The first week after the buffs to some Boomsday cards was also the first one with the new rules in Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers: each event grants two players their qualification, and some of them are Single Elimination instead of Swiss. This is also our last report before Masters Tour Las Vegas, for which the decklist submission deadline is this Friday.
All the data shown here comes from Qualifier Seoul #133 through #150.
Together, Midrange Hunter, Shark Rogue and Bomb Warrior represent more than half of the field. We strongly suspect that some players are innovating and tinkering strong and interesting new decks, but they are withholding them for a surprise effect in Las Vegas. Some serious contenders have clearly taken a break from anything that’s open decklists this week, and we can’t wait to find out what they have been up to.
You can explore the database that powers this report at offcurve.com/specialist-meta.
We have reworked the definitions of Rogue archetypes this week. First, the algorythm checks for Tess Greymane or Academic Espionnage (Burle Rogue), then for Gadgetzan Auctioneer (Miracle Rogue). Then it pulls Malygos (Malygos Rogue), Necrium Blade (Deathrattle Rogue), Pogo Hopper (Pogo Rogue) and Captain Hooktusk (Hooktusk Rogue). That’s when it becomes interesting. We call it PartyTempo Rogue if it contains Raiding Party, Shark Rogue if it has Spirit of the Shark, and if it has none of them but still EVIL Miscreat then it’s Tempo Rogue. The madmen who bring Rogue decks without Miscreant (or any of the previously mentionned cards) fall under Other Rogue.
The biggest impact of the buff patch wasn’t the introduction of any new decks into tier 1, but the fall of Midrange Hunter all the way from tier 1 to tier 3. This doesn’t seem to have as much to do with Midrange Hunter or the card buffs as much as the continued refinement and increased prevalence of Shark Rogue (which we’re classifying as any deck running Spirit of the Shark). Shark Rogue is heavily favored against Midrange Hunter, so as more players bring Shark Rogue, Midrange Hunter fares worse. Shark Rogue also has an even or favored matchup against nearly every other deck on the tier list, with a couple of notable exceptions. As such, Shark Rogue is the new deck to beat going forward. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
The other deck in tier 1 remains Bomb Warrior, mainly because it has a good matchup against Shark Rogue while maintaining favorable matchups against the rest of the popular decks. There’s not really a lot to say about Bomb Warrior that hasn’t already been said, to be honest; it’s a solid deck that’s easy to tech, and Dr. Boom, Mad Genius is a hell of a card. Every lineup should have a plan for Bomb Warrior and Shark Rogue in one of the the three decks.
Tier 2 is where we start to see some more interesting developments. Cyclone Mage is seeing a bit of a resurgence, thanks to fewer players teching against it as well as fewer Midrange Hunters, which was one of its worst matchups. Shark Rogue is still unfavored, but at least Bomb Warriors don’t have the luxury to go all in to hate it out of the meta. The lists that have been successful don’t seem to run Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, however; that seems like it’s reserved for Freeze Mage exclusively.
Holy Wrath Paladin makes its way into tier 2 thanks primarily to the buff to Crystology. With a good matchup against Shark Rogue as well as against Midrange Hunter, the extra speed is the shot in the arm that it needed to start performing. The Warrior matchup is still pretty bad, however, which may be keeping it from tier 1.
The surprise new entry this week is Midrange Shaman. This list takes advantage of the buffs to Thunderhead and The Storm Bringer and acts kind of like Token Shaman of old, building a big board and either using Bloodlust as a finisher or Storm Bringer to make a board that’s too big for the opponent to deal with, and has Shudderwock to abuse powerful battlecries as a plan B for control matchups. It was only brought by 20 players this week, but two of those players (Coookiemonst and Pikatwo) qualified with the deck, and neither player lost a match within top 8. The sample size is still low, but this remains a deck to keep a close eye on.
Aside from Midrange Hunter, the rest of Tier 3 are last month’s decks: Control Warrior without bombs had some success but is just an inferior version of Bomb Warrior as far as Specialist is concerned. Bomb Hunter does slightly better than Midrange Hunter against Shark Rogue but falls flat against Bomb Warrior. Some players have experimented with Raiding Party based Rogues as well, but these have the same or worse matchups as Shark rogue across the board, with the exception of the matchup against Shark Rogue itself, in which it’s favored. Time will tell if the list gets refined or if Shark Rogue becomes a big enough percent of the meta that Party Rogue is worth bringing instead.
