Cowardly Vaath: Finality/Starhorn, S rank.
Also known as Vath in a Hat. What we have here is a Vaath deck that has traded Crypto/Drogon for Deci/Spikes and Vaath for Starhorn. So Starhorn is just sort of playing as a cowardly Vaath deck.
The Abjucator Finality package has served me well in most metas. I neglected making a Starhorn variant due to Vaath always seeming like a better choice for it, but with Khanum Kha in the mix these days Vaath is to scared to show his face.
The biggest thing to know about piloting the deck is to always dig for Abjucator and finality or deci spikes depending on the match up. And avoid using Abjucator unless it hits finality or spikes, preferably both.
While I miss Vaaths powerful smash abilities the combination of not having to worry about card advantage and your main wincon with decispikes having little to no counterplay has potentially lead to an even stronger deck then what Vaath usually has. Even if it is not actually better, Khas mere existence makes this a better meta choice.
While I am no fan of DeciSpikes it is hard to argue with its raw power and highroll potential. And when we are being faced with greater evils like Wanderer, Kha/Fault, and various burn decks I do not feel so bad for resorting to it. The DeciSpikes package grows even scarier here due to Abjucator allowing you to pull off the Notorious double spike decimus for a whopping 18 damage much easier.
The deck is pretty strait forward, midrange magmar package, as much control as we can cram in, and a good amount of healing leaves your prepared for pretty much anything. And if you have a sideboard you can pretty much guarantee aggro, artifact, and dispel vulnerable lists stand no chance. Lifeforce is in the sideboard for those match ups where you really do not want to even play Finality at all like versus Fault/Kha as just a surprise lategame bomb, but its so rarely needed its the one of.
Its a terrifying deck and may be one of the best in the game.
Anti Draw Starhorn: Highly Competitive
A powerful midrange archtype that is all about punishing your opponent for drawing cards. The classic starhorn package with a new powerful toy, Haruspex. It has the standard Deci/Spikes package, it also packs Vindicator which can be equally deadly with spikes although you tend not to use spikes for vindicator unless he is about to trade. Haruspex is a nasty flash target and has extra synergy vindi/deci.
The first variant has a healthy amount of removal, enough healing, tons of aoe, and the standard midrange package. It is a very well rounded midrange deck with an answer for anything.
The second variant goes all in on the anti draw theme featuring the newly buffed Vision. What it trades in answers it gains in pro-activity.
Impale: Aggro/Pain and Midrange, Highly Competitive.
I call it Impale because that’s exactly what it does to people with all of its horns and spikes. An update to a long neglected deck of mine. Krater and Harau gave the deck a nice boost.
Do you want to kill people fast? Do you like to just SMORC at face! Well I have the deck for you! While at its core you mostly just go face, it does have a few fancy tricks up its sleeve. There is a fair amount of pain synergy going on here. Between self damaging ramp, krater, and rebuke you can very reliably use amplification.
In the first version Rancor is a card that demands respect, it should force removal or get your opponent to back away from globes as a turn one play, because if they do not it can suddenly spike up to super high attack thanks to flameblood, Elucidator, and of course Tectonic spikes which is also part of the notorious Deci/Spike combo.
The deck is lightning fast, sports incredible card advantage, and can simultaneously clear your opponents field and push big damage. In fact the deck is to fast for there to even be room for lavalasher or the golem package. Yea that’s right, this deck does not run lavalasher because he is way to slow and he doesn’t go face! That’s how quick this abomination is.
If you cant bring your self to skip the good old magmar golem package the second version is a more standard aggressive midrange list. As for which is better? Mostly a meta call, the first one can really catch people off guard, and in the right meta is very mean, but the second one is extremely stable and reliable.
Thumping and Rebuke are interchangeable in both lists and are mostly a meta call. It is a tough choice between thump/rebuke for both lists and again its really going to come down to meta/personal preference. Thumping gives us a much needed transform and is a great finisher particularly with Elucidator, but Rebuke is such a strong catch all and is extra important in the wanderer matchup.
Its a strong deck, but it has the usual aggro problems of its strength depends on the meta. If there is a lot of healing or stronger midrange decks running around it can be a struggle, if there is not its a monster.
Mechotic MecHorn: Highly Competitive
This deck has one main goal and that is to kill someone from really high health via playing omega, and then the next turn following up with Mitocic/Eggmorph for a crazy burst rush version of omega regaurdless of if the first survived.
