I call this deck Work Horse Serena because there’s nothing special about it. It just uses good cards in the right amounts, there are some options to deal with most decks, although certain matchups cause problems. Essentially the strength of this deck is flexibility. There are counters in small amounts to just about everything, and what I don’t have, I can hope to steal from the opponent.
Key Cards: Thoughtripper’s Cutlass, Black Garb, Night Owl
Difficultly: 4/5 (requires a general understanding of opponent decks)
This is one of my better recent decks vs Moonstalker as well, which is a breath of fresh air. Serena is still weak vs Moonstalker , but this deck actually wins probably 40% of those matches for me too.
vs a probable rush:
T3 Midnight Sentinel (giving ironmonger some staying power and ambush)
T4 Treasured Heirloom (if they kill ironmonger you can buff sentinel to finish off Aldon, or whatever they’ve got) / A Legend Rises (maybe) / IGG
CARDS OF NOTE
Night Owl – this is a great play when you are behind on the board and need to catch up, or when you just need some help taking out allies. I try to keep his stealth up whenever possible by holding back allies.
Black Garb – this is a key player in this deck. Black Garb fills an important role when you need to kill allies and you’ve got nothing on board. Just be careful for those allies with 1 attack.
Midnight Sentinel – there are probably three or so modes to play this deck in. Stealth mode involves Night Owl taking out enemies with support from a weapon (until Aeon shows up). Midnight Sentinel provides an alternative: Beefy mode, in which allies like Ironmonger get pumped up, and the opponent needs to waste damage or removal spells on your cheap allies rather than you. Last there is semi-solo mode, which relies mostly on Black Garb until mid-late game. Depending on the matchup, Midnight Sentinel may be amazing, or he may be resource bait. Remember he can give Night Owl ambush, which is very strong on him, assuming Night Owl doesn’t lose stealth in the process.
Skilled Ironmonger – this fills an early game, anti-rush role that is very useful against mages, or any fast decks. It also lets you get more uses out of Black Garb or specific weapons
Anklebreaker – there are only two of these, but often this is a better play than Thoughtripper’s Cutlass. Thoughtripper’s Cutlass is strong when you can use your shadow energy and attack the enemy hero. Otherwise Anklebreaker can help to earn back board control.
Assassination – as always this is a staple rogue card. Unfortunately I could only fit 2 in the deck, so use them judiciously, try to save them for allies that absolutely need to die now, or for those turns when Moonstalker goes stealth.
Thoughtripper’s Cutlass – this is a star in this deck, but don’t get carried away. Sometimes it’s better to soften the board up with Anklebreaker while saving up Shadow Energy for a few turns before playing this.
MATCHUPS OF NOTE
vs Ravagers – need to be careful with items. The trick is allies – if they kill your allies, they destroy your items, so it helps to play semi-solo for the beginning of the game.
vs Moonstalker – Stealth is king! Also Black Garb can help a lot. If you can get Aeon out over some other allies and you’re not almost dead, you can win it.
vs Serena – it is just hillarious. I used to hate mirror matches with Serena, now I love them. Win or lose, it’s entertaining.
vs Victor – I think a similar approach as the Ravagers example is the best bet. This is by far my worst matchup, and I’m still trying to work out a way to semi-consistently win. I came close last time…
vs Elementalis – There are some new, pure aggro Elementalis decks out there that pose a challenge for this deck. The trick is trying to keep a Night Owl alive into T5, and knowing when to play Black Garb. Keep in mind that he can always buff Death Mage Thadeus to make him a 1/7 that will chew through that Black Garb like an old skeleton with no fashion sense. The only item in these matchups tends to be Meat Wagon, depending on your level of control, you may want to destroy it or leave it. Leaving it is interesting, as you can kill allies with Cutlass when you see a mission critical card on the top of their deck to try to steal or discard it. Just be aware, if you take their Bad Santa, the card underneath is probably an ally, and they’re about to get a buff.