Updated Mecha’thun Warrior for April 2020 (Hearthstone deck)

Not long after I updated my old Mecha’thun Warrior deck with the improved Kael’thas Sunstrider combo, Hearthstone Hall of Fame arrived to take away my precious Acolyte of Pain.

Don’t worry! I managed to fix the deck one more time for one last week in Standard.

Mecha’thun Warrior decklist

Deck code: AAECAQcIkAf09QK49gKS+ALx+wLerQPfrQOuugMLS5ADogT8BP8HnfACm/MCs/wCn6ED8qgDpLYDAA==

The current Mecha’thun Warrior combo is The Boomship pulling Mecha’thun and Kael’thas Sunstrider, then Whirlwind to damage them, and finally a zero-cost Plague of Wrath (thanks Kael!) to finish them off. There can also be an optional third minion of any size, as long as it does not have Divine Shield or a summoning Deathrattle (unless you can rush it into something first).

The new combo enables Deathwing, Mad Aspect in the deck because you can always pull it as part of the combo if you do not need it earlier. There is also more redundancy compared to the old Malygos combo because Inner Rages are no longer needed and Whirlwind and Plague of Wrath can be run in two copies, of which only one copy is needed for the combo.

Card draw is more difficult now with Acolyte of Pain gone, and the deck is consequently a little weaker. I had the most success with this list that includes both Town Criers and Risky Skippers (and Ancharrr to tutor the Skippers).

Unfortunately, I had to cut Armorsmith to make room for the Rush package, and that weakens the survivability of the deck somewhat. I also tried with Armorsmiths but without the Rush package, but that was worse because then I did not draw through my deck fast enough.

As an upside, I was able to include the upgraded Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, so now you can always get rid of unwanted Brawls near the end of the game.

Mecha’thun Warrior mulligan

Ancharrr and Town Crier are the two main cards you mulligan for. With less armor gain around, Eternium Rover has become more important against aggressive decks, and you may also want to keep an eye out for Risky Skipper and Battle Rage now.

Mecha’thun Warrior gameplay video

Finally, here is a gameplay video with the updated deck. I hope it provides you further insight into how the deck works.

Highlander Priest is the new good Priest deck after Priest rework

With the Priest rework, Blizzard removed all combo win conditions from Priest. However, Priest received a number of useful new cards in the rework that make it easier to build a Control Priest deck, and it is even possible to build a Highlander Priest at the moment.

Highlander Priest is still largely unrefined, at it does not look like the list can be fine-tuned during the brief meta we are currently in, but it will be a contender in Ashes of Outland: with all the new Priest tools, Highlander Priest’s survivability and control capabilities are on par with Highlander Warrior with the exception of damage-based combo decks that remain strong against it – in the current meta, that means Malygos Rogue.

Highlander Priest decklist

Deck code: AAECAa0GHh7cAZACyQaKB9MK1grXCuP3ApeHA+aIA4KUA5ibA6GhA/yjA9GlA4SnA5mpA5+pA9qsA/KsA4WtA82vA46xA5GxA+O0A8jAA6XVA6bVA6fVAwAA

This is my take on Highlander Priest. While many others have opted to go with Dragons, I do not think there are that many strong Dragon synergy cards for Priest right now, so while that path is viable, it is not superior to ignoring the Dragon synergies altogether and only using individual strong Dragons without benefiting from their tribe tag.

Invoking Galakrond is not essential for Priest. I have chosen to use Disciple of Galakrond for an early minion that provides additional resources and Time Rip for unconditional hard removal.

There is room for plenty of tricks in Highlander Rogue. There is a Scarlet Subjugator to reduce the attack of an enemy minion that can be used with Forbidden Words, Shadow Word: Pain, Shadow Madness, and Cabal Shadow Priest.

Mindflayer Kaahrj can make copies of enemy minions and Murozond is surprisingly powerful in a strong Rogue meta, because it can be used to cast Wondrous Wand to draw three free cards to answer Rogue’s tempo turn. Unfortunately, it cannot recast Rogue’s Galakrond’s Battlecry effect to draw free cards from that too.

The new cheap Thoughtsteal is excellent for resource generation in a meta full of Galakrond decks because you can benefit from stolen Invoke cards thanks to your own Galakrond.

Natalie Seline has proven to be a powerful single-target removal tool.

I also really like Omega Medic (rotating out soon, unfortunately) in Galakrond decks because it gives you access to a lot of healing after you have lost your healing Hero Power.

Another soon-to-be-rotating card that I like is Seance because it can give you copies of powerful minions: Archivist Elysiana, for example, if someone tries that, or even your own Zephrys.

