The Best Decks For The Worst Classes

Sign in to follow this  

5 posts in this topic


Warrior, Shaman, and Rogue have been struggling to find success lately, but that shouldn't stop you from playing them on the ladder! In this article, I break down the best decks for taking on the current meta from the three worst classes in the game.

It's been a couple of weeks since Hearthstone was hit by a major balance patch, plenty of time for the meta to adjust and adapt to the changes. Though a few of the top dogs from the pre-patch meta continue to be popular choices on the ladder (such as Cube Warlock and Aggro Paladin), and a couple of previously overlooked decks are now beginning to perform better than expected (Secret Mage and Spell Hunter), the new-look meta has proven itself to be much friendlier towards experimental decks than the previous one was. Both Patches the Pirate and Raza the Chained were oppressive cards to a variety of compelling and interesting strategies, which means their departure from standard should open the door up for a number of slower and grindier decks to flourish. For the remainder of the K&C metagame, this should be great news for fans of decks on the "control" end of the aggro-control spectrum.

It goes without saying that as the speed of a meta shifts, each of Hearthstone's nine classes stand to gain or lose major percentage points. For the time being, the classes in need of the biggest boosts to their win percentage are Rogue, Shaman, and Warrior. 


Class winrates in Standard, courtesy of

Not only do these three classes boast the lowest winrates across all levels of play, they also lay claim to three of the four lowest playrates.


Class playrates courtesy of

If you're a fan of one of these three classes, then it's time to get back to the drawing board! In theory, a meta which is trending slower and grindier should favor decks that have powerful late-game plans or game-ending combos. If you can't go underneath the control decks with a speedy aggro deck of your own, the best way to beat slow and greedy decks is to be even slower and greedier than they are (mill strategies are a perfect example of this), or to find a way to combo-kill them in a single turn before they can end the game with their own win condition (Quest Rogue immediately comes to mind).

However, the reality of the current meta is very different from "slow and grindy". Four of the top five most played decks are either aggro or aggro/midrange decks (Secret Mage, Aggro Paladin, Spiteful Priest, and Murloc Paladin) according to The more things change, the more things stay the same, eh? With that in mind, let's take a look at some new and unique decks from each the game's three weakest classes to see how we can turn things around for them.


No class was hit harder by the nerfs than Rogue. Arguably the best deck in the game pre-patch, Tempo Rogue has fallen to a sub-par 47% winrate according to Though the nerfs to Patches the PirateBonemare, and Corridor Creeper all hit the deck hard, Rogue is also being held back by the classes natural weakness against the go-wide aggro strategies which are currently popular on the ladder. With only Fan of Knives and Vanish (and sometimes Blade Flurry) as ways to deal with wide boards, Rogue often has a difficult time catching up when far behind on board. Cards like Elven Minstrel and Vilespine Slayer do a great job of getting Rogue ahead, but Valeera doesn't have nearly as many ways to interact with a decent Call to Arms pull as some of the other classes in the game.

Though you could try to tech your favorite Rogue out with every defensive Neutral minion you can find, this would have an equal-but-opposite negative effect on your control matchups. You can only sacrifice so many slots in your deck to aggro before you turn your good matchups into mediocre ones. It seems that the best bet for Rogue is to accept that you'll lose to the best draws from the best aggro decks, but that you might be able to beat some of their slower draws with a powerful mid/late game of your own.

Gallon's Kingsbane Rogue

The first solid option for Rogue is a low-to-the-ground build of Kingsbane Rogue by Gallon, who peaked at rank 9 Legend with the deck two days ago:


This build of the deck skimps on cards like Tar Creeper and Fan of Knives to go all-in on Kingsbane. It notably runs two Doomerangs and a pair of Counterfeit Coins to power out weapon-buffing minions such as Naga Corsair and Captain Greenskin. The thing I love most about this list is that it knows exactly what it's trying to do (build a massive Kingsbane as quickly as possible) and it doesn't waste precious deck space pretending to be something it's not. It probably needs to draw really well to beat Aggro Paladin or Secret Mage, but that would likely still be the case even if the deck traded its Counterfeit Coins for Tar Creepers.

Ryvius' Quest Rogue

The nerf to The Caverns Below all but killed the Quest Rogue archetype through Knights of the Frozen Throne, but Kobolds & Catacombs has breathed some new life into the archetype by providing it with plenty of shiny new toys. Both Zola the Gorgon and Sonya Shadowdancer give the deck more ways to copy minions, while Wax Elemental provided the deck with a cheap tool to buy an extra turn or two of time both before and after Crystal Core comes down.


