- Yogg's Golem
- Yogg Hunter
Update 5/21: Got to D5, but it was definitely a grind and I went on losing streaks after reaching D6 with 3 stars like 5 times which was pretty demoralizing.
The list I finished the climb with subbed out 1 copy of Kindling Elemental with 1 copy of Strongman, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it given the pace of decks on the ladder atm. Honestly, if you want to climb to D5 or higher I'd probably go with a faster version like this one (though I'd definitely include Tracking as mentioned in the comments).
However, I'm still on the fence about going with Nagrand Slam over an 8-cost spell because 1) IMO the 8-mana minion pool is significantly better; 2) You typically have weak plays on T9 (and T8 if you coin or use Kindling to get Protector out on T7); and 3) You really want/need an empty board on T10 for Slam to get great value which is hard to achieve given the previous point. On the other hand, I think it's fair to point out that with only two 8-cost spells you can run into situations where Protector has nothing big to pull, but if you have three 8-cost cards in your hand on T7 or T8 you're probably in deep trouble already and only Scrapyard Colossus and maybe Darkmoon Rabbit could possibly save you from lethal if you included Slam. Alternatively, if you survive until the late game and your Protectors are buried, then you probably have Mankrik's wife in your deck which will be a guaranteed draw from Protector and provides nice value + another card. This was a long way of saying that I think it's worth the risk, although I'm only an average player so take that advice with a grain of salt ;)
Update 5/5: After seeing dapperdog's list on the front page, I've been testing out the following changes:
+2x Kindling Elemental
+2x Carrion Studies
-2x Death's Head Cultist
-1x Taelan Fordring
I took this iteration from Bronze 10 to Diamond 10 over the past 5 days and have been liking how it feels.
I never noticed the Kindling Elemental synergy before, but getting Primordial Protector out on Turn 7 (followed by Jewel of N'Zoth on T8) feels worth the risk of having a dead draw in the late game.
And while Death's Head Cultist and Taelan Fordring are useful situationally, Carrion Studies offers more flexibility as you can sometimes discover those cards when needed, but also have a shot at getting something like Darkmoon Tonk in the Warlock match-up. Carrion Studies is also nice in that it (feeds Yogg +) allows you to play Zixor, Apex Predator on Turn 2 or Teacher's Pet on Turn 4, the latter of which is especially nice when it's been buffed by Scavenger's Ingenuity.
I'm sad to lose Wandmaker as it felt pretty good, but I'll let ya know if I experiment with any other versions of this deck (e.g., running only 1 copy of Kindling Elemental). I may also re-write this entire guide as it's changed pretty significantly from the theorycraft I had in mind on Day 1 of Barrens.
Thoughts as of 4/26:
Note - I deleted the previous edits as I didn't realize there was a Card Change Log at the bottom of the page with that info!
Anyway, after more testing I made some changes based on performance and others based on the aggressive meta we're in at the moment. In particular:
- I dropped Nagrand Slam based on performance as the 10-mana minion pool is pretty weak after rotation. It stinks to lose one of our win conditions against the likes of Mage and Warlock, but the 8-mana minions I've gotten have been way better than the 10-mana ones so now we're running 2 copies of Jewel of N'Zoth.
You can see the 10-mana pool in the original guide below (TL;DR - it was pretty much Scrapyard Colossus or bust), but here are the 8-mana options:
- Good cards (immediate impact/protect face) - Al'Akir the Windlord, Coilfang Warlord, Enhanced Dreadlord, Grommash Hellscream (especially if you play a Protector on Turn 9 and have Wound Prey in hand), Illidari Inquisitor, Plagued Protodrake, Tirion Fordring, Troublemaker, and Turalyon, the Tenured
- OK cards (nice pile of stats) - Arcane Devourer (if it survives until your next turn), Flesh Giant, G'huun the Blood God, Supreme Abyssal
- Pretty bad cards (lackluster pile of stats) - Archwitch Willow, Beastmaster Leoroxx, Cenarius, High Exarch Yrel, Natalie Seline, Primordial Protector
I've also dropped Venomous Scorpid in the current version even though I really like the card. It just felt a turn too slow against Paladin in particular. Furthermore, I've dropped Deadly Shot to free up space to add:
- 2 copies of Kolkar Pack Runner as it really helps against all of the different Paladins as well as Face Hunter
- 1 copy of Wandmaker as it comes down earlier than Scorpid and synergizes with Kolkar + Yogg
- 2 copies of Teacher's Pet as targets for Scavenger's Ingenuity and Jewel of N'Zoth. The downside of this is that there are some 3-mana beasts with Deathrattle that can dilute your Jewel pool.
Note that we now run no 3-cost spells so Barak Kodobane's only target is Mankrik's wife which makes Mankrik a higher priority on the mulligan and from Tracking.
Other cards under consideration:
- Demon Companion as a proactive Turn 1 option and for the synergy with Kolkar Pack Runner (both as an activator and for the 1/2 demon that gives allies +1 attack)
- Darkmoon Tonk as a win condition when rezz'd against Control Warlock and slower decks in general
- Alternative card draw in the form of Voracious Reader, Sphere of Sapience, or Claw Machine
- Another 8-drop spell to increase the odds of one being in your deck for Primordial Protector to draw. Our only option is Guardian Animals which would require some additional beast support from the likes of Lake Thresher and probably Trueaim Crescent for when you draw Thresher early.