Ashes of Outland will add multiple strong candidates to the list, so even though some good cards rotate out of Standard, it looks like they will be easy to replace.

Highlander Priest gameplay video

Finally, here is a gameplay video showcasing the deck. I hope it gives you a deeper understanding of its strengths and how to pilot it.

Which free new player or returning player deck should you choose? (Hearthstone)

Hearthstone is enticing players to come back to the game by giving all players who have not logged into the game for four months prior to March 17th a free deck. Furthermore, all new players get a free deck when they complete the new player experience. The new decks are available from March 26th.

There is one deck offered for each class, and you get to choose which deck you want. Not all decks are equal, so choose carefully!

All cards in the decks become part of your collection, so you can also use them in other decks or disenchant them if you so choose.

In this post, I will go through the options and evaluate how good they are in the current meta and how valuable the cards you get from the decks are for building other meta decks.

Free Druid deck

The free Druid deck is a Token Druid that costs 6280 dust and includes two Legendary cards: Keeper Stalladris and Goru the Mightree. You will also get Rising Winds from the Galakrond’s Awakening adventure as part of this deck!

Token Druid is currently a decent deck, but the meta version of the deck will lose a number of key cards in the upcoming Standard rotation: Dendrologist, Landscaping, and Mulchmuncher. It is unclear whether the archetype can survive these losses and carry on after the rotation. Especially the loss of Mulchmuncher hurts because it is one of the few tools the deck has to respond to events on the board.

This free version does not include any of the rotating cards, so it can be played as such after the rotation, but it sacrifices some power in order to be rotation-proof.

Upgrading the deck to the current meta version is easy because it already includes all the Legendary and Epic cards used in the archetype, but there are valid concerns about its longevity.

Free Hunter deck

The free Hunter deck is a Quest Hunter that costs 7000 dust. It also includes Sky Gen’ral Kragg and Licensed Adventurer from the Galakrond’s Awakening adventure!

The deck is rotation-proof, as are all of these decks. The current Quest Hunter meta builds include several rotating cards, such as Springpaw, SN1P-SN4P, Zilliax, Leeroy Jenkins, and Halazzi, the Lynx.

This version attempts to replace those losses by adding in more card draw with double Cult Masters and more defensive strength with double Bone Wraiths. These are some of the top choices I have also recommended when it comes to rotation-proofing the archetype, but the loss of burst damage and healing is nonetheless notable and makes the deck significantly weaker than the current meta version.

It is a playable deck, but not a great one. The Quest synergy cards from Galakrond’s Awakening are nice if you like Quest decks but do not want to buy the adventure, but other than that the deck offers little in the form of reusable cards.

Free Mage deck

The free Mage deck is a Highlander deck! It costs 6780 dust and includes all the Highlander synergy cards available to Mage: Zephrys the Great, Reno the Relicologist, and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza.

It is especially notable that Zephrys and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza are Neutral Legendary cards that can be used in any Highlander decks for the next year.

The deck also includes Arcane Amplifier from the Galakrond’s Awakening adventure.

While the deck resembles the current Highlander Mage decks, there are several key differences. There is no Luna’s Pocket Galaxy and there is no The Amazing Reno here. That means that the deck is not capable of similar swing turns as the full-cost version. After fitting in three big-ticket Legendary cards, there has not been much left in the dust budget to make the deck tick.

Performance-wise, the Mage deck is simply weak. Value-wise, getting the key Neutral Highlander Legendary cards is a big deal, if you do not have them already and you are interested in playing any Highlander decks.

Free Paladin deck

The free Paladin deck is a Pure Paladin that costs 5420 dust. It includes only one Legendary card, Tirion Fordring, but it comes with a full complement of Pure Paladin synergy cards (Lightforged Zealot and Lightforged Crusader) as well as some strong Epic cards (Micro Mummy, Sanctuary).

The only expensive card from the current Pure Paladin list that is missing from the free deck is Avenging Wrath.

Currently, Pure Paladin is mediocre at best, so the performance level of this deck is low. However, it looks like Pure Paladin is the only current Paladin archetype that can survive the rotation in some form, so this deck would give you some building blocks to make a post-rotation Pure Paladin by adding in cards from Ashes of Outland.

Nonetheless, its low dust value and low current performance level make this Paladin deck an unattractive pick.

Free Priest deck

The free Priest deck is a Resurrect Priest that costs 6860 dust. It includes two Legendary cards, Archmage Vargoth and Catrina Muerte. If you played during Rise of Shadows, you received Archmage Vargoth for free, which may make this option less attractive.

The deck includes the four key Epic cards that are needed to make Resurrect Priest tick: two copies of Psychopomp and two copies of Plague of Death.

