"Lackey's in the Twist" is a new take on Plot Twist warlock, featuring cards from the latest expansion, Saviors of Uldum.
The Basic Premise is to use lackey effects to control the tempo of the game long enough to fire off massively game-warping tempo swings. Whenever we spin to win with Dorian or Bertrug we get value from various reborn minions and deathrattles including hits on Anubisath Warbringer which delivers whopping buffs to the creatures we have in hand -- Including our wonderful little Lackeys! Not only does your opponent have to deal with the board you just created... but also the supersized minions you can drop from your hand.
Some games you will win on tempo alone. Others will be hard fought nail biters, down to the last point of health. All combined, It has tools to vie versus most of the decks in the Meta:
Lackeys, AoE, numerous Taunt minions, and plentiful restore effects make the deck extremely resilient to aggro decks
Strong Curve play, tempo variety, and incidental costs and card/effect generation make this deck versatile versus midrange decks.
Huge Value generation, and hand-sculpting, give the deck the reach to take on heavy control based matchups. (Hakaar and Elysiana can easily be subbed in if you are facing more control matchups)
The deck is extremely fun, challenging, and rewarding to play well, Making it a strong contender for both high-level and casual ladder play.
Plague of Flames × 2 -- Converts lackeys and tokens into mass board wipe... often with mana to spare for follow up plays on the same turn.
Sinister Deal × 2 -- Easy lackey generation, allowing you to pick which one you get.
EVIL Genius × 2 -- Preferred method of Lackey generation. Converts excess bodies in play to effects in hand.
Plot Twist × 2 -- Primary Value Generation of the deck. Allows you to eat lots of damage and re-use Broodmaster for tons of healing; Used with Dollmaster Dorian or Fel Lord Betrug to create massive effects. Sometimes even just used to pitch your hand and redraw if RNG is giving you a completely crap hand.
Temple Berserker -- Surprisingly good 2-drop that reanimates itself with Reborn The Berzerker effect is just added value, especially when he is resurrected.
Sense Demons × 1 -- There are only 3 demons in the deck: Two copies of Aransai Broodmaster (used for healing and taunts), and Fel Lord Betrug for Value Plays. Sometimes you use this to Heal, sometimes you try to dig for Betrug, sometimes you shuffle it back into the deck with plot twist and save it for the recycle.
Voodoo Doll -- Tech card that targets single diffecult to deal with creatures. Usually combo'd with a Lackey or some other Sacrificial effect for immediate use
Bone Wraith × 2 -- All-star taunt versus aggro decks. Reborn not only gives him added stickiness to the board but also nets a body if copied by Dorian or Betrug.
Hellfire -- Medium range AoE that works well versus boardspam decks, and can even combo with a Voodoo Doll, or burn face for the last few points
Dollmaster Dorian × 1 -- "Early game" Value generation that lets you convert draw power into small bodies on board... preferably with powerful deathrattle effects.
Rotten Applebaum × 2 -- Additional ward that helps you stabilize by gaining life on deathrattle... especially when copied by Dorian or Betrug.
Aranasi Broodmother × 2 -- Converts draw power into healing if you keep cycling her in the deck. Decent sized Ward if you need to protect face.
Cairne Bloodhoof × 1 -- Simple yet effective body and deathrattle effect for the cost. Nets value if copied by Dorian or Betrug.
Khartut Defender × 2 -- Yet another ward. Reborn gives you 2 wards in one, and his deathrattle helps you stabilize or stay healthy.
Siphon Soul × 1 -- Sometimes you just need one thing dead. The life gain is nice too.
Fel Lord Betrug × 1 -- Late Game value generator that converts draw power into bodies on board with RUSH. Crushing advantage with strong deathrattle/reborn effects.
Anubisath Warbringer × 2 -- Surprisingly strong deathrattle effect, giving a huge buff to minions in hand. As clunky as he looks, just one is enough to put a cramp in your opponent's ability to keep up with newly supersized minions coming out of your hand... and beyond gamewarping if you get the extra value from copies by Dorian or Betrug.
How to Lackey
Generally speaking, your Lackeys are here to protect you from early game focused decks and smooth out your tempo while you ramp up for the big value plays. This doesn't mean you can't use them for tempo and play aggro yourself -- but you should always remember their primary uses so that you can plan accordingly and still try to keep an ace in the hole versus expected plays. In general I will tend to hold lackeys in preparation for plays with Plague of Flames or Voodoo Doll. However they do have some other uses, especially if it doesn't seem like you will need to plague in the near future. Holding on to unused Lackeys can even benefit from Anubisath Warbringer triggers... but be careful about shuffling them back into your deck with Plot Twist.
Ethereal Lackey -- The #1 spell you can discover with Ethereal is additional copies or Plot Twist. Spot removal or additional AoE can be good as well. Another copy of Sense Demons might be okay if you really need the healing / protection
Faceless Lackey -- I generally hold Faceless as a 2-for-1 setup for Plague of Flames. You can use the extra Body Generation for tempo, but don't shoot yourself in the foot to do it. You have plenty of body generation tools later to want to overextend for a 2-cost body for no reason.
