It’s around that time in Hearthstone’s expansion cycle where the best Hearthstone decks have found their footing. We’ve seen builds like Evolve Shaman and Miracle Rogue shoot into top tier territory, while classes like Hunter and Paladin continue to maintain sturdy win rates.
As reflected in Vicious Syndicate’s most recent Data Reaper Report, the meta has felt a little stale recently. This has just been addressed by Blizzard finally nerfing Edwin VanCleef and Boggspine Knuckles, but I’ve been actively hunting for a deck that feels more spontaneous and fun to play. It’s fair to say that Mage’s Highlander builds have been a respectable means of navigating the Ranked ladder for months, but this Dual God variant spruces up the decklist with four 10-drops (including two Old Gods), while managing to remain surprisingly competitive.
If you’re hoping to zoom through Ranked efficiently, you need a solid deck that’ll get you there, and the knowledge on how to use it. However, once you hit a certain level, most of the folks you’re up against will also know the ins and outs of your build just as well as you do. This leads to informed, intelligent plays that encourage thoughtful strategies on each side. But it makes it all the more frustrating when you lose.
This month, rather than play it safe, I’ve decided to focus on having fun. As a result, I’ve been leaning more heavily on RNG cards like Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate and The Amazing Reno, and ‘created by’ options like Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, and Wand Thief to liven up my matches. These types of cards have been criticised in the past due to how difficult their random outcomes are to play around. Some card generating staples have even been nerfed due to their tendencies to give players cards that were too powerful too often. However, Dual Gods Mage has found a neat balance. It contains the backbone of a well-rounded deck lined with tech cards, AoE removal, and secrets that I absolutely need to keep up in a game, while leaving room for a few surprises.
By opting for a deck with this kind of structure I’ve accepted that things won’t always go my way. Some spells still struggle to neutralise potent aggro decks. A mirror match with another Mage also showed me just how horrible it is to be on the receiving end of seemingly endless Frost Novas, Blizzards, and Counterspells. That said, I’ve recovered from near-lethal HP with a weird combination of bonus secrets from Ring Toss’ Corrupt effect, and some divine intervention from Yogg and Solarian Prime. Even tiny minions like Wand Thief can make a game-swinging difference.
As if this Highlander deck didn’t already have enough going on, it also features C’Thun, the Shattered. When the Madness at the Darkmoon Faire expansion first launched, I was gutted to discover that the reimagining of my favourite Old God was the weakest of the four. So, I’m delighted that it has finally found its place alongside Yogg. Dual Gods Mage has a good pool of early game cards and spells that do a great job of safely guiding me to later turns where I can play ten-mana threats like Kalecgos. However, the additional four spells from C’Thun help to remove opposing threats along the way, and in especially long matches, it’s nice to know I have 30 damage lurking at the bottom of my deck.
In a landscape filled with safe decks like Pure Paladin, Highlander Hunter, and Zoo Warlock I’m experimenting with thinking on my feet, and rolling the dice. Having the majority of Mage’s core Highlander cards to fall back on as a safety net, makes me feel confident enough to play this deck in Ranked, and my stats haven’t suffered as a result. The best part is that it’s currently stifling Hunters and Paladins, and can even take on Control Warrior’s thanks to its spells and C’Thun’s endgame.