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What's the Move #21 - Azari Incoming!

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We've got a fun puzzle for you to solve from The Witchwood, as well as the answer to last week's episode.

 

Situation #20: What to Dude?

 

Welcome to the first follow-up episode of WTM! For those unfamiliar with the new format for the series, I've moved away from videos to try out a more community-oriented approach to WTM.

In episode 20, I presented the following situation from one my ladder matches:

 

part 1.png

 

The Answer

 

I don't think I can sum up this situation any better than Ethiviath did in this comment. Here's what he had to say about this decision (with some minor edits for clarity):

 

Quote

Using the Duskbreaker here is a total waste, since our opponent could always play a Stand Against Darkness or second Call to Arms on turn 5. Another key consideration here is hand size for Divine Favor.

What we want to do is swing the board as much possible this turn without using Duskbreaker.  With that in mind, I'd simply go with the following play:

Why 2 recruits? For four reasons:

  1. Your Hero Power is too slow at this point and doesn't effect the board. I'd dare to say that it's a misplay to heal face here.
  2. The second and more obvious reason is that we're playing against a Dude Paladin, which usually doesn't play any form of removal and may have to trade into our 1/1's to kill them.
  3. It decreases our hand size for Divine Favor.
  4. We don't want to throw away both Radiant Elementals here, as we may need one to combo off. We're also likely to play a Duskbreaker soon, which would kill both of our Radiant Elementals even if our opponent doesn't.

 

I don't have much more to add than that! This was the exact play I made, and for all the same reasons.

Duskbreaker is the only true board clear we have in hand, and we just can't afford to waste it on such a low-investment board from our opponent. I'd rather Mass Dispel than Duskbreaker this turn, but both plays are inferior to Radiant Elemental + Potion of Madness on Drygulch Jailor + Dude + Dude. It denies him three Dudes of reload, develops our board, pops Divine Shield, removes one minion from our opponent's board, and empties our hand a bit to play around Divine Favor. Though our Dudes likely to die soon, they're also likely to soak up a few points of damage on their way out, which is just as good as healing in my book.

 

Situation #21: Azari Incoming!

 

Following up on my Vivid Velen guide, I'd like to present a challenging situation from one of my recent ladder matches with the deck. If you're unfamiliar with how the Vivid Velen cobmo works, I cover all of that and much more in the guide.

Here's the situation:

 

Hearthstone Screenshot 04-17-18 00.12.35.png

 

1b5b604e9b7b1c6480a8818ad292f6ea.png

 

Deck Code: AAECAa0GBAntBbTOApDTAg37AaEE5QTJBtMK1grRwQLYwQLwzwLo0AKp4gLj6QKC9wIA

Replay Link: https://hsreplay.net/replay/kVZ6kdKS59mdnTpFpwqXE2

Cards in Hand:

My opponent just played The Final Seal and has Azari, the Devourer in their hand. A Prophet Velen and Radiant Elemental have already died this game, but both Loot Hoarders and Bloodmage Thalnos remain in my deck. I have a Greater Diamond Spellstone to resurrect these key combo pieces, but there's no way for us to OTK our opponent from 28 with just one Mind Blast and one Vivid Nightmare.

If we were to play Greater Diamond SpellstoneVivid Nightmare the Velen, then Mind Blast, we would only deal 20 damage. Our opponent would be able to play his Azari on the following turn and kill Velen with his Demons on board, which would leave us with Holy Nova as our only source of damage for the rest of the game. Clearly, playing Spellstone here isn't a winning line. However, if we assume our opponent is going to play Azari next turn (spoiler alert: they play Azari next turn), there is a winning line to be found from this situation. Can you spot it? Let us know in the comments here on Icy Veins, in the reddit thread, or in a tweet to @Aleco_P.

As always, I highly encourage readers to submit their own situations to What's the Move! All you need to do is play with a deck tracker, send me the game's replay link, and include a screenshot of your situation and your decklist as I did above. The replay link and two screenshots will easily fit in a tweet, or in a direct message on Icy Veins or Reddit. I look forward to reviewing your submissions soon!

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Shadow Essence is a must imo, to get out that additional minion next turn. If you get Looter/Thalnos, and the opponent plays wrong, then you'll get an additional card from your deck before it gets destroyed. I would also go ahead and SW:D the 6/6 demon, as this means your opponent either has to down the 5/5 with his 5/5, OR leave a 5/5 body on the board.

 

If you get Radiant Elemental, then I would use both Shadow Word Deaths to clear the 5/5 and the 6/6 - This sets up the win. 6 mana to res Velen+Radiant elemental - 1 mana to get a second Velen. 0 mana for 20 damage via Mind Blast, 3 mana for Holy Nova for the remainding 8 damage. You also have 5 damage from the Radiant Elemental.

So, yea. 25% chance to get that last Radiant Elemental, and win the game. 50% chance to get a Looter, and probably lose the game. 25% chance to get Thalnos, and leave the opponent with 4 health remaining, where you have 18 to survive with on his turn.

 

So, yea. It's not pretty, but it's better then a 100% chance to lose the game.

