What Do Streamers Play? – The Menagerie (3rd wing)

Check out previous parts if you haven’t already: What Do Streamers Play? – Karazhan Edition (1st wing) What Do Streamers Play? – Evolve Shaman, Secret Hunter and more! (1st wing) What Do Streamers Play? – The Opera (2nd wing) Third wing of Karazhan is out in every region. Impact of the expansion is bigger and bigger each […]

Check out previous parts if you haven’t already:

Introduction

Third wing of Karazhan is out in every region. Impact of the expansion is bigger and bigger each week. Just like previously, I’ll try show you a few of the first brews that popular streamers have created. I try to be as diverse as I can and feature multiple interesting decks. Oh, and only the ones with cards from the new wing!

Streamers I’ve covered this time are: Kolento, Tylerootd, Neirea, Kibler, Senfglas and StrifeCro

I’m (usually) posting the latest versions of the deck I’ve seen on the stream at the time I’m writing this. Some streamers were changing the decks throughout the stream and some are still streaming when I’m finishing this article. If there will be a new, dramatically changed versions of some of those decks, I’ll try to update this post.

Some of those brews might not be the original creations of those streamers. When only a few cards come out, many people start building very similar decks, so don’t be surprised if you see almost the same list on another stream. I’m just checking what they PLAY, especially in Legend/close to Legend, not what decks they’ve made personally.

Kolento – Murloc Paladin

Check out Kolento playing this deck!

The Curator is a great include in the Anyfin Can Happen Murloc Paladin for a few reasons. First of all – it’s a Taunt, so it fills the purpose of stalling the game. Then, it’s also a HARDCORE card draw. It draws you up to 3 cards – Murloc Warleader or Bluegill Warrior, Azure Drake and Stampeding Kodo in this case. But let’s even say that the expected draw is 2, because this build runs only 1 Beast and you can draw it before The Curator. Then… it’s still good! It’s comparable to the pre-nerf Ancient of Lore and let’s be honest, Murloc Paladin would love to play the Ancient of Lore. Oh, and not to mention that it draws you Azure Drake which then draws you another card.

Playing 2 Drakes and The Curator made Kolento cut on the early card cycle, namely Acolyte of Pain. But even though their main purpose was to cycle, they were still something you could play on t3 and possibly kill or damage something. Between those changes and adding 2x Ivory Knight instead of Humility/Forbidden Healing, the deck is much more late-game heavy. Is it good or bad for the deck? I think some of those changes might bite back, because the deck’s biggest struggle were always aggressive, high tempo decks. While The Curator and Ivory Knights are awesome in the slower matchups, they might be just a little too slow in the fast ones.

Time will tell whether this version is better or worse, it’s impossible to judge yet. All we know right now is that Murloc Paladin has got a new build that seems pretty viable.

P.S. Funny thing is that Kolento is never drawing The Curator, to the point that he questioned the card’s existence in the deck, so all the changes he has made to put him in were quite pointless so far.

Tylerootd – Beast Druid

Check out Tylerootd playing this deck!

That was bound to happen. It might have been the most anticipated Karazhan deck. I mean, it’s not hard to see that Beast Druid has a huge potential now that we get a card like Menagerie Warden. And while I don’t think that the card is completely broken, as it requires the Beast to be already on the board, I think it’s strong enough to make this archetype very solid.

The worst case scenario for the Menagerie Warden is 5/5 for 6. Which, honestly, suck. But as soon as we look at ANY synergy in the deck, it starts at “okay”, through “strong” to “ohmygodwhydidblizzardreleasethatcard”. Yeah. Getting a 5/5 + 2/2 (Enchanted Raven) for 6 mana is okay-ish. Not that you would play it, but it’s not the worst thing ever. Then getting one of the other small Beasts like 3/2 Stealth (Druid of the Saber) or 2/5 (Druid of the Flame) is good. That card would be definitely playable and pretty strong. But then, the goal is to get one of the bigger beasts, namely Savage Combatant, Druid of the Claw or Stranglethorn Tiger. If you get one of those, the effect is AMAZING. Let’s say copying a full health Druid of the Claw is often game-winning. You know how strong Twin Emperor Vek’lor is. It’s something like that but for 1 less mana. Not to mention the dream. Let’s say one of your big Beasts stick to the board in the late game. It happens, right? Now, if you Mark of Y’shaarj it and THEN copy it. Hell yeah. Of course, the last scenario won’t happen often, but just thinking about it makes me terrified (or overjoyed if I was that Druid).

