The SMOrc Police
- Tired of aggressive builds and quick games?
- Want to grind things to a halt as much as humanly possible?
- To have your opponent concede a relatively large number of games without you having to actually win?
- To drain all of their resources by forcing bad trades?
- To watch your enemies AFK or disconnect in frustration?
- Do you enjoy long games?
- Do you cook dinner or watch television and movies while you play?
Well, you also need to ask yourself "do I mulligan this quest?" This article will help identify those matchups where you ought to get rid of the quest and those where grinding them down quickly with Sulfuras is a priority. Furthermore, we will address some of the card choices and various possible deck building options and general play pattern of the deck.
Quest Warrior is a control deck through and through. It cannot go on the offensive well — you are playing 3 mana 1/4s after all — and almost always wants to play a long game. The longer the game goes, the more likely we are to fatigue our opponents out of the game or win through massive chunks from our Ragnaros-esque hero power.
The basic game plan of this deck is controlling the board with big butts. Ideally, you want to be able to put more health on board than your opponents can keep up in attack power. Stonehill Defender in your opener is ideal, as it increases the amount of taunt minions we can play for the Quest while also being an annoying body. Tar Creeper is another one of our best early plays and any build of Taunt Warrior should run two of each. We don't always have many early taunt plays, so be sure to keep or mulligan towards them or Fiery War Axe, less you get stuck with a hand of Primordial Drakes and the Curator. We don't want to find ourselves in a position where we are wasting Brawls because the first creature we play will be meaningless. Force your opponent, if possible, to wildly overextend by keeping just enough healthy taunts around.
There are varying lists out there, and the flexible card slots tend to be Shield Block, Shield Slam, Armorsmith, and Battlerage. There are less Dirty Rats sometimes, as well, as it is definitely a meta-specific card (excellent versus Quest Rogue, for example). Shield Block has been noticably useful versus various Mage decks, as these are matchups where we want to mulligan the quest and dedicate ourselves to acquiring as much armor as possible. The same applies to Armorsmith in this scenario. Cards like Shield Slam can be helpful for taking out high attack minions, forcing our opponents to go wide, playing numerous smaller creatures, and goading them into a high-value Brawl.
I tried Battlerage for quite sometime and was never quite satisfied with it. I never had the time or desire to cast it, and while the deck wants card advantage, I've found that a combination Whirlwind, 2x Ravaging Ghouls and 2x Acolyte of Pain will get the job done. Obviously the Curator helps in the card advantage game, too. The number of Bloodhoof Braves is up for debate, as it gives us something on turn four but I've been playing zero copies lately.
Speaking of mulliganing the Quest, there are actually quite a few matchups where you want to have it late game as a win-condition but will need every early card you can have in order to survive. Generally speaking, aggressive decks like Hunter, Pirates, and Tokens (both Druid and Shaman) are matchups where we are not exactly in a rush to finish our quest.
Having said that, the Token matchup is very good, and perhaps one of the reasons Taunt Warrior is hanging on as a viable middle-tier deck. Brawl is amazing in these matchups, and the high toughness taunts are extremely annoying for our opponents.
Control Paladin decks can be a bit of an issue, as they can produce a lot of value and 2 for 1s in the late game. In my experience, the best course of action is to finish the quest and pray to Ragnaros you hit what you need with your new hero power. Grinding out armor is largely meaningless in this matchup. The Paladin matchups in general can be quite difficult, but that is simply the state of the meta for us right now. Mage decks can be difficult if we are tempo'd out by an early Wyrm or Secret beatdown plan. However, if you play Shield Blocks, which not everyone does, try and hold them until the late game versus the Mage decks. If they get greedy with an Alexstrazsa we can potentially kill it and then shield up to survive. Alley Armorsmith and Armorsmith are both all-stars in these matchups.
Occasionally you will run into various Priest decks. If it's a Silence build it can be a bit of an issue, obviously, as it makes our minions kind of embarassing. Be sure to save an Execute and fight aggressively to keep a few taunts in play versus Miracle Priest. And, if you run into Dragon Priest at all, be mindful of which taunt minion you want to use to bait out the Book Wyrm, which can be a backbreaking card for us.
In general, this deck plays like a typical control deck in that it wants to play effecienctly costed minions that control the board, sweepers to punish opponents who overcommitment minions, and some minor spot removal for problematic individual threats.
I will admit that control Paladin is certainly the better deck, with much more technology available to it, but there is something so satisfying about slamming high health minions onto the board until your opponent gives up.
Here's the list I've been playing recently to decent success. I've moved away from Dirty Rat as I've seen less and less matchups where I want it, but this is a meta-dependent call. I've swapped them for Shield Slams, which have been excellent in combination with Armorsmith and the one of Shield Block to let us play a more controlling game in matchups where we mulligan the Quest.
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