Hearthstone Meta Snapshot – September 2018

The meta has shifted plenty, but the dust is finally starting to settle. Team Rankstar’s TypicalTyrant and NotoriousGHP are happy to present TRS’s Hearthstone Standard Tier List for September.  Currently, this is one of the most diverse metas we have had.  Most classes are at least playable, with many classes having multiple archetypes to choose from.  With plenty of decks to go over, let’s dive in.

Tier 1

Deathrattle Hunter: Deathrattle Hunter has gone through some innovation since the Boomsday Project expansion was released. New cards Spider Bomb, Mechanical Whelp, and Fireworks Tech have made the deathrattle game plan much more reliable. Swing turns with Dinosaur Egg plus deathrattle triggers create powerful early game boards that even some aggro decks struggle to deal with.  It has a strong match-up against Druid, which is currently the best class in the game, so expect to see plenty of Hunters and Deathstalker Rexxar during your ladder climb.

Zoo:  Zoo has returned as a tier-1 contender in today’s meta.  New strategies found with Happy Ghoul and cheap healing minions like Voodoo Doctor work well with the self damaging cards such as Flame Imp for powerful early game pressure.  Soul Infusion is another new tool for replicating cards, like Doubling Imp and Saronite Chaingang, to create amazing swing turns in the early/mid game stages. Zoo’s main game plan is still the same: play all your cards, tap, then play more cards until your opponent is dead.  With the new healing strategy, Zoo can tap through their entire deck and not put themselves at a risky life total.  Although not in a great position because of other popular tier 1 decks like even warlock and odd rogue, Zoo is still viable and probably the best competitive option on a budget.

Odd Rogue:   Odd Rogue didn’t change much with the release of Boomsday Project, with most lists just adding Giggling Inventor, the shift in the meta game created an environment that lets Odd Rogue thrive.  Preying on Zoo and Hunters while having a decent game against Druid makes Odd Rogue a top contender in the current meta.  A 2/2 dagger hero power has proven to be one of the strongest hero powers from Baku the Mooneater’s odd mechanic, and it fills the turn 2 curve very well.  With plenty of burst and new mid game board control with Giggling Inventor, Odd Rogue continues to be a viable and successful ladder strategy.

Malygos Druid:  Malygos Druid has proven to be quite the boogeyman in the current meta.  Malygos’s main strength is having few truly bad matchups.  Very few changes have been made since the expansion, but Flobbidinous Floop has made the burst damage strategy much more consistent.  After playing Malygos you can play a 4-mana copy with Floop the following turn, increasing the burst with swipes and moonfires as well as increasing the consistency of landing the combo.  Likely one of the best positioned decks in the meta, Malygos Druid will not be going away soon.

Quest Rogue: Quest rogue is simply the deck you cannot keep down. After a dominant performance at Dreamhack Montreal, and with 2 different nerfs, Quest rogue continues to be a strong force in the meta game with very polarizing matchups.

This deck only got better with the Boomsday release, as Giggling Inventor was a huge upgrade to the deck. Many of the top players have picked up Quest rogue, and with it having many near auto win matchups such as Control Warrior, I only expect it to become more popular.

Token Druid: A deck many overlooked at the start of the expansion, Token Druid is another tier 1 variation of Druid. This version combines powerful cards like Whispering Woods and Soul of the Forest to create wide board states that aren’t easy to interact with. The decks ability to build a board from few cards, and always be threatening massive burst with Savage Roar and Branching paths make it a prime contender for the best deck in the format. Some versions of Token druid have started to play Strongshell Scavenger to maximize its Spreading Plague, Saronite Chain-Gang and Giggling Inventor power. I expect more Token druids to pop up, and as they do more tech cards like Mossy Horror, Unleash the Hounds, and Whirlwind will be needed.


Even Warlock: Even Warlock has always been a crowd favorite, and now it is back into tier 1 Conversation. Having a very flexible removal suite, while also having game into basically every match up, Evenlock is a deck many pros have attached themselves to. Sometimes you can be the aggressors, dropping 8/8 giant’s on turn 3 into twilight drakes on turn 4, while other times allowing the opponent to act first as you play board clears and Spellstones to survive to Gul’dan. Gul’dan is still the primary win condition against Control, but it is a deck that allows you to choose your role depending on the match up and the game state. Evenlock may have been slept on at the start of the expansion but its match ups against popular decks like token Druid make it one of the top strategies in the format.

Tier 2

Shudderwock:  Likely the deck with the least amount of changes since the release of the Boomsday Project, Shudderwock is still showing plenty of success.  Lightning Storm, Volcano and Mind Control Tech are still reliable ways of holding down aggro. Decks like Odd Warrior are often too slow to properly deal with Shudderwock once the battlecry combo is successfully active.  The only card that has been added to most lists is Electra Stormsurge, and it is playing a crucial role in keeping the deck competitive.  Combined with Volcano and Lightning storm it guarantees a board clear.  Doubling healing rain is close to a Reno-sized effect.  Even Far Sight is better in a deck with Electra against other combo variants.  Shudderwock has lost some of its luster since Toggwaggle is being used as a more efficient and reliable control killer, but it is still very viable.

