March 13, 2016
- Chris is on the show this week
- Topic: Deck battle!
- Reasons to be happy this week
- News: Whispers of the Old Gods!
What is a Deck Battle?
Once a month, a guest host brings their favorite deck onto the show to battle the current reigning champion deck for control of the Happy Hearthstone Deck Battle Throne!
If the challenger wins the best-of-3 series, their deck becomes the new Reigning Champion Deck and will fight off future challengers until it loses, or until it’s earned its place in the Happy Hearthstone Hall of Fame!
View the Deck Battle Archive + The Happy Hearthstone Hall of Fame
Defending Deck: Andrew’s Warlock Demon Zoo deck entered the Happy Hearthstone Hall of Fame last episode, so this week, the Challenger deck must battle through a gauntlet of all the previous Hall of Fame decks before ascending to the throne!
Challenger Deck: Chris’s Dreadsteed deck is all about delaying as long as possible and eventually overwhelming the enemy with unkillable minions.
In case you don’t have some of the ideal cards, here are some quality back ups and alterations you can make that keep with the same theme and strengths of the deck.
- Question: None this week!
- iTunes Reviews
Card of the Week
You can’t stop the demon horse from Xoroth! Chris walks us through the awesome Dreadsteed deck that uses Reno Jackson and plenty of removal to stall and swarm down the enemy with Dreadsteeds!
Note from Josh: The rest of this article was written by Chris. Thanks!
Since this is a Reno deck, there are a lot of cards to cover (because Reno requires you to not have duplicate cards), so let’s dive right in! You can find a completely plain deck list on the podcast episode. If you want a breakdown of the cards I’ve included in this deck, and the strategy behind them, read on. The main goal of this deck is to trade early with small minions and use AOE to control the board; then lay down Dreadsteeds with Baron Rivendare to keep your opponent off the board; and finish them off with Mal’Ganis, buffing your Dreadsteeds to 3/3s. There are a couple alternative win conditions in the deck as well, including Jaraxxus, and some tools to help you win the fatigue game.
1x Sir Finley Mrrgglton
One of the win conditions of this deck is to simply outlast your opponent’s deck (sometimes in fatigue). Unfortunately, the Warlock’s hero power hinders that ability. Sir Finley Mrrglton comes to the rescue. In matchups where going the distance matters, you are looking for Armor Up, Lesser Heal, or even Shapeshift. If you aren’t offered any of those, at least you’re changing your power up, which will allow you to keep hero powering after you don’t want to draw more cards or take any more damage.
X1 Justicar Trueheart
Never drop Justicar before dropping Sir Finley Mrrgglton. Justicar is here to improve your survivability in fatigue matchups. I’ve had games where I’ve ended up with 40+ armor vs. Control Warrior, who will be unable to answer your board presence.
The deck is built around this guy. Priests aside, the only way to deal with this guy is silence. Most decks only have one silence, and it feels pretty bad silencing a 1/1, so it rarely gets silenced. Once you get a Dreadsteed on the board, it’s there for good, and can be used as a ping every turn. This is the only card that there are 2 copies of in this deck.
x1 Baron Rivendare
Once Dreadsteed is on the board, Baron Rivendare will multiply your Dreadsteed. I usually try to wait to drop Baron Rivendare until I have a couple complementary spells in hand, such as Mortal Coil, and Sacrificial Pact. But once you have 4-5 Dreadsteeds, remove Baron as soon as you can. Having six Dreadsteeds on board slows down your ability to close out the game because you’re only able to have one additional minion on the board at a time.
Mal’Ganis buffs all your demons +2/+2, and makes your hero invincible. Once he’s on the board, your opponent has to deal with him, or he just loses the game. But, if all has gone according to plan, once Mal’Ganis gets on the board, your opponent will never be able to keep anything on the board again. If you have 5 Dreadsteeds on board, that’s 15 damage on the turn you play Mal’Ganis.
x1 Lord Jaraxxus
Jaraxxus is one of your win conditions in control matchups. The pressure he puts on your opponent is insane. 2 mana for a 6/6 demon every turn?! That’s unreal! He can also be used to heal you back up to 15 in some situations, though that’s far less successful and will usually only buy you a turn or two; but if it comes down to it, do it. It’s better than dying.
x1 Sacrificial Pact
Healing is good, right? Sacrificing your minions usually isn’t. However, when your minions come back infinitely, sacrificing one is a win-win, especially when Baron Rivendare is on the board, duplicating your Dreadsteeds every time they die. It also has the benefit of killing your opponent’s Jaraxxus instantly. When facing Renolocks, if you can avoid playing any Dreadsteeds, giving away that you have Sacrifical Pact (it’s a common card in Dreadlock decks), you can sometimes kill them instantly the turn after they play their Jaraxxus.
x1 Reno Jackson
Has your opponent gotten you a little low on health? Well, as long as you’ve drawn at least one of your Dreadsteeds, this guy has you covered. Aggro decks will straight up concede after you play Reno. And plus, he takes away the downside of Life Tap. Reno is the reason there is only one copy of every card except for Dreadsteed in this deck. His heal only works if there is only one copy of each card left in your deck when you play him, but getting healed back to full health is worth the trade off.
Those are the most important cards. Now I’ll go over the rest of the cards briefly.
1x Mortal Coil
This card can be used on a Dreadsteed when Baron Rivendare is on board, or to kill off an enemy minion. Either way, it will draw you a card if it killed a minion.
