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Best Mono Shadow Gauntlet Grinder

Gauntlet Deck By


Cost Curve




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 equipped.
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, Annihilate, 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.

Market Choices:
Thief's Pick is great in this deck because our main wincons require us to hit the opponent's face. This helps make it more reliable.
Devouring Shadow 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.
Lethrai Provocateur 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.
Memory Dredger is included in the market to make our recursion more reliable.
Dizo's Office 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.


Shiftstone Cost
Does not include campaign cost

Premium Cost

Influence Requirements

Power Sources

Power Calculator
Shiftstoned Icon View Deck on Shiftstoned

Deck Rarities
10 23 18 12

Card Types
34 1 19 1 25

Contains Cards From Campaigns
Dead Reckoning [Set1003]
Into Shadow [Set1004]

Aggro Combo

March 14, 2019

March 13, 2019


Eternal Version
v1.43 - Community Store

BBCode For Comments

Deck URL

Revisions (Since last major patch) March 14, 2019


241ackerman Eternal Version: 1.44
hmmm really cant get more than 1 or 2 wins with this deck, keeps pairing me against aggro flyers that dont mind me playing deadly units, feels bad I guess
link123 Eternal Version: 1.44
Is the Lethrai Provocateurand Shadowlands Tyrant really helpful? I've never used it successfully after 20 games,why no replace it with more Cold Blood or something else?
Pikerbocker Eternal Version: 1.44
Devastating Setback might be a good choice in place of Provocateur because it serves as both proactive and reactive removal
Pikerbocker Edited Eternal Version: 1.44
Provacateur is a flexible spot its just a good body and shuts down a lot of decks but it is a preference, not necessary. Tyrant has been great for me so far but its one of those cards where it does better if you believe in it lol.. As I said above that Umbren Reaper is a better wincon against AI but Tyrant is safer. I dont believe this deck requires anymore removal in place of Tyrant though. It is better to force your opponent to remove your threats than to wait for a threat so you can play your removal.

Definitely adjust to your style of play though! I just have never felt the deck needs anymore removal spells.
link123 Edited Eternal Version: 1.44
but if you don't get Thief's Pick , you won't want to attack. This seems to have no meaning,I always fall down that AI's deck has Reality Warden Aniyah, Arctic Sheriff Tavrod, Auric Broker or some Units with Weapons.I think these need to be dealt with, especially the multi-color units.
Pikerbocker Eternal Version: 1.44
okay so if that is where you are struggling maybe take out Tyrants for another ICB and perhaps another Dark Return?
link123 Eternal Version: 1.44
I think Secret Passage is better than Thief's Pick,and add In Cold Blood in market is necessary.

Do you have considered Wingbrewer and Shadowlands Guide?
Pikerbocker Eternal Version: 1.44
wingbrewer is too slow for gauntlet and shadowlands guide is too weak and only hits half of our recursive units. Though i have not tested them out at all so give it a try!
Yeah i can see the argument for both secret passage and ICB in market but the way i have it currently works good for me
link123 Eternal Version: 1.44
Fine,wait for your news.anyway,thanks for your sharing and reply. I relly like the Weary Spiteling
SirElifant Eternal Version: 1.44
I have been playing mono shadow in gauntlet for the past six month but this deck feels a lot smoother against the AI. Thanks for sharing and great write up!
Pikerbocker Eternal Version: 1.44
Glad you are finding some success with the deck :) I think this deck can compete with hooru flyers in terms of consistency.. let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!