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rpve DECK-KIT#2 Stonekin 1/3 - the classical Stonekin (Grinder)


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Hey all,

as the last deck that I showed was more an super-expensive expert deck, let's speak about the most beloved beginner faction this time - Stonekin.

Prologue:
Even though I don't want to present simple solutions with fixed 20 cards, I have to split the Stonekin topic into 3 parts. There are always nice cards that you can not take because of the limited slots, or other cards that offer other options, but that would be just another deck. Stonekin is a great example.
So that the tension is not quite so unbearable, already the outlook for you:

1/3 will be a classic Stonekin deck with :frostorb::frostorb::natureorb::natureorb: (any row), a macro deck, with a small budget and equally popular among beginners as well as suitable for them.

2/3 will be a bit more expensive and a bit more advanced, taking advantage of the :shadoworb::shadoworb:-meta. The deck becomes (slightly) faster, significantly stronger, but in the same measure becomes more "vulnerable" and requires significantly more intervention from the player.

3/3 will follow with the next patch as I have some changes in view on the test server. Here we will focus on the freeze mechanics and build a nice strong, but even more micro-intensive deck. A great fun!

1/3 Classical Stonekin

Theme/Scope: classic Stonekin deck with :frostorb::frostorb::natureorb::natureorb: (any row), prefering Stonekin-Faction over pure Faction where it makes sense, easy to play

Playstyle: Macro

Budget: low budget

Addresses to beginners


Core Deck

(as RPVE Decks mostly happen in T4, every RPVE Deck considering should be done from T4 downwards imo - just to explain my approach)

- Our :frostorb::frostorb::natureorb::natureorb: scope sets Grinder as core unit as there are only 3 cards in this orb range. The other 2 cards have no value for us here, as they are about defense, a thing that we don't even consider for a second in Battlegrounds. Always forward, never backward.

- The Grinder is an incredibly good tank, but unfortunately does very little damage - we need a Damage Dealer (DD) and here Gemeye offers itself, more on this below

- Since we don't have good void manipulation ourselves, we rely more on armies than spells in all tiers. ("more" does not mean only)

- We use our nice crowd control (CC) spells that we have through all tiers

- We use large area buffs and heals for maximum efficiency with only a few interventions

- the 2 dmg Spells that we have speed up killing alot

 

T1: Either :natureorb: or :frostorb:

Basically, with any deck, keep the T1/T2/T3 as large as necessary and as small as possible

 

Nature Start - A classic, the most common start, and yet something to talk about, many do a lot "wrong" here

- Windweavers (WW), Surge of Light and Ensnaring Roots are usually set and enough for any rpve9. This is the gold standard.

- Dryad (B) is a great addition, but to me a waste slot as it is not needed. Shaman is a nice Quality of Life (QoL) addition but usually not needed either. If you want to take one of this two cards don't play too much. Usually build not more then 2 Dryads or 2-3 Shamans. For BG10 I would recommend Dryad (B), even more then a Shaman. If you play Dryad (B) I would recommend beginners to switch them to dmg (not using sleeping) it makes them easier to hold in line with your WW.

- Treespirits or Mana Wings are Rare, aren't they an option to Windweavers? Not a bit, WW are the superior nature allrounder. Mana Wings can be a rare solution against Lost Souls (if you play a MOTM where you know you face LS) as some of their strong units can't attack flying. But this is a too rare case to use Mana Wings as allrounder

- Melee Units or Amazon are simply no beginner options, please just trust me. Most melee T1 units lead to unintended pulls and Amazon is too weak for BG imo.

- Other T1 options that are worth mentioning: Mark of the Keeper as Upgrade for BG10, Hurricane is great against S- Units but usually not worth the short T1 stage (nice BG10 Upgrade), Fountain of Rebirth can be a nice addon in 4player groups, solo not worth the pick (BG10 and such... 🙂 )

In BG9 usually bring out 4-6 Windweavers, root smart and have one Surge of Light ready and T2 should be clear. Against LS play 6-8 WW, one of the rare cases where you want to pull enemys to you a bit out of the camp and clean beasts one by one. Fokus your fire a bit and your troops will do better.

 

Frost Start - the underestimated alternative, a shitload more damage but less sustain

- Frost Mages mixed with Masterarches in ratios between 1:1 and 1:2 supported by Homesoil/Ice Barrier can handle any BG9. If you choose to go for blue T1 then there is no way around Homesoil/Ice Barrier, use this combination the whole match until late T4 for your Gemeyes

- again melee tanks are no option in the scope of a beginner deck, though this is a valid option for more sustain melees usually do more harm then they give a benefit (aka unintended pulls)

- Nice BG10 addons can be: Glyph of Frost, one of the Wintertides, Lightblade (very micro intense), Frost Sorc (very micro intense)

Use your Homesoil (eventual Ice Barrier) to clear T2, ~6 Units deal insane dmg with that support, Barrier can be used to heal units too in some cases.
 

