Good Deck Building: How Classes Operate; Building Deathrattle Rogue

Hello everyone. The second wing is out and finally people can start brewing with . Incorporating Keeper of Uldaman in new decks will be hard, because it is a “build-around”-card and requires hours of playtesting to find a good list. First of all you have to take an existing Paladin decklist, cut two cards and […]

Introduction

Hello everyone. The second wing is out and finally people can start brewing with Keeper of Uldaman. Incorporating Keeper of Uldaman in new decks will be hard, because it is a “build-around”-card and requires hours of playtesting to find a good list. First of all you have to take an existing Paladin decklist, cut two cards and add two Keeper of Uldaman and voilà you have a better deck…….. HAHAHA! I’m so funny, I know.

Ok now more serious. Unlike Keeper of Uldaman, Unearthed Raptor is a more interesting card. You can’t just put it in an existing deck and have a good deck. So todays article will be about how to build such a deck and why some ideas I saw from other players are flawed and will disappear.

First of all, whenever I built a deck I have an analytical approach, and that is lacking in Hearthstone in many areas, not only deckbuilding. I have watched a lot of tournament players and streamers and the majority of them do not play Hearthstone on a theoretical level. They make plays on experience, because they have done them a hundred times, and on gut feeling mixed with some math. When it comes to Hearthstone, or any game with random elements or without, only an analytical and theoretical approach to the game will make you a fantastic player. In Poker a top-level player can always tell you the theory behind his bets and in Chess a top-level player can write an essay on why he did a particular move with the Queen. Although Hearthstone does not have the complexity of Chess, it is still a very complex game and only understanding the theory behind the game will move your play skill to top-tier level.

I know that my articles are not for everyone, some people don’t care about theory. They do not need to know why exactly Aggro Warrior is not good. For them it is enough that it sucks, because Steady Shot >Armor Up!.

In this article you won’t just get a decklist, instead I will write a little bit about the theory when it comes to deckbuilding and why certain classes are currently heavily limited when it comes to building multiple archetypes.

The Theory behind Classes and their Hero Powers

The nine different classes in Hearthstone are a very cool design concept. Each class has a unique hero power and class cards that can only be used in the particular class. The nine different hero powers add an interesting dimension to the game that other popular trading card games like Magic the Gathering completely lack. Every hero power acts as a pseudo card you are guaranteed to draw every game, and they also give each class their flavor and identity. What would the Warrior class be without Armor Up! or the Hunter without Steady Shot? But they are also potentially very dangerous for the health of the game, if Blizzard ever makes a horrible design mistake. In direct comparison the hero powers are not on the same level, Life Tap is stronger than Lesser Heal, and that would be a huge problem for the health of the game if there were only neutral cards, because then almost everyone would play Warlock, while maybe 10 % would play Hunter to counter the Warlocks.

So to circumvent the power level discrepancy of the 9 hero powers, class cards also have a different power level. The Warlock class cards are on average the weakest class cards, while Warrior has on average the strongest class cards, making up for the worst hero power in a vacuum. The power level difference of hero powers gets a lot more subtle, if we add another variable to the mix and ask ourself the question: how useful are the different hero powers in certain archetypes.

The power level of the nine hero powers in Aggro decks

To visualize the power level difference when it comes to aggressive decks, I made this diagram. It is made under the assumption, that you are still limited to a class, but could pick any hero power you want. I have also done some math, under the assumption that there are no class cards, instead there are only ten minions: 1/1’s for one mana, 2/2’s for two mana until 10/10’s for ten mana. You can also do all kind of crazy stuff like how a deck with only 2/2 ‘s for two mana with Steady Shot plays out against a deck with half 2/2’s  for two mana and the other half with 4/5’s with taunt for 4 mana with Dagger Mastery. I think stuff like that is interesting, but from my personal experience the majority of people get bored to death when there is too much math in an article, and it is also not really worth it, because it is highly artificial and does not give any great insight on the actual game. So for the scope of the article, I’m just focusing on my personal opinion on how good the various hero powers are in aggressive and controllish decks.

