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Zoo Warlock Standard

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2 hours ago, Kerean said:

Dear Sottle,  there were some comments earlier about possibly including Bilefin Tidehunter.  I have been noticing this card a lot more in zoo decks.  Is this card viable?  I think they seem to go well with Knife Juggler and Darkshire Councilman.

Look forward to your thoughts on Bilefin.

Bilefin Tidehunter is a good card, but there are better cards to be included instead, because, unlike aggro zoo, you don't want super low curve, and zoo is okay with "only" a low curve. It's good against minion-focused decks, such as zoo or any druid deck, as it forces opponent to either waste a lot of damage, or use hero power they could have used on another card. So, if you try to lower your curve, it is definitely a possible inclusion. 

Tl;dr - good, feel free to include, but there are better options

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Tidehunter is a similar tech option to Flame Juggler, albeit with slightly different power distribution. Murloc is great against go tall aggressive strategies, like Shaman, since it forces them to waste more attacks, as mentioned. It also contributes to your go wide plan and powers payoff cards like Darkshire Councilman and Knife Juggler. Flame Juggler is not great in that particular matchup as 1 damage is seldom relevant and River Crocolisk stats don't help you much, like when busting an Argent Horserider.

Against other go wide aggresive strategies, like Zoo and Aggro Paladin, however, Tidehunter is strictly worse than Flame Juggler. 2\3 is a surprising lot and 1 damage relevancy is through the roof. 2/1 and 1/1 are small muscle and they buff opposing Sea Giant

Regarding those versus Control decks, Flame Juggler wins, since you want board that doesn't fold to Ravaging GhoulConsecration and Holy Nova. However there are much better options that either murloc or draenei if you wind up outgunned in those matchups.

Strategical purpose of tech cards is switching the balance of powers in your hard matchups, not buffing up existing favorable ones. Even though going from 25% to 35% is mathematically equal to going from 65% to 75%, in real life it is a difference between winning and losing, between having an out and being dead regardless of your draws. My recommendation is to stick to tech cards that good against Control but can double up as utility, like Crazed Alchemist (spoiler : this guy is freaking busted). With him, for example, you can switch stats of Doomsayer and Bloodhoof Brave the same way you'd do with Imp Gang Boss or Flametongue Totem.

1st case scenario - you actually beat their outs. 2nd case scenario - still feels pretty darn good.

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1 hour ago, Paracel said:

2/1 and 1/1 are small muscle and they buff opposing Sea Giant

They are small, but that is okay. This is zoo we are talking about, there are tons of small minions, such as Possessed Villager or Voidwalker
Aggro Paladins very rarely play Sea Giant, not to mention aggro paladins aren't very popular right now. The only popular deck that often runs Sea Giant is zoo, and even if you play mirror, you still have your own Sea Giant and therefore a reason to play multibody minion.

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Possessed Villager and Voidwalker are exactly the cards posing problem to Bilefin Tidehunter. They line up favorably against murloc, unlike Flame Juggler that requires some backup to be dealt with. He can potentially 3-for-1 and that is huge.

Playing Sea Giant in Zoo mirrors involves complex and intricate matters such as "whoever draws it first" and other very deep skill-dependent interactions (salt off). To put it simply, 2 minions for 2 mana mean that you can play your giant this turn anyways, and if you don't, your opponent will benefit from it more than you. 

Efficient and often unexpected enabling of Gormok should probably be more important factor for playing Bilefin. That's where I can say hands down it works as intended.

I don't play Gormok in my Zoo decks, though, but that's whole another story...

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14 hours ago, Paracel said:

To put it simply, 2 minions for 2 mana mean that you can play your giant this turn anyways

Yeah, you could play Sea Giant this turn anyway, but you also get 2 extra bodies on board (it's like tapping before playing Molten Giant), and even if you don't have your Sea Giant in your hand, you invest in future turn when you draw it.

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Thanks Positiv and Paracel for your insights.  For Positiv, are you saying that all of the cards in the Sottle Deck lineup are better than Bilefin Tidehunter and hence you will not include it?  For Paracel, are you saying you will include Flame Juggler instead of Bilefin?  if so, which of the cards in the Sottle Deck lineup will you cut out for the Flame Jugglers?

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15 hours ago, Kerean said:

For Positiv, are you saying that all of the cards in the Sottle Deck lineup are better than Bilefin Tidehunter and hence you will not include it?

Better for the strategy of the deck, yes. 

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In playing this deck, would it be better to play Knife Juggler as a 2-drop or is it better to wait until you can drop at least 1 or 2 more minions in the same turn before playing it (say turn 4 or 5).  Or wait even longer until you can combo Knife + Forbidden?  I notice that an early Knife tends to get removed fairly quickly.

 

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On 13. 6. 2016 at 6:39 AM, Kerean said:

For Positiv, are you saying that all of the cards in the Sottle Deck lineup are better than Bilefin Tidehunter and hence you will not include it?

Depends on the opponent's class. For example, it is okay in mirror when the board is empty, against priest after checking for Shadow Word: Pain (or you can use Knife Juggler to bait it out before playing Darkshire Councilman) or against paladin. Playing him against other classes can be a bit risky and if you have a different 2-drop, play it instead.

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I've been experimenting with Brann and find value from him given the number of battle cries in the deck.  In doing so, I have cut Forbidden Ritual as I find it difficult to combo with Knife or Darkshire effectively (they tend to die before comboing or it will be significantly late game before I can drop both together in the same turn) or to derive value before they get board cleared if not comboing.  Is such a move a good idea?  Or should I stick to the article's recommendation of not having Brann and instead putting back the Forbidden?

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18 minutes ago, Kerean said:

I've been experimenting with Brann and find value from him given the number of battle cries in the deck.  In doing so, I have cut Forbidden Ritual as I find it difficult to combo with Knife or Darkshire effectively (they tend to die before comboing or it will be significantly late game before I can drop both together in the same turn) or to derive value before they get board cleared if not comboing.  Is such a move a good idea?  Or should I stick to the article's recommendation of not having Brann and instead putting back the Forbidden?

You can put him in, but it is risky, as you cannot play Flame Imp or Doomguard as long as he is on the board. Additionally, he is a combo card, and as such, it will reduce deck's proactive power, but if Forbidden Ritual doesn't really work for you, then you can give it a go. Also, you don't have to play Forbidden Ritual with Knife Juggler or Darkshire Councilman to get value from it, and you can play the "combo" over two turns as well - you don't have to force the combo on the same turn.

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I've found Forbidden Ritual to be an invaluable tool, giving me powerful refill options after sweepers and an ability to pressure board advantage if opponent struggles with their draw. I wouldn't cut it for any card because basically that's how you beat your bad matchups. and I want to be able to beat my bad matchups.

Brann is just way too much investment. There are only a handful of cards you really want to double up, and it's not really worth it. He just dies to a plentiful of common removal, also sort of deluding you to keeping certain cards to capitalize on his effect when it's simply not the best thing to do. Not having a battlecry feels bad and so does sacrificing a card slot to play mediocre sized creature that helps you win only when you are already winning, and does not really contribute to comeback mechanism unless specific circumstances are met. 

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