It's Meepo Time, A Red/Blue Deck
is an intriguing Hero. At first glance, many people would criticize the Geomancer, pointing toward his stats being too weak, which makes him too vulnerable, causing him to feed too much gold, and in general regard the hero as bad. While I mostly agree with these observations, I also love a challenge when it comes to creating decks. Even if that means building one around a "bad" Hero.
To tackle Meepo's biggest weakness, his poor stats, , which is one of the absolute best cards in the game, handles that fairly easily. also gains more value when it is played in a lane with more Heroes present. Meepo creates more Heroes, with a fairly inexpensive 4 Mana cost card, . Now we've really got a deck brewing here.
If you were to ask me, I'd say this is the only way has a legitimate shot at being played in the base set format. Imagine a scenario where you were able to play in a lane with all four present. Suddenly, you've got four Heroes that are 8 Attack, 4 Armor, 9 Health, with all those juicy added stats like Cleave, Retaliate, and Siege! Meepo doesn't seem that bad then, huh? Do you know what time it is? It's Meepo time!
Why these Heroes?
Obviously, we're running , but I'd like to go over his Activate Ability, Poof. Poof can be used both offensively and defensively, which is something I'll often talk about in these articles, and praise as good design. Giving players more options is always better and often times will be a positive element in the competitive space, separating bad players from good ones. Offensively, Poof can be used to deal Area damage in a lane, possible killing multiple creeps at once. Poof can be used defensively as well, allowing a Meepo to escape death in combat, by jumping to a different Lane, with less enemies. There's even an interesting scenario, where Meepo can jump from Lane Two or Three, into Lane One, completing avoiding combat all together!
Because of Meepo's stats, it's obvious he would be on the Turn. I would like to mention, I find it interesting that you can cast and summon a Meepo, even before the original Meepo has entered the battlefield!
and are here because we need a couple beefcakes to protect our little Meepos. Both 's and 's are great cards to kill an opposing Hero that is threatening to kill a Meepo in the combat phase. Like I mentioned earlier, Meepo dying can spell disaster for this deck, so by having more options at our disposal that can protect Meepo are critical to this deck's success.
Because of and 's high Attack stat, they are prime Flop Heroes. Both of them can nab an easy Round One kill on the enemy Heroes, if the opponent is playing low Health Flop Heroes.
Also in a deck with such a frail Hero like Meepo, it's important to run a few Heroes that can withstand a few rounds of combat reliably, allowing you to maintain a presence in a Lane or two. This just happens to be another great reason we are running Axe and Legion Commander, which are considered to be the two best Red Heroes in the base set.
's signature card, naturally goes well with Meepo, because Meepo himself will spawn more Heroes, which will inevitably be damaged in combat, which means more targets to spawn . Meepo's Active Ability, Poof, can also be a great source of damage, allowing more Hounds to spawn for !
Kanna is a perfect Flop Hero because of her high Health stat and because pulling Creeps into her lane with her Continuous Effect, Bringer of Conquest, she'll be able to start putting into her lane right at the beginning of the second round!
This is one of the reasons we also run , because he can spawn another creep, with his Activated Ability, Call of the Wild. This adds more fuel to . The second reason we run Beastmaster is for the signature card, , which can also be used in two ways. First, it can be played defensively, saving a Meepo from dying in combat by pushing an opposing Hero out of the Lane. Or it could be played offensively, allowing more units to get damage into the Tower, moving the blocking units out of the way!
doesn't have a high Attack stat, so he doesn't quite cut it for the Flop. But he's a great Turn Hero because we can get him into the battlefield and start the cooldown on his Active Ability sooner rather than later, so we can spawn a as quickly as possible!
A compelling case for death
is one of the best value cards in the game. To begin, the card text says "Unit", which is always a great thing. Cards that specify "Red Hero" or "Enemy Hero" can be very one dimensional, blocking a player's creativity and limited choice. Compel, while straight forward can be used in many different ways.
First, you could use it to direct an Enemy Unit away from killing your Meepo. That's a great option, always a viable play, and in general a safe move. Another option, redirect an Axe or Legion Commander attack, netting you an easy kill by manipulating combat targets.
