additional information and old parts that were moved there instead of deleting them because the content might be useful for others or in another meta.

    I highly encourage you to read the history of the fortune Cassandra deck.




    II. Current Issues

    2015-05-16
    Quick review of new Haven cards from ToR: http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...1#post10780595

    2014-10-04
    New expansion! Read my small text about the changes and review of some new cards: http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...1#post10256505

    2014-07-10
    New expansion! thoughts on some cards

    2014-04-11
    New expansion - thoughts on some changes

    2014-03-04
    Change in the unique rule effects Cassandra. Read more about the change

    2014-01-29
    New part in the thread! history of the fortune Cassandra deck -> read if you're a Cassa lover ;P

    Unfortunately, the plan write a comprehensive guide on how to counter Cassa in specific matchups failed so i will publish a general guide on Cassa weaknesses and some short thoughts on different matchups.

    2014-01-20 Pillage was buffed:
    - does stack (2 Pillages and from 7 resources to 1)
    - reduces income from creatures' abilities

    2013-12-20
    This post reached 50k characters and i cannot add anything new. I don't know what i'm gonna do about that but reorganization of the thread has ended.

    2013-12-08
    Reorganization of the thread has started

    2013-12-07
    The article about Cassa counters will be delayed b/c we were taken by surprise by Ubisoft (expansion was supposed to be released at the end of the month). Read more
    The whole thread needs some changes i hope i will have time to do it.

    2013-12-05 New expansion - it will take some time to adjust all the decks
    Balance changes that effect Cassa:
    1. Treasurers might requirement was increased to 4 - that's a huge change!! Cassa was the only hero that got directly nerfed (this change will also affect Alia but she's got some interesting creatures). You can read this short analysis.
    2. Mana Storm: Instead of paying 1 extra resource when you play a spell, you pay 1 more resource after playing a spell, and if you cannot then your Hero will receive 1 damage.
    3. Week of Taxes: Instead of paying 1 extra resource when you play a fortune, you pay 1 more resource after playing a fortune, and if you cannot then your Hero will receive 1 damage. Paying occurs AFTER the resource boost, meaning that casting Campfire when having 3 resources will give no resource boost, a new card and no life penalty if there is only one Week of Taxes.

    You can read more: my short thoughts about some cards, Five Towers review by Psychobabble



    III. Message to new players

    Since Cassandra is also a basic hero for haven lots of new players ask basic questions. This guide is intended for more experienced players who want to get higher on ladder and especially in JP. The thread is concentrated on open (Legacy) format so i dunno if you can find anything useful here. You may lack many cards to build the deck.

    Rough and simple guide if you're new and went for haven:
    Spoiler:  Show
    1. Read first 3 posts from: http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...game-Read-this!
    2. Read haven parts from http://www.gamefaqs.com/iphone/68335...ons/faqs/67075 (reading all is also good but since you're playing haven these parts are more important)
    3. read http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...or-new-players
    4. Farm the simplest achievements: 50 friends (go to http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...Friends-thread), send 3 challenges to some people, and ask them to send you 3 challenges back (accept them but you don't have to play) etc.
    5. What to buy: Spend all your gold on BS2 packs and seals on HoN/GB and so on boxes.

    You can also watch R0 tutorial on Cassa (quite nicely done), read EnlightenedOwl's or Avecforte's post on getting from 0 to 1,5k ELO.





    IV. CLASSIFICATION OF THE DECK:

    Previously you have different variations of the deck in this section but after the 2014-03-04 uniques recursion patch the various versions don't differ that much any longer. I decided to merge different parts into one section. The term RushLock has been associated with Cassandra Fortune decks for a long time so i guess the name should stay as an abbreviation for fortune Cassandra rush that tries to lock its opponents.

    Fortune Cassandra Rush - RushLock is a very powerful deck that aims to take control of the game with Pillages, Wastelands and the Prison while deploying it's own creatures thanks to income advantage. Haven has access to probably the best 2-drops (Wolf Captains, Crusader Watchmen, Holy Praetorian and Loyal Griffins) and a great offensive 3-drop flyer - Glory so your early rush potential is one of the best in the game especially if you take advantage of resource acceleration cards.
    The main difference between decks is the choice of resource acceleration. A lot of people play with Crusader Treasurers. Treasures now require 4 might (which delays Prison) they may be used against Lurkers so I recommend ditching those 2 Lightning Strikes (which would further delay destiny increases) that were previously a part of the deck. You can opt not to play with Treasurers but with 4 Collectors and 4 Rivers of Gems. The deck can be also played with or without Collectors (if without then 4 Rivers of Gems).
    The exact number of the locking cards - Pillages and Wastelands is hard to determine but since Treasurers require 4 might you will reach 4 destiny one turn later so i don't recommend adding too many Wastelands. Right now i recommend ditching Wastelands and go for full set of 4 Pillages.

