- Guardians of N'Zoth
- Control Hunter
Update 5/28: I still run this version in Casual to have fun with some of the cards that don't see play, but it's definitely too slow for the current meta.
As a result, at D5 I've been tinkering with the following changes:
-1x Animated Broomstick
-2x Lake Thresher
-2x Darkmoon Tonk
-2x Guardian Animals
-2x Runaway Blackwing
+2x Mystery Winner
+2x Bonechewer Brawler
+1x Taelan Fordring
+2x Claw Machine
+2x Plagued Protodrake
This lowers the curve a good bit while adding in some additional draw now that we can't thin via Guardian Animals. However, this still doesn't feel fast enough against Paladin in particular so we may need to sacrifice some N'Zoth consistency to run Kolkar Pack Runner if we really want to climb with it.
The buff to N'Zoth, God of the Deep opened up combos with Animated Broomstick and of course we gotta get in on that action :D
This is the list I've been testing out lately as it utilizes a few cards I never really play like Guardian Animals and Runaway Blackwing. It's been pretty fun so far but I'll update it as it gets more refined.
Every tribe is represented only once so you know exactly what you'll get back from N'Zoth, with the exception of the beast tribe which has 2 options:
- Demon - whichever random Demon Companion you've generated
- Quilboar - Death's Head Cultist
- Beast - Lake Thresher or Trampling Rhino
- Mech - Darkmoon Tonk
- Dragon - Runaway Blackwing
With this line-up you'll almost always re-take the board on Turn 10 as well as possibly push some damage depending on whether you get the 2/1 demon with charge, Trampling Rhino, and/or kill off Tonk.
Pretty simple as you'll usually keep anything less than 5-mana.
However, I won't keep Animated Broomstick and typically don't keep Tracking either.
And then against known aggro classes (like Hunter) I'll toss Kazakus, Golem Shaper and usually Professor Slate as well.
- Turn 1 - Demon Companion or remove a threat with Arcane Shot
- T2 - Hero Power or remove a threat with Quick Shot or Bola Shot (Bola only if you have to, e.g. to kill a Gibberling against Token Druid)
- T3 - Mankrik or Death's Head Cultist; from this turn on you can also start combo'n your spells with Bloodmage Thalnos
- T4 - Kazakus, Golem Shaper
- T5 - ideally Trampling Rhino, a 5-mana Golem, or Barak Kodobane (if you've played Mankrik already, and sometimes even if you haven't just to thin the deck); Lake Thresher is an option too, especially if you don't have an Animated Broomstick
- T6 - ideally Thresher + Broomstick otherwise this is a mix-and-match turn
- T7 - Darkmoon Tonk
- T8 - Guardian Animals or Tonk + Broomstick
- T9 - Runaway Blackwing
- T10 - N'Zoth, God of the Deep + Broomstick
Try to save Tracking for when you're missing a specific piece. Common targets are Animated Broomstick, N'Zoth, God of the Deep, Professor Slate/Bola Shot, or Mankrik's wife.
Late in the game keep in mind that your win condition may include building a 1-mana or 5-mana Golem with Spell Damage to combo with Arcane Shot, Quick Shot, and Bloodmage Thalnos.
Keep track of how many tribes you've played as you want to make sure you have the board space to play Broomstick when you drop N'Zoth and may need to kill off someting on your side beforehand.
Card Package Justification
Arcane Shot, Quick Shot, Bloodmage Thalnos - Spell damage that helps you survive early and can also provide lethal if drawn late. The spells also have a high chance to be drawn from Barak Kodobane. Arcane shot is included instead of Wound Prey as the 1/1 hyena soils our beast pool for N'Zoth.
Bola Shot, Professor Slate - I love this combo although I know it's not popular amongst the pros. However, it may be more justified in this list as we're not running Kolkar Pack Runner because those 1/1s also soil our beast pool for N'Zoth. Keep in mind that Bola Shot synergizes with Bloodmage Thalnos for 3 extra damage.
Guardian Animals - The deck needed a Turn 8 play and this looked like the strongest option for reclaiming the board without leaning more into Deathrattles for Jewel of N'Zoth. This card also ensures that we'll have beasts dead for N'Zoth and Lake Thresher has value outside of Guardian Animals because we're playing Animated Broomstick.
Runaway Blackwing - One of the few dragons that has an immediate board impact, although Sleepy Dragon is another option.
You could sacrifice some N'Zoth efficiency for a stronger early game to survive the likes of Paladin. For example, swap out Arcane Shot, Bloodmage Thalnos, and 1 copy of Demon Companion for Wound Prey and Kolkar Pack Runner. Replacing Bola Shot + Professor Slate is another option.
Card draw hasn't been a big issue for me yet, but I could see it becoming one. You could increase your draw by including Scavenger's Ingenuity + Sphere of Sapience for Bola Shot + Professor Slate. Or you could swap out Darkmoon Tonk for Claw Machine.
Moonfang and Venomous Scorpid are also possibilities to replace Lake Thresher and/or Trampling Rhino in the Guardian Animals package.
And you could replace the Guardian Animals package with a Jewel of N'Zoth package centered around Teacher's Pet and possibly Taelan Fordring. In this scenario you could also replace Runaway Blackwing with Plagued Protodrake as you can still get immediate value on T9 when playing Protodrake with Broomstick.
There are lots of ways you could take this and if I find success with any alterations I'll post updates at the top of the guide. Until then...
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