View Full Version : Ariana wild spirits control - 1300+ ELO

02-11-2013, 12:57 AM
I've posted the ariana deck that I played over the weekend in quick matches to huge success. I haven't tracked my win % precisely, but it feels like I'm winning 80%+ of games atm, and my ELO's easily staying above 1300 so that's probably about right (i earn about 5 for each victory, but lose 25 with each loss to 1000-1100 players).


Here's the writup I posted there:

This is one of the more consistent deck types in the current meta, having good game against pretty much anything you're likely to face. I'm consistently playing in the 1300+ elo meta with it in duels and performing strongly in the tourneys when I use it. This list differs from most around here in that it completely foregoes shadow image, simply because that's a card that's only really excellent vs inferno decks and there's barely any inferno in the high level meta at the moment. Which isn't to say that this deck is weak to inferno, Ariana has some real natural advantages over inferno rush decks, so you're not sacrificing too much.

Another thing that's different about this deck to most other ariana's is that it has zero ways to put counters on opposing creatures. The counter creatures have inherently weak stats, synergise badly with your AOE removal (all of the cheap ones are hurt by earthquake and most completely die to insect swarm, meaning that you end up with card disadvantage if you play out creatures early but then have to wipe) and Ariana's special ability is not necessary for board control with the number of control options that this deck has.

The list is also quite agressive. With week of the wild spirits and multiple magic creatures, you'll find yourself playing as the agressor in a surprising number of matchups - stone shield really helps with that plan. Also, archlichs are a very problematic creature for kieran decks to deal with given how much of their game is built around whittling enemy creatures down with his passive ability before cleaning them up. Earth's grasp (which could probably go up to two copies if you want) is another great card vs kieran, and other decks, it takes away all of their post-wipe reach so you can gain board control without fear of dying to a blessed-pao on the punch back. Plus it's a card which kat and shaar otk decks literally cannot beat.

Re events - week of taxes is purely optional given the state of the current meta. Some combination of week of knowledge and market of shadows is a fine choice if you don't feel you need it.

I didn't point out that I gave up on trying to play the more controlling week of the tamed spirits version because it was losing very badly in the meta, particularly to kieran, well built kelthor decks and basically anything playing mana storm (crag hack, some xorm). By using wild spirits and putting a lot more of your own pressure on early, you don't need to try and avoid every single point of damage like the controlling versions do. You have a much better ability to just sit back and attack while fogging your opponent's attack with stone shield, or picking off the most dangerous threats. And you're much better able to punish your opponent with time jump when your threats do 3-4+ damage instead of 1-2.

02-11-2013, 07:20 PM
tried a weaker variation of this deck forced by my limited cardbase, and with only 2 puppet masters and 0 atropos managed to get to around 170elo in the daily with ease. thanks for sharing :)

02-11-2013, 11:06 PM
Good to hear :). Neither atropos nor (in the current meta) puppet masters are essential for the deck. Puppet master is slightly more important, but add a 4th shantiri ruins to recur your soul reaver's etc. and then some other random card (perhaps even the double criple counter one?) and you'll be right.

02-12-2013, 08:44 AM

i have a question. are they any alternatives for this three cards.

Week of the wild spirits , Earthquake and spell twister. All other cards are in my deck. But this three arent.

Sorry for my bad english :).

Hope some can give me good answer.


02-12-2013, 09:38 AM
Well, the good news is that spell twister is a meta card - it's a counter card to many popular deck-types (kieran, ariana especially). It's good but not critical.

The bad news is that earthquake and week of the wild spirits are integral parts of the deck and it will not function without them. Earthquake is pretty simple to see why - it's necessary to give you mass removal options against swarm aggro strategies, and it synergises particularly well with all your flyers. The explanation about wild spirits is a bit more complicated, but take it from me, I tried playing a version without it and it simply doesn't function well against most of the creature-based strategies in the format.

02-12-2013, 12:34 PM
playing a similar deck but without atropos and with 3 town portals, and 1 spell steal instead + 1 spell twister...

very succesfull so far.. lost only 1 against rage kelthor (and only beacuse I got distracted and made a mistake), kieran is my biggest problem ....funny thing is that if I play Kieran my biggest problem is ariana

02-12-2013, 10:49 PM
Not sure what you've taken out for the town portals, but they're not a particularly good card against the 3/6/0 kieran deck because they don't have any allies that cost > 3. You want to be sweeping and using hard removal on kieran's creatures.

02-13-2013, 02:07 PM
Not sure what you've taken out for the town portals, but they're not a particularly good card against the 3/6/0 kieran deck because they don't have any allies that cost > 3. You want to be sweeping and using hard removal on kieran's creatures.