    DECK EXAMPLES:

    1. Classic rushy versions:


    2. Mid-range versions (recommended):


    replays:
    - try checking out http://www.mmdoctools.com/ and platoongaming.fr . Also in my deck examples hosted on platoongaming.fr there are replays
    - Cassandra streamers: pthreek (Pascoalabear), VampFury, gz_tv (YourEND767) - since Cassandra RushLock now is an OPN deck you can rarely see it stream

    further reading:
    - Dipl0mate on "dead" cards
    - video guide by Tyrion
    - Short commentary by Maly_Drab taken from comments under LQDBrunt's old deck (about the rushy version without Treasurers and with 4 Collectors and 4 Rivers of Gems):
    Spoiler:  Show

    its super funny, and super fast (....)

    Its very effective at fast grinding as u will end many games at 6-7 turn.

    What are the cons:

    i experience very hard time vs zardocs with mass aoe ( this matchup will be even more painfull than using sandalphon, as, after losing board its rly hard to pull out some extra dmg ), same goes with kelthors ( especially when u start without a fast board preassure)

    With this deck actually u would like to start the game, with a collector in hand. With some slow start it is almost impossible to downrush your enemy, so this collector are the key of successing. Sandalphon got some more potential in dealing dmg to the hero, while the board is lost, here, if u couldnt get enough dmg at start, your chances of wining drops drasticaly.

    I think it has a good ratio now, as some people at jp, ladder are not sure what they r facing against. if someone is letting u exchange the dmg and try to rush u too, its almost a certain win, ( didnt experience struggle vs inferno decks exept dhamira ofc).

    Won many games only because my enemy position his creatures badly at round 1-3 and then, realizing the rush potential he was trying play defensively, but usually it was already too late.





    V. Thoughts on cards from the decks

    The matagame of DoC changes very fast so i cannot give you one decklist that will remain stable over the course of time. Below you can read many tips of how to manipulate your card count depending on what you encounter when you play. You may ask yourself why there are so many only 3/2-cards instead of full sets? Because of Revised Tactics, Campfires and Cosmics you don't need 4 cards to get a card. I have duels when i finished with no cards left - true story . You will be amazed how much you will mill.... yourself.

    Events:
    Spoiler:  Show

    offensive events - Week of Training or Week of the Mercenaries -
    I used to play with Week of the Mercenaries but i switched to Week of Training. WoT is more reliable and you have lots of 0-1 attack creatures. In current meta (X.2013) around one forth of decks in JP are Crag Hacks and Ishumas, both benefit from WotM more than Cassa. The general rule of thumb is if you play with Watchmen choose WoT, if you prefer Expert Marksmen go for Mercenaries. Both events are sometimes seen.
    Read more on Mercs

    defensive anti-magic events - Mana Storm and Path of the Ancestors
    Mana Storm was a no-brainer for me but the event was nerfed (5T release). The reason why Mana Storm is so crucial is because when i lose it's usually because of spells. Some people decided to replace Mana Storms with Path of the Ancestors (in version without Lightning Strikes). In general i don't recommend it because the spells that Cassandra is afraid of are mass removals and the Path doesn't protect you from them. Other important spells are AoE such as Geysers and Fireballs. Wolf Captains are mostly targeted and they are deployed quite early so the Path won't protect them from midgame spells (Geysers and Fireballs). However, if meta changes and targeted spells become prevalent some testing will be needed. Right now (2014-03) any combination of those events shall work. Look at the table below to learn more

    Spoiler:  Show


    Rise of the Nethermancer - not recommended
    You may add one or two Rise of the Nethermancer, but before you do that think if Chaplain(s) would help (especially vs Gazal, Malik), It's a very meta dependent card, add only if you have problems with Maliks, Gazal.

    Time of War - not recommended
    Since Cassandra is one of a few heroes that often deploy 3 or more creatures during one turn, Time of War deserves some consideration. After some playtesting (very short though) i don't recommend using it. Unfortunately, you can't postpone deploying creatures and 3 creatures turns are rather rare except the Devotion turn or 3rd turn with many resource accelerating fortunes. The nice thing about this event is that is asymmetric - the only other heroes that can benefit from it are: Crag Hack and Shalan (bounce).

    The Great Hunt - not recommended
    Cassandra is one of the heroes that run out of cards very fast. some might decide to add the Great Hunt to have additional draw. In general, i believe that Cosmic Realignment is the ultimate way of getting new cards for Cassandra so i dont think the event is necessary. Anyway, the event stacks only if you have 0 cards on hand (if there are 2 Great Hunts and you have 1 card at hand you will receive only 1 card)..



    Creatures:
    Spoiler:  Show


    Tithe Collector
    Tithe Collector are great if they are placed during the first 2 turns. Later, they should be banished with Revised Tactics. Some players decided to get rid of them in RushLock version. One of the reasons is that they are quite take a space in melee line and you want to maneuver there with Praetorians and Crusader Treasurers. If you are the one to start you should almost always mulligan to get a Tithe Collectors. Protecting your Collector should be a priority during the early game.

    Holy Praetorian
    Praetorians are exceptionally good vs creature based rushes, especially against those that use Dark Assassins (Crag Hacks being a prime example). It's up to you if you want to run 1 or 2 of them, just remember that having 2 on hand is usually quite bad. Adding more will weaken you vs decks that require you to pressure your opponent early and deal as much damage as possible during the early game. Play them with Weeks of Training.
    Another thing to remember is that Preatorians work against melee-shooters so they are useful even against Necropolis. Please remember that - i see a lot players forget about that fact. Remember that Decay Spitter or Moonsilk Skeleton have to deal damage to apply a poison or crippling counter. Since they can't deal damage to Preatorians under normal circumstances (e.g. no Week of the Mercenaries) feel free to block those nasty creatures with Preatorians.

