Imo the best cards uppers have which is very demanding 15* halfdeck, Diana Muze Lucy Ivana/Wanda is pretty good but 11* leaving us with no obvious downgrade, Oxen is 7/6 pretty good against most dr , kazayan don't have to complain either but less significan't then oxen dorian is 8/7 with no ability he is solid better than kazayan, rubie 5/6 weakish side on power but soa as ability and can really punish weak rounds, or can be easily thrown away if needed, muse and diana also the shining examples of great cards. Rubie > samatha due the limit of decent cards pretty costly compromise.
Alternative small decks, listed the better ones ( i prefer this solution )
Robb cr Jessie Karen Ashley , dr + power mani + anti soa
Artus Pan Phyllis Edwin , dr + soa immune + pan phyllis mostly dr immune