We would like to thank these top legend players who have given us their expert opinions: RenoJackson, Hijodaikan, Jack, Memnarch, 燁魔, xtuliop, Goku, SmellyHuffer, Eddetektor, Weatherlight, Jonahrah, Malekith, and ksr. Their Twitters are to be listed at the end of the report.
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Welcome to the Second Edition of Team Rankstar’s Wild Meta Snapshot for 2020! In this meta report, we will be going through a tier list of 81 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.
This is the time in the expansion cycle where the meta starts to settle down, but there are still enough ripples to make gameplay experience somewhat interesting. As with many instances in the past, the meta starts to get dominated by a few archetypes, and this time, the offenders are Mage and Warlock.
Galakrond’s Awakening came with some bad news: more toys for Quest decks. Sky General Kragg and Licensed Adventurer have found their ways into any deck that plays a Quest, or even a Sidequest. Of course, variants of Time Warp Mage have been able to abuse these two cards to best effect.
While the new adventure gave some of the lesser decks a few shiny tools, they were not enough to catapult these decks into new heights. Beast Hunter and Inner Fire Priest have been irrelevant for the past months, and there is no sign suggesting they’ll be able to join the big boys.
Here are the biggest winners and losers of the month (only counting the highest 3 tiers):
Winners: Galakrond Rogue (+30); Weasel Priest (+25); Reno Druid (+20); Even Hunter (+16); Aviana Druid (+10); Elemental Mage (+9)
Losers: Evolve Shaman (-14); Mecha’thun Warlock (-13); Malygos Warlock, Reno Warlock (-8); Reno Paladin (-7)
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).
Time Warp Mage
Ranked: 1 (+4)
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.
We used to say Time Warp Mage is a more relentless, less consistent version of Reno Quest Mage. But with the introduction of Mana Giants and Licensed Adventurers, we think this is no longer the case. It is the strongest deck in this report, and is probably one of the more skill-testing decks in the meta right now. It’s very easy to misplay a lot with it, and it punishes mistake heavily; therefore, it’s not for new players to pick up. As such, winrate data might not reflect the deck’s actual strength.
One thing that we deem is a common mistake is the inclusion of Archmage Vargoth. It made sense in earlier versions when there are fewer good cards and the highroll was needed, but now that Quest Mage can reliably go off and can easily kill without two extra turns, what Vargoth does is that he decreases consistency.
There has also been much discussion about whether to run Research Project or Book of Specters. Though it seems counterintuitive to run Book in a deck with so much spell-based synergy, the truth is that much of the deck consists of minions. Even drawing two minions and discarding a spell is above average for 2 mana. Meanwhile, letting an Even Shaman or Secret Mage draw two cards will backfire much more than discarding a spell or two.
Even though Time Warp Mage is the best deck right now, it’s a pretty “weak” top deck. Many aggro decks can give it a hard time: Even Hunter, Pirate Warrior, Odd Paladin, Mechbuff Paladin, and Aggro Druid are prime examples. The fact Quest Mage can still beat these decks often enough contributes to the solid position of the deck in the meta.
Hijodaikan’s #1 Legend Time Warp Mage (assisted by Malekith)
Ranked: 2 (+2)
Even Shaman is the midrange deck that gets 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.
The tyrant of Wild is now back. Even Shaman is behind Cube Warlock on the power scale, but not by much. Even Shaman doesn’t have the best winrate when matched against Warlock, but what propels the deck in the meta is how good it is into the rest of the field. Aside from Galakrond Warrior and Reno Quest Mage, not many other decks have a good time against it. Even regular Quest Mage can only break even with this deck, and will fold if the Shaman has a crazy opening.
Like Odd Warrior, Even Shaman receives the return of a fast meta with glee. The deck is a certified aggro killer, one that’s even better at its job now it’s taken on a new shell: totems. With Totemic Surge and Splitting Axe, you can get on board so early and give the aggro deck little chance to establish a board whatsoever. Draenei Totemcarver, Totem Golem, and EVIL Totem are naturally added for synergy, while Devolve and Maelstrom Portal ensure you win even more against Aggro if needed. You might beat yourself sometimes when you make all the totems and not draw any totem weaponiser, but that’s a necessary risk for a better winrate overall.
Even a deck like Even Shaman is seeing some experimentation. Explosive Evolution seems like a nice card, one that can turn a small totem into a 4 drop and a 0-costed Thing from Below into a 9-drop. However, it can mess with Totem synergy, therefore popular builds haven’t incorporated it yet. The rest of the deck is, of course, more or less the same, with cards like Flamewreathed Faceless and Zap taking up the flex slot.
With many totem-synergy cards, the new Even Shaman is marginally more difficult to play optimally. Sometimes the abundance of choices to make in the early game can trick players into making suboptimal plays in the long run.
Memnarch’s #1 Legend Splitting Axe Even Shaman
おてぃか’s #1 Legend Runespear Even Shaman
Control Cube Warlock
Ranked: 3 (+2)
Control Cube Warlock is a specific variant of the Cube Warlock family. This slow Warlock deck plays many slow Deathrattle cards that can gain value from Carnivorous Cube and N’Zoth, the Corruptor. Rather than trying to get on board early, the Warlock defends in the early game with reactive spells like Defile and Dark Skies, before cheating out demons or outvaluing their opponent.
Control Cube Warlock is rated higher than Egg Cube in this report for its better matchup into Time Warp Mage. Bad Luck Albatross is needed in many matchups nowadays, and is especially effective when Cubed. Many people have only realized it now.
It’s been a long time since a Value Control deck last shown up within Tier 1, but Control Cubelock was able to do it. The new additions including Dark Skies and Bad Luck Albatross have helped the matchups the deck has historically struggled against: aggro and combo decks. It is now relatively well-rounded, which is a necessary condition for a Tier 1 deck.
Control Cubelock is the example of how many boxes a Value Control deck needs to tick in order to succeed in Wild: incredibly efficient early removals, some form of mana cheat, premium-statted disruption tools, and late-game finishers packed in a single card. It’s really hard to satisfy all these conditions, which is why we haven’t seen many Value Control decks succeeding in this format.
Malekith’s #1 Legend Control Cube Warlock
李副帮主’s #9 Legend Plot Twist Control Cube Warlock
CONCERNEDMOM’s #5 Legend Control Cube Warlock
Egg Cube Warlock
Ranked: 4 (-3)
Egg Cube Warlock is a specific variant of the Cube Warlock archetype. It uses early eggs to control the board with highly synergistic cards like Plague of Flames and EVIL Genius. In the later stages, it transitions into a heavy demon package with Voidlord, Doomguard, Mal’Ganis, and Skull of the Man’ari.
With a strong early game, mid-game AND end game, there are not many decks in the format that can keep up with Cubelock’s consistency and explosive power. However, the Egg version has been pushed back a little bit, with Control Cubelock being much better against the currently popular non-Reno Quest Mage.