    I don't run Holy Praetorians. I know they are good, but they don't fit very well in a)Cassandra or b)My play style :P I think they are securing already favorable match ups and are weaks against some match ups that are hard for you. I think that most important thing why I don't run it is clogged melee line!
    VampFury

    Soothsayer
    At first i had only one Soothsayer. Although in normal play uniques aren't that essential to have in starting hand, but vs combo or control/OTK Prison is essential. Also when your opponent is down-rushing you and they think they are winning you can bring Cassandra's Devotion to turn the tide in your favour. Most of the time a hand with multiple uniques is not the best hand, you want to get them later. I'm afraid of hands with 2 soothsayers, as i said it's a rush deck and Soothsayers slows it down. Also remember that you can bring back Soothsayer with a Bridge or sometimes even with an Angel of Mercy (if you need another unique). You may add one to have a total of 3, although the benefit is not that clear (2 is still ok).

    Loyal Griffin
    Maybe doesn't shine (especially in version with Week of Trainings) but a staple flyer and very decent for 2 resources. It survives an Insect Swarm and is not effected by Earth Quake.

    Crusader Watchman
    They replaced Expert Marksmen Watchmen and for a reason: they are just better and synergize with the Week of Training. They can be healed by Anael and even if they are damaged they can still attack under the Week of Training and prop up Wolf Captain's attack. Watchmen are also decent blockers thanks to 5 life and unlike Expert Marksmen they don't die to an Insect Swarm.

    Wolf Captain
    Best creature in Haven, best 2-drop in the game and in my opinion, the best non-unique creature in the game. An absolute must-have. Remember that vs AoE spells such as Geyser or Fireball it's not always worth clamping your units together. Also after attacking move you Tithe Collector away so not to give your opponent a money Geyser/Fireball.

    Pao Deathseeker
    In general Cassandra aims to establish a board advantage so Paos aren't that important especially in RushLock version. Usually RushLock will employ only one Pao and use it as a target for Altar of Asha or as a finisher. Remember that you can cast Pao use a Broken Bridge to get him back to your hand and cast him again dealing instantly 6 damage for 11 resources.

    Radiant Glory
    Best haven 3-drop, best 3-drop flyer. Remember that she's magic so the creature is strong vs incorporeal (Untaimed Wraith) but weak vs Magic Resist (Gargoyle).

    Anael, Angel of Redemption
    The unique creature requires 4 might but i think she's worth it. However i wouldn't recommend adding Wandering Bard. When you have her at hand, plan ahead to have some creature to heal when she enters the battlefield. Since she will be targeted put a creature, even a Collector to protect her from Pao. She can win you the game vs some no-magic Sanctuary rushes since it's very hard for them to get rid of her. Vs Dhamiria, put her behind a Wolf Captain (if there is an empty spot) or in a row in front of a Lurker. Vs dark or wind magic, she won't survive long.

    Crusader Treasurer
    Rivers of Gems are better if you need a faster deck and have to rush your opponent down. Crusader Treasurers aren't effected by Weeks of Taxes, and strengthen your mid-game. Crusader Treasurers are essential if you opt for recursive game style with Cosmic Singularities to be able to cast multiple Prisons. Remember to protect them as they are often your victory condition - they allow you to cast locking cards while deploying creatures at the same time.

    I don't play Treasurer, cause it can be faster with Gems. ...Treasurer slows you down, before he speeds you up.
    LQDBrunt, the winner of MrH3 Invitational during the after-finals interview (later he started playing with Treasurers but the comment is still relevant).

    Angel Commander
    Probably the strongest 5 drop in the game (maybe Hellfire Maniac is better). Only 4 might but those stats 4/3/8 flyer. Definitely a card worth checking out. Feel free to include 2 of them in a version with Treasurers and skip Lightning Strikes - Angels can deal with Lurkers. Also you can deduct a Bridge to play him since his high HP makes him a good blocker. He will strengthen the deck vs mass removal decks like Hakeem. Remember that Week of Austerity doesn't work on him.

    Lesser Glory
    She looks quite interesting with her 1/1/6 stats so the question is if she's better than Griffin. Surprisingly i cannot give you a definite answer since 1 attack creatures are rather weak when deployed during the first turns. Her being Light doesn't mean anything for us since we won't be using any other cards to take advantage of that. I think it is reasonable to play either them or Griffins. In Light theme decks there is no contest - she's miles better. A thing to consider - you survives Arkath's Wraith.

