Best Decks from TopDeck Gaming’s January Wild Open
This past Saturday we had TopDeck Gaming’s January Wild Open. This was a Best-of-5, single elimination tournament, following the Conquest formula, with one ban. The Conquest format requires players to bring a certain number of decks, each one from a different class. For a Best-of-5 with single ban you need four decks. After each match, the winning player must switch to a different deck and cannot reuse decks that have won this round, while the losing player may choose to reuse the same deck, or switch to a different deck for the next match. This means that players must bring equally strong decks, as they must be able to win with each of their decks at least once to win the match. It also has the potential to make the field more predictable, as in theory people will tend to bring “the best decks” as part of their line-up to increase their chances of winning over people who bring more experimental line-ups.
The event was streamed through GetMeowth’s Twitch Channel at 3pm EST. And once again, we here at WildHS.com have you covered by bringing you some of the best and most interesting decks that were featured in the tournament.
The Best of the Best
I’d like to congratulate all the players who made Top 4 in this tournament: Jonarah, Chullu, Justthephip, and Leadr. These four were able to rise above a field of 45 players with some impressive records. Great job guys!
Here we present Jonarah’s winning line-up. While utilizing tried-and-true decks, Jona included some unique tech choices, giving each deck a personal spin of his. This line-up was built to counter control decks, with a particular emphasis on Reno Priest. Between the massive monsters that are Reno Priest and Cube Warlock in the current meta game, Jona decided that Warlock was the greater threat, based on his own winrates with the class, as well as the continued rise of Giants Warlock, adding another very powerful deck to that class’s arsenal. He aimed at banning Warlock pretty much every chance he got, barring exceptional circumstances. With this plan in mind, he chose solid decks that had a favourable matchup against Reno Priest, but could stand their ground against a varied field. This is Jona’s preferred strategy for targeting a specific strategy over simply creating a line-up filled with hard-counter decks.
Jonarah's Malygos Druid
We continue to see Malygos Druid establish itself in the meta as a powerful counter to both Cube Warlock and Reno Priest, while also being able to stand its ground against other decks. While staying true to the most common version of this deck, Jonarah also differentiates himself by replacing Greedy Sprite with one copy each of Wrath and Poison Seeds.
Jonarah considered the Sprite a very weak card overall, and felt that the additional ramp was unnecessary. Wrath is one of the most flexible tools available to Druid, as it can act as both removal in the early game to fight aggressive decks, and can cycle in the late game against slower decks to get you closer to your game-winning combo. Poison Seeds is a long forgotten card that is recently proving itself to be a powerful tech option against Cube Warlock and Resurrect Priest, able to destroy any board regardless of size, and reducing any large threats into measly 2/2 Treants.
Overall I think these tech choices are fantastic, improving the deck’s performance against some of its toughest and most common matchups.
Jonarah's Reno Mage
This list was built as a joint effort between Jonarah and Bananaramic. Historically Reno Mage has had a strong matchup against aggressive strategies, but fails to compete with the slower strategies in the format. While we’ve seen plenty of attempts at a list that can be balanced against both sides of the equation, I don’t think any of them are quite a unique as this.
The first thing of note is the lack of a “big finisher” like N'Zoth, the Corruptor or Dragoncaller Alanna. As Bananaramic explains, the current metagame of cheating big stuff into play left and right early in the game makes having traditional expensive finishers suboptimal. Thankfully the deck is able to rely solely on the power of Frost Lich Jaina, as it generates more than enough value to cover the late game.
Another thing of note is the lack of traditional Reno Mage removal spells like Polymorph and Meteor. This due to the top meta decks generating so much value that trying to 1-for-1 them with these sorts of removal spells is a fruitless strategy. Instead, this deck focuses in generating massive tempo swings with Leyline Manipulator, a card that had some hype behind it coming into Kobolds & Catacombs but has since seemingly fallen by the wayside. This list is optimized to enable the best swing possible with the Manipulator, cutting expensive removal to lower the deck’s curve.
The “main combo” against slow decks is using Brann Bronzebeard and Leyline Manipulator to discount a pile of Fireballs from Archmage Antonidas, making them cost 0 and creating a damn good Exodia Mage impression with a singleton deck. However, the Manipulator’s ability to discount minions, and not just spells, also allows you keep up minion pressure throughout the game, with a discounted 6/6 Pyros for example. Between Pyros, spells from Primordial Glyph or Babbling Book, any Fireballs generated by Archmage Antonidas, Kazakus potions, and minions copied with Echo of Medivh, there’s no shortage of things you can do with the Manipulator. This allows the deck tons of flexibility for executing a winning gameplan.
While the deck is certainly unoptimized (with little playtesting outside of the deck creators themselves), I think this deck has massive untapped potential. This is a nice fresh take on Reno Mage that is sure to please any fan of the class.
Jonarah's Resurrect Priest
Here we see another interesting tech choice in the inclusion of not one, but two copies of Charged Devilsaur. This deck is a variation on Ek_Designers decklist, which is itself the result of some fantastic exploration in the art of memeing.
Ek is known in the community as a very big fan of the Resurrect Priest archetype. As Ek himself recalls, he was constantly frustrated by Ysera’s lack of consistency, which while having a powerful end-of-turn effect provides absolutely zero board impact the turn she hits play. This lead him to experiment with Charged Devilsaur as a replacement, leading to a 22 game win streak, peaking at Legend Rank 2. Ek was shocked by this unexpected success, to say the least.
