Sylvan Beast Deck Study (Stoichea)

By: zellious

Editor & Additional Decklist : zaee

Graphics: Cipher

Last Set Update: VG-D-SS01 Festival Collection 2021


Introduction

Today this article will introduce the Sylvan Horned Beast King, Magnolia, 1 of the 10 ride lines introduced in the first Booster Set for this era.

Playstyle 

Magnolia is an aggro deck that aims to overwhelm the opponent with quick and easy to form numbers in combination with multiple attacks. Its finishing turns with Persona ride pushing the number of attacks in a turn from 4 to 6, which can easily rip through a healthy hand. 

Like other aggro decks, it plays off the momentum you can establish in the early game and requires quite a smooth curve to play perfectly. This makes it somewhat unstable as it is reliant on Persona rides for big finishes. This isn’t to say the deck is one-note despite this drawback. 

Being part of Stoicheia, Magnolia is also somewhat flexible as it has access to other strategies within the nation to some degree due to its rearguard-focused strategy.


Ride Deck

So let’s start off with the Ride Deck Cards:Charis, Lattice and Magnolia

Sylvan Horned Beast, Charis
Its Ride Deck skill is very useful as it is generally a net +1, either a unit is called or if Magnolia or any order card goes into soul which helps the deck with paying Soul Blast costs for skills.
Even as a rearguard it works as a decent target that can be chosen by Magnolia as an attacker. An 18k attacker is no slouch as it is worth 1 trigger/order card or 2 unit cards to guard.

The Chonky Boi

Sylvan Horned Beast, Lattice

The Ride Deck skill is similar to Charis, but paying Soul Blast 1. However, this could call any unit card, including Grade 3s, and non Unit cards (Order cards) will be added to hand. This will always be a net +1 unlike Charis which could fail its advantage on occasion.

Its rearguard skill makes it a great target to be chosen for Magnolia’s skill. Being a 25k attacker from the back row is important as it could still hit pass an opponent’s regular damage trigger.

Sylvan Horned Beast King, Magnolia

The main boss card for the deck. Its skill for 1 Counterblast allows 1 unit after it attacks to attack from the back row, and if a Persona Ride is performed, 3 units can be chosen instead of 1. Its maximum potential being locked behind the Persona Ride may seem bad as you have to draw the Persona Ride copy, but the strength of Multi-attacking cannot be underestimated early in the series with limited resources for all players.

The majesty of the Beast King

Magnolia is the only deck out of Genesis of the Five Greats to be able to effectively utilise both ride lines printed for its nation.

Rancor Chain

By Soulblasting 1, you can 2 draw and discard 2, or discard 1 order card only. It is a rather strong skill for Stoicheia in general as it helps to dig into your deck for key pieces consistently. Generally if you choose to play this as a Grade 1 playing a healthy amount of orders 7-8 is recommended to take full advantage of its skill

Black Tears Husk Dragon

In Magnolia, as there are not as many decent order choices, the main pickup target is Spiritual Body Condensation, which is the main normal order played in the deck. It is still a net plus one. Do note that you cannot choose Ghost Chase as the target from the drop with its effect as it is not a Normal Order

Playing this in the ride line means on occasion you can normal ride Lattice from hand (if played in the main deck) if there is no normal order to pickup with Black Tears Husk Dragon.

Possible Ride Deck Combinations

G0 – Charis – Lattice – Magnolia

This is the standard basic ride deck combination for a deck with not much orders

G0 – Ranchor Chain – Husk Dragon – Magnolia

This ride line is for decks running 6 or more orders

G0 – Ranchor Chain – Lattice – Magnolia 

The deck runs enough orders, but as Ghost Chase cannot be picked up by Husk Dragon, the +1 from Lattice could be prefered.


Main Deck Options

Thanks to the ride deck, there is no longer a need for equal ratios in the deck as there is no need for riding from hand. Hence, grade ratios are skewed depending on what the deck aims to do. For Magnolia, the deck will be skewed to have more Grade 1 or 2 attacking units as it only needs 4 Grade 3s for Persona ride and the rest of the deck be cards that can allow its aggressive gameplay. Below we will be introducing the main unit options to choose from.

Grade 2

Sylvan Horned Beast, Giunosla
The bear giving its power to another unit may not be worth that much, as it can only do it when attacking from the back row. But when it’s a +25k, +35k or even +100 million power to another unit from trigger effects, it suddenly becomes threatening. Especially if the overtrigger power is the one being passed to other units, at least having 2 attacks that essentially ask for a Sentinel can be gamewinning.

The Bear, seriously I forgot his name until this article…

Spurring Maiden, Ellenia

A Granblue inspired skill, to revive a dropzone unit with Counterblast and Soublast 1. It helps form the field needed to rush or form the field for Magnolia. Reviving any ride deck cards that are in soul will always be worth it. Later on in the game, you are able to revive Gyunosla or Dooger to push for the game or a Grade 1 for boosting. There is no bad timing to use Ellenia’s skill throughout the game.