    Angel of Mercy - not standard
    I used to play with them but i decided to drop the card and then i added it again. It's a great addition to strengthen your board position after a mass removal like Forbidden Flame. Mass removals are somewhat a counter to Cassa's rush. But sometimes you have only Angel of Mercy at hand and no creatures in the grave and paying 4 for 2/2/6 flying is not a good deal. Also the first creature to die is usually Tithe Collector. I wouldn't include more than 2 Angels of Mercy. There is no reason to take a match into the late-game when you have no real advantage there. Try to plan ahead, maybe it's a good idea to block with your Soothsayer to fetch a uniques and get him back with Angel of Mercy, maybe you should use Pao early to get him back to your hand the next turn. Bottom line is: if mass removal is what you encounter most of the times - add 1-2 Angels of Mercy.

    Sun Rider - not standard
    They used to be a staple of haven armies. Nowadays they seem to be replaced by other options but they are still great in rush decks. Feel free to add them if you don't want to have Chaplains and need a decent 3-drop. I believe that the new 5T creature: Crusader Vanguard is better.

    Crusader Vanguard - not standard
    Some people decide to include this creature to the deck. Many times you lack another 3-drop (apart from Glory) and the Vanguard seems like a great addition and i would choose it over the Sun Rider.

    Griffin Knight - not standard
    If you're facing many Havens, Necros and Stronghold - then yeah, add them. But they are situational and vs other races they will be an almost dead card. Right now Ishuma and Crag are the most popular, if it would be Sandal, Cassa Kelthor or even Malik i'd go for them. The general problem with guards is that not all decks are heavy-aggro types. This kind of creatures are quite bad vs stall decks. Anyhow no. of flyers: Cassa 9, Sandal: 10, Malik: 8, Zardoc/Kelthor: 9, Crag: 14-16, Inferno/Sanctuary: 0. After some revaluation of this cards i believe it's good in haven mirrors and vs Crag only because it's still 3 resources for 1/2/5.

    Crusader Chaplain - not standard
    I think every haven deck should consider having one of these guys if they don't play with a Phoenix. 3r/3m - for this cost the best melee creature is War Oliphant - 2/2/7. Chaplain is 2/2/5 - so you're trading 2 HP for 2 abilities. The first and more important is that cards in graveyard cannot be targeted. It helps vs graveyard recursion (Necro, Akane) and stop Phoenixes which are right now very popular (and rightfully so 3/0/3 immortal for 2 mana). Remember that Angel of Mercy's ability still works (it's random not targeted) but you no longer can get a targeted creature from your graveyard using Altar of Asha (some says that because of that this card shouldn't be played in Cassandra's deck and i think this is correct for slower version of Cassa). The second ability isn't as useful: While CC has no damage, it cannot be targeted. But just remember that your opponent cannot cast geysers etc. on them (nor Fire Bolts, so you can try to defend early Dark Assassins with them) or outmaneuver them. I'm playing only one because Necro isn't as popular as it used to be (pre-FW) and there is no additional benefit of having 2 of them on the field. They can be replaced by Sun Riders/Vanguards or skipped altogether. However after playing with him a bit i now believe that his abilities aren't worth 2 HP unless as sideboard material to counter Gazal.

    Phoenix - not standard
    I used to play with Phoenix but even though it's a great card and i understand the allure of synergizing Phoenix and Angels of Mercy (you banish the creatures you den't want to revive) but it simply doesn't fit the deck. The main reason is that you rarely wanna go to 2 magic without important Lightning Strike (to kill an important creature or clear a row) or Cleansing Light. Sometimes one simply doesn't have 3 cards in the graveyard to banish. However, if you decide to add them I'd recommend adding only one (if you have 2 Phoenixes on hand you won't be able to cast both of them) and getting rid of the Crusader Chaplain.

    Pros Cons

    + good vs mills (Hakeem), rage-decks (Dhamiria, Alia), long-game attrition oriented decks (Necro)
    + Cassandra employs many fortunes that fill the grave
    + Synergistic with Angels of Mercy

    - bad vs rushes
    - additional hero stats that usually is not needed
    - anti-synergy with Crusader Chaplain (but there is no need to play the Chaplain)
    - doesn't help in quick rush situations (tithe, glory, 2x WC, Pillage, Prison) when Cassa is the strongest
    - usually you won't win late game with or w/o Phoenix anyway

    Devout Priest - not standard
    I think he's better than Griffin Battle Priest but it's a defensive creature and Cassandra as a rushy deck doesnt need a defender. However, he's not bad and including just one is not a mistake in my opinion.

    Wolf Trainer - not standard
    The Heart of Nightmares 1-drop seems quite strong on paper.He might block Goblin Scouts or Crusader Watchmen. The problem is that he's a melee and you really dont want to add new melees (you need to have space to maneuovre with Tithe Collectors/Preatorians/Treasurers). He increases your exposure to Insect Swarms/Geysers and many other AoE/mass removal spells. Usually he will be blocked by another melee and do almost nothing except block some dmg but Cassandra doesn't need blockers
    You may add 1-2 to have better resource curve but melee one-drops aren't that good. If they were melee-shooters...

    Benevolent Angel - not standard
    Although a great card 2 magic req disqualifies it in my eyes. Not in Cassandra fortune. However you may include one in a version with 2 or more Lightning Strikes and a Phoenix.

    Angel Protector - not recommended
    He's a real gamechanger - a playable dispel. I'd play around 2 of them in every Haven deck that goes to 3 magic. However Cassandra doesnt touch 2 magic so playing him is not an option. Maybe in some meta that favors ongoing spells heavy decks.

