Sky-Based Skies is a pillarless, pendulumless, weaponless, shieldless, fire-air quasirainbow, counterdenial, rush-or-OHKO, 100% airborne Elements deck. It is named so because of its distinguishing and delightful feature of near-complete lack of reliance on permanents (which can be thought of as “things on the land providing support”), granting it its counterdenial properties. Ironically, the only part of the deck that keeps it from being “completely free in the skies” is its usage of Shards of Freedom. The deck is significantly resistant to creature control (CC) and quantum control (QC), and overwhelmingly resistant to permanent control (PC). It consistently bypasses shields, and generally kills a 100 HP opponent in 5-6 turns.
I created this deck after I felt boring, cheap, and mundane from farming with a monoaether deck (specifically a Psion-Fractal deck) too long and finally came up with a radically different idea that consistently netted me happy results while being exceedingly enjoyable to execute. (It also plays along a general central gaming philosophy I have: “Get enough attack and speed; no need to care about defence.” This deck has joke-for-defence.)
Shard of Bravery
Shard of Freedom
Use the Mark of Fire.
Roles of the cards (quanta costs assume upgraded forms)
Damselfly (0 quanta cost): Damselflies generate air quanta while also pitching in small blows to the opponent. Once enough air quanta is generated for the Shards of Freedom and eventual Sky Blitz, they can be cremated for large amounts of fire quanta to summon dragons.
Minor Phoenix (2 fire quanta cost): Minor Phoenices are a cheap source of damage due to their damage-to-HP ratio, and can be repeatedly cremated and revived from ash to cyclically and quickly generate quanta.
Cremation (0 quanta cost): All non-air quanta (and some air quanta) of the execution of this deck are generated from cremating.
Shard of Bravery (1 fire quantum cost): The Shards of Bravery make cards get drawn rapidly, so that the build of this deck can be speedy enough.
Shard of Freedom (1 air quantum cost): The Shards of Freedom enhance the attack of the deck’s airborne creatures (that is, all of the creatures), allow them to freely blast through shields, and give them some resistance to targeting.
Ruby Dragon (12 fire quanta cost): Ruby Dragons deal the bulk of the damage in this deck. They are brought out later, after enough quanta for them is generated through cremation.
Chaos Power (1 entropy quantum cost): Depending on the situation, Chaos Power is used to increase the attack (and also the HP, for the one part where this deck does a little defence enhancement) of whatever creature it is situationally useful to have a higher attack for.
Nightmare (1 darkness quantum cost): Nightmare can be deployed to cause inconvenience, replenish some HP, or drain additional HP to fulfill a win.
Sky Blitz (≥8 air quanta cost): When enough creatures are on the board and enough Shards of Freedom are accumulated, Sky Blitz is played to create one devastating turn, often to end the game.
Use a minimum (30-card) deck. Vary the numbers of these cards; I’ve personally found Damselfly and Shard of Bravery the best cards to have the maximum allowable quantity (6) of.
Cards rendered completely useless or nearly completely useless against this deck
There are no pillars or pendula in this deck. There’s absolutely nothing to Earthquake.
All creatures are airborne. No damage is blocked. (Except with the usage of spiders.)
Reflective Shield/Mirror Shield
Nothing to reflect.
Cards that are significantly less powerful against this deck
Shard of Patience
Patience dies drastically against a rush deck.
Shard of Freedom
Chances are, slower rush deck.
Shard of Focus
Not much to accrete; save Shards of Freedom for later when seen.
Shard of Void
Not going to be enough to be substantial given the speed of this deck. Makes Elemental Mastery easier.
Shard of Sacrifice
Creature output can easily be controlled with Cremations; Shards of Sacrifice often made to be more harm than good for the player.
The Tsunami ability does absolutely nothing against this deck.
Not much to pulverize.
Titanium Shield/Diamond Shield
Thorn Carapace/Spine Carapace
FREEEEEEEEEDOMMMMMMMM and also Cremations.
Dimensional Shield/Phase Shield
Accumulation for quantum denial overwhelmed by on-the-spot quanta creation via Cremation.
Not endowing my lack-of-weapon, for sure.
Freedom beats gravity pull. Most other uses are too slow against this deck.
Not many permanents.
Not many permanents, although fairly important to try to not get Shards into opponent’s hands.
Decide whether you’re totally fine with the upcoming Malignant Cells, or Cremate it. Or Cremate the upcoming Malignant Cells; they come by even more readily than Minor Phoenices.
Cards that are good counters to this deck
Creatures getting frozen is not good for rush decks.
Ice Bolt/Ice Lance
See above. Also, weak creatures.
A particularly large problem for all rainbow decks.
Rain of Fire/Fire Storm
Shard of Freedom does well to protect against targeted creature control, but not mass creature control. All creatures used in the deck have starting HP at most 3. At the worst, Rain of Fire could obliterate the entire sky army.
See above. Lots of this deck has only 1 HP.
Completely shuts down two of the cards in this deck. The lack of speed otherwise gained by Shards of Bravery is often decisive.
Sadly, this deck very much relies on upgradedness. In particular, Immolation doesn’t quite get quanta fast enough and Chaos Power’s unupgraded form, Chaos Seed, does something completely different. Although maybe it’s still useful.
With this deck, the risk of decking out is actually something to watch out for.
This deck wins fast or loses fast. Thus, one can quickly go on to the next game, and losses are not as time-sad.
This deck is pretty much universally pet-friendly. The deck is a rainbow deck, and often pets can be put back into play even if reverse-timed.
Modifications to Consider
Add Photons. Free, airborne, and good Cremation fodder. It brings unupgraded cards into the deck (and I don’t like Rays of Light, because I don’t like Light).
Change some Ruby Dragons to unupgraded Crimson Dragons. To deal with varying quanta scenarios.
Add a Lava Destroyer. Put some earth quanta to use. Quickly get a creature that can survive a fire storm.
IT’S AWESOME UP HERE. SPEED FREELY THROUGH THE SKY.