Sottle

Sottle's Weekly Hearthstone Meta Analysis for Week of 03/12/2015 - 10/12/2015

Sign in to follow this  

1 post in this topic

9139-sottles-weekly-hearthstone-meta-ana


Hearthstone Meta Analysis: 07/12/2014 - 14/12/2014

 

Hello again friends! Now that the GvG meta has had a little time to settle and normalise, I can return to these weekly articles where I discuss what's hot, what's not and how you should be building decks to fight back against the meta.

 

Common Decks and Cards.

 

Firstly, let's discuss the elephant in the room. Dr. Boom is almost ever present in the current meta, being played as a win condition in Aggro decks, as well as a Control tool, or potential finisher in late-game decks. The card is incredible versatile, functioning as a catch up or AoE tool for when you are behind on the board, a swing in your favour for boards that are even, and as a way to further dominate a board that is in your favour. Essentially, if you have 7 Mana, and Dr. Boom in your hand, it is pretty rare for Boom not to be a good play, this is pretty unique as far as Hearthstone cards go, and goes some way to explaining its power. If you don't have this card available to you, you should make it a very high crafting priority.

 

Secondly, let's address the effect that Boom's presence has had on the rest of the meta. Big Game Hunter is included in many decks currently, since even against Aggro decks it is unlikely to be a dead card due to the presence of Boom. Many of the greedier decks such as Handlock and Control Warrior are including two BGH in their builds due to the current power of the card.

 

Mind Control Tech is also making a comeback due to Dr. Boom. Since Boom immediately places 3 minions onto the board, the chances for Mind Control Tech to hit are dramatically increased. If you are able to combine Mind Control Tech and Big Game Hunter against an opponent's Boom, that is perhaps one of the only truly efficient methods of dealing with the problem Boom creates.

 

Another card having a big impact in the game currently is Zombie Chow. Since Goblins vs Gnomes has not resulted in the death of Undertaker decks, and has in fact introduced a whole new type of disgusting start through Mechwarper, Zombie Chow is pretty much essential in many decks to fight back against these aggressive starts.

 

Outside of these specific common cards, the meta is in a healthy place in terms of variety. The old ladder mainstays of Zoo and various breeds of Hunter are still common, but every class is represented to some extent, with most receiving new powerful options to improve their versatility.

 

Card and Deck Choices

 

As outlined above, cards like Big Game Hunter and Zombie Chow are almost essential to include in your deck right now. However, there is a way to respond to this and get ahead of the game a little. For example, when building a Control deck, you can choose to build it in a way that omits all BGH targets entirely. Filling your late-game instead with cards like Kel'Thuzad and Ysera, will leave your opponent with a BGH sitting dead in the their hand as they wait for your inevitable Dr. Boom that is never coming. 

 

Outside of specifics like this, when building a deck for ladder right now, you need to have a fine balance of early game stability and late-game power. Decks like Hunter and Zoo are still around to punish people for getting too greedy with their builds, but there is also a significant amount of late-game Control decks, that will simply outlast and dominate you in the late-game if you are not set to compete with them.

 

Class Power Rankings

 

Since the meta is still fairly new, and the classes are fairly balanced against each other, instead of the usual numerical rankings, I will simply discuss the classes in alphabetical order and talk about the common ways to play them right now. Remember, the classes are all fairly close in terms of power right now, so even a class I describe as weak is perfectly viable for ladder purposes if you build it correctly.

 

Druid

 

250px-Malfurion_Stormrage-f.png?version=

 

Druid is in a strong place right now. The common Fast Druid decks that were popular before GvG are still very strong, especially with the addition of new hard to remove cards like Piloted Sky Golem and Piloted Shredder. Ramp Druid has also come back with a vengeance in recent days as it is an excellent deck for fighting back against Aggro if built correctly, while also being a fantastic deck to build without including a Big Game Hunter target. The Black Knight is still fairly uncommon in ladder decks right now, meaning that high value Druid Taunt minions like Druid of the Claw and Ancient of War are more likely than ever to get full value. Mill Druid has also made a splash recently. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of Mill, it aims to overdraw the opponent, burning cards that they are unable to hold in their hand and then eventually finishing the opponent with fatigue. Although this deck is a lot of fun, and is competitive on ladder up to a certain point, it's still a little way off being a top level deck. 

