RG Necromantic: A New Type of Aggro
Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Erobert here, with the deck I took to Champion earlier this season: Red Necromantic. The general idea is pretty recognizable, similar to many Disk and Necromantic strategies I generally prefer, but this particular deck offers a more aggressive style of play, which can be really handy in ladder play. The ability to punish slower decks while also bringing a lot of bursting power in midgame allows you to pull out wins against unprepared opponents! Let’s take a closer look.
The history of Necromantic in Mythgard is reasonably well worn, with the earliest and most common strategies revolving around the abuse of Freki Sidecar to sneak out damage and get in attacks even before your opponent has the opportunity to bounce your reanimated minions. While the more controlling Necromantic strategies in Yellow or Purple rely on pushing value over time with Hopeless Necromantic, Blue strategies could present a quick attack with strategic Rush. Without laying the proper groundwork for an aggro strategy, however, the deck could sometimes misfire, which was never my favorite; it was a deck that saw Disk as a way to power Necromantic rather than using Necromantic to optimize the value engine of Disk’s discard and draw. When Freki Sidecar was nerfed and could now no longer give Rush to monsters like Living Mountain, the archetype fell by the wayside.
While this kind of swift payout had plenty of value on ladder, I wanted a more consistently aggro Necromantic build. Maintaining midrange pressure is easy for Necromantic and having a more consistent early plan of attack allows you to press that advantage and overwhelm an opponent attempting to play around your Necromantic. As I have suggested previously, Disk of Circadia has a great deal of potential with more aggro decks, as the Slayer 1 bonus can let smaller minions trade up and swarm larger Minions, while the ability to empty your hand makes the flip to Day card neutral, and the subsequent flip to Night pure card advantage. For better or worse, in Mythgard, all aggro roads lead in one Color direction: Red.
Being able to open with Strigoi Pup, curve into Panic Raider to draw while dealing damage, or finish a game with a recurring Fated Firebird, are all fantastic aggro tools, but the real prize in Red, just as it was in Blue, is in a Rush enabler to abuse: Dashing Ringmaster. While Freki Sidecar’s ability is restricted by Cost, Dashing Ringmaster can only give Rush to minions that are below 4 Strength, which curtails many of the classic Necromantic stunts associated with rush. This restriction on the other hand, reasonably supports the aggro ambitions of the deck, prioritizing lower cost minions which would be playable from hand as well as reanimated by Hopeless Necromantic, and maintaining consistent pressure.
While Volkov Heavy is my preferred midrange Minion in Yellow Necromantic, finding a suitable replacement at 4 Strength leads us to some of Red’s most interesting strengths in evasive minions and Life Tap. While Duskwing Angel doesn’t pack the same punch as Heavy, an Agile attacker which gains Life and is even difficult to kill in combat is a very welcome minion to cheat out and becomes amazing when it can be cheated out on turn four. Similarly Red’s top end features six-Cost minions worth cheating out in Cerberus Unchained and Sideshow Chimera, both of which can get Rush from Ringmaster. The normal Green beasts, Chort Stag and Iku-Turso, provide enough value that they are worth cheating out or even playing whether or not they get Rush from Ringmaster, but even more excitingly Vilja Windfury’s native Frenzy means that at 4 Strength, it gets the bonus from Ringmaster but hits like a ton of bricks. Following this paradigm of ensuring that any Minions be suitable for either extreme value with Necromantic or something which will benefit from Ringmaster’s Rush ability, I ended up with a list that looks like this:
Apart from the aggro gameplan, we ended up with the normal assortment of Necromantic helpers, Raid the Tombs for a little extra draw and Boneyard management, and Grinning Kolobok for the sheer utility it offers at every point in the game. Outside of the Chort Stag, Iku-Turso, and Fated Firebird, every minion can get Rush from Ringmaster. While the midrange Minions and Red Mythics are the best way to get in damage with Ringmaster, the sheer utility of board-wide rush extends to a wide variety of minions. With Ringmaster on the board, Born again can trade every turn and come right back! Kolobok can immediately move and trade! The best by far though is Hopeless Necromantic itself.
By Turn 6, or even sooner with Grinning Kolobok, you can drop Dashing Ringmaster and Hopeless Necromantic on the same turn and immediately trigger Necromantic. Unlike the previous schemes in Blue, you can do this with any positioning you want, even taking advantage of Swift on Vilja Windfury to move away from the Necromantic’s location or utilizing this effect on the Chimera tokens with Sideshow Chimera. Ringmaster obviously provides a powerful effect and Necromantic gives you many more opportunities to make use of it, even being able to return the Ringmaster to play with Necromantic in a pinch! The most obvious consideration in playing this deck is how to balance your need to create early pressure with Minions while not littering the Boneyard with small dorks that will disrupt your Necromantic cheating out better Minions. When on Pursuit, you can safely discard with Disk of Circadia and just play out your Grinning Kolobok or Strigoi Pup, but on Play, you might be more conservative with your 1-drops, lest they get hit with a Racer in Shadow or Ignition. Once you have the first flip on Play, you are well positioned to drop either a Hopeless Necromantic or a Panic Raider to both dig for the Necromantic while also dealing damage. Having access to Strigoi Pup as a 1-drop also gives you the opportunity to play something out while flipping Disk back to Night on Turn 3 in a pinch and the flow of the game can progress according to this generally aggressive game plan, dealing damage with attacks and Smite while developing your Hand.
While the normal countermeasures can obviously derail your Necromantic game plan, having a more aggressive gameplan to fall back on can help punish opponent’s using Seal of Exile on Necromantic. While they are recovering tempo, you can keep attacking and pushing damage, playing a solid Red and Green midrange kind of deck. Even if the Minion reanimated by Necromantic is a Panic Raider or a Strigoi Pup, this is still a pretty reasonable way to keep up tempo and value if your discarded monster gets removed with Ghul. This deck plays well on Ladder, even in the face of Boneyard hate, and cruised to some pretty nice streaks, as the ability to burst for damage and punish slower decks offers a lot of flexibility against a variety of decks. Similarly without common Necromantic threats on Ladder, people have started swapping out Ghuls and other answers, letting you push all of your spooky reanimated Minions in peace!
 For an old alpha history see my previous treatments of Necromantic here.  In addition to trading up with Slayer 1, Strigoi Pup also gains a cool 3 Life. Very useful at every point in the game.
 Because Freki Sidecar requires adjacency, the Minion would lose Rush in this case
 If there was a minion that cost GG3 for a 2/3 and read “Demise: Create a Strigoi Pup in this Lane” it would honestly probably see some play