Hey guys, long time no see! This is Curemew here again to welcome you to our NEL Deck Guide #6. It’s been a while since NEL Fall Season started and I’ve found a deck that I cannot wait to share with you: the Miracle Warrior.
This deck was originally designed and popularized by a Chinese pro player MoYan from World Elite back in October but our author for this article, Chiang, was the first person with the guts to bring it into a major tournament. His bravery was rewarded and has ended up a huge 3-0 success for his team 17173.
This deck will not be very hard to play for seasoned Warriors: the secret is to pretend you are the traditional Control Warrior deck. We use cheap removal spells and weapons to clear the early board and survive the mid game with the help of high quality neutral minions. There is also added card draw from Gadgetzan Auctioneer which helps find the combo pieces. The game usually ends with Alexstrasza into an enraged Grommash or a charging Raging Worgen. The pattern might sound dull, but trust me, the actual games are insanely fun.
One of the key strengths of this deck is its flexibility. Miracle Warrior can play a slow and controlling game similar to the traditional Warrior build; on the other hand, this deck can play like a Combo Druid and end the game with a swift burst-combo. The most clear parallel, however, is with the deck's cousin Miracle Rogue. This Warrior build borrows the Miracle title by being able to cycle cheap removal spells and end the game with a combo finish.
The aggro decks have many early threats and always try to deal damage to our hero as soon as possible. If we have Fiery War Axe in our opening hand, this match should be easy. Do everything you can to survive the early turns and play your late game minions to finish. Against an aggro deck tempo and board presence is more important than your combo or card advantage. Feel free to drop the Raging Worgen or Auctioneer if there are no other card to play that turn.
vs Aggro (Deathrattle Hunter, Zoolock, Aggro Mage, Aggro Rogue)
These decks have a lot of value minions and -- once they are ahead on board -- will snowball us to death. Focus on the board control and trade carefully: play like a Control Warrior here. If the opponents are forced to use spells, they won't have the extra mana to play more minions in mid game: preventing them from curving efficiently is our main objective. The turning point is usually the turn we play the Auctioneer. After the opponents start to trade from their side, we play Auctioneer to combo with our removal spells to clear the board and to draw cards. We need to predict opponent's moves then set up ways out of such situations.
vs Minion-heavy Midrange (Druid, Handlock, Secret Mage, Priest)
These decks use some powerful and efficient spells to keep the board clear and fight back in late game with their heavy minions. These matches are definitely the favorable ones because our early game weaknesses are not an issue against these slow decks. We have plenty of time to gather our combo pieces and burst them down. The only thing to really look out for are potential Taunts and healing effects.
vs Spell-heavy Control (Control Warrior, Control Paladin, Control Priest)
These decks follow a similar plan to us and are focused on collecting resources in hand. We generally have two ways to beat such deck: first, we can use our Hero Power and our removal spells to stay out of kill range; second, we join the race and gather our combo faster. The second plan is especially enticing when our starting hand has two or more combo cards. Usually our card draw isn’t as good as our opponent's so think it through before making a decision.
vs Draw-dependent Pure Control (Freeze Mage, Miracle Rogue)
vs Aggro Warrior 40/60
Very important: Fiery War Axe, Shield Block, Harrison Jones
Important: Sludge Belcher, Raging Worgen
While this is a tough matchup, the secret lies in keeping the board clear with spells and weapons. In terms of our own threats, their main priority should be forcing trades: face damage is a secondary consideration. Don't worry about burning combo cards early. Stabilizing is the hard part and closing the game is easy once that's accomplished.
vs Control Warrior 50/50
Very important: Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Harrison Jones, Death’s Bite
Important: Shield Block, Execute, Shield Slam
Since we're going for a combo kill, controlling our opponent's armor is key. The best ways to keep armor low is killing Armorsmiths on sight and keeping up enough pressure so as to not give an opening for Shield Block. We, on the other hand, can cycle through our deck much faster so don't worry about your own Shield Blocks.
Dropping Alextrasza on turn nine is usually where you want to be.
vs Mirror matchup 50/50
Very important: All 5 drops, Death’s Bite
Important: Execute, Alexstrasza
It depends a lot on how fast both sides cycle their decks.
Just like against the Control Warrior, if our opponent cannot use Shield Slam efficiently we will have huge advantage in the mid game. Usually both sides don’t run Armorsmiths so it’s relatively easier to clear the armor.
Whoever takes the mid game lead will have a better chance to win. This is the main reason why we keep our five drops in starting hands. Capping off the mid game with a turn nine Alexstrasza is still the perfect play.
vs Aggro Hunter 40/60
Very important: Fiery War Axe, Cleave, Ironbeak Owl
Important: Slam, Whirlwind, Harrison Jones
This a very tough match.
The best way to win is to try and keep the board clear with our weapons and spells. The backup plan is to play our own threats -- like Auctioneer or Worgen -- “recklessly” and force the opponent to trade and effectively gain us some life. This is another matchup where our card advantage is less relevant than simply surviving the early game.
vs Deathrattle Hunter 50/50
Very important: Fiery War Axe, Cleave, Death’s Bite
Important: Slam, Ironbeak Owl, Whirlwind
Deathrattle Hunters are more focused on building out a board than their Face Hunter counterparts. The plan in this matchup is to keep the board clear and clear of beasts more specifically. The game plan is simple enough but some of Hunter's starts can make the execution difficult.
vs Aggro/Midrange Druid 50/50
Very important: Death’s Bite, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Execute, Shield Slam(if with Shield Block)
Important: Sylvanas, Slam, Brawl
Most Druids now run both Spectral Knight and Shade of Naxxrasmas which makes the board harder to clear by using spells. In this matchup we won’t have much armor for the Shield Slam synergy, so the most important tools are our weapons and mid game minions. We can’t count on the spells that much as we usually do.
vs Ramp Druid 55/45
Very important: Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Execute, Shield Slam(if with Shield Block)
Important: Slam, Death’s Bite
Ramp Druid is relatively slow so it’s a good matchup for us. They usually play the high value minions one after another, so our cheap removals will work well in such situation. The one thing to watch out for here are which Taunts they have used. You will need to save some removal at least for when you plan to go off.
vs Freeze Mage 55/45
Very important: Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Shield Block, Loatheb
Important: Death’s Bite, Raging Worgen related combo pieces, Alexstrasza
Without Armorsmith we may not be able to armor up enough to make this match a free win. The plan for this matchup is to cycle our deck and swing the damage to enemy face fast to make him feel uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for Molten Giants, while these aren't as popular anymore they can still ruin your day.
