Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Aggrologist - Warrior Deck

I had this silly deck idea last month based off of "minions taking damage" effects. I originally called it "Popcorn", due to the thought of Leper Gnomes sitting behind an Abomination waiting for it to explode, causing a chain reaction.

This last week, we saw an answer to Warlock Zoo and Aggro Hunter in the form of Contrologist Warrior by Shoctologist. It's an effective deck, but with all the epics and legendaries, it's also pretty expensive to build.

That in mind, I present the Aggrologist. It's a slightly more budget-friendly deck that can also clean up against the aggro-heavy meta. If you notice, this deck plays a lot of similar cards to Contrologist, and at first that was a happy accident on my part.

When I realized that Contrologist was a thing, I actually added several cards to further mimic it. The idea is to let your opponent think you're playing Contrologist, when in fact you're more equipped for rush/burst.

In my tests so far (which admittedly have been Casual Play and a few matches at Rank 17 as I start laddering again), this deck does well against Zoo, Hunter, and even Miracle Rogue. It has a pretty poor matchup versus priests, mainly due to Cabal Shadowpriest and Auchenai Soulpriest (as well as priest's hero power).

So, let's go over the cards and see how they fit!

Execute and Shield Slam are spot removal to take care of big threats/taunts. Try to use them sparingly (especially against late-game focused decks), but do what you have to in a pinch.

Whirlwind is an "enabler", allowing you to Execute something large, destroy a horde of hounds, or proc any number of your minion's abilities. It's best used when you can do several of these things at once.

The lone Abusive Sergeant is there because I have only one Shield Slam and wanted something cheap. Cleave may work well here too.

Leper Gnomes are early damage to whittle down life totals or trade up with. They're a solid choice in most aggressive decks and were part of the basis for this deck

There should be no question as to the inclusion of Fiery War Axe. It removes Grizzlies, Void Walkers, and other obstacles. Heroic Strike performs a similar role, but has the added bonus of surprise additional damage.

Slam is an enabler mainly for setting up Execute (and drawing a card), though it can be used for your minion procs or a straight up 2-damage to kill an opposing minion. You'll notice several sources of card draw in this deck, so drawing from Slam isn't necessarily a requirement.

Amani Berserker, Armorsmith, Acolyte of Pain, and Frothing Berserker are your proc minions. They all like it when things take damage, sometimes even themselves. Take advantage of that.

Cruel Taskmaster serves as both enabler and a small minion, fitting the deck perfectly. Shield Block is card draw and armor rolled into one sweet deal that empowers your Shield Slam and gives you some additional "health" to make up for your weapon attacks into minions.

The last four cards are indeed expensive to craft, but I feel they are vital to the deck's success. This deck isn't cheap, but it's still cheaper than Contrologist.

Leeroy Jenkins is pretty absurd, borderline broken, and great as a finisher. Brawl is likewise really powerful and can clear a board like nobody's business. Black Knight kills taunts dead, and functions as a third far costlier Execute (or an overpriced yeti, depending on your matchup). Gorehowl is a recent addition to the deck, which is used for cleaning up opposing minions while yours run rampant, or providing burst damage to finish the game.

If you actually read the Contrologist writeup, you'll notice that Aggrologist could very well be defined as a "worse version of the other" and I'm not going to dispute that. If you have the dust to craft what's required to play Contrologist then by all means enjoy it. If not, Aggrologist still does well against the aggro meta for the cost... assuming you don't want to play zoo/hunter yourself, that is.

[UPDATE] At the moment, I'm not really happy with this deck. It's fine against aggro, but it really falls short to heavy control decks. I'll be doing more tweaks and tests at some point, but the meta is shifting again (hunters are evolving) and I've neglected ladder enough this month already.

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