Abyssian Aggro (Smashthings)


#1

GRINCHER AGGRO MINI-GUIDE

Sup guys, here’s a short little guide on my aggro deck; I’ve provided
the list, a few notes on strategy, mulligans, and card choices.


DECK LIST (last Update: 22/07/16)


STATS & MATCH-UPS:

As you can see from the stats the deck has fairly well-rounded
match-ups. Lyonar is perhaps the tougest opponent but even then with
good play you can get close to 50%. As of typing (22/07) I am currently
S-rank #10 with the deck.


MULLIGANS:

  • General Advice (going 1st): In general you
    want to look for a 2-drop, 3-drop, and any ‘special’ card you may need
    for that match-up (more on this later). Note also that this deck has a
    lowish curve and not a huge amount of draw. Thus, be on the lookout for
    cards like Spelljammer. Against decks that run Bloodtier Alchemist try
    to avoid starting the game with Flameblood Warlock.
  • General Advice (going 2nd): Consider keeping a card like Grincher and cards like Blazehound.
  • LYONAR: Lure is the only response to an Ironcliffe, keep it in hand. Blade can also be decent. If your hand is otherwise exceptional consider keeping a card like Spectral Revanant
    (you’ll most likely need it).
  • Abyssian: Against Swarm, Grasp is a good keep. Consider keeping Lure / Tiger to deal with stuff like Bloodmoon Priestess. Against Cass you don’t need anything special,. just look for a
    good curve.
  • SONGHAI: Blade is great for Fox and Fourwinds.
    Void Pulse is also a reasonable keep if the rest of the hand is good
    (since its a race, heal is important in this match-up).
  • VANAR: If you suspect its the Walls version Grasp and BloodTear are good. Against Faie I’d advise against keeping Blade/Grincher due to BBS, Against Kara Blades and Lure can be helpful.
  • MAGMAR: Lure can be a reasonable response to Taygette. Other than that, you don’t need anything special.
  • VETRUIVIAN: Nothing special required.

CARD CHOICES

  • GRINCHER: When I analysed this card (see here)
    I suggested that Grincher should be good in aggro since it provides
    tempo, card draw, and “out of hand” damage. After considerable
    playtesting I beleive that this assessment is basically correct. It is
    also worth noting that lots of the artifacts have interesting/powerful
    synergies with Spectral Blade (e.g. Cyclone Mask, Coldbitter, etc).
    Even better than this though is Bloodsiren synergy (more on this later).
    While some might not want to play this card “because RNG” I’d advise
    you to try it out; in a deck such as this basically every outcome is reasonable.
  • BLOOD SIREN: before the addition of Grincher this
    card was medocre but it has just recently been tipped over the edge (by
    Grincher). This card can help you squeeze extra juice out of our low
    health cards (e.g. Flameblood, Bloodtear, BBS, or even Turn 5 Tiger +
    Siren) and artifacts. Moreover, since we are playing aggro normally we
    want attack the enemy General each turn, and obvoiuslly we would
    normally take 2 damage on the counterswing. But with Siren, we don’t
    take counter damage and so therefore in many cases this ability is (in
    the worst case) 2 heal which puts it on par with Healing Mystic.
    Overall, I have been very impressed with this cards ability to keep the
    pressure up; something as simple as Turn 1 Flameblood Warlock into Turn 2
    Blood Siren + Blade can devaste the opponent.
  • GRASP: Grasp is a nifty little card that allows
    us to apply damage without falling behind on board. Ideally, you’ll want the 3 damage to hit the enemy Generals face.

WHY Lilithe…
…and not Cass? Basically this choice is a simple one in my mind;
while both BBS are decent at controling the board it is only Lilthe that
can translate that control directly into face damage. Moreover, this
BBS has greater synergy with the deck (e.g. Primus Fist, Shadow
Reflection, Blood Siren, etc).

