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HearthstoneAug 5, 2019 7:00 pm CT

Eight great decks to try in the opening days of Hearthstone’s Saviors of Uldum

Ah, the opening days of a new Hearthstone expansion! Saviors of Uldum comes out tomorrow, and we’ll see players experimenting with new cards and new decks. The “best” deck will change often as players refine their decks and counters arise.

But for now, let’s look at eight of the decks I’m anticipating we’ll see in early days of Saviors of Uldum.

Hearthstone’s deck archetypes

For each of the theorycrafted decks, I’ll identify its major archetype. There are four basic archetypes in Hearthstone: Aggro, Midrange, Control, and Combo.

Aggro is short for aggression. These decks are all about speed: their game plan is to kill their opponent before they can execute their own strategy. These decks tend to be cheaper in terms of dust cost and it’s rare for them to run a card which has a mana cost higher than 5. Successful Aggro decks change every expansion, but they’ve seen success in every meta. With good card draw, they can defeat any other archetype. That isn’t to say they don’t have a weakness: if their opponent can withstand their initial charge, Aggro decks run out of steam and can’t answer larger threats coming down.

Overall, Aggro is good against Combo and Control, but struggles against Midrange.

Midrange decks are similar to Aggro, but these decks have tools to not only grab the board early, but also to continue to apply pressure throughout the midgame. They run larger and more expensive cards than Aggro decks because they want to keep the momentum going throughout the game, never giving their opponent a moment’s respite.

Midrange fares well against Aggro. They can go card for card in the early game, but have more powerful cards for the late game. They can be fast enough to handle Combo, but are vulnerable to Control outlasting them.

Control decks are all about value. They look to remove everything their opponent puts on the board and survive until they can drop their big, expensive cards. They run their opponent out of steam and grind out a victory. As a former tank player in World of Warcraft, I adore these decks.

Control decks can get run over by an Aggro if they don’t draw answers to counter their speedy playstyle, and they’re slow enough to give Combo time to acquire its pieces and pull off their combos.

Combo decks rely on a specific set of cards that they combine to win the game. It’s a bit like laying down the winning hand in more traditional card games.

Aggro and Midrange will try to kill them before they can pull off their  combo. Control will try to disrupt them as best they can. Combo has been underrepresented in Rise of Shadows, but might see an increase in Saviors of Uldum, much to the chagrin of my Control-loving heart.

So with those archetypes in mind, let’s look at some of the decks the community has theorycrafted.

Metabomb’s Mogu Rogue

This is a Combo deck powered by the new 1-mana Mogu Cultist card. If you can get seven of them on board, they all die and summon Highkeeper Ra. This 20/20 will deal 20 damage to all enemies, including your opponent’s face. If that doesn’t win the game outright, it will clear your opponent’s board leaving him to deal with a 20/20.

Rogue has the tools to generate plenty of Cultists with Togwaggle’s Scheme, Lab Recruiter, and Tak Nozwhisker. This deck also employs Jepetto Joybuzz, hoping to hit Faceless Manipulator. It uses Rogue’s tempo tools to stay alive long enough to pull off the combo.  I can see where this deck might be a blast to play, and I look forward to the YouTube videos already, but I’m not sure if the deck will work on a consistent enough basis. Since Vanish was exiled to the Hall of Fame, Rogue seems to struggle with wide boards. 

Dekkster’s Tess Rogue

I’ve been trying versions of this deck in Rise of Shadows, but I haven’t been able to make it work. There’s more support for the deck in Saviors of Uldum so why not give it another shot?

I think of this as a Control deck because you’re all about value. It uses Togwaggle’s Scheme to make many copies of Tess Greymane and most decks can’t survive multiple uses of her. She can summon lots of minions and cast a lot of spells, though you do have to be careful with the cards you play from other classes. That first time you drop her can be a bit nerve racking: if she kills herself, you can’t copy her and like Yogg, the effect ends.

This deck might be better in Casual than Constructed. It’s a blast to play, but it will probably be inconsistent. I’d be thrilled to be wrong.

Metabomb’s Zoo Priest

Most Priest players are hoping for a viable deck in Saviors of Uldum to bring their class up from the bottom tier of Hearthstone, and this might do it. This is a Midrange, tempo-based deck. It wants to play minions on curve, buff them, and make good trades which leave your minions damaged, but alive, and your opponent’s minions all dead (not just mostly dead).

