Welcome back for the third episode of Weekly Top Legend Decks! This is the series where I’ll provide you the top decklists that are Legend-worthy from both community and pro players.
Just like last week, even though the new wing of LoE just got released, I’m not going to include new Brews – those still aren’t refined and will likely go through a lot of changes. I’m going to show them next week!
All the decklists were tested in Legend on EU server. Since I was mostly testing the Entomb Priest for different article, I didn’t give those decks THAT much time, but I’ve got at least 10 games on every of them. Plus about 100 games on a deck similar to Zetalot’s Entomb Priest 🙂
[toc]Zetalot’s Entomb Priest[/toc]
This deck is the one I’m most familiar with. One thing I want to note at the beginning is that the decklist on the left is just an example one, Zetalot is changing it a lot, he plays different combination of cards every day. So if you want to get the most recent one, be sure to check out his stream!
[card]Entomb[/card] was released last week and quickly gained popularity among Priest players. The card is awesome, because it lets you completely drop any late game threats from your deck and you’ll still have strong win condition in Control matchups – you’re going to steal opponent’s minions! 6 mana also makes it not completely useless in faster matchups, unlike [card]Mind Control[/card], which was just too slow.
Entomb Priest in a version Zetalot presented is very hard to categorize. It’s a mix between Control deck, Fatigue deck and… Combo deck. That’s right.
[card]Flash Heal[/card] and [card]Light of the Naaru[/card] are very interesting choices. In some lists, Zetalot even run 2x of both. Why? Against Aggro decks they well, let you survive. If you play against a fast deck, all you need to do is not die and wait until your mid game minions like [card]Sludge Belcher[/card] or [card]Cabal Shadow Priest[/card] come and do the job. Card advantage is rarely a problem when you play against Aggro, because your cards are more valuable on average. Two Flash Heals can heal you for 1/3 of your max health, which is a lot. It can buy you 2 or 3 more turns, maybe even more if you control the board. They can be combo’d with [card]Wild Pyromancer[/card] for cheap AoE, just like [card]Power Word: Shield[/card]. That’s why they’re solid against Aggro.
And then, in other matchups, the cards have slightly different use. While you might heal your minions, often that’s the right move (like [card]Injured Blademaster[/card] + [card]Light of the Naaru[/card] is a pretty sweet combo), but they might be also used as a burst. A lot of burst. When you play against Priest, you don’t expect they can do more than a few points of damage from their hand. With this deck, however, it’s very easy to do 10+ burst damage. Possibly even 20+ if you have upgraded Hero Power and [card]Zombie Chow[/card] on the board already. [card]Auchenai Soulpriest[/card] turns all your healing into damage, meaning Flash Heal now does 5 damage for 1 mana (sick) and Light of the Naaru 3 damage (not as sick, but still good). This combo is best against Handlocks or Renolock. That’s the Priest’s nightmare matchup. You can’t just casually bring him down to ~10 health because of [card]Molten Giant[/card]s (and [card]Reno Jackson[/card] too). And you can’t afford to play the long game, because of the [card]Lord Jaraxxus[/card]. So you need to bring him down to ~15 and then burst him down. Usually you needed to have over 10 damage on the board to even think about that, but no longer. Just keep your healing spells and Zombie Chow until you unleash your Auchenai wombo-combo and kill the Warlock.
[card]Wild Pyromancer[/card]s and [card]Deathlord[/card]s are main tools to stop the Aggro decks in the early game, then you have the midgame board clear stuff with [card]Auchenai Soulpriest[/card] + [card]Circle of Healing[/card], [card]Holy Nova[/card] and [card]Lightbomb[/card], strong single target removals – [card]Shadow Word: Death[/card] and [card]Entomb[/card], [card]Northshire Cleric[/card] and [card]Thoughtsteal[/card] to gain card advantage, some mid game drops like [card]Injured Blademaster[/card], [card]Sludge Belcher[/card] and [card]Cabal Shadow Priest[/card] with [card]Justicar Trueheart[/card] as a cherry on the top.
So, the deck has decent early game and mid game, TONS of board clears, different ways to draw cards, big advantage in fatigue wars… Yeah, it’s a well-rounded deck that’s pretty strong in current meta, because it has solid matchups against most of the competitors.
- Against Aggro, try to play for the tempo. Put your minions out on the board even if they won’t get that much value. Like playing turn 2 [card]Wild Pyromancer[/card] is fine if you don’t have any cheap spells – the 3/2 body is important against Aggro. If [card]Injured Blademaster[/card] is your only turn 3 play, go for it even without [card]Circle of Healing[/card]. Try to keep something on the board all the time. Obviously, [card]Deathlord[/card] is a better turn 3 drop against Aggro, but you won’t always have the choice.
