The ending sequence in Fascinate’s Master chart may seem like a bit of chaos at a glance, but it’s actually very structured! After taking a closer look at it, I actually found it rather fascinating.
I took it upon myself to break it down with colors and letters to make it easier to explain. First things first, there are two alternating rhythm sequences shown here in the green and blue boxes.
The green box has “5” notes that consists of 3 eighth notes sandwiched by sixteenth notes.
( • – – – • )
The blue box is simply 3 eighth notes.
( – – – )
While the notes are not the same every time in these boxes, understanding the rhythm here is really the majority of the battle. Without this understanding, it can really just look like a jumbled mess of notes.
The more interesting aspect I found is that the rhythm is actually arranged in a little pattern. I noted the exact sequences and their relationships on the left with letters. The green rhythm is in a pattern of AABC AABC. The blue rhythm is in a pattern of ABCB ABCB, albeit the final B here is cut short. But as you can see, the sequence of notes is actually just repeated halfway through this entire section. Measures 68-72 is almost identical to measures 72-76. It’s not really helpful to know this information, but it’s certainly interesting!
There are many great decks in Steel Rebellion so far, but many of them are similar decks with new toys. Machina Blood however has very quickly risen to popularity as both a strong deck and a completely new and unique one. As a Blood main, I’ve taken a keen interest in testing and attempting to optimize the deck and here are some of my findings.
Machina Blood Decklist (Current):
You’ll see there are some interesting non-standard cards in this list. They are cards I’ve decided to use particularly for this meta. Most of the cards in this list are standard barring Summon Bloodkin and Viper Lash. I decided to use them becauae they are spells that summon followers. It’s basically a means to increase the consistency of Unleash the Nightmare summoning Machina tokens.
I’ll spare you the long explanation on how the deck works as you’re probably familiar with it, but the main wincon of the deck is Mono who needs 7 Machina follows destroyed to activate her effect. More often than not, wins with the deck occur on turn 9 with a double Mono turn for 12 damage.
In any event, you really begin to ask how can you increase the consistency of pulling Machinas from Nightmare. After reading potwasher’s thoughts on the matter, he came to a theoretical deck that minimized outside followers leading to a deck with 18 Machina followers and 12 non-Machina followers. The math isn’t perfect (especially if you keep or draw Machina followers before turn 3), but with this amount of followers, there’s about an 85% to summon at least 1 Machina token from Nightmare. This can be a very important difference. For example, a not uncommon progression could be something like: T2 Mechawing, T3 Nightmare (1 Machina), T4 Armored Bat, T5 Metal-Blade for an exact total of 7 Machina followers. The increased consistency is really important to make it exceptionally easy to reach 7 Machina followers destroyed before turn 9. In the meantime, it gives much more freedom to playing better tempo cards (as frankly just summoning 1/1 tokens repeatedly is very weak).
Now let’s talk about Summom Bloodkin. While many lists have opted to use Vira or Hellblaze as their card of choice, you can now understand why I don’t want to use those cards. Now the question might be why add more 2 drops anyway? Seeing as many people have opted for Kiss of Lust, it’s probably fine without any more 2 drops. That being said, a decreased amount of 2 drops leads to 2 bigger issues: early game consistency and T5 Jafnhar activation.
As it currently stands, there actually isn’t that many T2 plays. You never want to play Mono as she is the wincon of the deck, and Hnikar is way more powerful when evolved, especially since he has a self-evolving effect. This ultimately leads to there being only two T2 plays you would prefer to make (6 cards total). You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see how inconsistent that can be. Adding Summon Bloodkin to the deck gives a very nice consistency to the early game without sacrificing consistency of Nightmare. It also has a very nice added bonus of still being able to trade opposing double token turns (Accelerated Mechawing and Latham, the latter being particularly important).
Notes on Other Common Cards
Here is an image of some of the most common cards present in various Machina Blood lists. While I briefly mentioned Vira and Hellblaze, the latter does provide a nice bonus to Mono that can make the difference. Thay said, In my experience, the added attack from Hellblaze is not vital to winning games. As such, I decided that increased consistency would be more important overall than the few games I miss out in.
