We would like to thank these top legend players who had taken part in giving us experts’ opinions: Awedragon, RenoJackson, Siveure, Bananaramic, Razox, Hijodaikan, SgtSlay3r, teruteruboy, Tripz, ksr, DestructYou, Yami and Dajmond. Their Twitters are to be listed at the end of the report.
Welcome to the Third Edition of Team Rankstar’s Wild Meta Snapshot for 2019! In this meta report, we will be going through a tier list of 51 decks we’ve seen frequently on ladder, explain the method of computing the tier list, break down the meta and analyze the deck as detailed as it needs to be. In this report, we have consulted opinions from High Legend Asian players teruteruboy and Razox to have a more complete picture into an accurate tierlist across all regions.
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.
While Rise of Shadows didn’t introduce that many new metabreaker (as can be seen from the largely unchanged Tier 1), it certainly changed the dynamic of the meta as a whole. A surge in playrate of Big Priest and Darkest Hour Warlock has forced the playerbase to react to it by rocking up Aggro (Aggro Druid, Murloc Shaman) or reactive decks that can deal with both these highroll decks and aggro (Exodia Mage, Odd Warrior). This turned the meta into a sort-of midrangy one, where games are usually decided around turn 4 to 7; but still, we’re seeing a healthy representation of archetypes across the higher tiers. If anything, Rise of Shadows has brought more diversity into the tier 2 territory, with a few decks really looking like they’re just that close from breaking the meta.
Many new decks have popped up and are hovering around Tier 2 and 3 in our latest report. Although Murloc Shaman can start off a little bit slower than other aggro decks, its staying power is incredible with the new Murlocs, and even more if you play the Quest. Silence Priest is more consistent than ever, although it might still lack that final punch. Darkest Hour Warlock and Tempo Quest Mage are shaping the meta, while old aggro decks like Aggro Druid and Zoo Warlock have undergone very strong resurgence. Out of all these decks, we predict Murloc Shaman and Aggro Druid (and maybe Tempo Quest Mage) to take the meta by storm over the next few months.
Odd Paladin has finally taken that spotlight that it deserves! This might comes off as pretty odd for some people since there are many decks that claim they can beat Odd Paladin (which is not wrong). But in order for some decks to beat the ever powerful Uther, they would have to tech their decks against it (which reduces a few percentages in other matchups); also, while it’s true that many decks can beat Odd Paladin on a good hand, the Paladin just doesn’t have a concept of a good or bad hand! Every hand given to Uther is playable to him because when in doubt, just press hero power. However, it seems to be the undisputed flagbearer for Paladin now, as Aggro Paladin has dwindled in both frequency and power from not receiving any new cards. The fate of Anyfin is even worse: there’s simply no place for a midrange deck that tries to finish the game on turn 10 anymore.
Druid was a HUGE winner of the new expansion, with three archetypes steadily climbed the tierlist. Jade Druid and Aggro Druid both hopped and jumped in ranks as the class is looking to potentially break the meta once more. Beware, Uther, Gul’dan and Anduin, for Malfurion is certainly no pushover. Miracle Druid drops miserably as it couldn’t adapt to the meta, but its sibling Aviana Druid quickly jumped in to replace the gap.
Kingsbane Rogue continues to exhibit very solid results on ladder, but it no longer has to do all the dirty work alone. EVIL Miscreant has allowed Odd Rogue to gain its foothold once again, providing massive tempo to overwhelm opponent in the mid-game. The deck still struggles to close out games, but it’s sure in a better spot than it was pre-expansion.
Darkest Hour Warlock is certainly a big rock that stirred the pond, but it seems that its influence isn’t as widespread as people perceive it to be. The deck just lose straight up when it can’t assemble its combo, and it really doesn’t help that people have switched to playing Aggro, looking to hunt it down. Darkest Warlock is by no means weak, but it seems that the reaction to the deck was a bit too extreme. Its surge in playrate has enabled some aggro decks to crawl back; therefore, it would be interesting to see how the new meta shifts again once it’s been put back to its place.
