Attack the Meta - Just Ahead of the Curve
About Attack the Meta
Attack the Meta is Hearthhead’s new ‘anti-meta’ meta report. Periodically, we’ll look at the state of the game in Hearthstone, and - in consultation with pro players and community feedback - develop a list of decklists that are well positioned to challenge the established top tier archetypes.
Traditional meta reports focus on identifying which decks are some combination of the most popular (frequency) and the most effective (win rates). AtM will certainly look at those variables as well, but focus instead on how - if you’re the type of player who prefers playing something a little off the beaten path - to target the lists you’re seeing the most of every day when you queue up for Ranked in Standard.
We’ll be bringing decklist suggestions based on the following:
Giving players an idea what’s likely to ‘come next’ in the meta
Identifying the weaknesses in a given ‘style’ of play - knowledge of the relationship between aggro decks, tempo decks, etc.
Helping players discover fresh decklists and new ideas in a consolidated, up-to-date fashion that counters some of the things that can be frustrating to play against so frequently!
If you have feedback on the decklists or what you’re seeing on the ladder that could inform future reports, please let us know in the comments.
Attack the Meta is back, and we’re excited to see all of the excellent information coming out all over the world of Hearthstone to help players succeed on the ladder better than ever! In particular, if you haven’t seen them already, we’ve been referencing
data from China
Vicious Syndicate Data Reaper Report
, among others.
For reference, this report is looking at
Standard format only at this time
While a wide variety of Warrior decks are seeing play, the ladder can be most accurately summarized right now as a Midrange meta consisting primarily of Shaman, Hunter, and Zoo Warlock. Those three archetypes alone could represent as much as half of what you’ll run into when playing right now! Thankfully, that allows us to target those decks explicitly, and convert the expectation of playing the ‘best’ decks into some sneaky wins.
For your consideration, here are four deck styles that are strong against the current top dogs:
Patron Warrior, despite losing some steam after the nerf, remains one of the best decks at punishing minion-driven play in the game. While it struggles against Control decks that run multiple 3+ damage board clears, it breaks even or beats almost everything else in the game. The decline of N’Zoth Paladin and relative infrequency of the Control variants in Warlock or Warrior allows Patron to boast a positive win rate by preying on Zoo, and generally being slightly favoured against Shaman.
Note - Patron is a difficult deck to pilot, and requires high-level decision making. You have a finite set of resources, and can easily accidentally waste key combo pieces that you should have been saving to set up swing turns. Patron also plays somewhat like Miracle Rogue, in that you thin your own deck very quickly if you play it correctly - meaning you need to maximize the efficiency of your tools when you do utilize them.
With Patron Warrior's debut we offer a quick guide that should get you started with the archetype.
You think we’re crazy, but we’re not. Priest as a class lacks the ability to survive massive control combos, loses to Freeze Mage (or things like N’Zoth Paladin or Malygos Rogue) outright, and it will struggle against pure Aggro Shaman. Against the most popular board-driven archetypes in the game right now, though - Midrange Shaman, Hunter, and Zoo - it has a strongly positive win rate.
Priest may not fare as well as some other decks in targeting Warrior, but as Priest has fallen out of the meta quite substantially, a lot of players are not accurately responding to the threats. Dragon Priest, in particular, trades very efficiently, and modern decklists forego many of the late-game bombs in favor of a more consistent early game presence.
Kevin recently got to 500 Ranked wins playing Dragon Priest, he's put together a few quick tips for you here.
We continue to suggest Tempo Mage as a contender against popular current decks. While it tends to underperform against Zoo in particular, it has even or better matchups against most everything else on the ladder today. Tempo Mage cannot play well from behind, and often loses games where it doesn’t have a good early curve and explosive start, but it will continue to be viable due to the incredible synergy and range of tools available to contest the early game (where many of the modern Midrange decks are deciding games).
Tech your early game carefully! You want to maximize the value of and , but you may want to be choosy about which cards go in to the deck support that outcome ( vs. , additional 2- and 3-drop minions, etc.).
This week we've updated the guide with mulligan recommendations, general tips, card substitutions, and matchup advice for the most popular archetypes.
Again, with the crazy pills! Luckily for you, Rogue is well positioned - despite the nerf - to dispute Midrange decks like Zoo, Shaman, and Hunter very well, as well as punishing slower decks like Druid or Paladin outright. Malygos Rogue doesn’t have much hope against pure Aggro Shaman or a lot of Warrior variants, but it will win a surprising number of other games.
Malygos Rogue relies on huge quantities of cycle (much like most other Rogue decks!) to dig through its high-tempo tank of options, eventually setting up lethal using the burst potential of with spells like and . helps discount key damage spells alongside Malygos himself to make the combination into a monstrous one turn threat.
Neither Kevin nor Dillon have spent significant time spent playing this deck, but if it makes another appearance you can expect more information.
Tech card recommendations in a meta like this are difficult, because they’re all massively class dependent. With the notable exception of Aggro decks (which are being held down by their more efficient Midrange variants and Zoo’s incredible board-building power), almost all of the decks worth playing around right now while you’re ranking up win their game with a snowball effect on the board.
Teching removal - sweepers, s, s, etc. - is how you can best contest the board-driven nature of these decks. While a lot of modern Control decks are simply too slow (N’Zoth Paladin) or unreliable (Renolock) to consistently take games off of on-curve Midrange decks, adding reliable removal to your arsenal can only improve your matchups right now.
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