Testing for Indy Part II - Midrange and Combo

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Welcome back for the second article covering the deck archetypes and specific decks you’ll want to look out for in the Classic environment - especially if you’re attending Reborn Indy this weekend! In case you missed it, you can check the first piece out here where we covered the popular aggro and control decks in Classic. Today though we’re moving right along and taking a trip through the midrange decks that want to win through value and efficiency as well as the combo decks looking to create degenerate loops that kill in a single turn. Having game against these archetypes is a test your deck needs to pass to do well in Classic.

The Midrange Test

Midrange decks fair very well in the Classic environment. There’s a lot to be said for a deck full of efficient or value-generating answers and threats. Playing a card every turn that has a great cost-to-effect ratio, generates card advantage, or features both is an appealing way to play the game. A curve of Bloodsoul plus Lesson of the Nether into Eye of Kilrogg into Hesriana into Dethvir is probably a game winner.

Midrange is also the most amorphous of any archetype as it can be used to describe decks that lean heavily in the direction of other archetypes. Midrange decks can be aggressive like blue hunter or slower like ability-heavy mages. They can feature combos and tons of synergy like Tyrus or just be as steady and inevitable as a freight train like red warlock. Here’s some examples of midrange decks you might see in Classic and potentially Indy this weekend:

Hero: Plague Fleshbane

4 Cairne, Earthmother's Chosen 
4 Bloodsoul 
4 Broderick Langforth 
4 Sardok 
3 Dreadsteed 
3 Vuz'din 
4 Hesriana 
4 Dethvir the Malignant 
3 Nathanos Blightcaller

3 Eye of Kilrogg 
4 Lesson of the Nether 
4 Tuskarr Kite 

4 Miniature Voodoo Mask 

4 Undercity
4 One Draenei’s Junk… 
4 Dark Horizons 

3 Munkin Blackfist 
1 Nathanos Blightcaller 
3 Bloody Ritual 
3 Soul Inversion

This deck is from another Metamart 3k where Eric Buckendorf took it to a top 8 finish. It is a great example of a meat-and-potatoes midrange deck. You have good hand disruption, cheap interaction, a value-generating ally base, and plenty of card draw. You can grind out games against aggro decks using Dethvir and Undercity to keep you alive or try and get under control decks with your sticky allies like Dethvir and Nathanos. It also features a card that almost always signals that you’re facing a midrange deck: Tuskarr Kite. This list uses Kite particularly well with both the Stash ally Cairne and the mount Dreadsteed being great allies to activate it.

Hero: Spellweaver Jihan

4 Lady Bancroft 
2 Mikael the Blunt 
3 Burly Berta 
4 Ashnaar Frost Herald 
3 Adam Eternum 
3 Edwin VanCleef 
2 Myriam Starcaller 
2 Muradin Bronzebeard 
3 Weldon Barov 

3 Spell Suppression 
4 The Taste of Arcana 
4 Blizzard 
3 Nether Fracture 
4 Arcane Barrage 

3 Wub's Cursed Hexblade 

3 Eye of the Storm 
1 The Torch of Retribution 
2 Corki's Ransom 
4 The Defias Brotherhood 
4 Report to Goldshire

1 Mikael the Blunt 
3 Fizzle 
4 Brittilize 
2 “Scrapper” Ironbane

Josh Magelssen piloted this list to a top 8 at the very same St. Louis Metamart 3k as Eric’s list above. It’s not a Tuskarr Kite deck but is absolutely still a midrange pile. It just trades the potential of an insane curve for hard to answer threats, cards that generate value, and Blizzard synergies. It’s also a little “bigger” than a lot of other midrange decks which means it has slightly better odds in midrange mirror matches but can struggle against aggro. Since midrange decks are typically a bit slow it often comes down to which deck plays the more expensive and powerful cards. Please read Blizzard. It is something your deck needs you to know about.


Hero: Sepirion the Poised

4 Azjol-anak Champion
1 Azjol-anak Deathwatcher
4 Broderick Langforth
4 Grazzle Grubhook
4 Uruka the Cutthroat
1 Anub'arak, The Traitor King

4 Incendiary Totem
2 Squall Totem
3 Astral Recall
4 Elemental Vision
4 Feral Spirit
3 Wind Shear

3 Calamity's Grasp
3 Edge of Oblivion
4 Stormstrike Mace

4 All Things in Good Time
4 Conversing With the Depths
4 The Ring of Blood: The Warmaul Champion

2 Squall Totem
1 Wind Shear
1 Munkin Blackfist
2 Vuz'din
1 Band of the Inevitable
1 Calamity's Grasp
1 Windshear Totem
1 Anub'arak, The Traitor King

