The Outriders: Part One — Be Kind, Rewind With Blockbuster Iyslander

The Outriders is a series all about variant deck builds looking to challenge the meta and surpass traditional constructed decks in Flesh and Blood. In Part One, I’d like to introduce you to Blockbuster Iyslander. Unlike Michael Hamilton’s Wounded Bull-lander list that helped him to the U.S. National Championship and then the inaugural World Championship, this Outrider list focuses more on arcane damage and hindering the opponent with crippling ice effects and negation spells.

The Ice Wizard, Iyslander, in front of a Blockbuster Video store holding a Rewind card.

Blockbuster Iyslander

The deck’s name should give it away. Blockbuster Iyslander utilizes Rewind to dominate the Wizard match-up and keep Briar from channeling Mount Heroic.

This list also prioritizes arcane damage. On our opponent’s turn, you want to force damage with one card from hand as a pitch card, a blue-pitch spell from arsenal, and Waning Moon. This pattern is usually only deviated when you can land a Channel Lake Frigid or Insidious Chill.

This video shows an ideal Iyslander barrage on your opponent’s turn with Blue Aether Hail from the arsenal and a Waning Moon activation.

On Iyslander’s turn, you want to present arcane damage or at least rip cards out of the opponent’s hand with Aether Icevein or Coronet Peak. Keep reading to learn more about the deck’s basic play lines.

The List

Deck build – via https://fabdb.net :

Iyslander, Stormbind

Weapons: Talishar, the Lost Prince, Waning Moon
Equipment: Alluvion Constellas, Conduit of Frostburn, Coronet Peak, Fyendal’s Spring Tunic, Storm Striders

[3] Aether Hail (Red)
[3] Aether Icevein (Red)
[1] Arctic Incarceration (Red)
[3] Blessing of Aether (Red)
[1] Freezing Point (Red)
[3] Oasis Respite (Red)
[1] Sigil of Permafrost (Red)
[3] Sigil of Protection (Red)
[3] Sink Below (Red)
[3] Snapback (Red)
[3] Winter’s Grasp (Red)
[3] Aether Hail (Yellow)
[3] Aether Icevein (Yellow)
[3] Aether Hail (Blue)
[3] Aether Icevein (Blue)
[2] Aetherize (Blue)
[2] Arctic Incarceration (Blue)
[3] Blizzard (Blue)
[3] Brain Freeze (Blue)
[3] Channel Lake Frigid (Blue)
[3] Cold Snap (Blue)
[3] Frost Hex (Blue)
[3] Frosting (Blue)
[3] Hypothermia (Blue)
[3] Ice Eternal (Blue)
[3] Insidious Chill (Blue)
[2] Rewind (Blue)
[1] Scour (Blue)

See the full deck on fabdb.net or fabrary.net

Ideal Match-Ups

When building off-meta decks, you should have a certain deck or playstyle that you anticipate seeing a lot of at your next tournament. I constructed this list as a bit of a surprise for people assuming every Iyslander they come across will be a net deck of the World Champion Bull-lander list.

Read more about bringing a dark horse to a tournament here.

Ideally, you’ll want to see other Wizards and Runeblades to capitalize on the surprising Rewind and Aetherize plays. Switching to Alluvion Constellas against those classes allows for increased firepower from Waning Moon by firing it for free a few times each game.

This video shows some fun in the Wizard mirror match!

NOTE: Aetherize can only be used on cards that are “instants,” not cards that are played as instants.

Thanks to Iyslander’s access to cards that apply Frostbite tokens to the opponent, she can have favorable match-ups against Fai, Katsu, Dash, and other aggro decks. Blizzard, Hypothermia, and Channel Lake Frigid can buy you valuable time to even out the damage dealt per turn.

Less Ideal Match-Ups

At least in my own experience, the Brute and Guardian match-up is far less favorable. These classes are rising in popularity, but until Pro-Quest season identifies a more-specific meta, you may need to have a solid reading of the pulse of your local scene before sleeving this list up for a big tournament.

Both Brutes and Guardians have short combat chains — making Frostbite tokens less relevant. Additionally, these heavy hitters can make short work of Iyslander’s health and lower defense-value threshold.

Iyslander’s Equipment Choices

As Flesh and Blood expands, characters will continue to have increased choices for their equipment load-outs. For this particular list, I’ve kept things pretty simple.

Weapon

Waning Moon makes sense, but you may have been wondering about including Talishar, the Lost Prince in this deck. This rusty blade is in the deck only for the Dromai matchup and only for destroying Themai. Our high-damage spells need to be reserved for attacking the opponent head-on, so having another outlet for taking care of Iyslander’s most problematic dragon illusion to her gameplan is ideal.

Head

Coronet Peak from Uprising.

Ice Equipment - Head

2{d}

Action - {r}{r}{r}: Target hero discards a card unless they pay {r}.

Blade Break

The activated ability does not have go again and requires an action point to be activated.
If the target hero has no cards in hand they can still elect to discard a card instead of paying {r}.

In every match, I’m going with the Coronet Peak. The 2-block with blade break is crucial in every mid or late game — with the exception of Kano for now. This icy crown also serves as an outlet for filtering your hand when you don’t have the right pieces. Of course, taking cards out of the opponent’s hand limits their offensive potential.

Chest

This is a simple binary choice. If the opponent is a Runeblade or Wizard, then play Alluvion Constellas; if not, play Fyendal’s Spring Tunic.

Arms

Conduit of Frostburn

Ice Wizard Equipment - Arms

0{d}

Instant - Destroy Conduit of Frostburn: The next card you play this turn with an effect that deals arcane damage gains "When this deals arcane damage to a hero, destroy a frozen card in their arsenal."

