Welcome back for the fourth 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.
Well, well. It’s already 4th week and I hope that I still keep you guys interested. Whole League of Explorers got released. It probably means that the meta shifts should slow down soon when people realize the strongest lists and refine them, at least until the next expansion.
All the decks were tested in Legend on EU server. I was floating around ranks 300-500 most of time, got up to top 200 twice and down below top 1000 once. After enough practice and in a proper meta, every of those decks can be used to grind the Legend!
[toc]Dog’s Pillager Miracle Rogue[/toc]
The king is back, baby! Well, technically a queen, because it’s hard to mistake Valeera for a man. Miracle Rogue was one of the most popular Hearthstone decks, probably also the strongest deck at the time. I’ve played my fair share of it when it was still a thing and it’s just like with the Patron Warrior (for more recent players). On the one hand, I miss it, because it was hard to play and really required a lot of skill to execute well, but on the other hand it was just too strong and I’m glad it is gone. After nerfing BOTH [card]Leeroy Jenkins[/card] (from 4 to 5 mana, which prevented the Leeroy + 2x [card]Shadowstep[/card] combos) and [card]Gadgetzan Auctioneer[/card] (from 5 to 6 mana, meaning that you often had to wait until TURN 7 to get the Gadgetzan + [card]Conceal[/card] combo) the deck was basically dead. I mean, a lot of players have tried to play it from time to time, but with very mixed results. This is probably the first semi-successful attempt of resurrecting the deck. Thanks to the new addition to Rogue’s arsenal – [card]Tomb Pillager[/card] – you can consistently get off the Gadgetzan + Conceal combo a turn earlier, pretty much negating the nerf. Since Leeroy is still nerfed, you play another combo instead. You also had to tighten the deck to fit a couple of Pillagers. Does the deck work?
Well, I’ve played a few games with it and once again, I had mixed results. But I haven’t played a lot of Rogue since the pre-nerf Miracle, more tempo-styled decks if anything, Oil Rogue was sitting on the shelf and waiting. I’m not 100% sure if the deck is good enough right now, but I can be sure of one thing – people will try to bring back Miracle as long as there is a slight hope that the deck will be good. But like I’ve said, I’m not a Rogue expert right now, so my very average winrate (about 55%) is probably the reason. Maybe the best Rogue players will really get it back on the right tracks.
But, back to the deck itself. Your game plan is quite simple, actually. You control the board early with your Hero Power and removals. You play some mid game minions and you also control the board with them. You’re not an Aggro deck so you aren’t rushing enemy down (unless some crazy things happen). Then, possibly after getting a Coin from Tomb Pillager, you play Gadgetzan Auctioneer + Conceal. And then miracles happen. You cycle through the half of your deck with cheap spells, Preps and stuff like that. The goal is to draw into the [card]Southsea Deckhand[/card] + 2x [card]Cold Blood[/card] + [card]Faceless Manipulator[/card] combo, which deals 20 damage for 8 mana. And then execute it after dealing some initial damage with your minions, weapon or other spells. Pretty simple plan, like I’ve said. But it’s much harder to do in the game than on the paper.
The deck really relies on Gadgetzan Auctioneer. It relies so much on that card that you might even keep it in Mulligan against slower decks. Besides Auctioneers, the deck actually has very little card draw. Yes, [card]Shiv[/card] and [card]Fan of Knives[/card] cycle, [card]Bloodmage Thalnos[/card] cycles and [card]Azure Drake[/card] cycles. However, 5 cards that cycle is not enough when you want to consistently draw into a 4 cards combo on turn 8-9.
Miracle Rogue struggles against some decks even more than ever. Fast Aggro decks (Face Hunter, Aggro Shaman) might just outrun it and kill Rogue before the Gadgetzan shenanigans. On the other side, Control Warrior is a matchup you pretty much can’t win, because he’s so defensive. Your deck is suited to kill someone who’s at 30 health, not someone who’s at 50 health. You’re very likely to run out of damage when Warrior will still be sitting at a high health amount. Slow Warlocks were originally also bad matchups, but I honestly don’t know how it works right now, because my sample size isn’t big enough.
On the other hand, it has pretty solid matchups too. It deals quite well with Paladins, just like other Rogue decks. It’s also cool against Control Priest, because they don’t put enough pressure (well, they can deal with Concealed Auctioneer pretty easily, but still).
