Come in and Warm your Frozen Boots by the Fire!
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gunnolf, and I am originally from the Land Down Under a.k.a. Australia. I am an avid gamer that has acquired a real passion for card games, which originated from my humble beginnings as a Yu-Gi-Oh collector and eventually grew from my dabbling in Cardfight Vanguard and Buddyfight, until we reached the game we know as Hearthstone.
I've played Hearthstone since the days of classic, with multiple accounts on both EU and NA servers. Despite having reached the Rank of Legend and my own personal mentality of equating 'having fun' with 'winning', I am not really a fan of meta power-grinding & net-decking, not that there is anything wrong with that. Therefore, I enjoy thinking about new, cool and fun deck ideas that push boundaries while also allowing you to win and those are what I want to share with you guys every-time I post a decklist.
I have presently become a contributing writer to WILDHS and Vicious Syndicate will be posting articles there on a semi-regular basis, regarding deck-archetypes the status of the meta as well as how to get the most fun out of this game even if you aren't a big spender. If any of this sounds interesting, then I highly recommend that you check out of the websites, as the writers and the owner himself are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet with great in-game knowledge (link to be websites can be found HERE). You can also follow me on Twitter for latest updates.
If you genuinely like my content and would like to see me produce more of it, then please consider supporting me on Patreon. This is by no means necessary but it will definitely help me out in the long run. Thanks for Reading ^^
Yes, yes and oh Yes! It took me an hour but I finally crafted a deck that Shirvallah, the Tiger can call home. This deck is not a meme. I've played 9 games so far, against a variety of opponents ranging but not limited to Even Shaman, Big Priest, Odd Rogue & Cubelock and I have a 100% winrate. With more games obviously the win percentage will go down but this deck definitely seems to have the power to make it all the way to Legend. Before that though let's get into the details so that you may as well start terrorising ladder.
Card Choices and Deck-building Explained
As always, let's have a look at the significance of some cards. I will explain some of the card choices I opted for and the reasoning as to why they were included over potential counter-parts.
1) Forbidden Healing: This card has multiple functions and offers a plethora of benefits to the deck. Utmost and foremost, it is a great healing spell that allows for a semi-reno-like effect which may have been bad in the past but now with cards like High Priest Thekal and Time Out! it adds real lasting power
2) Time Out!: I knew this card was good but I just didn't know how good and I can say it now that I somewhat underestimated it. Not only does it protect you from damage but it also allows you to setup for even bigger Equality or Shrink Ray clear turns.
3) High Priest Thekal: This card is 100% necessary for the deck. It CANNOT be replaced. Without this card we cannot run Molten Giants and as a result the deck loses a win condition which it may need as you may not always have time to do the otk.
4) Solemn Vigil: While it may possess anti-synergy with Shirvallah, the Tiger, in so far as if it costs zero mana it doesn't reduce the cost of the tiger, it is a great cycle card especially after an Equality or Shrink Ray turn.
5) Brann Bronzebeard: While he is not 100% necessary and a luxury at times, his ability to synergise with the draw cards like Coldlight Oracle and Novice Engineer just puts him on a slightly higher tier.
(At the present time, only a few cards have been listed but I will include more if questions pop-up within the comments section regarding substitutions and why other cards were included.)
Alternative Cards (F2P) & Tech Cards
The list at hand is very tight and I don't recommend making any changes. However, if you want to go a different way here are some potentially substitutions you may want to look into.
-1x Brann Bronzebeard | +1x Augmented Elekk: Brann is obviously the better card because he synergises with more cards in the deck and pretty much has the same function as Elekk when shuffling cards into the deck ( at least in this list).
-1x Forbidden Healing | +1x Gluttonous Ooze or +1x Zola the Gorgon or +1x Secret Eater: You can lose part of the sustain package for targeting specific decks like potentially Kingsbane Rogue or generating additional value or another Wild Pyromancer if you are required to make tempo plays due to aggro or targeting control mages with their pesky Ice Block.
-1x Forbidden Healing | +1x Emperor Thaurissan: He's not super high on my list of cards to include in the deck, especially since he'd discount spells which we need to be high costing to discount Shirvallah, the Tiger. However, if you hit all 4 combo pieces (2x Baleful Banker + 2x Holy Wrath) and the LOA costs zero, you can do 50 damage in a single turn without a setup.
-1x Forbidden Healing or -1x Alexstrasza | +1x Nozari: So in the Rise of Shadows expansion with got a new dragon, Nozari that works as a more expensive Reno Jackson for the deck. While I don't think he's strong enough to run in the core list, he's still an extremely powerful cards and should definitely be considered for the deck. As an added benefit, it also can be drawn off of The Curator. In general, I'd suggest subbing out Forbidden Healing since Alexstrasza is too good at setting up a Molten Giant lethal turn.
(Let me know if you have any other cards to recommend in terms of teching against the meta so that I may include them for the benefit of others.)
Win Conditions & the TTK |OTK | High Burst Combo
The nice thing about this deck is how versatile it is, which is what separates it from the other gimmicky versions of Holy Wrath Paladin.