Ryvius, a known Quest Rogue aficionado, was able to pilot this list as high as rank 8 Legend recently. He noted the deck is good as long you "avoid secret mage and aggro paladin", which will likely ring true for most successful Rogue decks right now.


Whereas Rogue was in a great spot before the recent nerfs, Shaman has been in a rut since the release of K&C. Evolve strategies were happy to pick up Unstable Evolution from the latest set, but nerfs to Patches the PirateBonemare, and Corridor Creeper dealt a major blow to the power level of Token/Evolve strategies.

Fortunately for Shaman fans, the class is equipped with a very healthy number of tools for taking on an aggro-meta. DevolveMaelstrom PortalJade ClawsJade LightningLightning Storm, and Volcano all do an excellent job of dealing with pesky aggressive minions, which gives Shaman a fighting chance against cards like Call to Arms. If you really want to beat aggro as Shaman, you can probably find a way to do it without having to get very creative. The trick is finding a way to beat aggro with enough slots remaining in your deck to still beat control.

Purple's Mill Shaman

Mill has classically been known as control-beater, so it stands to reason that any mill deck which can weather the storm against the current suite of aggro decks should be a solid choice for the current meta. With that in mind, take a look at this beautiful monstrosity of a deck:


Purple was able to hold top 100 Legend with this list for 7 hours on streamMurmuring Elemental and Grumble, Worldshaker are all-stars in this list, doubling the effectiveness of Coldlight Oracle for the mill plan, healing cards such as Jinyu Waterspeaker to stabilize against aggro, and Jade cards such as Jade Chieftain to play to the board. Healing Rain and Jinyu Waterspeaker excel as both anti-aggro and anti-fatigue tools, bolstering the deck's early and late game at the same time. With so many cards in the deck performing multiple functions, its no surprise that Purple was able to find room in the deck for a rarely-played cards like Rummaging Kobold and The Runespear.

Frescha's Mill Shaman

With so many Warlocks running around these days, Hex is probably as strong as it has ever been since its nerf last September. Until Rin, the First Disciple and Carnivorous Cube become less prevalent on the ladder, I suspect that the best Shaman lists will be running a pair of Hexes.

The fact that Murmuring ElementalJade Spirit, and Grumble, Worldshaker are all Elementals could also motivate a mill-focused strategy to build a bit more around the Elemental sub-theme, which is exactly what Frescha did with this list:


I love the additions of Hex and Kalimos, Primal Lord as tools for combating Warlock, and have always been a huge fan of Hot Spring Guardian in Elemental decks. Though it doesn't heal for quite as much as Healing Rain will in the late game, it serves as an excellent road block for aggro decks and can still have its Battlecry doubled by Murmuring Elemental or Grumble, Worldshaker. The Skulking Geist serves a tool for beating both Jade Druid and Combo Priest, but can probably be swapped out for a Healing RainRummaging Kobold, or another tech card if neither of these decks are popular on the ladder at your rank.

Overall, I'd expect that the "best Shaman mill deck" would be somewhere between Purple's and Frescha's lists. There's still plenty of room for growth and innovation within the archetype, and I look forward to much of that myself in the coming weeks.


Warrior has been one of the weakest classes in the game since the nerf to Fiery War Axe, and not much has happened in recent weeks to change that. Though Recruit decks showed some brief promise in the early-goings of the K&C meta, the archetype has failed to impress in the current ladder environment while taking up most of the new card slots for Warrior from K&C. I don't expect Recruit decks to suddenly become playable due to the popularity of aggro, but that doesn't mean that Warrior fans should give up hope. The three new "armor-matters" cards, Drywhisker ArmorerReckless Flurry, and Geosculptor Yip, have largely been overlooked due to Warrior's abysmal playrates, and they're all excellent tools for fighting aggro.

It shouldn't be that hard for Warriors to beat aggro decks if they dedicate enough slots in their deck to do so. WhirlwindSleep with the FishesBrawl, and Blood Razor are excellent against wide boards out of Paladin decks, while Execute and Shield Slam can deal with problematically large minions out of Spiteful Summoner decks. Against the likes of Tempo/Secret Mage, Drywhisker Armorer and Bring It On! are capable of buying additional turns of time. The real question, once again, is how do we plan to beat control after we have teched out our deck to beat aggro?

