Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of Deckbuilding 101. This is number 4 in our series, but who is counting?
This week, we will be talking about Clarity… Finally! I can’t tell you how long I have waited quietly to talk about Clarity cards. This is obviously my totally unbiased opinion here, but Clarity is by far the most fun House to play as (and probably the scariest to play against as well). Clarity is a completely different beast than the other houses — a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode. Where Wren is about victory through combat and Council is board and prestige control, Clarity is explosive combos and prestige gain.
Today, I want to talk about the easiest combo in the game, and really, who is not going to read Lain Cochrane and say, “WOW I really need to draw six cards this turn!” Well, it gets even more fun than that. Let’s take a look!
The biggest thing about the Lain build is that you don’t want to get carried away with card drawing. I know… I know. “But Lain says…” I get it. I helped design the card. But before you throw 35 card-drawing cards into the deck, don’t forget that you need to keep enemies off your tail! We will get to the “I’ll gain 12 Prestige” plays, trust me… This deck will have the potential to keep your opponent playing scared once you reach 10 Prestige.
The easiest thing in the world to do while making a Clarity deck is to forget about protection. The weakness of the House is that their Followers are, by default, smaller and less efficient than other Houses. That should not be mistaken as ‘don’t put them in the deck.’ Defenders like Solarium Protector and Honor Guard are big enough to stop attackers, but also will require Action removal to get them off of the table.
For this particular deck, I really like Perilous Spy as a utility Follower to hide behind your Champions. The Spy’s ability to remove the hand size barrier is much more impactful in the Lain Combo deck than anywhere else. Really, the Spy begins to set the groundwork for the backbreaking combo with Moment of Brilliance (MoB).
Don’t get me wrong, MoB with seven cards in hand is really good, but with 12 cards, it is crazy good. Not to be forgotten in the combo equation is Manic Genius. On the surface, the Genius seems like a weaker version of MoB, but there is a huge difference. Council has two options that stop MoB (Final Word and Overrule). There is currently no way to stop the activation of a Genius. So, while you do have to discard 12 cards, you also gain 12 Prestige and often win on the spot (…unless of course your opponent is Sly. You will see this a lot as we go on).
So, in addition to Lain’s inert card drawing, I have come to really appreciate Solar Flare. Even when played by itself, it is pretty good — drawing 3 cards and getting 3 prestige for one Action is pretty strong. When you pair this with Lain, suddenly you are getting 3 cards and 6 prestige! Don’t forget, Lain and Solar Flare both help you reach for Moment of Brilliance… AKA, The Win.
Not to be forgotten in the entire scope of the deck is that even if you don’t combo out, Lain is one of the few Primes that simply take over the game himself once his ultimate comes online. His ability to sort through the cards in your hand and on top of your deck gives a huge consistency advantage. Don’t forget to gain your Prestige when you draw those three cards!
Here is how my deck looks:
1x Lain Cochrane
3x Alana Gold
3x Steady Progress
3x Solar Flare
3x Sunreach Biologist
3x Corporate Espionage
3x Sunreach Purgator
3x Solerium Protector
3x Honor Guard
3x Manic Genius
3x Perilous Spy
3x Moment of Brilliance
Why Alana Gold? Rule of thumb for me is that if my Prime has Clarity affiliation, then I want Alana on my side. She is really good. I think that newer players may have difficulty understanding why and experienced players will really appreciate her power, so let me remain mum on that and allow you to explore the game on your own!
Our ‘draw engine’ cards are very abundant in Clarity. That is a strength of the House, so we get to take advantage of it here. Steady Progress is enough to make your head spin. As long as you have a Spy in play (and your opponent is not Sly…) Progress will continue to pile up your cards. Next, Corporate Espionage is really strong when paired with Irradiate and Solar Flare. Think about the Flare combo: you already drew 1 card for the turn and gained 1, then played Flare, so you gain 6. Then, since your opponent drew from the Flare, you can reveal Espionage and draw/gain 2 more. That’s 9 points. Most likely that breaks Lain’s ultimate open so he can ultimate and net you 3 more points… 12 total for the turn.
I like to consider the Sunreach Biologist as card drawing in this deck, but he is a dual threat as protection. A lot of times an opponent won’t want to attack into him since you will get 2 cards and Prestige. As long as you are not losing Prestige, you are moving toward the finish line.
Each turn gets you closer to The Moment of Brilliance.