Combo Storm is a singularly focused, hard-punishing deck. It does not follow the rules of artifact since it is able to ramp, cast spells for free, draw insane amounts of cards, and completely prevent the opponent from interacting once the combo starts. The overall game plan of this deck is simple: start a lane with initiative, a blue and green hero, and the cards required to combo. When these conditions are met, this deck will easily take an ancient within two turns. The basic combo is Gust > Stars Align > Aghanim’s Sanctum > activate sanctum > Incarnation of Selemene > all of the draw spells > Thunder God’s Wrath > Prey on the Weak > Emissary of the Quorum. There are multiple ways this deck can go off, but this is the main combo. When playing this deck the entire focus of the player should be on how to start the combo and how to ensure that the opponent does not win before the player can take the ancient. The 2 copies of Annihilation and 2 copies of At Any Cost allow the deck to stall the game until it assembles the combo. It is important to pay attention to the Ogre Magi’s placement, as the 25% chance to copy a spell can be a big deal when comboing where upwards of 10 blue spells can be cast in one turn. Although this deck is no longer the beast it once was, it still performs very well against decks that are not ready for it and can still get tournament results.
- While you often want your heroes to die, be careful about giving early gold to decks that run hourglass, as this will seriously disrupt both the ability to combo and to find the combo pieces.
- If possible, play all of your Foresights in Ogre Magi’s lane because even copying it once can massively improve both the combo game and the ability to find combo pieces.
- While ending combos with arcane assault can be critical to safely closing out a game, sometimes you will need to play them simply to draw a card to find that last combo piece.
- Unearthed Secrets can be played in this list if the meta has low improvement hate.
- When deciding where to combo be very mindful if your opponent is playing anihlation. You will either need to Arcane Assult to get iniative to Gust, kill the enemy heros in such a way that they cannot Anihlate, or take 2 towers.
Hero Killer is a name for a wide variety of Red/Black decks that focus on generating gold by killing the opponent's heroes and amplifying the gold with Paydays. The main win condition of Hero Killer is a safe yet aggressive early and mid-game thanks to efficient control options plus powerful red heroes and creeps followed by Time of Triumph and Vestures after turn 8.
The presented list is a winner of the TTS prebeta tournament and the deck was built specifically to counter Combo Storm. Hourglasses are a brutal tech against Combo Storm without being too much of a burden in other matchups. Having multiple initiative gaining cards are key to beating comb and Legion Commander deploying in 4th position allows for the threat of Duel and Smash in all 3 lanes. This list might be the best counter to Storm, but the matchup is still tricky; an experienced Storm player will crush somebody who just picked this deck up. Apart from Combo Storm matchups, this deck does well against ramp as long as ramp decks don't get two 8 drops before 8 mana. This deck also crushes all decks that have only TOT as their win condition, due to the fact that Vesture of the Tyrant + TOT beat just TOT.
- The Hero Killer archetype is very flexible and with minor changes it can transform to have better matchups against most of the decks: Sniper can make this deck better against Combo Storm, Lich along with cutting greedy cards can bring counterplay to aggro decks, and Sorla can transform it into aggro with the addition of only a few black cards such as (but not limited to) Oglodi Vandal or Disciple of Nevermore.
- Deciding whether to spend gold or hold it for Paydays is a very important skill mainly tied to the decision of whether the benefit from your aggressive advantage is good enough to close out the game with cheap health items, or is it better to calm down and wait for your incredibly efficient defensive options.
- Heroes in this version alone can be juggled in multiple ways: Legion Commander 4 provides better fortification of the lanes, while bounty 4 can provide efficient clean up on round 1 hero battles with Hip Fires, pick offs, or a 1st lane deploy with a Gank.
Green Red Ramp is arguably the strongest deck in the game when it has the right starting hand, and is one of the weaker decks when it has a bad hand. When it draws into its ramp spells and ramp targets early on it can apply tremendous tower and board pressure, but when it draws the wrong combination of cards it has a difficult time applying pressure and defending its towers. To find the combo pieces use Unearthed Secrets and Smash Their Defenses, and while searching for combo pieces we want to pressure our opponent with the red creeps while trying to disrupt them using Duels, Berserker's Call, and Gust. With the nerf of Cheat Death this list took a hard hit, but with good RNG it is still a very powerful list.
