As the master of the best equipped armory in all of Entrath, I've seen my fair share of armies from all over the world (or under it...). I don't care who you are, if you have the coin, then I have what you need. Just don't ask me for armor for your dog...
Over the years I've seen quite the collection of misfit groups, but one of them really made me a fortune. Every time a Shin'hare commander pays a visit I make quite the sum, but this one was different. For years at a time he would come back every few months, and I'm pretty sure he was buying armor faster than the little buggers could repopulate, if you can believe that. Sometimes I wondered if they were somehow still going after their armor was destroyed, but I know my quality. If it was enough to damage something I sold, then the wearer is no longer living.
So what does he do for us?
It might be better to ask what Hawkor doesn't do for us. First of all, we can play 3 of any card we want. Well, except beasts. Which was unfortunate, because one of my deck ideas was definitely interested in running some Rotting Buffalo.
In addition to being able to play whatever cards we want, Hawkor is incredibly good at enabling any type of strategy we might want. Want to play an aggressive deck? Every time we play one of our cheap equipped cards out entire team gets bigger. Want to play a slow control deck? Armor is very good at helping us get to our end game. Want to play combo? With his upgrade, Hawkor lets us play 6 copies of a combo piece, and his charge power helps find those pieces.
So where did I want to go with Hawkor? I personally really enjoy grindy decks, so that's what I wanted to try. With the +1/+1 buff from Hawkor, I decided that I wanted to play cards that could be used repeatedly, and that led me to Zombies. Before I go into the choices, here is the deck:
3x Fertile Engorger - Gloves
3x Naive Lackey
3x Corpse Caller - Head
3x Determined Zombie - Trinket
3x Dread Botanist
3x Raving Ghoul - Weapon
3x Splinter of Bokrug
3x Voracious Zombie
3x Nori - Boots, Minor Blood Orb of Intimidation
3x Gruesome Deed
3x Dynamo Whistle
3x Rotting Away - Chest
21x Blood Shard
So the important cards for this deck, like every zombie deck, are Rotting Away and Raving Ghoul. I almost always choose some combination of those two cards to be the additional cards with Hawkor. Most of the time the plan is to grind the opponent out by playing those two cards over and over, but this deck is just so much better about it. Not only do those cards buff our entire team when we play them, but Raving Ghoul keeps his buffs when he dies.
Since we want those two cards in our crypt, I wanted some way to help get them their from our deck. That's where Corpse Caller and Splinter of Bokrug come in. Not only are they extra bodies to be either buff up or sacrificed, but they help get our important cards into the crypt in the first place. They also help to power up Nori and Determined Zombie.
The sacrifice outlets, Gruesome Deed and Voracious Zombie, have some strong interactions to be aware of. If you have a Raving Ghoul in play it is often correct to sacrifice it before you play another zombie to get another Hawkor trigger. If you have a Determined Zombie in play with a Raving Ghoul or Rotting Away in your crypt you can sacrifice the Determined Zombie, and when you bring it back it will trigger the Raving Ghoul or Rotting Away.
Additionally, if you use the ranger talent for +1 charge and have your other mercenaries as Katushiro and Augustine, then you can use your first charge power on turn 2 every game. Not too shabby for the free mercenaries.
What if I'm on a budget?
Well, if you didn't happen to notice from the deck list, every card is either farmable or a common. The only equipment that is not farmable is the trinket for Determined Zombie, Call of the Flesh Eaters. As of writing this it is a cheap equipment (~20p per tcgbrowser), but it might not be easy to find being from Set 1. Hopefully the flashback evo sealed gauntlets will cause more of these to exist.
Oh and Hawkor himself is by far one of the cheapest mercenaries. It wasn't a coincidence that budget concerns were a priority when creating this deck.
But what if I'm not on a budget?
Well, there really aren't too many cards the deck wants, but Monsagi Lily Pad, Crackling Vortex, Minion of Yazukan, Dread Driver, Casualty of War (with equip) and Vampire Prince are all powerful cards that potentially have a place in the deck. Minion of Yazukan has an absurd amount of synergy with the deck by being a good card to sacrifice, a Shin'hare, and a zombie. I have normally found Dread Driver to be a little weak in most decks, but here he really shines. Just giving him one or two buffs from Hawkor allows him to really take over a game. Vampire Prince is just an overall strong card. The lifedrain and flight are welcome additions against anything that is either fast or clogs up the ground, and being undead will bring back your Raving Ghouls. Any Bloodstones you get from him make it that much easier to use your charge power a second time.
Are there are any other cards worth considering?
I have used both Conquest of Romor (with either equipment) and Blood Aura (with head equipment) to great affect. Blood Aura is incredibly powerful for almost any encounter, and sometimes its almost necessary to run. If you do switch Blood Aura in, then I would suggest trading it for Corpse Caller and using the Blood Aura equipment. For Conquest of Romor, I would probably switch out Corpse Caller as well. If you use both equipment I would still leave the Fertile Engorgers in.
What would you suggest for dungeon farming for the winter event?
I strongly believe that you should be farming AZ2 dungeons right now because the cards/equipment are still worth something, so that is what I will be doing. I am farming on a Vennen Ranger, and I use Hawkor for the Great Machine Graveyard and the normal campaign deck for Ruins of Kukatan. They aren't quite as budget as the list above, but they are still both under $20. Here are the links for both of those:
Great Machine Graveyard
Ruins of Kukatan
That's all I have for you today, but please let me know what you think down below.