    Scattershot Marksman - not recommended
    Never even considered it, never played with it. 4< resources creatures are weak vs dark magic, it doesn't have any instant effects, you rarely want to go 4 might without Anael. On the other hand it would help vs Lurkers but i wouldn't put in into the deck. However since Treasurers nerf they sometimes appear in Cassandras.

    Griffin battle priest - not recommended
    You rarely wanna go for 2 magic w/o some important Strikes, This card severely slows you down, because almost always you want to go +2 might (up to 3) and +2 Destiny (up to 4) and then to 5 Destiny. This means that at turn 4-5 you can place it at earliest - it just doesn't work with a rush deck. I played with a Phoenix and it didn't work out because of 2 magic. And you don't need additional healing since Cassandra's Devotion is really strong.




    Spells:
    Spoiler:  Show

    Lightning Strikes
    After Five Towers expansion most Cassandras decided not to play with Strikes since Treasurers are 4-might now. However, it's never a bad idea to include 2-3 lightning strikes to combat inferno (Lurkers used to be the main reason but they were changed). If you see not that many inferno decks around, you can subtract one or more Lightning Strikes (or get rid of them). I guess you should play with 0, 2, 3 Strikes. 1 doesn't make any sense and 4 is just too many (in version with Mana Storms). Lurkers are not the only target - Strikes are very useful to remove: enemy Holy Praetorians, Griffin Knights (they usually block your Glory), Shinje Warriors, Snow Maidens, Juggernauts/Ravagers or to help kill-off important enemy units (Raya/Hasafah/Anael).
    The problem is that you really dont want to employ LS since you dont need 2 magic. I'd use them only against Inferno (Lurkers) and Sanctuary after sideboarding (Okane no Okane).

    Storm Rage
    A card is of similar power level that Lightning Strike so using it if you're going for 2 magic build is not a mistake. However i think i'd prefer to stay at 1 magic and 4/1/5 build.

    Ward against Darkness - not recommended but might be good in HoN meta
    I wouldn't recommend it. You see dark magic is not that scary for you b/c your opponent have to spend 4 (w/o mana storms) for Soulreaver and you have only 1 (5) 4-resources creature: Anael (and Treasurers). Dark magic is not a problem - mass removals are. Yes it's scary to see your best creature getting killed by enemy spell but the enemy has to spend more to do so. It's a fair trade for you. Fire magic is worse in Malik than Dark. Also you have bridges to counter Puppets (which cost 6), Images. I'm just saying that this is a situational card that i don't believe you need
    However the HoN meta is quite Dark Magic heavy and Ward protects you from the Banshee.

    Cleansing Light - not recommended
    I have mixed feelings about it. The thing is that Cassandra should aim to discard enemy's important ongoing spells with Cosmic Realignment so most of the time it's a dead card. If you decide to include it, you should be able to get rid of it with Revised Tactics (in matchups you don't need it) and it can save your @ss in certain situations. It's up to you - it helps mostly vs Dhamiria, Sandal, Hakeem, rage decks. Since Ammar is gone (2013-11-07 patch) i think you can play without it.

    Wind Wall - not recommended
    didnt have time to test it yet. Looks interesting since we have only 4 shooters (5 if with Devout Priest). But in general build is very tight and i find it difficult to find place for cards like that.



    Fortunes:
    Spoiler:  Show

    Revised Tactic
    I use it mostly to get rid of useless cards like Cleansing Light (depending on a matchup of course), Collectors (they are almost useless if not on your first hand) , Rivers and to influence Week of the Mercenaries (if the enemy brought one). Chaplains may also be removed in matchups when their ability is not needed (not vs Necro, Akane, Gazal and if you don't expect a Phoenix), Praetoians vs non aggro decks, Griffin Knights vs decks with no/little flyers, Bridges after Strength of the Sea etc. Just think what you don't need right now and get rid of it.

    Broken Bridge
    Bridges are great to establish a board advantage. This is particularly useful versus Sanctuary rushes that tend to protect their rows with ambush creatures. Bridges also help against dark magic. Puppeted creatures will be brought back to your hand if you use bridge, shadow images will simply disappear. You can also bring back your own creatures, esp. useful when the given creature is effected by counters or it's Pao or Soothsayer. If you're playing vs Haven opponent it's almost always worth bridging the first Crusader Treasurer (especially then one that came during the 3rd-4th turn - Bridges are crucial in the mirror). Bridge can be used to clear the way for Pao to deal the final damage. I think that 2-3 is the optimal number, 2 if you are playing with Strikes.

    Rivers of Gem
    2 instant resources ,might look unappealing but in reality it helps a lot. Rivers cause card disadvantage that can be very harmful if you don't have Cosmic Realignment (Rivers works great with Cosmic Realignment, one can cast them before Realignment to get resources and not worry about card disadvantage).

