Looking for quick guidance from experienced Highlander players on when to use Zephrys and what to expect. Incredibly powerful card, maybe the best, but there's definitely nuance and strategy in timing when to play him. Maybe I have a decent answer/trade, where I could waste Zep to get a better answer, but then won't have him for later. Of course there's no substitute for knowing the entire cardbase :) but the concept of, say, Harrison Jones for 5 on turn 7 against Self Sharpening Sword, lets one gameplan a bit.
Do you mulligan him, or play early? I usually throw away, hoping to save for finisher or swing turn. Is that right?
In Highlander Hunter, I'm usually hoping for Fireball; turn 8 hero power + Zep -> Fireball if they're at 8.
There's the "two damage to two enemies with lifesteal" at a cost of 3, so a turn 5 play. Or the "two damage to all enemies, heal two to all friendlies" at a cost of 4 so could be considered turn 6.
But I've seen cards that give Windfury, so that's more lethal calculus to consider. Against a Khartut Defender I'm usually hoping for Silence but never get it.
I know I'm years late to this party, currently stuck at Diamond 3; any Do's and Don'ts would be awesome.
For starters, you need to know what options are available to you based on the mana you'll have remaining after playing Z. Fortunately, he only pulls from basic/classic set. This means you're not forced to be up to date on standard/wild cards so you have a fixed pool to predict possible choices from.
All that said, he also offers options based on your board state as well as the opponent's board state, and even though he offers something that will help you achieve your goal at the time (lethal, board clear, whatever) sometimes those options aren't as readily obvious as one would hope. That's pure player sense and flexibility which cannot be outright taught as it comes with playing enough games.
Theres a huge variety to how to play Z, and when to hold on to him in a mulligan hand vs not. Your deck and its win condition, as well as your opponents class and their win condition, really dictates how you make these type of choices. Again, game sense and meta knowledge is huge here.
If this wasnt clear or straightforward then that's appropriate, because although Zephrys can be a cold play for fireball/pyroblast lethal etc, hes got a HUGE potential ceiling for when you're not gifted your win condition on a silver platter. Best of luck!
Honestly, that's a loaded question. Zephrys is ultimately the most flexible card ever made, you can use him for tempo, for a swing, for survival, for lethal.
I would say that you usually want him in your hand as soon as possible, and there is almost never a bad time to play him. But it's also good to look at the strengths and weaknesses of your deck and use him to offset them. If you can read the cards your opponent is playing and get a hint they may play something that your deck will struggle to deal with, it might be worthwhile to hold him for that swing back.
First u have to learn what Zephrys got in bank for u, remember only cards from Classic and Basic Set. Cant type it all so here's the example of cards from single class.
Druid Cards: Moonfire, Mark of the Wild, Power of the Wild, Savage Roar, Healing Touch, Wild Growth, Mark of Nature, Swipe, Soul of the Forest, Keeper of the Grove, Druid of the Claw, Starfall, Starfire, Ancient of War, Cenarius.
Same things to other 9 classes.
Second u have to teach Zeph what he supposes to give u. Lets have a look at this example: u got 15 mins to get to your school. Its 2km far away. U cant go to school on foot. Zeph might think u need fastest transport so it gives u an airplane (which sucks). It also might give u a car, but u dont have driver's license! So the correct answer is just simply a bike required. I know this is quite hard, since we've never known what zeph could think. By manipulating your mana and fix the board state u have a higher chance to get what u need.
From my experience here are common things u could do with Zeph:
Turn 2 Zeph into Wild Growth, Animal Companion or Brightwing for your next turn
Use Zeph when u have no mana left then it should give u 0-mana cards like Silence, Backstab, Moonfire or following turn options (aoe clear like Twisting Nether or big value such as Tirion)
Against big board with 3 mana left it could give u Frost Nova.
Against ton of Secrets Flare should be an option.
Opponent currently has weapon in play. U have 8 mana, if u play Zeph immediately it should give u Harrison Jones, but u also dont want draw cards by playing it. Then u have to play something else to get down below 5 mana, play Zeph and Acidic Swamp Ooze is the pick.
And last, sometimes u have done everything u could to reach your wished card but Zeph is just too dumb to get it. Just get it over because its small indie company.
I think the three most basic plays are on T2 for Wild Growth on T3 if you can utilize the ramp, T10 with Twisting Nether or the 6 hp Fireball lethals.
Sure, there are other board clears (Lightning Storm, Holy Nova, Swipe, Consecration, Blizzard, Flamestrike, ...) and lethals (Savage Roar, Bloodlust, Windfury, Blessed Champion, Frostbolt, Pyroblast, ...) but they are conditional.
Most important is that you create the situation before you play him or he might suggest something else.
Mulligan depends on your deck and matchup. If ramping helps you or if you can race, keep him, if you need your deck and have him for late game reach, toss.
Another trick to know with Zephrys: Opponent has an annoying minion like Rattlegore. Zephrys will often not offer silence as he doesn't read deathrattles. However you can spend all your mana, play Zeph at 2-mana and get offered Mind Control for next turn
One of my most favorite Z plays is turn 5 for shadow madness, especially when I get to steal Solarian :D Cabal Shadow Priest on 8 is also amazing in certain matchups (looking at you, Vargos and infiltrator!)
Some important cards to keep in mind are shadow word death for big removal, Windfury when you have a high attack minion and bloodlust/savage roar when you have a wide board
I also think Zeph into backstab on turn 2 or holy smite on 3 is underestimated by many players who forget that Zeph has a 3/2 body. It's a big tempo swing vs some aggressive decks.