Last week we talked about Cryptozoic’s establishment of the Timewalker Block 7 races and how they might fair in a Core format with Aftermath Block rotated out. Today we’ll keep moving right along with some decklists as we tease out ideas for each of the races. We’ll be heavily referencing cards from WoW TCG Reborn’s new set Into the Mists. If you haven’t yet, go check it out!
The Red Banner Races
We went over the Humans and Night Elves of the Alliance last week with a Death Knight and Hunter list. One of the tricks for each race is figuring out which class pairs with them best. In these next few lists we’ll branch out even further, as I think the races are different enough from each other that they generally want different classes around them.
Hero: Broxigar the Red
We start off with the Orcs and like I mentioned last week: their tag word Bloodrush doesn’t really have anything to do with having Orcs around. And really in this deck it’s only Garrosh that cares about having Orc friends - which makes total sense because he is a bit of an Orc elitist jerk. And while there’s something to be said for the speed and snowball effect of Timewalker Grunts, I wanted to try something else.
For this deck I borrowed heavily from William Zobac’s 2013 Durotar Realm Champs Warrior list. We don’t have the insane Strife into Edge of Oblivion into Jak’s flip curve, but I think the attachments are still generally great and varying our card types a bit is a good thing. We have token producers, standalone ally threats, attachments, an ongoing ability, and a weapon all going to the opponent’s face often the turn they enter play.
Ruthless Execution is a card that has seen almost zero play, but I’m thinking our tokens plus Shado-Pan Monastery is enough to bring this card out of hiding. Keep in mind that if you have double locations out, you can flip one over for free, so if you have a Monastery or Spire out and place a Monastery, you can flip it over and then Ruthless Execute something that same turn. Monastery also plays well with Broxigar’s flip.
I looked long and hard at 2-drops and while Seraxa Brightmix is an odd-ball, I think she can be really great even with just 8 attachments in the deck. Imagine an 8/8 Elusive, Protector, pseudo-Sentinel ally on turn 3 and if you have an attachment elsewhere, she is happy just being a 4/4 Elusive for 2. I’m not saying she’s great, but I’m guessing she’s playable in a format without a ton of options for the Horde 2-drop slot. And then there’s Vaellana. When I first saw this ally, I thought her text was just a really convoluted way to get Elusive. But then someone pointed out that if you give her Protector, her defensive ability is way better than Elusive making her a prime target for something like Bastion of Defense.
Strife and the rest of the bunch are just there to pressure the opponent and curve out with every card pointed at the opponent’s face. Strife is especially nice considering the existence of broken cards like the Last Relic of Argus and Legacy of the Horde. I think a deck like this could be just a turn faster than a sweeper could answer it and with the ability to go tall, wide, or the hero ATK route it’s a great starting point for any Bloodrush fan.
Just like with the Orcs, it might be a mistake to ignore Tauren’s Unlimited ally in Timewalker Sunguard which scales better than Tauren Tracker, but I worry about the turn 1 Sunguard sticking around. I can’t quite put my finger on what to do with Tauren, but their tag word Tribe always involves the allies entering play (whether from hand or elsewhere), so I figured Mage would be a good home. While I’m not sure on the numbers on some of these things, I can imagine some pretty disgusting turns with this deck.
In Mage, first and foremost, we get Alter Time which seems pretty insane. If this card is in your opening hand, it might even be correct to play some early resources face-down and save your quests / locations to trigger it. Getting double the value from your Kahul or Sixto seems worth playing around. Then there’s Secrets of the Ages and Agent Connelly to create duplicate Kahuls. Once two Kahuls are online Joru, Alter Time, and Mass Teleport threaten to close a game out really quickly.
Domination Keep is there to speed up the process while Get Me Results! threatens to draw a whole mess of cards that can be pitched to keep Joru alive. It’s even “free” with Sixto. Thrall of Vanity, Mulgore Guardian, and Dezco just seem like solid Tauren for their spots on the curve. I don’t know if this strategy has hooves or not, but I’d put it somewhere in-between completely unplayable and completely insane. Somewhere in there.
