The Power of Polymorph
Hello, it is I, Fireflyer again, and today I wanted to go over a mechanic that not a lot of people use wisely in matches. The mechanic, is Polymorph. In this short guide I’m going to go over the main Polymorph effects as well as certain situations you want to save them for against some of the current meta decks. This guide is especially helpful for Shaman players who are trying to go up the ranks this season since it will tell you what to save your Hex for when you’re playing the current top meta decks. Let’s not waste time and check out the cards that have this special effect.
Polymorph is the main card everyone thinks of when you mention a Polymorph effect. Currently this card isn’t being used in the meta but I always feel like there should be a special spot for a Polymorph in any mage deck, just because of how effective these effects can be. You can kind of rely on them from Babbling Book, Ethereal Conjurer and Cabalist's Tome if you’re desperate but sometimes it’s just nice knowing you have the answer for that Malygos or Deathwing when it hits the board. Polymorph: Boar is another Polymorph effect that also allows you to be a little aggressive sometimes with your deck. I’ve seen people get Polymorph: Boar out of a random spell effect and use it on things like Sorcerer's Apprentice to get that last bit of damage in. This is far less used since you’re still giving your opponent a 4/2 but if you get one from a Babbling Book at least with this guide you’ll learn a few new tricks to use with it.
Hex is probably the only Polymorph card being used in the current meta. It’s used in pretty much every shaman deck, going from just a singleton at the beginning of shaman’s run to power to now running two in pretty much every deck. After playing lots of Shaman this season to climb the ladder to Legend, I’ve realized just how many interesting situations there are to save my Hex for. You’ll be tempted to use it early on some big minions just to get rid of them but you’ll regret it later when you use them early and don’t have them for the important situations that Shaman can’t handle without Hex like Deathwing.
Tinkmaster Overspark was a card that saw the meta for a short while when Miracle Rogue was running around being all crazy with Conceal + Gadgetzan Auctioneer. With its ability to target random minions, you could have a chance of hitting stealth targets which shut off the Gadgetzan Auctioneer combo. I feel like there’s still a place for this card considering Stranglethorn Tiger is coming back and is used quite powerfully in the Beast Druid deck. But since there’s only one or two decks that have this situation to worry about, Tinkmaster Overspark is currently not being used in anything.
That’s enough about the cards, let’s go into the situations where you need to save your Polymorph effects.
Screwing over N’Zoth Control
One of the most important things that Polymorph can disable are Deathrattle effects in N'Zoth, the Corruptor style decks. Don’t worry about anything other than Legendary minions when you’re dealing with this, since you don’t want to be wasting your Polymorph on Infested Tauren when there are so many bigger more dangerous threats. Here is the list of most important N'Zoth, the Corruptor legendaries to Polymorph:
You will almost always see the first two being used in any N’Zoth deck while Tirion Fordring will be in all Paladin N’Zoth decks. Chillmaw is rarely used as much but is still something to consider when dealing with Deathrattle.
If you make sure to keep your Polymorph effects for these legendaries, their N'Zoth, the Corruptor will be pretty much useless and will seal an easy game for you.
Screwing over Anyfin Paladin
Anyfin Can Happen Paladin decks use the two Murlocs Bluegill Warrior Murloc Warleader to combo out and bring lots of copies of them back to life to attack you for major damage. However, one thing they don’t teach you in Polymorph school is that if you use a Hex on a small Murloc Warleader, your opponent only gets one of them left in their deck to try and get into play to get killed for the combo. If you happen to Polymorph BOTH, then the combo is pretty much useless, but in that deck you also have to worry about Tirion Fordring and Ragnaros, Lightlord so I would recommend just Polymorphing one of the Murloc Warleaders and keeping your extra effect for one of the big legendaries.
Screwing over Hunter
Savannah Highmane, Kindly Grandmother and Infested Wolf are the cards you have to worry about from Hunter. Much like fighting against N'Zoth, the Corruptor decks, you target their most important Deathrattle effects. I would only hit a Savannah Highmane with a Polymorph but I mention the other two because of Houndmaster. If you see them put a Deathrattle into play, try and see if they’re going to Houndmaster them because then you end up taking away both effects by Polymorphing them after. If you see a Turn 3 Infested Wolf just wait a turn and see if they pump it up. Sure you have to take some damage but you negate a lot.
