Mechbane: Attack of the Holy Spare Parts

Bored of playing Dragon Priest? Tired of hour-long games with Control Priest? Then thank the Light, for there is another way to play Priest...

Thanks for clicking whatever link brought you here, and welcome to my first ever published deck, Mechbane!

Mechbane? Why the silly name?

It is a portmanteau of two words: “Mech”, as this deck is an army of chrome; and “Bane”, because the army is led by eydis darkbane. But more than that, this deck is literally the bane of mechs — an anti-mech mech-deck.

Will it make me champion?

Unlikely. I have over 2000 recorded wins with Priest, but I spend more of my time playing experimental decks in casual mode than established decks in ranked mode. This is because I’d rather make unusual, novel, and above all FUN decks than ones designed solely for tournament play.

I have written this deck guide not to help people win championships, but to help them enjoy the game.

But wouldn’t you enjoy winning?

Sure, and I do: this deck can easily beat any other deck. But equally, it can be easily beaten by any other deck. Such are the vicissitudes of Hearthstone.

With that said, I have found that Mechbane performs best against other mech decks, Totem Shaman, Midrange Paladin and Demonlock, while doing worst against removal-heavy decks like Control Priest, Freeze Mage and Fatigue Warrior.

Overall, this deck got me to rank 4 with intermittent play, and it is my firm belief that any deck that can get to rank 4 can also get to Legend.

So how does it work?

The basic strategy of the deck is similar to that of Mech Mage: gradually accumulate spare parts from your minions, and then when you have enough, use them in conjunction with a certain legendary card to unleash hell. In Mech Mage’s case that legendary is Archmage Antonidas. In this deck the legendary is Eydis Darkbane.

As with Mech Mage, this deck’s curve is relatively low, and card draw is limited, so early board control is crucial. As such, your minions should be maintained with healing as much as possible. Do not overextend the board, since if you lose too many of your early game minions, you will lose the game. Against certain classes, such as Hunter and Paladin, it is wise not to have more than three minions on the board at any one time, in order to minimise damage from enemy board clears and Unleash The Hounds, and to confer immunity to Mind Control Tech and Sacred Trial.

Since you will gain a lot of spare parts, you may be tempted to use them trivially if you ever have 1 mana unused at the end of your turn. But it’s important to remember that spare parts are worth about half as much as conventional cards, and so if you play them as if they are conventional cards, you will empty your hand real quick, and spend the rest of the game swearing at your screen.

Thus, in this deck, you will only gain real value from your spare parts when you play them in the following 6 circumstances:

  • With a Wild Pyromancer, to clear the board of tokens, such as after a Muster For Battle or Imp-losion.
  • With Gazlowe, when you’re running low on mechs.
  • With Eydis Darkbane, to unleash “Chaos!”
  • With or against any minion whose survival/removal is crucial to maintaining board control.
  • To counter Counterspell.
  • To give Confessor Paletress Stealth with Finicky Cloakfield.

With the basic strategy out of the way, let’s now examine and justify each card in the deck:

The Arsenal

Clockwork Gnome – This gentleman can take out most initial minions in the game, such as Knife Juggler and Flame Imp. And he’ll even leave you a spare part in his dying will (I refuse to believe the spare part is a piece of his corpse). Furthermore, since he only costs 1 mana, he can often be played on the same turn as a Tinkertown Technician or Gorillabot A-3 to activate their Battlecries.

Power Word: Shield – Gain 2 health to help you with a problematic trade, and without reducing the size of your hand. Can also be used like a spare part to trigger a minion.

Northshire Cleric – She has good health, and a good heart. If you help her heal the injured, she may even give you free cards. Although she should normally be played only before a minion heal (when she can guarantee you a card), she can be played on turn 1 against Hunter, Paladin and Priest, who usually won’t have an immediate solution to her, and will therefore be prevented from playing early minions to avoid giving you free cards.

Mechwarper – This guy not only has good stat distribution (2/3 for 2), but he is an expert negotiator of bargains, reducing the cost of subsequent mechs by 1 while he lives. This opens the way for your bigger, slower minions to enter the field faster than your opponent’s, giving you a distinct tempo advantage, and ensuring you have a better chance of winning early and mid-game board control.

Annoy-o-tron – Why BM the enemy when you can have your minions do it for you? This cyber-jerk will help protect both your face and your more valuable minions, while frustrating your opponent with his trolltastic use of the word “Hello”. Having a Divine Shield means he is also likely to survive till next turn, to be inducted into velen’s chosen.