If class cards were still limited to a particular class, but you could choose between the nine classes, Hunter’s hero power would be the best choice for every aggressive deck. In a vacuum having access to a consistent two damage burn every turn is the most powerful and consistent hero power in Aggro. Priest and Warrior are the weakest hero powers for Aggro. Aggressive decks are all about having the initiative, putting the opponent on a clock and finishing the game as quickly as possible and Hunter’s hero power offers the best support for such a strategy.

Note that by design every hero power in Hearthstone is weaker than any real two mana card, so the majority of time you only use them as a filler in aggressive decks (there are some exceptions like Steady Shot in Face Hunter etc.). It is also important to note that an aggressive deck has a much easier time to weave in hero power activations than a slower deck, because of the overall lower manacurve.

Although aggressive decks mainly want hero powers that can put pressure on the opponent, it is highly dependant on the particular aggro deck which hero power is the most useful. Zoo Warlock for example would be worse with Steady Shot, so the ranking is only about general power level in aggressive archetypes.

Armor Up!: zero utility for aggressive decks, only decent when you play against Steady Shot

Lesser Heal: very minor utility in aggressive decks, but unlike Armor Up! it is not completely useless, because you can heal your minions and make them more resilient if you have excess mana.

Totemic Call: If you could choose between the four different outcomes, it would be right behind Steady Shot, but as it is, it is just inconsistent. You invest two mana and have a chance to get an outcome that does not do anything to support your game plan.

Reinforce: The 1/1’s can add up, and increase the damage if you have excess mana. The problem is that a lot of other hero powers directly counter Reinforce, so to get any additional damage and further benefit from it, your 1/1’s have to stick on the board. Does nothing when you are behind on the board, because your opponent can very easily get rid of the 1/1’s.

Shapeshift: A one damage ping, that unlike Reinforce cannot be stopped by other hero powers. Can be stopped by taunts.

Fireblast: A one damage ping that surpasses taunts, and where you don’t take any damage when removing enemy minions, which can be important in an Aggro mirror.

Life Tap: your life total is not of any great importance, the majority of time when you play a fast deck. So aggressively using your life total as resource to make sure that you don’t run out of cards is something very powerful. What makes it inferior to Rogue’s and Hunter’s hero power is that, although drawing cards is always very valuable, it does not put any direct pressure on the opponent, which becomes a problem, once the opponent has complete board control.

Dagger Mastery: is a hybrid between a ping hero power like Shapeshift and Steady Shot. If your life total is not of any great importance, because your deck is a lot faster than your opponents, Dagger Mastery becomes the most powerful ping hero power, because you pay two mana on one turn to get two pings. It is also similar to Steady Shot, because for two mana it deals two damage, but over two turns. What makes it worse than Steady Shot is that it is negated by taunts.

Steady Shot: the less counterplay a card or a deck has the more powerful it is. And when it comes to Steady Shot, you have the least interactive hero power, which is a good thing power level wise. Opponent has a Taunt? You don’t care! Although it may seem to be countered by Armor Up! and Lesser Heal, that is not true. A faster deck can get a lot more hero power activations than a slower deck, without falling too far behind on tempo, because of the cheaper mana curve. So even if the opponent stabilized on the board, Steady Shot will still put on pressure.

The power level of the nine hero powers in Control decks

The same concept applied to slower decks, that are more value oriented and don’t aim to finish the game as quickly as possible. The position of Warrior may seem strange, but getting more than 30 health is a huge advantage when it comes to generating card advantage. Life points are nothing more than a resource that help you generate card advantage. The more life points you have, the more value heavy you can build your deck and you also don’t need to play sub par healing cards. If Reno Jackson would not have a requirement, it would be the most broken card in Hearthstone.