Cocasasa's Mill Warrior

If Mill Shaman is somewhat viable right now, shouldn't a mill deck with two Dead Man's Hand in it be viable as well?

Cocosasa was able to reach top 100 Legend with this extremely low to the ground build of Mill Warrior. The deck features only one card that costs more than 5 mana, allowing it to consistently play to the board against go-wide aggro decks in the early game.


Cocosasa plays nearly every anti-aggro card I mentioned above, trimming on quite a few late-game cards to do so. Coldlight Oracle and Dead Man's Hand are the only cards in the deck that actually win you the game, which makes this deck about as lean as they come.

This particular build of Mill Warrior has less margin for error when playing against control decks than other builds I've seen in the past. If you're brand new to mill strategies in general, you might want to trim a Battle Rage for something which can provide you with a back-up plan, such as Geosculptor YipGrommash Hellscream, or Rotface.

Fibonacci's Combo Warrior

Warrior has frequently been able to cobble together at least one wacky, janky, totally off-meta combo deck per expansion. Fibonacci has brewed up the latest (and hopefully greatest) Warrior deck with an OTK in it, though it would be a bit disingenuous to call this list a "pure" combo deck.


As Fibonacci noted in this tweet, this is really an anti-aggro deck which happens to have an OTK in it. As the deck contains just 4 minions, you'll need to rely heavily on your spells to keep the board clear until Woecleaver can come down and pull out Grommash Hellscream for potential OTKs. The combo kill probably won't be as relevant against aggro decks, but it's a necessary evil for beating other control decks. I like this deck for a lot of the same reasons I like the Mill deck; it doesn't need to dedicate that many slots towards actually winning the game, giving it he space to pack a diverse array of answers for aggro decks.


There is still plenty of time left in the Kobolds & Catacombs meta for the game's weakest classes to turn things around. As the meta is currently leaning quite aggressively, any deck which is built to prey on aggro should be able to find at least some modicum of success on the ladder. Anti-aggro decks which can also afford to pack a lean and reliable late-game win condition, such as mill decks or combo decks, might also be able to find success against control decks with slower win conditions like Rin, the First Disciple. Though I don't expect all of the above decks to become mainstays of the meta, I'd expect them all to perform admirably on the ladder in the right hands.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Legend ladder tends to have a meta of its own, often featuring slower, specifically teched and/or plainly weirdly built decks to counter a specific threat than the lower ranks. Don't be too surprised if you get (graphical description of sexual violence censored) at lower ranks with any of those.

Edited by Keizoku

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Keizoku said:

Legend ladder tends to have a meta of its own, often featuring slower, specifically teched and/or plainly weirdly built decks to counter a specific threat than the lower ranks. Don't be too surprised if you get (graphical description of sexual violence censored) at lower ranks with any of those.

so true, i always feel like the ladder can be separated in 4 parts

Rank 25-15 (everything goes, lots of netdecks with substitutes, but also sometimes creative approaches)

Rank 15-5 (netdecks with some substitutes)

Rank 5-1 (mostly "Tier 1" netdecks, "best [ladder] decks" grinding to legend with some Tech cards)

Legend (netdecks with tech cards and really whacky stuff) but even Legend has a very wide spectrum....

so for an example take the Hungry Crab. It is a good tech card but at Rank like 25-10, the deck variety is so big it is sometimes not even worth teching in cards...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Short comment: Mill decks are boring and disgusting so sad 3 classes are pushed to that point.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be interested to see a similar graph for the few days after ever expansion. I'd bet money that the spike in hunter is there for every expansion. People looking to take advantage of the fresh meta with a very basic aggro hunter to get easy ranks.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Aleco

      This week's tavern brawl is giving out three K&C packs in celebration of Starcraft's 20th anniversary.
      Need an excuse to log in to Hearthstone? This week's tavern brawl will be giving out 3 packs of Kobolds & Catacombs for each account's first win (three times the normal rate) in celebration of Starcraft's 20th anniversary. Blizzard announced a few weeks ago that they would be giving out rewards for their SC20 event for each of their Battle.Net titles, and a couple of extra packs is a welcome substitute for Starcraft-themed skins which would have been quite difficult to pull off in Hearthstone.
      When the Tavern Brawl releases tomorrow, players will be able to choose from any of the nine classes and will begin the game with 10 class cards in their deck to match. After the game starts, each player can then select from one of three options, Tech, Swarm, and Mind, to will fill their deck out with 20 matching portal cards. These portal cards will add minions and spells to your hand that are themed around the classic Starcraft races, and will have their Mana cost reduced by three. Though nothing has been announced about what these Starcraft-themed cards will be, I for one think it is safe to assume that Terran (Tech) will be blatantly overpowered and in need of an immediate nerf. En Taro Tassadar!
    • By Aleco