Aside from its omega plan it has the normal build mechazor plan, which supplements the deck with amazing draw power thanks to Seismoid. The deck has room to include all of magmars favorite control spells letting you be prepared for any match up. Earth sphere vs aggro/burn, plasma vs swarm, rebuke vs certain swarms or big bodies, plus rebuke has some nasty combos with mechazor and or sword.
The deck mostly plays defensively just focusing on keeping the field clear and staying alive just buying time to work towards your game ending combo, which is similar in principal to the worldcore variant of the deck, but much faster.
The deck is very consistent thanks to its amazing digging power and stall tools, and has an answer for everything plus multi angle win conditions. Decks that deal with normal mechazor tend to be slow and very vulnerable to the instant kill combo, and vice versa. The only thing it really struggles against is aggressive midrange lists that pack minions that are not vulnerable to plasma and rebuke, or when it bricks and just cant get what it needs. Its a tough deck to play as you really need to know your matchups and its easy to screw up, but the deck has a ton of raw power.
While very powerful the prevelence of aggressive vetruvian in the meta really gives it a hard time, between that and bricking its just short of an S rank rating.
The Dentist: Fang/Rage: Highly Competitive
A name I use every expansion, every-time the deck tends to look quite different, but the core of the deck remains the same: Twin Fang and lots of Pain.
The decks primary trick involves developing a decent field and then using krater, quillbeasts, rebuke, and or self damaging ramp to get massive value out of bloodrage on an already active minion, or a surprise massive fang, although fang can be used defensively in a pinch.
Quillbeasts effect procs on cast, if you have quill on the field and you cast Blood Rage on a minion with one health, quill will deal damage, and then bloodrage will apply its buff and that one health minion will survive thanks to the buff.
The deck packs great aoe with krater, quill, rebuke, and makantor. We also have Magmars powerful midrange/golem package featuring three ways to get a turn two lavalasher with ragebinder giving the deck a touch of healing. And card advantage is coverd through starhorn, a medium curve, and replicant. Replicant is also a super nifty six mana combo to follow up a kujata and then toss on a fang.
Its a very effective, although fairly tough to play, deck that involves a lot of math and careful planning.
Raptors: Replace, Highly Competitive
I call it raptors because birds, specifically raptors, are considered to be descendants of dinosaurs, magmar are totally dinosaurs and with Wings of Paradise in the mix its got that bird thing going so it seemed fitting.
If you manage to get Widow, Wings, or Kron to stick for a turn, then you can play Theobule which will make some crazy things happen. And thanks to Starhorn/Spikes your hand is going to be at or near full for maximum value.
It is a deck about strong standalone units with devastating combos accelerated by Magmars ramp and made consistent with Starhorns card advantage.
I expected it to be more of a gimmick then it turned out to be, but it has turned out to be really strong constantly applying pressure as the majority of your units are strong low key answer or die minions, mixed with the fact that the deck has all its bases covered with healing, aoe, provoke, strong win cons and the like.
WorldStar: Mitotic/WorldCore, Competitive
This deck has one goal in mind and that is to assemble flash, Worldcore, Mitotic, and Eggmorph in hand at the same time. Then the idea is to play worldcore on seven, or sooner if possible thanks to kujata/metalurgist but usually not before having the rest of the parts, and then on the following turn play Mitotic Induction and Eggmorph to make a 25/25 with rush, regardless if they managed to remove the previous one.
The rest of the deck is packed with control and healing to stall until you can assemble your combo. Typically you do not want to play worldcore until you have Mitotic/Morph, but you can in a pinch, as it does certainly require an immediate answer, and as long as you do not play another minion you can just stall until your missing combo part although that is a touch risky.
Its a decent deck propped up by the midrange magmar/control shell, but finding a four card combo or surviving till nine mana is no easy feat, but when it works it works, and when it doesn’t it can still hold its own. The deck is just consistent and effective enough to avoid getting slapped with a gimmicky tag, but its main trick is ultimately a little gimmicky landing it with only a competitive rating.
Focused Hatefurnace: Competitive
Hatefurnace took a pretty brutal nerf, but between the vindicator/minos interaction sticking around plus the option of the newly buffed Vision giving you the ability to progress the trial via your BBs while providing decent buffable bodies, and gaining a couple strong buff spells from shimzar, namely Thumping and Razor, the archetype has gotten a massive bump in power. Thumping is extra good because even if you use it as removal it still progresses your trial. While the deck got a nice push with Shimzar to the point that it is competitive again, furnace is just a touch slow now even in the fastest versions, and is generally outclassed by a normal list with Makantor and or no subpar cards instead.