The deck is definitely a cool blast from the past, but right now probably only that. Oil Rogue is a better deck right now. Maybe Miracle only needs some optimization or maybe it’s not the time for the deck to rise again yet. We’ll see.
- Against slower decks, don’t use your combo pieces individually. [card]Southsea Deckhand[/card], 2x [card]Cold Blood[/card] and [card]Faceless Manipulator[/card] are often needed to kill the enemy. Against Aggro you can be less conservative, because you’re mostly fighting to survive – the game probably won’t get to turn 8+ anyway. So using that Southsea to charge into Knife Juggler on turn 3 is okay play if that’s your only way to kill it.
- Coin is very valuable, so you want to keep it for the Gadgetzan if you can. If you start second and play Tomb Pillager on turn 4, you can go for the Gadgetzan plays as soon as turn 5, which is a really big deal.
- If you face a deck that can deal with a stealthed Auctioneer (like Freeze Mage with [card]Flamestrike[/card], Priest with [card]Lightbomb[/card] etc.), you want to get as much initial value as you can in case they kill him. So you might wait a turn longer, you might combo him with free/cheap spells like Backstab/Deadly Poison, you might play something with [card]Preparation[/card]. Then even if enemy gets rid of it, you cycled a lot and possibly even drew the second one in the process.
- [card]Loatheb[/card] is a good set-up for a combo turn, especially if you have some minions on the board already. Enemy won’t likely be able to clear your board with spells, so you can often kill him from 30 health.
- Keep one [card]Sap[/card] for the combo turn (if it’s on t8 you need Prep + Sap) – otherwise a single [card]Sludge Belcher[/card] can completely ruin it.
- While you mainly play Tomb Pillager to get the coin, a 5/4 minion is pretty threatening by itself. Not only it can get some trades on the board, but you often want to target opponent’s face with him. Especially against classes with no built-in life gain (Priest, Warrior), every point of face damage often just stays this way and just two hits with Tomb Pillager already put them into the combo range.
- [card]Conceal[/card] might be used offensively too. If you have 2-3 minions on the board, especially when they’re buffed with [card]Cold Blood[/card], concealing them might force enemy to have an answer (and it’s much harder to answer minions in stealth) or just die. Stealthing the buffed minions is a secondary win condition, especially against decks that run no big AoE.
It’s really hard to add more cards to the deck. And I mean it. It was already hard to fit anything more before Tomb Pillagers and now it’s even harder. I COULD see certain tech cards like [card]Alexstrasza[/card] (to get enemy down to 15 health before combo) or [card]Antique Healbot[/card] (to stall the game and survive against Aggro). Cards like [card]Edwin VanCleef[/card] or [card]Mana Addict[/card] were also parts of the old Miracle, but I haven’t tested them and I honestly don’t know what could you take out to include them. The deck probably needs more refining, but I’m not a proper person to do that.
[toc]GameKing’s Aggro Paladin[/toc]
The Aggro/Rush Paladin was pretty much always present in the meta, but rarely rising to the top. Over a year ago, the so-called Shockadin build became really popular. Half year ago another build has risen, this time it was Eboladin, created by Savjz. Aggro Paladin was still popular pre-TGT, but then [card]Mysterious Challenger[/card] was released and Secret Paladin has became Paladin’s go-to build. While Secret and Midrange builds are still strongest ones, GameKing has proven that Aggro Paladin still has its place in the meta.
The deck utilizes a couple of new LoE cards, in combination with the old and already tested things they’ve created a very reasonable Aggro deck. But maybe let’s start with a simple question: why would you want to play Aggro Paladin instead of any other Aggro deck? Strong decks need some broken mechanic to be, well, strong enough to hit top Legend ranks with. In case of Aggro Paladin, this broken mechanic is [card]Divine Favor[/card]. The card allows Paladin to throw away everything on the board without worrying about removals or running out of steam, for one simple reason. The less cards you have, the more you’re going to draw with Divine Favor. While it doesn’t work that well in fast matchups, against slower decks you’re consistently drawing 5+ cards for 3 mana. Compare it to the baseline – [card]Arcane Intellect[/card] – and you’ll see why it’s so broken.