Town Portal (Unsummon in MTG) is most verstaile card in the game. You dont have to use it offensively you can just unsummon your antropos or unsummon pao whatever. Possibilities are endless

02-13-2013, 10:52 PM
in the abstract you're right, but absolutely not in this deck. It doesn't belong here, there are no Pao's and you aren't usually a quick tempo deck. The synergy with atropos is cute, but it's only one card in the deck. You have plenty of hard removal, this deck is about dealing with threats permanently not bouncing them for a turn.

Also, town portal is no unsummon (3 resources instead of U which is a huge difference because it means you'll often lose mana on the trade, unlike in MTG where you almost always win). And even then, most UB control decks - which this most resembles - will play doom blade equivalents over unsummon. It's more the UW(r)-style tempo decks that run unsummon effects, if at all.

02-14-2013, 09:44 PM
Not sure what you've taken out for the town portals, but they're not a particularly good card against the 3/6/0 kieran deck because they don't have any allies that cost > 3. You want to be sweeping and using hard removal on kieran's creatures.

got 1 less puppetmaster, no atropos, and 60 cards....

I found portal very usefull against other Arianas..who posess my creatures with puppetmaster..or to get useful a creature (like lich) back to hand before an insect swarm boardwipe...otherwise it's pretty useless, unless as fodder for shantiri ruins...

but same goes for spell twister/stealer against decks with no spells...

02-15-2013, 05:20 AM
Great deck, thanx psychobabble! I just have one question - I'm still lacking Earth's Grasp and 2 Week of Wild Spirits. So, would this deck's synergy be solid without them, or I can replace Grasp with anything else (also with 2 Weeks)?
I just have good Ariana 3/6/1 "usual" deck, but started to lose last week, because I feel the meta changed. So I want to try something new, but should I do it without Grasp or no?
Thank for answers!

02-15-2013, 06:28 AM
No grasp is fine, it's a tech card. Replace with a stone shield or whatever else you feel like.

Losing the wild spirits hurts a lot more, but give it try :). Use week of shadows or something.

02-20-2013, 12:40 PM
psycho,how well do you fare against Kieran ??

he's my biggest problem when I play Ariana since I can't remove his earley creatures quickley....remember playing against uraxor once and he beat me in 4-5 turns...

funny thing is: that when I play Kieran I loose against Ariana in the same proportion...so there's deffinatley something I'm doing wrong

02-20-2013, 10:02 PM
When the kieran deck is played correctly (and i'm not going to give away all my secrets here :)), i feel that it's fundamentally favoured against ariana unfortunately. It's why I don't play this in the daily tournament anymore.

There are things you can do. A kieran deck finds it almost impossible to deal with an archilch on an empty lane. So if you can stall with creatures and maybe a sweeper or two (but ariana's sweepers are bad vs kieran if they're playing properly) and resolve an archilch on an empty lane you can start putting down pressure they can't do much about. But you'll probably find yourself having to put it down in a full lane, and they can deal with that pretty easily. Earth's Grasp is actually very good in the matchup, it's one of the key cards along with spell twister. But generally, it's not a good matchup i find.

02-22-2013, 02:30 AM
thanx for advice,
earths grasp is very good good in general too, I'm actually cosnidering having two in my deck, saved my *** more than once...

the lich thing is indeed something I overlooked

seems like Kieran is somehow the anti Ariana hero, just like Ariana is the anti Kelthor hero

Kieran without time jump can be beaten with a good hand , but the other variant will allways get to me before I get to him..

02-22-2013, 01:09 PM
I ran a very similar deck to 224 today and I have to say the key factor is week if the wild spirits. It definetly makes the deck! I have tried a lot of variation. The most succesful one being swapping moonsilk for lingering ghost. Both die to insect swarm (Which IMO is a 4x) and earthwuake but moonsilk but moonsilk stalls a bit more. And more often then not your winning play comes from a 6 magic drop. And you basically want your game to get to that point asap.
I fooled around with plague zombie for archlich for the same reason, simply getting to 6 magic asap, and there surely are a lot of arguments for that. You have to go to 3 might no matter what but the fourth can hurt in getting to those crucial puppetmasters.
I also use a single shadow image. You can argue for two as it very very often will work just like a soul reaver on a lot of creatures. And will also serve as a great Win con, especially when combined with a time jump. And when on the subject of time jump. Best card ever! By far the card that has won me the most games!

The ruins gives such great synergy because most games will give you "dead" cards. If spelltwister isnīt a gamebreaker itīs a great card for ruins. And the same deal with earthquake, it's either a gamebreaker or ruinsfodder.

I haven't been fortunate enough to get an earthgrasp yet, and it is sorely needed. Pao might be the card i have lost the most to.

03-22-2013, 09:50 AM
Tanks for this deck psychobabble, it is very efficient !

I'd like to have your opinion about "Spell steal" to protect against OTK decks particularly (Stone shield,...).