T2 either :frostorb: or :natureorb: - the opposite of the T1 choice

As we want to make a stonekin Deck, lets go Stonekin with our T2, where we get great options in our faction. As both colors come with some great splash cards at t2 too, we will focus on Stonekin and only go for "mandatory" splash cards, like the omnipresent Oink - never go out without your Oink! 🙂 Again we want to have a most lean T2, so pick at maximum 2 of the following considerable Units:

- Razorshard (G) is my hidden champion here on the paper he may look not that great (another S-Counter, you need to use ability, delayed damage), but he performs outstanding against most BG9 enemys, he gives your remaining T1 force a nice basic heal that gives a shitload of sustain

- Crystal Fiend (B) moooore sustain though is audio sucks - a really strong option, but beware that your army does not only consists of supporters and healers, a common "mistake"

- Stone Tempest a bit fiddly but a good M counter and providing nice CC via his knockback, though in some cases annoying

- Aggressor - ok'ish unit as L counter if needed, please consider that he is rather a supporter too then a damage dealer

From the Mono color units the following might be worth mentioning: Stormsinger (any) as strong air-counter or Burrower as swift sieger.

As most of the above mentioned are pure supporters or more-supporters keep some/all of your T1 force alive. Usually at T2 a Breeding Ground is not worth (building). After getting :natureorb::frostorb: mix in - depending on the T3 situation - 0-4 of the above Units. All your T1 options are still viable and your army supported even with your T2 spells now should be fine to deal with anything and everything. The following spells are nice at T2:

- Oink, as said, never have a deck with a :natureorb: that goes without

- if you started Frost you still can consider to take a Surge of Light. Usually T1 spells are not worth a T2 slot, this is an exception

- Matter Mastery, expensive but strong and fun, can be used in combination with Homesoil if you started frost

- in rare cases: Gravity Surge (B) but Stormsinger would be prolly a better T2 choice for most uses here

- and finally the big question "to freeze or not to freeze" -> Coldsnap 
  It is a super strong tool in some rare cases but often used brainless, where it hurts more then it helps. I like to have it with me for seldom super hard T3 camps or to stop a frontline in late match when I am completly on my own. Always have in mind, that freezed enemys only take 50% dmg, which is a very significant penalty. Freeze is very strong against Lost Souls T3 camps, Coldsnap while running in and take out spawner + other buildings to weaken the Lost Vigils.
And please be very careful about freezing units for others, decks that have high burst damage or also rely on triggering their infects can be put in quite a hassle by a single freeze. As a rule of thumb, if you want to help your mates, buff or heal them, but unsolicited freezes are rarely welcome.

 

T3 :natureorb::natureorb::frostorb: (?)


Let's speak about void first.
Stonekin has two obvious options here, either Shrine of Memory (:natureorb::natureorb:) or Shrine of Martyrs (:frostorb::frostorb::neutralorb:) that both can be made available at T3, if we stay in the scope of Stonekin and mixed T2. I don't consider Shrine of Martyrs to be usefull in a deck that is not build around freezing, and even then it is doubtful. Shrine of Memory is very weak too, and I think leaving it out at all can be an option, but after hundreds of games with and hundreds without I have the weak feeling that the 2x 100 energy are just about worth the investment.
I find it very difficult to make an absolute statement here, but my cautious recommendation goes in the direction of SoMem, hence the choice of headline ":natureorb::natureorb::frostorb:"

As my Stonekin T1/2 units give usually give a very solid mix I tend not to take any T3 units for the usually quite short T3 stage - spells and my remaining force needs to do the job. If you want to take in a unit, it must be something really beneficial like taking in an XL unit like Deepcoil Worm or Deepfang. There are ofc other nice'ish units, but noting that really adds something that you couldn't do with your T1/T2.
You may now say "Hey, it's Stonekin, what about Rageflame/Stone Warrior" and you are right, those give an excellent combo. But still in this deck they would be aliens and not really solve any ugly T4 camp situations for which you would take them in now. I will have a close look on those two in part 3/3 of this "guide".

Spellwise T3 brings two mandatory ones for me, for this deck:

- Revenge

- Stone Shell (G)

Easy to use, both stack, and make your already strong force almost invincible.

Next "mandatory" pick: Thunderstorm - a perfect allrounder you want to have with you if you play a green splash. If there is a Shrine of War from your mates, use your Thunderstorm all the time either for waves (don't stop for them) or when you fight camps. Thunderstorm is as Curse of Oink - this card can't be wrong in most of your decks.

Other spells worth mentioning would be

- Equilibrium (G) if you feel need for more heal, here it is. Usually this should not be needed but can be a nice filler if you feel better with it

Neither Enlightenment nor Frost Shard would add something at T3, so they are not considerable for me.

And now comes the part where opinions differ: Support Buildings

- Wheels of Gifts are no option for me in this deck whereby I have to emphasize here "for me" just as much as the "no" option. Wheels bind 540 (405 with construction hut) energy that can't be invested in units. Solo even with taking muuuuch time it is hard to reach even the break even point where the wheels are useful. In groups ofc wheels pay out earlier, but are usually not really worth slowing down one player that strong.
The problem is compounded by the nature of the Stonekin faction, as individual units are not as strong here, but they become stronger when combined, having almost 2 units less on the field hurts me a lot there. Another reason for me to do without the wheels is that only one wheel buff is very profitable for ourselves, namely the attack buff.
On easy maps, a skilled Stonekin player doesn't even need a single heal, to buff this further with Wheels (partly it wouldn't even stack) would be absurd for me.
However, I also know my Battlegrounds so well that many factors are no longer random for me, but well predictable, that it is very difficult for me to fully take a beginner's perspective here. 20% is 20% more - and if you feel better to wait 1-2 min and take that 20%, then do it!