      Hunterace finds three of the most important cards in his deck off a Shadow Visions. Which one should he take?
      It's game 3 of the quarterfinals at HCT Toronto, and Hunterace finds himself up two games to nothing against Silentstorm. On Combo Dragon Priest, Hunterace casts an early Shadow Visions and finds three of the most important cards in his deck - Inner Fire, Power Word: Shield, and Divine Spirit. Which one should he take?
      Shadow Visions is one of my favorite cards in the game. Having puzzled over many shadowy decisions myself, I was hoping that I might unlock some secret in this episode as to which card you should take off it in a generic game of Hearthstone. The fallacy with that logic is that there are no generic games. Every matchup demands a different strategy, and the strategy that Hunterace choose to employ against Silentstorm's Cubelock is as fascinating as it was effective. I think he took the best card off Shadow Visions for the strategy he was going for, but that there is no way to definitively state that his choice was the "correct" one. Other strategies might have worked in this matchup as well, and with a slightly different hand or board it may have been correct to go for one those.
      What card would you guys have taken in this spot? Personally, I would have leaned towards taking the Divine Spirit with the hope of setting up an OTK in the turn 8-10 range.
    • By Aleco

      These four mistakes come up way too often, and they can be easily avoided.
      These four mistakes Hearthstone mistakes come up all time on the ladder, but they can be easily avoided by adopting new some heuristics.
      Decision trees in Hearthstone grow very tall. Most of these decision trees grow far too tall for us to ever traverse them completely before our turn timer expires, especially if we find ourselves in a situation we've never been in before. For me, that happens just about every game. Practice can help reduce the number of situations we've never been in before, but at some point we'll need to adopt a few heuristics along the way to help us make decisions in a timely manner.
      In this guide, I'll walk through a number of very common mistakes I see on the competitive ladder, which to me are obvious examples of poor heuristics at work. My hope is that we can learn some newer, smarter heuristics by asking ourselves why these misplays are so common, and that we can use these new heuristics to avoid similar mistakes in the future. With that said, please keep in mind that it is sometimes correct to make these mistakes, because there are exceptions to every rule in Hearthstone. The goal of this article is to outline examples of bad Hearthstone heuristics so we can replace them with better ones, not to claim that the so-called mistakes I outline below are the wrong thing to do 100% of the time.
      With that out of the way, let's begin!
      Mistake #1 - Missing Hero Powers

      Example Situation
      It's my Aggro Secret Mage opponent's turn 8. I have control of the board and the only hope for my opponent is to burn me out. They cast a Firelands Portal to my face, play The Coin, and Frostbolt my face. On their turn nine they play an Arcanologist, the secret from it, and ping my face with Hero Power, stranding 2 Mana and 1 damage forever.
      Why It's A Misplay
      The reason to Fireblast over Frostbolt on turn 8 is obvious - you're never going to get that Fireblast back. The Frostbolt will always be there for you on a future turn (with certain exceptions, such as Counterspell), but a Hero Power unused is a Hero Power lost. If you're reasonably sure that the Mana will be there for Frostbolt on a future turn, then playing Frostbolt instead of using your Hero Power is permanently stranding one point damage in a game where every point counts.
      This mistake can also come up whenever a player passes on their Hero Power for a 2 or 3 Mana spell which doesn't effect the board, such as a Secret or card draw spell, so long as they would have had the Mana to cast that spell next turn anyways. The Frostbolt over Fireblast play just happens to be the most common of these mistakes, as Aggro Mage is a relatively popular deck in the current ladder environment.
      Why do players make this mistake?
      My best guess is that it comes down to a misunderstanding of the Hero Power as resource. Just like Mana, cards, and your life total, your Hero Power is a finite resource. The number of times your Hero Power can be used in a given game (excepting cards like Auctionmaster Beardo) is equal to the number of turns you get in that game (minus turn one, I suppose). Each turn your Hero Power goes unused is a tick of that resource you'll never get back.
      This view of the Hero Power as a finite resource will do you about as much good as a screen door on a submarine if you're getting beaten down by an aggro deck, where the only thing that matters is playing for board. However, there are a number of decks and matchups where this heuristic is a useful one. A Fatigue Warrior stalling things out in the late game or a top-decking Face Hunter in need of those last few points of damage could be in a position where they need to use their Hero Power every single turn in order to win. Though you probably won't miss out on more than one or two Hero Powers per game due to mistakes like the one I outlined above, those one or two Hero Powers can often prove to be the difference between victory and defeat.
      Mistake #2 - Playing 1 Drops To Die