You overwhelm your opponent with constant and unrelenting pressure, buffing your minions with Extra Arms or High Priest Amet (who buffs the health of summoned minions to match his own). This works well with Reborn minions. This deck can also steal games with Divine Spirit and Inner Fire.

Kripparian Boar OTK

This is a simple combo deck from Kripparian and also employs High Priest Amet. You buff Amet’s health as much as you can, then  drop your Stonetusk Boar and Topsy Turvy for a win. It runs the same spells from the Zoo package (Extra Arms, Divine Spirit, Inner Fire) but also includes Obelisk’s Eye from the Activate the Obelisk Quest as yet another potential buff. You could also get the Titanic Lackey off your EVIL Conscriptor to give Amet more health, as well as taunt.

Kripparrian Quest Shaman

This deck is all about completing the Corrupt the Waters Quest for the Heart of Vir’naal. I consider this a Control deck because it’s all about value: double minions and spells from Swampqueen Hagatha, double Lackey Battlecrys, double Lackey generation from EVIL Cable Rat and Sludge Slurper, double heals and damage with Lifedrinker. Huge minions from your Bog Slosher. Weaponized Wasp becomes a Fireball (and can hit face). Plenty of board clear from Thunderhead, Sandstorm Elemental and Earthquake.

If somehow your opponent has survived all that, you still have Shudderwock for a huge power play of board clear and card generation.

Kripparrian Quest Druid

Druid is a one trick pony in Rise of Shadows: Token Druid is a good deck, but it’s the only viable one. Quest Druid looks to add another option.

This is more of a Control deck which seeks to outvalue your opponent. Crystal Merchant provides card draw to mitigate the normal downsides of Quests taking your turn one to play them as well as a mulligan spot. Keeper Stalladris gives tremendous value with all the Choose One cards in the deck even if you have to play him before you complete the quest. The deck stalls through big taunts like Anubisath Defender and Hidden Oasis (which also gives a heal), and a combination heal and draw from Overflow. Lucentbark might eventually find a home in a deck like this.

Kripparian Quest Paladin

This has all the makings of an Aggro deck with only a single card costing more than 5 mana. But if you get behind, your only real comeback card is Zilliax.

Reborn minions are sticky and can overwhelm an opponent and it includes a Magnetic Mech package that had some success in Rise of Shadows. I do question an Aggro deck giving up turn one to play the quest, but it’s possible you could hold the quest until you wanted to play a Reborn minion.

Yogg-Saron’s Puzzle Box of Dragons

Hearthpwn user Syntex brings us a new version of the Conjurer Mage deck played with great success in Rise of Shadows. This plays like a normal Conjurer Mage and still has the power plays of Conjurer’s Calling on Mountain Giants, and it runs the dragon package.

That’s already a whole heap of value for your opponent to deal with, but wait, there’s more! This deck also has the new 10-mana Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron and can put it into play four times thanks to the new Tortollan Pilgrim. The challenge will be survival as this deck packs eleven cards costing 7 mana or more. One possible addition would be the new Naga Sand Witch.

Trump’s Highlander Secret Hunter

Here’s something I didn’t expect to see. This is a Highlander deck, but runs two copies of Hyena Alpha. The card is just that good.

Dinotamer Brann only looks at your current deck, so once you’ve drawn one Hyena Alpha, the effect will go off. This strategy allows the deck to run many Hunter secrets, forcing your opponent into sub-optimal plays to deal with them. Zul’jin puts all of your secrets back into play, while Subject 9 helps with the Hunter weakness of card draw and thins the deck.

If you’re looking for a more traditional Secret Hunterm, Heartpwn user Goatz has you covered.

Avoid crafting cards just yet

As tempting as it might be, I would advise against crafting new cards until the meta settles a bit. My usual recommendation is to wait two weeks, but I’m giving myself permission to ignore my own advice if I don’t unpack two Puzzle Boxes. Your initial play options will be limited to what you open in your packs and the cards you’ve already invested in from Rise of Shadows. Expect to see many players still playing their same Bomb Warriors, Aggro Mech Hunters, and Conjurer’s Mage with few, if any, new cards.

Those are some of the decks I’m interested in, but what about you? Which cards and decks do you think will end up dominating the Saviors of Uldum meta? What are you looking forward to playing?

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