The deck also includes two copies of Batterhead, another Epic card, although its performance in a non-Quest version of Resurrect Priest is not very high. If you have the Priest Quest, it can be nice to get Batterhead for free to use in that variant though.

There are no Bad Luck Albatrosses or Grave Runes in the deck, but they are not very expensive anyway if you want to take the deck into that direction. Colossus of the Moon is also missing, and it is a Legendary card if you would like to go for big minions instead.

Overall, the deck is playable right now and also has a chance to survive the rotation. If you missed the free Archmage Vargoth, it is also reasonably valuable.

Free Rogue deck

The free Rogue deck is a Galakrond Rogue that costs 5960 dust (assuming that you already have Galakrond and Shield of Galakrond for free). It comes with three other Legendary cards: Edwin VanCleef, Heistbaron Togwaggle, and Kronx Dragonhoof.

The deck is strong, but the lack of Leeroy Jenkins, of course, limits its burst capabilities. I would have wanted to see some Questing Adventurers in the list to make use of all the free cards you can draw, but you really cannot go wrong with this archetype.

The deck is strong now, potentially survives the rotation, and gives you two Rogue Legendary cards that you want to use in many Rogue decks and Kronx Dragonhoof that you want to use in most Galakrond decks. It is a solid choice if you like Rogue at all.

Free Shaman deck

The free Shaman deck is a Galakrond Control Shaman that costs 6460 dust (assuming that you already have Galakrond and Shield of Galakrond for free). It includes Kronx Dragonhoof that can be used in many Galakrond decks and The Fist of Ra-den from the Galakrond’s Awakening adventure.

Unfortunately, it is not a good deck. The Fist of Ra-den is unreliable at best and building a Control Shaman without Shudderwock and Hagatha the Witch is questionable.

The most valuable part of the deck is Kronx Dragonhoof, but you can get that in the Rogue and Warlock decks too alongside other highly useful cards, so that is no reason to choose Shaman.

Free Warlock deck

The free Warlock deck is a Galakrond Zoolock that costs 5800 dust (assuming that you already have Galakrond and Shield of Galakrond for free). It includes Kronx Dragonhoof and Dark Pharaoh Tekahn as Legendary minions and two copies of Sea Giant and Veiled Worshipper as Epics.

It is a fine deck overall. You can play Zoo for cheaper than the dust cost of this deck, but it includes the four Epic cards that you would add to budget Zoo first, and Kronx Dragonhoof is widely usable in Galakrond decks, even if it is not spectacular in Zoo.

Overall a fine choice if you like to play Zoo.

Free Warrior deck

The free Warrior deck is a Pirate Warrior that costs 6080 dust. It includes Ancharrr and Captain Greenskin as Legendary cards and two copies of both Livewire Lance and Southsea Captain as Epic cards.

Pirate Warrior is not particularly powerful right now as Galakrond Warrior has superseded it. However, it is a playable archetype and this list gives you all the key Pirate cards.

The deck is one of the strongest free decks straight out of the box, but the cards in it are mostly useful in Pirate decks, so it does not provide a lot of value for your future collection.

Conclusions

There is no single right choice among these alternatives, it all depends on what you want to do in the game.

  • If you’re looking for the strongest deck, Rogue is the best choice. It also gives you several great cards, mostly for Rogue, but Kronx Dragonhoof goes into any Galakrond deck regardless of class.
  • If you want to play Highlander decks of any class, Mage gives you a great toolkit for that. However, Highlander decks are expensive, and the Mage deck is not good out of the box.
  • If you want to play grindy control decks, Resurrect Priest is your choice, especially if you did not get a free Archmage Vargoth last year. The Priest deck includes all the key pieces for the archetype.
  • If you like to play Zoo, the Warlock deck is ready to hit the ladder straight away. It is not as strong as Rogue, but it is a good deck. It also gives you Kronx Dragonhoof for all of your Galakrond decks.
  • If you just want to hit face, Pirate Warrior is a decent face deck. It gives you all the key cards of the archetype, but they do not have a lot of uses elsewhere.
  • If you want to play Quest decks and don’t plan to get Galakrond’s Awakening, the Quest Hunter deck gives you the Quest synergy cards from the adventure. You really should just get the adventure though.
  • The Shaman and Paladin decks are hard to recommend, even if you like the classes. The Paladin deck does give you all the important Pure Paladin cards, so if you really, really love Paladin, it is an option despite its low overall value. Just please don’t touch the Shaman deck under any circumstances.

Overall, my number one recommendation is the Rogue deck. It is a great combination of power and card value.

Resurrect Priest and Zoo Warlock are the next in line when it comes to deck power, and Highlander Mage is the most value if you have the means to build Highlander decks, although the deck itself as offered is not strong.

