8/8/2011 10:42:00 AM
So the good folks over at Cryptozoic dropped quite a bombshell this last week. For those of us that live under a rock, Crypto has officially changed the rotation of the Core Format, dropping it from the three most current blocks down to the two most recent blocks. While some of where counting on activating Tuskarr Kite
s for another year, sadly we're not going to. The big announcement was preceded by last week's announcement of the Block format as the format du jour for States as well as DMF:Philly.
Normally I wouldn't be very interested in Block decks but as we're only adding one set to make the new Core format, exploring Block gives us a large leg up on Core. As a deck builder, a smaller card pool does make for an easier time brewing. Some would argue that a smaller card pool cuts down on creativity and only allows for a few decks to be dominant; I'd disagree. In my testing of Block over the last couple of days, I've tested six different ideas and all seemed very viable.
In my capacity as host of “A Question of Gluttony Podcast”(shameless plug, I know, but find the podcast right here at TCGplayer.com), I've had the opportunity to speak to some of the greatest minds that this game has to offer. A few months back, I interviewed Stuart Wright, whose mastery of all things WoWTCG is well known. He's been the creator of some of the most popular archetypes from the last 5 years of WoWTCG. One of my questions to Stuart was how does he create such powerful decks? His basic response was along of the lines of, “I examine the format, determine the most powerful cards, and put them together in a deck.” It's a very simple concept but it's much harder to actualize.
With Stuart's words of wisdom in mind, I decided to look at The Worldbreaker
block and determine the best cards. My basic idea was that I felt allies would be a large part of any game, so I wanted a deck that could deal with allies. There aren't any board sweeps to speak of in Worldbreaker block, save Outbreak
. Alright, Outbreak
is situational, but being a one-sided wipe seemed pretty strong so Death Knight stood out from the get go. Another key to a solid deck is card draw so I looked at that next. I'm sure that anyone who has looked at the quests in the block has noticed how badly they suck and sadly, there are no Tuskarr Kite
s either. Luckily, Crypto has given us a very effective card drawing engine in the Etched Dragonbone Girdle/Twilight Citadel. By getting both of those cards into play (which isn't hard as one is a location and the other only costs 2), you can effectively pay 2 resources to create a 1/1 Twilight Dragonkin and then exhaust the Girdle to draw 2 cards. Paying 2 to draw 2 that's repeatable every turn? Sign me up.
The Girdle/Twilight Citadel combo isn't exclusive to Death Knights so then the questions becomes, how to I shut off the other Plate wearers combo? Withering Decay
is a disease, which while attached to a hero, makes all their allies -1 health, thus turning off my opponent's combo as well as his little drops. Withering Decay
is a disease, so I thought, why not include Chains of Ice? In Block, it's not shabby pseudo-removal and allows me to search for a disease that I may need. The obvious play against an aggressive deck is Chain their early drop and search out Withering Decay
, thus hurting their board position on turn 4 as well as setting you up for an epic -4/-4 board wipe with Outbreak
After some testing and tweaking, I settle on this:
HERO Ayaka Winterhoof
QUESTS AND LOCATIONS (12)
4 Challenge to the Black Flight
4 Twilight Citadel
MASTER HERO (1)
1 Ysera the Dreamer
4 Etched Dragonbone Girdle
2 Akirus the Worm-Breaker
4 Obsidian Drudge
4 Obsidian Drakonid
4 Blood Chill
4 Frost Fever
4 Withering Decay
4 Chains of Ice
4 Frozen Core
4 Death Strike
4 Black Death
2 Dark Simulacrum
For those that have never played a Disease deck, this list may seem a little strange. You win by landing a bunch of Diseases? You can't even pump the damage? The deck really is possible because of the hero flip. While paying four is pretty costly, she essentially doubles the damage of your Diseases as she lets you Heal
the damage off. With only one Disease, it's not very impressive, but imagine dealing 5 or 6 a turn and healing that much? It's really not very hard to win after that point.
As I mentioned earlier, you've got Outbreak
and Withering Decay
to keep your opponent's board in check. You wouldn't believe what a single Withering Shout
can do to an opposing board. Being an ability also makes it much harder to deal with, especially in Block.
Death Knight also happens to have one of the best Counterspell
s in the game with Strangulate
allows you to play out your Diseases and then counter any potentially fatal abilities such as Frozen Fury
or an Aspect of the Wild
or Earth and Moon
. To compliment Strangulate
, I'm also testing Dark Simulacrum
. I'm not sure of its power in Block but the I felt the combination was too good to not try.
The allies are simply my ability and equipment destruction. Twilight Citadel/Girdle gives me a very convenient sacrifice outlet to activate the Drudges/Drakonid's power, as well as giving me the flexibility to just sacrifice the bigger Dragonkin directly is needed. In the same vein, I included Akirus the Worm-Breaker
. It's a given that we'll be seeing Dragonkin in Block, so why not include a weapon that gets bigger every time one dies? At worst, I sac my Citadel tokens to draw two a turn and pump the weapon +1 each time. It's not a weapon I'm 100% sold on, but the swing cost is nice (a paltry 1) and it does allow me to get in some huge Death Strikes.
and my hero flip give me the all important time to get my board set up. Death Strike's cheap cost and the fact that is has the potential to afford a huge board swing really appealed to me. Deal 6 damage to an ally and then Heal
6? Yeah that seems solid. Frozen Core
was a card that I first noticed drafting Twilight of the Dragons. Though Block aggro isn't quite as fast as aggro has been in the past, you're still facing down cards like Onnerka, Rosalyn, and Daggax. Frozen Core
just outright kills early drops and severely neuters anything else (making it -2/-2).
I really feel that Death Knight has the ability to be a strong control deck moving forward in Block. You've got solid ability interruption, healing, ally control, and solid draw, essentially everything a control deck is looking for. The deck still needs some testing but it's a serious contender for the upcoming states tournament in September. As always, I'd like to hear what you think. Shoot me an email at email@example.com
with any comments, questions or concerns.