The second round of nerfs to Descent of Dragons came right before Hearthstone Masters Qualifier Indonesia #73. This report is based on the data of open cups 73 to 90.
Data summary from Off Curve:
Click on the players names to find out their lists and copy deck codes from Yaytears. The names in bold are Qualifier winners who generously sent us an explanation of the strategy behind their lineup. Scroll past the tier list to read them.
Meta Defining Lineups:
Holy Wrath Paladin, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Fransman)
Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Hand Warlock, Galakrond Warrior (mariellino)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Resurrect Priest, Galakrond Shaman (RaFaEl)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Shaman (Flamekilla)
Pretty Good Lineups:
Holy Wrath Paladin, Quest Priest, Galakrond Warrior (WaningMoon)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Galakrond Hand Warlock, Galakrond Warrior (Tincho)
Face Hunter, Aggro Shaman, Galakrond Warrior (Rane)
Face Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Hand Warlock (asilvaul)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Token Shaman, Galakrond Warrior (Norwis)
Face Hunter, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (xKumei)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Quest Priest, Galakrond Hand Warlock (Grozen)
Quest Druid, Quest Priest, Dragon Hand Warlock (Kuonet)
Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Highlander Rogue (caravaggio8)
Face Hunter, Token Shaman, Galakrond Warrior (Koroda)
Highlander Mage, Gighlander Rogue, Galakrond Hand Warlock (Arc1999)
Face Hunter, Combo Priest, Highlander Rogue (LzJohn)
Quest Druid, Quest Priest, Galakrond Rogue (soleil)
Quest Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Mysterious)
Malygos Rogue, Galakrond Zoo Warlock, Galakrond Warrior (Zeidler)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Control Shaman (Paljuha)
Face Hunter, Galakrond Hand Warlock, Galakrond Warrior (Guntofire)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Warbringer Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (MrTomek1)
Comments from the winners:
Satellite on Highlander Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Galakrond Warrior:
“For this lineup, I thought of building a Holy Wrath Paladin that felt more meta in the last tournament and targeted it. Considering the burden on my lineup, I mainly banned Sharman and Warrior. Warrior is the list used by Casie, and the other two decks have their own tweaks. I didn’t have much time to play after the patch was applied, so I couldn’t adjust the details, but it was good that the deck itself was strong and able to win. After my victory, I’m most pleased to see many similar line-ups winning with fine-tuning the details.”
ThunderUp on Highlander Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Galakrond Warrior:
“This is not my lineup. I used Satellite’s winning lineup. I changed only one card (-Anka, +Faceless Corruptor). Because I think Anka is not good value with Higlander deck. I think this lineup looking good vs Holy Wrath Paladin, Rogue and Higlander Mage. I tried 3 different bans during tournament. First ban choice Galakrond Warrior, second Resurrect Priest, third Gala Warlock.”
Maricochet on Highlander Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Galakrond Warrior:
“My lineup is Highlander Rogue, Aggro Overload Shaman and Galakrond Warrior. The priority bans are Resurrect Priest and Warriors.
The lineup counters Holy Wrath Paladin and is good against Highlander Hunter, Zoolock and Quest Druid.
The Rogue list is from LooGiiQ, it’s very polyvalent and Albatros is excellent against Holy Wrath Paladin and Highlander decks. It’s also ok in the Rogue mirror.
We could have problems if we face an all aggro lineup, but I think that all aggro is bad, and it’s not that hard to steal games with Zephrys or Zilliax.
At the moment the best counter to this lineup is the mirror. It’s incredibly strong. I made back to back top 4 and top 1, and Sindo followed me right after.”