 

 

Hunter

 

250px-Rexxar-f.png?version=3f80009401aa5

 

Hunters are still around, terrorising the ladder as always. The two main variations you will see right now are the outright Facerush Hunter, which has not changed much, if at all, since the release of GvG, and the less all-in, but still aggressive Deathrattle Hunter. The latter has a few variations, following a curve all the way up to Dr. Boom in some cases. New Deathrattle cards like Piloted Shredder have extended the value of Undertaker beyond the opening turns and allowed Hunter to get value out of it in the mid-game. Some people, myself included have experimented with Control Hunter decks which look to use Feign Death to get huge value out of late-game Deathrattle minions, but for now, the class seems to be inferior to others as a Control choice. 

 

Mage

 

250px-Jaina_Proudmoore-f.png?version=8f6

 

Mage has emerged as a very versatile class since the release of GvG. It is now able to effectively play either an Aggro or Control game and compete against other decks effectively. Prior to the GvG release, Mage was in a difficult spot where any way you could build it was simply done better by another class. This is no longer the case, Mage is one of the best homes for the aggro Mech deck, due to the outstanding power of Goblin Blastmage, while Echo of Medivh has opened up even more possibilities for deck building by being able to refill your hand in an Aggro deck, or create extra copies of high value cards in a Control Deck.

 

Paladin

 

250px-Uther_Lightbringer-f.png?version=a

 

Paladin has also seen a vast improvement thanks to Goblins vs Gnomes. With cards like Shielded Minibot and Muster for Battle providing Paladin with one of the most oppressive early games of all the classes, Paladins can build their decks in a variety in ways, safe in the knowledge that they will secure the early game turns. Midrange Paladin is still being built in a vast variety of ways, from buff focused decks with cards like Dark Iron Dwarf and Blessing of Kings, to decks featuring cards like Bomb Lobber and Captain Greenskin to dominate the mid-game. Many Paladin players have even cut Equality from their deck completely, since their board presence is often so strong, they don't need access to the emergency board clears. Control Paladin has fallen away recently, with most people favouring the more midrange focused lists.

 

Priest

 

250px-Anduin_Wrynn-f.png?version=dcf2a67

 

 

Priest is one of the weaker classes currently, although it is extremely well equipped to deal with Aggro, it does suffer still when faced with other Control decks. Although Vol'jin has gone some way to increase the decks power against other late game decks, it is still left lagging behind, since so many of its cards are reactive and require specific situations to be good. Both Deathrattle and Control Priest decks are very viable options, and despite my assertion that Priest is one of the weaker classes currently, a friend of mine who goes by Pesty achieved Rank 1 Legend with Control Priest earlier this week. This goes to show that even the decks that are on the weaker side right now are still extremely competitive.

 

Rogue

 

250px-Valeera_Sanguinar-f.png?version=1f

 

Rogue is still in the process of finding its feet in the GvG Meta. Early experiments with Tempo based Mech Rogue didn't lead to too many spectacular results, although the deck is still strong enough to achieve Legend rank, while Miracle Rogue players have been trying to adjust to the Gadgetzan Auctioneer nerf. The primary solution that has been found to this is outright Control Rogue, which replaces Gadgetzan with Sprint, and plays more standard finishers like Ragnaros and Dr. Boom to seal the game. These decks have been effective so far, but are perhaps still missing one or two key ingredients that will push them over the edge to a top level deck.

 

Shaman

 

250px-Thrall-f.png?version=55cd557d01b07

 

Shaman is another of the weaker classes currently. Experiments from players have so far failed to create another particularly viable archetype other than the standard Midrange Shaman builds. Aggressive Mech based decks have been tried, but seem to fit better in Mage or Rogue for now, and extreme late-game grindy Shaman decks are outclassed my Mages, Druids, or Warriors doing the same thing. Neptulon was at first viewed as a very powerful card for Shaman, since it gave you the ability to refill your hand in the late-game, even if it was just with relatively low power Murlocs. However, due to how common Big Game Hunter is, Neptulon is a 10 Mana investment, Overload included, that simply dies to BGH.

