It is my pleasure to once again bring you some theorycrafting ideas with some new March of the Lich King cards. After featuring the new Blood package in Paladin and the Undead tribe being added to the Shaman class identity, today will be about Demon Hunter and Rogue!
To be honest, the piece today has been a much bigger challenge compared to the previous one. While Paladin and Shaman cards felt like they had some obvious synergies (alongside both classes featuring a more "on curve", tempo-oriented kind of gameplay), both Rogue and Demon Hunter are famous for their combo-oriented play style. This makes it much more difficult to figure out how to build around these classes precisely as a "will they" or "won't they" standpoint with current archetypes never quite gets things right.
Nevertheless, the decks I will showcase should be considered more like concepts rather than hard 30-card suggestions. Let's dive into what the new cards could push for both Rogue and Demon Hunter, and maybe finally push an archetype over the edge, while another one could be on its way back.
Here are the four Demon Hunter and Rogue cards featured today:
Big Demon Hunter gets another shot at becoming a real deck
Every time new cards are added to Illidan's arsenal, it feels like there are always a couple of them telling us that Big Demon Hunter should be a thing. But although we all get excited about it, it actually never makes it past meme deck status.
Unleash Fel is a cheap AoE spell with potential Lifesteal attached to it. Both effects are helpful to a deck looking to stall the game until it can summon huge units.
Also, the card is part of the Fel spell school, meaning we can reuse it with Jace later on, a staple in the Big Demon Hunter archetype ever since All Fel Breaks Loose was added to the game.
Another synergy I like a lot with Unleash Fel is pairing it with Silvermoon Arcanist. It could lead to a solid AoE, a lot of health back, and damage to the opposing hero all for 4 mana. It's also easy to benefit from cards that increase spell power thanks to Unleash Fel being very cheap.
The other card we have to feature is Brutal Annihilan, the card screaming "BIG DEMON" at us.
What I particularly like about the card is that it gives the archetype a third defensive demon to play, making it a potentially stable enough Control deck to counter some aggressive decks.
Alongside, Mo'Arg Forgefiend and Taintheart Tormenter, the new Brutal Annihilan would complete a trio of big taunts the opponent should struggle to get through. Also, these three all help the deck achieve something different:
- The Mo'Arg Forgefiend adds Armor for damage control
- The Taintheart Tormenter disrupts spell-based synergies.
- The Brutal Annihilan deals damage to the opponent.
Obviously, other demons could be added to the mix, depending on what you are trying to achieve. But considering how weak the archetype has felt in the past, I like looking for a simple direction at first and maximizing before trying to develop more complex play patterns.
Another new card Deal with a Devil also tilts the deck towards survival. It seems to be a solid midgame spell to keep your health count high.
For the past few months, the deck was built around the Vanndar Stormpike synergy, but this potential new direction and inclusion of the Silvermoon Arcanist led me to build it as a more traditional Control deck.
Feel free to remove Sir Finley, Sea Guide and both Raging Felscreamers to add Vanndar Stormpike and Abyssal Depths if you like that take on the deck more.
Is Quest Rogue the home of the new Concoction Synergy?
Rogue is one of, if not the most difficult, Hearthstone class to build around in my opinion. And the newest additions revealed from the upcoming March of the Lich King set are only adding to this feeling.
The new Concoction synergy just revealed by Trump is made up of three layers of cards:
- The cards generating Concoctions, such as the new Vile Apothecary and Potionmaster Putricide. These are collectibles and playable cards.
- Concoctions, which are the cards you will get from the generators. You will get one of five different variants, and they each cost three mana.
- Mixed Concoctions: If you get two Concoctions in your hand at the same time, they will merge into one Concoction with both effects. The very important thing here is that this new Mixed Concoction still costs three mana!
There are fifteen possibilities, but here are a few examples :
Because this is a whole new package for Rogue, my main goal was to imagine where it could fit amongst the current Valeera archetypes.
In the most popular one, Jackpot Secret Rogue, I imagined the Concoctions could replace the secrets. After all, there is the Hazy Concoction which plays directly into the Jackpot theme, creating cards from other classes.
My problem was more in the sense of playing a two-card package in a Renathal deck. The likelihood of seeing any synergy in that deck with a density like that is low. So unless Jackpot Rogue goes back to being a 30-card archetype, I don't really like the Concoctions there, although it could just be added if the mechanic ends up being strong as is.
In Miracle Rogue, it just doesn't make sense to add Vile Apothecary and Potionmaster Putricide. Both cards seem way too slow while disrupting the synergy around Shroud of Concealment drawing your key units.
At first, I looked at the old Pirate Rogue, as I was trying to find a deck where you would develop minions as a way to not rely on just the opponent to trigger Putricite's ability. But the deck felt clunky, and aggro isn't quite as effective with a large Prince Renathal in the game.
So I kept looking and found that J.Alexander actually built a Quest Rogue during the Castle Nathria timeframe. And I remembered that Quest Rogue never really managed to hit that perfect 30-card build, alongside lacking value in general.
With a small package of Concoction cards being added, and this one looking to be value-oriented, I felt it could fit very nicely in Quest Rogue. Also, it is an archetype that actively tries to play units onto the board, meeting what I was looking for to trigger Potionmaster Putricite.
While I didn't include Preparation in order to keep Door of Shadows synergy with Shadowstep, Sir Finley, Sea Guide, and Scabbs Cutterbutter seem great with the Concoctions.
The former allows shuffling them back in the deck to draw more SI:7 cards for your quest, and the latter simply makes two Concoctions cost 0.
These cards were really going in opposing directions. Demon Hunter didn't really get anything specific package-wise, but it felt quite obvious where a 9-mana demon should be played.
On the other end, Rogue got a specific package of cards, which should be played together. The challenge here was to figure out where to slot those cards amongst the current rogue archetypes.
All in all, I am thoroughly enjoying reveal season, and every time I get to work on one of these theorycraft pieces, I am having a lot of fun.
I hope it is the same for you reading this, and that you might have been inspired by the ideas I tossed in this piece.
I can't wait to be able to finally play with March of the Lich King and battle-test all the decks I crafted for the occasion. Until then...
Good Game, Everyone!
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