Sottle

The Rate/Improve my deck thread.

1009 posts in this topic

Hey guys, Sottle here. In case you don't know who I am, I am the new person in charge of Icy Veins Hearthstone content, and responsible for all the new deck guides since a little while before GvG.

 

I thought it would be nice to have a thread where people can post decks they were working on, or looking for advice on, and i'll take a look at them, suggest possible improvements, and hopefully help you to tear up the ladder.

 

To help us out, please try and stick to the following format as much as possible.

 

-Deck Image, or Decklist

-Available Cards (just a general idea is fine, "I have most Rares", "Good Vanilla Set, but few GvG cards" etc.

- Amount of adventure wings.

- Your current rank on ladder.

 

Go ahead and get posting smile.png

 

positiv's edit: If you want a 0 dust change (ie. using only the cards you own), you can give me link to your collection uploaded through Innkeeper. Your collection gets uploaded to Hearthpwn, you can find the link somewhere on the site. 

Also, it would be nice if you wrote the amount of available dust.

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I've pinned this topic, so that people would immediately see it! :)

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In my forum admin experience, pinning a post is the best way to ensure that no one sees it. :P

 

Kidding, kind of...

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Okay, to start things off, I have this DemonLock deck that I've been working on. Right now it's just theorycrafting, because I don't have many cards yet, but I love the idea of a demon deck, so this is just something to work up to. I feel like it's good, but not good enough. I would love some suggestions. I've been thinking of adding implosion, shadowflame, mountain/molten giant, and sludge belcher, I just can't find any room for them.

Here's the deck: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=90840/demon-army

Edited by Toxicroaker

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Okay, so my first suggestion is that you're playing too many demons. I know that sounds weird, but the key to a good Demonlock build is to make your Demon pool really dense and powerful, that way Sense Demons and Voidcaller always hits the big stuff. You don't want to be spending 3 Mana on Sense Demons to draw a Flame Imp and a Voidcaller, you want to be getting Voidcaller and Doomguard for example. What I would look at doing is cutting some of the weaker Demons like Voidcaller, Felguard etc. and replacing them with more cards that you see in Handlock like the ones you suggested.

 

Honestly, I feel like the key to a good Demonlock is to get it as close to Handlock as you can, whilst still maintaining a good pool of Demons.

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I've made a mech rogue deck that works kind of like a midrange-aggression playstyle. It's built around synergy with Iron Sensei and Mimiron's Head to try to get as much value out of my minions as possible, and to try to control the board to win. This is the list:

 

2x Backstab

1x Cold Blood

2x Conceal

2x Deadly Poison

2x Blade Flurry

2x Eviscerate

2x Sap

2x Annoy-o-Tron

1x Goblin Auto-Barber

1x Mechwarper

1x Big Game Hunter

2x Harvest Golem

2x Iron Sensei

2x S.I.7 Agent

2x Mechanical Yeti

1x Antique Healbot

2x Azure Drake

1x Mimiron's Head

 

The overall goal is to put strong pressure and control on the midgame while also working towards the kill through use of Iron Sensei buffs, and Mimiron's Head+Cold Blood. I'm thinking of adding more defensive/end game minions such as Dr. Boom, Foe Reaper 4000, and Arcane Nullifier X-21, and also Sprint+Preparation. Please let me know what you think and what cards I should exchange for!

I have Naxxramas, and I am currently rank 9 on the ladder.

 

I've got a lot of dust to craft cards, around 1.2k

Edited by Gromdar

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Alright, I took what you said into consideration, and completely remade my old deck. Here's what the new one looks like: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=91026/demon-army

What you said made complete sense, I had already thought of the sense demons/voidcallers losing value with my smaller minions, but I just disregarded it. Thinking about it again, I think the deck looks much better now. My main concern now is the chance that you voidcaller your Jaraxxus. With a much smaller supply of demons, it's much more likely to get him from sense demons, and ruin his battlecry. Do you think I should switch him with something else like Dr. Boom, Alextraza, Dread Infernal, etc.?

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Ok, although I've been having good results so far, there is something off about this deck. Sometimes it just doesn't work and instead of aggression I just find myself trading my own minions for surviving and hoping for a blade fury save. Not sure about the role some cards play and maybe there are better options. Maybe it is just too focused on Mech, should I change that? 

 

Backstab x2

Preparation x1 (i'ts expensive!)

Deadly Poison x2

Cogmaster x2

Blade Fury x2

Eviscerate x2

Sap x1

Goblin Auto-Barber x2

Mechwarper x2

Cogmaster's Wrench x2

Fan of Knives x1

Harvest Golem x2

Iron Sensei x2

Tinker's Sharpsword Oil x2

Arcane Nullifier X-21 x2

Azure Drake x2

Sprint x1

 

Some thoughts:

About Azulli Drake: no doubts an anwesome card. Amazing vs Priests. I'm not using its full potential tho (spell damage +1 hardly ever serves me)

About Iron Sensei: I find it most often turning the board in my favor. However, it severely increases my needs for mechs. I still think that in the current stage of this deck, Iron Sensei is better than SI:7. I might be wrong. Also, Iron Sensei + Arcane Nullifier X-21 creates a huge board pressure.

