As a bonus to this long round of Swindle Team Events, I have written another article on  a spotlight deck! This deck, Reever Zho Amerhyx, is brought to us by FlamingHobo of  the team Shoopuff’s 1 Star Hobo. Reever is an 88 SAS Age of Ascension deck featuring  houses Dis, Logos, and Mars. 

    At a glance, Reever is a very strong control deck with an achievable GenKA (Martian  Generosity and Key Abduction) combo. Reever has good AERC numbers across the  board: 12 aember control boosted mostly by Hypnotic Command and Lash of Broken  Dreams, and strong artifact control with Poltergeist and Strange Gizmo. Double  Unlocked Gateway is a nice addition that will help trim boards, and Reever’s 15  creatures with 15 Effective Power (and no Creature Protection) isn’t overwhelming  creature lines on their own. With GenKA, Reever is expected to have 16 speed,  boosted by the double Professor Sutterkin and the Logos archiving pieces: Titan  Librarian and Knowledge is Power. Reever also has decent disruption with Dysania,  Gongoozle, and Binding Irons. However, the clear main feature of Reever has to be  the GenKA play and its supporting pieces.

    The Archon strategy of Reever, I think, revolves around the ability to pull off GenKA, a  combo that is famous for its ability to cheat a key at little to no cost and simultaneously  fill your hand with a ridiculous amount of cards. The Mars house is the main feature of  the deck, further, because it is well-balanced for both the GenKA play and a healthy  Hypnotic Command to sap as much as 6 aember from their own side and put it on  their own creatures. All together, Reever could pull off Hypnotic Command during  GenKA using the double Mars First to fight for that aember and help the overall  potential for Key Abduction to work.

    By balanced, I also mean that I think the Mars house is very well constructed for GenKA  to work optimally, even if one has the Gen or the KA before the other piece arrives.  Martian Generosity on its own is an extreme catalyst to a deck that can double its  aember via Binate Rupture. Even if the KA is missing, playing with a hand of 16+ cards  can quickly get unfair. Likewise, one could pull off Key Abduction without Generosity,  using the double Mars First to get those extra reaps/fights in before playing  Abduction. The Mars creatures in Reever will be sticky to the board if the opponent 
doesn’t have a good board clear. Fighting with that Mars line is likely to take too much  effort.

    The other houses in Reever are good supporting houses for building up the big Mars  plays. The Logos, while not particularly fast, has the aforementioned Binate Rupture  and double Cutthroat Research. So, you can double both players’ aember totals and  potentially steal 2 or 4 while doing so, like a less elegant BRIG combo. That high  aember total also contributes to easier GenKA plays, too. The Dis house also helps  build up the GenKA play by stalling with Lash of Broken Dreams and Angwish upping  key costs, and the double Unlocked Gateway works to avoid getting out-reaped by a  bigger board.

The Reversal strategy with Reever, I think, hinges on a few things.

  1. GenKA can be a difficult enough combo for some pilots to manage. It is a rare  enough combo, I think, to really consider this approach. Lots of KF players have  hundreds of decks and have never pulled a GenKA (I am one of them!). And, it is a  combo that requires patience and a real understanding of the math: with what aember  totals can you reasonably play Generosity? Does that change with Abduction in hand  or out? A Reversal pilot is much more likely to fumble those decision points because  the chances are that they don’t have significant reps with the combo.

  2. Keeping an eye on aember totals. Piloting against a GenKA, as weird as it sounds,  also requires one to think about aember totals and when to let keys get forged. Having  played against many Gen decks (admittedly fewer GenKA), I know that a check at 6 is  sometimes best left alone, because playing a tempting Miasma to stop them from  forging could let them pull off a massive Generosity the next turn that leads to 20+  card hands. A really masterful GenKA pilot will, of course, take the key you give them  and still make you regret it by pulling off the combo with feeble aember totals (as you  will see in Hobo’s Archon game when he starts a turn with 3 aember!). 

