Mournful Malaise Manacles: Triple M
This isn't a new idea. It is just that Malaise
made this deck format so much better. I've taken it to masters faster than I've ever taken a deck there before and so its worth sharing. There are many different ways to go with the core deck build. I started with a midrange control and ended up shifting to more of a midrange aggro style. At least for my play style, control seems to lose out to speed and/or fast ramp. This deck is certainly not top-tier, but its fun and competitive enough to rise up the ranks for me.
With this flavor of the build, you kind of need to control by pressure. Early units out will give off a bit of damage and serve as blockers. I'm often just fine with trading. Since I'm not running Merchants, you have to play the game like you won't get a Manacles, and so keep damage running and keep control of the board. Try and save your Flame Blast
as a finisher if you flame out -- sort of like you would use Obliterate
. I like Flame Blast
a bit better because it can be used earlier for unit control if needed, and it can also take out sites.
Core Cards: Fervent Siphoner
, Mournful Deathcap
, and of course Black Iron Manacles
are your core cards, that's about it. Why?
Turn 2 Fervent Siphoner
, Turn 3 Mournful Deathcap
and your third power card. It's a nice early game attack that, similar to empower, will go a few turns. If they kill the siphoner, then you get a 4/2 weapon.
is a great surprise attack. Malaise being a fast spell means you can attack into a unit to kill it and transfer the weapon, or just straight up pump 7 damage to the dome. Players should remove Siphoner as soon as possible if they are smart. This can take a huge chuck out of your opponent on turn 5 if you were able to drop a Black Iron Manacles
on turn 4. With a nice lucky draw, I've occasionally pulled off Malaise
x2 here for the surprise game ending play.
is self spoken, and often used as the finisher once you get to 6 power.
Mostly Required Cards:
This is not core to the build, but I can't really find a reason not ever throw in Vara, Vengeance-Seeker
into any shadow deck. If nothing more than to remove Aegis, its just nearly a must-have. The same hold true for Torch
its just too versatile to leave out. And I'm starting to think the same thing of Street Urchin
. At least in an aggro deck, this is just foolish to not use. It provides minimally a bit of early damage as they burn their removal on it, and every once in awhile you get a bonus card draw from it.
As far as I'm concerned you can play around with the rest of it. I settled on what I have now, but I'm certain other things could improve it. Some reasons for my choices are as follows.
I found that speed was my friend, so I have those 1-drop shifters (Crooked Alleyguide
& Nimble Conscript
) that typically push through 3 damage before they end up dying. Quarry
, might be my first cut. It sure is nice to pull a Manacles to make it 3-drop, but apart from that it sort of functions like a Scheme
or a Merchant as a fast way to help find what you want. I have it in now because it actually does power up the Fervent Siphoner
as well, but that is not a good enough reason alone.
Why not merchants? I had them at one point, but found it too slow. My win rate went up when I kept the pressure on, and the merchants were just too slow. However, adding only slightly changes your play, so feel free. I may even put them back in later.
is only in here right now because I didn't want to craft another Champion of Chaos
. Also, I wanted just a bit more discard for when I needed it. Other things I experimented with are: Sinister Design
. I ultimately removed these because of my play-style. I often didn't have units around anymore at that stage of the game, or needed them for chump blocking.
Nullblade is there to hamper those void recursion decks. It's kind of nice, but not required. It does have synergism with early game discard for these purposes, and revenge builds hate to see it.
is in there for a bit of night damage, and also forcing a double draw. Also, extra draw typically helps the aggro build more than a control build, and this current build is leaning aggro.
I already spoke to Sinister Design
and merchants. You'll also notice no removal in here. I used to play around with combinations of Combust
, Stray into Shadow
, and Devastating Setback
. Ultimately, I decided the removal wasn't keeping up and was not enhancing my win condition. Instead I opted for more early game units and found the flow better. I was just too frustrated with not having the removal when I needed it even though I slotted it in the build. Add them if you see fit -- there are cases it would save you for sure.
Other discarders are not included because they were just not good card economy. Things like Fallen Oni
are just not nearly as good as Malaise
. Ultimately, I found they are not even needed. Waylay
seems awesome, but in this build you would never decimate it, so I didn't add it. The only other card I do throw in sometimes is Vicious Rumors
. It "kind of" shrinks your deck due to the cheap warp, and is useful for popping face Aegis.
. Perhaps I'll throw this back in. I think I only took it out on a whim because it seemed like it was only becoming useful when I was going to win anyway. I probably take out the Nimble Conscript
for this and then lean the power curve more Shadow. Then I probably drop Flame Blast
as well since I have less Fire influence.
The Tough Match-ups:
As far as I'm concerned, everything can lose to a power aggro build when it pulls a good draw, and this is the same. Some of those speed firestorm decks, or the old Skycrag aggro variants will take this down if they go off quick.
Also -- lifesteal. Some of those green builds out there have too much of it, and will often just wreck this deck. I think if this deck were to get to the next level, it needs to deal with it. Maybe I'll try Ankle Cutter
again. It might work.
Finally, if they have more than 1 relic removal spell, then you're in for a hurt. Even 1 relic removal spell will severely stunt your chance since you're now off pace after investing in a 4-drop Manacles.
I have fun with this. I keep adjusting it and am convinced that some of you high-caliber players out there could improve it. I hope I get constructive comments and/or things to try.