About Preparation: Broken card rogue-wise, but since there aren't that many spells that benefit from it on this deck I should either remove it from the deck or maybe add another Sprint. This is an important change.

About Cogmaster's Wrench: another card that creates a need for mechs on the board. Maybe removing 1 and adding a Sprint would be good for the deck. Helps the problem above.

About Fan of Knives: is it better than Sap? I'm still testing. Likeing.

About Conceal: is it worth it? -1 Sap -1 Fan of Knives +2 Conceal?

 

Thanks guys :D

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I've made a mech rogue deck that works kind of like a midrange-aggression playstyle. It's built around synergy with Iron Sensei and Mimiron's Head to try to get as much value out of my minions as possible, and to try to control the board to win. This is the list:

 

2x Backstab

1x Cold Blood

2x Conceal

2x Deadly Poison

2x Blade Flurry

2x Eviscerate

2x Sap

2x Annoy-o-Tron

1x Goblin Auto-Barber

1x Mechwarper

1x Big Game Hunter

2x Harvest Golem

2x Iron Sensei

2x S.I.7 Agent

2x Mechanical Yeti

1x Antique Healbot

2x Azure Drake

1x Mimiron's Head

 

The overall goal is to put strong pressure and control on the midgame while also working towards the kill through use of Iron Sensei buffs, and Mimiron's Head+Cold Blood. I'm thinking of adding more defensive/end game minions such as Dr. Boom, Foe Reaper 4000, and Arcane Nullifier X-21, and also Sprint+Preparation. Please let me know what you think and what cards I should exchange for!

I have Naxxramas, and I am currently rank 9 on the ladder.

 

I've got a lot of dust to craft cards, around 1.2k

 

This deck looks fine as far as a Mimiron's Head deck goes, but I would like to point out that the archetype as a whole is not very competitive at a high level.

 

I would definitely cut the Mech Yetis for Arcane Nullifier, Nullifier and Annoy-o-Tron are really important for protecting your board and helping you to build up enough Mechs to activate the transformation.

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Alright, I took what you said into consideration, and completely remade my old deck. Here's what the new one looks like: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=91026/demon-army

What you said made complete sense, I had already thought of the sense demons/voidcallers losing value with my smaller minions, but I just disregarded it. Thinking about it again, I think the deck looks much better now. My main concern now is the chance that you voidcaller your Jaraxxus. With a much smaller supply of demons, it's much more likely to get him from sense demons, and ruin his battlecry. Do you think I should switch him with something else like Dr. Boom, Alextraza, Dread Infernal, etc.?

 

This looks better, but I think you've gone a little far with the 1 offs. Playing as many single copies as you are in the deck usually just leads to not having access to the card you need, when you need it. That problem is diminished in Warlock a little since you draw so many cards, but still. I think you should playtest the deck, and pay close attention to which of the 1 off cards are performing poorly, and then swap them out for 2nd copies of some of the others.

 

Pulling Jarraxus off Voidcaller shouldn't be a concern, having a 3/15 minion on board is extremely valuable, especially when you play Taunt givers in the deck.

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Ok, although I've been having good results so far, there is something off about this deck. Sometimes it just doesn't work and instead of aggression I just find myself trading my own minions for surviving and hoping for a blade fury save. Not sure about the role some cards play and maybe there are better options. Maybe it is just too focused on Mech, should I change that? 

 

Backstab x2

Preparation x1 (i'ts expensive!)

Deadly Poison x2

Cogmaster x2

Blade Fury x2

Eviscerate x2

Sap x1

Goblin Auto-Barber x2

Mechwarper x2

Cogmaster's Wrench x2

Fan of Knives x1

Harvest Golem x2

Iron Sensei x2

Tinker's Sharpsword Oil x2

Arcane Nullifier X-21 x2

Azure Drake x2

Sprint x1

 

Some thoughts:

About Azulli Drake: no doubts an anwesome card. Amazing vs Priests. I'm not using its full potential tho (spell damage +1 hardly ever serves me)

About Iron Sensei: I find it most often turning the board in my favor. However, it severely increases my needs for mechs. I still think that in the current stage of this deck, Iron Sensei is better than SI:7. I might be wrong. Also, Iron Sensei + Arcane Nullifier X-21 creates a huge board pressure.

About Preparation: Broken card rogue-wise, but since there aren't that many spells that benefit from it on this deck I should either remove it from the deck or maybe add another Sprint. This is an important change.

About Cogmaster's Wrench: another card that creates a need for mechs on the board. Maybe removing 1 and adding a Sprint would be good for the deck. Helps the problem above.

About Fan of Knives: is it better than Sap? I'm still testing. Likeing.

About Conceal: is it worth it? -1 Sap -1 Fan of Knives +2 Conceal?

 

Thanks guys biggrin.png

 

I definitely think cutting the Preparation is a decent starting point here.

