Struggling with abyssian swarm, or, the plight of the ghost lighting


I’ve recently managed to hit gold with my abyssian swarm deck, and I
managed to fare pretty well up until that point. Now however it seems
like I can hardly control the flow of the game at all - usually I
desperately struggle to get out my minions while the enemy is punching
my general, and then I usually just eat unconditional removals or cheap
AoE that kills off all my minions with very little input on my part. Is
it just that swarm decks are really hard to play right now? Or did I
make some fundamental mistakes when building my deck?
AoE seems incredibly hard to play around and usually invalidates many of my opening moves for as little as 1 mana…

I’ve attached my current deck, constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated!


Swarm has been a pretty low tier deck ever since scorn was a card.


One problem I faced when I started was overextending on my swarm. Always have a deathwatch payout or a big enough card where a 1 damage wipe isn’t too destructive. for the deck, 3 revs, cut the gor and the sacs for another shadowdancer and kelaino. I would also personally cut jaxi for primus fist (for trades and loosing less to pings) but that is more preferential.


Can you tell me what cards you have or what your budget is? It owuld be of great help in helping you :slight_smile:


To add on to this, I would avoid using the 4/4 with frenzy whose name I now forget - he kills your swarm to trigger Deathwatch but also at the same time paints a big circle on your opponent’s monitor that says “remove me” on the top of it. I’d go with something that would instead allow you to kill your wraithlings and such by attacking and getting value that way, like Soulshatter Pact or Void Steal. Since they’re impossible to react to, they’re much better than the minion; the minion and the spells both allow opponents to prepare for them, but only the minion allows your opponent to react to it, assuming you’re hitting something with the small guys that turn.


your deck is way too greedy, it’ll never work out unless you put cards in your deck that are an actual response to what is beating you usually. Just get rid of the ramp, the reaper, the jaxis and the undervaults

Everybody forgets about Prophet of the White Palm and Murkblood Devourer or whatever that 3 drop legendary is that gives ur minions +1/+1 - it’s perfect synergy. Neither ghostlightning orthat 3 drop that deal 1 damage to all will do anything vs u. Then there is that immortal 3 drop.

Plus u need more deathrattles. Make it so they have to pay for when they actually do kill ur tokens off.


I’ve made some adjustments to the deck and managed to have some success today with it. I’ve mostly changed my early game by utilizing minions that are less easily removed and to apply some pressure early on. I still don’t think I should remove Gor from this deck though - he seems too solid to have around either as a dispel bait or as permanent sacrificial pawn.

Keep in mind that I would love to run more Revenants or Vorpal Reapers, but I can’t just craft that many legendaries, so one Revenant is the best I can do right now. I was also thinking about not running revenants at all, but rather vorpal reavers? Though I’m not sure about this - a revenant does a lot in his first turn, a reaver not so much…


Here’s the thing about Revenant vs Reaver: Reaver is more threatening if left unanswered while a Revenant is instant value the turn you play and incremental value each turn it’s not dealt with. The Reaver can end the game or put you into a very strong position if left unanswered but if it gets answered the turn you play it (read: silenced and killed) youre out 6 cores (or 4 and a minion if you used Darkfire Sacrifice) while the Revenant likely killed something and burned the enemy general for 4 damage, a solid tempo play. Main point I’m making is the Reaver is higher risk for much higher reward while Revenant is guaranteed value the turn it’s played.

I have a deck similar to yours and I like Reavers and Revenants (3 and 2, respectively) but my version is pretty slow and likely suboptimal. I run 3 Grasp of Agony to help control the board if I’m behind in the early game, and your deck may benefit from having 2x grasp for big tempo plays early on against another aggressive deck.

Overall I’d say your deck looks pretty strong.

Edit: If you decide to add grasp I’d remove the tigers, they are good if you have a buff for them but othereise don’t really synergize with the deck much.


If you want a big game winning late game drop for abyssian id recommend grailmaster. If you can summon her away from big threats and your opponent doesn’t have removal on your next turn you can bbs and vomit all the minions in your hand. Worst case you’ll just get provoke and flying which is still nothing to turn your nose up at with its body. Best case if you summon at least three minions you can get a flying celerity frenzy combo which will either win you the game or clear up most of their board.

Also with the revenant vs reaver query, I personally run reaver although revenant is objectively better in many situations. My argument is simply that reaver is just a scary card, a 6/6 that you can’t outrun and even if you kill it he still has an impact on the board. if you can play him on curve he can be the nail in the coffin when piloting a swarm/ deathwatch deck.


Spec Rev is arguably the best minion in the game.

Vorpal is fine and a damn scary beastie but won’t win you the game if you loose board control.

Spec Rev is plan B for any abyssian list.


Actually Vorpal Reaver is surprisingly awesome. He’s weaker to dispel (not having rush), but barring that he’s just really really good.
I definitely will say there are decks that benefit of him over Spectral Revenant.
A fun play is playing Reaver on turn 5 in a safe spot, then hitting enemy general twice next turn and then Consuming rebirth it to get the minions and a 77 Celerity in the general’s face.

Sure, it’s the dream, but it happens, and it’s great when it does. Had much fun with Reaver.

So basically I disagree with the ‘any abyssian list’ part of your post.


I agree, Reaver Strikes fear into any opponent it’s played against. It demands a dispel, so even if they just kill it you get 12 stats scatter over the board. Combo that with blood moon priestess or shadow dancer and you’re golden. Granted you need to have a little board control to pull this off, but it’s definiatly viable, especially when played on curve.


I’ll agree that Vorpal is more exciting and has a much higher potential damage output, but he’s a greedy card in a greedy deck.

Spec Rev is better because he’s a secondary win condition when all else fails. You don’t need wacky Consuming Rebirth/Vorpal/Grailmaster combos - you just need Priestess and DFC.

I think a problem with most swarm lists is people focus too much on having as many pieces as possible for the ‘death machine’, and it falls apart too easy.


I feel greedy is not the right adjective, vorpal is definatly a risky card but not greedy. I’m an abyssian main but I’m not a fan of spectral, I’m aware that he’s one of the best cards in abyssian and perhaps the game. But he doesn’t have any abyssian synergy, no deathwatch, no dying wish, no swarming. If he was put in any other faction, he’d quickly become a staple.


I will concede this argument only if you also use Dreamchasers for the turn 1 lucky Vorpal


Well I don’t mind you not conceding, it’s fine to have different opinions.
Though I do want to point out you do not need anything special for Vorpal Reaver to be really strong. Due to his dying wish he just also enables very cool combos that the Spectral Revenant doesn’t.