Goblin Lackey -- Helps to Swing tempo by giving something RUSH. Great easy activator for a Voodoo Doll.
Kobold Lackey -- A more direct way of playing tempo as removal. However, it also moonlights as a sneaky way to pop Voodoo Doll as well.
Witchy Lackey -- Not a Lackey I like using very often. still has uses in upgrading/healing minions used for trading. Sometimes you use it to fish for something needed on the transform.
Titanic Lackey -- So far this is the least useful Lackey, since a considerable portion of our deck has taunt already. Still it can be used to trade up on the board, or provide another ward in a pinch... or even force your opponent to break a deathrattle for you.
Generally, we are mulligan to find our Lackey Generation, AoE's or other low ish drops.
Plot Twist in the opening hand can be awkward but it usually worth it. It is one of the most important parts of the deck, and even if your deck draws like trash, you can use it without the extra value to try to reset your hand.
Bone Wraith and Dorian can be nice to keep in the opener. Applebaum is awkward but a passable keep if you have nothing else useful to start with, since he is both a ward and Life gain.
Anything 6+ cost needs to go back into the deck so you don't throw the game completely to tempo. This includes Khartut Defender -- he's a good card, but you can't afford for him to be your first relevant play of the game.
Notable Cards that got Cut
Supreme Archaeology -- Just.... No. It is a dead card in the opening hand, and you will lose to tempo before you ever get to do anything relevant with it.
The Soularium -- Tempting to use especially with Dorian, but we are playing for BIG value. However, you won't often have space in hand for the extra cards, and you don't want to discard something you might need later in the game. It was just a dead card in hand in 99% of the games I tested with it.
EVIL Cable Rat -- Yes we are using Lackeys however, we are only using them as a form of control and we can only fit so many in the deck without diluting out other gameplans. Rat got cut, mainly because 2 mana (+1 to cast the lackey) was sometimes too much to squeeze in 1 turn of clutch tight mana plays. Sinister Deal does the same thing, and gives us a choice of lackey for one less cost.
Spirit of the Bat -- In smaller versions of this deck, Spirit was a decent way to generate "Keleseth" -esque Value by sacrificing tokens and building a big hand. We really don't need that effect so much any more and can get more from Anubisath Warbringer, with much less setup and wasting of resources.
Void Analyst -- See Spirit of the bat. Sometimes I will take this card from Dark Possession, however.
EVIL Recruiter -- While we ARE using Lackeys for a significant amount of play, this card created a conflict between using lackeys to control tempo versus using them to generate value. In the end, we have more than enough value generation, and are better off saving our Lackeys as our thin line of defense until the big guns come online.
Rafaam's Scheme -- Lackeys and eggs ended up being better... in this deck. Trying to use this with plague can be very problematic if your deck doesn't give you cards in the right order, and you don't have time for it to charge up. in a more control oriented list this might be okay, but in THIS deck, the tools we already have will do the job, without trying to cram another card in and force our sequencing.
Dark Pharaoh Tekahn -- Same as EVIL Recruiter. Also, the effect is redundant/cannibalistic to Anubisath Warbringer. Makes sense in a Lackey/Tempo/Zoo build, but it is win/more in this deck, and takes card slots away from more needed effects.
Dr. Morrigan -- There are some unique plays that Morrigan offers this deck, but the same effect that makes her enticing can backfire if she pulls the wrong thing out of your deck at the wrong time -- Especially Elysiana.
Arch-Villain Rafaam -- The effect is only really relevant for destroying Corrupted Blood in our deck. Could replace Elysiana if you are teching for more control matchups.
So that's all for now... Thank you for reading this far! Please comment if you have any questions about the build or would like to see additions to the guide.
Dropped the Eggs in favor of Temple Berserker -- the Reborn Mechanic has natural synergy with the deck, and getting the berserk effect on a reanimated body ends up being much more aggressive and tempo positive.
Brought in Hellfire for the dearth of aggro decks running around in the meta.
Voodoo Doll can deal with additional single target problems without having to lean on a sole Copy of Siphon Soul, and it works great with multiple Lackeys (in addition to other cards).
Dropped situational Deathrattles and pushed all-in on Anubisath Warbringer.
Lifegain effects are plentiful enough without needing Deranged Docter
Mechanical Dragon was decent but often left us with awkward tempo decisions.
Anubisath Warbringer makes our hand MONSTEROUS when/if they clear the board after a plot twist -- further straining with our opponent's ability to cope with follow-up board states.
Elysiana and Hakaar were removed to test viability without them. They often complicate hand-sculpting and effect sequencing. -- especially since most games don't even need them to close the game. They may be needed again in the future if the meta shifts further toward control.