- Getting the value out of [card]Northshire Cleric[/card] is good, but not 100% necessary. You’d rather play a strong drop on curve than just heal your Northshire up and pass in fast matchups. In certain slower matchup it’s fine to stay behind and draw, because you have a lot of comeback mechanics.
- Talking about those, you want to keep some comeback mechanic in your hand all the time. As it happens, you don’t have A LOT of minions/proactive plays in this deck, so your turns are often going to be Hero Power + pass or [card]Thoughtsteal[/card] + pass. You can afford to lose the tempo and let enemy get ahead on the board if you have the [card]Auchenai Soulpriest[/card] + [card]Circle of Healing[/card] or [card]Lightbomb[/card]. That’s one of your tactics – enemy has to build the board to pressure you, because otherwise you heal up. If he plays one big threat, you use single target removal like [card]Shadow Word: Death[/card] or [card]Entomb[/card]. If he floods the board with smaller stuff, you AoE them. That’s why Priest is really good at playing from behind.
- If you play in a slower matchup and decide that fatigue is your main win condition, try to not draw more cards than your opponent, unless you absolutely have to. For example, if enemy floods the board and you have no AoE, you want to look for it, because fatigue is no longer your win condition if you’re going to lose the game in 2 or 3 turns. But if you’re equal on the board, or even ahead, keep drawing to minimum. Ideally you want to stay a card or two behind the enemy NOT COUNTING the Entombed minions. This allows you to ultimately go into fatigue 3-4 turns after the enemy. That’s a lot – with 4 draws deeper into fatigue, if the fatigue got to 8 damage, you took only 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10 fatigue damage, while enemy took 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 more (26 more), so 36 in total. The difference becomes even bigger deeper into fatigue. It’s especially important against Warrior, who can go into Fatigue with 40+ Armor built up. If you draw more than they do, you won’t even win fatigue war unless you still have some minions to hit the Warrior with.
- You want to keep [card]Entomb[/card] for the biggest threats, but don’t be afraid to use it on something smaller. Enemy Paladin buffs [card]Haunted Creeper[/card] with [card]Blessing of Kings[/card]? If you have no other way to remove it, Entomb it. Sure, it won’t be very good when you draw it, but at least you deal with the current threat on the board in a rather efficient way. You play against Priest and he hid the [card]Northshire Cleric[/card] behind [card]Sludge Belcher[/card]? You can’t get through and you’ll let them draw next turn (and possibly each turn after that)? Entomb that Belcher and kill the Cleric. It’s fine, having an extra Belcher in your deck is decent and you’ve dealt with the board and denied draws from opponent.
- Remember about possible burst from [card]Auchenai Soulpriest[/card] + your healing spells. This is your main win conditions in matchups where you need the burst. So let’s say when you play against Handlock, try to keep those in your hand and don’t use them on your face/minions etc.
- [card]Wild Pyromancer[/card] + [card]Northshire Cleric[/card] + a random spell + [card]Circle of Healing[/card] is your ultimate card draw mechanic. Depending on how many minions there are on the board, you can easily draw your whole hand or even overdraw. It’s awesome in matchups where fatigue isn’t your win condition – if you draw that many cards in Midrange or fast matchups, you should be really ahead, because you get so many options. Just be careful against Paladin, because one [card]Divine Favor[/card] can ruin your day!
- [card]Velen’s Chosen[/card] – A very strong buff, awesome in a lot of Priest decks. While it fits Dragon Priest much more, it’s also good enough in Control version. It didn’t make the cut, because honestly I didn’t know what can I throw out. There is not much to say about it, like in every other deck it allows Priest to make great trades and keep the minions alive. Priest really likes high health minions and Velen’s Chosen can turn pretty much everything into a minion like that. The infamous [card]Northshire Cleric[/card] into Coin + Velen’s on turn 2 start often completely ruins opponent’s plans. No matter what minion you buff, it becomes really strong. You might, for example, make a huge 5/9 Taunt if you cast it on [card]Sludge Belcher[/card]. It’s also another semi-cheap spell to combo with [card]Wild Pyromancer[/card] and the Spell Damage works really nicely with [card]Holy Nova[/card]. It also boosts the damage of your 1 mana heals when you cast them with Auchenai.
- [card]Dark Cultist[/card] – More of a tempo minion, but might work out in certain matchups. The 3/4 body is solid by itself, it should allow for some efficient early game trades and is out of range of most early game removals (which are 2/3 damage most often). If you manage to get another minion out on the board while this is still alive, it makes things even harder for the enemy. Having an extra 3 health on your other drop is great. For example, a 3/8 [card]Sludge Belcher[/card] is even harder to pass through. Vanilla stats + a good additional effect = profit.