Oh, one more thing. And this is subtle. But in playing the deck I’ve
noticed that the two wraithlings give you more space to play your dudes.
This in many cases makes it easier to position a minion (such as
Grincher) aggressively without being too vulenerable to counters (e.g.
Holy Immolation). Its a small point, but it is nonetheless noteworthy.


GENERAL STRATEGY
Since this is an Aggro deck it is obviously intended to be played
aggressively. We need to constantly out-tempo our opponent and pressure
the life total. If we fail to do that any big minion (such as a Vorpal
Reaver of Ironcliffe) could be the end of us. Indeed, the decks only
response to such a threat is to bounce it away. This works, provided you
can take that tempo and win the game before said minion gets back into
the fight.

Despite being an aggro deck you would be mistaken if you think that
this leads to fast games; some of the most popular decks right now
(Lyonar, Magmar, Cass) pack a lot of defenisve tools (e.g. Provokes,
Heals, etc) and thus games regually reach 7 + mana. Our deck meanwhile
packs triple Rev and a decent amount of heal (Siren, Pulse, Blade) thus
we can play the ‘value game’ too. For these reasons (and more besides)
I’d recommend that you proritise board control early-to-mid game over
pure damage (e.g. play a 3-drop minion instead of Shadow Reflection).

And with that in mind, I’d recomend replacing Shadow Reflection / Tiger
in the early game unless you have good match-up reasons to keep them.
As for positiong and stuff, well, all decks struggle if postioning and replace decisions are poor. Aggro decks, in this regard, are frequently less forgiving that control decks. In this deck, Positioning Grincher, for example, can be tricky due to its 4 health (e.g. weak to Holy Imolation, Makantor Warbeast) but this is very important to get it right since we can ill-afford to lose a 5-drop without good compensation.

My final tip for playing this deck is to learn your removal combos.
For example, you cannot race a Songhai player while they have a Four
Winds on the board. Thus you need to know (and dig for) combos that can
effectively counter such threats. In this particular case we can use
Bloodtear + Tiger or Lure + Blade or Spectral Rev. Simiarly, Bloodtear +
Blade are reasonable responses to cards like Taygetter or Silverguard
Knight.


CONCLUSION
I think that covers the basics. Hopefuly
you enjoyed reading this mini guide and hopefully you enjoy playing the
deck too. If you have questions, feel free to ask away :).


A one-stop shop for Abyssian Aggro
Miguel's Abyss deck and discussion space
#2

Could you develop the matchup against Argeon and the weaknesses it might have highlighted?
Also, congrats on #10 :>


#3

So lyonar has a few key cards that make things tough:

  • Azurite Lyon (High burst potentical in the midgame)
  • Ironcliif Guardian (In most cases, the only response it Demonic Lure)
  • Diaoltas (Divine bond on tombstone)

So basically the issue is that you need to kill a lot of minions, if you leave something like a Windblade Adept up you could lose something like 10 life and your board (e.g. Roar, Holy Imolation). Likewise Roar + Divine bond make Lion a huge threat. Against most decks we can ignore the 2-drops and go face, but against Lyonar such a play is a risk. This is the first problem in the match-up; much of our early game damage has to clear dudes.

And then on T4 you have Mr. Tombstone. If you lure it away you basically die to Ironcliff (unless you have 2 lures, obvoiuisy) and if you kill it then you need to clear it before it gets buffed by divine bond. fyi, killing is sometimes okay because its 0 attack means we don’t lose board in the process, we merely lose tempo

So basically Mr.Tombstone is a huge issue because it soaks up a lot of damage and it is too powerful to be ignored.

And then there is Ironcliff. As mentioned, the only reasonable response it Lure. If we can lure it we probably win the game on the tempo generated. But. Lure is the only card that can deal with it efficiently, and so if we don’t draw it we have to do ugly things like Shadow Reflection a Blazehound + General Attack to push though.

If you don’t have lure in hand, the best thing to do is draw it via constant replaces and playing cards like Spelljammer.

Perhaps on of the more interesting things about this match-up is that we can easily win the lategame, provided that we have enough cards in hand and a few revenants (e.g a T9 Ironcliff is easily killed by Rev + Blade).