      Example Situation
      I'm on Cubelock and I'm going first. I play Kobold Librarian on turn one and pass. My Warlock opponent plays Mistress of Mixtures and passes back.
      Why It's A Misplay
      Assuming both me and my opponent will Life Tap on turn 2 (which we did), I will end up one card and 4 life ahead of my opponent on this exchange. The Deathrattle trigger on the Mistress of Mixtures will heal me for 4 (2 damage from the Kobold Librarian and the 2 damage from Life Tap) while my opponent is still at 30 life. Meanwhile, the Kobold Librarian drew me a card with its Battlecry. Now we start a new game of Hearthstone on turn 3 where I'm at 30 life, my opponent is at 28, and we have an even number of cards in our hands despite the fact that I went first. Advantage? Me!
      Playing the Mistress into the Librarian on a future turn won't yield us better results. For example, if you play the Mistress on turn three you would just end up healing back the 4 points of damage you took from the Librarian's 2 extra attacks, and you'd still be down that card. Playing it later than that would result in an even greater net loss of damage. The move here is to pass the turn.
      Another misplay cut from the same cloth as this one would be to play a Grimscale Chum into a Northshire Cleric, a Mage/Rogue/Druid Hero Power, or a Vilefin Inquisitor. In all of these scenarios, what you are signing up for is a situation where an on-board play from your opponent will put you in an unfavorable position. Wouldn't it be better to hold on to the Grimscale Chum until it can be played alongside a Gentle Megasaur, Coldlight Seer, or Rockpool Hunter? It will probably generate more damage over the course of the game if played in combination with those cards.
      To be fair, there are a number of games where playing Mistress of Mixtures into Kobold Librarian is the correct move. For example, you might be playing against a Zoolock and be in the unfortunate position of having nothing in your opening hand which can interact with the board until turn 5. In the Cubelock vs. Zoolock matchup, card advantage is far less important than extra damage from the Librarian. We should be able to find a way to win the game eventually so long as we can survive to the part of the game where we play a million Voidlords, so we should make plays that preserve our life total as much as possible. On the ladder you often won't know if your opponent is on Zoolock or Control Warlock if all they've done is play a Kobold Librarian, but the numbers will tell you that its safer to assume Cube or Control than Zoo.
      Why do players make this mistake?
      Your role in the matchup is key to understanding whether or not you should play to the board (and sometimes into less-than-favorable trades), or to hold onto your minions and play for card advantage. In the Cubelock vs. Cubelock matchup, the game is way more likely to come down to card advantage than chip damage. The Mistress of Mixtures might not seem like an important resource, but it has value as a 2 health minion for Defile clears and is an extra card in hand to cheapen the cost of Mountain Giant. This is to say nothing of how rewarded you get for holding on to that Mistress if you topdeck a Mortal Coil for the Librarian in the next few turns. That said, I don't think the reason I see this misplay so often is because my opponent's don't understand their roles in matchups. I think they happen because players go on auto pilot use bad early game heuristics. Having made this mistake on numerous occasions, I know from firsthand experience how easy it is to fall into the trap of thinking "it's good to play to the board early" or "I should be using all of my Mana", and plop down a 1 drop on turn one without hesitation.
      A better way to think about the early game would be to weigh every option available to you. In early game situations such as this one, we are dealing with a very limited number of alternative decisions to playing that Mistress of Mixtures. If we took the time to ask ourselves "what alternatives do I have to playing this minion right now, and are any of them better?",  I think we'd find that the only alternative we have is to not play the Mistress of Mixtures, and that it is in fact the smarter play. 
      Mistake #3 - Not Respecting Combos