When you really get down to it though, Charged Devilsaur provides plenty of advantages to the deck. The ability to dodge its Battlecry effect through resurrect effects makes it very powerful for rushing your opponents if pulled early. And if you pull the Devilsaur with Barnes, you can immediately attack with it into a minion, getting it into your resurrect pool instantly and preventing any possible counterplay (for example, Potion of Madness) from the opponent. As Ek succinctly puts it, “It’s almost like having a second Ragnaros the Firelord in your list that you can target. So say you’re in a control matchup you can kind of just overwhelm them and close a game out quickly”.
Is this the next big evolution for the Big Priest archetype? We’ll have to wait and see, but from what I’ve seen so far I think the answer is a very strong yes.
Jonarah's Giants Warlock
We continue to see Giants Warlock establishing itself as another powerful strategy courtesy of the Warlock class. As previously mentioned, Jonarah believed Giants Warlock to be amongst the highest win rate decks in the field based on his own experience with the deck, so its unsurprising to see him bringing it to the tournament as part of his line-up.
For those out of the loop, Jonarah was one of the people who helped popularize the deck by hitting Legend with it early in the season. This is his most recent list, cutting both Dark Pact and Darkbomb in favour of double Doomsayer, which he thinks helps improve the mirror match while still being great at slowing down aggressive decks. He favours Sacrificial Pact over Dark Pact as he’s really only looking to kill his own Voidcallers, and being able to get that Voidlord one turn earlier can mean the difference between a win and a loss.
Spicing Things Up
With another closed decklist tournament, we have another opportunity for innovation and surprises. And while the winning line-up featured some refreshing takes of its own, there was certainly no lack of interesting lists during the stream. With the tournament meta continuing to evolve, and with two decks (Reno Priest and Cube Warlock) clearly cut above the rest, players continue to search for solutions that can even challenge these uncontested beasts. Which of course leads to some new and very outlandish lists.
Leadr’s Exodia Control Paladin
Leadr included this deck in his line-up as a hard counter to Reno Priest, though as fate would have it he ended up with an even record. This is another Paladin deck in the list of decks built to abuse Call to Arms, this time by thinning the deck quickly and efficiently in order to get its combo pieces more consistently than ever before.
We see some Control Paladin staples in Equality, Wild Pyromancer, and Consecration as tools to clear just about any board. The double Dirty Rat is a silver bullet against the myriad of powerful Battlecries and combo-piece minions in the format, while also being a powerful defensive pull from Call to Arms against aggressive decks.
We see the addition of both Clockwork Gnome and Blessing of Wisdom as the cheap spells of choice to enable the fantastically flavourful combo of Uther of the Ebon Blade and his humble harbinger of the Apocalypse, Auctionmaster Beardo. With one tick of Emperor Thaurissan, you can reduce the cost of Beardo and three cheap spells, allowing you to bring all Four Horsemen to the table in one turn. Because what better way to defeat the uninteractive Reno Priest OTK combos than with your own uninteractive OTK combo.
Leadr teched in double Coldlight Oracle for the sole purpose of milling other control decks, but is otherwise by far the weakest card in the deck. Leadr strongly believes this deck to be one of the most underrated decks in the format, and continues to optimize it at Legend rank, testing everything from Potion of Heroism, to Mad Scientist and a small Secrets package. If you ever wanted to find a way to use your Paladin Death Knight, I think this is a fantastic list.
thepotatoman’s Spiteful Keleseth Giants Druid
Ever wanted to have your cake and eat it too? Well boy, do I have the deck for you. Despite what it may look like, this is not a troll deck; thepotatoman believes this to be one of the strongest decks you can play to beat Reno Priest, while also maintaining decent matchups against he rest of the field, even Warlock.
This seems similar to the somewhat new Spiteful Summoner Druid lists that have recently grown in popularity in the Standard format. In a twist that only a mad genius could come up with, thepotatoman has decided to combine that list with the Naga Giants core, creating an abomination that no man has ever seen, let alone thought of before. This combination essentially allows you to double up on the number of swing turns the deck can have, as high-rolling with Summoner has a very similar effect to flooding the board with Giants. Doubling on your number of swing turns also makes it so decks like Reno Priest will struggle to clear everything, as they only run single copies of each removal and board clear.
He also added Spreading Plague in an attempt to improve the aggressive matchups, while also increasing the consistency of Spiteful Summoner in exchange for much worse spawns on average. Thepotatoman believed this to be a fair trade-off since, unlike the Standard version of the deck, you have the Naga Giants package as back-up, so your whole deck isn’t relying on the single big swing from Spiteful Summoner to win the game.
While this list is certainly unorthodox, the fact that thepotatoman managed to make Top 16 (meaning he managed to win at least one round using this deck) makes me curious as to whether there is some mad stroke of genius hidden in here. Even at its worst, this is a pretty spicy meme deck for those of you who enjoy that.
I hope you enjoyed this quick recap of the tournament. We’re excited to continue bringing you all the tournament tech your hearts desire. We hope to see the Wild tournament metagame continuing to take shape. Feel free to leave any comments and suggestions for what you’d like to see. If you missed the tournament, you can still watch the recordings on GetMeowth’s Twitch Channel. Stay tuned for more Wild tournament goodies!