There are two main problems with Wispmother: it costs seven magicka, and it is difficult to keep alive long enough to use the effect. However, if you can manage to keep the Wispmother on the board, you can easily flood the board the following turn. So how do we solve the problem of Wispmother costing seven? The answer is Soulrest Marshal.
Soulrest Marshal is already the main catalyst of a number of other combos in constructed, and the turn six (or five with Elixir of Magicka if going second) combo of Soulrest Marshal into Wispmother can be equally as powerful. When Soulrest Marshal’s effect is applied to Wispmother it reduces its base cost to two which triggers Wispmother’s effect on itself when it enters play, giving you a Soulrest Marshal and two Wispmothers. When you have two Wispmothers in play it gives you a much greater chance of at least one of them living until the following turn.
Alright, so now that we have figured out our Wispmother combo, how do we pull it off? As is the goal with many other Soulrest Marshal decks, the key is early life management. Luckily for us, the Assassin archetype has a lot of tools to deal early damage, heal, and prevent enemy attacks. The best thing about the early game for Assassin is that most of the cards are still very relevant later in the game when Wispmother is on the board. I built three very different versions of the Wispmother deck, but the one I liked the most was built around the Shackle mechanic. The list was inspired by Twitch streamer Dovahkiyn, with some adjustments made around Wispmother.
This deck is full of combos and synergy, which is why I enjoy playing it so much. The early game is aimed at eliminating or staving off early threats in order to keep your life total higher than your opponent. All of the early game minions also combo incredibly well with Wispmother later in the game. With Wispmother in play, Ungolim will put six Brotherhood Assassins in your deck, Shrieking Harpy will Shackle two creatures, Thieves Guild Recruit, Brotherhood Assassins, and zero-cost Elusive Schemers will each draw two cards, etc.
The mid game is where the Shackle mechanic really starts to shine. Having Dres Tormentor in play with any of your Winter’s Grasps or Giant Snakes available can clear even the toughest of boards. Arrow in the Knee becomes a four damage Action for one magicka, and Shrieking Harpy deals three. The end game of Tazkad, and especially Supreme Atromancer in this deck is more than enough to finish games. Soulrest Marshal into any of the late game threats is incredibly strong even if you aren’t able to activate it on turn five or six. Multiple Winter’s Grasps or Giant Snakes can provide you just enough time to close out tight games as well.
The deck is very strong against decks that only play one creature a turn during the early game. When you are able to answer early threats, stop them from attacking, and get ahead on the life total you have a recipe for success. The Shackle cards stop weapon decks from ever hitting you for a lot of damage. Once you establish a strong board after Soulrest Marshal, many decks lack the AoE cards to regain board control.
In my testing, the deck does struggle against decks that flood the board early. If you aren’t able to pull off Dres into Giant Snake or Winter’s Grasp, then you are in for a bad time. I might consider exchanging the Mace of Encumbrance for Ice Storm to help with that. The deck is also probably not the best against the Mage Control decks. You are aiming to combat lower cost minions with this deck, and Mage Control doesn’t have a lot of those.
Card Suggestions and Replacements
Many cards have cycled in and out of this list as I have been testing them. I initially had Cunning Ally in the place of Daggerfall Mage, but the ratio of blue to green wasn’t quite where I wanted it. Crushing Blow is also fine in that spot. I have also been experimenting with Master of Arms to combo with the Tome from Daggerfall Mage and the Mace of Encumbrance. I found it to be a little bit too slow for the deck, however.
If you want the deck to be more late game combo focused, you can add another copy of Wispmother, along with Nahkriin, Dragon Priest, and Odahviing. Any creature you cast off of Nahkriin’s ability will trigger Wispmother’s ability if it is in play as well. In my experience, it was a little too much to pull off consistently, but when you do it’s incredible.
Other Wispmother Options
As I stated above, I theory crafted three different versions of the Wispmother deck. The Shackle version is my favorite, but I also wanted to share one list that I tested and another that I will build when I have all the cards. I wanted to build an Aggro, Combo, and Midrange variant of the deck, and I was able to test the Shackle Combo build above and the Goblin Aggro build above.
I tested this list as an option for those who wanted a more aggressive version of the Wispmother deck. Instead of trying to manage your opponent’s creatures in the early game in order to get ahead on life, this deck aims to swarm the board with creatures to give you an advantage. Murkwater Savage and Witch are both Excellent with Wispmother on the board as well. The main problem this deck faces is board sweepers. The lack of card draw makes it difficult to reclaim the board if you should lose it, but I’m hoping that someone can take this list and improve upon it.
Finally, we come to a deck that I am currently unable to test because I am missing some Legendaries, but I believe could be a strong option for a Midrange Wispmother deck. The deck aims to play on curve, and generate value from Necrom Mastermind’s ability on all of your creatures. If anyone is able test this version, please let me know your results.
There are few things I enjoy more than trying to make cards like Wispmother viable. Hopefully at least one of these lists has inspired you to give it a try. Thanks for reading!