The Hearthstone metagame has been shaken up this week by nerfs to EVIL Miscreant, Raiding Party, Preparation and Elysiana, and the open cup players have been quick to adjust their decks.
The scope of this report is Masters Qualifiers #66 to #90 (66 being the first one where at the time of deck submission deadline, the players knew that they would be playing all the rounds with the new version of the cards).
The week started and ended in an unpredictable way, first with the nerfs announced to happen sometime during a normal day of Qualifiers, so the players would bring decks that planned for it to various extents. Events 61 and 62 were played entirely before the patch, while players in 63,64 and 65 ended up with new versions of their cards at some point. Then during the weekend, events 81 and 82 were cancelled because of a Battlefy outage.
Quickly after the nerfs went live, Midrange Hunter and Bomb Warrior surfaced as the dominating meta decks. They proved their strength throughout the week with multiple Qualifier wins each. Rogue is still very good, but the best way to build it seems to not have been figured out yet. Spirit of the Shark is a consensus, but the Vendetta package isn’t. Zoo Warlock and Murloc Shaman seemed very strong early on but didn’t sustain their win rate like Midrange Hunter did. Mage disapointed, and it’s not because people didn’t try.
Midrange Hunter is top tier because it has a positive or neutral win rate against every deck on the tier list except Nomi Priest, Deathrattle Hunter and Burgle Rogue, and the latter is the only one actually being brought in meaningful quantities.
Bomb Warrior has good matchups against everything commonly brought except Midrange Hunter, which it’s unfavored against. So if you can figure out how to tech against Midrange Hunter, it should be a fairly safe choice.
Cyclone Mage is still in tier 2 because it’s managing to win qualifiers, but it’s not as dominant as players might assume from how often it’s being brought to qualifiers. The matchup win percentages may not tell the entire story because Cyclone Mage is an extremely difficult deck to play, and a player skilled in it can outperform the average, but it’s far from an auto-win, and the results have proven that out.
Burgle Rogue is picking up where Tempo Rogue left off, and it’s having more success in specialist than on ladder because it’s easier to target individual decks with the secondary and tertiary deck. Shark Rogue is something to keep an eye on (which sometimes also runs burgle cards as well), but the lists are still being refined so the results haven’t quite caught up with the more refined decks yet.
Head to http://offcurve.com/specialist-meta if you want to explore the database that powers this meta report. It is updated daily.
Pure control decks (namely Warrior and Shaman) have fallen completely out of relevance with Rogue declining in popularity and Dire Frenzy being in so many decks. The Bomb package now seems mandatory in Warrior.
- Midrange Hunter
- Bomb Warrior
- Vendetta Rogue
- Cyclone Mage
- Shark Rogue
- Bomb Hunter
- Conjurer Mage
- Oblivitron Hunter
- Holy Wrath Paladin
- Zoo Warlock
- Token Druid
- Murloc Shaman
- Secret Hunter
- Lucentbark Druid
- Big Shaman
- Nomi Priest
- Miracle Rogue
Here are some of the decks that have performed well since the nerfs. You can click on them to get decks codes on YAYTears. We thank the players for their pro tips and Lilhearthie who helped with Chinese translation.
First lineup is just a regular Midrange Hunter deck. It doesn’t feel that optimal but it has tech cards such as Unleash he Hounds for aggro. There are the one ofs Scavenging Hyena and Tundra Rhino in case there is control, I don’t completely lose. Second list is for aggro. The deck has a one of Crab for Murloc Shaman, and a 1 mana 1/2 beast is also not bad vs aggro decks (so you keep it opening hand often to play on 1). It also has Shimmerflies to get more spells as well as more cheap minions to counter the opponents. The one of Rapid Fire and Explosive Trap is good for managing board control. When I played the cup, I only had to queue the second deck like once or twice, that may have been because meta hasn’t completely shifted since it was the first America’s cup fully on the new nerfs. Third list is for control matchups. This includes Warrior and Mage for the most part. The special thing about this deck is that I haven’t seen other people do is put Snipe in it. It’s so good vs Mage when they decide to do a Sorcerers apprentice turn or when a Bomb Warrior tries to play an Elekk on curve. Its also deals 4 damage to a Giant on curve, which makes it more manageable vs Mages. The rest of the cards are pretty straightforward. More Rhinos to shuffle in to deal more damage late game and a one of Savannah Highmane because it’s a really sticky minion. Lists feel super solid but I’m not sure if they are the most optimized. With other people reaching the top and winning cups with it too, it means it definitely is top tier but changes may still need to be made.Xavier
People think that Midrange Hunter is favoured against it, but if you play around Tracking and Zul’jin by not playing all the Bomb cards, you are good to go.akawonder
Also important to not play Elysiana in main deck. The card is way too situational right now.