Wild Pyromancer –  Burns down Divine Shields, extinguishes that pesky 1-health Ragnaros the Firelord, and blasts away the 1/1 minion spam from the likes of Muster For Battle, Unleash The Hounds, and Imp-losion. With a Power Word: Shield and a few spare parts, he also clears bigger game.

Shadow Word: Death – Take that, Boom. And you, Thaurissan. This spell can also destroy Ysera when comboed with Whirling Blades.

Velen’s Chosen – This spell turns your early game minions into a force to be reckoned with. Ideal candidates are Annoy-o-tron, whose Taunt and Divine Shield suddenly become a lot better; Mechwarper, to prolong the mech discount; and Northshire Cleric, who will become a card draw phenomenon as a 3/7. Can also be used to trigger Eydis.

Tinkertown Technician – Your deck will be full of mechs, so the Technician will have much to tinker with, and in the process gain +1/+1 and a spare part.

Harvest Golem – In earlier versions of the deck, this spot was taken up by Eydis’ sister, fjola lightbane. But I often found that when the time came to deploy a Tinkertown Technician or Gorillabot A-3, I didn’t have a mech to activate its Battlecry. The solution was to add Harvest Golem. If the opponent kills him, no biggie; he’ll leave a mech on the board, increasing your options the following turn.

Eydis Darkbane – The centrepiece of the deck. Rather than being played on curve, you should wait till you have a few 1-mana spells in hand so that you can immediately devastate the enemy board/face with a series of 3 damage bursts. Triggering her alongside your Wild Pyromancer increases the carnage, essentially giving you a free, randomly targeted Swipe with every spell. Eydis can also distract opponents with her breasts.

Mechanical Yeti – Choosing between this and Piloted Shredder gave me headaches. In the end, I went with this, because it beats the likes of Azure Drake and Nerubian, is more amenable to healing, and offers a spare part.

Gorillabot A-3 – This is a new card, and thus a recent addition to the deck, and I’ll admit that I haven’t tested it as thoroughly as the others. My reason for adding the alloy ape was to improve the deck’s ridiculous lack of card draw. Its Discover mechanic is also powerful, as it allows you to get the right mech for the situation, whether that be Antique Healbot vs Facehunter, or Sneed’s Old Shredder vs Control Warrior.

Holy Nova – A trusty board-clear that doubles as healing. Can also be used for card draw in combination with Northshire Cleric. The base damage may seem low, but it can be increased with Velen’s Chosen and/or Wild Pyromancer.

Upgraded Repair Bot – Given that Priest is a class that heals stuff, it benefits most from playing high-health minions who can survive long enough to be healed. Ordinarily, mechs are not suited to Priest because they tend not to have large health reservoirs, but the Upgraded Repair Bot can help alleviate this problem by giving a massive +4 health to a mech of your choice. It also has strong enough stats to beat problematic mid-game minions like Sludge Belcher and Auchenai Soulpriest.

Gazlowe –  This goblin grease-monkey was made for this deck. He is primarily a fail-safe if Eydis is dead and you’re running low on mechs, replenishing your hand so you can take the fight into the late game (which is crucial in the age of Reno Jackson). Note: Gazlowe hits like a child, but has 6 health, so he can sometimes survive a couple turns. Even so, don’t take that chance; always play him after turn 9 with multiple 1-mana spells, to ensure instant value.

Toshley – This guy leads you into late game, giving you another 2 spare parts for Eydis/Gazlowe/Pyromancer. Furthermore, his excellent diet and workout routine means he has 7 health, allowing him to beat Loatheb, Emperor Thaurissan, and other common mid-game minions, before being healed back up again.

Confessor Paletress – She may seem like an odd choice for this deck, but I recently decided to include her for one significant reason: Finicky Cloakfield. Play her on turn 10, use your Hero Power, and then give her Stealth. And if next turn you have another Cloakfield, do it all over again, till you have raised an entire army of legendary minions and your opponent is BMing like crazy.

If you don’t have all the cards

This may be a problem, as some cards, particularly Eydis Darkbane, are crucial to the deck’s operation. However, in most cases, if you are missing a card, you can substitute it with another mech or spell of the same mana cost. More specifically, consider the following cards as replacements for any you are missing:

Light of the Naaru – Another 1 mana spell to trigger your minions with. Also offers healing versus Facehunter, alongside a dangerous “soft Taunt” minion that quickly snowballs if not dealt with.

Shadow Word: Pain – Cheap removal that cures you of Flamewaker and Sludge Belcher. Also enables you to destroy an Imp Gang Boss or Acolyte of Pain without activating it.

Shadowboxer – In the early game, shots from this can take out the all-too-familiar Abusive Sergeant, Leper Gnome, and Silver Hand Recruit.