Other reasons are very strong turns 2-4. [card]Shielded Minibot[/card] is one of the best 2-drops in the game, pretty much any Aggro deck would run it if they could. [card]Muster for Battle[/card] and [card]Coghammer[/card] on turn 3 are both powerful tempo plays. While [card]Blessing of Kings[/card] (quite likely on a minion with Divine Shield) and [card]Keeper of Uldaman[/card] give you a way to push for more damage or push through the enemy first big drops.
Some choices are pretty interesting. Running [card]Sir Finley Mrrgglton[/card] is a first thing that strikes me. The thing is – Paladin’s Hero Power is not that bad in some matchups, but there are others where it’s completely useless. Once enemy stabilizes, if he has a way to clear you Silver Hand Recruits, your Hero Power is only drawing some of their attention, but not pushing for any damage. With Finley, you’re very likely to get offered something that’s actually better. Warlock’s [card]Life Tap[/card] and Hunter’s [card]Steady Shot[/card] are obviously best for the Aggro decks – and you actually are going to get them quite consistently. But the Druid’s [card]Shapeshift[/card] and Mage’s [card]Fireblast[/card] are also okay. I’d say that Rogue’s [card]Wicked Knife[/card] is good too, but since it’s a weapon, it’s redundant with 2x [card]Muster for Battle[/card] and 2x [card]Coghammer[/card] – that’s 14 weapon charges in total. It means that you’re very likely to get a good Hero Power. The set of Warrior, Priest and Shaman would probably be the worst one possible, but the chances of that happening are really low.
Another choice is the new [card]Keeper of Uldaman[/card]. The card is really cool, because it serves two purposes. First one is buffing your small minions. The effect is best on 1/1’s, but even buffing your [card]Haunted Creeper[/card] or Sir Finley to a 3/3 is a good deal. But you should be having a plenty of small minions. The best value it gets is probably on the [card]Argent Squire[/card] – a 3/3 with Divine Shield is very strong thing to have. You’re basically turning your 1-drop into a 4-drop ([card]Silvermoon Guardian[/card]), even though the 4-drop is pretty bad it’s still a big deal.
Another thing that strikes me is the lack of [card]Truesilver Champion[/card] or Charge minions. It means that the deck is much more board-control oriented. Some of the older builds could just get enemy down to 15 with the initial pressure and then finish him off with Chargers + buffs (like [card]Blessing of Might[/card] or [card]Abusive Sergeant[/card]) and Truesilver (8 damage over 2 turns). Instead of that, the deck took much more Midrange approach with a much stronger mid game (4-drop is very crowded for an Aggro deck) and even a late game bomb in form of [card]Dr. Boom[/card].
It means that you don’t want to play this deck like a Face Hunter. You actually want to make the trades and control the board, because minions ON THE BOARD are your source of damage. You lose the board – you lose the game, unless you already got enemy very low. This deck is surprisingly good at controlling the board. With a lot of early game weapons, 2x Keeper of Uldaman, 2x Abusive Sergeant, 2x Blessing of Kings and 2x Consecration you should have tools against everything – flooding the board, one big minion, couple of mid game minions etc.
You might love or hate Aggro decks, but this one actually plays a very board-centric instead of face-rush game, so I wouldn’t even put it in one category with Face Hunter or Aggro Shaman. Aggro Paladin definitely works. And like I’ve said in the beginning, the deck is never really dead. With [card]Divine Favor[/card] being one of the most broken cards in the game, we will see a new list built around it over and over, unless the card gets changed in the future.
- When playing Sir Finley, the Hero Powers you want to take are (in that order): Hunter ([card]Steady Shot[/card]), Warlock ([card]Life Tap[/card]), Mage ([card]Fireblast[/card]), Druid ([card]Shapeshift[/card]), Rogue ([card]Wicked Knife[/card]), Priest ([card]Lesser Heal[/card]), Shaman ([card]Totemic Call[/card]) and Warrior ([card]Armor up![/card]). Priest’s and Warrior’s get higher priority against face rush decks that you can outvalue in the longer game, like Aggro Shaman or Face Hunter. I think that Hunter’s one is stronger, because Divine Favor is already an incredibly strong draw mechanic and the deck’s curve is slightly higher, so the deck shouldn’t have that much problems with running out of cards.
