At a glance, Mutanus the Devourer seems like a real simple hero, but surprisingly he has multiple ways to play. Mutanus’ hero power Devour allows you to remove a minion on your Warband and “spit” its stats on another random minion, but the icing on the cake is the extra gold you gain from this. Simply having that one extra gold allows Mutanus to do multiple curves that most heroes cannot do. I will go over four common curves I see players do Mutanus that all have their strengths.
The basics of Mutanus the Devourer
Unlike most heroes, Mutanus is one of the few that does not get weaker while having less than seven minions due to his hero power. Since you are using almost every minion’s stats that you buy throughout the game, you create minions with bigger stats than your opponents. A simple way to see “Devourer” is that it costs two gold to gain a minion’s stats on a random minion. You can take a Screwjank Clanker, buff a Mech, then hero power it. For two gold, you gave your Warband +4/+7 in stats. The fact that Devour doesn’t cost any gold to use makes Mutanus a strong and flexible hero.
Something unique about Mutanus is that he isn’t required to start with a Token minion to keep up with the lobby. Unlike most heroes in Battlegrounds, Mutanus the Devourer performs well with the otherwise considered “weak” scaling minions. Later, when I refer to Scaling minions, I mean units like Wrath Weaver, Pupbot, Impulsive Trickster, or Micro Mummy from Tavern-Tier one. These units can continue growing or granting additional benefits to the other minions in your Warband. These units keep growing your Warband, making them more beneficial when you inevitably Devour them or your Devour stats land on these units.
Due to Mutanus the Devourer’s synergy with these so-called scaling units, they are better than the weakest of the token-minions, Alleycat. However, the token minions Murloc Tidehunter and Sellemental still outperform the scaling options most of the time on your first-round shop.
While most heroes can take the risk of upgrading to Tavern-Tier Three on Turn three, Mutanus simply never wants to do that. By taking that risk, you give up on most of what makes Mutanus the Devourer into the hero that he is. If you upgrade on Turn three, you miss out on not one but two turns of Devour, which costs you a significant number of additional stats.
The multiple curves of Mutanus the Devourer
Now that we know the basics of Mutanus the Devourer let us go over the various paths you can follow at the start of your Battlegrounds game. There are four primary options, which depend on the minions you get from Bob’s shop.
Option one: The Delayed Curve
You pursue the delayed curve strategy with Mutanus to get the most out of Devour when you find scaling Tavern-Tier one units. Delayed Curve. I only do this if Bob offers scaling units or minions worth Devouring.
Turn one (three gold) – Buy Murloc Tidehunter, Wrath Weaver, Pupbot, Micro Mummy, or a minion with lots of stats.
Turn two (four gold) – Buy another minion.
Turn Three (five gold) – Buy another minion. Hero power a non-scaling minion. And upgrade to T2.
Turn four (six gold) – Buy two minions.
Turn five (seven gold) – Buy one minion. Hero power a minion that does not need its stats. For example, if you bought a Southsea Captain and have a Metaltooth Leaper, with no Pirate synergy, use Devour instead on the Southsea instead of your Metaltooth Leaper. While usually, you wouldn’t do this, you can grant Metaltooth Leaper Divine Shield later on in the game if it gains more stats from Devour. After that, upgrade to T3.
Turn six (eight gold) – Turn six allows for two directions. If you feel comfortable in your strength and position in the game, the first is to upgrade straight to T4. If you don’t feel comfortable, simply buy two minions and upgrade your Tavern the following turn instead.
Turn seven (nine gold) – Turn seven plays out in two ways, depending on what we did on Turn six. Either we upgrade to T4 here. Or, we can start looking for a win-condition or other composition dictator units. Finding triples, pairs, or simply any direction is very important at this stage of your game.
Option two: The Demon Curve
Only do this if Bob somehow offers you only demons, Wrath Weavers, and you got a triple incoming.
Turn one (three gold) – Buy Wrath Weaver
Turn two (four gold) – Buy Wrath Weaver
Turn three (five gold) – Buy a Demon
Turn four (six gold) – Buy two demons
Turn five (seven gold) – Upgrade your Tavern to T2 (one gold), and Devourer one of your Demons. After, Upgrade your Tavern to T3 (seven gold).
Turn six (eight gold) – Upgrade your Tavern to T4 if you feel strong. Buy minions if you do not.
Turn seven (nine gold) – Upgrade to T4. If you upgraded already, have a triple Wrath Weaver prepared, and feel like taking a risk, you can sell one of your weaker minions and use your hero power on another. Buy the third Wrath Weaver and pick the strongest T6. Next, you can Devourer Wrath Weaver onto a minion that can use these stats better, such as Foe Reaper or Imp Mama.
Option three: The Early Upgrade Curve
The Early Upgrade Curve takes advantage of Mutanus’ hero power Devour to upgrade to Tavern-Tier three and Four early. The main benefit of that strategy is that you start finding stronger units a turn ahead of the rest of the lobby. Since we don’t lose stats, unlike other heroes that want to reach the higher Tavern-Tiers early, you often end up in a much stronger overall position.
Turn one (three gold) – Buy Murloc Tidehunter, Sellemental, a scaling unit (Wrath Weaver, Pupbot, Micro Mummy, Impulsive Trickster), or a minion with good stats.
Turn two (four gold) – Upgrade to T2.
Turn three (five gold) – If you bought a token generator, Devour the token and buy two minions.
If you bought a scaling unit, buy the strongest minion on Bob’s side of the board, such as a Yo-Ho-Og. Devour that minion and give its stats to one of your scaling units.
If you bought just a minion with good stats in round one, buy a Tavern-Tier two minion that uses stats well (Mechs, Tough Tusk, Glyph Guardian). Then, Devour your Tavern-Tier one unit instead. After you guarantee the stats land on the right target, buy another minion.
Turn Four (Six Gold) – If you already have a token, sell that, buy another minion from Bob’s board, and hero power that. Upgrade to T3.
If you haven’t found a token, but Bob is offering one now, then buy it. Sell the weaker token, and Devour the other token. Upgrade to T3.
Turn five (seven gold) – Buy two minions.
Turn six (eight gold) – Buy one minion. Use hero power on a minion that doesn’t need its stats. Upgrade. If you feel weak, use hero power on a minion that doesn’t need its stats, then buy two minions.
Turn seven (nine gold) – Upgrade to T4 if you haven’t already, or start finding minions for a triple or a win condition.
Curve four: The backup or “Standard” curve.
The Standard curve is what you default to when none of the other curves is an option. Do this if you haven’t gotten a token minion or scaling unit.
Turn one (three gold) – Buy a minion (the best remaining available.)
Turn two (four gold) – Upgrade to T2.
Turn three (five gold) – Buy a minion, Devour whichever minion does not need its stats. Buy another minion.
Turn four (six gold) – Buy two minions. In disaster scenarios, it is possible to reroll once & to use Devour to make up for the missing gold. Do that only if your first shop is completely unusable.
Turn five (seven gold) – Upgrade to T3, Reroll, Devour the best target (the unit that uses stats least optimally (no keywords, no divine shield, etc.) and buy another unit to end your turn. If you chose to reroll and eat a minion last turn, you can’t do the above turn. While you can do well with fewer minions than others, you should still have at least four by this time.
Turn six (eight gold) – Upgrade to T4 if you feel strong. If not, hero power again. Buy two minions.
Turn seven (nine gold) – Upgrade to T4, buy one minion. If you already are T4, start finding minions for a triple or a win condition.
What you should know to understand Mutanus’ overall game plan
Mutanus wants his minions to be big and strong, to make sure that there will be times where you will be a minion down from your opponents. However, that is fine since your hero power should be making up for that. Similar to Vol’jin, buy minions that will scale so you can eventually hero power them onto minions with cleave or divine shield. Wrath Weaver, Impulsive Trickster, Mythrax, Bristleback Brute, minions buffed by Arm of the Empire, and Bigfernal are great targets to use Devour. As previously stated, you can Devour minions you purchased that you needed for battlecries if you cannot afford to hero power one of your other minions. Using your minions with relatively large stat numbers and Divine Shield, you can create time to find a path to the late game.
How Mutanus uses every tribe in Battlegrounds
Due to the flexibility of Mutanus, every tribe has its benefits and uses for Mutanus’ ability Devour. That said, the Demon and Mech Tribe stand out above the rest due to their inherent synergy with Mutanus & Devour. Both the high stats of the Demons and all the ways the Mechs Tribe accesses the Divine Shield keyword improve the chances of winning significantly.
You can use Arm of the Empire as a battery to start ramping up minions so you can Devour them later on onto minions that scale better into the late game.
The Mech Tribe has many great targets on which to land the Devour buff. Mechs such as Deflect-o-Bot, Annoy-o-Module, and Foe Reaper are some of the best units to grant additional stats available in Battlegrounds. Try your best to mitigate the randomness by keeping a small board, but do not force landing the buffs on a specific target too much. Even if they do not get hero powers landed on them, they are still minions that are easy to buff.
Salty Looters that got buffed early on are great targets to use Devour. Yo-Ho-Ogre is also powerful in the early game since it has the most stats, making it an ideal card to hero power. I would not suggest going all-in with a Pirate build as Pirates are frail units that do not need the extra benefit from your hero power. It is best to use their stats onto better units such as divine shields or cleaves.
In the mid-game, you have bought Felfin Navigator or Coldlight Seer to buff your Murlocs; they become decent minions to Devour. Murlocs are not strong on Mutanus as they are minions that do not scale fast without additional support. Besides that, Murloc’s aren’t minions you want Devour’s stat-boosts to land on as you often want to give them Poison in the mid-game.
Minions such as Rabid Saurolisk are similar to Salty Looter in that as you make it stronger over time; eventually, you want to remove it from your board. It becomes a great minion to Devourer and transfers its stats onto better units. You can do the same to minions buffed by Pack Leader or Mama Bear. Cave Hydra is a key card on which you want your buffs to land. I suggest picking up Cave Hydra as early as possible to get more stats onto him.
Bronze Warden is great at using the Devour buffs. While pursuing a Kalecgos build, using Devour on the battlecries you purchase, such as Annihalan Battlemaster, will greatly benefit your build since it takes a couple of turns before Kalecgos takes off.
Demons have fast scaling units such as Wrath Weaver and Bigfernal that become ideal targets to Devourer and put onto other units. I discussed the possibilities you can do with Wrath Weaver or Impulsive Trickster and the curves you can do with them. Being able to Devour allows you not to waste the stats it gained over time. Of course, Annihalan Battlemaster is also an amazing card to Devour since it will give the most stats possible immediately. Reminder, that Impulsive Trickster is a great card to put Devour’d stats onto.
Early in the game, sometimes minions buffed by Party Elemental or Molten Rock itself gain strong stats but will be traded out eventually for better minions. Hero power those minions to make sure you do not waste the stats they gained. If you are doing Nomi or Dazzlight Lightspawn build, you can benefit tremendously by using Devour to transfer the stats onto your “permanent” board as you cycle through Elementals.
There are quite some Quilboars that scale off health. Tough Tusk is the earliest minion you can get that gets a divine shield. Bonkers also do well with the extra stats. Bristleback Brute becomes a minion that is worth devouring. When you are using a ton of Blood Gems on Aggem Thorncurse or Groundshaker, you could even Devour those in the late game. The main benefit here is getting more use out of the temporary buffs that these units provide.