Of all the questlines, Warlock has definitely gotten one of the more interesting ones as the hero power puts in significantly more work than for the other classes. At the rather high cost of 15 net health, the class finally has a tool to redirect all the damage they receive on their turn to the opponent instead, which for a class that can hit fatigue rather quickly, means a ton of damage that adds up quickly. However, not only are quest decks normally weak to aggressive decks, but we are also actively trying to take damage to complete the quest. Can we expect to complete the quest fast enough while still staying healthy?
Parameters for the Statistics
Before jumping into the breakdown, I would first like to give the conditions behind a lot of the calculations you will see in this article and almost all the future ones. In every scenario, I assume the player goes first and hard mulligans everything but the questline to find the key cards to accomplish the quest, and then prioritizes completing the questline with the hypothetical opponent not applying much pressure. In addition to that, unless a percentage is stated, assume that the given scenario will happen 50% of the time. With this out of the way, let us dive into this questline!
Quest Completion Breakdown
In addition to our hero power, we have a couple other toys to play around with that can help hurt ourselves relatively quickly. Of these, the most interesting ones are Unstable Shadow Blast and Stealer of Souls. While it is hard to determine what the average health of the meta game will be after United in Stormwind comes out, the current average for a couple of the current top meta decks are 3.56 for Face Hunter, 3.91 for Elemental Shaman, 3.87 for Deathrattle Demon Hunter, and finally, 4.81 for Rush Warrior. When you include the fact that more often than not you will be using this to clear early game minions, we can expect to take 2-3 damage from Unstable Shadow Blast. As for the more interesting way of damaging ourselves, Stealer of Souls has the ability to complete the quest by itself provided enough lucky draws. On average, when we draw a card with Stealer of Souls on the field, we can expect it to cost around 2.89 health per draw. This means that if Stealer of Souls stays on board for a single turn, we can expect to complete any 1 step of the questline, if not more. We can expect to draw it on average on turn 3, provided we tapped on turn 2. Due to how messy Stealer of Souls can make the calculations, I am not going to use any damage it may give us for the rest of the calculations, resulting in the quest possibly looking worse than it actually is.
Something else to go over is the math behind the Soul Fragment mechanic, as staying alive to finish the quest is just as important as actually finishing it. Calculating the odds of hitting multiple Soul Fragments in a row is completely dependent on the ratio between the fragments in deck and cards left in deck, so instead we are going to use a formula to use at a given time, this being x/y * (x-1)/(y-1) * (x-2)/(y-2) etc, where X is the soul fragments in deck and y is the total number of cards in deck at the start. You can repeat the pattern for however many soul fragments you want to draw consecutively.
As for the first step of the quest, taking 6 damage is not very difficult. This equates to only 3 life taps, meaning if we are rushing the quest we can finish this step on turn 4 through tapping alone. This also means that we have most likely conceded any notion of board control, which is not the best idea. We can substitute one of the taps for Unstable Shadow Blast or Tour Guide and tap, which we can expect to have seen a copy of either of them by turn 2 67% of the time. As for our larger self-damage sources, these being Raise Dead and Backfire, we can also expect to have also seen a copy of either by turn 2 67% of the time. Unfortunately, Raise the Dead might be uncastable, lowering the chances of a 3 damage source to turn 3, provided we tapped turn 2. This unfortunately leaves us at 5/6 for the quest, which is incredibly awkward. Either way, this step of the quest can be expected to be completed on turns 4-5, depending if you missed a turn tapping to remove something off the board.
The second step is more of the same, but with a slightly higher number. Relying on tapping alone, we can expect to finish this step on turn 8. Having either of our 3 damage sources reduces the amount of tapping from 4 taps all the way down to 2, meaning we can shave off 2 turns. At this point our Raise Dead will almost always be online, and thus the chances we have drawn 1 on turn 4 is 78%. If we were to have cast one for the earlier step, we would need in total about 7 draws to see another, which coincidentally is also on turn 4, provided we have tapped every turn, otherwise it is turn 5. All this means is that we can expect to be done by turn 6-7 if we use one of the 3 damage spells, and turn 8 if we do not.
This brings us to the final step of the quest, where we need 8 damage. Once again, tapping alone will finish this step in 4 turns meaning it can range from turns 10-12 depending on the methods to get here. However, this step can also be finished conveniently through two 3 damage spells and a tap. If we have not cast any of them, there is a 75% chance we’ll find it two by turn 8, provided we have tapped 3 times. If we were to cast one and still want to draw them by turn 8, we would have to tap 6 times. If we need all 4, we can expect to have them all by the time we have 4 cards left in the deck, meaning that you really should not spend two of them on the earlier stages. It should be noted that every turn after turn 8, we would need to tap 1 less time per case, as well as that Unstable Shadow Blast only does 2 damage to us, meaning that the odds are a bit higher if you can use that card to deal more damage. Adding this all up and we can expect to be done with this step by turns 9-12, depending on when we first arrive at the step and on what methods we use to complete it.
Now let us talk about the reward we get, that being Blightborn Tamsin. Tamsin is a bit awkward in that by the time you complete the quest, you will most likely have burnt through a lot of the self damage tools in the deck, meaning you have to rely on your hero power. Two mana to deal 2 to the opponent and draw a card is pretty decent, but you would expect more from a questline reward. However, once we hit fatigue, that damage starts racking up incredibly fast. Assuming we tap every turn in fatigue, we will deal 36 damage to the opponent when we are 4 turns into fatigue, assuming we do not draw any extra besides from Life Tap. As a result, this deck wants to draw a ton, which works very well along with the questline steps. So killing the opponent once you get Tamsin is not hard, but reaching that point is very difficult depending on the matchup. The individual questline step rewards might as well not exist as healing for 6 is not a big deal when the questline wants you to hit yourself for 21.
What are your thoughts on Warlock's Questline? The effect is without a doubt incredibly powerful for a late game control wincondition, but I fear that you will just be killing yourself too fast to have it work out in the average matchup, even with the help of some very strong healing cards. The quest can be completed quickly, especially with Stealer of Souls putting in a ton of work, but the lack of stabilizing tools for when we finish the quest, but have not started fatiguing, makes me skeptical on whether this questline will be viable or not.
Learn More About Stormwind's Other Questlines
We have a whole series of articles planned for the questlines. Here's everything published so far:
- Demon Hunter's Final Showdown Legendary Questline
- Druid's Lost in the Park Legendary Questline
- Hunter's Defend the Dwarven District Legendary Questline
- Mage's Sorcerer's Gambit Legendary Questline
- Paladin's Rise to the Occasion Legendary Questline
- Priest's Seek Guidance Legendary Questline
- Rogue's Find the Imposter Legendary Questline
- Shaman's Command the Elements Legendary Questline
- Warlock's The Demon Seed Legendary Questline
- Warrior's Raid the Docks Legendary Questline