- [card]Sylvanas Windrunner[/card]/[card]Vol’jin[/card]/[card]Confessor Paletress[/card]/[card]Ysera[/card] – If you face mainly slower matchups, having some more late game threats is good. Those cards aren’t that great against Aggro, but that’s not their point. They work really well as an additional win condition in slow matchups. If you add 2 or 3 of them, you pretty much can’t lose the games against Control Warrior or another Control Priest. If you, however, face a lot of Midrange or Aggro decks, you don’t really need more late game – your mid game is already strong enough.
[toc]Thijs’ Anyfin Paladin[/toc]
You see Murlocs, you think board flood, Aggro, rush deck. It might change a lot with introduction of [card]Anyfin Can Happen[/card], which allows a different approach at Murloc decks. Ressing all Murlocs that died this game allows for some cheeky OTK moves. As it happens, if the only Murlocs that died this game are exactly 2x [card]Grimscale Oracle[/card], 2x [card]Murloc Warleader[/card], 2x [card]Bluegill Warrior[/card] and [card]Old Murk-Eye[/card], that’s 30 damage combo. 30 damage for 10 mana is obviously INSANE, especially since even if you somehow still don’t kill the enemy with it (Taunts, Warrior has more Armor), you now have full board of Murlocs and enemy has to deal with them.
The only problem is that, well, all those Murlocs need to die this game. So you need to play 7 Murlocs in your deck, you need to draw them before the combo, put them all on the board and THEY need to die. I’m stressing this out, because if enemy [card]Hex[/card]es, [card]Polymorph[/card]s, [card]Entomb[/card]s etc. your Murloc, well, they didn’t die.
Since the deck needs to draw not 2, not 3, but 8 combo pieces before it can OTK the enemy, it’s very heavy on draw/card cycling. The aim is to control the board, survive and finish the enemy with OTK combo. Since you have a lot of strong Paladin cards, sometimes you don’t even need the OTK combo. Or you don’t need the whole combo – often reviving 3 or 4 Murlocs is enough to kill the enemy.
What’s cool is that some of the Murlocs aren’t that bad even if you don’t play a full Murloc deck. [card]Grimscale Oracle[/card] are probably the only ones that are completely useless if you have no other Murlocs on the board. Bluegills are removal for 2 health minions, Warleaders are just 3/3’s on the board that have potential to buff some of your minions, Murk-Eye is also decent at taking out small stuff AND surviving. I’m not saying that those are good enough to play in normal, non-Murloc deck. They just aren’t as bad as it seems.
Besides the standard Paladin shell and Murlocs, the deck also runs more card draw and healing than the usual Paladin. [card]Cult Master[/card] is the minion worth mentioning – it’s a single card that allows you to draw half of your deck in best case scenario. It has insane synergy with Paladin thanks to the Hero Power and [card]Muster for Battle[/card]. When it comes to the healing, the deck has 28 points of healing in total with 2x [card]Antique Healbot[/card], [card]Lay on Hands[/card] and [card]Truesilver Champion[/card]. Card draw lets you get closer to your combo pieces and heals let you stall the game.
Honestly, I didn’t have a good run with the deck. Sometimes I didn’t draw my Murk-Eye or Warleaders for the whole game, making Anyfin nearly useless. Other times I didn’t curve out. I had game where Control Warrior rushed me down (yeah), because I couldn’t clear his board… But seeing that Thijs got into high Legend ranks with it, I’m pretty sure that the deck makes sense and is decent. And just like with many other non-meta decks, he had some surprise factor by his side. Right now when people see Murlocs from Paladin, they know what to expect already.
- Play the early game just like a standard Midrange Paladin. Mulligan for your early drops, try to curve out. You don’t care about Murloc combo pieces in the beginning, if you lose the early game you won’t have an opportunity to do the combo anyway.
- Keep track of the Murlocs that died this game. Decktracker is a good tool, but if you don’t have it, you can try remembering it or just open a notepad or something. If you play a lot of games with this deck, especially long ones, you might sometimes forget which Murloc died already. You prepare for the OTK and you suddenly realize that you’re missing one Warleader, you don’t kill enemy, he clears your board and you lose the game.
- Keep the [card]Cult Master[/card] for maximum value turn. You want it to draw you at least 3-4 cards, possibly even more. If you really have no better play, throwing him out just to draw one is fine, but you don’t want to do that.
- Remember that [card]Anyfin Can Happen[/card], while being your main win condition, is not the only way you can win the game. If you just curve out nicely you can win the game just like a standard Midrange Paladin does. By keeping the board control and hitting enemy into the face with minions.
- Even without the OTK combo, Murlocs can threaten a lot of damage from your hand. If you have couple of them in your hand and enemy is a low health, calculate the damage. Something like [card]Grimscale Oracle[/card] + [card]Bluegill Warrior[/card] + [card]Murloc Warleader[/card] + [card]Old Murk-Eye[/card] is a 10 mana combo that deals 13 damage. While it’s not as good as the OTK combo, you might find it enough to kill the enemy in some cases.
