Greetings! This week, we're looking at something that's become more prevalent throughout the years: The insane amount of Hero Powers available in the game. Each class has access to at least 4 Hero Powers. Some have access to even more! So what if we tinker with decks built around rotating Hero Powers throughout the whole match and adapting your Hero Power to counter your short-term troubles?
For this, we will need a few key cards:
Each deck will contain its own extra assortment of Hero Power-based cards, but these three are the most common shared cards across the board.
Sideshow Spelleater, had it been released in Saviors of Uldum, would be an absolute beast. Fear not, for there are Hero Powers to steal in Wild as well!
Sideshow Spelleater has never been more relevant than in Saviors of Uldum, where each class has access to a another new Hero Power. Since we are playing in Wild, let's go over the insane theft potential this card has against each class:
- Druid: Plague Lord, Ossirian Tear
- Hunter: Build-A-Beast, Berserker Throw, Dinomancy, Ramkahen Roar
- Mage: Icy Touch, Ascendant Scroll
- Paladin: The Four Horsemen, The Tidal Hand, Emperor Wraps
- Priest: Voidform, Mind Spike, Mind Shatter, Obelisk's Eye
- Rogue: Death's Shadow, Ancient Blades
- Shaman: Transmute Spirit, Bewitch, Lightning Jolt, Heart of Vir'naal
- Warlock: Siphon Life, INFERNO!, Tome of Origination
- Warrior: Bladestorm, Big Red Button (Boom's rotating Hero Powers), DIE, INSECT! (From the Un'goro Quest Fire Plume's Heart, Anraphet's Core
- Neutral: DIE, INSECT! (From Majordomo Executus), Any upgraded Hero Power (From Justicar Trueheart or Sir Finley of the Sands)
This is not even mentioning starting Hero Powers, which would bring the total of Hero Powers in the game to 47 (50 if we include Boom's extra rotating powers)!
Hero Power changes in Wild are very common, so Sideshow Spelleater is almost certain to deliver every time!
Justicar Trueheart is the card that started it all. For these particular decks, it is not too useful on its own. The Paladin decks, for example, do not rely on The Silver Hand for synergy, thus Justicar is there to be used after Sir Finley Mrrgglton, or in the Murloc deck's case (see below), after either Finley or Vilefin Inquisitor. This is not the Justicar's only purpose, however. Its effect is very versatile, allowing you to steal an opponent's Hero Power with Sideshow Spelleater and upgrade it, gaining a huge advantage over your opponent, lest they upgrade their Hero Power as well.
Cases in which Justicar Trueheart is best used:
- After swapping your starting Hero Power with a more useful one using Sir Finley Mrrgglton (for the Paladin decks)
- Instantly, on turn 6 (for the Mage and Priest decks)
- After stealing an opponent's more useful Hero Power (with Sideshow Spelleater) in a game where your opponent is not playing a Hero Power-altering deck.
Incredibly fun deck. The main Hero Power cards in this deck are:
Given that we are running Murlocs, this is obviously an Aggro deck. It also happens to be a Highlander deck, though there is no Reno Jackson present since we need to focus on killing the opponent fast before we run out of steam.
Always try to mulligan for Sir Finley Mrrgglton. He is a Murloc with great stats, and as such will benefit from a plethora of your other Murloc cards, and he offers a better Hero Power to help establish domination early on. Choose a Hero Power depending on your opponent class; good choices are Steady Shot, Fireblast, Shapeshift and Life Tap.
The key is to establish board dominance with your Murlocs and counter your opponent with your arsenal of ever-changing Hero Powers. Sir Finley of the Sands can give you an edge early on, however, he is also useful to play after Uther of the Ebon Blade. Uther's main purpose here is his weapon, which offers a total of 15 damage and 20 healing (including the Armor). The Hero Power is sadly a bit too slow for Wild to work unless you manage to make a combo out of using your Hero Power 3-4 times the same turn, so switching it to an upgraded Hero Power (or stealing something even more marvelous from your opponent) is advised.
