[Editor’s note, Piecetinker wrote this last week, but due to editorial delays, it came out later than we had hoped. -Z]
So it seems that Lazgar’s Vengence is banned and people are beginning to brew many decks. However, we should not forget about the decks that currently existed since they were still existing in the format with or without Lazgar’s Vengence. One of the less popular decks, but have been placing well in the past few Bashes are the BW Midrange decks. These decks usually go wide and play constant threats throughout the game continually putting pressure on the opponent. Sometimes can also be treated as a combo as the interactions with the deck with either Lord Blightbark or Grounds Keeper can really make a deck go off.
Today, we are going to talk about Lord Blightbark. Lord Blightbark was a sleeper card awaiting aggro to slow down just a little bit more. However, even when aggro was popular before the Lazgar’s Vengence ban, Lord Blightbark needed to be answered when played or things could get out of hand. The reason that is was due to our infamous bunny, Rune Ear Hierophant with the Major Orb of Fleshcraft or even a Blightbush being played after Lord Blightbark causing two 1/1s to swarm the field. This allowed aggro decks to have trouble getting through with most of their X/1 troops.
When putting Lord Blightbark in a deck, you really want to utilize Deathcry type effects. With Set 7, we have a bunch of new listed Deathcry cards that can be utilized in a standard BW deck that synergizes well with Lord Blightbark. I have listed below in my opinion the best possible Deathcry hits in order of strength.
- Rune Ear Hierophant
- Promiscuous Succubus
- Drunken Hooligan
- Underworld Crusader
- Heart of the Wrathwood
- Blightbark Paladin
- Thought Collector
- First Rites
So the first two options here are very close and really depends on the matchup. Rune Ear Hierophant with the Major Orb of Fleshcraft becoming a 4/4 with a 1/1 and 2/2 in play can quickly get out of control. However, Promiscuous Succubus, although a little slower, can spread it’s threats on other cards including Lord Blightbark. Blightbush is the only uncommon in the top 5 that makes this list because it can easily flood the board and stop aggressive decks singlehandedly. Not only that, it becomes a strong enabler for Wokken Drokkatar and Culmination of Blood.
There is some debate on Drunken Hooligan and Underworld Crusader, but hear me out. The reason why I put Underworld Crusader lower is due to forced deck restriction it has and trying to get it off with Lord Blightbark. On top of that Drunken Hooligan has a great effect that will draw you 3 cards and gain 5 health. So overall, you are benefiting more. The downside is that Drunken Hooligan costs more. In some cases the -2 can backfire especially if the Underworld Crusader dies again or even worse when a Grounds Creeper is on the field as the only Deathcry troop.
Next on the list is Heart of the Wrathwood. While I think this ability is super strong, more than likely you won’t get it off unless you are holding a Lord Blightbark and a Heart of the Wrathwood in the late game. However, it doesn’t mean that it can’t happen…and when it does you are probably already in a game winning spot.
We have seen Blightbark Paladin in some of the Deathcry themed decks as a 1 or 2-of. Usually in the deck to make the requirement for Underworld Crusaders. -2/-2 or +2/+2 can be relevant, but there is just so many other better 3-drops that you would rather be playing.
The last three cards are either too slow, or unnecessary to play with. With the same issue with Heart of the Wrathwood, you are more than likely not going to get Blightbramble out in the late game. Especially since its effect is way worse than Heart of the Wrathwood. Thought Collector can be decent, but you aren’t really interested in stealing cards from their deck unless you were playing in the mirror. Once again you would rather play on curve with a Hierophant or a better two drop such as Blightbush. Finally, with First Rites, you are hoping on getting a proc on turn one or two with many cards in your hand. Even still a 2/2 zombie being played per troop after Lord Blightbark is not really that exciting.
There are also other cards that have Deathcry, but their Deathcry effect is either not necessary or something you wouldn’t really need more of, only in fringe cases such as Rotting Chompknight.
So let’s see how a deck functions with Lord Blightbark. The deck below was ran by Cearb in the latest Hex Bash (9/23)!
4 Rune Ear Hierophant (Major Blood Orb of Fleshcraft and Minor Wild Orb of Blossoms)
2 Wild Ice
As seen in the rating list before this decklist, you will notice the top four ranked cards listed in this deck. Another card that really helps enable Deathcries is Grounds Keeper, which I would run more of. Emperor’s Lackey is also a great enabler to sacrifice troops to get a Promiscuous Succubus combo going or even a Drunken Hooligan for much needed card draw and health. I do feel like it is missing Woken Drokkatar or two. However, in place of Woken Drokkatar, Cearb is running Commander P.R.O.M.P.T. Overall, it is a solid deck and it has shown its strength by topping in top 8. Not only that, even when Lazgar’s Vengeance was around, this deck was hitting within the top 16!
Let me know what you think about BW Deathcry in this new meta in the comments below. Until next time!