Besides that, he also took The Curator route. He serves as the Ancient of Lore replacement. Sure, it can’t heal, but Taunt might be just as good. It’s very easy to make him work in Beast Druid, because all you need is to play 2x Azure Drake. You have plenty of Beasts in your deck already and with two Drakes you SHOULD draw Curator before you draw them. And 2 cards from The Curator is your aim anyway, there aren’t many decks where you can achieve 3 draws.

Neirea – Dragon Midrange Paladin

Check out Neirea playing this deck!

Note: Stream is in Ukrainian.

Alright, Dragon Paladin. I was sure that people will play it. But I honestly haven’t expected a faster and much more tempo version the Neirea has built. And that’s probably my mistake. Remember what happened to Dragon Warrior? It used to be a very slow and Controly deck. Sure, it was briefly in the meta, but it was never really amazing. Not anything on the scale of today’s Dragon Warrior. So maybe that’s the way to go? Drop all the late game Dragon and focus on the tempo aspect of the early/mid game Dragon synergies.

That’s certainly what Neirea did in this deck. I almost wanted to call it Aggro Paladin, but I don’t think it’s THAT aggressive. I mean, sure, just like other high tempo decks it can win the game fast, but there is enough mid game to justify aiming for a slightly longer game.

Just like other pretty aggressive Paladin lists, it has some ways to flood the board. In that case it’s quite a lot of 1-drops + Bilefin Tidehunter + the new Nightbane Templar. I think this card is way better in fast decks than it is in slow decks. Multiple bodies means that it’s more annoying and harder to kill. It also means more targets for the attack buff synergies of Abusive Sergeant and Dire Wolf Alpha. And the deck runs enough Dragons to consistently proc it on turn 3. Honestly, I think it’s not on the level of Alexstrasza’s Champion and whole deck seems like a tier below it, but it seems quite strong nonetheless.

I particularly like the clever deck building The Curator forces. The card has incredible power, but you need to adjust your deck accordingly if you want to take advantage of that. And Neirea is trying to go for the maximum value – drawing 3 cards. There are a bunch of Dragon, because it’s a Dragon deck. Then he plays 2x Bilefin Tidehunter as Murlocs and 2x Dire Wolf Alpha as Beasts. Since there are 2 of each, there is quite a high chance that you’re still going to draw something. And 2 card draws is very consistent. Sure, the 2-drops might not be that useful on turn 8, but it’s still better than nothing AND it removes them from the deck, meaning the average topdeck quality went up.

I like the deck and I think it might be stronger than the Control version of Dragon Paladin people will definitely try too. But I’ll need to wait a bit with the final verdict.

Kibler – Reno Mage

Check out Kibler playing this deck!

Okay, so. Kibler is known for playing quite unique decks. Reno Mage is one of his most commonly played lists. And it’s really hard to analyze, because it just has EVERYTHING. So I’ll try to mainly focus on the new additions.

Basically, it’s kind of a Control Mage.  It plays a bit of everything. It has card draw, it has value, it has single target removal, it has AoE, it has tempo, it has big minions… Oh and it has Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End, so it literally has EVERYTHING.

It’s a grindy deck that has no reason to rush enemy down. It plays slow game, tries to outvalue enemy in the long run. In the fast matchups all the removals + Reno Jackson are usually enough to win. And in the slow matchups, cards like Cabalist’s Tome, Ethereal Conjurer, Babbling Book, Elise Starseeker or even Yogg himself give value from “outside” the deck and allow to compete, even though it runs quite a lot of useless cards.

But let’s focus on the new additions. Kibler has tried playing The Curator too, but since he only had 1 of each tribe he decided against it. So the deck ended up with – when it comes to the latest wing – only 2 cards: Babbling Book and Avian Watcher.

Babbling Book is basically a t1 play with potential late game scaling. That’s the problem with most 1-drops – that they are very weak or even useless in the late game. A small body holds almost no value and without additional effect they suck. This has the additional effect, even though the body itself is only 1/1. You could probably compare it to Jeweled Scarab. You can’t choose what you get, but it costs 1 mana less. Mage spells are generally pretty strong and it’s rare that you get something completely useless. So you can play it on turn 1 and have a way to trade with 2 health 2-drops on t2 with Hero Power. And you can also play it in the late game and the random spell should always be “okay”.