- Bolvar Fordragon: Try to mulligan for it to grow his power throughout the game.
- Sir Finley Mrrgglton: Start with a stronger Hero Power to clear the way for your Murlocs or to draw even more Murlocs.
- Smuggler's Run + Grimscale Chum: Will make the next Murloc you play super beefy for turns 1-3.
- Sword of Justice: Makes your Murlocs stickier than they already are!
- Bolvar Fordragon: Great card to play once beefed up, will either waste an opponent's strong removal or be their doom.
- Anyfin Can Happen: Massive tempo swing, pray to the gods it's somewhere around the back half of the deck and you're good to go.
- Lay on Hands: You need to focus on playing Murlocs, this card keeps you alive and gives you more Murlocs.
- Uther of the Ebon Blade: As described above, extremely powerful late-game choice.
- Sir Finley of the Sands: To swap Uther's Hero Power with a better one.
Card Analysis & Replacements
Uther of the Ebon Blade: There aren't many cards in the game like Uther. He is, in essence, a combination of Tirion Fordring and Forbidden Healing. I would suggest replacing him with Tirion, or if you don't have him, Forbidden Healing, to make sure you still have the extra survival for the late game. Uther's Lifesteal weapon delayed my defeat quite a few times, giving me enough time to turn the tide and win.
Val'anyr: Great card. Aside from its awesome effect, which has great synergy with Murlocs and their fickle lives, it provides an almost infinite source of extra damage, as it rotates from your hand to your minions and back. Its effect could be slightly recreated assuming you have a good board presence with the help of Silver Sword, a cheaper alternative that can potentially be more useful than Val'anyr if you have board control.
Bolvar Fordragon: Honestly, the least necessary Legendary in the deck. It is pretty decent, but there are cheaper alternatives for those who do not own the card, such as Sated Threshadon or Gentle Megasaur. I would personally pick the Threshadon as it's a card you don't need much setup for, but if you feel confident, a properly set up Megasaur could kill your opponent in a single turn.
Old Murk-Eye: Unfortunately, an absolutely necessary card for Wild Murloc decks. Unfortunately, the only way of obtaining it now is by crafting it, but its Charge effect is extremely powerful in the days of Rush we live in. I look forward to hearing about potential replacements in the comments, for I cannot come up with one. Luckily, it does have a small chance of spawning through Murloc Knight!
Vilefin Inquisitor: Not entirely necessary however there is an alternative use for it, should you choose to insert the Gentle Megasaur I mentioned above. The two, combined with Murloc Warleader and Garrison Commander or Blackwald Pixie could establish a weak but potent board presence in your time of need. If this is not the path you choose and you do not wish to have the Inquisitor in your deck, Rockpool Hunter is a useful replacement.
Anyfin Can Happen: This card is cheap enough to craft that there is no need to find a replacement, however, I would like to mention that it is a better choice than Tip the Scales, as it conjures minions out of nowhere, whilst Tipping Your Scales will empty your options much faster.
Weird combination, right? Turns out it works pretty well! The main Hero Power cards in this deck are:
Mulligan for Sir Finley of the Sands to give yourself an early edge against your opponents. If lucrative, steal your opponent's Hero Power in the mid-game. Complete your quest and obtain Emperor Wraps in the late-game.
This deck gives you several options for obliterating your opponent. Early on, you'll want to start buffing up your C'Thun and playing a Reborn minion here and there. Do not complete Making Mummies too soon, it requires a bit of setup beforehand. The goal is to play your C'thun (twice, ideally) and soak up your opponent's removal, and then make space for Emperor Wraps to drop some crazy combos on your opponent. A third mechanic prevalent through this deck are the cards with the End of Turn effects, which will compliment your Hero Power in the late-game (such as Benevolent Djinn and Emperor Thaurissan)
- Sir Finley of the Sands: Gives you a huge advantage in the early game no matter which Hero Power you get, allowing you to keep your opponent at arm's length while you build up your C'Thun.