- Shark Rogue
- Bomb Warrior
- Midrange Shaman
- Holy Wrath Paladin
- Cyclone Mage
- Midrange Hunter
- Control Warrior
- Bomb Hunter
- Raiding Party Rogue
- Mech Paladin
- Murloc Shaman
- Secret Hunter
- Tempo Rogue
- Token Druid
- Freeze Mage
- Zoo Warlock
Here are some of the best decks from this week! You can click on the deck name to get deck codes from YAYtears. Some players were generous enough to write insights about their strategy and we thank them very much. Aside from Coookiemonst, the players who will be in Las Vegas unanimously replied that they wanted to every bit of information for themselves (some of them going as far as actively asking us to tell how bad their deck is and promote the one that they try to target) and we understand that.
Special thanks to zflow, our friend in Korea.
The main strategy of the deck is to stick a resilient board in the midgame with Thunderhead, Twilight Drake, Earthen Might, and chip away at their life. You also can go for a more value plan with the Hagatha’s and Shudderwock. Overall, the deck is pretty flexible. The secondary is primarily for Bomb Warrior where you have inevitability with Elysiana, but can still pressure with the chunky midrange minions. Tertiary is for aggro decks where you want to have more of a control plan and remove the opponent’s board and outvalue them. MVPs of the deck are Spirit of the Frog, Thunderhead, and Likkim.coookiemonst
I’ve been mainly playing off meta decks that I think are just as strong and very fun to play but a little less popular (sometimes due to one particular matchup). Mecha’thun Warrior and Holy Wrath Paladin have been my favorites for tourney qualifiers this season, and with the buff to Crystology, I think Holy Wrath Paladin is definitely a strong contender now. The 1 mana cost now allows you to draw two cards on turn 1, play it easily whenever you have spare mana, or combo with Pyromancer for more draw or clear. In terms of matchups, the third deck was made to counter aggro which doesn’t seem to be prevalent right now (but is a weakness of the deck). The second deck counters Warriors very well, making up for Holy Wrath’s overall weakness against their armor gain (which is probably the reason Holy Wrath isn’t as common on ladder). The main difficulty for Holy Wrath Paladin is balancing your heal turns, your 2 invincible turns and your clear turns – holding out one more turn for a clear so that you’re closer to a combo makes all the difference a lot of times. Additionally, the other factor to consider is sometimes prioritizing spells if you have Shrivallah in hand given that you can often use him once for combined heal and clearing – many matchups will only require one 25 dmg face hit to win.dragonfires
I mainly target Rogue and Warrior, the last deck can be used to fight Bomb Hunter.居公公
There is still a need to adjust, I will put Zilliax back.
I don’t think Vex Crow and Rrog is a good choice because we have to cast spells for it.
Primary is all around a great deck and slightly teched for mirror, the Highmane is good in the mirror and helps a ton for game 1 in Warrior matchups. Secondary is for control, all control decks need to kill you to win because of insane value from Zul’jin and Dire Frenzies, that’s why healing is really good. Tertiary is for Rogues, it’s the least refined list, but I really like the secrets because people often try to play around them and fall far behind.sigge
Hello, I am Nambarjin “Lambo” Tumenbayar from Mongolia. After reaching #3 Legend this month with Control Warrior (73% Winrate 130 games) I decided to play open qualifiers with it. My primary deck is targeted Rogue and Aggressive decks while my secondary and tertiary prepared for Bomb Warrior and Control respectively.lambo
Galvanizer and Ursatron are the MVP cards in my deck, keep them in any matchups. Also, galvanizer expels most non–mech cards out of our deck. Magnetic Magnetic cards are better to be buff cards than played without magnetic. Not only is soleremoval card unpopulared and weakened, but also magnetic cards are already grab tempo before they are removed. Although I suggest putting some token mechs so as to split value, sometimes we have to gamble. Gambling is even better than no chance for gambling and being silence is even better than nothing to magnetic. (Warning: try not to filling the board when against rogue&mage) Non–mech cards To be consistent, I even hope all 30 cards are mechs, and if it is not there must be a reason running it. Tracking: the BEST searching card when you NEVER draw out of your deck. Boommaster flark: Comparing with Dr doom(both) , we say flark is good enough for “later” game. Leeroy: Most effective card to deal damage when we can’t run killcommand. Usually our opponent falls into that paradox: kill our bomb-> die to leeroy; ignore our bomb–> die to magneticrpbalance