Egg Cube Warlock is not seeing any new additions, and it seems like the best list has been figured out. Top players like Taldaram on the three-drop slot as it synergises incredibly well with both early eggs and late-game demons. A single Faceless Manipulator is also used as a weaker Taldaram, but you’d gladly welcome a second Taldy in this deck anyway.
Egg Cubelock is a fine blend of early survivability and late game pressure. Defile, Plague of Flames, and Eggs are great at stabilizing from as soon as Turn 2, while a single Skull of Man’ari can end games on its own. You can never go wrong queuing either Cubelocks on ladder.
Hijodaikan’s #2 Legend Cube Warlock
Reno Time Warp Mage
Ranked: 4 (-2)
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.
Imagine getting two new premium cards and still falling in ranks. Indeed, while Reno Quest Mage has received more support cards, its position in the meta got notably worse as many meta decks either slot in Bad Luck Albatross or is regular Quest Mage. It’s still an incredible deck with a great matchup spread, but players might have to make riskier and more creative moves in cases where their powerful cards get deactivated by some sea bird.
Even with more potentially bad matchups trying to prey on slow combo decks, Zephrys and Reno still proves to be more than enough to keep the deck’s winrate consistent. 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 needs 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 armor can outlast the damage. Another inclusion is Sky Gen’ral Kragg, a really annoying card that provides both protection and 4-damage removal in a single card.
MajorTom’s #4 Legend Reno Time Warp Mage
monkeyfefefe’s #1 Legend Reno Time Warp Mage
Ranked: 6 (+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 supposed to be facing a fairly difficult meta, but they prove to be able to shake off the hate rather easily. Naturally favourable into slower decks (except ones that gain armor), the Secret Mage finds itself winning matchups it wasn’t able to before: Aggro.
Aggro just HATES Flakmage. Most of the time, there isn’t even a way to play around it. The Secret Mage is supposed to be bad against Aggro, now they just roll over and die after one Flakmage. If they haven’t yet, good luck dealing with those Duplicated Flakmages they just generated.
Secret Mage is still incredible when you find the right combination of secrets, and Aluneth can simply turn games into non-games. Their arrogance can be their undoing, however. Simply drawing the wrong secrets at the wrong time can cost you the game, if you can’t get Aluneth.
sleight’s #23 Legend Secret Mage
Tempo Galakrond Warrior
Rank: 7 (+3)
Tempo Galakrond Warrior, as the name suggests, is a midrange deck that wins by outtempoing the opponent in the mid-game. Apart from some key Tempo cards like Kor’kron Elite, this version of Tempo Warrior relies on the Galakrond core that keeps recharging the hero’s attack as it piles up its Invoke count. Tempo Warrior can secure the victory by playing overstatted minions that are drawn from Galakrond on top of its previously generated tempo.
There’s still a Warrior deck at the bottom of Tier 1, but it’s no longer Pirate Warrior. Tempo Galakrond Warrior has switched place with Pirate to become the best Warrior deck there is. A great matchup against Even Shaman and generally good matchups versus Mage help solidify its position in the current meta.
If Pirate Warrior has had a solid foundation, Tempo Galakrond Warrior is pretty much a self-made man. One-third of the deck is made of completely new cards from Descent of Dragons, and the rest is just the matter of picking the right package. The Pirate package has been proven to be effective for early game Control, and Scion of Ruin made the matchup against Aggro relatively easy. Another package that found success is the Bomb package, which is designed to win against Reno decks, Mecha’thun, and Aluneth.
People are somewhat abandoning the familiar Pirate package to go for a more midrange approach. Memnarch toyed around with cards like Bomb Wrangler which are really resilient against Aggro and many board clears (Defile, Renocologist, Dark Skies), and Loatheb to combat Mages. Alexstrasza’s Champion is used as an eventual charge minion that can hit face for 7 if drawn from Galakrond, or be played right on Turn 2 if you can draw a Scion of Ruin from your Town Crier.
Memnarch’s #1 Legend Galakrond Tempo Warrior
觉醒之魂’s #2 Bomb Galakrond Tempo Warrior
Ranked: 8 (-1)
Pirate Warrior is a weapon-based aggro deck that relies on a strong early game Pirate synergy to create recurring damage with pirates 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.
After Ancharrr is nerfed, Pirate Warrior is booted to Tier 2. It’s not so much the nerf that’s the problem, it’s just that the meta has turned hostile towards the deck, while some people realized there are simply better options to ladder with. A better Warrior deck that can do similar things, for example.
Pirate Warrior has been pushed down the pecking order with the rise of Galakrond Warrior and Even Shaman. Both of these decks can effectively match the Warrior’s aggressive opener before gradually seizing control of the board. On the other hand, fewer people are tech-ing Golakka Crawler, but the nefarious crab still finds room in many Reno decks and decks that can find room for it.
Although you can win some games from the spot with Ship’s Cannon, Pirate Warrior is not as well-equipped in the long game as other Tier 1 decks like Even Shaman or Galakrond Warrior. When even your best early board can just get wiped by a single Warlock clear, maybe what you need is some staying power.
Hijodaikan’s #22 Legend Pirate Warrior
Kohai’s #12 Legend Pirate Warrior
Darkest Hour Warlock
Ranked: 9 (+4)
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 the demon package, The Lich King, and the very important Nerubian Unraveler to lock any potential boardclear.
Darkest Hour Warlock has never been in a more favourable spot. It can almost win every single time it gets a timely Darkest Hour, and new board clears like Dark Skies allow it to do so without being threatened on board more often. Reno Time Warp Mage also has a big problem with a Darkest Hour turn, which is another upside of playing this coinflip 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. All in all, Darkest Hour should be a good deck for a climb from Rank 5 to Legend, since it’s a coinflip deck that wins its coinflip much more often than not. But don’t complain to us if you lose 10 games in a row — that’s just the nature of the deck.
Memnarch’s #3 Legend Darkest Hour Warlock
태조샷건’s #2 Legend Darkest Hour Warlock
MasochismDog’s #1 Legend Darkest Hour Warlock
Ranked: 10 (-2)
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.
Mech Handbuff Paladin is still relatively strong, but the fact it hasn’t gotten anything meaningful in a while when other decks improved exponentially have hurt its performance. Mechbuff Paladin often relies on killing their opponent with their first wave of minion, so if they are somehow neutralised, the Paladin runs into problems. More decks are running Silence, freeze, Devolve, and Zephrys at the moment, so the Paladin can be stopped on their track fairly often. Even though Mechbuff has lost its edge against many meta decks, a somewhat favourable matchup into Time Warp Mage is the reason the deck is still holding on to a fairly good meta rank.
