30 Decks to try out on day 1 of Voyage to the Sunken City

A curated list of 30 decks to try out on day 1 of Voyage to the Sunken City

After completing the comprehensive Voyage to the Sunken City preview article, it’s time for theory-crafting! We encourage you to read the card preview as it is likely to shed light on many of our decisions regarding deck building.

Our first Data Reaper Report for Voyage to the Sunken City is scheduled for Thursday, April 21st! We will note that should there be balance changes within the first few days of the expansion, the Data Reaper Report could be delayed. We will provide an update in such a case on our Twitter.

Once again, we remind you that you can help us perform our analysis by contributing your Hearthstone game data. This can be done using Firestone, which provides us with all its user data (with an option to opt out). Alternatively, you can contribute data through our Hearthstone Deck Tracker plugin. Installing the plugin is very easy and will only take a couple of minutes of your time. We appreciate and thank all our contributors for keeping this project going. We remind our existing plug-in contributors to check on their plug-in and make sure that it is still active. Sometimes, with big patches, the plug-in deactivates inadvertently.

Remember that while we have extensively worked to produce the featured decks, they are still untested, and nothing can replace the post-launch refinement that is backed up by real-time game experience and data.

If you have a limited collection, we highly recommend that you DO NOT make big crafting investments on any theory-crafted deck. Wait at least a few days to see what strategies end up being strong and fun before making a significant commitment.

Naga Aggro Demon Hunter

A lot of power has rotated out from the class and while there were some nice additions, it doesn’t feel like it’s made up for the loss.

Aggro DH will likely utilize a Naga package to leverage Predation and Lady S’theno, two of the strongest cards the class was given. Vicious Slitherspear is a strong 1-drop to snowball the early game alongside Battlefiend and Irondeep Trogg. Beaming Sidekick will be a likely inclusion in almost every aggressive deck alongside Trogg. Wayward Sage and Murkwater Scribe help you get ahead early.

The other card we focused on leveraging is Multi-Strike, which works very well with Dreadprison Glaive and Pufferfist. Pufferfist could be quite strong in Demon Hunter due to the ease of its activation and being a pretty good Drek’Thar pull. Bone Glaive provides us with reach. We need to be able to finish off opponents quickly after the early game since we don’t have much longevity.

Naga Fel Demon Hunter

This build is an attempt to reinvent the Fel Demon Hunter archetype. Much like in Aggro DH, an early game Naga package is added to help with some mana discounts and enabling Predation, another Fel spell we would like Jace to repeat.

With our strongest AOE tools lost in Mo’arg Artificer, Felscream Blast and Immolation Aura, we have to opt for Chaos Nova to be able to clear boards in the mid-game and juice up our Jace to become a board clear as well. Since Brann is available in the format, we’re very interested in the possibility of executing a Brann/Jace combo. It is likely that this path will be explored in Final Showdown builds too, but that requires a different support structure. Running a single Mailbox Dancer to give us that OTK option seems like a relatively low cost, and we can also Brann/Azshara or Brann/Kurtrus. In a deck with a high density of spells that’s also reliant on damage to close out games, Azshara and her Xal’atath make sense.

Dredge Deathrattle Demon Hunter

The Deathrattle archetype has another year to go after being introduced at Barrens and provides a solid shell for a proactive deck. This build attempts to incorporate the finishing package of Azsharan Defector and Bone Glaive. Defector is a replacement for the rotating Renowned Performer, and since we can pull it from Beastmaster or Blackthorn, the weakness of the card as a standalone is lessened.

The goal is to establish early board, do chip damage and get a Sunken Defector to the bottom of our deck. With Bone Glaive, we can set up 15 damage over two turns, which is intimidating in theory. This package basically fills the role of Illidari Inquistor, which has gotten progressively worse over the last year.

Xhilag should be a good top-end threat as our deck is all about sticking a board and it can force AOE on its own. To replace Skull, we’ve slotted in the card that was originally meant to give the archetype card draw in Vengeful Spirit. It just isn’t the same.

