Auto win against Warlocks and Priests
Auto win against other control decks
Auto win against any other mill/fatique deck (they can't outlast infinity)
Favored against Shamans
Can deal with Hunters
Unfavored vs most Paladins
Struggles against Mages and Kingsbane rogue
Why should you play this?
To send a message to every Warlock and res Priest! Get them out of the meta entirely!
If you lose 99 games, but get a single win against a res priest, you know that's a win overall!
The deck has a 100% winrate against priest (and I have no idea how many I've encountered - maybe 60? - if you've played wild you know they're everwhere)
Antique Healbot <> Zilliax
Spirit of the Shark is a great budget replacement for Brann Bronzebeard
The deck is very specific so I'm not sure what you can cut to make room for tech cards. Maybe Antique Healbot , Zilliax or Deathlord.
Or maybe a single Lab Recruiter? I personally find those really helpful in every matchup so i wouldn't recommend it.
Gluttonous Ooze can help vs Kingsbane
Blood Knight for paladins seems a bit too ambitous. but Doomsayer was orignally in the deck. Wild Pyromancer could also be tested.
Cheat Death is very ambitious and overall inconsistent
I overall find Shadowblade unimpactful. You will rarely need the invincibility in this deck, since it's more midranged, than combo based.
Jade druid is a very bad deck so nobody should be playing it. But maybe if you've faced 20 in a row, you should consider Skulking Geist
Mill damage table
Always check for lethal. You might be closer than you think
(Remember they always draw once on their turn)
1 cards = 1 damage
2 cards = 3 damage
3 cards = 6 damage
4 cards = 10 damage
5 cards = 15 damage
6 cards = 21 damage
7 cards = 28 damage
8 cards = 36 damage
9 cards = 45 damage
10 cards = 55 damage
11 cards = 66 damage
12 cards = 78 damage
If the opponent already has already entered fatigue you simply count the full amount of fatigue and subtract the initial damage. I.e if they have drawn 2 fatigue cards and you mill them for 2, you count is as 4 cards (10 damage) and subtract 2 cards (3 damage).
The equation will look like this. 2+2 = 4 cards. 10-3 = 7 damage.
Generally vs control
It's very important to have card draw to cycle vs control. Try to hold onto Coldlight Oracle until you can guarantee shuffles, a bounce or at least enough draws to make you last for a while. Shadowsteping Brann Bronzebeard usually gets all this done for you. If you have Coldlight Oracle to combo. you also need to consider wasting your cards to get them out of your hand. Sometimes you really need the card slot for Lab Recruiter, Valeera the Hollow or Coldlight Oracle. Backstab your own minions if you have to. You can also destroy your own Deathlords if you're suspecting a Mecha'thun or Shudderwock deck. You usually just hard mill for Coldlight Oracle or Elven Minstrel. If you already have those, look for cheap cards to waste, ways to shuffle Coldlight Oracles or singular cards that are very useful in the matchup (look below for reference)
Generally vs Aggro
There is no way to write a guide for facing aggro with this deck since everything is so situational. However, it is very important to swing the board state in your favor. Removing minions one at a time can work, but will often get you killed in the long run. Swinging the board will instead force them to deal with your minions or allow you to bounce them. Preparation is a very good tool in this matchup - make it count!. Other cards that cycle are also really helpful. Just be careful since Fan of Knives can disable Walk the Plank. Coldlight Oracles are obviously not too great in these matchups. Not only because they let your opponent draw, but because they're 3 mana 2/2s. You generally wanna avoid playing it, since aggro decks can actually run out of cards (or have bad draws.
Generally mulligan for Backstabs, Fan of Knives, Deathlord and Elven Minstrel instead. Antique Healbot isn't terrible, but not recommended.
- In the priest matchup you need to bounce and not destroy. Hard mulligan for Coldlight Oracles or Elven Minstrel and attempt to have a Sap ready for the 1/1 from Barnes. If it's an Obsidian Statue you can also just leave it on the board. 4 damage a turn isn't really a problem. A fun little note is that Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound actually helps you mill. If you can take the damage you can choose to leave it up.
DO NOT KILL Ragnaros the Firelord. Even if he almost kills you. Priests have no damage from hand (aside from cards from The Lich King) and killing him will only worsen the situation. Spam out small minions instead to help you with the burn.