??Plants reviving??


Sylvan Horned Beast, Dooger

A simple 15k attacker as long as the field is full. Being costless in a deck like Magnolia is very welcome. Makes magic 20k with Magnolia in the back row, 23k with a booster or a 25k front row attacker with Persona Ride.

Grade 1

Collusion Mutant, Admantis

An on place give another Rearguard +5k may not seem significant, but in an aggressive deck like Magnolia, any free power to form numbers is much more relevant. It allows the power of the unit chosen to hit pass the damage trigger threshold

Knight of Friendship, Cyrus

Soulblast 2 for a net +1 may not be the best cost for effect, but at least for Set 1, the redundancy in being able to generate advantage is useful as you may have the soul to spare at times. Better as a tech option against Baromagus as there will be an overabundance of soul in that matchup.

Order Cards

As Stochiea has a lot of Order cards to choose from, Magnolia has the option to slot in some of the more useful Order cards to help either with offence or defence.

Spiritual Body Condensation

A very effective card for cost, calling a unit from the drop zone for just Soulblast 1. Just like Ellenia, any Ride deck units in the soul are great units to call via this Order card, and the +5k power helps with forming magic numbers the turn its called.

Ghost Chase

A 5k shield that potentially gets more. With Charis and Lattice’s skills there are chances for triggers or sentinels to be called by its effect. Ghost Chase allows the option to add them into hand for guarding. You can bounce Admantis or Ellenia from the field to reuse their effects the next turn. As it is still valued as a 5k shield, it is not a 100% dead Order card in hand.

Overtriggers

Magnolia can choose between both the Nation’s Overtrigger or the Cray Elemental Overtrigger as both serves different purposes in the deck.

Source Dragon Deity of Blessings, Blessfavor

Stochiea’s Effect Overtrigger. Its effect is definitely plain compared to the other Nations over triggers, the effect of activating a Draw, Critical, Front and Heal trigger at the same time. But this means there is no bad timing when drive-checked randomly, be it early in Grade 1-2 turns or Grade 3 turns and beyond. Its effect of course, not as potent if drive checked early, but at least, it is worth an extra Draw/Critical/Front/Heal trigger in the deck.

Spiritual King of Determination, Olbaria

(or any Promo card Overtrigger with a similar to this effect)

The Cray Elemental Overtrigger. It is effective in Magnolia as giving 2 units +100 million makes 2 more attacks threatening, and with Giunosla, 3 or more attacks benefit from the +100 million power. This is better checked Turn 3 and beyond, which can strengthen the Magnolia turns even further.

Festival Collection 2021

This segment is for the cards coming out on 25th June: Festival Collection 2021

Hydrorail Dragon

In Magnolia, it can pick itself from drop zone or a copy of Magnolia that is either soulblasted/healed/discarded. Creates a onhit pressure for a deck that does not really have that many advantage cards

Sylvan Horned Beast, Koocy

15k booster, 20k attacker with Magnolia. Its 0 shield might be discouraging to see, but it allows the Vanguard column to finally be more threatening than easily being guarded by the decks.


Sample Decklists

Magnolia has a lot of variations in its deck ratios even if most of the cards used are similar throughout the decklists.

Trigger lineups have many variations as everyone has their own preferred lineup that suits themselves, but the common variations are 6 draw (5 critical, 6 draw, 1 OT, 4 heals),.4 draw (7 critical, 4 draw, 1 OT, 4 heals) No draw (8 critical, 3 front,1 OT, 4 heals). More tweaking of the trigger ratios can be done to suit your own playstyle, be it 8 draw, more fronts, or 3 draw triggers.

1. Personal Decklist

This is my sample deck list for Magnolia. I run the standard Charis/Lattice ride deck. This list forgoes draw triggers for more Criticals and Fronts instead, as playing the long game as Magnolia may be iffy as Bastion and Vairina can match Magnolia’s aggression. This version of the deck can still perform without the Persona Ride, even if it is not as effective in pushing.

2. Zaee’s Personal List

Credit to Zaee for giving his sample list for this Article. He runs the Rancor Chain and Black Tears rideline and as mentioned earlier, will need to run 7 or more orders to be more consistent in drawing the order cards in the starting hand for the ride line. The more draw lineup is the attempt in checking Draws to get more advantage, and more importantly the chance of drawing Magnolia from deck to have a higher chance in Persona Riding

3. Rancor Chain/Lattice Combination

This version is a bit different in using only Rancor Chain to draw 2, and using Lattice riding into Magnolia for the guaranteed +1. This decklist’s drawback is the lack of soul as both Rancor Chain and Lattice require 1 soul, leaving only 1 soul for Ellenia or Spiritual Body Condensation (without Persona Riding).

4. With Festival Collection cards

This is a sample post-Festival Collection I have used. Koocy is very useful in being able to help make the Vanguard more threatening or be another attacker from Magnolia’s skill.


Gameplay

Mulligan / Redraw

The aim of the deck is to rush, or to commit to the Persona Ride gameplan. Priorities for cards to keep regardless of matchup are Ellenia, Dooger and Magnolia. The first 2 being strong rearguards that help with the rush gameplan, and the third being the Persona Ride the deck needs for the max power

Early Game Turns 1 and 2

As the deck is an aggressive deck that wants to rack up the damage against the opponent quickly, early turns will be based on how many units you draw and can play onto the board. Do not be afraid to call Charis, Lotte out in the front row to beatdown your opponent.

Guarding Efficiently

In Magnolia, every card resource is important. The guarding has to be on point as Magnolia does not have much resource generation to recover back. Do not be afraid to guard the 15k onto your opponent’s unboosted Vanguard attack as the deck does not want to take too much damage early. Do Ghost Chase even if there is not a decent target to return to hand to use it as a 5k shield to guard attacks as it is more worth to stay on the lower side in damage as you may have to take the bigger power attacks later in the game.

Turn 3: Grade 3 turn

Magnolia grants a unit the ability to attack from the back row from this turn onwards. Hence the board build and formation is dependent on the early game and the units called by Charis and Lattice. As the board varies and will be different depending on what was called in the early game, below are 2 sample board positions and attack patterns possible

Going First

This attack pattern aims to extract out the maximum shield, and also allows the later attacks to hit pass 1 damage trigger from the opponent. Front triggers effect may be wasted with this pattern but if you play draws this helps push as much cards from your opponent’s hand

Going Second

Going second is a bit different as the opponent is now 13k base. Hence the columns and numbers are different. Adamantis would rather give Ellenia the +5k to form a 23k column to be able to hit pass potential damage triggers from the opponent.

Ideal Turn 4: Persona Ride Turn

The deck’s full potential comes out when a Persona Ride is performed. The board also varies again based on the previous turns. Due to that, below is a sample board state for turn 4

Magnolia will mainly swing first. This is because currently the backrow units hit for lesser power than the front row units as they are boosted with Persona Ride’s power. Giunsola can give its power to either Charis or Lattice to hit past an opponent’s damage trigger or to make Dooger pass 30k power

Strategy

Removal

As a rearguard reliant deck, Magnolia finds trouble against removal from Retire, Prison and Baromagnes. As losing up the pressure would mean the game loss in the long run, there are different strategies for each matchup.

1. Retire

The resource this deck generates can last against the current available retires in the game. With Spiritual Body Condensation and Ellenia the board can be rebuild easily at least for the current meta. So do save Ellenia or Spiritual Body Condensation for when the retire skills activate

2. Prison

There are 2 ways to play around Prison. 1 is to deny prison all the way, with 2 units to be jailed at any time, or to ignore the 3 prison and give Seraph Snow her drive check+1. Both play styles are valid and it is dependent on game state. Ellenia while good against retire, is useless here as Counter Blast and Soul Blast are better used for calling units from prison.

To deny prison all the way, would be to maintain 2 units on Rearguards at any point until the Persona Ride Turn. Do remember that Risatt Pink will bind 1 card from hand into Prison and when riding Charis into Lattice the 1 unit call is mandatory. When riding Magnolia over Lattice, do not use the Soul Blast skill to call the top card of the deck as it will give Seraph Snow her Triple Drive early. Do not be afraid to Counter Blast or Soul Blast 2 to call out the 2 units. Commit only when on Persona Ride turns or the opponent has 4-5 damage.

To ignore prison, would require a hand with a lot of Rearguard units as it is playing into Seraph Snow’s hand. All Counter Blast and Soul Blast is used to free the prison units to commit the full aggression plan into 4 attacks with Magnolia, or just call new Rearguards from hand to rush down the deck.

Either method against prison that is chosen will require precise resource management as each Counter Blast, Soul Blast and card in hand is important as Magnolia has no easy way to recover these costs.

3. Baromagnes

Let’s be honest here. Baromagnes’ 15 Soul field wipe skill is very harsh for Magnolia. The main tactic here is to rush down 3 lanes every turn, and to protect the Rearguards early when it is possible. 18/23k Columns are key in forcing the Baromagnes player to commit to guarding instead of keeping Soul Charge pieces in hand. Even if they wipe your field once, the deck can generate enough resources to flood the board once more to mount a second offensive turn to win.

Magic Number Guide


Conclusion

Magnolia as a deck has to be very aggressive from the get go, taking advantage of the reduced shield values and card draw in this era by rushing down the opponent. Its boards are not the simplest to learn or setup at first, but the skill to adapt to whatever is happening mid game is very important as every move made could impact a future move in later turns, especially in Persona Ride turns.

With all its strengths there are weaknesses to this deck too. This deck does not deal well with Critical gaining Vanguard as its resources to go on the offence is used as guarding. Not drawing a Persona Ride can lead to lackluster Turns 4+. But I hope this does not deter you from playing 1 of the more aggressive playstyle decks that this era has to offer.

History Update:

Version 1.1: Included Festival Collection cards

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