Knowledge is Power: Heart of the Forest
Well now that Age of Ascension has put a deck into the finals of an Archon Vault Tour, maybe we can now start taking the set a little more seriously on the competitive level. I personally have been on the AoA can compete Train for the last couple weeks since it became playable on the Crucible Online. When the set first came out, I wasn’t fully into it but part of that was due to the erratas that happened around the same time to Bait and Switch and Library Access. I felt that CotA rush decks would just take over. Now that I have been able to get in plenty of reps with my AoA decks since getting back from GenCon and seeing how the decks preformed this weekend in Poland. I am not only on the AoA Hype Train, but I’m here to tooooot tooot the horn and yell ALLLLLL ABBOOOORD!!!! So last week we talked about one of my favorite combo archetypes produced by AoA today I’ll be discussing a more tempo orientated archetype in the form of Heart of the Forest (HotF).
Heart of the Forest is an Untamed Artifact that doesn’t allow a player to forge a key if they already have more keys than their opponents. While most heart of the forest decks are also gonna be a combo deck of sorts having a way to forge your 3rd key mid-turn is huge. Most of the time you will look to set up enough aember to forge your 2nd key at the start of your turn and be able to produce enough amber on that same turn or have enough left over to forge the 3rd key before passing back to the opponent. Let’s look a little bit closer at what I’m describing, here’s a game I recently played with The One who Unsettles Darkness So the opponent shown below is “cold” to heart, which to me means that if I play Heart of the Forest on turn 1, they have zero ways of getting it off the board or interacting with it directly. There are plenty of other ways to get out of a Heart-lock and we will get to those later. For now lets talk about the tempo behind the deck. You notice even though my opponent is cold to HotF there is no reason to just jam it on turn 1, setting up my turn 2 with Duskwitch is a far better line, as I can just play the Heart later and it is better to push the tempo in our favor.
So the next turn I play my house Logos and draw into a grip full of shadows. Getting the Miasma into my archives is huge, because sometimes you need to Miasma a turn or 2 before getting to the Key Charge or allowing you to forge the 3rd key naturally. While he wipes my board with his Brobnar turn, I’m really not concerned with the board and more interested in advancing deeper into my deck.
He does the right thing and kills off the witch. In almost all circumstances kill the witch. Duskwitch is one of the most powerful turn 1 plays in the game currently.
So here on turn 4, I have a few decisions to make. I can go Logos here and get my Time Traveler back to draw 2 more cards. I feel it is better to just progress the untamed board and get the Heart into play hoping to draw into a couple more Logos cards before I TT just to get some more value from my Logos turn. I end up drawing 1 more Logos card and decide that’s enough to try and plow through the deck with so much board already established. I just want to try and get wider from here.
Over the next few turns I just focus on setting up my archives and board state, I know they are cold to artifacts and since I have heart of the forest out this game is on my terms and not theirs. While there are lots of ways to beat heart without the artifact control it’s much harder. They also have no ways to key cheat on their turn so the two Miasma allow me to set up an even deeper game.
I have not forged my 1st key yet so my opponent hasn’t been able to forge their 2nd key, while they sit on a pile of aember I will wait for the correct time to play my Interdimentional Graft and swing a bunch of aember to my pool.
From here its fairly easy we can just return our archives and Key cheat on our own turn since they now have 2 keys.
While Heart of the Forest + Key Charge is a combo most of the Heart decks I have played with or played against have been more tempo orientated. If you have an opponent who has even one consistent way to destroy the Heart of the Forest you will need a back up plan. The deck I have can play more of a rush style if it needs to. I want my heart deck like most keyforge decks to not rely on just a few cards, I want my decks to be able to win with as many card combinations as possible. With that said there are archetypes and with each archetype some play better or worse with certain other houses. I prefer logos with archiving and draw as one of the off houses but Dis is a very strong 2nd. The 3rd house will just need to complement your overall game plan. Adjust your game plan to your deck accordingly. Until next time, REAPOUT!