Team NoProsHere’s Theorycrafted Specialist Lineups For Rise Of Shadows Day 1

By ecoutepasca, Gamble and mjdigit

Only a few hours after the release of the Rise Of Shadows expansion, Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers will go back to regular schedule with their open tournaments in the Specialist format. While numerous professionnal players have published theorycrafted ladder decks for the occasion, the tournament fans here at NoProsHere were trying to figure out which decks would work best in the sideboarding metagame.

We are proud to show you a sample that we hope will inspire you and help you. The tech choices in secondary and tertiary decks presented here are generally based on “versus aggro; versus control”. When the meta starts to be defined more clearly, it will be possible to target them more precisely (for example if Murloc decks or Secret decks take a significant portion of the field.
Some of the lineups displayed below are inspired by theorycrafts shared by well known players, to which we added the sideboards. You will find it mentioned in the deck description when that’s the case.


Heal Druid

The primary list comes from J Alexander’s theorycraft post.
The win condition of Heal Druid is to create multiple copies of Lucentbark and to resurrect them as many time as needed with healing effects. If your opponent runs Polymorph, Hex, Tinkmaster Overspark or any Silence effect, you will need to wait until you have Flobbidinous Floop in hand to play Lucentbark. The next turn you can then play Floop followed by Faceless Manipulator.
Hecklebot is used in the secondary deck to counter combos and to keep control from outlasting you. The tertiary version uses anti-aggro cards like Tunnel Blaster and Batterhead, that can be tutored by Juicy Psychmelon or Countess Ashmore. Hungry Crab is there because we believe that Murlocs will be popular when the expansion launches.

Token Druid

The primary list comes from J Alexander’s theorycraft post.
Token Druid is nothing new. The class has always had ways to utilize the burst from Savage Roar. The new set pushes in the direction of many spells, few minions, which is interesting with Crystalsong Portal, Keeper Stalladris, and Violet Teacher. The sideboards speak for themselves: tons of value against control and lower curve with more removal against aggro.
The Forest’s Aid has been called “too slow” by many players, but it’s still worth running two copies in the deck used against control. Your opponent will try to clear the board every time you fill it, to keep out of reach of double Savage Roar, and the game plan is to refill the board until they run out of clears.


Midrange Hunter

At the time of writing this article, Master’s Call is the card that defines the metagame. There is no reason to think that it won’t be still extremely powerful after the rotation. Playing beasts on curve is great tempo, and Scavenging Hyena and Tundra Rhino are not going to Wild. Zul’jin, Dire Frenzy and Unleash the hounds represent so much value that you can probably beat any control deck. If Murloc Shaman and Murloc Paladin become prevalent, the good news is that Hungry Crab happens to be a Beast.


Spellslinger Mage

Spellslinger Mage is the new variation of tempo mage which brings something new to the architype. Lots of One mana spells. Including new synergy cards for value and board control, Spellslinger also brings back Mana Addict and Mana Wyrm to help burst down opponents. The secondary package brings out some of the new summoner cards like Khadgar to give you the value to fight control decks, while the tertiary list uses elemental evocation to help you “prep” out some elementals like rogue to help combat aggressive decks.


Holy Wrath Paladin

Holy Wrath Paladin is an archetype that was popularized with the release of Rastakakhan’s Rumble. With the rotation, many of the deck’s more powerful unfavorable matchups are being removed, paving a new possible route for the deck. And with the addition of Nozari being effectively a Reno Jackson for your end, and very minimal benefit for the opponent, I believe the archetype has a very real possibility of becoming a powerful contender at some point in this meta, perhaps when it’s more refined in any given direction.

Secret Paladin

Inspiration for this deck comes from Thomm.
Secret Paladin has recently been seeing play as of Rastakhan’s Rumble, however we believe that this new expansion, despite rotating some of its thought to be core cards, is going to make it stronger than ever. With the additions of Mysterious Blade and Sunreaver Spy, the class effectively obtains two of the most powerful cards in Hearthstone’s history (Fiery War Axe and Totem Golem respectively), with the only requirement of needing a Secret in play.
With the other additions of Commander Rhyssa providing more power to your Secrets and Never Surrender being a great option against opposing clears, we believe this archetype will be a great competitor in the specialist format.


Combo Priest

Combo Priest is another archetype that has always been around. High health minions, Inner Fire and the Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing are a blast from the past. With new cards like Hench-Clan Shadequill and with the most powerful armor gain cards gone, we think that it’s time to buff up some Injured Blademasters again.
For control decks, the plan will be to remove your minions every single turn. We’re making it awkward with Arena Treasure Chest. If they kill it, you draw two dangerous cards, and if they dont, you can use the 0/4 body to combo. If they play a big taunt, you can reduce its attack with Lazul’s scheme to steal it. If they just stall and control the board, you can kill them in one turn with Stormwind Knight.
This deck is particularly appealing if you want to play in events on a server where you haven’t built a collection.


Myracle Rogue

The primary list comes from J Alexander’s theorycraft post.
Among the current high tier Specialist strategies, Myracle Rogue is the one that loses the less core cards to rotation. Valeera The Hollow was important in the infinite value package of the anti-control sideboard, but there are so many good options to replace her. In this case, the plan is to outvalue greedy opponents with Heistbaron Toggwagle and Togwaggle’s Scheme. They cannot counter both the aggression and the sheer value in ths deck.


Control Shaman

Control Shaman has always been on the verge of being playable since Witchwood, however due to the Shudderwock combo deck’s existance, it’s always been entirely weaker then its combo deck brother. Now, thanks to the deck’s removal from standard, and the addition of a few new interesting control options (Witch’s Brew, Archivist Elysiana) we believe the deck has a real chance to hold its own in this new post rotation metagame.

Murloc Shaman

Murloc Shaman is an archetype that was created (and died) in Un’Goro. However, with the majority of the deck’s newest most powerful Murlocs being added in Rise of Shadows, we believe that Murloc Shaman could have an extremely large splash, and likely single-handedly forcing players to tech in Hungry Crab for this deck in the specialist format.


Zoo Warlock

The primary list comes from Skywalker.
Egg style replaces Heal style in Zoo. Grim Rally and Evil Genius encourage you to sacrifice minions in order to buff others, and with the amount of low attack cheap minions with bonus effects in the game, this mechanic will certainly work. The sideboards used here are Shieldbreakers to get rid of big Taunts for only 2 mana, with Arch-Villain Rafaam as a panic button if things get out of hand vs control, and Hungry Crabs to take care of the pesky Murloc decks.


Control Warrior

The primary list comes from xBlaine.
You will make a lot of new friends if you bring this lineup to a Qualifier. The game plan is to deal with every threat in your opponent’s deck and win in fatigue. In the control mirror, you speed it up (even though “speed” does not describe the matchup accurately) with Hecklebots and Hakkar, and you delay it on your own side with Archivist Elysiana and Baleful Banker. Verses aggro you get rid of the fatigue package to make room for Doomsayers and Phantom Militias. One copy of Town Crier or Hungry Crab could be considered depending on the meta.

Tempo Warrior

The primary list comes from xBlaine.
No, this is not a Mean Streets Of Gadgetzan deck. We will see if Warrior can have success again with a tempo strategy, but at first sight these lists look very consistent. You fully embrace the Bomb package versus control and completely get rid of it versus aggro. You will deal a lot of damage to your opponent’s face, no matter if it comes from Bombs or from Boom Bots.

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