LoR Meme Deck Guide: Encroaching Shadows OTK

LoR Meme Deck Guide: Encroaching Shadows OTK

How to Play: Encroaching Shadows OTK

Do you ever build a silly deck just to complete a daily mission?

Every now and then I do.

Except for this time, the deck was surprisingly effective.

It’s Trevor “Shugo” Yung here and today I’m bringing back an old meme…Encroaching Shadows OTK!

Encroaching Shadows OTK (LoR Deck)

Deck Code: CECQCAIFF4BAIAQOB4DACAQGBEISYNBZAECQEGQCAMCQIDQCAEBAEBIBAEBDCAA

[See Encroaching Shadows OTK deck details]

Deck Overview

Okay, hear me out. There’s a valid reason for its return. While everyone’s been busy exploring the changes from the new patch, a new elusive friend has been creeping in the shadows.

Shadow Apprentice (LoR Card)
The recent buff in combination with Stalking Shadows/Encroaching Shadows effectively turns Shadow Apprentice into a one-mana Greenglade Duo. That’s an insane amount of power for the cost and it enables some absurd turns with little mana investment. Cast just one Encroaching Shadows and you can OTK your opponent as early as turn 5-6!

Encroaching Shadows OTK doesn’t care about the opponent’s deck. It has one job and it sticks to it. As cheesy of a strategy this is, it can be surprisingly effective. And while we are somewhat in meme territory, the combo potential is there, and it’s pretty consistent!

Mulligan Tips

The entire deck revolves around its namesake, Encroaching Shadows. Cast one copy and our damage is off the charts. Hard mulligan to find at least one copy, and if you happen to find a second, welcome it! Against aggressive decks, we want units that can trade early to buy time. Otherwise, look for combo pieces.

Always Keep

  • Encroaching Shadows

Situational Keep

  • Zed: Keep when attacking on odds, unless against Mystic Shot.
  • Dancing Droplet: Keep alongside Navori Conspirator.
  • Navori Bladescout: Keep against aggressive decks.
  • The Mourned: Always keep unless you don’t have Encroaching Shadows.
  • Navori Conspirator: Keep alongside Dancing Droplet.
  • Navori Highwayman: Keep against aggressive decks.
  • Stalking Shadows: Always keep unless against aggro.

Example Hand 1: Encroaching Shadows – Zed – Stalking Shadows – The Mourned

Encroaching Shadows OTK (LoR Mulligan1)

Example Hand 2: Encroaching Shadows – Dancing Droplet – Navori Conspirator – Encroaching Shadows

Encroaching Shadows OTK (LoR Mulligan2)

Game Plans

Encroaching Shadows OTK is a deck that requires some setup. The general premise is to cast Encroaching Shadows by turn 4-5, then threaten lethal by turn 5-6, depending on which turn you have the attack token.

In order to cast Encroaching Shadows by turn 4-5, we need to be able to spare four mana. Fortunately for us, banking spell mana isn’t a necessity. It’s used to set up our combo, but nothing more. We can summon A LOT with just five mana; more than any deck can realistically answer that early on.

Encroaching Shadows (LoR Card)

During the early turns, we want to try and chip in some damage while we look for cheap units for our combo turn. What we really want to find are 1-drops in order to summon a full board of 5-6 units as early as possible. The Mourned is good at dealing damage while returning to our hand for later. Zed and Shadow Assassin also help apply pressure without committing many resources.

Stalking Shadows is an important piece to help sculpt our hand. Shadow Apprentice is the premium choice, otherwise, Navori Bladescout and The Mourned still represent eight damage. Greenglade Duo is a solid choice if you’re setting up a combo later on during the game. However, while our damage ceiling is higher, the later it is, the more mana they have to respond.

Stalking Shadows (LoR card nerfed)

Going into turn 5-6, we should be looking to kill the opponent. Hopefully, we’ve found enough 1-drops in order to summon around five units at once. A board full of elusive X|3s is incredibly difficult to answer. Allow me to paint you a picture.

  • Turn 1: Pass.
  • Turn 2: Pass.
  • Turn 3: Play Zed, attack. Either we chip in damage or bait removal.
  • Turn 4: Play Encroaching Shadows. (Still floating 3 spell mana)
  • Turn 5: Play Stalking Shadows, finding Shadow Apprentice. Summon both Apprentices and three other 1-drops.

Shadow Apprentice (7|3) + Shadow Apprentice (6|3) + Dancing Droplet (3|3) + Navori Bladescout (4|3) + The Mourned (4|3) = 23 Damage.

We’re of course looking at a pretty ideal scenario, but by running 12 1-drops and Stalking Shadows it’s not unreasonable to achieve. Fading Memories also smooths out the consistency by copying a 1-drop. Note that this won’t retain the Encroaching Shadows buff, so when possible, copy a unit onboard beforehand in order to get the buff.

Now, it’s not realistic to pretend our opponent has zero reaction. Removal such as Quicksand can do major damage and weaken our overall push. However, it’s not easy to deal with multiple 3-health units, so at least some will get through. And if it’s not enough, we have the tools to buy time for a second round.

Navori Highwayman is an excellent deterrent when buffed by Encroaching Shadows. Between it and Concussive Palm, we can easily stall a turn or two. And one extra turn is all we need in order to summon more elusives and strike again! Deny is an extra insurance policy when the game goes longer than we planned.

Navori Highwayman (LoR Card)

If we’re ever lucky enough to find two Encroaching Shadows, we’re laughing. Seriously, how can anyone deal with a board full of 5/5 and 6/5 elusives? The power spike is massive and downright dirty. If you think Lurk’s high-rolls are dirty, just wait till you see this!

General Tips

Aggro is a rough matchup. We just can’t contest and keep up with the amount of damage they threaten on the ground. The best bet is to trade a couple of units early, cast Encroaching Shadows, then hope to blow them out with a huge swing. But in all honesty, you’re better to wait until the meta shifts. Encroaching Shadows preys on control/midrange decks.

Navori Conspirator can be used to buy back our 1-drops early on. We can summon a 1-drop and attack on turn one, then recall it the following turn without losing a combo piece.

Navori Conspirator (LoR Card)

It’s possible to play a more tempo-oriented game plan, but just know the longer you wait, the more time and mana the opponent has to answer your OTK. The deck’s greatest strength is its insane early damage output. It becomes a lot easier to stop during later turns.

Shadow Apprentice is the heart and soul of the deck. Our damage output is vastly different without it. The more you have the faster you can combo off. Otherwise, you may need to take a more conservative approach.

Shugo’s Productivity Thought of the Day

A difficult day may be hard to redeem, but making progress can help you move forward.

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