 

Warlock

 

250px-Guldan-f.png?version=4bc860759dd1a

 

Warlock is strong as ever. Due to the strength of the Warlock Hero Power, the class will probably remain powerful no matter how many new cards get added. The reason for this is that any powerful neutral cards you add to the game, Warlock has access to them more often than any other class, because they draw more cards per game. With that said, the two classic Warlock decks are still out in force, namely Zoo and Handlock. Both have reacted to the nerf of Soulfire, with Handlock substituting in Darkbomb, and Zoo favouring Imp-losion. Handlocks have also benefited greatly from the addition of Antique Healbot, with the increased life gain potential leaving them favoured against even the dreaded Hunter matchup. Due to the ever presence of Big Game Hunter in the meta however, Handlock can struggle to dominate the board with their early giants. In terms of new developments, Demonlock decks, and Warlock decks that aim to stall the game with large amounts of removal into a one turn kill finish using Arcane Golem combos have both been making an appearance, but are yet to establish themselves as a dominant force.

 

Warrior

 

250px-Garrosh_Hellscream-f.png?version=a

 

Not much to say on Warrior. The class is still powerful, but still very one dimensional. The go-to way to play the class remains Control Warrior, with any experiments with Aggro decks, or Mech based Tempo decks proving unsuccessful.

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 Zadina

      A new video shows how much work went into creating the art, animation and sound of Kobolds & Catacombs.
      Ben Thompson and Jomaro Kindred talk about the artistic direction of Hearthstone's latest expansion, while Hadidjah Chamberlin explains how she brought life into the board by creating most of the expansion's card effects. Lastly, it's always impressive to see the voice actors at work; they are all very talented!
       
    • By Aleco

      The first week of K&C has brought has many surprises, including Corridor Creeper and the No-Minions Hunter deck.
      After just one week with the new Kobolds & Catacombs cards it feels a little early to declare a definitive tier list for the competitive ladder. It's safe to assume that the best decks from the previous format, Tempo Rogue and Highlander Priest, will remain competitive options in the K&C meta, but many new decks have already been discovered which appear more than capable of keeping up with the top decks from KFT.
      The first week of K&C has been packed with surprise stand-outs and unexpected strategies. A staggering number of powerful new Epic cards are defining a number of new archetypes, while a decent number of cards which were expected to define the meta have yet to find a home. To help catch you up to speed on the state of the ladder, let's count down ten of the biggest surprises from the still-developing K&C meta:
      #10 - Big Spells Mage

      Five of the ten new Mage cards were designed around the Big Spells theme, yet Mage isn't even the class which is currently making the best use of Spiteful Summoner and Grand Archivist. Dragon's Fury was predicted to be one of the top cards in K&C but Big Spells Mage has failed to put up impressive results. Endemic Mage spells such as Frostbolt, Arcane Intellect, and Primordial Glyph drag down the power level of cards like Raven Familiar too far to justify their inclusion in Big Spells decks, yet the minion-based replacements for these cards have yet to prove themselves as suitable tools for controlling the board in the early game. With how aggressively the current metagame is shaping up to be, Big Spells Mage will need to find a way to control the board before turn five if it ever wants to compete.
      #9 - Druid Decks

      Coming out of Knights of the Frozen Throne, Druid laid claim to three of the best decks in all of Hearthstone: Aggro Druid, Jade Druid, and Big Druid. Though none of these decks have become unplayable K&C, it'd be difficult to argue that any of them are Tier 1 options at the moment. Dire Mole was a huge pickup for Aggro Druid, the Master Oakheart/Dragonhatcher package has provided Big Druid with a consistent late-game plan, and Lesser Jasper Spellstone has given Jade Druid a meaningful tool for interacting with troublesome minions in the early game, but it seems as though the other classes have improved far more than Druid has. Druid's Recruit sub-theme has seen moderate success, and the archetype still has plenty of room to improve as the meta matures. Despite Druid's lackluster results so far, I'd expect that the class has far too many powerful tools to ever become irrelevant. I wouldn't be surprised to see a new-look Recruit deck start to put up results in the coming weeks.
      #8 - Tempo Mage

      Tempo Mage was a deck that teetered on the edge of Tier 1 throughout the KFT meta, but it appears to have broken through in K&C thanks to Aluneth and Explosive Runes. Many pro players are calling Aluneth the best card in the set despite the fact that it only sees play in aggressive-slanted Mage lists. Tempo Mage has always done a great job at pressuring its opponent's life total, but Aluneth has given it the tool it needed dig for the Fireballs and Firelands Portals is often needs to close out the game. This is to say nothing of Explosive Runes, which has managed to exceed its lofty expectations and has cemented itself as a devastating tempo play off Kirin Tor Mage. Tempo Mage already feels like a well-oiled machine, and I expect the deck remain a consistent force throughout the K&C meta.
      #7 - Call to Arms