- Remember that if enemy transforms your Murloc instead of killing it, it doesn’t count. Also remember that it can also summon opponent’s Murlocs that died this game. A lot of decks run [card]Sir Finley Mrrgglton[/card] right now, so if they play it and it dies, there is a big chance that he’s going to be one of the Murlocs being summoned. There are also some other Murlocs seeing play, like [card]Murloc Knight[/card] in Paladin decks (which can also summon other random Murlocs), [card]Coldlight Oracle[/card] in certain Aggro or Fatigue/Mill decks, random murlocs summoned from [card]Neptulon[/card] in Midrange/Control Shaman, [card]Murloc Tinyfin[/card] in [card]Hobgoblin[/card] decks or possibly even random Murloc drops out of [card]Piloted Shredder[/card]. While not common, Murlocs are parts of different decks, so have that in mind – a lot of those can ruin your OTK, but they can also strengthen the value of your spell if you aren’t going for OTK.
- [card]Equality[/card] – I’m not sure why Thijs didn’t add Equality to his decklist, because for me it seems really necessary. It’s the only way Paladin has to really deal with big minions. While [card]Aldor Peacekeeper[/card] is often enough, the effect can be Silenced off AND it doesn’t really deal with ongoing effects like [card]Emperor Thaurissan[/card] or [card]Ysera[/card]. Equality might let you survive by clearing the whole enemy board when combined with [card]Consecration[/card], it might be used as a value tool if you have only small minions that couldn’t be able to trade into opponent’s board or it can set-up a good Anyfin turn by clearing all the Taunts and other stuff you don’t want to see.
- [card]Loot Hoarder[/card] – Not really much to say about it, just something to drop on turn 2 that cycles you a card. It often dies to ping, 1/1 minions etc. but that’s fine – you play it mainly to cycle. Sometimes it’s going to push 2 damage before dying, other times it’s going to get value and actually trade into another 2-drop, but it’s a really disposable minion that you can just throw on the board anytime you want.
- [card]Azure Drake[/card] – Similarly to Loot Hoarder, the main idea behind playing Azure Drake is to have more cycle in the deck. But in reality, Azure Drake is often a big enough minion to be a threat by itself. 4/4 is big enough to threaten opponent’s life total and the +1 Spell Damage works really well with [card]Consecration[/card]. 3 damage instead of 3 is awesome, because it clears a lot of annoying 3 health stuff like [card]Zombie Chow[/card], [card]Piloted Shredder[/card], [card]Northshire Cleric[/card], [card]Darnassus Aspirant[/card], [card]Mechwarper[/card], [card]Tunnel Trogg[/card] etc.
- Second [card]Anyfin Can Happen[/card] – Having two copies of this card makes it SO MUCH EASIER to perform the combo. First reason is that the chances both copies are stuck at the bottom are much lower. The second reason is that you might use one of them before you draw into all of your Murlocs. If 2x [card]Murloc Warleader[/card] and [card]Old Murk-eye[/card] were the only ones that dies, fine, cast the Anyfin. You get them back and Old Murk-Eye deals 8 damage. Not enough? The thing is that if they die again, now you summon 2 Murk-eyes and 4 Warleaders. And that’s 30 damage if I count everything correctly. Third reason is that now you can use one Copy for value and still have the second for the OTK. You need to clear opponent’s board? Sure, use Anyfin and throw your chargers into opponents minions. You don’t have any good plays this turn? Summon 4-5 Murlocs, even if you won’t OTK the enemy you can set up for it or just have a strong board presence. That’s the reason I like 2 Anyfins.
[toc]NexEternus’ Dragon Shaman[/toc]
This one will be hard. I’m not a Shaman player, I always say that it’s my least favorite class and I refuse to play it. But yeah, I had to test it. It turned out to be pretty good for a Shaman deck, I didn’t expect having a positive score with Shaman. But okay, let’s not bash the class that much.
This deck by NexEternus is pretty interesting. I haven’t seen a slow Shaman list since… well since I’ve played against last Malygos Shaman, which was like 2 or 3 months ago. Yeah, I’ve seen some Midrange ones and A LOT of Aggro ones, but not Control.
This is a pretty slow, value-oriented list. The first thing that strikes me is that with poor draws, it’s going to suck against Aggro. And that’s true – I’ve lost my first 2 games against Hunter and Aggro Shaman because of the lack of early game tempo. It however has some comeback mechanics that are worth mentioning. 4 AoEs in total, with 2x [card]Lightning Storm[/card] and 2x [card]Elemental Destruction[/card] clearing the board should be relatively easy. Sad part is that both of those ruin your next turn, especially Elemental Destruction with 5 points of Overload. So if you survive for the first few turns, then clear the board with AoE, then heal up with [card]Healing Wave[/card] (it’s usually going to heal for 14 against Aggro, since the deck runs only 5 minions that are below 4 mana – most of them actually cost 5 or more), you actually have quite a nice chance to win against Aggro. So ultimately it’s not that bad.
