40 Decks to try out on day 1 of Whizbang’s Workshop!

After completing the comprehensive Whizbang’s Workshop preview, 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 Whizbang’s Workshop is scheduled for Thursday, March 28th! 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 inadvertently deactivates.

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 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.

Time to enter the Workshop and see what kind of toys we got.

Horseman Rainbow Death Knight

Rainbow Death Knight is in a strong position going into rotation, only losing a few cards, while getting meaningful upgrades in return. Rainbow Seamstress should be a fantastic addition, giving the archetype a powerful turn 3 play that contests board very effectively in faster matchups.

With Malignant Horror leaving Standard, we need to run an alternative corpse spender alongside Corpse Bride. It might be time to bust out Corpse Farm, as its volume of corpse spending is very high relative to its mana cost, even though it is resource intensive. Malignant Horror did a better job of keeping our corpse count high for a follow-up Corpse Bride, so we need to make sure we’re not depleted after playing our corpse spenders. Body Bagger replaces Tour Guide as a corpse generating 1-drop.

Higher up the curve, Dr. Stitchensew is a very sticky threat that’s also worth 4 corpses. The Headless Horseman gives us a powerful hero power that can help us burn down opponents. If the matchup is particularly long and grindy, then it could provide us with additional threats once we find the Horseman’s Head.

Handbuff Rainbow Death Knight

A lot of the focus in the Death Knight set is on an Undead handbuff mechanic. This build attempts to leverage these cards while maintaining a Rainbow shell. The big upside of going Rainbow is keeping Reska, which is a very strong card in any minion-dense deck. Shambling Zombietank provides us with a secondary corpse spender, alongside Corpse Bride, to juice up Climactic Necrotic Explosion.

Death Knight has plenty of Undead minions that are very strong with handbuffs. Rainbow Seamstess joins Nerubian Swarmguard and Hollow Hound to provide a lot of stabilization power. Darkthorn Quilter is a massive source of damage that’s devastating to enemy boards with Sickly Grimewalker.

There is an idea of running Yelling Yodeler to proc the deathrattle of a Amateur Puppeteer’s Mini, but the absence of other meaningful deathrattles means that Yodeler could stay a dead card in hand for too long.

Paintfin Plague Death Knight

Much like Rainbow, Plague Death Knight loses almost nothing in rotation, which means it has a great chance of staying very competitive against a theoretically weaker field.

There are a few new cards that may provide the archetype with a lot of help. We prefer Scarab Keychain over Miracle Salesman as a 1-drop, since the 2-mana discover pool for Death Knight is very strong.

Plucky Paintfin could be a sleeper strong card in the deck, as it increases the consistency of finding both Reska and Chained Guardian, which are two of the deck’s best cards. Paintfin offers us a decent body on Death Knight’s traditionally weak turn 3, but never loses relevance later in the game, as it can help us dig for a discounted rush minion to help us swing the game.

In general, late game strategies want Zilliax with its Perfect module, as it provides the strongest stabilization tool, but the pairing with Perfect module could change based on the meta. If the meta is slow, then Perfect and Twin combined offer the strongest late game swing possible, healing us for 12 life while killing two threats and developing a couple of big bodies.  If the meta is a bit too fast for Zilliax on turn 9, then we can switch to a Perfect and Haywire pairing and enjoy a single big Zilliax on turn 7, or even a Power and Virus combo on turn 8. Note that Haywire’s drawback is cancelled when paired with Perfect, as you can heal the damage back up with lifesteal.

We’ve usually done the Perfect and Twin pairing for defensive decks, but in most cases, Perfect and Haywire is a very viable alternative.

Weapon Aggro Demon Hunter

If Demon Hunter can make some magic happen, then it will likely be thanks to Umpire’s Grasp. This weapon offers the class mid-game power spikes that can either help it stabilize or apply more pressure on the opponent.

With Demon Hunter receiving a lot of hero attack focus in the Whizbang set, while Core Updates have pushed its aggressive tendencies, we suspect that one of the class’ best chances of competing come from the historically famous Aggro Demon Hunter archetype.

This build has three weapons: Quick Pick, Umberwing, and Umpire’s Grasp. The 2-mana weapons offer great follow-up to a turn 1 Battlefiend, which is one of the best 1-drops available in the format. The high number of weapons helps us discount Abyssal Bassist, which can also be drawn and discounted by Umpire’s Grasp. An Umberwing plus Umpire’s Grasp curve can draw us a 1-mana Abyssal Bassist by turn 4.

Battlefiend is the other demon in the deck, but we can’t give it up, even if it’s not a great draw target for Umpire’s Grasp. By keeping it in the mulligan, we increase the chances Umpire’s Grasp finds Abyssal Bassist.

