April 5, 2017
Table of Contents
Quick Brews: Taunt Control Warrior (With Fire Plume’s Heart)
In the Quick Brews series, I’ll make a single pre-release deck for each class and talk a bit about it. However, since it’s impossible to tell how the new meta will look like, those might not be the best lists or they might not even work at all. And so, I don’t recommend crafting the cards Day 1 – you should probably wait and see how the meta turns out!
Last brew is the Taunt Control Warrior deck. I’m having high hopes for it, as it should fare well in terms of survivability and it has insane win condition now.
Taunt Control Warrior
For a very long time, Taunt Warrior was like a joke deck. Blizzard has tried to push it nearly every expansion since TGT and it failed miserably. Running a bunch of Taunt minions without purpose turned out to not be strong enough (putting too many Taunts into your deck is actually a very common mistake among new players) and the “synergy” cards weren’t good enough to justify a deck full of Taunts. So in the end, the deck was surviving, not winning the game. Surviving is good enough against Aggro, but any slower matchup was butchering a concept of Taunt Warrior. The deck didn’t have a solid win condition… until now. Apparently, becoming Ragnaros is the best answers to those problems.
The main idea behind this deck is to put a wall long enough to finish the Quest. And after you finish the Quest, all you have to do is survive (by putting a bigger wall) and press Hero Power whenever you can. Fast matchups should be won by the sheer number of Taunts you’re running. If you play a Taunt every turn since turn 3 with an occasional AoE here and there, they will have a really hard time going through. Slow matchups should be won thanks to your Hero Power – imagine a Control mirror where one player has Ragnaros the Firelord on board that can’t be removed at all. The game is not going to end well for the second player. Control decks can’t flood the board to counter it and playing a single, bigger minion has a 50% chance to die every time.
One thing I’m afraid of, however, is how the deck will work against Midrange decks. I think that stuff like Midrange Hunter or Midrange Shaman might be really strong against it. They can get through the Taunts easier than Aggro decks can, but you might not have enough time to abuse your Rag Hero Power, not to mention that it’s much less effective against decks that can flood to a certain extent (and many Midrange decks can). That might be the bane of new Taunt Warrior, but it’s just a theory.
I’d like to talk a bit about card choices here. The deck runs 13 Taunts + 2 more from Discover + 2 more are shuffled into the deck. That should be enough to accomplish the Quest quite consistently before the very late game. One card that I think is particularly powerful in the list is Stonehill Defender. It’s a bit similar to Acolyte of Pain and that’s why it took its place in my list. Even though you don’t have a potential to cycle more than 1 card, the fact that you’re guaranteed 2 Taunts with a single card makes it a better choice than Acolyte in such a deck.
Why N'Zoth, the Corruptor? Because you can build a wall. You play “only” 4 Deathrattles in the deck, but each one of them is a Taunt. While summoning them again doesn’t count for the Quest, it’s still a very nice defense. Taunts are one of the best kind of minions you can bring up, because it turns N’Zoth into a “fast play” which opponent can’t simply ignore and go face. Even assuming that you get to play a single Infested Tauren and a single Direhorn Hatchling before turn 10, N’Zoth is already worth it. It brings enough value, it shuffles another Taunt into your deck, what more do you want? Well, I know that more – I actually wanted to play Cairne Bloodhoof in the deck, but I’ve figured out that it would be too slow. However, in case the meta will turn out to be slow, I think that Cairne will be a great choice.
King Mosh isn’t rated too highly, but I really like the card. In the late game it acts as a Brawl you always win with a big minion when you combine it with Whirlwind. It gives the deck another big board clear. Then, there is also The Curator – why? Because you’re nearly guaranteed to get a Beast (you run 3 of them) and you also have a solid chance to get Primordial Drake. It’s like guaranteed card draw with around 50/50 on the second one. And it’s a Taunt that will most likely draw more Taunts, so it adds to the Quest’s consistency.
I’ve heard some opinions that the deck should cut Shield Slam, but I disagree. It’s still a very powerful card until you finish your Quest – and after you finish it you’re fine with having a dead card. It’s still not completely dead, because you might have some Armor surplus or you can combo it with Shield Block.
Depending on the meta, the deck can be optimized one way or another. It’s very easy to make it slower, by adding some more N’Zoth targets, Gorehowl or let’s say a second Primordial Drake. It’s also easy to make it faster, by simply getting rid of some late game and adding more removals/early game or even the new 5 Armor for 1 mana card if the meta gets really fast somehow.
Overall I’m pretty optimistic about this deck, maybe not this exact list (I’m still on the edge about N'Zoth, the Corruptor pack) but after some optimization, Taunt Control Warrior might be a high tier deck.
Thanks for reading! Remember that those are still prototypes and they will first need to be tested on the ladder and optimized. I will test most of those decks on the first days of the expansion and I will write full guides for the ones that will turn out to be working properly.
Good luck on the ladder and until next time!