But what about a situation where your Meepo is right next to a Legion Commander? You could technically redirect the enemy Hero to attack Legion, and if you're lucky, the Retaliate damage on Legion Commander might just be enough to nab a free Hero kill? That would be something!
Lastly, is there ever a time you'd be okay with Meepo dying? Let's take a look at another card in the deck -- ! It's possible for The Omexe Arena to draw you a ton of cards, especially in a Meepo deck! Every time one Meepo dies, they all die, obviously, because of Meepo's Continuous Effect, United We Fall.
If a Meepo were to die in a lane with Three copies, that's three Heroes dying. Which means you would draw three cards with The Omexe Arena, essentially for free. Of course, you spent the 6 Mana previously, but you get what I mean. So maybe it's not always a bad idea to redirect an attack with into a Meepo, just so you can draw some more cards?
is one of the absolute best Creep cards in the game. There's even a real argument to be made, that this 4 Mana Creep is better than an itemless Meepo! Yikes! Either way, this guy can grow very quickly and reach fairly dangerous levels of Attack and Health stats. Once he knocks out a few , he can also be a significant source of damaged units, feeding your own !
is in here for the exact same reason as a beefed up Stonehall Elite, he's got quite the Health total! A perfect trigger for even more ferocious ! One great use of is also to dump him in a lane across from an opposing Hero. With his massive Health total, he can go toe-to-toe with most Heroes for at least a few rounds, buying you precious time until you can get a juicy off!
is just too good not to run at least one of. With a fairly high amount of 6 Mana cost cards (9, in total), she is a great card to play on curve, allowing you an opportunity to double-down next round in her lane, with two 6 Mana cards! There is also the possibility, however unlikely, that you could have her in the lane when you have two Time of Triumph in hand. While that sounds ridiculous, that almost gauruntees you win that game, right?
Taking Initiative and using it
In my opinion, the right amount of "Get Initiative" cards (for most decks) is 4. Some decks don't need it all, others might need a few more, but in general, a good number to shoot for is 4. Why? If you remember the image I showed in a previous article, displaying the percent chance you would draw a card if you ran 1, 2, or 3 copies in your deck, I've extended this to show what happens if you ran 4 copies of a card...
If you have 4 "Get Initiative" cards in your deck, that means on Round Six, there is a staggering 86.16% chance you will have drawn one of them by then! That's pretty remarkable, considering Round Six is the 8 Mana round, which is a great time to get Initiative before a massive !
In this deck, the two Get Initiative cards we are running are and . Neither of them are that remarkable, other than the main purpose we are running them. unfortunately specifies a "Red Hero" which means we won't be able to use it on a Meepo to save it from dying. is nice that it allows us to "recycle" the card, drawing one new card from the deck after playing it. The 2 Tower Damage might seem insignificant, but it can be the difference between winning and losing, in some cases.
Now that we've covered how we get initiative, let's talk about what we can do with it, once we've taken it. is one of those cards that really excite me. No, it isn't as good as 's , but it is similar. It basically silences the entire Lane, forcing the Combat Phase to begin. In this deck, we might want to use it against a Lane where the opponent has Black Heroes and 6 Mana available, blocking their chance to use on one of our Meepo. Or if the opponent has a Blue Hero, with 7 Mana, they might want to cast a or , we can block both of those from being played, still protecting our Meepo. is likely a high skill card, but if played at the right time, in the right lane, it can single-handedly turn a game around, or even outright win it!
, as already mentioned, is one of the strongest cards in the game. Use it to wreck an opponent's High Priority Lane, or even to buy you time in a Medium Priority Lane or even your Dead Lane. It's just an insanely good card. I'd like to mention one idea I had for the card, that might not seem obvious. Let's say it's Round Four (the 6 Mana round), you could purposefully kill all your Meepo in play with an . Seems bad, right? Well, if you have an , it won't be too painful. And the best part, by Round Six (the 8 Mana round), all 3 or 4 of your Meepo will be ready for deployment! Drop those guys in your High Priority Lane, then immediately play a , buffing up all your Meepo and maybe another Hero or two in the process!