Mecha’thun lock has been largely unaffected by this newcomer, since it still excel in what it does best. Meanwhile, other Warlock variants had to adopt to be able to beat their newborn brother, or risk being reduced to irrelevancy like Cubelock. Renolock also struggles against Darkest Hour and Big Priest, however, the rest of the meta isn’t all that bad for the people’s favorite archetype. Here’s where Highlander’s perceived flexibility came to shine: it can be tech-ed to win against aggro and Jade Druid, both prominent forces in the meta at the moment. Hence, Reno and his good friends again crawl back into tier 2, but only just. Just a tiny unfavorable shift would mean that the deck will fall out of it again.
Now, the bad news. Big Priest is Tier 1. Not because of Catrina. Not because of Mass Resurrection. Probably because of Vargoth. It doesn’t help that Big Priest happens to be a pet deck for many people on ladder, therefore the fact that it’s Tier 1 just means that you’re going to see a lot of it for at least the next month to come. You can certainly counter Big Priest, but you can’t counter Barnes into Y’shaarj turn 4. More bad news? Darkest Hour isn’t the kindest to Mind Blast Priest. The deck struggles to deal with a pile of stats coming down before turn 7, as well as struggle to deal with crazy hands from Tempo Quest Mage.
Mage is the class that received the MOST in terms of diversity. The current meta is the most favorable for Exodia that we’ve seen in a long time, while Quest Tempo Mage has to be the most innovative we’ve seen in a while. Other decks like Thermometer Tempo Mage or Odd Mage are exhibiting real potential as well, so it’s looking really exciting if you’re a Jaina main at the moment. Reno Mage, however, is still dead.
Not being treated as kind, once again, are Garrosh and Rexxar. Warrior has been given REALLY powerful tools in Omega Devastator and the bomb package, but they are either Even costed or have no place in any existing Wild decks. While dominating Standard, Warrior still only has Odd Warrior to consistently rely on when gaining ranks, which is a bad thing despite how good it is on ladder right now because games take really long, and people generally don’t like long games. Hunter doesn’t even feel like a class anymore. Beast Hunter is forsaken, Secret Hunter is trash, and Mech Hunter – as some said – isn’t real Hunter.
Ranked: 1 (+1)
Our frequent contender, Odd Paladin, has climbed to the top of Tier 1! Its unwavering consistency took it all the way to the top of Tier 1 with a fair distance from the rest of the pack (only one expert didn’t rate it High Tier 1). Never Surrender has proven to be a very solid secret in Control matchups, which warranted its place in the otherwise identical pre-expansion list. With Never Surrender, now Paladin’s tokens have become more resilient ever against many of the popular boardclears in the form of Defile and Maelstrom Portal, so much so Warlocks had to resort to cards like Corrupting Mist. Expect to see another four months of Odd Paladin domination; apparently, even without Never Surrender! the archetype would still remain strong.
Ranked: 2 (+1)
The meta being pestered with more aggro might have made people think that Kingsbane would no longer be a threat. But they were wrong. The deck shrugged off all obstacle thrown at it with its inherent raw power and the potential to just steal any game with Preparation and Myra. Some people have experimented with the Standard terror card – EVIL Miscreant – and it certainly helped the aggro matchup quite a bit. Kingsbane is still a very reliable counter into Priest, Warlock and Druid, especially with the pest of Darkest Hour Warlock and Big Priest filling the ladder; therefore, the meta would need to get much more aggressive for the archetype to lose its foothold.