Be sure to have a way to punch through damage if your combo is stopped short by an Ice Block.
vs Secret Mage 45/55
Very important: Death’s Bite, Execute
Important: Ironbeak Owl, Gadgetzan Auctioneer
Not a favorable matchup. We don’t have many cheap minions to play around Mirror Entity and Water Elemental is so hard to deal with so don’t trigger Duplicate with him!
vs Aggro Mage 55/45
Very important: Cleave, Fiery War Axe, Ironbeak Owl
Important: Shield Block, Raging Worgen, Slam
This is a match in our favor. Aggro Mage’s damage is limited and Warrior can easily take out their early threats while building armor. We still need to be careful with Mirror Entity. Giving our opponent a free Sludge Belcher can easily put ourselves off lethal and lose the entire game due to that one secret.
vs Miracle Rogue 50/50
Very important: Death’s Bite, Fiery War Axe, Loatheb, Harrison Jones
Important: Grommash, Shield Block, Gadgetzan Auctioneer
Miracle Rogue is the true Miracle deck and they cycle their deck way faster than Warrior. The Warrior does, however, do better at surviving. We swing our weapons mostly to Rogue’s face and use Grommash or Worgen to finish him off.
After the Leeroy nerf, Miracle Rogue runs more minions. This shift favors us in the matchup because it provides targets for some of our removal. In the past Warrior could have some awkward draws with multiple spells stranded in hand with no targets.
vs Aggro Rogue 60/40
Very important: Fiery War Axe, Loatheb, Harrison Jones, Cleave
Important: Slam, Sludge Belcher, Whirlwind
This matchup is pretty straightforward. All you need to do to be successful in this matchup is take care of their early threats and keep your armor up. Your abundance of cheap removal should make killing small minions trivial and leave you with extra mana to Hero Power. The only other consideration is to play around Coldlight Oracle by not sandbagging too many cards.
vs Zoolock 45/55
Very important: Fiery War Axe, Ironbeak Owl, Cleave, Death’s Bite
Important: Raging Worgen, Slam, Shield Slam, Brawl
I never feel happy when facing Warlock cause I don’t know what kind of deck they are playing. The Zoo half of the Warlock decks are difficult to play against because they have both a fast clock and are able to deploy Taunts.
vs Handlock 45/55
Very important: Execute, Ironbeak Owl, Shield Slam
Important: Shield Block, Death’s Bite, Gadgetzan Auctioneer
Handlock is not much better than Zoo. While Handlock does not have as fast a clock, they make up for it with an abundance of Taunts.
vs Control Paladin 60/40
Very important: Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Death’s Bite, Harrison Jones
Important: Alexstrasza, Ironbeak Owl, Loatheb
This is one of our easier matchups. Control Paladin has no real threats that we have to worry about; their healing doesn't help much against our heavy burst; and Alexstrasza can do massive damage. The only real point to watch out for is keeping the Ironbeak Owl on Tirion duty.
vs Aggro Paladin 55/45
Very important: Ironbeak Owl, Whirlwind, Death’s Bite
Important: Harrison Jones, Fiery War Axe, Cleave
Aggro Paladin isn’t as strong as other aggro decks, so this match won’t be too hard. The opponent might draw a lot of cards through Divine Favor, but as long as we keep the board clear, it won’t be a problem. Aggro Paladin doesn’t have too much direct face damage either to threaten us later in the game.
vs Control Shaman 60/40
Very important: Death’s Bite, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Brawl
Important: Fiery War Axe, Ironbeak Owl
This is another matchup that shouldn't be too much of an issue. Their biggest threats are Flametongue Totem, Fire Elemental, Feral Spirits, and Doomhammer: all of these have well defined answers in our deck.
- Ironbeak Owl for Flametongue Totem.
- Execute, Shield Slam for Fire Elemental.
- Weapons for Feral Spirits.
- And Doomhammer belongs in the museum.
vs Aggro Shaman 40/60
Very important: Harrison Jones, Fiery War Axe, Ironbeak Owl
Important: Raging Worgen, Death’s Bite, Cleave
There’re two versions of Aggro Shaman: one with double Doomhammer plus double Lava Burst, and one with Windfury. Both are hard to beat because they are too fast for us. The best plan is to drop our Worgen or Auctioneer early if we have no other cards to play so at least they can take some damage for us.
vs Priest 60/40
Very important: Death’s Bite, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Azure Drake
Important: Shield Block, Alexstrasza, Fiery War Axe
One of the best matchups. Neither the Deathrattle Priest nor Control Priest can provide meaningful pressure. Priest’s healing ability isn’t as good as Paladin’s and their Taunt minions are not as strong as Handlock or Druid's: this makes them much more vulnerable to our combo.
Deck in Action
What is the “NEL 3x3 Format”? One team, three players, and three different Classes each. This means each team must have decks for each class and they all get played. First created and used in Hearthstone NEL.