(Mercs) Recipes for a 'perfect' Orc party

I’ve mused a bit about Nature, but now it’s Orc time for me, I guess, especially having played them more actively recently. So, a few thoughts here, and, of course, your insightful suggestions are welcome!

Some general points:

  • First of all, of course, you could always add a specific merc (e.g. Grommash) against a particular boss or carry someone — I’m talking about a ‘general-purpose’ party of Orcs, let’s say six or five of them, if you’re running Cookie, for instance (which I used to do).
  • I’m basing my current Orc team on the ‘good old’ trio of Garrosh, Thrall (with the Ring of Strength, of course) and Saurfang — if it’s still strong and works well against many opponents, then why not? The workings of this combo are probably well-known at this juncture, there are many guides, I refer you to them. We’ll discuss some nuances below, though.
  • In order to have some flexibility, especially againt varoius Merc and Elite fights, I prefer to have a good role distribution, i.e. 2 of each colour.
    Of course, there are other approaches, too, e.g. running Samuro with others who can activate his effect — but that’s a different version.
  • We’ve already got two keys Protectors (and a Fighter), as described above, and as for Casters — I’m still running Gul’dan with his Amulet of Souls for some potential sustain, which the Orcs sometimes need badly, and Drek’Thar (I play him with the Glacial Blade) is a newer addition — I think he can be fun to play with, it’s something more fresh, and his 5-Speed ability synergises well with faster orcs such as Garrosh or Galvangar, unlike Thrall, for instance.
  • As for another fighter, I would recommend either Galvangar just for the first equipment or Rokara, whom I like a bit more, perhaps: while pirates are cool, as she would say it, and all, and she’s been known for participating in combo teams, Rokara’s probably the best with her fellow orcs (unlike Samuro, for instance, who is more of an individual unit and, moreover, requires an ‘activator’). I can’t really say whether either of these is ‘stronger’: Galvangar is more SMOrc, straightforward and offensive (he does synergise with Samuro, though, if you’re running the latter), Rokara has more flexible options, including burst damage without attacking or boosting a teammate.
    One more thing: Rokara is also easier to get and upgrade, and, ironically, you might want an Orc team to unlock Galvangar’s equipment in the first place (it’s not mandatory, perhaps, but convenient and effective to do it with Orcs) — so you might want to consider her at some point anyway.

Now, let’s discuss specific equimpent choices for particular mercenaries. Some of them are already listed above — you more or less play the mercs for these pieces of equipment, however, there are some options for others, which we’ll discuss here.

  • As for Garrosh, his Duelling Gauntlets would generally be used only for specific setups, otherwise you probably don’t want them. Tusks of Mannoroth used to be the ‘standard’ choice for him and what Garrosh was famous for, I think — however, the latest rework of Mak’Gora has made Garrosh tankier, and sometimes all those extra HP can be redundant. On the other hand, the Orcish Banner has been buffed and can potentially help someone who’s low, so it’s a viable — and arguably better in some situations — alternative. I’d still say that the Tusks of Mannoroth are a ‘safer’ choice and have a higher potential to enable Garrosh to do what he does.
  • The choice for Varok Saurfang is tricky, I’d say. I’ve played with both the Serrated Shield and Saronite Stompers… While the latter eventually give more stats to the whole team, I still like the shield, which gives Varok more durability (beware, though, that it often makes Thrall a target instead — he can often be the ‘weakest link’) and makes his hits more impactful immediately. Another thing to consider: if you use Garrosh, Thrall and Saurfang against opponents who are mostly green, but some of them red, they could often target Saurfang — and that shield helps a bit. After all, Varok who survives gives more stats than one who does not.
    Overall, though, this choice can be situational sometimes.
  • As for Rokara, there are really no bad choices here — all of them are good, I’d say. The Frostwolf Talisman? Yeah, if you open with Rokara (something like Rokara, Garrosh and Saurfang, for instance), you’ve got to attack first anyway, so it’s obviously beneficial. On subsequent turns, however, other abilities can be more useful… While Orc Onslaught is not dependent on any items, sometimes Rokara needs to give a quick boost to someone (e.g. Garrosh with his Battle Shout), and a bit more stats from that Helm of Inspiration can’t be bad. On the other hand, if you can’t decide, but want to play it safely, Ancestral Armour is never bad either, especially if you’ve chosen the Serrated Shield for Varok — for similar reasons (and against bosses like High Justice Grimstone on Heroic, you do want those extra HP desperately).
  • Overall, I’d say there are two alternative strategies: you can either focus on individual strong Orc heroes, such as Garrosh and Saurfang (or even Rokara), or more on team support — opting for the Tusks of Mannoroth, Serrated Shield and Frostwolf Talisman or Ancestral Amrour for the former and the Orcish Banner, Saronite Stompers and the Helm of Inspiration for the latter. Of course, planning for a particular boss could impact your choices, too.

Last but not the least:

My current Orc party
### Zug zug
# Garrosh Hellscream
# 	 - Tusks of Mannoroth 4
# Thrall
# 	 - Ring of Strength 4
# Varok Saurfang
# 	 - Serrated Shield 4
# Rokara
# 	 - Ancestral Armor 4
# Drek'Thar
# 	 - Glacial Blade 4
# Gul'dan
# 	 - Amulet of Souls 4
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone

My build is always:

Grommash or Samuro

What about equipment?