Alongside Awedragon and RenoJackson, we would like to thank these top legend players who had taken part in giving us experts’ opinions: Spiral, Siveure, Bananaramic, Hijodaikan, SgtSlay3r, Dean, Tripz, ksr, DestructYou, Yami and Dajmond. Their Twitters are to be listed at the end of the report.
Welcome to the Second Edition of Team Rankstar’s Wild Meta Snapshot for 2019! In this meta report, we will be going through a tier list of 45 decks we’ve seen frequently on ladder, explain the method of computing the tier list, break down the meta and analyse the deck as detailed as it needs to be. This report would also be the last one for Rastakhan meta as we know it, as we bid it farewell and welcome Rise of Shadows with high hopes.
We collected experts opinion through a spreadsheet, where our 14 Top Wild legend players will rate the given decks with a corresponding score from 1 to 4 in increments of 0.5 (with 1 being top Tier 1 and 4 being bottom Tier 4). We then collect the result, standardize them and categorize them in 4 different Tiers. This is what they mean:
Tier 1 (Meta-defining)
Highly-optimized decks with extreme raw power that are very well positioned in the meta.
Tier 2 (Legend-viable)
Competitive decks that are not as well-rounded, but can snatch games off of tier 1 decks or prey on their direct counters.
Tier 3 (Average)
Fringe decks that can capitalize on pocket metas that allow it, however are either suboptimal or outmeta.
Tier 4 (Underwhelming)
Decks at a weaker power level that require an extensive understanding to be able to pilot well, however are not recommended for ladder experience.
Within each tier, decks are categorized to either High tier or Low tier to further differentiate their power level.
It’s great that Blizzard realised that Genn and Baku are a problem in Standard, but what they do not seem to figure out is they are also ravaging Wild just as gravely! Their inimitable consistency proves to be even more effective than Voidcaller and Barnes, with Genn and Baku both occupied the first two spots in our latest report. Kingsbane Rogue has been knocked to rank 3, being more susceptible to hate cards, but still a fine option on ladder nevertheless.
Even after losing its title to Even Warlock, Kingsbane Rogue still has to carry the flag for our enigmatic Valeera, as Odd Rogue completely dwindled after Cold Blood nerfs. Cold Blood as proven to be a much more important card to aggressive strategies than Flametongue Totem, which leaves the Odd Rogue short of damages far too often. Rogue fans still have something to cheer about though: Mill Rogue is now a legit deck again, sitting at a respectable tier 3. The Mill strategy still works really well against control, while packages such as the good old N’zoth taunts and Antique Healbot + Zilliax made it possible to win aggro matchups as well. Rogue’s Kryptonite that is Paladin are flourishing on ladder, but that’s to be expected anyways, since their card quality is so good it’s almost impossible going wrong picking Paladins on ladder.
Once the only class that three archetypes represented in the top two tiers, now Warlock has to share that title with Priests. It seems that Priest is the go-to class for a burn win condition now, with 3 of its 5 decks within the top 2 tiers involve being able to just outright killing your opponent from 30 (that is excluding Reno Priest, which was THIS close from breaking into tier 2). Priests just feel really consistent right now, and with so many variants on ladder that are good against a multitude of matchups, you can’t really expect to win against it every game. As some said, ‘a meta where Priest dominates is never a fun meta’, you might be exhaling in relief knowing that the new expansion will soon be shaking things up!
Mage is largely a hit-and-miss, with its strongest deck Aluneth boosts really strong winrate versus control but struggles against aggro. Its matchup spread is similar to Kingsbane Rogue, although it does almost everything a bit less effectively, apart from… beating Kingsbane themselves. Druids should have been the class that were affected the most by nerfs to its evergreen cards, but the excessive armour gain given to it proved very reliable. However many nerfs should they receive, they would still probably be here to stay. Hunters and Warriors, on the other hand, are having the least representation in Wild, but they do have strong decks to fall back to. Deathstalker Rexxar’s beast pool in Wild makes it so the card can’t ‘carry’ as hard as it does in Standard, while Warriors are desperately yearning for impactful cards to be printed that are not only relevant to Standard. From our personal standpoint, Warriors’ supports for Wild have been lacklustre for several expansion now, and Garrosh might be completely irrelevant should the next set not give them anything pertinent.