Playing on Curve
In my opinion, one of the roughest card pools in the game is the 5 Mana slot. There are so few good choices to run here, I honestly feel like maybe Valve neglected it. Seriously Valve, there's a million 4 Mana cost cards and so few 5 Mana cost! What gives?
Without a doubt, one of the best cards in this slot is Blue's . In my opinion, this is a playset in anything running Blue, maybe it's a 2-of in a handful of decklists. is something you will definitely want to play on curve, which means playing it the instant you reach 5 Mana. Throw this bad boy into your opponent's High Priority Lane to dampen their progress and hopefully, both you and your opponent are fighting for control in the contested lane, selecting it as the High priority Lane. In that case, this is even better because of 's signature card , which can be fueled by your opponent's units that are damaged by !
Speaking of absolute best cards in their respective Mana slot, is the best non-signature 7 Mana card in the game. Period. (There's actually only seven different non-signature 7 Mana cost cards!) Play on curve and toss those two in your High Priority Lane, and you're in for a good time. Again, are a great source to fuel , because of their massive 8 Health! It almost seems like a lot of cards were chosen for this exact reason? Weird, huh? Deckbuilding Principle Number 1, know what your deck wants to do.
is easily the best item in the game. It keeps your units alive the longer it's in play and in this deck, which has a ton of high Health value Heroes ( 11, 12, 12) I'd say the best targets are and some of your Meepo that are going to be in combat. If you can get this on a Meepo early and keep him alive by using his Active Ability, Poof, to avoid combat damage, can end up being even more valuable on Meepo after a !
I wouldn't typically run a full playset of , especially in a deck where Meepo can Poof from Lane to Lane, but in this deck? The possibility of Blinking all your units into one lane and then activating a on an unbelievable EIGHT Heroes? I just can't NOT try to do it, at least once, right?
is the ideal Accessory item for your high Health value Heroes. Because of their high Health, it's likely they'll be able to stay in combat much longer than your Meepo. Which means more turns activating the Hourglass's effect, disrupting your opponent's hand in the process!
is for those desperate moments where you can't get a Meepo out of a lane and he has to take a swing from an opponent's hero or unit with High attack. The only option in those situations is having some Armor, and this is one of the best sources! There's even a situation where you could Poof multiple Meepo into the same lane, putting the on the center one, giving more Armor to the adjacent Meepo!
Other cards to consider
and can both be used in this deck as a replacement to . My problem with is that it requires you to select a "Hero", which means a Hero would have to be directly next to your Meepo to protect it. , however, can be used to protect a Meepo easily, so why didn't I run it? Honestly, I like that recycles for one. Playing this on Round One or Two, gives me a higher chance to draw into my , which means I'll be able to get more Meepo out before I reach the 8 Mana Round, .
is a great tool to save a Meepo in a pinch, I personally just don't think 2 Mana, losing card advantage, and passing Initiative is worth a single round of 3 Armor. However, I do like that Meepo are featured in the artwork!
is obviously one of the best cards in Red. Both this and are powerful options when it comes to dealing with Improvements. The problem is, what Improvements really stop this deck from doing what it wants to do? could be a problem, buffing up to the point where they can one shot a fresh Meepo? isn't too much of a problem, since it is a way to activate . and are pretty annoying, but they still don't stop an army of buffed up Meepo. I just don't know how important Improvements will be in the meta. If every deck becomes heavily focused on Improvements, sure, put these cards in the deck. Otherwise, they are viable "41st" cards.
is undoubtedly one of the best cards in the game. Think of it like a miniature , at half the Mana cost. My only problem is the likely scenario where Meepo is the only Blue Hero in a lane when you want to play this, but that means killing all your own Meepo. Not a very good situation, but the cards raw power can't be ignored. Therefore, is definitely on my radar as a potential card worthy of making the actual list.
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Come back tomorrow to check out Artibuff's next deck article featuring and !