Other cards like Odin fulfill a similar role in increasing damage near the end on Mono turns, but the fact that it’s very easy to draw him, especially with cards like Nightmare in the deck, I found from my testing that he’s more often that not a source of clogging or bricking rather than winning, especially when a decent amount of games can end on T9. He’s just a winmore card that leads to a lot of inconsistencies.
Razory Claw while not as inconsistent as Odin also falls into this category of winmore to me. The added damage isn’t necessary, and it’s impossible to play alongside Mono when a second Mono could be used instead for twice the amount of damage.
Gilnelise has been a very nice card from my testing, especially with her ability to heal and draw cards. She’s a great card in swarm decks, so it’s no surprise to see her as a common choice, but there’s a bit of an odd clash with Mono who (firstly) needs cards to be destroyed and (secondly) has an effect that naturally dissuades the opponent from allowing you to keep anything on board post T6. While she’s still a really nice card to use, I’ve found that she’s more difficult to use than it might seem (also being a non-Machina doesn’t help her case).
Medusa is one of the strongest cards in the game, especially given her similarity to Council of Card Knights, a card that was an absolute menace back in the day. While I do miss using her, she does decrease deck consistency. And while she’s a fantastic defensive card, if I can increase consistency then I won’t need to be defensive. While the common saying is that a good defense is a good offense, the reverse can also be true. No ratio or list is going to be perfect, but if you can patch your inconsistencies then you leave a lot less to need defending.
Blood Pact is a strong drawing card, so no real complaints there, but my decision to run Restless Parish over other draw cards is its ability to draw cards without losing tempo. It’s half the draw and damage as Pact, but it gets the job done without costing anything or losing tempo. In a deck where the majority of the eary game consists of tokens, you’re already behind on tempo, so further decreasing that is a bad idea.
Finally, Kiss of Lust is a card that seeks to increase tempo, but I would rather play followers than Kiss most of the time, and when I finally need removal, 2 damage is frankly not enough a lot of the time. It’s certainly not a bad card, especially since it’s so cheap, but I think it could be better.
As of writing this post, Blood is the most popular class, but it’s not the most popular deck. The most popular deck is currently Midrange Sword, and Machina Blood struggles in the matchup.
An over 60% favored matchup for Midrange Sword is pretty tough, and no real tech is going to change that, but at the very least maybe that load can go from a 60:40 to a 55:45.
Of course, the tech card I have in mind is none other than Viper Lash. One of Sword’s most powerful cards is Leod. His Ambush status almost guarantees he can deal 6 damage unopposed and perhaps even more with Ivory in the mix. In order to combat such a powerful card, I’ve included Viper Lash because it deals random damage, which means it can hit Leod under Ambush. Since it also summons a 1/1 token, it’s actually more akin to a 2pp 4 damage spell, which is incredibly powerful when considering 2pp 3 damage is the norm. The power also comes in handy when dealing with many of Sword’s other very powerful cards such as Apostle of Usurpation or the Dragon Knights. Given that it’s also powerful against the strong followers in Dragon decks, I’ve considered increasing the amount of copies I use to 3.
A few notes on the power of Destructive Succubus. The reason this deck works is the fact that Blood has a decent amount of self-evolving cards. Mono’s Alpha Drive can evolve multiple followers and each one counts for Succubus. The reason I use 3 Trill is because the ability to double evolve in one card is especially potent in my opinion. When you start counting evolutions, consecutive evolves on T4-6 allows Succubus to come down on T7. If T5 had a double evolve (Jafnhar) and T6 also had a double evolve, then Succubus would cost 5pp, which allows Succubus to come down on T8 alongside either an accelerated Technolord or Viper Lash. This can also work going first when using a self evolving card on T7 (Trill or Hnikar). This possibility of T8 full clear Succubus allows for a very nice setup on T9 with double Mono. Because I think this gameplan is very strong, this is why I am running 3 copies of Trill as opposed to the more standard 2.
And that’s my reasoning for all the card choices in my list. Of course, it’s no where near perfect, and there’s a lot of testing to be done. I hope it does offer some insight into the deck and gives some new ideas for deck building.
Hello. I have completely wiped this space in order to utilize it in the present time. Previously, this blog had a huge mess of posts without any rhyme or reason. A lot of the posts were also incredibly immature, so I decided to clear out everything and start over. This post will serve as nothing more than a placeholder until I really get the ball rolling.