SirChoate's Midrange Doomcrag

By: SirChoate
View other Decks by SirChoate
Posted: 1 week ago
Updated: 3 hours ago
Up to date (1.69 patch)
Crafting Cost: 17550crystal
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+24
Welcome to my official Doomcrag guide. Updated as of Wednesday, January 17, 2018. This guide currently covers mulligan and matchups. If there is more interest in hearing about card choices, please let me know in the comments and I will go over them. I will also make a video if people would find it useful.

I created this deck in early January after being unable to solve the mystery of the meta; being stuck in rank 5 snake despite a nearly top 10 legend finish in December. The decks I used for a final day push to reach #13 (mid spellsword and mid mage) completely flopped in the early days of the month, so I needed something new. This deck took me to legend on day 3 with a much uglier, unrefined version; a testament to the strength of Doomcrag and Warrior in general. After going through many iterations this is what we have finally arrived at.

There are many reasons why you should consider adding Doomcrag to your arsenal of decks. First off, it doesn't really have any bad matchups. Whether you queue into Control or tokens, both can be beat with the right mulligan and strategy without needing an exceptional hand. Its weaknesses to Control Mage or Rage Archer can be completely negated with well timed Withered Hands or Garnag. And it survive midrange beatdowns with its plethora of pings and finishing tools, until it is able to ultimately stabilize with guards or Doomcrag. The deck is also great to take into any tournament with its flexibility. And lastly, I believe this deck has a decently high limit as to what can be done with it, meaning the more you play it, the better you will get at it and start to shift more winning percentages in your favor. When I first started playing it, I was making many mistakes that would cost me the game; throughout the month, I've learned many of the finer nuances of the deck as well as its role in many matchups, and I'm sure I haven't mastered it yet. You will likely have a tough time at first but as you play it more, the pieces will fall in place.

Mulligan

There are a few things to mulligan for depending on the matchup. Wind Keep Spellsword is the best 2-drop in many scenarios because it can trade with almost anything, and is great to follow up with a ping effect like Skaven. Barrow Stalker is very handy against green decks who you suspect might have a Skulk, to prevent the easy snowball. And against Archer or Mage, its generally good to keep Withered Hand if you suspect control.

Essentially: Wind Keep and Barrow Stalker are almost always safe picks. Dark Guardian and Withered Hand are great followups. The deck has 24 drops between 2 and 3, so you should never really have to keep anything past that unless you have a perfect 2-3-4 curve. There are exceptions. If you have a good 2 & 3 drop, I have kept Doomcrag on occasion. Sower can be decent as well especially if you have an early Galyn (such as Windkeep - Galyn - Sower). Which we will talk about in a bit when we get to individual cards. You almost never want to keep Sharpshooter Scout, but its not bad in some situations either, such as against prophecy battlemage (can easily take out their 4/1 Orc or Afflicted Alit). Stormcloak Vanguard and Circle Initiate are fine if you have no other options, with Stormguard again being good if you have a Skaven (clearing a 2 health creature with Skaven and setting up a turn-4 5/5).

Everything else is matchup specific. Just know your matchup. Withered Hand is mostly useless against Crusader or Warrior, but will singlehandedly win games against Scout, Mage, or Assassin sometimes, so its a fine keep - whereas Skaven is much, much better against Crusader.

If you don't have any 2-drops in hand and you don't have the ring, there is nothing wrong with tossing the entire hand in search of a 2-drop. Having any 2-drop is better than having to wait to turn 3 if you don't have the ring. While this deck isn't as reliant on curving out as other midrange decks, like Sorcerer, it can be detrimental to give up too much of a tempo lead early on. However, Dark Guardian is excellent at slowing things down along with your other pings to regain loss momentum if you do find yourself in a bind where you have no 2-drop to play.