Tip against Hunter: they Will use Dire Frenzy on Scalehyde for sustain so sometimes not to play a single Minion on board is the right line to go.
I think it’s not final version of this Rogue. Waggle Pick seems good in this non-Ooze meta. It easily beats Hunter and Mage but struggles vs Warrior (you can still beat them). Secondary deck is for Warriors, tertiary – for Mages, primary – for everything else.noflame
For the Primary I went with what was going on in open cups: a much more aggressive meta due to Rogue’s brutal disappearance. So I looked around to find a way to answer aggro without making my mana curve too high (Rabble Bouncers and Geddon cost 7) and I adopted Kolento’s Magic Dart Frogs.gaboumme
Despite Odemian’s advice to run Geddon in the secondary, I decided that in my experience it was too situational and not game-breaking enough.
Versus Bomb Warrior, not having an early game can be a problem so I added the Messenger Ravens which can be extremely strong. Then I chose Harrison to cycle as well as remove Supercollider. Mojomaster Zihi was recommended by Den to block Omega Devastator and Assembly and also Holy Wrath Paladin. Then there’s Malacrass, very underrated in my opinion, to refill the hand and pressurize control decks that hate when you play Khadgar twice in the game.
In the Tertiary, Voodoo Doll is good vs Mech/Deathrattle Hunter and for the Mage mirror.
My secondory deck is really strong against Mage because of cards like Betrayal or Walk The Plank and double Sap from primary deck.jobsad
Tertiary deck is trying to counter Warrior with combo cards like Toggwagle’s Scheme or Jepetto. You are trying to draw your Heistabaron Toggwage and then you can easily win on board.
The primary deck is for Hunters, Rogue mirrors and the rest of metagame.
Obviously if you play against Control Shaman you would definitely use the tertiary like for Warrriors.
The popularity of midrange Hunter has caused Mech Hunter to fly under the radar even though it is 50/50 or better against all the popular decks. But while standard aggro Mech Hunter can run out of gas in any value matchup, the double Nine Lives / Mechanical Whelp gives you much more flexibility and a way to put quick mid-game pressure on the board against Rogue / Midrange Hunter. It also gives an edge in the mirror since landing one Mechanical Whelp on board can usually win you the game – especially if you can Zilliax the deathrattle. Similarly, Nine Lives with Ursatron gives you an extra card refill the standard lists often lack. Warrior is a quasi-auto win with the primary list, but the anti-control tertiary list guarantees it. The 2x Bomb Toss are mainly for killing Zilliax, Timber Wolves, and Sorcerer’s Apprentice (since it is usually behind Mirror Image taunts), but it is also the only direct damage from hand that doesn’t require magnetizing while creating a board presence.thjester
The secondary list is largely for aggro, but I rarely ended up using it given so few Zoo / Murloc Shaman / Token Druid, and it still feels miserable against Token Druid so it probably needs to be reworked if aggro popularity rises again. The anti-control tertiary list I’ve actually found to be the most effective against Midrange Hunter (since current midrange builds are more control-oriented than usual), and it pretty much carried me to the finals after I lost game 1 of each the quarter and semifinals. Since Midrange Hunter is the most popular deck, I’ve actually swapped out one Explodinator for a Flare. Explodinator will often lose you games against MR hunter more than any other card (given Hyena, Timberwolves, and Unleash), and Flare allows you to deal with secrets while also drawing a card and clearing secrets again post Zul’jin. I don’t run Boommaster Flark in my primary because of how slow it is, and it likely would be my next cut in my tertiary deck since it has same issue as Explodinator in creating a wide board space and you don’t need it against Warrior to easily win. Mulligan you almost always just want to hard mulligan for Galvanizer and Ursatron, and those two cards influence rest of keeps depending on synergy. Mecharoo you always keep if you are going first, and Bomb Toss you always keep against Cyclone Mage. Main thing to remember is nine lives requires deathrattle minions to die naturally – meaning they can’t be magnetized on to something else. So even if it is awkward, dropping a Spider Bomb early will often lead to tempo later on.