In short, this match-up is all about Lyonars burst and the limited responses we have for thier threats.


#4

Thanks for the insight! I’ll try the deck once I’m done with dailies.


#5

I have just one Spectral Revenant. Can you suggest replacements for this late game card?


#6

Okay missing two revs…

Since you are going to lowing curve I’d suggest

  • +1 spelljammer > Rite of the undervault > Void Hunter

For the next slot:

  • Hollow Grovekeeper > Reaper of the 9 moons > Zen Rui > Wings of Paradise

#7

There isn’t any. SpecRev is utterly broken and there is no card that even comes close. I wouldn’t bother playing the deck without it.


#8

Its true the Rev is important, and to some extent irreplaceable (no other card has the same effect).

But, I think the deck can be played without them, in thier place, you can just run a few tech cards to help out certain match-ups.

E.g Zen Rui helps vs Mr. Tombstone, Grovekeeper will take care of provokes etc.

With all this said though, If you end up liking the deck I’d recomending crafting Rev a.s.a.p


#9

Yeah I realize this is a tall order as the Revs really seem like late game closers and board swings. Abyss is not a faction I anticipate playing a lot of (but I do want to shoot for 100 wins), so I’m reluctant to craft the two new Revs at this point.

Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll give them a shot.


#10

Really like the blood siren addition, might give this aggro abyss a go later. Does this deck ever struggle with card-draw? Or is spelljammer/blaze hound/grincher enough?


#11

It is a bit weak on draw and I have been thinking of adding a 3rd jammer (but what to cut?).

In most games though you are fine for draw in you manage to get 2 cards from Jammer. THe only games where draw tends to be a huge issue is when you don’t get to play jammer (so another tip ffor playing this deck is to not replace that card).


#12

Cut a bloodtear and void to add double vaults? Dunno. I’m always scared of vomiting out my hand and not being able to refill.


Can someone help me understanding "Deck Types"?
#13

changes like that sound okay, until you play the deck and not get a playable card for turn 1


#14

Interesting deck. Just a small problem: Your 2 drop slot is a little… well potentially weak to lots of top tier decks. Flameblood and Bloodtear gets answered by Bloodtears. Add in Blood siren as something that is answered by Maw. Only primus is a ‘reliable’ 2 drop.

I haven’t played the deck so obviously I can’t say what is best, but personally I would consider adding in Shiro over some of the less reliable drops, maybe 1 off of each for 3 Shiros.

I also don’t like not running Zen’rui at all… I would consider at least one :slight_smile:


#15

Okay so a few points.

  • On shiro… Its not in this list for a few reasons; (1) I think this card is pure trash (2) its completely wrong for the deck strategically (my minions typically die almost as fast as I play them). and (3) unlike bloodtier, Primus, Flameblood shiro provides 0 ‘top deck damage’.

TURN ONE STUFF:

  • Regards Maw… So you are right about the weakness to enemy Maw + Bloodtear but you overstate the significance of this issue: (1) Maw isn’t too common, and even it is it requires a farily specific hand (double 2-drop). (2) Since I don’t need Mana Springs I can alway elect to drop Siren out of range (more on this Idea in a moment).

  • Regards Bloodtier I’d be lying is I said bloodtier isn’t a problem, it most certainly is. However, in actual games its not often that scary because (1) If I have the choice I won’t open with the Flamblood, I’ll drop primus instead. and (2), this deck doesn’t run any 4-drops which means that I don’t really need to game a Mana Spring. If they kill my dude I’ll just try to curve out with a Blazehound/Jammer. Or alternatly I could claim the top spring and double 2-drop. So basically, because I’m not reliant on ramping out 4-drops (unlike most other decks in the format) getting my turn 1 dude killed is not too terrible.


