Twist February - Pauper Format

Submitted 2 weeks, 6 days ago by

I am probably too excited to see this format coming to Twist in February, especially considering that it'll likely turn into a one- or two-deck Curvestone format but I still want to give my thoughts on the cardpools and possible decks available to each class based on what I've been able to see digging through the Collection. From my understanding, all Common cards from Core, Caverns of Time, and Naxx through Galakrond's Awakening are legal - if I'm wrong about any of that some of this analysis will be incorrect. Just kidding, all of this analysis is incorrect regardless.

Key Neutral Cards

Lot of good 1-Drops are legal, including Dire Mole, Blazing Battlemage, Fire Fly, and Zombie Chow. Also, get your klaxons blaring because Undertaker is not only legal but back to its original text. Pair it with stuff like Haunted Creeper, Dancing Swords, Hench-Clan Hogsteed, some eggs, etc. for a big ol' blowout. If I was guessing what card would be banned in the first week, it would be Undertaker. Look out for Fungalmancer and Bonemare as well.


Token Druid looks VERY viable: Rat Sensei, [Hearthstone Card (Anodized Robo-Cub) Not Found], Living Roots, Mark of Y'Shaarj, Mark of the Lotus, Enchanted Raven, Acornbearer, Blessing of the Ancients, Soul of the Forest to name a few. Druid might be one of the few classes with the ability to go long with Ramp into Jade summons and Armor gain from Ferocious Howl.


Let's get the Huntertaker cards out of the way: Webspinner, Fiery Bat, Kindly Grandmother, Play Dead. Mad Scientist also pairs with the Deathrattle package, but can do damage in a Secret shell thanks to Explosive Trap, Freezing Trap and Bear Trap alongside Cloaked Huntress. Glaivezooka is useful. Bottom line: don't expect Hunter to be anything other than aggressive.


Mage is on the verge of playing with Secrets... except the Secrets she has access to are all pretty bad (Ice Barrier and [Hearthstone Card (Flame War) Not Found] are solid, but Duplicate and Frozen Clone are slightly less so). Burn Mage is cute, but might need help staying alive against other, more aggressive, decks.


Y'all, I really want Secret decks to be a thing and Paladin might have the best shot at it with Avenge, Never Surrender!, [Hearthstone Card (Autodefence Matrix) Not Found] and the buffed Hydrologist to go along with Mad Scientist. [Hearthstone Card (Shielded Mini-bot) Not Found] is also a thing, and with the buffs Paladin has in his quiver (Seal of Champions, Hand of A'dal, Silvermoon Portal), it might be unwise to count Uther out.


Priest has some... viable cards, probably. A lot of buffs, and we shouldn't overlook Radiant Elemental except there isn't a whole lot to do with Elemental. Maybe there's a [Hearthstone Card (Topsy Turvy that I'm overlooking.


Pirate Rogue looks like it could be real: Buccaneer, Bloodsail Flybooter, Southsea Squidface can all team up with the neutrals Ship's Cannon and Parachute Brigand for a good time on the high seas. Secret Rogue is also kind of a thing, thanks to Cheat Death and no thanks to Sudden Betrayal. Oil Rogue might also work with Tinker's Sharpsword Oil and Deadly Poison, but might lack the card draw to be really good. And no one should ever forget to mention Shadowstep when it's legal.


I, for one, welcome our new Shaman overlords. When you can start your deckbuilding with Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem and Flamewreathed Faceless in a format where most other classes are scraping the bottom of the barrel for playables, it feels like it's going to be hard to top you. With Novice Zapper, Crackle, Sandstorm Elemental and Surging Tempest as other options, Overload Shaman looks like a top threat for Pauper Twist. However, there is some hope for Evolve Shaman, with Mutate and Explosive Evolution, although not enough to be worth building around.


Zoo, as was expected, should have some legs in this format. Flame Imp, Kobold Librarian, Malchezaar's Imp - they're all here. Darkshire Councilman can pair with Possessed Villager, Doubling Imp Imp Gang Boss, and Fiendish Circle for a huge body. Demonfuse, as a 2-Cost, can be palatably included, as can [Hearthstone Card (Darkbolt) Not Found] and Demonbolt.


Warrior is probably our best hope for a Control deck, with Execute, Ravaging Ghoul, Death's Bite, and Blast from the Past. Finishers are a problem, but maybe Fatigue can be a real thing. Pirate Warrior, while probably not as good as Pirate Rogue, still has a chance with guys like N'Zoth's First Mate, Sword Eater and Sky Raider.

Not gonna lie - I'll be surprised if anyone reads the whole thing. I also won't be that disappointed if I'm the only person who cares enough about Pauper to analyze the format before it comes out, but here's the quick fix if you scrolled all the way down here to see how long I blathered:

TL;DR: Shaman and Druid have a lot of good cards for familiar archetypes (Overload Aggro and Tokens, respectively). Undertaker is probably going to be a problem and my guess is that Hunter takes advantage of it the best. Paladin and Warlock have enough power to be a threat in the right context and Rogue (if it can scramble together enough card draw) might have a good time with an Oil build or just go straight Pirates. I don't think other tribes like Dragons and Elementals have enough support, but maybe Mechs (which I didn't mention above) will be a decent midrange deck. Priest and Mage look completely lost, while Warrior could have a chance if it canf figure out the best way to Control the meta.