Where the deck shines, however, are slower matchups. I find this deck having so much value that it’s hard even for Control Warrior to keep up. Like [card]Twilight Drake[/card] can be consistently played as a 4/7 or 4/8 for 4 mana, [card]Blackwing Corruptor[/card] and [card]Fire Elemental[/card] are awesome “deal 3 damage” duo, [card]Volcanic Drake[/card] can be an incredibly high tempo play if you get it out for 2-3 mana (or even cheaper)… The deck has a lot of ways to gain card advantage, but what’s the most interesting part is that it doesn’t draw too much from the deck itself. 2x [card]Jeweled Scarab[/card], [card]Nefarian[/card] and [card]Neptulon[/card] means that you get 8 card draws from OUTSIDE of your deck. It’s incredibly good in long, value games, because it doesn’t get you closer to fatigue, which can be crucial in certain matchups.
Since the deck has a lot of Battlecries, the card that keeps the whole thing together is most certainly [card]Brann Bronzebeard[/card]. It can get insane amounts of value – Discovering two cards from Scarab, drawing two with [card]Azure Drake[/card], getting 4 cards from [card]Nefarian[/card], 8 Murlocs out of [card]Neptulon[/card] (it might seem excessive, but in cases where you’re out of steam it’s INSANE), dealing 6 damage with Corruptor/Fire Ele, 2 more Boom Bots from [card]Dr. Boom[/card], [card]Loatheb[/card] shutting the spells COMPLETELY (with +5 mana cost they sometimes can still cast something, like Freeze Mage can [card]Frost Nova[/card] for 8 mana). Brann is MVP of this deck, allowing you to squeeze even more value from the cards that are already high value ones.
One interesting point is using [card]Jeweled Scarab[/card] in Control Shaman. When analyzing the card, Control Shaman was – in my opinion – the best deck to use this card. Shaman 3 mana cards are insanely good. Depending on what you need, you might pick removal with [card]Hex[/card], AoE with [card]Lightning Storm[/card]/[card]Elemental Destruction[/card], burn with [card]Lava Burst[/card], Taunts with [card]Feral Spirit[/card], healing with [card]Healing Wave[/card], card draw with [card]Mana Tide Totem[/card] or just a overall solid minion – [card]Tuskarr Totemic[/card] or [card]Unbound Elemental[/card]. Pretty much all Shaman cards in 3 mana slot are above average.
While being incredibly slow on the early game tempo, the deck has ways to come back on the board, strong mid game punch and TONS of late game value. So while it might struggle in some faster matchups (it’s definitely not an auto-loss, it’s just a big harder when you don’t have any early game cards), it should be a good deck against Midrange and Control. Or even Combo – can’t stress out how awesome are the [card]Healing Wave[/card]s against let’s say Freeze Mage.
- In fast matchups your game plan is to let them develop the board in the first turns and then clear it. While [card]Elemental Destruction[/card] denies your whole next turn, enemy still has to redevelop the board, which buys you time for either a next board clear or just playing some mid game minions.
- Nerubian Egg is a good thing to open with if you intend to cast Elemental Destruction soon. Since it affects the whole board, it activates your Egg, so even though you’re left with no mana next turn, at least you have a 4/4 on the board, which can contest the board or clear the leftovers (like tokens from [card]Haunted Creeper[/card]).
- Pick cards from [card]Jeweled Scarab[/card] carefully, because they might change the outcome of the match. E.g. vs Aggro decks you usually want the AoEs. But if you face a Secret Paladin and you already have AoE in your hand, but you have no way to deal with [card]Mysterious Challenger[/card], you might pick the Hex instead. In Control matchups you also aim for the [card]Hex[/card], but if play against Handlock and he’s at low health, you might actually consider taking [card]Lava Burst[/card] to have some burst from your hand to finish him. Combined with [card]Blackwing Corruptor[/card] or [card]Fire Elemental[/card] and couple of points of damage on the board, you might be able to kill Warlock from ~15 health. That’s why Discover mechanic is so strong – you might pick a card that fits the given situation in a best way.
- [card]Brann Bronzebeard[/card] is an incredibly strong tool and that’s why you shouldn’t just throw him on the board on turn 3. It might be okay against Aggro if you have no AoE clear and you really need to contest the board, but never in slower matchups. How you use Brann can win or lose you the game. Like playing Brann into 2x [card]Jeweled Scarab[/card] gets you 4 card in total instead of 2. Even the most greedy decks can’t play around that 5th Hex (yeah, it might happen). Try to get value out of Brann instantly AND protect it so it doesn’t die on the board. Enemy still might have a removal in his hand, but that’s still okay – Warrior Executing your Brann isn’t that bad for you. And if your Brann survives, you should win the game pretty fast or at least secure so much value that enemy is no longer in a position to play the long game against you.
