It is the start of an entirely new format. We have two new kids on the block and they mean big business. For those of you who have yet to see the set, there are two new suits that have crash landed on our tables as the keywords Smash and Harmonize. It may not be so clear but one of these keywords has a power level far beyond that of anything we have experienced in the past.
Remember [Devout Aurastone Hammer]? Yeah, that card, it alone created a whole deck archetype last format that assisted many players to a Top 16 finish. It even helped a player win the previous Metamart 5k. Now I brought up that card in that its effect decreases the cost of allies. Harmonize does just that, decreasing the cost of any ally of cost four or more by one. Big deal! you can play a five drop for four. It's not like the TCG universe hasn't seen that before, right?
Well hold the door Mr. Critic…this effect stacks! Don’t drop your tongue. What can occur here is a multitude of effects decreasing the cost, the limit only being how many Harmonize cards you have in play. So if you have three Harmonize cards in play you can play a four drop for one resource. This is a very important connection to make when evaluating Crown of the Heavens. There exists a harmonize ally for each relevant cost leading up to the cost of five that anyone can play in their decks. These allies are as follows: [Keeper Sharus], [Keeper Balos], [Keeper Alinar], [Remulos,Son of Cenarious ], and [Muln Earthfury]. Another couple of cards worth mentioning on the Harmonize front are [Mark of the Ancients] and [Arisella, Daughter of Cenarius]. Following in the strategy of going all-in on Harmonize the deck can potentially cast a six drop ally for free and this isn’t too uncommon once the hero is flipped.
We all saw Jaron Tomsky’s fun take on this Druid hero over at the mothership. If you started with this list then you may find many familiar card choices in the list I want to expose, but first let us think of tokens. Remember that really explosive dragon rare from Worldbreaker? Yeah, [Korialstrasz]. He actually combos very well with the new four drop [Stonebranch, Ancient of War]. At first glance it seems like this combo is lackluster, but thanks to the power of Harmonize, we can easily see a very strong finish the turn you play your [Muln Earthfury]. So the game plan of the deck should be to play early Harmonize creatures, flip, then cast Muln while having four or five Harmonize effects to successfully cast [Korialstrasz] and [Stonebranch, ancient of War] in the same turn, of course playing the dragon first. Another card worth mentioning that pairs off with these two is [Ruby Protector], allowing your tokens to start saving your hero, which can buy you just the time you need to finish off your opponent the following turn.
This deck’s main goal ought to be to combo off as quickly as possible. Now, albeit this may not be the best strategy for Harmonize, it certainly puts you in the position to win the quickest. Harmonize has worked well in most cases, but there will often be games that which this plan may not work. To remedy that dilemma Jon Hudson and myself came to the conclusion that while [Avatar of the Wild] was a good option, we never resourced past four, so that also ruled out the new master hero [Cenarius, Lord of the Forest]. Considering we still wanted a plan when Harmonize, we just wouldn’t cut [Edwin VanCleef] and [Vanessa VanCleef] as they joined the list but most importantly we found that the old familiar card [Rebirth] had real potential in this strategy.
Of course [Gift of the Earthmother] is also in the mix. One nice thing about this deck is that it doesn’t get hurt by the new very popular [Miniature Voodoo Mask]. Before I reveal the list I want to talk about the [Grand Crusader] mirror match. Any of you find that using a [Faceless Sapper] to trade with a Rosalyn on turn 1 or even a drake is beneficial? I did, as for me anytime I was using Enrage I was either going for the kill or making the trade. Considering this deck is using harmonize to get to four drop allies, [Buldrug] can actually create many two for one trades against opposing aggro decks.
Hero: [Arisella, Daughter of Cenarius]
4 [Edwin VanCleef]
3 [Keeper Alinar]
3 [Vanessa VanCleef]
4 [Keeper Balos]
4 [Commander Ulthok]
4 [Remulos, Son of Cenarius]
4 [Muln Earthfury]
4 [Stonebranch, Ancient of War]
4 [Keeper Sharus]
2 [Ruby Protector]
4 [Gift of the Earthmother]
4 [Shadowfang Keep]
4 Seeds of Their Demise
3 Waking the Beast