1x Power Overwhelming
Use this to remove a problem minion by buffing one of your guys to be able to deal with it. Works great with Dreadsteed to give it more oomph.
1x Zombie Chow
Since we don’t care about our opponent’s health at the beginning of the game, this guy is great! One mana for a 2 / 3 is a great deal, and helps you win the board early on.
Just a simple, three damage removal spell. It’s a good card.
1x Dark Peddler
With this being a Reno deck, sometimes, you just want a chance at a second Mortal Coil, another Zombie Chow, maybe you want some more removal in Soulfire, whatever you need, there’s a good chance you’ll be offered something that can answer the board state with this card.
Great removal. Great stall tactic. Most of the time, your opponent will just have to skip their turn, or waste removal getting rid of it. And in the Renolock matchup, playing this after Twisting Nether is a very tempting turn for your opponent to play Lord Jaraxxus, setting you up for lethal if you have Sacrificial Pact in your hand.
1x Explosive Sheep
Pair this with Hellfire or Demonwrath to clear your opponent’s board. This can also be paired with Baron Rivendare and something like Mortal Coil for a 4 damage board clear, which will also give you a lot of Dreadsteeds.
1x Ironbeak Owl
Every deck can use a silence. Whether it’s to get through a taunt (not too common a concern with this deck, silence a pesky deathrattle (I probably use it on Sylvanas more than anything), or even getting rid of one of your Dreadsteeds when you have one too many, you’re going to want a silence.
1x Nerubian Egg
With the way Warlock AOE works, damaging all minions (or all characters) equally, Nerubian Egg is going to break giving you a 4/4 Nerubian that can be used to trade.
1x Big Game Hunter
Since almost every deck runs Dr. Boom, this card is a necessity. Even if there isn’t a Dr. Boom, there may very well be a large minion that BGH can remove for you.
Your opponent is almost always going to be the one removing this, which means you have the first crack at the minion that he gets out of it, and will often be able to get rid of it before it can threaten you. You’ll also often deny your opponent a crucial battlecry. You also put them down a card, which can be pivotal in the fatigue game.
This is an interesting AOE spell. It does damage to all minions except for demons, so it works great after Imp-plosion to finish clearing your opponent’s board without eliminating the minions you just put on the board, or lets you take some minions out without killing off your Dreadsteeds for that turn, letting them get past a taunt and hit a more important minion.
1x Imp Gang Boss
Imp Gang Boss is Warlock’s best 3 drop. Any time it takes damage, it puts an imp on the board. More board presence will help you from being overrun until you get your Dreasteeds set up.
1x Defender of Argus
At some point, you’re going to need some taunts to keep the pressure off, or more commonly, you’ll need to buff your Dreadsteeds to deal with what your opponent put on the board. Either way, Defender is great.
It took me a long time to understand that this is actually a good card. It may hurt you equally, but that’s not the point. It’s used to get threats off the board, and can sometimes help you get rid of Baron Rivendare while getting the remaining Dreadsteeds you wanted on the board.
Do 2-4 damage to a minion and put the corresponding number of imps on the board? Yes, please! It feels so good to roll a four with this card.
1x Refreshment Vendor
Since you’re not concerned with your opponent’s health until the late game, giving your opponent 4 health is of little consequence, but it can help out a lot for you.
1x Antique Healbot
The Anti-kill Bot. Second only to Reno Jackson in the healing department. This guy is another lifesaver.
x1 Sludge Belcher
Best taunt in the game. Unless silenced, it will never take fewer than two attacks to kill Sludge Belcher.
1x Siphon Soul
Use this as large target removal. Has the added bonus of healing you for three.
1x Twisting Nether
When the board needs to be reset (except for your Dreadsteeds, of course) this card is guaranteed to get the job done. And it has one of the prettiest animations in the game.
Since this is a Reno deck, there’s some wiggle room for cards included in the deck, keeping in mind that at some point you’re going to want to buff your Dreadsteeds to deliver more damage, and finish off your opponent more quickly, or trade with larger minions.
1x Stormwind Champion
If you don’t have Mal’Ganis, Stormwind Champion can still give you a pretty large body, while still giving your minions a boost.
1x Raid Leader
Because Mal’Ganis gives your minions +2/+2, you might need another minion to help buff them.
1x Faceless Manipulator
Didn’t get enough Dreadsteeds from Baron Rivendare? Want to further buff your minions by copying Stormwind Champion, or does your opponent have something you could use? Faceless Manipulator can serve a lot of purposes.
1x Sense Demons
If you want to make sure you get your Dreadsteeds into your hand so you can heal up with Reno, this card can really help with that. It draws 2 demon cards from your deck and puts them in your hand.
If you’re facing a lot of warlocks with demons, Demonwrath isn’t going to do much for you. Shadowflame is a fantastic replacement. It also synergizes really well with Power Overwhelming. Trade with a minion, or go face with a minion you’ve cast Power Overwhelming on, and then hit it with Shadowflame to deal its attack to all enemy minions. That’s pretty dang good.
1x Sideshow Spelleater
If you don’t have Justicar or Sir Finley, or you just want to have one of those spaces for another card, this card is a good replacement for them. It still replaces your hero power (unless you’re facing another Warlock), and in the Control Warrior matchup, you can wait for them to play their Justicar, and then you can gain 4 armor per turn as well.
If you like controlling the board, infinite value (true infinite value), and a variety of cool interactions, try out this deck! The fun of watching Dreadsteeds infinitely stampeding onto your board is worth it by itself.