Today I want to analyze a deck that I pioneered and spread throughout twitch and discord, the poor infantry (PFI) shrooms deck. Credits to Pyrofox who identified the PFI + mardro interaction even before the new cards came out. This deck is rapidly gaining notoriety as one of the most annoying decks to play against.
The basic premise of this deck is to use Mutagen to buff your PFI and then using Foltest and medics on them.
- Mardrome – This card used in conjunction with PFI is the crux of this deck. You want to buff PFIs as much as possible with mutagens. The value of a single mutagen is a whopping 20 strength if you rezz the buffed PFI in rounds 2 and 3. 28 value if Foltest is used as well.
- Medic Train – The reason why PFI + mardro is so obnoxious. The base strength buff carries over to every round and the PFI also multiplies itself. Shani auto-promotes both PFIs, bypassing fireball traps and weathers. Using Shani in round 2 and renewing her in the last round is insanely strong.
- Deck Thinning – King of Beggars into Priscilla is a decent combo, thinning the deck by 2. So does The Last Wish, repairing awful draws as well. Stennis also provides card advantage. Using First Light to Rally against non-weather decks is pretty consistent as this deck have very few bronze units.
- Reaver Hunters – I put them in mainly for round 1 power as this deck suffers from a weak round 1. It’s also removal bait and thins your deck. They are solid and reliable units.
- Over-reliance on good draws – you absolutely need one PFI and at least one mardrome in your starting hand. Additional PFIs and promotes are dead cards quite often. Not having enough medics is really rough. Mirror matches might as well be a coin toss deciding the winner, as whoever has the better hand straight up wins. Counter: RNGesus
- Fireball trap – it just utterly destroys the PFI deck. Every single loyal non-gold unit in this deck has less than 5 strength. If your opponent has the same amount of traps to your units, you can just concede. Counter: NotLikeThis
- Biting frost – common in scoia’tael and weather monsters. Counter: clear sky, promote
- Spore – mardrome is an interesting card in a sense that it completely neuters itself. The only thing you can do when your opponent debuffs your PFI is to rebuff it. Counter: mutagen
- Lacerate – instantly kills both of your PFIs, forcing an early, inefficient use of a medic. Counter: medics, more PFIs
- Scorch – PFI’s strength are not staggered so a scorch will decimate them. Counter: promote
- Silver 4 club – eg. ocvist, ves. These cards forces you to use a spore on them, paying a massive opportunity cost in the form of a mutagen on PFI. Counter: drawing more mardromes
- Early rounds – opponents can easily 1-2 KO this deck if they have the appropriate counters and enough raw strength on their board. Counter: reaver hunters, early Foltest
- Grave-robbing – if you lost the 1st round against monsters and they have a griffin / Caretaker in hand, your entire gameplan just fell apart. Unless you have more than one buffed PFI in your graveyard through Foltest. Counter: winning round 1, early Foltest
- Demote – kaedwani sergeant, dimerituim shackle, Djikstra. Counters your promoted PFIs and Shani, as you can’t use Renew on a silver unit. Counter: another promote, playing Shani last
Overall, this deck is pretty solid if not “cheesy”, as felt by some community members. The more meta this deck becomes, the more counter-measures listed above will appear and PFIs will eventually be phased out. Such is the way the meta-game revolves.