I just finished climbing from Rank 4 to Rank 1 using Telvanni Ox Combo and felt the desire to write a bit about the deck since its one of my favorite decks to play out of all the TCGs I've played (ever). I'm by no means an expert with the deck, but due to the lack of guides about the deck since its many nerfs, I'll put something out there.
**The Combo:** The basic combo is 14 magicka (mana) + Genius Pathmage to pull Nix Ox from your deck and go back to up to 12 mana. Then, you use Dark Rebirth on Genius Pathmage, putting you down to 9 mana and grabbing Laaneth from your deck. The OTK requires certain cards to be in your deck. Here are the two basic OTK's (both assume you start with 14 mana).
- Genius Pathmage + Dark Rebirth + Giant Bat = Do the basic sequence to end up at Pathmage + Ox + Laaneth + 9 mana. Use the Laaneth to pull Uprising. Use Uprising, putting you down to 7 mana, pulling another Ox, getting you back up to 12 mana. Grab Divayth's Experiments with Laaneth. Your board now is Pathmage + 2x Ox + Laaneth + 12 mana. Use Experiments to copy Ox + Laaneth, ending up at 8 mana and pulling a second Uprising. Uprising, ending up with 16 mana, and grabbing Bat/Viper + Ring. Attack with 3x Ox, 2x Laaneth, 5/5 Giant Bat for 32.
- Genius Pathmage + Dark Rebirth + Ulfric's Uprising or Doppelgänger: This is a pretty straightforward OTK. Do the basic sequence to end up at Pathmage + Ox + Laaneth + 9 mana. If you have Uprising in hand, get Doppelgänger, and vice versa. Use Doppelgänger to copy Ox and end back at 9 mana. With two Nix Ox on the board, Uprising generates 3 mana and tutors a card from your deck. Once you're at Pathmage + 2x Ox + Laaneth + 9 mana, use Uprising, pulling Odahviing from your deck and ending up at 12 mana. With Laaneth, tutor Divayth's Experiments. Create another Ox and another Laaneth, leaving you at 8 mana. This Laaneth gets Uprising, which will leave you at 16 mana. Since you have two Laaneth on the board, you can then get Giant Bat/Pit Viper + Mentor's Ring. This gives you 3x Ox, 2x Laaneth, Odahviing, and a 5/5 Giant Bat to attack with for 42 damage.
*Other Considerations:* Both of the above sequences require you a significant number of clicks and spots on the board. I reach the turn timer every time I combo. It's important to note that starting with other troops with Battlecry will significantly slow you down, and could cause you to not have enough time to execute everything. Also, Divayth's Experiments can't be played on a full board, which comes up often. Make sure to have space on your board!
**What if you draw Laaneth?:** Drawing Laaneth can be annoying, but it's not the end of the world. If you can start the turn with Laaneth, executing the combo is much easier, though will require a bit of creativity. However, many opponents understand the advantage Laaneth gives when on the board, and will kill it if possible. To hedge against this, I like to use Laaneth to pull Doppelgänger, which copies Laaneth, pulling either Uprising/Ox/Experiments/etc. This gives you two Laaneth, increasing the likelihood one survives. To OTK you'll need to be able to generate A LOT of mana. Here are some basics:
- You're goal is to end up with 2 Nix Ox + Laaneth + Uprising + 7 mana. From here you can use Uprising to go up to 10 mana and draw another Uprising. Do this again to go to 13 mana, this time tutor Experiments. Experiments copies Ox + Laaneth (draw third Uprising) and puts you to 9 mana. Uprising one last time for Bat + Ring.
- Example: Start with 16 mana and Laaneth, Ox, Dark Rebirth, and Uprising in hand. Play Laaneth, tutor Doppelgänger. Play Ox from hand, copy with Doppelgänger. You're only at 5 mana. Use Dark Rebirth for +2 mana to get up to 7.
- Abnur Tharn can act as a copy of Ox if you have Ox on the battlefield.
- Dark Rebirth is +2 mana with Nix Ox.
- Ramping a bunch is key.
**Matchups:** I'm going to keep this section brief just because the meta has not settled yet. Generally speaking, this deck has game against pretty much every matchup. The threat of an OTK gives you a good chance against greedy control decks. Cards like Shrieking Harpy, Ice Storm, Black Hand Messenger, and Sorcerer's Negation keep you afloat against aggressive decks. Generally speaking, I find Midgro (Dagoth, Hlaalu) archetypes to be the toughest matchups as that's when the aforementioned cards don't line up very well. However against lower to the aggressive decks, such as Prophecy Battlemage, a reasonable draw will win. The nerf to Cast Through Time helped this deck considerably as you can now play Nix Ox before you're ready to combo. Hallowed Deathpriest has also become less popular.
**Flex Slots:** I'm pretty happy with the decklist as is, but you can change up a few cards for to tune the deck do your taste/budget. The 2x Shadowfen Priest, 3x Daggerfall Mage, 2x Channelled Storm, 1x Queen Barenziah, and 2x Shadowmarking are the most flexible. If you're going to replace Daggerfall Mage, I'd make it some other value-generating troop that can be reanimated with Odirniran Necromancer. If you want to replace Channelled Storm, make it another removal spell.
**Possible Moons of Elsweyr Cards:**
- Goutfang Adept: I've always felt that this deck is a bit too heavy on the three drops, so perhaps replacing Shadowmarking or Daggerfall Mage with Goutfang will help with the curve. This card can dig towards the combo or play defense, all while being reanimated by Necro, making it worth experimentation.
- Moonphase Suthay: Similar to Goutfang. Drain helps against aggressive matchups and you can time this card to instead draw another card. Can be reanimated with Necro.
- Zumog Phoom: With a ton of Summon effects, Zumog is worth looking into.
Hopefully someone finds this helpful. If you're experienced with Nix Ox Combo, feel free to critique or add more tips in the comments.
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