    Cosmic Realignment
    Since this deck is so fast and has many fortunes like Rivers and Bridges, during the play you will build up a card disadvantage. To combat that and renew hands one can play Realignment. The card is also useful vs control decks to screw your opponent's hand. Most control/OTK decks need big hands with multiple cards to sustain their lock/control. By playing Realignment you reset their hand to only 5 cards. Don't be afraid to play this card defensively when you suspect your opponent has a very important card (or after he played a Peddler) to discard his spell/fortune. This is your only defense versus Forbidden Flame and many other instant spells.

    Cassandra's Imperial Devotion
    Great card to totally change the situation is a duel especially vs another rush deck. Let your opponent think that they can rush you down and then cast it when you're both low on HP. Now he has to defend and in rush vs rush a defendant is in a very precarious position. Also a great card to cast before throwing Cosmic Realignment.
    fun fact: the art bears resemblance of the statue of Alfred the Great

    Cosmic Singularity
    After the uniques recursion change i don't believe there is a place for Singularities unless you want to counter mills. However there are certain costs to running the card: it increases the chance to get a bad hand with only a few creatures and many expensive fortunes, Cassandra, unlike Sandalphon, doesn't have an easy way to discard a card, and waiting for a Realignment is rather risky. Your game plan is to discard enemy's uniques like Forbidden Flame and sometimes you won't have enough resources to play Singularity before Realignment. Singularity may strengthen the deck vs graveyard recursion (Necro, Akane, Gazal), mill decks (Hakeem).

    Pillage
    Is a great card and a backbone of Cassandra's deck as we are trying to create income difference.
    As every card, Pillage has its drawbacks: it increases one's card disadvantage, one has a higher chance to get a bad hand with fortunes and only a couple of creatures, Pillage reduces total income which includes the income generated by creatures (since 5T buff). Pillage is not that strong vs Sandal (they can discard a card for 2 resources), Crag Hack (it's the only deck that is faster than Cassandra so you need to invest in the board) and moderately useful vs Cassandra (income from Creatures or Rivers/Campfires) and Ishuma (free and potent hero ability).
    Pillage DOES stack. 2 Pillages is almost like a Prison.

    Wastelands
    - I considered them necessary (in Treasurers version) when Ammar (combo that was nerfed) was popular. Right now they might not be as useful
    - Yes, they are expensive but with a Treasurer on the field they become affordable.
    - they synergize with Week of Training when facing aggro decks, since your opponent is very likely to use spare resources on Week of the Mercenaries
    - they can protect you from important enemy spells (FF, wombo-combo etc.), stop enemy from spamming creature etc. although it's expensive and only one turn protection
    - should win you the game versus OTK and slowpokes like Sandal fortune

    Altar of Asha
    The neutral unique is our primary targeted removal and often the only way to deal with enemy key units (like Raya for example). You will often finish the game by opening the line with Altar of Asha or by resurrecting a Pao. Remember that you cannot put a resurrected creature into the sacrificed creature location. A good combo is to attack with Pao and the use Altar of Asha on him to kill enemy unit/resurrect your own (since Pao's gonna die at the end of a turn anyway). Creature resurrected by the Altar is effected by Week of Austerity meaning that you will have to pay 1 resource if you resurrect a creature.

    Prison
    Ah yes, the Prison.When i doubt whether to cast Prison or not almost always it's a good call to prison your opponent. It's a key card in many matchups but it shines vs controls.

    Avenge the Fallen - not recommended
    it's not that bad but rarely effective.

    Conflicting Orders - not recommended
    Sth like a Pillage replacement but i believe Pillage is just batter and works on all kind of decks while conflicting Orders works only on creature heavy decks



    Buildings
    Spoiler:  Show


    Barracks - not standard
    Barracks are very strong and can be used in 4/1-2/5 decks without Angels. They can be used as permanent blockers that will refill itself every turn or very offensive force since they tend to get big quite fast. Main problem with Barracks is that Cassandra doesn't play with a large number of humans (or even creatures). Normally, one includes 4 Glories (the best offensive 3-drop flyer in the game) and 3-4 Griffins plus Anael. In the entire deck there is only around 20 human creatures. To fully take advantage from Barracks one should go for stackable creature but this is a different build.
    Barracks token's cannot attack Lurkers.

    Tower of the Gardener - not standard
    the Necro tower is probably the strongest one. However after some play-testing i could find no room for another non-creature card. You can add it if you feel the need.

    Tower of the Inventor - not recommended
    the Haven tower seems good for haven army but since it's rather defensive and Cassandra is a rusher i don't think it suits the deck.






    Vi. Important enemy cards - need to update

    Events:
    Spoiler:  Show

    Week of Taxes - this can really slow you down since you have 8 resource-boosting fortunes. Also this event is quite common.

    Blind Arbiters - since the arrival of Ammar this has become very popular (X.2013). It's very easy not to notice this event and go ahead and start playing resource fortunes and watch your cards turning grey while you have 7 resources. Every time, before you make a plan for your turn, check events and pay a special attention to blind arbiters.

    Week of the Mercenaries - this card can help you as well not only because you are a creature rush but also because you can use Campfires, Revised Tactics, Soothsayers, Singularities and Comic Realignments to change your next card in the deck. Just remember to take advantage of your enemy events. Plan ahead if you want to use them.


