View Full Version : Epic Without Epics Jackpot Challenge - Sept 14th (Play DoC, Discuss, and Win Seals!)

09-13-2013, 05:02 PM

What is The Jackpot Challenge?

The Jackpot Challenge is a weekly event that encourages players to experiment with new decks/heroes and discuss the possible strategies they create. These weekly tournaments are an outlet for some competitive with a focus on experimenting, creating new tactics, and having fun!

Your goal is to place as high as you can in the Jackpot tournament using your own version of our Deck of the Week. We highly encourage you to stream your experimenting using our new integrated Twitch.TV SDK feature! Additionally, share your results here in this thread. Did you find an awesome combination of cards that helped you place in Tier 1? Let us know!

Interested in more competitive Duel of Champions action? Follow the latest news on the Road to Paris tournament and see who becomes the 2013 World Champion: www.roadtoparis.com

Are there prizes to be won?

Of course! On top of the prizes already included in playing Jackpot, we will be awarding seals to players that participate here in the Jackpot Challenge. To become eligible for extra rewards, share your experiences with the Jackpot Challenge Deck of the Week here in this thread. Here are a few examples of ways to qualify:

• Make an awesome play during one of your games? Explain how you were able to pull it off. The more detail the better!
• Stream your Jackpot Challenge matches and post the replays here for us to see.
• Theorycraft the Deck of the Week, come up with a sound strategy for victory, and share your results with us.

Our three favorite submissions based on decks, streams, or discussion will all earn prizes. The first place prize will be 200 Seals while the second and third place winners will both earn 100 seals each.

Deck of the Week:

Our Deck of the Week will be Epic Without Epics. Your goal this week is to build a deck without ANY epic rarity cards and to climb as high as possible in our Jackpot tournament on Saturday, September 14th. If the card has an orange name, you can't use it! What decks can you make without the rarest cards?

Remember, post your experience, decks, and stream replays here in this thread for a chance to win seals! Good luck and have fun!

09-13-2013, 05:18 PM
This should certainly be exciting if you can get a high participation rate. The current meta is defined by which epics you are running, with only a couple of decks that function well without them. Looks like this might be a good time to dust off the old Kelthor Smasher!

09-13-2013, 06:03 PM
This is a really hard challenge, i would assume that reaching T1 isnt possible but we will see :o

I guess the factions, which are not that reliant on epics are probably stronghold and inferno but I would give stronghold a slight edge cause inferno rush without DAs and Callers of the Void is significantly weaker. Stronghold rush/control decks on the other hand dont necessarily need epics, they can be pretty strong without them.
In terms of heros Shaar(Unique Spells) and Crag Hack(Dark Assasins) seem rather unplayable but making Kelthor/Kat/Acamas work should be possible.


1.Kelthor Creatures(5 1 1) : http://www.mmdoc.net/show_deck/8655/

Thats a deck I used a long time ago but should be fine in this challenge with a few adjustments maybe. Its focussed on your enrage creatures and exploiting Kelthors ability as best as possible since you just need to skill up to 5 might. It has a decent shot against most decks,if you get a good start, but slowpoke decks will probably destroy it.

2.Kelthor Spells(4 4 0) : http://www.mmdoc.net/show_deck/10641/

I recently played this deck for fun and it works decently, Tier 2 should be possible but again slowpoke will destroy you.


The problem with Acamas is that is ability is useless but his start stats are pretty nice and you can build a decent creature/fortune deck around him.
Something like this: http://www.mmdoc.net/show_deck/10643/
It uses roughly the same creatures(a few more) as the the Spellthor but supports them with some strong fortunes and has some direct damage with stampede I think it will show some decent results too.

I think Kat doenst have an advantage over these two heros, if you want to play with spells Kelthor is better, because of the better magic schools and if you want to play with fortunes Acamas has the better start stats.

09-13-2013, 08:58 PM
This is a fairly easy challenge compared with some of the others before, and probably the best option to an almost guaranteed T1 is an Ariana Mill, if you have the time and patience enough to do an entire Jackpot using this deck.

The only epic used Shi-No-Shi is important for the deck, but even without using this the deck can work well enough.

The composition of an Ariana Mill is pretty standard with a few minimal variations according to the player running the deck, but as a base we can take this for one of the most renowned mill players, Bgata.


So for the ones with the time and will to try this challenge, this is my sugerence

Youre right, i totally forgot about mill...but no way im gonna play that :D

09-13-2013, 10:09 PM
Ariana s*** mill..
Cheap deck and easy T1 for anemics..
Jason very bad choice!

09-13-2013, 10:25 PM
Ariana s*** mill..
Cheap deck and easy T1 for anemics..
Jason very bad choice!

