Jake brought back some old-school powerhouse cards in his Warlock Summoning Portal deck on the show this week. Let’s take a look at each card in the deck and talk about why it’s there and how to use it.
Note from Josh: The rest of this article was written by Jake. Thanks!
The Portals Warlock
This is deck I have been trying to make work since the Beta release of Hearthstone. Decks like Handlock have always interested me, which essentially use your opponent’s strategy against them to discount your cards, like Molten Giants. Also, I was inspired by athletes like Muhammad Ali, who win by absorbing the opponents early offense, with their smart efficient defense, in order to swing the game in their favor late. This deck normally shines against early aggression decks, and is not super effective against other control decks. The key strategy is to withstand the early offense to drop lots of Giants and other minions late in the game. With the help of heals and mana discount synergies, this deck has potential to contend with most constructed decks. I love playing this deck because almost every time it catches my opponent off guard, which is hard to do in Hearthstone these days.
Let’s get straight into the cards I used in my deck for the mighty showdown with Josh. You can find a completely plain deck list on the podcast episode. Here, I’ll provide additional commentary where I feel it’s helpful or necessary.
Chow is used as early game board presence, since your opponents health is relatively unimportant to the deck’s overall strategy, giving your opponent 5 health after Chow dies, is not very important. Hold on to him in the mulligan phase if it shows up.
A great 1-of, silence can come in handy in the era of rampant inspire and deathrattle effects. This owl could save the bacon in certain matchups.
Helps you build walls out of your Giants.
Dr. Boom Hunter. I try to keep one copy of BGH in any control type deck. Super efficient clear of a big threat, also put a body on the border, helping to discount the cost of Sea Giants.
The drawback to the Warlock’s hero power is losing 2 health per use. This 3/3 body is packed with another spell-like effect of healing.
This card is one of the most solid minions, in terms of pure value, exclusively available to the Warlock class. Use this card to squelch early pressure, and keep popping out those imps, if possible. This works well for the “bodies on the board” strategy needed to discount the Sea Giants.
Useful against decks that flood the board early. I find this card can help swing momentum in your favor, more times than it does not. Combo this with Sunfury Protector or Defender of Argus in between MCT and the minion you stole, for a quick taunt wall
The +1/+1 added to adjacent friendly minions can help with trading or turning a giant into a taunt wall.
In my opinion, one of the strongest minions to ever be released. Shredders are very helpful for keeping bodies on the board in order to reducing Sea Giants cost, as well as giving something for Sunfury or Argus to taunt.
The lynch pin to this deck’s strategy. The ability to instantly discount the minions in your hand, as well
Another spell-like healing effect that can be severely discounted in combination with Summoning Portal and Emperor Thaurissan
Loatheb is not a key card in this deck’s strategy, but can help to secure a win in a control matchup. If you have a bunch of threats on the board, and enough damage to finish the opponent of next turn, dropping Loatheb can make your opponent’s removals impossible to play. Feel free to sub out this card, with the list of suggested additions.
One of my favorite minions to be released in the Curse of Naxxramus Adventure. The Belcher was released at time when Hearthstone’s ladder was dominated by aggro Hunters and Zoo Warlock’s. If it’s not silenced, this taunt forces your opponent to deal with it twice. The total combo of 7 health between 2 bodies, effectively saving your Warlock a minimum of 7 damage.
A key part of this deck is discounting the mana cost of the cards in your hand.
Sylvanas gives you some flexiblity on how to use her. A great target for shadowflame. Sylvanas’s give
I wouldn’t say this is key card to the overall strategy, but can really switch momentum in your favor. Trade in your minions to clear the opponent’s board and drop KT, raise the dead and emote ‘oops’ [Editor’s Note: Emoting ‘oops’ like this will make Josh hate you forever.]
Key card to this deck’s strategy. Whether it is your or the opponent flooding the board, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a discount on this card. Drop a Summoning Portal and this giant will be discounted by 3. Remember this minion is possible to be played for 0.
Another key card to the strategy of this deck. Also possible to be played for zero. Both Giants are targets for Shadowflame, for board clears if the situation calls for it.
Early board control spell. Hold on to this one if it shows up during the mulligan phase.
Effective board clear against opponents that flood the board with lots of low health minions. You may even be able to combo this card with a discounted Molten Giant in the same turn.
This spell synergizes well with Sea Giants. It can help clear an opposing minion, while putting bodies in play for you.
One of Warlock’s most flexible spells. It plays into their theme of ‘power with consequence’. You have to sacrifice a minion to do damage to all enemy minions. This combined with any of the Giants is likely to clear whatever minions your opponent has on the other side of the board.
Helps extend your survivability, keep it in your back pocket for any big threats your opponent might drop in the late game.
Like I mentioned earlier, the deck list is pretty specific because the deck revolves around playing Summoning Portals and creating a huge swing turn with discounted cards. That being said, there are a few cards you can swap in until you get the stuff you need.
To increase your number of early drops. More cards in hand for Emperor Thaurissan to discount is always good.
You can use this a silence target and then it can attack. Also use this as a taunt target or fodder for shadowflame.
Include for the same reason as Ancient Watcher
Drop a bunch of Giants and then the Mechano, you have. A good chance 1 of them turns in a taunt.
Super flexible per your situation. You can copy a Summoning Portal or one of your Giants.
Another Giant threat might be too much but you usually have a lot of cards in your hand, so you could get this discounted as well.
In conclusion, this deck might still be missing a few cards to make it work consistently but it is still really fun to play with. It requires a little bit of extra thinking, when calculating costs and discounts, but dropping a Summoning Portal never felt so right. I hope one day to see a Summoning Portal deck in a professional tournament.
Be sure to listen to our last episode of the podcast, where we talk about the deck at length. If you try it out, tell us what you thought of it, and what cards you swapped in to have the most success.