Legend with Malygos Druid

Decklist

Class Win/Loss Win Rate
Shaman 14-9 60.9%
Druid 11-5 68.8%
Mage 9-4 69.2%
Warlock 5-4 55.6%
Hunter 5-2 71.4%
Paladin 6-1 85.7%
Rogue 2-3 40%
Warrior 3-2 60%
Priest 0-1 0%
Overall 55-31 64%

I played a little bit of Malygos Druid back when it still included Yogg-Saron, however I never got a lot of games in. After the Yogg nerf, I didn’t go back to the deck until I saw this list being streamed by LiquidSjow at 10 top legend. It felt super strong, so I decided to play all my games between 5 and legend using this exact deck list and the stats above are from that same period.

First of all, this deck is a lot harder to play than I thought. I can think of at least four instances where I lost because I missed lethal or a guaranteed 2 turn lethal. Recognizing when you have the ability to burst down with Malygos is much more difficult than I thought, because you are so often concerned with clearing the board and staying alive. It’s particularly tricky to identify when to use your Moonfires or Living Roots to clear board vs saving them for a Malygos combo. I know at least two games where I likely lost because I was greedy and saved a Moonfire and died before playing it. Finally, one of the other important decisions is knowing when to play Malygos without lethal and hope your opponent can’t deal with it. It’s scary to drop your main win condition naked onto the board, but sometimes it’s your best chance of winning because it sets up insane followup turns. Piloting this deck is way harder than when I played Midrange Druid to legend, where you basically just curve out into Force+Roar.

Mulligans

My opinion is that you toss everything that is not Wild Growth or Innervate. If I already have Wild Growth, I will keep Raven Idol if I know what type of spell I want, Living Roots if there is a 2 health target to kill and a 4-drop to curve into. I will also keep Mire Keeper+Innervate without Wild Growth. If I get Wild Growth+Innervate, I will mulligan aggressively for card draw like Azure Drake of Nourish. If I get 2x Wild Growth then I will toss one unless I also already have card draw. You have to be careful that you don’t end up with too much ramp and nothing to play.

General Stuff

  • It is often correct to ramp with Nourish, especially if your hand is already strong (Azure Drake, Curator, Ragnaros) or you missed a Wild Growth. This deck is heavily based on being ahead of the curve and it has a ton of card draw to refill your hand.
  • Jungle Moonkin is a surprising all-star for this deck. Moonkin+Swipe is an insane board clear and Moonkin+Spells can be a backup when Malygos is nowhere to be found.
  • Know what to save Mulch for. It can be correct to Mulch early for tempo or to prevent face damage, but remember that it is your only hard removal. Against certain decks, you absolutely have to save it.
  • The one card I was on the fence about was Savage Combatant. I wanted to replace it with a second Feral Rage because of how much aggro is on ladder. I often felt like I managed to stabilize the board but would get burned out shortly afterwards. In addition, sometimes I desperately needed Jungle Moonkin for the Moonkin+Swipe combo and my Curator would draw the wrong beast. On the other hand, it gives Curator more value, is another threat for control match ups and gives you an active turn 4 play which requires immediate removal. This deck will often Wild Growth into no 4-drop, which is a big tempo hit.

Vs Shaman (14-9, 60.9% winrate)

I think this deck is slightly favored vs Midrange Shaman. The overwhelming number of Shamans were Midrange, with a few Totem variants. The plan is the same for both. Ramp and clear as much of the board as possible until one of three things happen:

  1. You play a big guy ahead of the curve (Ragnaros, Arcane Giant, Curator) and hope they don’t have Hex. If they do, you play a second one and pray they don’t have the second Hex. If they do, you probably lose. Otherwise your big guy can often stabalize the board.
  2. You survive until you can Moonkin+Swipe+Moonfire with 8 mana. You can outright win the game if you can pull this off, as it almost always clears their entire board, including six health Thunder Bluff Valient and all totems. I think it is often correct to Nourish and just take a bunch of face damage in order to dig for this combo. It’s really important to save your Swipes for this combo. Using one early to clear a single target will likely cause you to struggle later on when Shaman floods board with 0 mana 5/5 taunts.
  3. The opponent plays too many things too quickly and you fail to find ramp. You die.

I can’t stress how strong #2 is. I think at the moment, most Shamans do not play around this because Druid historically has no way to clear a full board. There were many times I would Nourish to fish for the combo, my opponent would overextend and I would clear their entire board the following turn. I think if Shamans start playing around this more, it will be closer, but I still think this deck has a slight edge.