Mill isn't the only strategy that can be viable without Epic cards! I'm excited to see what other people play :)

09-14-2013, 02:04 AM
Well, I'm going to try this with something similar to what resadversa posted. Basically Kelthor with a focus on enrage.

I wish I had more copies of the critical cards, but I'm going in with what I have. Here's a decklist for anyone who's interested.


09-14-2013, 04:04 AM
The composition of an Ariana Mill is pretty standard with a few minimal variations according to the player running the deck, but as a base we can take this for one of the most renowned mill players, Bgata.

I win. Did I earn the title Renowed Mill Player Slayer ??


09-14-2013, 04:07 AM
Just poking fun. I was thrashed by bGata not long after.

09-14-2013, 03:46 PM

simple ariana controll deck...

can beat everything ..creature decks, are beaten with darkness controll spells and earth boardwipers, spell controll decks because of ariana's superior spell selection, spell revival with shantiri ruins, and not least; her 1 might starting stat which helps her bring creatures in faster than invokers...

it beats sronghold otk the moment you play "earth grasp", which is aslo good against slpoke and lock decks , since most of those use paos...( of course they still have the throne - inheritance - pao combo)
aganist stall you also have: stone shields (most stall decks can't dispell them but they find a way around them most of the time with damaging fortunes), minor recall timed well ..can win a game
when there's altar of stalling on, or to go around that annoyng avalanche or wasteland, time jump to go around stone shield or to set up a lategame killing blow...dispell against stoneshields or immolations...

spelltwister is in there for good measure..especially against similar decks

it's not a guaranteed win against anything , but it can allmost beat any top tier deck

dhamiria is a big problem because she can discard...

the creature version can be beaten if you controll the board earley and manage to dispell might of nature, and maybe posess one big creature
if she has better board controll and magaes to sneak in and discard every turn, you have no chance

slowpoke can be easy if you start strong, play earth grasp and get a lucky "time jump" at the right moment
if it drags on, than she can discard all your important cards and again you cannot do anything anymore

shantiri ruins might be able to recycle some of your discarded spells but, than again she might discard those too

youkiko lock - has big problems with earth grasp..he can go around with the (throne - inheritance - pao combo) but he depends on recalling the paos back to his hand..and most of the times that won't be possible due to lack of resources, stone shields come in very handy here too, as yukiko has no way to directley damage your hero with fortunes and can only use stream singers to bounce them back tou your hand;
minor recall helps here too , and a well timed "time jump" , might end him any time

Zardoc can allways beat you if he starts fast , and manages a turn 5 blackskull crusher,
you must be able to dispell might of nature otherwise he'll beat you eventually beacuse whenever he has a free lane he'll use his ability to get a creature there to damage you (and most decks run at least 2 crushers that you'll never be able to instant kill or posess)

and you must also stop his earley attack and get more creatures than him on the board, and if he does not mange to use might of nature well you will slowley grind him down - because of solid necro creatures combined with solid controll spells

I never lost against kelthor with this deck...only encounterd 2 "spell Kelthors" so far , others were the classical 5/2/1 versions based on enrage
kelthor enrage has no chance to win except a good earley rush when you get a bad hand

spiders and ability kill most of his enraged creatures and your other spells take care of the rest, earth grasp can protect you very well from paos and shredders

Aramalek is a 50/50 chance ..most of the time you have better controll than him ..but it is not good to let yourself be dragged on by a version with banshees and atropos wich he can endlessley ressurect lategame

Inferno rush can only beat you earley

With those tool box garant decks it's mostley about the draw, as really anything can happen

Sanctuary decks are mostley beaten if you manage to establish board controll after turn 7... no matter what they bring in after that you can allways do better

The only epic I have removed from the deck is ATROPOS.. but it can do very well withoout him

Deck composition:
only non magic creatures because of event...helps drag the game on to get to your high magic level for those high level controll spells

creatures chosen to keep the enemy ocupied untill you up your magic and resources accordingley (that's why I chosen trees)

spiders are the only offensive element and since you can't revive them they should be used with care

spells : the usual earth boardwipes (earthquake and swarm) combined with darkness controll spells (soulreaver, shadow image, puppet master , curse of the netherworld)
stoneshield and earth grasp for defence...and 1 minor recall + 1 dispell to get rid of enemy defences + 1 spell twister in there for good measure (works well against Adramallek)

2 shantiri ruins because you allways must reuse something...

it has 61 cards because I really can't renounce at anything

09-14-2013, 06:41 PM
I've decided to go the straightforward route of using Kelthor. I put my standard Kelthor deck back together:

3x Week of Mercenaries
3x Day of the Dead
1x Dancing Flames
1x Cosmic Balance

4x Goblin Scout
4x Blackskull Warchanter
4x Ranaar Harpy
4x Pao Deathseeker
4x Dreamwalker
4x War Oliphant
4x Crusher
4x Tainted Orc
2x Blackskull Vutlure Rider
2x Bloodfrenzied Wyvern
2x Blackskull Crusher

4x Firebolt
4x Lightning Strike
4x Sacrificial Altar

It's been going about as well as I'd expected, 6-3 so far, but since a couple of the losses were early on I'm at 149 Elo. I felt like I stole one win from my Malik opponent, he really should have realized the danger he was in with 2 Rage creatures on the board, plus he played Soul-Consuming Lich on turn 4 where a Decay Spitter would have made it an easy win. I also lost a game I shouldn't have against a Garant opponent where I took a gamble on Week of Mercenaries and despite having a deck that is 76% creatures, missing getting the bonus on both the first and second tries.

Other that that the results were as expected, this deck is not beating Ariana and it's not beating Sandalphon once Sandalphone gets Strength of the Sea in play and activates 'The Wombo Combo' I suppose I'll try it a little longer and if it doesn't work I'll go back to using Dhamiria deck without epics. I was able to get to 1350 Elo using that deck so it should have a decent shot at ensuring a T3 finish for this Jackpot.

Although... I do have the cards to play Ariana, the only thing I am missing is Atropos, so perhaps that would be fun for a change. Crazy 6 CMC spells go!

09-14-2013, 08:35 PM
Unfortunately I have to cancel the challenge cause I actually didnt loose with the deck and Im still 4th on the leaderbord..I dont want to loose that cause I play suboptimal deck :D
But I won my first 5 games with the Acamas deck I posted before and I guess I showed that it can work.


09-14-2013, 09:21 PM
So I made up my Ariana deck. I had to tweak it a little bit, since the first version was weak against both OTK and any decent rush decks. I was able to get to 178 Elo playing this version but I've decided not to press my luck further because the deck still has serious holes against a number of the decks that are played higher up:

3x Week of Taxes
3x Week of Mercenaries
2x Cosmic Balance

4x Neophyte Lich
4x Moonsilk Skeleton
2x Hangman's Tree
4x Lamasu
4x Vampire Knight
3x Plague Zombie
2x Archlich
2x Soul-Consuming Lich
4x Decay Spitters

1x Earthquake
2x Mass Dispell
4x Insect Swarm
2x Soul Reaver
3x Mirror Image
4x Puppet Master
3x Curse of the Netherworld
2x Time Jump

So overall it did pretty well once I got it into this form. My original version had far too few 2 drops and lost to rush decks because of it and it still loses against OTK more often than not, but 2x Mass Dispell, 2x Time Jump and all of the events give it a fighting chance. So now it only loses something like 60-66% of matches against OTK instead of 90%. It feels pretty well balanced and strong against a number of decks my previous decks were weak against, Malik being the one that stands out the most. It generally wins the war of attrition against non-Necro decks. Against Necro decks it has a number of good methods to deal with Atropos. It always beats rush when it gets the extra resource first. If it doesn't it still usually wins, but every so often they'll be some surprise Deathseeker + Inner Fire damage that'll sneak through for lethal. The only real difficulty appears to be OTK but that is true for the majority of creature based decks. And of course the tier 1 epic laden decks like Seria and Sandalphon, but I didn't face a lot of those and I still had Mass Dispel as an out for Strength of the Sea.

Overall it is pretty fun to play, a lot of great combacks. I actually had one opponent concede when I was at 1 and he was at 20. I guess he just accepted there was nothing left for him after I stopped his initial rush. That was the best win although beating a Garant deck with a Shadow Copy of his own Ravager was pretty good too as was beating a different Garant deck with two Shadow Copies of his own Lillium. The worst loss was losing against a Nergal OTK deck that did 6 damage to me via week of Austerity (half of that was bugged) and 12 damage through Paos he got via Seria's Legion. He was at 1 life when he died. I also had a heartbreaker against a Dhamiria Slowpoke deck where I played Time Jump to get through a Stone Shield only to draw a Mass Dispel the following turn. After that my creatures were all wiped out and there was a Wasteland in play every turn forward until the game ended.

09-15-2013, 12:54 AM
This jackpot challenge is a poor one IMO to choose. Actually no scratch that, its not poor its just downright stupid. First omitting epics doesn't actually do anything to make decks more build-able as there are many rares that are still needed. In point of fact, a rare heavy deck can be harder to build than a deck with a few select epics and peddler/bard's to get them! Additionally if you have a relatively new player they may have a couple epics and *want* to play with them. Really what this challenge should have been is a limited number of Rare+Epics, say 6-8 total. Given that I have no real desire to play an epic-less deck but I am happy to theorycraft. There are a couple decks that jump out as strong candidates.