- Sideshow Spelleater: If your opponent has a Hero Power more suited to your mid-game needs, yank it!
- Reborn cards: Right about now is the time to go further with Reborn cards and get close to finishing that Quest. Try and use your current Hero Power to its fullest effect until your Emperor Wraps combo cards are prepared.
- C'Thun: Play as early as possible when the opponent's board is becoming scary, then shuffle it back with Doomcaller.
- Emperor Thaurissan: Required to reduce the cost of Desert Obelisk and Blood of The Ancient One by at least 1 mana.
- Desert Obelisk: Prepare to play on the same turn as Garrison Commander and use Emperor Wraps to make two copies, dealing 15 damage at the end of your turn.
- Blood of The Ancient One: Now slightly viable! Use Emperor Wraps to proc its transformation. Like I mentioned with Bolvar above, if it won't defeat your opponent, it will at least eat a bunch of removal. If you happen to have a Coin, you will be able to proc his effect without needing Thaurissan.
- Ragnaros the Firelord: Optimally played and then immediately copied with Emperor Wraps, but versatile enough to be used earlier if you are in trouble.
Card Analysis & Replacements
Blood of The Ancient One: As with Bolvar Fordragon in the Murloc deck, this card is not necessary but it is decently useful. If you wish for a more reliable card, I would suggest Grimestreet Enforcer (decent synergy with Desert Obelisk and every other card in your deck bar Ragnaros), Serpent Ward (great synergy with Emperor Wraps), Cobalt Scalebane, Hogger or The Lich King (all great with Emperor Wraps).
Ragnaros the Firelord: Do you have Ragnaros, Lightlord? If not, Big Bad Archmage could work as a replacement, though the high mana cost means it's trickier to find the right time to play. Wrapped Golem works well with Emperor Wraps and comes at a decent cost as well.
The rest of the deck is pretty set in stone. You need Emperor Thaurissan for your late-game plays, C'Thun so half of your deck works, and all the Reborn minions for the quest to complete.
Synergies to look out for:
- Emperor Thaurissan-based:
- Ragnaros the Firelord + Emperor Wraps
- Spikeridged Steed + Emperor Wraps
Ebon Hero, Dragon Power
Turns out, Dragons work a lot better for Paladins than they do for Warlocks (see Meme of the Week #1). Our main Hero Power cards for this deck are:
Your mulligan should include Sir Finley Mrrgglton, to get you going on protecting yourself while amassing all those high-cost Dragons. Aim to upgrade as fast as possible with Justicar Trueheart. Switch to Uther of the Ebon Blade as soon as the going gets tough and be on the lookout for any tasty powers to snipe with Sideshow Spelleater.
- Netherspite Historian + Firetree Witchdoctor: To give you some decent counters as starting options once you see what you're up against.
- Nightbane Templar + Bronze Herald + Sandwasp Queen: To put pressure on the board from early on.
- Uther of the Ebon Blade: Perfect to play when you already have some beefy Dragons on the board to secure your dominion over the game.
- Rend Blackhand: Great against pesky Legendaries such as Edwin VanCleef, Catrina Muerte or a fat SN1P-SN4P.
- Emperor Thaurissan: Play once you've wrangled up a lot of high-cost cards in your hand for maximum benefit.
Card Analysis & Replacements
Subdue: Very decent card in Wild. Now and then you go against an opponent that manages to stick a fat minion on the board before turn 5. Subdue it.
Rend Blackhand: Use against minions your Crowd Roaster cannot take care of. Alternatively, Big Game Hunter serves a similar functionality, and so does Voodoo Doll (if you can acquire Fireblast to be sure its effect will proc right away).
