Running WIld: Upgrading Wild Decks
Welcome, dear readers, to another installment of ”Running Wild”, the article series where I cover just about all things related to the wild format. Over the course of the last three articles I’ve been exploring different wild quest decks and now when that is over I’m shifting my focus to something more familiar: pre Un’Goro wild deck or, to be more specific, upgrading those pre Journey to Un’Goro decks with the newest cards. Whenever a new expansion comes out there are usually a couple of cards that fit very well into older decks and Journey to Un’Goro is no exception. From druid to warlock, today we’re going to cover all the newest cards that you can fit into your older decks to make them better.
Sit back, relax, and let’s dive right into this!
Not every class gets the same number of new cards to improve their decks but druid is lucky enough to get more than a few cards to improve both of its archetypes: egg and ramp. It is good to see druid getting some love in the wild format despite the disappointment that Jungle Giants had turned out to be. Luckily, not all of these cards are a must have for your decks so if you don’t have them or if you currently can’t craft them it is not that big of a deal. So, let’s see what new cards are good for the druid decks, shall we?
Card: Earthen Scales
Deck: Ramp druid
I’ve had high hopes for Earthen Scales ever since the card was previewed during the twitch live stream ”full set preview” although I wasn’t completely sure where to fit it. As I was experimenting with the card it turned out that the cards is absolutely amazing in a ramp druid deck. This card makes your big guys bigger by the slightest amount of +1/+1 which really doesn’t make any difference when you play it on something like Dr. Boom and make it go from 7/7 to 8/8. What makes the world of difference is the 8 armor that you will be getting. Yes, because your huge minions are, just that, huge you will be getting a ton of armor for 1 mana which does wonders for your survivability. Great card that I fully recommend playing in a ramp druid deck.
Card: Tortollan Forager
Deck: Ramp druid
This card, Tortollan Forager, was once that I was on the fence with regarding the ramp druid in the wild format. The card is actually pretty good in quest druid but is it good in ramp druid? Actually yes, it is very good in ramp druid! This card acts as your early game substitution for drawing late game minions. For example, you’ve started the match and you have no late game minions to ramp into but you have a Tortollan Forager. In this case you are safe because Tortollan Forager will get you a 5 or more attack minion that you can ramp into. Yes, this is the wild format so there is a larger variety of potentially bad minions that you can get but so far I’ve not been too disappointed with the outcomes of Tortollan Forager.
Card: Living Mana
Deck: Egg druid
Living Mana is one of those cards that seemed pretty weird when it was previewed and its viability was often put into question but now we’re seeing it being played in both standard and wild formats. It is understandable that this cards is seeing play in the standard format but why in the wild format? Well, the reason for this is basically the same. For a relatively cheap price you get to fill your board. It is an amazing card to topdeck if you have no cards in your hand and a great card to play when you only have minion buffs in your hand. The only thing that is different, in my opinion, regarding the usage of the card in both formats is that due to a large amount of already amazing egg druid cards in the wild format you don’t need to play 2 copies of Living Mana.
Deck: Egg druid
Eggnapper, just like Living Mana, is one of those cards that you’re going to most likely as a single copy in your deck. This doesn’t mean that the card is bad but that you have a lot better cards in your deck that do the same, Haunted Creeper is the best example, but at the same time it is good enough to be played as a single copy in a deck. Eggnapper does what you want to do with your egg druid deck minions. It gives you a decently stated minion for the cost which then provides you with more minions when it is destroyed. It is a surprisingly good card, a less powerful Haunted Creeper, and running a single copy of it will improve you egg druid deck.
Hunter didn’t get too many good wild cards in Journey to Un’Goro but those that it did are pretty decent. A thing that you’ll notice with this list is that a lot of cards that are mentioned are being played in the same decks in the standard format as well but that is because of the quality of those cards. With that being said it is not hard to guess which two out of three cards are easy to predict but the last one might come as a bit of a surprise to you
Card: Jeweled Macaw
Deck: Midrange hunter
Jeweled Macaw is the best hunter card to come out of Journey to Un’Goro. This card is completely amazing! For 1 mana you get to play a 1/1 minion and get a another random minion in your hand. This can’t be bad in any case. In the wild format, Jeweled Macaw is a better Webspinner, a lot better Webspinner, because you immediately get the random beast minion in your hand. I’ve listed it as a great card for midrange hunter but it works perfectly in any hunter deck except aggro hunter because you don’t really want a non immediately damage dealing card in your aggro hunter deck. Great card, the best hunter card of the set, it will see play in midrange hunter forever!
