Written by Andrew Grandstaff
Before reading here is a brief description of the combo:
Find a way to play Library Access two or more times in the same turn and at the right time in order to get your whole deck in your hand. Once this is accomplished you will then be able to play all of your Logos actions 6 times. The most reliable way to do this is by playing Nepenthe Need then on your next turn play Library Access and use Nepenthe Seed to get back Library Access and play it again.
Library Access Combo Strategy Guide
The most important thing to remember when sitting on either side of this combo is to remember the ultimate goal of the combo player is to have 0 cards in their discard pile and 0 cards in their deck. This is the state that allows the deck to truly combo off. In order to get there, this deck has to have access to enough draws in order to draw through their remaining deck and discard pile. Once you see a Nepenthe Seed start counting how many draws it will take to reach the combo state. A hand with 1 Nepenthe Seed out, 1 Library Access and 3 other Logos cards has 7 draws. With 2 Nepenthe Seeds out they have 12 draws. Next, you need to at least have a gut feeling about the likelihood of hitting more Logos cards in the remaining deck and discard pile, so you can keep the engine running. Cards like Phase Shift and Wild Wormhole are worth extra draws due to them allowing you to play extra cards.
There are essentially 3 different phases of the game for the combo player. Stage 1 is the setup, during this stage, the goal of the combo player is to find the combo pieces and get as many draws ready as they can. Stage 2 is using the combo cards and all the Logos cards they have collected to try and get every card in their hand. If the combo player was successful in Stage 2 and got to the point where they have 0 cards in their discard pile and 0 cards in their deck they have finally reached Stage 3. The final stage is just a matter of going through the motions generating as much aember as they can while keeping an eye out for ways to stop their opponent from winning if they are unable to close out the game.
Stage 1: The Setup
This step is all about setting up the biggest Library Access you can so the deck is more likely to get to the final stage. The fewer Nepenthe Seeds you have the more important this phase is. If your deck has only one Nepenthe Seed and 0 cards that archive or give you extra plays then your deck will have a maximum draw of 11 cards(1 Library Access + 5 other Logos cards) and a maximum potential draw of 23(6 other Logos cards that could potentially be drawn). This means you will need to find a way to minimize the effect of the other 7(36-12-11-6) cards you have to draw through during step 2. During the step-up stage, your best bet is to try to keep your non-Logos creatures and artifacts on the field. If they are on the field then they will not get in the way of you drawing into more Logos cards.
Archiving is a great tool to help this combo reach the final stage. I recommend spending all of your archiving on Logos cards if you can help it. Generally, this does mean that you are losing some card advantage but it is worth it for a more consistent combo turn. In the ideal scenario of having 6 archived Logos cards and having 6 in your hand then you only have 1(36-23-12) card left to worry about. By archiving non-Logos cards you will be drawing to your combo pieces faster, but at the cost of either holding onto Logos cards or having to play them out. By playing them out you are losing the guaranteed draw that they would have provided and if it is a creature or artifact you may not have a way to assure it will get back into your hand or discard pile also reducing the odds of successfully making it to stage 3. Each Logos card in your hand or archive is one less card you have to draw though making it more likely for you to reach stage 3.
You should prioritize archiving combo pieces, actions that give extra plays, artifacts, creatures and finally actions. The reasoning for this is getting to the final stage is all about increasing the percentage of your deck and discard pile that are Logos cards. During stage two when you reach the first shuffle you will want a high percentage of Logos cards in your discard pile to increase the odds of getting to your Library Access again. My archive priority order is based on how likely the card is to go into the discard pile so I can use it after the shuffle. Artifacts are especially unlikely to go into the discard pile because if your opponent has any artifact removal they should be saving it for your Nepenthe Seeds.
Stage 2 Drawing Your Deck
The major goal of this stage is to get your deck and discard pile to 0 cards in a single turn. The more Library Accesses you play the easier this gets. The easiest way to do this is with multiple Nepenthe Seeds, but it is still reasonable to do with only one Nepenthe Seed. If you are stuck at one Nepenthe Seed (due to your deck or one being destroyed) then you need to find ways to reduce the percentage of non-Logos cards in your deck and discard. The easiest way to do this is to find ways to increase the number of Logos cards in your discard pile. Take bad attacks if it will cause your Logos creatures to go to the discard pile. The only exception to this are creatures that have reap effects that can contribute toward getting to stage 3.
In this stage, I prefer to keep my Doc Booktons and the like around for the guaranteed draw over the potential two draws from sending it to my discard. It is best to hold off on attacking with these creatures until you are about to shuffle. If you don’t have enough draw potential with your hand and in your current discard to get through all of the discard pile it is in your best interest to get rid of these creatures to increase the odds of getting to your next Library Access.
After you have filled your discard with as many useless Logos creatures it is time to start playing all your actions. Pay close attention to how many cards are left in your deck. You will want to make sure get all your double action cards(Phase Shift and Wild Wormhole) into the discard before the shuffle. This will give you access to them twice during this stage of the combo. Getting these extra plays will help to increase the odds of getting to the next Library Access. If you have access to a Phase Shift be on the lookout for little tricks you can use to get extra Logos cards in your hand or deck such as Nature’s Call to bounce your Logos creatures or Lost in the Woods to get them back into your deck. Arise!, Troop Call, Faygen or really any card that gets creatures out of your discard and into your hand are also great ways to help get to stage 3 by reducing discard pile size.
Stage 3: The Combo State
There are essentially 3 tiers of combo that this deck can do. The top tier is the one turn kill by generating enough aember to forge 3 keys and using a Phase Shift into a Key Charge or just using a Phase Shift into a Key Abduction 3 times. In the middle, there are decks that have a way to prevent their opponent from forging so they can stop their opponent from winning while they forge their three keys. Finally, the bottom are the ones that can’t do either and are limited to just having access to their entire deck.
The hardest part of this step for any tier of the deck is keeping track of how many times you have played one of your Logos actions. It is especially important for the ones that need to Phase Shift to either win the game or prevent their opponent from winning. Once the combo starts Phase Shift becomes the most important resource for these decks and choosing where to spend them defines how good their combo is.
If you have one of the following configurations congratulations you have a 1 turn kill deck. All of these decks require a Phase Shift.
|Forge a key card||Other conditions|
If you have a one turn kill combo then you don’t need any strategy advice just do it. If you have the Key of Darkness version play all your Effervescent Principles first the chains won’t matter.
If you are like me and don’t have one of the one turn kill version then hopefully you have some way to significantly reduces opponent’s ability to forge a key. It could be as simple as only having Effervescent Principle or it could get as complicated as Phase shifting in a Grenade Snib then killing it with a Bouncing Deathquark 6 times. My deck relies on Ritual of Balance, Drumble, and Lost in the Woods to prevent my opponent from winning. If you have one of these decks you will want to consider the possibility of setting up to combo off the next turn as well. Try to leave yourself in the combo state with 0 cards in your deck and discard pile and a couple of Logos cards in hand including Library Access.
If you don’t have any good payoffs for your combo just treat it like any other endgame situation. You need to know what cards your opponent has that will punish you for going above 6 aember and if you can, try to keep the board clear. Try to call Logos every turn, it will most likely be the strongest choice, so be sure to set up for the combo again. Hopefully your not to far behind at this point your opponent can just ignore all your aember gain and race you to the final key. Unfortunately Logos and Untamed don’t have a lot of good aember control options and in this case you don’t have Effervescent Principle either. You will most likely need to pick your third house to buy yourself the time you need to finish out the game.
Deck Versions Tier List
If your opponent has 1 or more ways to remove your Nepenthe Seeds that you can not prevent then I would considering playing my deck as if it had one less Nepenthe Seed.
Tier 4: 1 Nepenthe Seed & 0 pay off cards
These are the weakest versions of the deck. They are the hardest to set up and have no way to assure the game will continue or win even if it successfully goes off. This tier of deck, the combo is a late-game backup plan. These decks have to be very mindful of how many draws and potential draws they have access to if they want to go off. If this deck assembles the combo early it is probably best just to burn it to gain the huge amounts of card advantage that it can generate. I have found that the rush decks are too fast to race without a one turn kill or good payoff some sort of way to prevent them from forging such as playing Effervescent Principle several times.
Tier 3: 2+ Nepenthe Seeds & 0 pay off cards
This version also suffers from its lack of payoff. It can more reliably combo off so therefore it can lean harder into making it happen. It might even be right to mulligan for Library Access in these decks. It doesn’t matter how many Nepenthe Seeds you get out if Library Access is on the bottom of your deck. That said this deck still needs to play a reasonably fair game or else it will be sitting on three keys of aember hoping their opponent can’t win before them.
Tier 2: 1 Nepenthe Seed & 1 or more good pay off cards
This is the lowest tier version that should make getting the combo a major part of their game plan. This is when it starts to not matter how much aember and how many keys your opponent has because once you get your combo going you should either have the game won with your 1 turn kill variant or have them locked out of the game. If you don’t have the one-turn-kill version then be considerate of what your lockout is and look to set that up second to your combo. Also in this tier sacrifice gaining aember for slowing your opponent down. Sometimes your Nepenthe Seed or Library access will be in the last card of your deck and you need to make sure they do win before you get a chance to combo off. Protect your Nepenthe Seed. If you can, don’t play it until the turn just before you plan to combo. Look out for ways for your opponent to force discard or take cards out of your archives.
Tier 1: 2+ Nepenthe Seeds & 1 or more good pay off cards
These are truly the decks to fear. Even if they lose one of their Nepenthe Seeds they can still combo off and kill or control the game completely. The difference between a one turn kill and controlling the game with Effervescent Principle is minor. The one turn kill variant does have an edge over decks that can reliably play Key Charge, and if those become a dominant archetype then they should get a separate tier. Protect your Nepenthe Seeds, try not to play them out too many turns ahead of when you plan on executing the combo. If you can get both Nepenthe Seeds out and Library Access in hand I would just go for the combo assuming you have a 3+ other Logos cards in hand and enough potential draw to get to stage 3.