Brann Bronzebeard – Want Tinkertown Technician to gain +2/+2 and give you 2 spare parts? What about an Upgraded Repair Bot that gives another mech +8 Health? If that sounds awesome, Brann’s your man (or dwarf). But if you do include him, be sure to add other minions with powerful Battlecries to exploit, such as Antique Healbot and Enhance-o Mechano.

Fjola Lightbane – Poor Fiola, always overshadowed by her bigger, badder sister. She was part of the original version of this deck, but had to be removed to make way for more mechs. She has the same excellent stat distribution as Eydis (3/4 for 3), but her ability is not as effective as Eydis’ because it can’t be triggered multiple times a turn, or significantly affect the board the turn she is played. On the other hand, her ability is not random like Eydis’, and thus her usefulness is more contingent on player skill. The key is to ensure she always has her Divine Shield, so that she can constantly remove enemy threats and help you maintain board control.

Shadow Madness – Supremely versatile spell that helps win mid-game board control. Can be used to hit behind taunts, deny dangerous enemy Deathrattles (as with Mad Scientist), and even benefit from them yourself (as with Harvest Golem). Shadow Madness also synergizes well with the spare part Time Rewinder, allowing you to permanently steal your opponent’s minions.

Piloted Shredder – A minion that fits in almost any deck. Very occasionally, the Deathrattle will lose you the game (e.g. Doomsayer when you have a full board, Lorewalker Cho when you have a handful of spells), but in the majority of cases, the Deathrattle will yield a minion with 5 points worth of stats (sometimes more!), contributing to a significant tempo advantage over your opponent.

Vol’jin – Remove a threatening minion, while adding one of your own. The perfect solution to high health minions like Ysera and Ancient of War. Although he is best used alongside a Holy Smite, which would also work in this deck, you won’t need this spell as you’ll have Holy Nova and a menagerie of small mechs to trade into Vol’jin’s voodoo-target.

Antique Healbot – This card makes Facehunters cry. Combine with Brann for a staggering +16 Health, and with Time Rewinder for even more healing. Can also be comboed with Auchenai Soulpriest to suicide with style.

Gadgetzan Auctioneer – If you don’t have Gazlowe, this is the closest thing to him. Hell, he even looks like him. Overall, a solid way to replenish your hand, even if his pathetic stats make Gazlowe look like Superman.

Piloted Sky Golem – Shredder’s big brother; hits even harder, and is even stickier.

Cabal Shadow Priest – If her mediocre stats make you doubt her power, she will change your mind. Stealing a Flamewaker or Quartermaster will break your opponent’s heart, while helping you regain board control. And if you have a Time Rewinder, you can break hearts twice.

Lightbomb – Since this is a minion-heavy deck, and Lightbomb damages your own minions, this card will sometimes be as useful as a battery-powered battery-charger. However, one of Mechbane’s main weaknesses is that it gets slapped around by boards of big enemy minions, such as those seen in Handlock. For such things, there is no better antidote than Lightbomb.

Dr. Boom – He can be added because he is Dr. Boom.

How to Mulligan?

Always aim for early game minions (ideally Clockwork Gnome and Mechwarper) in your opening hand. Avoid spells, as they will be of much better utility later, when you can use them to trigger your minions.

Do not open with Clockwork Gnome against Mage; they will just Fireblast it, and thereby gain card advantage. Instead, save it as an activator for Tinkertown Technician/Gorillabot/Repair Bot, or play it when you want to force your opponent to use Fireblast and lose tempo. Alternatively, play the Gnome when you’re able to buff it.

Against classes that like to spam 1-Health minions (Hunter, Paladin, Warlock) always keep Pyromancer.

Northshire Cleric makes a great first turn play against Hunter, Paladin and Priest, but will be removed at leisure by other classes. On the other hand, if you can Power Word: Shield her with the Coin on turn 1, she will be problematic for any opponent.

Conclusion

This deck’s unusual playstyle will require patience to master (even I haven’t yet succeeded), but as you get better at making effective use of spare parts, winning will get easier.

That’s not to say this deck is anywhere close to finished: like virtually any deck, it is an adaptation of decks that have come before – primarily Mech Mage – and it hasn’t yet completed its evolution. I’m hoping that you’ll take this deck, experiment with it, and improve it. And if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Is Gorillabot A-3 worth including over Piloted Shredder?

Is Confessor Paletress really a better candidate for Stealth than Ysera?

Is Wild Pyromancer truly insane, or just misunderstood?

In order to answer these questions, you’ll have to play the deck yourself. So go ahead, take this deck, gather up those spare parts, and destroy.