Matchups

Archer - Whether you're against Rage or Mid archer, you're in for a tough time. Rage archer can slow down momentum via drains, shackles, and lethal, but you have a number of mechanics to overcome this. This matchup is extremely resource intensive, in that small misplays will cost you the game. Reading your opponent is key and preventing preventing magicka use during key turns via Garnag or Withered Hand will help a lot. Mid Archer is even tougher because they have cards to shift lanes, lots of reach via Cliff Racers & Tazkad, and generally curve pretty low. Mournhold Traitors are a tough bargain on turn 2 to deal with because they trade very well with what we have (besides Wind Keep Spellsword) or can be shadow shifted away. Overall, don't feel bad if you lose to either Archer deck, but by no means is either one an auto-loss, and you should be winning a fair bit of them.

Assassin: Very annoying and tough to play because you never quite know what is in their deck, as Assassin decks vary widely. Its important to deal with their drain creatures, lock them out with Withered Hand, and stay on top of the board. Be careful of Ice Storm, and save Dushnikhs for Altar if you suspect they are going that route. These games will likely be close so be sure to bring your A-game.

Battlemage: One of my favorite to queue into, its usually a straight forward match of skill and decisions. Against Merric, I find it is better to be the aggressor. Their curve goes higher than yours with Ancano and Supreme Atro (both of which you can block with Garnag) as well as Giants occasionally. If you do go late game, you will likely be playing into their game plan, as they will put down more threats than you can handle. Win the early field lane, apply pressure, be careful for things like Ice Storm, and you'll be on your way to winning more than losing against this archetype. Midrange can be difficult as they incorporate much bigger creatures which you don't usually have an answer to unless you have Doomcrag; Blood Dragon is one such example. And lastly, prophecy Merric is probably the easiest of the 3. Look to gain card advantage via your big guards and stabilize and chip away with Barrow Stalker when possible. Sometimes you won't be able to overcome their sheer aggressiveness, but don't knock yourself for it.

Crusader: Tokens really depends on how much card draw they are able to muster up. Be wary of playing into Crusader's Assault to give them free cards, and also be aware of key turns where they might play Housecarl. Having Dushnikhs to take out Divine Fervor in a timely manner is always helpful. Probably the toughest of the token decks to play for us simply because it is so hard to stop them from drawing cards. I have not played against enough monored or mid sader to comment on them.

Mage: Token Mage is easier than Token Sader, simply because they don't have continuous draw power and you have easy ways to deal with their wards, which is one of the main strengths token mage has over token sader. Mid mage can be more difficult and it really comes down to being aware of prophecies as well as controlling board. Control Mage is the toughest of the Mage matchups, whether its support or regular mage, simply because you are not exerting as much pressure nor have as much reach as other midrange decks. We are definitely on the more "controllish" side of midrange as opposed to aggro, so appropriate use of resources will be needed. Withered Hand and Garnag are MVP, protect them with everything you got.

Monk: Just be wary of what archetype you are playing here and the general advice from above applies the same. Tokens should be easiest because they usually run Skulk to fetch Septims, which you can easily prevent with guards. Its almost always right to keep Barrow Stalker in mulligan. Midrange is probably the toughest because of the reach and larger creatures; be wary of Haafingar Maurader turns unless you have good removal in hand. It comes down to choking them out of resources and setting up Doomcrags or guards to the point where they cannot put out anymore threats. Be wary of Tazkad and Cliff Racers.

Scout: Mid Scout can be tough for a number of reasons; like Mid Archer, it involves Mournhold Traitor, lane shift mechanics, and bombs like the 4/4 lethal Nimble Ally. However, tough does not mean unwinnable, and you should find yourself able to stabilize at some point in the mid game if played correctly. Against Control or Ramp Scout, look to be the aggressor, win field lane (while being careful of Bramman), and stick Withered Hand and Garnag down as long as possible to prevent them from playing resources.

Sorcerer: If you can prevent them from getting off to an explosive start, this should be a favorable matchup. Sometimes easier said than done. If you force them to start trading with your guards, you can make tons of favorable trades with your ping effects; their wards are easily broken and you have a lot of creatures to clean up. Overall a very tough matchup if they get the ball rolling, but I'd say we are a bit favored based on my experiences.

