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Meta Report: Saviors of Uldum Week One

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Reno Mage, Combo Priest and Control Warrior head up our rankings of the best decks to play in Saviors of Uldum Week One.

Welcome to the Icy Veins Meta Report - it's been a long while since we've done one of these! This is where we'll give you the full picture of the Hearthstone metagame as we see it, with every deck given a tier placement and a featured list.

The five days since the release of Saviors of Uldum have gone by incredibly fast. Tonnes of powerful cards have been added to the game, resulting in perhaps the biggest non-rotation meta shakeup since Kobolds and Catacombs. While the best decks from Rise of Shadows are largely still strong, many of them have undergone major changes, and there are some new challengers on the block to compete with.

Here's the full tier list; comments and recommended deck lists are below. There's no ranking within tiers here - decks are ordered alphabetically by class.

Tier 1 Decks

Tier 2 Decks

Tier 3 Decks

Tier 4 Decks

This tier list was compiled through a combination of our observations of the high Legend metagame, Masters Tour qualifier results, and data from HSReplay.net.

This first week is defined by widespread experimentation with the two major themes being supported in Saviors of Uldum: Quest decks and Highlander decks. Naturally, there's huge variation in quality amongst these archetypes; some Quests are much better than others, and not every class has the card pool to pull off a singleton deck. Highlander decks seem to be doing better than Quest decks so far, with Reno Mage and Highlander Hunter both performing extremely well.

Quest decks are more of a mixed bag. Of the lot, it's Making Mummies that has surprised us most. The Reborn minions you have to play to complete the Quest are pretty weak for the most part, but the deck is quite effective overall - it's especially punishing to Control Warrior, a valuable matchup to do well in. Quest Druid and Quest Shaman are the other two Quest decks looking competitive, although both have a lot of pre-release hype to live up to.

Various aggressive decks are doing well in the early metagame despite the oppressive influence of Control Warrior. Murloc Paladin and Tempo Warrior are long-dead archetypes making a triumphant return to the game this expansion while existing meta decks like Aggro Rogue and Zoo Warlock have also received a few new toys to play with.

We've mentioned the heavily-armoured elephant in the room twice already, so let's talk about the boring truth: Control Warrior is the deck to beat in Saviors of Uldum. ArmagedilloTomb Warden and other additions have cemented the dominance of Dr. Boom, Mad Genius over the competitive metagame, and we don't see that changing any time soon. Take heart though, as it's joined in Tier 1 by two fresh new archetypes: Reno Mage and Combo Priest.

Lastly, like any expansion, Saviors of Uldum has brought with it a new bounty of our favourite commodity: memes. You may not be able to reach Legend with all of the decks in Tier 4 (although a couple of them are definitely Legend-viable), but you haven't lived until you've slammed King Phaoris onto the board on Turn 4.

Here are our featured deck lists for every archetype.

Tier 1 Decks

Icy Veins Reno Mage
Reno Mage is a brand new archetype in Saviors of Uldum, and at this early stage, it looks like one of the best decks in the game. Reno the Relicologist has turned out to be an amazing card despite a generally lukewarm response to its reveal (we see you, Reddit). We put a lot of thought and research into the list featured in our guide and it's the one we'd recommend climbing with for now, but this archetype is seeing lots of ongoing refinement - check back in a week or two to see what the best lists are looking like.

SomiTequila's Rank 4 Legend Combo Priest
Divine Spirit and Inner Fire have returned with a vengeance after their brief hiatus in Rise of Shadows. The comeback is largely thanks to High Priest Amet and Psychopomp, two extremely strong new Priest cards which have made the business of sticking a minion to the board much easier. Combo Priest has been tearing up the high-Legend metagame over the last couple of days, and is sure to filter down the ranks soon.

