North of the realm, a shadowy presence has festered and spread across the Dreadlands. The Blackhand Scourge proliferates plague and death wherever they go. They raise the bones of the dead to serve them. Their power has increased tenfold since their leader Vandy Anadrose—now known as The Queen of Demons—made a pact with nefarious, otherworldly beings who seem to serve her for the moment. These demons wield terrifying power, but it comes at a price.
Meet the Blackhand Scourge:
“Vandy” isn’t really a scary name, but then Vandy didn’t really start out as a scary person either. Her link to Demons has made her potentially the most dangerous person in the realm. People are now afraid to even speak her name, or the names of any Demons. Some are even hesitant to say the word “Demon,” which lead some to refer to Vandy Anadrose as simply, “The Queen of Ds.” Here’s her hero card:
Her middle ability is important, but let’s come back to that after we’ve seen some Demonology cards. Her max level ability is pretty unusual. She can give a one-time buff to one friendly unit and one enemy unit, but then they both die in a turn. If you play your cards right and get in a good attack with your buffed unit, it sort of adds up to killing two enemy units at the price of one of yours. There’s always a catch to these Demonology abilities!
Having a black hero on your team lets you have the black starting deck. You don't need the Demonology hero herself to use the black starting deck, but there’s one particular unit that feels right at home with the rest of Demonology:
Jandra is a scary unit for a starting deck. When other players are scraping together blank 2/2s and feeling good about it, you have a 3/3. That's the biggest starting deck unit in the game. The cost of 3 gold is high for an early game card, and that’s significant, but a 3/3 in the early game shouldn't be underestimated. Keep in mind you have a 100% chance to draw this either on turn 1 or turn 2 every single game. This level of beatdown would be crushing were it not for the drawback that if Jandra dies, so do your non-Demon units. That forces you into certain lines of play that are a bit more predictable. Jandra doesn’t kill your heroes though, so you can have Vandy Anadrose fight right alongside her, no problem.
The Demonology spells are a toolbox of great effects. Do you need to protect something? Or kill something?
Either way, you have a spell for it. Soul Stone can make your best unit a real hassle to kill because not only does it get bigger, but your opponent has to kill it twice to actually get rid of it. (Notably, this is great against Law's Judgment Day ultimate spell.) Meanwhile, Shadow Blade can usually kill a unit, and sometimes you can even pull off its discard effect, which overall makes the opponent lose two cards (the dead unit and the discarded card from hand) to your one (Shadow Blade itself).
Even though you know it’s dangerous to make deals with Demons, it’s pretty hard to turn down paying 0 to draw 2 cards. You’re usually quite willing to take 2 damage for that effect, but once you reach the end game you can turn that Pact around and point it at the opponent. Then it becomes 0 gold to deal 2 damage to your opponent’s base.
You can even use Vandy Anadrose’s ultimate spell as a killing blow:
Sacrificing all your units is quite a drawback, but you should be used to how these Demon-deals work by now. In exchange, you get to buff ALL your heroes so this is most powerful if you have all 3 of your heroes in play (you have to have a tech III building to be allowed to do that). Your heroes become max level, which by itself is great, and can trigger any “max level” effects they might have if they weren’t maxed already. And they get +2/+2, readiness, and become invisible. Basically, they become a huge source of damage that might win you the game outright.
Now that you’ve seen the wide variety of Demonology spells, look back at the hero’s middle ability. You can fetch one of those cards without even going through the normal process of teching for it (moving it from your codex to your discard pile, then waiting to draw it). On-demand Shadow Blade? No problem. And it’s almost like the opponent’s base starts with 18 life instead of 20 because you can finish them off with Dark Pact anytime.
Even Demonology’s tech I units are surprisingly powerful.
Gargoyle is a weird unit, but a dangerous one if used right. Think of him this way: he starts out indestructible, so you’ll definitely be able to attack with him the following turn—he can’t die! From then on, you can deal 3 damage to pretty much anything you want, as long as you pay 1 gold per turn to keep him active. That’s expensive for the early game, but the effect is very powerful. The turn after you activate him, he ISN’T indestructible anymore, but he’s still flying so he’s pretty hard to kill. That said, he can’t protect you from non-flying attackers.
Want something simpler? How about the best tech I beatdown unit in the game:
Twilight Baron is truly ahead of his time, or ahead of the power curve at least. He’s one of only two 4/4 tech I units in the game. He’s also unusually expensive for a tech I, but you’re pretty happy to pay that price because the ability to trump any other tech I unit is amazing. The catch—of course there’s a catch!—is that you can’t play any tech II or tech III units while he’s in play. Twilight Baron tempts you to go all in on rushdown and get so far ahead early that the drawback doesn’t matter. You can lean on using a hero and spells with Twilight Baron as backup, rather than going for tech II right away.
Once you do get to tech II though, you get some ridiculous units. How about a 7/6 with overpower for 4?
This guy is a keeper. Wait, I mean he's not a keeper. After he does your deeds, you'll have to get rid of him somehow to be allowed to win the game.
At 7/7, Banefire Golem is just huge. He demands you sacrifice a unit each turn, but you probably have some weak fodder you can afford to lose anyway. Now you’re thinking like a Demon. Losing a few lives here and there is a small price to pay to deal 1 damage per turn to EVERYTHING. That said, if your last unit is Banefire Golem himself, he will no longer serve you.
Ok combo-maniacs, get ready for this one.
A 15/15! Yes really! Also he obliterates two enemy units per turn if you can attack with him. That’s the trick though, he starts out shackled by 4 Warlocks. Can you figure out a way to get rid of those Warlocks so the mighty Terras Q can shine? (You can’t sacrifice the Warlocks because your opponent is the one who gets them.) I, for one, welcome our Demon Overlord.
Demonology also has something different to offer: card draw.
The knowledge it contains is dangerous enough that it will eventually destroy you, but in the meantime you’ll be swimming in cards. Just to decode what it means, you usually have 5 cards in hand if things are going well. You’ll usually play 1 worker and 1 other thing from your hand because that lets you draw back up to your max hand size of 5 at the end of the turn. With the Shrine in play, you’ll have 6 cards in hand. You’ll be able to play a worker and *2* more cards and still go back up to 6 cards at the end of the turn. Oh, and by the way, your Demons can ignore enemy patrollers and smash whatever they want.
For ultimate power, summon the tech III Demon:
Zarramonde the Obliterator is a legendary unit, so you can only have one of him. But come on, did you really need another 10 cost 11/11 anyway? When he arrives, he can just straight up kill whatever you want. He can even kill other tech III units because he’s just that much of a boss. Meanwhile, he’s untargetable and enormous and he obliterates FOUR enemy units whenever he attacks. The drawback? None. It looks like you finally made a fair deal with a Demon.
Or did you?