Scrappy Hour has been around for a long time. Its roots were as a FSp deck splashing for Scouting Party and Champion of Cunning (for the 5 Shadow buff effect) in set 2, but with the release of Gearcruncher, grindy Stonescar decks became a major player. Stonescar Scrapper is an absolutely ridiculous card advantage engine in a deck lots of Grenadins, and Gearcruncher dominates a board like no other card.
My personal favorite version of Grenadins, however, remains Scrappy Hour. Many people regard it as a meme, but that is unfair; The Witching Hour adds many advantages to the archetype without giving up much in exchange. Here’s my list:
4 Combust (Set1 #392)
4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Devour (Set1 #261)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
4 Assembly Line (Set1 #29)
4 Madness (Set1 #267)
4 Scraptank (Set1 #391)
4 Stonescar Scrapper (Set3 #236)
4 Gearcruncher (Set3 #46)
4 The Witching Hour (Set1 #310)
1 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
8 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Crest of Chaos (Set3 #268)
4 Granite Waystone (Set3 #1)
4 Seat of Chaos (Set0 #60)
4 Stonescar Banner (Set1 #419)
The Witching Hour does a lot of things Grenadins desperately needs:
You create so many tokens that any ground attackers are basically irrelevant, but flyers are a big problem – The Killer Pale Rider can immediately kill a Valkyrie Enforcer or Unseen Commando while the Flying one holds of another.
Grenadins has a lot of cards that demand a sweeper on their own (Scraptank, Gearcruncher), and adding yet another one in The Witching Hour ensures such a high density of must-answer threats that removal pile decks become great matchups.
If an opponent can clog up the board so Scraptanks can’t punch through and answer Gearcrunchers, it can be hard to win. The eventuality of filling the board with a flyer, a Deadly unit, and some stabilizing Lifesteal means that you always have inevitability in board-centric matchups like the mirror, Praxis, and Xenan. Inevitability means you do not need to take risky lines to try to win the game and can always take the safe line to ensure you stay alive.
In exchange for all of these benefits, you don’t give up much. The stock Grenadin list has slightly better influence due to not needing 6 Shadow, so it can play more Fire Sigils. Scrappy Hour needs to Seek Power for Shadow almost always, so it gets free Grenadin from Granite Waystone less often. The slots that are The Witching Hour and an extra Seek Power or two are normally occupied by unexciting cards like Spark Hatcher, Tripwire Grenadin, Into the Furnace, and Annihilate. The deck is already solid against fast aggro, so those cards aren’t needed.
Some more things to note about The Witching Hour: the Pale Riders are summoned in the order they are displayed when you hover over the card, top-to-bottom (Deadly, Flying, Killer, Lifesteal). If you don’t have enough board space, the Riders won’t be summoned. This seems like a win-more problem, but there are situations where you need the Lifesteal one and need to find a way to clear out some board space, usually by suiciding some Grenadins and hoping the opponent blocks or playing a Stonescar Scrapper.
Another card I see a ton of in Grenadins is Combustion Cell, which I think warrants its own paragraph. Combustion Cell is terrible. Most of the time a power would be better, as you can keep playing cards without sacrificing your board presence. You can often AFFORD to sac a Grenadin, but you don’t WANT to. Immediate, power-free sacrifices are nice with Scraptank to take him out of Torch and Hailstorm range, but in games where you can afford to sacrifice extra blockers you can probably wait to hold up a Devour or a Torch for your own Grenadin to pump Scraptank. Cell combos with Madness, but you already have 12 sacrifice outlets (Scrapper is slow, but the combo still comes together fairly frequently), so Madness is rarely without a friend. The main advantages are to play Gearcruncher + activate at 8 power, which you only need to do if you were dying to flyers already (and The Witching Hour helps mitigate those situations), and to accelerate Kaleb, Uncrowned Prince if you want to meme a little.
Scrappy Hour has a pretty balanced matchup spread. Almost every game, regardless of the opponent’s deck, is long and full of decisions, which I love (it has my longest average game time of decks I frequently play on stream, at almost 10 minutes). The gameplan is fairly redundant, with many cards with each effect (removal, Grenadin, payoff) and Quarry to help find them. The deck is weak to flyers, but it isn’t dead in the water and can hang on against all but the most aggressive draws. The Witching Hour generally comes online around turn 8, so a few Torches or Madness + Combust combos can get you there.
The Witching Hour looks like a meme card, but it ends the game instantly against many decks without sweepers, as there’s no way Praxis or Haunted Highway or Argenport can remove so many units, and the combination of Killer + Deadly + Fling stymies almost all of their aggression while you find a way to win with Stonescar Scrapper or Gearcruncher. Scrappy Hour has all of the leements a control deck needs: a solid defensive gameplan against most strategies, efficient removal, card draw, health gain, and dominant late-game plays that take over the board and close the door on the game quickly. If you have the cards, you should give Scrappy Hour a try.
Until next time, may your Grenadin be numerous.
Bonus: here’s a youtube video from a few months ago of me playing Scrappy Hour. The popular decks are different, but most of the concepts are the same: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7OwSHhRrtg