Playing Gadgetzan Auctioneer in Every Class Part 2: Druid and Mage

Today I'm going to continue my series about playing my favorite card - the Gadgetzan Auctioneer in both the Mage and Druid class!

Introduction

Hey, everybody. This is Nihilus Nix Naught here, and today I’m going to continue my series about playing my favorite card in every reasonable class. It’s been a little while since I last posted anything, so for any of you who forgot, last time we talked about running gadgetzan auctioneer in  the Paladin and Shaman classes.

If you are interested, you can find the first post here. Anyway, today I’m going to talk about the Druid and Mage classes, and what each of them can bring to the table for our main goblin. These classes are especially exciting because each of them does one thing we want to be doing with gadgetzan-auctioneer the BEST: Mage gives us the most spells we would actively want to play on their own, and Druid is tied with Rogue for cheapest spells overall.

Beyond that, both classes offer perhaps the easiest natural payoffs for playing lots of spells, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what we’re working with.

Malfurion is an Agent of the Violet Cult

If we choose to align ourselves with nature and play the Gadgetzan Druid deck, we end up with what is likely the most “consistent” list I’ll show you guys in this series. Last time, when I showcased the Shaman list, I mentioned that is was consistently powerful, but that is somewhat different from the type of consistency I mean today.

The shaman list wasn’t always able to find an auctioneer, and compensated for that by eschewing any real “combo” and focused on making sure each spell it drew was individually powerful. The list I’m bringing you guys today consistently executes the same plan every game, even though each of its spells aren’t as great (nobody ever said moonfire was really any good). The reason it’s so consistent is thanks my very favorite druid card:

Ok, you got me, violet teacher isn’t technically a Druid card in the same vein that injured blademaster isn’t technically a priest card, but let’s be serious: Have you ever see a blademaster in any other class? While violet teacher is definitely a bit of an extreme example; she is, after all, played in miracle most of the time nowadays; you usually hear her name in conjunction with Malfurion’s because of her uncanny synergy with two of Druid’s actual class card: power of the wild and savage roar.

Ok so she fits really well into Druid in general, but how does she make our gadgetzan auctioneer deck more consistent, and if she makes it more consistent, why don’t we play her in another of the decks, like  the shaman deck? They even have bloodlust as a payoff to her! That all sounds good in theory, but it really isn’t quite as simple as all that.

I’ll start with the first question. The most obvious answer is that she provides us with another outlet to channel all our spells through if we can’t find an auctioneer, and she even gives us a semi-decent win condition in addition. The thing is, she isn’t particularly great at either of those things, so she isn’t a card that we just want to auto-include every time we are playing gadgetzan-auctioneer.

I already spoke in detail on this in another article, but I’ll say a couple of things here as well. Vanilla 1/1’s aren’t very impressive, especially when you don’t get a full board of them like we always think we will. Not only that, but drawing cards is just so much better than anything she could ever do it isn’t even funny. The thing about gadgetzan-auctioneer is that he creates a one card positive feedback loop. you cast spells to draw cards so you can cast more spells until you either find your combo or overwhelm your opponents with card and tempo advantage.

In layman’s terms, he fuels himself. violet teacher just… doesn’t. When you cast all the spells in your hand, you get a few 1/1’s, which is certainly good, but you can’t keep the train going indefinitely. You don’t want to run her if those slots could just be more ways of finding auctioneer, because he is just that much better than her. In addition, those 1/1’s look a lot less enticing if you don’t really have a way to buff them or utilize them in some other way. Druid does that better than any other class, even Shaman. While bloodlust seems like a pretty great payoff, it is literally only good the turn you win, and we don’t want to have spells we can’t cast sitting around in our hand in these decks. Besides, we would only run one if we were running it, and then we might not even draw it.

As a druid, we get to play with four cards that serve as payoff to our teachers, and only two of them are only really good the turn we win And even the ones that we use to win with can also be used to clear the board since we are running two of them, and since we can use the 1/1’s we’ve already made to actually do the dirty work, requiring no prior investment and only three mana as opposed to five from us.. What it all really boils down to is that 1/1’s are cool I guess, but all those extra cards could be anything. They could even be 1/1’s! In all seriousness, violet-teacher just doesn’t do a very good gadgetzan auctioneer impression, and we shouldn’t run her without giving some serious thought as to whether or not we really want to first.