Your thoughts?

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  • linkblade91's Avatar
    Senior Writer Serra Angel 1690 2683 Posts Joined 02/09/2019
    Posted 2 weeks, 6 days ago

    "If I was guessing what card would be banned in the first week, it would be Undertaker."

    I'd be more likely to guess that *no* card will be banned, period, if it wasn't from the outset. Maybe that's a cynical sentiment, but do they need to care about Twist? It's like their failure to curb bad-apple cards in Tavern Brawls; it's there for those who want it, and yet doesn't garner enough attention anymore to keep it "pruned", as it were.

  • Thonson's Avatar
    HearthStationeer 1730 1698 Posts Joined 03/24/2019
    Posted 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    To be fair, I think they care about Twist more than we think.  I mean, they did ban Caverns Below during the latest Twist run due to it being a power outlier.  I would also assume they won't ban any cards, but only because they didn't see anything as being a big power outlier this time around.  And if a card gets banned midseason it would have to be a VERY big power difference, otherwise they'll likely leave it since the entire meta should change come March.

    The biggest problem this session is that a few cards aren't being included in the card pool like they should if you don't have the Caverns of Time copy (Snipe and Mana Wyrm).  Not a huge deal, but it is a little bothersome since it was my understanding that regardless of the set version, if a card was legal in a format you could use the card.  So despite Basic set not being included, these Basic cards are in CoT.  So even if I don't have the CoT versions, shouldn't I be able to use the Basic (Legacy) versions?  Again, no big deal this time around, but in the future someone who invested in CoT and got some legendaries they otherwise don't own might get fucked over if they don't include CoT, and a legendary that should otherwise be legal is suddenly not useable for that player.  If they don't correct this, it could mean bad news for future Twist/Wild sets with reprints, making people less likely to buy into them.

    Quick!  Someone give me something clever to write here.

  • sule's Avatar
    Dinosaur 755 648 Posts Joined 08/21/2019
    Posted 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    I hadn't even considered that; it's certainly going to make Twist a lot harder to get into and vice versa.

    I haven't played a lot of the format, but here's some early thoughts:

    I've seen a lot of Lackey generators; Lackey Warlock (with EVIL Genius and EVIL Recruiter) in particular looked fun.

    It's been neat to see a lot of cards that either I've not seen in a while or which never caught on in earlier formats (the aforementioned EVIL Recruiter being one of them).

    The decks I've played so far have been UnderToken Druid (turns out that a lot of good Token Druid cards have Deathrattle, so Undertaker is a really clean fit in the archetype - Rat Sensei is MVP), Pirate/Oil Rogue (this is a weird deck I've tried multiple builds of but had a lot of fun with); and good ol' Aggro Shammy. I'm nowhere near cracking the meta, and I'm fairly convinced that most of the decks I've faced are better than the junk I'm running.

    Overall, the meta feels diverse and there's not anything that I've seen that feels too powerful - but it's only been a few days and I've played maybe twenty games total if you discount tune-up games where I was testing janky builds of Pirate Rogue.

    I have spoken.

  • Thonson's Avatar
    HearthStationeer 1730 1698 Posts Joined 03/24/2019
    Posted 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    According to Hearthstone Top Decks the two “meta decks” are a Tempo Jade Rogue with buffs, no spell damage package, and “Dragon Warrior”.  I use quotes because it’s really just Control Warrior, but the best cards for controlling the board are dragons or dragon related.  Warrior has no class dragons, and the only class card in the deck related to dragons is the 3 mana “get two random dragons” spell.

    But I would agree, there are a lot of options.  I beat the meta Rogue deck with a Dragon Priest deck, again… most of the dragons are neutral and are used mostly as board control.  I think I managed to beat the meta Warrior deck with a Face Hunter, just hit them hard and fast before they can use the bigger taunts.  I want to do a Tempo Undertaker Priest, with Embalming Ritual and things like Sandstorm Trooper and the wraith with the same DR as Trooper.  Just win the board, but also make it so if they clear they take big damage.  With Grave Ruin in the format as well you can try to spawn even more copies of those.  Could be fun!

    Quick!  Someone give me something clever to write here.

  • Illinger's Avatar
    30 2 Posts Joined 02/05/2024
    Posted 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    So, about Dragons not being good enough...  (Early) #2 Legendary isn't good enough?  LOL

    I feel like you might have been right to be excited about Undertaker, in so much as the Deathrattle mechanic makes for an easy starter shell while deciding what might be more fun to play.  For this reason, however, I'd be shocked to see it banned.

    Other than that.  No notes.

    EDIT:  One more note.  Not sure if you knew this before writing, but...  Mech Warper is NOT banned!!!  There's a fun shell.

  • Illinger's Avatar
    30 2 Posts Joined 02/05/2024
    Posted 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    @thonson Yeah... Mana Wyrm has been around since before the first expansion.  WTF Blizzard? 

    *checks wild collection* I guess Legacy is excluded from Twist, and I never noticed?

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