What in the world? How can you even win if he one shots you on turn 2?
Oh that’s better. I guess we have to make sure that little Moira stays alive. Her life is our life, this means that playing taunters is probably a big no-no.
When I first looked at this match-up I was worried that he might have cards like whirlwind and such that might put you at risk of dying, so I tried to kill him as fast as possible. But since I’d like to keep the little sheds of dignity I have left, I didn’t go with the obvious face hunter. Instead, I went with Combo Warrior.
I used the usual Combo Warrior list I usually employ to complete my Warrior quests quickly, and got a win on the first try. But as I rolled more matches to get insights on the encounter I found out that I had to make some adjustments to make sure Moira didn’t die and that I was able to handle whatever Thaurissan threw at me.
Here’s the decklist I used to beat him consistently:
To be honest I don’t think this is a pretty hard encounter in normal. Thaurissan’s deck isn’t really impressive and I’m sure you can beat him with pretty much any solid deck that doesn’t rely on a massive AOE clear, Taunting up, or has random effects like Bomb Lobber or Flamecannon. There’s probably a lot of ladder decks that can be modified slightly to beat this, you could probably even RNG grind this with some of the decks you usually play. A modified version of Freeze Mage probably has a field day against him.
He oftens play the 2/3 Trogg, so I wouldn’t advise trying to aggro him down with a bunch of spells.
Combo Warrior is all about drawing a lot of cards quickly and making sure that your opponent is in combo range so you can Worgen + Charge+ Inner Rage for 16 damage. Combo Warrior does have some extra reach as you can bump the damage up to 20 by adding a second Inner Rage or a Cruel Taskmaster, Rampage also increases your OTK potential.
But unlike real players that will kill Worgen as soon as it shows, sometimes the AI will ignore it. You can exploit this and play Worgen on an empty board to be followed up next turn with the many buffs you can give him, keep an eye on such opportunities. Sadly, he does use Fiery War Axe on his deck and that can make your Worgen pretty sad.
Early you want to have Gnomish Inventors and Loot Hoarders trading with the minions that he plays. Getting 1 on 1 trades is huge, Slam + Gnomish Inventor can cycle you 2 cards and gets rid of his 2/3 Trogg or his 1/3 Unstable Ghoul. Loot Hoarder handles his Flame Imp pretty well. Imp Gang Boss is better left alone, and his Axe Flingers is usually going to earn an Execute if you feel that you are falling behind too much.
Handling your weapons properly will be the key to your success on this match up, sometimes you have to clear the board, but you have to know when to turn the Aggro up and make sure the Emperor falls down to combo range. Gorehowl + Upgrade can be an alternate win condition, so keep that in mind. And I even managed to win a game with a Doubly upgraded Death Bite that went face a lot, and put him on range for a freaky Cruel Taskmaster + Charge + Inner Rage Kill.
Emperor doesn’t seem to have much surprise damage, and other than Fiery War Axe or a Dark Iron Dwarf buff you can probably calculate pretty accurately how many turns you have left. Also, he packs 2 War Golems so you might want to save an execute for that. If you have to use your minions to kill a War Golem you already lost with this Warrior Deck, so if you don’t have the Execute you better hope that you can win the damage race.
I saw some Fire Elementals on Heroic, not sure if he has those on normal as well.
I somehow doubt this Combo Warrior will be able to make it through Heroic. This section will be updated when I find a reliable strategy.
The first thing you notice going into Heroic is that Moira is now 3/1 instead of 1/3. 3 damage every turn is a pretty insane clock and just a single Unstable Ghoul stops all your aggression. The Emperor also packs a couple of Death’s Bite so 2 Crazed Alchemist is probably the first thing you want to be adding to your deck. Targeted silence might also be important to take out Unstable Ghouls and Abominations.
Basically you want to stave off his early aggression and stabilize the board through value trades in order to reach a point where you can start to race him. He lacks hard removal and silence, so buffing your creatures up looks like it could be a fun strategy. You also need to make sure that Moira can live, at least until you have built yourself a board that can inflict lethal.
Considering that, Priest looks like a pretty good answer. The Emperor has no good answer for a buffed Lightspawn, and if you manage to get him rolling you can quickly turn the tide on this battle.
Be wary of Flamestrike though. Don’t leave yourself open to it.
Here’s what I used to beat Emperor, I won matches with Lightspawn and with a buffed Flying Machine. Lightwell seems like it would be a killer card in this match up, if you have them you could try to fit them somewhere.