Aviana and Kun: Wild’s Recipe for Great Combo Decks
Hello all and welcome back for another look at Wild. This article’s spotlight falls upon the Druid Class. Mean Streets of Gagdetzan is considered by some to be the worst expansion for Hearthstone in terms of balance (albeit the best one thematically). However, it gave life to what would be quickly regarded as Hearthstone’s greatest combo deck. This was all thanks to the printing of Kun the Forgotten King, who although is not much to look at on his own, is the key that unlocked Aviana’s true potential and elevated her from a below average legendary to a crucial component of a devastatingly fun and competitive deck.
So, what exactly is the recipe for a great combo deck and how do Aviana & Kun lists meet those criteria? Well the criteria themselves are fairly simple and generally revolve around the following notions: a) Flexibility, b) Player Interaction, c) Competitive and/or Ladder Viability and d) Finishing Flair, all of which will be analysed below.
The dictionary definition of ‘flexibility’ is ‘the ability to be easily modified‘. As luck would have it, that definition is extremely apt to our current case because that’s exactly what Aviana and Kun the Forgotten King allow you to do. These two cards are merely the weapon and as such it is up to the player to choose what ammunition (i.e. win condition) they want to utilise to achieve victory.
As a result it is possible to use C'Thun, Ixlid, Fungal Lord, Malygos, Alexstrasza, Majordomo Executus, Deathwing, Charged Devilsaur and many more cards to create a series of OTKs (One Turn Kills). The best bit is they actually work and aren’t the product of a hitting losing streak until you finally find a deck slow enough against which you can pull off your combo.
When looking at combo decks like Exodia Mage, people often complain that they don’t really feel that they are playing the game against an actual opponent. As a result, the mage deck has been aptly nicknamed Solitaire Jaina given the uniteractive nature of its playstyle and its overuse of Freeze effects to effectively stall out the game. Aviana & Kun Druid lists, no matter what their iteration, do not have access to such extensive stall mechanics and as a result have to be more pro-active in the way in which they deal with their opponent’s board. The person who pilots the deck must occasionally interact with opposing minions to stave off aggression and preserve their life total. In turn, this helps their opponent feel as though the game is an effective back and forth and not just a one sided match. The result; a combo deck that creates a fruitful and enjoyable experience for both parties.
Competitive & Ladder Viability
For many people, myself included, the core way that we derive our satisfaction, not just from Hearthstone but from any game, is through Victory. Also known as ‘watching your opponent explode into a shower of tiny pixels’. There is, of course, merit to playing wacky and enjoyable combos, homebrew decks and nostalgia decks from the past but after repetitive losses frustration is bound to build up no matter how fun the deck may be. Aviana & Kun combo lists are not just fun, they are competitively viable. This is evidenced by the fact that multiple players have hit Legend with them and continue to play them at Legend across multiple seasons just because it’s a competitive and consistent deck which is a joy to pilot, since how you achieve victory in every game can differ greatly.
What do I mean by finishing flair? Well it is actually the combo itself. People who have made Hearthstone their new home, after migrating from card games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Cardfight Vanguard and Buddyfight, will undoubtedly miss the ability to play multiple large minions in one turn while imagining their effects chain reacting in a bliss of Fire and Fury. These type of combo lists help bridge the gap between games and allow players to visualise multiple large scale effects in one turn that, much like in other card games, lead to their inevitable victory over their opponent.
Afterthought and Decklists
Since the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, many people have asked the following question; ‘is crafting Aviana and Kun the Forgotten King worth it’? Each time I am faced with the query at hand, my initial gut reaction is to say ‘yes’. This is reinforced by the fact that every person I’ve spoken with has had only positive things to say about the crafts. They speak as to the cards versatility, their animations and just the genuine joy derived from piloting the deck across multiple seasons. It is relatively safe to say that in the future if Hearthstone is only remembered through a handful of decks, this will undoubtedly be one of them. So if you have the supporting cards necessary or the required amount of dust to craft them, then I would definitely add it to your Hearthstone bucketlist. Thank you all for reading and I truly hope I have inspired you to jump on the Druid Combo Train.
Alexstrasza Malygos Druid
Ixlid Malygos Druid