On a theoretical level Control decks are a lot more complex to optimally build than Aggro decks. The biggest difference which acts as a sort of snowball effect is that Control decks play more expensive minions, and that completely changes the dynamic of the deck. You can’t just jam Alexstrasza in a Face Hunter, it will be bad, because when you play expensive minions you have to adapt your deck.

So as already mentioned a Control deck plays more expensive minions than an Aggro deck, which means it has a higher chance to fall behind when facing Aggro, because statistically it will have fewer tempo plays. Any expensive minion in your hand is useless until you can play it. Imagine two Face Hunters with an identical list, normally the winrate given perfect play would be 50 % for both players. For every expensive legendary minion we add to one player’s deck, his winrate will drop (with a big enough sample size of course). To circumvent this inherent problem of every Control archetype it has to adapt. It is not trying to fight on the same axis as an Aggro deck, instead it shifts the focus whenever it faces an Aggro deck: stronger plays later in the game by midgame minions and minions with taunts like Sludge Belcher and board clears to catch up with the opponent. Hellfire is an excellent example of catching up. The Aggro player may have spent eight mana over the course of several turns to build up his board and you just play Hellfire on Turn 4 and wooosssh it’s gone.

Against the majority of Aggro decks, just a better pile of stats with/without taunt and some board clears is not enough, because they have spells or a hero power that ignores the board state. So you also have to play heals to cover all bases against aggressive decks. So an Aggro deck may have a fantastic start, but slowly and steadily you will catch up with him and then overwhelm him and proceed to win the game from that spot.

But from a deckbuilding point we have another problem, there are also other players who want to play expensive minions in their deck. HellfireAntique Healbot and Sludge Belcher decrease a lot in value when facing multiple expensive minions. So we add good removal for bigger minions to the deck. And then finally to increase consistency, because drawing the wrong cards against the wrong archetype can be devastating we add sufficient card draw.

Every successful Control deck has all its bases covered: expensive minions to crush the opponent in the lategame, good midgame minions to catch up with a fast start, lifegain to dodge burn spells, removal for big minions and card draw to tie it all together.

Steady Shot: Steady Shot is a win condition on its own against 7 out of 9 classes. Given enough time you will just overwhelm almost anyone if you frantically press Steady Shot. The problem is that this is a very, very long-term plan in a Control deck and in a Control deck, you look for some lifegain, card draw or board interaction when it comes to a hero power. Not something that reads, if I press it 15 times I win.

Dagger Mastery: The same concept that applies to Steady Shot in Control decks is true to some extent, when it comes to Rogue’s hero power. It is also very unreasonable to triple attack a 3 health minion, so overall not so useful in a Control deck.

Reinforce: Paladin’s hero power is the inevitable doom for every Control Warrior or Control Priest, but besides from that it is not that great in a Control deck. You do not get sustainability, or actual card draw and your small 1/1’s are not that impactful and you need several turns so that they can add up and produce value.

Totemic Call: Among all classes Shaman has the biggest synergy with their hero power, letting a Spell Power Totem live can be a disaster for your opponent. The taunt totem is also quite useful against Aggro, but generally the inconsistency of it makes it far from great.

Fireblast: The small damage ping is very flexible, unlike Druid and Rogue you can kill bigger minions over multiple turns without getting damage doing so. The fact that you can react to the board and enable directly more valuable trades makes it a decent hero power.

Shapeshift: At first it may seem weird to rank Shapeshift higher than some other hero powers, but the small armor gain can be highly relevant in the late game against aggressive decks. In the early game, you can also impact the board with it, so its usefulness throughout multiple stages makes it a good hero power. The previous hero powers all do nothing when it comes to regaining some health which is important in Control decks.

Lesser Heal: You can regain some health and you can heal your minions to make them survive an attack they would otherwise not, which produces some sort of card advantage.

Armor Up!: At first sight Lesser Heal may seem superior to Armor Up in a Control deck because you can also heal minions, in reality it is not. Gaining more than 30 health can be a huge advantage against Combo and Control decks, and to some minor extent against Aggro, because Priests hero power is completely useless when your board is empty on Turn 2 and you have 30 life. Two life can be the difference between victory and defeat.