Sometimes you'll see a combo priest deck. You can attempt to mill their Archbishop Benedictus or simply go infinite after they've used it. This matchup requires a slight setup and very specific piloting.
- Against Warlocks you should attempt to hide your intend since most warlocks play like idiots and set themselves up for the mill. Walk the Plank and Saps should help vs their 4 drops. Avoid damaging them because of Hooked Reavers and Molten Giants (unless you're close to lethal). This matchup is usually an autowin if you get going fast. The biggest threats in this matchup are Mal'Ganis, Mecha'thun and Mojomaster Zihi so keep an eye out for what you're facing. You might wanna have a Sap ready, combo mill them with Brann Bronzebeard or avoid playing Valeera the Hollow respectively. Note that Mecha'thun needs to be discounted before it's a threat.
- In the aggro mage matchup you ideally wanna cycle Antique Healbots to deal with their endless barrage of burn. This matchup is very hard because their secrets destroy your minions and prevents Shadowsteps. No easy way to get around this, but try to be proactive instead of reactive. Autowin if any other mage. Backstab is really good in this matchup because it lets you check for secrets without losing tempo. Bloodmage Thalnos is also great since it cycles, and lets you remove Explosive Runes.
- Vs hunters you simply need to establish a board presence. Saps aren't that useful even though they silence magnetized mechs. Once the hunter loses the board you autowin. Bounce Antique Healbots and make sure to keep their board small to prevent Metaltooth Leaper. As long as they don't throw their entire hand out in turn 2 you should be fine. Don't keep Walk the Plank in your opener.
- In the jade matchup you need to attempt to mill their Jade Idols with Vanish and Coldlight Oracles. Litterally skip 8 turns if that is what it takes. Do not kill any of their minions! This is your only way to win! If you're really ambitious you can attempt to Gang Up on Aya Blackpaw or another jade card and out tempo them with Brann Bronzebeard. This will usually fail though.
- Most pirate decks just autowin against you. However, a Kingsbane rogue will usually avoid trading. Try to establish board control and race them. You will often win the race since Deathlords and Antique Healbots will negate entire turns of theirs. They also never use fan of knives so you can value trade. You need to destroy Buccaneer immediatly if they play it early without Kingsbane. It's basically a 5/1 and threatens even more damage if they can find Kingsbane again.
- Shamans seem to have died out a bit after the Flametongue Totem nerf. There's no easy way to write a guide for this matchup since shamans have so many different ways to build their early game. I usually treat it as a race where their hero power isn't really doing anything. Get fast draws to cycle and find your answers. Create swing turns with Vanish if possible, but keep in mind that Vanish is a very important tool. Do not waste it if you're not in danger of dying. And be aware that shamans have a very long reach when it comes to damage from hand. Although they're usually very board oriented, so you have so many options for stall; Evasion , Vanish and Valeera the Hollow. Remember that some run Windfury.
- Vs. paladins you hope you draw Fan of Knives pretty early.
The hardest aspect
The toughest choice with this deck is when to shuffle. Whether to use Preparation to use Gang Up. Which cards to bounce, which cards to shuffle. I can't give a definitive answer on this; it's extremely situational, but i can list some pros and cons.
If you use Preparation to Gang Up you gain 2 card spaces, but will be missing a Preparation. If you use Lab Recruiter you will have a 3/2 minion on the board, but it will be vulnearable if you wanted to bounce it later. Bouncing Lab Recruiter is also a great way to setup before your own mill turn to ensure you don't mill yourself. Gang Up can be used on an enemy minion if you only need the anti mill. Lab Recruiter can't be used with Preparation
If wanna bounce a minion, remember that Coldlight Oracle gives -1 handspace when played, while other cards give +1. Do remember that Brann Bronzebeard can be played with 3 Coldlight Oracles if you've shadowstepped. This mills 12 cards. Killing a full health opponent with 5 cards remaining (and very close if they have 6 cards remaining).
Using Brann Bronzebeard + Shadowstep frees up a handspace, sets up for use combo plays, but potentially makes you vulnearable to Dirty Rat, gives away your intend and is very slow board wise. Spending Brann Bronzebeard afterwards will also disable a combo mill turn in the future.
Most aggro players aren't total idiots and will kill Antique Healbot immediatly. If you play an Antique Healbot and can bounce it, you usually bounce it instantly, unless you don't have the time or think you can get a better opportunity later.