In this Hearthstone Journey to Un’Goro deck tech, I take a look at C’Thun Warrior. Wait, what? C’Thun is not a new card! True, it isn’t. However, it is interesting to see how old decks can be modernized for a new meta, and whether they can perform there.
In case of C’Thun Warrior, if you want to play a Warrior deck that can really armor up a lot, C’Thun Warrior is an attractive option – perhaps your only option. With the rise of Discover Burn Mage (PsyGuenther Mage), such a Warrior deck can do some nice things.
The downfall of C’Thun
The downfall of C’Thun was caused by a number of factors:
Shamanstone. Prevalence of Shaman is just poison for C’Thun, as all slower Shaman decks run two copies of Hex, which can conveniently remove C’Thun and prevent it from being reshuffled into the deck by Doomcaller.
Dirty Rat. Have an important card that sits in your hand for a long time? Dirty Rat is your nightmare, as it can pull the card from your hand at a time when the opponent is able to deal with it.
Jade Golems. Why have just one huge minion, when you can have many? Furthermore, a big Jade board also reduces the effectiveness of C’Thun’s battlecry, simply soaking up all that damage and carrying on like nothing happened.
Can C’Thun rise again?
Right now, the meta is much friendlier for C’Thun. Shaman is one of the rarer classes, and while many Mage decks run one copy of Polymorph and have the possibility to discover another, they are not as threatening.
Dirty Rat has also fallen out of favor a little. For example, the Taunt Warrior list that Kolento played to #1 legend on two servers did not include a single copy of Dirty Rat. It is now most commonly seen in Control Shaman (rare) and Control Paladin (more common), so it is still around, but it is not as big of a threat as it used to be.
There are still some obstacles on the way though:
First, Jade Druid is still around. The upside is that Jade Druid is not as bad of a matchup as it used to be, even though it is still unfavored. As Druid no longer has any hard removal, that big C’Thun has to be removed with damage. Sometimes, the Druid succeeds. A couple of taunts to stall, some damage from spells, and some Jades, and even C’Thun can fall. Or perhaps C’Thun comes down too late against an established Jade board, when the Druid just trades it away on board. However, now there is a definite window of opportunity to slam down C’Thun and try to race the Druid, because it no longer eats a Mulch right off the bat.
Second, the biggest obstacle. Quest Rogue. C’Thun Warrior has a bit of a slow start, because it has to run a bunch of C’Thun synergy minions, and Quest Rogues love decks with a slow start. Even though C’Thun Warrior has a ton of armor gain, that armor is quickly eaten away by swarms of 5/5s, and even surviving until C’Thun is unlikely, and that C’Thun cannot do much against a bunch of 5/5s even if it does come down.
Year of the Mammoth C’Thun Warrior 2017
With the aforementioned caveats, what could a C’Thun Warrior look like if played in the current standard meta? Here is a list I have played on the ladder recently:
It is a fairly basic C’Thun Warrior build, running the tried and tested synergy package of one Beckoner of Evil, two Disciples of C’Thun, and two C’Thun’s Chosens.
With Revenge no longer available, the deck runs a whirlwind effect package of two Whirlwinds, two Ravaging Ghouls, and one Sleep with the Fishes.
This is not a deck that waits around until fatigue, you generally want to draw as much as possible! In matchups where Whirlwinds are not that valuable, you can cycle them into other cards with two copies of Acolyte of Pain. Two copies of Slam and two copies of Shield Block complete the draw package.
The deck can generate a lot of armor with two copies of Shield Block and two copies of Ancient Shieldbearer. This also ensures that Shield Slams remain relevant late in the game as well, as they can easily remove minions with up to 10 health, even 12 health on turn 10 starting from 0 armor (10 from Shieldbearer and 2 from Hero Power, and still enough mana left to Shield Slam).
Twin Emperors are still a power play for seven mana, and the deck also runs one copy of Doomcaller to get a second C’Thun, even though the sweet combo with Brann to get yet an additional C’Thun is no longer available in Standard.
There are two clear flex slots in the deck. First one is Sleep with the Fishes, which comes in handy when clearing wide boards of Murlocs, and the second one is Gluttonous Ooze.
Gluttonous Ooze is a great tech card for C’Thun Warrior right now. After the slightly slow start, Gluttonous Ooze helps stabilize against Pirate Warrior thanks to the armor gain and enabling Shield Slam. It is also a great card against Paladin, most of whom have access to two or three weapons (Truesilver Champion, Ashbringer from Tirion). Finally, it is great against Discover Burn Mage, as thanks to all your cycle, you are very likely to find it in time to deal with Atiesh from Medivh and deny that wide board.
Countering Discover Burn Mage
One of the reasons I wanted to play C’Thun Warrior this season was the rise of Discover Burn Mage. C’Thun Warrior is a great counter!
It is the only Warrior deck remaining with tons of relatively easy armor gain: other slow Warrior decks have chosen to tech in Armorsmiths to deal with Mages, but C’Thun Warrior can just run Ancient Shieldbearers instead, and get some big threats on the board while armoring up.
With Gluttonous Ooze tech, you are not that reliant on Brawls to clean up after Atiesh, as you can just remove the weapon and deny the minions from arriving in the first place.
Finally, even though Discover Burn Mage often runs Polymorph and can thus remove C’Thun, C’Thun is not even needed as a win condition: at most, you need its battlecry to pop the Ice Block once and you’re good to go. It’s the armor gain combined with minion removal that wins the matchup.
As noted, Discover Burn Mage is one of the best matchups for the deck. Secret Mage is more difficult, as even though you have a bunch of weak minions to throw into Mirror Entities, playing around all the secrets can get tricky. You still have a lot of tools to deal with Secret Mage as well.
The worst matchup is Quest Rogue – which is all but impossible – followed by Jade Druid, which is clearly unfavored. Jade Druid can be pressured with minions and even with a big C’Thun, and sometimes that pressure is enough to win. I would expect Control Shaman to be a bad matchup as well, but I have not been able to find any so far.
Miracle Rogue is not nearly as punishing as Quest Rogue, as once you get going you have a ton of armor gain and minion removal, and Miracle Rogue can find it difficult to deal enough damage to win the game. It is a favored matchup for C’Thun Warrior.
You also have a lot of tools to deal with all the aggressive decks and stabilize after withstanding the initial onslaught, be it from Pirate Warrior, Murloc Paladin, or Midrange Hunter. These are obviously draw-dependent, and sometimes the aggro decks just win. Nonetheless, I never feel bad queueing into any of them.
In the current meta, C’Thun Warrior is actually a playable deck! It cannot really be a top deck right now because of its weaknesses to both Quest Rogue and Jade Druid, but it also has some great matchups, such as the recently popular Discover Burn Mage, which can make it worth playing.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a trip down the nostalgy lane, C’Thun Warrior is playable right now!