Vs Druid (11-5, 68.8% winrate)

Almost all the druids I faced were mirrors running the exact same list with Curator, with maybe two Token Druids. The mirror is very draw dependent and is basically decided by two major factors. First is who draws ramp. If you get a Wild Growth, you gain a huge advantage that is often insurmountable. Second is getting your card draw engines like Azure Drake or Nourish. You ramp so that you can be the one actively playing threats while your opponent has to respond. Sometimes you will ramp hard and either run out of cards or end up with a hand full of spells and nothing to play. Getting ways to replenish your hand usually defines the end game.

It’s important to save Mulch in this matchup, as every Druid list I’m aware of only runs one. You literally have no other answer to Malygos, so once you use it you have to resign yourself to losing if they ever draw it. On the other hand, if your opponent uses their Mulch early, you can slam Malygos early and expect it to live a turn so you can do crazy 9+6 Swipes the following turn. Be careful of them countering your Ragnaros with their own Ragnaros. It’s a 50/50 coin flip that will often decide games.

Vs Mage (9-4, 69.2% winrate)

I think you are very favored against Freeze Mage. Ramp as hard as you can and just start dropping threats. Ragnaros is the all star here, as they have no reliable removal for it and have to waste their direct damage on him. Try to save Nourish for turns when they Frost Nova+Doomsayer if you have no answer. Keep spell damage for when they try to stall out your board with freeze. Search for healing with Raven Idol and use it right after Alexstraza.

The two other variants I ran into were Aggro Mage (the one that tries to burn you out while stalling with Ice Block and Frost Nova) and Tempo Mage. Both of these are harder than Freeze Mage and you want to quickly identify which one it is, as it greatly impacts what you pick from Raven Idol. Obviously if it’s Aggro, healing is what’s most important. You basically just need to always clear board and survive, as their deck has a finite amount of damage.

With Tempo Mage you actually have to Raven Idol for more value cards. The scary part about Tempo Mage is that they generally have aggressive starts against you and you will feel like you need to use spells inefficiently to survive. Then you may get out-valued later on due to Cabalist Tome or Antonidas. I’ve actually gone into Fatigue against tempo mage and completely run out of cards while they still had cards in hand. Of course, if they have a slow start and you can efficiently use your removal, then you will eventually out value them.

Vs Warlock (5-4, 55.6% winrate)

The Zoo matchup feels very bad. It plays very similarly to the Midrange Shaman matchup except way faster. The only time I won was when I managed to ramp and draw into Moonkin+Swipe. Unfortunately, even if you pull it off you can still lose since their board is more sticky than Shaman and they finish you off with charging Doomguards.

Renolock feels very favorable though. Since you run the burst package of Malygos, you are basically just waiting to gather all the pieces and kill them from ~20 life. They will usually be around there from just life taps. You also run a lot of big threats, so they can sometimes struggle to find answers, especially if they don’t have Siphon Soul for your 8/8s. This lets you get in the rest of the chip damage to put them into combo range.

Vs Hunter (5-2, 71.4% winrate)

With the nerf to Call of the Wild, I think Hunter has fallen off the grid a bit. Secret hunter is generally the harder matchup, specifically because Cat Trick triggering off a Wild Growth is too much face damage and Freezing Trap is strong against your big minions. Otherwise, the hope is just to ramp and stabilize the board, which should eventually happen. Secret Hunter usually doesn’t run Deadly Shot or any hard removal, so an early Ragnaros is often game ending. Search for healing from Raven Idols and pay attention to when you can race and burst them with Malygos combo.

Vs Paladin (6-1, 85.7% winrate)

Against aggro, you obviously just want to clear board as fast as possible and try to survive. Empty your hand to avoid Divine Favor value and if you can survive into the later turns, you automatically just win. Watch your life and Raven Idol for healing if needed. This matchup is very dependent on who curves out best.

N’zoth and Murloc paladin play out surprisingly the same and are both favored in my opinion. Your goal is to ramp and play threats, without ever over extending into Equality+Consecrate. Be very aware of how many equalities they’ve used, since it’s their only real way to deal with your big threats like Ragnaros or Malygos. Your goal is to draw your entire deck, continuously playing threats. You can generally do this faster than the Paladin, so occasionally you will get some  face damage against him. Then you kill him from near full health with a Malygos+spells combo. Save all your damage spells for this, as the Malygos+2xMoonfire+2xLiving Roots is 26 damage from hand. If you get a Thaurissan tick off with Innervate+Swipe, you can do the full 30 from hand.

