The holiday season is lovely, isn’t it? Torrential snow storms in the North, hydroplaning on the streets of Indiana from cold-yet-not-snow rain, Black Friday madness…wait, where’s the good part again?

Oh, yeah! IT’S GAMING SEASON! World of Warcraft’s newest expansion, Warlords of Draenor, dropped recently, and I’m too stoked for flames. No? Okay.

For those who aren’t familiar with me, I’m a lore nut. Whatever game I play, I go deep into the story when I get bored and have the Internet. Whether it’s knowing that Anafenza grinds her enemies’ bones to dust so that they won’t be remembered (the reason for the exile clause on her card, by the way) or giving speeches from cutscenes in an impression of an orc, I like to geek out when I get excited about something with a rich story. The new W0W expansion happens to have just that—loads and loads of lore. You’re riding around fighting and meeting characters I’ve given seldom-listened-to rants about for years. It’s radical.

Because it’s so hard for me to stop talking about how awesome the game is, I figured I’d just build a deck to celebrate it!

The first list I was going to write about was going to be flavor-driven, mostly Orc tribal. Then I realized you guys would probably like something remotely playable as opposed to a deck that relied on Zurgo Helmsmasher and Butcher of the Horde to win every game, and I calmed down from my excitement of playing all of the Krumar from Khans and digging for flavor justifications on which Magic cards were which characters in the new WoW expansion.

I play a warrior in WoW, so I’m going to finally drop the deck I’ve helped more people build in the past year than any other.

Here’s the list:

Black/White Warriors

Creatures (27)
Bloodsoaked Champion
Tormented Hero
Gnarled Scarhide
Chief of the Edge
Chief of the Scale
Mardu Skullhunter
Master of the Feast
Mogis’s Marauder

Enchantments (2)
Raiders’ Spoils

Spells (9)
Bile Blight
Hero’s Downfall

Land (22)
Caves of Koilos
Temple of Silence
Mana Confluence
11 Swamp
Sideboard (15)
Chief of the Scale
Rush of Battle
Glare of Heresy
Bile Blight
Sorin, Solemn Visitor
Sign in Blood

So, I like this deck. I don’t play all-in aggro much these days, as I try myself to favor decks that have more play in them, but every time I see this deck I like it. A friend of mine (JD, the player on my GPNashville team that ended up with the Rush of Battle playmat) has had a Warriors deck for a long time, and we’ve fooled around with it a lot. I’ve been known to borrow it on occasion for tournaments, but that’s namely because of how shiny he’s made it. Foil Chiefs look really nice.

But anyway. The core of the deck is very basic. I’m going to play aggressive black creatures, make some of them bigger with my two-mana 3/2, and then punch through your blockers with Master of the Feast and Mogis’s Marauder. I have a soft spot for Mogis’s Marauder, as I piloted various forms of mono-black aggro with RTR block in Standard, and he goes lovely with Spike Jester. While there are no hasty 3/1 beaters in this list, there’s enough going on to make up for it.

Warriors isn’t an unused tribe, especially with the Event Deck running around, but there are some cards in here that make it worth it to me. Firstly, the No. 1 card people cut from the event deck: Raiders’ Spoils is awesome. Originally, like everyone else on the planet who made this deck, the four-drop slot was taken by Sorin, Solemn Visitor. The hard copy of the deck (JD’s) ended up Sorin-less due to a trade he made, but I unwittingly told him I thought Spoils suited the deck better before he told me the bad news, so it worked out fairly well. The pump to the power of all your creatures is very welcomed, as any anthem effects would be, but the card draw from it makes it more than worth its weight in mana. Most games come down to slamming one more Mogis’s Marauder than you have in the early turns, so digging for it helps a lot.

The other flex card is the Master of the Feast. This slot is commonly filled with Herald of Torment. While I will concede that having “hasty” power and toughness on this card is useful at five mana, almost every game comes down to whether your 3/3 is good enough, and it rarely has been for me. So, I’ll play a 5/5. I think that the Master discussion has been had by most people at this point, but for anyone who isn’t in love with this card already, I’ll give my basic explanation. Last format, I would not have played this card. With one of the two highest-played decks maining a bazillion single-target removal spells on top of a 6/6 flier of their own, giving them a card almost always found them an answer, simply because their deck was filled with answers. With the new Standard, though, there is significantly less efficient removal that deals with this guy, so he usually gets in for five or ten before eating the bullet. Three mana for ten damage, but target opponent draws two cards? It seems pretty legit to me. Also, his art’s just better than Herald’s. Let’s be honest.

The board is admittedly wonky. The Chiefs are good against tiny aggro or two-damage removal, as well as being bodies versus control. Rush of Battle is one of the game-enders against the other aggro decks. The life swing is often too big for them to recover, and sometimes it’s just an eight-mana burn spell.

Glare of Heresy is a generic card, never fantastic but almost always useful. Sign in Blood was the latest addition, since more and more people at my locals are bringing control brews.

The deck has the generic pitfalls of any aggro deck: If you have 20 you win, if you have 19 you probably won’t get there. That being said, it’s a blast to play. It’s an easy way to get into Standard, too, because, as I said, the event deck comes with a lot of it. The reason I’ve dealt with this deck so much is because it’s the easiest way to get players at my shop into Standard when they haven’t played in a while. It doesn’t take much addition to build a solid deck after that, and I’ve seen some hilariously salty Abzan and Jeskai players lose to it.

If you’re looking for a deck to soothe your slam-dudes-sideways urge, but don’t like dealing with pesky heroic or prowess triggers (or don’t want to buy Rabblemasters), this is the deck for you.

Also, if you want to scream (in your best orc voice, of course), “BLOOD AND GLORY AWAIT US! LOK’TAR OGAR!” every time you cast a Rush of Battle, this is definitely for you. No? Just me?

Duncan Martin is an artist/musician/writer/whatever from Jeffersonville, Indiana, who spends his days sorting cards, helping people brew decks, and petitioning to have Second Sunrise unbanned in Modern. He likes to draw cards, dredge cards, scry cards, and talk about old formats, Pro Tours, and awesome decks that have long since passed.

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