Another strong follow-up to Battlefiend is Spirit of the Team, which can also help us set up a massive Going Down Swinging. We’re going to be punching a lot, so we think we can relatively quickly upgrade Opal Spellstone.

At the “top end”, we’ve got reach (Leeroy, Kayn Sunfury, Metamorphosis) and threats, including a Power/Haywire Zilliax. Power/Haywire is a very good combo for the standard aggressive deck, because it offers a massive threat that can deal 10 damage the next turn. The opponent needs to kill Zilliax, but if Zilliax is backed up by early game pressure, it can be tough to deal with everything.

Grasping Hand Demon Hunter

A very different approach maintains the weapon package we’ve discussed but abandons the aggressive shell for a draw heavy package and focuses on hand size. Demon Hunter may possess the tools required to play a Handlock style with Mountain and Playhouse Giants.

The goal of this deck is drawing to a full hand, then either developing a Mountain Giant or playing Gaslight Gatekeeper to accelerate the cost reduction of Playhouse Giant. We can play Giants alongside Red Card to help us swing the board more dramatically in our favor. We can also drop Playhouse Giants next to an Argus to give them rush or drop them in a Reno turn once our rapid drawing capabilities have brought us close to the end of our deck.

With the deck pivoting to the late game, our third demon next to Abyssal Bassist is Magtheridon, which can help us seal games against faster decks starting on turn 6 through discounts.

Gunslinger Reno Demon Hunter

We don’t have too much faith in Reno Demon Hunter becoming competitively viable this expansion, but this is our attempt at making it work. Since Demon Hunter doesn’t have great finishing capabilities in the late game, we’ve gone heavy on value and relied on the generic Ignis to help us close games out.

Between Blind Box, Window Shopper, Snake Eyes and Ci’Cigi, we’re hoping for enough resources to win a grindy matchup, while maintaining an early game that can contest aggressive decks. Plucky Paintfin has 50% chance of finding Zilliax, which can work well as either Perfect/Twin or Perfect/Haywire.

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Eonar Boomkin Druid

Is the age of the Boomkin upon us in Hearthstone? For those unindoctrinated, Boomkin refers to the spell casting class in World of Warcraft, Hearthstone’s spiritual inspiration. It certainly could be with Owlonius offering Druid a tasty finisher capable of dealing an incredible amount of damage. There have been plenty of ideas floating around this archetype, but we’ve opted for a Cover Artist path with Eonar as an alternative copy target. The main reason is that Cover Artist magnifies our damage potential to an extent we can burst through the armor of the toughest Warriors out there.

Here’s how it works. We try to ramp and stabilize, perhaps with the help of an Eonar and Artist turn, accumulating resources in the process. Once we’ve acquired enough combo tools, we then discount them with Lifebinder’s Gift and set up Magical Dollhouses on the board. There are then two ways of going about the next step.

We can play Owlonius by itself with a couple of Magical Dollhouse bonuses to get ourselves to +6 spell damage, then launch burn at the opponent. Sparkling Phial will help us play a free Swipe, while Living Roots and Snake Oils do the rest for likely no further mana investment.

The other way is to open with Sparkling Phial, with the purpose of discounting Owlonius. A 3-mana, 4-damage Phial means we can play Owlonius and Cover Artist for 10 mana. A couple of Magical Dollhouses and a couple of Owlonius means the spell damage bonus is quadrupled to +16, so it’s enough to cast a couple of cheap spells to OTK opponents from 30. Discounts from Lifebinder’s Gift amplify the damage potential to the point no opponent is safe, even with 40 armor.

Eonar Aviana Druid

Druid can pass on burst damage and go for incredible value and swing potential through Aviana. This build takes inspiration from pre-Deepholm Topior Druid, with a Dragon shell bolstered by the drawing capabilities of Chia Drake and the versatile Scarab Keychain.

The primary swing turn involves playing a combo of Eonar, Artist, and Aviana. We shuffle 10 1-mana legendary minions to our deck, then fill our hand with the legendary minions using Eonar’s draw ability. The more we get to the end of our deck, the more likely it is that our hands will be filled with 1-mana legendary minions. This kind of value should be able to overwhelm our opponent.

We can also take things slower, drawing to the end of our deck to activate Rheastrasza and Reno, then grinding our opponent down with the Purified Dragon Nest, while extending our fatigue clock with Aviana.

Aggro Dragon Druid

Dragon Druid is losing its package of Azsharan Gardens and Aquatic Form (making Malygos redundant), as well as Alexstrasza, the Life Binder. Thus, its late game has certainly gotten worse.

In compensation, it’s getting the strongest 1-drop in the format. Giftwrapped Whelp is an incredible card for an aggressive Dragon archetype. Its buffing utility, while random, does have synergy with Druid’s Dragon tribe too.