Vs Rogue (2-3, 40% winrate)

Miracle Rogue is not a particularly fun matchup. You can’t really stop them from getting a good Gadgetzan turn off and you have no answers for Conceal except for Ragnaros. Occasionally you will ramp well and manage to take board. In that case, you can keep trading and eventually run them out of threats. Sometimes, you can get lucky and draw Malygos+spells to surprise kill them. Otherwise, you generally get overwhelmed by the card advantage of Gadgetzan.

Vs Warrior (3-2, 60% winrate)

Against any aggro Warrior like Pirate, the objective is just to try and survive. Prioritize your health and use your cheap spells as soon as possible to clear board. If you survive to late game you win.

I really liked the matchup against the different Control Warriors, whether it be traditional/fatigue, C’thun or N’Zoth. The plan is to out value the Warrior in the long game. You ramp and keep playing threat after threat until they run out of removal. Eventually a minion will stick on the board and he solos the warrior. Save Fandral and Raven Idol for later so that you can get both the minion and spell, which will add additional threats to your deck. At a certain point, you will get the warrior low enough that you can burst them with Malygos+spells. Never play more than two minions so you don’t over extend into Brawl. The biggest concern is actually Sylvanas, as she will almost always steal a minion from you since you have no answer. Obviously save Mulch for C’thun if it ever makes an appearance, but usually they don’t have time to play it since they have to answer your threats every turn. Similarly, they usually don’t have time to play N’Zoth since they have to answer your threats on board.

Vs Priest (0-1, 0% winrate)

Priest OP. Honestly, I think this is a bad matchup. You don’t have clean answers to a Resurrected Injured Blademaster and they have tons of answers for your big threats with SW: Death and Entomb. However, nobody plays this shitty class so who knows for sure.

 

 

Life update – auto-immune disease, resolutions, video games, projects, and kitties

I’ve been meaning to write this since Christmas, but I kept putting it off, so it’s a little late.  Haven’t posted in a long time, so it’s going to be long! Here’s a table of contents, just in case… Topics aren’t in any special order.  Also I was writing the end in a rush so it’s not as comprehensive as I’d like…

Auto-immune disease
Resolutions
Video games
Projects
Kitties

Auto-immune disease – pemphigus foliaceus

After many, many doctor visits, I’ve learned that I have this random auto-immune disease called pemphigus foliaceus.  My immune system basically attacks my skin, so if I don’t take medicine, I get blisters all over.  It’s not curable, but it’s controllable.

In September, I noticed that I randomly started getting open wounds on my stomach.  At first I thought it was the kitties accidentally clawing me when they slept on me at night, but as I paid more attention I discovered that I actually had blisters for a short amount of time, before my clothes rubbing against them would pop them.  At the beginning they only appeared under my t-shirt line, so I thought I might be sensitive to our detergent or something, so we changed it and waited a few weeks but I still got the blisters.  Around Thanksgiving I started getting a rash on my face too, so I finally went to the doctor.

Multiple visits, blood tests, and biopsies later, the dermatologist told me I had pemphigus foliaceus.  Here’s a site with a pretty good description of it (it’s about the more severe version pemphigus vulgaris, but everything is basically the same except I don’t get sores in my mouth – yay, I guess): Pemphigus Vulgaris Network.

Basically right now I am taking a steroid medicine that has been toning down the blisters and rashes a lot.  When I went down to the lowest dose I still got some new blisters, so I’m on a medium dose right now.  I’ve been feeling some of the side effects, so it’s kind of messing me up a bit.  I haven’t been able to sleep a lot lately as it gives me a bit of insomnia.  The doctor said it may make me anxious – so far the only thing I’ve noticed is that on my regular drives to and from work, I sometimes start to feel like all the cars around me are narrowing in and boxing me in, and it freaks me out as I’m driving.  Every once in a while the lanes just feel really really narrow and I feel like every car is inches from me.  Also the medicine makes me gain weight :(  I have to watch what I eat as it makes me really hungry, and even though I’ve been watching what I’m eating I’ve gained 10 pounds in the month since I’ve started the medicine.