- Prioritize board control and generally save buff cards to deal with the opponent’s board. While playing [card]Blessing of Kings[/card] on the curve is okay, you’d rather play the [card]Piloted Shredder[/card] and save buffs for when you’re guaranteed to get instant value by running a minion into something enemy plays. You should also try to save the [card]Abusive Sergeant[/card] and [card]Keeper of Uldaman[/card] to make better trades. If those are your only plays and enemy has no minions, you obviously go for them, because you can’t afford to lose the tempo. It’s just that if you have something else to do, you prefer to keep them.
- Don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Having a 9/10 Haunted Creeper with Divine Shield can seem nice, but it’s really vulnerable to Silence. Not to mention that anything buffed above 7 attack can be killed by [card]Big Game Hunter[/card], and that’s a pretty big tempo swing for your opponent. Spread your buffs among many targets, try to not buff anything above 7 attack (so prioritize Blessing of Kings on 1/2 attack minions instead of 3+ attack ones).
- If the [card]Divine Favor[/card] is already in your hand, you can afford to play into opponent’s removals. A lot of your cards have instant value instant value (like [card]Abusive Sergeant[/card] or [card]Southsea Deckhand[/card]) and others have some sort of Deathrattle ([card]Haunted Creeper[/card], [card]Piloted Shredder[/card]), so pretty much no card is going to be useless. And when enemy uses the board clear, you just play Divine Favor, refill your hand and then refill your board.
- In fast matchups don’t be too greedy with your Divine Favor. 2-3 draws are good, sometimes even cycling Divine Favor for another card is good enough if you’re both running out of cards. Still, in fast matchups you want to prioritize tempo over value. Like I’ve already said, you’re going to outvalue most of the fast decks in the long run, so you want to have board tempo and control opponent’s side all the time.
- [card]Blessing of Might[/card] – The card has insane synergy with Divine Shields and allows you to push for some extra burst damage. It makes the burst strategy more viable, because that’s a cheap source of damage from your hand. It also allows to get easier trades with opponent’s big minions (something like a slightly weaker [card]Power Overwhelming[/card]) and it makes it easier to dump your hand when you set up for the Divine Favor turn.
- [card]King Mukla[/card] – A 5/5 minion for 3 mana is huge, probably one of the best things you can drop on turn 3. But it doesn’t come without a downside. Giving enemy two [card]Bananas[/card] allows him to buff his own minions. In reality, though, the downside against a lot of decks is negligible. Enemy won’t likely have enough time to spend 2 additional mana on Bananas until later turns. It also combos really well with Divine Favor – on turn 6 you can combo those two to get 2 more cards. But even if you just use Mukla, you usually clog opponent’s hand, making it harder for him to play around Divine Favor. Be careful, because Mukla sucks really hard in one matchup. If you face Tempo Mage, you probably should never play him. Bananas have insane synergy with most of their deck, especially [card]Flamewaker[/card] and [card]Archmage Antonidas[/card].
- [card]Argent Horserider[/card] – A very cool minion. I like it because of how flexible it is. It might be a proactive turn 3 play – just charging opponent’s face for 2 damage and having a 2/1 with Divine Shield on the board. It might be used as a finisher, when you need some extra damage. And it might be used as a board control tool. Since it’s the instant damage and it has Divine Shield, you charge it into opponent’s minion and still have a 2/1 on the board. Awesome at getting rid of those [card]Knife Juggler[/card]s.
[toc]P4wnyhof’s Brann Zoo Warlock[/toc]
What is this deck? I mean, honestly? It’s kinda a mix between the standard Zoo, Flood Zoo AND a Control Warlock. Isn’t that crazy? But it works, so I can’t really say no to that, since Zoo is one of my favorite decks. The deck is very interesting. P4wnyhof has decided to throw away the whole demon package that makes the standard DemonZoo strong – [card]Voidcaller[/card], [card]Doomguard[/card], [card]Mal’ganis[/card]. Instead, he opts to play more flood-like minions – [card]Reliquary Seeker[/card], [card]Gormok the Impaler[/card], [card]Sea Giant[/card] and the “value” cards – [card]Brann Bronzebeard[/card], [card]Jeweled Scarab[/card], [card]Big Game Hunter[/card].