      Before K&C was released there was a debate as to the best way to build a deck around this powerful new card. Should you throw it in a deck with Prince Keleseth to Recruit buffed-up one drops? Should you put in a Murloc based deck, even though Murlocs get a lot of their value from Battlecries? Should you try to fill your deck with powerful hits like Dirty Rat and Knife Juggler at the expense of having good two drops on curve? Yes, yes, and yes. It turns out that getting three minions onto the board from one card is pretty great no matter how you choose to set it up.
      Aggro Paladin is one of the three or four best decks in the current meta and still has plenty of room to improve, as the current iterations feel quite far from being finely tuned. It's clear enough that Call to Arms will be the focal point of Aggro Paladin lists going forward, and probably fair to assume that the deck will only get stronger as players discover the most powerful uses for it. Everybody expected Call to Arms to be a great card, but I don't think they expected it to be quite as omnipresent as it has been thus far. 
      #6 - Control Warlock

      No deck picked up more cards from K&C cards than Control Warlock, a deck which deserves to be considered for early Tier 1 status. Voidlord gave the deck the trump card it needed to stall out the game against faster decks, while Rin, the First Disciple has provided it with the trump card it needed to beat other slow control decks. Both of these powerful late-game cards are held together by the massive bursts of lifegain the deck picked up from Dark Pact and Amethyst Spellstone, which simultaneously synergize with even more playable new cards from K&C: Kobold Librarian, Vulgar Homunculus, and Possessed Lackey. It seems as though Cataclysm is the only card from K&C which hasn't bolstered Control Warlock in some fashion, a fact which bodes well for the archetype's long-term viability.
      #5 - Spiteful Summoner 

      Very few neutral cards from K&C are seeing more widespread play than Spiteful Summoner, a swingy new minion which is already responsible for birthing several new decks. Spiteful Summoner is the big payoff for Sattelite's Big Spells Dragon Priest, which has been my personal favorite deck from the first week of K&C. Many Pirate Warriors have shed their Upgrades! to play Spiteful Summoner as a devastating curve-topper with Lesser Mithril Spellstone, and I wouldn't be surprised if a few other aggressive decks attempt similar changes. I'm less confident in the staying power of Spiteful Summoner than I am with some of the other Epic minions we'll talk about shortly, but the card has already shown more promise in the first week of K&C than most players would have expected.
      #4 - Carnivorous Cube

      Dedicated Deathrattle decks across all nine classes have struggled to put up results in The Year Of The Mammoth, having lacked a powerful payoff card other than N'Zoth as a reward for building around Deathrattle synergy. Deathrattle Rangers, Warlocks, Druids, and Priests seem to have found that payoff card in Carnivorous Cube.
      Carnivorous Cube generates decent value with minimal effort, netting two minions after it dies while providing a meaningful body when played on curve. It becomes devastating when combined with effects like Play Dead, Spiritsinger Umbra, and Faceless Manipulator, which break the symmetry of the card's Battlecry trigger. The best Cube list appears to be "Cubelock", which is capable of using Spiritsinger Umbra and Doomguard to one turn kill. Failing that, it can summon Voidlord a million times while making powerful tempo plays with Skull of the Man'ari and Possessed Lackey. I would very surprised if Carnivorous Cube wasn't featured in a few more viable decks that crop up in the coming weeks. 
      #3 - Leyline Manipulator

      Leyline Manipulator was pegged by the Hearthstone community to be one of the top new cards from K&C, but after one week it's seeing virtually no play. Elemental Mage isn't close to being a competitively viable deck, and the Questless OTK Mage lists have failed to supplant the Quest-based versions. A major part of the reason that this card has underwhelmed is that it doesn't lower the mana cost of Shifting Scroll as players predicted it would. It seems unlikely that the Questless OTK Mage deck will suddenly discover a new piece of technology which will make the deck competitively viable, which rests the hope for Leyline Manipulator on the emergence of Lesser Ruby Spellstone and Elemental Mage. I wouldn't hold my breath.
      #2 - Corridor Creeper

      It's probably fair to say that no card was more poorly evaluated by the Hearthstone community than Corridor Creeper. Most players (including myself) pegged Arcane Tyrant to be the next big thing, yet Corridor Creeper is the card from K&C card which is currently seeing the most widespread play. It's way easier to reduce the cost of Corridor Creeper to two or less than players expected before getting their hands on the card, which has made it a two-of inclusion in virtually every aggro deck in the current metagame. It's even starting to replace Bonemare in certain lists, implying that it's a better card than Bonemare. It's safe to say that crafting a pair of Creepers is a wise investment of dust, as we're likely to be seeing two copies of this card in every Hunter deck from now until it K&C rotates from standard. Well, almost every Hunter deck.
      #1 - No-Minions Hunter

      Hi Reddit! Remember these cards?
      To My Side! was the laughingstock of r/Hearthstone when it was first spoiled, yet the No-Minions Hunter deck is currently posting higher winrates than any other Hunter archetype. To be fair, the best card in the deck is Lesser Emerald Spellstone, but there's absolutely no denying that Rhok'delar and To My Side! are powerful payoffs for what has been a viable deck in the early meta.
      No-Minions Hunter is very difficult to beat when it curves Greater Emerald Spellstone into To My Side!, but I have my doubts about the deck's staying power. It performs worse at higher ranks, suggesting that skilled players can find ways to beat it. If you can avoid getting blown out by Explosive Trap and Wandering Monster then you'll enter the midgame with a board advantage against No-Minions Hunter, which typically struggles to play to the board until turn five. Regardless, No-Minions Hunter is great against classes without 3 damage board wipes for Greater Emerald Spellstone, such as Rogue and Druid, and will likely remain a powerful yet meta-reliant deck for the remainder of The Year Of The Mammoth.
    • By Vlad
      This thread is for comments about our Cube Warlock Deck List.
    • By Zadina

      Winter Veil begins next week on Hearthstone and a special Tavern Brawl will award three Knights of the Frozen Throne card packs.
      Next week's Tavern Brawl will be really similar to the Gift Exchange one back from 2015 and February 2017. There will be some differences though, as the Brawl will have a Kobold flavour and it will have a new name: Wacky Waxy Winter Veil's Brawl.
      As Winter Veil is a frosty season, the reward will obviously be three packs from Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion. It's not sure if the Winter Veil Wreath card back, which was associated with the Gift Exchange brawl during the previous years' Winter Veils, will be available this time to those who don't already have it.
      Blizzard Entertainment
      ‘Tis the season! In celebration of Winter’s Veil—and to give all you adventurers something to do that doesn’t involve taking candles—Greatfather Kobold has prepared a special distraction, er, Winter’s Veil tavern brawl packed with wacky, waxy gifts!
      These treats aren’t just on the game board! The reward for winning your first game of this Tavern Brawl is THREE festively frosty Knights of the Frozen Throne card packs! 
      Greatfather Kobold’s helpers have been busy decorating the Orgrimmar game board for the tavern brawl, but you can also experience the holiday in Stormwind while enjoying other play modes. And no matter how you play, don’t forget to show your opponent some holiday spirit with the return of the Happy Winter’s Veil greeting emote!
      The Rules
      Greatfather Kobold will drop off some tastefully wrapped, candle-bearing gifts on turn one—four on each side of the board, for a total of eight. If you unwrap a gift, you’ll receive a Legendary minion that costs three fewer mana to play! Greatfather Kobold will keep the celebration going by periodically parachuting in more presents. Don’t be greedy, though! You’ll only get a discounted Legendary minion from the gifts Greatfather Kobold left on your opponent’s side of the field.
      How will you build your deck to make the most of these potent presents?
      The Wacky Waxy Winter’s Veil brawl begins December 20 and lasts through December 24, so be sure to drop in and celebrate!
      A very Happy Winter’s Veil to you and yours! (source)
      For now, you can enjoy this week's Tavern Brawl, which is Valeera's Bag of Burgled Spells.
    • By Zadina

      Following the tradition started with Knights of the Frozen Throne, Kobolds & Catacombs gets its first digital comic.
      "Up Comes Down" is a lighthearted story about two Kobolds, who decide to go off on their own despite the orders of King Togwaggle. In their short adventure in the Catacombs, they encounter many obstacles, but by cooperating they manage to emerge victorious.

      You can read and/or download the comic here.