However the steroid medicine is bad for you long-term, so I’ve also started a new medicine that takes 6-8 weeks to take effect.  Hopefully this one is better – in essence it is turning down my immune system so that it doesn’t attack my body.  I’ve always had a weak immune system so now I have to be really careful to eat healthier.  I’ve been taking iron, calcium, and vitamin D supplements – I take 7 different pills in one day :(  It’s interesting though, because apparently I had slight anemia due to low iron, so I was always tired and feeling faint.  Lately, though, I’ve been feeling so much more awake and energetic – I never realized that how I usually felt wasn’t normal!  I get up easier, have a lot more motivation to get things done, and feel so productive every day now.  The only thing I’m not sure about is if it’s a result of my iron level being normal, or the steroid medicine – hopefully I am still as energetic (but with no insomnia!) after I get off the steroid medicine!

My dermatologist referred me to a dermatology auto-immune specialist at Stanford, so I will be seeing him soon just to confirm my normal dermatologist’s diagnosis and treatment.  I have never appreciated health insurance before this.  My dermatologist told me that before he referred me he had already pre-authorized the visit with my insurance, so I already know that it will mostly be covered.  All the doctors I’ve seen so far (urgent care, normal family doctor, dermatologist, hematologist) have been in the Palo Alto Medical Foundation‘s network, and I am really impressed by how high-tech and efficient everything is.  I gave my information once at the Sunnyvale center, and since then every time I go I just tell them my name and show my ID.  The Mountain View center has just about every type of doctor in one building, and even the labs are there, so after my doctor visits if I need to get blood tests I just walk down to the lab.  The doctors immediately send prescriptions to your pharmacy during your appointment, so as soon as I get home I can pick them up.  They’ve also got this awesome online system where I can see all my upcoming appointments, send messages to doctors, see the results of all my blood tests, see all my prescriptions… Everything is so high-tech in Silicon Valley!

Resolutions

These resolutions are late, and I haven’t really started, but putting them here will push me to follow them:

  1. Health
    1. Eat healthier – more vegetables and fruits
    2. Exercise three times a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays at work, Sundays at the apartment complex gym
    3. Get back down to my normal weight (110 pounds)
  2. Money
    1. Eat out less – try to bring lunch to work more often
    2. Control my random bursts of spending sprees
    3. Be more aware of how much of my money goes to what
  3. Work
    1. Learn more – delve deeper into the new things I’m using rather than only dealing with the minimum
    2. Be more aware of user experience – it’s fascinating!
    3. Collaborate more with other people – talk in person rather than IM if possible
    4. Speak up more with my thoughts and ideas
    5. Take useful classes that become available
  4. Projects
    1. Work on projects more consistently! Don’t just start them and forget about them for a few years
    2. Keep up with crafts projects
    3. Start more technical projects, especially related to web development
    4. Keep track of project progress, optimally here on Bacon Fried Rice
  5. Miscellaneous
    1. Be more productive, do chores more willingly, resist the urge to just lay on the couch and read articles on my phone
    2. Follow a weekday schedule so I don’t get lazy and do nothing when I can’t decide what to do. Tentatively:
      1. Monday: Video games! EDIT: and reading
      2. Tuesday: Crafts project (probably finishing my cross-stitch projects)
      3. Wednesday: Technical project (discussed later)
      4. Thursday: Do something with Jack (play games or do a project or something)
      5. Friday: Free choice

Video games

I’m still playing Arkham City right now.  I like it, and it’s usually the type of game I really like to play, but for some reason I just can’t really get myself to finish it.  I think it’s because it disturbs me.  The villains are terrible.  I want to just get it over with so I can finally play Assassin’s Creed Revelations.

Uncharted 3 was awesome, but kind of short.  Also the ending was very anti-climactic.

I got a DOTA2 key, so I started learning it and playing with Jack.  I suck though.  Also Jack apparently logged into my Steam account and gave away my two extra keys without telling me -__-

I need to find other games to play with Jack too, I can’t see myself being able to play multiple DOTA2 games in a row without getting bored… We played the Uncharted 3 local multiplayer but now that we finished it it doesn’t have much re-playability.

Projects

I’ve been neglecting my projects a lot.  I have two categories: crafts and technical.

In terms of crafts, I usually do them with a purpose (cards for people’s birthdays, holidays, etc.) so I guess it makes sense that I haven’t been keeping up with them.  However when I was going through my boxes of junk I discovered more than five very large cross-stitch projects that I’ve either started very little of or haven’t started at all.  I’ve decided I’m going to focus on those, so my Tuesdays are going to just be cross-stitching.  Right now I’m working on one of kitties in a window that I started for Jack two years ago – I wonder how long it will take me to finally finish it!

For technical projects, I’ve decided to pick up web development again.  I’ve always been interested – taught myself HTML from a book in fourth grade – but it kind of died off once I got into high school, and all of the programming I did in college wasn’t related at all.  However due to some of the stuff I’ve been doing at work my interest has been rekindled – I’m going to write about this in a separate post later so I won’t go into detail here.