Ranked: 1 (+1)
Evenlock has risen to the top of the tier list. With 12/14 experts rating it high tier 1, it’s undeniable that this is the best deck in the current meta. The constant threats the deck can bring to board can easily overwhelm any deck if unchecked. Once low in health, Molten Giants can swing the tempo back to Evenlock in almost an instant. Apart from its consistency, the flexibility in tech choices also made Evenlock a premium deck to queue into almost any meta. With a couple of Spellbreaker or Shieldbreaker, the deck has no problem slamming an 8/8 into faces.
Ranked: 2 (+2)
A very close second, Odd Paladin only lost out for only having one expert voted it tier 2. Turns out “Level Up!” wasn’t as huge a loss as people expected, when there would be so many other choices that could fit into the archetype. With the power of Baku, recruits keep on filling the board. Many cards in its arsenal take advantage of this, buffing the recruits or discounting Corridor Creeper. Leeroy paired with Blessing of Might provides the finishing blow to close out many games. One of the biggest allure to the deck is the favorable matchup against many other aggro decks, prominently Kingsbane. Most aggro cannot combat the flooding of minions and with Rise of the Shadows, even some control decks will have problems once the new secret, Never Surrender, is played.
Ranked: 3 (-2)
Kingsbane Rogue has lost some grounding with the prominence of Odd Paladin and other aggro decks, but it doesn’t dismiss it as the strongest deck in terms of raw power. It can get on board as quickly as any other premium aggro decks out there while having the infinite damage weapon to fall back on. Preparation provides huge tempo swings, abusing cards like Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil, Raiding Party or Myra’s Unstable Portal, while Sap allows Kingsbane to hit face with ease. However, its unreliable matchups into aggro and it being generally less resistant to tech cards are holding it back a little bit.
Ranked: 4 (+1)
Once again, Aggro Paladin is placed at low tier 1. With the power of High Priest Thekal into Molten Giant, games can just be decided as soon as TURN 2 OR 3! Sounds good if you’re the one who are in for some quick games. If that isn’t enough, the deck can refill with Divine Favor or finish the game with Loatheb, Tarim or Leeroy. The mech package is still favoured over egg or general aggro, and should be the one you expect to run into.
Mind Blast Priest
Ranked: 5 (+2)
Now that many of the experts have agreed on the strengths of Mind Blast Priest, the deck is put at where it belongs. The most consistent combo-control deck out there, it has a really solid package overall: dragon synergy cards provide either great value or tempo; Psychic Scream to stall out to late game; then pieces to OTK their opponent. A flaw to the deck is the weakness to Kingsbane, but it can be corrected with reasonable around of tech cards.
Ranked: 6 (-3)
Fallen to the bottom of tier 1, Mecha’thun Warlock, while still fine as it is, is outshone by even better options. Like many other warlock decks, Mecha’thun takes advantage of their strong class cards: Voidcaller and Voidlord, Defile and Godfrey. Its inevitability make it so many decks are just absolutely hopeless against the menacing Gul’dan. The demon package is the most common variant of the deck but don’t be surprised to see Hemet included.
Ranked: 7 (New)
A brand new deck POGCHAMP! Well, kind of, but not really. Remember Mooner’s Big Burn Priest with Prophet Velen, Malygos and Zilliax that won the Wild Open? Yes, this is that deck. We felt like it’s different enough from regular burn priest to become its own archetype, and the results are certainly showing so. Most experts agree that it punishes control even harder than its sibling, while the inclusion of Zilliax helps fending off aggro fairly consistently.
Ranked: 8 (-2)
How the mighty have fallen. No longer the terror that sprinkles fear onto everybody else, without Flametongue Totem, Even Shaman has been reduced to just one of the options. There are certainly many more options you can slot into the allotted 30 cards that doesn’t sacrifice much of Shamans strength, but now as Shamans only pumped out overstatted and undercosted minions, dealing with them is an easier task. Get used to your new home at tier 2, Thrall, you’re going to stay here much longer.
Ranked: 9 (-1)
This is the ONLY deck that every single expert agreed on the ratings: they all smashed that button 2 on the keyboard. Aluneth Mage variants are mostly secret right now, and they’re still doing what they do best: handing sweet justice to all those slow grindy decks. With its bad matchups in Even Shaman and Odd Warrior not all that prevalent, the Mage is only really afraid of Paladins and Hunters. It is regarded by the majority of experts as one of the best decks to queue into a Control-heavy pocket meta, so if you’re seeing a few too many Anduins (as you might be after this report is published), Jaina is ready to swing her great staff.
