Competitive Yogg: and why Pros worship him



For each spell the controlling player has cast that game, Yogg-Saron will cast a random spell. – Yogg-Saron may cast any collectible spell, regardless of class, but not uncollectible spells.


Yogg is a 10 mana ace card, his whole point isn’t meant to be played when ahead but behind. He tends to delete the board on 15 spells and fill your hand, but because of that the deck needs to be built around him and still he has a 36% chance of hurting more than helping. This percentage is explained in a couple forums and on reddit, but for the sake of argument I’ll provide links throughout the article. Yogg Hunter isn’t quite a competitive deck though it’s a gimmick on control hunter, the deck design is creative. At higher tiers you’ll see Yogg played more in Druid or Mage.


If you have the pleasure to face a Yogg Hunter, you just have to bide your time by tanking up. Yogg decks mainly won’t build a lot of minions and will eventually be forced to play spells with next to no value. Which is what you want, because then you’ll out value him eventually. Sylvanas and AoE should be saved for CotW, ideally also one more AoE for after Yogg if you can manage it.


When playing against Druid Yogg, remember they aim to use combinations of cards together to create extremely powerful turns. For the first few turns they are usually stalling with Wrath, Living Roots and Swipe, while using Wild Growth and Mire Keeper to ramp. After this you might see Violet Teacher and Fandral Staghelm in combination with AoE buffs such as Power of the Wild and Soul of the Forest to create a board which is hard to deal with. That means you’re early game will be the main focus.


Mage has two different Yogg styles – Aggro or Control. Most players always mulligan for low-mana minions. The more plays they have at their disposal, the greater the chance that they’ll be able to either grow the Yogg threat or recover from disaster. This will be the hardest Yogg encounter to manage, because it can be played in contrasting ways.


So how do we counter and un-counterable deck? You can play control, things like C’thun Warrior or “freeze” Mage. Don’t play minions so he can’t cast spells to remove them, creating an atmosphere where Yogg doesn’t really do anything. You should always opt for removing what they play. Aggro decks should kill him before Yogg comes, and with Midrange you should either kill him before, or have enough tools to use after Yogg has been played. With control you should always have some tools to play after, but mostly it’ll be a battle for attrition.


Generally – Yogg clears the board and draws cards. Aside from overcommitting, you can’t play around it, because you don’t know what the results will be. That being said, it is inevitable to lose to Yogg sometimes as he’s not the only win-condition in the deck, so don’t go in with the expectation to consistently lose to him. However, he requires a deck to be built around him, and while it’s annoying, it isn’t great. He’ll screw you over sometimes, but he’ll usually just draw a lot of cards and then kill himself.
Pros never play him if their hand is full and or if they don’t have many cards in their deck (fatigue). They never play him without having at least cast 8-10 spells, or already having board control.. I have seen so many Yogg Sarons played on turn 10 that did nothing. Always keep in mind, that he has terrible stats for a 10 mana legendary and if you waste your turn with him you will lose the game. The fact that Yogg is a win condition on his own, allows control decks to come from behind, and acts as an active board wipe is why you’ll see Yogg played in the competitive format. The top players are patient in waiting for the right moment to summon Yogg, and that’s the key to victory and why the pros worship him.

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