These decks led me to qualify Seoul 🙂 Primary list is solid. This is favored vs Shark/Vendetta Rogue I think. As unusual point compared with standard Party Rogue,this list adopts only 4 pirate guys.(standard one does 5 or 6 guys) For, when you cast Raiding Party, you are likely to draw double Dread Corsair. It’s “dread”ful for your opponent Kappa. And 4 is enough to use R Party i think. Although this is solid, Hench-Clan Thug slot is replaceble. For example, 1×Wisp, 2×Harvest Golem+zilliax, 2×fox, 1×Fan and so on. And new card called SN1P-SN4P is awesome. Secondary list i use vs Warriors. Probably this list needs 1 or 2 Shadowstep (swap it with Thug or Deadly Poison). Tertiary list i used vs Mage, Bomb/Mech Hunter, Mech Paladin. Betrayal is real. This generates value with Walk the Plank, Sap. If you have any question,i can answer on Twitter DM.min
I have played 16 games in three tournaments, only twice lost to a class other than Mage. The strategy of deck is to swing with Glaston Technologies and low-cost mech cards. This deck is good to tech for Warrior and Midrange Hunter. Even having two Spellbreakers or Ironbreak Owls on the side deck by Warrior is very favored, and you can also have a half-and-half match-up against Warrior, which added E.M.P. Operating. And this deck is also favored against Mech Hunter because there is a Faceless Manipulator that can tech to Mech Hunter’s core combo, Venomizer and Missile Launcher. I think this deck is a fifty-fifty winning rate against Rogue, which has benefited a lot from the trend to add only one Sap to the deck. The class that hard to against in the tournament was Mage. I even prayed that I wouldn’t match up with Mage. In my experience, it’s a serious one-to-nine disadvantage. I tried and failed the Big Game Hunter, Shrink Ray, Coppertail Importer and even Rebuke on the side deck(On the contrary, it was not bad card against other classes except Mage). If there is a way how to tech against Mage, this deck have a potential to become a top tier. I think people who are looking at this report can find a better answer than me.우리동네따악대장
My first version was « ok » versus all matchups (except Mechanical Whelp bad vs aggro and Sap). I use the second version vs Warrior (with the 4 mana spell beast) for out value. The tertiary deck was built for aggro and Mid Hunter. I think the secret package and Safegard is good against Mid Hunter (to counter his smorc plan).yozek
Freeze Mage is a very powerful deck in ladder. It has many strong combos using Conjurer, Jepetto, Galaxy. But this deck was not brought enough in specialist format. So I tried to test how the deck performs in this format. The decklist was almost all of a copy of SoLegit’s deck. It was because I thought that was the most powerful deck. I didn’t want to add wasteful cards which prevent using powerful combos, so I changed minimum cards in the secondary and tertiary deck. Instead of removing Astromancer which is relatively useless in vs aggro match, I added Polymorph to secondary to deal with Venomiser+Missile Launcher, and Mossy Horror to tertiary to destroy spirits and lackeys. Now, I think I should have been more considered secondary and tertiary. In the #146 tournament, I beat many Warriors with primary deck. The combos with Alex and Antonidas + freeze cards contributed to beat decklists added BGH and Supercollider. Tertiary help me beating Rogue once. The secondary wasn’t played. Freeze Mage is very good at beating Bomb Warrior and Cyclone Mage and other relatively slow decks. On the other hand, it may have some difficulty in dealing with Rogue and Hunter. If you found a better way to deal with them, it would get worth using in specialist format.kusonae
The deck plan of this “Luna’s Galaxy Mage” is to stall the game as long as possible with your freeze spells to be able to draw into your Luna’s Galaxy, Doomsayer for boardclear or just the classic Giant + Conjurer´s combination. To be able to do this it is crucial that you search for Luna’s and your draw engines in the mulligan. If you play versus aggresive decks that are very popular right now like Tempo Rogue, Mech Hunter or agressive Shaman lists you also try to find Doomsayer. After that you just try to get as less face damage as possible while also drawing as much cards as possible. In most games the game winning turn is when you are able to to freeze all enemy minions with Frost Nova while also playing a cheap giant or 1-mana Alextrasza/Kalecgos/Astromancer. Against control decks the game is in general very easy as long as you dont commit to hard on the board and run into a brawl or Hagatha’s Scheme. Therefore you only try to tech against agressive decks in your Seondary and Tertiary. Im personally not a 100% happy with my 2 side decks so you should just think by yourself what cards you could play to avoid the matchups you dislike. You can play for example silences if you face a lot of Mech Hunters or just Rabble Bouncer against Zoo/Token Druid. In my opinion the deck isn’t easy to play but the main tipp I have for you is to keep ur next 1-2 turns and your overall game plan/winconditions in mind and not just play your cards because they seem good in this turn.masterofrush