In pretty much any card game that has a discard pile, interacting with it can lead to some value. This deck first appeared long ago in the Core format where the pieces just sort of fell in place for its creators Jim Kandiziolka and the Philadelphia crew. The goal of Spider Solitaire is to use your graveyard like a secondary deck where you find all kinds of synergies. The cards in this list either generate value as they’re discarded from hand or top of deck or else they have greater effect when certain thresholds are reached with the number of cards or types of cards in the graveyard. WoW TCG was kind enough to offer some universal and efficient graveyard hate in The Torch of Retribution, Scourge of Lordaeron, and The Restless Dead. Loading up your side deck with such tools will do a lot when facing opponents looking to leverage their graveyard as a resource.

The Combo Test

Whether it’s due to the card pool being smaller, the designers being careful to avoid loops, or shear luck there aren’t many feasible infinite or degenerate combos in WoW TCG. But many does not equal none. While I’m sure there are a ton of possible things out there (LOOK AT YOU, Rioriel Whitefeather!), trying to set them up while an opponent is interacting with you or pressuring you just makes for a bad time. That said, there are a few faster combos that people gravitate toward. So it’s worthwhile knowing about them and keeping in mind whether you have the necessary interaction or speed to take them down. A test worth passing, if you will.

Hero: Turane Soulpact

1 Alexstrasza the Life-Binder

4 Unending Breath

3 Dreadsteed
3 Swift Hawkstrider
2 Wooly White Rhino
1 Tol'zin
4 Krazal the Eggregator

2 The Last Relic of Argus

4 A Hero's Burden
2 A Question of Gluttony
3 A Rare Bean
4 Capture a Mine
4 Dr. Boom!
4 For Great Honor
3 Mystery Goo
4 The Fel and the Furious
4 Tirion's Gambit
4 Uncatalogued Species
4 Under the Shadow

This is Tim Batow’s list from NACC 2011 if I recall correctly. Either way he is the inventor of this bizarre strategy. The deck’s name is Bunnies and its goal is simple:

Step 1) Get Unending Breath out alongside a quest cost-reducer like a Mount or Last Relic.
Step 2) Complete a ton of quests that reveal cards from your deck which makes 1/1 Rabbits when Krazal is revealed.
Step 3) Deal damage through your mounts or use the tokens, your hero flip, or Alexstrasza to win.

The combo is unusual because it doesn’t involve any true looping. It just fiddles around and hopefully makes enough rabbits to win. Most of the disruptive cards that get played in Classic really do a number on it but it can still manage some wins easily enough especially against flat-footed opponents. If you sit down across from this deck, be prepared to watch your opponent play a game by themselves at some point because the combo takes awhile to execute and doesn’t always work even with the right pieces in place.


Hero: Velindra Sepulchre

4 Crabbyfin

4 Cold Front
4 Disappear
3 Fizzle
2 Frigid Winds
4 Mana Agate
3 Nether Fracture
3 Presence of Mind
4 PX-238 Winter Wondervolt
4 Glaciate
2 RwlRwlRlRwl!
4 Arcane Potency

3 Bottled Knowledge

4 A Question of Gluttony
4 Forces of Jaedenar
4 One Draenei's Junk
4 Rituals of Power

3x Arcane Binding
1x Nether Fracture
3x Spell Suppression
3x Vuz'din

This is a slightly updated version of the old Wondervolt combo decks. Unlike Bunnies, this deck does have a loop. Its game is:

Step 1) Slow things down by making your hero Elusive or opposing allies unable to attack.
Step 2) Play PX-238 Winter Wondervolt and follow up with Crabbyfin making infinite 1/1 tokens with every race.
Step 2a) Use Rwlrwlrwl! or Presence of Mind to effectively give your tokens Ferocity.
Step 2b) Don’t forget to leave a few resources open to interrupt your opponent's interaction.
Step 3) Attack with your tokens.

Simple and effective. This is a great deck to consider your game against because it is more interactive than Bunnies. If you play a Miniature Voodoo Mask naming “Unending Breath”, the Bunnies pilot has basically lost. But if you play MVM naming “PX-238 Winter Wondervolt”, the Crabbyfin Combo pilot can interrupt it or make it lose powers. This is the real combo deck to watch out for in the format and a test many decks fail.

Time to Put Your Deck to the Test!

Time’s up.. Reborn Indy is just two days away! It’s fun to theorize but as the first event on the Reborn Circuit draws near you better be prepared to pass every test! Classic is a brutal and unforgiving format. It’s like a Monday morning pop quiz in your least favorite school subject. May we all pass!