Everything You Need to Know About Hearthstone’s Ranked Mode Overhaul

The current Hearthstone ladder is getting a complete overhaul on April 1st 2020 with the introduction of the new league system. In this post, I will go through the new system and what it means for players in detail.

Background: the old Hearthstone ladder

In the old system, the Hearthstone ladder consists of 25 new player ranks (ranks 50-26), 25 regular ranks, and Legend.

In order to advance through the ranks, you need to gain stars. You gain one star for a win and lose one star for a loss. Below rank 20, you cannot lose stars. Below rank 5, you gain bonus stars for win streaks: every consecutive win starting from your third win in a row grants you two stars instead of one.

There are rank floors that you cannot drop out of during a season. Ranks 20, 15, 10, 5, and Legend cannot be lost during a season.

Ranks 50 to 16 are three stars each, ranks 15 to 11 are four stars each, and ranks 10 to 1 are five stars each.

Matchmaking is based on your rank. When you are on rank 10, for example, the game attempts to match you against other players who are on rank 10 with a similar number of stars as you. Legend matchmaking is an exception: in Legend, players are matched based on their skill, and the system attempts to match you against other players of similar skill level (hidden MMR, matchmaking rating).

Each season lasts one month. You receive rewards depending on the highest rank you achieved during the season. The rewards are golden cards and dust with the dust value of the reward ranging from 25 to 550. The most important ranks are 15 (dust value of 155, up from 75 of rank 16) and 5 (dust value of 505, up from 225 from rank 6).

After the season ends, you are set back four ranks from your highest rank, including your stars within that rank. Legend players are reset to Rank 4, 0 stars. If you have ever reached rank 15, you cannot fall below rank 20.

The new Hearthstone ladder in detail

The new Hearthstone ladder is divided into five leagues that each consist of ten ranks, and Legend rank on top of it all. Each rank consists of three stars, and there are rank floors that you cannot fall off from every five ranks. There is also a separate 40-rank new player ladder.

At the end of a season, everyone gets reset all the way to Bronze 10. However, there is a star bonus mechanic to rapidly get you close to the rank you were at: for each win, you get stars according to your star bonus, but for each loss, you only lose one star. Your star bonus is reduced by one for each rank floor that you pass.

The minimum star bonus you have at the start of the season is as follows:

  • Bronze 10-1: 1x (current rank 25, no additional stars gained for wins)
  • Silver 10-6: 2x (current rank 20)
  • Silver 5-1: 3x
  • Gold 10-6: 4x (current rank 15)
  • Gold 5-1: 5x
  • Platinum 10-6: 6x (current rank 10)
  • Platinum 5-1: 7x
  • Diamond 10-6: 8x (current rank 5)
  • Diamond 5-1: 9x
  • Legend: 10x
  • High Legend: 11x

However, star bonus also depends on your matchmaking rating: if you have skipped a season or played very little during a season, you will still retain a star bonus closer to your previous finish.

In practice, your star bonus will carry you easily to within 5 ranks of your previous rank floor, after which you will need to earn stars one by one.

Win streak bonus is available until Diamond 5. Every consecutive win starting from your third win in a row grants you twice the stars you would usually earn: if you have 10x star bonus, you can get 20 stars from a single win!

However, win streaks when you’re on a star bonus are not easy to come by, because the matchmaking system has also been renewed. When you have star bonus left, you are matched based on your skill, not on your rank. Therefore, a Legend player plays against other Legend players, even when on Bronze 10. Once you run out of star bonus, you will be matched based on rank, until Legend, where you are again matched based on skill.

This system means that despite the monthly reset, players will keep playing against other players of similar skill level all the time. If you’re a fairly new player, you cannot meet experienced players until you climb the ladder, even though you both start at Bronze 10.

Season rewards have also received an overhaul. End of season rewards are as follows:

  • Bronze 5: 1 Standard Rare card
  • Silver 10: 1 Latest expansion pack, 1 Standard Rare card
  • Silver 5: 1 Latest expansion pack, 3 Standard Rare cards
  • Gold 10: 2 Latest expansion packs, 3 Standard Rare cards
  • Gold 5: 2 Latest expansion packs, 5 Standard Rare cards
  • Platinum 10: 3 Latest expansion packs, 5 Standard Rare cards
  • Platinum 5: 3 Latest expansion packs, 7 Standard Rare cards
  • Diamond 10: 4 Latest expansion packs, 7 Standard Rare cards
  • Diamond 5: 4 Latest expansion packs, 7 Standard Rare cards, 1 Standard Epic card
  • Legend: 5 Latest expansion packs, 7 Standard Rare cards, 1 Standard Epic card

The reward curve has been smoothened a lot, there are smaller jumps between ranks. In general, you want to aim for new league levels, because rank 10 of each league adds a card pack to your season reward.

