New Weekly Series
Welcome one and all to a new weekly series on Hearthstoneplayers.com called DarkArbiter’s Deck of the Week (EDIT: Due to the article name sounding too similar to another weekly series, the article series will be changed to DarkArbiter’s Weekly Deck Spotlight, or WDS for short). With this series, I will highlight a deck that is being ran by a popular pro player and/or streamer. There will be a chance for other decks to be included that aren’t top streamer/pro decks, but that will be explained further down.
Now, in addition to a deck list, a description of the deck’s function as well as a look at the unique/important cards and why they’re being used will be included in this discussion. The true difference between this series and most normal guides will be that the match-up analysis will be fairly short and there will be little to no guide on budget replacements.
Another major component of this series will be the viewers. If you wish to see a specific deck highlighted, I encourage you to email me about it. For pro/streamer decks, you will need to link me to the deck in question, and if it is a personal deck, you will have to email me the list. My email address will be listed at the end of this article under conclusions as it always is.
I will take any and all deck requests seriously and want to see some of the decks all of you are interested in or are playing at the moment, and I will highlight some of the unique ones that I receive.
The Deck of the Week
For this week, I would like to talk about a rather unique deck that is being used by Team SoloMid member Trump, a Warrior Control deck he has named “Bearon & Friends”. Created a little over a week ago, this list was Trump’s attempt to combat the control-heavy meta to improve his legendary ranking.
For the most part, Trump had initial success with this deck before falling down in the rankings. However, the fact that he was able to maintain his spot above legendary rank ten for a short time with this deck gives it enough reason to earn a spot here.
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at the deck.
The Deck Explained
Looking at this deck, if you haven’t played much Control Warrior before, you might not notice too much of a difference. We have the staple early game cards like Fiery War Axe, Armorsmith, and Acolyte of Pain.
The standard Warrior removal cards are also here, such as Shield Slam, Execute, and even the common tech switch of taking out a Slam for a Cleave to deal with early game aggression. Brawl even makes an appearance, something you see sporadically in Warrior decks.
There are also some of the standard and much-accepted additions from Curse of Naxxramas to the list, such as the pair of Unstable Ghouls, Sludge Belchers, and the great new addition to the Warrior’s arsenal of weapons, Death’s Bite. It’s safe to say, for the most part, that this deck works like most other Control Warrior lists normally work; weak early game for a stronger late-game.
This is where the unusual stage of the deck comes in. By now, you might have noticed the number of legendary creatures included. Yup, this is no joke, there are in fact eight legendaries in this deck, nine if you consider Faceless Manipulator among them. Even for normal Control Warrior, which is infamous for its larger concentration of Legendary cards and overall expensive crafting cost, this is a ridiculous number.
Before Naxxramas, Warrior lists had become much cheaper, running only a handful of Legendaries to combat how aggressive the meta had become. Even now, as games have become slower-paced, your standard list normally doesn’t run any more than five or six Legendaries, and fewer even then run Faceless Manipulator. Having this many Legendary minions in the deck might make it a bit uncomfortable to play, but I’ll explain why this might be latter.
Now, in order for all of these Legendaries to be included, something will have had to go, although it’s not immediately evident as to what. In fact, this deck loses both copies of Cruel Taskmaster in exchange, a card that other players have slowly begun to take out. This isn’t necessarily because it’s a bad card, but because it’s mainly used to get rid of smaller creatures, something Death’s Bite does just as well, if not better.
For now though, I want to look at what all of these high-mana Legendaries do for the deck.
The Impact of So Many Legendaries
Including all of these late-game minions hurts its ability to perform against aggro decks. It also increases the chances of it performing poorly against midrange decks, such as currently-popular Midrange Hunter. However, the offset of including so many high-mana minions is that these specific legendaries vastly improve match-ups against control decks by making the deck even more focused on the late-game.
While other control decks are also built around this idea, they also commit more resources towards maintaining the early and mid-game. While this allows them to perform better against more aggressive decks, it also means that they in turn have a harder time to provide enough answers for decks that are even more focused on the late-game.