Ranked: 3 (+12)
Rejoice, Druid fans (the three of you), for Jade Druid is now the strongest Control deck in the format! Never have Jade Druid been this strong since the Spreading Plague, with Archmage Vargoth from Oaken Summons proven to be backbreaking in many matchups. The Archmage’s
obvious synergy with Oaken Summons, Jade Blossoms, Branching Paths, as well as many other spells in the deck had pushed the archetype way into the middle of Tier 1 since it can play both the Control game and the Midrange game if needed. Sunreaver Warmage is another very strong inclusion, with its effect almost always guaranteed to go off. Another card that has been seeing experiments is Unseen Saboteur, which seems to generate favorable outcomes more often than not. There have been experiments in the four drop slots, but Ironwood Golem still seems to be the most solid.
Ranked: 3 (+3)
Turn 4 wins against Aggro sure have their place in the meta! Besides being generally good against fast decks, Mecha’thun Warlock can feel almost like an auto-win against Jade Druid barring really lucky mills and Saboteur pulls, while can hold off its own against highroll deck. It really is a full package and will continue to exhibit strong results despite not receiving new cards. It is recommended that Doom! is ran in this meta to deal with Darkest Hour and Big Priest boards.
Ranked: 3 (+8)
“Free of that blasted tower!” must be the most dreadful voiceline to hear as of late. Vargoth into any resurrect effect or Shadow Essence can just snowball the game out of control for Big Priest even faster than before, which means Big Priest doesn’t really have to rely on Barnes as the early highroll machine. There isn’t much of a debate as to if the deck is better with or without Vargoth, and it’s looking like he’s going to be a mainstay for a long, long while.
Catrina Muerte has been seeing experimental plays, since at first glance, its just natural that a minion that spawns incredible value becomes a fit in a deck like this. Some players have debated whether Catrina is better than another card that serves a similar function – beating Control – that is Ragnaros the Firelord. While Ragnaros is 8 damage every turn, Catrina grinds the game out through nearly unmatchable value. It is not yet decided how good Catrina is, but she probably should only be used if you’re going on full greed mode, or to replace Ragnaros.
Ranked: 6 (-5)
Fallen to the lower end of the Tier, Evenlock was affected by the surge in Big Priest and Jade Druid. Jade Druid can deal with giants pretty effectively, as long as the Warlock doesn’t draw into Mojomaster Zihi; and Evenlock can’t seem to get an edge over Kingsbane Rogue either. However, Evenlock’s consistency and flexibility still allow it to steal games off of the hardest matchups while continues to bully aggro decks. It is speculated that the drop in play was simply because the deck was given no new cards, but we will see if that’s the case in a few weeks.
Big Burn Priest
Ranked: 7 (Unchanged)
An edge to playing Big Burn Priest over Big Priest before was that Big Burn can consistently close out games. With the introduction of Vargoth and Catrina, this difference is blurred out, leaving the two decks feeling very similar in power. Although our expert panel did have different opinions on which one is actually better, the result averaged out at them being the same. Big Burn can feel just a little bit less consistent in its current form, that’s why it’s behind its twin brother by a tiny margin.
Ranked: 8 (Unchanged)
There’s literally no change to Even Shaman at any aspect whatsoever. The list hasn’t seen any innovation, the matchup spread is still the same. Sure, there are more aggro to bully, but there are also more Warlocks and Priests to bully them back. These dynamics cancel each other out, leaving Even Shaman at the top of Tier 2 once more.
Rank: 9 (+24)
Talk about a jump! A ton of cards have been given to Aggro Druid this expansion; while none of them are over the top, these cards together incrementally boosted the archetype in relevance. Acornbearer mitigated some of Aggro Druid’s problem in gas, as it gives you a token on board and potentially two more that you can use whenever you want along with your buffs. Dreamway Guardian is a less flexible but arguably stronger Fire Fly, since the lifesteal effect helped to leverage aggro matchups a lot. Another pleasant surprise for me has been Blessing of the Ancients. Turns out giving your minions +1/+1 for 3 mana is still good if you can get the effect going on three or four minions; and honestly, all Druid really needs are consistent board buffs anyways. These new cards, along with a really favorable matchup spread, made Aggro Druid a potential contender for tier 1 in the near future.