There are also first-time rewards for reaching each ranked floor that culminate in a Legendary card for reaching Legend for the first time. You will get the first-time rewards regardless of what rank you had in the previous system.

Comparison of the old system and the new system

Matchmaking is a major change: you will have good games immediately from the start of the season even if you miss the first day or two because matchmaking is based on skill as long as you have star bonus left.

If you watch streams, especially early in the season, it can be hard to tell what level of gameplay you see. A game on Bronze 10 can be a high-Legend game or it can be a real Bronze 10 game.

When you run out of star bonus, you will be matched based on rank again until Legend, at which point the quality of games can vary depending on how late in the season it is.

Climbing the ladder is more rewarding, and the rewards are more steady. The biggest individual jump in reward dust value is 100 for a card pack as compared to 280 in the old system for reaching rank 5. However, if you’re still missing cards from the latest expansion, the card packs can be even more valuable.

How much of a grind is it to get back to where you were at the end of the previous season?

  • High-Legend players have an easy road to Legend, because their star bonus extends all the way to Legend. Even with a sub-50% win rate, they will get to Legend in less than 100 games. Their path to Legend is shorter than it used to be.
  • Other Legend players will run out of star bonus at Diamond 5, after which they need to get 15 stars the old-fashioned way, the equivalent of climbing up from rank 3. With MMR-based matchmaking, it takes around 60 games for them to run out of star bonus (50% win rate, with win streaks), so the grind will be longer for them, as it is like taking 60 games to get out of rank 4 and then progressing as normal.
  • A rank 10 player (Platinum 10) needs around 50 games to get to Gold 5 (50% win rate, with win streaks), where they run out of star bonus and will progress the final 15 stars as before. It is like spending your first 50 games to get your first star and then carry on as usual from there.
  • If your season’s highest rank is close to the next rank floor, you may be penalized for that because you get a guaranteed star bonus only according to the rank floors you have reached. Platinum 6, for example, is a terrible place to finish unless your MMR qualifies you for a higher star bonus than your rank.
  • If you want to estimate a full Legend climb based on your previous finish, you can use Coinconcede’s calculator. It does not allow you to set separate win rates for your time with star bonus and without one though.

Finally, here is a video recap of the new system, if you prefer to listen to the explanation:

Malygos Druid is still good in Galakrond’s Awakening!

I recently browsed through all the meta decks to see what happens to them in the rotation, and something surprising caught my eye: Malygos Druid is not played anymore.

Fine, I guess the variant with Ysera is just so much better, I thought.

I could not stop thinking about it though. Is it really that bad? Therefore, I picked up my old decklist from Doom in the Tomb (yeah, it had been a while since I played the deck) and decided to update it for Galakrond’s Awakening.

Turns out, the deck still functions perfectly fine. You can draw quickly to your combo, and the new Druid cards from Galakrond’s Awakening, Steel Beetle and Rising Winds, fit right into the deck. After a little bit of tweaking, I had a great list that was winning the majority of its games.

So, if you’re interested in playing a combo deck, Malygos Druid is still here, and it is as good as ever.

Malygos Druid decklist

Deck code: AAECAZICBrQDrtIC5PsC9fwC+KED9KIDDEBWX/4B0wPEBqmiA8iiA++iA9mpA/m1A8a3AwA=

Here is the list I ended up with and it works like a charm.

Jepetto was a bit too slow for the current meta, I gave it a try, but it did not deliver. Any sort of hybridization with Ysera – I have seen such builds on HSReplay – is just useless, you have tons of damage with your combo so you do not care about building a board.

I opted to use Steel Beetle in this over Ferocious Howl because it is possible to draw too many cards and have trouble emptying your hand. I believe the Beetle is a good way to keep the armor gain, but if you feel that you can afford to draw more, Ferocious Howl also remains an option.

Malygos Druid mulligan

Mulligan is the same as with Quest Druid: you always keep the Quest and Crystal Merchant, and then you look for some defensive tools (Wrath, Oasis Surger) for fast matchups and card draw for slow matchups. Nourish is a keep whenever you dare, even in fast matchups if you have a good early game already.

Malygos Druid tips and tricks

Think carefully about how much damage you need to win and how you are going to do it. Your damage spells are Moonfire and Swipe, and you can make more copies with Elise. You can spend some of your damage spells to defend during the game.

You can discount Elise and/or Malygos with Dreampetal Florist: one of my favorite moves is to Floop the Florist for more discount rolls, although in slow matchups you can also use the Floop as Malygos, even twice if you copy it with Elise first.