  3. Understanding Reever’s limitations. It may seem like it has few shortcomings, being  an 88 SAS monster, but no deck is perfect. Particularly, if it’s possible in Reversal, I  would look to board it hard and fast. High Effective Power with robust and diverse  Creature Protection should frustrate Reever. Knowing the double Unlocked Gateway  are lurking, one could smartly bait them out early. If a deck is without a high creature  count, then the other piece you would truly need in Reversal is quality disruption. A  well-timed discard from hand could hit one of the Mars cards. Punctuated Equilibrium,  especially, would be a fantastic way to get those Mars cards out of hand or make  Reever discard a massive post-Generosity hand and draw to 6.

  4. If you can’t board it as I suggest in point 3, perhaps you can avoid boarding  altogether. If you’re piloting a deck that has low creature count anyways, you can  dodge the big Hypnotic Command play by simply not feeding it. The nature of the  Mars creatures also suggests you could drastically minimize their effectiveness by not  giving them a board to pick apart.

In this week of Swindle Team Events, Hobo and Reever took on kveld of team Can’t Touch Dis. Kveld brought Jerzy, Szaman Zamościa to the Crucible. Jerzy is a 91 SAS  Mass Mutation deck featuring houses Dis, Logos, and Untamed. Jerzy makes for a  fascinating matchup against Reever; both decks are very similarly built and have similar  win conditions. Like Reever, Jerzy is trying to cheat keys, particularly with Obsidian  Forge and [REDACTED]. Reever does have Poltergeist, but it is likely one of these  artifacts will survive and cause problems. Given Jerzy’s 15-creature count, the Obsidian  Forge is probably less threatening.

    Jerzy also has two board clears, in double Savage Clash, and a high efficiency score  due to its triple Lethologica. Jerzy’s aember control pieces could be particularly bad  for Reever: Effervescent Principle and double Waking Nightmare, although the latter  could lead to big Generosity yields. Like Reever, Jerzy also has low Effective Power in  favor of bigger aember-boosting plays, like Vault’s Blessing with 8 mutants. Jerzy also  has double Mark of Dis, which could force a non-Mars turn at a bad time. 

    In the Archon game, early Mark of Dis and Shadow of Dis helped kveld to control the  board, but by turn 3, Hobo was able to pull off the GenKA combo with only 3 aember  at the start of the turn: Generosity drew 8 cards, 3 Mars creatures came out and  Hypnotic Command put 3 of kveld’s aember on his creatures. Then, Mars First readied  a creature to fight for that aember, clearing the way for a Key Abduction at cost 5  aember.

    Kveld caught up to even the keys at 1, and Jerzy’s Logos house stalled a key with Effervescent Principle, on a turn that also brought out [REDACTED]. Hobo destroyed  [REDACTED] after a few turns, but it did threaten its free key. Kveld was able to forge  the next key regardless, paying 9 aember following a Lash. Hobo caught up with a key  of his own, forged after kveld discarded a Waking Nightmare, perhaps in fear of  another big GenKA. Kveld continued to put on pressure while Hobo used turns to  shape hands and archive cards (I assume the Mars pieces). Following a 7-aember check  by kveld on turn 14, Hobo took a Mars turn that nearly mirrored the earlier GenKA, this  time without Gen. Hobo played 3 creatures, Hypnotic Command put 3 aember on one  of kveld’s creatures, then Mars First readied Zookeeper to reap, take that creature into  the archives and swipe its aember, setting up a Key Abduction for third key at 7  aember.

    In the Reversal game, Hobo used Jerzy to fight off an early Mars board from kveld/ Reever. By turn 4, kveld pulled off his own early GenKA to draw 10 cards and forge a  key at no cost! Two turns later, kveld forged key two after a big Dis turn, but Hobo  followed with 2 keys of his own, via an Untamed surge. Kveld ultimately prevailed with  Reever, but Hobo kept it close to the end and kept the GenKA from recurring.

    Another solid Newton matchup ends in a 1-1, between two veteran pilots and two  highly rated competitive decks. This match, in the grand scheme of KF meta, is a pretty  fascinating one, where a conventionally strong MM meets its match in a sneaky deck  that prizes GenKA, a well-worn power combo that remains relevant as we move  towards higher and higher tables at Swindle Team Events.