 

Here's my suggested changes.

 

- 1 Prep

- 2 Cogmaster

- 1 Fan of Knives

 

+ 2 SI 7 Agent

+ 2 Piloted Shredder

This will slow down your starts a little bit, but it will go some way to address the lack of card draw, since it ups the curve of your deck a little, it makes you average draw bigger and more powerful, which makes your cards last longer. With access to the SI7 tempo play, you should also find yourself having to play catchup a lot less. Cogmaster is a fine card, but in a deck like this that really starts to become powerful in the midgame through Iron Sensei/Nullifier etc, I think you want to focus less on a fast start and more on making sure you really do dominate once you get momentum rolling.

 

Conceal is absolutely not unreasonable either, but I would only play 1 copy. You could also consider just something like a Gnomish Inventor to provide some more cycle.

 

You could also choose to go the other way, cut Azure Drake and Sprint entirely, and then top your curve out at Arcane Nullifier, add Double Jeeves, Cold Blood, Conceal etc and turn it into a more all-in Aggro deck. There's really a lot of things you can do with this shell.

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So Mimiron's Head isn't competitively viable? In that case, should I exchange it for another big minion like Dr. Boom? And if so, should I also replace Cold Blood?

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So Mimiron's Head isn't competitively viable? In that case, should I exchange it for another big minion like Dr. Boom? And if so, should I also replace Cold Blood?

 

You can stick with it, when I say a deck isn't competitive, I mean it's not a deck that people will be using to get high Legend ranks, or play in tournament, for mid-level ladder purposes it's totally fine if you're enjoying playing it. Honestly, part of finding a successful ladder deck is having fun with whatever you're playing, since a lot of being successful on ladder is just playing a large quantity of games.

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You're absolutely right, Sottle. I shouldn't really think so much of hitting Legend, when it's more important to just enjoy the game and let ranks be a side thing. I'll find a place for Arcane Nullifier in my deck like you said. I'm also working on a mech warrior, I'll list the rough draft here:

 

Warbot x2

Cruel Taskmaster x2

Armorsmith x2

Bouncing Blade x2

Acolyte of Pain x2

Whirlwind x2

Fiery War Axe x2

Screwjank Clunker x1

Iron Juggernaut

Death's Bite x2

Arcane Nullifier x2

Shield Slam x2

Junkbot x1

Siege Engine x1

Dr. Boom

Crush x2

Shield Block x2

Grommash Hellscream

This deck revolves around damaging your own minions while trying to control the board. Junkbot is here to exploit the damaged/weak mechs such as the Boom Bots from Dr. Boom and Warbots. A potential synergy I want to work out is Armorsmith and Siege Engine. I don't use execute due to Crush's synergy with Whirlwind, Bouncing Blades, Cruel Taskmaster, and Death's Bite. I think Junkbot and Siege Engine could be interchange-able though, perhaps for something like Alexstrasza.

 

 

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You're absolutely right, Sottle. I shouldn't really think so much of hitting Legend, when it's more important to just enjoy the game and let ranks be a side thing. I'll find a place for Arcane Nullifier in my deck like you said. I'm also working on a mech warrior, I'll list the rough draft here:

 

Warbot x2

Cruel Taskmaster x2

Armorsmith x2

Bouncing Blade x2

Acolyte of Pain x2

Whirlwind x2

Fiery War Axe x2

Screwjank Clunker x1

Iron Juggernaut

Death's Bite x2

Arcane Nullifier x2

Shield Slam x2

Junkbot x1

Siege Engine x1

Dr. Boom

Crush x2

Shield Block x2

Grommash Hellscream

This deck revolves around damaging your own minions while trying to control the board. Junkbot is here to exploit the damaged/weak mechs such as the Boom Bots from Dr. Boom and Warbots. A potential synergy I want to work out is Armorsmith and Siege Engine. I don't use execute due to Crush's synergy with Whirlwind, Bouncing Blades, Cruel Taskmaster, and Death's Bite. I think Junkbot and Siege Engine could be interchange-able though, perhaps for something like Alexstrasza.

I feel crush is an exceptionally weak card. Most of the synergies with crush would work just as well with execute, yet wouldn't require the damaged minion on the board. It's too situational, and the pay off isn't worth it. 

 

One of the biggest strengths with mech decks are their "sticky" deathrattle minions, such as piloted shredder, piloted sky golem and harvest golem, these cards are almost always "2 for 1" minions and allow you to keep minions on the board to synergise with later. I'd imagined harvest golem would work exceptionally well with junkbot, as you can get 2 buffs from it. 

Including Alexstrasza would be good I think, as it provides a great win condition (Alex into Grommash the follow turn). 

 

I can definitely see games where a siege engine spirals out of control very quickly, especially if you find a way to make it stick on the board for a turn or 2. 

