Handlock Surges Back Thanks to Grim Patron Warrior
Break out your giants everyone.
Examining the trends of the most recent professional Hearthstone tournament, the
, we noticed a large increase in the number of players running Handlock. Almost half of all Warlocks fell under this archetype and it's undoubtedly in large part due to the drastic increase of aggressive decks. Though meta changes are usually notoriously slow, with Blackrock Mountain now behind us, it still gently shifts as everyone figures out what is going to stay and what will fade from memory. (Sorry Dragon Paladin)
Handlock has an extremely favorable matchup against Grim Patron Warriors and Midrange Demon Zoo, both staples of the current meta. But it also has even odds against decks you'll very feasibly run into: Control Warrior, Midrange Druid, Mech Shaman, Mech Mage, Tempo Mage, and itself of course.
Its main weaknesses? Midrange Hunter, Face Hunter, and Midrange Paladin. The former two made up only a third of all Hunters played with the new Hybrid Hunter emerging. Sadly for fans of Handlock, Hybrid Hunter is a combination of Midrange and Face Hunter, taking strengths and eliminating weaknesses from both. It probably isn't something that Handlock will do well against. However, it appears as if Paladin has taken a back seat, at least for the moment, so there's that.
Let's take a look at some numbers from the Invitational:
The Angry Chicken #46: Better Than You Think!
In the latest episode of
The Angry Chicken
the trio reunites to discuss the
ranked player distribution stats released by Blizzard
, a potential
Leeroy and Buzzard nerfs
, recent tournament drama, and speculation about the BlizzCon tournament!
Continue Reading for more show details!
Leeroy? Handlock Don't Need No Stinking Leeroy
September 22nd marks the end of an era. The era of at least still having chicken. The era of time being up so just doing it. The era of 5 mana filling up the hand of a Hunter because somehow it's balanced. The era of certain card emotes leading to insta-concedes. At least it seems that way as I write this. Most people believe, and I agree, that the nerfs to Hunter and Leeroy will likely kill Hunter's dominance on the ladder and lead to a meta with much less burst potential and I for one welcome our new Handlock overlords. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention in all that the return of the Handlock!
These nerfs do a lot to help Handlock become incredibly powerful on the ladder again but we also have some great Naxx cards that can be added as well. The reason Handlock was a liability when Hunter was so prevalent is the combination of Hunter burn spells and hero power as well as the ease of taunt removal with Hunter's Mark. The idea behind Handlock is to fill your hand up at the expense of life and then use the large hand and low life to enable cheap giants. This deck was not viable when Mage was popular and wasn't viable against Hunter either. Now with Hunter likely going the way of the dodo, unless Mage comes back, Handlock will crush a lot of the minion based decks that are left.
Continue Reading for a full list, card explanations and more!