This build adjusts by lowering the Dragon Druid’s curve to shift the power towards the early game. Dragon Druid will be faster to get on board and try to snowball, which makes a Ticking/Pylon Zilliax look feasible. This Zilliax form is also very powerful with Dragon Golem.

With the top end dropping Malygos and Alex, we opt to run one Summer Flowerchild, which only draws Dragon Golem and Fye.

Dragon Reno Druid

Reno Druid can employ a similar game plan to the Eonar/Aviana build we’ve discussed earlier, sacrificing consistency for active highlander payoffs from the onset.

What a world to live in which Reno Druid can comfortably run three 1-drops. We love Scarab Keychain and its similar functionality to Cactus Construct. Plucky Paintfin could be another major consistency boost to the deck, finding us either Zilliax or Fye. Origami Dragon is a nice soft removal option for this deck. A bit of anti-synergy with Take to the Skies and Whelp, but we’ll let it slide.

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

Spell Token Hunter

Hunter gets a lot of options with this set, but the most obvious direction involves leveraging Jungle Gym by going hard and wide with beasts. For that purpose, R.C. Rampage is the perfect card, but surrounding this idea with a shell can go in a few directions.

This build opts for the spell route with Mantle Shaper. We’ve got multiple ways to flood the board and multiple ways of snowballing them. Observer of Myths or Saddle Up connecting on a token board can be devastating.

Patchwork Pals is quite valuable for this deck. An on-demand Leokk can help us push more damage with a wide board, while Huffer can be paired with Bananas or Camouflage Mount to hit our opponent’s face hard.

Barak Kodobane is also guaranteed to draw Patchwork Pals, which means we can follow it up with a turn 6 ‘To My Side!’ with two Companions of our choosing.

A note on Wandmaker: it’s very strong in Hunter. The 1-mana spell pool is as good as it gets.

Handbuff Beast Hunter

This build opts for the minion route, with Messenger Buzzard as the focal point of a Beast deck that synergizes with handbuffs. Beasts that scale with added numbers such as Twisted Frostwing and Spursfang immediately come to mind. Spells that add beasts to your hand are another way to get more out of a Buzzard buff, such as Patchwork Pals or Ball of Spiders.

Yelling Yodeler should be better in this deck because on top of its obvious combo with Messenger Buzzard, it’s also a strong trigger card for Spurfang and Twisted Frostwing. Besides Yodeler, Barak Kodobane and Aggramar are the only other non-Beasts in the deck. 10 Beasts vs 4 non-Beasts makes ‘Fetch!’ possibly strong enough on average.

A big swing combo this deck has is Bunny Stomper/R.C.Rampage, which could be extra potent with a Jungle Gym on the board. While not a combo, King Plush can certainly swing the game too.

Mystery Egg Hunter

Can the Big Beast idea land on its feet post-rotation? Mystery Egg will be key in accomplishing this. Our Big Beast package is intentionally small in this build to make sure that Egg will repeatedly generate copies of the best Beasts you can possibly discount, then resurrecting them with Stranglethorn Heart.

The challenge is to find and play Mystery Egg quickly enough to influence the game. For that purpose, we’re running a Greedy Parter draw package. More early game drawing/tutoring means we’re more likely to find and play an Egg as fast as possible. Coins from Greedy Partner can help us drop an Egg one turn earlier, which can make the difference between winning or losing a game. A turn 5 Yodeler means we have enough mana to play either Mister Mukla or Hollow Hound.

Another way to activate an Egg is by playing Bestial Madness, which gives it an attack value so it can sack itself crashing into an enemy minion. The 2-mana spell is also very relevant for Hollow Hound and King Plush swings.

Buzzard Reno Hunter

Hunter says goodbye to Renathal, a card that has served the class well, but this doesn’t mean Reno Hunter is done. The archetype can still produce a respectable build with decent levels of aggression and reasonable synergies.

Have you noticed how much we like Plucky Paintfin? It ended up going into more decks than we initially thought.

Projection Orb Spell Mage

Spell Mage’s potential return to the Standard format is the most exciting story coming out of the class. Manufacturing Error is a draw engine of a rare power level that helps outpace the opponent in the late game. You can, for example, Manufacturing Error on Turn 6 into a Turn 7 Sunset Volley. Yogg in the Box and Galactic Projection Orb are late game value engines that should be able to contest slower matchups well, especially with Sunset Volley in the mix.

This build leverages Rainbow synergies to fuel Elemental Inspiration, which is a powerful summoning spell that an archetype that runs no minions should appreciate. We’re also mindful of Galactic Projection Orb repeating spells at a non-random order of costs, starting from 1 and ending with 10 mana.

Hidden Objects might be the sleeper Mage card of the set, giving you a 60% chance of finding a specific secret, while offering three spell schools. With no other 3-cost spells in the deck besides potential discoveries, Orb will repeat the secret we’ve played.

