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[Guide] Santa Decks
#1
1. Introduction
Now I initially wanted to create this as part of my Fire Mono guide but I realized through tinkering with the deck that a Santa deck can take many forms and have many variants not all of which are mono fire. Now, this guide is meant solely for newbies to the Santa deck genre and it is as complete a guide to me (as I play it) so I hope that better users in the community can step forth to offer advise.

Why a Santa deck? Because Santa gives humans AND elves +250% to attack (the 1st ever of its kind), his active (15 seconds time tunnel) is second only to the devious fox and if those 2 wasn't enough, his passive gives the xmas elves (creepy looking buggers) and PR Starters the "time tunnel" ability! It is the latter abilities that we really really want to abuse.

Besides all the obvious goodness (above), a Santa deck functions as a great transition deck because his primary followers are the Enchantresses and the PRs which could be used for their respective mono element decks. So as you are levelling your Santa Deck, you are concurrently levelling a part of a mono element deck.

Santa Claus the Deep Thinker
http://www.towerofsaviorsforum.com/Thread-479-Santa-Claus-the-Deep-Thinker

[Image: 600px-Pet479.png]

Stats:
HP 2075
Attack: 1365
Recovery: 471
Total: 3911
Experience to Max: 6m
Original/Max CD: 30/15.

Origins: This deck was given out as one of the 1st few guild events in ToS. It is unavailable from Diamond draws. All guilds that completed all the requirements are given 2 Santas. 1 with maxed CD (CD 15) and 1 without (CD 30).

Leader ability Human and Elf trick: +250% attack to Humans and Elves

Active Skill:
A Surprising Gift: 15 seconds unlimited runestone movement

Passive skills:
Santa must be the your leader. An ally Santa will not work

a. "Christmas Spirit"
Change the actives of all Christmas cards in team to A Surprising Gift. CD of the active remains the same.

b. "Spirit of Giving"

Change the actives of all 6* Starters in team to Runestone Revolution which is essentially a time tunnel ability with 3 added rows of runestones. This is the THE active ability that we really want. The CD of PRs are maxed at 8.

2.Types of Decks

There are generally 2 general variants of a Santa Deck:

2a. Mono Fire

There are general variants to this deck:

2a1. General Fire Mono

[Image: 19b4c7a5.jpg]

This is the most common variation of the Santa fire mono. Dual santa + Medea gives a 937.5% increase in damage (250% x 250% x 150%) with Nezha converting for the final burst in collaboration with PR Sean. Diablo himself provides the recovery and board changing activations for emergency healing.

Card substitutions:
1. Nothing is really replaceable in this deck except Diablo. While is he (in my humble opinion invaluable), lesser options might include the yet to be released Queen of Hearts, a second Nezha, a second PR (highly not recommended) and even a 2nd Santa (if team cost is of no issue to you)

Pros:
1. Strong and consistent damage. Your typical average damage without Medea and with 3-4 red runes on a 4-5 combo run would average 10-20k damage per card.
2. Very well balanced between offense and recovery
3. 3 Time tunnel abilities

Cons:
1. No straight up healing.
2. No CD5 converters. Its hard to get Nezha as well (read the rants on the JTTW bonus draws over the CNY period to get an idea).


2a2: Elf/Santa Mono

[Image: 0e154998.jpg]

I have never used this deck myself and credit goes to Nitecat for his original deck idea

Pros:
1. Diablo's reflect damage of 300% (using Poppy and Santa) and 450% using Medea (increase damage by 150% equates to increased reflect damage).
2. You get the tumbler passive effect from having 4 elves in the team with Diablo as leader
3. Heart and fire converters (enchanted) and relatively high recovery.
4a. If using Santa as ally, you get +250% attack across the team and a time tunnel ability
4b. If using Medea as an ally, you get +150% reflect damage and +150% fire damage
4c. If using Poppy as an ally, you get +150% to recovery and an emergency control card.

Now I need an additional caveat here. I have no idea if I got any information wrong but I'll cross check this with Nitecat and update this accordingly.

2b. The Classic Enchantress/PR mashup

Before you go further, this is a chart I stole off my other Santa Discussion thread:

http://m.gamer.com.tw/forum/C.php?bsn=23805&snA=217532&bpage=2&top=0&pagekey=forum_23805&ltype=subbsn_5&keyword=

This chart gives you a general idea on the damage multipliers using various combinations of Enchantresses with a Fox or Hertz/Santa ally.

