With Mean Streets of Gadgetzan already stirring up ladder and everyone keen on finding out the best decks from the expansion, it is time to take a look at two of the gangs that feature in the expansion. While admittedly, the Kabal have the best cards in terms of fun and flashiness the other two gangs seem to rely on consistency and pressure compared to the singleton style of deckbuilding that the Kabal have to offer.
While the Grimy Goons is all about buffing all of your minions with spells and other minions, Jade Lotus is all about summoning Jade Golems. The first Jade Golem is a 1/1 and each time you summon a Jade Golem you get one that’s bigger by 1 attack and 1 HP than the previous one. The Jade Lotus mechanic seems to be very powerful going by how much success pro players are having with decks surrounding the deck, especially with Druid – but the meta will take a while to settle down until we fully ascertain how strong the deck actually is. Until then you can enjoy trying out these brews and check out what Mean Streets of Gadgetzan has to offer to us.
If you want to check out my Kabal brews you can head to Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Brews: Rise Of The Kabal
Grimy Goons: Pirate Warrior
First off we have the Grimy Goons, masters of overwhelming opponents with buff effects. While individually the cards are not that powerful, when they keep stacking their effects it can get very overwhelming. After all that’s what gangs are all about – togetherness and strength! Grimy Goons cards have been overlooked by many but I feel that they have potential to push out some insane decks. Pirate Warrior seems to be one of the most exciting decks to try out if you are a fan of aggressive styles of play and first off we have a Pirate Warrior brew that people have been trying out on ladder and I found quite a bit of success with it for the early season climb. I have played the deck for a few hours and maintained over a 70% winrate with it.
We have the entire package of pirates that the pre-Gadgetzan Pirate lists are known for and it packs in some new entries in form of Patches the Pirate and Hobart Grapplehammer. The new Warrior legendary is quite good and even though the 2/2 stat line might not be all that impressive, you need to see him in action to see what he can do. Compared to most 2 drops he only loses 1 point of attack or health, depending on what you are comparing it to. Instead, you get a +1 attack on all of your weapons in your hand and deck which is just insane! You have 4 weapons in the deck with a total base durability of 8. And this is not taking into factor cards like Upgrade and Bloodsail Cultist that can squeeze out even more value. Basically, you are buffing your weapons by at least 8 damage if the effect hits all of your weapons and that by itself is quite a bit of value.
You also have the standard fare of pirates including the new Small-Time Buccaneer which is a 3/2 for 1 mana if you a weapon equipped. So far the 1 drop has been performing quite well. Patches the Pirate has been a great addition to the deck too. With some burst damage thrown into the mix and Charge minions, the deck does quite well against people who play greedy decks or seem to be theorycrafting on ladder at the moment.
Grimy Goons: Aggro Paladin
We have yet another aggressive deck in the list. This time we have Aggro Paladin with some neat buff mechanics and new cards. Aggro Paladin or Shockadin is by no means new and despite Blizzard’s attempts to raise the archetype from the dead in Whispers of the Old Gods it did not work out too well. If you happen to be someone who is looking for a Paladin deck to climb with then look no further. It has some crazy synergies and Blizzard actively pushing the aggressive Paladin archetype with cards like small-time-recruits and Meanstreet Marshal, we just had to include them. The strength in the deck lies not in the individual cards but in the buff synergies and powerful draw effects that are in store.
One of the biggest issues with Aggro Paladin in the past has been the ability to draw cards. While Divine Favor was an exceptional card in older lists, it did not do much against decks that are equally aggressive or happen to curve out perfectly and play out their hand fast enough. With the addition of Small Time Recruits you will be able to refill your hand with 1 drops quite easily and keep pushing out minions. It also makes your buff effects a lot more powerful due to the enhanced hand size. The deck will take some time to get refined but aggressive Paladin decks seem to be doing quite well at the moment. If you pulled Wickerflame Burnbristle in your pack opening you can include him too, as he’s a great drop even in aggressive decks. The Paladin legendary is quite interesting as he not only fits into such buff decks and is hard to deal with in the early game but he also heals you up a little bit and protects you other minions.
You not only have the ability to compete against other aggressive decks, but also have Keeper of Uldaman to deal with big threats or simply buff up one of your smaller minions. With lots of Divine Shield synergy, the deck is not too vulnerable to AoE effects and has plenty of firepower to keep pushing in damage at your opponent’s health pool while keeping your hand full of options.
Grimy Goons: Buff Beast Hunter
Hunter keeps getting sticky minions every expansion and this content update is no different. But thanks to the affiliation to the Grimy Goons Hunter also gets access to some buff effects that push the early game even further. Rat Pack has been one of the most impressive cards that utilize the hand buff effect due to the fact that it works with hand buffs but with also board buffs since buffs affect the deathrattle of the minion and not the main body itself. With so many sticky minions in the deck, you are quite immune to AoE effects and it has the ability to contest any board. Another interesting inclusion in the deck is the Dispatch Kodo. While on paper it might not feel as good, it has been game swinging it at times and buffing it adds to the value that you can get out of it.
Unlike other decks that load up on buff effects, this list is quite streamlined and does not go too far when it comes to including hand buff effects in the deck. The deck also includes Ragnaros the Firelord as a lategame tool to add even more pressure when your buffed up beasts are not enough.