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Hi! Let me introduce myself, I'm drafterITA, an Italian youtuber / streamer.
Since I started playing Hearthstone, around the beginning of this January (so a few weeks) I have found many many good advice here on Icy-Veins, so thanks Sottle! Keep up the good work.
Now I seek advice for my deck. I crafted your suggested Midrange/Aggro Legendary Hunter deck (http://www.icy-veins.com/hearthstone/legendary-hunter-midrange-aggro-naxx-gvg-deck) and with the upcoming Undertaker changes I was pondering if it needs adjustments..
Being assured that only the new meta will tell, I was thinking to replace the undertakers with 2 annoy o tron and the clockwork gnomes with 2 Hunter marks..
I don't have a lot of cards.. I basically disenchanted all my earned arena and booster packs cards to make this deck.

edit: I forgot to say that I'm around rank 15 in the ladder

Thank you very much for this post and the good content found on this website!
Regards,
drafter

 

edit: correction of a few errors, sorry for my English :)

Edited by drafterITA

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Hi, I'm not sure if this is a place for a noob like me, I will try though wink.png

I just started to play recently (rank 19) and made a Paladin deck based on your beginners guide.

I would like to know if I can improve it using my other cards and what cards I can work toward.

 

I have:

Commons: Seal of Light, Abusive Sergeant, Explosive Sheep, Mechwarper, Scarlet Crusader, Silvermoon Guardian, Antique Healbot, Spider Tank, Windfury Harpy
Rares: Injured Blademaster
 
And here is my deck:
qnSIfpo.jpg?1

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Hi,

 

I´am stuck in rank 13 for about 2 seasons. So, I think that I need some help to improve my decks.

 

I play mostly with Shaman and Hunter.

 

I have 2 Shaman decks:

 

I would like to know what is the better and what cards I need to change.

 

I have all the Naxx collection cards;

Shaman cards like:

  • forked lightning
  • Mana Tide Totem 
  • Far Sight

And some rare neutrals like argent commander and epics like faceless manipulator.

 

About the Hunter where´s my deck: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=93115/aggro-king

 

I don´t have savannah, snake trap. I only have 1 eaglehorn bow. 

About mech I have a few like: clockwork gnome, annoy-o-tron, spider tank, arcane nullifier x-21, mechanical yeti and piloted shredder.

 

A would like to hear your opinions! Thank You :) 

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Hi, I'm not sure if this is a place for a noob like me, I will try though wink.png

I just started to play recently (rank 19) and made a Paladin deck based on your beginners guide.

I would like to know if I can improve it using my other cards and what cards I can work toward.

 

I have:

Commons: Seal of Light, Abusive Sergeant, Explosive Sheep, Mechwarper, Scarlet Crusader, Silvermoon Guardian, Antique Healbot, Spider Tank, Windfury Harpy
Rares: Injured Blademaster
 
And here is my deck:
qnSIfpo.jpg?1

 

Do you have Naxxaramus? 

On my F2P account I've made a very budget "zoo" paladin using some of the cards from Naxx, very solid deck up to rank 10 or so.

If not, lets see what we can do.

I'd add a raid leader  and an abusive sergeant to the deck. The raid leader gives all your minions +1 attack, while the abusive sergeant is a 1turn + 2. This allows your recruits to trade up and gain value. I'd add a taunt or 2. With Naxxaramus Sludge Belcher is the best (imo), without it, you can use Senjin Shieldmasta which is a great card. Right now, I think you're curving a bit too high. Perhaps take out 1x boulderfist and 1x Stormwind

For cards to work towards:

1 . You need a strong early drop. Zombie chow is good, or shielded minibot. I'd usually run 1 chow and 2 minibots. (but 1 of each or 2 minibots is more than good enough)

2. You're lucky you've already picked up muster for battle and a knife juggler, that's a really strong combo. If you can get 2 of each of these, and then a quartermaster , that forms the basis of a really powerful paladin deck. 

3. The end goal Legendary is Tirion Fordragon, he's considered the best class-legendary in the game, so if you're still playing paladin as your main when you have enough dust, he's a very solid craft.

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Hello :)

Though my main class is Paladin, I want to use Shaman more often & I put together a deck that got me to rank 11 (im currently rank 9 now)

I know there is room to improve so I've come here to get some advice

x1 Earth Shock

x2 Lightning Bolt

x2 Rockbiter Weapon

x2 Crackle

x1 Annoy-o-tron

x2 Flametounge Totem

x2 Whirling Zap-o-matic

x2 Powermace

x2 Hex

x2 Lightning Storm

x1 Arcane Nullifier X-21

x1 Mechanical Yetty

x2 Piloted Shredder

x1 Doomhammer

x1 Antique Healbot

x2 Azure Drake

x2 Fire Elemental

Dr. Boom

Al'Akir the Windlord

I have all the Shaman commons & most rares, no epics other then Doomhammer & no Neptulon

I have most of the more used legends, Sylvanas, Cairne, Black Knight, Ragnaros & Sneed's Old Shredder.

A few neutral epics & the more used rares.