To summarize really:
1. 3 enchantresses gives the highest damage (DUHZZZ)
2. When using 2 enchantresses (one being Circe), use a second Santa (or any +250%) attack ally for a higher damage multiplier
3. When using 2 enchantresses (Medea and Cass), a Fox ally will give a higher multiplier
4. 3 PRs (bonus hidden +30% recovery) with Cass will still give you the lowest damage multiplier compared to using any 2 enchantress

2b1. Classic Enchantress

[Image: a3c317ff.jpg]

This is the classic enchantress set up. Since the day the enchantresses got released, Trojan/Crescendo teams, Dual Solar teams and Hertz/PKOE/Fox teams have utilized the combined power of the 3 enchantresses to deal insane damage. Its essentially the purest of all out attack at any and all costs team.

While I will not delve into the merits of each seperate set up, I can say that this set up is a closer variation on the Hertz/Fox combinations with a few differences. Now, there is NO one best enchantress deck because essentially with this setup, you are just looking to overpower and outdamage the mobs on any particular stage. The only difference lies in the degree of risk you are willing to expend (with damage being the trade off).

Pros:
1. Classic enchantress damage
2. You dont need to get to <20% health to deal 900% damages (trade off, your leader damage is capped at 625%)
3. You can dissolve 5 chain runes (unlike Hertz teams)
4. You still get 3 time tunnel abilities

Cons:
1. You are still subject to the classic enchantress drawbacks (increased damage, must spin 4 or more combos and no healing with cass). The no healing can be circumvented by using Saruman as a follower for the last slot (not really recommended but a good to know).
2. To max this team, you need ~30mil exp (to be on the conservative side).

With 3 enchantresses, the final card is almost always certainly a PR (thats primarily the biggest benefit of using Santa). Which PR is really up to you. Many people prefer Sean (boosts Santa), Endor (highest base damage and boosts Fox) or Nat (to complete the rainbow). I personally don't have a preference and you should use whatever PR you already have sitting around.

Card substitutions:
Since we have fixed the 3 Enchantresses, the only obvious change would be the ally to Fox and the follower to Saruman or Nezha. On Fox, I have no real opinion. Do note that on average if your doing less than 4 Combos, a dual Santa gives a higher damage output.

2b2. 2 Enchantress and PR Mashups

[Image: 2b343f1d.jpg]

[Image: 38d25057.jpg]

[Image: 90a1e4ed.jpg]

As I mentioned before, Santa decks are very versatile. You can run each of the above set ups and still deal insane damages.

Pros:
1. You still get very good damage multipliers which will be sufficient for most cases
2. You get 2 time tunnel activations and 2 MEGA Time tunnel activations for a total of 4 time tunnels. That is just sick. I won't even begin to tell you how powerful this is for you need to try it for yourself.

Cons:
1. You are still subject to the classic enchantress drawbacks (increased damage, must spin 4 or more combos and no healing with cass). The no healing can be circumvented by using Saruman as a follower for the last slot (not really recommended but a good to know).
2. To max this team, you still need ~25mil exp (to be on the conservative side).

3. How to use this deck

1. This will be a relatively simple one (another beauty of this deck). Your average damage (With Fox or Santa) without any Enchantresses activated is between 8k per card to 20k per card with 3-6 runes (of an element dissolved) with 4-5 combos.

2. With 2 enchantresses activated, your avaerage damage rockets up to 30-60k per card.

3. With an activation of a PR time tunnel you can deal between 120-600k per card. Now the burst is the most subjective. Note the following general rules:
a. Save PR activations for the boss unless you need an emergency heal (Hoping for heart runes with the 3 additional rows)
b. An average of 12 combos and 9 runestones dissolved gives you 300-400k damage per card of that element

4. The CDs of the PRs are the lowest so if you are going for the long game, use PRs first.

5. +625% is alot of additional damage. With an enchantress combo of 3-5 colours, this deck has HUGE problems storing CDs relative to mono decks. SO here are some tips:
a. Never activate Circe till you are in a relatively comfortable bursting position because Circe requires you to spin 4 combos. 4 combos while healing and storing CDs is an almost impossible task for me (i pray that you are not as bad as I am)
b. Never activate Cass if you know you are facing some shield Salamanders (unless you really intend to go down to <10% health for fun). Santa decks have low Hps. With Medea activated, its really not a joke to take a hit.
c. Learn to spin runes near the top to avoid starting chain combo reactions
d. Know your healing potentials. This deck has GOOD recovery. Learn to know your recoverable amounts and damage/tanking toleration. ie when playing the Astro Maiden on master, I can tank 3 hits comfortably from a statute without healing.