Toggwaggle Druid:  Although there is very little difference between Malygos Druid and Toggwaggle Druid in terms of deck list, the end game strategy is very different.  When utilizing both Toggwaggle and Azalina, Toggwaggle druid draws the deck as fast as possible and then swaps decks with the opponent while using Azalina to copy the opponent’s hand to make sure they can’t get their cards back.  Toggwaggle Druid became more popular after archetypes like Odd Warrior started shutting out the Malygos strategy.  Although slightly weaker to aggro, it still runs plenty of cards powerful against aggro, like Spreading Plague.  There have even been attempts at merging the Malygos and Toggwaggle strategy together with relative success.  It’s another reason to be prepared for Druid in tournaments and on the ladder.

Secret Hunter: Also referred to as midrange hunter, it is a more recent addition to the meta and gained a lot of popularity after it’s high performance in recent tournaments.  Reminiscent of older hunter strategies, it relies on getting the board early with preferably a Secretkeeper and using secrets to gain value with the Spellstone to keep board presence.  Secret Hunter is an aggressive deck that keeps other aggressive decks in check while being able to pressure decks like Even Lock or Token Druid.  With a surprising amount of range with few bad matchups, Secret Hunter for now is going to be a good choice for tournament and ladder play.

Odd Warrior: Odd Warrior is the warrior deck that many have been waiting for since the rotation of Justicar Trueheart. Odd warrior gained some massive tools in the Boomsday Project with Super Collider, Dr Boom, Zilliax and Dyno-matic fixing many of the deck’s weaknesses. Odd Warrior lines up nicely against many of the tier one strategizes but can be out valued by Quest Rogue and Death Stalker Rexxar quite easily. Odd Warrior has a fail rate and will struggle in matchups where it needs to be the aggressor, but will dominate matchups where it just needs to survive. Feasting on the likes of Zoo, Odd Rogue, Maly Druid and Tempo Mage, Odd Warrior lines up nicely into the meta game and will likely be a staple at the top until the next expansion.

Tier 3

Control Lock: Control lock has taken a back seat to other control warlock builds in previous metas but has made a return since Zoo has become a real threat.  Utilizing life tap to its full potential, it relies on managing the board with removal such as defile and hellfire until it can cheat out Voidlords through Possessed Lackey or its weapon. Gul’dan is the primary win condition, and a reliable way to grind the opponent out of the game with a consistent 6 life swap with the new hero power.  With Rogue and Druid rising in popularity, things are not looking great for control lock.  It is likely to still be a decent deck to climb with at lower ranks, since it simply feeds on aggressive strategies.

Tempo Mage: Returning in this meta with more of the same tricks.  Mana Wyrm and Sorcerer’s Apprentice continue to be the early game strategy to get the board early, clear the opponent’s board with cards like Arcane Missles and Cinderstorm, then go face.  Conveniently these cards help Mage sustain the board and apply damage to the opponent simultaneously.  However, although being the best deck for direct damage, it also has many weaknesses. Tempo mage has a lot of issues with any deck that goes wide, which describes all the aggro decks in the current meta.  If you expect Even Lock and Quest Rogue then it’s a great pick, otherwise you may find it struggles with the rest of the field.

Control Mage: One of the more inconsistent control decks on the ladder, as it only has 1 primary game plan.  Clear the board and play Jaina. Due to this, Control mage finds itself in tier 3 as it’s match ups against many of the top strategies are poor. Control Mage certainly crushes any and all aggressive decks but lacks meaningful interaction against various Druid or control strategies. I do not expect control mage to become more popular in the coming weeks, especially with Quest Rogue on the rise.

Odd Paladin:  Odd Paladin continues to show itself on ladder and events, although in smaller numbers than in the previous meta.  Odd paladin’s success in the meta has a lot of dependence on the popularity of Odd Warrior and Warlock.  When other aggressive strategies are popular, or decks like Quest Rogue, Odd Paladin can be a great choice to punish them.  The hero power creates tons of trade value and pressure so most other aggro decks have issues keeping up.  Level Up and Vinecleaver are still defining cards for the deck and necessary to have any late game value with Odd Paladin.

Big Druid:  It’s amazing how many Druid deck descriptions we had to write for this tier list.  This is the most competitive decks one class has ever had in a meta. Once again this deck relies on Wild Growth and Nourish.  Big Druid utilizes cards like Dragonhatcher and Master Oakheart to build massive board pressure as fast as possible.  Similar in strategy to Taunt Druid, it gives up its value plan with Cube to more reliably build a large board that most decks can’t deal with.  Big Druid has a lot of high roll potential and ramping into Oakheart is one of the highest percentage strategies in Hearthstone currently. Unfortunately, when it does not draw Oakheart or Dragonhatcher the deck feels very slow and clunky.  This will be the druid list people will turn to if aggro decks get too out of hand.

Even Shaman:  Even Shaman has gotten a reasonable amount of attention in the earlier part of the meta with the release of Boomsday Project.  Even Shaman is one of the “most fair” decks currently in the meta.  It has few high tempo plays outside of Sea Giant and relies on playing high value cards to keep control of the board.  Although it doesn’t have a glaringly bad match up, it is unfavored against several of the key decks in the current meta.  It does better in a tournament setting when it can plan around it’s bad match ups more effectively.

  That’s all for our current meta analysis for Standard Constructed Hearthstone.  Hope you agreed, or at least enjoyed our analysis!  Continue to visit TeamRankStar.com for updates and strategies on Hearthstone, Eternal, and much more!

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