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Giant Water Druid

Druid has received an interesting set that seems to support a new kind of Ramp Druid with a style resembling Handlock. The introduction of Naga Giant and the return of Sea Giant to Standard led us to speculate about Water Druid. This deck aims to develop a free Naga Giant following Miracle Growth or Scale of Onyxia, while being able to counter-flood the board against aggressive decks with Flipper Friends and Scale of Onyxia to get Sea Giants down early.

The deck has other forms of mana-cheating possibilities. Dozing Kelpkeeper can help us make sure we don’t fall too far behind while spending mana on spells, while Green-Thumb Gardener becomes consistently free to play once we hit 6 mana.

Another important note is that Raid Negotiator is going to be very powerful in the new format and a key 4-drop for Druid in the absence of Overgrowth. It is about 70% likely to provide us with a turn 5 play. Jerry-Rig Carpenter helps us find more spells to spend mana on with Nourish and Flipper Friends acting as the specific targets. We can find Giants later in the game with both Moonlit Guidance and Aquatic Form, and they provide us with stabilizing power thanks to Earthen Scales. This deck is sweet.

Sea Giant Beast Druid

We like the combination of Flipper Friends and Sea Giant so much that we’re interested in testing it in Beast Druid, where we can even copy Giants with Oracle of Elune. Flipper Friends carries additional value in the deck by discounting Matriarch and pairing with Composting for a massive draw turn.

The painful loss of Arbor Up is there, so we replaced the card with Heart of the Wild for the required finishing potential. It should still double buff almost every minion we develop in the deck.

Sunken City Kazakusan Druid

Will Kazakusan Druid survive rotation and remain a player in the meta? We had major doubts, but after building the deck, it seems surprisingly functional despite losing so many powerful pieces. The biggest issue is the downgrade in ramp it will experience, and we suspect it could make it more difficult for cards like Malygos and Onyxia to work, so we’ve opted for the Mine build in this instance.

Living Roots and Wrath should help us deal with Irondeep Troggs in the early game, replacing Lunar Eclipse’s role. Azure Drake is a decent cycle card that works with these removal pieces. Flipper Friends is likely a must alongside Scale of Onyxia and is a great follow up to Wild Growth. The Nourish buff was essential, as we can now play Nourish on 5 and ramp into Kazakusan on 8. It’s not Overgrowth but it’s pretty good.

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

Naga Face Hunter

Nagas also believe that face is the place. The new set has given Face Hunter plenty of support to ensure it continues to perform in the new year, and that support is directly linked to the Naga tribe. Vicious Slitherspear is the perfect 1-drop for the deck, which requires multiple 1-drops that can take advantage of our early buffs. Beaming Sidekick will be a terror alongside Irondeep Trogg too.

Then we’ve got the big payoffs. We’re not convinced Naga Pride will be consistently activated on turn 3, but Murkwater Scribe is its best friend. On the coin, this combination will be lethal. Barbed Nets is a fantastic card for early board control. At the top end, Twinbow Terrorcoil can set up some insane burst damage with either Aimed Shot or Piercing Shot as possible follow-ups. Raj Naz’jan can either act as a snowballing 2-drop threat or as a strong follow-up to Barak Kodobane.

Sunken City Quest Hunter

Barbed Nets is also expected to slot straight into Quest Hunter without any need to activate it because an Arcane Shot is very good in this deck. Marked Shot is a card we’d like to see experimented with. It wouldn’t be good enough in Alterac Valley because too many matchups don’t give you targets for it, but it might be effective in Sunken City because we do expect decks to play harder for the board again. In that kind of meta, it can proc the quest and give you another spell for a quest tick next turn or refresh your hero power twice post-completion.

Since there are two potential builds of Quest Hunter, we’re featuring both the Multicaster build and the Drek’Thar build. Just swap the cards tagged in yellow for the ones in blue. Raj Naz’jan should be a good pull off Drek’Thar. If Marked Shot doesn’t end up being too hot, it can be replaced by Furious Howl in the Multicaster build.

Colossal Beast Hunter

Big-Beast Hunter ended up being a fringe, but decent, performer towards the end of Alterac Valley. Can it survive rotation with the new cards it has received? Perhaps, but building it is a tricky affair.