These decks pack eighteen or more different ways to progress the trial, twenty one if you count cryptographer, allowing hatefurnace to be quite consistent. And thanks to a good chunk of those buffs being just built into minions you don’t really struggle with the usual problem of to many or to little buffs in hand.
The first version takes a more slow and steady approach packing all of magmars favorite control spells and staples like the golem package and some healing, it also favors Diretide Frenzy for some more early game control instead of just a cheap buff like razor. What the deck lacks in speed it makes up for in having an answer to everything with the inevitability of furnace in the long game.
The second version focuses on just getting hatefurnace out as fast as possible even at the cost of staples like the golem package, while turning your early game minions into answer or die threats. Between Flash, Kujata, Krater, and Rebuke the deck has many ways to make amplification effective, and often on an already active minion. And thanks to rebuke, (which can also clear big bodies like EMP) krater, and lategame furnace plays you are pretty set on AOE. Despite the decks low curve between crypto, razor, and starhorn and its faster gameplan it does just fine for card advantage.
The third version sacrifices staples and answers to make room for Starhorns Favorite combo Deci/Spikes. Spikes has the added benefit of also being particularly brutal when combined with Vision/Vindicator AND progresses your trial when it buffs them. While a solid enough and very proactive list, it still ends up asking why am I bothering with Hatefurnace, since most of its wins just come from the Anti Draw package and furnance still almost never gets played.
Oropisisaur is a very neat card. I even had the opportunity to spoil the card. It gives a good push towards grow being a viable archetype, and now that we have shimzar back we now have Molokai and the recently buffed Omniseer all actually working together to make a functional deck.
Aside from having the standard midrange package and the best grow units available, it does have another nifty trick. If you have Quillbeast and Oro on the field and you cast Gargantuan Growth on Quill, quill will grow right away! Rebuke can serve a similar purpose to force Oros to make things grow and the majority of the deck is rebuke proof. Getting two Oros out can also make things nigh immune to combat damage. And yes both Oro/Molokai work with tiles and Hammer.
Its a little sad that none of the oldschool grow minions make the cut, I did my best to at least make a variant that uses Kolosus to cache in on that nice self damaging ramp synergy with Oro. Unfortunately while Oro does work with hammer/tiles a unit must have grow naturally in order to proc Oros effect with self damaging ramp, and thus why Kujata is skipped completely in the first variant.
Its a fun deck that can pull off some whacky combos and some surprising bursts, but unfortunately its just to slow and vulnrable to removal/dispel to really be competitive.
Other Mechazor Variants: Competitive to Gimmicky.
Decimus Mechs: Competitive
Seismoid, particularly when combined with kujata, can really push out a ton of cards, if you manage to stick a siesmoid and two kujatas you can cycle through a ton of cards to progress mech or abuse decimus. Even when you can get that whole package out its still just all strong individual cards that compliment each other well.
The deck mostly looks to progress mechazor and keep folks busy with that, and then finish the game off with a deci/spikes combo which is further augmented by haruspex.
It has one more fancy trick that being Rebuke/Frenzy Abuse:
Another fun thing to do is rebuke frenzy abuse, it’s particularly nasty when combined with mechazor airdrop/frenzy. One of my favorite seven mana plays is to play sword as the final mech part, air drop mechazor in, and then rebuke to make them both swing with frenzy. But again it’s something that’s nice when it happens but it’s not it’s primary goal.
It still has seismoid abuse and or fancy rebuke plays but instead of going for the alternate finishers it takes a mirdrange approach.
The midrange golem magmar package is tried and true providing ramp, healing, and removal. Toss EMP in their at the top of the package as a catchall and another alt win con and its a sollid deck.
It mostly just wants to play Midrange Magmar using mechs as a draw engine and for their high roll potential with a bunch of cheap early mechs plus mechazor is a decent back up win con, allthough certainly not the focus.
Silver Decimus: Competitive
Similar to the more dedicated decimus version, this one forgoes most of the usual magmar staples in favor of the Silver package, who is particularly brutal when combined with Metaltooth, and pretty decent with forcefield or ranged.
Apex Mechs: Competitive/Gimmicky
So aside from consistent mechazor build, and rebuke nonsense, the deck has quite a few neat tricks. Playing seismoid and two kujatas can let you dump out most of your deck which sets you up for powerful Omegas, more then one mechazor, Silver/Metalooth, or a guaranteed transition into your apex plays. All of those are powerful tricks on their own, and even without the whole combo seismoid/starhorns draw power just give you a ton of consistency.
