Hello, once again. Joseph Scalise here, jumping over from Weekly Legends to deliver you another article relating to the constructed side of The Grand Tournament (which I am absolutely crazy excited for). While my first pass was aimed at analyzing the most powerful constructed cards in the set, this time around I will be focused on decks and deck construction. Anyone who has seen my series or watched me play knows that I am a brewer at heart. Hitting legend is fine, but I always strive to find the most interesting or creative ways to reach the orange diamond. Brewing is my favorite part of card games, and despite what some certain rope-loving streamers think, this set is certainly going to shake up the meta. Not only was this desperately needed, but it also means that many new decks will rise from the chaos that will surely come in the next few weeks. New cards have two purposes in cards games: to either strengthen existing decks or create entirely new ones.
One thing I should make clear before we begin is that the lists are first takes. They are by no means refined, which would be impossible due to the cards not being in the game yet, but they are shells that will serve as a great place to start brewing. When I (or anyone) builds a deck you just start with a shell, play test that shell and see what needs to be tweaked or improved. Not every card in the set is going to give birth to a new deck, and not every deck you theorycraft is going to end up being good. However, this article is not just for the decks laid out below, it is also to show exactly how you want to think when you begin brewing. There is no way to know exactly what will come from the Grand Tournament, but the decks below are ones that I am excited to try, and I will most likely be playing all of them at some point next week.
Oh, yeah. I wasn’t going to do a whole theorycrafting article without looking at ol’ Malygos and his spell power gang of doom. You will never be able to convince me that Blizzard didn’t make TGT without having Malygos Shaman in mind, because they made this deck a whole lot better. Ancestor’s Call has always had a very powerful ability, but the deck has never had ways to really stay alive while they tried to draw into their combo. That is all going to change with the inclusion of Ancestral Knowledge, Healing Wave and Elemental Destruction. All of those cards are very powerful for a combo deck like this, but we will cover those below. First, I want to discuss the makeup of the deck first. Maly-Shaman is a very strange build, due to the way that the deck views minions. On one hand, you want to be able to draw well, but on the other you don’t want to play anything that could mess with your combo (and now with your joust from Healing Wave). As such, I mitigated this by running Bloodmage Thalnos as the only low-cost minion, and then putting in two Azure Drakes for draw purposes. Beyond that, you only have Emperor Thaurissan, Ysera and Malygos, which are all fantastic off of an early Ancestor’s Call.
While this version of the deck has very minimal draw (which could be problematic) it does have access to two copies of Ancestral Knowledge. This is not a card that is going to see play in many decks due to the overload, but in a combo deck that just wants to dig, it is fantastic. As aforementioned, Maly-Shaman has always had problems staying alive, something that Elemental Destruction and Healing Wave both fix. This deck only has a few minions, and almost all of them are very high costed. This ensures your Healing Waves will most likely hit, giving you back a whopping fourteen health. That can buy you a couple of extra turns or more. In addition, Elemental Destruction gives you possibly one of the strongest board wipes in the game. Not only can it absolutely decimate boards for just three mana (especially when paired with spell power) it also teams up with Lightning Storm to give you four AOE options. I find this style of deck extremely fun, and new healing, paired with new AOE and card draw could turn Maly-Shaman into a real deck. While there is a ton of overload here, you have access to Lava Shock, and a deck like this will care less about the setback than a Midrange of Control build. As is, this has enough ways to stall now, and is only really weak to Patron. However, if Ancestor’s Call does its job correctly, you could easily end the annoying beer drinkers far before they end you.
Well, there you have it. Speculation, speculation and speculation. I am so ready for Monday it isn’t even the least bit funny, and I am going to crack my packs ASAP and get crafting. Be sure to check out my other brews:
- The Grand Tournament’s Control Paladin (Non Dragon)
- The Grand Tournament’s Tempo Mage
- The Grand Tournament’s Midrange Shaman (Totem)
- The Grand Tournament’s Control Warrior (Non Dragon)
- The Grand Tournament’s Token Druid
- The Grand Tournament’s Midrange Hunter (Beast)
- The Grand Tournament’s Aggro Warlock
- The Grand Tournament’s Malygos Shaman
- The Grand Tournament’s Dragon Priest
All of these builds excite me, and I’m not sure which one I am going to bring to the ladder first. I am most intrigued by Demon Aggro, Token Druid and Tempo Mage, but Dragon Priest and Maly-Shaman also look so fun. I will return to Weekly Legends next week, where I will start to actually play the new decks, and I cannot wait for that as well. Hope you guys enjoyed this and my “top ten” article, and I hope you are as ready as I am. Remember, you never know what to expect on the new ladder, so have fun, get testing, and play what you love. Until next time, may all of your Legendaries be golden!