Card: Crackling Razormaw
Deck: Midrange hunter
Crackling Razormaw is the second best hunter card from Journey to Un’Goro and, just like Jeweled Macaw, it will probably see play in the midrange hunter deck forever. Although the card costs 2 mana you don’t necessarily need to play it on curve because there are some great minions that cost more than 1 mana and will go very well with this card. The very best example is Haunted Creeper. Crackling Razormaw and Haunted Creeper are an amazing combinations! Every adaptation, except the stealth one, works wonders with Haunted Creeper and Crackling Razormaw is the only way to give your minions adapt in the hunter deck.
Card: Emerald Reaver
Deck: Aggro hunter
Emerald Reaver is one of those cards that flew under the radar of many players because there isn’t a viable aggro hunter deck in the standard format. However, in the wild, aggro hunter is still alive and kicking. It is not as powerful as it once way, of course, but it is still a viable deck and Emerald Reaver is a godsend for that deck. It is a 2/1 minion for 1 mana, something that you want to have in a beast deck, which deals 1 damage to each player when it comes into play and it is a beast on top everything. This is the new Leper Gnome gnome for aggro hunter but it deals damage on battlecry and it is a beast which makes Kill Command a lot better in the early game.
One thing that I’m trying to do with this list is avoid mentioning quest cards as much as possible so I won’t be mentioning them unless I can help myself. This is why I won’t be mentioning Open the Waygate because there are already a lot of powerful mage decks running around in the wild format, it is pretty obvious that the card is extremely powerful and, most importantly, it doesn’t improve any of the existent mage decks. However, that doesn’t mean that the card itself is bad (which goes for many other quest cards that won’t be mentioned here).
Card: Primordial Glyph
Deck: Tempo mage
Primordial Glyph is without a doubt a very good card which is currently seeing play in all mage decks in the standard format. It reminds me of another wild card that sees play in almost every mage deck in the format and that card is Unstable Portal but unlike Unstable Portal, Primordial Glyph gives you a secret, lowers its cost and, most importantly, let’s you discover a spell which is significantly better than getting a random spell. You can even play Primordial Glyph and discover another Primordial Glyph to play for free. The card does wonder with Flamewaker and it is a perfect addition to the tempo mage decks.
I’ve almost wanted to skip paladin completely because the poor class didn’t get any good cards in Journey to Un’Goro, none good wiled cards to be exact, but I’m going to give it a chance nonetheless. There is a single paladin archetype that the developers have been trying to push for a very long time and, despite it still being not completely viable, it did get some support for those who enjoy playing this deck. I’m talking about, of course, the silver hand recruit paladin deck.
Card: Lightfused Stegodon
Deck: Silver hand paladin
I’ll be honest with you right from the start. I don’t think that silver hand paladin is any good and that it is capable of being a viable deck archetype. It is a complete disaster in standard but it is a bit better in the wild format because here you at least get access to Muster for Battle and Quartermaster which are the very core of that deck and the deck wouldn’t work without those cards. Justicar Trueheart is another great card for the deck archetype and now we have the Lightfused Stegodon to adapt all the 1/1 dudes that we keep putting on our board with our powerful minion generating engines. Is this enough to make the deck viable? I honestly doubt it but it is at least good enough to make it a little bit better. Maybe one day, Uther, maybe one day.
Priest got a few good toys in this expansion that I’m excited to write about. It is the second class on this list which has a quest card as the part of the cards that can upgrade the existent decks (no surprised seeing how I hyped the card ever since it was revealed) and although there are no new additions for the dragon priest decks there are a few cards that might do quite well in the Reno priest decks (if you find a place for them).
Card: Awaken the Makers
Deck: Deathrattle priest
Wait, not Reno priest? When Awaken the Makers was revealed I was 100% sure that this card will do wonders in a Reno deathrattle dragon pries deck but after playing the deck I’ve found that it is not as good as I’ve hoped that it would be. It is very hard to get it to work because you need to play almost every deathrattle minion in your deck to get it and the optimal play is to get it before you get your Reno Jackson and in the end the entire thing is one huge mess. Where this card works, however, is a normal deathrattle priest deck and there it works perfectly. Playing it in a Reno deck is simply too greedy but having a Reno effect in any other control deck in the game, a normal deck where you can have duplicates of cards, is simply amazing and it is in such a deck where this card gets to truly shine. Amazing quest, works wonders for deathrattle priest and if you want to play that deck you should definitely craft this card. It is indeed worth it.
Card: Lyra the Sunshard
Deck: Reno priest
Lyra the Sunshard is one of the four good new Reno priest cards but since it is the best one, by far, I’ve wanted to spotlight it. This card is amazing because it does exactly what you want a card in a Reno deck to do. It provides you with resources. Sure, you’re giving up some resources but you’re getting new ones instead. It provides you with great value and, as we’ve seen from the standard tournaments, it can snowball out of control very easily. Other cards that I didn’t spotlight but all do very well in a Reno priest deck are Free From Amber, Shadow Visions and Radiant Elemental. These are all very good cards for a Reno priest deck but if you have room for only one the go for Lyra the Sunshard.