Then, the Avian Watcher. I think this card is really interesting and it’s pretty strong in certain type of decks, but kinda gimmicky overall. In this deck, however, I quite like it. With Sludge Belcher gone from Standard, it was hard to get a mid-game Taunt that’s strong. This one is amazing – 4/7 with Taunt for 5 – but it’s conditional. You need to have a Secret in play. And here lies the problem – most of the Secrets are not very permanent. They’re often procced right away, sometimes they stick around for a turn or two but rarely longer. There is, however, one that’s very “sticky” – Ice Block – and as it happens it’s the only Secret this deck plays. Without a sticky Secret, you’re usually forced to play the Secret on the same turn as this guy to guarantee the effect. Which isn’t that bad in the late game, but then you can’t be sure that it will be a nice turn 5 tempo move. But is it really worth to play this with only a SINGLE Secret in the whole deck? That’s a serious concern, but in this case, I’d say that “single” Secret is quite an understatement. Between Babbling Book, Jeweled Scarab, Spellslinger, Cabalist’s Tome, Ethereal Conjurer and Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End, the chances that you’ll get another Secret are incredibly high. So that shouldn’t be a problem.

I love Kibler’s deck building skills, because he always manages to make a deck that is quite strong (maybe not top tier, but playable) and very fun at the same time. And this is one of those decks – he played it in Legend quite successfully and it’s definitely a cool deck to pilot.

Kibler – Dragon Paladin

Check out Kibler playing this deck!

It would be a shame to not show the Dragon deck built by The Dragonmaster himself. So, here are some facts. Kibler loves Dragon decks. Kibler loves to play Control. Kibler loves to build wonky decks that often work surprisingly well (like I’ve mentioned above). So hell yeah, it’s 3rd and 4th wing are like a Christmas for him.

This deck, unlike Neirea’s one, is not a Aggro/Midrange one. It’s more of a Midrange/Control deck. It’s definitely not a classic Control, but it’s slow enough to almost be one. It plays some early game and can even potentially outtempo the opponent hard with the right curve. And that’s kinda the point – especially turn 3, which is HEAVY on the tempo. No matter which play you choose – Nightbane Templar, Blackwing Technician or Aldor Peacekeeper, every one of them can turn into a big early game advantage. Then, in the mid game Dragon Consort is a very interesting tempo card. The effect is very strong in Dragon decks, because it basically gives you a free Innervate (that can only be used on Dragons) on top of the 5/5 for 5 body and Dragon tag. Dragon Consort was the reason people have believed that Dragon Paladin will be amazing after BRM.

When it comes to a slow Paladin archetype, there are still 2 more cards to come in the last wing – Netherspite Historian and Book Wyrm. Both won’t likely be that strong in the faster versions of Paladin, but in the more Midrange’y or Controlish? They will definitely be a consideration. I know that it’s not the time yet, but I’ve just realized a pretty cool synergy – Book Wyrm is strong in combination with Aldor Peacekeeper. Just like the combo with Kodo in standard Control Paladins, this combo might be strong in Dragon Paladin. Sure, it costs 1 more mana, but you can now choose which minion you destroy, so no longer praying for hitting a 1/2 or 1/3 roll to kill what you need.

I think that the slower Dragon Paladin is not yet in the right spot, but it might be a solid deck once we get the last wing of Karazhan.

Senfglas – Tempo Warrior

Check out Senfglas playing this deck!

This deck is very experimental and Senfglas had no clue if Fool’s Bane will even work in such a deck. But it did. Tempo Warrior has fallen out of favor lately and Dragon Warrior took its place. But the deck is still very strong so anything that’s going to fit it might move it back into the spotlight.

Generally it’s a pretty normal Tempo Warrior. The only really unique choice is Hogger, Doom of Elwynn and honestly, Warrior is most likely the best class to play it in. With Blood to Ichor (which deals 1 damage to your own minion and summons 2/2 and 2/2 with Taunt for 1 mana) and Ravaging Ghoul it’s pretty easy to damage your own minion when you need it.

Then, the Fool’s Bane is an interesting choice. When I first saw this card, I thought “hey, it’s a nice removal, but I don’t think it’s going to work – after all Brawl is there”. But now I’ve realized that it’s not that simple. First of all – there are the decks that you don’t really want to play Brawl in. In the Midrange/Tempo Warrior, you don’t see Brawls, because the deck is the one who has board control most of the time (at least that’s the plan). You can also play Fool’s Bane and swing it over a few turns, you don’t have to use all charges one turn.

Also, in the end, it’s a 3/4 weapon. Sure it can remove up to 4 minions for 5 mana and that’s a lot. If you can stick it around for a few turns and just clear whatever enemy plays (using your health as a resource), you should build enough board tempo to put pressure on the enemy and get him low too. I can see it being super useful against decks that run little to no burst. You know, the decks that you can go below 10 health against and still feel pretty safe. But right now we don’t have a lot of those decks, because pretty much everyone runs some sort of high damage finisher. The card is probably best in Zoo and Shaman matchups, but there are some other decks that it can work against.

