Aspect of the Wild is the culprit here - especially on the Alliance side there are a lot of very well-statted allies that deal Nature damage, and with a recent glut of pets that fit the bill too, the deck almost builds itself. Unfortunately, it looks a lot better on paper than it actually is in reality. You can read more about the Alliance version I created here.
I've since ported the deck to Horde, added in Cairne, Earthmother's Chosen for his relevant stash power and if anything I've found the deck far less effective than its blue counterpart, albeit with a few benefits.
One of the Alliance version's biggest problems is its lack of card draw. Emerald Tree Warder was initially played to help offset this issue, and subsequently dropped due to dying before you can really get much use out of it; when you are trying to maintain a dangerous board presence you want to spend as little as possible or get a lot out of your quests, so things like Concerted Efforts and Under the Shadow are highly useful for this purpose.
Unfortunately neither of those hit the Aspect, your key card, and it makes playing Buzz for equipment hate quite awkward as you'll find you often skip past him with your quests. Playing Horde helps alleviate this - For Great Honor hits both Buzz and the Aspect, making it a quest you can complete at almost any time rather than having to hold off due to the fear of having to dump the card you want on the bottom of your deck.
I took the deck to my local store on Wednesday and had mixed results. I faced off against two Death Knights and two Druids, winning against one of each. A quick rundown:
Round 1: Jonty playing 'Where's Corpse Explosion'
Our meta at Ripley is pretty Death Knight heavy. It can get a little tedious at times but a good Triton deck will eat most ally-based decks for breakfast, so it's often a safe choice. Luckily for me, Jonty didn't pull a single Corpse Explosion or quest all game, so I made the most of my first few turns picking off his weenies with Boomer, playing a turn 3 Emerald Tree Warder and drawing four cards off a double Corruption of Earth and Seed. Eventually I dropped three Joja'bee on turn 7 and struck for several hundred on the following turn after having my aspect destroyed earlier on.
Round 2: Matt playing 'There's Corpse Explosion'
After rolling two thirds of a large pot of dice to determine who goes first (Matt beat me by a good fifty points) I got hit by Matt's uncanny ability to draw several Corpse Explosions per game. Once again I managed to mitigate early pressure with Boomer only to find him removed from the board before I could drop the Aspect; the second push that I'd purposely saved some cards for didn't last long as a second Corpse Explosion put Matt in a strong position. Some Riveted Abomination Leggings put me at a dangerous amount of damage, but with the Aspect still on the table, I was able to vomit what remained of my hand on to the table, enough for fatal next turn.
Matt flashed me a third Corpse Explosion and that was enough to finish me off.
Round 3: Morgan playing 'Oh hi Mikael'
I'd been dropping some science via email for Morgan recently, recommending a few staple cards for his new Druid deck and offering up a little play advice regarding how to deal with the abundance of rush you generally face at our playgroup.
It worked against me this week; my Aspect was killed on his turn 4, but thankfully I had the Cromarius for his Earth and Moon a turn later. What I didn't have once the Aspect was gone was a board of allies with much health. All too often my allies would get one attack off and then get killed off my Mikael the Blunt - the same one in fact, which was being resurrected by the terrifying Twin Spire Ruins. I'm pretty sure the same Mikael came into play on five seperate occasions, before Morgan finished me off by playing a couple of Dragonkin, resurrecting a further one, dropping Skinned Whelp Shoulders and beating face.
Round 4: Julian playing Ashnaar/Gift
Lady luck was on my side this time - a turn 1 stashed Cairne and a one drop, turn 2 Boomer, turn 3 Aspect proved too much for the otherwise dangerous Ashnaar deck to deal with. By the time Julian had managed to stabilise with a fat Ashnaar, I had him on dangerous amounts of damage, and a sneaky Explosive Shot finished him off.
Another mediocre result, but it did help to highlight some real flaws with the deck, especially the red version - without the Aspect you are just playing lots of average allies; AoE kills you in a disgusting manner; the card draw is simply not good enough. With the right cards in the Alliance version you can at least survive an early Corpse Explosion and/or Mikael thanks to Aberration.
I may well come back to this at a later date, hopefully the next set will bring some complimentary cards; I'm definitely leaning towards the Alliance version being 'better' but I'm of the opinion it's just a little too fragile at present.
In other news...
Daily Metagame have been collecting decklists from local Realm Qualifiers. Their lists are well worth a browse as along with the usual Warlock/Shaman control decks there's been a few really interesting concepts doing the rounds that make me slightly sad I didn't think of them first!
The official website has been updated with a few new bits of information:
So. Assuming my order from Warcraft Gaming Center arrives in time, next week: Warlock Rush and Shaman Jank!