Ranked: 10 (+1)
Anyfin deck has that ultimate murloc burst, but in return, you sacrifice… everything else. It’s a way less consistent Aggro Paladin that offers you the option to close out games where Aggro Paladins lacks in reach. But generally, it does the same thing as other Paladins: it beats Rogue and it wins boards, and on rare occasions, you might do it even better with Finja! However, you might find it a bit harder to smash through Warlock and Priest taunts without huge early Murlocs though.
Ranked: 11 (-2)
Regular Big Priest is now bottom tier 2, even though it has the arguably most broken card in the format that is Barnes. Turns out the deck is highrolly and inconsistent, at least less consistent than Big Burn Priest where you can eventually seek for inevitability. Perceived as inferior to Big Burn Priest by our experts, maybe people will start switching to the different but still ominous version soon?
Ranked: 12 (-2)
Cubelock has fallen to low tier 2, as there are other Warlock decks that just get the job done better than it does. But it sure still has that highroll potential with Voidcaller and Skull of the Man’ari, which means that sometimes it can even seal games faster than Aggro decks. Cubelock also seems to be a decent tournament choice, with both players bringing it advanced to the finals of Team One Trick’s Specialist tournament.
Ranked: 13 (-1)
Togwaggle Druid, in the form of crazy cycle with Gadgetzan Auctioneer and a bunch of cheap spells into Togwaggle + fatigue burn, is regarded as one of the most (if not the most) skill testing deck in the meta right now. Wild Pyromancer allows the deck to have a fighting chance against Aggro, while Togwaggle Druid usually cycles way too fast for any other combo decks to compete. Compared to last edition, the ratings for Togwaggle Druid is less spreaded out, but the deck is still where it is. It’d be interesting to see a deck with high skill cap being played more in the meta, whether it be this deck, or the one we’ll show you right below.
Ranked: 14 (+10)
Probably the reason why we didn’t release the report on April’s Fools day! With nearly half of the panel rating it high tier 2, APM made a whopping jump from 24th to 14th! A highly skill testing deck with the use of infinite Velen’s Chosen buffs into Test Subject for Holy Smith lethal, APM Priest can deal with aggro surprisingly decently when you can reliably complete the quest as soon as turn 6! There’s a lot of decision making to be make though, so you’d really want to at least perfect your card-spamming-before-the-rope-ends skills before getting into it.
Ranked: 15 (+1)
Considered a top tier 1 deck in the past, the terrifying past where Spreading Plague costed 5 mana, Jade Druid’s strengths continue to bring it back even with the nerf of core cards, Wild Growth and Nourish. The primary reason the deck is still powerful is due to Jade Idol and its abilities to win any matchup in terms of value. Over time it gained more tools to interact with aggression, while also winning games against control with the immense number of card draw. Just avoid those pesky Skulking Geists and you’ll win against most control matchups.
Ranked: 15 (+5)
Great news for Warrior fanatics: Garrosh is no longer absence from the top pack! Regarded as ‘overrated’ by some players, Odd Warrior is still the best honest control deck to play right now. It shuts down aggro, and depending on your build, you can win some games against Control as well. Warlocks are still a great demise, but with decent matchups going into most tier 1 decks, Garrosh does have his niche to shine.
Ranked: 15 (-1)
Ever since Boomsday, Mech Hunter has been a strong contender in the meta, and it still is. Hunter has the best way of abusing a wide board of mechs using Metaltooth Leaper to permanently buff the minions. Once the hand is depleted, it can use Jeeves to refill and constantly do so if not contested. Even leaving one Mech alive can bring doom upon their opponents, buffing with one of the many magnetic minions in the deck. Pairing with Hunter’s extremely aggressive hero power, Mech Hunter is a threat you’ll have to watch out for.
Inner Fire Priest
Ranked: 18 (-1)
Finally, after so long sticking to the Dragon shell, Inner Fire got another viable shell! RickyMartin hit #2 legend with this remarkable Inner Fire Priest, that utilizes Gnomeregan Infantry and Vivid Nightmare to deal 30 damage out of nowhere! This build of his is very good against Control, but the Dragon version is more reliable versus aggro. Nevertheless, Inner Fire stays at the bottom of tier 2.
Ranked: 19 (-4)
‘What comes from Standard, should stay in Standard’ might hold some merit to it after all. The Wild counterpart of Beast Hunter feels like it’s still short of something to become a constant threat, even when it gained Alley Cat, Kindly Grandmother, and Quick Shot. Although Master’s Call and Deathstalker Rexxar now relieves the main problem Beast Hunter once had in card draw and ensure the Hunter has constant fuel to play with, a huge Scavenging Hyena is sometimes not overpowered enough in a meta where you can pump out 20/20s worth of stats on turn 3.
Tier 3 & 4
The state of Reno decks is dividal. While Reno Priest and Renolock are still presenting strong showings and are really close to sneaking into the top 2 tiers, Reno Mage dwells even deeper into the ‘fun’ tier. The deck is just too honest, and unfortunately with cards like Flamestrike and Blizzard still in classic, we are unlikely to see a Defile or Mass Hysteria sort of clear for Control Mage anytime soon.
Hunter decks that rely on the Spellstone are really feeling the impact of the nerfs: they’re just nowhere to be seen anymore! 6 mana spellstone is just not good enough for Wild, and it turns out when there’s no value to compensate for the early tempo loss, Hunters just can’t hold their own all that well. Obscure Rogue decks are, on the other hand, advanced from their positions. Awedragon took Quest Rogue to legend, while some people have been using Mill Rogue as a legit counterqueue strategy. It’ll be interesting to see the state of Rogue coming into the new expansion with all the shuffle and Thief cards being introduced.
Many new decks have left enough of a mark on ladder to be featured on our report for the first time! SirFunchalot has found success with Malygos Warlock, Mentalistic with Exodia Paladin and RenoJackson with Even Mage. Although not the most competitive of decks, they can certainly hold their own against the top dogs, and can be the fresh breath of air just a week before the new expansion.
Picks of the month
Mill Rogue: Sundrew took this Mill Rogue that plays both N’zoth the Corruptor and Zilliax for maximum chance against aggro. He hovered around rank 10 to 20 for a long while with it. If you’re a fan of the strategy, definitely give this deck a try!
Deathrattle Hunter: Knoepklapper played his version of Egg Hunter almost exclusively to #11 legend right at the beginning of March. A good old Egg and Kathrena mix, Deathrattle Hunter can really spell doom to their opponents with endless sticky board and immense value.
Big Shaman: RenoJackson took his Big Shaman to #73 legend, playing huge minions and trying to cheat them out with Ancestor’s Call and the new card Eureka! If you’re a fan of such strategies but don’t want to be labelled as ‘degenerates’, you should give the deck a whirl.
Malygos Warlock: Originated by Corbett, Malygos Warlock has both the solid demon package and burst potential with Malygos + burn. It’s that Jack of all Trades kind of deck that can help you win any matchup if offered the right hand.
Exodia Paladin: A new entry to the list, Mentalistic took Exodia Paladin to top 15 legend in March. Banana Buffoons really help speed up your Beardo combo while free up spaces for more anti aggro cards.
Awedragon’s Legend Quest Rogue
Memnarch’s #13 Legend Reno Priest
Ploke’s #82 Legend Odd Rogue
Ksr’s #26 Legend Malygos Shaman
awedragon’s Aggro Shaman
Heisnotaxel’s Jade Shaman
Hijodaikan #2 Legend Renolock
Hiroromura’s #128 Legend Odd Mage
RenoJackson’s Legend Big Rogue
BattMasile’s Top 50 Legend Reno Mage
Spiral’s #93 legend Patron Warrior
Butterz’s DMH Warrior
RenoJackson’s #75 Legend Even Mage
RenoJackson’s #26 Legend Discard Zoolock
Duwin’s Secret Hunter
RenoJackson’s Treachery Warlock
Control’s Pirate Warrior
Player671’s Shudderwock Shaman
Nalguidan’s Even Paladin
Zach0’s Odd Mage
Drym’s #46 Legend Aggro Druid
A Chinese player hit #9 legend with Mecha’thun Druid, saying cards like Mulch and Emperor Thaurissan are very important Wild inclusion. It’s interesting to see whether this deck can fare as well as Togwaggle Druid deck, another deck with a similar gameplan.
あおい got #75 legend with a very interesting build of Giant Priest, utilizing the Dragon package along with cheap spells to pump out cheap Arcane Giants and Grave Horror.