Anna Kliminski (+Klaive)
True Silverheels (+Klaive)
Turn 1 has a bit of confusion since we're both tired and misreading cards. Eventually, we got to the alpha phase and Carleson's source ... was obviously terrified of Howls and she got lost attacking her BSD. Howls didn't, but forgot that if you're going the Whole Nine Yards* you have to do it from the beginning. Very shameful. Old Storm Chaser did get him a Dreamspeaker Mage who played him soothing music, with advice from Lion* to stand him by. True Silverheels has a Grudge Match against OSC.
Turn 2 has Anna trying to Sneak Attack Stands, but Howls watches over his pack and says NO. Anna tries to out-Dominate his Dominate but just doesn't have enough Renown. After Howls and the BSD regenerate, Old Storm Chaser taps the Caern of the Weeping Daughter. Once more, Anna gets a head start on the Black Spiral Dancer, getting some Razor Claws and a Battle Fervor. It's a nimble Dancer she faces though, dodging to lucky blows then ducking a Stinging Wound. Combat ends without damage.
Howls on the other hand, goes for the throat. Or rather for Anna. After reducing her to his level with Beast Mind (so she can't cancel combat with Nightmare Coin OR use her klaive), he tries an Entrail Rend, some Fancy Footwork, then gives her a Burst Lung*. Next round, although she's in Crinos form, his Fast Strike kills her long, long before her Spine Crush can reach him.
Turn 3.... and Silverheels can't take revenge against a wounded Howls. Curses! Into the Hunting Grounds come Illganwasi Bakalahari and Smrthihara (see, I managed to spell them both), before Howls takes on True Silverheels. In fact True goes for ... the insect Bane. He does make a good point about going down in glory. Illganwasi leaps... but barely Rakes through the Block. As it rapidly hits True again, it is hit in the Vitals. Answers on a stick if you know where that is. A kick and a lucky blow weakened True's foe but after that he was fighting with his last breaths. Both die in a painful and bitter struggle.
Denied the target that would set him up for true glory, Howls goes the whole way against a poor innocent Black Spiral Dancer. It tries to use some Ahroun gifts, but a Lunar Eclipse puts pay to that and it dies to an Entrail Rend AND a 6 point Vicious Assault.
Turn 4 and Raven finally turns up... for Carleson. Howls kills Smrthihara... on turn 5 after he gets unexpectedly mangled.
PaF: an embarrassed 26
Sakura: a worthy 16
_Edited Playtest comments_
Lion did nothing this game. Obviously I was facing a Gaia deck and didn't draw any Fooled You!s until too late. That and only Howls fought and he consistently frenzied. I think this is my feeling on it, that it's great when it works but otherwise it's just a vague threat. The question this deck was trying to pose is, is the combination of Caern of the Weeping Daughter and Lion too much? More testing needed.
This deck played with 3 frenzies, Beastmind and Lunar Eclipse which is a hefty way of making sure the frenzies work, and really it was this, and its other denial suite, that won the game for me. Having said that, it only gives the deck an edge; a frenzy match-up against a more vicious deck could have gone either way (and Thrall of the Wyrm would have been lethal). I would be curious about testing it against King Al.