The main issue is the consistency of Azsharan Saber, but perhaps having Saber as the only beast that can get pulled from Pet Collector will help us to find our Sunken Saber faster. Our primary goal is to dredge it with Harpoon Gun of course. We really want our gun on 3.

Let’s talk about threat density. Mountain Bear, Hydralodon and King Krush are all fantastic targets for Sunken Saber, but how about Ambassador Faelin? Six of the ten colossal minions are beasts, so these are also potential targets for Sunken Saber and Harpoon Gun! Selective Breeder and Finley add more layers of consistency to the deck. Breeder on 2 can find you Azsharan Saber and later in the game, another threat. Finley makes for a solid combo with Faelin. The deck looks fun, hopefully it will be competitive.

Siren Naga Mage

Oh boy, what a set the Mage class has received. We strongly suspect that Spitelash Siren will end up as one of the strongest cards at the Sunken City, as she could enable a remarkably powerful and consistent swing turn. Thanks to Vicious Slitherspear and School Teacher (a perfect turn 4 play for this deck), Siren can go off on its chain as early as turn 5, while Amalgam of the Deep, Spellcoiler, Zola the Gorgon and Gifts of Azshara help it sustain the turn.

Outside of the Siren turn, try to survive with spot removal and accumulate resources with Multicaster and Commander Sivara. We can make a big board with Spitelash Siren, but how do we close out games against decks with removal? Queen Azshara could help with Xal’atath, while burst damage during the Siren chain is also possible thanks to Rainblow Glowscale and Zola the Gorgon.

Shark Mech Mage

Mech Mage is another deck that looks quite exciting though it will be interesting to see whether its card quality holds up in the upcoming format. The cards we want to build around are Mecha-Shark and Seafloor Gateway. Together, they can wreak havoc on the opponent’s board and their face.

Both these cards encourage us to run as many mechs in our deck as possible, so we thought of building a list with the maximum number of good mechs we could find, and Seafloor Gateway as its only spell. This way, we can tutor Gateway with Frostweave Dungeoneer and find it very consistently early on.

This deck can accumulate many resources and make that Gateway discount matter thanks to Sunken Sweeper, Trench Surveyor, Gorrilabot, Amalgam of the Deep and even Deeprun Engineer. We think Mothership, Security Automaton and Seascout Operator are potential sleepers. Mothership is worth a lot of stats and might even sneak into some non-mech deck. Automaton can grow out of control thanks to Gateway, or an Operator follow up. Gaia is our top-end finisher, and Goliath might be good as well, especially if it costs 7.

If you get her from a pack, give Ini Stormcoil a chance. She could potentially be quite powerful. We’ll be sad if this deck ends up adding Troggs and Sidekicks, but we marked how you’d do it. You know… for day 2.

Freeze Wildfire Mage

Blizzard is back in standard, and we think this could have major implications for Wildfire Mage, or any deck looking to run Magister Dawngrasp. This evil build attempts to maximize Blizzard value to the point you can freeze your opponent more times than even a Shaman can. Yes, Jaina is back to being THE Freeze Mage. Sit down, Thrall.

But it’s not just about the number of times we can cast Blizzard, but how early we can do it. Shivering Sorceress, Murkwater Scribe and Mailbox Dancer can help us cheat it out earlier, so that Grey Sage Parrot lands on turn 6. Evoker and Dungeoneer help us find our key spells more consistently. Pyromaniac is a great core set addition.

But let’s talk about the late game. Brann/Mordresh is 20 damage with the help of a coin from Mailbox Dancer. Brann also works very well with Apprentice. Oh yes, it’s all coming together.

Data Reaper Report - Paladin

Divine Mech Paladin

Paladin is the second major home for mechs in the Sunken City, but Mech Paladin will probably play very differently from Mage. The tribe carries a lot of divine shields, so we devised a handbuff build with Prismatic Jewel Kit. Much like Mage, this deck needs to be minion-dense to take advantage of the buffs but also make Radar Detector more consistent.