Spellsword: They have no card draw. Provided you can get ahead on cards and not play into things like Dawn's Wrath, you should come out ahead. Be careful of whacky late game plans as Spellswords can be pretty greedy or simpy have some tricks up their sleeve, whether that's things like Odahviing or Skeletal Dragon; you simply don't want to test your luck against late game spellsword, whether they are midrange or control. Against tokens (and the siege variety), fight to keep the lane clear, especially the one they drop a catapult in. Like all token matchups, Skaven is king.

Warrior: Generally you will be facing midrange warrior in this meta. This deck is great at shutting it down or denying its game plan while being able to push its own damage. You never want to go full on race mode (against any deck really, and especially against warrior). Your guards are key; it is important to slow the game down enough to get to your Doomcrag turn, where you can start to take complete control over the game. Having Doomcrag and Earthbone Spinner in hand will completely shut down Sower of Revenge, one of Warrior's strongest tools at the moment. Overall, tough matchup, but a fun one to queue into, as you will really be at wit's end trying to figure out how to win.

Favorite matchups: I love going into tokens or midrange, simply because the deck has the tools available to shut them down and gain advantage. The exception being midrange green, which is mildly annoying with the likes of Mournhold Traitor. While the deck fairs decent against Control, it can be quite annoying as you don't have the aggressive tools of some decks, so you have to hope they don't draw into their answers right away (or you have Withered Hand or Garnag).

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34 Comments

fatjoe 1 week ago
Choatecrag. I am going to try this out. Thank you!
Ashley Herren 1 week ago
tried and got wrekt by everything in current meta
4 Replies
Ashley Herren 1 week ago
0 and 6 now - but no worries, probably playing the deck wrong
SirChoate 1 week ago
Hey sorry to hear that. I have done quite well with this deck this month and stayed around top 10 legend for the majority of the month. It is definitely a tough deck to play but it could also be because of differences in matchups, opponents, and meta, depending what rank you are. Generally speaking you do want to try to get a solid lockdown on field lane if you can before breaking runes, and it has a strong early start to do that. Managing your resources and health is the toughest part about this deck and your Nord Firebrands and things like Sharpshooter Scout are key. Sometimes you have to save them for Doomcrag, sometimes it is better to cycle cards with Disciple of Namira. If you want, add me in game at SirChoate and I will spectate some of your games to see if there is anything I can do to help you improve.

In general, any deck that makes use of tokens and small creatures can have a lot of room for error, which is like decks like Merric or tokens have such wide disparities in win rates between those who have mastered the deck and those who just play it occasionally. I'm not saying this deck is exactly like that, but it does carry some element of difficulty regarding resource management that one must become accustomed to in each specific matchup in order to succeed.
Ghorza 3 days ago
I just tried this deck. I'm more used to playing a strength token doomcrag and I like this one deck too. It has been good against legend players, and I agree that it's better overall than other doomcrag decks right now. But still I was beaten on my way from rank 2 to rank 1 so far and I say your opponents really matter, I find those assassin decks counter this deck much more than when I play a archer. Also Belligerant Giant doesn't do the job for me, it helped me win for only a few games, the problem being his weakness to Ancano and other summon effects, while also having low hp. Why not the 7/7 cost 6 protecting from spells damage ?
SirChoate 2 days ago
Belligerent Giant is one of the best swing cards in the game; the ability to put down a 7/4 while simultaneously removing a creature of your opponent's, like a Sower, is huge. Stampede Sentinel just has no immediate board impact when its played, which is why it is not ideal for this sort of deck. Forcing your opponent to react to Belligerent Giant means that you are preventing them from executing their own game plan.