Oyatsu's Top 10 Legend Control Warrior
Dr. Boom, Mad Genius was never going to cede the spotlight. Control Warrior has received some new additions in Saviors of Uldum that have helped it to a comfortable position at the top of Tier 1. Armagedillo has proven to be a standout performer in the deck, especially alongside Tomb Warden, and this small Taunt package has given the deck some powerful pro-active plays that help it steal wins in even its worst matchups. Frightened Flunky rounds out the Taunt package as a quality 2-drop, while Restless Mummy looks like a slight upgrade to Militia CommanderPlague of Wrath adds another major board clear to Warrior's arsenal - not that it needed it.

Tier 2 Decks

Trump's Highlander Hunter
Highlander Hunter has surprised some to emerge as a powerful deck in Saviors of Uldum. Trump's take is fairly representative of the archetype as a whole, which uses a Secret Hunter shell to accommodate Zephrys the Great and Dinotamer Brann.

Island Cat's Rank 1 Legend Big Spell Mage
Big Spell Mage is a new Control Mage variant built around cheating out expensive spells with Naga Sand Witch and Tortollan Pilgrim. With Conjurer's Calling and Luna's Pocket Galaxy you can also cheat out expensive minions, making this a pretty unfair deck when it works! Most lists haven't diverged too far from Island Cat's Rank 1 Legend build, although there is some debate as to whether Mountain Giant should be run or not.

Icy Veins Cyclone Mage
Although some players have experimented with Dune Sculptor and Ancient Mysteries, the best version of Cyclone Mage probably doesn't run any new cards. Nonetheless, it was and remains a strong deck, and has been especially successful in open cups for players trying to qualify for Masters Tour Bucharest.

Icy Veins Murloc Paladin
Murloc Paladin has returned for the first time since Kobolds and Catacombs. In its new guise, it's built around cheating out Tip the Scales early with Prismatic Lens. The build has already been more-or-less figured out by the community, and lists only tend to differ by two or three cards - we recommend the list featured in our guide.

Dekkster's Quest Paladin
Quest Paladin has benefited from the popularity of Control Warrior to become one of the stronger Quest decks in Saviors of Uldum. Dekkster's list is a good example of the archetype, which transitions in the mid-game from completing the Quest with Reborn minions to duplicating powerful Deathrattle Mechs with Emperor Wraps.

Krea's Legend Zephrys Aggro Rogue
Aggro Rogue was already a good deck in Rise of Shadows, and it received two solid additions in the form of Pharaoh Cat and Hooked Scimitar. Krea's take includes Zephrys the Great, a powerful card for finding lethal after playing Myra's Unstable Element.

BoarControl's Rank 1 Legend Aggro-Token Shaman
Vessina has been a huge buff to aggressive Shaman archetypes and steered Aggro Shaman away from Doomhammer and towards a more token-based gameplan. This deck has a good overall matchup spread but suffers horribly against Control Warrior.

Zalae's Quest Shaman
Quest Shaman, while not quite living up to the hype surrounding it before release, is a solid deck. It works best as a midrange deck rather than control; Zalae's take is a good example.

Risai's Top 10 Legend Zoo Warlock
Zoo Warlock received a host of new additions in Saviors of Uldum, from self-damage synergy with Diseased Vulture to Lackey synergy with Dark Pharaoh Tekahn. Risai's take squeezes it all into one list.

Icy Veins Bomb Warrior
Bomb Warrior has seen surprisingly little play in Saviors of Uldum after being so dominant in Rise of Shadows. It seems that Control Warrior has stolen some of its thunder thanks to the addition of Armagedillo. Nonetheless, it's still a highly competitive deck. We've updated our guide with some minor Saviors of Uldum upgrades like Restless Mummy.

Ramses' Top 10 Legend Tempo Warrior
Bloodsworn Mercenary has made Tempo Warrior decks like Ramses' a serious threat (especially to your Health total). For an alternative (read: absolutely off-the-wall) take on the archetype, try Fibonacci's Highlander version.

