So the expansion has been out for a few days now, and decks have been flooding the ladder. Here’s a quick analysis of the winners and losers in this expansion:
Losers: No one
That’s right, in the days after the patch I’ve played around 40 games so far, and I’ve played against every single class. Not only that, but every game felt fairly even. Although of course there are still good and bad matchups, there were no points where I thought to myself that either player had no chance. There are definitely a few decks that seem a bit stronger than the others at the moment, but not so overbearingly powerful that they aren’t beatable. I have beaten every single class at least once so far, and lost to most of them as well. Let’s take a look at the decks that are currently on the ladder. Because all the new cards are out, I’ll list decks that likely aren’t the best, and I won’t go into detail on decklists, just highlighting some of the key parts of each.
This deck is really simple, play a bunch of C’Thun minions, control the board, and finish with a massive C’Thun play. Cards like Klaxxi Amber-Weaver provide a ton of value, while your typical Innervate and Wild Growths are joined by Mire Keeper in order to ramp into large C’Thun minions quickly. Dark Arakkoa in particular gives this deck quite a bit of strength, while also providing a large C’Thun buff as your eventual finisher. This deck can have quite a bit of trouble with aggro, but it’s a nice solid midrange deck
Deathrattle Midrange Hunter
To be fair, there are just as many Face Hunters, but that’s not new or exciting, so I’ll look at this instead. This deck comes out of Forlorn Stalker, which buffs all your other Deathrattle minions, and N’Zoth, who resummons any Deathrattle minions that have died. Combining the usual strong Deathrattle minions such as Sylvanas and Cairne with Hunter’s Savanah Highmane and Infested Wolf can create quite a board. They even have Princess Huhuran for added synergy, and Call of the Wild as another excellent late game value card.
Tempo Yogg-Saron Mage
Yogg-Saron has turned out to be pretty cool. The way I heard someone refer to it was an “Oh shit” button, which you use when you have no other chance to win. This is a fairly typical Tempo Mage list with Nexus Champion Sarad and Faceless Summoner replacing some of the cards that were removed. It doesn’t run any secrets, running both Flamewaker and Spellslinger instead. The deck plays the same as Tempo Mage, simply controlling the board and finishing with burst or a big Antonidas play, but has the added potential of winning previously unwinnable matchups through the use of Yogg-Saron.
Divine Shield Paladin
This is a variant of the old Flood Paladin, where you simply dump your hand on the board and hope it’s enough (or hope you get Divine Favour to refill). This variant makes use of Steward of Darkshire, who gives your one health minions divine shield. This synergizes extremely well with Paladin, especially with their new Selfless Hero, as well as Rallying Blade, providing a ton of value on top of the divine shield itself. Buffs like Seal of Champions and Blessing of Kings are also included, as well as Divine Favour, as mentioned. It plays very similar to typical Zoo lists.
Just like C’Thun Druid, the goal here is very simple: control the board and eventually make a big play with C’Thun. This deck has a difficult early game, as Priests tend to have, but their late game cannot be matched by any deck. Entomb means that this deck beats most other decks currently, if they make it to late game, because there are a lot of effects revolving around returning minions that have died, and Entomb doesn’t kill them, it removes them from play. Perfect as a counter to both Doomcallers bringing back C’Thun and N’Zoth bringing back… well anything.
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Miracle Yogg-Saron Rogue
This is another example of an old deck making use of Yogg-Saron as a get out of jail free card. Miracle Rogue is extremely strong in many matchups, but in the few that you struggle with, if you can make it to turn ten then Yogg-Saron always gives a chance at redemption. Unfortunately this deck is suffering quite a bit from the removal of Blade Flurry, so it has a very difficult time against aggressive decks. However, their mid to late game burst can’t be matched by anything other than C’Thun himself.
This is the name people have given to the Evolve Shaman, and it seems to have stuck. This deck is built around getting out a lot of cheap minions using token generating cards such as Tuskarr Totemic and Bilefin Tidehunter. Then they play Evolve, and suddenly their board has exploded in strength. Obviously it’s very random, but since the mana cost of each minion is increased, you’re quite likely to get something much better overall. Plus the combo with Onyxia is amazing! A ten mana card and six two mana cards! Just hope to not get Doomsayer. They also make use of Master of Evolution for their shennanigans, as well as playing solid cards such as Fire Elemental and Thing from Below for a solid rounded deck.
Well the oldest deck in Hearthstone lives on. This deck didn’t lose nearly as much as other decks, and it gained Forbidden Ritual and Darkshire Councilman, both extremely powerful cards. With how many slow decks are currently dominating the meta, this deck has had a hay-day mopping them up. As the lists get more refined this likely won’t be the case, but for now Zoo is extremely powerful, simply making use of their low cost minions dominating the board.
Face Warrior has been something people have always played with, but with the expansion slowing down a bit and a few key cards coming out for Warriors, this deck is better now than ever before. The idea of this deck is, like all other face decks, to kill your opponent with overwhelming direct damage. The key cards are mostly weapons, playing not only Fiery War Axe but Arcanite Reaper as well. The pirate theme comes in with Southsea Deckhand, as well as the new Bloodsail Cultist, as well as some decks running N’Zoth’s First Mate. Use your weapons and your small creatures to go face as fast as you can! I died to this deck on turn five earlier today, with him using a nine attack Frothing Berserker to seal the deal.