Soulfreeze is a cheap Frost spell that helps us stall. Star Power should be very important at fending off early aggression. Cosmic Keyboard is going to be the deck’s strongest card in the early game. A turn 4 Spot the Difference with Keyboard equipped should be more powerful than Cold Case.

Excavate Rainbow Mage

Rainbow Mage is facing an uphill battle in Whizbang’s Workshop. It will have to adjust to the loss of Arcane Wyrm and Arcane Bolts, likely by reintroducing Molten Rune to the deck. The loss of Objection should also make Reliquary Researcher weaker, but, comparatively, the loss of Cold Case puts the Keyboard build at a bigger disadvantage.

Puzzlemaster Khadgar is the vaguest card in the set. It’s very hard to say how good it can be, because it relies on Wisdomball’s intelligence (or lack thereof). Rainbow Mage needs and should use all the help it can get if the card manages to be a net positive.

Burn Elemental Mage

Elemental Mage is getting a significant boost to its early game consistency with the addition of Fire Fly to the core set. Triplewick Trickster should provide it with some damage and board control. Sleet Skater is one of our favorite cards of the set, in terms of design. It should be good enough even for an aggressive deck. If Mage ever busts out a Control Mage deck (probably not happening this expansion), Sleet Skater with Mes’Adune becomes very tempting.

Though the archetype hasn’t been meta throughout Badlands, we could tell from its low play rate that Elemental Mage was very reliant on Aegwynn to close out games with Frozen Touch. In the absence of Aegwynn, we think alternative forms of burn are going to become important in helping the deck finish off opponents. This is why both Fireball and Molten Rune are included.

Data Reaper Report - Paladin

Excavate Handbuff Paladin

The Handbuff Paladin archetype that is being supported in this set looks very well-rounded. With the Azerite Dragon providing a massive buff to our deck, it makes sense to build the Handbuff archetype around an Excavate shell.

Finding Muscle-o-Tron and Painter’s Virtue should become the priority in the early game. We can afford to take our time since we have strong comeback mechanics and incredible life gain options. Plucky Paintfin and Trinket Artist are strong tutors in this deck. Both can find Tigress Plushy. Paintfin can also find us Gnomelia or Zilliax, the latter is an insane card in a Handbuff deck with Perfect/Twin modules.

What makes Handbuff Paladin a very compelling choice is the availability of Leeroy. In slower matchups, we’re in no rush to win the game as soon as possible. Just keep dealing chip damage while buffing Leeroy. Once it gets big enough, we can burst the opponent down with a Leeroy/Shroomscavate combo. It is very hard to avoid getting killed by this combo if the Paladin is given time to execute its game plan.

Flash Crusade Aggro Paladin

Paladin can also go wide rather than tall. The addition of Flash Sale makes any Paladin board impossible to ignore. There are just too many ways for the Paladin to punish between Crusader Aura, Flash Sale, and Ticking/Pylon Zilliax available. This is without forgetting that Trinket Artist finds us Crusader Aura more consistently.

This build tries to go as wide as possible to take advantage of our board buffs, which is why we still run Boogie Down. There’s an expectation that this card will get weaker due to the loss of Sanguine Solider and Sinful Sous Chef, but we think this point is overstated. We’re still summoning three bodies to the board and demanding an answer from our opponent. Worgen Infiltrator also has sneaky synergy with a follow-up Tarim on turn 5.

This is Yellow Aggro Druid when it had  Pride’s Fury and Arbor Up.

Wind-Up Reno Paladin

Reno Paladin might be able to take a unique approach that tries to leverage Spirit of the Badlands into an infinite value cheat tool. A Perfect/Recursive Zilliax is a stabilizing card that gets shuffled back into our deck and we can get more copies of it thanks to Mirage. Basically, this deck never hits fatigue and can heal itself every turn once the game reaches the super late game.

Other cards that synergize with Mirage are Wind-Up Enforcer and Wind-Up Musician, giving us repeatable board reload and AOE capabilities. We would never give Wind-Up cards a second thought outside of this one interesting utilization. Just be careful not to trade away your Mirage, as you will lose it until you redraw the tradeable card. Only trade the original cards back into your deck and use Mirage to play copies of them.

Dancer Big Paladin

With Masked Reveler gone, it’s time for Big Paladin to go back to playing Lead Dancer, as God intended. The most notable addition for the deck is Pipsi, which is another big mana cheating tool for the archetype. We’ve added Amplified Elekk as an alternative taunt minion she can pull, alongside a Perfect/Recursive Zilliax as a rush minion which can be resummoned if we ever resurrect Pipsi with Tyr’s Tears.