Mind Blast Priest
Ranked: 9 (-4)
If you love Mind Blast Priest, you would HATE Darkest Hour Warlock and Tempo Quest Mage. The matchups against these decks are just horrendous; while there’s nothing you can do about a Darkest Hour board before turn 7, the Mage can just gain an extra turn to kill you off while you do nothing but scrambling for your combo pieces. Other than that, it still has a really solid package overall to beat anything else barring Kingsbane: dragon synergy cards provide either great value or tempo; Psychic Scream to stall out to late game; then pieces to OTK their opponent. This would mean that Mind Blast Priest is still a very legit choice for ladder, you just have to hope that these waves of new decks are just nothing but a seasonal fad.
Ranked: 11 (-7)
Every non-Odd Paladin suffered from not having any new cards at all, and Aggro Paladin is one of them. The Paladin is just a tad slower than Aggro Druid (and sometimes Murloc Shaman), and it might be really hard to come back if you don’t roll into that cursed Thekal-Molten combo. The solid Aggro core means that Aggro Paladin can still be a very respectable deck to climb with, but there’s no justification that it should hold to its tier 1 status when there are simply better, faster and more consistent options out there.
Ranked: 12 (-3)
Secret Mage has fallen a bit in popularity, struggling against the new aggro decks, while not benefiting from the resurgence of Odd Warrior at all. The deck’s playstyle is still the same after many expansions, so that might be another reason people are gearing towards new Mage decks amidst an exciting time for the class as a whole. It is still regarded by the majority of experts as one of the best decks to queue into a Control-heavy pocket meta, of course, so nothing wrong queuing a couple of Secret Mages when you’re seeing a few too many Anduins.
Ranked: 13 (NEW)
If there’s a title for the best New Performer, that title should be handed to Murloc Shaman, not Darkest Hour Warlock. It just has that much value, most often can’t be matched by many decks. Underbelly Angler has proven to be really solid, providing endless value if it doesn’t get cleared immediately. Toxfin, on the other hand, has been a bit underwhelming, but being able to trade up with a token on board is still massive tempo when it pulls off. Scargil has also been seeing play, again, leaving this big fella on board might spell death right the following turn. Any turn that you can’t clear off the little dudes, they can become huge with Anyfin is Awesome! and just smash you from 30 health. The deck does decently against the top dog Odd Paladin if it can draw into Maelstrom Portal or Devolve, which makes it quite a complete package. And if you still feel like that’s not enough value, the Quest exists!
Darkest Hour Warlock
Ranked: 14 (NEW)
This new ‘Big’ deck has been the buzz of the town ever since the introduction of Rise of Shadows! Who would’ve thought a 6 mana card that forces you to destroy your own board would be the one to cause so much havoc to our young meta. However, most might have missed the interaction between Darkest Hour and Bloodbloom, which enables the costly spell to be cast for just 2 mana! To consistently be able to pull off a swingy Darkest Hour turn, the deck cut early minions altogether, and use token generating spells as a sacrifice for big juicy bombs. Rafaam’s Scheme – another card that was deemed as weak – has fit this role perfectly, allows for consistent token generation.
Though Darkest Hour Warlock isn’t actually something that’s being played at a super high rate, it is a very powerful newcomer that has certainly shaped the meta to become like it is right now: Big decks, Aggro decks, and Combo decks.
Ranked: 15 (NEW)
Once quite a terror in Wild (the Stars align, anyone?), Aviana Druid has crawled back onto the map after the introduction of Jepetto Joybuzz. If there is one card that people predicted exactly what it was going to do, that would be this balloon loving fella, as he single-handedly put Aviana Druid (both Togwaggle and Star Aligner) back into relevancy. Turns out all you really needed was 1 mana Aviana or Togwaggle, and your combo is pretty much set. However, the current meta decks can put in a lot more pressure to the Druid than when it used to reign; this makes it so Aviana still hasn’t been able to retrieve her lost crown just yet.