03-22-2013, 01:44 PM
I use a very similair deck as well, but with -1 puppet and minus - atropos +3 Town Portal. I wanna go the spell route as well if possible.

03-22-2013, 05:01 PM
seems like Kieran is somehow the anti Ariana hero, just like Ariana is the anti Kelthor hero

On the paper yes. I've not lost to Ariana with my Kelthor ... yet (?).

03-23-2013, 10:11 AM
On the paper yes. I've not lost to Ariana with my Kelthor ... yet (?).

Kelthor with Crushers beats Ariana hands down. Without Crushers though, Ariana has the advantage.

03-29-2013, 02:13 PM
Kelthor with Crushers beats Ariana hands down. Without Crushers though, Ariana has the advantage.
lost only ONCE to a Kelthor with rage and that only because I made a miscalculation...

don't know how you can say that...imo it;s exacley the other way around...only chance would be if he has all four crushers out at the same time

03-31-2013, 01:59 PM
Actually Kelthor has pretty good odds vs Ariana, as long as you are running mana storm.

04-02-2013, 12:20 AM
this is very true. Whenever anyone says ariana dominates kelthor because of her ability, I'm pretty sure they've never played the matchup properly.

On a different note, I've been playing a 6/4/1 build with banshees as a curve topper instead of puppet master because they're a MUCH better 2-for-1 against kieran. It's doing pretty well, but I had to abandon it in the swiss tourneys because I kept timing out, and I hardly ever seem to get matched up vs kieran in the jackpot tournament - meta mostly seems to be kelthor/xorm (easy win), Kat/shaar otk (easy win if you draw quick attack, stone shield helps you stay alive till that point) or nergal/ariana (coin flip).

I'll post the deck once I get in more testing against kieran to confirm my current impression that it's a favourable matchup.

04-02-2013, 12:53 AM
played against some differnt kelthor's lateley...

most with very few rage creatures and MANA STORM...

and lost 3 times , that makes four total losses against kelthor with rage so far... (I lost a few times against a very fast bulld without rage and with fortunes)

ariana's ability doesn't mean much if the enraged creatures are not vital...

so far with the kelthor build with spells, I allways managed to take out the crushers, because of the rage counters...and since there was no mana storm...

04-02-2013, 02:19 AM
Both dreamweaver and crusher are very good creatures against ariana, and the only enraged creatures that are generally good anyway. If ariana has to spend a turn and 4 resources killing one of them, then the game is usually going to go badly for her. The one-drop enrage creature isn't good, but that's not because ariana can kill it with her ability, it's because it dies to earthquake.

The matchup isn't rocket science, it's pretty easy to see how the 4/6/1 ariana build has a hard time beating a curve of goblin shooter -> ranaar harpy -> dreamweaver -> tainted orc backed by mana storm. Ariana's answers are always one turn slower than that.

04-02-2013, 05:41 AM
Ok, but what's the difference between play Soulreaver on T4 (which sometimes can't even play because Mana Storm), deploy T4 Lich, who may be easily killed by Orc + Kelthor ability, or use Ariana ability and kill most nastier enraged creature? I mean what use Ariana ability is'nt so bad choice, but Ariana herself is very dependent of proper draw and mostly weak against fast decks. For my records, I won most games vs Stronghold with Ariana, but toughest opponents are Inferno rush and Kieran.
Also, I doubt what Ariana should use 4 (or more) might effectively and try keep 3/6/1 builds. because key decisions made at T2-T5 and at that time you usually try to stay alive agains rushing waves and mostly need cheap meat or swepeing spells, not single liches.

04-02-2013, 07:29 AM
First of all, the drawback of using her ability is that you're not developing your might/magic count. That's very relevant in a deck that wants to hit 6 drops.

But also, unless your opponent is stupid (eg. being silly enough to play the goblin drummer or leave you a blocker that can be killed), there's no way the dreamweaver should have any counters on it at the start of your turn. That means to use ariana's ability you'll need to first use a sweeper, but none of your sweepers kill the dreamweaver so that'll make it huge and scary. And then your opponent plays a crusher or tainted orc or goblin rider the next turn and you have another huge threat to deal with.

Her ability can be ok if the matchup ever goes late and you have tons of mana to spare on, like, a sweep + ability or soul reaver + ability, but by the time you get there the kelthor deck was probably going to be losing anyway.

04-02-2013, 04:04 PM
You can play Goblin Drummer vs Ariana and it won't make a difference. Your enrage creatures are almost never the biggest threat on the board. If they are and they have a counter, it's Kelthor's fault for having played poorly.

I've only lost once to Ariana and it was a 5-4-0 120 cards deck with a lucksack piloting it. Won maybe 20 games. Then I have to admit that there're so many bad Arianas out there that it's not hard evidence.

Anyway, Psychobabble said it all. I look forward to seeing your 6-4-1 version.