- [card]Volcanic Drake[/card]s are very cool to get out after a big [card]Lightning Storm[/card] or [card]Elemental Destruction[/card]. They’re awesome against Paladin – Muster for Battle alone is guaranteed 3 mana discount on the Drake. It’s often possible to get them out for free on turn 3 or 4.
- Try to hit your Brann + Battlecry cards with [card]Emperor Thaurissan[/card]. This way you can squeeze in more cards into the Brann turn, getting even more value. For example, Brann + [card]Nefarian[/card] is a cool late game value combo, especially against classes with strong spells.
- Since Elemental Destruction isn’t a common card, you might easily bait enemy into overextending on the board. Especially if you throw one or two Storms already, he might think that you’re out of AoE. If he overextends, just punish him with Elemental Destruction.
- [card]Zombie Chow[/card] – If you find facing too many Aggro decks, you might find Chows useful. They simply let you have something to play early that contests opponent’s board. Even if you intend to do the AoE on turn 3, Chows are still sometimes useful. They can pop [card]Shielded Minibot[/card]’s Divine Shield, [card]Haunted Creeper[/card], even [card]Nerubian Egg[/card] against Zoo before Elemental Destruction. And if don’t draw your AoEs, they might give you enough time to get into the mid game without dying.
- [card]Lava Shock[/card] – While Elemental Destructions are awesome, having a dead turn after that isn’t that good anymore. Lava Shocks might make your mid game Aoe turns much more bearable. It still doesn’t affect turn 3 AoEs, but on turn 5 you might actually use Elemental Destruction and then Lava Shock something. Since Deathrattle minions are extremely popular, there is a high chance that something sticks. If not, even Lava Shocking enemy face to not have a dead turn 6 is fine. And if you Elemental Destruction on turn 6+, you might actually Lava Shock something at the start of the next turn to regain rest of mana points. It’s cool, but besides the two AoEs and Neptulon (and possibly some draws from Scarab), the deck runs no overload. So you might find them being pretty much 2 damage for 2 mana in some matchups. It’s still not the worst thing ever, though. Having a way to kill that [card]Knife Juggler[/card] on turn 2 might win you the game.
- [card]Rumbling Elemental[/card] – The deck is heavy on Battlecries. What’s another card from LoE (besides Brann) that synergizes with Battlecries? Yeah, this one. While the base stats are relatively weak (2 attack isn’t good enough for a 4-drop), the 6 health makes it hard to remove and if you follow it by a bunch of Battlecry cards, as it turns out it might be just the thing you need. Against Aggro, having a free 2 random damage per turn is really big. And they rarely can afford to put 6 damage into it, so it’s going to stick a lot of time. The 2 attack is also good at clearing the leftovers or just the smallest minions around. Much worse in Control matchups, often dealing 2 damage to their Hero means nothing and dealing 2 damage to their minion… also means nothing. Still it’s okayish thing to drop before turn 5 [card]Azure Drake[/card] or [card]Blackwing Corruptor[/card].
- [card]Ysera[/card] or [card]Alexstrasza[/card] – Alternative high cost Dragons. They are all good at different stuff. Nefarian gets you instant card advantage, but dies BGH and is generally easier to remove. Ysera is harder to remove, but gives you only one card instantly (if it’s Awakens it’s probably fine, but the rest are mediocre in this deck), so it’s better if it sticks to the board, but if it gets removed it’s usually worse. And Alexstrasza gives you some versatility – against Aggro it might serve as an additional way to heal up to 15 (healing up to 15 and putting an 8/8 on the board is often game over for an Aggro deck) and it might instantly deal 15 damage to the enemy Hero. Since this deck is so slow on the early game tempo, it might happen that you didn’t even deal any damage to the enemy Hero (or you did, but they had Armor as a Warrior or healed up as a Priest). Then Alex’ battlecry deals 15 damage, which is very good. If you already have some board presence, you Alex and you get enemy down to ~5 health, without board clear + life gain he might just lose the game next turn. They all make sense in this deck and all are activators for your Dragon synergy cards.
