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Hearthstone Meta Discussion: Whispers of the Old Gods, Week Two

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Whispers of the Old Gods has been out for a little over a week now, and for many people Dr. Boom is nothing but a distant memory. In this article I take a short look at how the Standard meta is starting to shape up.


The first thing to note is that none of the nine classes have been eliminated from the meta. There are also several different archetypes for most classes, and several different builds within those archetypes. It is safe to say that the new format is currently a healthy one. As mentioned in our previous discussion, C'Thun is being played more than you would expect for its power level, especially at the lower ranks. Many people who don't have large collections are able to use the free legendary to build a competitive deck. Warrior and Druid in particular are still making use of this card to great effect.

With the meta changing so rapidly, I feel it would be frivolous to put the decks in order of strength. Instead, for the time being, I have chosen to list which classes are seeing the most play. With that in mind, Warrior is seemingly the most played class right now. It has at least five viable archetypes, with Patron, Pirates, Tempo, C'Thun, and Control variants. These often look similar in the early game, which can make playing against Warrior really difficult. If you can learn to identify these archetypes quickly, you will improve your win rate significantly.
 

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Shaman is not too far behind. The main archetypes being played are Face, Midrange, and Evolve. As with Warrior, early identification of your opponent's strategy is difficult, but crucial. Knowing if they're likely to have a Lightning Storm in their deck or not is obviously vital to survival in many cases.

Rogue is also seeing a lot of play, and as with the above, there are many different builds. Most variants currently are variations on Miracle Rogue, using Gadgetzan Auctioneer to draw many cards in a single turn. Malygos, Leeroy Jenkins, Journey Below, and Southsea Deckhand are all cards that you might see. N'Zoth, the Corruptor was used in Raptor Rogue for some time, but that deck is being played a lot less at the moment due to the strength of Miracle. The card is however used in Control Paladin and Control Priest. Those two classes are both are using N'Zoth to bring back several minions in one turn to establish a dominant board.

Warlock Zoo is still represented in the meta, although the rise of Rogue has thinned out the numbers quite heavily. Many Warlocks have now switched to control variants, often with Reno Jackson in the deck. There are also combo Handlock style decks beginning to emerge that do not play Reno, and instead double up on important cards.

Hunter and Mage are currently less well represented. Midrange Hunter is still finding its place in the meta as people try to find the best way to abuse Call of the Wild. Savjz has been playing with Lock and Load and Yogg-Saron, Hope's End. It is not clear if this deck will be playable in the long run, but those who have tried it have reported having a lot of fun with it. Mage is really limited to Freeze Mage at this time. People are coming to terms with the fact that Yogg-Saron is replaceable, and are working on more traditional Tempo Mage builds now. I expect these to become more prevalent in the coming days.

Sottle has worked tirelessly on producing guides for the Standard meta, and there is a selection of over 30 to choose from in our guides section. We have no intention of unchaining him from the desk any time soon.
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Nice article, as always. I hope to see more meta discussions in the future. Also, are you going to make an arena meta discussion, how the meta changed in arena?

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Pretty sure zoo is still one of the strongest decks in the game to be fair.

 

I guess it will exist in some form for as long as this game exists - it's cheap, gives quick matches (normally) and can often be used to power-level yourself through the lower ranks. There's always a reason to play zoo and it'll always be effective if you can kill them before they can even drop reno.

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Nice article, as always. I hope to see more meta discussions in the future. Also, are you going to make an arena meta discussion, how the meta changed in arena?

It's unlikely I will be doing that any time soon, I'll bear it in mind for the future though.

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Pretty sure zoo is still one of the strongest decks in the game to be fair.

I agree with this. I've only listed it near the bottom as it's currently being hated out of the meta, and people are trying other things with Warlock. It will be back. Zoo always comes back!

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Absolutely LOVE this post. I look forward to seeing more of these to see how the meta shapes up since it helps players like me to know what to expect on the ladder AND what to put in my crafting list. N'zoth was up there on the top for me to craft but Sad to hear N'zoth rogue fading. I really wanted to give it a try. Somehow Deathrattles never seemed like a Paladin thing to me, they even added had an anti death rattle paladin card in GvG. (even though resurrection is more of a Pally thing than rogue, it tied to Deathrattle seems off to me.)

 

 I did encounter like 5 zoo's in a row around rank 15 yesterday. Will definitely watch out for Renolock. Thought that archetype had subsided.

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