Surprise, surprise, I won’t be mentioning the rogue quest in this article because of the exact same reason that I’ve mentioned when I was writing about upgrading mage decks. I’ve had a bit of a hard time figuring out which cards should I spotlight here and in the end I’ve found only one card that I wish to spotlight but it is a very good card for miracle rogue. No, it is not the newest rogue legendary minion but it is none other than Hallucination.
Deck: Miracle rogue
Hallucination is a very decent card for a miracle rogue deck, especially when paired with Gadgetzan Auctioneer. If you manage to pair it you will get to discover a card from your opponent’s class, which is insanely better than getting a random card from your opponent’s class, and you will at the same get to draw an additional card for the low cost of 1 mana. Even if you somehow don’t manage to pair those two cards it doesn’t really matter because the effect of Hallucination is extremely potent. It is like Swashburglar but instead of getting a minion who gives you a random card you forgo the minion in favor of discovering a card. Amazing card and you should run at least a single copy in your miracle rogue deck.
Shaman is the second class that has a quest on this list and, just like priest, it has a couple of other cards piled together in a single spotlight because of the insane synergy that they have together and splitting them would only make me repeat myself. I’ve got to say that I was horribly wrong when judging the shaman quest. After falling a victim to murloc shaman decks I’ve crafted the quest and I’ve been winning games like crazy!
Card: Unite the Murlocs
Deck: Murloc shaman
Unite the Murlocs is, without a doubt, the easiest quest to complete in the wild format. It is crazy simple because it asks you to summon murlocs when you play it and almost every murloc has the ability to get you more murlocs and with the right hand this quest is capable of snowballing out of control very easily. Another thing to point out is that murloc decks have always been suffering from card draw problems but the quest reward, Megafin, easily solves that problem. Other cards to put into this deck are Gentle Megasaur, Primalfin Totem and Primalfin Lookout. If you’ve ever wanted to try a murloc shaman deck than now is the best time to do so. Mrglhrmghmrg!
I’ve been waiting for this one! There is not two, not three, not four but only one, one card that I want to spotlight and that card makes a world of difference in my second favorite deck, the zoo warlock deck! Discard warlock got some support but the deck isn’t much different from the standard version and, if it is not a zoo variant, it is simply bad and, trust me, if you’re going to run a zoo deck in the wild format then you want to run a traditional zoo deck because it is way better than the discard version.
Card: Ravenous Pterrordax
Deck: Zoo warlock
I love this card! Ravenous Pterrordax is by far my favorite card from the Journey to Un’Goro expansion! It is the best card for the wild zoo warlock! Ravenous Pterrordax is a minion that eats another friendly minion to, in return, adapt twice. On top of that is has very decent stats for the cost, a 4/4 minion for 4, which can easily improve any of those two stats by +3. What crazy shenanigans can you do with this card? Eat a Nerubian Egg to get the 4/4 minion, eat a leftover imp from Imp Gang Boss, eat any deathrattle minion on your side of the field after it attacks…you can even throw a Power Overwhelming on a minion, attack with it and then eat it with Ravenous Pterrordax so that the minion doesn’t go to complete waste. Best warlock card in the expansion, 10/10, a must have for a zoo deck!
Warrior is the last class on the list and after playing around with it I’ve noticed that there isn’t any real deck upgrade. I’ve wanted to mention the warrior quest but I’ve found it just crippling my control warrior deck and I don’t really like the wild version of a taunt warrior deck. However, despite all of this, I did manage to get one card to work in a control warrior list, although sometimes it is hard to make room for it, and that card is Elise the Trailblazer.
Card: Elise the Trailblazer
Deck: Control warrior
Elise the Trailblazer is by no means a must have card for a control warrior deck but it is a very good card nonetheless. The old Elise has been seeing play in a control warrior shell ever since it was introduced because it helps you win against other control deck by filling your deck with legendary minions. This one, however, has some other benefits, the first one being a lot easier to get it to work. You don’t need to draw 2 cards from your deck and play them in order to get it to work. You need to draw and to play just a single card that costs 2 mana instead of 6 and you will, in return, get 5 random cards from ANY combination of classes from the Journey to Un’Goro expansion. This is a very powerful and unpredictable effect and I wouldn’t ignore it. You can run both Elise in your control warrior deck if you wish to do so
We’ve reached the end of this article and next time we’ll have our first Journey to Un’Goro wild meta report so make sure to swing by! What other cards did you find to fit well in the previously established wild decks? Do you agree with this list? Leave your comments in the comment section below and I will reply to them ASAP. I’ve been away for a while so sorry for the late replies. As always if you’ve liked this article do consider following me on twitter https://twitter.com/Eternal_HS. There you can ask me all sorts of Hearthstone questions (unrelated to this article) and I’ll gladly answer them as best as I can!