[toc]SirFunchalot’s Raging Patrons[/toc]
Patron Warrior is dead. That was probably the most common thing you heard after the [card]Warsong Commander[/card] nerf. It turned out to be completely untrue, with Midrange version of Patron Warrior still being brought to a lot of tournaments. People have tried a lot of versions of the deck, but most of them shared one similarity – there was no [card]Frothing Berserker[/card] Charge OTK. It played much more board-centric game instead of stall & combo them down game. Some people, however, don’t want to give up. The idea isn’t really new. [card]Raging Worgen[/card] OTK decks were out there way before Patron Warrior. Even the first versions of Patron Warrior had Raging Worgen there. Because, as it turns out, both cards synergize with similar stuff and you can play the deck that has both win conditions without really stuffing too much into it.
People who play a lot of Arena have probably already tasted the strength of the card. A seemingly weak 3/3 for 3 mana can be turned into a killing machine with the right tools. If you have a way to buff it’s attack and activate the windfury, yeah, enemy just dies. Paladin playing turn 3 [card]Raging Worgen[/card] into turn 4 [card]Blessing of Kings[/card] might just kill the enemy on turn 5. Even the Mage just pinging the Worgen with Hero Power, then protecting it and pushing for 8 damage per turn is very scary. But here, we have the whole deck built around that combo. Yeah, there are also Patrons, but they aren’t that cool.
This deck’s idea is very simple, yet it is pretty hard to play right. So, what is the combo? The main OTK combo in this deck is 10 mana one: Raging Worgen (3 mana) + Charge (3 mana) + 2x Inner Rage (0 mana) + 2x Rampage (4 mana). The combo turns a standard 3/3 minion into a 16/7 with Charge and Windfury. And it’s a true OTK, because it doesn’t require any setup, it doesn’t require any mana discounts from [card]Emperor Thaurissan[/card] – you just get the right cards and kill the enemy from empty board and full life.
The truth is that you will rarely need the full combo to kill the enemy. You’re very likely to deal some damage with your other minions, some damage with the Patrons, you even have the weapons if you need to soften the enemy first. You’re also going to use your combo pieces on other minions sometimes, the deck is pretty flexible in this matter.
The deck’s secondary, more board-centric win condition are [card]Grim Patron[/card] shenanigans. With couple of Whirlwind effects, [card]Inner Rage[/card] and [card]Cruel Taskmaster[/card], it’s very likely to flood the whole board with Patrons. Which against certain decks just wins you the game. Enemy has no way to clear them? You just hit him in the face and clone them even further.
The deck is also heavy on card draw, just like any other combo deck. [card]Slam[/card]s allow you to cycle one card, [card]Acolyte of Pain[/card] combined with Whirlwind effects and pings most likely will draw another 2 or 3, you also get the [card]Gnomish Inventor[/card]s and – probably most important – [card]Battle Rage[/card]. This card is so broken in this kind of deck. For just 2 mana you might easily draw 4+ cards. So just like with the old Patron deck, by the time enemy will get through half of his deck, you should pretty much draw your whole.
You also have couple other interesting combos/synergies. [card]Armorsmith[/card] combined with [card]Grim Patron[/card] or just any other board presence and whirlwind effects can give you TONS of Armor. 20+ Armor gain turn with 2 Armorsmiths isn’t anything special. [card]Rampage[/card] can be used on other minions too. You have a 3/2 Patron against opponent’s 3/3 minion? You can just trade them, but where’s the fun in that? Buffing your one to 6/5 not only gives you a free trade, but also spawns another 3/3. Rampage has also an insane synergy with [card]Acolyte of Pain[/card]. Rampaging a 1/2 Acolyte turns it into a 4/6 minion. Not only it can actually contest pretty much any mid game play from the opponent, but also it draws you a lot of cards.
That’s how it looks. A pretty fun deck to play, probably not as strong as the old Patron Warrior, maybe not even as strong as the new Midrange Patron, but if you’re missing the old times of flooding the board AND getting 30+ charge damage from your hand in one deck, you should definitely check this out.
- The deck’s playstyle is much more similar to the old Patron than to the new one. The idea is to control the board with your early game minions and weapons, stall the game as long as you can, draw tons of cards and then finish enemy off with either one of your win conditions.
- The deck is very good against Aggro. You have [card]Fiery war Axe[/card]s, [card]Armorsmith[/card]s, [card]Cruel Taskmaster[/card]s, [card]Slam[/card]s to control the early board. [card]Whirlwind[/card] and [card]Death’s Bite[/card] are MVP in matchups where opponent floods the board with low health minions – against Paladin, Zoo Warlock (especially the Flood Zoo), Face Hunter and stuff like that. [card]Acolyte of Pain[/card] is awesome thing to drop into [card]Muster for Battle[/card] or [card]Haunted Creeper[/card]. Controlling the board should be relatively easy and your Hero Power is great against this kind of decks.
- Since Raging Worgen OTK won’t be your win condition in fast matchups, you can just throw it on the board as a 3-drop. Opponent might feel threatened enough to even trade into it himself. And he’s right, because Worgen is incredibly threatening if you have the right hand. Something like Inner Rage + 2x Rampage on turn 4 might just win you the game (you get a 12/8 minion with Windfury after all, and put enemy at 6 even if he didn’t take any damage before).
