So yeah, I got my arse handed to me. It was a good few hours of cards, and I got a random prize of a deck box but, for me, it’s just compounded how much the game needs to be steered away from the few decks that people are playing. I’ve seen the Murloc, blue Hunter and blue Druid decks so many times over the last few months that it’s harking back to older days before Cryptozoic took over from Upper Deck where there were only a few decks kicking about. The one deck that’s massively popular I didn’t play against was red (Horde) Paladin, more commonly called the Grand Crusader deck. It’s similar in principle to the blue ally rush decks with 2 major exceptions, mainly that it’s red so it can run hideously busted cards like Mazu’kon and Lordann the Bloodreaver, and it’s a Paladin so it plays the titular Grand Crusader.
Mazu’kon is hideous without the need for Grand Crusader. He’s massive, he can attack immediately and when he dies another version of him comes back into play. It’s obscene. Lordann is good when played early, and ridiculous when played later on in the game. If you put Grand Crusader on there as well then you have a juggernaut sized twatting coming. Add to that lots of little guys as well as Cairne, Earthmother’s Chosen and it all adds up to a world of hurt. One of the things that makes Cairne an amazing card is that he has Stash. To stash something means you can put it down as a resource face up which then triggers the Stash power. You then turn the card face down and it’s ready to be used to pay for cards. Cairne’s stash power puts a 1 attack, 1 health ally into play. Grand Crusader makes this a 3 attack, 3 health dude.
Then you have Twilight Citadel, which also gives you little Dragonkin dudes that are a bit bigger with Grand Crusader. It’s at this point I should point out aside from amazingly bent cards, ability removal is practically nonexistent. The second problem the game has at the moment is the ability to draw more cards. Usually this is done by completing Quests (which you lay as resources, although you can put any card face down as a resource if you have no Quests) but the Quests at the moment are fucking rubbish, so any deck that can use plate armour runs Twilight Citadel and Etched Dragonbone Girdle.
The icons on the left of the card tell you what classes can use the armour, so only Warriors, Deathknights and Paladins can use it. So, when you put your little dude that becomes a bigger dude with Grand Crusader in, as long as this card is ready (which is in the upright position) you can at any point destroy the little Dragonkin and draw 2 cards. Priority windows mean an opponent can go “Aha! I’m going to attack your Dragonkin with my ally!” and then priority passes to you so you can go “Fuck you! I’m going to use my armour’s power (the text) and destroy it before you can get to it and draw 2 cards!” to which you go “FUCKING BROKEN SACK OF FUCK!” (or something similar) because you’ve committed your ally to attacking which did precisely fuck all. Well you do if you’re not paying attention to whether the Girdle is ready to be used or not. Tactics, see?
This is the deck that Jonny played. I wonder why I’m still his friend sometimes.
The Grand Crusader deck is an amazing deck. It’s not infallible, there’s no such thing as a perfect deck (at least not in the WoW TCG), but it’s incredibly effective. It’s these kinds of decks that people come up with that make the game interesting to play; making ridiculous combo decks that keep people on their toes and have them come up with ways to counter the plays. I’m rubbish at the game because I can’t see the game in the way that the good deck builders can. My method for gaming (be it board, card or video) is to smash shit in the face till it falls over. I also refuse to net deck or play other people’s decks. I suppose I only have myself to blame.
Also, Cryptozoic have admitted that there are a few cards which are over powered. No shit, Sherlock. The new set is out in about 2 weeks so we’ll see what they come up with to counter Grand Crusader, Gift of the Earthmother and the rest, although we’ve seen some ability removal already. I’m quite excited about it, but I doubt there’s anything that’s going to magically make me a better builder or player. I’ve been playing nearly 4 years, you’d think I’d have got the hang of it by now…
ADDENDUM: My favourite class is Warlock. They previewed this card from the upcoming set yesterday:
Basically “Fuck you Grand Crusader. Oh, and you, Gift of the Earthmother.”