But first of all, why is the deck called a Brann Zoo? Because it’s probably the most important card in the deck. Even though it doesn’t seem like that on the first glance. Brann has insane synergy with some of those cards. [card]Abusive Sergeant[/card] giving 4 attack allows a 1/1 to get rid of a 5/5. [card]Dark Peddler[/card] and [card]Jeweled Scarab[/card] discover two cards instead of one, giving you tons of value. [card]Defender of Argus[/card] gives a total of +4/+4 on top of the 2/3 body and 2 Taunts. [card]Gormok the Impaler[/card] shoots for 8 damage, giving you a nice additional burst or a way to kill.. pretty much any minion. [card]Loatheb[/card] completely seals opponent’s spells – with +5 cost, enemy still could cast spells that costed up to 5 mana. Freeze Mage could refresh the [card]Ice Block[/card] or play [card]Frost Nova[/card]. Rogue could [card]Blade Flurry[/card] your board etc. With +10 spell cost, nothing like that can happen. [card]Reliquary Seeker[/card] gets +8/+/8 instead of +4/+4, so it becomes a 9/9 minion if you have full board. The icing on a cake is probably a [card]Dr. Boom[/card] giving you 4 Boom bots instead of 2. It might not seem like A LOT of Battlecries, but every each of them is really impactful. If you manage to get 6x discover from Peddler + Scarab, you can be pretty sure that you’re not going to run out of plays anytime soon and have a pretty nice burst (Peddler can often give you [card]Power Overwhelming[/card] or [card]Soulfire[/card]). Killing something big with Abusive or Gormok is also a crazy swing.
Besides that, the deck plays like a standard Zoo most of the time. You fight for the board control. You get nice mid game tempo swings with Imp-losion, Gormok and cheap Sea Giants. BGH is another way to swing the tempo, the card is awesome in slower matchups, but pretty much every deck runs some 7+ attack target (that’s usually [card]Dr. Boom[/card]).
There is not much more to say about the deck, because you probably seen Zoo in action thousands of times already. The Brann shenanigans are most interesting and innovative part of this deck.
- Fight for the board control. Zoo, especially with a “Flood Zoo” aspect, is a deck that loses the game once it completely loses the board control. A lot of your cards are very weak if you don’t have any minions – Reliquary Seeker is just a 1/1, Abusive Sergeant and Defender of Argus require board to work, Gormok requires even bigger board, Sea Giants are often unplayable if enemy controls the board with only 2-3 minions. It means that you should go for the early game tempo, which will result in an incredibly strong mid game.
- While Brann is the core of the deck, it’s okay to throw him on the board on turn 3 in fast matchups. Even if you’re not going to utilize his effect, having a vanilla 2/4 (with quasi-Taunt) is better than just passing the turn and losing the tempo.
- Jeweled Scarab isn’t a turn 2 play, unless you really have nothing else to do. I’d even say that in Midrange/Control matchups sometimes Life Tapping might be better than playing Scarab (sometimes = when you already have a turn 3 play like [card]Imp Gang Boss[/card]), because you’re losing potential synergy with Brann later.
- Depending on how lucky you are, [card]Knife Juggler[/card] + [card]Imp-losion[/card] might be a great comeback mechanic. If you roll 4, that’s 4 single target damage, 4 random damage and 3/2 + 4x 1/1 on the board for just 6 mana. If you’re going second, Knife Juggler on turn 2 into Coin + Imp-losion on turn 3 is also a very strong play. This time even rolling 3 is usually more than enough to kill whatever enemy might have played.
- While in the standard Zoo you often want to sacrifice your small minions to play around board clears, in this deck you want to have as many small minions as possible. While it’s more risky against AoE, it allows for insane mid game tempo swings in your favor, which is worth it.
- The deck is really flexible, because it might play the tempo game OR the value game, depending on what your game plan is. In slow matchups it’s often possible to grind the enemy out of cards, because you draw two per turn (+more from Discover), while in the fast matchups you can outtempo the enemy with buffs, Imp-losion, Gormok and cheap Giants.
- [card]Flame Imp[/card] – You can play one copy instead of Reliquary Seeker. It gives you more solid early game and more consistent curve at the cost of potential mid/late game tempo swing with a 5/5 for 1 mana. It’s really up to you which one you prefer, the deck should work either way. I think that Reliquary Seeker is stronger in slower matchups, while Flame Imp is better when you need a better early game curve.
