Howdy! This week, we're taking a look at a mechanic that Hearthstone has not yet fully explored: End of turn effects. By not fully explored, I mean that the mechanic has not received as much support as others have - support to be able to build entire decks around it successfully. We will attempt to find some funky combos where it can shine!
We need the following two cards in order to make that happen:
Obelisks, Harbingers of the End
This bad boy relies on effective counters and Arcane Artificer armor stacking to survive long enough to bring forth the Obelisk Plague. It's tough to pull off, but the results are awesome!
The goal is to pull off this combo: Drakkari Enchanter + Desert Obelisk x3. How do we go about doing that?
First up, we need Emperor Thaurissan to reduce the cost of a bunch of stuff, however, we need that cost to be reduced at least twice. As such, we have to employ the use of Molten Reflection to get two in the same turn. Do not risk anything else - the Emperor is notorious for only surviving one round.
These are the cards that need to be cost reduced: Desert Obelisk + Faceless Manipulator + Drakkari Enchanter + Molten Reflection
If you manage to reduce the cost of all of them by only one, your total mana cost to play them all in one turn would be 13. We can't have that. If you reduce the cost by 2, then the total cost will be a cool 9 mana! Pulling this combo off will have the Desert Obelisks deal a whopping 30 damage in one turn. This will spell destruction against most opponents, especially if you have chipped away at their health throughout the game. Play the Desert Obelisk, make copies of it with the Faceless Manipulator and Molten Reflection, then drop the Drakkari Enchanter and you're good to go!
- Ancient Mysteries - Great card, helps you cycle through your deck, getting your combo cards faster, and grants +2 to your Raid the Sky Temple quest.
- Counterspell - The more you deny your opponent plays early on, the better. Just make sure your opponent has used up their Coin if they went second!
- Ethereal Arcanist - Lovely minion that grows in power very fast. If you already cast Ice Block, you should have no issue getting the most out of this card for as long as it's in play.
- Arcane Artificer - Now that you've racked up some mana, you can start using the Artificers to build up some armor if you've got a couple spells lined up in your hand, or if you're certain they won't get removed right after you end your turn.
- Archmage Antonidas - You should already have your Quest completed by this point. Summon him, use those random discounted spells, get a lot of removal to be able to handle your opponent's endgame while you bring the pieces of your combo together.
- Emperor Thaurissan & The Combo Brigade - Only play Thaurissan when you are able to duplicate him, and when you have all the pieces to your combo in your hand!
Card Analysis & Replacements
It's a bit tough to find replacements to cards since the cheap ones are easy to get, and the expensive ones are crucial to the deck's combo wombo, but let's try!
Archmage Antonidas: To replace this champ, we need to look at its positives and negatives. It's a great card for generating removal yet, on the other hand, its cost is rather high and can feel clunky to play at times, while also getting the most out of him. Since we're in Wild, I would suggest the Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron. In wild, this card has access to a great pool of spells, and it is more effective due to the high about of positive spells in that pool. You might be unlucky and end up drawing the rest of your deck, but this spell tends to work in your favor more often than not!
Emperor Thaurissan: If you do not have the Emperor, consider using Luna's Pocket Galaxy instead. Because you cannot play it right at the start, it cannot guarantee that your combo will be fully playable in one turn, however, if you manage to play it before you get one of your combo minions in your hand, the combo will be much easier to play. High risk, high reward.
C'thun, End of All Things
All hail the end of ends. This deck does not have a signature move unless you count C'thun. It's just a Control deck with lots of end of turn effects! This gives you more mobility in what you choose to do with your Drakkari Enchanters, adapting to whichever situation you find yourself in.
Now, C'Thun is pretty self-explanatory, so we'll skip through him. The only thing of note here is that Twilight Elder can be used in conjunction with Drakkari Enchanter, but is not the optimal play.
There's a whole platoon of beefy, juicy minions in this deck. C'thun's minions will keep you safe and engaged with the board while you build up mana to summon the big guys. Follow your gut and you should be fine! You may have seen the two Bloodsworn Mercenary I included in this deck. I have added them as an alternative to doubling your end of turn effects, with the added bonus of getting another minion out of it. Only use those fellas on minions like The Lich King or Ysera!
Drakkari Enchanter and Bloodsworn Mercenary are finite, which means you need to get as much value as you can out of them. I have compiled a list of cards with end of turn effects in this deck, and how valuable they are when used in conjunction with these two cards:
- "Meh" value - Twilight Elder, Armagedillo, Archmage Vargoth
- "Okay" value - Grimy Gadgeteer, Emperor Thaurissan
- Awesome value - Big Bag Archmage, Ysera, The Lich King, Ragnaros the Firelord
The Armagedillo only has a few cards to combo off of, and Archmage Vargoth is there mainly to double-proc any spells you get from The Lich King or Ysera, so they are your backups in case something went wrong with your better cards.