To fit these in we might have to drop:
- Scavenger's Ingenuity and Zixor, Apex Predator if we have other draw/win condition options
- Bola Shot and Professor Slate if we really lean into the midrange archetype...although this package still feels essential to deal with stuff like Rush Warrior
- Death's Head Cultist if we can survive the early game with Kolkar + activators. However, we have no other way to heal outside of Golems and randomly generated 8-drops so Cultist still feels pretty essential against Demon Hunter and the aggro decks.
I'll report back if I test out any of these ideas!
While the natural path for a Spell deck leads us to cards like Lock and Load and Kolkar Pack Runner, I believe these are false prophets and that Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate wishes us to go big in control this season!
With that in mind, I've tried to building off Primordial Protector and have been having fun with it in the few games I've played so far (3 for 4 but keep running into error msgs so I'm here to upload this for future tinkering). The current iteration also employs my favorite deckbuilding strategy of multiple strong packages: Professor Slate, small secret and deathrattle packages, Primordial Protector, and of course Yogg.
In theory we...
- Control the board on Turns 1-3 with spells and a few annoying minions
- Make a golem on T4 via Kazakus, Golem Shaper
- Reload on T5 with Barak Kodobane or draw Yogg/Primordial Protector/Zixor Prime with Taelan Fordring
- Continue controlling the board until we can drop Primordial Protector on Turn 8
- Protect our Primordial board on T9
- Keep the pressure on with the Nagrand Slam we drew off Primordial Protector
- When they think they're safe we drop Yogg and rejoice
Mystery Winner is usually kept, but otherwise what you're searching for depends on the match-up...
Against aggro we're looking for survivability:
Whereas against control we're looking for our tutors/deck thinners and strong midgame cards:
- Scavenger's Ingenuity (high priority)
- Kazakus, Golem Shaper
- Barak Kodobane or Taelan Fordring (mainly with coin)
Scavenger's Ingenuity curves out so well that I'll sometimes keep it in aggro matches too. In particular, it will always draw a 3-drop beast in the form of Zixor, Apex Predator or Venomous Scorpid which both provide pesky removal. Keep in mind that you can also save the 2nd copy to tutor Zixor Prime later in the game as four 6/6s is sometimes your win condition.
There are also only 3 deathrattle minions (Zixor, Death's Head Cultist, and Taelan Fordring) so you're guaranteed to get them back via Jewel of N'Zoth which will result in some taunts, healing, another Zixor Prime, and a big minion tutor. Hold off playing the 2nd Cultist to guarantee Zixor comes back if it looks like Zixor Prime is going to be your best win condition in a game.
Sticking with the rule of 3, there are 3 secrets so keeping a secret off Venomous Scorpid is a safe play in case you get Petting Zoo off Barak Kodobane.
Our Professor Slate package is just Bola Shot and Wound Prey so try to save those in control matches.
If you play Kazakus, Golem Shaper on curve then you'll often want to make a 5-cost Golem to play the next turn. Drawing 2 cards is great if you're ahead, but more often you'll be looking for Rush, Poison, or Lifesteal (if you combine latter two with the one that does 3 dmg to 2 minions then that dmg will also have Lifesteal/Poison respectively).
I found out that using the Coin doesn't count as "having mana" so you can't upgrade Tame Beast (Rank 1) a turn early.
There are 21 spells in the deck for feeding Yogg so he'll normally be happy by Turn 10. We run 17 spells naturally and then we can get 4 more through Mystery Winner and Venomous Scorpid.
Primordial Protector draws from all classes so the targets aren't as constrained as I first thought. doesn't seem to draw from other classes, at least not yet in my small sample size. I got Scrapyard Colossus all 3 times when drawing Nagrand Slam and got Supreme Abyssal once when drawing Jewel of N'Zoth. If you only get Neturals or Hunter cards, then...
- The 10 mana options include: Mordresh Fire Eye, C'Thun, the Shattered, Darkmoon Rabbit, Deathwing the Destroyer, N'Zoth, God of the Deep, Scrapyard Colossus, Y'Shaarj, the Defiler, and our boy Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate
- And 8 mana options are: Beastmaster Leoroxx, Arcane Devourer, Plagued Protodrake, Supreme Abyssal, and our boy Primordial Protector See the changes made on 4/26 for the list of 8-mana minions.
This deck is obviously still a work-in-progress and it's already gone through several iterations.
Earlier versions ran Guardian Animals instead of Jewel of N'Zoth and Moonfang instead of Zixor. I liked the idea of giving Venomous Scorpid rush, but odds are you'll have drawn your beasts with Scavenger's Ingenuity prior to being able to play Guardian Animals. And I really wanted to keep Scavenger's Ingenuity in as Hunter still has the notorious problem of drawing cards.
Replacing Kazakus would let us run Rinling's Rifle for Petting Zoo and Warsong Wrangler to thin our deck, but with the new season I wanted to make golems and that won't change anytime soon ;P
Also considered replacing Venomous Scorpid with Pack Kodo to have a chance at getting the Rifle even with Kazakus, but Scorpid plays better in the late game and becomes annoying to remove once it's buffed.
Our 3-cost spells aren't great (though I've always liked Deadly Shot), but I feel like you kinda have to keep them to run Barak Kodobane, and you kinda have to run him due to our limited draw options. I'll re-evaluate this after more testing, but until then...
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Card changes 5 months, 2 weeks ago (Quilboar Tribe)
Card changes 5 months, 4 weeks ago (Barrens Nerfs)
- Kolkar Pack Runner 2
- Wandmaker 1
- Teacher's Pet 2
- Venomous Scorpid -2
- Deadly Shot -2
- Nagrand Slam -2
- Jewel of N'Zoth -1
Card changes 6 months ago (Barrens Nerfs)
Card changes 6 months ago (Barrens Nerfs)