Aleco

What's the Move #24 - Broken Mirrors

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This week's episode features a fresh take on a popular deck, courtesy of Casie.

Situation #22: Let's Even the Odds

Picking up where we left off last week, we find ourselves in the middle of an odd/even matchup between Warlock and Shaman. I picked this situation partially because it was an interesting spot with many options available to us, and also because its a ladder situation I highly doubt any of my readers have encountered before:

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Commenters quickly identified several key factors about this matchup, namely that Defile and Hellfire are off the table for our opponent and that the only "board clear" available for our opponent is Despicable Dreadlord. Our opponent is more likely to have single target removal (such as Voodoo Doll) or is looking to play a demon-related 5 drop next turn in Skull of the Man'ariPossessed Lackey, or Doomguard.

Bozonik summed up this situation excellently in his comment from last week's thread:

Quote

Our options appear to be:

  1. Hero Power + Sea Giant
  2. Dire Wolf Alpha + Vicious Scalehide to full clear
  3. Play Corpsetaker

Option 1 is pretty nice against Despicable Dreadlord. Voodoo Doll makes us sad though, so it might be tempting to bait that out with Corpsetaker or Fire Elemental later.

Option 2 allows us to clear the board, leaving us with a 1 health Dire Wolf, a 2 health Dire Wolf, a 2 health Eel, a 2 health totem and a 2 health Scalehide. Dreadlord is the worst response for us, we lose the first dire wolf and it’ll take the Eel and Scalehide to kill it off too.

With option 3, Voodoo Doll kills off the Corpsetaker and then we lose our one health minions for free. Despicable Dreadlord kills those minions too and breaks our shield.

There seemed to be a consensus among commenters that "Option 1", Hero Power + Sea Giant was the line here. It puts a big nasty minion on the board, applying pressure and forcing our opponent to have Voodoo Doll. In the heat of the moment I went with "Option 2", the full clear, but after looking back on things and reading over the comments I believe Hero Power + Giant was the correct line. Despicable Dreadlord is really the only card which gives us serious trouble next turn (since our opponent won't be able to play Possessed Lackey and kill it) and this line plays around Dreadlord while applying just as much pressure as the other options.

I was secretly hoping that the tap + Giant wasn't the correct line here (because its the most obvious one), but the obvious solution is often the correct one. If you're ever in a situation such as this where you have no idea what your opponent is up to, it's probably best to go for the "obvious" line and not get cute.

Situation #23: Broken Mirrors

Today's deck comes courtesy of Kevin "Casie" Eberlein, who cut the dragon package from Mind Blast Priest to turn the deck into something with much more of a combo/aggro feel to it. Many pros are pegging Mind Blast Priest to be the next "best deck in the meta" after the nerfs drop, and Casie's list has a serious advantage in the mirror match:

Though I didn't find nearly as much success with the deck as Casie did, it did provide me with plenty of interesting situations for What's the Move! Here's the one I ended up choosing for this week's episode:

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It's turn 2, we're on The Coin, and our ladder opponent just played a Wild Pyromancer. For the purposes of this exercise, we can say that we're 100% confident our opponent is on Mind Blast Priest. However, this isn't a mirror match at all. We have Prophet VelenHoly Smite, two copies of Holy Fire (most Mind Blast Priests run just one), and Lifedrinker in our deck, which gives us a huge advantage in late-game Anduin vs Anduin races. Knowing that we have an advantage in the late game should color our decision heavily on turn two, where have a surprising number of options available to us.

So, what's the move?

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First question is, do we care enough about the pyromancer to blow the smite or pyro-coin-shield to kill it?

We can get more value out of them later, and he’s unlikely to do any heal-to-draw shenanigans next turn, and I don’t think the three damage we’ll take is too worrying. So dismissing those plays leaves us with pass or loot hoarder.

I don’t see any reason not to play the loot hoarder. Worst case scenario he has silence and blows it on it, which seems ok to me, we have better silence targets. Otherwise we cycle, with the outside chance of actually killing his pyro too.

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Fighting for control early will not work anyway because he has two duskbreakers in his deck. Investing too heavily into early control will just mean it'll flip to his side in an instant. Not fighting for control also limits his options because he can't play his duskbreaker(s) onto his own pyro, unless he's willing to do something like shielding his pyro -> healing his pyro and then duskbreaker to keep his pyro alive.

 

If the opponent KNEW that you weren't the mirror deck match, it would be HIS best play for sure, but he's also 99% sure that YOU are playing the Mind Blast Priest deck and therefore my aforementioned play on HIS side would be a gross overextension.

 

Which brings me to the next point: If you would control for the board right now with a pyro/coin/shield, you are telling him you either aren't a Mind Blast Priest deck or you don't have duskbreaker. Therefore, I would say that that is definitely the wrong play to make on at least 2 levels.

 

The loot hoarder is the correct play. Coin + smiting in addition to that would reveal that you're not a mirror deck match, which would be nice to be able to delay as much as possible. While the loot hoarder is a very viable variation pick for a mind blast priest deck, holy smite is not.

Edit: Smiting the pyro would also mean he could simply play duskbreaker, and then you're in the same situation, except that you're lacking both the Smite AND Coin this time.

 

 

p.s. rip my previous post.

Edited by Yridaa

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Well...I try to summon up the options I can see here:

1.) do nothing (since a single Wild Pyromancer isn't super threatening anyways)
2.) play Loot Hoarder
3.) Wild Pyromancer + The Coin + Power Word: Shield
4.) Holy Smite the opponents Wild Pyromancer

Option 1 gives us better opportunities next turn. Loot Hoarder + Power Word: Shield for example, which would save us The Coin and force our opponent to trade his Wild Pyromancer. The downside could be an Acolyte of Pain which we can't handle without drawing our opponent some more extra cards.
Of course we could play Loot Hoarder now + The Coin + Power Word: Shield but this would turn out pretty similar and costs us more ressources while only saving some lifepoints.

Option 2 might be easy to handle for the opponent if he has Power Word: Shield or Shadow Visions . If not, then his Wild Pyromancer will be dead soon but if he got a cheap spell to trigger his Wild Pyromancer effectivly then we cycle our Loot Hoarder and get the option of playing our own Wild Pyromancer + Power Word: Shield (or + Holy Smite) next turn to remove his Wild Pyromancer.

Option 3 feels like spending a lot of ressources. But we remove the opponents Wild Pyromancer, get our own Wild Pyromancer on the board (which will be a "hurt" 3/2 that could be healed back up next turn), draw a card and protect our life total. This is probably the most aggressive option. Since we don't run Duskbreaker we lose a lot of AoE-potential here, but do we really need much boardclear against a Priest?

Option 4 is pretty straight forward. You give away some info about your deck. Lose some potential face damage later on and don't get any tempo.

 

I think I agree with Bozonik and Yridaa and go with the safe option 2.

But while writing this I kind of like the more aggressive play of Wild Pyromancer + The Coin + Power Word: Shield too (Option 3). Especially because I can't see a way for the opponent to remove it next turn, which gives us the option of healing it back up to a Duskbreaker-resistant 3/4.

You know what? I go with Wild Pyromancer + The Coin + Power Word: Shield. I kind of like that play against a Priest.

Edited by Taan

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