Archetype Name: R/B Yotul Mogak Aggro
Power Level: Tier 1
Archetype Strategy: For a lot of the archetypes in the 4-4-3 limited environment the Champion choice is actually not so crucial to pulling off your respective strategy. For the R/B aggro deck however Yotul Mogak is a huge and necessary part to making it one of the most powerful archetypes in the format.
Center to the strategy of playing this archetype is the removal we use, with Cleave as the centerpiece that makes this such a devastating match-up for any aggro or mid-range deck. There are a ton of other quality removal including Burning Tendrils, Reap, Crimson Bolt and Festering Decay. Yotul Mogak powers-up most of these removal spells by 1 which can help us deal even with mid sized troops.
With such cheap and effective removal clearing the board, we just need a few powerful 2 or 3 drops to really put a short clock on our opponents. They’ll have a hard time stabilizing the board and by the time they do you can use troops with reach like Ghostblade Duelist, Firedancer, and Gnatmares to deal the finishing blow.
Key Commons: Cleave is likely our best card but it’s not one you have to first pick as they tend to get passed around quite a bit. In fact between Crimson Bolt, Skarnbreath and Festering Decay you’re going to have so many removal that you might even have to consider cutting some. Therefore, don’t feel too bad taking quality low cost troops over removal when necessary.
The troops that fit this archetype best are Crazed Raider and Ashwood Apprentice. Their empower ability make them extremely valuable in filling out your curve and pushing out early damage. The flexibility of being able to play a trick/removal + troop or an empowered troop depending on the situation is really nice.
Gnatmares might be the best common troop for this archetype giving you evasion and reach in one cheap package.
Eggblight Stalker is pretty much an auto-include in any deck that can play it and here it’s great with the MinR Flames gem. Having a Seeing Red or Blade Flourish can be nice on your evasive troops but overloading your deck with these effects or using them too aggressively might set you back in match-ups where the opponent is packing a ton of removal, so use cautiously and sparingly.
Corpse Caller and Embertongue Skarn are probably not going to fit in perfectly into your deck but can still function as decent alternatives. The great thing about this archetype is at the very worst you’ll always have some Dire Spider and Splitskull Gladiator that can function as the early beaters and help push along your beatdown plan.
One copy of Emberleaf Evoker usually makes the cut and will almost always come out way before your opponent would like.
Key Uncommons: There are two extremely good uncommons you’re looking for in this archetype. Whirling Brutalizer is literally screaming at you to pick her as she’s exclusively in your shards, is a cheap aggressive troop with Speed, and gives renewed purpose to many of your cards and removal. One single Scorch with your champion activation and Whirling Brutalizer attacking can deal 5 damage. With Cleave it’s 5 damage to 3 targets!
Less obvious but just as useful in this archetype is Pyretic Performer. On turn 3 being able to drop a 3 attack troop and then casting a free removal capable of taking away your opponent’s early troop is a tempo dream.
Hatchery Tormentor is a great 1 drop and Kindle Archer should be a high pick as well since it’ll turn into a huge threat that can win you the game even after your early aggro attack subsides. Sepulchra Fleshreaver also deserves mention as a late game card that can single-handedly win you games.
Tricky Cards: You’re probably thinking why I haven’t made any mention of Blood Infusion Device up to this point. On paper it looks like a decent card that works well with our champion power and gives us extra reach. The reality is that in most cases you’ll deal more damage with any old troop with which you have the option to trade and do other things. So the net damage dealt/life preserved should be higher in other cards.
Bleed Out is another tough card to evaluate. Usually you’ll want to remove early annoying troops so you can swing, but this card needs damage so you won’t be able to use it in such a scenario (unless you have an early Ghostblade Duelist out). By the time you have something that can deal damage and hence this card is turned ‘on’ your opponent will likely have some smaller troop they can sacrifice which you don’t care too much for.
Concuss is another card that some may rate much higher. I believe this archetype tries to rush you down before the opponent can even play out most of their cards so forcing them to discard seems like something that doesn’t contribute to our core strategy.
Pack 3 Highlights: A lot of the good aggressive cards from Ruby / Blood that were good in triple Armies of Myth are still good in this archetype so don’t deserve special mention. The one that really rose in power and went from the fringe of playable to absolute bomb status is Bombwright – now capable to pick apart your opponent’s board one by one. Ruby staples like Boomsmith, Sandstone Rumbler, Skewer, and Staggering Blast get even better thanks to our Champion power.
Sample Deck Composition (From Actual Draft):
Conclusion: R/D was the top aggressive deck in the previous 3-3-3 format and R/B has overtaken it in the 4-4-3 format thanks to the great synergy that Yotul Mogak offers. While an archetype like B/S Spiders might overall be stronger when both archetypes are at their peak, the R/B aggro deck is much deeper and gives you peace of mind knowing that you’ll have a decent deck regardless of how the others at the table are drafting.