Most of us have gone through the reveal streams for One Night in Karazhan or have already seen the cards that are coming out. One of the latest archetypes that Blizzard is trying to push is the Menagerie or Zoo archetype where you combine Murloc, Beast and Druid synergies. Even the legendary that we will be getting this week, The Curator, revolves around the said seemingly gimmicky but fun archetype. One of the classes that come to mind for utilizing cards like Zoobot or Menagerie Magician is Paladin. They have the right tools to support this archetype and Whispers of the Old Gods had some neat Aggro/Divine Shield synergy built up for the class that you can use in the deck in form of Rallying Blade, Steward of Darkshire and Selfless Hero to make sure that your board sticks around and you have complete board control through small minions.
Card Choices: Non Menagerie Picks
Selfless Hero: It is a high priority target that your opponents need to clear off to avoid any kind of value off the Deathrattle. It’s a good aggressive minion and might cause your opponent to play sub-optimally due to awkward trades needed to avoid the Divine Shield Effect.
Steward of Darkshire: It is not only a solid 3 drop that demands removal upon being played but it also has synergies with your hero power, Nightbane Templar, Bilefin Tidehunter and Selfless Hero. The card is perfect for avoiding those 1 damage AoE effects most of the popular decks have like Ravaging Ghoul, Maelstrom Portal and Swipe.
Divine Favor: You should try to get value out of Divine Favor as soon as possible. Since you have so many cheap drops you should be able to get value out of the card quite easily. Do note that you do not want to lose tempo when drawing cards and use it only when you desperately need cards or have complete board control along with free mana.
Rallying Blade: A card that works well with Keeper of Uldaman and the deck’s Divine Shield synergy. Do not expect too much value out of the effect and use it freely to clear off minions or push damage if you think you can finish off your opponent fast enough.
Truesilver Champion: Truesilver Champion helps you preserve board control while reducing damage to your hero. It’s a great board control tool that works well with Keeper of Uldaman for removing any threat in the game.
Consecration: Consecration is one of the tools to help you clear out small minions without needing to use your minions. It’ a great tool versus Zoo and Aggro Shaman.
Keeper of Uldaman: This is one of your strongest minions because it can not only downsize big threats so you and finish them off with your weapons or minions, it can also buff up your small minions for better trades.
Tirion Fordring: Tirion Fordring is the best class legendary in the game till date and there is nothing that can match up to the power level of this card. It is a win condition by itself and even if your opponent does manage to deal with him you have the Ashbringer that can potentially deal 15 damage to your opponent and end the game.
Card Choices: Beasts
When it comes to the beasts there aren’t that many good options so I chose to include only some solid early game beasts that you do not mind running in a deck that seeks to flood the board.
Huge Toad: It might not be as good as Flame Juggler in a nutshell but the beast synergy in the deck makes it worth the inclusion for sure
Dire Wolf Alpha: One of the most commonly seen cards in flood decks because of the sheer number of tokens you have and the ability to get good trades out of it quite easily.
Card Choices: Murlocs
One of the coolest cards Paladin has is Vilefin Inquisitor. You can always get an assured proc on your Zoobot or Menagerie Magician using the card because it gives your hero power the ability to summon murlocs so it was an auto-include option. More so, the 1/3 body is quite good and can help you battle aggro well.
Vilefin Inquisitor: One of most important cards in the deck, the biggest advantage of this little guy is that you will be able to proc the buffs that Zoobot and Menagerie Magician provide every single time once you upgrade your hero to gain murlocs instead of Silver Hand Recruits.
Bilefin Tidehunter: It is a great 2 drop that works well with your menagerie synergy cards as well as Steward of Darkshire. The card can also get some early game trades going with Dire Wolf Alpha as well.
Card Choices: Dragons
For the Dragon synergy cards we do not want any situational cards except Nightbane Templar. It is a solid drop that can dominate the early game board and get you some great trades.
Nightbane Templar: One of the best cards in the best cards in the adventure in my books because it is exactly what Paladin needed as a class to solidify their early game. It works great with Keeper of Uldaman, Consecration(the Whelps can clear off minions that your AoE cannot deal with) and the Whelps count as Dragons so you can get Magician or Zoobot value off as well.
Faerie Dragon: A solid Dragon that cannot be pinged off and it can serve as a good early game threat. It’s a nuisance for classes that are spell heavy and do not have much board presence.
Azure Drake: Arguably the most popular dragon in the game that can offer some great synergy with Nightbane Templar and Consecration. Having some card draw as well as spell damage is really beneficial for the deck.
Drakonid Crusher: One of our finishers as it fits into our tempo play style quite well. It’s not very easy to deal with and has insane game ending potential.
The Curator: One of the coolest cards in the adventure. While it might seem like a gimmick card it is not because you not need to go out of your way to put in all 3 archetypes to make it work. Even getting 2 cards out of the card is fair enough if you tune your deck right. From lategame dragons to tech cards like Stampeding Kodo, you can get quite a bit of mileage out of the card.
Zoobot: It’s got the cutest card art this adventure and even if you manage to get the effect off on one minion the card is good enough value. It works well with the dragons, beasts and murlocs in our deck and should offer some great value.
Menagerie Magician: It is the big brother of Zoobot and offers twice the buff. Just like Zoobot you should be able to get some great value out of the card if you have board presence.
The decks seeks to gain the maximum value out of the deck by using all 3 tribes but you can choose to go for a dual tribe deck too to make room for more powerful cards from each tribe which should be better. I for one, would love t focus on dragons and murlocs alone and opt out of the beast bandwagon for a more mid range style game plan. This deck focuses on being aggressive on board and tries to keep the draw engine going through Divine Favor and The Curator. You can even put together the cards needed for the OTK murloc combo and have the high impact dragon synergy cards as well for ultimate mayhem. But for now I want to focus on using all 3 archetypes to see if we can make a viable deck out of the tools we are getting this week.
You generally want to just play on curve and out-tempo your opponent across the turns. The only situational card you have in the deck is Nightbane Templar which is really strong if you manage to pull the effect off. Other than Templar you should not get too greedy with the cards and prefer to go for tempo over value. Make any changes you see fit and if you want to go from a triple archetype deck to a double one including two of the three ‘tribes’ then feel free to do so. I have a strong feeling the Menagerie decks won’t be gimmicky at all and have good potential if any class manages to find the right balance of synergy in their decks.
Hope you have a fun time with the deck in the weekend and let me know what Mengarie decks you come up with by commenting below.