Hearthstone: Oddball Decks to Try in Saviors of Uldum
With every Hearthstone expansion comes an influx of new decks. The set itself telegraphs many: for example, Battlecry/Quest Shaman is a clear deck archetype being pushed by Saviors of Uldum. Then there are the “evergreen” decks. Zoo Warlock is another great example there, where Zoo is around in almost every expansion.
Then there are the wildcards. Stuff that might not be immediately obvious as a deck or just plain doesn’t look like they’ll be good, even if the build path is obvious. Still, a lot of the fun of a card game is building decks, even if they’re not the most practical ones out there. These are some of those I’ve cooked up that I can’t wait to try and probably lose a lot of games with.
Mogu Cultist Rogue
This is one of those decks with an obvious build path, but won’t likely end up as very practical. It looks pretty fun, though.
The basic idea is to shuffle a bunch of copies of this into your deck, fill your hand with them, and then play them out to summon Highkeeper Ra (a 20/20 minion that deals 20 damage to all enemies, including the enemy hero, at the end of every one of your turns).
I think the most practical way to build this one might be as a defensive burn deck. A few taunts and a bit of control and healing (like Siamat, Zilliax, and similar cards) combined with some face damage cards like Eviscerate and maybe even Headcrack to get your opponent below 20 HP.
By turn ten you can pull off the combo: play Tak Nozwhisker (7 mana), a single Mogu Cultist, and a Togwaggle’s Scheme (1 mana) to fill your hand with them. You need 7 of these in hand, so keep your hand size to 3 or lower before you go off with this. Try to make one of your remaining cards Shadowstep.
On your next turn, you can Shadowstep your Tak (if your opponent doesn’t do you a favor and kill it off for you) and play out your Cultists, essentially winning the game if you’ve dealt enough chip damage.
The flaws here are apparent; it’s slow in what will likely be an aggressive meta; it’s a very specific combo prone to disruption. The deckbuilding restrictions are kind of hard to juggle (since you can’t go full stall or full burn). It’s an auto-lose against Warrior…but it should lead to some fun highlights when you manage to pull it off, and of the meme combo decks this game has seen over the years, this one is surprisingly not the least practical.
Big Spell Paladin
Boy, Paladin is in a rough spot this expansion, as it has been for a while. I don’t have high hopes for any of the deck archetypes Blizzard is trying to push this time around based on Paladin’s class cards, and that makes me sad. Paladin is my favorite class in the game, and it’s felt gutted since the early rotation of Baku the Mooneater and Genn Greymane (which I suspect were intended to carry the class through these expansions).
So, as with last expansion, I’ve been trying to theorycraft a Paladin deck that could work…and stumbled across an interesting idea.
There’s been a bit of love for holding or playing big spells the last two expansions. Sunreaver Warmage is a big card from Rise of Shadows, for example, a five mana 4/4 that has Battlecry: Deal 4 damage if you’re holding a spell that costs 5 or more.
King Phaoris (pictured above) is a new card that summons a random minion for each spell in your hand, of the same cost as that spell.
I played around with “Duel Paladin” last expansion. It was trash, but just on the cusp of being good. Warping it a bit to fit in Phaoris, Sunreaver Warmage, and the new Neutral Blatant Decoy (6 mana 5/5 summon each player’s lowest cost minion in their hand) could push it over into being a legitimate deck, focused around cheating out huge minions several turns early, with Phaoris as a late-game finisher.
It’s likely impractical, but the potential is there: Paladin has quite a few good high-cost cards like Shrink Ray, A New Challenger, and Kangor’s Endless Army (good fi you run just a few big mechs) that can benefit from these synergies.
If nothing else, it’s an exciting project to tinker with.
Big Spell Mage
Of the decks on this list, this is one of the two that might have a chance to muscle their way into the meta in some capacity. The basic idea is to play a basic control game with big spells like Flamestrike and Blizzard, and build to casting Naga Sea Witch to cheat out the Puzzle Box of Yogg Saron, and Tortollan Pilgrim for extra copies.
It’s a clown fiesta to be sure, but may be legitimately good enough to get you to Legend, if not as efficiently as other decks.
I’d consider running King Phaoris for extra value as well, though it may be a bit too slow; Puzzle Box has a solid chance of ending the game (for better or worse) by the time you get to that point.
Control Warrior is almost certain to be pretty good still, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with the exact opposite of that: Aggro Warrior!
I think there’s legitimate potential to use big Charge minions like Leeroy Jenkins (substitute Reckless Rocketeer if you don’t have that) and Grommash Hellscream to finish out the game. And while keeping the early game pressure on with Overlord’s Whip (the iffiest card here, but I like the thematics), Inner Rage, Commanding Shout, and similar cards to whack your minions to buff them. Rampage and Inner Rage are key here, along with good Rush minions and Frothing Berserker.
Do I think it’s going to set the world on fire? Probably not, but along with Yogg Mage above, I think it has potential to at least take a Tier 3 spot.
Aggro Singleton Hunter
Some idea has been floated for Secret Hunter as a singleton deck with Dinotamer Brann, and it looks legitimate. Too legitimate for this list!
Instead, try an aggressive package with some of the good new beasts like Scarlet Webweaver to discount Tundra Rhino and keeping an aggressive tempo with Swarm of Locusts (summon seven 1/1 locusts with Rush), the ever classic Scavenging Hyena, and the spicy inclusion of Starving Buzzard for card draw to keep your hand full of threats.
If you want to get weird put Chef Nomi in here and some extra card draw for a little more finishing power against Control decks, or Emeriss (from The Witchwood) and Hunting Party to turn your medium-sized threats into huge ones!
And these are just the ones I can think of day 1. This expansion is exciting for how many potential decks that could spring up. For example, I haven’t quite figured out a way to make Desert Obelisk (5 mana 0/5, if you control 3 of them deal five damage to a random enemy) but I’m sure there’s a way…somewhere.
Not to mention how many new meta defining decks look like they’re about to take off; every class got at least one exciting new deck, and many got multiple to try, in addition to the ones form previous expansions. I look forward to this being a diverse meta.