The Doomrider and The Queen

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so I thought I would share the deck with all of you. I must warn you though it is a Brood Queen deck, so people may hate you and it’s power will probably drop slightly with the impending changes coming.  However, even with changes to Broodqueen and Stygian Lotus, the strategy and power level of this version should remain largely unaffected.

Unlike most Brood Queen decks, this deck utilizes two separate game plans. Most Broodqueen decks build wide but with low pressure creatures. Not this deck. First, it seeks to spread the board with big creatures and apply pressure quickly.B y prioritizing Weirwood Patriarch (WWP), the deck seeks to start applying damage early on. The second goal of the deck is to build threats that cannot be dealt with. The Grimgaunt brothers provide many ways of growing cards out of control early in player level two. There is nothing scarier than a 15/12 Grimgaunt and a buffed level two Broodqueen early in player level two. In fact, I have won many games before player level three simply by growing a big Grimgaunt Devourer that my opponent could not stop. 

The other critical aspect of this deck is that nearly every card is a flexible, situational card, rather than a must level card. There are many Broodqueen decks out there with an entire deck of must level cards, Varna’s Pact, Deathweaver, Nethershriek, Broodqueen, Doomrider, and more. All of these cards have to be leveled and there is no room for tricks. This deck allows for a wide range of tricks which both grow and preserve the giant threat you have created.

Here’s the list I have been playing:

dysianbroodqueenart3 Dysian Broodqueen

3 Grimgaunt Doomrider

3 Weirwood Patriarch

3 Aehterphage

3 Xithian Direhound

2 Grimgaunt Devourer

2 Echowisp (Probably should be Stygian Lotus)

2 Scatterspore Eidolon

2 Shardbound Invoker

1 Nefrax the Soulweaver

2 Ferocious Roar

2 Cull the Weak

2 Dysian Siphon

Threats

Grimgaunt Devourer (GGD) and Grimgaunt Doomrider (GGR) win games in this deck. It is critical that you get at least one Grimgaunt Devourer leveled during player level one. Remember, you are not trying to win with GGD in player level one. Rather, you want to grow one out of control in player level two. However, unlike most decks, this deck actually has the potential to very quickly grow a big level one GGD. GGR on the other hand can become enormous in player level one. You should try to get at least two on the board. It is quite easy to have a 6/9 GGR the turn it comes out and quickly grow it to a 8/11 before it becomes active.

Removal and Tricks

One of the reasons it is possible to grow big GGDs and GGRs is because you have so much removal to both grow and preserve them. Broodqueen is the primary method of removing your opponent’s creatures in front of them. Also, Broodqueen is quite tricky with Grimgaunt Doomrider. You can move GGR to any lane by blowing up a creature you control in that lane. My favorite trick is to place a Broodfang across from a creature with one health. Then I blow it up with Brood Queen. The GGR both grows and kills the creature across from it as it moves into the lane. Then it hits the opponent in the face and takes no damage.

SD001a-1Another criical removal card is Cull the Weak. Cull the Weak is great for removing your opponent’s Broodqueens, Ghox’s, and Flamebreak Invokers, all of which contribute to removing your threats. Additionally, Cull can contribute to a sneaky little play of removing your own creature to have a Doomrider move into that lane. I have won at least three games with this trick.

Dysian Siphon is also a great way to push damage through, since you can kill an opposing creature while buffing your own. I have won many games by simultaneously removing a creature in front of my GDD and buffing it with a level two siphon.

Aetherphaege fits into this category as well. While it doesn’t remove threats from the board, it preserves your threats by removing removal options from your opponent. If your opponent is using an Alloyin/Tempys Flamebreak Invoker deck this becomes especially critical.

There is a reason why Xithian Direhound appears in every Nekrium list. He is amazing. Nothing is more backbreaking than removing your opponent’s blocker on a GGD or GGR with a Direhound. Yup that’s right; remove their creature, grow yours, and get a creature. That’s a one stop shop of awesomeness.

Board Spread

Weirwoodpatriarch3So this deck places giant threats and has removal, but that’s not all. It also fills lanes and puts on tremendous pressure. Better yet, cards like Echowisp, Nefrax, and Eidolon are fairly interchangeable. All of them attempt to put down multiple creatures whose job it is to die in order to grow GGD and GGR. Nefrax is even trickier because he can help Doomrider find an empty lane to either strike or survive and grow to fight another day. There have been many a game where Nefrax blowing up a Broodfang allowed my level two Doomrider to move, stirke, and grow just large enough to not be removed on my opponent’s turn.