Since Elekk is a beast, it makes sense to add Thunderbringer with Ragnaros as an Elemental pull. The goal of this deck has always been to find Kangor, but if it can’t find Kangor, find Lead Dancer/Pipsi and it might be able to steal some games. Pipsi is expensive, but she can be sacked on the turn she’s played with Dance Floor.

Data Reaper Report - Priest

Gaslight Dragon Priest

Zarimi might be the most busted card in the set. Priest will be looking to abuse the card by killing the opponent without counterplay through the development of a massive number of stats. Since Zarimi is a 5-mana card, we need to play heavily discounted threats alongside it. What better way to do it if not by running Playhouse Giants?

This Dragon Priest deck prioritizes draw to churn through the deck, ideally filling our hand before we play Gaslight Gatekeeper for a massive Giant discount. Scale Replica makes sure that we can find Zarimi and its activators consistently. We only run one Clay Matriarch in this deck because we don’t need the second one, and it could block us from finding Zarimi with Scale Replica. With many of Priest’s 1-cost cards rotating, Anduin’s Gift offers us a way to cycle while double discounting Thirsty Drifter.

Our finisher is to play as many 0-cost Playhouse Giants and Thirsty Drifters as we can thanks to Creation Protocol and Power Word: Synchronize, then play Zarimi to give them “charge”. In faster matchups, we probably don’t even need to give them charge. Keep the board cleared with Fly off the Shelves and counterpunch with Giants and Drifters.

Zarimi Automaton Priest

Another way to develop a lot of stats in the same turn as Zarimi is by playing Astral Automatons. We can switch 6 cards from the previous list and get a different win condition. Gaslight Gatekeeper, Playhouse Giant and Anduin’s Gift go out. Astral Automaton, Celestial Projectionist, Ra-den and Joymancer Jepetto go in.

Jepetto is an exceptional source of Astral Automatons in the late gameand makes a Zarimi combo very reliable in slower matchups. You can keep Whelps and Chirurgeons in hand if you want a curated pool of Automatons to be generated by Jepetto. Remember that a Clay Matriarch, a Mini Matriarch and one additional 1-drop are all that’s needed to complete the Zarimi “quest.”

Another way of executing a Zarimi combo is with Ra-Den. If you play Ra-Den and your opponent ignores it, you can kill it on your own turn via trading, summon the Automatons with the deathrattle, then drop Zarimi.

Raza Overheal Priest

Overheal Priest ended up as a meta breaking deck in the final week of Badlands before mass nerf reversions reshuffled the format. There’s no reason why it can’t succeed again, especially with the addition of multiple cards that synergize well with its game plan.

Raza the Resealed is incredibly powerful alongside Papercraft Angel, turning your hero power into a machine gun that can repeatedly trigger your most powerful minions. This has implications on Injured Hauler’s board clearing capabilities, as well as Hedanis’s OTK potential. Hedanis can already deal insane amounts of damage, but what if we were able to weave in a 0-cost hero power every time we played Funnel Cake? The damage would be absurd. Most importantly, it would be easier to execute.

Add Sing-Along Buddy and Careless Crafter, and the consistency in which we can trigger our Overheal minions reach a higher level. We think this deck has massive potential, but it can be quite difficult to play. Be warned.

RaZarimi Reno Priest

With the addition of both Raza and Zarimi, Reno Priest might be able to rediscover the forgotten lethality of its Razakus ancestor. There are three ways in which this build can win the game in a proactive fashion, centered around its three most important legendary minions.

The first is Elise. The new expansion is providing it with some nice targets. Clay Matriarch and Origami Dragon are fantastic dragons for an Elise deck. A Perfect/Virus Zilliax is the most powerful non-Titan minion spawned by Elise.

The second is Zarimi. A Playhouse Giant can still be copied a couple of times in this deck, imitating the game plan exhibited in our Gaslight Dragon Priest deck. Zarimi can also be played at any point in the game in which an extra turn saves us or kills the opponent. That should happen often.

The third is machine gunning with Reno and Raza. This finisher is reliant on us getting Arcane Bullet from Reno’s hero power. We can deal a lot of damage with any hero power thanks to Papercraft Angel and Sing-Along Buddy, but Arcane Bullet essentially gives us unlimited mana. All we need is cards to play and refresh the hero power with.

Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Boat Pirate Rogue

Toy Boat is one of the most hyped cards in this expansion. Will the hype be justified? It depends on whether the class can strike a balance between a Pirate-Boat package and its win conditions. This build is an aggressive approach, driven by our desire to run Watercannon alongside Toy Boat, as well as Sonya’s synergy with weapon buffs, especially Deadly Poison in Valeera’s Gift.

Our general game plan is to equip Watercannon on turn 4, then play Scoundrel on turn 5, which can either discount Bargain Bin Buccaneer, Raiding Party or Mic Drop. Mic Drop is a very good Scoundrel target. Turn 6 is when we can play Toy Boat with a Mini Scoundrel/Buccaneer combo, alongside other pirates.