Tier 3 Decks

Charon's Rank 5 Legend Malygos Druid
Malygos lists are currently performing slightly worse than Quest Druids with a more minion-based strategy, but are definitely still viable for the Legend climb.

Abar's Quest Druid
Quest Druid is powerful in the mid- and late-game but struggles early on. We like Abar's solution to this problem: a small removal package consisting of PounceClaw, and Savage Striker.

BoarControl's Rank 5 Legend Token Druid
Token Druid did receive some new tools, like Garden Gnome, but hasn't made a big impact on the meta just yet. BoarControl's version includes a few high-cost spells to enable Garden Gnome and Anubisath Defender.

Icy Veins Bomb Hunter
Bomb Hunter is another archetype that is pretty much unchanged from its Rise of Shadows incarnation. It has suffered a little from its lack of new additions, but remains a decent choice for climbing the ladder.

Den's Top 100 Legend Midrange Hunter
Midrange Hunter seems to have fallen off in Saviors of Uldum, unable to keep up with the rising power level of the decks around it. Still, some players are trying to make it work - it's appeared in Masters Qualifier top 8s, and Den managed to bring his version to top 100 Legend.

Sonagi's Rank 6 Legend Secret Hunter
Secret Hunter is an aggressive archetype that received a big buff in the form of Hyena Alpha. It currently looks slightly weaker than the Highlander variant, however.

Firebat's Secret Mage
Secret Mage is a new spin on tempo mage making use of Arcane Flakmage and Cloud Prince. It's had a lukewarm start to life, and may fall off the map due to its poor Control Warrior matchup, but has some potential for further refinement.

Thijs's Quest Resurrect Priest
While fast Combo Priests have proven incredibly strong, slower Priest decks have had a slightly harder time. Thijs's Quest list is a good example of a more controlling approach to the class.

Rdu's Quest Tempo Rogue
Quest Rogue has proven to be decent if not amazing. Rdu's list is a particularly aggressive spin on the archetype, which can be built in a wide variety of ways.

Theo's Quest Control Shaman
Early signs point to Control Shaman being the wrong direction for Corrupt the Waters, despite the additions of Earthquake and Plague of Murlocs. Control decks typically take longer to refine than midrange or aggressive decks, though, so there's potential for this archetype to go up a tier once the correct build is figured out. Definitely Legend material.

Excelia's Mecha'thun Warlock
Plague of Flames in combination with Galvanizer has given Warlock an efficient way to OTK with Mecha'thun. It's a marked improvement on slow Warlock decks from Rise of Shadows.

Tier 4 Decks

Lowelo's Quest Hunter
Not many players have been experimenting with Unseal the Vault, but a few are finding some potential in it. Lowelo's build actually boasts a pretty respectable win-rate on HSReplay, but other lists aren't nearly as impressive.

Jambre's Legend Aggro Paladin
Aggro Paladin might actually be a decent deck, but it's hard to say for sure as only Jambre seems to be playing it. He did manage to hit Legend with his build, so don't count it out - this is one of the stronger decks in Tier 4.

Thijs's Big Paladin
Welcome to the "weird Paladin deck" tier. Big Paladin received a couple of new Neutrals to play with in the form of Blatant Decoy and Colossus of the Moon, but not quite enough to push it into viability.

Odemian's Highlander Paladin
Sir Finley of the Sands is seeing more play in Murloc Paladin as a 2-Mana 2/3 Murloc than he is for his battlecry. Still, there's some fun to be had with Highlander Paladin. Odemian's take includes a 25-damage Holy Wrath + Shirvallah, the Tiger combo.

Chunchunner's Rank 12 Legend Spell Paladin
King Phaoris in combination with Prismatic Lens can create a Turn 4 board that makes Barnes + Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound look like Murloc Tidehunter. A very silly deck.

Thijs's Highlander Rogue
Rogue's good overall card quality and access to Shadowstep makes it a reasonable choice for a highlander deck. Thijs's take includes Bazaar Burglary for some extra late-game punch.

