Good Morning Duelyst Fam, Last Night I played with Aggro Cassyva through a ten game set to get a feel for it. This deck came to my attention when Minmaxer offered it up for April’s Power Rankings. When we were reviewing the power rankings DemmiRemmi made several comments that I can summarize as “Aggro Cass is the best Anti-Aggro Aggro deck” and that piqued my interest when I sat down to stream today and I rolled up Abyssian for the daily quest. I had already reviewed a lot of Abyss lists so I had to dig a little bit to figure out what to play. I am still super skeptical of Mid-range Maehv, and like I said before DemmiRemmi’s commentary had me interested. So, we took Minmaxer’s list and fit it to my play style. I don’t like single purpose cards like dank seed, so that had to go. I decided to try out furor charm there. I know that this deck isn’t going to build up a board state, but I thought if you got people on their back foot maybe it would help push damage through. Another card that I was not very fond of was spectral blade, so I tried out bound Tormentor instead. I ended up going 6-4, and notably I tossed one game to a play error, so about a 7-3 deck in S-rank (a pretty good deck).
What was good and should be considered core-
One of the most important cards in this deck is Void Pulse, which is how you are going to get your edge against other aggro decks. Another card that goes out and does the lord’s work is Desolator which applies an insane amount of pressure even if they end up dispelling him or transforming him. Additionally, Grasp of agony is a must in the current meta, as it is going to help you clear a path without losing tempo; this is note worthy because in the past grasp was a “maybe/maybe not” card in some aggro Cassy lists. Finally, I would like to say that I am pretty happy with the results of playing Bound Tormentor. It did a respectable job for what you want three drops to do. Right now you really never want to have to play a three drop, but you may end up having to cast one. Finding a card that gives solid value if you are forced to play it is awkward for a lot of the decks ins standard right now, and usually we end up relying on faction cards. Tormentor was able to take a turn where I was forced into losing tempo and making a three drop, and recover that tempo for me by making my next turn more powerful. This is distinctly better than blaze hound in the early game, but it is important that we are trying to fill a different roll so they both have their merits. The rest of the deck gets built on the basis of being an aggro shell so I wont go through every card, these reviews are more for “what did we experiment with” and you don’t need me to tell you the merits of cards like Flameblood warlock in aggro.
What wasn’t good
So… I was wrong about Furor it isn’t good without a built up board state. We throw things at the wall and we see what sticks you know? What becomes frustrating now is how to fill that space. The obvious answer is to put back in Dank seed or Spectral Blade, but both of those cards are tempo negative plays, and we really want to avoid that if possible in a list like this. Spectral blade increases your overall win rate against other aggro decks but I feel like you are already good enough in your match-ups against them, and the most important aggro match-up right now includes Rasha’s curse so that feels like bad value (Not that you should not play things because your opponent “might” have the answer). I think one of the things the deck really wants is some stronger openings. Right now the only card you really want to play on turn 1 is Flameblood warlock. It is “okay” to follow up with a Healing Mystic if you are going second, but when going first you really don’t want to be playing a generic 2/3 with no upside. If I was going to go back and do it over again I would explore Araki headhunter or Phantasm as a potential adjustment to the two drops. I would also explore using two of Spectral Revenant on my top end in place of those Furors.
At then end of the day this deck can crank out some wins because there are a lot of very aggressive decks in the format. It is probably a tier 1.5 deck which in my mind is a tier 2 deck that is putting up tier 1 numbers because of the current meta. The deck is worth playing especially if you are an Abyss fan and don’t want to play Wanderer Lilithe. A couple of important things to remember is that unlike other “linear” aggro lists what you hold onto is going to be important. For example in some games (Lyonar, Lilithe, Zirix) Grasp of Agony is going to be money, but in other match ups (Kaleos, Faie, Ziran) this isn’t going to be important. You have a fair number of utility cards in the deck and you are going to need to get a good feel for when they are important. I tossed a game against Kara where I replaced a whip early; it was pretty silly but I wasn’t sure how that match was going to go. So, instead of holding the whip and anticipating the back lined minion I was digging for raw speed cards trying to make the match close quickly. If I anticipate the following turn correctly then I do not lose that game. Point I am trying to make here is that Aggro Cassy is not as linear as other aggro decks, you are going to have to learn individual match-ups.
Shameless link to me playing Aggro Cass on Twitch.
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Love you guys and see you again tomorrow for another deck review,