Life Tap: Finally the best hero power for Control. You get card draw, which is absurdly powerful in a Control deck. Warlock as a Control archetype is one small step away from making all Control decks in other classes flat-out inferior. All they need is a very good heal, to make the lifeloss of the hero power nothing more than a nuisance.

Class cards and their impact on archetype viability

Class cards together with their respective hero powers are the building blocks that effect how good a certain archetype is within a class. For example Priest’s hero power is as seen in the diagram above almost useless in an Aggro deck. When Blizzard designed Hearthstone they were clearly aware of that and gave Priest Mind Blast, a card that is in a vacuum just borderline broken for an aggressive deck. Mind Blast together with Steady Shot would be ridiculous in Hunter, but would overall be balanced in a potential Aggro Priest to make up for the worse hero power.

You can see the same concept applied to other class cards, like for example Savannah Highmane in Hunter or Elemental Destruction. These cards would be the complete nuts in a class that has a good hero power for Control decks like Warrior or Priest.

From a theoretical point it is possible that a hero power sucks in a certain archetype and that is not a big deal, if the Class has some very powerful cards to compensate for the inherent disadvantage. But it is not possible the other way around. Steady Shot would just be very bad if Hunter would not have good aggressive cards, and only cards that support slower decks (card draw, healing, high value minions, good removal).

So all Blizzard needs to give the players to enable every archetype in every class is just very good cards to support them. Blizzard has done a wonderful job with the Paladin Class the past few expansions. Pre Goblins vs Gnomes, Paladin was just the worst class in the game. All Paladin had, was its okayish hero power for both Aggro and Control decks, but the class lacked an integral part of every good Aggro AND Control deck: a good early game. So the Class was just horrible, donating free wins to almost everyone and their grandmother. Flash forward to the presence, Paladin is a good class (maybe even the best, depending on the point of view), and you can play Aggro, Midrange and slow- Control and be competitive. But why is that so? Paladin’s class cards give proper support to Aggro decks  with Divine Favor, Shielded Minibot and Muster for Battle and slow- Control decks with good removal (Equality, Keeper of Uldaman etc.), good lifegain and card draw with Lay on Hands and powerful minions (Tirion Fordring etc.).

So the deckbuilding possibilities within the Paladin Class are great, you want to quickly rush someone down, you have enough class cards that support such a playstyle. You want to play a 25 minute game? You can do that, you will find good removal cards, good card draw and good lifegain.

But what if you want to build a good Hunter Control deck? You will find zero good card draw (Starving Buzzard is only in the game, so that you can admire the artwork) and zero cards that have “Gain X- Amount of Health”. The same concept is true when it comes to other archetypes like Aggro Warrior or Control Shaman, there is just not enough support. Aggro Warrior would need a Leper Gnome on steroids to make up for the embarrassing bad hero power in an aggro deck, and Control Shaman would need to find a way to not ever press their hero power. Something which can be achieved with very good card draw and heal. And Druid? Druid Control is actually really close to becoming a very good archetype, it just needs one more thing: better removal for bigger minions and board clears similar to Hellfire.

The point of this paragraph is not to complain, I just want to show you, that when it comes to deckbuilding- you are limited to some extent. I fully believe that will be fixed in the future, but as it stands now, whenever you build something like  a Control Hunter, Control Druid or Control Shaman, you may have built something very cool and fun to play, but do not think for one second that you play something that has competitive relevance and is actually good from a theoretical point of view.

Analyzing the theoretical possibilites of Rogue

I skipped Rogue in the last part, so that Valeera has her own paragraph. Rogue has always been near and dear to my heart. The class is very skill intensive with all different kinds of synergy, and before Gadgetzan Auctioneer got nerfed it was very powerful. But unlike the majority of Paladin decks, Rogue decks were never all over the place. It was the strongest class for quite some time, but the complexity and the skill you needed to master it, made it underpowered in the hands of bad players and a very powerful force in the hands of very good players. If you were bad with Miracle Rogue and compared your winrate to the winrate of masters with the deck, the difference was enormous and around 30 %. Nowadays with Paladin, how big is the difference between a Rank 5 Secret Paladin player and a Legend Rank 1 Secret Paladin player? About 5-10 %.

Rogue is the class with the biggest emphasis on tempo in the game. Backstab, Sap, Preparation and Eviscerate have insane mana cost to tempo impact ratio. The hero power also greatly supports a tempo focused strategy, Dagger Mastery is just a big pain for every player that wants to press Reinforce, because one activation negates two activations of the other hero power.

But if you play a slower Rogue archetype the power level of Dagger Mastery gets greatly reduced,  you cannot just casually deal one damage to a 5 power minion, because unlike Mage you just take five damage for a small ping. And the longer the game goes, even if you kill only small 1/1’s you are still taking a bunch of damage.

In addition to that, Rogue has zero good removal for bigger minions, Assassinate is a joke compared to Execute. If you want a good card that deals with bigger minions, there is only Sap, which is inherent card disadvantage and tempo focused, because to fully benefit from it, you need to dictate the pace of the game and put pressure on the opponent.  If you don’t have the tempo initiative, for example you play Sap while you don’t have a board presence, the card is awful. On the other hand, when you have a tempo advantage and are therefore pressuring the opponent’s life total, playing Sap on a bigger minion and completely negating the turn of your opponent, who just spent his entire turn to play a Sylvanas Windrunner feels like cheating. It is even more powerful than Execute, because it ignores Deathrattle effects.

And like Hunter, Rogue has zero class cards that put an emphasis on sustainability, so currently there is no good life gain for Valeera. Of course there are neutral options, like Antique Healbot but investing 5 mana for a 3/3 is a horrible tempo play, and it gets even worse in Rogue because the class is so heavily tempo focused (the best class cards are tempo focused).

Unlike the Warsong Commander for Patron Warrior, Gadgetzan Auctioneer was the ultimate center piece of Rogue and the nerf changed the entire class forever. For a successful controllish archetype, it is not required to have good defensive cards as class cards. Warlock has almost zero good defensive cards, but because Life Tap is so powerful and gives the class access to a guaranteed card advantage mechanism, it can afford to play something like double Antique Healbot.

With Gadgetzan Auctioneer for 5 mana Rogue could afford to play  the full set of sub par healing cards (two Antique Healbot), because then like Control Warlock you can afford to, because you have very powerful draw with Gadgetzan.

But currently as it stands, Rogue lacks powerful card draw (Preparation coupled with Sprint does not play in the same league as the good old Auctioneer) and that is the main reason why a slow Rogue Control deck will never have competitive relevance with the current card pool. Unearthed Raptor is not the card Rogue needed to enable slower archetypes. But it is powerful, but it won’t change the playstyle of Rogue, which is not to play long games.

To summarize:

The best Rogue class cards put a heavy emphasis on tempo and synergy and are at its best in tempo focused decks like Oil Rogue. To enable non- tempo focused Rogue decks aka Control decks, Blizzard needs to unnerf Gadgetzan Auctionner or make good removal and heal cards for Rogue to offset the unavailability of good hard removal for bigger minions and the complete lack of good defensive cards. Currently as it stands Rogue may be a very fun class to play, but unlike Warlock or Paladin  lacks archetype variance on a competitive level of play.

Building Deathrattle Rogue

So finally the last part of my article. Sadly a sweet and slower Anub’arak– Rogue Control with Unearthed Raptor is not possible, maybe someone can hack the Blizzard servers and revert the Gadgetzan Auctioneer change, because then it would be a very powerful deck, I can assure you that.

But as it stands, that is not possible and making a good Deathrattle Rogue is not that hard, you have to build it similar to all the other good Rogue archetypes, gladly we have a lot of different decks to choose from: Oil Rogue and……… Oh yeah there is only Oil Rogue. But why? The Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil – archetype embraces the strengths of Rogue, which is a big emphasis on tempo, but it also plays the strongest two class cards: Preparation and Sap. If you don’t play either of these two cards, you need a very good reason. Warrior has Fiery War Axe and Druid has Innervate as staples that are so above the curve and it feels crazy to not ever play them. Preparation and Sap are staples too, if you don’t play them, you miss Rogue’s most powerful cards.

So from a theoretical point how do we build a tempo focused Deathrattle Rogue deck?:

( Tempo means that not only you play very strong minions on each turn, you also dictate the pace of the game and disrupt the opponent. Playing Cold Blood on Nerubian Egg to kill a Knife Juggler on Turn 3 is a very powerful tempo play, because not only you disrupt your opponent’s previous turn, you also develop a good board. To make a tempo focused deck, you also need to streamline it when it comes to deckbuilding. You want to play as few tempo negative cards as possible and as many tempo efficient cards as possible. A good example of tempo negative is the occasional Antique Healbot in Oil Rogue, a card I dislike a lot in this deck. It may you win games against Face Aggro, but it will lose you games against other archetypes. Your Druid opponent just played Druid of the Claw on an empty board, and what do you have as a counterplay? A 3/3 for five mana…. )

MINIONS: A big part of getting a tempo initiative is playing strong minions on curve that are still decently strong when played off-curve. For exampleAbusive Sergeant is not a great card in a tempo focused deck, because it’s value diminishes greatly the longer the game goes. On the other hand I think it is mandatory to play Violet Teacher, because the card can still be extremely powerful when played on Turn 8 if you combine her with a couple of spells. Nerubian Egg and Haunted Creeper are tempo negative, but both are very resilient and make sure that you always have some minor board presence. Even only having 2-4 power on the board greatly increases the value of your powerful tempo spells like Sap and both of them have amazing tempo value when combined with Cold Blood.

TEMPO SPELLS: Another important part of a tempo focused deck is having access to powerful spell combinations that make sure that you can catch up on the board. Zoo Warlock has very few catchup- mechanisms, which makes it very hard for them to regain lost board control. All spells I have included in my decklist, except Sprint are very good when it comes to making tempo. With this deck you can curve out very well in the early game, or if you fail to do so, you can just catch-up with Violet Teacher, fueled by some spells to gain momentum and destroy the opponent’s initiative. Violet Teacher with Backstab, Preparation and Fan of Knives on Turn 4 will completely destroy every Paladin deck, even if you had zero plays prior to Turn 4.

CARD DRAW& UTILITY: When it comes to a tempo deck, do not think it is just a different word for an Aggro deck. An aggressive deck’s game plan is to rush the opponent down as quickly as possible and although it may get early tempo initiative and may even maintain it throughout the game, tempo is not the main objective of an aggro deck. A Control deck like Priest Control may also get very early tempo initiative, but that is merely by accident, it was never the decks main game plan. A tempo deck wants to maintain the tempo initiative during the entire game, it can even have it on Turn 12. To even have tempo initiative very late in a game, it needs spend its card aggressively and that comes with card disadvantage (quick example: Opponent plays Mountain Giant, you counter it with Azure Drake into BackstabPreparation and Eviscerate -> you not only killed the Giant you also developed a 4/4 for only 5 mana total cost, but you spent multiple cards for one minion to deal effectively with one card and maintain the tempo lead). Without card draw you will run out of steam if you play against Control decks, and you will end up as a toothless lion. To circumvent that I’ve included enough card draw, so that the deck does not run out of steam against slower decks. During my testing period with this deck, I have beaten countless Handlocks and Control Warrior by slowly chipping away their life total and maintaining board control, while making sure to not fall too behind on cards and then finally finishing the game with some burst.

Cards that did not make the cut or are just not good in this type of deck:

1.) Heal

As mentioned cards like Antique Healbot struggle at generating tempo. In addition to that, although the deck can play a longer game against slower decks, the decks game plan is to end the game rather quickly, making healing cards unnecessary the majority of time. So for consistency purposes I did not include any of them.