Overall the primary/tertiary lists feel great in the current meta, as an equality off Hench-Clan Burglar and a round 8 Token Druid are the only thing that kept me from going to back to back top 8s with them. As long as Token Druid, Murloc Shaman, and Zoolock deck percentages remain low, the deck should remain competitive.
After Rogue nerf, I feel Deathrattle Hunter has a lot of potential because it can beat Warrior, Mage and Beast Hunter. After several tries, I find this list is pretty solid against everything except Holy Wrath Paladin and Rogue. Other players like Jakaattack and NoHandsGamer also have high winrate with similar decks. In my primary deck, it’s pretty easy to clear Bomb Hunter and Murloc Shaman’s early board with Pyro combo. Spellbreaker is also good against Bomb Hunter or silence our minions to pressure Cyclone Mage. Rat Trap is good against Rogue and Mage, but it’s not that important since Mage will freeze the Rat most of the time so I have put one in. Overall the primary deck is pretty flexible and good against most aggros. This deck is also good against Beast Hunter because you have some big minions in the middle game which is hard to deal with as Beast Hunter. The secondary deck is for Warrior matchup. Nowadays since most Warriors run double BGH and Brawl in their sidedeck for the Mage, this matchup is just favorable but not a free win. Hunter needs to play more aggressively to win this matchup. The tertiary deck is for Mage matchup, most of the time I just crush Cyclone Mage with this deck, Mage need to refill their hand with Cyclone early games instead of playing Giant to win this matchup (and it’s hard!). In the next patch on 6/3, Necromechanic will cost 4 mana instead of 5, which make Deathrattle Hunter much more better and I think it will be more popular in the future tournaments. But still, the amount of Deathrattle Hunter depends on the amount of Holy Wrath Paladin and Rogue.kuonet
After the Rogue nerfs I expected more Hunter / Mage and because of this also fewer Warriors in the qualifiers so I went looking for a good counter. Zoo felt like a strong pick and so far has proven to be consistent for me. The primary list is strong overall and mostly good in board centric match ups. The secondary list has more burst cards to go face in certain match ups like Mage or Rogue. I also added Faerie Dragon to this list because it is very difficult to clear for both Rogue and Mage so it can deal a lot of damage when it sticks on the board. The tertiary list is teched for the Warrior match up with some Mechs which are harder to clear and of course Rafaam which is a good way to generate some value in the late game.babybear
Primary deck for Mech Hunter (I always like my primary deck to specifically counter a deck and not just be a weird hybrid)sirsalty
Secondary deck Warrior (8-1 game record against warrior over 2 qualifiers)
Tertiary deck for Mage. The 3rd deck is pretty bad tho, should definitely still play the Coldlight Seers.
Tinkmaster was there as an answer to Missle Launcher + Venomizer but was unplayable in every other situation so I’ve cut it adding Amani Berserker instead.
When it comes to Holy Wrath Paladin, you don’t want cards Bloodmage Thalanos, which will cycle cards for you but won’t do so until the next turn. You want cards that can cycle for you on the same turn they’re played, like Novice Engineer or Soup Vendor. As for Soup Vendor, I’m just testing it, but I think it’s really useful in general. Sometimes you can draw multiple cards with it, instead of the other cycle cards which will only draw one. Elven Archer has good synergy with both Acolyte of Pain and Equality. The main deck kind of hedges my bets against everything, it can beat anything. My secondary deck is for the Warrior matchup. But sometimes, if the warrior doesn’t have Eternium Rovers, then I’ll actually still play my primary. My warrior opponent will definitely be expecting me to use my secondary deck against them, so they will use their deck with a silence effect (like Ironbeak Owl) and Supercolliders against me. If I keep using my primary, then those cards are useless against me and I can get the edge. My tertiary deck uses an anti-aggro sideboard. It’s better against decks like Token Druid, Mech Hunter, Zoo, and Murloc Shaman. Against Rogue and Midrange Hunter, though, I believe my primary deck is better suited than the anti-aggro sideboard. Besides Warrior, I am favored against all popular decks in the meta right now. Against Mage, I only use my primary deck. Like Rogue and Midrange Hunter, I am pretty favored against Mage.小呀小春辛