Mech Handbuff Paladin is that kind of deck that can fall into oblivion easily, unlike things like Even Shaman. You need really specific types of card to improve Mechbuff, while any good even-costed cards can potentially be slotted into Even Shaman. It’s not an immediate process, but maybe we will see Mechbuff slipping away from the top tiers in the future.
FilFeel’s #37 Legend Mech Handbuff Paladin
RenoJackson’s #7 Legend Horserider Mech Handbuff Paladin
Ranked: 11 (+1)
Odd Paladin is a aggressive-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.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Odd Paladin being the face of the class, but it looks like we won’t have to wait much longer. The new cards have boosted its consistency even more, and now the Paladin can somewhat confidently play the long game against Mages and Warlocks.
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.
Odd Paladin’s matchup spread is really interesting. While it used to win against Secret Mage before, Arcane Flakmage and Flame Ward completely turned the matchup around. Meanwhile, Reno Quest Mage finds it difficult to keep clearing the board forever, and the deck is much better against Warlocks than Mechbuff Paladin in that they don’t lose to a single Dark Skies. Meanwhile, Mechbuff is better against Warriors. But both of them can decimate Time Warp Mage on a good day.
Corbett’s #3 Legend Odd Paladin
MMMHMMMMMM’s #4 Legend Odd Paladin
Rank: 12 (+10)
Aviana Druid refers to 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 is experiencing one of its biggest jumps in recent times. The deck hasn’t necessarily gotten better, but its ability to just steal key win conditions happen to line up really well against many combo decks and decks relying on power cards in the meta right now.
Aviana Druid gets better now as it is a legit counter to Reno Time Warp Mage and slow Warlocks. Oftentimes many of your opponent’s crucial combo pieces will still be in their deck after you’ve swapped them, rendering their strategy useless. 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 that Aviana is 10 mana and you have to throw an Innervate into the mix, but that hasn’t stopped Aviana Druid enthusiasts from achieving high ranks with the deck before. The weak matchup against decks with strong pressure and midrange still proves to be its kryptonite, though.
It is crazy that the deck is still performing well even with Aviana at 10 mana. Just imagine what is going to happen if Aviana is reverted back to 9 mana. So please, Team 5, if you’re thinking about it, it might be better to pick another target.
Hijodaikan’s #2 Legend Aviana Togwaggle Druid
Sleight’s #10 Legend Aviana Togwaggle Druid
Ranked: 13 (-2)
Odd Rogue 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 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.
Odd Rogue is so underplayed right now, it doesn’t even show up on the radar anymore. People have their reasons: Pirate Warrior and Aggro Rogue outpace it, Reno Mage has Reno, and Warlocks have a turn 4 Voidlord. The upside that Odd Rogue offers is that it is more consistent at getting going than many other decks, so you can prey on your opponent’s bad hand.
Odd Rogue is still among the better 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 or unfavored into every other Tier 1 deck, except maybe Reno Mage if you play Albatross.
Memnarch’s #9 Legend Odd Rogue
Ranked: 14 (+2)
Aggro Rogue is an aggressive deck that relies on cheap minions (usually pirates) to take control of the early game. The deck traditionally utilizes efficient damage cards like Eviscerate and card draws like Myra’s Unstable Element to finish the job.
It seems like people finally found a way to build Aggro Rogue post-Apothecary: stop including all the junk. People are now finding out the inconsistencies brought by the Fal’dorei Strider package is not worth the payoff, and are now going back to pure Pirate builds.
Apparently, maximum damage output is the way to go in a meta where people can kill you with a combo on Turn 5 or drop a 3/9 Taunt on the same turn. The Pirate package with Bloodsail Flybooter and Parachute Brigand can consistently push in early damage, while cards Hooked Scimitar, Waggle Pick and Leeroy Jenkins can finish the job, sometimes with the help of Sap removing obstacles from the way. An overabundance of damage-dealing cards help Aggro Rogue achieve consistency akin to Pirate Warrior.
With Odd Rogue’s popularity on the decline, Aggro Rogue might become the flagship deck of the class soon enough. With Ship’s Cannon, Aggro Rogue has a chance to win against almost any deck, and you don’t have to sacrifice much consistency either.
Corbett’s #2 Legend Aggro Rogue
Ranked: 15 (+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 lategame card draws such as Ultimate Infestation and Overflow. Jade Druid can comfortably go to fatigue, but oftentimes it just wins by surviving.
The comeback of Druids is on the making? One Ysera and a couple tech cards later, Jade Druid has crawled back into Tier 2. Ysera has proven to be a great card in many matchups, one that can provide much-needed pressure against decks that won’t wait for you to build up your Jade counts. Some people are even playing Mojomaster Zihi on the account that when you need to play Zihi against combo decks, it will most probably not interfere with your gameplan.
Zul’Drak Ritualist is kind of a big deal in Oaken builds. It is a 4 mana 3/9 from Oaken Summons, and it summons extra minions for you Spreading Plague. Most of the time, the small minions do nothing but clogging up your opponent’s board. This taunt minion might be the undisputed 4-drop along with Archmage Vargoth for your Oaken package.
Another development on top of Ysera has been the reintroduction of Phaoris to combat slow decks. Many decks, such as Mages and Warlocks, have a somewhat difficult time dealing with a huge board. Phaoris doesn’t win games by himself too often, but just like Ysera, he provides just enough pressure for the Jade Druid to start pumping Jade unpunished. To maximum Phaoris value, Malekith cut the Oaken package for Floop, who happens to synergizes with cards like Steel Beetle, Keeper Stalladris, and Ysera. Steel Beetle’s great defensive capabilities ensure that you won’t miss Archmage Vargoth often, maybe at all.
Memnarch’s #4 Legend Jade Druid
Malekith’s #1 Legend Jade Druid
Reno Control Mage
Ranked: 16 (-2)
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.
Currently, the only successful builds of Control Reno Mage are built around Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, which is proving to be a powerful win condition even after its nerf. The most common build features Tortollan Pilgrim as a highly flexible minion: it can either cast Galaxy if you haven’t drawn it yet, cast Book of Specters for after you play Galaxy, or cast a one-off big spell like Blizzard or Flamestrike. On the other hand, the builds that do not run Pilgrim have the opportunity to run cheap defensive spells like Ray of Frost, Frostbolt, and Polymorph.
Reno Control Mage is another value-control deck amidst a faster-paced meta for its ability to just curve out like a midrange deck. 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. The fact that Control Mage has a decent winrate across the board kept the deck hovering around Tier 2, with lots of room for improvement in future expansions.
Hijodaikan’s #1 Legend Galaxy Reno Mage
Ranked: 17 (-13)
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. Older versions of this archetype utilised a Voidlord package for survival, but it has been mostly abandoned in favor of a turbo cycle version with several cheap draw minions and Plague of Flames.
