Classic really is the wild west. There are so many cool concepts that have yet to be fully explored and really there are a number of “Tier 2” lists that can hang with the big kids if you know how to pilot the build. Sure, you may sacrifice some percentage points in specific matchups but you gain a bazillion style points when you pull certain things off and that’s what really matters.
The list I wanted to talk about today is actually not my creation, and arguably not a tier 2 deck. However, it is something that Wife and I have spoken about on multiple occasions on our podcast, and really to anyone that would listen. Let’s put it this way, it is probably one of two Alliance decks that Wife will play and not grumble about! That immediately should get people’s attention. Aside from that it definitely one that earns style. It’s actually a list that I played against way back at worlds ’12. Not in the main event of course but in the classic side event. The history for that event has been covered multiple times so I won’t rehash it other than to say that the pilot was Hans Hoh.
Oh and he knocked my Jasani’s teeth into the dirt with this deck.
4x Arcane Intuition
4x Everlasting Cold
4x Mirror Image
4x Smoldering Blast
4x Spell Suppression
4x Tuskarr Kite
4x Mikael the Blunt
4x Magni, the Mountain King
4x Signet of Manifested Pain
4x Concerted Efforts
4x Wanted: Hogger
4x Eye of the Storm
Master Hero (4)
4x Deathwing the Destroyer
Total cards in deck: 60
*note: Having not gotten the list directly, this was reconstructed from memory and some research. I believe he played a similar but slightly different list at DMF: Poznan.
Normally the decklists aren’t formatted in this order, but I wanted to leave the focal point for the end. That’s right the former Earth-Warder, the Aspect of Death himself: Deathwing the Destroyer! Believe it or not the master hero isn’t just eye candy in this deck. He is the primary win condition! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Instead we are going to start with the regular hero, Nicholas Merrick.
The professions don’t offer much, and unfortunately a lot of fire talents will leave you wanting. So why choose this human mage? The flip. The flip is potentially a blowout and forces your opponent to play around it lest they be blown out. You can generate significant tempo and card advantage from turn 3 onwards unless your opponent takes card to tiptoe around the onboard threat. You do need to be careful as it is virtually dead against werewolves though. Spell Suppression on a furious furry monster can help, but that’s 4 mana, and a card, and a flip to 1-for-1 something. Just something to keep in mind. If you look past that particular matchup the flip can perform wonderfully in a variety of other scenarios. Given the flexibility of the aforementioned Spell Suppression you can disable an Unholy Power and then clear their board, or probably most of it at least. Bear in mind that Warbringer Arix’amal has a measly 2 health! Or you can always reset their side of the table before the dangerous ongoing even hits play, just saying. Wanted: Hogger also provides an easy way to refill cards. Your flip means Hogger immediately bites the dust. Rise and be Recognized offers a less conditional “pay 4 draw 2” but it doesn’t comes with “probably wipe your opponent’s board” stapled on. This is before we even mentioned the other assorted times that you can generate what amounts to a X-for-0 by just flipping at an opportune time.
Beyond the hero, the deck sports a lot of good cards. That sounds like a weird thing to say, but aside from Deathwing himself, Arcane Intuition, and maybe Mirror Image are there any cards in that list that make you scratch your head? Each of them all have appeared in successful lists and all work to achieve the goal of ramping out a really, really, really angry dragon. Of course, they might seem a little odd in this particular configuration but you won’t be ashamed to sleeve up any of the cards show above. So how does it all work? It’s actually kinda beautiful in its simplicity. Get to Deathwing, win the game. Easy right? Well it isn’t quite THAT easy, but remember your opponent is almost certainly:
- Not expecting Deathwing – I mean really, who is?
- They probably don’t have an answer to the master hero – there are few ways to deal with that sort of threat in general.
- Playing around or at least thinking about Taste of the Arcana – This can give you a huge tempo advantage. They don’t know you don’t have it. Or you can always tweak some numbers to try and squeeze them in. They kind of have to respect it.
- Endlessly frsutrated by the fact that they just can’t get to you!
From Mirror Image, to Brittalize, to Blizzard, to Eye of the Storm, to removal, to simply using tokens to generate card advantage you have a lot of ways to keep control of the entire game. Once you’ve established control is when the fun part starts. While turning into Deathwing might be tempting it is not something you want to rush. As mentioned it is going to be challenging for your opponent to oppose you playing him. If you don’t walk into an opposing Taste of the Arcana then really only Mystic Denial can interrupt him. Once he is played it is unlikely your opponent is playing Hero’s Surrender and enemy Spell Suppression’s can’t be played on heroes so odds are you are in the clear, just don’t blow it!
It actually is easier than you’d think to throw a game away by morphing into a dragon too soon. Self-harm from Signet of Manifested Pain can put you in striking distance and if you reset yourself to zero resources it will be a few turns before you can really start playing cards again. The dream is of course to clear your opponent’s board then slam DW and close the game out early. The more likely scenario from our testing is that you will want to keep say a fully powered Eye of the Storm on the board alongside hopefully a couple other permanents and chip away at your opponent’s board. In the end Deathwing will get there if you give him time. Even after just a couple of activations, Deathwing’s start of turn trigger will put your opponent in dire straits.
The deck is an incredible amount of fun. Who will say no to turning into A GIGANTIC DRAGON?! It actually has inspired a number of other decks in our gauntlet. We have been attempting to port the idea to other classes mostly. In the Worldbreaker block the classes were paired with different dragon flights. Priests and paladins were attached to the red dragons, druids and hunters with green and so on. Deathwing’s flight was signed up with death knights and shamans. A fitting grouping given the lore. A fitting grouping for deck building as well. Granted the lists are still rough but for example shamans offer totems. While fragile, the effect sticks can be recurred through a number of different cards and effects while providing cheap fodder to feed the flight leader. Blood death knights on the other hand allow for Blood Parasite. A token generator that keeps you alive, not unlike Mirror Image. This ongoing ability produces multiple cards to offer up to the Aspect and turns all your tokens into tiny little heals. You can go monster if you’d like and get Pygmy Pyramid or stay in red or blue and get Cairne/Magni but all of them grant food and heals when accompanying a Blood Parasite. Alternatively you may want to try totems and Twilight Citadel plus Etched Dragonbone Girdle together. Mogdar the Frozenheart would be happy to give it a try!
I encourage you to give this deck a spin. The Cataclysm raid boss does not disappoint.