A single Malygos with double Moonfire and double Swipe is 30 damage. If Malygos has the Florist discount, that is available for ten mana.

Double Malygos with four Moonfires is 44 damage. This can be done with discounted Malygos or with two Floops after playing the real Malygos on a previous turn. The deck can deal a lot of damage.

Other than the combo, it is Quest Druid gameplay as usual: defend, complete the quest, start getting some crazy value from your Choose One cards, and win the game. The combo is damage-based, so any chip damage you can deal during the game makes it easier to pull off. You don’t need to draw your entire deck to use parts of the combo either!

Malygos Druid gameplay video

Finally, here is a video with a recap of this guide and some Legend gameplay with the deck.

What will every meta deck lose in the Hearthstone Standard rotation 2020?

The annual Hearthstone Standard rotation is coming on April 7th with the release of Ashes of Outland expansion, and this year The Witchwood, The Boomsday Project, and Rastakhan’s Rumble will rotate out of Standard format.

Cards from those expansions will then only be playable in Wild, in some Tavern Brawls, and in some single-player content.

But what will the current meta decks lose? Which ones will survive? I looked into them all and created a series of analysis videos covering each class.

Druid

Embiggen Druid, Quest Druid, and Token Druid

Hunter

Dragon Hunter, Quest Hunter, and Face Hunter
Highlander Hunter

Mage

Highlander Mage and Cyclone Mage

Paladin

Mech Paladin, Murloc Paladin, Holy Wrath Paladin, and Pure Paladin

Priest

Resurrect Priest, Quest Resurrect Priest, Combo Priest, and Nomi Priest

Rogue

Galakrond Rogue, Highlander Galakrond Rogue, and Malygos Rogue

Shaman

Aggro Overload Shaman, Murloc Shaman, and Quest Galakrond Shaman
Highlander Shaman

Warlock

Galakrond Warlock, Galakrond Zoo Warlock, and Handlock

Warrior

Galakrond Warrior, Highlander Warrior, and Pirate Warrior

Mecha’thun Warrior is back with Kael’thas – Hearthstone deck guide March 2020

The addition of Kael’thas Sunstrider into Hearthstone before the rest of the Ashes of Outland expansion has kindled new life into an old combo deck: Mecha’thun Warrior has returned!

Now, the meta is not kind to combo and control decks at the moment. Withstanding the onslaught from Galakrond Warriors, Dragon Hunters, and Galakrong Rogues is by no means easy, but Kael’thas simplifies the Mecha’thun Warrior combo and thereby makes the deck, if not exactly top tier, at least playable.

It is one of the most challenging decks to play in the current meta, but one where perfect decisions are rewarded with a fair number of victories. I was able to win half of my games with it, and with sufficient practice, that number could be improved upon.

If you’re looking for a challenge, look no further!

Mecha’thun Warrior decklist

Deck code: AAECAQcGkAe49gLx+wLerQPfrQOuugMMS5ADogTUBPwE/wf7DJvzAvT1ArP8AvKoA6S2AwA=

I played around with several variants of the list and liked this one the best.

The combo is always the same: The Boomship to pull Mecha’thun and Kael’thas Sunstrider from hand, then Whirlwind, and then Plague of Wrath, which is now free thanks to Kael’thas.

This combo is superior to the old Malygos and Inner Rage version because it requires one card less, and it has more redundancy: you can have two copies of Whirlwind and Plague of Wrath in the deck, but only need to use one of each for the combo, whereas you needed to save both copies of Inner Rage for the old combo.

Furthermore, the Kael’thas combo can kill minions of any size. Because there is one extra space in The Boomship – it can summon three minions – you can have one extra minion in hand when you go for your combo turn, and now that there is no size limit, I have chosen to include Deathwing, Mad Aspect as another defensive tool in the deck.

This list with Risky Skippers and Battle Rages as the draw mechanic seems to work best. I also tried Town Criers and Rush minions, but that did not work out nearly as well. In my initial versions, I sometimes had problems finding my Skippers in time, but with the addition of Ancharrr, I am now finding them much more consistently, and the deck is more reliable.

There is a weakness with double Brawl: if your opponent refuses to play minions, you can get stuck with a Brawl in hand because Brawl can only be played when there are at least two minions on the board. I tried to play with just one Brawl, but the general meta is too aggressive and you need all your board clears.

In a very slow matchup, you can simply Brawl away your small minions, but I managed to lose to a Bomb Warrior while testing the deck, because I had to use my small minions to generate armor and could not get rid of the second Brawl. How I found a Bomb Warrior fairly high in Legend is another matter, but I guess anything can happen.