Mecha’thun Warlock is like a high school bully. It snatches games away from Aggro decks like taking candies from kids, but as soon as it faces the top dogs like Cubelocks and Quest Mages, it falls apart. Now that its true color is shown, Mecha’thun drops on the pecking order.
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 Dark Skies. It does have trouble when the opponent pressures it with an 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 are in the deck to make sure the last wave of assault can be dealt with.
Keep an eye out for the new version which uses Dollmaster Dorian as an alternate win-condition. The deck opts to exclude Emperor Thaurissan to play Dorian and Plot Twist. With Dorian on board and a Mecha’thun on your hand, you can play Plot Twist when your deck is empty to guarantee a 1/1 Mecha’thun on board so you can play Cataclysm.
Memnarch’s #3 Legend Archaeology Mecha’thun Warlock
Memnarch’s #7 Legend Mecha’thun Warlock
Gu1Dan1el’s #13 Legend Mecha’thun Warlock
Ranked: 19 (+5)
Odd Warrior is a reactive control deck that gains access to 4 extra armor 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 armor accumulation opens up synergies with various armor-related cards.
Odd Warrior finds itself in an odd spot: it wins against many aggro but folds against Druids, Reno Quest Mage and Bloodreaver Gul’Dan. It can win grindy matchups but it needs the right card at the right time, while hoping the opponent doesn’t play too much value.
The deck was good against Aggro before, and now it’s given another early tool to catch up the 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.
However, there have been arguments against the Quartermaster. 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. What Odd Warrior needs, according to them, is more ways to deal with slower decks, thus the introduction of Whirlwind, Plague of Wrath, and Ironbeak Owl as the showcased list below. Maybe the Warrior can do even better against Control if Dr. Boom is reverted back to 7 mana. Please, Iksar.
The movement that pushed Odd Warrior back into Tier 2 was the rise in popularity of Darkest Hour Warlock. Odd Warrior is one of the few decks that have immediate answers to a huge Darkest Hour board — four of them, even! With two Brawls and two Reckless Flurry, you will find yourself winning the game versus the Warlock more often than not. In a pinch, you can even play Whirlwind + Plague of Wrath, an extra board clear primarily used to deal with Cube Warlocks.
キラ・ヤマト’s #8 Legend Odd Warrior
Goku’s #2 Legend Odd Warrior
绝影匿迹’s #2 Legend Odd Warrior
Ranked: 19 (-4)
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 was supposed to be a breakout star for its good matchup into both fast and slow decks; however, there is a slight problem when your win condition revolves around hitting face with a couple of 8/8s: Plague of Flames. Having your Mountain Giants be destroyed by an Egg while your opponent gets a free Nerubian is so devastating that it actually turns the matchup against other Warlock decks from really favourable to really unfavourable.
Even though it has fallen from grace, Even Warlock is by no means terrible. It wins against aggro more often than not, and it is also not terrible into Time Warp Mages if you can build a wall of taunt. 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 #7 Legend Even Warlock
Ranked: 20 (0)
Kingsbane Rogue is a deck that revolves around buffing and redrawing its namesake card, Kingsbane, to create an infinite amount of damage that can eventually end the game. Kingsbane Rogue used to play a Mill package with Coldlight Oracle, but after the nerf to Leeching Poison, it has switched to an early aggressive Pirate package.
Kingsbane Rogue is still enjoying sporadic success, with two main builds floating on ladder at the moment. While the Fal’dorei build is showing to be reasonably powerful, the traditional version is likely the better option in this meta.
The Fal’dorei Strider and Stowaway package is good in this deck for their synergy, and also because Stowaway can draw a reshuffled Kingsbane from the deck. This has allowed for more liberty in deckbuilding; for example, obscure draw cards that were included just to draw Kingsbane (like Raiding Party) were cut. Even in the traditional version, it seems a 4-mana Raiding Party is too inefficient; thus, only one copy is remaining. Keep an eye out for the unnerf announcement, though, because Raiding Party might be among them.
Unlike before, Kingsbane Rogue is no longer an absolute nightmare for Control decks to queue into due to how slow it is to take off compared to before the nerf to Preparation and Raiding Party. For now, it stays in Tier 3.
EpigPlayer’s #6 Legend Kingsbane Rogue
Ranked: 21 (-4)
Beast Hunter is one of the oldest midrange decks in the game. Depending on the build, the gameplan can be either simply curving out or taking advantage of highly synergistic beast cards. Beast Hunter uses cheap beast cards to kill their opponent in the mid-game, and they can refill with Master’s Call or Deathstalker Rexxar to complete its job.
With Rush minions, Fresh Scent, and Scavenging Hyena, Beast Hunter now a decent deck. If the Beast Hunter knows to keep their Rush minions and Unleash the Hounds to combo with Timber Wolf and Scavenging Hyena, they can win aggro matchups more often than not. A turn 2 Scavenging Hyena can neutralise Defile while Bad Luck Albatross shuts down Reno Mage. A fall in Pirate decks have affected Beast Hunter’s stock, since they can no longer cheese wins off of a timely Golakka Crawler anymore.
A new addition that boosts the deck is Fresh Scent. It makes your Turn 2 as a Hunter much stronger if you’re able to curve out, since you only have Razormaw as a real Turn 2 play. This enables much more damage output, which is fairly important if you’re a Hunter. The downside is that you obviously have to curve out to maximise the card’s effect, and sometimes it can sit dead on your hand. So the debate here is whether to slot Fresh Scent in existing builds or make a deck in which Fresh Scent can get value more often. In our opinion, a deck where Frest Scent shines brightest should have many low-costed Beasts and tries to end the game very quickly.
Duwin’s #23 Legend Fresh Scent Beast Hunter
Rankstar’s Rexxarless Beast Hunter
Ranked: 22 (+16)
Even Hunter is an aggressive midrange deck that leverages a 1-mana hero power granted by Genn Greymane to finish the game early. An abundance of hero-power synergistic cards like Steamwheedle Sniper, Garrison Commander, Phase Stalker, and Dragonbane helps the deck seize control of the early game and unleash recurring damage.
Even Hunter benefits from a Mage-heavy meta. An already decent deck against Aggro, secrets like Cat Trick and Rat Trap are a nightmare for Mages to deal with.
The single best card in Even Hunter must be Phase Stalker; it’s not far-fetch to say that this is the centrepiece that propels the deck to where it is right now. As most of Hunter secrets are defensive, free Hunter secrets from Stalker provides great tempo against other decks trying to go face. Frenzied Felwing is also incredible tempo, especially with a Garrison Commander already in play.
Even Hunter is a very fast deck, and is probably the Hunter deck with the highest potential ceiling at the moment. Deathstalker Rexxar might be worth trying, but he might be counter-intuitive given the deck’s fast pace.