    Spells (basically mass removal and area of effect spells are scary for you):
    Spoiler:  Show

    Forbidden Flame - so OP, words cannot say it. This might be the most important spell to watch for. Every time you play with fire magic hero be very careful. And when you see peddler try not to overcommit and wait for the possibility of cosmic realignment to put this into graveyard. Notable users: Adar, Dhalmiria, Kelthor; also: Alia

    Insect Swarm - earth magic basic mass area spell. Deals 3 dmg to every creature. Thankfully, only tithe collectors have less than 3 life. Yes, it renders Watchmen semi-useless but they can be a blocker, add +1 attack to Wolf Captain, attack with Week of Training or be healed by Anael. Notable users: Zardoc, Dhamiria, Hakeem

    Arkath's Wrath - another fire mass removal to watch for. 5 resources and 5 magic req, but most of your creatures have exactly 5 HP which makes this spell very strong.

    Wombo-combo - Song of the Lost + Ice Spitters, it's the cheapest one-sided mass removal in the game. Really scary and hard to counter, except for Cosmic Realignment. Remember that it requires 4 magic power and costs 7 to put in one turn, 9 with one mana storm. Notable users: Sandal and Akane; also: Kaiko and sometimes Yukiko.

    Strength of the Sea - the enemy fortune ward is the main problem. It renders your bridges useless and you cannot kill an enemy creature with Altar of Asha. Notable users: Sandal, Akane; also: almost every creature deck that has water magic.

    Earthquake: -2 dmg to every non-flyer. We have 9 flyers so even though it's strong especially with Insect Swarm it's not that devastating. Notable users: Zardoc, Dhamiria, Hakeem

    Tsunami and Armageddon - both cost 6r/0m/6ma - so they are not that easy to cast. Just bare in mind that fire and water magic has this high level mass removals.

    Father Sky's Wrath - it's rarely used, because it's expensive (5/0m/5ma) and so situational (only haven and necro play lots of flyers). However, since you have around 10 flyers it can really hurt. Notable users: sometimes Akane (Academy), Akane (Sanctuary)


    Creatures (since you have the board control creatures shouldn't cause you that much trouble):
    Spoiler:  Show


    Lurker in the Dark - before the change they used to be the bane of Cassandra. Only 2 resources (but 3 might requirement) blocks a lot of creatures you control. This the reason why i opted for 2-3 Strikes. Now i am playing with Treasurers, that require 4 might and without any Strikes. Notable users: Dhamiria, Garant.

    Doom Bringer - it's more of a spell than a creature. Just remember that: when playing Dhamiria count Week of the Dead events (usually she plays with 2/3/4 of them). If you lucky you can Bridge him and cast Realignment. Notable users: Dhamiria


    Fortunes:
    Spoiler:  Show

    Maws of Chaos - 1 mana fortune discard. Really nasty because most players will target Prison. Notable users: Dhamiria, Ignatius.

    All the fortunes that can really effect your game comes from control/stall decks mostly. Your main defense vs control decks are Prison, Pillages, Wastelands and Cosmic Realignment





    VII. Matchups and tips

    If you are new read #6.00 Improving your playing skills from Robvalue's guide

    Taking your turn (general guidance):

    inspired by RobValue's #6.05 Order of actions in a turn and tweaked for Cassandra

    1. Asses the situation - look at the events, pay special attention to Blind Arbiters, Week of Taxes, Week of Training and Mercenaries. Try to think ahead and find out what is your opponent's plan and what can he do with the event on the right that will be available for him when you finish the turn.
    2. Develop a plan for the turn and carefully count resources. I know there is a lot of counting in Cassandra decks but especially in big turns like those after Devotion knowing what can you afford to cast is crucial for planning the whole turn.
    3. If you plan to draw cards, do it first and then reassess the plan with new cards. If you plan casting Revised Tactics, do first before drawing (either by campfire or Hero's ability)
    4. If you plan to use Mercenaries, activate it before drawing cards. You may not have a crazy amount of creatures like Ishuma or Crag Hack but you have a lot of cards that let you draw a card. Include them in your plan as the Mercenaries often backfires.
    5. Go ahead with your plan and GL HF


    link to post with matchups




    VIII. Counters to Cassandra - link to the post





    IX. FAQ

    1. How to watch replays?
    Read this.
    Or you can use one of the software to help you out. Here you have a list of available tools: http://mmdocking.com/tools/ - i recommend Doc Replay Manager by Aranarth78

    2. What do you think about spell Cassandra?
    I think fortune Cassandra is better.Not only Cassandra as a Seeker should play fortune based decks (otherwise you are not taking advantage of the 2 destiny) but spell Cassandra has no chance against stall decks.

    3. Should I still use campfires when constantly getting the week of taxes events?
    In the early and mid-game when income really matter - no. You should wait for a window of opportunity (there are only 4 Taxes, max. 4 turns). In the late game when you have resources - yes.

    4. How should i defend vs Dark Assassins?
    You can kill DAs with Paos, or defend with a Praetorian, a WC or even a Watchman behind a Collector (kinda risky vs fire user).