With that comes Trump’s reasoning; many of the decks he has faced where he is at have been mostly control decks. Priest in particular gives standard Warrior Control problems, as they normally have better cards meant for control than Warrior. Another deck Trump has been facing has been…well…Warrior Control. In both situations, the only way to improve your odds of winning, other than switching to an aggro deck, is to have more options for control, and that is the premise of this deck.
A Look at the Individual Legendaries
Looking at each Legendary creature, the vast majority of them are what you see in most typical control decks. In particular, Grommash Hellscream and Ragnaros the Firelord are seen in almost every Control Warrior list, as they are the most consistent and prominent finishers for the class. The others, while certainly not necessary, tend to improve your ability to maintain tempo in the late-game.
The one exception to this is the curious inclusion of Tinkmaster Overspark. A card that was once included in every deck, poor Tinkmaster received the nerf hammer several months ago, sending it from the number one legendary to somewhere near bottom of the list. Nowadays, the card sees little to no play at all. However, the upside of the card is that it is one of the cheaper legendaries mana-wise, and its battlecry still does the same basic thing that it used to do. The difference is that now if you wish for Tinkmaster to hit the target you want it to, your target must be the only creature on the board. Trump included this card for almost exactly those types of circumstances; to counter such creatures as a lone Savannah Highmane or any legendary that is normally played on an empty board.
Other than that, most of the Legendaries are old companions to Control Warrior; Baron Geddon, the creature after which this deck was named (for the most part, the other inspiration was Trump’s teddy bear, hence “Bearon”) can be a good anti-aggro card in the late-game as well as trigger some of the abilities of your other cards such as Acolyte of Pain and Armorsmith. In addition, Ysera, a card seen as almost unplayable a little over a month ago, makes her return to Control Warrior as a source of strong late-game presence and card advantage due to her dream cards.
While this is a series meant to highlight decks, I would like to provide my two cents at the end, especially considering Control Warrior is a deck I have much experience with.
In all, this deck is very slow to start, but it provides a solid way to counter other control decks if you don’t want to switch over to a more aggressive deck. I wouldn’t recommend this deck if you are lower on the ladder due to how sluggish it starts off, but it is certainly worth at least one play if you have the Legendaries required to build it. At well over 14000 dust to craft, I doubt many will though.
In addition, there has been a slight change to the meta since Trump first introduced this deck; with all of the slow control decks, faster decks like Miracle Rogue and Druid decks (with even some more aggressive Priest decks thrown in) are taking advantage of this, so we are starting to see an influx of these deck types, as is normal with a healthy meta. What this probably means though is that pretty soon this deck will become unplayable even after you make Legend.
There is one point though that I want to make in that this deck is fairly similar to another deck that sees a bit of play besides Control Warrior, but in another card game. I have played enough of Magic: The Gathering to be somewhat competitive with it, and a fairly interesting deck that I get to see from time to time is a “Superfriends” deck.
To compare, a Superfriends deck is a control deck that utilizes the abilities of powerful spells called Planeswalkers. Even individually, many Planeswalkers make a large impact on tempo and focus of the game as soon as they hit the board and can have a lasting impact even after they’re removed. Looking at them, they are somewhat similar to how Legendaries work, and put together in a control deck they synergize in an almost unrealistic way.
They are also similar in another way; Planeswalkers in general aren’t cheap, and some of them are actually quite expensive to buy outright. Despite that, there are few other cards that can equal what they do, and playing them provides new and unique ways of dealing with situations.
I hope you all enjoyed this first article of the Deck of the Week series. Trump’s deck is certainly a unique way to deal with the control-heavy meta in the top tiers of legendary rank. Join us again next week when I will showcase another deck for you.
If you have questions or comments about the article or the deck, feel free to email me at [email protected] or just leave a comment in the section below! In addition, if you have a deck list you would like to see in a future deck of the week article, feel free to message me as well, and I will showcase it if I can.
As always, thanks for reading!