Rage-Dominion Zash

So you want to wield the power of Mescatian Phoenix, Battlescarred Elder, and Zash the Annihilator but you're using the New Horizons elsewhere in your Conquest lineup? Use Molten Passageway as your "ramp" instead!

RD Zash.PNG

Shrines: 1 Altar of Dragons, 9 Rage Shrine, 2 Cathedral of the Night, 8 Dominion Shrine

The Plan

Ramp or remove the opponents' threats for the first couple of turns using Power Surge and Fireball, respectively. When you get to 2 levels, you have your value cards of Mistress, Mutant, Fireblast, and Cannonande. Use the card(s) that best deal(s) with your opponent's board. If necessary, you can use Passageway to attempt to pull a Lord Karthas to kill your opponent's most threatening creature. Use these to get to your haymakers of Mescatian Phoenix and Battlescarred Elder. These should be able to help you advance your own board, and then you can finish the opponent off with your Hero Power, Karthas, and Elder Red Dragon.

The Cards

Creatures

  • Northern Wanderers: Kind of an odd include as usually Khar or Prin'ha takes this slot. However, Northern Wanderers is the best defensive creature at this slot, which is desired for an anti-aggro deck in Conquest. It curves nicely into Mutant which should let it kill anything with 2 Spd or less. Do watch out that Mistress will kill this on the way back even if it's the only thing on the front line before it comes back.
  • Mistress of the Shadows: The nerf hit her hard, dropping her from 3-4 to 1-2 copies. However, she still does good work on turn 2-3 against aggro in helping you a nice 2-for-1. She also curves into Mutant into a kill on most 2 Spd or less creatures too. Note that against Jungle Deathtrap, she can will kill a <= 2 ATK creature, the Deathtrap, and herself giving you a nice tempo advantage. Also note that Enoch can eat her postcombat, though it will take the entire turn given when you usually play her.
  • Bloodseeking Mutant: Already mentioned twice in the creatures section so far, Mutant is the the first link between offense and defense for this deck, often netting a kill while presenting a respectable 3/3 threat. Utilize his ability with Fireblast in order to get an additional kill.
  • Bloodwell Matriarch: While many aggro decks are spell light, this fits the curve nicely as a good 2-mana card once you get to 3 levels. It also serves as a serviceable defender, though it will die to Mistress on the way back. Try to get a spell off immediately when playing it before it dies or gets Stupified.
  • Battlescarred Elder: A valuable card in the deck as one of the only cards that's almost guaranteed to replace itself. It hits, it blocks, it draws, what more can you ask? This is also one of the better choices off Passageway if you don't hit Karthas or are against an empty board.
  • Mescatian Phoenix: One of the best value creatures in the game, the Phoenix is stopped only by Helm, Parallel Evolution, Bounce, and Pacification (though Stupefying it does severely reduce its effectiveness). This is generally the better of the 2 3-level 3-mana creatures at gaining board control with Flying, 3 Spd, and its second life.
  • Lord Karthas, Deathspeaker: The premier hit from Passageway, as killing a <= 4 ATK creature and gaining 2 life is worth 2 mana by itself, let alone having a 4/4 2 Spd for a couple of rounds of combat. Karthas continues to hate out the creatures once you can hardcast him and helps you to stay afloat to the end. Note that you can use him with Mutant and the Vampiric Touch hero power to get threats like Gomur to 4 ATK.
  • Elder Red Dragon: If the game goes long enough, it's on clean-up duty. Usually, you want to play this with enough mana to activate it once, and it will often be the last card in your hand if this is the case. Remember that you can get this off Passageway to get an activation for 6 total mana, so don't concede if there is a possibility for victory with this route.

 

Spells and Artifacts

  • Power Surge: The not-as-good-as-New-Horizons ramp spell, but it's good enough. You generally only play one of these before you get to the 7 mana to get the draw effect as the deck needs the cards and doesn't really need the extra mana as much as you might think. You also really only want to be ramping on turn 1 or 2, as your goal is to get to 3 mana faster to start slamming your 3-mana creatures.
  • Fireball: The best Rage spell. Whether for offense or defense, it does 3 damage regardless. Knowledge of your opponent's deck will help you decide when to leave this up, as nabbing a swift creature with it will often be a tempo gain. Note the possibility of burning your opponent out when they're getting low on life.
  • Detonate: Cleans up the X/1s or kills a pesky artifact. It's not impossible for the Target Emblem mode to come up, but don't get your hopes up. Can be used with Fireblast/Cannonade/Zash Hero Power to get a full board wipe, which came up as the turning point in my game versus Lorenthiel during this Masters.
  • Molten Passageway: The sometimes decknamer, this card is not used as often as people might think. Obviously it's great if you get Karthas, but you might not hit him. Since your best hit is Karthas, you really only want to play this against aggro when your opponent has a killable creature. Again, this deck is lower on the card drawing than most decks its size, so playing a Passageway that just puts a Phoenix out for 2 combats on an empty board is just a Fireball at your opponent's face. Generally, you want to only use this if the other cards in hand can't deal with the situation effectively or if a Karthas or Mutant will be able to wipe the opponent's board effectively as having a second creature out increases your chances of success dramatically.
  • Fireblast: Not as good as in W/R, but as stated before, it can pair with other effects in the deck to net an extra kill.
  • Cannonade: While Fireblast is generally better, Cannonade comes in handy to kill 2 x/2s (often seen in Nature aggro) as well as killing 1 4+ HP creature.
  • Dragonfire: Similar to Cannonade, this kills a 4-5 HP Creature as well as getting a potential 2-for-1 when artifacts come into play.
  • Helm of Dominion: This card can end games. It's not going to happen for a long time, but as this deck can struggle against the beaters like Gomur, stealing one can easily swing a board. Stealing a Phoenix when your opponent doesn't expect it is also gas.

 

Nonbasic Shrines

  • Cathedral of the Night: Pretty much everything said about the Mutant Weakness Emblem applies to this one, though this gains you 2 life. Do not be afraid to put this on your creature if you're opponent might swift/burn you out as your creatures can take it.
  • Altar of Dragons: While the deck does not have much draw, it also sometimes lacks a good 2-mana play, especially against aggressive decks. Use it as you need it, though factor in the possibility of Elder Red Dragon if it's in your hand.

 

Matchups

This deck is designed to beat aggressive decks, which it does a fairly decent job of doing. You're weaker the more discard-heavy and against multiple Deathtraps as you only have 2 Mistresses. Your Mono-C matchup is going to depend on if they have Curse because you don't really care about that card and it's so much worse than Splitting Headache or Tribute against you. As with all the decks in the lineup, this deck does not like New Horizons, so ban it.

 

Other Options

As mentioned before, Prin'ha and Khar are options for the Wanderers slot for something that packs some more lategame punch. You can shift the Cannonade/Fireblast split to 2/2 or 0/4. You can add or drop a Mistress depending on how you feel about Deathtrap, and if you really want, you can add a Dragon or a Cataclysm by taking out the Helm and/or the Bloodwell Matriarch.

Conquest

Pair this with decks that hate New Horizons but can beat aggro. Decks with Harpy, Polar Bears, Valor, and Healmellion make good partners.

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