This particular deck focuses on denying the opponent's quanta gain - and thus preventing any strategy to happen in the first place.
It is, in my opinion, one of the best decks to achieve Elemental Mastery against most opponents; CPU or player alike.
The gameplay works around Devourers and Earthquakes denying any quanta gain to the opponent - while the Steal and Drain spells
work on getting rid of whatever the opponent managed to play out. The final step is to introduce a beating with Dragons and Vampires
and the game is over.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Why not Darkness Denial rather than Earth / Darkness Denial?
Although Pure Darkness is a bit smaller, simpler and faster and might seem like a more attractive strategy over Earth-based,
I assure you that the only thing the Darkness version is better is just that; a bit simpler and faster.
In the long run, though, Quicksands and burrowed Devourers will always defeat Darkness decks.
While Darkness just sucks up whatever quanta the opponent makes, Earth goes a step further and denies the quanta factories.
Even in a Darkness vs Earth / Darkness deck, by my experience, ED always wins duo to the Quakes/Quicksands and untouchable Devourers/Pests.
I'm having problems making this deck work!
You should really make some cheap Life-gain deck to grind gold via Elemental Mastery and then invest everything into this deck.
The problems with this deck is that it DOES require the upgrades. It really needs the Quicksands, it really needs the Vampires.
I keep losing with this deck against this and this and this!
Tough luck. No deck is still as versatile to be able to beat any kind of threat, but I assure you that if this is executed properly
you'll render most of those threats obsolete.
Elemental sign is Earth.
Non-upgraded version (40 cards) :
16x Obsidian Pillar
4x Drain Life
6x Black Dragon
1x Protect Artifact
In a 39-card deck and with 6 Devourers, you will usually draw one or more. If your opponent is using a deck that can possibly
hit the Devourers with some damage, you must estimate should you burrow or not. Remember that a Devourer can be used
as cannon fodder at times. Your only means of beating down the opponent is the Dragon and the Drains, as where you can use
a couple of Drains at once to deal the finishing move to your opponent. Life Drain is your best bet for the Mastery win.
Steal whatever item your opponent has (or even his pillars if he's short on those) but keep 1 Steal in hand till the very end.
Drain Life any reasonable threat, but do try to calculate would it be better used on killing the opponent.
UPGRADING & ADVICE:
Once you start upgrading cards, the Darkness deck will change shape and focus.
First, I would start with upgrading Earthquakes to the 1-less costing Quicksand; this will prove vital.
Next, start upgrading and adding Vampires. Heck, I think you should even start lowering Dragons, Drains and Steals with these.
While the Minor Vampire is not as hot, the Vampire is a true menace while your opponent is busy getting anything out at all.
Keep upgrading Pillars into Towers, of course. Consider adding Eclipse for further boosting the Vampire's abilities.
I don't think upgrading Devourers or Dragons is something as necessary.
If you would be running a pure Darkness deck the Devourer upgrade is a must; since you can burrow them, having 0/2 or 0/4 does not matter most of the time.
If you've got the nerve and the gold, then its great; I personally would not bother.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Upgraded Otyughs with Blessings and Armor bonus decks. You can deal with most of these, but not if they go overboard with the Blessings.
Fire decks tend to have Rain of Fire, which will erase your unburrowed Devourers (Pest upgrade would save them) and Vampires (Nightfall/Eclipse would save them).
Rainbow decks render your draining capabilities nearly obsolete. You can still harvest massive amounts from quanta through them, but you won't prevent their
strategy from happening - just possibly slow it down a bit. If their strategy worked - yours did not.
Decks that have any versions of the Nova card. 12 quanta spread out will again render your Devourers 50% less efficient.
PRO and CON:
Highly effective versus most mono, two or even three colored decks with ease.
Once you start upgrading, Elemental Mastery becomes a regular thing with Vampires and timed Drains.
Even when low on Pillars, will manage to gather a lot of darkness quanta through Devourers.
When upgraded enough in the suggested way, the life gain capabilities will let you last way longer in hard matches.
Rainbow decks will, most of the time, safely ignore your quanta denial abilities, since your Devourers will have too much to suck on to.
Not the most capable deck versus Gods.
Elemental Sign is Earth.
Fully upgraded version (37 cards)
15x Obsidian Tower
2x Siphon Life
2x Improved Steal
2x Obsidian Dragon
1x Protect Artifact
As you might notice, I as well took the effort in upgrading the tiny Devourers and Dragons that I said I probably will not do.
I've upgraded the Devourers into Pests so they can withstand almost all direct damage hits, hence not needing the Burrow ability at all.
This has allowed the Darkness deck even more possibilities; you can consider changing from Earth and Quicksands to something else,
for instance using Aether with Lobotomies and Shields or whatever. The thing is, Darkness just got better in draining and more agile.
The deck now fully is capable of draining the life force of the opponent, focusing on Vampires as the main beating force.
Vampires sometimes can use the support of the Obsidian Dragons (one is usually enough) that are now even tougher to deal with.
Consider the increased possibilities of Element swapping (Earth and Aether are great in combo with Darkness)
It's all about improvisation in the right moment.
Written by Breach.