- In slower matchups, keep your Worgens until the OTK turn. Only if you have two of them and you know that you won’t need the second one, you can drop it.
- Grim Patrons are a serious win condition in a lot of cases. A lot of decks have no way to clear them, so the game often just ends on turn 5 thanks to that. The most common Grim Patron combo is setting up the Death’s Bite on turn 4 and attacking with it once. Then on turn 5 you drop the Patron, Inner Rage it and attack with Death’s Bite. Not only you most likely clear the board with the weapon, but you end up with 2x 3/3 Patrons, 3/2 Patron and 5/1 Patron. Next turn you can cast the Whirlwind, use Cruel Taskmaster etc. to spawn even more of them.
- You need to identify whether you need burst finisher in certain matchup. Let’s say against Handlock or against Reno decks, you really need the Worgen OTK. It means that you shouldn’t use your combo pieces elsewhere. Throwing one Inner Rage or Rampage somewhere is fine, but keep at least one of each for the Worgen to burst enemy down.
- Cruel Taskmaster can be used as a substitute to Rampage when doing the OTK combo. You deal 2 less damage, but it’s still 30, so that’s fine. You can’t sub both Rampages, though, because you Worgen won’t have enough health to survive.
- Charge allows for some sneaky lethals even without the Worgen. It’s very easy to deal 10+ damage from your hand with Charge + Inner Rage + Rampage combo on pretty much any of your minions. Check for lethal every turn, especially if enemy is pretty low and you also have a weapon equipped.
- [card]Warsong Commander[/card] – It has insane synergy with the Charge minions and since your whole deck revolves around Charge OTK, it can be used to… Just kidding, it’s useless.
- [card]Unstable Ghoul[/card] – Good against Aggro and in the matchups where Grim Patron is your main win condition. While it adds nothing to the Worgen OTK combo, it synergizes with the rest of the deck quite well. Another Whirlwind effect means that you gain more Armor with Armorsmith, you draw an extra card with Acolyte of Pain, you spawn more Grim Patrons. What’s cool about Unstable Ghoul is that he’s a solid turn 2 play against a lot of decks. Not only it trades evenly with most of the 2-drops, but also might make opponent’s turn more awkward if he can’t instantly kill it. AWESOME card against Paladin.
- [card]Emperor Thaurissan[/card] – Makes combo pieces cheaper, allows earlier OTK, allows even more damage (because you can add Cruel Taskmasters to the combo) if you ever need it, allows to – for example use the [card]Execute[/card] on your combo turn so you can get through a Taunt. Even if you don’t hit exactly the Worgen combo pieces, pretty much every card is part of some combo in this deck. If you hit Patrons or Whirlwind – that’s cool, you can spawn them easier. If you hit Battle Rage – that’s also awesome, it allows you to squeeze it into your turn much easier. Armorsmith? It makes the big Armor gain turns better. Yeah, Emperor Thaurissan is not NECESSARY in this deck, because the OTK combo is 10 mana and you don’t need any discounts, but it’s still okay thing to have.
- [card]Brawl[/card] – It might be insane card in certain matchups, especially since enemy doesn’t expect it from you. Against Control Warrior – yeah, he’ll play around Brawl. But if he sees you’re a Patron, it’s much more likely that he’ll try to flood the board before you use Patrons (Aggro decks) or just play a few midgame minions to have a way to clear the Patrons. In both cases you can punish them with well-timed Brawl. It also allows you to stall the game if you’re close to drawing the whole combo already, but opponent threatens a lot of damage on the board. Or if enemy has some big Taunts that you can’t clear and you need to set up for the combo turn – the chances are that after the Brawl Taunts will no longer be there and you can have a free ride with Worgen next turn. Cool card that can come handy in a lot of scenarios.
Thank you for your attention! This week we had higher class and play style variety. And no Aggro decks, so the Control/Combo deck fans should be pretty happy. I’ve thought about including the “new” version of Aggro Shaman (the one without Mechs), but since we had an Aggro Shaman 2 weeks ago, I would be repeating too much things.
I really like the LoE expansion and the fact that it brings new meta each week. But with the last wing already released, we’ll probably see people realizing what are the best decks and meta going more stale once again. Still, it’s fun while it lasts, right?
If you want to submit your own decklist – send it to me at email@example.com with a proof of Legend, matchups statistics (it’s best to use some sort of tracker for that), your own thoughts and stuff like that. Or if you’ve already described the deck somewhere, you can just send me the link to your Reddit/Hearthpwn/etc. post! I’ll definitely try to put at least one deck submitted by you guys every week.
If you have any other suggestions or comments, leave them in the section below!