Sindo on Maricochet’s Highlander Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Galakrond Warrior:
“This line up is composed of Galakrond Warrior, Highlander Rogue and most importantly Burst Shaman. Galakrond Warrior is simply one of the best meta deck right now, with a strong early-mid game thanks to the invoke cards and has an insane refill with Galakrond that can lead to OTK with a charger and Bloodsworn Mercenary. What might not be in every list of galakrond warrior is the Frothing Berserkers that are featured in this list. It is extremely good if played on 3, as there is isn’t a lot of answer available for the opponent at this point in game, and if it survives one turn it usually pushes such a high amount of damage that you are left in a dominant position and Galakrond Warrior is too strong to win against if it is left in such a position. Highlander rogue is once again pretty standard, although after the nerf of the apothecary we were left with 4 cards to replace. LoogiiQQ, who built this deck, chose to pick Bad Luck Albatross, Spirit of the Shark, SI:7 Agent and sn1p-sn4p. SI:7 and Sn1-Sn4p both have the same purpose of fighting for the early game board and do better against board-centric decks which tend to be good against this rogue. Spirit of the Shark is often a bit weak but can gain value through lackeys and dragon queen alexstraza or togwaggle, usually one of those card’s battlecry triggering twice means a win of the game. As for togwaggle, I only picked the Wandrous Wand, as there is a lot of high value high cost cards in this deck, and even if you don’t hit them, you still cycle your deck. The two legendaries are especially bad in the mirror because of Flik Skyshiv. One of the cards that helped me win a lot of game is the last card of the 4 replaced, Bad Luck Albatross. This card is super strong, as it is well stated and has a very convenient deathrattle. In the mirror it obviously prevent the opponent to play zephrys or Dragonqueen Alexstraza when they want, and against Shirvallah, which is a common third deck, it forces them to draw a couple more cards before doing their combo, which could lead in a situation where they have to risk a 1 / 3 or 1 / 2 to win the game, or they might be forced to play Shirvallah with Sathrovarr which means Flik instantly wins the game. Last think I would add is that zephrys is very good on 2 to pick up a wild growth in this deck, because of the very strong late game it has. Last but definitely not least is Burst Shaman, which has a good match up against rogues and most of the third deck commonly picked. This deck isn’t particularly hard to play, don’t hesitate to play offcurve if it means you have a powerful and overload-free turn two turns later. Don’t be baited by the Earthen Might value, sometimes it is better to play it on a non-elemental minion even so you have one on board. Doomhammer is just too strong when opponents are not geared up to deal with it, and my opponents didn’t run weapon destruction. I would like to give all the credit of the line up to Maricochet who played it in the cup before mine and won with it as well. The priority of the bans were : rez priest > galakrond warrior > Highlander Shaman.”
Fransman on Holy Wrath Paladin, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“Let’s say that the nerfs changed during the night while I was sleeping. I wasn’t expecting it already, so I had to think in a short period of time about the direct consequences on the meta.
My first thought was to expect a lot of slow decks: Control/Quest Priest, Control Warlock (everyone was playing this on ladder) and maybe even some (Highlander/Galakrond) Shaman. The line I saw in these three decks that they are able to control the bord really well during the mid-late game.
I figured I wanted to counter those three decks. Especially Priest and Warlock, but at the same time have shot against everything elseé
Shirvallah Paladin came to mind quickly as a control counter
I didn’t like the Deathrattle package in Rogue (especially after the nerf). So i decided to make it more tempo. Rogue deals with the late game really good anyhow, with all the card draw and value cards.
Warrior was just strong in general. I did put in Bombs to counter the Highlander decks and at the same time have the final damage against decks as Shirvallah Paladin and Control
I meanly banned Warrior/Rogue. What were in my eyes the strongest classes at that time.
And the best against my line up.
I 2-0’d mainly control decks.”
RaFaEl on Holy Wrath Paladin, Resurrect Priest, Galakrond Shaman:
“First Rogue ban, second Warlock ban.”
Flamekilla on Holy Wrath Paladin, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Shaman:
“I mostly used decks that I was most comfortable with and I was also expecting a lot of aggro decks after nerfs, so I played decks that do well against aggro. I played Highlander Rogue, Holy Wrath Paly, and Control Gala Shaman on Asia server. I was a bit worried about Highlander Rogue going into the tournament, but it seemed to do surprisingly well against aggressive decks like face hunter, aggro shaman, and Gala Zoolock as long as I drew Zephrys. With this lineup, I banned mostly Gala Warrior if they had it but sometimes I would ban something more annoying like Combo Priest over Warrior if they had it.”
WaningMoon on Holy Wrath Paladin, Quest Priest, Galakrond Warrior:
“The main strategy is to ban Rogue and target Face Hunter. The lineup should also be decent vs Warlocks, Warriors, and aggro decks in general. The standard Holy Wrath Paladins are a coin flip vs Face Hunter, so you need the 2x Amber Watcher tech to make the strat work. The Watchers should also help against Galakrond Warriors, to mitigate their ability to burst you down. The Rogue ban allows you to play a more defensive and value oriented Warrior list that should make it better in most match ups. The Dragon Breeder package is the nuts when you don’t have to worry about Flik Skyshiv. Finally, the Priest is just another solid anti aggro deck that benefits greatly from a Rogue ban.”