Something to keep in mind is this deck can play much slower than the token crag versions that you may be familiar with, and it really has to be careful about going face to soon as there is not a lot of reach.
I am just wondering why Skaven since it clashes with Doomcrag? Is it just that good?
1 Reply
SirChoate 1 week ago
Skaven is an excellent card, one of the best in the deck. It is great at cleaning up multiple creatures after some poor trades, clearing off 1 health creatures, or devastating tokens. Its use with Doomcrag is a 9 cost Dawn's Wrath, with the advantage that the Skaven stays alive, essentially it is your mega nuke when you are in deep trouble.

It is also a hard card to use correctly, obviously you are looking to get the mst value out of it, but sometimes it is best to hold onto it for something like Imperial Reinforcements or multiple 0/1 goblins if your opponent managed to pilfer a few times with skulk.
Also what is your Mulligan strategy?
1 Reply
I will accept as soon as I login either later tonight or tomorrow! Wind Keep Spellsword and Barrow Stalker are always safe bets, if you have a two-drop, it is safe to hold onto some 3s or 4s like Withered Hand, Dushnikh, Reive, etc. I never usually keep Rapid Shot unless I have Skaven in hand, and never keep Sharpshooter Scout. A mulligan like Barrow Stalker/Dark Guardian/Skaven is real good at setting up early favorable trades and slowing down the game so you can hit your sweet spot, which is usual turns 6-10.
(btw I added you. User:Cwicomrade)
Man this deck is solid! I'm not the midrange or agro type of player but I wanted to play soemthing midrange and tbh this deck is in my top 3 now. I went from rank 4 to legend with 3 losses. And a 9-1 gauntlet. So a big thumbs up SirChoate!
1 Reply
SirChoate 4 days ago
Thanks man! I spent the majority of this month refining this deck (it went through at least a dozen iterations before posting it here), and it really paid off. I have to say out of all my decks I've made in this game, this one might be the most solid, and I'm glad you are finding success with it! Congrats on legend!
What are your thoughts on the Grahtwood Ambusher?
1 Reply
Perfectly fine to run 1-of, would not include more than that. I'd probably look at cutting a Dushnikh or Earthbone, but its hard because they are both very good cards. Pre-Dushnikh era I'd say you could definitely run 2x Grahtwood but Dush is so versatile and good at both protecting creatures, making favorable trades, taking out supports, and of course synergizing with Doomcrag as well.
I know its probably a lot to ask, but I'd love to see a guide for the most common matchups, which are good etc. Nice deck!
1 Reply
Thanks for asking. I will post a guide tonight or tomorrow.
SirChoate wrote:
Thanks for asking. I will post a guide tonight or tomorrow.

Wow, nice work! Thanks! Question for you, what is your usual plan to get out doomcrag? Most opponents can decently easily answer it from my experience, and it can be hard to get to a lot of the one turn combos and maintain tempo in the games I've played. Got any tips?
1 Reply
If you are having problems getting out Doomcrag, I would say you have to look at what you are doing in the turns leading up to it. If you are going too aggressive, you will have problems playing it or having it stick. Ideally, you should be fighting for field lane throughout the game and Doomcrag should be able to come down and give favorable trades into what you already have down, for example, giving lethal to a Wind Keep Spellsword, enabling it to trade into a larger guard like Hive Defender. You should also save Nord Firebrands in hand if you've managed to play Raiding Party early on.
Ghorza 2 days ago
I started around 15% winrate and now I end with 46% winrate, so I got better with it.
0% against assassin, 100% against crusader mage and monk, 33% against archer. Spellsword is 50%. My opinion right now is that the deck is very good, but that unfortunately the counters to this deck are also very frequent : archers, assassins, and I guess scout too.
1 Reply
I also have a good win rate against Crusader and Monk; Control mage can be tough sometimes. Archer is also a tough matchup. As far as the tough matchups go, they will become easier with practice. Playing against Assassin for example is very nuanced, but it should become one of the more favorable matchups after a while. I would say Scout is one of our more favorable matchups.
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