S22 – Part 2 – Riding the #1 bus

S22 Part 2 - Riding the #1 bus

Time for part 2 of this month’s top legend ladder decks. While new and innovative decks are still being played, midrange decks remain powerful and dominate the ladder right now. These decks all have the same thing in common: they try to take over the board from an early stage and then close out the game with burn / a sticky board that cannot be dealt with.

S22 Part 2 - Tech Out Zoo - Banner
Deck 1 (show/hide)
S22 Part 2 - Zoo

This very teched out zoo deck has kept Royal Club’s player DUKE #1 legend for over 2 weeks on the CN server. This deck has a bit of everything melted into one: the sudden burst of Leeroy Jenkins + Power Overwhelming and the ability to play a Sea Giant for free or almost no mana.

General Strategy

Your goal is to take control of the board very early and using that to snowball into a win. You want to be “flooding” the board in order to get the benefits of Gormok the Impaler or make Sea Giant very cheap to be played.

Keep control of the board and trade your weaker minions. When you are already far ahead you can just start cashing in the damage. Try to play around board clear abilities such as Hellfire or Consecration make sure to leave your Nerubian Egg / Haunted Creeper unpopped if possible.

General Mulligan

Mulligan hard for cheap minions like Voidwalker, Flame ImpKnife JugglerDark Peddler, Haunted Creeper.
Try to get a drop for every turn in your hand for example: T1 Flame Imp, T2 Nerubian Egg, Turn 3 Imp Gang Boss,…

When on the coin keeping Nerubian Egg + Abusive Sergeant/Power Overwhelming is a great combo. If you are not on the coin this combo might be too slow, mulligan for something more stable. Keeping Imp Gang Boss on the coin is also reasonable.

Notable Cards

Most decks are running a BGH-able target (Secret paladin, Dr. Boom) Abusive Sergeant can also buff your enemies 5+ attack minion to put it in BGH range.

Imp-losion, Haunted Creeper provide a lot of flood which makes Gormok the Impaler a great tech card.

A card that we have seen go in & out of zoo, it has a huge impact whenever your board is flooded due to the amount of efficient trades you can make with the divine shield or just finish your opponent with a Power Overwhelming + windfuried minion.

Almost standard in every zoo deck nowadays protects your board for at least one turn in order to set up lethal or cash in on a bunch of damage.

Sea Giant can really give you an edge in the mirror. It’s also good versus Secret Paladin that tends to have multiple minions on board constantly.

Can push in that extra damage, also combos great with other parts of your deck Power Overwhelming, Abusive Sergeant, Sea Giant, Dark Peddler also allows you to pick up an extra piece of burst such as Soulfire / Power Overwhelming.

Matchups

Favorable matchups: Druid, Tempo Mage, Aggro Shaman, Control Warrior
Unfavorable matchups: Freeze mage, Dragon / Lightbomb Priest, Patron, Renolock, Malylock

Tech Choices

The deck is already quite heavy teched out versus control so here are some the changes you make make when facing aggro.
Versus aggro: – Dire Wolf Alpha / – Enhance-o Mechano + Argent Squire / Mortal Coil

S22 Part 2 - Secret Paladin Phonetap - Banner
Deck 2 (show/hide)
S22 Part 2 - Secret Paladin

General Strategy

Secret Paladin focuses more on board control rather than just going “face”. Your 1-2 mana-cost minions (Shielded Minibot,Knife JugglerSecretkeeper,…) apply early pressure to generate a very strong early game. If you find your early game lacking, a turn 6-8 Mysterious Challenger / Dr. Boom play can just end the game.

You don’t always need the Mysterious Challenger to lock up the game. A [Secret Keeper] left unchecked can do ridiculous damage, or you can just win by value trading your opponent’s minions with Blessing of Kings / Coghammer. The deck is very versatile.

Keep in mind that if you are already far ahead on board, it’s no longer required to keep trading. You can just apply tons of pressure and hammer them down.

General Mulligan

Always keep: Secretkeeper (also keep Avenge / Noble Sacrifice if you already have a Secretkeeper), Shielded Minibot, Haunted Creeper, Muster for Battle, Knife Juggler

Paladin: Coghammer (When you have a decent curve)

Druid: Mysterious Challenger (if you have coin and they mulligan a lot of their cards)

Priest: Keeper of Uldaman

Shaman: Coghammer (When you have a decent curve], [Noble Sarifice]

Rogue: Truesilver Champion (only with coin)

Mage: Coghammer (When you have a decent curve)

Warrior: Mysterious Challenger (if you have coin)

Hunter: Noble Sacrifice

Notable Cards

I talked to my teammate JackkerTV about the strength of this secret (he hit rank 4 legend with secret paladin – http://sectorone.eu/top-4-eu-legend-in-depth-secret-paladin-guide/). “You have a 53% chance of drawing Mysterious Challenger before turn 6, playing the 5th secret is thus extremely good because it is played for free more than half the games. Besides, drawing it before turn 6 isn’t necessarily bad, because you are still fighting for board at that point.”

Matchups

Favorable matchups: The deck does very well against most matchups especially Control Warrior.

Unfavorable matchups: Freeze mage, Aggro Druid, Control Priest, Aggro Shaman, Patron.

Tech Choices

S22 Part 2 - Tempo Mage - Banner
Deck 3 (show/hide)
S22 Part 2 - Tempo Mage

Tempo Mage continues to be a powerful deck archetype in the metagame. The deck is also very fun to play, but take in mind that the deck has a lot of random effects that can be frustrating when the all the juggling probabilities don’t work as you planned. 

Silentstorm used this tempo mage deck created by Apxvoid to hit rank 1 legend!

General Strategy

The early-game turns are of extreme importance to this deck. You have plenty of synergy between your early game cards to provide you with a lead in the first few turns. The deck relies on utilizing spell synergy to take over the board early with Mana Wyrm, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Arcane Missiles, and Flamewaker making it extremely hard for your opponent to recover.

The Azure Drake and late game bombs such as Dr. Boom / Archmage Antonidas help you keep tempo during the mid & late game. Be sure to count your damage in hand sometimes all you need is to pick up that extra Frostbolt to turn the game into a win.

General Mulligan

Always try to mulligan hard for Mana Wyrm and Mad Scientist look at what can synergize with your hand ([Sorcerer’s Apprentice] + Arcane Blast) for example. Flamewaker becomes a lot better with the coin in hand but in most matchups you will steel need a turn 1 / 2 play. Below is a more in depth mulligan.

Druid: FlamecannonFrostboltMad ScientistMana WyrmSorcerer's Apprentice

Hunter: Arcane BlastArcane MissilesFlamewakerMad ScientistMana Wyrm, Sorcerer's Apprentice

Mage: Mad ScientistMana WyrmSorcerer's Apprentice Unstable Portal, Arcane Blast

Paladin: Arcane MissilesFlamewakerMad ScientistMana WyrmSorcerer's Apprentice, Arcane Blast, Unstable Portal

Priest: FlamecannonFrostboltMad ScientistMana WyrmSorcerer's Apprentice, Unstable Portal

Rogue: Mad ScientistMana WyrmSorcerer's ApprenticeUnstable Portal

Shaman Mad ScientistMana WyrmSorcerer's Apprentice, FrostboltFlamecannon, Flamewaker

Warlock: FlamewakerMad ScientistMana WyrmSorcerer's ApprenticeUnstable Portal, Arcane Intellect (Reno Lock)

Warrior: Mad ScientistMana WyrmSorcerer's Apprentice, FlamewakerFrostbolt

Notable Cards

Great card versus control allows you to duplicate a Piloted Shredder or even a bigger threat such as Archmage Antonidas

Matchups

Favorable matchups: Mid-Range Druid, Aggro Druid, Murloc Paladin, Aggro Shaman
Unfavorable Matchups: Freeze Mage, Control Priest, Zool

Tech Choices

S22 Part 2 - Aggro Shaman - Banner
Deck 4 (show/hide)
S22 Part 2 - Aggro Sham

We have seen the very aggressive mech shaman in the past with Fel Reaver, but it proved to be inconsistent. This new version of aggro shaman (created by Luffy) disregards mechs and focuses on Leper Gnome and charge minions aiming to end the game before their minions lack of value begins to matter.

“Demigod”, a respected shaman player embraced the aggressive variant of shaman and made it to rank 1 NA Legend. He tweaked the list his liking adding in Flame Juggler instead of Knife Juggler and also adding in Sir Finley Mrrgglton. The addition of Flame Juggler also gives a more resilient body and a guaranteed “juggle”.

Demigod also wrote a very in depth guide about this deck, mine will only cover the bases if you want to know everything there is to know about his aggro shaman I suggest you read his article: http://www.vicioussyndicate.com/demigod-na-rank-1-legend-aggro-shaman/

General Strategy

Keep in mind that “the face is the place”, your goal is to rush down your opponent until his HP drops to 0. Try to take control of the early game, a Lightning Bolt can always be used as a removal tool in order to protect your board, minions that stick can deal a lot of damage over time.
Plan your future turns and count your damage, sometimes you have the damage in hand to kill your opponent in two turns. Apply pressure early game with minions and use burn spells and Doomhammer to finish. 

General Mulligan

Against everything, you want minions such as Tunnel Trogg, Leper Gnome, Totem Golem, Flame Juggler and Sir Finley Mrrgglton. When you have no other minion in hand keeping Abusive Sergeant is also reasonable.
Against control or midrange you’ll want [Feral Spirits] they are great versus weapon classes and protect your board.

When on the coin use The Coin + Totem Golem and follow it up with a turn 1 Leper Gnome / Abusive Sergeant. You can also use The Coin to play your Feral Spirit on turn 2, and have a 3/3 Tunnel Trogg and 2x 2/3 Feral Spirit.

When you have an okay hand keeping Doomhammer versus priest rogue and warrior is also reasonable.

Notable Cards

a more resilient body and a guaranteed “juggle”

Hunter provides extra burn, warlock extra draw and druid 2 bonus damage with Doomhammer, think what you’ll need in your specific matchup.

Can push for a lot of damage over a few turns especially with Rockbiter Weapon.

A new powerhouse card that snowballs rapidly.

A sticky minion that can be used for efficient trades or face damage.

Because you are running so many overload cards, Lava Shock gets value 80% of the time and provides extra damage from the spell itself and the mana crystals unlocking.

Matchups

Favorable matchups: Oil Rogue, Malylock, Control Warrior, Midrange druid
Unfavorable matchups:Tempo Mage, Patron

Tech Choices

Versus Control: -2 Flame Juggler +2 Whirling Zap-o-matic

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