Duwin’s #46 Legend Even Hunter
DestructYou’s #140 Legend Even Hunter
Inner Fire Priest
Ranked: 23 (-4)
Inner Fire Priest is any variant of Combo Priest that uses its namesake card – Inner Fire – as the main win-condition. Utilizing high health cards like High Priest Amet and Deathlord, the Priest buffs them up with Power Word: Shield, Divine Spirit and other cards to create a huge Inner Fire minion. Northshire Cleric serves as an excellent draw engine, and it can sometimes even draw the Priest a full hand in a single turn.
Cleric of Scales is a potentially powerful card, but it is becoming evident that the card alone is not enough to catapult Inner Fire Priest. Combo Priest needs a way to get onto board and hold onto it better, like what Extra Arms used to achieve. Note that Extra Arms might potentially get unnerfed soon, so you might want to take that into account.
With high health minions, Inner Fire Priest is quite resilient to many popular board clears and removals, namely Reno the Relicologist and Flame Ward. Thus, it’s a relatively good counter to Reno Time Warp Mage. However, it still has weak matchups against Warlocks due to big taunts and Plague of Flames, and against decks with many Silence/Transform effects like Even Shaman. Unfortunately, these decks make up a large part of ladder, meaning Inner Fire Priest is stuck in Tier 3.
Corbett’s #7 Legend Inner Fire Priest
Ranked: 24 (-4)
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.
Just like Galakrond Shaman, Zoolock was hit with the nerf axe as soon as it showed potential in Wild. Unlike Galakrond Shaman, the nerf to Fiendish Rites didn’t kill the deck. Fiendish Rites is one of the weaker cards in the deck that’s just in there for reliable Invoke effects, and Galakrond Warlock is much less reliant on the hero compared to other Galakrond decks. The core strength of Galakrond Warlock comes from token, not Galakrond, and the Invoke effects just happen to suit that gameplan really well. For now, one Fiendish Rites is good enough, replaceable by traditionally good cards like Sea Giant.
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. The nerf to Fiendish Rites pushes the deck just outside of Tier 2, but it’s still a very valid deck for laddering.
Rankstar’s Zoo Galakrond Warlock
Ranked: 25 (+7)
Mech Hunter is an aggressive Hunter deck featuring Mech synergies. The Mech Hunter deck aims to litter their board with small minions, magnetize them, and deliver a great amount of early damage. Cards like Mechwarper and Galvanizer allows for really early board flood, while Magnetic mechs and Metaltooth Leaper provides damage later on.
Mech Hunter is often deemed to be a weaker version of Mechbuff Paladin, and in a sense this is correct. But a weaker Mechbuff doesn’t make the deck bad, especially with some new additions.
Chopshop Copter is the new value-engine for Mech Hunter, which can be seen as a Mech Underbelly Angler. We’ve already seen how devastating efficient value generators for aggro deck can be. While Copter certainly delivers somewhat, the fact that Mechs are much more expensive than Murlocs on average makes it harder to chain vomit generated mechs. The Copter also has a slight anti-synergy with Jeeves, but all in all, having both in the deck makes it so the Hunter doesn’t run out of cards often.
Unlike Even Hunter. there doesn’t seem to be that much potential for Mech Hunter to improve. Top Tier 3 might be the best it can manage.
RenoJackson’s #36 Legend Mech Hunter
Ranked: 26 (+4)
Aggro Druid is an aggressive deck that plays a large number of small tokens then buff them up with cheap board buffs like Mark of the Lotus and Power of the Wild. Aggro Druid typically plays small Beasts and good early token generators, but there have been tribal-focused decks like Pirate, Mech, or Water Druid.
Embiggen is broken. Many people have come to this conclusion even before this card started to make waves in Standard. In Wild, however, it hasn’t been that outstanding. Recently, though, Aggro Druids with Embiggen have seen innovation to guide it towards being competitive. The latest cards that have made their way into Aggro Druid are Nerub’ar Weblord and Frenzied Felwing. While Felwing is an obvious inclusion, the Weblord is a cheap card that is effective against many popular cards like Galakrond activators, Zephrys, and Medivh’s Valet.
Aggro Druid can outright win any game if it is lucky enough, but it’s held back by two things. First, even with the new changes, it’s still too consistent. It relies on either drawing Embiggen early or playing many tokens into board buffs, in that exact order. Second, it loses to Warlock. Badly. We don’t see Aggro Druid improving anytime soon, especially when the new card Rising Winds doesn’t complement Embiggen at all.
おてぃか’s #20 Legend Aggro Druid
Ranked: 27 (-1)
Treachery Warlock is a Control deck that outvalues its opponent by playing Treachery on Fel Reaver or Howlfiend to burn or discard opponent’s cards and exhaust their resource. In addition to the typical Warlock defensive package, Treachery Warlock can also play Treachery on their Doomsayer for a guaranteed 5-mana clear. It’s a tricky deck to play and often requires extensive knowledge of the meta.
Treachery Warlock remains to be that lesser-known, lesser-played played deck that is only reserved for a few who are really into it. There aren’t many reasons to play Treachery Warlock when other Warlock decks are doing so well.
At its core, Treachery depends on eliminating your opponent’s future value using a few specific combo pieces. They have a few lines of defence through Voidlord and then Bloodreaver Gul’dan and N’Zoth. Secret Mages and Quest Mages were never slow Warlock’s favourite matchups to run into, so most slow Warlocks all suffered from the shift in meta. At it’s best, Treachery was very finely tuned to beat the competitive, high-end meta and requires a thorough understanding of cards in your opponents’ decks. It struggles when you can’t figure out your opponent’s deck or when they play unexpected tech cards.
Skylight’s #8 Legend Treachery Warlock
Ranked: 27 (+30)
Galakrond Rogue is a midrange deck that relies on Galakrond synergies to propel the deck into the late game. Various cards can benefit from cheap Lackeys in this deck, including Heistbaron Togwaggle and Edwin VanCleef. The 0-mana cards drawn from Galakrond provide huge tempo later on, which is often enough to win games.
There is always that one deck that is going to make some splash way late into the expansion, and Galakrond Rogue sure fits this perfectly. Originated from Standard, Galakrond Rogue has finally made its way into Wild, and oh boy, how is that for an entrance!
The Wild version of the deck keeps the fundamentals of its Standard counterparts: Lots of tempo from Turn 7 onwards and lots of value. With Shadowstep, Brann Bronzebeard, Galakrond, and Heistbaron Togwaggle, there’s a crazy amount of value to be generated while not sacrificing the board whatsoever. The deck has lots of highroll potential with Brann, Keleseth, and Galakrond, while can naturally fit in strong tech cards like Loatheb and Flik also.
