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I love Darkmoon Faires. Everything about them is just awesome, except one thing: when you’re not going to them! This past weekend there was a Darkmoon Faire out in Shanghai, and all I could do Saturday was spam refresh on my browser waiting to see the Top 16 decklists. One thing is certain about the players in Asia; they are always playing very high quality decks. Their numbers may not be completely refined because the format is still new and they’re spreading the numbers of specific threats or answers to better their odds against a wide field, but even the crazy out-of-the-box decks people show up with are quite good.

There were quite a few Deck Recons focusing in on some sweet decks. We had a Harmonize player, Li Hi, dropping giant demons on his opponents. Lin Xiao was burning his opponents out, and made Top 16 with is Archimonde the Defiler, Shroud of the Nethermancer control deck. Heck, there was even a Deck Recon on Zhang Qiliang’s Jasani, Shrine Keeper deck playing Malorne the White Stag. I love me some master heroes, and that deck looks awesome. Even when I miss a Darkmoon Faire, these are the things I look for, hilarious off the wall decks that get the creative juices flowing.

But even above all of these decks, the deck that excited me the most once I got to see all the decklists was Zhang Wen’s Lady Sira’kess deck. You might be thinking it’ll just be another Mage deck with Monstrous Frostbolt Volley killing all of its opponent’s allies, winning like all the other control Monster decks, with General Husam or Pygmy Pyramid, but this deck has none of those cards. In fact, I’m not even sure if Zhang’s deck is a pure control deck. It’s actually more of a combo control deck, and honestly, I think it’s the coolest Core deck I’ve seen in quite a while. Take a look:

Hero: Lady Sira’kess

Master Hero: 1
1 Malorne the White Stag

Allies: 6
4 Valeera
2 Commander Ulthok

Abilities: 19
4 Flame Lance
4 Overload
3 Rime and Freezin’
3 Arcane Unraveling
3 Critical Mass

Equipment: 9
1 Miniature Voodoo Mask
1 Hood of Hidden Flesh
4 Last Relic of Argus
3 Bottled Spite

Quests: 25
4 Seeds of Their Demise
4 The End Time
3 The Path to the Dragon Soul
2 Escape from Durnholde
2 Medivh’s Journal
2 Taretha’s Diversion
1 Reoccupation
3 Forged of Shadow and Flame
4 Black Morass

Yup, 25 quests! This deck is all about making sure each of its resources comes into play face up, and using each card to its fullest potential. With this many quests in the deck, it allows Zhang to play only one card he plans on killing his opponent’s with, one Malorne the White Stag. Sure, he has six allies that also deal damage, and two Shroud of the Archmage which can deal four damage a turn to the opponent’s hero, but you aren’t looking to kill your opponent’s that way with this deck. In general, Zhang can find his master hero with one of his quests, and either draw it into his hand, or know where its at on the bottom of his deck with something like Valeera or Escape from Durnholde. Know where in his deck his master hero is allows him to know when to play additional Valeeras or if he needs to shuffle his deck with Reoccupation to move it back to the top of the deck to close the game out sooner.

Valeera is really the heart and soul of this deck. My second favorite moose like friend, Malorne the White Stag is how Zhang wins, but this deck really could find another way to win if it needed to. Valeera, however, is irreplaceable. The ability to accelerate resources has been popping up as this awesome thing to do in the form of Harmonize, Hemet Nessingwary, and Devout Aurastone Hammer for months now, and Valeera does that while also basically drawing you extra cards! Each one of the quests that Valeera reveals in this deck come into play face up unlike Will of Cenarius which means you can complete your other quests and keep digging for answers to your opponent’s allies/weapons/abilities, while also getting through your deck to find Malorne the White Stag. Once you add in that Valeera is actually quite a reasonable sized body, not only is she drawing you about 1.4 extra resources, (and more than that with the extra cards those quests find), she also can get in there and attack opposing allies! 

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