The deck is a nice combination between the two Mage decks you’ll see.. Dragon Mage will often get smorc’d down by aggressive decks and Cyclone Mage relies on the other halves of their engine and can brick. In a long round tournament where a lot has to go your way I don’t feel Cyclone can get there as often as you’d like. As far as match ups the Secondary is for aggressive token match ups (Token Druid, Mech Hunter) which has been popular. The Tertiary is for Warrior, highlight being Mechanical Whelp.. it’s very good vs Brawl obviously but was very helpful against Bomb Warrior, it combos with Zilliax to that often important 10 heal.joeylinch
Strategy: essentially the same as how you play Token Druid on ladder. Primary deck is designed to work against pretty much anything your opponent can throw. Acornbear/Argent Squire on turn 1, Dreamway Guardians on turn 2 is the nuts. Just playing Keeper Stalladris on turn 2 on an empty board is also pretty sweet as most try to kill it inefficiently. You want to mulligan for token generators, so throw away any buff cards you have. Early game is important. You generally mulligan for anything that costs under 5 mana, but having a 1 or 2 drop will set you up big time. your biggest problem will be mages. Hunters: Make sure you watch for turn 5 when you have a big board. That’s generally the turn they want to play Unleash the Hounds and Scavenging Hyena. If you have only 1 drops on your board (like with Whispering Woods), you are generally dead. Some hunters also like to tech in Explosive Trap, make sure to buff your minions out of range. Warriors: This is where your tertiary deck comes in. Eccentric Scribe is a slow card, but the more token generators you have, the better against warriors as they will run out of removal. Don’t overextend your board too much, try to stay around 3 or 4 tokens, so that they feel forced to play removal. Brawl, Dyn-O-Matic, Warpath and Supercollider are removal you want to watch for. Mages: This is your hard counter, so hopefully you’ll avoid these. Your secondary deck will help with Big Game Hunter to remove any early giants that come on the board. Go hard on the board, as mages generally don’t tend to have board clears. Flood it, so they feel pressured and make sub-optimal plays. If they play Khadgar and Conjurer’s Calling on a giant, it’s nearly guaranteed a concede.disq
From the primary deck, most of the list is very core. Argent Squires and the Sea Giant are flexible. Crystalsong Portal can also be flexible, but it gives extra gas when you are running low. Wrath can also be removed, but it’s very handy to either remove a taunt, draw a card or deal with the early game. Archmage Vargoth is very juicy. Try to play it in such a way that it can’t be cleared. If not cleared, it can run away with the game very easily. Don’t be afraid to use a buff card like Blessing of the Ancients or Soul of the Forest on just two minions if Vargoth is up, because the value he gives is huge. Some lists like to run ooze, but I generally tend to stay away from it. There’s no point in running weapon removals as when they use weapons, they already use a suboptimal play by keeping the board clear for us. In conclusion; token druid has in my opinion an even matchup across the board except against mages. Avoid those and play well, you should be okay. Or nerf Conjurer’s Calling, that works too 🙂
Primary deck can beat aggro. The secondary deck targets the Mage and the tertiary deck targets the Warrior.マイマイ
About primary decks: Crystal Stag has excellent board processing. Flobbidinous Floop is often used as Crystal Stag or Lucentbark.
About the secondary deck: I have never used it, so I don’t know if the list is appropriate.
About Tertiary Deck: Active than expected. You can use this as a control partner. We decide Lucentbark plan or Malygos plan in the early stage. If you take the Malygos plan, discard all unnecessary minions and lower the mana with two Dreampetales as much as possible. As you can take out 3 or 4 Malygos, aim OTK.
The secondary deck is used for Rogue (even though it was nerfed). It cuts all the minions that don’t have Taunt or Lifesteal, to make sure that Muckmorpher can protect my life. The tertiary with the Splitting Festeroot is used to fight Warriors. The tokens it generates are difficult to handle for Warriors.knmdehua
My deck is the Nomi Priest, centered on Mountain Giant. Thoughtsteal not only puts out a giant quickly but also puts in a value match to win. Especially effective for Mage. As the Nomi Priest is at a disadvantage against the Bomb Warrior, the Secondary deck aims to break through with an endless combo by Da undatakah and Seance. Tertiary Deck uses SW Death to remove Mages giants and Hunters rats. Primary deck is valid for Zoo, Token Druid and Murloc Shaman. Secondary deck was used for Warriors and Tertiary deck for Hunters. I did not play against Mage, but I was planning to use a Tertiary deck if I was playing. There were many matches that were hit by Bomb Warriors, so it might be better if you put Zilliax.matsuri
I feel like the idea of the deck might be very strong but the list is still not optimized. It is too much dependant on Evil Miscreant.leta