There are two versions that are enjoying success at the moment, and we think that Corbett’s version is the better one. The value generated from late-game cards should be more than enough, while early game tempo from Keleseth and pirates is always welcomed. Note that high-Tier 3 is our conservative judgment of the deck, so you can expect it to rise up the ranks in the coming weeks.
Corbett’s Legend Galakrond Rogue
flugel’s #40 Legend Galakrond Rogue
Tier 4 & 5
Deckcodes (for decks without separate sections)
Do note that we are missing a few decklists for some Tier 4 & 5 decks we observed in the meta, but weren’t able to contact the players for their decklists.
Rankstar’s Secret Hunter
聪与喵喵’s #1 Legend Reno Hunter
xtuliop’s #75 Legend Dragon Hunter
Rankstar’s Odd Hunter
Rankstar’s Odd Dragon Hunter
Rankstar’s Odd Mage
RenoJackson’s #87 Legend Elemental Mage
SRL’s #32 Legend Mech Mage
Moeglichkiet’s #5 Legend Exodia Freeze Mage
Knoepklapper’s #89 Legend Taunt Druid
RenoJackson’s #36 Legend Taunt Dragon Druid
Malekith’s #50 Legend Taunt Dragon Druid
Corbett’s #16 Legend Malygos Druid
LuMb3rJ4cK’s #7 Legend Mecha’thun Linecracker Druid
bmking69’s #86 Legend Linecracker Druid
Eddetektor’s #100 Legend Dinomancer Warlock
LuckyDice99’s #15 Legend Reno Zoolock
DamnRinger’s #15 Legend Big Shaman
Rankstar’s Corrrupt the Waters Jade Shaman
Beeozan’s #302 Legend Aggro Shaman
RenoJackson’s #18 Legend Reno Shaman
帥真蛋九王’s #5 Legend Reno Galakrond Shaman
nvocmoc’s #25 Legend Reno Rogue
Rankstar’s Galakrond Rogue
Eddetektor’s Galakrond OTK Rogue
Jack’s #59 Legend Flik Skyshiv Mill Rogue
flugel’s #46 Legend Miracle Rogue
Chinese Legend Caverns Rogue
Cooky’s Legend Burgle Rogue
xtuliop’s #91 Legend Burgle Rogue
SilentNick’s #165 Legend Pure Paladin
名字不好起’s #36 Legend Recruits Paladin
RenoJackson’s #36 Legend Dragon Exodia Paladin
Jack’s #6 Legend Reno Exodia Paladin
Corbett’s #24 Legend Even Paladin
Rankstar’s Air Raid Even Paladin
Rankstar’s Token Paladin
Applecat’s #6 Legend Murloc Paladin
EpigPlayer’s #26 Legend APM Priest
Corbett’s #26 Legend APM Chef Nomi Priest
Kohai’s #10 Legend Togwaggle Priest
FirePaladin’s #35 Legend Weasel Albatross Priest
LaoZhongYi’s #85 Control Reno Priest
Corbett’s #3 Legend Combo Reno Priest
Rankstar’s Dragon Mind Blast Priest
Hijodaikan’s #3 Legend Big Burn Priest
CONCERNEDMOM’s #12 Legend Big Priest
JumpyWizard’s #23 Legend DMH Hakkar Warrior
RenoJackson’s #86 Legend Patron Galakrond Warrior
RenoJackson’s #24 Legend Dead Man’s Hand Galakrond Warrior
RenoJackson’s #36 Legend Tempo Taunt Warrior
Duwin’s #29 Legend Reno Hunter
Duwin’s #103 Legend Reno N’Zoth Hunter
Duwin’s Egg Deathrattle Hunter
xXFroBroXx45’s #5 Legend Reno Warlock
危机四伏 Legend Discard Warlock
Jack’s #1 Legend Reno Warlock
Malekith’s Ramp Druid
Goku’s #82 Legend Reno Druid
Class Meta Ranking
Rank 1 (0) – 626 points
Warlock is still the strongest class, but their first position is now much more attainable. They are still thriving off defensive tools that are capable of dealing with any board state, and these tools don’t look like they’re going to get nerfed anytime soon. However, combo decks like Time Warp Mage and Aviana Druid are now fast enough to outpace decks like Mecha’thun Warlock, weakening the class’ overall strength.
Cube Warlock now has two sub-archetypes worthy of Tier 1: Egg Cube and Control Cube. The two decks still heavily rely on Voidcallers and Bloodreaver Gul’dan, but their approach to the early game and their end-game finishers in some matchups are a little bit different. If Egg Cubelock can fend off aggressive strategies better, Control Cubelock has more value and disruptions in slower matchups and is better against the egg variant itself. This month, it is Control Cubelock that edges out Egg Cubelock for being more resilient against Time Warp Mage. We have not seen a value-heavy Control deck like Control Cubelock doing so well in the meta for a while; this could be a sign that Warlock’s defensive package is seriously overtuned.
Meanwhile, Mecha’thun Warlock seems to be short on breath against the other Warlock pillars. The deck is falling off due to not being able to pressure Quest Mages and draw the combo before them. It’s still a very good deck against Aggro, however, but the Egg Cubelock can do that just fine. Mecha’thun just seems less versatile and adaptive than the aformentioned archetypes.
Darkest Hour Warlock is certainly a deck to watch out for. The ‘highrolly’ combo has gotten so consistent, to the point people just expect it to be the norm instead of labelling it as highroll. Dark Skies and Plague of Flames have made the deck a lot more consistent against aggro, while Colossus of the Moon is even more annoying to deal with than the typical big minion. It still doesn’t win too much when it doesn’t get the combo out timely, though. However, Darkest Hour should be a good deck for a climb from Rank 5 to Legend, since it’s a coinflip deck that wins its coinflip way more often than not.
Even Warlock once again fell out of Tier 2 for having abysmal matchups into Mages. There really is not much else to add to other decks like Zoo Warlock, Reno Warlock, Treachery Warlock, and Malygos Warlock. They are still more or less in the same spots as they were in January, earning roughly the same points, and having the same matchup spread. Playing Warlock in this meta is never a bad choice, though, since your defensive package (or Galakrond package in case of Zoo) will always be strong enough to keep you alive. Until other classes have a core set of the same strength, it seems unlikely that anyone is going to overthrow the king.
Rank 2 (0) – 588 points
With great performance from Time Warp Mage and Reno Control Mage, Mages close the distance between them and Warlocks by a large margin. Even though it’s not as diverse as other top classes, Mage can still support a multitude of strategies. Both of its combo variants received a big boost, Secret Mage is still well-positioned in a Warlock meta, while Reno Mage can pose a problem for slower decks with its grindy cards.
