Joseph's Brews: 5 Kobolds and Catacombs Decks To Try!
Let's get ready to breeeew! Kobolds is almost upon us, and there is so much potential for the new set. I know I'll be making a ton of different decks out of the gates and, as is tradition, I'm going to be sharing some of my early ideas and day one lists with you guys. We're breaking down five builds today, and I think they all have quite a bit of potential. Of course, some of the card choices will need to be tweaked here and there (more on that below) but they should at least give you a good starting point for the new set.
Deathrattle Combo Hunter
We kick things off with a combo deck that I have been thinking about for weeks. We all know how much damage Y'shaarj Hunter can do (as based on my recent video), and I think this version of the deck might be stronger because it is just a little bit more consistent. Instead of going all in on Barnes, this has a couple of different paths of victory (which is never a bad thing). You typically want to rely on the Savannah Highmaneplan, where you either Barnesout Kathrena Winterwisp, or get her battlecry off of Seeping Oozeling. However, you can also go in on spells by using Cloaked Huntressto control the early game and then naturally build into highmane. The top end and combo potential here is pretty good from all angles. Staying alive is the tough part, but there is a lot of removal options here that could help with that. I am not sure what the meta is going to look like, which is why I've included a smattering of different secrets. The choice on that is yours, but
In terms of card choice, Barnesdoes have two dead draws in this one (the double Seeping Oozeling) but that should be a fine trade off, especially considering that every other card, from Cloaked Huntressto Savannah Highmaneto Kathrena Winterwisp, is going to be a huge value play. This build is about having a diversity of ways to win. Even if you don't get an early combo, cards like Lesser Emerald Spellstoneand Animal Companionhelp build up pressure. There is also the Eaglehorn Bowfinisher route as well. Diversity is key, and this deck has a strong punch along with a lot of adaptability. Also, I don't think you want Y'Shaarj, Rage Unboundhere. That may sound tempting, but this deck has a couple of modes and one of them is as a straight up big spell deck. The old god acts as a dead draw there, which severely dilutes the plan.
Big Spell Mage
You all know by now that I absolutely adore Frost Lich Jaina. As such, I could not resist crafting a deck that relies on her. Big Spell Mage has gotten a lot of powerful tools from Kobolds, and they should all come together quite nicely. This list is pure control, through and through. Your goal is to clear the board as many times as humanly possible, then set up either Frost Lich Jainaor Dragoncaller Alannadepending on what you have access to. Both of those finishers are extremely powerful and should give you a way to close out most decks. You just need to stall as much as you can before either of them come down. Everything else in this deck is pointed towards that goal. In a way, this plays like Freeze Mage. However, you don't have any of Freeze's classic weaknesses because you can go long and switch up your win condition on the fly.
The hardest part of this list is deciding how many low cost spells you can realistically get away with. Raven Familiar, Arcane Tyrant, and Dragon's Furyneed you to go big, which means you want to get as many expensive spells as possible. However, there are a few cheap ones you need to run. While I've cut the secrets (which I don't think are that necessary in a deck running constant removal), I still think you want Frostbolt, Arcane Intellect, Primordial Glyph, and Volcanic Potion. Beyond that, everything else should be four and up. Constant removal should be able to handle most of the board-oriented builds in the game. However, that plan is going to struggle against Razakus Priest. To make up for that, you have Jaina and the double Dirty Rat. Not only does the 2/6 hit decks like Tempo Rogue extremely hard, but it also takes out Priest's key combo pieces and forces your opponent to play into AOE. There's simply too many upsides for this deck not to run the 2/6.
Note: You could probably fit Bloodmage Thalnosor a second Meteorinto this one. I'm just not sure what to cut. Doomsayermight actually be the correct choice.
Taunt Swarm Druid
My newest inclusion to the list, Taunt Druid was not a deck I wanted to play until I saw the final reveal stream. Even the sub-optimal Blizzard version seemed to have some potential. This deck is similar to the old Hybrid Druid decks in a lot of ways. You have a bunch of swarm taunt minions, and you then use those to advance the board and constantly put on pressure. Then, once you stick a few threats, you use things like Mark of the Lotusand Strongshell Scavengerto completely blow your opponent out of the water. Oaken Summonshas a lot of potential here (especially with Greedy Sprite) and your curve rapidly moves up into things like Hadronoxand N'Zoth, the Corruptor. Ultimate Infestationis good as always, and you can even lean on Grizzled Guardianand Master Oakheartto come back into losing affairs. This deck starts great and gets better and better as the game progresses.
