Yurt Control

Gilded YurtLately there’s been a bit of talk on the mothership forum about a deck using Gilded Yurt that seems to be dominating its local scene, somewhere in Germany.  I had experimented a bit with Yurt-based decks a while back, but eventually dropped them for (what I thought were) stronger decks.  So I’ve decided to take another look at the deck to try and figure out what it’s capable of.
The first version I tested was Banker/Arcanist, starting 2 Greed with lots of Obsession.  I used Free Trade Agreement to gradually get ahead of the opponent on cards and resources, then once the Agreement had filled both players hands I’d hit the opponent with Degenerate Molestation.  Meanwhile the rest of the deck was built around Gilded Yurt and it’s effective analog Inadequate Wand, using lots of characters with effects that trigger when they enter and/or leave play.  It ran smoothely enough, but it couldn’t keep up with control decks that used the Arcane Research engine.  Free Trade Agreement relies on careful management of small incremental advantages, but when the opponent has access to significantly more resources than you, the Agreement ends up hurting more than helping.
The solution I came up with was “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.  So I switched the resource configuration so that I start with 2 Obsession, allowing me to play Arcane Research on turn zero, (my opponent’s first turn, with me going second whenever possible) putting 4 copies of Hidden Ruins into my discard pile.  That means I lose Degenerate Molestation, along with assorted toys like Muddle, Rouse and Wrinkly Rabbit.  There aren’t really any high-threshold Banker cards that fit the deck, but it’s worth it for the Arcane acceleration.  That brings me to this:
Framptle’s Inadequate Yurt
3 Framptle Tromwibbler, Lord of Bling
Framptle Tromwibbler, Lord of Bling4 Erotic Assassin
4 Swarm of Gnats
4 Quotidian Ejector
4 Violating Anomaly
3 Rummaging Millipede
1 Servile Centipede
4 Gilded Yurt
4 Inadequate Wand
4 Forget
4 Desolate
4 Mutiny Grant
4 Limited Liability
1 Unnatural Alteration
1 Postmortem Debenture
1 Quotidian Misfire
1 Subsection 5 Paragraph 12
4 Arcane Research
4 Hidden Ruins
4 Exploitation
10 Greed
2 Obsession (starting)
F The Tournament Faction
Violating AnomalyIdeally you want to spend your first and second turns returning Hidden Ruins that you buried on your zeroth turn.  If you get an Exploitation the Erotic Assassins can jump to your defence straight away.  If you don’t hit Arcane Research in your mulligan, your options for the first turn are effectively limited to a Quotidian Ejector.  You don’t want to play a Yurt until you can protect it, which is why the Assassins are so good early on.
From the second turn on, you want to be dropping a steady stream of characters that do stuff when they come and go, then bounce them in and out of play using a Gilded Yurt or Inadequate Wand.  Combined with Yurt and/or Wand, a Swarm of Gnats will empty the opponent’s hand, an Ejector will bounce everything, and a Violating Anomaly will do both of those and also draw you a bunch of cards.  Rummaging Millipede gets back any tactics you need, over and over again, while the Servile Centipede finds more from your deck.
If you’re facing an aggressive opponent, Framptle Tromwibbler is excellent at holding the fort.  You can keep him alive indefinitely using a Yurt or Wand, then get rid of him the same way when you want to start attacking.  Forget, Desolate and Limited Liability are fairly straightforward; they keep you alive.  The four singletons are there as a toolbox of answers available whenever you need them with the Wand or the Centipede.
Mutiny GrantThe coolest trick in this deck is Mutiny Grant.  On its own, it’s good at turning enemy attackers against each other, but in combination with the Yurt it really shines.  If you steal one of your opponent’s characters with the Grant, then send the stolen character to chillax in a Yurt, at the start of your next turn the character will come out of the Yurt refreshed, having conveniently forgotten that he was supposed to go home.  When the stolen character gets out of the Yurt, it counts as a brand new character, so you get to keep it indefinitely.  With Inadequate Wand to find more Mutiny Grants, and Rummaging Millipede to recur them, you’ll probably be able to steal several characters over the course of a game.
In terms of my ‘map‘ of Open Constructed, I see this deck as basically a version of Arcane-Banker Control.  If you’re looking to adapt this deck to your local metagame, that could be a good starting point.  (For example, Dwarvish Grimalkin and Wanton Wizard both could be good if you built the deck a little differently.)  I think the list above will still struggle against Mono-Arcane decks that have consistent early access to Muddle, because it’s so hard to win the Arcane Research war.  This deck probably has stronger synergies though, so if you get your Arcane off or if the opponent fails to mulligan into his, you should be fine.  This deck should also have a better matchup against aggressive decks, because Framptle and Limited Liability (both backed up by consistent recursion) make a pretty solid wall against attackers.