Our drawing capabilities will eventually find us Sonya with Deadly Poison and Valeera’s Gift. A single Valeera’s Gift played with Sonya is worth 4 Deadly Poisons for 2 mana. That is an incredible amount of damage that should put our opponent within the reach of Leeroy.

Note that we’ve kept non-Pirates at a minimum, so that Dig for Treasure is likely to give us a coin and help us execute some of our key turns earlier. We have 4 non-Pirates and 10 Pirates, similar to Fetch! in Hunter.

Cutlass Poison Rogue

We don’t think Rogue is too reliant on Toy Boat to work. There are alternative paths, such as the one shown in this Poison Rogue build.

We can run Spectral Cutlass alongside Velarok. Both need us to play cards from other classes, so we’ve got Stick Up, Kaja’mite Creation and Thistle Tea Set serving that purpose. If we can find a cheap spell off Thistle Tea Test, then our Spectral Cutlass can be quickly juiced up.

Besides her synergy with Deadly Poison, Sonya is destructive with Velarok. Since Velarok’s cost is set to 1-mana after a Shadowstep, he gets copied by Sonya. Now we’ve got two Velaroks charging our opponent’s face while discovering cards that add durability charges to Spectral Cutlass. Wouldn’t want to be our opponent.

Gaslight Triple Sevens Rogue

For many players, the loss of Swiftscale Trickster means the end of Triple Sevens as a remotely competitive card. We’re not sure about, as the Whizbang set provides the class with a lot of incentives to draw like a maniac.

The most obvious direct synergy is with Everything Must Go. A Triple Sevens will reduce the spell to 0-mana. Preparation/Triple Sevens on turn 5 into Everything Must Go is a very powerful play, even more so if it were to follow a turn 4 Fal’dorei Strider.

Strider is a great card in a draw heavy Rogue deck. The Ambush cards are obviously easier to find with a lot of draw, but they also count as an additional draw tick for Playhouse Giant. Add Gaslight Gatekeeper to the mix, and we can see 0-mana Playhouse Giants coming down very early in the game. The Giants can immediately swing the board with Breakdance too.

Sonya Excavate Rogue

Can Excavate Rogue overcome the loss of Scourge Illusionist? We think the best way to adapt is to run Burrow Buster and Pit Stop. Add Zilliax and you’ve got three relatively valuable Mechs from Pit Stop. We run a Perfect/Haywire Zilliax in this deck because of its synergy with Breakdance.

There are some subtle synergies that may provide Excavate Rogue with a deceptively powerful late game. In fact, we think this deck might be able to close out games better than it did before, thanks to Sonya and Leeroy. Shovel is a 3-charge 1-mana weapon, which makes it a good target to soak weapon buffs from Valeera’s Gift, giving it a new late game role. Sonya can also help us repeat spells we’ve generated from the Azerite Scorpion, since many of them will cost 1-mana.

Sonya is a good card if you haven’t noticed yet.

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

Shudderblock Reno Shaman

Shudderblock is probably going to be played by every Shaman deck with serious competitive aspirations. It is a late game powerhouse of incredible versatility. Battlecry minions can do everything, which means Shudderblock can enable and amplify everything you can think of.

The featured Reno Shaman build tries to adjust to the new Shudderblock reality. We’ve added some battlecry minions that aren’t an obvious inclusion unless you think about them in a Shudderblock context. For example, XB-488 Disposalbot is a crazy AOE/healing card when its battlecry is tripled. Maruut Stonebinder is a turn 7 follow-up to Shudderblock and can produce a huge board while filling our hand. The other big turn 7 follow-up is Shining Sentinel. A Perfect/Twin Zilliax is insane with Shudderblock.

We’ve got three high value spells that Hagatha can draw. We can even triple the battlecry of a Wish Upon a Star Slime to make all the minions in our deck massive.

A note on Ignis. We think it’s going to become more powerful in Shaman. That’s because even if we don’t get Windfury from its discovered weapon, we can gain Windfury from Sand Art Elemental. Sand Art Elemental is also good with Turn the Tides and Doctor Holli’dae. We can develop two frogs in one turn!

You might be asking yourself, why are vS so battlecry obsessed when Shudderblock can only triple two battlecries throughout the game? This is no Reno Warrior! Our answer is “Zola the Gorgon”. We can copy Mini Shudderblock with Zola and get three more Mini Shudderblocks.

We might not be playing Reno Warrior, but we’re building our own Reno Warrior.