Weirwood Patriarch is the king of buffing in grow wide decks and this is no exception. At a glance nearly every card is buffable by a level two WWP. However, more important, WWP helps buff your beloved Broodqueen out of range of most removal. Hey Oratek Battlebrand, don’t you wish you did 8 damage!

Changes and Substitutions

With the impending change of Broodqueen, you may wonder if this deck will still be effective. I think it will remain quite effective but some changes are probably needed. First, I would exchange the Echowisps for Stygian Lotus. The main reason is because Lotus punishes opponents using Varna’s Pact. Now that Lotus cannot spawn copies off of a Varna’s Pact, there is no worse feeling than bringing back a pair of Lotus off of a level two Varna’s Pact.

I would heavily consider a second Nefrax. I only owned one when I played this deck in the constructed queue and the World Championship Qualifier tournament, but I would have used two had I owned them. I think I would replace an Eidolon or perhaps a Cull or Shardbound Invoker, depending on the direction of the new metagame.

Thankfully, most of the critical cards are not legendary. However, I would forge three copies of Grimgaunt Doomrider. You can get away with two, but Doomrider is critical to the deck. Eidolon could be removed and Echowisp probably becomes Lotus. Nefrax is also not key to the deck and could be removed as well.  In a budget build, I would keep three Doomriders and one Devourer, exchanging the other five legendaries with three Stygian Lotus, one Ebonskull Knight, and one Ebonbound Warlord

Strategy

This is a fairly straightforward deck. Play Broodqueen when you see her for both removal and board spreading. If you can, play an early Weirwood Patriarch to buff them. After that play your big threats and start growing them. The more creatures you have on the board, the more devastating Grimgaunt Doomriders become.

The most difficult aspect of the deck is the Doomrider. You must think carefully about placing your creatures as battling will cause the Doomrider to move around the board. Be mindful of his reducing capabilities as it allows you to make trades that are not as obvious. With a level two Doomrider on the board, all of your creatures trade with the creature in front of it even when missing by two health. This is a powerful tool that you should be using.

Don’t rush playing out Direhounds; they do not improve your deck. If your opponent is playing Varna’s Pact be especially careful not to play early Direhounds, since giving your opponent the tempo advantage of a Direhound off of Pact can be backbreaking. 

Use your tricks. Dysian Syphon is so good because it makes calculating trades so difficult for your opponent. Nothing is ever really safe with Syphon and Direhound.

Matchups

This is a tougher section than usual. The metagame recently has been quite limited with Brood Queen decks dominating. However, with the change to Brood Queen, the meta game should open up quite a bit.

nethershriekBroodqueen/Pact/Nethershriek – This is the max variance package and it tends to be slow. The first step is play Broodqueens, and do everything you can to kill the Broodqueens of your opponent. . Next, try to put pressure on the board by growing your Doomriders and growing wide. Also, play Stygian Lotus. Make your opponent think twice about playing Varna’s Pact! 

A/T Flamebreak Invoker – Cull is especially relevant in this matchup. Often this deck relies on Ghox to fuel its Ironmind Acolytes and Invoker for board wiping turns. Additionally, Aetherphaege can pluck precious spells from your opponent’s hand such as Battlebrand and turn off Ghox by limiting hand size. As always Brood Queen is important for removal and growing big threats is still the game plan.  

XrathsWillZombies – Many people have surmised that Zombie decks beat Broodqueen decks. While that may be the case for some builds, it is not the case when Weirwood Patriach is around. Play big bodies and level those WWPs, and your creatures are out of range of Xrath’s Will, which is what Zombies try to lean on in order to beat Broodqueen. Zombie decks simply cannot keep up with the amount of pressure and removal this deck offers.

Other Decks – What makes this deck so strong is that it can execute its plan vs. most decks. Level those Brood Queens and grow your big threats!

The meta game is in flux, but I think this deck is still well placed in the upcoming meta game. I hope you are able to replicate the 90% win rate I was able to achieve with this deck in the constructed queue; just not against me! Stop by my stream and give me a beatdown with your version of the list post Broodqueen changes.

I will be back soon with another deck I’ve been piloting in the constructed queue  from the new meta game. Until next time, have fun and keep improving.

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