Although both Reno Time Warp Mage and Time Warp Mage has received some support, it is the latter that outshone its sibling. As the meta gears toward more deck disruption in the form of Bad Luck Albatross, the Reno player finds wins more difficult to come by. In many games, the Reno Mage has to rely on more creative, more risky plays instead of their power Highlander cards. Time Warp Mage doesn’t suffer from this problem, and its good matchups into both Reno Mage and Cubelock means it fares really well in the current meta. Licensed Adventurers make mana cheating easier and more crazy turns to fend off aggro as well.
Reno Control-Midrange Mage utilizing Luna’s Pocket Galaxy is seeing an uptick in popularity. The deck is surprisingly decent against many other decks, with no real bad matchups and no dominant matchups. These types of deck are generally going to fare well in the meta. It is scary to think about how Pockey Galaxy might get unnerfed, and how stronger Reno Galaxy Mage might get.
Although Secret Mage now has a harder time against aggro, it’s one of the better counters into a Warlock and fellow slower Mages. Secret Mage can also punish sub-optimal decklists fairly effectively; therefore, it is a decent deck for climbing from Rank 5 where people are playing more experimental lists.
Odd Mage has fallen off the map because people are not willing to try it over stronger, more established Mage decks. The new Elementals from Galakrond’s Awakening might bring in some huge excitement for the deck, though. Arcane Amplifier is such a good card for Odd Mage’s already reliable hero power, and it might be the glue that sticks all Elemental cards together. Elemental Mage is another deck that has materialised with more added Elemental cards. While it has a similar playstyle as Quest Mage, it uses Elemental Allies as the draw engine. Getting the right Elementals at the right time might be what’s holding the deck back, since it’s nowhere near as consistent or explosive as Time Warp Mage.
Rank 3 (+1) – 279 points
If last time, Warrior lost out to Shaman by a hair, this month marks the exact opposite. The class is constantly cementing its position as the gatekeeper against some of the most oppressive strategies in Wild. Just like Shaman, Warrior is longing for a revert to some old favourites like Dr. Boom or Warsong Commander to be placed within the elites. Unlike Shaman, Warrior only has three decks, all of which are really decent.
It’s been such a long while since Pirate Warrior last wreaked havoc, and this time it seems that it’s here to stay. Although it’s power level has been weaker recently, it’s still one of the best answers to every variants of Time Warp Mage; thus, ensure it can’t fall off the map.
Galakrond Tempo Warrior is also jumping on the Pirate bandwagon, and shaking off the Scion of Ruin nerf like it never happened. Tempo Warrior bullies many other board based decks with ridiculous tempo, and is part of the reasons why Pirate Warrior is as prevalent as before. The aggressive version of Tempo Galakrond Warrior is like a slower and more resourceful Pirate Warrior, capable of the same opening into Galakrond cards as finishers. However, it is the Midrange version that is picking up traction, as veterans found it very useful against Even Shamans.
Still a queue roulette, Odd Warrior has found its way back into Tier 2. This time, it gleefully adds one more matchup into its prey list: Darkest Hour Warlock. Odd Warrior has two boardclears that are able to answer a Darkest Hour board: Brawl and Reckless Flurry, and if they can clear the first wave, the game is more or less over. The other side of the spectrum is of course, every other Warlock and Mage decks (apart from Secret). With Azalina, though, Quest Mage is far from unwinnable. The Odd Warrior can stack up a lot of armour, and steal the quest reward to threaten lethal the turn the Mage completes the quest.
An interesting way to build Galakrond Warrior has been the incorporation of the Patron package. Patrons are very resilient against Warlock boardclears, and the supporting cards like Risky Skipper are very good versus Aggro. The deck needs a lot of refinement, but it looks like it has a lot of potentials.
Rank 4 (-1) – 267 points
Shaman is riding on the ol’ reliable Even Shaman to sweep up the rest of the meta. The Totem-centric Even version proves to be very well positioned in the current meta, and has clawed its way into Top Tier 1. Unfortunately, that’s about the only Shaman deck that’s doing well at the moment.
We can all agree that the Totem-centric Even Shaman version is vastly superior to the Overload build. Various cheap totem cards are extremely efficient at swarming the board and wrestle for board control early on, which makes the deck even better against aggro. To summarize, Even Shaman is well-positioned into the current aggro portion of the meta, while still being able to pressure both Mage and Warlock very effectively. That is indeed the recipe for a successful deck in this meta: just be reasonably good against most stuff.
Every other Shaman deck has been a massive disappointment. Murloc Shaman, although decent against Mage and Warlock, is way too weak into other aggro decks to be worth the payoff. Reno Shudderwock has some material to build a good deck, but is struggling to string the pieces together. Maybe a slight buff to Saronite Chain Gang might help give the deck more breathing space.
Speaking about nerf reverts, Mogu Fleshshaper is probably one of the most highly anticipated cards, and is one of our picks for a nerf revert. Evolve Shaman looked dangerously close to become a top dog before it was hit by various nerfs to Fleshshaper and the Galakrond package. Evolve is not terrible now (Galakrond Shaman is), but just a slight tweak and we can see them being competitive forces in the meta again. It’s about time Jaina and Gul’dan has a worthy opponent!
Rank 5 (0) – 211 points
Uther is finally feeling the impact of a lack of innovation. Mech Handbuff Paladin is feeling short of breath as it saw zero worthy addition over the past expansions, and is finally pushed down to the Bottom of Tier 1. Odd Paladin isn’t as fast or explosive as other aggro decks. Reno Paladin is getting better, but is still a gimmick. Looking at the cards given to the class in Galakrond’s Awakening, it seems like Paladin is hitting a brick wall.
It’s long overdue, but Mech Paladin is shipped back to Tier 2. The deck has become much weaker over the last few expansions, with no notable new tools and the prevalence of Warlocks and Zephrys. If the first wave of aggression is fend off, Mech Paladin can easily be sent packing.
Odd Paladin, on the other hand, has much more resilience, surprisingly so 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.
North American player Jack piloted a version of Reno Exodia Paladin to legend which revived interest in the deck. The excessive healing offered to Paladin in conjunction with Zephrys and Reno is enough to delay until Uther can execute his combo. There are still potential for improvement with this deck, for example, dragons such as Amber Watcher are strong enough on their own.
Air Raid is a new card that was released within the first week of Galakrond’s Awakening, and it is understandable that it was experimented in various obscure decks such as Token Paladin, Even Paladin, and Recruit Paladin, but a decent card alone cannot pull such weak decks into viability. The best performing version of Even Paladin is actually one with older cards and strong new minions like Gyrocopter to enable a Corpsetaker package.
Rank 6 (+2) – 177 points
The only change in ranking in this Report comes from Druid and Hunter, with these two classes swapping places of each other. While other Druid decks haven’t seen much movement, it is Aviana Druid (and somewhat Reno Druid) that have propelled the class from rank 8th to a respectable rank 7th (and closing in on Rogues, even!).