Except if we’re playing Druid. She is an auto-include in a spell-heavy druid deck. I already talked about why she was so good in the class, but I haven’t yet explained how she makes our auctioneer deck more consistent. She certainly doesn’t help find our main goblin, and the spells she wants us to play most aren’t particularly powerful by themselves, but she lets us execute the same gameplan every time nonetheless because, in this deck, our secondary auctioneer is the card we are searching for with him.

This sounds painfully stupid at first. After all, Malygod spends its whole time searching for its namesake, and yet malygos isn’t considered a “substitute” auctioneer for when we can’t find him. That’s true, but that’s mostly because it’s a pretty gross bastardization of the point. Malygos can never be used as anything other than a win condition, and can certainly never pretend to be an auctioneer. He’s a dragon, for goodness sake. The disguise would never work.

Even if we could, we would never take the chance at losing him, because we have to have him to win, and we only get to run one of him. violet teacher can do a decent impression of auctioneer when we are behind since we are playing Druid, and more importantly we have two of her. We can use one on defense as a temporary scapegoat and still have the second to win the game with when we finally draw her. The whole point is that we get to skimp on real win conditions and we have four high-profile targets they have to kill instead of three, and two of them are completely interchangeable: it doesn’t matter which one you kill.

I’ve rambled on for much longer than I intended and gotten away from my main point, so let’s tie this tangent off here: violet teacher performs so many roles in this deck that drawing her is almost better than drawing an auctioneer.

Wild Growth is Probably the Best Card Period

Anyway guys, this is the list I use on the ladder when I play Druid. Most of the card choices are pretty standard, but I’ll talk about a few of the more controversial choices I’ve made. First, I only included one copy each of naturalize and moonfire. Most lists you’ll find labeled “Miracle Druid” (I despise the name for a number of reasons) include two copies of all the 0-and-1 cost spells because they are so cheap, but I think this is wrong. We can only afford to play so many cards that aren’t very good without certain other cards around before we become too gimmicky, and we already have quite a few of those.

Besides, I would never ever want to play more than one copy of naturalize in a deck, and I already feel kinda bad about including a copy of moonfire because the card does so little. It almost makes me want to play a singleton azure drake over loatheb, but I haven’t made the switch as of yet. Next, I want to talk about all the healing cards: two earthen ring farseers and a healing touch. They aren’t that odd, but it’s still worth mentioning that we are often going to have to heal our auctioneers and teachers instead of our face because we have zero taunt minions, which in and of  itself might be controversial since we rally want to protect our most valuable minions, but it isn’t as vital since we do get to run four minions instead of two that are must-protect.

What’s worse is that we really want azure drakes, so we are unlikely to be able to find room for sludge belcher[card]s, which is rather unfortunate. It’s possible that we just want to get rid of the [card]loatheb and play all six five drops, but that requires hard-to-do cuts to achieve a goal that produces minimal actual results, so it’s unlikely that we actually want to go all-in on that route.

Last, I want to talk about the ancient of lores. They definitely aren’t controversial, but they probably should be. They definitely aren’t an auto include in this deck like one would think. They cost a whopping seven mana, which is incredibly expensive in a deck like this where mana efficiency counts more than anything else. Without them, we are low on card draw though. They are staying for now, but they also might get the azure drake treatment. If I do find room for the drakes, I’ll probably find room for a second moonfire. If not, I might switch it for a second naturalize, even though I said I would hate myself for it.

The last thing I’ll mention is that if you haven’t drawn three cards for two off of a wild growth, you haven’t yet lived in value town. The deck is super fun to win and lose with, and a lot mro competitive than one would think, since it’s pretty analogous to Token Druid.

Frost Nova is Kinda Like a Bad Three Cost Conceal

Have you guys ever considered the synergy between gadgetzan auctioneer and archmage antonidas? Auctioneer really helps freeze mage out a lot in general since you run lots of spells, and since you want to stall the game until you find a particular group of cards to end the game: namely alexstrasza and pyroblast.