4. Additional Readings

4a. http://www.towerofsaviorsforum.com/Thread-Discussion-Santa-Decks

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#2
Yay! I always get excited when I see a new guide from you because I know it'll be a good read. Also, I like small cows and I cannot lie.

Not a big santa user myself, but I do use a one of the PR/enchantress mashup decks now and then.

(02-09-2014, 05:45 AM)mini_cow Wrote: 2. You get 2 time tunnel activations and 2 MEGA Time tunnel activations for a total of 4 time tunnels. That is just sick. I won't even begin to tell you how powerful this is for you need to try it for yourself.

Agreed - this is pretty ridiculous, as demonstrated by the recent caterpillar GM stage. The thing about time tunnels (and four of them!) is that they can effortlessly get around enemy defenses that are really tricky for other decks.

2 sec time restriction - bypassed
weathered runes - ha!
puzzle frame - ha!
3/5 attribute shield - no problem unless missing runes of a certain color. if desperate, use the PR version, since there's a chance of those runes appearing in the extra 3 rows
skill lock - if you have four time tunnels, you will almost certainly have one that isn't locked

The time tunnels also make high defense low hp mobs or enchanted shield mobs easier to deal with because you can use the skill to form rows of five, in a pinch.

(02-09-2014, 05:45 AM)mini_cow Wrote: 2a2: Elf/Santa Mono

[Image: 0e154998.jpg]

I have never used this deck myself and credit goes to Nitecat for his original deck idea

Pros:
1. Diablo's reflect damage of 300% (using Poppy and Santa) and 450% using Medea (increase damage by 150% equates to increased reflect damage).
2. You get the tumbler passive effect from having 4 elves in the team with Diablo as leader
3. Heart and fire converters (enchanted) and relatively high recovery.
4a. If using Santa as ally, you get +250% attack across the team and a time tunnel ability
4b. If using Medea as an ally, you get +150% reflect damage and +150% fire damage
4c. If using Poppy as an ally, you get +150% to recovery and an emergency control card.

Now I need an additional caveat here. I have no idea if I got any information wrong but I'll cross check this with Nitecat and update this accordingly.

One of the hallmarks of your guides is how much personal experience you bring to bear on the various combinations suggested. I really think you should try this deck for yourself and see what you think about it. Offhand, it seems to me that the stats are super low, and the lack of crowd control makes this deck very vulnerable to multiple mobs or double hit mobs.

There's always Poppy, I guess, for cc and improved recovery. But this version also has a mediocre fire attack. I'm no authority on deck building, but I urge you to evaluate it for yourself before you include this team in one of your stellar guides.

Big Grin

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Heart

[Image: 7c52d11a.jpg]
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#3
Thread starter , u should include a part for new born elves , they need some love too

Eg in lunar sirus , sacrificing cass for Queen bee
In solar include isabell etc , this people need some love

Santa still boost them so they are fully insured
P.s. if u include them , add some credits :p

Madhead needs to nerf Nighteleven urgently
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#4
(02-09-2014, 06:09 AM)Poogu Wrote: Yay! I always get excited when I see a new guide from you because I know it'll be a good read. Also, I like small cows and I cannot lie.

Not a big santa user myself, but I do use a one of the PR/enchantress mashup decks now and then.

haha thanks...i think. mini_cow was actually a troll username i created out of some ign i used in MIRC way back then. I am like in no way anywhere remotely mini or even small now hahaha.

Quote:Agreed - this is pretty ridiculous, as demonstrated by the recent caterpillar GM stage. The thing about time tunnels (and four of them!) is that they can effortlessly get around enemy defenses that are really tricky for other decks.

2 sec time restriction - bypassed
weathered runes - ha!
puzzle frame - ha!
3/5 attribute shield - no problem unless missing runes of a certain color. if desperate, use the PR version, since there's a chance of those runes appearing in the extra 3 rows
skill lock - if you have four time tunnels, you will almost certainly have one that isn't locked

The time tunnels also make high defense low hp mobs or enchanted shield mobs easier to deal with because you can use the skill to form rows of five, in a pinch.

This part i really missed including in the guide. About the only thing I wouldn't/can't use time tunnels on are:

1. combo shield (<5 or exactly =5).
2. 10/20% tumbler enemies and
3. skill lock enemies

Santa decks may also effectively turn Diablo SM into a cakewalk.

Quote:One of the hallmarks of your guides is how much personal experience you bring to bear on the various combinations suggested. I really think you should try this deck for yourself and see what you think about it. Offhand, it seems to me that the stats are super low, and the lack of crowd control makes this deck very vulnerable to multiple mobs or double hit mobs.

There's always Poppy, I guess, for cc and improved recovery. But this version also has a mediocre fire attack. I'm no authority on deck building, but I urge you to evaluate it for yourself before you include this team in one of your stellar guides.

Big Grin

I appreciate that. Personally, I am a very "theory" person and I really enjoy discussing deck formations. Problem is I am nowhere near as good/knowledgeable as both qtp and Nc are. Those 2 can build a deck AND tell you how well it will or will not work in practice. Thats just...beyond me. I can only write about decks I use because I then know the little tricks and ins and outs here and there...etc

I had to include Ncs suggestion (not because he is the leader of the guild or the almighty or anything) but because it is a form of completeness. Just because I dont use it or dont know enough about something shouldnt stop me from admitting that fact or disclosing that such a deck possibility does exist because who knows, someone might test it out in the forums and post feedback here Big Grin *hint hint*

And also, I am missing Diablo so I hope the SM will come round so I can finally use him tooSmile

(02-09-2014, 06:31 AM)[SG]Username Wrote: Thread starter , u should include a part for new born elves , they need some love too

Eg in lunar sirus , sacrificing cass for Queen bee
In solar include isabell etc , this people need some love

Santa still boost them so they are fully insured
P.s. if u include them , add some credits :p

good. No. GREAT idea. will edit it tomorrow when I have timeBig Grin Sorry the elves were so underwhelming (to me) that i conveniently forgot they existed
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#5
Very cool gramps ! Nice work ! Hahah looking forward to ur edit!
Madhead needs to nerf Nighteleven urgently
Reply
#6
(02-09-2014, 06:37 AM)mini_cow Wrote: haha thanks...i think. mini_cow was actually a troll username i created out of some ign i used in MIRC way back then. I am like in no way anywhere remotely mini or even small now hahaha.

Well, I also like my cows medium... rare Big Grin

(02-09-2014, 06:37 AM)mini_cow Wrote: This part i really missed including in the guide.

Up to you if you want to include it in future edits! it's stuff I'm sure you knew too, so no need to credit/acknowledge.

(02-09-2014, 06:37 AM)mini_cow Wrote: Personally, I am a very "theory" person and I really enjoy discussing deck formations. Problem is I am nowhere near as good/knowledgeable as both qtp and Nc are. Those 2 can build a deck AND tell you how well it will or will not work in practice. Thats just...beyond me. I can only write about decks I use because I then know the little tricks and ins and outs here and there...etc

Yes, yes, I completely get you. I love reading all the discussions, but I'm bad at predicting how a deck will function during gameplay. I learn by doing, so I have to take the cards out and try them to get a sense of how they fit my style.

Unfortunately, the reindeer and maxed slime/gnome aren't cards I'm likely to work on any time soon - water/light/dragons are calling! But I'd still like to contribute instead of heckling from the sidelines.

I've seen how some forum regulars approach this, so let's find out if I've learnt anything from them...

Quote:Let's look at the Santa variation first.

HP: 9372. Paper thin. But lower hp means it's easier to recover to full for the tumbler effect, right? We'll see.

Attack: The base attack is 5748, not great. The multiplier is 250%. You can burst with slime>gnome>santa, but this is going to be a fraction of the damage a normal fire mono does because of their higher base attack, higher multipliers, and booster cards. There's also the 300% reflect damage from Diablo, but if you've cleared The Way to Cruelty with a Diablo deck, you know how grindy that gets.

Recovery: This is the key to this deck. HP, attack, let's trade it all for immortality. But remember, for the Diablo tumbler to work, we need to heal back to 100% every time. So, with a whopping 2897 recovery points, how easy is it to recover your full hp? Here are some data points:

If you dissolve three hearts, it will take 10 combos to recover to full from 1 hp.
Dissolving four hearts will take 7 combos.
Dissolving five hearts will take 5 combos.
Dissolving six hearts in two sets of three will take 3 combos.

We'll have to be extremely careful in the first five turns before the slime's active CD is reached. Also note that the deck has no CC whatsoever.

The Medea deck is similar, but has higher hp and lower damage, making recovery an even bigger issue.

Quote:How about the Poppy version?

The main difference here is that Poppy has a crowd control skill and a recovery boost. The trade-off is the wimpy attack just got wimpier. But this deck at least has a chance of survival.

Dissolving three hearts with 6 combos will heal us back to max.

Again, note that we'll have to be careful for the first five turns, since we have no healing and no burst. And no crowd control till the 10th turn.

So I guess that's my attempt to "predict" what those decks will feel like in practice. Would be great to hear what you think. If I've missed out something, I would be glad to correct it too - I hate bad information and I hate it even more when I'm the (inadvertent) source.
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Heart

[Image: 7c52d11a.jpg]
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#7
saw the thread for damage calculation, so santa medea cass and fox will deal the highest damage if its 7combos and above, am i right?


its just the hp that is putting me down now, and the cost required....
[Image: 89bd3507.jpg]

[Image: 7984417a.jpg]
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#8
great guide @minicow.

just a few minor comments. the classic enchantress deck given is full rainbow (good). an alternate is full enchantress with fire bias.

Santa, 3 enchantress, PR sean + santa

pro:
- extra red drops from medea and PR sean gives a small damage bonus.
- Circe + santa has higher damage than Circe + daji.

con:
- not full rainbow
- weaker against water (but from experience Circe alone handles water stages just fine.. Not sure about seal 7 water though).

for additional completeness perhaps you can suggest ideal variations that use specialty cards like the newborn elves. E. G Yvette + cassandra works. queen bee + cassandra will not work.

the great thing about the Santa deck is versatility (what was once only avail to dark). You have kamikaze offence (3 enchantress). tactical play (2 PR). CC (Isabelle) and other special ops (other newborn elves and Saruman). easy farming and anti water (fire mono).

Sent from my GT-I9500 using Tapatalk

Btw just want to note that @minicow did mention he wouldn't delve into the merits of each full enchantress setup. I was just delving into the merits of the fire biased full enchantress Santa team, as I think that is the most offensive setup.

Sent from my GT-I9500 using Tapatalk
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#9
Choice of deck depends on the stage you are tackling. Here is how I choose which Santa deck to use.

[main deck - care on stages you can't 1HKO such as first hit mobs or use alternate deck below]
santa, 3 enchantress, PR sean + santa

[need 4 burst/heals or need to store CD. Also used when first attempting a new stage as it handles most situations well]:
santa, medea, circe, PR Sean, PR Endor + santa

[need 4 bursts and can 1HKO]:
santa, medea, cassandra, PR nathaniel, PR Sean + daji

note: the following is useable but not recommended if you have medea:
santa, circe, cassandra, 2 PR + santa
With cassandra, you can't afford to get hit which makes medea the better partner enchantress. With Circe, you may fail to 1HKO and increase chances of getting hit yourself.

[mindless farming - low risk, standard healing, vs. earth - mono fire]:
santa, medea, PR sean, nezha, diablo + santa


[need CC or vs. bombs]:
Santa, medea, cassandra, PR Sean, Isabelle + Daji (untested)

[skill locks and maybe vs. bombs]:
Santa, medea, circe, PR Sean, Queen Bee + santa (untested)

[vs. poison or % life and normal recovery not enough]:
Santa, medea, cassandra, circe, Yvette + santa (untested)

[overheal]:
Better to use Diablo deck, but you probably already have most of the cards levelled if you have a complete santa deck.

Think of other situations and perhaps the many experienced players here can come up with an ideal santa team to deal with it.
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#10
Great guid Mini!

That Santa/Diablo deck looks interesting. I wonder how well it works in practice. Low damage but still has convertors, 2 tunnels and reflect. I don't wanna level my reindeer Sad
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