Kitties

I’m in a rush and have to leave so I will just leave with a short note about the kitties.  They are still awesome, Jokulhaups is big and heavy and too smart.  He figured out how to open all the cabinets so now we have to Velcro them shut.  Dragon is so much tinier than Jokulhaups!  She loves to snuggle now, every morning she comes up to Jack and asks to be let under the covers.  She used to sleep on my pillow every night but I guess snuggling with Jack in the morning was warmer :(  She loves sitting with me when I’m at the computer though, so I guess that makes up for it.  Here are two kitty photos before I go:

Jokulhaups would like a belly rub please

Dragon says Mini Panda is snuggly and warm

The Witcher 2

There are so many good things about The Witcher 2 that end up getting brushed aside due to stupid quirks with the interface or controls. I would say story wise and entertainment wise, it was as good as Dragon Age 1. That is saying a lot, because Dragon Age was the kind of game where I stayed up past 3-4am playing sometimes.

Quests are fun. Story is solid and engaging. There are 2 unique storyline paths and lots of twists and turns. The world is pretty, graphics are OK, and dialogue is fine. It’s an “Adult game” so apparently it needs to have an excess of sex scenes. Everything about this game is top notch, except for some glaringly bad interface problems.

Looting Items
When you want to loot the corpse of the monster you just killed, you have to go up to the remains and left click. Unfortunately, left click is also the button that swings your sword and if you are not exactly over the body, instead of looting you make a lunging sword slash, moving you out of range to loot. If you play this game, I can guarantee this will frustrate you throughout the entire game.

When you loot, it pops up a window of all the items. Unfortunately, it pops up the window in a static location, not under your mouse. You then have to move your mouse to the window and click to collect all the items. Back in the old days of WoW, you had this stupid looting system as well where you had to make additional clicks to loot specific items from the corpse. People got so frustrated by it that they invented mods that would automatically position the loot window to appear under your mouse cursor. Then Blizzard finally invented an option for auto-loot, where you automatically collect everything assuming your inventory isn’t full. This is a change that is absolutely necessary in any game where you loot the corpses of enemies. At the very least, you need to allow a 1 click thing to loot all and not require the user to move your mouse to the small “Loot All” button every time.

Menus and Inventory
This game has possibly the worst inventory screen of all time. When buying new equipment, it’s impossible to compare it to what you are already wearing, so you don’t know whether what you’re buying is better. You can’t sort items, so by the end of the game you have hundreds of crafting items in a random list and you have to manually scroll through it to find the 1 leather piece to finish your armor.

Equipment and crafting diagrams often have long lists of stats or information, which does not fit on the screen. You can’t manually scroll through and read this though. The information slowly scrolls and you have to wait for to get to the part you want to read, like the old scrolling TV Guide channel.

Meditation
The game is strongly based around taking potions before combat to temporarily increase your stats. In order to do this, you have to “meditate” and then drink potions, which involves two painfully long animations of Geralt first kneeling on the floor, slowly drinking a potion, then cracking his neck due to the toxicity. It’s probably 30-45 seconds of wasted time. All of this can only happen out of combat, so there is no reason to require this mechanic. You should be able to set some hotkeys or at least just click on things to instantly drink potions. It’s just plain stupid.

Combat System
I played on Hard (they had easy, normal, hard, and some super hard adjective I forget). I did that because I expect that most games nowadays have dumbed down normal modes to accommodate baddies, and I expect their super hard is probably geared towards Witcher enthusiasts that probably have already played through it once. Hard seemed like it would give a good challenge while not being stupidly unfair.

Initially, the game has some really hard sections. The Kayran, the game’s first boss fight, is incredibly difficult. You can only take 2 hits before dying, and there is no healing. It probably took me 20 tries just to get into phase 2 and then another 10 tries to figure out what the heck you’re supposed to do in phase 2. Unfortunately, after that fight, the game starts to become kind of easy.

There are a bunch of fights where you are with allies. You can always trick the game AI into only attacking your allies (who are invincible by the way) and you just come behind and slash at them, with no risk. After a while, you just start spamming left click to whack down enemies as fast as possible. There’s some magic spells which are marginally useful, but since I did sword specialization I stopped using them except for the one that gave me a shield.

Anyway, the game is solid and definitely worth playing. If they fixed up the interface problems, it would be one of the best games I’ve ever played.