Screwing over Warlock Zoo
Doomguard is the strongest most threatening card in Zoo Warlock so as soon as you see it, feel free to use your Polymorph cards on it. You’ll end up getting hit for 5 damage from the charge but there aren’t any other targets for you to wait for in this deck so use them early. Another great target is Imp Gang Boss if your opponent decides to play it early on Turn 3 or something. You negate the ability of them producing more minions while also shutting down their aggression. Your last best target is Darkshire Councilman before it starts getting bigger.
Screwing over C’thun
C'Thun is just a huge dude when he hits play and will usually do enough damage with just his Battlecry but if you’re able to survive that onslaught you can Polymorph him to prevent his buddy Doomcaller from putting him back into the deck. It’s very important that you save a Polymorph for C'Thun because if he’s put back into the deck, the Battlecry alone will finish you off. I usually save both of my Hex cards for C'Thun AND Doomcaller since they’re both usually the biggest minions in those decks. Find other ways to deal with Twin Emperor Vek'lor or Emperor Thaurissan because you will need these for the big guys.
Screwing over Mages
Mage is another deck that doesn’t have many large minions, much like Warlock Zoo. Because of this it’s okay to use your Polymorph cards early and I would recommend using them on things like Flamewaker if you have no other way of getting rid of them like by attacking with minions or using a spell. Letting a Flamewaker live for one turn means the mage is going to deal a lot of free damage so use your Hex as soon as you see if it you can’t remove it with other effects.
Archmage Antonidas is the only legendary threat that you need to worry about and he’s usually cast in the same turn that the mage can cast other spells in order to get free Fireballs. I usually keep a Hex in hand just in case because if Archmage Antonidas stays out in play, the game is over.
I’ve seen a couple decks running Rhonin but he’s not something that you should have to plan for. He’s still a great target though if you have a Polymorph effect.
Screwing the Win Condition
The last things you need to worry about are cards that are in various different decks.
First up is Ragnaros the Firelord. He’s used in pretty much everything and is always a constant threat if you don’t have good removal for him. I would assume that almost every deck has one in there except for things like Zoo Warlock.
Malygos is another card that is currently being used all over the meta. The two major decks I can think of are Miracle Rogue using Malygos with Sinister Strike and Eviscerate or in Malygos Druid with Moonfire and other spells. Usually your opponent is going to only play Malygos when it’s time to cast their spells and win the game, but every once in awhile you’ll find an opponent who wants to be risky and try to play him on Turn 9 to try and set up for a Turn 10 lethal without using something like Emperor Thaurissan to cheapen his spells and allow him a one turn kill. All you can do is be patient and hope you don’t die the turn they play Malygos and then get rid of him immediately.
The last three cards are all Dragon cards that are used in various Dragon decks. So far the only decks I see are Dragon Warrior, Dragon Priest and sometimes Dragon Mage. However any deck that is running Netherspite Historian is an instant sign that they’re running dragons so be careful and save your polymorphs for the huge threats. The major ones are, Ysera, Deathwing and a guy we mentioned earlier, Chillmaw. The thing with the dragons are that they’re huge threats and hard to trade evenly using minions or spells, so save your Polymorph cards and make it an easy threat to deal with.
Conclusion: Save your Hex!
Well that’s my little guide on Polymorph effects. If you’re climbing the ladder this season with Shaman or using Polymorph in your Mage decks, keep these threats in mind and make sure you’re saving your Polymorph cards wisely. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used a Hex early to stay aggressive only to find out I needed it later. After taking the time to reflect and learn from my mistakes, I’ve been much smarter about saving my Hex cards and my win rate has gone up since doing so. The smarter you are about using such a powerful effect, the better you’ll end up doing in your matches against the current top decks.
I hope this helped or at least brought to your attention the importance of Polymorph cards. As always you can follow me and my Hearthstone antics on Twitter @HS_Fireflyer and catch me streaming Monday-Friday 6-9 PM EST on Twitch at twitch.tv/itsFireflyer. Leave me some love below and let me know if there are any other great Polymorph targets that I forgot to mention! I try my best at replying to every comment. Thanks and I’ll see you next time!