- Healing Gardens - a great buff! But still I rarely play them, as I consider most content well doable if all decks around are build well, it's a bit the same as for the wheels. But again, of course, if you feel the 300 energy for 2 HG is worth it, then play them (in a group). I would also prefer the HG over the Wheels.


  T4 :natureorb::natureorb::frostorb::frostorb:

We have 2 Units in our Faction at T4, as both work together well, why not build around them?
- Grinder is our tank, usually I would only want to have one slot for it and take one of either affinty. Honestly, the fewest will use the skill. But it's not completely useless, though, so give it a try. I therefore slightly prefer the purple. I think having 2 is recommended, the more the better ofc. Grinders benefit greatly from grouping, I would want to set up 2-3 straight up and have 4-5 towards the end, then they are actually almost immortal, especially if you buff them nicely.

- Both Gemeyes are great for me, I like to have them both. Usually I play 1 green, put out all my purples and play Grinders or further purple Gemeyes when the cooldown is off. I would recommend to charge the purple Gemeye for this deck sooner or later. Ofc the green can be cut if you have other preferences.

- always leave some energy left for 1-2 spells

Ofc other Units can support this mix, though I don't feel a need for it. Primeval Watcher for example could go as supporter, Giant Wyrm as super budget DD.

The two spells I recommend the most here are Regrowth and Ice Tornado. The former is mandatory in most unit based decks though I don't often feel the need to use it in a Stonekin Deck. The latter is a great damage spell and should be set in the back of most camps, while you fight the frontline. Also it is a nice support for bosses or just as helper to increase dmg on endless crossing fights. Tornado and Thunderstorm should be used all the time if a Shrine of War of a group member is running.

Maelstorm can be an option to get even more sustain, but hey, freezing, we had this topic - be smart when you freeze!

There are other cool spells in this color range, but none that I would consider for this deck

 

Any more options throughout the the tiers?

- Incredible Mo is important against LS, if you play random maps make sure there is one around or take yourself (Yellow buff to avoid anti-range debuff)

- Amii Mon for solo purpose ofc possible

- construction hut if you considered any of the Buff Buildings or Amii

- Frost Bite (P) does work on bosses, usually not worth the slot to me but hey it needs to be mentioned

 

Bosses you struggle with:
- Hellhound can be dangerous, avoid to face him with a too small army alone. Keep your buffs up, take out spawner via Tornado and perhaps focus the boss then

- fear very early Urzachs and Infester, keep your Gemeyes out of range but close enough for your Grinders to count for their passive heal

Any other dangerous situations for this deck:

- early bosses, especially when you are on your shitty SoMem. Know your deck and retreat if needed in time

- Ugly T4 situations end in quite a "zerg" - even t3 units do not change much about that

- usually not a deck I want to bring to BG10 random maps/groups as it is too slow for the given time frame

- Willzappers in early match, reason enough for me to justfy Matter Mastery (that is useless against Lost Souls)

Personally tested Deck proposals, as always from Spells over Units to Buildings

BG9 allrounder
grafik.thumb.png.f29df735e12a87905ba9ea7b1593dd89.png

BG10 Solo

grafik.thumb.png.dd3d4f7e609a47d772bd08080f72e47b.png


Replays:


BG9_4pl_motm_Stonekin_noheals

The very easy current motm, I guess I did not even use a regrowth in that match, perhaps one lazy one in the end. If maps are that easy usually this deck cannot ever be beaten.


BG10_1pl_MOTM_Stonekin

Current super easy motm tempted me to do it with a stonekin - slow but steady, deck above.

I will add a replay of a close and ugly T4 situation (current motm 3/4 comes to my mind) the next days. This is noting you want to have with this deck, but still doable.
BG9_4pl_MOTM_Stonekin_close_t4_fight

As I have seen many people struggling with this Pos3/4 (I am sitting in 4 here) I was a bit afraid to play it with this deck. A very low rank, Deck lvl 7 sat next to me. He touched every next camp in advance to trigger useless further spawn and brought non-optimal units to the field - a perfect stress-test for our Stonekin deck.
And what shall I say, have a look yourself, we are super-clean t4 in ~8min. Far from being fast, but for this map and situation still rock-solid imo.

 

If you have feedback, suggestions, nice replays or storys about this deck, please feel free to post below!

As always, all information without guarantee and with strong personal preference.

See you in the Battlegrounds!
 

Thanks to https://www.deepl.com/translator for helping me with some partly translations

BG9_4pl_motm_Stonekin_noheals.pmv BG10_1pl_MOTM_Stonekin.pmv

BG9_4pl_MOTM_Stonekin_close_t4_fight.pmv

Edited by Volin
1. added replay of ugly close t4 camp situation
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