It is the only spell in the deck and can be pulled with Stonehearth Vindicator. We kept the mech count very high (19) so that Detector will draw over 3 cards on average. This also helps Bubblebot land its ability on more targets.

Holy Buff Paladin

Buff Paladin might lose Blessing of Authority, but it got some cool Holy spell support that could see it survive rotation. Shimmering Sunfish is a powerful 3-drop that can help you stabilize early and set up a turn 4 Blessing of Kings. It enjoys some consistency thanks to Knight of Anointment. We lose Hand of A’dal but Ring of Courage could be making as much noise in Standard as it does in Wild if more decks play for the board. It’s a great buff for Samuro.

At the top end, we’ve got The Garden’s Grace, significantly discounted by Immortalized in Stone. We can also discount Stone with Cariel Roame. Kotori Lightblade is a card we’re unsure about due to its usefulness before turn 6, but it might fit our general game plan alongside Sunwing Squawker. Our goal is to develop two big threats with either Blessing of Kings and/or The Garden’s Grace in order to connect a Battlemaster for the finish. For example, we can follow up a turn 7 Immortalized in Stone with a turn 8 Kotori/Kings/Grace, which still has 2 mana left over for a hero power if we don’t have minions on board. Alternatively, we could just run Mr. Smite, but that would be lame on day 1.

Grace Smite Paladin

We know that Paladin is all about board development and buffs, but what if a combo deck finally emerges again within the class? The controlling Paladin shell has received a major boost through the core set, with Wild Pyromancer and Equality once again looking like a strong combo. Flash of Light and Acolyte of Pain provide more drawing power. Holy Maki Roll is a great healing card for the class and turns into a board clear with Pyromancer.

We have great survival tools against aggressive decks, but how do we kill our opponent in the late game? There are two ways to do it. The first is by running Gangplank Divers, feeding them with buffs from Righteous defense and Lightforged Cariel, dropping them to the board and charging them up with Mr. Smite and the Garden’s Grace the next turn. We like running two Divers for combo redundancy, more burst potential and for making it more likely that they soak buffs.

The second option is running Faceless Manipulator and Mailbox Dancer. With this combo, we can buff Mr. Smite with two copies of The Garden’s Grace and hit the opponent for 32 with Faceless. This option doesn’t soak handbuffs as consistently throughout the game but does have a reliable way to deal OTK damage. Two Divers, two copies of The Garden’s Grace and Mr. Smite with no additional buffs add up to 28. We prefer the versatility, scaling, and stability of Divers.

Data Reaper Report - Priest

Drek’Thar Bless Priest

Priest has certainly received the most exciting core set boost of them all. It’s got everyone buzzing, but theorycrafting for Priest has been very challenging. Specifically, the Combo Bless archetype that’s brewing thanks to the newly available cards is hard to figure out. Handmaiden is a great card we’re convinced will make noise eventually, but we opted not to run it for this build.

The conundrum is that Handmaiden encourages the utilization of many cheap spells, but we also want threat density to be able to kill the opponent with Bless, and we still have Cleric/Pyromancer/Acolyte to be able to draw a lot of cards. The absence of Divine Spirit means that Power Infusion and Power Word: Fortitude could be critical in applying lethal pressure on the opponent. Power Infusion curves perfectly into our 3-drops, all having relatively high health: Treasure Guard, Whelp Bonker and Kobold Taskmaster. These minions provide us with value and are solid pulls from Drek’Thar. What’s another solid pull from Drek’Thar? The returning Injured Tol’vir, bringing us memories of Saviors of Uldum.

Drek’Thar is likely going to be far more valuable than Lyra the Sunshard (unfortunately), as we need the ability to stick a board more than we need the randomly generated value.

Sunken City Silence Priest

Speaking of Nostalgia, can Silence Priest make its return after only being a relevant competitive deck during Journey to Un’Goro? It received a lot of support from this set. Selfish Shellfish is an incredible silence target, especially with the backbreaking potential of Whispers of the Deep.

