With the nerfing of Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, Luna’s Pocket Galaxy and Conjurer’s Calling, many players have wondered what decks to run now that some of the strongest ones are gone. Control Warrior has dropped in the rankings from a tier one deck to a tier three. It might be able to rise back up to a tier two once it finds its footing. But for now, its lack of control over more aggressive decks makes it fall short. This is in addition to Control Warrior losing to Control Priest since Séance can copy Archivist Elyssiana and keep them from fatigue as well as getting tons of value from their minions. But for general play, what is the best option to combat the competitive ladder and hit Legend?
Quest Paladin is very much a control class. Players who use this deck must be able to control the board until the quest comes online. After that, it becomes a game of making value plays with your Mechs. Magnetizing Mechs together and then copying to get any of their effects and/or deathrattles. For example, combing Mechno-Egg with Zilliax is incredibly powerful. Then copying allows you to force your opponent to destroy the eggs and release the giant 8/8 that is inside.
One of the strongest parts about this deck is the quest. Playing minions with Reborn will allow you to build a board presence as well as getting closer to completing your quest. The only problem with this deck that worse case scenarios can happen where you simply don’t get the reborn minions. In this case, it is always better to start playing your value minions and force your opponent to take care of them. Even if they die, it’ll give you time to get your quest online. Once online, you’ll be able to use Kangor’s Endless Army to bring them back and then use the new Hero Power to replicate them and begin utilizing the true power of your deck.
Using silence effects is arguably the best way to combat this deck. Without that, players will have to be incredibly aggressive. Getting that burst damage or being able to quickly and effectively destroy their minions makes the entire fight simpler. Removing the reborn effect is the best way to stifle their value plays from replication. Without the reborn ability, the new minion is just a 2/2 with any other ability it picked up, but overall, this is easier to take care of. The best play is to change the powerful minions with Hex or Polymorph. This way, they lose everything from them and can’t bring them back with Kangor’s Endless Army.
Paladin has another top tier deck, Murloc Paladin. This deck is incredibly aggressive and can be played a bit slow if need be to bait out the enemy’s board clears. But once the coast is clear, slam down Tip the Scales and use the burst damage as best as you can.
This deck has very few playstyles and even fewer counters. The best way to play this deck is to observe the board and make judgement calls that will change from deck to deck. In some cases, it is best to not use tip the scales until you are ready to attack high health minions or deal the last bit of damage to the opponent and kill them.
The weakness of this deck is if the opponent is able to survive the Tip the Scales turn. After that the Murloc Paladin must regain tempo and maintain a board presence. If they need to, they still have Chef Nomi and Zephyrs, the Great to regain control of the board. But if Zephyrs can’t do something to keep control and the end of the deck is too far away to use Chef Nomi, they simply run out of steam and can die. With no taunts, their best defense is trading minions. After that, it comes down to Chef Nomi to finish the game. If he can’t, then the Murloc Paladin can’t win.
Murlocs seem to be incredibly strong with the amount of synergies they can possibly have. With Murloc Shaman, it becomes a game of aggression or control, depending on which version you are running with. For the aggressive deck, players want to shell out as many Murlocs as possible as well as keeping Underbelly Angler alive to reload their hand and keep the value train rolling. With control, making the high value turns, making tons of Murlocs to create problems for their opponent. On the off turns, using Shudderwok or Hagatha, the Witch to create better tempo and value can be incredibly useful.
Both versions of this deck utilizes Underbelly Angler to keep their hand full and have a variety of Murlocs to play that might not be from the Shaman class. The best card to get off of the Underbelly Angler is the Underbelly Angler, doubling the amount of Murlocs you get. Combo this with Hagatha and you will be playing with your original deck plus random spells and Murlocs and the Murlocs will generate more spells. Thus, it becomes a value play that outpaces the old Dr. Boom, Mad Genius.
The weakness of this deck is multiple board clears. Losing your valuable Murlocs can be devastating. Playing them at the wrong time can also cost the player the game. Getting too greedy and throwing out the Underbelly Angler without having other Murlocs to play with it can cost you the entire game. Losing it and not being able to draw the other essentially forces you to top deck the entire game. This deck relies entirely on keeping the hand filled to keep putting pressure on the opponent.
Warrior hasn’t been completely removed from the game and put into the worthless class list just yet. They are still kicking with Aggro Warrior. This deck relies entirely on massive burst damage and hurting themselves to hurt the opponent even more. This deck is probably the last one to still have a consistent amount of charge minions. Creating large burst damage is the name of the game with this deck and catching your opponent off guard.
This deck uses minions that hurt other minions to power them up. This also includes Frothing Berserker. With combos like these, it’s entirely possible to close out games by turn four, five or six. That’s not to say that these decks can’t work at turn ten and beyond, it just excels at killing the opponent before they are able to really use their deck’s ability. This deck will also use Grommash Hellscream to finish out the game if need be, as well as Leroy Jenkins. It can stall a game with Frightened Flunky and destroy taunt minions with Militia Commander and Restless Mummy.
The weakness of this deck is not being able to close out the games. If Aggro Warriors face against players that use large taunt minions, it can be hard to get in with the damage. When players come across this, Warpath and Plague of Wrath will be their only hope. If they use the combo to soon, they will simply lose the game. Another way that this deck fails is the driver of the deck. If they simply throw out the minions with no rhyme or reason to it, they will be easily taken care of and the Warrior will lose out in the end.
Funny enough, once players hit legend, the most used deck and the highest win rate is Control Warrior. So even though Dr. Boom is nowhere near as powerful as he once was, he can still be used. Some of the other top decks also include Quest Druid, Murloc Paladin, Murloc Shaman and Highlander Warlock.
When trying to climb up to legend, find a deck that works best for you. Make sure you can drive it well. If you can’t drive it, you will fail. After you find a deck, start climbing. It can be difficult. And if you hit a wall, check statistics on what decks you would most likely be coming up against and running decks that are their counters to get past that wall. It can be tricky, but hitting legend truly is legendary.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment