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Knights of the Frozen Throne – Rogue, Mage and Warrior Deathknight Decks
Winter is coming! Deathknights finally arrived in the world of Hearthstone. This article will be about Warrior, Rogue and Mage decks I consider with my current knowledge as most optimal for Day 1 ladder play. These three classes are the ones, I currently have the most experience with.
Be assured, that I’m very competent when it comes to deckbuilding. Although I play Hearthstone casually, I have several high Legend finishes (Rank 20-200) with self made decks, ranging from N’zoth Warrior during Whispers of the Old Gods to my very own interpretations of Control Priest, when there was no separation between Wild and Standard.
The decks in this article don’t have many new cards. As with every new expansion , a lot of the cards are simply not good enough to see competitive play. My personal enjoyment in Hearthstone comes from building good decks and winning with them. If you want to play Quest Mage, N’zoth Mage or N’zoth Rogue with a lot of new cards this is not the right article for you. These decks are simply not good decks, and you will not win as much as you could with other decks. But there is no right or wrong way to play Hearthstone!
If you also enjoy winning and want to make Legend with some new cards, the following decks will help you achieve this goal.
Mage together with Hunter got the worst cards in the new expansion. And for good reason! In the Un’goro metagame Mage was very strong and more good cards could push it over the top. Although Control Mage and Quest Mage got some decent support in the form of Sindragosa, Simulacrum and Ghastly Conjurer, these cards alone are not enough to push these Tier 3 decks into competitve relevance. The Burn strategy is simply too efficient and flexible. Burn can be used for minion removal (I have even used Pyroblast a decent amount of time to remove opposing minions) and Alexstrasza can be used offensively to set up a Burn finish and defensively to heal yourself, whereas N'Zoth, the Corruptor in Mage is useless against faster decks.
But that does not mean, you can’t have fun at a competitive level with the new cards. Frost Lich Jaina is a very good card in the current Freeze/ Burn Mage decks. Mage currently struggles against slower Control decks, like Priest and Paladin. They have a lot of healing to counter all your burn spells and then also have more value than you. But with Frost Lich Jaina you now have a very good chance to out value these slower decks. Although you are not guaranteed to get Water Elementals every turn, it won’t be too hard to get a decent amount of them and overwhelm them, especially with Babbling Book and Polymorph as additional targets for your new Hero Power. Medivh, the Guardian fulfils a similar purpose, but can be countered by weapon removal.
Mulligan for Babbling Book, Mana Wyrm and Arcanologist against every deck. Keep Primordial Glyph only if you have Mana Wyrm. Pressure your opponent if you draw your cheap minions and follow it up with your burn spells to finish them. If you fail to draw sufficient early game minions and your opponent has a high life total, try to set up Alexstrasza with Ice Block and then end the game with your Burn spells. Against slower decks you have Jaina and Medivh to keep up with their value.
N’zoth Control Warrior
Scourgelord Garrosh is rather easy to evaluate. Would you pay 6 mana for a 4/3 weapon that also damages adjacent minions? I would definetely play that in a lot of Warrior decks. If you also consider that 5 Armor is worth 1 mana, you pay 1 mana to replace the worst Hero Power in the game (And yes in a vacuum, Armor Up! is the worst Hero Power in the game. Warrior has always been in a rather tough spot in Arena, and the Hero Power is the main reason, which is only good if you absolutely need some sort of Life Gain). So it is fair to say that Scourgelord Garrosh is overall a good card.
When it comes to the new Warrior Deathknight, many people will think that he is only playable in some sort of Tempo Warrior, because Control needs Armor Up. And I fully disagree. Even in Control Warrior Whirlwind is a better Hero Power than Armor Up against almost everything (Exceptions are Mage and Face Hunter). In addition to that you will have a hard time with Armor Up! against cards like Uther of the Ebon Blade. So I think you will have to play him in Control Warrior, unless for some reason Control Paladin and other slower decks are unpopular, and the metagame is very aggressive and Mage is very popular.
Mulligan for your four weapons against every deck. Unlike the previous deck, you don’t have any early game minions, so there is no way for this deck to win quickly. Your game plan evolves around survival and once you reach the later stages of the game you overwhelm your opponent with your powerful late game minions. N’zoth coupled with Direhorn Hatchlings and the other legendaries should give you enough value to overwhelm slower decks.
Valeera the Hollow is a nice boost for Miracle Rogue. Not only does Rogue gain additional survivability, the Deathknight is also a value engine, because it gives you additional copies of Hallucination, Swashburglar and multiple other high value cards. In addition to that Rogue can now also kill the opponent from 29 life once Valeera the Hollow entered the battlefield: Southsea Deckhand, three copies of Cold Blood (you get an additional one from the new Hero Power) and Faceless Manipulator. You now have two 14/1 minions with Charge and together with a Dagger, this Combo deals 29 damage. The problem however is that this particular Combo gets stopped by Taunt minions and you need to have a weapon equipped. Weapon destruction stifles your combo, because Rogue’s Death Knight loses Dagger Mastery. So I don’t think it is worth it to build your deck around this combo. But maybe there is a way with Shadowblade…
In your mulligan you mainly look for Backstab, Razorpetal Lasher and Swashburglar. Preparation and Counterfeit Coin are very potent with Edwin VanCleef, and should be kept together with Edwin. Also keep Edwin VanCleef if you are on the draw.
In the early game you try to control the board, play some small minions and sometimes play a big Edwin. And around Turn 6 you play Gadgetzan Auctioneer to draw a bunch of cards and then play cheap Arcane Giants.
I hope you all enjoyed my article. If you have any questions regarding these decks, feel free to ask me in the comments!