The Green Machines
While #teamgreen received way less support for Beasts and Demons than the Horde and Alliance did for their races, Monster did get some really solid cards. And between the CZE includes and some of the new Into the Mists cards, I think we can make some passable decks.
So we return to Hunter for this deck because they have solid Beasts such as the tokens provided by Beastmastery and the new 1-drop Alpine Foxling. We’re just a dudes deck, but we have some really solid staying power in Rexxar and Kashum which tutor up allies when they enter play. And then we can blow someone out with Zandalari Ravasaur.
Something I love about this kind of deck is the 1-drops. They’re each powerful in their own way and I wouldn’t be sad to run any of them out on turn one. As we move up the curve, we don’t have a ton of 2-cost Beasts as Deuce isn’t a Beast and neither is Kashum. But turn three we either have one of the Beast Mastery tokens or Spawn of Hyakiss, either of which provides a solid body with a real upside. And then on turn four it’s Rexxar or playing two cards before finally pumping the squad with the Ravasaur.
I think Kill Command and Pet Battle are probably too cute, but we maybe went a little more on-theme with this deck than the others. It really is just a bunch of beasts and their trainers. I think Horde and Alliance offer tools that could be interesting - at the expense of Blackfang Tarantula of course. Samope Squirrelkin is almost like a mini Nathanos Blightcaller, but when she’s followed up with Zandalari Ravasaur or Rexxar, she might just be better. While I doubt we’ve uncovered the best version here, I do think Beasts have a shot at being a good deck, it’ll just take time to figure out how to best support them.
Hero: Archimonde the Defiler
4 Fel Imp
4 Eredar Strategist
4 Priestess of Horror
4 Sister of Seduction
4 Varimathras, Dreadlord Insurgent
4 Doom Commander Zaakuul
4 Zalekor the Ferocious
4 Profane Gateway
4 Legacy of Betrayal
4 Nether Rip
I think when everyone with experience playing Magic the Gathering saw the keyword Portal they thought of the keyword from that game called Cascade. It’s easily one of Magic’s most broken keywords and, as a result of Portal resembling it, people had high hopes for the Demon tribe. But things never seemed to quite pan out.
With Block 6 taking Tyrus, Jadefire Scout, Bazul, Prince Xavalis, and Demonic Torrent away, can Demons survive? Well Into the Mists didn’t really restock them - though this is true for most of the Timewalkers races. But the couple of viable includes they did receive seem legitimate. Skakuum can get pretty crazy if he’s getting constantly revealed. I don’t know how good 1 damage upon reveal is, but if you have him in a Portal deck (which you’d be crazy not to) you’re going to find out fast. And then Profane Gateway seems like a great way to play two cards at once in the middle and later stages of the game.
I just wish Warlock had some kind of great Warp-trigger payoff for all this revealing. Curse From Beyond doesn’t seem powerful enough, and monster didn’t get allies like the Timewalker Assassin and Lavacaller that Horde and Alliance did. Migrating over to one of those factions hardly seems worth it either as Zaakuul is a broken card and Varimathras is great for this strategy.
Anywho, I think this list is just a little bit too weak, but maybe shows promise. Is potentially playing two allies whenever you play one good enough to offset their reduced stats and lack of cards that support the demons while they’re on the board? I think it’s worth exploring, but I’m not so sure. Demons might just have to give up on Core and stick to the format they can dominate: Classic.
Looking Towards GenCon
We’re just two weeks away from GenCon 2019 and with it comes four WoW TCG events - one of which will be Core. Will the Timewalker Block races show up in droves or will the new class Monk, upgrades to Feral Druids, Poison Rogues, or something completely different end up the favored strategy in the Core format? We’ll find out soon enough!