Darkmoon Faire is here – the new Hearthstone expansion was released two days ago, and it has already made a massive difference to the meta. Old Gods are a big part of the new experience, both thematically and gameplay-wise. While they most commonly appear through card artworks and Corrupt mechanic… new version of the 10 mana Legendaries are also surprisingly playable. Many players have suspected that they will be too slow
So far, Y'Shaarj, The Defiler and Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate seem to be working best. N'Zoth, God of the Deep is also strong, but it fits into a more limited number of decks. As for C'thun, the Shattered… well, so far it hasn’t been working THAT greatly, the card is by far the slowest & greediest of the Old Gods, but it doesn’t stop people from trying it out.
In this post, I’ll share a few of the strongest (so far) deck lists featuring Old Gods! Of course, keep in mind that the meta is still very fresh, so those “best” decks might not necessarily be that good after a while. With that out of the way, let’s start!
If you have coulrophobia, don’t read any further. If you don’t and want to induce it in your opponents – this is a perfect deck for you! It’s a variation on the Big / Ramp Druid, one of the play styles we see popping out every now and then basically since Hearthstone was released. Just like always, the deck is very top-heavy, but intends to get to those big mana numbers way before the opponent.
The main combo of the deck is Survival of the Fittest to Corrupt Carnival Clown into, well, playing the Clown. This way it will fill the entire board with 8/8 Taunts. Unless your opponent has some sort of board wipe, this will most likely result in a game win. Many decks simply can’t get through that wall and just die on the backswing. But, of course, this is REALLY expensive and slow. Most of the time you would die before you could play it, even with ramp. In order to prevent that, the deck plays a lot of 0 mana minions with either Rush or Taunt (Umbral Owl, Anubisath Defender, Strongman). Of course, they don’t start as 0 mana, but they usually get there on a way to Clown win.
And finally, Old Gods. Y'Shaarj, The Defiler‘s role is simple – MORE CLOWNS! Well, not only that, you can also get extra copies of Strongmans and gain extra Attack / Armor with Moontouched Amulet. Either way, the late game Y’Shaarj turn is a massive board push. On the other hand, Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate is there to make big comebacks. Like you already know, the deck is really slow, but it also plays A TON of spells. It’s very easy to activate Yogg, and after that nearly all outcomes are good when you’re behind on board. And trust me – you will be behind on the board a lot. Yogg can often straight up with the game – e.g. stealing 3 big minions from your opponent or clearing everything while gaining their Attack / Health can be game-winning in many scenarios.
One of the most polarizing cards of the expansion has to be Tickatus. In its basic form, it’s a 6 mana 8/8 that destroys a chunk of your deck… which is obviously something you don’t want to do. However, after you Corrupt it, it destroys 5 cards from the top of your opponent’s deck instead. And here’s where the fun starts. The goal of this deck is to Corrupt it as soon as possible (usually while clearing the board with either Soulciologist Malicia or Twisting Nether) and then… play it a few times. In theory, you can play him up to 4 times in this deck. After you Corrupt it, make sure that it’s the lowest cost Demon in your hand and play Felosophy. Now you have two of them. Next turn drop the first one. Turn after that drop the second one. Probably alongside some board clears like Dark Skies or Cascading Disaster.
And that’s also where Y'Shaarj, The Defiler comes handy. After you’ve played one or two copies (depending on how many cards you need to burn), you then drop Y’Shaarj and get a second one for free. Not only it creates a massive board, but burns even more cards. This way you can get rid of up to 20 cards from your opponents deck – but realistically that’s an overkill, because no one will have that many left at this point. Still, if you play vs a slow deck without access to tons of draw, such as Control Warrior or Priest, then you can often burn half of their deck – which is usually a win for you.
When it comes to N’Zoth, Warrior was always one of the two most obvious choices. After all, Ringmaster Whatley heavily hinted that a sort of “menagerie” combo might work well in Warrior. And yes – this is not a full-blown N’Zoth deck with 6 different minion types to revive them all. It focuses only on the three drawn by Whatley – Mechs, Dragons and Pirates. And luckily, Warrior has access to some really strong cards from each of that type.
The class has already commonly played Pirates and Dragons. Small Pirate package with Ancharrr was a staple in many builds, and it got even better with Sword Eater (the card is REALLY powerful). It also already played Dragon in a form of Deathwing, Mad Aspect, but since one wasnt enough to not miss on Whatley, this build also runs an Evasive Drakonid (Taunts work well with N’Zoth). And finally, Claw Machine was the Mech of choice. Between Rush and Deathrattle that gives more value, it’s a really solid choice. Well, technically you also play Elemental (Zephrys the Great), but you usually drop N’Zoth before Zephrys activates, and frankly even if you didn’t then extra 3/2 is not very relevant.