Tincho on Holy Wrath Paladin, Galakrond Hand Warlock, Galakrond Warrior:
“I make the lineup talking with topopablo11 and we decided to bring something strong overall as Pally, Warrior and the Warlock, which is also good vs same Warlock, Zoo and decent vs aggro. My bans usually goes for Pally, since they usually ban my Warrior, Rogue and also Warrior if their version is pretty offensive. I played a lot of pally in the past and Galakrond Warrior on ladder, which also made 15-0 from rank 3 to legend. But in that tourney was my first time playing the Warlock and it felt really solid overall.”
asilvaul on Face Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Hand Warlock:
“Yeah, my strategy was going for the most solid strategy, because when the game was getting hard face is the key 🙂 always ban Warrior, and that’s all, I’m very exited.”
Norwis on Holy Wrath Paladin, Token Shaman, Galakrond Warrior:
“Well, my strategy was to make unique lineup around my own Aggro Shaman deck, so I added Galakrond Warrior and Shirvalah Paladin with banning Galakrond Warrior, which is a bad matchup for all these decks. I have played this lineup even before the nerfs and I was very successful with it, and after the nerfs I immediately won first qualifier. This lineup targets Galakrond Rogues and Galakrond Warlocks against which I played almost every series. I have spent whole last month testing and improving my Shaman deck, replaced Equality and Elven Archer with second Shrink Ray and Bloodsail Corsair which I found pretty good and copied Warrior deck from my teammate martim who hit legend 1 Europe with it. I am pretty happy about my performance and i am looking forward to represent my team in Indonesia. I will definitely prepare some interesting lineup like now so you have something to look forward to. Keep your fingers crossed for me!”
caravaggio8 on Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Highlander Rogue:
“I don’t think my lineup is particularly great. mainly just won the cup because for some mind boggling reason people think Resurrect Priest is a playable deck. As for card choices and everything the lists aren’t optimal anyways xD”
soleil on Quest Druid, Quest Priest, Galakrond Rogue:
(Translation by Zflow)
“My lineup was supposed to target Face Hunter and Galakrond Warrior. This is the lineup I’ve been trying to have before nerf. It became better after the balance change.
Quest Druid and Resurrection Priest is a good choice against Face Hunter and Galakrond Warrior. And that’s the reason I chose them.
But the other class left was the dilemma. First of all, I thought Galakrond Warrior as a candidate because it’s good against Face Hunter and not bad at mirror matches.
Since Handlock was seen more often, I thought many players would bring Warlock, which made me give up to bring Galakrond Warrior. Secondly, I thought of Handlock, but I was afraid there would be too many aggros.
Finally, I chose Rogue. I took two Backstabs and two SI:7 Agents against aggro lineup and two Spirit of the Shark as a value instead of a highlander Rogue.
I won the qualifier but I think I should have brought Galakrond Warrior because Few were Handlocks and most were Zoolock in the qualifier.
Before the balance chage, I used to ban Galakrond Shaman. I didn’t ban it after the nerf.
Quest Druid performs well against Galakrond Shaman now. (Oasis Surger would lose to 5/6 Spirit Wolves from Dragon’s Pack before nerf, but now it beats Wolves easily because Wolves are dead and there are two 5/1 Oasis Surgers left on the board).
So Rogue was the first to ban because both Quest Druid and Resurrection Priest was in a disadvantageous posotion against Rogue. I tried taking two Keeper of the Grove in the deck and not banning Rogue, but I didn’t actually use that strategy in the qualifier.
There were a lot of aggro lineups in the qualifier. Resurrection Priest was banned every time except once.
I banned Zoolock and Pirate Warrior a lot, because both were not advantageous to Quest Druid unlike Hunter.”
Paljuha on Holy Wrath Paladin, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Control Shaman:
“My strategy is nothing really special, I played decks I’m most comfortable playing and I have most games played on them. Card choices: In Paladin only 1 Banker in Shirvallah Paladin because you never need that 50 damage, really Truesilvers are enough, in Rogue just swaped Deathrattle package for some good cards like Si7 because of the nerfs, and Shaman has that boardclear package which I have seen from some other good player and i really liked it. I usually ban Control Warlock or anything agressive like Pirate Warrior, if there are no agro decks than any Rogue because its just the strongest class overall. That’s about it I don’t target any deck but lineup works decently against any lineup.”