Having played a lot of Dead Man’s Hand Warrior at high legend lately, the deck’s lack of finishers is disheartening. In a meta full of Benedictus, Deathstalker Rexxar, Rin, Sulfuras and other massive value engines, it’s nice to be able to do something pro-active. I’ve tried a whole bunch of strategies to improve these matchups, from Yip to Elise to trying to incorporate the Quest. But there’s one I keep coming back to; Marin the Fox. His treasure is hard to get, but once you nab it, you can repeatedly shuffle it back into your deck for huge effect.
Of course, not all treasures are created equal. So which should you pray to RNGesus for when playing Dead Man’s Warrior? And how should you alter your strategy to take best advantage of these powerful artifacts? Here’s my subjective ranking, worst to best.
4: The goblet of greed
At first, Tobin’s Goblet seems like the most powerful of the treasures. The cards you put in your deck are good, so filling your hand with them must be great right? Well, depends on which cards. Depending on matchup, some are downright dangerous. For instance, in many matchups getting a card like Brawl or Execute could be fatal, forcing you to clog up your hand with cards you can’t play. Alternatively, overdosing on draw with too many Acolytes could also be a problem. And of course, you never want more than two Dead Man’s Hands at a time!
With that said, the Goblet is still very useful at times, especially when it gives you cheap lifegain or removal. Getting Shield Blocks is a personal favourite. But while it can greatly improve your survivability, it pales in comparison to other treasures when it comes to closing out games. More pro-active treasures are usually more fortunate.
3: The Capricious Kobold
When it comes switching to a pro-active strategy, the Golden Kobold is a great outcome. Inspired by Elise Starseeker’s Golden Monkey, it has the power to transform all cards in your hand into random legendaries. But unlike its simian predecessor, it leaves cards in your deck unchanged. This is actually beneficial; you don’t lose out on lifegain, draw and removal left in your deck to complement your high-value threats.
However, it does come with significant downsides. While it does allow you to make a strong pro-active push, it’s reliant on having cards in your hand to get value. If you’re low on resources, you may struggle. To make matters worse, if you’ve drawn a Dead Man’s hand, it means you are forever stopped from going infinite. And if you don’t want to lose your cards in your hand, it will quickly start to clog your Dead Man’s Hand cycling.
With that said, this Kobold statue is still a fantastic outcome if you need to start putting down threats and ending a game; though not quite as strong as the alternative pro-active outcome.
2: Zarog’s boon
Zarog’s Crown is arguably the most reliable of the treasures. Full hand or empty, shuffled or not, with cards left or none, Zarog gives you incredible value. Two legendary minions for three mana can go from decent to insanely strong, especially in Warrior. Though occasionally you will be offered several sub-par choices, you’ll almost always get an option for two beefy threats. What’s more, Warrior benefits hugely from this due to offering bonuses to cards like Grommash, Yip and Rotface.
Zarog’s Crown gives you great options for pushing tempo in ways your opponent will struggle to deal with. When shuffled, it becomes an almost insurmountable repeating threat. When you’re not bringing up massive boards with Rotface or Yip, you’re rushing them down with 20 damage worth of Groms. But still, this is not quite as powerful as the final and best treasure.
1: The most wondrous of wands
By far the best treasure (in Dead Man’s Hand Warrior at least) is the Wondrous Wand. This treasure draws you three cards and reduces their cost to zero. Early on, this is pretty decent, but when saved and shuffled it becomes ridiculous. Combined with Dead Man’s Hand, you can draw through your deck ludicrously cheap, gaining armour and removing minions at will. As long as you have lifegain, removal and no cards that cannot be played, you should find yourself hard pressed to lose.
What’s more, you can potentially outlast virtually any deck that isn’t OTK Paladin, even drawing with or beating Shudderwock Shamans in some situations. If you refine your hand down to Wand, two Dead Man’s Hands, and Bring It On! and zero cards in your deck, you can infinitely cast Wand into Dead Man’s into Bring it On! for 0 mana, allowing you to gain as much armour as your APM allows (usually about 100 or so per turn).
Just make sure you’re not playing on mobile.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via Hearthstone.gamepedia.com.