I personally haven’t played much freezemage I’ll admit, so maybe I’m missing something and auctioneers don’t fit into the archetype at all, but the connection seems pretty elementary, and it’s defintely something worth exploring, and I’ve been having pretty good results so far. My list is almost certainly not optimal,since we have so many one-of’s  but the mana curve is strong, and the core is definitely there.

Unlike the Paladin deck from last time, we are playing mad scientist over loot hoarder since our secrets are really strong whether or not we actually cast them with an auctioneer out. As far as secrets go, we are playing two each of counterspell, vaporize, and duplicate, along with a singleton. The spellbender has been an okay third mix of duplicate and counterspell in that it’s only job is to protect our dudes. Speaking of duplicate, the feeling when you get to use it with an auctioneer out is almost as good as when you draw three for two, like I mentioned earlier.

That said, it’s somwhat likely that the second vaporize will become a second arcane intellect soon. Or maybe I’ll make room for an ice block since I don’t have one. Like i said earlier, I’mt still trying out lot’s of one-of’s at the moment. It’s probably correct to have at least one. The mix of secrets is something that I’m sure will never stop changing, so it’s probably best to just find the mix that best suits you. They are all good, and trying to find the optimal exact numbers for any particular meta is a pretty daunting task, but I’m fairly certain that you don’t want more than six or seven.

Something else worth noting about the deck is that we are incredibly top-heavy for an Auctioneer Deck. I toted the great mana curve as one of the benefits of this build, and I stick to that, but the seven plus spot is a pretty big outlier. I even played without the pyroblast for a while in fear that it would make the curve too bad, but that was silly. It’s not like we really care about curving out all the way that high. We are perfectly content to keep casting lot’s of two and three drops until the lategame when we are content to play one of our high cost card per turn. Despite what I said about that spot on the curve being horrendous, it doesn’t affect play nearly as much as one might think.

Another card I’m somewhat unsure of is sorcerers apprentice. She seems good in theory, since you want your spells to be as cheap as possible for your auctioneers, but it’s possible that she’s just too cute and should be loot hoarder instead.

As far as the rest of my singletons go, I basically just went up the mana curve and added something situational from each cost. I’ve got one arcane missiles, one arcane explosion, a frost nova, and a polymorph. All of these are pretty situational and kinda bad on their own (except the sheep machine), but become worth it when we have an auctioneer out, as is the standard for a few of the cards in any Auctioneer Deck.

The first two are pretty small and inconsistent effects, despite being mana efficient, so they aren’t normally played, but they give us extra cheap spells and some utility. frost nova I want to talk about though. We can combo it (or any of our secrets) with gadgetzan auctioneer on turn eight, or with archmage antonidas on turn ten, to help make sure they live. If we have a sorcerers apprentice out, we can cast frost nova and and counterspell with an auctioneer out to make sure he lives. The card itself is often run in freezemage decks, but I wanted to mention it here because of the extra synergy it has with auctioneer.

Continuing up the curve, we skip five and head straight up to six and seven. Most freezemage lists run three boardwipes between blizzard and flamestrike, usually favoring the second blizzard, but I’ve skimmed on cards and only run one of each to keep with the theme of one-of’s up the curve. This could be completely incorrect, and maybe the third reset rally is essential, but I think we can afford to trim some copies since we will be drawing extra cards. Unfortunately, like I said, we are missing a five drop for the cycle, so even though cycles are made up in our heads, I still feel like I should find something to add. It should likely be loatheb or /azure drake, but I’m not sure what to cut, or if the cycle is really that important. Who am I kidding, though, arbitrary cycles of something completely cosmetic do matter. Anyway, freezemage players, I hope I haven’t ruined your archetype.

Are We Done Here, Then?

So those are my Gadgetzan Druid and Mage decks. I don’t really have much to say that hasn’t been said before, so I’ll just leave you guys with a reminder to make fun of me in the comments and tell me what you think about the decks, especially the mage one. Like I said, it could definitely be a bit more streamlined, and I would love it if some of you guys more experienced with the freezemage archetype could let me know what you think about this. Also, be sure to join me next time when we discuss the priest and warrior classes. Thanks for reading, everyone!