Hearthstone nerfs hit some decks hard, but these decks are all winners
The nerfbat swingeth in Hearthstone. While it looks like Cubelock survived, Quest Rogue and Spiteful decks have all but disappeared. Fear not Malfurion (or Lunara) fans, because Druid still has two strong decks to choose from — but Paladin didn’t fare as well as both Even and Odd variants look much less formidable.
Decks at the top of the meta
These decks are the best of the best according to the community, but not everyone will have the cards to make them work.
The spiritual successor to Even Paladin, this is deck wants to flood the board with small minions, then buff them up. Savage Roar gives it a powerful finisher. It holds its own against most other token-based decks but it can struggle against control decks with plenty of AOE potential.
This deck is a tank. It’s taken multiple hits from the nerfbat and is still standing. It can cheat out a huge taunt to frustrate minion decks and put out a surprising burst to finish off control decks.
Cubelock’s cousin uses many of the same tools to survive against swarm decks. It relies on Rin the First Disciple to summon the deck-destroying Azari, the Devourer, which makes combo and control decks powerless. Nemsy Necrofizzle is no trifling gnome.
The nerfs have reset the Witchwood meta and as in other unsettled times, Miracle Rogue has come to the fore. I’m not sure how long Miracle will remain strong, as it can struggle against the more aggressive flood decks, but it posses a serious challenge to both Warlock decks.
Another deck from the early days of the Witchwood meta, Shudderwock is again terrorizing the ladder. It provides enough minions and healing to outlast aggressive decks while control decks give it time to execute its game plan. Even if it fails to achieve a one turn kill, Shudderwock still builds a powerful board which can finish the job.
While not as strong as the other decks on this list, I’m happy to see Taunt Druid doing well. I saw potential in Hadronox from the moment I saw the card, and Witchwood brought the Witching Hour. This card brings Hadronox back and leaves you enough mana to summon a Carnivorous Cube. With a ton of lifegain and five or six boards filled with taunts, Taunt Druid is a tough for any deck to defeat.
Decks from Dreamhack
Dreamhack Austin was the first Hearthstone tournament after the nerfs hit, and it gave us a good look at where the meta might be headed. Profession Hearthstone card slinger, Amnesiac, took first place in the tournament, so let’s take a look at the decks which took him there. While these decks are strong, it’s important to remember that not all tournament decks do as well in the less controlled environment of the ladder.
Token “Roar” Druid
This is the same deck as above. Amnesiac’s win helped bring Token Druid to the forefront of the meta.
This is a another token- and minion-based deck. While many of the cards in this deck have “reach,” Hagatha is your only true AOE, which can be a problem. Reach is a Hearthstone term for doing damage from the hand from either a minion’s battlecry or spells. For example, Fire Elemental does three damage when played.
This version of Handlock decks brings a mixture of life gain and taunts. With a one mana hero power, you’ll never be out of cards. A taunted-up Mountain Giant or Hooked Reaver can put a serious kink in an aggro deck’s game plan.
One of my favorite decks right now if the venerable Quest Warrior. It packs loads of AOE to deal with minion decks and taunts to protect Garrosh’s ugly mug. There’s a bit of strategy about when to switch from defense to offense and start raining down fireballs on your opponent. Go too soon and you might get burst down. Go too late and the other deck might have time to complete its own win condition.
Decent decks on a budget
If you’re on a budget or don’t have a huge collection, these are some solid decks to try out. They will serve you well on the upper end of the ladder and should get you your five wins for the monthly card back or doing some quests. Remember that with smart saving and doing your quests, you can save up thousands of gold for each expansion.
This deck has been around in various forms since the first days of Hearthstone. It can have great starts and keep pressure on your opponent the entire game. Dire Frenzy, Wingblast, and Lifedrinker have all been excellent additions.
This deck does need one Legendary card, Baku the Mooneater, which puts your opponent on the clock from turn one. This version uses Carnivorous Cubes to build up a board of Marsh Drakes. The Drakes summoned by the Cubes don’t spawn the poisonous minion for your opponent, which allows you to use the Cubes while you save up to build the rest of your Taunt wall against Druid or Cubelock.
This takes the Charge and Weapon package from the old Pirate Warrior and combines it with the excellent Rush minions Warrior got in Witchwood. It’s great for grabbing tempo early and bursting down your opponent before they can get their own plans into action.
Combo Priest is another deck which has been around for many expansions. It uses the well-known Divine Spirit and Inner Fire combo to create a huge minion. This version uses the Crazed Alchemist as a backup in case your Inner Fire gets burned or you have to use defensively.
Burn, baby burn. Fireballs and Frostbolts don’t care about your silly taunts. An unanswered Mana Wyrm can put your opponent behind the curve fast and a well-timed Counterspell can prevent your opponent from swinging the board back into their favor.
This is an exciting time in Hearthstone as the nerfs upset meta applecart once again. Players are still experimenting with different decks and game plans. What are you seeing on the ladder and what is your go to deck right now?
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