Silence effects are bountiful, so we want as many threats as possible. Azsharan Ritual is the hard carry for this deck, being able to quickly get bodies up to pound the opponent’s face, while Illuminate can dredge us a 1-mana Sunken Ritual shortly after. All these big, copied, threatening bodies carry natural synergy with Battleground Battlemaster. This deck needs to go hard and fast. We can’t be drawing low impact minions from Switcheroo.

Sunken City Kazakusan Priest

When Dragon Priest can play Drakonid Operative again, you must pay attention. Control Priest decks are going to feel their minion shells getting stronger with this set, and while we did lose Soul Mirror, having a couple of Lightbombs makes up for it. Switcheroo is also just a fantastic card in this deck, since we can consistently draw our impactful minions on turn 3, with Horn of Wrathion also available. We can also just cheese an 8/8 in the mid-game thanks to Kazakusan or Murzond donating their stats to some Lightmaw Netherdrake. Just a casual turn 4 victory against aggressive decks.

Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Hooktusk Pirate Rogue

We think Rogue got the strongest set in the expansion, and the class is heavily pushed in the Pirate direction. We’ve opted to make two Pirate Rogue decks. The first is slower and more late game oriented. Hooktusk is a very effective win condition against slower decks. Crabatoa and Pufferfish help us stabilize the board while Sunkeneer can deal with any large threats. We can cheese Azsharan Vessel with Preparation on turn 3 and dredge it shortly after with either Swordfish or preferably Gone Fishin’. Swordfish is nearly 90% likely to give us at least one pirate as an option if no Vessels were sunk.

This deck may not have Secret Passage, but it can still draw a bit. Cutlass Courier guarantees a draw with a dagger on turn 2 and threatens to draw more cards if left alone. Shroud replaces Swindle as a Prep target. Amalgam maintains resources and gets us two steps closer to activate Hooktusk.

Aggro Pirate Rogue

The second direction is far more aggressive and may end up being the more successful approach in a faster meta. Swordfish is an absurdly efficient weapon dealing 12 damage for 3 mana, so why not just kill them? We can build a low and aggressive curve of pirates and even open the game with a turn 1 equipped Cutlass into Freebooter or Raider, followed up by a turn 3 Courier/Pufferfist. Azsharan Vessel can provide us with 12 damage from stealth, so we can increase dredge consistency with Trawler, which is not a bad filler turn 2 play either.

With stealth pirates and a more board-floody approach, Southsea Captain can become quite intimidating at snowballing boards out of control, and that low curve should support Edwin a little better. Swordfish finding a pirate in this build on turn 3, by the way, is nearly 98%.

Sunken City Thief Rogue

Could Thief Rogue make a comeback? If Rogue is to diversify its gameplay in this expansion, this archetype offers a decent shot. Obviously, this deck has suffered major losses, but Finley can discount your Gnolls much like Secret Passage, and without even unmasking yourself. Gone Fishin’ is half a Swindle and Shroud adds more draw. Crabatoa should be amazing in this deck, helping you bridge into Scabbs. Filletfighter isn’t Prize Plunderer but it’s gross with Smite and Edwin. The burst is still there, resource management should remain strong and early game board control exists.

Oh, and we’re not interested in Tess Greymane. There’s a reason Team 5 printed Contraband Stash. It’s because she never worked.

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

Multi Lust Shaman

Shaman has been greatly encouraged to run a package of spells from different spell schools thanks to Multicaster, and now it’s got Coral Keeper to further push it into this direction. The only issue is how does Shaman close out games when it lost its Bolner OTK as well as key Burn and Overload pieces that make us believe it cannot execute the win conditions it has been known for during Alterac Valley.

One solution is available through the class core set. Bloodlust has returned, and since Shaman has the capability to continuously load the board through Caverns, Keeper, and Macaw, perhaps this is something it can explore. In terms of spell schools, Maelstrom is a very good nature spell when you have spell damage, so we’ve added Azure Drake and Thalnos to give us some Karazhan vibes. Geyser makes for a great combo with Scroll, and you will find Geyser from Scroll a third of the time. Obviously, this deck is supported by Snowfall Guardian and the Windchill package.