That just about covers it for week one of Saviors of Uldum. The new metagame is developing at a thrilling pace, and the next meta report we post is likely to look totally different from this one. Until then, enjoy the chaos - Hearthstone is rarely as much fun as it is in fresh metagames like this!

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Murloc Paladin is the worst deck you can play I've literally see every one that played that deck lose.

You can't possibly win with that deck maybe against the AI and that's a maybe.

Doesn't matter if you play Tip the Scales at 1 mana or 8 you gonna eat an AoE every time and Chef Nomi eat always something like Plague of Death Brawl Twisting Nether Plague of Wrath Earthquake etc ... you will never win with Nomi because everyone knows you have him at the sight of the murlocs so they keep one of the aforementioned cards for Nomi and you are good as dead killing yourself in fatigue.

Even with my crappiest deck i can secure a win against this meme deck...

Play Quest Paladin that is almost unbeatable instead of a meme deck that has literally zero winrate against a sane opponent.

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17 hours ago, Hanz39 said:

Murloc Paladin is the worst deck you can play I've literally see every one that played that deck lose.

You can't possibly win with that deck maybe against the AI and that's a maybe.

Doesn't matter if you play Tip the Scales at 1 mana or 8 you gonna eat an AoE every time and Chef Nomi eat always something like Plague of Death Brawl Twisting Nether Plague of Wrath Earthquake etc ... you will never win with Nomi because everyone knows you have him at the sight of the murlocs so they keep one of the aforementioned cards for Nomi and you are good as dead killing yourself in fatigue.

Even with my crappiest deck i can secure a win against this meme deck...

Play Quest Paladin that is almost unbeatable instead of a meme deck that has literally zero winrate against a sane opponent.

Murloc Paladin has an overall winrate of 57%, currently, whereas Quest Paladin has an overall winrate of 53%.

Both decks are good.  You, apparently, just suck with Murlocs, or watch people that suck with Murlocs.  But data shows the deck wins more often than your preferred deck.

Don't knock decks just because they don't work in your tier.

Also, just to add: Murloc Paladin beats Quest Paladin 65% of the time.

Edited by BladeBraver

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My only objection to this list is how bad bomb/mech hunter is ranked. It is a strong deck, quite a bit fast, beats pretty much all the quest decks. And still boasts a 55% percent wr. I think it should be Tier 2.

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10 hours ago, BladeBraver said:

Murloc Paladin has an overall winrate of 57%, currently, whereas Quest Paladin has an overall winrate of 53%.

Both decks are good.  You, apparently, just suck with Murlocs, or watch people that suck with Murlocs.  But data shows the deck wins more often than your preferred deck.

Don't knock decks just because they don't work in your tier.

Also, just to add: Murloc Paladin beats Quest Paladin 65% of the time.

For people who lose to such deck have to brick hard. But your strategy is hope the enemy brick so you win with a malfunctioning deck?

'You suck' with is just your assumption since there is no skill involved in a murloc deck that has literally 3 things to do that are play Lens then Play Tip The Scale with 0 board then Chef Nomi in the end and for the rest of the game you just drop murlocs and have 0 removals so it's up to the opponent to kill your stuff.

And No I' don't play a deck that have abysmal winrate against myself, if I can beat it EVERY time an opponent plays it what's the reason to play such deck? Enjoy the Pogo-Hopper style defeats with a deck that clearly not works?

And the percentage thing doesn't make any sense... a murloc deck at rank 20 wins aggroing face in the first turns but as soon as you meet Dr.Booms in the ladder you won't ever win once with a deck that goes in fatigue at turn 10 and cannot play Nomi more than once.

I'm at rank 10 and the murloc thing against me has only win the first time I faced the deck and that's about it and I don't even play Dr.Boom every game so I'm what they can 'hope' to meet and still they don't beat a Priest with 0 wincon deck that steal their crappy cards ... I use their Chef Nomi as a 7 mana 6/6 to wack their face when I get it from Thoughtsteal and they can't even remove it from the board.