Jade Druid crawls back to the Bottom of Tier 2 as people finally found out Ysera, Unleashed is an excellent alternative win condition. With its ability to out-armor Mages and beat Aggro often enough, Jade Druid is once again a fairly reliable ladder choice. With Ysera and even Phaoris, this gives the Druid a better chance against decks like Cube Warlock, who will have to waste a turn removing a sudden big board, or die.
Aviana Druid has long been a fairly underrated deck by the community, and it’s refreshing to see the deck back in Tier 2. It’s not that the deck has gotten any better; it hasn’t. Rather, it’s more due to the fact people found out that stealing a Mage’s deck before they finish their quest or stealing their quest then just kill them on board would be really good against Mages.
Like we discussed in our last report, the biggest problem with Embiggen Aggro Druid is finding a package good enough to win on its own but incredible with Embiggen. The ‘Water’ package with Pirates and Murlocs seems to do just that. Brigand and Patches are often free resources that negate the cost increase, while Bluegill Warrior can be a lethal charge minion, especially when pulled for free from Finja. Embiggen still shows its inconsistencies very often, however, and you can find games hard to win when you don’t draw either Embiggen or board buffs. Other considerations for the 2-drop slot include Nerub’ar Weblord, an excellent card in this Battlecry meta that is capable of slowing down many Mage decks, and of course, Frenzied Felwing.
A very interesting development in the past weeks has been the return of Linecracker Druid, a deck that deemed to be too slow and without a real win-condition. People figured out you can simply add a win-condition to the deck by playing Mecha’thun, Naturalize, and Emperor Thaurissan. 3000 armour is often more than enough to stall until then. Whether this is enough to make Linecracker Druid viable is remain to be seen.
Rank 7 (-1) – 160 points
Rogue is weakened even further, even with a brand new deck popping up. Odd Rogue looks as optimised as it can get. It has incorporated all the best cards from Descent of Dragons, and some even tested the now 5-mana Apothecary. To no avail. It just doesn’t look like the deck can get any better. The only hope the Rogue class has is for the meta to somehow turn to be favourable for it again (or if The Caverns Below and Leeching Poison gets unnerfed).
Some Aggro Rogue pros are saying no to any non-core packages, instead opting to optimize the Pirate synergy and damage output. The new (or old) Aggro Rogue from Corbett has been seeing some success, and it’s functioning like Pirate Warrior more than ever. It seems like the debate as to what’s better between Hooked Scimitar and Waggle Pick is finally over, as Corbett just… plays both of them.
Kingsbane is still Kingsbane, consistently mediocre. Sometimes it can highroll off of a Fal’dorei package, but perhaps people have found the package to be quite a fraud, hence has dropped it from every Rogue deck altogether.
There is another player in town who would love to have the Fal’dorei package, and that is Galakrond Rogue, who is definitely the breakout deck this time around. The non-OTK version has been exhibiting lots of promising results, with the capability of applying consistent pressure. With more refining, the archetype will have a lot of potential going forward.
Other Rogue decks are weak and retired, so it’s better to talk about the implications of potential reverts. Mill players will rejoice if Leeching Poison is unnerfed, and it might be now that Preparation is weaker. Mill Kingsbane Rogue would hypothetically be a great answer to any slow Cube decks and Reno Mage, since their weapon just won’t go poof after a Zephrys is played. Caverns Quest Rogue might be really annoying for Warlocks to deal with, but they might be a tad too slow for Quest Mage. There are implications that the revival of these decks might push Control decks out of the meta, but frankly, Control decks have no place in this format anymore.
Rank 8 (-1) – 117 points
New Hunter decks are popping up, finally, and that means more bad Hunter decks. With its main players — Reno Hunter and Midrange Hunter — dropping off of Tier 2, every other innovation within the class gets cancelled out.
The new Hunter card Fresh Scent might be the strongest addition to Hunter we’ve seen in a long while, but it is the matter of how to utilise it. And it looks like the community is failing this quest so far. Theoretically, the easiest way is just to play more one-drops to get the best value out of your Fresh Scents, but then you might have to drop some really powerful tech cards like Unleash the Hounds which might make your deck weaker overall.
The same story goes for Reno Hunter. It might be worth it to play a lower beast-heavy curve just to try and take advantage of Fresh Scent. This might be the way to go for Reno Hunter anyway, as the slower version is struggling in a meta full of aggro, Mages and Warlocks. The popular version is dropped to Tier 3 for now, but a little bit of tinkering might push Reno Hunter back to Tier 2 in the future.
Mech Hunter is sitting at the Top of Tier 3 with little renovation being done apart from Dragonbane. Chopshop Copter has made the deck a bit stronger by providing Underbelly Angler style value, but Mechs are, on average, much bigger than Murlocs, making it harder to offload them.
Even Hunter has been bumped to Tier 3 given its recent success. The pressure from the hero power is enough to kill your opponent in some games, and free Hunter secrets are good at fending off aggro. Frenzied Felwing is the newest addition to the deck, one that can so easily be played for 0 mana with the aid of a hero power. The best thing about Even Hunter is that its rapid damage output makes it one of the better decks against Time Warp Mage, the boogeyman of the current meta. Cat Trick and Rat Pack are real nuisances for Mages.
Dragon Hunter completes the trifecta of bad-but-not-unplayable Hunter decks. Infinite weapon charge and a free Deadly Shot seems to be just enough payoff for the Dragon synergy to not fall apart. There aren’t nearly enough Dragons though, so the deck still has to fill its curve with some beasts, which makes it seem like just a Beast Hunter but not as good.
Odd Hunter secures the very last spot in Tier 3, mostly because of how good it is against Time Warp Mage. Similar to Even Hunter, Odd Hunter can unleash repetitive and consistent damage that is oftentimes problematic for Mages and Warlocks.
Rank 9 (0) – 79 points
Priest is somehow even in a worse state than from the last report, even with an upgrade to their core decks and the resurgence of Big Priest.
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. If Team 5 wants to save Priest, reverting Raza the Chained is definitely one of the solid options to give the Priest a better chance against Warlocks.
Cleric of Scales should’ve been the saviour for Inner Fire Priest and Mind Blast Priest. Instead, she did… nothing at all. It seems like being able to do what you do more consistently is not good enough when you’re bad.
Big Priest is now resurrected, with players like CONCERNEDMOM finding success with it. Loads and loads of taunts seem to help against Reno Quest Mages a bit, and the deck can still highroll without Barnes. But without Barnes, mid-Tier 3 is the best it can do.
Weasel Priest is a legit thing, and it’s extremely annoying. FirePaladin figured out that if you give the deck a way to gain more value than you opponent (like playing Elise Starseeker), you win eventually win the ‘who draws more Weasel’ game. Shuffling more and more 1/1s into your opponent deck gets really infuriating for the other end, and more entertaining for those who enjoy it.
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.