Last Thursday, Blizzard invited content creators to the traditional Early Access which allows them to get their hands on the next expansion. For the very first time, and thanks to this wonderful site that is JudgeHype, I was able to access the test server and get a glimpse of what we have in store. Murder at Nathria Castle.
In this article, I would like to offer you a kind of best-of of what was tested during Thursday evening. Not just based on my experience, but also on anything seen from other content creators.
Thus, I would like to share with you 9 decks, all taken from cards from the new expansion, and which have stood out for one reason or another.
Starting with the decks that I think have a chance to get competitive on August 2, and working through the ones that were the most fun gameplay-wise, or the decks that no one saw coming. I suggest you see everything that the theorycraft have been able to highlight.
Disclaimer: None of these lists is a finished product and on the popular archetypes, each streamer has made their own version. I tried to focus around the archetypes that are pushed by the next set, so if a deck from the old set was the most powerful/fun, it wouldn’t be included in this article.
1. Decks that already look competitive
As is fairly typical at the start of a set, it’s the proactive decks that are going to be honored in our “competition” category. Not surprisingly, it is Malfurion which seems to be the class to knock down for now with the new cards. The fact of having received direct support for archetypes that already existed obviously helps to very quickly build decks that make sense and to easily project oneself as to the latter’s abilities.
This version is Nohandsgamer’s, and mixes Beasts and Ramp archetypes for a deck he calls the “Water DruidCombining the Ramp archetype’s mana gain with the willingness to develop a lot of small minions in the beast archetype, the deck seems to cut to best exploit Sire Denathrius, a card that quickly became associated with Malfurion. Topior the Massigazzor also seems ideal in this deck to add even more ways to summon minions.
Behind Malfurion are two archetypes that are fairly simple to build, which also makes them fairly easy to quickly see as competitive: Imp Warlock and Evolution Shaman.
For Gul’dan, it’s a brand new archetype that is coming and which should quickly make you forget the murlocs a priori. Based on a gameplay oriented around the table, the card that made the strongest impression on me was the Infamous Library, a new location for the warlock that allows you to very quickly inflate a minion.
With cards like Demonic Circle or Mischievous Shipment, the Infamous Library has all the support it needs to represent the equivalent of at least two Kings’ Blessings. While cards like Traveling Merchant or Blademaster Okani will be up for discussion in the future, the deck already has a 20-25 card base to build on. We should very quickly see lists close to the real potential of the deck appear.
Quoted Shaman, the mechanics of evolution convinced me much more than that of the totems which seemed to me much more volatile. And for those who have already experienced the previous Shaman Evolution archetypes, it only took me one combination of Figures and Convincing Disguise to remember how this deck could degenerate on the table.
For now, the evolution mechanic is paired with the Shaman Midrange base which uses frost and battle cries. I think it’s a solid base that should allow the deck to be effective very quickly. Over time, it is not excluded to see the evolution mechanic being coupled with other synergies of the class, because unlike the imps of the warlock, there is much more room to build around.
2. The most fun decks to play
Leaving aside the competitive aspect, Murder at Castle Nathria offers a lot of synergies that are very fun to build decks around. Moreover, I don’t exclude that variations of these decks could become interesting to climb the ladder in the long term, but that will surely require much more time than the space of an evening.
My most satisfying experience on these tests has been the Spooky Mage (name given for the skeleton side) which is a mix between the synergy of Heroic Power and that of Unstable Skeletons. The deck had this tireless side, always finding to generate cards and offering different options which is very pleasant.
So far, the Skeleton mechanics have felt pretty slow to me, and I have no trouble imagining early-game combo or explosive decks finding a way to outflank this Mage. With time and a lot more information on the metagame however, I don’t rule out that a mage deck that has figured out how to annoy popular decks will use hero power damage and/or Skeletons to gain access to damage. direct.
