This deck is very similar to last expansion's tempo warrior (with its Bloodsworn Mercenary + Inner Rage on chargers combo) but with a new powerful tool: Galakrond. Tempo doesn't mean aggro, so you cannot ignore opponent's board and just go face, not always at least. It doesn't mean you have to be control either, but you have to recognize who's the aggressor in every matchup and adapt your playstyle to that.
CARDS THAT DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT
- Frothing Berserker: it could be really good, expecially if we start with the coin.. problem is that in this meta there are too many rush minions so it almost never sitcks on the board.
- Zilliax: could be good against tempo and aggro decks but when we need to push damage it only synergize with the SN1P.. it could be an inclusion though if too many aggro deck will populate the meta.
- Warpath: could be decent against aggro decks and to synergize with Bloodsworn Mercenary but I think it's to slow in this list.
- Rampage: could be very powerful on curve with Inner Rage but otherwise it's very slow and a dead draw a lot of the times.
- Shield of Galakrond: we could use for sure an extra invoke card but this one is too slow cause warrior invoking doesn't synegize well with it.
The mulligan strategy doesn't change that much between aggro matchups and the slower ones.
WITHOUT THE COIN
You always hard mulligan for 1 and 2 drops, exept for Battle Rage and Cruel Taskmaster (unless you already have a 1-drop). If you already have a good hand, you can keep also Devoted Maniac or Awaken!.
WITH THE COIN
The mulligan phase is almost the same as the one without the coin but you can also consider keeping double 2-drop using the coin on turn one (other good spots to use the coin could be on turn 4 to coin out a Faceless Corruptor or maybe on turn 2 to coin out Bloodsworn Mercenary if you played a 1 drop on t1 and you have also Inner Rage in hand).
GOAL OF THE DECK
We wanna pressure with our minions while invoking (going face almost always when we do that) unless we are facing a more aggressive deck, in wich case we wanna be more defensive (squeezing armor out of Eternium Rover for example). Galakrond isn't our only win condition (we have our Bloodsworn Mercenary + Inner Rage combos with Leeroy Jenkins or Kor'kron Elite and also the Grommash Hellscream + Inner Rage combo). Of course playing Galakrond we increase our chance to win by a lot so if you have Kronx Dragonhoof in hand use it to draw Galakrond every time. I know, closing a game with a devastation could be really nice but it isn't worth the risk of waiting too much and running out of steam.
Depending on what you're facing you have to chose if you wanna play the game as an aggro deck or more controllish. Simply ask yourself: "who's gonna lose if the game goes too long?". If the answer is "your opponent" you should be more focuse on board control and armor gain, otherwise (like in the shaman matchup) you should be the aggressor by sometimes even ignoring the board state.
- Against quest druid should be an unfavorable m.u., too much heals and control tools for the board.
- Other druids like the dragon one are too slow to compete with us I guess, so go for the aggro plan.
- Treant/token druid may be an issue so play for board control while pushing some face damage.
- If it's highlander and it starts with a good curve it could be really tough cause it's hard to SMORC and at the same time it could SMORC us better than we do... Key to win this m.u. is invoking a lot (maybe with a Gal on curve) and try to close the game before their Zul'Jin with a sneaky Inner Rage combo.
- If you're against Face Hunter it should be an even m.u. in my experience. Unless you start with a really bad hand you should get immediatly the board control and also the chance of heropowering almost every turn (from turn 3-4 and on) to counter their damages. Of course you have to pressure them aswell while controlling. You have to resist until they run out of gas and when they are in topdeck mode you just need to find the finisher and you're good. Don't go Galakrond unless you win by doin that, cause your armor hp is too important.
- Highlander mage is an ok matchup I guess, cause they don't run taunt exept for Khartut and Zilliax. Their freeze effects cannot scare us cause we win with chargers combos anyway or with a lot of invokes or Galakrond hero powers. Unless they Galaxy very early (in wich case it could be really painful) we are the aggressor so you should play almost like a face deck. Just remember to play around Alexstrasza when you wanna set up lethal.
- Cyclone mage is not that popular but I think it's a slightly easier matchup than the highlander one cause they are not that capable of controlling our board.
- Paladin could be OTK, in that case it's a bad m.u. I guess, cause they have too much healing and control tools. Our main win condition is the otk one with Bloodsworn Mercenary + Inner Rage and Leeroy for example.
- Other paladins like the Highlander one should be slightly favorable too, cause they fight for the board but we just go for the face plan and they cannot do crazy things exept of magnetizing a big Zilliax or playing a Tirion.
- Combo Priest should be another even matchup, where we have to play for board control and never let them stick a minion. We win by running them out of resources.
- If it's a slow priest, unless it's a taunt resurrect one, you should be good I guess.
- Tempo rogue should be an hard matchup cuase they can pressure better than we do, the only good thing is that rouge usually cannot heal so a face plan could be the way to go (forcing them to trade our board).
- If it's deathrattle though I think we almost always lose, unless they draw poorly without seeing Apothecary. The pressure they can make after Warbringer deathrattle procs is disgusting (and so are their heals if they manage to buff a Scalehide). Like against the tempo rogue I think the best plan is the face plan.
- So, shaman is basically just Galakrond. This is a very tough m.u. but still winnable unless they draw the nuts on curve. Of course they are better than us in the late game so don't try to win the board but just SMORC them as much as you can. The worst card they can play to deny our face plan is Dragon's Pack but if they don't play this in time we can easily win due their lack of healing out of their Galakrond.
- Warlock is more likely to be an Handlock, wich is an even matchup I guess. It all depends on their capability of putting taunts in your way. Be careful if a Mountain Giant is played cause it can deliver a lot of dmg over ultiple turns and let them became the aggressors.
- Zoolock should be fine, cause they try to get the board control with a lot of small minions that can be cleared just with an Awaken! while we also go face inkoking our Gal. Their life tapping helps us in the face plan but don't get baited into ignoring at all their board or they could set up some sneaky lethal.
- Tempo Galakrond mirrors could be tough, cause a lot of lists are more controllish than us, so try to not commit too much into the board. I guess who finds his Gal first has a lot more chances to win.
- Against pirate warrior we should be fine cause they go all in pretty quicky while we can pressure and control the board at the same time. Try to be the aggressor as well after you stabilize, otherwise they will just SMORC with their weapons and chargers.
- If Control Warrior will be a thing again, we'll have a really unfavorable matchup for sure against it.
If you miss some card you can try replacing it with one of the cards in the upper section "Cards that didn' make the cut".
- - 2 Southsea Deckhand +2 Faceless Corruptor (Corruptor is just too good and Deckhand just when drawn by Galakrond)
- - 1 Frothing Berserker +1 Spellbreaker (too many rush minions in this meta, the berserker almost never suvive)
- - 1 Livewire Lance +1 Frightened Flunky (there are too many 3 drops and this is the worst one, flunky is just decent tempo and decent value)
- - 1 Darius Crowley +1 Restless Mummy (with Corruptors on 5 Darius become too heavy, the mummies are just better rushers)
Check out my Twitter for daily updates on deck testing:
KDK made a showcase of the deck
Ancient PVP also made a showcase of the deck
(with a slightly edited list)
If you want to check out all my DoD decks: