1x Mortal Coil
2x Sinister Deal
1x Spirit Bomb
1x Spirit Jailer
1x Drain Soul
1x Expired Merchant
1x Ram Commander
1x Soul Shear
1x Bunker Sergeant
1x Desecrated Graveyard
1x Direwolf Commander
1x Full-Blown Evil
1x Sacrificial Summoner
1x Zola the Gorgon
2x Brittlebone Destroyer
1x Hooded Reaver
1x Violet Teacher
1x Gurubashi Berserker
1x Dread Infernal
1x Enslaved Fel Lord
1x Alexstrasza the Life-Binder
Final Record: 12-2-1
Yes, I had a draw when an opposing Warlock player double Hellfire to make sure they didn’t lose. Respect!
Why This Deck Worked
This deck not only had removal, it had a variety of removal:
Pinging is a term I have known for almost as long as I have been playing card games. It started with Prodigal Sorcerer in Magic: the Gathering. Essentially, it refers to dealing a single point of damage. For a non-pinging class (i.e., not Rogue or Mage), this is helpful to clear out minions.
What makes this deck’s pinging suite so good is the diversity:
- Single-Ping to all enemies (Dread Infernal, Bunker Sergeant)
- Targeted Single Ping (Mortal Coil)
- Repeatable Ping (Penflinger, thanks to the cheaper spells)
- Spirit Bomb
- Drain Soul
- Soul Shear
Mass Damage via Hellfire
Targeted Removal via Brittlebone Destroyer
Early Game Presence
Lots of small dorks (Spirit Jailer, Mecharoo, Expired Merchant Ram Commander) help get on the board early and start mitigating threats. With the pinging available, the lower power rarely proved problematic. And later, the same dorks could turn into 4/4s thanks to Desecrated Graveyard.
The minions overall are good enough to hold their own. And, again, in some cases they may be lacking that extra damage. But that often got taken care of via pings.
And finally, Alexstrasza the Life-Binder did its job by closing out several (5-6 perhaps) games. Either by clearing out a large taunt, or going face (sometimes getting around a taunt). One key during this run was realizing that I may need to play for the Alexstrasza finisher by focusing on getting an opponent down to that 8 damage threshold (and sometimes 11 if Hellfire may be in play).
I never did get to Zola Alexstrasza, but I did get to chain 2 Alexstrasza’s in a row thanks to Expired Merchant.
Takeaways from the Deck
Nothing too earth shattering here, but some things I found interesting/important while playing the deck:
- Having such solid removal meant that a couple of early unchecked minions could sneak in enough damage to put the opponent on guard. Knowing Alexstrasza was waiting in the deck meant that I was happy to take this aggressive route, and then look to keep parity in the mid-game.
- Don’t dismiss incidental life gain. Especially in Warlock decks. The two Soul Fragment generating cards and Drain Soul ensured I had some ways to mitigate self-damage from hero power, Spirit Bomb, and Hellfire.
- And even once I was able to Soul Fragment into Bitterbone Destroyer which allowed me to better use my curve in that game
- I didn’t list it as a bomb, but Full-Blown Evil is amazing. So many full board clears at different mana points (3 mana | 1 use | 5 damage, 6 mana | 2 uses | 10 damage, and 9 mana | 3 uses | 15 damage). More than even Alexstrasza, this card was the MVP of the run.
- Zola did more work than I expected. Copying Bitterbone Destroyer in the mid/late game was a game-winning play a couple of times.
- Sinister Deal doesn’t always give me what I want, but that card did so much work throughout the run as well.
- Gurabashi Beserker + Penflinger got me one concession. Favorite win of the run!