      Example Situation
      I'm playing Combo Dragon Priest, and my empty-handed Dude Paladin opponent draws a Vinecleaver for turn. He has 2 Silver Hand Recruits and a Righteous Protector on board right now, and he can make 3 more Silver Hand Recruits this turn between the Vinecleaver attack and his Hero Power. He has lethal set up next turn if he can draw something like Sunkeeper Tarim, but I have a 4/6 Twilight Drake in play. He attacks my face with everything (the Vinecleaver, Righteous Protector, and 2 Silver Hand Recruits), puts me down to 10, and passes the turn. I proceed to draw a Potion of Madness, play it on the Righteous Protector, heal the Twilight Drake up to 8 health, and cast double Divine Spirit into Inner Fire for the 32 damage OTK.
      Why It's A Misplay
      If I was the player in the Murloc Paladin's seat, that Potion of Madness topdeck would make think about throwing my laptop out the window. In reality, this was a situation where my opponent was able to play around all but the most ridiculous of combos by attacking the Twilight Drake instead of my face. My 6 health minion was able to become a 32/32 with my Hero Power, two Divine Spirits, and in Inner Fire, but it would have taken me a lot more effort than that to pull off an OTK if my Drake was at 2 health after a Vinecleaver attack. Assuming my opponent was at 30 life, I would have needed to find 4 more points of health for my Twilight Drake through some combination of Power Word: Shields and Kabal Talonpriests to be able to OTK with a 2 health minion. 
      I'll let you in on a little secret, Combo Priests always have the combo. Well, not always. But in a number of situations (especially when you're ahead) its a good idea to play as though your opponent's hand and draws are the perfect combination of cards to kill you. If you have a significant lead on board, you're ahead in life, and the only way for your opponent to kill you is with their combo, see if there isn't a way to take away the combo from them if it doesn't change your clock significantly. Many aggro players do a good job of combining their cards in a way which maximizes damage output, but they don't know when to pivot their role in the matchup and become the "control" player, or how to play things safe with a lead.
      In the situation I described above, the opportunity cost for my opponent to attack my Twilight Drake was practically nothing. If my opponent attacks my Drake down to 2 health and topdecks a Sunkeeper Tarim, a Level Up, or a Lightfused Stegodon into +3 attack, I'm just as dead from 10 life as I am from 14. The attack to the face doesn't set up any kills with Dire Wolf Alpha or Dark Conviction, so there's practically no downside to attacking my Twilight Drake with Vinecleaver to substantially limit the number of  OTKs I have. There's also an argument for sending a couple of minion attacks at the Twilight Drake to finish it off, as this line would do a much better job of playing around Duskbreaker.
      Why do players make this mistake?
      Combo Priest OTKs have both won and lost me many, many ladder games. From my experience on the Combo Priest side of the table, I often find myself thinking: "Please don't attack my minion, I have the kill next turn if that minion keeps all of his health!". When I play against Combo Priests, my inner monologue goes a little more like this: "If he has the combo I should clear board and not attack face. Does he have the combo? Nah, I'll attack face. He had it?! What a luck-sack!". Sound familiar to you?
      One of the most useful heuristics for navigating combo decks from both sides of the table is the concept of playing to outs. I discuss this concept at length in my Legend in the Making series, but I'll do my best to summarize it here.
      In the example game described above, the cards my opponent failed to account for in their decision-making process were the combo pieces I need to kill him (Potion of Madness, 2 Divine Spirit, and an Inner Fire) and the cards he needed to kill me (Sunkeeper Tarim, Level Up, and Lightfused Stegodon). The cards I can kill my opponent with are my outs, and the cards my opponent can kill me with are my opponent's outs.
      When it comes down to scenarios where the game is likely to end in the next few turns, try to identify which cards can win the game for you outright if drawn off the top of your deck (your outs), and which cards  would win the game for your opponent between their hand and draws (your opponent's outs). Try to construct a sequence of events out of your opponent which leads to you losing the game, then see what can be done to prevent that happening. Next, try to construct a winning sequence for yourself and see what can be done to maximize the chances it occurs (this is generally much easier and less time consuming than seeing things from your opponent's perspective).
      In this particular example, there were a couple of plays my opponent could have made which would have both prevented lethal and set up lethal of their own. These plays are ideal, but there won't always be a perfect intersection between winning and not losing. When considering outs for both you and your opponent, you'll often need to make a judgement call as to whether you should attempt to maximize your own chances of setting up lethal, minimize your opponent's chances of setting up lethal, or go for something in the middle of both to play around a specific card.
      Mistake #4 - Setting Up Board Clears