- [card]Mortal Coil[/card] – Awesome against Aggro and Paladin, helps with trading and cycles through your deck. Not much to say about it, if you face a lot of fast decks, Mortal Coil is always a viable choice.
- [card]Dire Wolf Alpha[/card] – This card goes very well with the “having a lot of stuff on the board strategy”. When you have tons of 1/1’s, they don’t trade that well. But if you can change every 1/1 into 2/1, it’s suddenly much easier to kill whatever you want. It also gives you another way to activate the Nerubian Egg or just make your trades with the early game minions better (like buffing [card]Voidwalker[/card] or [card]Haunted Creeper[/card] to 2 attack).
- [card]Antique Healbot[/card] – It might seem strange to put Healbot into a Zoo deck, but it’s actually decent. The first reason is that you’re playing Brann. Brann + Healbot is an insane 16 points of healing. This combo alone can help you against Aggro decks when you were nearly dead. It might also help you get out of range of Druid’s combo. On the other hand, in slower matchups your life directly translates to card advantage. Considering that sometimes you take a hit or two in the mid game, if the game goes for too long (and some games do), you might actually be too low to tap even in slower matchups. Healbot is 8 health, so 4 more taps.
- [card]Bomb Lobber[/card] – Another card synergizing with Brann. Good card when your game plan is to control the board. It might give you some easy trades against their mid/late game minions. With Brann it throw two 4 damage bombs, dealing 8 damage in total, so clearing the board quite nicely. Also a tech card if a new Miracle Rogue becomes popular, because it allows you to counter the [card]Gadgetzan Auctioneer[/card] + [card]Conceal[/card].
[toc]Noninfidel’s Deathlord Midrange Hunter[/toc]
[card]Deathlord[/card] in the Hunter. Yep, you’re not dreaming. Deathlord is usually associated with Control or Fatigue decks, but that’s not necessarily right. It’s good in any deck as long as you face Aggro. Those matchups are mostly driven by tempo and having a turn 3 Deathlord is a HUGE tempo in your favor. 2/8 minion with Taunt? It’s very hard to pass through it. It protects the rest of your board too. Also if enemy somehow manages to get through it too fast, if you play against a fast deck, he’s not going to get something big on average. It’s slightly more problematic against slow decks, but let’s be honest – slow decks also play some small minions AND if you can manage to deal 10+ damage with the other minions that live just because you have Deathlord to protect them means it’s worth it most of the time. And for the situations where enemy Warrior [card]Execute[/card]s it right away and gets an 8/8, you’re playing 2x [card]Hunter’s Mark[/card]. So yeah, Deathlord in the Hunter.
Most of the decklist seems pretty standard, but there are couple of interesting choices. There is no [card]Freezing Trap[/card], but there are 2 [card]Snake Trap[/card]s instead. Why? Because Taunt (Deathlord) pretty much guarantees your Snakes to proc (unless he gets Silenced, but you don’t really mind that). Snake Trap’s biggest downside is that once enemy identifies that it’s a Snake, he can play around it pretty easily. When you put a 2/8 Taunt in his way, he can’t just ignore it and go face. So, Snake Traps are better thanks to the Deathlords. And thanks to the Snake Traps, your [card]Knife Juggler[/card]s, [card]Hunter’s Mark[/card]s and [card]Houndmaster[/card]s are better. With 6 Taunts in total (Bear, Deathlords, Houndmasters, Sludge Belcher) the deck works really well in fast matchups – against other Hunters, against Secret Paladins, against Aggro Shamans, against Aggro Druids… Deathlords might not be an optimal choice against let’s say Priest ([card]Shadow Word: Pain[/card], [card]Cabal Shadow Priest[/card]) or Warrior ([card]Execute[/card]), but those matchups are only a small part of the current ladder.
The rest of the deck is a pretty standard Midrange. 2x [card]Savannah Highmane[/card] and [card]Dr. Boom[/card] for the powerful late game drops, standard 2-drop choice of [card]Knife Juggler[/card] + [card]Mad Scientist[/card] + [card]Haunted Creeper[/card], Unleash, Huff… Animal Companion, Kill command etc.
Deathlords took the place of [card]Piloted Shredder[/card]s, which is probably the most controversial change here. Remove the best neutral 4-drop and add two defensive 3-drops? Well. If it works, I can’t really say that there’s anything wrong with that.