Two interesting legendary minions that could be good fits for the deck are Glugg and Azshara. Glugg is a wide board by itself, while Azshara can give us another Colossal or Ring of Tides. Ring of Tides allows us to double Bloodlust for 6 mana! Basically, our opponent needs to clear every single Keeper/Macaw board or die.

Battlecry Control Shaman

There’s another option, which could work if high lethality and inevitability is not prevalent in the format, and that’s generating resources forever. Literally forever. Thanks to Brann, Zola and Bolner being available in the format, Shaman can produce insane value from battlecry minions. School Teacher is an incredible piece for this type of strategy since it offers two battlecry minions in one card. We can pull a Sunken Scroll from the bottom of our deck, play it, and then play Kragwa. We can then Macaw the Kragaw. We can Macaw or Brann Azshara. You get the point: it’s endless value. It’s so much value that we don’t even want to play Multicaster because our hand will be constantly full, and we might be looking into fatiguing opponents.

We still have one counterplay for combo decks, which is Mutanus. With all the supporting pieces we have available, we can eat our opponent’s entire hand if they give us time to do it.

If you liked playing Control Priest during Barrens, this is the deck for you. This is the new Priest.

Anchored Murloc Shaman

The introduction of Anchored Totem and return of Flametongue Totem are major additions to the class’ aggressive repertoire, along with Bloodlust of course. We think the Murloc tribe has the best chance of incorporating these cards into a successful shell thanks to the reload coming from Gorloc Ravager.

Anchored Totem makes for a neat combo with Schooling, with buffed Piranhas offering us a big swing turn on 5. Nofin Can Stop Us pairs with Bloodlust to make sure we can always win the game once we establish a dominant board advantage. Irondeep Trogg and Beaming Sidekick are so scary in this deck too. Trogg can get buffed by Anchored Totem, and Beaming Sidekick has so many good targets it can buff that it will always do something impactful.

Hey! I got ya’ friend.

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

Abyssal Curse Warlock

Is Warlock in trouble, or is there more than meets the eye? Abyssal Curse cards seem very expensive for what they do, but some claim that the package has great finishing potential by stuffing your opponent with multiple curses on the same turn thanks to Brann.

Zola, Azshara and Tamsin help you duplicate more curses, so if you can play at least 5 curse cards while saving two Cultists, you can deal an unpreventable 30 damage with Brann/Cultistx2. That is of course reliant on your opponent having space in their hand to take them, but nevertheless, it can scale into a lot of damage.

Everything else about the deck is focused on survival. We’ve surrounded the Abyssal Curse cards with more efficient removal and healing that can carry them into the late game. We expect Entitled Customer specifically to see more play in the new format and show his true power. Unfortunately, when it comes to card draw in the new Warlock class, the best options are tutoring your Naga with Enforcers, and Life Tap.

Chumming Murloc Warlock

Murloc Warlock looks like a deck that can become quite scary if you leave it alone. The scaling stats through Sunken Scavenger, Voidgill and Chum Bucket have the potential to become ridiculous. The early game is where we’re a bit more suspicious about its chances of holding up against faster aggressive decks. However, the comeback potential through Chum Bucket is there. Murloc Tinyfin and Rock Bottom are good Chum enablers. Lushwater Scout and Fin Twin provide you with tools to swing back.

The key in slower matchups is the mid-game dream curve. Azsharan Scavenger into Bloodscent Vilefind into a free Sunken Scavenger combined with multiple bodies on the board, into a Gorloc Ravager to refill your hand and maintain pressure. If under little pressure, Warlock has freedom to play a patient resource management game and stress out even the best removal packages available. We’ll have to see tomorrow how full that Chum Bucket really is.

Tamsin’s Phylactery Warlock

Owl Warlock loses a lot of critical tools that make us wonder whether it can continue to compete in the new format. The main issue is card draw. The loss of Backfire and Tour Guide means that the deck will draw slower than it did before, which also means that Mithril Rod is going to be harder to activate. The loss of Mo’arg Artificer means we must revamp the deck’s survival toolkit. Gigafin, Entitled Customer and Spice Break Baker could potentially come in and help.