      The Situation
      It's turn 4 and I'm on Murloc Paladin against an unknown Warlock. I have a Vilefin Inquisitor and a Hydrologist in play, both with full health, and my hand is looking juicy. I have a Grimscale Chum, a Murloc Warleader, and a Gentle Megasaur. I play Chum into Warleader to set up the huge Megasaur turn, attack everything to face, and pass.
      Why It's A Misplay
      Playing the Grimscale Chum gave my opponent the 1 Health minion they needed to set up the full clear with Defile. They would have needed Hellfire to clear my board if I hadn't played the Chum, which means that giving them 1 Health minion effectively doubled their chances of being able to clear my board.
      Defile is one of the trickiest cards to use in Hearthstone - we shouldn't make it any easier on our opponents than it needs to be. Sure, sometimes they won't have the Defile or the Hellfire and you'll just win with Gentle Megasaur on turn 4, but in this particular scenario, why not hedge your bets and wait on the Chum? They'll still get blown out by Megasaur next turn if they don't have a Hellfire, and if you play into Defile you give your opponent a clean 4 for 1.
      Why do players make this mistake?
      I tend to make mistakes like this one when I get tunnel-visioned on making value plays and lose sight of the big picture. It just doesn't "feel" right to play our Murloc Warleader before our Grimscale Chum, it leaves value on the table. However, that doesn't mean it's the wrong move. We're very likely to win this game if we don't get our board cleared, and the reward of the Grimscale Chum's Battlecry is far outweighed by the risk of playing it.
      I think most players have a natural bias towards big, flashy plays that set up kills as quickly as possible if everything goes right, but that they don't slow down to think about what happens if things go wrong. A heuristic which can help remind us to slow down and consider our options in these scenarios might sound something like this:
      The strongest play is not always the best one.
      The "best" play for any given situation probably starts and ends by considering the unknown variables - the cards left in your deck, the cards your opponent is likely to play, etc. It's tempting to see the explosive potential in a play that's right in front of you and just go for it, to say "let's see what happens" and accept the consequences if things don't work out. I'd by lying if I said I never played straight into board wipes just to see if I could set up a turn 4 kill, but in a few of this situations it was actually the right move!
      There are a number of times where, as an aggro player, the correct move is to just go for it and accept the consequences if your opponent has the board wipe. However, there's a big difference between those situations and the one I outlined above. You won't always be presented with a choice between "going for the win" and "GOING FOR THE WIN!". Whenever you have to opportunity to assemble a board that is capable of winning the game, what do you really stand to gain by putting even more minions on it? Do you get to win more? Last I checked, "big wins" didn't count for extra stars on the ladder.
      The Hero Power is a finite resource. Use it or lose it forever. Its almost always better to Hero Power than it is to play a 2 or 3 Mana spell if you could just play that spell next turn (or the turn after). The first few turns of the game are really important - don't auto pilot them and throw away cards for free. There are very few options available to you in the early game, so take your time to carefully consider all of them. Playing your minions is not always the best option available to you. When you have a lead as an aggressive deck, it's often a better idea to protect that lead and to become the "control" player than it is to push damage to face. Try to think about late-game situations in terms of specific outs from both you and your opponent, and use those outs to guide where your damage should go. Winning is good enough! Committing more resources to the board than you need to win can set yourself up to get blown out by board wipes.
    • By Zadina

      Dean Ayala is here with a brand new Hearthside Chat, explaining the new odd and even mechanic introduced in The Witchwood and how it can work in actual decks. Four new Witchwood cards were also revealed.
      With the announcement of The Witchwood, people were intrigued with the new Start of the Game legendaries Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater, which require a specific kind of deck built with only even and odd cards respectively. The first impression of the community was that these legendaries were weak, but it looks like odd & even decks are getting more support in The Witchwood.
      Dean Ayala explained how the mechanic can fit into both current and older decks, like Control Quest Warrior and Aggro Hunter.
      Four new cards were also revealed and they are all about the odd and even shennanigans!

      Mike Donais clarified on Reddit that there are only few even/odd support cards and not for every class. The team aimed at less expected combinations so that players could experiment with new decks. For example, Mage has some signature even cards like Frostbolt, Fireball and Meteor but Black Cat is a pretty powerful card, if the condition is met. It also makes sense that all six odd/even cards won't be offered in Arena (source).
      Do you think these cards make odd and even decks more enticing to play now? The Witchwood is after all introducing more new mechanics, like the keywords Rush and and Echo, so hopefully we will have more deck diversity and deck builders can rejoice!