Uther of the Ebon Blade: He's great, but if you do not own him, it's not the end of the world for this deck. Might I suggest something insane, in theme with the fiery nature of this deck? Majordomo Executus coupled with 1-2 Gurubashi Offering might give you enough health to survive the transition and gain an overpowered Hero Power in the process.
Elemental Hero, Spell Power
Semi-Highlander Mage! Our main Hero Powers for this one are:
Notice how there's no Frost Lich Jaina? There are already too many decks based around her, so this deck is meant to feel a bit fresher; if the Frost Lich was in here, it would just be a worse version of her optimal deck!
Raid the Sky Temple is your main goal. Use Sir Finley Mrrgglton and Justicar Trueheart to get you beefed up early on (aim for Tank Up! or Heal). Ascendant Scroll will generally tide you through the rest of the game, however if you happen to find yourself against an opponent with a formidable Hero Power (Dr. Boom, Mad Genius' Hero Powers, Obelisk's Eye, DIE, INSECT! and the like) do not hesitate to steal it with Sideshow Spelleater!
The deck contains Reno Jackson however we do have two duplicates: Arcane Artificer and Ray of Frost. Luckily, they also happen to be part of your desired mulligan, so the risk is worth the reward!
- Arcane Artificer + Ray of Frost + Tome of Intellect: To gain early Armor as well as hurry upon completing the Quest.
- Sir Finley Mrrgglton: To gain a Hero Power better suited against the kind of deck you are playing. Fireblast is not great against most Priests right now, for example.
- Lesser Ruby Spellstone: To level it up in due time.
- Dune Sculptor: For extra value when using up all those cheap spells.
- Unstable Portal: For a potentially great card at a low cost, establishing decent control of the board for a bit.
- Justicar Trueheart: To upgrade your current Hero Power before Ascendant Scroll kicks in.
- Clockwork Automaton: If your Hero Power is some iteration of Fireblast, Lesser Heal or Steady Shot.
- Ghastly Conjurer: It's about time to shore up your defenses, and it also gives you a cute +1 to your Quest.
- Ragnaros the Firelord: Ascendant Scroll tends to provide you with enough cheapened removal to clear the path for Rags to hit face.
- Siamat: Beautifully versatile for saving you whilst in a bind or creating a brick wall.
- Arcane Artificer: Again, more mana = more spells being cast. With Arcane Artificer it's easy to keep the Armor climbing.
- Reno Jackson: As is tradition, to use in the most life-or-death of situations.
Card Analysis & Replacements
Ragnaros the Firelord: Ragnaros is great, but with him being moved to the Hall of Fame quite a long time ago, many newer players might not have him, or at least a version of him. Jan'alai, the Dragonhawk is a decent replacement if you skip Sir Finley Mrrgglton and go straight to Justicar Trueheart, to finish Jan'alai's "mini-quest" faster. Alternatively, Astromancer can provide a decent amount of board power since your hand will generally be pretty full with Ascendant Scroll. Inkmaster Solia, while not ideal since we aren't running the magnificent Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, can be useful for casting a bunch of spells in a turn, such as a Pyroblast given by your end-game Hero Power.
Siamat: Hard one to replace. His versatility is what makes him unique, but there are a few decent options: Power of Creation for board presence, Kalecgos for free removal and some extra board presence, or a Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, if you dare to trust in our dark lord.
Bloodmage Thalnos: The Bloodmage is great due to his card draw, cost and Spell Damage combo, which is a lot to fit into one minion. What we are most interested in here, however, is the Spell Damage. High-cost but decent replacements vary based on how you decide to play this deck: Dalaran Aspirant is a fit both in theme and in power, though he might not last long. Cosmic Anomaly gives a beautiful Spell Damage +2 which is sure to be useful in clutch situations, but generally won't last more than the turn it's played on. Kirin Tor Tricaster is a beast at Spell Damage +3, but spells costing one more means it might be hard to use them unless they are spawned by Ascendant Scroll, a hero power that starts to show up mid-to-late game.