Quell 1

This effect does not apply to activated abilities that deal arcane damage (such as Waning Moon)
If there are multiple frozen cards in their arsenal, you choose which one to destroy. Players may not shuffle or change the positioning of facedown arsenal cards. Players must be able to tell which one was more recent if there are multiple face-down arsenal cards.
Conduit of Frostburn’s ability can be activated on the same turn Quell is used, as Quell will not destroy Conduit of Frostburn until the end of the turn.

You won’t lose much adding Metacarpus Nodes to this equipment load-out, but I prefer the simplicity of Conduit of Frostburn. Against Ninjas, Runeblades, and Mechanologists, the Quell ability becomes a great way to turn resources into health.

In most games, you can use Quell when you know you’ll have extra resources — perhaps after playing Blue Aether Icevein from arsenal and activating Waning Moon, requiring at least two pitched cards.

Legs

Storm Striders
Wizard Equipment - Legs

Instant - {r}, destroy Storm Striders: You may play your next Wizard 'non-attack' action card this turn as though it were an instant.

Arcane Barrier 2 (If your hero would be dealt arcane damage, you may pay {r}{r} instead. If you do, prevent 2 arcane damage that source would deal.)

Power: -
Defense: 0

You may have multiple instances of arcane barrier.
You must pay {r}{r} to prevent arcane damage even if only one point of arcane damage would be prevented.
The prevention does not carry over even if you only prevent one arcane damage.
When this card is destroyed, it is sent to your graveyard.

Whenever possible, hold onto your Storm Striders until you can present lethal damage. The only other time it’s warranted to break these beauties would be to dramatically swing momentum — perhaps with a fused Aether Icevein while controlling one or more Insidious Chills.

Iyslander’s Combo Lines

In this specific build, you have some options to combo lines that the Bull-lander lists don’t have. Of course, there’s always the ever-reliant Aether Icevein, too.

With or without an Insidious Chill in play, fusing an Aether Icevein guarantees at least one card from the opponent’s hand. They will need to pitch to arcane to prevent Icevein’s damage. Additionally, they may need to pay more resources or whole cards to satisfy the frosty spell’s conditions.

Waning Moon

Wizard Weapon - Staff (2H)

Once per Turn Instant - {r}{r}: Deal 2 arcane damage to target hero. If it's not your turn, instead deal 3 arcane damage to them. Activate this ability only if you've played a 'non-attack' action card this turn.

The non-attack action card needs to have been played, not resolved, before Waning Moon can be activated.
If it is the opponents turn, you can not choose to deal 2 damage instead.
You may target your own hero.

Blockbuster Iyslander has some additional cards to create extra value with Waning Moon.

Sigil of Protection

Iyslander often spends cards and resources on the opponent’s turn. With that in mind, this list maximizes the number 1-cost effects to use on Iyslander’s turn. These 1-cost cards can be played alongside Waning Moon with enough resources, or played alone with the help of Fyendal’s Spring Tunic.

With a blue-pitch card in hand, Iyslander can play Sigil of Protection as a floating 4-block for the next turn and fire off Waning Moon for 2 arcane damage. This line of play provides 6 points of value for the Elemental Wizard from 2 cards. This follows the cost curve of cards like Red Brutal Assault — an attack action card!

Blessing of Aether

Blessing of Aether

Wizard Action - Aura

(RED/YEL/BLU) 1{r} 2{d}

At the start of your turn, destroy Blessing of Aether then if the next card you play this turn has an arcane damage effect, instead it deals that much arcane damage plus 3/2/1.

Blessing of Aether triggers and resolves during the start of turn phase. There is no priority and it can not be responded to.
If the next card you play this turn does not have an arcane damage effect, it would still consume the effect, but to no benefit.

Similar to Sigil of Protection, Blessing of Aether provides value on a future turn — giving Iyslander the chance to do an additional 3 arcane damage from a spell on her next turn. Playing this blessing also lets Iyslander activate Waning Moon for 2 damage bringing us a value of 5 from these two cards.

The arcane damage buff should guarantee her Aether Iceveins dealing damage or simply super-charging an otherwise low-damage card like Frosting or Aether Hail to balance out life totals.

Aether Hail

Aether Hail

Ice Wizard Action

(RED/YEL/BLU) 1{r} 3{d}

Deal 4/3/2 arcane damage to any target.

You may select any target that can be dealt damage as the target of the arcane damage, including both allies and heroes.

Red Aether Hail provides Iyslander with the same value play as Sigil of Protection. Watch this video to see the power of this card with a little help from Blessing of Aether.

Animation showing Red Aether Hail buffed by Red Blessing of Aether with a Waning Moon activation as well.

Snapback

napback
Pitch: 3/2/1

Cost: 1

Wizard Action

Deal 1/2/3 arcane damage to target hero.

If you have played another Wizard 'non-attack' action card this turn, you may play Snapback as though it were an instant.

Power: -

Defense: 3

You still pay Snapback’s resource costs as normal even when Snapback is played as though it were an instant.
Snapback is still an action card when played as an instant. It just does not require an action point to play and can be played anytime you have priority, including during an opponent’s turn, and during the reaction window of either player’s turn.

The addition of Red Snapback allows Iyslander more offensive firepower on her turn or the opponent’s turn. The above combo lines can be accented with a Snapback for the small cost of your Tunic counter or a spare resource you may have on hand.

Is Iyslander Viable for a Pro-Quest?

In general, absolutely Iyslander is a top-tier hero. As noted above, several players have had success with the Michael Hamilton-style Bull-lander build. The list outlined in this article shows another take on the hero. If you’re preparing for a Pro-Quest near you, be sure to keep Collision Point and Flesh and Bloodbrothers in mind for deck techs, resources, and reviews.

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