The old versions of the deck used to run Dr. Boom, Mad Genius to ensure that you can play your Brawls, but Boom is slow against all the heavy aggression on the ladder now. It is tough to find the right balance between various options for optimal performance.

Mecha’thun Warrior mulligan

With no statistics available on the archetype, the optimal mulligan is difficult to determine. I look for Acolyte of Pain and Ancharrr as my top picks, but may also keep other cards if they have synergies together.

Mecha’thun Warrior tips and tricks

While you aim to win with the combo, sometimes you need to use your minions early to survive. If you can gain a lot of armor, The Boomship pulling a lone Mecha’thun and using Shield Slam on that can do the trick. Sometimes Mecha’thun just goes face for the win, if you need to pull it with The Boomship early.

Various Risky Skipper combos are essential for the deck. Eternium Rover, Armorsmith, Acolyte of Pain, and Battle Rage can be used with the card to generate armor and draw cards. Alternatively, Warpath can be used to damage your own minions too.

Weapons Project can be used for early removal, to remove an opponent’s weapon, and to draw cards with Harrison Jones.

There is a lot of card draw in the deck. If you find all your combo pieces early, remember that you can burn cards by overdrawing, you do not have to get them all into your hand anymore.

Mecha’thun Warrior gameplay

Finally, here is a recap of the guide on video alongside some gameplay with the deck.

Elemental Highlander Mage in Legend – Fun Hearthstone Deck

With the addition of Kael’thas Sunstrider to Hearthstone, I had to look for a deck that can use it. The first thing I played was Elemental Highlander Mage.

Never heard of it? Well, I guess it does not really exist as an archetype in Hearthstone usually. It also could not make good use of Kael’thas. But other than that, the deck was simply hilarious and I even went to have a 6-4 record with it in Legend, which was wholly unexpected.

Elemental Highlander Mage decklist

Deck code: AAECAf0EHrsCiwOrBOYElgW/CPvsAs7yAu72AqaHA8iHA8mHA8qHA6aYA5+bA6CbA+KbA/+dA/yjA5KkA4SnA/isA/usA/2sA+yvA/OvA5GxA4e2A4i2A666AwAA

I built this decklist as a result of a number of considerations.

I wanted to have cards that benefit from spells because I wanted to use Kael’thas. That would also mandate both expensive and cheap spells to enable Kael’thas’s effect. That is how I arrived at Elemental Allies as a way to draw spells and Chenvaala as an alternative card that benefits from having a lot of spells.

From there, the focus on Elementals and some random spells became clear. Mana Cyclone can give me some random spells, and by adding more Elementals I can also benefit from cheap tempo spells such as Scorch.

But why Highlander? I was worried that a pure spell-based Elemental deck would be too weak, so adding the three Highlander synergy cards that Mage has access to gives me some tricks: Zephrys the Great, Reno the Relicologist, and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza are just immensely powerful cards.

The deck may look a little weird, but it can actually contest real decks through tempo and finish off games with burn. This is not an optimized list, just something I put together for fun, but it worked better than I expected.

Elemental Highlander Mage mulligan

You’re mostly looking for Elemental Allies, Violet Spellwing, and Zephrys the Great. Arcane Amplifier can be a good keep sometimes as well.

It is important to start doing things early in the game, you do not have the control power of a traditional Highlander Mage.

Elemental Highlander Mage gameplay video

Here’s what playing the deck looks like. I had a great time with it!

Guide to Maximum Free Dust from Hall of Fame 2020 (Hearthstone)

Hearthstone’s Hall of Fame for 2020 was just revealed, and it is an opportunity for all players to earn some free dust! In this post, I will go through exactly what you need to do to get as much free dust as possible.

When cards go to Hall of Fame, they are rotated out of Standard format. They are still part of Wild format, so they can be used in Wild ladder, in some single-player content, and in some Tavern Brawls.

Unlike the regular rotation, players receive compensation for all cards that they own that go to Hall of Fame without disenchanting the cards. You get the amount of dust it would cost to craft as many copies of the cards as you can put in a deck, so for one Legendary and for two copies of everything else.

You get dust based on the highest-value copies you own, so for golden copies first and if you do not have as many golden copies as can be put in a deck, for regular copies thereafter.

If you prefer to watch a video, you can find this guide also on Youtube:

What this means in practice for cards of various rarities:

If you own Leeroy Jenkins and Prophet Velen, you cannot increase your dust gain by crafting more copies, including by upgrading to a golden copy. If you do not own the cards, you should craft them in golden for maximum dust gain.

The same applies to Mountain Giant and Shadowform: if you have two copies of each, you should do nothing, and if you miss any copies, you should craft them in golden.