N’Zoth plays the role of a big late game play – for example, when you get a board like 2/5 Taunt Pirate, 12/12 Dragon and a 6/3 with Rush that draws and buffs on Deathrattle PLUS a 5/7 body of N’Zoth itself, it’s something your opponent absolutely must clear or else he just dies.
Other win conditions of the deck include Rattlegore (and copying it with Bloodsworn Mercenary) and – of course – Zephrys. Notably, Zephrys combos quite well with N’Zoth. If you play N’Zoth and it doesn’t get cleared, you can then play Zephrys to get something like Bloodlust in order to finish the game.
- 1Aldor Attendant1
- 1First Day of School1
- 1Oh My Yogg!1
- 2Hand of A’dal1
- 2Lightforged Blessing1
- 2Murgur Murgurgle1
- 2Redscale Dragontamer1
- 2Sir Finley of the Sands1
- 2Snack Run1
- 3Aldor Peacekeeper1
- 3Bronze Explorer1
- 3Goody Two-Shields1
- 4Truesilver Champion1
- 5Amber Watcher1
- 5Carousel Gryphon1
- 5Libram of Justice1
- 6Hammer of the Naaru1
This one is more experimental – Highlander decks usually require more time to fully optimize (simply because they include 30 unique cards), especially ones running a card like N’Zoth, where there needs to be the right balance of minion types.
And as for the minion types – this Kibler’s build runs a lot of them. There are 5 different minion types in this deck, plus Circus Amalgam, which fills the 6th slot (e.g. a Demon or Pirate). Which means that, in the best case scenario, N’Zoth summons a full board. Of course, in reality you won’t always get there – it’s often better to play him sooner and get “only” 3-4 minions, especially if you played some big hitters like Corrupted Carousel Gryphon or Fleethoof Pearltusk. Especially against Aggro / other Midrange decks, just slamming him on T10 is usually the best course of action. Against slower decks you might first try to draw out AoE / big removals by flooding the board or e.g. playing Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, but it’s not always optimal to wait too long.
For the most part, it’s a proactive, Midrange build, where you want to play on the curve and then use N’Zoth as one of your win conditions. Of course, the Old God is only a cherry on the top. You also have all the Highlander cards that can help you win the game – and the minions you want to revive themselves are also quite strong, so you will sometimes win even before getting to drop N’Zoth. Interestingly enough, you might also find your win condition with Sir Finley of the Sands – some of the upgraded Hero Powers can really make a difference in the long run. All in all, the deck has it all, and while I expect it to become optimized, it might actually be a part of the upcoming meta.
- 0Forbidden Words1
- 1Draconic Studies1
- 2Sethekk Veilweaver1
- 2Shadow Word: Death1
- 3Breath of the Infinite1
- 3Madame Lazul1
- 3Mindflayer Kaahrj1
- 3Mindrender Illucia1
- 3Nazmani Bloodweaver1
- 3Palm Reading1
- 3Shadow Madness1
- 4Holy Nova1
- 4Shadow Word: Ruin1
- 4The Nameless One1
- 7Soul Mirror1
- 8G’huun the Blood God1
- 8Murozond the Infinite1
- 9Plague of Death1
And finally, what better deck to play C'thun, the Shattered than slow Priest deck. Yep – if you were prepared for 30 minutes games, you might want to add at least 5 more because of C’Thun. It shuffled 4 more cards into your deck, not only making you more resitant to fatigue, but adding more resources you will be able to utilize throughout the game.
While your overall curve might seem a bit low, don’t be fooled by that – half of your deck gives you more value despite not costing all that much. While it was last expansion, I had matches where the Priest I faced played 80 cards in total. Yes, that’s right – 80 cards. Of course, that’s an extreme scenario, but just so you know – his deck also started with a low curve.
C’Thun server as a very late game win condition in slower matchup. Basically, if you run C’Thun and your opponent doesn’t, as long as they don’t outtempo you and kill you, you have a big advantage. Both sides are keeping the board clear, and your opponent might often pass a late game turn without playing any minions. Which means that you might be able to get all 30 damage into his face, usually killing him (unless he’s a Warrior with a lot of stacked Armor – but that’s still a huge win for you). Of course, even if THAT doesn’t work out, you always have 4 more cards in your deck, meaning that it the game gets to fatigue situation, you have an edge. C’Thun is a great tech that lets you win many slow matchups that you normally wouldn’t. On the other hand, because it’s SO SLOW and you rarely drop actual C’Thun before you’re nearly out of cards, the card is basically useless in any faster matchup.
The build also runs another Old God – Yogg-Saron. Since Priest plays A LOT of cheap spells (mostly through card generation like Cobalt Spellkin, Sethekk Veilweaver etc.) Yogg will usually be active on curve, and it can really help. The deck is actually quite low on “big” AoE clears, so in a meta with Clown Druids running around, another major late game board swing helps a lot.