Dragon Hero, Obelisk Power
What? Another deck with Dragons?! Well, this one plays rather differently, since all those Dragons are dressed in white!
Our main Hero Power cards for this last deck are:
This deck is pretty heavy on Hero Power-altering cards. Activate the Obelisk is our main objective for most of the game, however, it is not necessarily our end-game Hero Power! The card requires you to restore 15 health. It works really well with our Binding Heal, which is our "backup heal" card. This deck is extremely versatile, in that switching Hero Powers left and right works better than in all the other decks.
Generally, I would recommend switching to Mind Spike as fast as possible, after making sure you have restored at least 5 health this game, preferably 10, without using Binding Heal. Activating your Obelisk is not a hard task, but once you activate it, the next time you change your Hero Power, you won't be able to get Obelisk Eye again. As such, there are a few rules:
- Only use Shadowform, Sir Finley Mrrgglton and Sideshow Spelleater after you've restored at least 5 health. To finish the quest, you will need to use Binding Heal to its full effect. If this minimum condition is not met, Firetree Witchdoctor has a decent pool of healing spells that might save your obeliskian desires.
- Only use Justicar Trueheart to upgrade a Hero Power from Sir Finley Mrrgglton or Sideshow Spelleater (if applicable). There is no need to waste her on your Lesser Heal when activating the Obelisk Eye will give you a much better Hero Power anyway.
- Firetree Witchdoctor: To see if you discover an extra healing card and plan your Hero Power switches accordingly.
- Netherspite Historian: Beautifully annoying stats for turn 1-2, might be able to bounce some heals off her.
- Shadowform: Only if you have calculated your Obelisk quest correctly!
- Duskbreaker: Keeps the enemies very much at bay, gives you leeway to restore health to your minions.
- Book Wyrm: Great for going behind enemy lines, at this point in the game there's bound to be some pesky Taunt minions guarding your opponent's skinnier, but lucrative minions.
- Shadowform: Again, should be safe to play at this point in the game.
- Zerek, Master Cloner: Pesky, which is what this deck is all about. Most of your spells are buffs, so he is a good fit for this deck. Can be annoying coupled with Embalming Ritual.
- Nightscale Matriarch: Combined with Obelisk Eye, can reduce the board to ashes decently fast.
- Ysera If your opponent does not have any hard removal, Ysera can keep climbing and climbing with Obelisk Eye. See if you can get an Inner Fire from Firetree Witchdoctor).
- Shadowform: It is still viable to play in the end-game! That's why I gave you two!
Card Analysis & Replacements
Ysera: Replacements are as follows: Chillmaw for an expensive option with good removal, Scaled Nightmare as a sort of expensive option with good Obelisk Eye synergy, or Bone Drake, a dragon that gives you more dragons. There can never be enough dragons.
Zerek, Master Cloner: Tough to replace, but not irreplaceable. Cairne Bloofhood and his similar Deathrattle comes to mind. Spirit of the Dead keeps other cards from not dying, and with dragons being too beefy, costing 1 mana is sure to be useful. If you can buff the Spirit to survive for a while (with Obelisk Eye), it could become very valuable.
Twilight Acolyte: The most interesting card in this deck, in my opinion. It allows you to steal big minions' attack, which comes in handy against crazy decks such as Pogo-Hopper Rogue, however, you need to play it in just the right time for it to be effective. If you do not have this card but have Vol'jin, he can be a decent replacement as well. They are opposites, yet simply robbing an enemy minion of a huge chunk of its stats (no matter the stat) is valuable enough. A less effective but something useful card could also be Confuse, though there is no stealing, so what's the point.
This week's theme has been a wild ride (as you can see from this 10,000 page manifesto I just wrote) and I was surprised by how effective switching Hero Powers has been in clutch situations. I can only make decks with Hero Powers I have access to, so could someone please try out Majordomo Executus + Amara, Warden of Hope for me? Thanks!