The same applies again to Mind Control Tech, Auchenai Soulpriest, and Holy Fire: if you have two copies of each, you should do nothing, and if you miss any copies, you should craft them in golden.

The crafting cost of golden commons is higher in comparison, and therefore there is a little extra dust available for crafting Acolyte of Pain and Spellbreaker in golden. This is not very significant though, so you should prioritize higher rarities if you cannot craft everything.

If you have none of the Hall of Fame cards and craft them all in Golden, you will get a net profit of 5600 dust if you disenchant the cards after the rotation.

If you have all the Hall of Fame cards as regular copies, you will get a compensation of 5560 dust and you get to keep the cards. You can make a total of 6940 dust by crafting Golden commons and disenchanting all rotating cards.

Galakrond Rogue deck guide – Hearthstone March 2020

Galakrond Rogue is one of the strongest decks in Hearthstone at the moment. Its ability to draw several cards and make them free causes insane swing turns and allows the Rogue to get back into a difficult game at any time or find even twenty points of burst damage out of nowhere.

Galakrond Rogue has many tools at its disposal: Edwin VanCleef for a huge early-game threat, Leeroy Jenkins and Shadowstep for sudden burst, Flik Skyshiv for hard removal and Sap to get rid of buffs, and Heistbaron Togwaggle for tempo or value.

With such an extensive toolkit, Rogue is powerful in just about any matchup.

Galakrond Rogue decklist

Deck code: AAECAaIHCrICzQOvBJcGoIADkpcDwa4D47QDw7YDy8ADCrQB7QKIB4+XA/WnA7muA/6uA6qvA86vA4KxAwA=

I played this list to Legend in early March 2020. The list is a fairly regular Galakrond Rogue deck that is slightly teched for the mirror and against Rogue’s weakest matchup, Druid.

Boompistol Bully is an anti-Rogue tech card that has become useful in a heavy Rogue meta. If Rogue numbers were to go down, it should be replaced with something appropriate for the meta, but right now some people even include it in their decks in two copies. I have opted to go with one.

Questing Adventurer is an anti-Druid tech card. It can punish slow decks that do not act on the first turns and snowball out of control. Edwin VanCleef can do the same in a slightly different fashion, as Edwin is buffed when played, whereas Questing Adventurer is buffed over time. These cards are important in slow matchups, where a burst finisher is inefficient, because they allow you to end the games early. If you do not meet many Druids, you can replace the Questing Adventurer with something else, such as SN1P-SN4P. Edwin is the better card and should always be part of the deck.

Galakrond Rogue mulligan

Against aggressive decks, you want to hold onto Pharaoh Cat to get on the board immediately and Backstab and Seal Fate for some early removal. If you’re on the Coin, you should also keep Edwin VanCleef to potentially challenge the opponent with a big minion early in the game. EVIL Miscreant can also be useful when on the Coin.

Against slow decks, you still want Pharaoh Cat because getting on the board and getting some additional resources early is good in every matchup. In slower games, you want to have some more power as early as possible, so you should also keep Edwin VanCleef and Heistbaron Togwaggle: Edwin for a major threat early, even without the Coin, and Heistbaron to get a bunch of free cards in the mid-game.

Galakrond Rogue tips and tricks

Edwin is a major win condition. Coin, Lackeys, Backstab, and Shadowstepping your Lackeys are some of the ways to grow it early in the game. A big Edwin early wins games. It is more effective when you’re on the Coin, but in slower matchups it can be great when you’re going first as well.

Shadowstep is a flexible tool that can do more than just bring Leeroy Jenkins back to your hand for another go. It can be used to buff up your Edwin, and also to ensure that you have an activator for your future combos or a Faceless Corruptor: a zero-cost Lackey with Faceless Corruptor on turn five can be a great tool to swing the game.

In slow matchups, like against Mage, you can consider Seal Fate on your own face, if you need the Invoke effect and the Lackey. In such games, your health is insignificant, the opponent will not pressure you anyway. It is more important to be aggressive and win before they stabilize.

Sap has many uses. It can return a minion to hand to remove any buffs on it, which is especially useful against Mech Paladin, but it can also be used for tempo: sometimes you can even let the opponent use a Battlecry minion again just to delay them. I have even sapped Rotnest Drakes successfully, usually in combination with some Lackeys on the board to minimize the usefulness of its Battlecry effect.

The main treasure you’re looking for from Heistbaron Togwaggle is Wondrous Wand for three zero-cost cards. You have so many good tools in the deck that it is almost always the correct choice.

Galakrond Rogue gameplay video

Finally, here is a video recap of the guide and some gameplay from my Legend climb with the deck.