Enter the Whitemoon: Episode 3
Erobert here with an arena run under the new patch. Forcing Blue last time was already a romp, and Blue’s ability to hit hard and snowball has only gotten more brutal, so I thought I would try to see what other mono would be fun to play. The classic maybe even before Blue’s dominance has been Green, which offers an interesting variety of midrange minions like Volkov Heavy and Wendish Giant, and the crown jewel, Serenity Seawitch. This is a less reliable forced color than Blue, but a fun one that I’m fond of us let’s get started!
Not bad, we’ll be fine with Turn if nothing else, and Infuse is a great way to be confident in our ability to maintain trades.
Well, these are Green, but not incredibly exciting. Both provide value over time, which is exciting in the grinding 2v2 matches, but the overall power level is pretty modest. Even in 2v2, there are often better ways to spend 3 Mana than making a 2/2 Agile Minion, and that will likely only happen the turn after you play Sovereign Architect. Similarly recycling Minions with Garden of Iriy is a good way to outvalue an opponent, but the steep increase in price often makes them better for Burning than playing
Sovereign Architect and Garden of Iriy
We’re still riding out our early picks until we get to Boosts, but Pointman is a valuable tool for winning trades and sending damage over the top, a great choice. There is another Canine up for grabs and even though we won’t play it why not bring along a pal to keep the Pointman happy!
Volkov Pointman and Black Cadejo
Welp, whatever seems fun, in color for one and oh a packet for the other.
Vicious Cycle and Re:Spawn Packet
Well this is nice! More Canines, another Volkov Pointman and a Bold Omega to boot which has a place in Arena that simply doesn’t exist in Constructed formats because Daring Trapezist…exists. Let’s stay in Color for pick two.
Volkov Pointman Packet and Cloudscale Drake
Well, we know pick one but let’s really make sure we aren’t…tempted to veer into a certain Color.
Green Boost and Blue Cull
You can’t tempt me game! We’re taking our wolfie buddy and something in our throwaway Color.
Bold Omega and Beimeni Falls
Overkill isn’t incredibly exciting, but it can be thoroughly useful, especially when we end up with bigger midrange Minions, and the worst case scenario is that replaces itself in your hand. Finishing off Blue in this Draft is certainly worthwhile even if we aren’t neurotically trying to avoid it. As important as the Boosts are, fitting in Culls is also a critical as you push toward your Color.
Overkill and Blue Cull
We’re…still waiting on these Boosts, but in the meantime, Academy Recruitment is fine, not particularly good, but definitely not bad and a decent way to play defense and offense later in the game. Nothing in our off Colors, so let’s go ahead and pick Ironbelly Wyvern to make it feel better after completely falling off the map this patch (you’ll get there someday!)
Academy Recruitment and Ironbelly Wyvern
Oh yeahhhhhhh, Volkov Heavy as I’ve mentioned is a tank that plays defense, offense, and is incredibly durable; very easy pick. Sweet Spinnerette isn’t incredible, but it can help disrupt and opponent’s Journey of Souls recursion and even work as a combat trick, definitely worthwhile, but might not ultimately make the cut for the final deck.
Volkov Heavy and Sweet Spinnerette
Sure why not! Boneyard Abomination (one of my editor’s favorite cards in the game) <|Editor's Note: Boneyard Abomination can go to hell|> can’t really go wrong as a stat stick that likely will be very hard to remove. Giving Abom Overrun from Overkill or Volkov Pointman turns it into a pretty brutal win condition. I don’t expect to get a lot of mileage out of Spellflux Cauldron, but crazier things have happened!
Boneyard Abomination and Spellflux Cauldron
Good to go, a coin toss really on Culls, but I guess we have a red card so Cull for Red makes a little more sense? Maybe? Whatever.
Green Boost and Red Cull
Well, you know what the first pick is going to be, especially as we are working towards a critical mass of Canines. Circle of Protection is as uninspiring as it looks, offering a defense combat trick which will probably be overkill in a Limited environment that is often light on removal. Especially with a weak alternative, Mavka is a fine pick as a dork that can come out early and which opponents will not want to challenge. Even if drawn late it can provide a scarier chump block than most two-drops and if it sticks, can take down just about any late-game threat.
Volkov Pointman and Mavka
Canine! Simargl Hatchling is honestly well worth playing without any Canine synergy, as it can block, attack around dorks, and even regenerate after taking a hit from 1 and 2-drops, but the added synergy is a nice bonus. Orange Cull also fits well enough into our plans for the back third of the draft looking forward to one more round of Rares and Mythics.
Simargl Hatchling and Orange Cull
Well, more mono green fodder in these two-drops. Mavka is as good as it was last time, especially since we’re still simply looking for Minions, but Ved’ma Flamespar, as we’ve noted before, is a card that can simply take over the game by itself and you shouldn’t hesitate to snap it up in any Green deck.
Mavka and Ved’ma Flamespar
Oh boy. Our Boosts and Culls are pulling their weight and I could see these going a variety of directions. I think out of pocket we can say the Packet isn’t super exciting, as the Bog Basilisk is basically unplayable and I’m not sure we really have enough Minions at this point that I want to turn to Enchantments or combat tricks. That also has me saying farewell to Synapse Overclock, which is a fantastic combat trick, and a way to sneak in damage for lethal, but if I want a combat trick, I think I would prefer a renewable one in Matryoshka. With all of those considerations in mind, going with a minion and a soft removal option that is also a combat trick is what I actually want.
Hopeless Necromantic and Detained
Wake the Bones is a pretty neat trick in a deck without access to Journey of Souls, but at the end of the day, the Minions are both solid so there’s no reason not to get a hulking werewolf in Volkov Heavy and a delightful Wardy boi.
