With the nerf to Sacrificial Pact, there is one Warlock card that became viable again overnight: Lord Jaraxxus. Jaraxxus had been unplayable for some time because it could be destroyed by Sacrificial Pact from Zephrys the Great or even from the main deck of most Warlocks on the ladder, but now that Jaraxxus can no longer be destroyed at will, it has a chance to come back.
Jaraxxus is a natural fit into a Handlock deck, so I updated my Handlock theorycraft for the current meta and added Jaraxxus in it, and climbed a good deal in Legend with a 71% winrate.
Deck code: AAECAf0GBsUEiQaJnQPxrAPWuQPuvwMMjQjECNqWA9qbA6GhA+WsA+usA+ysA+6sA7+5A8S5A72+AwA=
The overall idea behind Handlock without Mountain Giants (which went to Hall of Fame) is to use various cards that benefit from having many cards in hand:
- Dark Skies deals damage based on the number of cards in hand
- The Dark Portal draws and discounts a card when you have at least eight cards in hand
- Twilight Drake gains health when you have more cards in hand
- Abyssal Summoner summons bigger Taunt Demons when you have lots of cards in hand
- Plot Twist draws more cards when you have more cards in hand
Plot Twist is a natural synergy card for Handlock that enables many things:
- Fel Lord Betrug and Plot Twist usually clears the board and leaves some Deathrattle minions behind
- Aranasi Broodmothers heal you when drawn
- Kelidan the Breaker becomes a Twisting Nether on a stick when drawn the turn it is played
- If you are missing an answer, it can be just a Plot Twist away
However, I have not included the Quest in the deck. The Quest makes your mulligans weaker, which is a major issue against fast decks like Demon Hunters. The late-game benefits are not sufficient to compensate for that. Jaraxxus already gives you a late-game Hero Power and it does not work well with the Quest.
The deck wins games with big minions, many of which have Taunt as well, so opponents will have a hard time pushing through them all. Demon Hunters with Warglaives giving you trouble? Let them facetank some huge Taunt minions if they insist.
With all the Demons in the deck being so big, Kanrethad Ebonlocke’s Prime version is a huge board in a box.
Lord Jaraxxus can grind out some slower matchups, such as Priests, and as it heals you to 15, it can be useful even against more aggressive decks.
Typically, you mulligan for your early removal, Dark Skies and Unstable Felbolt, and keep The Dark Portal alongside them.
Against slow decks, you can look for The Dark Portal and Twilight Drake for some early pressure and Kanrethad Ebonlocke to get it out of the way of your The Dark Portal.
Here are a couple of gameplay videos of the deck, showcasing various Plot Twist shenanigans and, of course, Lord Jaraxxus.