Heroic Dark Iron Arena - Mage's Frost Nova exploit deck
Consistency: Acceptable (expected number of tries 3-5)
I really hate this boss and I hope that Blizzard will not create such bosses anymore. His design is bad on so many levels.
First, he is a major time-waster. Maybe his long introductions of every minion are somewhat entertaining when you are fighting him for the first time. But they certainly aren't after 30+ tries. Just shut up, already...
Second, there is no consistent strategy to beat him. He almost purely is a luck-dependent boss. And this is always bad, because it basically ruins a deck-building part of the challenge. Yeah, some decks have better chances, but it is very difficult to build your deck around some idea, when in the end it all just depends on a lucky Mind Control Tech.
So what is the strategy?
Ok, let's see. This boss is somewhat similar to Gothik from Naxx. Like Gothik he has insane mana and tempo lead, which he is able to maintain for many turns. But unlike Gothik he doesn't die to fatigue, doesn't run out of cards and his deck has unbeatable value. It's like you have to fight Gothik two or three times in a row.
He has so much value, that no control deck has resources to handle this... stuff, so you can't stay on defense. You kind of have to capture the board and pray that he didn't draw Deathwing (and he usually does). But there is just no consistent way to capture the board with 1-2-3 mana, when the boss is playing 5-5-6 plus free 1/1 Taunts. You barely have mana to stay alive.
So you solely depend on a lucky Mind Control Tech or on some AI exploit.
Yes, in this case an exploit is some AI flaw. Something AI does, that a real player would not do. There are basically two known exploits on this boss - Lorewalker Cho/Frost Nova and Millhouse Manastorm/Archmage Antonidas.
I would really like to use some "honest" deck, but you came here for a way to beat the boss and I have to provide one. And this one is probably the best known.
So, yeah, this is a modern variation of the most popular deck on Hearthpwn. I added few good cards, which probably will let you to survive a little bit longer if things went wrong. But the core cards didn't change, so in the case of its primary scenario you probably won't see much difference.
The idea is to keep his board frozen permanently with Frost Nova. You basically have to wait for AI to play Lorewalker Cho with 6 other creatures, then put your own creature on the board (this is important) and cast Frost Nova. Lorewalker Cho will copy it and since Grimstone can't play anything else (hopefully you didn't supply him with other spells), he will cast Frost Nova in return. You can repeat this every turn and spend leftover mana to kill him with your Hero Power and spells.
It sounds easy, but it is not. There are so many things you can do wrong. So read this guide carefully and make sure to watch the sample game.
This deck has few small creatures to combo with Frost Nova and a set of defensive spells to stall the game until you can setup the board. Some spells may be used for face damage once the board is frozen and Grimstone's hand is full.
Mind Control Tech is the best minion for this battle in pretty much every class and setup and sometimes he can buy you few turns.
You probably can put your own Lorewalker Cho into this deck to increase its consistency. But since I don't have him, I have no idea if lone zero-attack Lorewalker Cho will bait AI's Frost Nova. So you may need to play another minion with him to start perma-freeze cycles.
Mulligan hard for Frost Nova. It is your only win condition and if you didn't draw it by the time Lorewalker Cho is played you will have really hard time stalling the board, since you can't use almost all your spells while Lorewalker Cho is on the board. In fact I suggest to start a new game, if you don't have Frost Nova in your starting hand.
Stage 1 - Lorewalker Cho is played: to advance you need Frost Nova, a small minion and no free space on the upper half of the board. If these requirements are not satisfied, you just have to wait. You can't cast any damage or freeze spells during this time, which essentially leaves you with minions, The Coin and Ice Barrier.
Stage 2 - Frost Nova is cast. The only thing, which can ruin your game at this stage is an unlucky Flame Leviathan draw. Wait until the boss starts burning his cards. You still can't cast anything but Frost Nova at this stage.
Stage 3 - Grimstone's hand is full (9 cards at the start of your turn). You can cast anything, that does not kill his minions now, but always start with Frost Nova. Be very careful with Archmage Antonidas, he can easily mill your Frost Nova. And you never should play him without Shatter in your hand.
This is probably the most consistent Grimstone deck archetype in existence.
Most of you will probably just restart the game, if you didn't draw Frost Nova, so if you only count attempts with Frost Nova, it has about 25-40% win rate. However, expect to lose it at least once because of your own mistakes. If you are going to play through every attempt, then expected number of tries is somewhere around 7-10.
About attached video:
I decided to show two games this time.
Game 1 (7:52): This is the primary scenario for this deck, which shows all details of proper behavior on every stage. Study it carefully.
Game 2 (19:36): This is a bonus game I just had to share. It shows what may happen if RNGesus smiles on you. It is the same deck, but in this game it somehow managed to beat the boss without using exploits. I didn't even knew that it is possible, because it entirely consists of defensive tools and beating the boss with it in a regular way was not even considered as a possible outcome. So enjoy this miracle, which shows that everything is possible, if luck is on your side.
Blacktiger's Blackrock Mountain deck collection:
- The Grim Guzzler - Shaman's balanced deck Reliable (1-3 tries)
- Dark Iron Arena - Mage's Frost Nova exploit deck Acceptable (~30% mulligan based)
- Emperor Thaurissan - Priest's purify deck Super (near 100% win rate)
- Garr - Warrior's enrage deck Reliable (1-3 tries)
- Baron Geddon - Warlock's Reno deck Super (near 100% win rate)
- Ragnaros (& Majordomo) - Druid's jade deck Super (near 100% win rate)
- Highlord Omokk - Mage's spell deck Super (near 100% win rate)
- General Drakkisath - Warrior's recruit deck Super (near 100% win rate)
- Rend Blackhand - Warlock's AoE deck Acceptable (3-5 tries)
- Razorgore the Untamed - Priest's dragon deck Reliable (1-3 tries)
- Vaelastrasz the Corrupt - Warrior's hand deck Reliable (1-3 tries)
- Chromaggus - Priest's control deck Reliable (1-3 tries)
- Lord Victor Nefarius - Warlock's Mecha’thun deck Acceptable (3-5 tries)
- Omnotron Defense System - Warlock's headshot deck Super (near 100% win rate)
- Maloriak (in near-term plans) (temporary skipped)
- Atramedes - Warrior's taunt deck Super (near 100% win rate)
- Nefarian - Shaman's Shudderwock deck Super (near 100% win rate)
Provided win rates are approximate. They are based on my tests and so partially depend on how lucky/unlucky I was during my testing. Also keep in mind, that you need a bit of experience with a deck to use it to its full potential. So first attempts usually have lower win rates, than suggested in this list.
Check my profile for updates and plans.