    5. How do I deal with those huge, 7-health creatures that Kelthor floods the board after FF?
    Well good FF can be really devastating vs you. You should learn how to deal with FF -> you have to force them to use it early (and yet preserve some mana acceleration or good cheap creatures like WCs) or better - discard it with Realignment. About the 7 health creatures. I do realize that they are a problem but normally after FF he can't put any more creatures (except Vultures). So the opponent would have to put his fatties in front of your units or in open row. In the first scenario you can deal with them since you're gonna be first to deal dmg in the latter you can bridge or down rush him.

    6. Would it still be a decent deck without Wolf Captains and Anael (could replace them for now with maybe Sun Riders and Angel of Mercy)?
    You can play w/o Anael but you cannot w/o Wolf Captains - i'm sry. The difference is just too big, Playing any kind of haven deck w/o Wolf Captains will give you bad habits in units positioning.

    7. What 3 cards do u usually banish with Revised Tactics?
    Well it depends. Obviously Collectors are usually first to go. If there is SotS then Bridges if Grasp then Pao etc. If vs some heavy control and i know i have to be offensive and not defensive then (after Collectors ofc) Praetorians. If i play vs Crag and i have a Pillage on hand and he has a board advantage (and usually he has at the beginning) then Pillage. You just have to think which card you don't need right now, how long you expect the game to last and which cards you won't need later.

    8. Do you play Revised Tactics vs Hakeem mill?
    yes, but i might consider Revising the 2cd RT

    9. which cards in your opinion are the weakest in the deck? I think i could test adding some other cards, but not sure what to replace.
    Tithes, Griffins, Bridges, Praetorians




    X. Other/Old

    Some other sources about Cassandra:
    - Enclase short overview of the hero: twitch video





    I hope other Cassa players will contribute to the thread.

    I will leave you with the beautiful alternative art for Cassandra:
    Spoiler:  Show


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  2. #2
    Le.Rancord's Avatar Senior Member
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    Wow alot of work, well done
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  3. #3
    Radoslawl's Avatar Member
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    Very nice.

    Gonna try this deck tomorrow and see how it is rolling
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  4. #4
    I have to say that after playing a few games with it I really like this deck. It handles rush decks surprisingly well and even without board wipes can come back from situations you really thought were hopeless. I had one match were I really poorly played the beginning and a Xorm rush deck got me to 1 hp before I managed to play Cassandra's Imperial Devotion to get back to 11 life and solidly take back board control.
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  5. #5
    Really loving the detailed overview of the decks, it really helps people like me (1200-1300ish) understand the finer points of the game. I've gone with the treasurer version for a while now, and I'm gonna try this on for size now!
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  6. #6
    Great thread ZergRusher.

    Last couple of days I've been trying to modify Cassandra deck i played at the Mrh3 Invitational to better suit the needs of JP, here are couple of thoughts.

    Since many decks today keep Blind Arbiters to counter Ammar, making the Cass a collateral victim, I've decided to go for a Treasurer version.
    Slower in the early game than River version, and less fun maybe but works sightly better nowadays it seems.
    Creature base remained almost the same, with the exception of Angels of Mercy which I took out and of course Treasurers.

    Biggest change since the Invitational is that i included two Wastelands.
    Reasoning: Increased popularity of Sandal Prison decks and improving matchups against Academy and Ammar plus with Treasures you will have the resources to play them.
    Still wanted this deck to remain straight up rush deck instead of more combo approach so I've included one Singularity only.
    Also took out Lightning Strike, didn't feel like i needed it anymore, but it can come back if i see one Lurker too many.

    Results: Played it in one JP, it took me from 120 to 306 in 4 defeats, played it in Swiss a lot tho, and i was very happy how it worked against level of decks and opponents i would meet in JP also.

    This is how it looks now: http://www.mmdoc.net/show_deck/16211/
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  7. #7
    ZergRusher's Avatar Duel of Champions Grandmaster
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    @people above
    Thanks!!!

    @LQDBrunt
    Why wastelands instead of pillages?

    well, Dhamiria might not be so popular among general folks but is 2cd most popular hero i've encountered in JPs among elo>1,5k players.

    I sometimes get rid of 1-2 lightning strikes above 2k TELO when Ammar and Carg dominates.
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  8. #8
    Revalon's Avatar Senior Member
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    I really appreciate it when people take the effort to post their decks and give an insight on how to play it.
    Sadly I won't be able to play this (or any Haven deck) in near future since I still don't have any Wolf Captain.

    But after reading this

    Originally Posted by ZergRusher Go to original post
    I sometimes get rid of 1-2 lightning strikes above 2k TELO when Ammar and Carg dominates.
    I guess you must be playing different tournaments than the rest of us
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  9. #9
    I spent my wild cards trying to imitate this deck at my low ELO (600) and didn't quite work out. I'm missing some cards (I don't have any WC, no Anael and no mana storm), but I thought it might work since well I'm playing at 600 ELO. I'm not sure if adding mana storm will fix it (the only thing I can add in the near future) or it simply was bad play on my part.
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  10. #10
    ZergRusher's Avatar Duel of Champions Grandmaster
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    prioritize Wolf Captains.

    this deck is quite uniques and epics heavy. Try this thread if you'r a beginner: http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...ck-suggestions
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