As you can see, I don't like Astral Tiger[/card] in this build. While the card is cute, I don't really want to go all-in a 3/5. Your other finishers should win the game more often than not. There is also only one Spreading Plague. We don't know how aggressive the meta is going to be, and this deck should also have board for most of the game. In fact, I could see the card being cut altogether. Finally, Oaken Summonsdoes have two weak pulls in Druid of the Swarm, but the other options are so insane it is likely going to be worth it. Dirty Rats are currently here over Tar Creeper/Ironwood Golembecause of the recruit synergy and because of how good they are against things like Priest and Rogue. However, those two slots are your personal preference.
Now that Control Warrior no longer has access to two mana Fiery War Axe, they need to rely on other ways to win the game. Mainly, AOE and armor. Lots and lots of armor. The class may not be as efficient as it once was, but there is still a lot of potential here. Look at all the new tools this build got. You have the vastly underrated Unidentified Shield, along with Bladed Gauntlet, Drywhisker Armorer, Reckless Flurry, and Geosculptor Yip. That is an insane package that should give this list enough time to grind their opponent down to nothing. This build has enough clears to tangle with midrange and tempo decks , and also should be able to generate enough armor to outlast Shadowreaper Anduin. Seems like a win-win to me.
In terms of finishers, I think you want to pack in minions that will give you continued value (and Gromm). That means Ysera, The Lich King, and Geosculptor Yip. All of those cards give you constant value. Eventually, one will stick, and you should take over the game. While you may be tempted to run Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound, don't. The Old God pulls you finishers out of your deck, which is definitely not what you want.
Everything here looks solid. You have good removal, a ton of armor, and strong AOE. The one inclusion I'm a bit iffy on is Reckless Flurry. The epic seems good, and is definitely worth testing. However, you already have access to Brawland Sleep with the Fishes. In addition, I don't like the idea of giving up all of my armor. When testing, that could also be the first one cut. I'm also not entirely sold on the Dead Man's Hand. I think it is necessary in order to get that extra grind against other slow decks, but if the meta is still filled with tempo in a week or two, it could go as well.
The final deck we're going to look at is a new version of Miracle Rogue. The list did not get a huge amount of stuff, but it did get Elven Minstrel. The 3/2 is interesting because it inherently changes the way you want to think about the build. I've cut most of the fringe minions here. Things like SI:7 Agenthave become Shadowbladein order to make the core package that much smoother. I still have the Pirate package in the list because of how well it works for combo, but I'm not sure about it at all. It could really mess up minstrel in certain situations. It all depends on how reliably you can get patches out of the deck. Definitely worth testing the list with and without Swashburglar.
The other big change here is the inclusion of Fal'dorei Strider. The 4/4 is quite a powerful card that enables you to have another very strong win condition. The spiders not only make Gadgetzan Auctioneerthat much stronger, but they also represent tempo (something that Miracle has lacked over the past few months. To make room for the 4/4, I had to cut Sherazin, Corpse Flower, which has been a staple of mine for sometime. I am not sure if that is going to pan out over the long run (especially if Priest continues to rule everything) but the payoff of the spiders just seems so insane. The end of the deck is the classic Valeera the Hollow/Vanish/Arcane Giantpackage, but I am also packing Evasionhere as well. I am not sold on the card, but more spells are always going to welcome in the new shell. That goes double for ones that also greatly reduce damage and keep you alive.
Well, get to digging! It is time to break open the new packs and see what we can build. These five decks all have quite a bit of potential, and I will be playing them all (maybe even covering them more in depth if I have early success). I hope you found something here you want to try, and I also hope you have some of your own ideas in mind as well. Deck building is the best part of a new set, and the first weeks are always great for that. Until next time (where we get to discuss new decks!) may you open a ton of golden legendaries.