TECH CARD STUFF:

  • On Zen Rui… this deck has been designed with the idea every card should provide either damage or an instant threat. I simply don’t have the time to hold a situational card in hand. Grovekeeper would be better but I’m opting to not even run that card! Also, if you check the match-up stats its not clear to me that Zen Rui would help my weak match-ups; maybe I steal Kelliano against Nova or Tombstone against Lyonar but even in these cases Lightbender would probably do similar work.

  • On tech cards in general… When it comes to building decks I NEVER run ‘tech cards’. If I’m playing Songhai into a lot of Mech decks / Lyonar I’d choose to run deathstrike seal / Phantom Focus combos over Grovekeeper 100% of the time. I always prefer the ‘general’ awnser over the niche/specific one.

So yeah, I think that covers most of it :slight_smile:


#16

I played 6 games with the list and won all of them. Gonna watch Bloodborn finals now and test more later. Some of the tips you gave are pretty useful to any aggro deck, and they helped me a lot - Flameblood Warlock’s use especially.

Blood Siren is being a great surprise. Getting the enemy general to 0 attack and then smashing its face for free with all my minions is pretty good.

Blaze Hound is being pretty useful to me, especially against Songhai. There is nothing better than using hound to put enemy songhai to 6 cards in hand and then proceed to attack Lantern Fox and see all those Phoenix Fires going to hell.

Thank you Smash, keep up the good work!
Reaper.


#17

Glad its working for you.

And yes, Blaze hound is a really nice way of dealing with Fox. Its knowing little things like this that greatly helps win games…I can only mention so many things in a short guide though!


#18

Great deck, a lot of fun to play! I’ve been finding success with a similar deck in diamond/S-rank for a while, albeit without grincher. There were a couple of cards I don’t see included that I wanted to ask your opinion on…

Dark Seed? Its often been a strong finisher for me in conjunction with Spelljammers and Blaze Hounds. Opponents like Cassyva can often not play multiple cards per turn and usually have fullish hands around turn 6-7. Being able to trade my board into face with guaranteed in hand damage (dark seed + flameblood, dark seed + tiger, etc) helps me steal games.

Also what are your thoughts on soul grimwar? I find that I can usually get 2 or more procs from it by trading minions and then punch face. If the opponent doesn’t have an easy answer it straight up wins games.

Anyway thanks for the awesome writeup and deck list!


#19

Its worth point out the @Grinch and I have been playing Aggro abyss for a good while. He loves the Darkseed and will sometimes even run three copies.

I meanwhile haven’t really embraced dark seed all that much, the much older version of this deck ran stuff like Chaos Elemental; and my reasoning was based on the idea that minions tend to do more damage than spells (e.g. if Chaos strikes twice, he does the same as a Spiral Technique!)

So basically, I have had a long history of playing abyss Aggro where the focus is always on controling the board with minions and doing damage with minions. This approach often yields more damage and is typically safer than wrecklessly smashing thier face in with damage spells.

In short, I dislike dark seed because, unlike Grasp of Agony or minions, it deals damage without doing anything to control the board. Honestly I just feel like a turn 4 Dark seed is – even if it hits for 6-- is just a losing play; A Lyonar for example maybe more than happy to trade 6 life for the ability to drop a dude safely.

With this said however, I cannot possibly deny the potentical finishing power of darkseed. But, the key word there is potentical. At best it does 6, at worst it does nothing.

All things consider I’d simply prefer to run a card like Shadow reflection; while is a less reliable, it also costs one less and can dish out similar amounts of damage (sometimes a lot more if the minion survives).

As for Soul Grimwar, again, I feel like its the same sort of thing – this card gives you damage but doesn’t help control the board. Moreover, I feel that consistently getting good damage out of grimwar is difficult.

with this said It might be worth swapping out the reflections for this card and see what does more damage.

A good reason to share decks is to see if it can be further refined. Right now I’ve got shadow reflection, but it might actually be the case that Grimwar / Cresnedo are better.

I’d test this stuff myself it I weren’t so high on ladder. :slight_smile:


#20

I dont like lilithe at all for this because you already have bad songhai matchup and reva destroys you.