Card Analysis & Replacements
Armagedillo: It's never bad to buff up your Taunt minions, especially in the case of someone such as The Lich King or the Crazed Worshipper, however, I understand if the Armagedillo's effect is a bit too small in this deck for you! As such, I would suggest replacing him with some manner of removal - something this deck has a bit less than you'd generally want. Another Brawl is a good choice, as well as a smaller removal such as Bash. If you're into more minions, however, I would suggest Heavy Metal!, which is really easy to enable after you've played an Ancient Shieldbearer with its Battlecry active.
Archmage Vargoth: Another one of our sub-par end of turn x2 plays, I would suggest swapping this fellow for something that gives you more value and more options. Dragon Roar is a decent option, and you might get an extra Ysera out of it, while Blood Warriors would give you an awesome power spike if played properly (after a Warpath or a sequence of good trades). Alternatively, if you feel this deck has room for more high-cost cards, Dimensional Ripper should do the trick.
Ragnaros, Fiery End
Remember this deck from the third Meme of the Week? While similar, the deck I have listed above focuses on one big bad: Ragnaros the Firelord. And this guy will burn everything in his wake.
You could argue I should have called this deck some sort of pun surrounding the word "emperor", however, all I could come up with were puns related to Disney films. This deck has a simple goal: Multiply Ragnaros as much as you can on the board.
Emperor Wraps is great in that, it is the maximum "end of turn effect" booster out there right now. It's infinite and it only costs 2 mana!
Ideally, you'd want to reduce the cost of the Drakkari Enchanter and Ragnaros with your Emperor Thaurissan twice, so make sure you play him and then instantly cast Emperor Wraps on him. Once that is done, next turn you can end up doing 24 damage with 2 Rag... Ragnari? Ragnaroses? Ragnarooses?
- Call to Adventure: A nice little boost to a minion!
- Sandbinder: No matter what you draw, it will be useful and you will get closer to getting those few cards you need to unleash the Ragnarooses upon your opponent's men.
- Any other low-cost minion (Especially Reborn minions, you want to finish your Quest as soon as possible)
- Grimestreet Enforcer - Ideally, you want to play this and also copy it with your Hero Power, but you have two of them in your deck already! Don't feel hesitant to play him, it'll help a lot, especially if you can buff the Drakkari Enchanter as much as possible. He's pretty beefy to begin with, but he might be out in the open for a bit in some situations, so it's always good to make sure he's as safe as possible for at least one turn.
- Ivory Knight - If you have to choose between which healing cards to play, always go for the Knight first. His Discover ability is very strong, and later in the game, you might be in a safe enough spot that you won't need his potential healing that much, so the earlier he is used, the better.
- Quicksand Elemental - Even though he can technically be played at any point and he'll be useful, the mid-game tends to contain the most minions with annoying stats (low attack, big health, or other factors that encourage sub-optimal trading)
- Siamat - Use for awesome removal.
- Emperor Thaurissan - Again, be ready to play this guy and instantly copy him. Make sure you have Ragnaros and the Drakkari Enchanter in your hand.
- Ragnaros the Firelord - Your end-game. The night of a thousand Ragnaroosters. Play Ragnaros. Play Drakkari Enchanter. Copy Ragnaros. Win.
- Drakkari Enchanter - Your end-game. The night of... a single Enchanter. Play Ragnaros. Play the Enchanter. Copy Ragnaros. Win.
Card Analysis & Replacements
Tol'vir Stoneshaper & Khartut Defender - I enjoy variety in my decks, hence why I have put one of each of those fellas in this deck. They are, however, interchangeable! Feel free to swap one for another. Even their art looks recycled, so the difference will barely be felt!
I would like to highlight a few spells. Blessing of Wisdom is not here for you. It's here to cripple an enemy minion. Use it whenever you please, just make sure it puts a stop to your opponent's strategy for at least one turn!
Rebuke is another lovely card. If it was in your hand while you were doing your Thaurissan cost reduction play, use it on the turn your summon the Ragnaroosters. This will further ensure your opponent cannot completely wipe the floor with your board. If they have some scary minions, your Ragnaroosters will take care of them.
Desperate Stand is yet another card. While it is very versatile, your best use of it is on one of our Ragnaroosters or the Drakkari Enchanter, making sure your combo can survive almost any board clear aside from Plague of Death.
Why is Holy Wrath here? Sure, there are better cards for drawing when you're running a non-Shirvallah deck, however, this one is too much fun to not include. You do not need crazy card draw, so you might as well use this one and do some damage, instead of Divine Favor or Solemn Vigil.
There's a lot of design space left to be explored around cards with end of turn effects. There was a Rogue deck that I ended up scrapping for this article, that tried to harness the power of Serpent Ward to deal up to 24 damage in one turn to the enemy hero, but the cards needed to make it work are not here yet. I'm looking forward to exploring more of this part of the game as time goes on, so hopefully, there is something in store for these kinds of decks!