Kobolds and Catacombs has been out for a few days now. That’s not enough for a defined meta, but it is enough to start identifying some of the particularly strong decks that have emerged from the latest Hearthstone expansion. The expansion is new, so I HSReplays, a site that offers live stats about popular decks, to figure out which Kobolds and Catacombs decks are in a good place right now.
Highlander Dragon Priest
Highlander Priest has been a very solid deck ever since Death Knights were released, and that isn’t going to change. Shadowreaper Anduin has the strongest Death Knight ability, and chaining Raza the Unchained into Shadowreaper Anduin is basically game over. The fact that it has the potential to clear a large board on entry makes it even better.
The Highlander Dragon Priest decklist that’s currently dominating doesn’t even use very many cards from the new set, but it’s still able to deal with most of the Kobolds and Catacombs decks that we’ve seen so far. The only additions are Gilded Gargoyle, Duskbreaker, and Psychic Scream. Because it runs Duskbreaker, this is a Dragon version of Highlander Priest. The strength of Duskbreaker, Drakonid Operative, Primordial Drake, and Twilight Drake makes the decision to opt for Dragons a no-brainer.
The addition of Psychic Scream surprises me a bit, but you have to remember that Shadowreaper Anduin is your win condition. You’re not planning to play to fatigue, so it doesn’t matter that your opponent’s deck gets bigger. Psychic Scream is essentially just a board clear. There are situations where it could be worse than a board clear, but there are also many times where it’s better, especially since the card doesn’t activate Deathrattles.
All and all, Highlander Dragon Priest is a very solid deck, and I don’t expect it to go down too far in the ranks once the expansion’s proverbial dust settles.
The new cards in Kobolds and Catacombs only made the deck stronger, and it was already a force to be reckoned with before the new set came out. The biggest downsides of this deck? It takes a bit of practice to pilot well, and it’s not cheap — the total dust cost is 12,260.
In my Kobolds and Catacombs meta predictions article, I argued that Rogue would be at the top of the pile, and here it is. However, I also predicted that every single Rogue deck would be using Sonya Shadowdancer, but this particular Rogue deck does not. We’ll see if Sonya starts to pick up in popularity as time goes on.
Either way, Tempo Rogue was already dominating the meta for the past couple months. This expansion added two cards that have given it a massive boost in power level, so it’s not surprising that Tempo Rogue is still running the show.
Elven Minstrel is a cheap way to maintain tempo and refill your hand. This deck has always struggled at maintaining hand size, and having a card that fills this gap while being attached to a minion is a pretty big deal. Elven Minstrel is a good target for Shadowstep as well, giving you the potential to have a seven mana draw four.
Corridor Creeper is another potent addition to Tempo Rogue’s arsenal. Because the deck plays so many small minions so quickly, they often die incredibly fast as well, which means the cost of Corridor Creeper drops rapidly.
As we saw from Thing from Below in the Shaman era, zero mana 5/5s aren’t messing around. Corridor Creeper isn’t quite as good as Thing from Below, due to the fact that it must be in your hand to get the reduction, but it’s a good finisher in a deck that already has a powerful early game. I’m still not sure if Tempo Rogue has longevity in the Kobolds and Catacombs meta, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.
The success of Zoolock decks in Kobolds and Catacombs is no surprise. Just like Tempo Rogue, we’re taking an already strong decklist and adding a couple new cards from the new set. This is a fast and efficient Hearthstone deck, and only uses two new cards: Kobold Librarian and Corridor Creeper. The rest of the deck is exactly the same as it was before the expansion. (You can view the full decklist here.)
You May Like
Princelock/Zoolock runs Prince Keleseth, as well as the Pirate package. There are a few variants out there, but they all generally look the same, and most of them don’t use many new cards. Corridor Creeper works well in almost every aggro deck, and is a great addition to Zoolock. Kobold Librarian is insane, and getting a free lifetap makes Warlock even scarier. The surprising part of this deck is the inclusion of Bloodreaver Gul’Dan—I thought that it would be cut in order to make the deck faster, but it’s a nice finisher and gives Zoolock a strong midgame presence as well.
It’s clear that solid existing decks can be buffed when they get only a few new cards, and this effect is magnified when all the other decks are still unrefined. However, this last deck showcases a handful of the new cards. There are a bunch of different variants of Aggro Paladin, but I’m going to focus on the pure Aggro variant, which uses five of the new cards. That means nine of the thirty cards in this deck are from the new expansion! Hallelujah!
The Aggro shell remains the same here, and the deck makes use of small bodies, weapons, and Divine Favor to reload. This particular variant of Aggro Paladin relies on weapons, but I won’t be surprised if future variations take one or two of them out—too many weapons can cause problems, since you only attack once per turn.
This deck uses Acherus Veteran, which is basically the new Abusive Sergeant. Acherus Veteran is a one mana 2/1, the same as Abusive Sergeant before it got nerfed, and gives a minon +1 attack instead of two.
Unidentified Maul is a new weapon that gives one of four different effects while it’s in your hand. All four of these effects are extremely good in board flooding decks, and Unidentified Maul will either buff your minions or creates new ones. Taunt is the only effect that’s slightly less useful in a full aggro deck.
Call to Arms is a nice pickup for Paladin. The downside of Recruit is that the minions you summon don’t use their Battlecries, but most of the cards in this deck are strong because of their stat lines and effects, not because of their Battlecries. Call to Arms lets you play a bunch of minions quickly, and refills your board. It also thins your deck out a bit, which is useful—once you’re at turn four, you’re going to want some bigger cards.
Val’anyr is a new weapon that’s used in this Aggro Paladin deck. This one looks really cool, but it might be cut down the road. It gives a big buff to a minion, and then continues to come back into play. It’s a great value card, but this deck isn’t about value, it’s about aggression. It’s unsurprising that Corridor Creeper makes an appearance in this deck.
Did we miss one of your favorite new decks? Share it with us on Twitter, and if it’s good enough, we might feature it in our next article!