I also have the Naxx cards

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Hi! I'm rather new to Hearthstone, and at the moment will only be able to use gold, as work doesn't pick up for a few months. I'm grateful for this site, and the Basic deck for Rogue seems to be working well, but I was wondering if there were any cards I could use in addition to the ones for the Basic deck? I haven't crafted many cards but have bought quite a few decks. I have Rogue up to a level 22 at the moment if this helps. I know this may be a bit vague, and if so I apologize!

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Hi! I'm rather new to Hearthstone, and at the moment will only be able to use gold, as work doesn't pick up for a few months. I'm grateful for this site, and the Basic deck for Rogue seems to be working well, but I was wondering if there were any cards I could use in addition to the ones for the Basic deck? I haven't crafted many cards but have bought quite a few decks. I have Rogue up to a level 22 at the moment if this helps. I know this may be a bit vague, and if so I apologize!

I'm not a Rogue specialist, but when trying to find out how to improve my own deck I found few useful places:

Hunter Crafting Guide - though there is not that much info there, so you may want to look at hunters decks Here or Here and see what cards are commonly used to decide what is worth crafting.

It's not much, so if anyone can add something - don't hesitate!

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Hi! I'm rather new to Hearthstone, and at the moment will only be able to use gold, as work doesn't pick up for a few months. I'm grateful for this site, and the Basic deck for Rogue seems to be working well, but I was wondering if there were any cards I could use in addition to the ones for the Basic deck? I haven't crafted many cards but have bought quite a few decks. I have Rogue up to a level 22 at the moment if this helps. I know this may be a bit vague, and if so I apologize!

A few Rogue cards that are a must are Eviscerate & SI:7 Agent. Both can remove minions or provide enough damage to finish your opponent. Other very common cards like Cold Blood, Azure Drake, Blade Flurry & Goblin Auto-Barber are also very good for Rogue. Best of all, said cards are all Common or Rare, which is great for when your new. Im also NOT a Rogue specialist but these cards show up over & over again when ever i face Rogue or when i have played it. Of course there's also other cards that can work so if anyone else wants to pitch in that'll be great! I hope this helps!

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I'm working on my mage aggro deck since GvG came out. In the current meta I've had a fair amount of success with this:

 

MghVbDk.png?1

 

The focus is simply early spell damage and good tempo.

 

Any feedback would be great!

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Hi, I'm not sure if this is a place for a noob like me, I will try though wink.png

I just started to play recently (rank 19) and made a Paladin deck based on your beginners guide.

I would like to know if I can improve it using my other cards and what cards I can work toward.

 

I have:

Commons: Seal of Light, Abusive Sergeant, Explosive Sheep, Mechwarper, Scarlet Crusader, Silvermoon Guardian, Antique Healbot, Spider Tank, Windfury Harpy
Rares: Injured Blademaster
 
And here is my deck:
qnSIfpo.jpg?1

 

 

The changes you've made the the basic deck so far are pretty reasonable.

 

Out of the cards you have listed, you should definitely include Spider Tank and Scarlet Crusader in place of the Razorfens, definitely an upgrade there. But you seem to have a solid understanding on how to improve on the basic build. Keep it up and work towards one of our low budget decks instead!