I suggested the Quest Paladin to Paladin players since it's much harder to defeat from my experience since I met a lot of Murloc Paladin and the two deck are not even comparable in power level, since one is easy to play around while a infinite source of DR minions at 2 mana is much harder to deal with... unless killing a bunch of 2/1 or 3/2 that your opponents essentially tells you the turn before that plays them is hard for you.

In the end if a deck can't stand a chance against someone who plays Dr.Boom is just unplayable in Standard.

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21 hours ago, FanOfValeera said:

My only objection to this list is how bad bomb/mech hunter is ranked. It is a strong deck, quite a bit fast, beats pretty much all the quest decks. And still boasts a 55% percent wr. I think it should be Tier 2.

This is a fair point - I've been harsh on Bomb Hunter as it's been very underplayed in this first week. It's also a deck which historically performs much worse at higher ranks, where people become better at playing against it, so I'm sceptical about its potential.

As you say though, Bomb Hunter decks are currently displaying solid win-rates on HSReplay, and it does punish some of the the slower, less-refined decks on ladder right now. I could see bumping it up to Tier 2 in the next report if it starts seeing more play again. Thanks for the feedback!

(As for the other discussion in this thread, I'll just affirm what we said in the report - Murloc Paladin is quite good!)

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Thanks to Lemon for the status report

His reply just crossed mine

23 hours ago, FanOfValeera said:

My only objection to this list is how bad bomb/mech hunter is ranked. It is a strong deck, quite a bit fast, beats pretty much all the quest decks. And still boasts a 55% percent wr. I think it should be Tier 2.

I also find that mech/bomb hunter better than Tier 3. For me a tier 3 deck is around 50% win rate (or just below). But as I read Lemons status it is not just HSreplay.net statistics that is used for the Tier ranking but also how the decks plays in high legend.

Around rank 5'ish where I dabble Mech hunter works just fine. 

15 hours ago, Hanz39 said:

For people who lose to such deck have to brick hard. But your strategy is hope the enemy brick so you win with a malfunctioning deck?

.....

In the end if a deck can't stand a chance against someone who plays Dr.Boom is just unplayable in Standard.

I also find that murloc Paladin is playable (but a bit boring). My experience with it is that getting 7 murlocs out on an empty board is not to good. Especially if all you did last turn was pulling (Prismatic Lens) out a cheap(er) Tip of the scales from your deck.

But it is still a murloc deck and they expand very rapidly. When your reach turn 3 - 4 you should have 3-4+ mulocs out. So does you opponent AOE now?  or risk a Murloc Warleader or a Coldlight Seer. If he clear the board you can Tip the Scales to get back. He can clear it again and you  can Tip the Scales again. Control decks has a lot of board clears. But not unlimmited and not in hand all the time.

If you use a cheap Tip the Scales with a 2-3 murlocs on the board you do not spend all you good battlecry units without gettig a benefit. And if you can trade a murloc that leaves space for a Coldlight Seer that could move at least half of the board out of most AOE range. And even a Brawl leaves one minion.

All this unfortunately empties the deck. This leaves us with Chef Nomi. That card is not a win condition but a last resort like Yogg-Saron, Hope's End. But it have a purpose. It forces you opponent to save a board clear. You actually do not have to have it in the deck to get this bennefit.

And your almost empty deck trigges Zephrys the Great. if you have 4 - 5 minions on you turn then a Bloodlust or maybe a Savage Roar can give your letal.

 

It will not help you against a turn 7 Dr. Boom, Mad Genius. But few thing does. 

 

 

Edited by PanPan

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Tip the Scales is crazy against other aggro decks and really questionable versus mage, warrior and priest to some extent, but then again, so is murloc paladin.

It is an all or nothing play. Pretty much like Myra's Unstable Element, except that you might do it twice, and rogue has some ways to fill the deck again.

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