Shudderblock Elemental Shaman

Elemental Shaman is full of Battlecry minions, so Shudderblock is a natural addition to the deck. The only drawback is that we cannot play Shudderblock on turn 6 without breaking the Elemental chain that feeds Skarr and Azerite Giant. We need to play a 1-drop before playing Shudderblock on turn 7. This makes 1-drops extra important, with Fire Fly and Tar Slime joining the format.

As we’ve discussed in our Card Preview, Kalimos is a Shudderblock loophole. Since the word ‘damage’ isn’t in Kalimos’s battlecry, it can still damage the enemy hero. This means that a tripled Kalimos can deal 18 damage to our opponent. Alongside Skarr (which doesn’t work with Shudderblock), Elemental Shaman now possesses more late game lethality.

Soda Nature Shaman

The last decklist that was cooked for this article and one of our favorites. Nature Shaman might still be capable of executing OTK’s even without Bioluminescence. The key is Shudderblock and Celestial Projectionist (This can also be done with Zola, but Projectionist is cheaper).

We run Shudderblock, Inzah, Projectionist, and Flowrider as battlecry minions we can find from Fairy Tale Forest. Triple the battlecry from Projectionist and we can get three additional Zappers and build our own Bioluminescence board!

Since Zappers cost no mana after playing Inzah, we can play both Zappers, Mini Shudderblock, Projectionist on a Zapper, then play three more temporary Zappers for a full board that only costs 3 mana (it can even cost 2 mana if the Projectionist was drawn by Fairy Tale Forest). Mini Shudderblock can be played on an earlier turn if we’re concerned about board space. The first Shudderblock can be used to triple the battlecry of a Flowrider, to accumulate all the damage spells we need to OTK.

This is complemented by an improvement in Shaman’s defensive prowess. The addition of Baking Soda Volcano gives Shaman a huge boost in survivability and makes it much more difficult to rush down.

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

Doomguard Sludge Warlock

Sludge Warlock is in a great position going into rotation since it loses nothing at all while gaining some massive power cards. Doomguard is the obvious inclusion, perfectly positioned in the curve after Forge of Wills and before Chaos Creation. Its discarding battlecry makes us want to run more “fodder” cards that we want to dump from hand, so we’re running two copies each of Tram Mechanic and Furnace Fuel.

The other major addition is Zilliax in Power/Haywire form. While this form is strong in aggressive decks in general, it’s a particularly powerful follow up with Forge of Wills. You’re going to see the class use it across most of the Warlock decks here for that reason.

Big Demon Warlock

Warlock might be able to imitate the glories of Kobolds & Catacombs with a Big Demon focused deck. With the return of Doomguard, we can apply a lot of pressure on the opponent, while Wretched Queen and Enhanced Dreadlord are the stabilizing demons serving the former Voidlord role. Dark Alley Pact summons a Demon Fiend that can be resurrected with full stats by Endgame too. It’s also a great Forge of Wills target for the archetype.

Nemsy is going to be the best card in the deck. Play her on turn 5 without a second thought. If the opponent ignores her, sack her with Chaotic Consumption and replay her on turn 6. The amount of pressure and swing potential she exerts might become unbearable. Dirge of Despair is an alternative method of cheating out demons, which will be very important in games we haven’t drawn Nemsy. To avoid having Sargeras get pulled by Nemsy or Dirge, we put him inside an ETC. The ETC also contains an emergency stall (Soulfreeze) and a way to make-it-yourself  powerful Forge of Wills target on the ETC (Monstrous Form).

The deck has multiple ways of snowballing a cheated-out demon. Some of them are more questionable than others, but we want to test them all. Endgame is likely the best card, but Cursed Campaign and Cover Artist could be debilitating on a Wretched Queen.

Sketchy Hand Warlock

Handlock is showing a lot of promise through both Whizbang cards and core Set updates. We can minimize the Demon package to Nemsy, Chaotic Consumption and 4 stabilizing Demons and leave the rest of the deck to focus on the development of Giants alongside Forge of Wills.

One of the most interesting ideas for this deck is running Table Flip as the only Shadow spell in the deck, so it gets tutored and copied by Sketch Artist. A turn 4 Sketch Artist may prove to be debilitating to any deck that looks to encroach on the Warlock’s breathing space. A free 1-mana Table Flip clears their board, while the original copy sits in our hand, waiting for the opponent to try to reload the board. A doubled 6-damage AOE on turn 6 is also possible thanks to this interaction.

Mountain Giants aren’t the only Giants we’re playing. Playhouse Giant has great potential in Handlock alongside Gaslight Gatekeeper. Life Tap means it’s incredibly easy for the Warlock to flip a full hand with Gatekeeper. What’s more is that Gatekeeper has nice synergy with Symphony of Sins. It’s all coming together.

A small note. If you play Nemsy and draw a Demon, then play Gatekeeper, Nemsy will still summon the Demon she drew when she dies. If that Demon ends up back in our deck, she will simply switch places and go back to our deck.