Speaking of Apex some really cool things happen when you play the card, preferably early with abjucator, first of all Omega does count those summons on his effect, second of all Silver can do some crazy things giving all those keywords, like giving those massive Omegas rush.
The most important keyword for silver is rush from metaltooth. But be warned the there are some odd interactions with metal tooth and silver. Silver must be on board before tooth hits and since Apex summons in a random order it doesn’t always work. Which is another important thing to note if your going for Silver/Tooth combo outside of apex always go SILVER THEN TOOTH.
Its a pretty neat and effective deck, but the RNG element, the somewhat slow gameplan, and the possibility of your opponent getting a better apex then you, keeps it as ultimately a gimmick.
Omega Hate: Gimmicky
While Mechazor is certainly a likely possibility with the deck it is almost an afterthought. Its primary goal is hatefurnace followed by a super buffed Project Omega to OTK. The mech package provides extra draw and a lot of cheap buffable bodies that tie the deck together. It opts out of amplification due to mechs low health.
Both Thumping/Ballast can be used as answers when you need to and they will still progress your trial even when cast on the opponents stuff.
Between starhorn, seismoid, Razor, and replicant your covered on card advantage and can dig into the buffs you need to complete hate furnace trial reliably, and or to get out mechazors. Unfortunately the deck can still just brick if it draws to many or not enough buffs and or they can answer mechazor.
Unfortunately after the crippling Hatefurnance nerf, the deck went from competitive to gimmicky.
Meme Of Electric Sheep Highly Competitive/Gimmicky
All in Variant
Dance of Memes is a fairly old mostly joke of a deck, the trick involves Kujata, most of your deck being 1/1/1 units, and dance of dreams, allowing you to play kujata and dance and then kill every unit you summon allowing you to draw your whole deck, which combos with twinfang because kujata does damage so you can OTK someone out of nowhere.
Unfortunately the all in oldschool all in version of the deck needs seven mana to go off out of hand unless you risk letting a kujta die, it needs to draw the right cards, and for the opponent to not catch on to what your doing and just stay out of starhorns reach.
However I have breathed new life into the deck. I traded a little bit of the decks consistency and otk potential in order to add the Seismoid/Mech package. So not only can Seismoid serve as an alternative to dance of dreams, the mech package just gives the deck way more draw power letting you find what you need much more consistently, or just sort of play floodhorn using dance/seismoid outside of combos. You even have a small chance of pumping out mechazor as a backup plan.
The other big change that came for the deck was Mirriom and Mandrake. While running a mandrake version in the past was possible it felt even worse then the fang variant. But mirrom has changed this, as it will allow you to play up to 12 Mandrakes and or extra mechazors. The big thing about this version of the deck is its actually very competitive since it can go off as early as turn one! Unfortunately despite its theoretical power it runs into a serious issue with the turn timer, and of course it still does need to actually find its combo cards.
The deck still really crutches on finding some combination of kujata, dance, or seismoid to perform well, and due to the dance of dreams combo being less consistent the deck requires a ton more careful planning and really fighting against that turn timer. Its an incredibly difficult deck to play, but if you can manage to play it right its actually pretty dang scary.
Fang and mandrake are still interchangeable in either version of the deck depending on personal preference, and if you do choose the fang variant you can also just play fang without the need for a full combo thanks to the decks flood capability. The mechs also keep people from cluing into the fang otk capability.
Regardless of which variant you choose the deck has to many issues to be truely top notch as you need to choose your poison between consistency or fighting the turn timer, and the rare occasion of just not finding what you need, so its ultimately a gimmick.
Mill Apex: Average/Gimmicky
At its core its a simple Apex deck that packs a lot of high end units and tries to just use Apex ASAP and hope what it drops is better then what the opponent drops. To facilitate this we run almost exclusively minions, starhorn keeps our hand topped off, and abjucator accelerates the deck.
But this deck also has a fun secret trick. Mnemovore mills three cards for each unit you summon off of Apex, and even ignores the usual random summoning order. But wait, there is more, if Rizen is in your hand when you Apex Rizen will summon an egg for each unit your opponent gets off of Apex, which if that was not cool enough if you also have Mnemovore you could possibly mill upwards of thirty cards.
Unfortunately neither Apex nor Mill are particularly effective tactics leaving this as mostly a gimmick. Allthough there was a brief time when this was a gamebreaking deck with the Vore/Deci interaction, but that has long been fixed, I wanted to see if it was still viable without the instant damage aspect, and the answer is only sort of, but its still a lot of fun either way.