There is no denying that the OTK combo burst finisher is what this deck is really about. However, it can be pulled off in a variety of ways and to varying degrees of damage. I'll list below a number of OTK scenarios that will come up during your games:
- Please do keep in mind that you need to draw your entire deck for the Burst damage finisher or OTK to be 100% consistent. As daunting as this may be, it is actually quite easily achieved once you get the hang of the deck -
50 damage OTK: Turn prior Brann Bronzebeard -> Shirvallah, the Tiger -> x2 Baleful Banker on Shirvallah, the Tiger -> double Holy Wrath to their face.
This otk setup is really only relevant for people that are over the 25 health threshold i.e. control warrior & kingsbane rogue. The occasional warlock as well but it is the aforementioned two decks you really need to look out for.
31 damage TTK: Turn prior Equality or Shrink Ray Clear -> Molten Giant x2 -> next turn -> Alexstrasza (setting your opponent to 15 with 16 damage on board)
This has been a rare occurrence and can only occur from turn 8 onwards but after an Equality clear I've been able to drop two molten giants onto an empty board. If you can follow that up with Alexstrasza and barring any taunts, it is an easy way to TTK your opponent.
25 Instant Damage Burst Combo: Shirvallah, the Tiger -> Baleful Banker on Shirvallah, the Tiger -> Holy Wrath face for 25
This is typically what you'll be using against midrange or aggressive decks where you've potentially had to drop down your Brann Bronzebeard or one Baleful Banker early in the game. The positive thing about this is that you can inflict the damage on the same turn without any setup. So if you opponent is at 25 health or less they are dead.
The OTK aside, the deck has an extreme highroll element thanks to the interaction between High Priest Thekal and Molten Giant allowing for turn 3 or turn 2 (if you have the coin) enormous dumping on stats. Even one giant is enough to obliterate the game.
Small Mulligan Guide
So when it comes to this deck, the mulligan is quite important. Most of the time you only want to keep your draw engines i.e. novice engineers and High Priest Thekal. Every other card is essentially match-up dependant. Utmost and foremost, never keep molten giant unless you are actually holding High Priest Thekal. Praying for a highroll is not how this deck works.
Specifically against control, you can keep Coldlight Oracle and The Curator if you wish. Against control, you definitely keep Wild Pyromancer and if you're fearing bigger minions Equality as well. If you know you are facing a combo deck keeping a single copy of Time Out! may be warranted for later but to confirm more playtesting will have to be conducted.
So the deck does get some getting used to. Depending on how familiar you are with combo decks it it might take you a longer or shorter length of time. Whatever the case may be however here are some tips that should help your efforts.
1) Don't be afraid of dumping cards to make space in your hand to draw. Cards like Shrink Ray, Time Out! and Consecration are easily expendable if you have other clear options in hand. Casting a few in an non-optimal fashion won't lose you the game and they further discount Shirvallah, the Tiger to that 0 - 3 mana threshold you need to pull off the OTK or Burst combo.
2) As mentioned above Shirvallah, the Tiger costing as much as 3 mana is still enough of a discount for you to pull off the OTK combo since Brann Bronzebeard and x2 Baleful Banker cost 7 mana combined. Similarly, if you want to pull off the burst finisher, the LOA can cost anywhere between 3 and 0 mana since Baleful Banker is only 2 mana and you just need another 5 to cast Holy Wrath.
3) Don't be afraid to mill cards. Once you have a Baleful Banker, Holy Wrath and Shirvallah, the Tiger in your hands you can usually lose the rest of your deck. If you need the full otk of course you can add another 3 cards onto that but is determined by the match-up.
4) Even against aggro don't be afraid to play Coldlight Oracle, giving them extra minions or burst damage won't always count as much when you can stop all incoming damage with time out! and then clear them out the following turn with Equality or Shrink Ray. Play with caution but don't be overly fearful.
5) The Curator's battlecry draw always triggers based on its card text. So remember first it'll draw Shirvallah, the Tiger, then Alexstrasza and finally Coldlight Oracle. So it is not a risk if you're only missing LOA as a combo piece.
Gameplay Video By Tommy_Wave
Tommy has yet again gone out of his way to make a video for my deck. Not at the highest rank in wild but still plenty of fun to watch. Make sure to show him some love by checking out the awesome video.
Other Gunnolf Decks
This is my first list well-tested list for the current Rastakhan Rumble expansion and as a result I don't have any present decks to suggest. But if you want a blast from the recent past that once again features molten giants then you can have a look at my Evenlock list from the end of last season that also made it onto Vicious Syndicate:
|Minion (22)||Ability (8)|
As always guys, thank you so very much for reading. I would not be making this content if it wasn't for your tireless support. I went through a couple of decklists to get to this list and I even crafted Thekal high priest and two baleful banker. As a F2P player, losing 2.4k dust on what could have been a failed experiment was risky but it 100% paid off. So if you have the necessary cards, go and terrorise the ladder with Holy Wrath Paladin. Lastly, if you aren't getting it right away don't despair. It takes a little bit of practice.
I enjoy deck-building a multitude of interesting decks that are both entertaining and Legend viable (with some odd Free-to-Play lists mixed in). So if you like this deck (or anyone of my other ones) consider leaving a thumbs up, as it really helps in the long run! :)
Thank you guys for all your support and if you have any suggestions, let me know.