Wheel of Death Warlock

We want to make Wheel of Death work. Badly. This build tries to alleviate the terrible drawback the spell inflicts, which is deleting our deck. The list focuses on survivability, as well as strong Wheel follow up.

Doomkin is essential because it can help us play Wheel a turn earlier in some games. Ramping to a Twisting Nether or Sargeras could also be key. Fanottem turns Wheel of Death into a strong play for the board, helping us stabilize. Reno becomes active after Wheel, so of course he’s there. Symphony of Sins is the best follow up possible to Wheel of Death, giving us a new deck with powerful cards to help us survive. A Perfect/Recursive Zilliax is another way we can delay, or completely negate fatigue damage while healing ourselves. Many of the key follow up cards to Wheel are expensive minions, so we’re running both Loken and Caricature Artist to dig for them.

Good luck spinning that Wheel.

Data Reaper Report - Warrior

Odyn Control Warrior

Warrior’s late game looks just as scary as it did last month, with the fast-cycling Odyn Control Warrior build easily brushing off rotation. Safety Goggles is a strong new addition that helps us enable Sanitize in the early game even if we’re under pressure and have no time to forge the card. It is also a strong activator to Stoneskin Armorer and Razorfen Rockstar. We’ll also take 6 damage for 2-mana post-Odyn as well.

Fiery War Axe has returned. We expect the card to be an important piece in shoring up Warrior’s early game. We don’t think its power level is outdated at all.

Boomboss Reno Warrior

Reno Warrior may have seen its beloved Astalor leave, but it’s getting compensated for it. It should be able to land on its feet, as Deepminer Brann is a very easy card to leverage into competing in slower matchups effectively.

We’ve dropped Odyn and the armor package for this build, exploring a new damage path centered on Nostalgic Clown. A Mini Clown deals 24 damage with Zola after Brann is played (though you have to activate the Mini Clowns you generate). That should be enough burst to kill the opponent considering we have plenty of value to pressure them after Brann is played.

Another way to win late is to simply run the ETC package with the Boomboss/Gatekeeper pair, along with Audio Amplifier being in our main deck. We know this combo is a potent disruption win condition in slower matchups, and it might become more powerful if the meta slows down after rotation.

Other new cards: Deathwing is a great stabilizer on turn 8. Caricature is a nice soft tutor. Perfect/Twin Zilliax is insane post-Brann. If Reno Warrior survives the early game, then it seems that it becomes more difficult to kill in the late game.

Containment Mech Warrior

Mech Warrior will attempt to forge its own path in the format, outside of the shadows of Control and Reno Warrior, relying on its massive damage spikes in the mid-game. This build tries to ease the execution of our power spikes by softening up the curve of Boom Wrench into Testing Dummy/Containment Unit.

One way to do it is by playing Greedy Partner. Warrior has access to a lot of good tutor/draw cards that cost 2-mana, so Greedy Partner becomes an easy card to fit and make work. This allows you to Boom Wrench on 4 and then coin out Testing Dummy. The other way to do it is by simply running a Frequency Oscillator.

Chemical Spill is another important card in the deck, because it is another way for us to cheat out a big Mech on turn 5. Containment Unit is our primary target for a Boom Wrench deathrattle trigger, but we’re never upset at the sight of a Perfect/Virus Zilliax.

To avoid a clash with Chemical Spill, we hide Inventor Boom inside ETC. In some games, we might decide to take Botface on turn 4 and Chemical Spill it on turn 5. We don’t like Botface in our primary deck because it doesn’t have synergy with Boom Wrench and is nowhere near as strong as Zilliax as a stabilizer and a Boom resurrection target.

Gaslight Blackrock Warrior

Another expansion, another attempt from vS at making Blackrock ‘n’ Roll work. This time, for sure! The deck is genuinely getting some awesome survivability and swing tools.

First and foremost, the addition of War Axe should help the deck survive the early game. Another card you should be watching out for is Town Crier. Do not play this card before BRR. It will find you Minotauren, Gnomelia, and the most gigantic Zilliax imaginable. Town Crier might be what the deck needs to be able to consistently recover in the mid-game after BRR, without relying on drawing the right minions off the top.

What else helps us draw good minions after BRR? Playing Gaslight Gatekeeper! How about those 28/28 Playhouse Giants?



Special thanks to TexMuhami for helping to proofread our content this week. Also, thanks to our Patreon and Gold supporters who have provided feedback on these decklists.

The Data Reaper Podcast will return to discuss the early impressions of the Whizbang’s Workshop meta! Follow us on Twitter for updates on when it will occur, if you want an early scoop on developments before March 28th, when Data Reaper Report #289 comes out.


We’ll see you then.

The Vicious Syndicate Team