It’s definitely a high tempo card and there is a reason why this deck is called Tempo Warrior. You can try it yourself and see how it goes, because we definitely need a larger sample size than just a few games.

Senfglas – Egg Druid

Check out Senfglas playing this deck!

And that’s why I like Senfglas. He always comes up with those weird ideas I would never think about. Sure, most of them might not even work, but experimenting is a way to create new, viable decks. So I’ll support his innovative deck building by posting a second deck he just tested. Egg Druid.

This wing brought a new Egg – Runic Egg, third after the Nerubian Egg and Dragon Egg. Honestly, it’s probably worst of the 3, at least for this kind of the deck. Because this deck is high tempo and it needs tempo most, not card advantage. It’s not as good as Nerubian Egg, but it’s a good buff target nonetheless. And that’s what the deck is all about.

If you haven’t been played like 9 months ago – J4CKIECHAN hit rank 1 Legend with the Druid deck he made – Egg Druid. It was an Aggro deck based around Eggs, Buffs and heavy cycle. With a Savage Roar finisher to top it off. Since it lost some core cards, including the Nerubian Egg and Jeeves it was dropped in Standard. But it seems that there is a SLIGHT chance for a comeback right now.

This version is definitely slower. The previous one didn’t play Violet Teacher and definitely not a 7 mana card like Wisps of the Old Gods. But if you think about it, both fit this kind of deck. And since you can’t cycle as hard as you could (RIP Jeeves), it’s only natural that you want to make the deck slower. I’d still like to see a single Cult Master, because the deck runs out of cards really fast and Cult Master has huge potential with how many tokens the deck spawns.

We might have to wait until the next Egg is released to see the Egg Druid again, but I like this attempt. The deck definitely isn’t bad and after some playtesting and upgrading it might work out.

StrifeCro – Dragon Zoo Paladin

Check out StrifeCro playing this deck!

Sorry, I know that it’s a 3rd Dragon Paladin list here, but every one of them is unique enough so I’ve decided to add all 3.

This one is… interesting. Okay, it’s really weird. But hey, it makes sense! I honestly didn’t think that Zoobot and Menagerie Magician would be useful, but I might be proven wrong. Even though it’s only 1 copy of each, they work quite well. The good question, however, would be – wouldn’t just a straight up Dragon Paladin be better?

But, I need to give Strife an A for deck building effort and post this deck too. Because it’s really hard to make a deck with 3 tribals work and he managed to do that. So, just to make things simpler I’ll list everything. The deck runs 2 Murlocs – 2x Vilefin Inquisitor. BUT for the sake of Zoobot and Menagerie Magician, after you play Vilefin Inquisitor your Hero Power summons Murlocs, so you can buff those. Then, it runs 3 Beasts – 2x Huge Toad and 1x Stampeding Kodo. And since it’s Dragon-themed deck, it runs 8 Dragons. It means that The Curator, Zoobot and Menagerie Magician all have pretty easy time getting some value.

This is a Midrange deck and like most of the Dragon decks it prefers to play proactively. It kinda has a hard time dealing with big minions or board floods of mid-sized minions. So I don’t recommend playing it like a Control deck. Tempo is very important, because you can’t afford to lose board control. But once it gets the board control, it should be easy to keep it with stuff like weapons, buffs or Aldor Peacekeeper.

Oh, and the deck runs N’Zoth, The Corruptor too as if the previous guys weren’t enough. Yeah. That makes it a Murloc Beast Dragon Deathrattle Paladin. Keep up the good work, Strife. Just imagine this deck actually being very strong and people having no clue what the hell they’re playing against.

Edit: Okay, StrifeCro just changed the deck and it no longer runs N’Zoth. He cut him + Sylvanas Windrunner + one Azure Drake and added second copy of Blackwing Technician, Zoobot and Managerie Magician. I’m updating the list right now.

Closing

I think that this batch of decks is definitely the most unique and interesting one out of the ones I’ve posted yet. Just like last time I’ve spent the most part of the night to browse the streams, look for interesting decks and write about them. And like last time, I hope that you’ll like the decks and my thoughts – because I sure as hell like writing for you guys! It’s just one more wing and the REAL deck building with all the new cards will start. Really can’t wait for that.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. If you want to be up to date with my articles, you can follow me on Twitter.

Good luck on the ladder and until next time!