Obviously Ariana mill is the prime example. bGata's is here: http://www.mmdoc.net/show_deck/7681/ The deck only uses 1 epic so omitting that weakens it but that isn't even the prime win strategy. However games are long, drawn out and not very fun (IMO) for either player. Additionally this is not the easiest deck to play and does require quite a few rares which makes it basically not an option for newer players.

Next Kelthor is another prime example, you can do enrage or spell kelthor. The only epics that are typically in Kelthor decks are Dark Assassins (sometimes), Forbidden Flame (usually), and Song of the Lost (occasionally). Omitting these is no problem. Personally I lean towards the spell version over the enrage version. Kelthor has some matchup problems at the top tier of jackpot tournaments with or without these. As a result I would simply not play it in JP without every advantage I could. Regardless here is one possible version: http://www.mmdoc.net/show_deck/10682/

Random Garant is a deck that runs few epics and is still strong even without them. Here is the deck I would have gone with http://www.mmdoc.net/show_deck/10681/ It has all the typical Garant rush deck features, just without DA/caller/Forbidden Flame. I opted to go with more creatures and teleports instead of mass inner fire. Omitting the mass inner fire lets me skip 4 magic entirely. Ravagers would be another strong consideration.

Best of luck to any who try this jp challenge.

09-15-2013, 01:13 AM
I have used Kelthor 4/4/1 and got up to 179 points.

2x Week of the Dead //sometime you have to kill your own creature for enrage counters or to make a space for pao/shredder
4x Week of the mercenaries
2x Cosmic Balance //in theory against otk but today i was lucky and didn't encounter any of them

4x Goblin Scout
3x Blackskull Warchanter //only 3 because we have tight space and enrage is not most important thing is this deck
4x Ranaar Harpy
3x Goblin Hunter
4x Pao Deathseeker //pao are great, and are even better with inner fire
4x Dreamwalker
4x War Oliphant
3x Crusher //only 3 because we have already lot of expensive creatures and we want a game to be fast one.
4x Blackskull Vulture Rider
4x Blackskull Shredder //great creature and with pao we have 8 quick attack creatures

4x Fire Bolt
3x Lighting Strike
1x Fireball //instead of one lighting strike, a mass removal if you are lucky enough to get it in proper time.
2x Mass Inner Fire //unexpected finisher

3x Sacrificial Altar

I'm lucky many because i have 4x pao and vulture rider. This deck would be much weaker without at least one of them.
Deck seams to be normal enrage Kelthor but its main strange is in mass inner fire.
People are not expecting it and its really fun to see now small goblin can crush big opponents, making room for 5dmg pao.
Blackskull Shredder is also very interesting card. Having only one empty row you can still do lot of damage by playing them and then moving away.
Vulture Rider is replacing tainted orc. its almost instant win if you can play 3 of them for no cost :) in one mirror match i have lost to them. Opponent cleared the board, killed last of his creatures with week of dead and play 4 of them in 6 or 7 turn.

Deck loses most of its potential to earths grasp, incorporeal creatures and might of nature.
All of those games are winnable but difficult as hell. Mass inner fire is still helping a lot :)
Deck has its potential and I think i could go higher but its to late now and I don't have time at morning to try more.

09-16-2013, 12:02 AM
so who won ???

09-16-2013, 02:45 PM
BGata Zzz Ariana Zzz mill :P

09-17-2013, 03:14 PM
Thanks to everyone that participated in the challenge last week. Here are the winners from the Epic Without Epics challenge!

1st Place: ulpsz (200 seals)
2nd Place: silentbobus (100 seals)
3rd Place: Ice-Rik (100 seals)

Special mention: Evil_Nuff (100 seals)

If you want to see a specific challenge in the coming weeks, please feel free to leave your ideas here. Hope everyone is having fun with these and I would love to hear any feedback you might have.

09-17-2013, 07:06 PM
I feel sorry there wasn't more participation for this challenge. I really thought that people would get excited about a JP Challenge that anyone could do regardless of collection size, but perhaps all of the people who use these forums already have extensive collections so it wasn't hindering anyone in the first place.

Along those lines I think a good open ended challenge for next week would be to come up with an entirely new archetype. Some deck type that's effective and hasn't been done before. That is quite challenging to do in an established format, but perhaps the 400 seal prize pool will be incentive enough for someone to do it.

09-17-2013, 07:57 PM
finally I won something :cool:

..how do I get my seals ??? ..couse thay haven't been added to my account

09-17-2013, 08:25 PM
Seals will be added by Aza404 in the coming days. Stay tuned :)

09-17-2013, 09:39 PM
I really liked this challenge from Enclase a lot(maybe with epics for the jackpot and of course another default deck) :


Not sure if community approves it :D

09-17-2013, 11:57 PM
Seals will be added by Aza404 in the coming days. Stay tuned :)

can you please send me the seals as a code via PM???

as you uubi people never managed to add anything to my account so far...just to avoid endless support tickets which never get solved anyway