Sunday, August 31, 2014

Deathrattle & Faceroll Warlock

I've neglected Hearthstone ladder for so long. Between recording the Curse of Naxxramas series, learning other games and scrambling to get a new PC after the old warhorse finally died, I haven't had much time otherwise. Things seemed to have settled down a bit though, and this week I had the time to see what constructed looks like.

I heard about the resurgence of hunter now that Mad Scientist is out, and even played it a bit in casual to see how it handles. It's pretty gross, but it also meant the meta would be shifting to beat it. I played priest for a couple of days, running Zombie Chow for early removal then pulling the "Auchenai surprise", but priest just doesn't feel consistent enough to me. It's still very reliant on getting the right cards at the right time to even make it work, and if you like that playstyle Miracle Rogue just seems better at combo.

I've really been wanting to see how Undertaker handles, and settled on a deathrattle-loaded warlock deck for several reasons. I wanted to pack the deck with small deathrattlers to maximize the Undertaker, and the hero power compliments that nicely (we're all familiar with zoo I'm sure). I also wanted some early protection and Voidwalker fits the bill. With a nearly empty hand after the first couple turns, Soulfire is amazing spot removal. Additionally, Void Terror and Power Overwhelming are just nuts in a deathrattle deck.

The difference between this deck and zoo though is fairly large. Zoo struggles significantly more to bounce back when AoE removal hits the table. With so many deathrattles, opponents have to play their board clear very carefully and in most cases will find it hard to get the perfect time to do so. Zoo can also run out of gas against good control decks, while this build has a more solid lategame.

It also feels surprisingly strong in the meta right now too. With all the taunts (especially Unstable Ghoul), hunters will have a hard time getting a good Unleash the Hounds off. Additionally, decks designed to beat hunter aren't doing too hot against this either. I typically win against druids and control warriors (which brings a smile to my face). Things get a little more dicey against priest, as they have a lot of tools to wreck you with... though thankfully Mass Dispel hasn't been teched against me yet.

The last few days have been pretty good though. I went up seven ranks or so with a couple hours of play, so I'm happy. Best of all the deck is incredibly fun and often pretty trollish. If you get Undertaker and some small deathrattles in the starting hand, you can usually play very aggressively. Otherwise, Voidwalker and some of the other early minions make the deck appear to be more like typical zoo, which can be great for confusing opponents.

I run only one Void Terror - I think two is overdoing it because you'll not always have the right place to play it. There are times even one can feel like a dead card, but it's definitely strong enough to run a single. Kel'Thuzad and Baron Rivendare are also really greedy choices, but K.T. can turn a close late-game to a sure win. I've made no changes to the deck yet since I built it (and honestly it didn't feel that hard to put together), so we'll see how revisions go. I don't have Cairne, otherwise he'd be in here too.

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