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      #1 - Tempo Rogue
      2x Backstab 2x Shadowstep 2x Cold Blood 2x Fire Fly 1x Hallucination 1x Patches the Pirate 2x Southsea Deckhand 2x Swashburglar 1x Prince Keleseth 1x Edwin VanCleef 2x SI:7 Agent 1x Shaku, the Collector 2x Southsea Captain 1x Tar Creeper 1x Spellbreaker 1x Xaril, Poisoned Mind 1x Leeroy Jenkins 1x Shadowcaster 2x Vilespine Slayer 2x Bonemare The new king of the meta is a deck which very few would have expected to become as dominant as it has. Tempo Rogue was just starting to gain momentum before the nerfs hit, yet it now boasts the top overall win percentage across all levels of play and has made Rogue the most played class at rank 5 and above.
      Most would have pegged Highlander Priest to wear the “best deck in standard” crown after the nerfs as it was the second best deck and was left untouched by Blizzard in Patch 9.1. Though it’s still a great deck (and we’ll be talking much more about a bit later), the metagame has shaped up to be a tad more aggressive than Highlander Priests would have hoped for. With aggro and aggressively-slanted midrange decks making up roughly half of the top 16 decks in the format, it stands to reason that the deck with the highest number of favorable matchups against these aggressive decks would be an in excellent position to take over the meta.
      Sure enough, Tempo Rogue boasts even or positive winrates against all but two of the decks on the Reaper report. All but two. Though that might seem like Jade Druid levels of domination, the key difference between Tempo Rogue and the previous king of the meta is that it is much easier to beat the deck if you’re planning for it. It’s vulnerable to wide boards that are backed up by effects such as Bloodlust and Savage Roar, plays seven or more Pirates which can be gobbled up by a Golakka Crawler, and its worst matchup is against Highlander Priest, the second most popular deck in the format.
      The power of the deck lies in the massive amount of two for ones, and is capable of generating massive amounts of value on a card per card basis. SI:7 Agent, Fire Plume Phoenix, Blazecaller, and Vilespine Slayer develop the board while going 187 on the opponent’s minions, and more aggressively-minded cards such as Cobalt Scalebane, Bittertide Hydra, and Bonemare are capable of generating a board out of nowhere. These highly efficient cards afford the deck the ability to play greedier cards like Cold Blood and Leeroy Jenkins to help them go underneath the bigger control decks. The final piece of the puzzle which puts it over the top is Prince Keleseth, a card which makes it’s already highly efficient creatures even more cost-effective and is particularly deadly in combination with Shadowstep.
      Tempo Rogue’s incredible flexibility and ability to pivot between roles are what make it such a dominant force in the current meta. It can comfortably play the role of the control deck against decks the likes of Zoo Warlock and Pirate Warrior, yet maintains a healthy number of tools which allow it to favorably play the role of Aggro against the likes of Jade Druid and Control Warlock. It seems that the way to take advantage of it is to capitalize on the fact that it doesn’t run several historically crucial Rogue cards. Without neither Vanish nor Bloodmage Thalnos + Fan of Knives at their disposal, the deck can struggle a bit to regain initiative against cards which create a wide board. Living Mana is a living nightmare for Tempo Rogue to deal with, and a big part of the reason that Aggro Druid is one of the two popular decks which has a favorable matchup against it (along with Highlander Priest). Though the Reaper report claims that Tempo Rogue is currently favored against Token Shaman, I’d imagine that some slight tuning could turn the tides towards Shaman’s favor.
      #2 - Highlander Priest
      1x Silence 1x Holy Smite 1x Northshire Cleric 1x Pint-Size Potion 1x Potion of Madness 1x Power Word: Shield 1x Bloodmage Thalnos 1x Dirty Rat 1x Golakka Crawler 1x Loot Hoarder 1x Mind Blast 1x Novice Engineer 1x Radiant Elemental 1x Shadow Visions 1x Shadow Word: Pain 1x Spirit Lash 1x Wild Pyromancer 1x Acolyte of Pain 1x Curious Glimmerroot 1x Kabal Talonpriest 1x Shadow Word: Death 1x Kazakus 1x Priest of the Feast 1x Shadow Word: Horror 1x Lyra the Sunshard 1x Raza the Chained 1x Dragonfire Potion 1x Holy Fire 1x Prophet Velen 1x Shadowreaper Anduin Fret not Priest fans, the age of Anduin is alive and well. Raza and Shadowreaper Anduin teamed up to make Highlander Priest the only deck played by 100% of the field at the HCT Summer Championships. It feels nearly impossible to beat a perfect draw from Highlander Priest, and the relatively high degree of skill which the deck requires to play affords more talented players the opportunity to outplay opponent’s in games which go long. It has a very tough time closing out games if it doesn’t draw Shadowreaper Anduin and Raza the Chained, but the huge amount of card draw the deck packs makes that a relatively rare occurrence.
      I don’t need to spend too much time discussing the strengths of the deck as it has been around for a while and it’s upsides are quite obvious. Early iterations of the deck had it masquerading as a control deck that just happened to play a game ending combo, but the Hearthstone community has since discovered that it’s much better to fully embrace the combo nature of the deck. Highlander Priest can now be best described as a pile of the top Priest spells, two extremely powerful Highlander cards (Raza and Kazakus), and a bunch of card draw spells. The downside of Highlander decks are that they can often feel inconsistent due to the one-of deckbuilding restriction, yet Highlander Priest is able to largely avoid this pitfall by reducing its effective deck size with all of its card draw.