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39 minutes ago, Frogspoison said:

Shadow Essence is a must imo

Playing Psychic Scream seems defensive enough actually, but it doesn't draw cards, and there are not even enough cards to do anything.

Using SW:D on opposing minions doesn't draw cards.

Holy Nova doesn't draw cards, it is like Scream for that matter. Defensive card.

Sooo, what I would do is very stupid but, since you probably need card draw in this situation (there is not enough damage for sure, and DK is not in hand), I would likely play Shadow Essence, and SW:D whatever I get from there. It is card draw, and if it is Thalnos, you will get +2 spell damage with Spellstone. So it would go like, Essence + SW:D, when he plays Azari, play spellstone and hit mind blast for hopefully enough damage. 

This is most likely wrong, but seemed crazy enough to get you out of this bad situation.

 

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I agree, shadow essence and if loot hoarder or thalnos then death it. If we get radiant elemental then we death the two biggest demons and have lethal if he plays azari.

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First post and on a phone so sorry if this is garbage.

First of all what we assume is going to be their optimal play next turn.  They will spend all their mana to destroy our deck.  They will use their 6/6, 5/5 and 1/1 to clear any board presence and attack face.  This could bring us as low as 8 life, and would safely kill off our win con if we go full far in this turn.  But we have a next turn.

We resurrect our minions for 7 mana, and kill off their 6/6 with shadow word death leaving 6 damage off the board, leaving our velen with 1 life.  This is the most telegraphed move that we are going to try for an otk next turn but, as stated in the problem we are assuming.

After that next turn we copy the velen, mind blast for 20, and holy nova for 8, making the missing 28 damage for 10 mana.

Edited by Trivlin
Forgot a card

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On 19.4.2018 at 7:50 AM, Trivlin said:

They will use their 6/6, 5/5 and 1/1 to clear any board presence and attack face. 

It's not a 1/1, it's a 4/1 sadly :( so your play is not possible anymore....

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On 18/4/2018 at 5:52 PM, FanOfValeera said:

Playing Psychic Scream seems defensive enough actually, but it doesn't draw cards, and there are not even enough cards to do anything.

Using SW:D on opposing minions doesn't draw cards.

Holy Nova doesn't draw cards, it is like Scream for that matter. Defensive card.

Sooo, what I would do is very stupid but, since you probably need card draw in this situation (there is not enough damage for sure, and DK is not in hand), I would likely play Shadow Essence, and SW:D whatever I get from there. It is card draw, and if it is Thalnos, you will get +2 spell damage with Spellstone. So it would go like, Essence + SW:D, when he plays Azari, play spellstone and hit mind blast for hopefully enough damage. 

This is most likely wrong, but seemed crazy enough to get you out of this bad situation.

 

But you could get an Radiant Elemental from the Shadow Essence, in that case you probably are gona win, bcose you can 2x Shadow Word: Death his demons (6/6 and 5/5) and nex turn, IF he plays Azari, the Devourer, you have the kill  (as someone said,  6 mana to Greater Diamond Spellstone, that will give you une more Radiant Elemental and a Prophet Velen, then you Vivid Nightmare the prophet and has 20 dmg from Mind Blast + 5 from your 5/5 Radiant Elemental and 8 from your Holy Nova.

And if you get Bloodmage Thalnos you could Shadow Word: Death the 6/6 and next turn you spend 7 mana for Greater Diamond Spellstone and Vivid Nightmare your prophet, face 24 dmg to face with Mind Blast ( (5+1)*2*2 = 24).

If he kill you 5/5 you are complicated, if not go face with the 5/5 body and win the game.

---

In my experience, most ppl would leave the 5/5 body and go face

Edited by Demenzel

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First let's consider all the Candidate Plays:

  1. Psychic Scream this turn. next turn if your opponent plays Azari(which seems the best play for your opponent) you can cast spellstone and SW:Death on Azari. If your Velen survives then next turn it's lethal with Vivid Nightmare + Mind Blast + Holy Nova. Opponent can't heal and summon Voidlord on same turn. Dark pacts are out.
  2. Play Shadow Visions.
  • If you get Bloodmage Thalnos, you can Death your own Thalnos to search for combo piece and add it to Death pool.
  • For Loot Hoarder, you can Death it again to draw a card.
  • if you find Radiant Elemental, then you can Death two of your opponent's minions. Next turn if Azari is played then you can play Spellstone(6 mana) + Vivid Nightmare(1 mana) on velen + Mind Blast(0 mana) + Holy Nova(3 mana) and then attack with Radiant for a total of 33 dmg for 10 mana.

All other plays do not change the situation, so they do not need to be considered.

If you get Radiant elemental then you will win 100% of the time.  If you get Thalnos/Loot Hoarder, then even if you draw 2nd Vivid Nightmare/Mind Blast, you still won't have lethal. Twilight's call and Bloodmage Thalnos draws doesn't help either. So odds of winning with 2nd play is 33%.

In case of 1st play, your opponent has a very high chance of holding an upgraded spellstone/siphon soul/twisting nether since he is a control deck and your Velen is very unlikely to survive and we don't' need to crunch numbers here.

So the best play is Shadow Visions and hope for Radiant Elemental.

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