2.) Weapon buffs

I made Legend with a hybrid of Oil Rogue and Deathrattle Rogue, so it played the full set of weapon buffs and Blade Flurry. It was good, but I had trouble adding all the other cards I wanted, so I removed them.

3.) Cairne Bloodhoof & Sylvanas Windrunner

Think about the possibilities, you play Unearthed Raptor on them and then you get soooo much value. That must be very good. And in a vacuum it is really good, but currently not. Both cards are slow, and increase the likelihood of having a clunky hand. Yes you could make room for it by cutting Sprint, but card draw is just so much better in this deck. If Rogue gets more Control cards, we will definitely see them be played, but until then they are not good enough.

Quick Breakdown on how to play Tempo Deathrattle

Mulligan:

Cards you always keep: Backstab, Haunted Creeper, Unearthed Raptor

Cards you sometimes keep: Nerubian Egg together with Cold Blood in any matchup or together with Unearthed Raptor against slower matchups. Cold Blood with Haunted Creeper. Keeping Violet Teacher with a combination of some spells (preferably Preparation and Sap or Eviscerate is also strong in the majority of matchups. Preparation with Sprint against slower matchups, or Preparation with Fan of Knives against Paladin. I recommend not keeping Preparation alone in the mulligan phase

How to play vs.

Aggro (f.ex Aggro Druid): Watch out for a good early curve. It is almost impossible to race Aggro with this deck, so gaining board control has top priority to prevent any further bleeding as quickly as possible. Always evaluate your hand and the game state, sometimes it is correct to Backstab a Leper Gnome, even if you use Dagger Mastery anyways to save two life. Finding a good Sap target is also important, against Aggro Druid it is not hard, as it plays bigger minions you absolutely need to Sap like Fel Reaver. Against Face Hunter the biggest Sap value later in the game has Mad Scientist, so prioritize them.

Midrange (f.ex Midrange Paladin):  Against Midrange you aggressively fight for board control, your life total is the majority of the time not a big concern, so don’t be afraid to double attack some minions with your hero power. The earlier you get board control against Midrange decks, the better because you then have the luxury to spend an entire turn to draw into even more gas with Sprint and Preparation, or Sprint alone. Against Midrange it is not as important as against aggro to get a good early curve, it is more about stifling any early tempo initiative of the opponent and then make one big move on a particular turn. Therefore something strange like Cold Blood, Nerubian Egg and Fan of Knives is a good keep against Midrange Paladin.

Control (f.ex. Reno Warlock, Control Warrior):

How do you lose against Control decks? The moment you lose the initiative by losing board control. A horrific outlook normally, but gladly Control decks do not make a great tempo push early in the game. No Knife Juggler into Muster for Battle, while you look at your slow hand with Azure Drake and Sprint. Control decks only can consistently push for board control and tempo later in the game, the early game mainly consists for them of playing defensive cards and trying to answer your plays. So if you are sure you face a Control deck, you can keep slower cards and combinations like just Nerubian Egg and Azure Drake against Control Warrior. You are not an Aggro deck, you don’t need to curve out very well against Control and smash face, your strategy is to maintain board control, keep the initiative and slowly chip away life points from your opponent and make sure that you never lose momentum (opponent has Dr. Boom on an empty board is a good example of having lost momentum) and then on one turn your opponent has zero life points. I’ve won 3 times with this deck against Reno Jackson that healed the Warlock to full health later in the game. If you have dominant board control and make sure you never fall behind, Reno Jackson is just a nuisance.

Conclusion

I’m currently playing this deck on the last day of the season, maybe I can finish in the Top 100 with it.

Anyways, I hope you liked my article. It is a really long one, but I hope it is very interesting for you to read. I don’t claim to have ultimate wisdom about everything I wrote, so if you want to have a little bit of a discussion going on and maybe even convince me of your opinion, just post in the comments.

Also if you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments!