Deathwing is a hero that many players, especially in the lower ratings, tend to underestimate. While Deathwing isn’t as strong as he once was, his hero power, ALL WILL BURN!, is effective and allows you to create many advantageous situations, despite your opponent also getting the attack buff for his board. While obviously, Deathwing isn’t as strong as, say, C’thun or Jandice Barov, he’s worth your time once you understand the basics.
What you should know about ALL WILL BURN!
All Will Burn grants all minions on both sides of the board a temporary +2 attack buff. While this may not be as helpful in the late stage of the game, you can utilize it massively to win many early rounds. Minions that generate lots of small tokens like Reborn or Rat Pack aren’t common choices for our opponents. However, as we use the buff each turn, we can utilize these types of minions much more than our opponents.
The other effect ALL WILL BURN! synergizes well with is Divine Shield. However, as Divine Shield is one of the strongest effects in Battlegrounds, our opponents want to utilize it also when they can.
Deathwing’s General Gameplan
Know your place. Deathwing’s power peaks during the mid-game, which means you should focus on reaching the top four rather than trying to win the lobby. You should try to damage others as you can while your hero power is still relevant. So it means you want to speed up the game, so others die before they find those high-tier scalers.
Another skill that is important for Deathwing is game awareness. See that Jandice power level? Don’t hesitate to deal as much damage as you can if you know your opponent is weak, even if that means holding off on raising your tavern for a turn.
Heroes that try to access tavern tier five and six early are great targets for Deathwing in the mid-game. Ruining one of these heroes’ gameplans buys you more time to inch closer to the top four finish you aim for and while putting them way behind on what they want to do.
Besides this, there isn’t much to explain about a “strategy” to use as Deathwing. The most important aspect is understanding your opportunities, which improves as you continue to play the game. Remember, Deathwing’s ability simply amplifies you realizing your opportunities, and you recognizing your opponent’s making mistakes or simply punishing them for taking necessary risks.
What you should know about Deathwing’s leveling curve
Deathwing can use two main leveling strategies. The first is the normal leveling curve which you probably know about already. However, if you are new to Battlegrounds, look at Mewwy’s early turn strategy guide. The other option is to level on four and five gold to get ahead in tavern tiers while trying to stabilize through the strong tavern-three units you’ll access before reaching tier four at eight or nine gold.
Leveling to tavern three ahead of the competition improves your chances of finding your key tavern-three minions. However, you need to understand that this route comes at an increased risk. Since we effectively guarantee ourselves to lose rounds three and four (and most likely five) before we start to get an advantage.
Good minions to pick up for Deathwing
As Deathwing, your main focus should be on getting the best value out of your ability. As such, picking the right minions is vital to your success playing Deathwing. The best ways to utilize ALL THAT BURNS! is through minions that grand some combination of Divine Shield, Reborn, or that generate additional tokens. Some examples include Deflect-o-Bot, Bronzewarden, Annoy-o-Module, or token generators like Replicating Menace or Rat Pack.
A key turn for Deathwing is turn one, where you should look to find things such as Alleycat, Murloc Tidehunter, Acolyte of C’thun, or Micro Mummy, which all allow you to (in almost all cases) win or tie the first two rounds. While Scallywag may look like it fits a similar principle, it is worse than the four listed earlier. The reason for that is how Scallywag falls off significantly after the initial two rounds. Since you can’t utilize it at all in the vast majority of builds you might pursue, you hope to find the other options instead.
Since you, on occasion, won’t get the turn one minions you prefer, here is how you should value each of the worse options for Deathwing. After the tokens and Micro Mummy and Acolyte of C’thun, a few still stand out above the remaining. Generally, you prefer Scallywag, Red Whelp, Refreshing Elemental, and Deck Swabbie over the remaining options in that order.
What tribes does Deathwing need to succeed?
As you might already know, Deathwing utilizes several tribes much better than the others. The standout performers are obvious. Mechs are far and beyond the strongest tribe due to our reliance on Deflect-o-Bot and Annoy-o-Module to create our Warband. With Dragons and Beasts following close behind with strong units like Bronze Warden, Herald of Flame, and Draconid Enforcer, or Beasts such as Savannah Highmane and Rat Pack.
However, there is also a tribe we pretty much want to avoid as Deathwing. Tribes that for one reason or another simply don’t lend themselves to Deathwing, and ALL WILL BURN!. The main standout here is the Demons Tribe. The Demons Tribe is pretty much only an option for us to pursue if we find several Soul Jugglers.
Other tribes, like Elementals or Pirates, have good and bad aspects to them. For the most part, they neither benefit nor hurt from our ability. The main thing to keep in mind when you see these classes is the additional strong units you can access. Elementals give us access to Crackling Cyclone, and Pirates gives us Dread Admiral Eliza. Both are great additions to our Warband.
Deathwing and Quillboars
Based on my initial impressions of the new Quillboars tribe, they focus heavily on building stats in the late game. A great comparison is the Murloc Tribe, without Poison, but with some more flexibility. Historically Deathwing performs well against builds like Murlocs since they fall off significantly in the mid-game, where Deathwing is strongest. As such, following a similar game plan should be effective. Hit them hard if you get an opportunity, and set them behind on their plan to scale.
In general, the advice in a Quillboar lobby would be to try and find a way to stay relevant but be wary of committing to a tribe too early on. Depending on how strong the players in your lobby committing to Quilboars are, your game plan can change significantly. Finding this balance between scaling and winning now is one of the tougher things to learn with Deathwing, but as you improve at Battlegrounds, you’ll learn to appreciate what Deathwing brings to the table.
When you, as Deathwing, get the opportunity to pick up some Quilboars yourself, be sure to use your Blood Gems on one or two minions. That way, if you find a Necrolyte, you can transfer them to a target that scales better or has a bigger impact with the additional stats.
For more Battlegrounds, be sure to read all about Mewwy’s 10 tips for Battlegrounds, or if you are new to the game, consider reading Five Simple Heroes to learn Battlegrounds by tenacity. If you, however, are looking for something entirely different, why not read Hijo’s Rank 1 legend guide to Darkglare Warlock.
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment