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We would like to thank these top legend players who have given us their expert opinions: RenoJackson, Weatherlight, Hijodaikan, Memnarch, 燁魔, xtuliop, Goku, SmellyHuffer, Eddetektor, Kohai, and Beeozan. Their Twitters are to be listed at the end of the report.
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Welcome to the Twelfth Edition of Team Rankstar’s Wild Meta Snapshot for 2019! This is our first report since the introduction of Descent of Dragons. In this meta report, we will be going through a tier list of 61 decks we’ve seen frequently on ladder, explain the method of computing the tier list, break down the meta and analyze the decks as detailed as they need to be. In this report, we have included a Meta Ranking and will be further discussing the state of each class in terms of power and diversity. Also, we’re including some Rankstar special decklists that were made by none other than our experts!
We collected our experts’ opinions through a spreadsheet, where our 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 and categorize them in 4 different Tiers. This is what they mean:
Tier 0 (Absolute oppression)
The one deck to beat. You either play it or play decks that can beat it.
Tier 1 (Meta-defining)
Highly-optimised decks with extreme raw power that are very well positioned in the meta.
Tier 2 (High-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 (Legend-viable)
Fringe decks that can capitalise on pocket metas that allow it, however, are either suboptimal or outmeta.
Tier 4 (Average)
Decks at a weaker power level that require an extensive understanding to be able to pilot well, however, are not recommended for ladder experience.
Tier 5 (Meme)
Decks that aren’t typically played to get for the purpose of climbing ladder, but still have a decent enough presence to be included in the report.
Within each tier, decks are categorized to either High tier, Mid tier or Low tier to further differentiate their power level.
For Meta Ranking analysis, we allocate points to each deck from Tier 0 to Tier 3 then sum them up. The point system for rating a single deck is as below:
Tier 0: 22
Tier 1: 18 (High), 15 (Mid), 12 (Low)
Tier 2: 9 (High), 7 (Mid), 5 (Low)
Tier 3: 3 (High), 2 (Mid), 1 (Low)
Each deck is also assigned a popularity ranking and a respective coefficient multiplier based on its popularity. The highest multiplier is 12 and the lowest is 7. For example, if Odd Paladin is High Tier 1 and has a multiplier of 12, it will bring the class an additional 216 points.
Therefore, a class can be placed highly on the Ranking system based on one (or both) of these elements: having a few strong decks (deck power) or having many decks (class diversity). If classes share the same score, the class with more top decks will be ranked higher.
You might be asking yourself these questions: Why is Odd Rogue Tier 1 when I can easily counter it with Deck X, and why is Pirate Warrior Tier 1 when it’s destroyed by Deck Y, Z, and W? It is worth noting that the Tierlist reflects deck power in relation to OTHER decks in the meta, not decks in past metas. While Odd Rogue might seem like it is nowhere near as dominant and powerful as, say, Reno Priest pre-nerf or Thunder Bluff Midrange Shaman, it earns its spot in Tier 1 because there is NO OTHER deck that is currently stronger than it. Similarly, decks that have many counters like Odd Warrior or decks that are just generally decent against the field like Jade Druid are to be compared to their adversaries, not to how dominant decks in similar spots have been in previous reports.
It is easy to pinpoint the strongest decks when there are only a few decks that are clearly stronger than the rest. However, when the playing field has been levelled, there is generally much more leniency towards categorizing a deck in a certain tier.
Another issue that we have seen others brought up was the difference between our opinion and the pocket meta people see at their respective ranks. People will always have their takes and form their own opinions of the meta, and it is completely fine to disagree partly or wholly with our opinions. We would also like to point out that our experts spend most of their Hearthstone time inside Legend. It’s been seen from time to time that the High Legend meta and Rank 5/10 meta have discrepancies in frequency of decks being played and skill levels; thus, leading to a different experience. We try our best to reflect a truthful and informational representation of the data we have. In some cases, our tierlist might be more indicative of the Top Legend meta than of ladder as a whole.
Let’s talk about the biggest change in the Wild meta since our last report: SN1P-SN4P Warlock is dead, once and for all. There is no doubt that the deck would continue to dominate the post-expansion meta and ruin the excitement surrounding all the new cards. It is worth mentioning that SN1P-SN4P Warlock has a spiritual successor in the form of Mecha’thun Warlock, as they share the same turbo-cycling playstyle. The departure of Snippy has also formed a pretty interesting dynamic at the top of the tierlist, where Mage beats Warlock, Warlock beats Paladin, and Paladin beats Mage.
This is a single screenshot taken from our spreadsheet if you find the tierlist infographics too long (you can open the photo in another tab to see the full-size picture).
Reno Time Warp Mage
Ranked: 1 (NEW)
Reno Time Warp Mage is a Highlander deck that occupies the spot between Reno Mage and Time Warp Mage. On one hand, it retains the powerful extra turn win-condition provided by the quest. On the other hand, it uses Kazakus, Reno the Relicologist, Reno Jackson, and Zephrys the Great as stabilising tools or extra value.
Capable of beating both Control and Aggro alike, Reno Time Warp Mage is the best deck in the format at the moment. New cards like Violet Spellwing and Cobalt Spellkin made it even easier to consistently finish the quest even if you’re only playing one-ofs, and Mana Giant is an extra win condition for games you need to dig for two free 8/8s.
There aren’t many matchups that the Time Warp player finds hard to swallow, except for Pirate Warrior and their non-Reno Time Warp cousin. Even in matchups where the Reno Mage might seem to fold easily in the past (Handbuff Paladin and Zoo Warlock, for example), it oftentimes just need to draw its Highlander cards to stabilise. The damage output from the combo is now even more guaranteed with the introduction of Mana Giant; as such, only control decks with the potential to gain massive amount of armour can outlast the damage.
In this report, we made the decision to separate the Time Warp variant and other Reno Mage variants. While the card choice difference isn’t really an issue, the deck offers a playstyle that is distinct and inimitable by any other build of Reno Mage.
zhouchenhhh’s #4 Legend Time Warp Reno Mage
lubyllule’s #10 Legend Anti-Aggro Time Warp Reno Mage (deck by Hijodaikan)
Goku’s #2 Legend Time Warp Reno Mage (deck by Hijodaikan)
Ranked: 2 (+1)
Mech Handbuff Paladin is a premier aggro deck that maximises the highroll potential of efficient mech and handbuff cards. Early handbuff cards like Smuggler’s Run and Grimestreet Outfitter buffs up other mechs, who retain their buffed stats when magnetized on existing minions. Mechwarper and Galvanizer allow for really early swarm boards.
Mechbuff Paladin is still one of the most consistent aggro decks in the game, as well as being one of the most explosive. Mechbuff synergy often relies on snowballing very early, and mechs are the perfect targets for that. Flying Machine can ensure the game ends really quickly before your opponents can draw into their answers. The deck can consistently create board positions that are unplayable against, even if you have a Zephrys waiting for it, and that’s why it is so strong.
Sky Claw is the only strong mech introduced in this expansion, and it’s pretty good at wrestling for board control. However, the Claw clashes with the typical Handbuff blowout turns of going tall really early, and is an activator for Defile. Other than that, there isn’t any new addition to the deck, and there doesn’t need to be. The fact Handbuff is generally good against Mages alone warranted a high spot on the tierlist. Handbuff’s core is already really strong, and it’s one of the decks that’s very easy to pick up, which makes it a more popular choice on ladder than Reno Mage or Cubelock.
FilFeel’s #37 Legend Mech Handbuff Paladin
RenoJackson’s #7 Legend Mech Handbuff Paladin
Ranked: 3 (+5)
Cube Warlock is a midrange-value deck that flourishes off of high-value Carnivorous Cube deathrattles. It snowballs out of control using Skull of the Man’ari/Voidcaller then playing Cube on these targets, before finishing off the game with N’Zoth and Bloodreaver Gul’dan. Plague of Flames provide yet another option for early stabilization, leading to the deck being able to play non-reactive Eggs early on.
With SN1P-SN4P leaving the field, Egg Cube Warlock steps up to inherit its legacy. Any Warlock deck that can abuse cheap tokens and Plague of Flames is a good deck, and this Egg heavy version is one such example. Plague of Flames has made triggering eggs much easier and much more rewarding, allowing the Cubelock can do what it does best: swing the game with incredible tempo. With the help of these cards, Cubelock doesn’t lose hard against aggro anymore, while still having a very effective gameplan versus slower decks.
Value doesn’t seem to be king in Wild, and this holds true for Cube Warlock. Although both Doomguards are still kept, people have been cutting Expired Merchant from the greediest lists out there. It doesn’t matter if you have the second and third Bloodreaver Gul’dan when the game is finished after you play the first one. Cube Warlock can rejoice that some of the harder matchups like Evolve Shaman have vanished, but will not enjoy the prospect of Quest Mages creeping back into the meta.
Not only Egg Cubelock, but Control Cubelock is finding decent success on ladder. Although Sense Demons + Sacrificial Pact is not as strong as an anti-aggro option, it still proves sufficient in many games. Furthermore, the Control version is much more consistent against slower decks. It has its own merits, and it is a Control deck, so naturally, some Control enthusiasts are more willing to pick it up.
Hijodaikan’s #2 Legend Cube Warlock
李副帮主’s #9 Legend Control Cube Warlock
CONCERNEDMOM’s #5 Legend Control Cube Warlock
Ranked: 4 (+21)
Pirate Warrior is a weapon-based aggro deck that relies on a strong early game Pirate synergy to create recurring damage with Pirate and weapons. Ship’s Cannon into pirates provide consistent damage, while the Warrior is also capable of cheesing wins with late-game chargers like Leeroy Jenkins and Kor’kron Elite.
Pirate Warrior has gotten a major boost following Descent of Dragons, and unsurprisingly, their ranking skyrocketed to the Middle of Tier 1. Ancharrr is the one card the deck needed to cover its weakness of card draw, and it’s even better considering the cards it draws are Bloodsail Cultist and Captain Greenskin, which in turn gives it even more pirates. Parachute Brigand is being deemed as the ‘Patches from hand’, and it indeed is as strong as it looked at first glance.
The lists floating about have been oscillating between Heroic Strike, Skybarge, and Shieldbreaker as its 29-30th cards. While Skybarge might seem like a no-brainer at first, the problem is that you only have so many Pirates. Once you got value off of your Ship’s Cannon, you suddenly wish that Skybarge on your hand be a Death’s Bite. Heroic Strike is good reach, but data is suggesting that it’s one of the weakest spots in the deck – as it always has been.
Pirate Warrior is necessary evil. Some people loath playing against it, while some just wish that it disappears from the face of the Earth, but it’s undeniable that Pirate Warrior is the major player that’s keeping Mages (and many slowish decks with a lack of taunts) in check. The Warrior doesn’t gain significant advantage against other aggro, and can be countered with a single tech card, so it’s a healthy deck to have for the meta.
Hijodaikan’s #22 Legend Pirate Warrior
Kohai’s #12 Legend Pirate Warrior
Ranked: 5 (-3)
Secret Mage is a variant of Aluneth Aggro Mage. It seizes control of the board in the early game by playing discounted secrets along with highly synergistic secret build-around cards. The deck has the ability to both tutor secrets and deal burn damage, while Aluneth provides a way to utilize all of its value in the most tempo-efficient manner.
Secret Mage is not enjoying the new influx of hyper-aggro decks. While it can deal with board-based aggro decks fine with Arcane Flakmage and Flame Ward, you’d much rather want to queue into slower decks like Warlocks and other Mages. Druids are being pushed out of the meta, but Odd Warrior jumps right in the first opportunity they see to keep Secret Mage players unhappy. But the pain in the neck must be Pirate Warrior and Aggro Rogue. While the former is much more resilient against Wards due to weapon damage output, the latter can turn your Explosive Runes into a free 7/7 Whelp for your opponent.
Nevertheless, Secret Mage is still incredible when you find the right combination of secrets, and Aluneth can simply turn games into non-games. It seems that double Flame Ward should be reintroduced, given how effective they are against other aggro decks.
slizzle466’s #36 Legend Secret Mage (deck by Pure)
Ranked: 6 (+35)
Aggro Rogue is an aggressive deck that relies on cheap minions (usually pirates) to take control of the early game. The deck traditionally utilise efficient damage cards like Eviscerate and card draws like Myra’s Unstable Element to finish the job.
Hardly anyone can deny that Necrium Apothecary is an overly broken mana cheat card, akin to Barnes and Resurrect effects. But surely Aggro Rogue wouldn’t be the first deck people think of when they try to slot Apothecary into existing archetypes. Truth is, not only is Necrium Apothecary broken, its deckbuilding restriction is astonishingly negligible. It draws you the deathrattle card you put in your deck so you have a curve later on, and you can play two of it and usually won’t draw all your deathrattle cards by the time it enters play. If you play two Apothecaries and two Mechanical Whelps, that’s only four extra cards.
As such, Aggro Rogue has become a fast deck that can vomit Evolve-Shaman-ish stats at around turn 4 to 6. This makes it so the Rogue can edge out many control decks after sustaining a consistent early curve. The whole deck synergises so well that people are thinking of cutting great cards like EVIL Miscreants to find room for more synergies.
Hijodaikan’s #2 Legend Aggro Rogue
RenoJackson’s #3 Legend Aggro Rogue
Ranked: 7 (-3)
Odd Rogue is a tempo-midrange deck which gained its name for playing only odd-costed cards. Powered by Baku the Mooneater’s Start of Game effect, the Rogue gains access to a 2/2 weapon at any stage in the game. This gives the Rogue an incredibly consistent damage output as well as early board control, and allows it to play a variety of synergistic Combo and Pirate cards.
Not having explosive turns like Pirate Warrior and Aggro Rogue, the core strength of Odd Rogue comes from consistency. Constant access to the weapon makes it so every Odd Rogue climb to legend doesn’t stray too far from the typical result.
Odd Rogue is still among the best decks in the game for its consistency, a consistency that allows it to beat all the sub-optimal decks in the meta. Coincidentally, people play a lot of janky decks in Wild, so Odd Rogue capitalises on that. When having to face Tier 1 decks, the Rogue shows its weaknesses. Odd Rogue is even-unfavoured into every other Tier 1 decks, except Reno Mage if it plays Albatross.
Bad Luck Albatross has naturally replaced Beneath the Grounds as the tech choice against Reno decks. A decent statline along with the potential dilution of your opponent’s card pool makes it a good choice even against non-Highlander adversaries. Bloodsail Flybooter and Faceless Corruptor also found way into current decks, and the fact that their attributes complement each other makes the change seemingly natural.
Memnarch’s #9 Legend Odd Rogue
Time Warp Mage
Ranked: 8 (+11)
Time Warp Mage gets its namesake from the card Time Warp, the reward of the Mage quest Open the Waygate. The Mage tries to complete the quest quickly to pump out either Flamewakers, Arcane Giants, or both, and try to kill their opponents in the extra turn allowed. Archmage Vargoth is sometimes used to give the Mage another turn to comfortable set up for lethal.
Time Warp Mage is a more relentless, less consistent version of the top dog Reno Quest Mage. It can unleash much more damage and can finish games earlier, but doesn’t have the sturdy defensive power that fends off aggro decks provided by Reno cards. Unless you’re able to hit that Sorcerer + Flamewaker turn, a faster meta will generally give you trouble.
Other than that, the deck itself can still deliver extremely explosive blows. Even if a few of its combo pieces are somehow removed, Mana Cyclone can generate huge value that can pull wins out of nowhere. Some people have voiced concern about the deck’s inconsistency, but the inclusion of Chenvaala, Violet Spellwing, and Mana Giant went a long way to minimise that.
很星爆你知道嗎’s #4 Legend Time Warp Mage
Hijodaikan’s #6 Legend Time Warp Mage
Ranked: 9 (+5)
Odd Paladin is a tempo-midrange deck which gains its name for playing only odd-costed cards. Powered by Baku the Mooneater’s Start of Game effect, the Paladin can summon two 1/1 recruits at any stage in the game. This gives the Paladin an incredibly consistent board presence that synergizes with cards like Quartermaster, Warhorse Trainer and Steward of Darkshire.
Having received some minor buffs, Odd Paladin is eyeing Tier 1 once again after some time excluded. Like many other aggro decks, Odd Paladin has been able to slot in Faceless Corruptor and Bad Luck Albatross to reasonable effect. In addition to that, it gained Righteous Cause, a 1-mana delayed mini Quartermaster which seems like and sounds like great value. Righteous Cause goes some way in filling the gap left by Level Up! since its nerf, and its cheap cost and liberty in when you choose to get the effect off proves to be worthy. An important trick to be aware of is that if you summon more minions than would be necessary to complete the sidequest, all of the summoned minions will still receive the buff.
Because it’s no longer a top dog, the meta doesn’t target it heavily anymore. There is no longer Dark Iron Skulker or Devolve around, which marks the perfect opportunity for a spectacular comeback. Maybe it can sneak into Tier 1 long enough, before the counters start to rise against it again.
Corbett’s #3 Legend Odd Paladin
MMMHMMMMMM’s #4 Legend Odd Paladin
Ranked: 10 (+1)
Mecha’thun Warlock is a Control-Combo deck that revolves around cycling until you run out of cards and finish off your opponent with Mecha’thun + Bloodbloom + Cataclysm, with an Emperor tick on the former two. The most popular version of Mecha’thun Warlock utilises a Voidlord package for survival, but there have been versions that play many low-costed cards so Hemet, Jungle Hunter can get rid of them all.
Old-favourite Mecha’thun Warlock was never the fastest Combo deck, but is probably among the most consistent right now. People have found that the hard cycle core in SN1P-SN4P Warlock might be easy to transition into Mecha’thun; hence, Mecha’thun enthusiasts are ditching the old Demon package in favour of the hard cycle version. Some of these versions even include the Quest, Plot Twist, and Aranasi Broodmother for when you can’t afford to play Thaurissan and need another way to cheat out your combo pieces.
The cycle Mecha’thun Warlock is not good against most Tier 1 decks, but can bully many slow decks to how consistent it is to get the combo online around Turn 10. Mecha’thun Warlock can survive well against aggro with Defile, Plague of Flames, and the newly-added Dark Skies. It does have trouble when the opposition pressures it with a unending flow of minions. If the Mecha’thun can’t drop Thaurissan comfortably, it has little ways to win. Because of that, Zephrys and Reno Jackson is in the deck to make sure the last wave of assault can be dealt with.
Whether to queue the Quest or the non-Quest version is strictly a meta call. The non-Quest version is much better at retaining board control through small minions and Plague, but the Quest version with Aranasi can heal up better. The slower version with Sense Demons has been made obsolete because of Plague of Flames, which is as good defensively and allows for faster cycling.
Memnarch’s #3 Legend Archaeology Mecha’thun Warlock
Memnarch’s #7 Legend Mecha’thun Warlock
Ranked: 11 (-4)
Even Shaman is the midrange deck that got its name from playing only Even-costed cards. Powered by Genn Greymane, the Even Shaman can spam early totems to power up highly-synergistic cards like Vessina, Thing from Below and Draenei Totemcarver. The deck overwhelms opponent in the mid-game with overstatted Overload card which can activate many high-tempo cards such as Likkim and Thunderhead.
Like Odd Warrior, Even Shaman receives the return of a fast meta with glee. The deck is a certified aggro killer, and the new cards printed might have just made it better.
Squallhunter is a 5-star (in the voice of Trump) addition to the deck. It feels like a 4 mana 7/7 but you get multiple charges of 2 spell damage later on. It’s great for keeping up the pressure, for extra reach with Crackle, and for board control with Zap and Maelstrom Portal. But the MVP might just be Golakka Crawler. It’s Even-costed and is a 2 mana 3/4 removes a minion in the right pocket meta, and a 2 mana 3/4 Assassinate might as well just be played anyway.
Even Shaman doesn’t like Reno Mages and Warlocks with Plague of Flames, however, or any deck that can efficiently remove its big threats. Unless you draw Vessina, it will be very hard to weaponise your 0/2 totems to go in for a kill against these opponents. However, there have been people who tried. Splitting Axe, Totemic Surge, and Draenei Totemcarver are being tested to maximise the potential power of the hero power.
生而狂野丨朱雀’s #4 Legend Splitting Axe Even Shaman
おてぃか’s #1 Legend Runespear Even Shaman
Even Warlock is a beatdown midrange deck that’s reminiscent of the Handlock of old. By aggressively tapping, the Even Warlock player can increase their handsize and decrease their life total until they can play overstatted Mountain Giants, Molten Giants, and Hooked Reavers. This unique correlation puts other decks in a dilemma of whether to get their opposition to a low health or preserve their health total.
Even Warlock is back from the dumpster, and is now taking on a more flashy shell in the form of dragons. Nether Breath is a really strong card that provides both efficient damage and healing if you hold a dragon, therefore, a couple of Evasive Wyrm is included to complement the Twilight Drakes. Zzeraku the Warped was also tested by some players, but many have found it to be too slow. Because you tap very often and don’t usually play Nether Breath right on Turn 2, you find yourself with an activator more often than you think. Another strong inclusion is Abyssal Summoner, a card that gives Even Warlock yet another huge taunt that helps both offensively and defensively.
Even Warlock has always been a deck that’s well-positioned in an aggro meta with fewer powerful reactive decks, and this is one such meta. However, it still has many natural enemies, including Odd Warrior, Secret Mage, and Quest Mage that draws their Ray of Frost. The prevalence of combo decks like Mecha’thun and Quest Mage made Mojomaster Zihi a legit tech choice that is often seen being in and out of lists.
BenFromWork’s #14 Legend Even Warlock
Reno Control Mage
Ranked: 13 (-7)
Reno Control Mage is a slower Highlander deck that relies on not having duplicate cards to activate power spikes such as Reno Jackson, Reno the Relicologist, Kazakus, and Zephrys the Great. Reno Control Mage might play a heavy minion package with Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, or a Big Spell package.
Though not as oppressive as Time Warp,Control Reno Mage has found themselves in quite a comfortable spot utilizing some of the new dragons. Dragoncaster is perhaps the strongest dragon synergy card available to Mage. Not only can you use it to cheat out powerful spells like Luna’s Pocket Galaxy and 10 mana Kazakus Potions, but it also works fine as a sort of Arcane Tyrant with the traditional big spells like Blizzard or Meteor. The new Malygos has been a solid addition with the deck naturally playing a decent amount of dragons, and the wide range of spells offered means that he is useful in many different situations.
Reno Control Mage is the flagship of value-control decks amidst a faster-paced meta. The Mage often has enough value to win any long games, while their unique class card Reno, among others, offer just enough ways to grind wins against faster decks.
Neo’s #26 Legend Galaxy Reno Mage
Hijodaikan’s #5 Legend Big Spell Reno Mage
Ranked: 14 (+4)
Reno Hunter is a Highlander deck that relies on not having duplicate cards to activate power spikes such as Reno Jackson, Dinotamer Brann, and Zephrys the Great. Reno Hunters are usually built pretty aggressively and revolves around playing either small beasts or big beasts. But generally, the Hunter’s gameplan involves much more pressure than other Reno decks.
I’ll show ya how it’s done! With several new upgrades, Reno Hunter finds itself a solid foundation with lots of potential to build upon. Even with your Secrets eaten, you can pressure pretty effectively with Zul’jin and Dinotamer Brann. You have plenty of bombs in the deck, and you can fetch for more with Stitched Tracker, create multiple King Krushes with Brann and Zola, and make huge beasts with Deathstalker Rexxar. Reno Hunter, despite its Highlander nature, can effectively put in steady pressure, hence it finds itself in Tier 2.
Reno and Zephrys shores up Hunter’s weaknesses. While Reno is much-needed healing, Zephrys acts as Hunter’s only board clear in many situations. Other than that, the N’Zoth package has been dropped in favour of faster cards that create more pressure like Dragonbane. Veranus is strong enough to be included without many synergies, as it presents comeback potential and answers to big bodies. Lastly, the Dragonqueen shines brightest in Hunter, where she can top off a tempo-heavy start with an aggravating blow. Between these high-tempo and high-value cards, roles for slow value generators like Deathstalker Rexxar have been diminished; as such, it is cut from the most popular builds.
RenoJackson’s #7 Legend Zul’jin Reno Hunter
xtuliop’s #18 Legend Reno Hunter
Ranked: 15 (+12)
Odd Warrior is a reactive control deck that gains access to 4 extra armour every turn from Baku the Mooneater’s Start of Game effect. Odd Warrior can call upon some of the strongest removals in their arsenal in Brawl and Shield Slam, while their armour accumulation opens up synergies with various armour-related cards.
In comes Aggro, in comes Odd Warrior. The hyper-aggressive meta makes queuing Odd Warrior a much safer gamble than it was before Descent of Dragons. The deck was good against Aggro before, and now it’s given another early tool to catch up lost tempo from hero-powering: EVIL Quartermaster. The Quartermaster and its lackey both synergise with Brann Bronzebeard, so including Brann and Coldlight seem more natural now. Odd Warrior can sometimes lose against aggro if they manage to either pressure it hard enough or exhaust it, but both of those cases don’t happen too often.
Odd Warrior’s weakness has always been value-heavy Control, and the nerf to Dr. Boom, Mad Genius only exacerbated the problem. Many Odd Warrior players have turned to Azalina Soulthief as a solution. If you can’t make value, just take value! But if you can’t draw Azalina, you will probably take that fat L. That’s why queuing Odd Warrior is such a dangerous sport. More often than not, you already know whether you’re going to win or lose before finishing your mulligan.
Goku’s #2 Legend Odd Warrior
Zoo Warlock is one of the most iconic decks in Hearthstone. It typically involves swarming the board with endless waves of cheap, overstatted minions to gain an early advantage. The archetype has access to several powerful finishers, including Power Overwhelming, Soulfire, and Doomguard. Zoo Warlock can play one or multiple packages, including Demons, Eggs, Discard, Galakrond tokens, and more.
Zoo Warlock has always had potential, but hadn’t been able to find the right backbone to build around. The arrival of Galakrond has solved that issue. Cards like Grim Rally, EVIL Genius, and Plague of Flames are extremely powerful, but needed tokens to make work. Invoke effects from Galakrond provide just that. The Veiled Worshipper has an aggressive statline AND a massive refill on top of it, which makes it one of the best card draw engines the game has to offer. Zoo Warlock has the resilience needed for long games, while can stack up a bunch of stats in the early game by breaking your own eggs.
Zoo Warlock both has game against Aggro and Control decks. Like Odd Paladin, it is particularly good against decks that don’t have infinite answers to swarms of 1/1s, which is most decks in the game right now. Unlike Odd Paladin, you have many more blowout turns with Grim Rally and Eggs. However, the deck can naturally run out of juice, or doesn’t activate Galakrond fast enough, which means that it is less consistent. Furthermore, it doesn’t have that many power spikes. For this reason, it stays at the bottom of Tier 2 for now.
RenoJackson’s #9 Legend Zoo Galakrond Warlock
Ranked: 17 (-3)
Jade Druid is a Control-Fatigue deck that aims to outlast its opponents by generating infinite Jade Golems. Jade Idol allows for this Fatigue-heavy playstyle, while access to various stall cards and board clears like Malfurion, the Pestilent, Poison Seeds, Ferocious Howl, and Spreading Plague means the Druid can often comfortably get there. The deck reloads by late-game card draws such as Ultimate Infestation and Overflow. Jade Druid can comfortably go to fatigue, but oftentimes it just wins by surviving.
Druid kind of blows right now. Having received zero playable new cards apart from Zul’Drak Ritualist, it’s easy to understand why it’s been dropped to Tier 3 in this report. Jade Druid was traditionally played for its good matchup against Aggro, but that’s not always the case anymore. Handbuff Paladins demand Poison Seeds, Pirate Warrior draws endless minions with Ancharrr, Odd Rogue can Fungalmancer their tokens, and Aggro Rogue has Necrium Apothecary. Druid’s removal arsenal is not well-equipped to deal with those, and if the Druid wants to draw, they usually need to spend a whole turn doing so. Simply gaining armour is just not that good anymore.
Jade Druid also has a tough time into Control nowadays, now that they are much more proactive than before. Control decks no longer give the Druid time to just sit and shuffle their Jades, but instead will be looking to drop massive stats, demanding answers. Jade Druid rarely ever wins against Combo. Altogether, it makes the deck looks consistently mediocre. Thus, Tier 3 is where it belongs.
The Anubi’sath Defender + Arcane Tyrant package is still the go-to Jade Druid build. It has made deckbuilding more liberated as well: you can either keep the Vargoth + Oaken package for an anti-aggro focused strategy, or you actually cut Vargoth (yes, cut Vargoth) and go for the ultimate Jade cycle with Keeper Stalladris. Used early on, Stalladris is a pseudo-Aya with Jade Idol, while he can turn your Idols into absolute beasts in the late game. In this report, we omitted the Stalladris list showcased last month for a King Phaoris build with Flobbidinous Floop as the second Phaoris or Ysera, Unleashed – a card that works well with hard cycle – if needed.
It is not impossible that Jade Druid players will find ways to improve their deck. We’ve already seen how the sheer value offered by Ysera, Unleashed can swing games versus Control in the Druids favour, and how Druids can out-armour Reno Time Warp Mage. Building towards a right balance between defence and offence might be the key for Druids to make a resurgence.
Evildevil’s #320 Legend Phaoris Jade Druid
Klenner’s #122 Legend Jade Druid
Rank: 18 (+31)
Big Rogue is a highroll deck that relies on activating the Deathrattle effects on cards like Kobold Illusionist and Necrium Apothecary to cheat out a massive amount of stats as soon as Turn 4. Necrium Blade is an integral part of the deck to ensure big minions can enter play as soon as one of those aforementioned 4-drops are played.
Two words for this deck: Necrium Apothecary. The card alone is so good that it pulled Big Rogue from bordering Tier 5 to the top of Tier 3. The deck is so much more explosive and consistent now you can almost always get something big down on Turn 4 or 5. With many of these big drops being Mechs (Mechanical Whelp, Sneed’s Old Shredder), Zilliax is a valid inclusion against Aggro to heal back up if you get overwhelmed in the early game.
Necrium Apothecary also opened up another avenue to build the deck: cutting Kobold Illusionist. Playing Illusionist means you have to play a large Deathrattle package to sustain its consistency, and using only the Apothecary removes that restriction. In exchange for fewer Turn 4 highrolls, you can include generally good cards like EVIL Miscreant, Anka the Buried, Flik Skyshiv, and Loatheb. sbergs has been trying all those cards in his deck, but we will only feature his most successful list this time.
Big Rogue can be extremely fun or extremely infuriating to both play and play against. For now, it is dragged down by aggro decks, so it is not too big of a problem. But if it ever finds itself a good meta to land in, we are sure people will start looking for their pitchforks the same way they antagonised Big Priest.
RenoJackson’s #12 Legend Big Rogue (deck by Hijodaikan)
sberg’s #3 Legend Big Rogue
Ranked: 19 (-12)
Reno Priest is a Highlander deck that relies on not having duplicate cards to activate power spikes such as Reno Jackson, Raza the Chained, Kazakus, and Zephrys the Great. Reno Priest differs from other Reno decks by being able to utilize the ‘machine-gun’ hero power from Shadowreaper Anduin and/or play a value-heavy Deathrattle package and Archbishop Benedictus. The deck was notorious for an in-built combo, but has recently leaned towards a more fatigue-based approach.
Reno Priest is still the best Priest deck, but wins are harder to come by for people championing it. While Reno Priest is pretty good against board-based aggro with an abundance of board clears, and against slow Control with a few value-packed cards, the resurgence of Pirate Warrior, Mecha’thun Warlock, and Quest Mage has been giving it a lot of headaches. While Pirate Warrior’s main damage output comes from weapons, Mecha’thun Warlock and Quest Mage can very quickly field a combo that the Priest has very few ways to interact with. For Reno Priest and the Priest class in general, this is probably one of the worst meta for them so far.
The most popular build of Reno Priest right now is the best fatigue-style deck there currently is. Its value comes from a N’Zoth core (which at the same time power-up Amara as a survival condition) and from just simply stealing other decks’ win-conditions. Zola and Seance can be used on multiple targets, such as Amara, Madame Lazul, Zephrys, N’Zoth, and Benedictus. Lazul is surprisingly strong against other value decks for it very often burgles a high-value card from your opponent, and Benedictus puts you ahead in the fatigue game. Annoying survival cards like Amara, Psychic Scream and Khartut Defender makes it so the Priest can comfortably use these greedy cards.
However, the Combo version might be the better version in this new meta because of the ability to finish off slow decks consistently. The new spell Whisper of EVIL packs 6 damage in one card in conjunction with Anduin, while Depth Charge is a really cheap minion that can help the Priest delay the game for another turn.
People have been questioning Raza, the Chained’s role in the value version of Reno Priest. Since the main gameplan doesn’t rely on Anduin anymore, Raza doesn’t contribute to the main win-condition. Raza has always been lacklustre without Anduin, and it might not be nonsense to cut the 5-drop in favour of other cards.
Illusionist’s #13 Legend Amara Reno Priest
Rankstar’s Combo Reno Priest
Rank: 20 (RETURNING)
Odd Mage is a tempo-midrange deck which gained its name for playing only odd-costed cards. Powered by Baku the Mooneater’s Start of Game effect, the Mage gains access to a 2 damage ping in any stage of the game. This hero power synergises well with cards like Daring Fire Eater, Pyromaniac, and Jan’alai, the Dragonhawk. The special synergy with Black Cat allows the deck to abuse cheap spells so they can control the mid-game effectively.
Odd Mage has ascended from the rubble in the Descent of Dragons expansion. Like other Mage decks, Odd Mage can abuse new spell generators like Violet Spellwing and Cobalt Spellkin to fuel their power Flamewaker and Archmage Antonidas turns. They also have enough dragons to support Malygos, Aspect of Magic, which is an extremely powerful card if the effect gets to go off. Odd Mage has a lot of damage in the deck that can finish off Control fairly often, while also fit in enough early game to fend off aggression. It lines up against the meta relatively well, but doesn’t really excel in anything; therefore, it stays in Tier 3 for now.
However, Odd Mage might be the weakest competitive Mage deck, and it doesn’t fill in any particular niche also. That is probably why the deck is so unpopular. Unless you’re in for some novelty, there are simply better options.
RenoJackson’s #36 Legend Odd Dragon Mage
Darkest Hour Warlock
Ranked: 21 (-1)
Darkest Hour is a highroll deck that aims to cast Darkest Hour to destroy spell-generated tokens and summon that many high-value minions from their deck. Some big drops in the deck include Ragnaros, the Firelord, the demon package, The Lich King, and the very important Nerubian Unraveler to lock any potential boardclear.
Remember when people said Plague of Flames alone is going to make Darkest Hour the strongest deck in Wild? Well, people were wrong. Darkest Hour does have a slight upgrade, but Plague of Flames not being that strong means that it’s still kinda the same coinflippy deck as before. Some decks are even playing Sinister Deal, so they get more tokens to feed their Plague of Flames.
The only new card that’s worth tinkering in Darkest Hour Warlock is Dark Skies; however, there have been some experiments with a late-game dragon package to gain the lifesteal effect of Nether Breath. Some dragons are indeed pretty sweet when cheated out with Darkest Hour, so this might not be a bad way to build the deck.
Darkest Hour Warlock is still capable of winning in some matchups even without drawing its namesake card – the Voidcaller package can just win games on its own sometimes. It’s a decent deck but is certainly not the best Warlock right now.
雾都丨可爱小宇盟’s #1 Legend Darkest Hour Warlock
CONCERNEDMOM’s #8 Legend Darkest Hour Warlock
WhiteDelight’s #14 Legend Dragon Darkest Hour Warlock
Ranked: 22 (-18)
Reno Warlock is a Highlander deck that relies on not having duplicate cards to activate power spikes such as Reno Jackson, Kazakus, and Zephrys the Great. The Warlock core is different from other Reno decks in that it usually revolves around Demon synergies. There is a multitude of ways to build Reno Warlock, but not every Highlander Warlock will be listed under Reno Warlock. A Reno Warlock deck is listed under Renolock if the Highlander cards are a crucial part in their gameplan.
It’s weird to see the day where Reno Warlock becomes the weakest Kabal Reno deck. An unfavourable matchup spread saw the Warlock dropped all the way to Tier 3, and even Dark Skies wasn’t able to stop the fall.
Reno Warlock is just inferior to other Warlock decks like Mecha’thun Warlock. You still lose to Mages often, and you can only play one copy of your strongest board clears. That almost makes the payoff from Zephrys, Kazakus, and Alexstrasza not worth it. You can try slotting in Mecha’thun in Reno Warlock, but it’s just slower than actually playing the cycle Mecha’thun deck that can usually activate its Zephrys and Reno anyway. Reno Warlock loses the value game against Reno Control Mage and Reno Priest, and more often than not can’t stabilise against Reno Hunter. Altogether, there is just not enough payoff to justify playing the deck right now.
Some minor improvements to Renolock include Dark Skies and Valdris Felgorge. While Dark Skies is a must-include in many slow Warlock builds, Valdris hasn’t found his place in many decks. He’s a strong card draw, but it’s not like Warlock has ever been short of card draws. Him being a 7-costed card hindered his potential a little bit as well. But in Reno Warlock where you play thirty different cards, having another strong option is always welcomed.
We haven’t seen it popping up, but it might be cool to see a Malygos Reno Warlock supported by a Dragon package somewhere. Warlocks got some pretty sweet dragon cards, and Frizz Kindleroost might make the deck explosive enough. A Soulfire, a Darkbomb, a Rain of Fire, and a Nether Breath would be enough to kill from 30 with Malygos on board.
Eis’ #9 Legend Reno Warlock
Rank: 22 (+35)
Reno Shaman is a Highlander deck that relies on not having duplicate cards to activate power spikes such as Reno Jackson and Zephrys the Great. Reno Shaman is generally a slow, grindy control deck that uses Corrupt the Waters, N’Zoth, Shudderwock, or all as the win-conditions. The deck plays many heals and board clears offered to Shamans to stabilise the board and drag the game to the later turns.
Professional memers can rejoice at the fact that one of their memest creations have finally gotten the recognition it deserves. Reno Shaman, powered by a Shudderwock package, is finally strong enough to hold its own in this highly volatile meta.
Reno Shaman doesn’t get hit as much by the nerfs because they only play one Mogu Fleshshaper, and they can easily replace their minimal evolve package with something else. Their engine relies on Corrupt the Waters, not Evolve, and this is the reason the archetype was able to shake off the nerfs completely.
Reno Corrupt Shaman actually has a bigger edge than other Reno decks against Mages, since they can, and are designed to, bounce battlecries like Loatheb over and over again. If the Loatheb can land several times, the Reno Shaman might gain enough traction to seize the board and kill the mage before they can assemble their combo. Other battecry cards that are good against Secret Mage are Antique Healbot, Lifedrinker, Reno Jackson, and Zephrys the Great.
Another version of Reno Shaman worth testing is Galakrond Reno Shaman. People have reached Legend with variations of this deck; that just goes to show Galakrond is broken even with only one-ofs. Like in Standard, Zentimo is a card that might be included in Reno Shaman to get more triggers from Invocation of Frost, Hex, and Lightning Breath – yes, Lightning Breath, since the Shaman can play so many awesome battlecry dragons and Squallhunter. It might take a bit of refining, but Reno Shaman might become the best Shaman archetype in the future.
Rankstar’s Reno Galakrond Shaman
Rankstar’s Reno Dragon Corrupt the Waters Shaman
Ghostdog’s Reno Shaman
Rank: 22 (+32)
Tempo Warrior, as the name suggests, is a midrange deck that wins by out-tempoing the opponent in the mid-game. The Warrior has access to some very good tempo tools in Frothing Berserker, Kor’kron Elite, the Rush package, and a number of weapons. Some package choices for Tempo Warrior includes Dragons, Dragon-Pirate hybrids, and Galakrond.
The general saying goes: ‘If a deck is good in Standard, there’s a chance it will be good in Wild’. While Tempo Galakrond Warrior hasn’t yet taken off in a format with a much higher power level, we saw from pre-nerf Galakrond Shaman and Galakrond Warlock the extend to which a completely new deck can infiltrate the meta. Similarly, Tempo Warrior is showing great potential in Wild on the back of some broken synergies.
The most notable inclusion in Wild must be Brann Bronzebeard. Not only does Brann enable the Invoke effect twice, but he also summons two extra Rush dragons from Scion of Ruin that can be quite devastating if their stats are enhanced by Galakrond. Some versions of Galakrond Warrior also omits the Ritual Chopper for Prince Keleseth, who works really well with various Rush cards.
The archetype in Wild is still being refined at the moment, so there are rooms for experimentation. A Dragon package with Alexstrasza’s Champion or Dead Man’s Hand might be cards worth trying out.
Ruixiang’s #35 Legend Keleseth Galakrond Tempo Warrior (deck by 素质极差丨情丝)
Yurkov’s #39 Legend Galakrond Tempo Warrior
Rankstar’s Dead Man’s Hand Galakrond Tempo Warrior
Rank: 25 (-3)
Aviana Druid is any combo deck that uses the interaction between Aviana and Kun, the Forgotten King to play their minions for one mana after refreshing their mana crystals. Aviana Druid can either uses Malygos, Star Aligner, Togwaggle/Azalina, or some combination of those cards as their combo pieces. The aim of the combo is to either kill the opponent outright or disable their access to more resources.
Aviana Druid climbed back to the top of Tier 3, preying on Control, anti-aggro decks, and slower combo decks. Druid’s defensive shell, while not strong enough to fend off aggro consistently anymore, is still capable of holding off the opposition until the combo gets online. It is a bit tricky now Aviana is 10 mana and have to throw an Innervate into the mix, but that hasn’t stopped Aviana Druid enthusiasts from achieving high ranks with the deck before.
Currently, the go-to Aviana combo is Togwaggle/Azalina, with some players opting for a single Star Aligner to clear the opponent’s board the turn they play the combo. Togwaggle will swap your deck with your opponent’s, and Azalina will copy the ransom spell in case they swap back. It’s a very effective combo, if a tad slow. But if there’s a class that can support such a combo, it will be Druid.
Sleight’s #10 Legend Aviana Togwaggle Druid
clausmaack’s #69 Legend Aviana Star Aligner Togwaggle Druid (deck by burnt)
Note that there is no Tier 5 deck this month as meme decks take time to brew.
Class Meta Ranking
Rank 1 (+2) – 541 points
Mage is the undisputed king of Wild after the departure of SN1P-SN4P Warlock. This dominance can be observed simply by looking at how many decks that the class has within Tier 1: THREE — that’s a new record! The class can support a range of different strategies; every single one of them can hold a candle against the strongest decks out there. If you like burn-based Aggro, Secret Mage is probably the best there is at the moment. Time Warp is the pinnacle of fast-paced combo, and grindy control players can turn to the (albeit weaker) renowned Reno Control Mage that has been around for ages.
Even though people have stopped tech-ing against Secret Mages, they can’t seem to find a breakthrough. This can easily be attributed to a much more hostile meta, with both the premier aggro decks (Handbuff Paladin, Pirate Warrior, Aggro Rogue) and the decks that target these (Odd Warrior) can farm a Secret Mage on their good day. However, Secret Mage is still an effective answer to fellow Mage decks and many slower decks out there and is still an important deck to have for the ecosystem.
Time Warp Mage is flourishing now the more consistent, more devastating SN1P-SN4P Warlock has left, bringing Evolve Shaman along with it. Evolve Shaman was a hard matchup for Time Warp, since they can stack high-health minions very early to render Flamewaker useless, and kill the Time Warp player before they finish their quests. With its two natural predators now out of the way, Time Warp only has aggro to deal with. And the Reno version isn’t even afraid of most aggro decks.
If you want to drill Mages for not having any half-decent Midrange deck, then we regret to inform that you might be wrong. You can’t go wrong with a BakuGenn deck, and Odd Mage is a case in point. Descent of Dragons has breathed a new life into the deck, with Malygos, Violet Spellwing, and Cobalt Spellkin being able to generate cheap spells to fuel its powerful turns. Odd Mage has become much better than it was after the Conjurer’s Calling’s nerf, but it still has some distance to cover if it wants to join the big boys.
Overall, while Mage doesn’t present the most playable decks out of all classes, all their decks have a solid presence. They might not have yet reached the height of Warlocks during the SN1P-SN4P meta, but their point accumulation is enough to shake all the pursuers off.
Rank 2 (-1) – 425 points
I can’t hold all these Warlock decks! If you’re looking for sheer diversity, Warlock might be your best pick. Even with the arguably strongest deck in the history of Hearthstone being completely annihilated, Gul’dan showed that he’s still capable of greatness. Cube and Mecha’thun Warlock benefited from the Snippy’s disappearance, and have gone some way in filling the gap left by SN1P-SN4P Warlock.
It is worth pointing out the compelling resurgence from two seemingly forgotten archetypes: Even Warlock and Zoo Warlock. Even Warlock has prospered in a meta with more aggro decks and fewer Zephrys and Priest. On the other hand, Zoo Warlock found its new backbone in the Galakrond package. The Warlock Galakrond might be the most underrated of the five, since it doesn’t usually do a whole lot when it enters play. But the constant token generation from invoking effects seems to be just what Zoo needed to activate its strong but situational cards, like Grim Rally, EVIL Genius, and Plague of Flames. Zoo Warlock has just the right tools for token decks to succeed in Wild at the moment: stacked-up early game stats, constant refill, and good finishers.
Heading the other direction is Reno Warlock. With Quest Mages running rampant, all Reno decks that are naturally weak to it have seen their influence dwindling. Reno Warlock, like many other decks in the same spectrum, doesn’t line up well against the strongest decks in the meta, including Aggro Rogue, Cube Warlock, and Mecha’thun Warlock.
Darkest Hour Warlock and Treachery Warlock have seen successes, but they are few and far between. Darkest Hour, with its coinflippy nature, has taken people to Top 10 and even Rank 1 Legend riding on their incredible luck. But if you play the deck yourself, you will find that there will be days you can’t seem to win a game. Treachery, on the other hand, has a high skill cap and requires a thorough understanding of the meta. There is only one known player who took it inside Top 10 Legend since the launch of Descent of Dragons, and it was Skylight, who has probably played the deck for as long as it has existed.
If you’re looking for a potential contender for the higher tiers, check out Malygos Warlock. Warlock has received some sweet dragon-synergy cards like Nether Breath and Crazed Netherwing, with the former being essential to their Malygos burst package. With Frizz Kindleroost potentially reducing your Malygos to 7 mana, you can find yourself winning games even without playing Thaurissan.
Rank 3 (+2) – 333 points
Rogues might look like they have only climbed two ranks, but in fact their point total has doubled from last month. Necrium Apothecary is the single card that has carried the class, and it is probably the only card that Rogue needs for their pivotal strategies. The weakness of Rogue persists, however: a lack of range in strategies. You want to pressure with Rogue, and it’s about the only thing the class excels at.