Ranked: 16 (-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 its minions; and pairing with Hunter’s extremely aggressive hero power, Mech Hunter is a threat you’ll have to watch out for. New card Ursatron proved redundant as the Mech Hunter core is still pretty much very powerful; that means that we’d still see the exact same decks as we’ve seen four months before. At least when you queue into a Hunter, you’ll know what you’re queuing into.
Ranked: 17 (+7)
It’s never failed to perform in a clutch! Freeze Mage is that archetype people will just keep coming back to, even if it’s existed for as long as Hearthstone itself. The current Exodia can outright beat Darkest Hour with a single Doomsayer/Frost Nova, and has always traditionally been good against Priests, Druids, and Warlocks. Even Shaman and Odd Warrior would sweat in nervousness when they see the Mage draws into their combo pieces with little they can do. Couple with the fact that most aggro matchups aren’t really an auto lose, Exodia is certainly in its best position in a long while.
Ranked: 18 (-3)
While Odd Warrior has fallen in ranks, it hasn’t really fallen in power (it just means that there are more new decks in Tier 2 now). 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. Couple with the facts that it beats two of the strongest Warlocks at the moment – Evenlock and Darkest Hour Warlock – you can expect to queue Garrosh and consistently climbs the ladder, even if it’s going to take you 15 days in the process. One thing people don’t like about Odd Warrior is because of how polarized it is – unless you’re a really skilled pilot, you would lose to Jade Druid, Exodia Mage and greedy Big Priest a lot. They’re not unwinnable matchups, but you certainly have to know exactly what you’re doing.
Ranked: 19 (+4)
There was a time where Odd Rogue has fallen as low as Tier 3 in our Meta Snapshot; however, the introduction of EVIL Miscreant and Flight Master has brought that brief period to an end. While EVIL Miscreant has been proven in Standard to be a very powerful card that can provide huge tempo swing in almost every matchups, the inclusion of Flight Master has come off as a surprise. Turns out, the Rogue can mitigate the Gryphon summoned very effectively with its 2 ATK dagger, which transforms Flight Master into effectively another Hench Clan Thug that synergizes with Fungalmancer. Opinions on Flight Master have been mixed, with some liking it, while others claimed that the card does nothing when you’re behind.
Ranked: 19 (+2)
You either going to love it or you hate it – Renolock is back! Many players have achieved great success with Renolock recently, as you can tune the deck to beat your pocket meta of aggro, combo decks and Jade Druid. Whether he’s here to stay again is another debate – while Renolock can be pretty good against half of the field, it’s abysmal into the other half. Darkest Hour Warlock, Big Priest, and Kingsbane Rogue are not at all a welcome sight for our artifact-loving adventurer. We will have to keep a close eye on the deck’s performance in the future, and while some will be pleading for him to hold on to Tier 2, there’s no guarantee about it.
Tempo Quest Mage
Ranked: 19 (NEW)
Tempo Quest Mage takes everything you know about Secret Mage… and turn it all around. It can snatch wins against aggro consistently with Flamewaker and Magic Dart Frog, but can just fold on the spot against Warlock if they have a Voidlord down on turn 4. You need those chain spells and Giants to go face, since there is minimal damage source elsewhere apart from randomly generated cards. If there’s a crossing point between the two Tempo Mage decks though, is that both sucks against Odd Warrior. However, if Secret Mage can win against Odd 40% of the time, Tempo Quest winrate is close to 0. It’s a new deck, and a very fun deck to try out at that, so we’d recommend you to try it out if you can! We won’t tell you what the win condition is, it’s just more fun for you to find it out by yourself!
