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.
Riddle time. What do all of the following cards have in common? Eadric the Pure, Tuskarr Jouster, Lay on Hands, Guardian of Kings, Tirion Fordring and Aldor Peacekeeper? Give up? They all keep you alive for a long, long time. Control Paladin is a deck that faded long ago, due to decks adopting a mix of efficient midrange threats and sticky minions. However, the new cards could very well give it enough life to rise from its shallow grave. Tuskarr Jouster, Justicar Trueheart and Eadric are the only real additions here, but they may very well give the deck the extra push that it needs. For this list, I decided to go forward with a very strict “stay alive forever” type of control that ends the game with either Tirion Fordring, Ysera or a buffed up hero power from Justicar Trueheart. That gives you three finishers, while every other card in the deck is dedicated to keeping you alive long enough to see that gameplan out.
When building a control deck you need to have a balance of tools that will enable you to survive against all manner of decks. Here, Aldor Peacekeeper and Eadric the Pure help shut down individual minions, while Equality clears large boards. In addition,Tuskarr Jouster gives you a midrange threat that also heals, Guardian of Kings and Holy Light further protect your life total, and Lay on Hands keeps the cards flowing. You have some very strong finishers and, while this deck is light on taunts, you more than make up for it through sheer attrition. This deck gives up some of the more classic midrange Paladin minions (such as Knife Juggler) for more end game and further healing. Due to the jouster (which you really want to hit on as much as possible) I wanted to raise the curve as much as I could. This is the main reason I decided to put in two Lay on Hands and cut a Zombie Chow. This could be a mistake, but you are already running Shielded Minibot and Muster for Battle, which usually can pick up the early game slack.
While I think this deck has a ton of potential, I really don’t like the single Wild Pyromancer (as it hurts joust), but for now I can’t think of a better replacement. Pyromancer is a great response to other Paladins, and can shut down a lot of aggressive decks beyond its obvious combo with Equality. I am not sure how to properly balance this deck just yet in terms of minions and joust, but I can’t imagine running this without Big Game Hunter, though you may be able to replace Acolyte of Pain with Solemn Vigil. This deck is weak to Patron Warrior, but three high-impact finishers, the addition of a mass peacekeeper and two more heals could really make this one of the premier control decks in the game.
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!