Welcome back, adventurer! Last time around, we survived the pitfalls and mine carts of Uldaman, and now, we’re heading to Stranglethorn Vale to investigate The Ruined City on our quest to assemble the Staff of Origination. The Ruined City brings new challenges though… Did you remember to pack your Murloc dictionary?
Remember, if you want the League of Explorers’ unique card back, you’ll also need to brave all of these encounters on Heroic difficulty. Good luck… You’ll probably need it.
Normal: Board control is the name of the game here. Slitherspear summons a hungry Naga every turn and each one has more attack than the last, although their low health makes them easy to deal with.
Slitherspear likes to play aggressive too, so he’ll often avoid trading and aim for the face. Counter this by stocking up on Taunt minions – Dragon Priest works really well for this, thanks to Wyrmrest Agents and Twilight Guardians having nice health pools for their relatively low cost.
To begin your assault on Slitherspear, you’ll need to get rid of the Cauldron. It’s a 0/5 Taunt minion, so it’s fairly easy to take down. Once you take down the Cauldron, he’ll stop summoning Nagas and his hero power will become “Gain two attack for this turn”, aiding his aggressive play style even more. You’ll also receive a Sir Finley Mrrgglton for your troubles. You can use this to Discover a new hero power, or you can leave it in your hand – up to you.
Honestly, this is a fairly easy encounter once you’ve gained board control. Your taunt minions will soak up his hungry Nagas (or prevent him from attacking) and you can use buffs like Velen’s Chosen to boost their health even more.
A Warrior deck focused on Taunt minions and buffs would work well too – really though, most decks that can take control of the board before firing back will ace this boss fight.
Heroic: For whatever reason, Heroic Slitherspear isn’t massively different from the normal encounter. There seems to have been some issues, as according to files within the game, his Hero Power is supposed to give him +5 attack every turn. Several cards from his deck also seem to be missing, so expect to see a patch in the near future which straightens things out.
In the meantime, this is still a somewhat tricky fight. His Hungry Nagas get extra health each turn now, so they’re a little tougher to handle. You won’t have to deal with the Cauldron this time around, which is an added bonus, but Slitherspear is still very aggressive.
Really, the easiest way to win this encounter is with a One Turn Kill deck. Priests with Inner Fire and Divine Spirits are going to do well if you can get the right set up on the board. Find a Deathlord, place it on the board, buff it up as much as possible then use the Inner Fire to deliver the killing blow. Add some silences and a Big Game Hunter (to deal with a potentially deadly minion) and you’re good to go.
There’s room for experimentation, but you’ll really need to refine your deck to beat Heroic Slitherspear. Control decks that make value trades while wearing Slitherspear down will do well too, but you’ll be heavily relying on good draws. Even the slightest misplay could be your downfall in this situation. If you’re looking for a quick win, it’s far easier just to stick to the OTK strategy.
Card Reward: Huge Toad, Gorillabot A-3
Normal: Easily the hardest encounter in this adventure so far. Giantfin has some nasty, nasty tricks up his sleeve. His Murloc heavy deck lets him swarm the board quickly and the synergy in those cards buffs them up very quickly too. Murloc Tidecallers are horrible in this encounter. His hero power (a Divine Favor effect which lets him draw as many cards as you have) lets him refill his hand very quickly too, so get rid of your hand quickly or prepare to be swamped.
Gaining board control and keeping it is a must, but some decks simply won’t have the capabilities to do so. Mages can have a good go of it with Flamewaker, Arcane Missiles and Arcane Explosion (most Murlocs have one health, so AE tends to be a complete clear), but it’s still inconsistent. If you don’t draw the right spells, you’ll have no counter.
Taunt heavy decks tend to be overwhelmed quickly too. Giantfin has 50 cards in his deck and most of them are Murlocs – your big minions are likely to be swarmed very quickly.
Surprisingly, it’s actually Patron Warrior which works best in this scenario, proving there is some life in the deck following the Warsong Commander nerf. Whirlwind is your best friend here, so keep one handy at all times and wipe as many Murlocs as you can at once. Combine that with Grim Patrons and Frothing Berserkers to swing the board in your favour massively. Use Fiery War Axes early on to clear out the Murloc Tidecallers and save Death’s Bite for when you can maximise the Whirlwind Deathrattle effect. Try it – it works surprisingly well.
Heroic: Patron Warrior works perfectly here again. Utilise the same tactics as you did for Normal and you should be okay.
Some players have also utilised a weird glitch involving Baron Geddon to best this battle. If you have a Baron Geddon on the board, Giantfin will not summon any minions (probably because they die to Geddon’s effect almost instantly) and he seems to be unable to deal with the legendary minion. Coast to victory simply by playing Geddon!
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could also try a Fatigue style deck. Giantfin draws a lot of cards (two a turn on Heroic), so take advantage of this by milling him and wearing him down slowly. It’s a risky tactic (he does have a 50 card deck, after all), but it’s an interesting approach to the boss fight.
Card Reward: Anyfin Can Happen, Murloc Tinyfin
Normal: This encounter is really, really fun. At the end of each turn, Lady Naz’jar will replace every minion on the board with a random one that costs 1 mana more. So, for example, she could turn a Wisp (0 mana) into a Leper Gnome (1 mana). Your fate in this encounter lies in the hands of the RNG then, but you can still improve your chances with deck preparation and clever play.
You need to play something on every turn, so stick some 0/1 mana cost minions in your deck and mulligan hard for them. If you don’t, Naz’jar will flood the board and you’ll find it hard to catch up, especially when everything is randomised.
In fact, you could win this game with your very first hand and some luck. Play a load of 0 mana minions (Wisps, Target Dummies, Murloc Tinyfins) on your first turn and watch them get slightly stronger each turn. Of course, you could end up with some bad minions on the board, but it’s more than likely that you’ll end up with a good, solid board.
Plus, the random factor makes the whole thing so much more fun. You’ll need to make tactics on the fly here and adjust your gameplan to fit whatever is on the board. Did a Confessor Paletress just pop up on your side of the board? You’d best start abusing your Hero Power then!
Pick your favourite class, make sure you build a deck with a good range of minions (again, aim to play a new minion on every turn) and have fun!
Heroic: On Heroic, only Naz’jar’s minions will be upgraded in mana cost. Yours will still be replaced, but they won’t increase in cost. So, for example, your Wisp would just turn into a Target Dummy.
Avoid the useless 0 mana minions this time around, but stick to the same strategy. Play a minion on every turn and maintain good tempo. You’ll be even more dependant on good luck this time around, but sticking to the same strategy should still work.
Prevent her from flooding the board as much as you can (it will only cause trouble in the long run) and build your forces up steadily. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Ramp Druids using Innervate and Darnassus Aspirants will do well and most decks can use cards like Echoing Ooze to get two minions for one.
Anything that puts two minions on the board for the cost of one (Living Roots is another great example for Druids) will do well. Sea Giants are very useful too; there will always be a lot of minions on the board, so the Giant’s cost will be low.
It’s still a fun encounter on Heroic, so get back in there and stick at it adventurer!
Card Reward: Pit Snake, Naga Sea Witch, Jungle Moonkin
Legendary reward for completing The Ruined City: Sir Finley Mrrgglton