Hey guys, Piker here again bringing another mono faction gauntlet grinder. I have tested quite a bit with different mono shadow blends and this list feels the most reliable to grind out those 6-7 wins.
So, the trick to building a consistent and efficient gauntlet grinder deck is to meet these important components:
1. Low power requirements
- try not to get screwed on influence and hit your power drops
2. Have multiple wincons
- this is why you don't see very many combo-heavy decks as gauntlet grinders
3. Able to abuse AI logic
- take advantage of the AI's inability to play around certain cards
4. Early and persistent pressure
- stay ahead of your opponent and include some form of draw
5. Have answers or outs
- this includes the ability to stabilize to help reverse the effects of bad luck/bad draws
With that theory in mind, I believe mono shadow to be the most reliable way to grind gauntlet with the right list. Let me explain:
1. It is hard to get screwed on influence requirements with a mono faction deck. Also, thanks to Vara's Favor
and Rhysta, Acantha's Herald
, we are able to play on curve reliably.
2. Our multiple wincons include reanimating self-buffed, cheap units with Memory Dredger
, and the best 4 drop in the game Vara, Vengeance-Seeker
. Shadowlands Tyrant
can be a wincon too. And so can Blackhall Warleader
with a Thief's Pick
3. We are able to exploit the poor choices made by the AI in the face of deadly and reanimation. Our trick is basically to A-space with our 1-,2-drops and Memory Dredger
will bring 1 back AFTER all damage is dealt, usually coming back bigger. The AI doesn't know how to handle this.
4. Our curve is low and nightfall triggers maintain our card count. Also, warcries and Blackhall Warleader
's inspire help us maintain our board advantage.
5. We have numerous forms of removal at our disposal with shadow. Shakedown
, Devouring Shadow
, and In Cold Blood
are some of the best. Then, we have surplus amounts of lifegain to help stabilize in any instance we fall behind on board. Shadowlands Tyrant
does this very well.
Currently 27-1 at the time of posting, lost due to flooding during boss, which will happen to every deck. Listen to this though... I was facing the double damage boss. On turn 1, I was on the draw, and he plays TWO Infernus
AND a Forge Wolf
, knocking me to 3 health before I even drew a card. On turn 2, he plays Ticking Grenadin
. Luckily, he wasn't smart enough to attack with my Ripknife Assassin
on board. He also played Bandit Queen
on turn 4, which ended up knocking me to 1. I was able to stabilize and steal the win in the end. This is when I knew this deck is for real.
Additional tips of the deck:
1. We prioritize Memory Dredger
above anything else. The AI will always prioritize Vara, Vengeance-Seeker
or Shadowlands Tyrant
. So, these 2 will get hit with a silence first, which is great for us because we want our recursion machine running smoothly.
2. Depending on the situation, Dark Return
is usually best when used for Vara, Vengeance-Seeker
3. The most important thing is to keep the way clear for Memory Dredger
to hit. Strategize your removal.
4. Blackhall Warleader
is almost always the right target for Thief's Pick
5. I can't decide if Shadowlands Tyrant
or Umbren Reaper
is the better card in this spot. Tyrant adds a bit more resilience to the deck, whereas Reaper is a better wincon. Up to you to decide.
6. Opening hand you want to see 4 playable power. Ideally, have 2 sigils, a varas favor, a rhysta, and stuff to play on T1 and/or T2, like a shakedown and a ripknife. If you get stuck on 2 power, you will most likely need to play defensive depending on the matchup. If you get to 4 power, you can aggro like mad.
is great in this deck because our main wincons require us to hit the opponent's face. This helps make it more reliable.
is great to play on any threat on any turn. If it doesn't kill it, it will reduce its power level to be more manageable.
is a great body with deadly and can seal the win against any weapon-heavy decks because the AI hates blocking this unit. I have swapped out this card for Devastating Setback
. I believe setback has more of an impact and more relevance throughout gauntlet.
is included in the market to make our recursion more reliable.
is there as either a closer or to swing games into your favor.
I think the best thing about this deck is you never feel like you lose tempo. Almost every attack gets you something, even if some of your units are committing suicide. Weary Spiteling
gets bigger when it dies. Xenan Lifespeaker
's ultimate refreshes when it comes back. Ripknife Assassin
always deals face damage or trades plus warcries, and Blackhall Warleader
just gets bigger and makes your draws bigger.
That is all for now. Try it out and let me know your thoughts.