One of the issues that Hunter has had in the recent past is that their early game was not particularly impressive and it mostly consisted of 3/2s until the time Kindly Grandmother came along, adding to some consistency. If the meta slows down even further you can choose to run nzoth-the-corruptor to counter slow decks because they will not be able to clear off all your threats that are full of deathrattle minions. The deck is focused on generating a very powerful curve and if the stars align and you manage to perfect draw into your minions on curve there is no stopping the Hunter train. Knuckles also makes an appearance in the deck in the 5 mana slot. One of the biggest gripes I have had with Hunter in the past is that it does not have good turn 5 plays of its own and Stranglethorn Tiger makes an appearance here and there. With Knuckles, it might just change and it can be a niche pick that works out for Hunter. Knuckles’ effect is strong but it does not feel extremely powerful on its own. Landing a buff on it or playing Houndmaster on it can really dish out some serious punishment for opponents.
Jade Lotus: N’zoth Jade Rogue
N’zoth Rogue has been a decent mid tier deck in the past and people have tried to make it work but it is stronger in Wild than it is in Standard due to the shaky 2 drop slot. In Wild, you have access to very powerful Deathrattle minions that almost always stick on the board for Unearthed Raptor to curve in, while it is not the case in Standard. With the arrival of Jade Swarmer, we now have a really good target for the Raptor to curve in and get 2 Jade Golems out on the board when they die. Jade Shuriken is also an interesting pick along with Aya Blackpaw, leader of the Jade Golem faction.
The deck does not run that many high end deathrattles with Sylvanas Windrunner being the only exception. If you happen to be looking for a Jade Golem deck with Rogue that works, then this has to be the one. I found the list in online forums and gave it a shot and it has been doing quite well so far and the necessary tweaks I needed to make from the original list have already been made by me. If you have any suggestions on the list do let me know and I’d be glad to hear them.
Jade Lotus: Jade Druid
One of the most concerning things about Druid is that only the most powerful archetype of the class at any given time sees play. Beast Druid is by no means a bad deck and it hardly shows up on ladder and the same goes for Token Druid. Malygos Druid is the king of the meta at the moment and Jade Druid will only replace it if it’s better. So far Jade Druid has been working incredibly well for me and it’s the most played deck according to my deck tracker at 24 games and it has been wrecking everything in its wake so far. One of the first things you need to understand when building a Jade Druid deck is that you do NOT want to fill up your deck with Jade Golem cards and just Jade Idol and Jade Blossom are most likely going to be enough along with Aya Blackpaw, the faction leader of the Jade Golems.
However, as of now I will keep the Jade Behemoth in the list just to see how it works out in the long run. The meta does feel artificially slow and you can get around running minions with low mana for stat value to make your golems bigger but I am not sure if it will work out in the long run. So far Jade Behemoth has been the slightly underwhelming at times but the rest of the list seems good to go. Kolento played a list very similar to this one earlier today on stream and it did quite well for him and maintained an 80%+ winrate throughout. The addition of Gadgetzan Auctioneer makes it very easy for you to combo it with your Jade Idols when you are about to run out of cards to keep drawing and producing Jade Golems. The draw power of the deck needs to be absolute top notch when you are building a Jade idol deck and if you want you can even add Doomsayer in aggressive metas. Will the deck replace Malygos Druid in the meta? We surely hope so! It has explosive turns in the lategame and no deck has been able to deal with Jade Golems once they start getting really big.
While the play style may seem boring to most people, playing the deck is not as easy as it looks at first sight and you need to know when to time your Jade Idol to make sure you do not disrupt your draws and fall back in the mid game. You also need to order your cards correctly when you play Jade Idol to make sure you draw last instead of the popular conception of drawing first depending on your situation. Jade Idol alone makes Druid far superior to the other 2 Jade Lotus classes in terms of being able to bring out large golems. Ancient of War and other taunts are also present in the deck to make sure you are able to survive until you get the board initiative.
Jade Lotus: N’zoth Shaman
White Eyes is one of the best legendaries in the expansion for N’zoth decks, had it not been a class legendary – I am sure a lot of people would be playing it in N’zoth lists. A 5 mana 5/5 Taunt is not too appealing but the fact that you get another 5 mana 10/10 Taunt into your deck and then when you revive White Eyes with N’zoth the Corruptor you get another one thrown into the deck, allowing you to negate 2 fatigue counters while also adding a strong deathrattle to your deck.
You have access to a lot of Control Shaman tools and this deck focuses on healing and removing your opponent’s threats up until the time you get to your lategame minions and then bring them back yet again with N’zoth the Corruptor. Jinyu Waterspeaker has been one of the most impressive minions I’ve seen for Shaman. We just might see Mid Range Shaman change a lot in the coming year and play out a whole lot differently than what we are used to. If you want you can cut out some of the extremely greedy picks like Ysera and Chillmaw in favor of Feral Spirit or Doomsayer to contest aggressive decks as hard as possible. With enough heal and removals you have nothing to worry about when it comes to facing aggressive decks. A copy of Devolve is also thrown in to the mix to counter deathrattle minions and things like N’zoth.
One of more interesting things about Devolve is that it is very good for countering totems against Mid Range Shaman, the current king of the meta. It transforms all the Totemic Call totems into 0 cost ones which are all 1/1s and you can wipe them out with one Maelstrom Portal without requiring you to invest into more premium AoE just in case you are concerned about something like Thunder Bluff Valiant. Mid Range N’zoth Shaman might also come into existence with the availability of Jinyu Waterspeaker and White Eyes as well. Shaman has access to some of the best spot removal and mass removal tools in the game and it would be fitting if it picks up some new archetypes instead of the Mid Range lists we all have been seeing for months!
Hope you try the decks out and enjoy them, let us know what you think of them. We hope you had great pulls from your Gadgetzan packs and are having a great time. Until next time!