Sanctum | Strategy, Sorcery, Subterfuge download rules and faq

create account edit account

buy cards trade cards

news forums maillist

top players cabals links


Sanctum | Strategy, Sorcery, SubterfugeSanctum | Strategy, Sorcery, Subterfuge



Ngozi's Way

A periodic column on Sanctum strategy, theory, and fun, by Ian Schreiber, Sanctum player name Gannon. You can reach Ian at

Deck Concept: Body Odor
April 13, 2000

After becoming bored with the standard Lycanthropy-Minotaur-Complacency Body Powerhouse and Fleetness-Fortitude-Olotus Body Combat Speed decks, I decided to see if there was anything else the Cyclopes could do.

The first place I looked was the complimentary House of Nature; ever wonder what Body is capable of if you splash in some Order? That's what this deck is all about.

Basic Strategies Used

This is very much a Combat Speed deck, which I consider an improvement over Body's normal Combat Speed because of its combination of combat enhancements and weakening spells; an enemy capable of dispelling groups could probably get rid of your combat pumping spells on your own groups, and it could probably get rid of damage-reduction spells on their own groups, but not both.

Key Cards

Look in your deck builder and see what you can get for 1 Order (and any amount of World) – the results are quite nice. Ill Winds can stop enemy archers, Pixie Dust seriously reduces enemy hand damage, Dryad's Favors is single-recruit removal and dispel, Inundate makes nice movement denial, Karillian Arrows is a great archer damage spell, Pact of Mystery could get you a seriously huge amount of Mystery mana for a turn, Syzygy reduces the cost of everything for a turn ... with a selection like that, why even bother looking at the spells requiring 2 Order?

A few spells jumped out at me, as things that supported Body's theme. Pixie Dust, Dryad's Favors and Karillian Arrows all seemed to support Body's Combat theme. Reading Pixie Dust again, I noticed that it could target a minion (that is, a recruit or a monster); Lycanthropy practically leaped out of my computer monitor and screamed “combine me with that spell!” Syzygy seemed like a natural addition, letting me cast Lycanthropy and Nomadic Tribe for a bargain 3+2.

So, this was going to be a Combat Speed deck. Toss in the obligatory 4 Fleetness and Fortitude. Nomadic Tribe was nice in that it occasionally would produce an Archer, giving me yet another target for Karillian Arrows. I added the questionable Dire Portent, on the theory that I'll likely be out-producing the opponent in recruits so trading one for one is to my advantage. Scrying Pool is almost mandatory, to allow casting Dryad's Favors and Pixie Dust on an enemy in a Forest. A few more minor combat-based spells, maybe a Sign of Order or two, and it's done.

Playing Hints

The mana structure of this deck is very cheap (I got 4 World, 3 Mystery, 1 Order) which means you can afford to create two or three recruits from your Sanctum on the first two turns. That one point of Order mana is important though, and more often than not I'd set my first town to Order just to make sure I got it. I'd also try to conceal my hidden strength for as long as possible; an opponent can hardly expect a Pixie Dust on their Horde right before the center town, but a skilled player might be a bit suspicious if you're casting Syzygy or Karillian Arrows on turn 4 (then again, a turn 4 Syzygy leading into a turn 5 Lycanthropy is generally worth tipping your hand for).

Otherwise, this plays much like a standard Combat Speed deck. Burn through your cheap spells quickly, pumping up your own recruits or weakening the enemy, and use Fleetness to try to force an early combat at center town. Lycanthropy can take care of one or two enemy groups that are threats, and Pixie Dust can of course neutralize the damage potential of a pack of wolves.


While this deck is fairly straightforward, there are several other potential deck concepts using the same mana structure but entirely different spells.

Rather than concentrating on pure combat, you could put more of a focus on damage reduction, combining Pixie Dust and Ill Winds to nullify the opponent's damage entirely, and combine that with monsters to kill the group or spells like Complacency and Lycanthropy to just hold the group off indefinitely.

Taking it up to a second Order mana (add a few more Sign of Order spells) and you've got a whole new range of possibilities. Try “Body Waterworld”, with Inundate, Will o' the Wisp and Deluge (using Burst of Order to get the mana for Deluge), and use your own Shaman's Walk to cross over the water yourself. Or simply use Complacency, Lycanthropy and Will o' the Wisp as twelve anti-group spells in a single deck.

Syzygy itself gives you plenty of options, even if you just stop at 1 Order; think of any 1+1 cost spells in any House (which can be cast for free under the effect of Syzygy!). Try 4 each of Fertility and Nomadic Tribe for massive recruit generation, then use them and Syzygy to cast Karkara for a big monster (Rampage would just add insult to injury). Using Syzygy to cast Fortify on your towns would be amusing; you could then add Nomadic Tribe for a sort of Metropolis Attrition win.

I'm sure that the enterprising player can think of even more options for a Body + Order deck along these same general lines.


As with any Combat Speed deck, you are susceptible to spells that kill an entire group, and if your opponent gets a decent entrenched defense you'll have trouble breaking through it.

You're also weak against global spell denial; if an Unmagicking or Intercession hits right before a key battle, you could be in serious trouble.

Lockdown could also have a chance against you on a town layout where nothing is nearby, although the odds are in your favor that you'll get one or two quick towns using Fleetness.

If you choose not to pack any terrain-crossing spells, Waterworld or other terrain-control decks could be the worst thing you'll face, as it provides the opponent a way to slow you down while killing your groups all at the same time. The moral of the story: use at least a little bit of terrain control in your Body deck.

Good luck!

Read more


Home | Usage Agreement | Privacy Policy | FAQ | Contact | Mailing Lists