- You mostly want to play the deck like a standard Midrange Hunter. Deathlord actually lets you curve out even better, because the only real 3-drop most of the Midrange Hunters run is [card]Animal Companion[/card] ([card]Eaglehorn Bow[/card] is bad on turn 3 if enemy has no good target to hit).
- If you have Deathlord in your hand already, you might do some non-standard turn 2 plays. Like instead of playing a “safe” minion – [card]Mad Scientist[/card], [card]Haunted Creeper[/card] – you might develop the Knife Juggler (you protect it with a 2/8 Taunt and it allows you to push for more damage) or even a [card]Snake Trap[/card] (this way you get a nice board presence when enemy hits your Deathlord and possibly even a good Houndmaster on next turn).
- If you really don’t want to give enemy a random drop from your Deathlord and you don’t care about the Taunt, you might actually Silence it in certain cases (in the matchups where Silence isn’t really needed). But you should generally keep an Owl for a good target with strong Deathrattle, like [card]Mad Scientist[/card], [card]Nerubian Egg[/card] or [card]Sylvanas Windrunner[/card]/[card]Tirion Fordring[/card] later in the game.
- Try developing the [card]Knife Juggler[/card] before enemy procs your Snake Trap. They have very good synergy, with Knife Juggler dealing extra 3 random damage.
- Your turn 5 is quite weak. While you might get some good combos like Knife Juggler + [card]Unleash the Hounds[/card], those require two cards and don’t work against slow decks. Your only real 5-drop is [card]Sludge Belcher[/card]. So if you’re starting second, you might actually want to keep a coin to curve out into [card]Savannah Highmane[/card] on turn 5.
- Remember that you’re not a face rush deck. Midrange Hunter fights for board control much more. You’re often not going to deal a single point of face damage until turn 5-6. Especially against fast decks, board control is your #1 priority and only when you drop your big threats like Highmane or Dr. Boom, you might shift gears and start racing them. Obviously if you face a slow deck, or enemy gets bad start and has no early drops, then you want to punish it and deal as much damage as you can.
- [card]Glaivezooka[/card] – I could see this as an one-of in the deck. Not only it helps with the early board control, but it also has a great synergy with Deathlord. The higher health minion has, the better attack buffs works. And with 8 health of the Deathlord it works very well. The difference between 2 and 3 attack can be quite huge, because of all the popular 3 health minions – [card]Tunnel Trogg[/card], [card]Darnassus Aspirant[/card], [card]Feral Spirit[/card], [card]Piloted Shredder[/card] etc.
- [card]Freezing Trap[/card] – I think that Snake Trap works well in this deck, but I know that some people don’t like it. I also know people who aren’t fans of Bear Trap. So, the good old Freezing Trap is always going to work in Hunter. The problem right now is the Paladin’s popularity, 1/1’s aren’t really great targets to freeze. But it gets quite a lot of value in matchups like Druid, Warrior or Priest.
- [card]Piloted Shredder[/card] – Yeah, you can actually add those. At least one. If you don’t like [card]Houndmaster[/card]s, Shredders will be a good sub. They are a better proactive play most of the time, but Houndmasters have potential to get more value if the conditions are met. Since the conditions are met a lot of time when playing this deck, I think that Houndmaster’s +2/+2 and Taunt might be stronger than a random 2-drop. But it’s up to personal preference.
- [card]Loatheb[/card] – Since [card]Sludge Belcher[/card] is pretty much a flex spot, you can put Loatheb instead. One less Taunt, but a stronger body and better board protection against slower decks. I mean, once you get out Highmane + something else on the board, the only way you’re going to lose this game most of time is to a massive board clear. Loatheb can prevent one. It’s overall solid minion, good against pretty much every class. Awesome against Freeze Mage/Tempo Mage, might give you one more turn against Aggro (if they need spells to burn you down) and Druid (delays combo).
Thank you for your attention! A small announcement – there will be no episode next week. It’s Christmas and my birthday, so I’ll be busy doing… other stuff. Ep #5 is going to be out next year, two weeks from now, on the 2nd of January.
I wonder when the next expansion is going to hit, because people will be running out of ideas for new, fun decks soon. And I don’t really want to write about generic decks with just 1 or 2 changes 🙁
If you want to submit your own decklist – send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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!