Volkov Heavy and Gallows Boy
Canines! We’re still cruising through picks of quality Minions and Volkov Veteran is also a pretty solid three-drop that can take a trade and add in extra damage, while also providing a Canine tag for synergy with Volkov Pointman.
Volkov Veteran and Volkov Heavy
One Overkill was almost certainly enough, but this Mothmara Packet is actually reasonably exciting, as it is a decently aggro minion and packaged with a now reasonably interesting Hacker’s Intuition, which only costs one Mana now. That alongside Detained provides a nice set of spells that go with Mothmara and possible even Spellflux Cauldron!
Mothmara Packet and Detained
While Spirit Stones is a pretty wacky trick (and we have a couple of Spirits just normally drafting Green), the Minions here actually have more than enough added value to justify drafting them. The Night Hag is a great way to control the board and slow down bombs, and House Elf is a great aggro threat that chips in plenty of damage. Solid Rares and good to continue shoring up Minions.
House Elf and Night Hag
Soft Removal is tempting, but I’m excited to see another Canine, especially one that can easily jump out as a 6/6 at four mana which will get Overrun from Pointman AND activate the Canine bonus for Pointman. Similarly Vilja Windfury presents more of a high end threat which is currently missing from this draft. Even though Sugar Plum Fairy is a pretty good two-drop, we’re doing pretty well at two Mana, and I’m happy to see some heavier hitters at this point.
Avenging Alpha and Vilja Windfury
Well it was a nice streak. Doublethink almost certainly won’t make the cut as soft removal and Dora and Vodnik Informant won’t make the cut as one-drops but they’re Green so let’s do this.
Dora Packet and Doublethink Packet
Alright, now is definitely the time for soft removal and we’re still short on the top of our curve. Sorry Mavka, another time!
Led Astray and Vilja Windfury
Where have these minions been hiding! I feel like the added value of Volkov Heavy is well worth the extra Mana cost over Wendish Giant, but I could imagine wanting to fill out the curve a little more that way. On the other hand, to I’m sure nobody’s surprise, I can’t resist the Hopeless Necromantic as a way to keep up tempo and have a reliable blocker late game.
Hopeless Necromantic and Volkov Heavy
With a pretty healthy number of Minions in the bag, Matryoshka feels more exciting, as a way to keep up pressure, win trades, and even kick in some extra damage. I’m really not wild about Rewind Hex, as it will be a pretty dead card in many instances, but it’s far from the worst choice. Ultimately, I’m happy just to get Ruslan’s Bight from the Bog Basilisk Packet as another buff that doubles as a combat trick.
Matryoshka and Bog Basilisk Packet
Just taking the Green cards, but at least one of them isn’t half bad!
Gallows Boy and Overkill
Wendish Giant returns! Rounding out this draft with a beefy stat stick is fine by me. Ruslan’s Bight might not quite justify two in the deck, but I think it’s ultimately more likely to make the cut than Rewind Hex, so let’s go ahead and go with some good, old-fashioned buffing.
Wendish Giant and Ruslan’s Bight
The deck ended up with a more balance curve than it felt like I would, even making room for more of the buffs and combat tricks than I had originally suspected. The four slot was getting desperate enough that I even made room for a Bog Basilisk! Letting the Spellflux Cauldron sneak in also was my absolute favorite but with seven spells in the deck, if we ever got around to playing it after burning it once, it had a decent enough chance of kicking in some strength, especially with the two Detaineds pulling double spell duty. Ultimately the deck was pretty low to the ground which meant it had a fine with romps against an interesting array of decks, and a lot of slugfests with Blue decks that resulted in getting pretty brutally snowballed.
Cataphract was going to be enough of a problem on its own but when the newly buffed Godsblud Transfusion hits the board well…
Ruh Roh. With Deported or just winning before we got to turn six being the only real line of defense against monsters like this, our speedy mono green had some pretty rough games, but could also pull out the stops and put in some powerhouse performances.
The Arena Run - A breakdown of a single game
While this open lacks a clear path to a smooth curve, the open with House Elf gets damage started fast, with either Ruslan’s Bight or Detained serving as a combat trick to get us to the bone crunching 4 and 5 of Wendish Giant and Volkov Heavy.
Well as you can see challenging the Ringmaster with a Simargl Hatchling did…not go as planned, but the steady damage from House Elf and the pings for each opposing attacker means that this is very much a race we can win as we keep the attention focused on the left side of the board.
Avenging his fallen comrade, the Avenging Alpha steps in to soak up more hits, threatening the Ringmaster and triggering even more processes for House Elf as we continue this racing damage while keeping a lot of defensive options in hand. Having the Detained to serve as soft removal and even the Pointman to send damage over the top, we can keep pouring in damage.
Going into a full out race becomes even more effective as the Lurker on House Elf means that it’s Necromantic Buddy will soak up hits first, leaving behind a Simargl behind to defend the Elf, and getting in two more pings along the way! Deport and Mothmara also give us even more damage to send over the top. What would have normally been a terrifying Ringmaster on curve, against a deck that could only answer with Led Astray especially, became a race that could be handily won, thanks to this aggro scheme.
This respectable 6-3 represents a pretty decent record, especially noting that the losses were to particularly brutal Blue decks, already the dominant Color in Arena, but now even more frightening with access to gaudy buff spells. When in doubt, force Blue, but even without our Seawitches, Mono Green put up a lot of fast and fun games against a pretty entertaining field!
Thinking through the strategies of Arena, I lean more toward a more plodding an top-heavy deck, but with the variety of efficient threats in Green, especially with buffs to House Elf and Hacker’s Intuition, don’t be surprised if faster packages with Green make a good impression on Arena runs!