Hello again. This week I'm going to talk about blue Warlock to compliment my article last week on red Warlock. This deck interestingly has the opposite problem as last week's deck: it is very good against Hunter but not so good against other more controlling decks. So we have a problem like last week, but what do we do about it? Well, in this case we have a new set to look at so that really should be the first stop. Are there any new cards that apply a lot of pressure to more defensive decks?
The first card that catches my eye is [Thrall the World-Shaman]. He is a powerful cheap ally. Sure, they can kill him but it is pretty hard to do it for less than his cost. The only real option there is [Chains of Ice] and that is very risky against [Miniature Voodoo Mask]. I've also added [Nether Vision] from the new set. This deck needs to balance early game defense with the ability to generate enough threats later on and another search effect helps with this.
One of the reasons this deck is so much better against Hunter is the hero's flip. It gives you a good turn 2 play and makes [Boundless Hellfire] much more powerful. Simply trading off allies will slowly improve your position. You also have a number of very powerful defensive cards and [Thrall the World-Shaman] is still perfectly fine against Hunter. You have a number of answers to their [Viewless Wings] and [Leader of the Pack] combo in [Jeishal] and [Signed in Blood], and you can sometimes just take 20 if you are only full health anyway.
Hero: [Soul-Eater Morgania]
4 [Faenis the Tranquil]
4 [Edwin VanCleef]
4 [Magni, the Mountain King]
4 [thrall the world-shaman]
3 [Graddis Battlebeard]
2 [Vanessa VanCleef]
1 [Al'Akir the Windlord]
1 [Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage]
1 [Malfurion Stormrage]
4 [Banish Soul]
3 [nether vision]
3 [Miniature Voodoo Mask]
4 [Life Tap]
4 [Boundless Hellfire]
2 [Summoning Portal]
2 [Throne of the Tides]
4 [Haunting Witch Hill?]
2 [Signed in Blood]
You will note that this deck doesn't run the [Winter Veil Disguise Kit] or [Sarmoth]. This is because that combo only really helps against aggressive decks, something this deck is already good against. So no matter how good something is, making your good match-ups even better at the expense of your worse ones is pretty horrible. You could however just play [Winter Veil Disguise Kit] on its own in this deck. Unlike [Sarmoth], it is fine with a number of your cards. Protecting [Thrall the World-Shaman] or [Faenis the Tranquil] is very powerful and is certainly worth considering. You could also add in [King Genn Graymane] or just one [sarmoth] then. The issue is this combo takes up a lot of deck slots which could be better used for match-ups that you struggle with.
Now I'm going to give you an idea of how to play this deck. This is very much a mid-range deck and you need to adapt to the match up. If they are aggressive, you can be the control deck, play the long drawn out game, and win later on with your powerful big allies. You want to prevent early damage and not take too many risks. Later on you can be more aggressive to close the game out but you can normally heal enough that you don't need to hurry. The opposite is true against more controlling decks. You won't always win the late game so you need to apply more pressure early on. [Thrall the World-Shaman] helps a lot here, as the very threat of him attacking multiple times makes them play more defensively. Even if you can't kill them early on, if they are threatened they might have to row late game cards or not set up as well. This is particularly relevant against Death Knight as they rely on [Etched Dragonbone Girdle] to draw cards and it is very easy for you to kill it with four [Jeishal] and a number of cards that search for it. This means they will end up low on cards, so forcing them to expend those cards on your allies early will weaken them further. This is not to say you can't win the late game, just that you should apply pressure early on.
This assignment of roles is very important when you are building decks in the first place too. If you plan on being a late game control deck then you need to make sure your late game trumps theirs. There isn't much point getting there if you end up losing anyway. The other way around is pretty important as well. If you are trying to be a hyper aggressive deck then you need to make sure other aggro decks aren't just faster than you. Of course you can afford to be slower than them as long as you interact with them and slow them down. In the middle you have mid-range style decks. In this case it is important to make sure you aren't just a bad version of one of the other options. A deck that can only win in the late game but doesn't have the finishers or one that tries to be aggressive but can't finish out the game early on is not what you want to be playing.
This is pretty hard to tell just by looking at options, so testing is what you mostly need here. With practice you will be able to figure out what role you should be taking with any deck in any match-up and when you should shift gears inside the match-up. But to start with just figuring out what your deck wants to do is good too. This is a pretty complicated subject and I will try and expand it into a full article at a later date.
Well that is all for this week. Next week I'm going to move onto another class rather than looking at Monster Warlock, as much as everyone loves a Warlock deck. If anyone has a class they'd really like me to take a look at, feel free to suggest it.