      Highlander Priest is undeniably powerful and has certain draws that feel outright unbeatable, yet it still has several exploitable weaknesses. The most obvious of these weaknesses is the Highlander nature of the deck which prevents it from running more than one copy of Priest’s key defensive spells. It gets to run both Dragonfire Potion and Pint-Size Potion + Shadow Word: Horror to deal with boards that attempt to go wide, but it only gets to run one copy of Shadow Word: Death to kill larger minions and typically struggles against boards that can go big early. Shadowreaper Anduin gets to clear away multiple 5+ power minions with its battlecry effect, but efficient beaters like Bittertide Hydra and Cobalt Scalebane (which also dodges Dragonfire Potion) come down on Turn 5 and threaten to end the game before the powerful Death Knight has the opportunity to say anything about it. Barring a strong turn 5 play, not overcommitting your 5+ power minions into a Shadowreaper Anduin battlecry trigger can set up a game winning follow-up play before the upgraded Hero Power has time to burst your life down to 0. The lack of removal for large minions also means that the deck does miserably against both Jade Druid and Big Priest. At the end of the day Highlander Priest has just about as many negative matchups as positive ones, and it’s overall winrate on the Reaper report is a very modest 50%.
      #3 - Zoo Warlock
      A perfect example of addition by subtraction, the best aggro deck for the current standard meta is the one that didn’t get hit by the nerfs in patch 9.1. Pirate Warrior was dealt a massive blow with the nerf to Fiery War Axe and Aggro Druids are still adjusting to the loss of Innervate. These nerfs, along with the nerf to Spreading Plague, has opened up the door for a new aggro deck to emerge as a tool for punishing the slower and greedier decks of the format. Though the decklist for Zoo Warlock has remaind basically unchanged from the pre-nerf meta, the downgrade to normalcy for the top dogs of the previous format is what has allowed Zoo Warlock to become a highly competitive deck.
      The greatest strength of the deck is its remarkable consistency to curve out with 1 drops. It gets to run more 1 drops than any of the other top Aggro deck thanks Warlock’s two awesome Imps and Voidwalker, all of which are Demons for the extremely powerful one-card game-ender that is Bloodreaver Gul'dan. The deck's massive number of 1 drops allows it to squeeze minions onto the board at every spot in the curve while Life Tapping whenever possible to pressure the opponent with a stream of threats. Its also the aggro deck that has the lowest opportunity cost for running Prince Keleseth, as the deck would likely only consider Darkshire Librarian and Dire Wolf Alpha at the two drop slot and is perfectly content with Life Tap or two one drops on turn two. An early Keleseth makes Zoo’s already aggressively-statted minions a nightmare to deal with for control players and a huge problem for other aggro opponents as the game goes long. All of these factors add up to a deck which currently has only four negative matchups on the Reaper report and the second best overall win percentage in the meta.
      The weakness of Zoo Warlock is its relative inability to regain control over the board once it has been lost. The deck’s only ways to immediately deal with threats are Doomguard and Soulfire, both of which discard cards from hand and can potentially put the Warlock at a huge disadvantage. Getting a large Taunt minion to stick on board is likely too much for a Zoo Warlock to overcome, which is a big part of the reason that Big Priest is the deck’s worst matchup. Control decks can prey on Zoo Warlock by sticking a Doomsayer and following it up with heavy board presence. Other Aggro decks can can punish Zoo by getting on the board early and fighting tooth and nail to not surrender control of the board. As the Warlock is likely to pressure it’s own life total with Life Tap and Flame Imp, it shouldn’t be too difficult to turn the corner and quickly end the game once the opportunity presents itself.
      Tech of the Week - Golakka Crawler
      Despite a massive drop in the playrate of Pirate Warrior, Patches the Pirate and Southsea Captain are enjoying all-time highs in terms of deck representation. Half of the top ten decks on the Reaper report run Patches, while the top deck in the format (Tempo Rogue) is running up to nine Pirates! As much as I would love to suggest a sexier tech card, the prevalence of pirates in the present patch make Golakka Crawler the tech of the week. I’d currently recommend cramming two copies of the crab into control or midrange deck with the flex spots to support it.
      Budget Beater #1 - Midrange Hunter
      2x Alleycat 2x Tracking 2x Crackling Razormaw 2x Golakka Crawler 2x Scavenging Hyena 2x Animal Companion 1x Deadly Shot 2x Eaglehorn Bow 2x Kill Command 2x Stitched Tracker 2x Unleash the Hounds 2x Houndmaster 2x Infested Wolf 1x Tundra Rhino 2x Savannah Highmane 2x Bonemare The time of the Hunter is upon us! One of the weakest classes in Journey to Un’Goro, Hunter has emerged as an effective choice in the current meta for all the same reasons that Zoo Warlock has. Midrange Hunter has some terrible aggro matchups, but it’s sticky creatures are problematic for nearly all of the top control decks in the format. This extremely budget-friendly deck is currently capable of carrying skilled or experienced Hunter pilots all the way to Legend, just be wary of aggro-heavy local metagames during your climb.
      Budget Beater #2 - Secret Mage
      Note: Requires One Night in Karazhan and 4 Epics.
      2x Mana Wyrm 2x Arcanologist 2x Frostbolt 2x Medivh's Valet 2x Primordial Glyph 2x Sorcerer's Apprentice 2x Arcane Intellect 2x Counterspell 2x Kirin Tor Mage 2x Mirror Entity 2x Fireball 2x Bittertide Hydra 2x Kabal Crystal Runner 2x Bonemare 2x Firelands Portal I’m including a second budget beater this week because Midrange Hunter decks are so commonly recommended as budget options. Secret Mage is a very well positioned deck in the current meta and a deck I played heavily during my own climb to Legend last month. It quietly boasts a better overall winrate than Highlander Priest despite having some of the most polarizing matchups in the entire game. It performs horribly against most of the current aggro decks while completely running over all of the popular control decks. The thing I love most about Secret Mage is that it’s fairly skill intensive. It takes a ton of thought to pilot the deck to it’s maximum potential, which is a bag part of what makes the deck such a blast to play.
       