Indeed, Aggro Rogue has replaced Odd Rogue as the flagship deck, on the back of this broken synergy-enabler. It can match Odd Rogue’s early game consistency, while having the potential to just steal games in a Big Priest non-game manner. Even with some of our experts not being fully convinced of the deck, it has managed to land itself in the Middle of Tier 1, so you can expect the deck to break the game even more in months to come.
Odd Rogue is right behind Aggro’s tail, and ensured that Rogue is the only class along with Mage that has more than one deck inside Tier 1. With an abundance of token generators like the newly-added Bloodsail Flybooter, Odd Rogue is one of the best decks to abuse the new Faceless Corruptor, and it has allowed the deck to gain an edge in board combat around Turn 5. Bad Luck Albatross has improved the deck’s performance against Reno decks, but its effectiveness in general needs to be carefully gauged.
Big Rogue might soon replace Big Priest in replicating the Timmy experience. Big effect, big minions, big board swings… Big Rogue can offer anything, for a low price of Necrium Apothecary and a coin. Being able to consistently create ridiculous board state on Turn 4 is the reason why this deck might potentially be broken. The good news for many players is that it’s being held back by the plethora of aggro decks, which has prevented it from entering Tier 2.
Kingsbane Rogue and Burgle Rogue are falling off the map. They didn’t get many new cards, and they’re old archetypes that people don’t feel like revisiting. Maybe these decks will be re-refined and will show up again in the future at a modest level of play. Kingsbane, in particular, looks promising. Parachute Brigand and Bloodsail Flybooter might help it getting more consistent early turns.
A package we suggest trying is Fal’dorei Strider and Stowaway, which has ridiculous synergy together. They are only four cards, (Necrium/Whelp package has six cards), and they work well with Myra’s Unstable Element. There might be enough space in Aggro Rogue or Kingsbane Rogue for this mini-package, and maybe they will elevate these archetypes.
Galakrond OTK Rogue might be the most exciting addition that the class has seen in a while. It’s the one Galakrond deck that doesn’t play Galakrond as a win condition, but to enable its combo. With Spirit of the Shark, the Umbra Skulker can give you a crazy amount of coins that you can use as fuel for Spectral Pillager lethals. Flik Skyshiv is a really strong card, but she’s even-costed and control-oriented, so this is about the only viable Wild deck that she’s found her home in.
Rank 4 (0) – 324 points
Unsurprisingly, Paladin is in the same state as they were in last expansion. Their good Descent of Dragons cards all went in either already good archetypes like Odd Paladin, or support decks that were so lacklustre before like Reno Paladin only enough to make them suck less.
Mech Handbuff Paladin is still the strongest Paladin deck and the second strongest deck in the game, although it barely received any support. Fewer Zephrys decks mean fewer answers since people don’t naturally include silence effects in their decks. Sky Claw gave the deck another solution if it wants to go wider. Mech Paladin is probably one of the most popular decks on ladder right now after people have stopped experimenting with new decks; the points it earned alone is enough to give Rogues a run for their money.
Odd Paladin is still at the top of Tier 2, with signs that they might creep into Tier 1 if left unnoticed. Paladins are naturally great against most Rogue decks out there, and their rising popularity only helped elevate the archetype. It is also not bad against Mages. On the other hand, Paladins are farmed by Warlocks, who happens to have the best board clears against their recruits. You can’t have the best of both worlds.
The slight increase in points in part came from the introduction of Reno Exodia Paladin in Tier 3. The new Paladin dragons are theoretically strong, and some people have tried to incorporate them into Exodia and Reno Paladin. However, the best performing Exodia build right now has stayed away from all of that in favour of old favourites. It is worth noting that some Paladin dragons might be strong enough on its own in a Control shell (like Amber Watcher), so it’s not necessary to build a dragon deck to support them. Reno Paladin has some of the best healing in the game to make up for their slow board clears. After more refining, Exodia Paladin (particularly the Reno variant) might be able to attain a better position.
Rank 5 (+4) – 249 points
Spectacular but predictable, that can be said about Warrior’s rise to greatness this expansion. They had a lot of ground to cover from the rubble pre-Descent of Dragons, but their clamber has been impressive. Not only that their class-defining archetypes in Pirate Warrior and Odd Warrior are back in full swing, but the class is also harbouring Tempo Galakrond Warrior, a deck with massive potential.
Pirate Warrior is the prominent point-earner of the class. The deck can punish inconsistent starts with persistent early drops, now made even more solid with Sky Raider and Parachute Brigand. The existence of Ancharrr alone makes it so simply exhausting the Warrior is not the definite solution anymore. For these factors, this aggressive deck is expected to stay relevant for some time to come.
Odd Warrior is reintroduced into Tier 2, and might be staying inside it this time. It has always been a queue simulator, a game of ‘do I hit aggro today’, and the lack of a strong end game solution has done nothing to narrow this polarisation. However, Azalina Soulthief might be the solution to Odd Warrior’s lack of value. This will be discussed in the deck’s separate section.
Tempo Galakrond has been making waves in Standard, and it’s no surprise that this success has somewhat been translated to Wild. The main powercreep in Wild for the deck is Brann Bronzebeard, which automatically Invoke your Galakrond twice, gives you 6 attack, casts two Kronx invocations, and nets you 2 extra Scion of Ruin with Rush. Sometimes, the Scions will have massive stats provided by Galakrond and/or Prince Keleseth (if they play it), which can initiate a massive board swing. Tempo Galakrond is pleasantly effective at what it does and comes with exciting potential waiting to be unpacked and refined.
The Galakrond core is strong enough that even Dead Man’s Hand is starting to adopt the package. Dead Man’s Hand has insane synergy with Galakrond: you can shuffle both Kronx and Galakrond into your deck another time, then Kronx will draw your second Galakrond and cast an Invocation, then Galakrond will draw you another Kronx, and the cycle continues. It may be worth it to include some copies of Dead Man’s Hand in existing tempo decks just to potentially pull this off. For now, Dead Man’s Hand is sticking with Coldlights, which can be reliably fetched by Galakrond.
Warrior might not be the strongest class, but it’s the most important class in the meta at the moment. It’s like the substance that regulates the flow of the meta and denies any deck that tries to break the status quo to become the next Tier 0. If Mages become too prevalent, Pirate Warrior steps up. If aggro is too much to handle, Odd Warrior is going to have a field day. Both of the decks themselves have inherent drawbacks the prevent them from breaking the parameters themselves.
Rank 6 (-4) – 198 points
Poor Shamans. They were actually in a very good spot before the nerfs came to hit on them, them only, and no one else. It had to be done for the health of Standard as a format, but these nerfs have inadvertently pushed Shaman from contenders for the top spot to the boundary of irrelevancy.
Even Shaman is one of the few decks that were unaffected by the nerfs, playing none of the axed cards. It hasn’t too many new tools, but the favourable meta and the option to play Golakka Crawler has propelled the deck to the top of Tier 2 once again. Against Control, however, it is a bit too fair, with Vessina being the only extreme power spike.
Of the seven decks presented in the relevant tiers, six of them are down in Tier 3. This anomaly is mostly caused by the abrupt nerf to both Shaman forerunners at once: Galakrond and Evolve. It is not exactly known how weaker Mogu Fleshshaper has become in Evolve archetypes, but one thing for sure is that the deck is seeing much less play now. Mogu, along with Desert Hare, is the card that brought Evolve Shaman to the apex of their strength, and it getting the nerf axe has to be a massive blow to the deck. We feel like Evolve Shaman is still relatively strong with Desert Hare, Corridor Creeper, Doppelgangster, and even a 9-mana Mogu, and Galakrond Shaman might still be half-decent if it adopts a slower core like it had in Standard. For now, we have no way to find out, so we made the conservative decision of placing both decks in Tier 3. One thing for sure is that you can no longer mindlessly slot the Evolve package into every single Shaman deck out there.