The second deck that amused me a lot is the Pure Paladin Recruits, a deck that seeks to use the synergy around Silver Hand Recruits to put pressure on the opponent. With the arrival of The Countess at the top of the curve, this type of deck can finally consider competing from a value point of view at the end of the game. I admit I don’t have high hopes for the deck, but the gameplay is very satisfying if you like Paladin gameplay that seeks to grow over time and support its minions.
The main challenge with the deck is to provide it with maximum stability in its ability to develop its table quickly and efficiently. Indeed, when I was able to make Bridge of Dun Baldar and then summon several recruits with Resist the Darkness, or even with Groga Ravenous, I immediately felt that the deck could put a good dose of pressure.
The secrets mechanic allows for good disruption while purifying the deck with Sword of the Fallen and Northwatch Commander. Using the Paladin’s Quest, totally abandoned since its release last year, is another idea, but unfortunately I haven’t had time to try.
Finally, Illidan was a nice surprise for me, the relics seem quite ordinary during the card reviews, and above all very dependent on the randomness of the draw pile. By concocting a version that draws a lot (perhaps too much), I managed to find the relics regularly during the games, despite the fact that I developed relatively little rhythm as a result.
When they follow one another, the gameplay of the relics is really fluid and the deck manages very well to hold an opponent who seeks to take the table while advancing on our synergies. The big problem with the deck is that Relics don’t really have a win condition outside of Relic of Illusions summoning big minions. If this problem could be solved while keeping the fluidity of a deck that draws a lot, the relics of the Artificer Xy’Mox could become a very popular archetype for many players who love rhythm synergies.
3. The most surprising decks
In this last category, I offer you decks of which I honestly have no idea of real potential. The selection criterion for these decks was “Hey, wouldn’t I have thought of this one?”.
In first place on this podium, which made knots in my brain, there is a Shaman Quest who uses the new Suspect Identification card to create board combos or imitate the Pig Priest. Thanks to the Mailbox Dancer, you can recover a coin and reach 11 mana (Double Sight on a combo card also works very well). With 11 mana points and our quest completed, we can perform 2 combos which should in theory end the game:
- Boar of Elwynn, coin, Wild Pyromancer and finally Identification of the suspect allows us to sacrifice six pigs at once, giving us the Sword of the Thousand Truths if we have already sacrificed one during the game.
- Charged Call, Coin and Suspect ID should be a combo that fills the table with huge minions once our quest is complete.
The second deck featured is a new OTK Thief, based on getting the biggest weapon possible with the new Necrolord Draka. Or use the new location “Graveyard of Vice” which allows you to create a gigantic ghost.
To play as many cards as possible, the deck is based on an already existing synergy around the Financial Shark which will generate the Coin as many times as possible. We can then use these coins to activate our combos or to empty our deck with the Auctioneer.
Finally the last deck, a combo priest built around the synergy of spells that reduce the cost of Power Word: Toughness. The reason this deck appealed to me is because it breaks out of the classic Naga Priest line that settled with the Sunken City, and instead seeks to maximize the use of new cards. . Pelagos, Accomplice or Favor of Ascension, this deck seeks to create a situation in which it can create and duplicate the largest minion possible.
Oftentimes, I’m not a fan of those theorycraft streams which tend to ruin the surprise for anyone who doesn’t have access to them, and speed up the speed at which you solve the metagame a bit more.
Still, with Meutre au Chateau Nathria, I feel like there’s enough diversity that this preview just added to the excitement of seeing the new cards coming.
Of course, decks like the Imp Warlock, which is fairly easy to build and quickly effective, are already known to everyone by now. The same goes for the Druid, who we knew even before putting our hands on the cards that he would have several competitive decks.
For other classes though, those that have received genuinely new concepts, like the Mage or Demon Hunter, I have a feeling this early session will serve as fuel for discussion. The decks will probably come out more advanced than they would be without having been able to test the cards, but it could also push these decks to exist quickly. Instead of seeing the first days being simply dominated by decks whose construction leaves little doubt.
If you’re curious to see my first steps in Castle Nathria, I’m testing the decks that Blizzard had built for us in this video. For the rest, I wish you all a good week, and an excellent game!