I was brainstorming for this week's article when I had an apostrophe. I mean an epiphany.
My apostrophe came as I took an idea and was trying to decide whether I wanted to go red or blue with it. It's the eternal question—does this deck idea work better out of Alliance or Horde? Am I better served with Orcs and Undead, or Night Elves and Dwarves here? Do I think red or blue is a prettier color?
Then it occurred to me that I like gold better than both. What if I didn't care whether my hero was red or blue? What if it could just be either one? Heck, why not sit down and let my opponent pick my hero for me? That'd be pretty entertaining.
And none of this Scryer or Aldor stuff either. They're like factions, except not cool enough to warrant their own border color. I want to see what I can do with some truly factionless guys. I want to have my opponent ask, "What hero are you using?" and I want to respond, "Hmm . . . I dunno . . . pick one for me." And I don't want to have to smack him if he says Imp Lord Pinprik, so if you're reading this and you play against this deck, don't be that guy.
4 Landro Longshot
4 Millhouse Manastorm
4 Saltwater Snapjaw
4 Thunderhead Hippogryph
2 Ambassador Jerrikar
1 Dagg’um Ty'gor
2 Edward the Odd
2 Ethereal Plunderer
2 Ashtongue Battlelord
1 Chen Stormstout
1 King Mukla
1 Abominable Greench
4 Arcanite Dragonling
4 Mok'Nathal Wildercloak
3 Major Healing Potion
4 Kibler's Exotic Pets
4 The Fel and the Furious
3 Soup for the Soul
2 Battle of Darrowshire
2 Chasing A-Me 01
I normally pride myself on budget deckbuilding. I try to avoid rares and epics, and if I do build a deck around a rare or epic, it's going to be one that is easy to get a hold of. But what's fascinating about this deck is that it goes both ways.
One of the key facets of the loot card program is that allies with loot codes are neutral. They might do something unique for the team while in play, like Spectral Tiger or Thunderhead Hippogryph, or they might be truly neutral, like Red Bearon or Ethereal Plunderer. The one thing that they all have in common, though, is that nobody wants them if they don't have a loot code. The only one that has ever seen serious tournament play is the Hippogryph, and I think Herbert Hoover was president the last time the ol' Hippo cracked a Top 8.
On the other hand, if you do a deck like this right (and by “right” I mean “rebuilt using all unscratched loots&rdquo, it could easily cost you several thousand dollars. It would contain several copies each of the four or five most expensive cards to acquire in the entire game. It would have Spectral Tigers, X-51 Nether Rockets, some Mrglrglmrglmrrrlggg wharrgarbl, and then after that, a touch of epic Edward the Odd hotness. You'd have to buy it a gold-plated deckbox just so it would be seen with you in public.
Unfortunately, the classless class doesn't have much in the way of early offense or protection. The three 1-drops you can play are a robot, a reindeer, and an exploding chicken. All of them have 0 ATK, although with the exploding chicken that's hard to explain. The 2-drops include Overseer Oilfist, who is too busy with his metal detector to fight; Landro Longshot, who couldn't punch his way out of a wet paper bag; Vixton Pinchwhistle, an Arena goblin who can't actually fight; and the X-51 Nether Rocket, yet another exploding ally with 0 ATK. I decided to give Longshot a whirl, because, let's be honest, you're going to need a bit of luck to get to turn 3 in decent shape.
However, all is not lost. There are a few things we can play on turn 1 and still stay on theme. Arcanite Dragonling, most recently seen cavorting with Fillet, Kneecapper Extraordinaire in Phil Cape's Enduring Shout deck, is here to prove that even a 2 / 2 protector is a perfectly fine ally. And in other item news, Major Healing Potion might be a good choice for a deck that will probably take quite a bit of damage in the first couple turns.
Mok'Nathal Wildercloak is a rare breed: an armor that can be worn by every class. It also encourages you to kill your opponent's allies. It's like a little how-to-play tutorial on just one card! Pop quiz, hotshot: name the only other armor or armors that every class can wear. This question may or may not be a trick question. Also, that statement may or may not be a trick statement. Answer is at the bottom of the article.
On turn 3, you have two options: Millhouse Manastorm and Saltwater Snapjaw. Millhouse takes a while to get rolling, but once he does, he's gonna light you up, sweet cheeks. Saltwater Snapjaw will probably buy you some time. This is because your opponent will know that it's a loot card but will have no clue what the Snapjaw actually does and will run into him. There, you just bought yourself ten seconds. See how well that works?
Your options get quite a bit better on turn 4. Sayge is an all-star even in Constructed. He will find you all sorts of juicy cards to play. Thunderhead Hippogryph is more of a solid bench guy, but you'll also have quite a few laughs when your opponent forgets that he's elusive when you're playing an Alliance hero. This should be approximately balanced out by the number of times you try to attack with him on his first turn in play when you're playing that Alliance hero. This is surprisingly hard to remember.
The 5-slot is actually loaded for the no-team team. I took the coward's way out and went with 2 or less of everything. And by “coward's way out,” I mean “the way-more-fun way out.” I mean, who can turn down a two-headed ogre ninja? He's certainly odd, so he fits right in with Edward the Odd here.
The rest is a motley crew of big unaffiliated guys. The pickings are fattest on costs 5 and 6, but it turns out that The Abominable Greench is the only guy that costs 8 or 9 that isn't loyal to somebody or other. If you want to take your deck further and stretch out to that A'dal/Doomwalker/Azaloth/Doom Lord Kazzak curve, don't let me stop you.
There are various abilities you could squeeze in here. The only ones I'd actually want to play would be Vanquish, and maybe Hard-Packed Snowball or Goblin Gumbo to slow down the beats. Personal Weather Maker could also make the cut. We have some real winners here, don't we?
The quest base includes what seems to be my favorite quest of all time: Kibler's Exotic Pets. I've put this in so many decks here that it's even penetrated my usual perpetual cloud of confusion enough that I've noticed. But it's the best quest in the business for decks that have guys and want cheap quests, which most decks do. The Fel and the Furious emphasizes the fact that you're not doing much on the first few turns. So does Soup for the Soul. And the other two quests are two more old classics--it's hard to beat Battle of Darrowshire for cheapness and Chasing A-Me 01’s power has yet to be replaced.
So next time you play, bring this deck. Also bring a box that contains all 150 heroes that UDE has printed up through Drums of War. Take the four Demon heroes with deckbuilding rules out and rip them up. Then offer the box to your opponent and tell him to pick his poison. He'll never know what hit him. He'll have fallen victim to one of the classic blunders: he should know never to go in against a casual player when DEATH is on the line! AHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHA—
**In answer to the Mok'nathal Wildercloak question: there are none. But Medallion of the Horde and Medallion of the Alliance are items (not armor) that will prevent damage. And all of you that went to www.wowtcgdb.com first before even thinking about it: I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your souls.