The combo is the same as it was before, just swapping the rotating School Spirits to Hellfire, which costs 1 more mana.

Or is it the same?

Two new cards have arrived with deathrattles that could replace Humongous Owl. Naval Mine is a clear-cut option. It deals direct damage to face, so there’s no counterplay from the opponent when it comes to board development. More importantly, it is cheaper and can just be dumped to the board at any time. The problem is its damage ceiling is cut by a half, and you can’t kill opponents earlier with partial combos, which might be more relevant as Warlock’s ability to draw their deck has significantly slowed down.

Selfish Shellfish is a more hilarious alternative that relies on your opponent having drawn to a certain point in their deck. It’s also not very partial combo friendly, but it can do even more damage than Owl Warlock can under the right circumstances.

Data Reaper Report - Warrior

Sunken City Quest Warrior

Warrior looks very powerful going into the new year, and it’s not necessarily because it got an amazing set. It got just enough to fully empower two of its primary archetypes to the point they look very scary. Quest Warrior is getting Raid the Docks completed nearly every game on turn 6 and playing Rokara on turn 7 every time. The curve is so low, and the consistency levels are so high that it’s going to do what it does more efficiently than ever before.

Obsidiansmith and Tuskar Trawler are going to make sure you will have the smoothest turn 2-3 sequencing possible. Amalgam of the Deep is always going to discover a cheap pirate. Pufferfist gives you some small AOE and is devastating alongside Defias Cannoneer.

The last slot almost doesn’t matter, but we think Nellie is worth testing. A 42% chance to discover a 1-mana Smite is no joke. She could be very powerful in slower matchups and the deck is so lean that we should be able to afford one greedier card. Another option being touted is Brann, but the window of opportunity here is very small, and it requires you to delay Rokara by a full turn to produce two Juggernauts. Might not be worth it.

Perfect 29, for sure.

Sunken City Kazakusan Warrior

This deck is very scary, and we explained why in the card preview. Kazakusan Warrior is losing some cards, but also gaining some very impactful ones that should keep it sailing smoothly. Execute is 1-mana again, which means a package of Slam is very feasible alongside Man the Cannons. Shield Block and Bash are back. The extra cycle helps alleviate the loss of Corsair Cache and Cutting Class to some degree. We could even run Blacksmithing Hammer alongside Forged in Flame if we were that desperate for draw but decided it’s probably not necessary.

This deck is squeaky clean from top to bottom and if high lethality OTK’s are going away, if a “board-based meta” is coming back full throttle, then this deck is going to remove everything that’s played, drop Kazakusan and kill opponents with cards that are meant to be played in another game mode. It will do that successfully unless inevitability does not fall off a cliff.

Zin-Azshari Control Warrior

Tired of Kazakusan? There’s another fun way to close out games as Control Warrior, it just requires a bit more work and its reward is far less reliable, but we promised to feature this deck in a past podcast, so we aim to deliver.

We take the heavy removal shell also seen in Kazakusan Warrior, take out the dragons, and add The Fires of Zin-Azshari, Vanndar and Taelan. This should consistently set up our turn 6 play, which will be playing Fires, transforming all the cards in our deck, and then discounting them to 2 mana with Vanndar. Sounds sweet, but there’s one issue: we’re unlikely to be able to draw more than one card a turn (unless we high roll into a Cornelious Roame, for example), so how can we reliably win games with this win condition?

This is where Blacksmithing Hammer and Forged in Flame come in. If you can equip Hammer earlier, then it’s even better. You get to draw 5 cards on turn 7 and get a bunch of big idiots in your hand and proceed to overwhelm your opponent with the greatest possible arena draft.



Special thanks to JAlexander, Impact and Jdeg who have made significant contributions to this article, as well as our Patreons and Gold supporters who have taken part as well.

The Data Reaper Podcast will return to discuss the early expansion impressions of the meta! Follow us on Twitter for updates on when it will occur, if you want an early scoop on developments before April 21st, when Data Reaper Report #228 comes out.


We’ll see you then.

The Vicious Syndicate Team