      Conclusion
      The Hearthstone metagame is as healthy as it's been since the last rotation, and it's a great time to jump back on the competitive ladder if you previously scared off by the brief age of DruidStone. Fans of every single class have at least one solid deck for climbing the ladder, and no individual deck feels as though it's power level is beyond reproach.
      Good luck out there, and I'll see you all next time!
      - Aleco
    • By Zadina

      The big patch we were all expecting is finally live! It contains the removal of arena synergies, the new game mechanics update and the Hallow's End seasonal event.
      Firsly, the patch includes the changes to the sequence of triggers, which we have covered extensively in a separate article. A notable change is the removal of Arena synergy picks. That's not all, though: Vicious Fledgling will no longer appear in Arena, while appearance rate adjustments have been made to some cards.
      The patch also brings Nemsy Necrofizzle, the new Warlock hero, to the Hearthstone client. She is already available from October 17 and we will cover more about her in a next article!
      The October 2017 (Unholy Horror Knights) and November 2017 (Gone Fishing) Ranked Play Season card backs have been added to the client and you can view them below:

      The more exciting part of this patch is Hallow's End! This seasonal event will run for two weeks, from October 24 until November 6. According to Hearthpwn, during its first week we will get a free Whispers of the Old Gods pack and an Arena ticket. During its second week, we will get a free Knights of the Frozen Throne and an Arena ticket.
      The main hero portraits will have unique costumes (make sure to check them out on the Hearthpwn article linked above).  There will be a special Tavern Brawl with unique cards on the week of October 24. Moreover, during Hallow's End the Arena will have a dual class mode. You will choose a hero and then you will choose a hero power from a second hero. Then, you will be able to draft class cards from both heroes, as well as neutral cards. Bear in mind that any Arena run you have in progress will be automatically retired on October 24. You will receive rewards based on the number of your wins and a free Arena ticket.
      Lastly, Patch 9.2 contains various bug fixes. You can read the patch notes here.
    • By Zadina

      Starting from October 17, the new Warlock hero can be obtained from Fireside Gatherings.
      Her looks already betrayed that she's nothing like the evil Gul'dan, but now her voice emotes prove that Nemsy Necrofizzle is surprisingly cute for a Warlock!
      You can obtain the Gnome heroine by participating in a Fireside Brawl at an established Fireside Gathering Tavern. Pay attention to that last part: these places have already hosted 3 Fireside Gatherings in the past and have earned the Tavern banner. So, since a lot of Fireside Gatherings have popped up since Nemsy was announced, make sure you attend one in a proper Tavern!
      Blizzard Entertainment
      Beginning October 17, attend a Fireside Gathering Tavern near you and play in a Fireside Brawl to add Hearthstone’s newest Warlock Hero to your collection: Nemsy Necrofizzle!

      Don’t let Nemsy Necrofizzle’s small size and penchant for peaches fool you: behind those pigtails and goggles hides one of the most powerful Warlocks alive. Nemsy is utterly fearless, sharp as a razor, and she’s always cool under pressure. After all, you can’t command fel energies or summon horrifying demons from the twisting nether just by being nice. She’s your perky little pal—and a bonafide fel-flinging, soul-destroying mistress of dark forces!

      Nemsy loves it when her foes underestimate her. Appearances can be deceiving, and she knows that it’s what lies beneath the surface that counts.
       

      Join forces with Nemsy Necrofizzle and show your opponents just how adorable soul-devouring destruction can be! From October 17 onward, simply participate in a Fireside Brawl at an established Fireside Gatherings Tavern to add her to your collection.
      Find a Tavern
      Fireside Gatherings Taverns
      Fireside Gathering Innkeepers who have hosted at least one Fireside Gathering with checked-in guests can found a Tavern on the Fireside Gatherings website. Taverns have unique names and Tavern signs that perfectly embody the spirit of their communities. Taverns also persist between Gatherings, so they need your attendance and support to grow!
       

      If you’re wondering whether the Fireside Gathering you’re planning to attend is at an established Tavern, just check the event page! Each Tavern has a tavern sign associated with it, while other Fireside Gatherings use a Fireside Gatherings lantern instead.
      Learn More
      Fireside Brawls
      Fireside Brawls are special Tavern Brawls that can only be played at Fireside Gatherings! Each month there will be a different Fireside Brawl to try—check the Fireside Gatherings website to find out about the brawl that’s running this month.
      These special brawls run the whole month with no breaks, and they co-exist with the weekly Tavern Brawls. (source)
    • By L0rinda

      The HCT Summer Championship took place from 13-15 October 2017. The top four players advanced to the World Championship in January.
      After three days of competition the winner was   Surrender, who joins Planet Odd teammate Hoej at the World Championship. Surrender won a tense final 3-2 against   Orange, with the final game being a Highlander Priest mirror. In that game, Orange chose to mill Surrender for five cards to attempt to burn the combo, but the attempt failed. The VoD of the final can be found here.
      Listed below are the other finishing positions, and the number of packs you will receive for picking each player as your champion in the "Choose your Champion" promotion.
      Finalists, 4 Packs: Surrender, Orange. 
      Semi-Finalists, 3 Packs: JasonZhou, Purple
      Quarter-Finalists, 2 Packs: Empanizado, OldBoy, Pavel, Tom60229
      All other players were worth 1 Pack.
      All of the decks from the event can be found on our new esports section here.