Maybe One Day
They can’t all be winners right? Well this is a brief history of a failed deck idea that will continue to be tinkered with until it is a winner!
Or I finally accept the crushing inevitability that the deck won’t work. Let’s start with the list:
Master Hero (9)
1x Ysera the Dreamer
1x Deathwing the Destroyer
1x Thrall the Earth-Warder
1x Malorne the White Stag
1x Kil’jaeden the Deceiver
4x Medivh the Prophet
4x Insect Swarm
4x Cairne, Earthmother’s Chosen
4x Sava’gin the Reckless
4x Swift Raptor
4x Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
4x Buying Time
4x Meeting with the Master
4x No Mere Dream
4x Eye of the Storm
As you can tell from the formatting the deck is loaded up on http://wow.tcgbrowser.com which is a great utility for deckbuilders and archivists. It isn’t without faults as there are some errors with the database, sometimes you can’t find cards based on criteria they should have, and other times too many things show up because flavor text is included in the search, but overall it is a huge timesaver. Instead of going through binders looking for inspiration I can easily check for specific things and try to build a theme. This is actually sort of how I started with this list. Really the idea started with Nether Fracture
Instant Ability – Arcane
Interrupt target ability, ally, or equipment card.
How did we get from that to red druid ramp? Well I was looking for ways to try and “beat” Nether Fracture and slow mage (the idea started a while ago) in general. If you look carefully you’ll notice that the words master hero are nowhere to be found on the card. Granted in the actual slow mage matchup that’s more or less irrelevant since by the time you can typically play a master hero they likely have access to a Mystic Denial which is honey badger like, it doesn’t care what you play!
Lame memes aside, it got me thumbing through the available master heroes and stumbled on Medivh the Prophet.
Medivh the Prophet
Master Heo – Human Prophet 1[arcane] / 30 health
Basic 8 → Search your deck and/or hand for a master hero that does not have the same name as a card you control. Put that hero into play as an ally (It is no longer a hero.)
5 cost master hero?! Get massive savings on playing OTHER master heroes? Put them directly into play bypassing interrupts! Get your tickets because this train is almost out of the station!
And that’s how a baby deck is born.
The general idea is obvious survive, ramp, slam master heroes. Even if slamming Thrall the Earth-Warder onto the board isn’t enough you could always turn into one of the many master heroes the old fashioned way. Each of them is capable of taking over and ending the game on their own.
How do you stay in one piece though? Druid actually is blessed by the earth mother with a plethora of effective and efficient removal. Hibernate ignores will of the forsaken as well as aberration. Utopia handles any virtually any permanent your opponent could possibly bring to the table. Hurricane is the stop sign you probably need when all hope seems lost. Although the list doesn’t currently sport The Natural Order or Natural Repossession, they could easily make the cut. There’s certainly no lack of targets. Insect Swarm highlights something I feel is axiomatic about the classic format. That is you need answers starting turn 1, it is too easy to fall behind if you simply resource and pass due to the high quality of threats. The 2 damage is important to address things like Jadefire Scout, but even if you are staring down Lady Bancroft or Garet Vice you can still send some bugs after them to reduce the damage, works on heroes too!
For more conditional and less permanent answers we have Eye of the Storm and Sava’gin. You can’t really count of the stashable troll, but a “free” 2 damage can mean surviving and shuffling up for game 2. EotS is a standard feature of many decks and there’s not much reason to exclude it here. In case you did find yourself in an early hole you can help dig yourself out with Swift Raptor. Combined with Flourish and the ramp effects you can heal a significant amount of health.
As to the flashy parts of the deck you can really mix and match the master heroes. They are all very strong. You could even potentially go traitor and get access to Illidan. Unfortunately you give up Insect Swarm in that case though. The interesting choice people may not be familair with is Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron:
Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
Equipment – Item All Classes
Players play with the top card of their decks revealed.
At the start of each player’s turn, if the top card if his deck is a master hero, ability, ally, or equipment, he may play it without paying its cost.
[Exhaust] → Shuffle target player’s deck.
As we have said on the podcast symmetrical cards are ones you want to look to break. In this build you should be able to get more powerful cards since your opponent may be playing standard stuff, but instead you are slamming Deathwing or Kil’jaeden for freesies.
Naturally this double-edged sword can bite you. This is where the fairytale starts to end.
Lost Memes, Broken Dreams
Kael’thas is something that ended up on the cutting room floor since between just needing to row and being without a quest, sometimes key cards become resources from No Mere Dream, Flourish, or Buying Time (bleh!). Speaking of which, I really don’t like buying Time but you’re hoping you can take advantage of the ramp more than your opponent. As mentioned previously you really want to squeeze in ability and equipment removal, and there is a laundry list of other viable removal spells and card draw. Innervate for instance. You just don’t quite have the deck slots. This is before you get into decks that are less interacting who necessitate specific answers.
The deck is a lot of fun, but as you may expect it is slow and can be overwhelmed even if you live the dream and ramp into Medivh and an early secondary master hero. Light forbid that your opponent is a warlock because you are going to have a Bad Day if they Hesriana your…well anything you play it’ll just be awful.
Trust me on this.
I feel as though Medivh ramp could work. The list initially started as alliance with Malfurion himself as the hero. However the allure of the raptor pulled me over since the deck was struggling with aggro despite tools like Mikael. Ultimately it’s a control deck that is reliant on a pretty gimmicky idea. However that gimmick let’s you do some super cool stuff. The best solution is probably to drop the number of master heroes to 6 or 7 total, cut the janky quests like buying time and try to play less ramp focused, more general control focused. The deck is basically running 24 resources! Granted Cairne and Sava’gin may do other things when rowed, they still are “just” giving you resources after that. The flexibility is tough to let go. This trap of having a pet idea is crippling the deck in the end and something that I’ll need to address if it is going to go anywhere.
Where does the deck go from here? I’m honestly not sure. I think there is potential, but there isn’t enough time before the big showdown at Gencon to test the build further and put in the appropriate time with what I probably will play. Moving forward I want to try it as a more traditional control deck that uh…dedicates 12-14 slots to cards to master heroes and puzzle boxes. Doesn’t sound like a winner when explained that way but it’s all for fun. Maybe it will work in a different class. You may lose access to the ramp druid provides but maybe you’ll actually survive to play these cards. After all one of, if not the most successful deck to feature Illidan was a rogue deck. Admittedly Vengeful Gladiator’s Vestments had a large part to play in that, but there’s hope!
The End….or is it?
At the end of the day, why bother spending time explaining a deck that didn’t work and isn’t really showing promise? Well partly because I put some effort into the list so I felt it should be shared. Mostly it is because it is important to continue exploring the card pool. There are things like Yogg-Saron’s toy that might be linchpins in a build no one has constructed before. SO keep brewing, keep testing, and keep having fun!