With traditional Shudderwock no longer able to abuse Evolve mechanics, Reno Shudderwock Shaman might be the strongest Shudderwock sub-archetype there currently is. Shudderwock builds now have enough value and flexibility to overcome many decks, while the abundance of strong board clears mean, like Reno Priest, you can slot in many answers without being afraid of losing consistency. Shudderwock Reno Shaman is comfortable into many decks at the moment.
The final deck that has received some support is pure Aggro Shaman. In lieu of Evolve, the deck utilises some new cheap, efficient Overload cards like Storm’s Wrath, Squallhunter, Surging Tempest, and Cumulo-Maximus. Cumulo-Maximus is probably more overrated than thought to be, since it costs 5 mana and requires overload to activate its ability, so in truth, you need to play it at least turn 6. Nevertheless, with an abundance of support, it might be enough to push the deck higher in the upcoming weeks.
Rank 7 (-1) – 87 points
Quantity does not always equal quality. With all six decks in Tier 3, Priest saw it point reserves halved following Descent of Dragons. Priest is probably the class that received the fewest playable Wild cards, and that has affected its performance. Its strongest decks — Inner Fire Priest and Reno Priest — both didn’t gain anything meaningful and found themselves fallen in ranks. Meanwhile, new archetypes have failed to make their marks. If this trend keeps up, Priest is in the hotspot for the weakest class this expansion.
Reno Priest is still a strong deck, but the rise of Quest Mages in general has not been well-received. They do have an abundance of reactive answers, but none of those matters if they can’t interact with Arcane Giants and Mana Giants the turn they come down. For these reasons, they find themselves at the Top of Tier 3 along with many other Reno decks. Otherwise, Reno Priest is a solution for Aggro deck, if you play enough early cards and don’t go uber greedy. You can outgreed the greed decks with Madame Lazul, Archbishop Benedictus, or simply killing them with Spawn of Shadows.
Inner Fire Priest, on the other hand, seems grim. The famous aggro-combo vanguard is mostly abandoned after Extra Arms! nerf, and it is now mostly too slow to beat Priest and not consistent enough to beat Warlocks. The newest version do play high value taunts like Injured Tol’vir and Witchwood Grizzly that can be brought back with Psychopomp, though, so it gives the deck a decent chance against faster aggro decks. The Dragon version might bring back some attention too, with Big Ol’ Whelp and Scalerider bringing solid reinforcement. The deck is just not good enough against aggro and loses horribly to Plague of Flames, so it’s definitely not the best deck to champion right now.
Togwaggle Priest, touted as ‘the next big thing’, has failed to make a splash. It is just like Miracle APM Priest, it’s just that you have to draw your whole deck and have to spend two turns playing 8 mana cards. It’s just not going to work out. You are extremely vulnerable the two turns you play Togwaggle and Murozond (to cast the Ransom spell), and you’ll eventually run out of resources. Maybe a more proactive strategy like APM Chef Nomi Priest or APM Holy Smite can work better.
Speaking about APM Priest, they did make a return in the form of Grave Horrors and Chef Nomi. The deck spams spells on Test Subject to cast Grave Horrors and Arcane Giants for very cheap, Seance them (or Chef Nomi) for multiple finishers. Maybe the old APM is better, but this is definitely more flashy.
Mind Blast doesn’t beat aggro, doesn’t beat combo, doesn’t beat Ice Block. Big Priest is a shadow of itself, although it’s still frequently played at low ranks. The rest of Priest looks like a lost cause. Priest will have to get used to their own mediocrity, but they probably had already done so many times before already.
Rank 8 (-1) – 82 points
After a short expedition outside of its frequent zone, Hunter is once again at the bottom, only edging out Druid thanks to having Reno Hunter in Tier 2. This time, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Reno Hunter has been one of the best performing Reno decks at the moment, and is showing signs of doing even better. Mech Hunter is being underplayed, but Hot Air Balloon, Goboglide Tech, and Dragonbane might equip the deck with enough firepower.
Reno Hunter keeps the essence of Hunter pressure and enhances it with the flexibility provided by Zephrys, Reno and Dinotamer Brann. To contest the faster meta, Reno Hunter is playing more secrets and early game cards, since Veranus, Dragonbane, and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza already shored up your mid-to-late game. Cutting N’Zoth seems like a wise thing in retrospect.
Mech Hunter is not seeing play but it should be revisited. Maybe the deck is not given as much support as many other decks, but it can be strong enough to get onto the Top of Tier 3 again.
The Odd and Even duo are looking more than just memes now, as they’re looking to replicate the success that Face Hunter in Standard had. Toxic Reinforcement is less effective in Wild where there’s a lot more healing, but the incremental damage from Odd Hunter’s hero power does get through frequently enough. A card that we are seeing great potential is Stormhammer, a weapon that doesn’t lose durability if you have a Dragon. Scalerider is another dragon-synergistic card that deals immediate damage, and we think that Marsh Drake, Primordial Explorer, and Nightmare Amalgam can make the package worth it. Managing your damage and your own health total in the race against other aggro decks is vital because they are actually the tough matchups for Odd Hunter. For now, Odd Hunter stays at the bottom of Tier 3. Phase Stalker is a strong enough card for Wild, and it’s used to best effect in Even Hunter where you can easily tutor your secrets for one mana. Even Hunter weaponises their hero power with Garrison Commander, Steamweedle Sniper, and Dragonbane, and the secrets actually help them controlling the early game against other tempo decks fairly well. It seems like a capable deck, but we will have to wait and see.
Rank 9 (-1) – 82 points
The closest race to the dumpster we’ve ever seen ended with Druid losing out by the narrowest of margins. Sharing the same point total but having the Top deck ranked lower, Druid is officially the weakest class for the first time since the report commenced.
The effect is gradual, but the constant nerf to Druid’s core ramp engine seeped away its strength like a terminal poison. Breath of Dreams provides substitution for Wild Growth and brought the attention back to Ramp and Malygos Druid, but the problem is that you have to play dragons along with it. Embiggen is a good card as long as you draw it Turn 1. Treants are treants. Druids are not functioning well with a band of mismatch mended together like a bandaid on an open wound.
Jade Druid, the best Druid deck before the expansion, didn’t receive any new card. It can also armour up itself out of Time Warp Reno Mage’s range, but it is out-tempoed by many decks such as Galaxy Reno Mage, Cube Warlock and Reno Hunter. It also doesn’t beat up Aggro often anymore. Aggro deck can simply cheese out games with value generators like Ancharrr, Divine Favor, and Aluneth. Even Shamans play Devolve. Druid only loses a couple of percentage for every matchup, but collectively it dragged the deck down by a lot.
Aviana Druid is a Jade Druid that has more clunky pieces in exchange for a definite out once those pieces are played. Its matchup spread is not too different: it beats up Control more and loses to Aggro more. In a more Aggro-oriented meta, it seems that Aviana Druid performs worse than its brother.
Aggro Druid is now trying to build around the new card: Embiggen. On paper, the card is really good since it is both good value and tempo that weaponises many weak cards in your deck like Patches. However, there are two issues with the deck. First, it encourages you to play weak cards on their own to gain value out of Embiggen, like Stonetusk Boar. Simply getting +2/+2 on your minions won’t cut it in Wild. Second, it’s useless if not drawn early. If there’s not a way to tutor Embiggen consistently, the deck will not be consistent enough for competitive play.
The Dragon core in Druid shows potential but needs more support. Breath of Dreams is the glue that’s sticking the pieces together, draws you a card and gets you to your big drops earlier. Both Ramp Taunt Druid and Malygos Druid are trying to build-around the Dragon package to exploit this interaction. The new Emerald Explorer provides both value and a big body guarding your face, while Evasive Drakonid is just a generally solid card. Maybe we will see these decks surfacing in stronger forms after an expansion or two.
Druid is the joint-weakest class in Wild right now, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have potential. Both Jade Druid and Aggro Druid are underplayed, and are far from finding their optimal build. Meanwhile, there is a chance that a Dragon package might turn out to be decent in existing or new upcoming archetypes.
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