- A common mistake is to play Green Red ramp as a standard value list, not as a combo deck. We need to make sure we are constantly looking out for ways to go off guaranteed, sometimes even making sub-optimal plays to set up for that 6 mana ToT.
- When deciding where to play improvements keep in mind the presence of improvement removal and try to play around them. Bait out the removal on your less important improvements.
- If the choice is given, always ramp in the first lane because having the ability to blink dagger into other lanes after you get an early ToT can be vital to securing wins.
- When ramping out an early 8 drop, it will almost always be best to play ToT over Emissary. The only exception to this is if you have no blink daggers and want to set up to take the ancient.
Blue Green Control is an alternate take on combo that forgoes the high potential of the standard combo list in favor of consistency. This changes many of its match ups and makes the list much more aggressive since it is able to run both Prey on the Weak and Dimensional Portal, allowing them to be used more frequently. Adding in Mist Of Avernus gives the ability to quickly push lanes even without Emissary of the Quorum, which gives both better ancient pressure and more potential to take 2 towers. Luna gives us a better body than Zeus while also unlocking Eclipse, which can often be played as a one sided Annihilation. In terms of match ups, this list does better against Hero Killer and ramp but has a weak match up against combo. Overall this list is more consistent than combo at the cost of having a lower potential.
- There are 2 general approaches to playing this deck: play all in one lane and throw all of your improvements into that lane starting from turn 1, deploying most of your heroes there, or pressure and defend multiple lanes which allows you to be less predictable and more versatile at the cost of having less power.
- When setting up for lethal in a lane where you have cheat death and a green hero you can use Annihilation to clear blockers or stop lethal against Time of Triumphed heroes.
- This is a very versatile deck with a lot of options, keep an open perspective when playing this list and always look for alternate ways to play.
Black Blue Econ is an oppressive control list with the strongest late game of any deck. It runs 3 copies of both Annihilation and At Any Cost which gives the deck the ability to stall out the game while it stacks up on both gold and Eclipse stacks. Running Track, Payday, Iron Fog Gold Mine, and ... And One For Me provides enough gold generation to ensure the deck will always get access to its powerful item deck. In the item deck we are running 3 Vesture of the Tyrant and 1 25 gold finisher (it can either be Horn of the Alpha or Apotheosis Blade). We are prioritizing defensive items over offensive items in order to ensure survival to the late game where it will become nearly impossible to lose towers.
Video Guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAtcU40RWH0
- Equipping a Vesture of the Tyrant on Luna will ensure she gains a stack each turn and that you always have a blue hero on the field.
- Skywrath Mage can be swapped for Ogre Magi if you find Mystic Flare to be too inconsistent.
- Because this list has so many ways to generate gold you will often want to use payday as early as 9 or 10 gold to get the Vesture of the Tyrant out as soon as possible.
- Apotheosis Blade can be swapped for Horn of the Alpha if you are not playing against many Payday decks.
Red Black Midrange is a deck built to punish weak heroes. Duel, Berserker's Call, Gank, and most notably Chain Frost are all efficient at removing heroes, which opens up the lane for our hard hitting heroes and creeps to take down towers. While this deck has a aggressive early game, it also has a very potent late game thanks to Spring the Trap, Chain Frost, and Time Of Triumph. In the item deck are 3 Stonehall Cloaks and 2 Traveler's Cloaks, allowing us to beef up our heroes and to ensure their survival against removal spells. This list does very well against blue control lists and most aggro decks, but has a hard time against red heavy decks and ramp.
Video Quick Guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljfJkKqa3A0&feature=youtu.be
- If you want a more control heavy version of the deck you can drop the 3 Legion Standard Bearers for 1 Spring the Trap, 1 Time of Triumph, and 1 Hip Fire.
- When playing this list you will almost always have someway to kill the enemy heroes. Be careful to not waste your removal and to not give the opponent an advantage by letting them move around their heroes.
- Phantom Assassin should usually be deployed in the first lane to set up for Ganks. If you prefer, you can start Phantom Assassin over Axe to create a more powerful turn 1.