Tier 3 & 4
It must have hurt falling from that high, Anyfin Paladin, APM Priest, Cubelock, Beast Hunter and Miracle Druid! These once powerful strategies can no longer hold their own candles as they’re heavily countered by the meta. All of these decks share some similar traits: they’re oftentimes too slow to take off, and they have never been regarded as the best decks to queue into aggro. Both of these factors make for a recipe for disaster.
Apart from Renolock, other Reno decks are nowhere to be seen. Memnarch, who took Reno Priest to #10, has been a loyal servant of the deck, and magikman is still rocking Reno Mage as frequent as ever; but they should only be treated as outliers. There haven’t been many meaningful additions for the archetype in ages, and it might take another card specifically tailored to the Highlander strategy to make the archetype relevant again.
Many other decks are seeing experimental play. Corbett pioneered Silence Priest with Unsleeping Soul and a Northshire Cleric + Wild Pyromancer package as a draw engine, but the deck just seems too honest sometimes, which kept it at tier 3. Odd Mage has seen rejuvenation by RenoJackson, who took it to #10 Legend playing Conjurer’s Calling, Devilsaur Egg and Corridor Creeper as a massive tempo boost. The deck seems like it has real potential, and it is to be seen whether it can live up to that.
Tier 4 is where Hunter belongs. The Beast Midrange variant is only a shadow of what it once was, now not being able to outrace other early decks, while every other Hunter is just lackluster. Odd Hunter has been seeing play around top 50 Legend, however, the deck just folds to aggro while doesn’t consistently beat Control either.
If you’re looking for a new fun deck, you might find it in Dragon Bomb Warrior, a deck which AquaticFlame took to legend recently. It plays two of the most fun package in the game: Dragon and Bomb, so you can just burn your way through the ranks. Hopefully, there will be more experiments with the archetype soon, at it does look like it has that potential. Big Paladin also looks like another deck that can just become relevant when it’s been figured out, with Call to Adventure, Duel! and Prismatic Lens all serves to promote the strategy. However, it hasn’t seen any success as of when this report was written.
Awedragon’s Miracle Druid
Otyka2828’s Beast Hunter
Duwin’s Legend Secret Hunter
Knoepklapper’s Deathrattle Hunter
KimihaSpider’s #50 Legend Odd Hunter
RenoJackson’s #10 Legend Conjurer Odd Mage
magikman’s #89 Legend Reno Mage
Sundrew’s Mill Rogue
RenoJackson’s Legend Big Rogue
Jonahrah’s Quest Rogue
Mentalistic’s Exodia Paladin
RenoJackson’s Big Paladin
Roffle’s Secret Paladin
RickyMartin’s Inner Fire Priest
Corbett’s #5 Legend Silence Priest
Memnarch’s #10 Legend Reno Priest
Bananaramic’s APM Priest
DestructYou’s Big Shaman
Drym’s Legend Aggro Shaman
ksr’ Malygos Shaman
DannyDonuts’ Shudderwock Shaman
Corbett’s Malygos Warlock
GetMeowth’s Legend Cube Warlock
Solem’s Legend Zoo Warlock
RenoJackson’s Legend Treachery Warlock
Awedragon’s Legend Pirate Bomb Warrior
AquaticFlames’ Legend Dragon Bomb Warrior
Pinhead’s Legend Dead Man’s Hand Warrior
Spiral’s Patron Warrior
Hoodini reached rank 500 legend with Big Spell Mage, a Control deck that is thought to not be able to thrive in Wild. It runs Sunreaver Warmage as a one of, along with Kalecgos that lets you cast big spell every turn for free.
Duwin never gives up on his Hunter dreams! Tripz and himself have built a Malygos Hunter, utilizing the new card Vereesa Windrunner for that Spell Damage consistency, and was able to even get it to climb inside top 100!
Asian Top Wild legend RAZOX has taken an old deck to very high ranks – Top 25 Asia. OTK Heal Priest sets up its win condition by Auchenai Phantasm coupled up with very cheap heal spells.