Team NoProsHere Conquest Meta Report #20

By NPH Pasca and WickedGood

The Qualifiers for Hearthstone Masters Tour Online #4 are over, and the last weekend (open cups 91-105) saw the rise of new Druid and Warlock decks that reshaped the metagame.

Data summary from Off Curve:

Tier List:

Click on the players names to find out their lists and copy deck codes from Yaytears.

Meta Defining Lineups:
Tempo Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Enrage Warrior (Khal / Nova)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Quest Warlock, Enrage Warrior (조준 / ShamazinGG)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Malygos Druid, Enrage Warrior (CoDyPhin)

Proven Lineups:
Tempo Demon Hunter, Secret Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior (Athanas)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Highlander Hunter, Enrage Warrior (哈利 / zYREK)
Galakrond Priest, Quest Warlock, Bomb Warrior (Zeh)
Galakrond Priest, Quest Warlock, Enrage Warrior (Ap3lkuchen)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Zoo Warlock, Enrage Warrior (Nayarashi / Dabs)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Enrage Warrior (망고)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Dragon Hunter (RaFaEl)
Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Highlander Rogue (Zockmeister / Turbon1ck)

Pretty Good Lineups:
Malygos Druid, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Warlock (Hoej)
Spell Druid, Galakrond Priest, Enrage Warrior (Sveiks)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Stealth Galakrond Rogue, Bomb Warrior (Matroid / edanco)
Spell Druid, Highlander Hunter, Enrage Warrior (SeolDaBi / ominus)
Pure Paladin, Galakrond Priest, Enrage Warrior (eCrazy)
Highlander Mage, Highlander Priest, Enrage Warrior (Faceopei)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Highlander Mage, Enrage Warrior (Mazzu / Nagib)
Highlander Hunter, Quest Warlock, Enrage Warrior (Orange / LastHopelolz)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior (Goppy)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Highlander Hunter (Leomane)
Highlander Mage, Galakrond Priest, Enrage Warrior (執念の蒼汁 / PenhaDani)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Stealth Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior (brimful)

Interesting Lineups:
Big Druid, Control Galakrond Shaman, Bomb Warrior (saizo)
Mountseller Libram Paladin, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warlock (Malware)
Control Libram Paladin, Highlander Priest, Control Warrior (곰탱이통통)
Malygos Druid, Highlander Hunter, Stealth Galakrond Rogue (VirtuozZ)
Spell Druid, Quest Warlock, Bomb Warrior (LooGiiQQ)
Secret Galakrond Rogue, Quest Warlock, Bomb Warrior (CoDyPhin)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Malygos Druid, Quest Warlock (TrueBee)
Dragon Hunter, Murloc Paladin, Secret Galakrond Rogue (Cancerix)
Highlander Priest, Highlander Rogue, Control Warrior (DenimBlue7)
Pure Paladin, Galakrond Priest, Bomb Warrior (Panch0)

Team NoProsHere Conquest Meta Report #19

By NPH Pasca and WickedGood

3 weeks after the latest round of Demon Hunter nerfs, there are two clear trends in the open cup metagame. One strategy is to play DH, Enrage Warrior and another tempo deck (in which case you ban Warrior) and the other one is to play Priest, Control Warrior and a thirs control deck (in which case you target Warrior and ban mostly Rogue.
This report presents the statistics from Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers Online (#4) – #61 to #75. Some of the winners also sent in comments with tips and insights about their gameplan, they are at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading!

Data summary from Off Curve:

Tier List:

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:
Tempo Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Enrage Warrior (Pain-Dreivo)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior (IlBestio / Leta / Maverick)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Secret Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior (Cptnkitty)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Zoo Warlock, Enrage Warrior (FudoV / RENMEN)

Proven Lineups:
Pure Paladin, Galakrond Priest, Control Warrior (あれっくす)
Quest Priest, Secret Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior (SpnAllmighty)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Dragon Hunter, Enrage Warrior (Montu)
Highlander Priest, Control Galakrond Shaman, Control Warrior (nadavt / S8ris)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Highlander Rogue, Enrage Warrior (Fleur2B / Matteo)

Pretty Good Lineups:
Highlander Mage, Galakrond Priest, Control Warrior (PeaceHawk)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Enrage Warrior (Burr0 / Gev / MaeveDonovan / PulmexLand)
Highlander Hunter, Resurrect Priest, Highlander Rogue (LzJohn)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Stealth Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior (gunzerker)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Zoo Warlock (jwrobel / Hypno)
Highlander Mage, Galakrond Priest, Enrage Warrior (Kalàxz / BCCISTOOGOOD)
Galakrond Priest, Secret Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior (GrJim / Pusface)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Zoo Warlock (Ipackman / ふぁんだむ)

Interesting Lineups:
Highlander Priest, Highlander Rogue, Control Warrior (DenimBlue7)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Priest, Quest Warrior (たろを)
Face Hunter, Pure Paladin, Secret Galakrond Rogue (Tanaka)
Quest Druid, Resurrect Priest, Enrage Warrior (EzXarT)
Pure Paladin, Secret Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior (내목숨을아이어에)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (yudinnnn)
Dragon Hunter, Resurrect Priest, Enrage Warrior (INER)
OTK Demon Hunter, Zoo Warlock, Enrage Warrior (En1gma)
Face Hunter, Secret Galakrond Rogue, Zoo Warlock (topopablo11)
Stealth Galakrond Rogue, Zoo Warlock, Enrage Warrior (IrvinG)

Comments from the winners:

Pain on Tempo Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Enrage Warrior:
“The lineup is build to target Rogues and Mages mostly while having decent matchups into DH and Zoo as well. You prioritize banning Warrior over other decks and Priest after that. Now about card choices it turns out that Beaming Sidekick is really important in aggro Demon Hunter (especially good vs Rogues) and the Boar package in Hunter is just better than the Porcupine one because it’s faster. In Warrior you always need Grommash I think in opens to maximize your chances vs Priest lineups that potentially leave it open.”

Dreivo on Tempo Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Enrage Warrior:
“I just stole the lineup from Pain the cup just before; I’ve seen he was top 8 before next cup start, I feel like it is the best lineup in not 3 control deck (the 3rd deck really often weak against this lineup).”

IlBestio on Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior:
“I played kind of a standard line-up trying to capitalize on the most consistent decks. That’s why I cut all weird engines in rogue (no secrets no stealth package). I was always banning Warrior, which meant I would often play vs Demon Hunter. That’s why I put two of the Freeze guy in every deck.”

Leta on Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior:
“To be honest it was nothing special. I was expecting many Hunters and wanted to cut dead draw for that match up (Bully / Flik) for the tech Khartut. It was good enough but the meta changes every day, don’t think many players will continue with Hunter and the Khartut build will be very bad in the mirror or maybe vs Mage.”

Maverick on Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Enrage Warrior:
“The plan was to play the 3 best decks and ban Warrior, which is rather typical in the current meta. The open cup meta being mostly DH, I opted for a few anti-aggro techs in my decks. Their power level allows to beat control if you ever face it.”

FudoV on Tempo Demon Hunter, Zoo Warlock, Enrage Warrior:
“You either ban Warrior in this meta or target Warrior hoping your opponents are bad Warrior players because in my opinion it has no real unfavorables if played correctly (which might be reasonable estimation because most people you face in the cup are not top-50 caliber players). But the fact that I consider myself good in aggro mirrors (for example, my dh mirror stats this month is 29-9) was the factor that made me bring aggro lineup. Primary idea behind lineup is soft targeting Rogue while banning Warrior, and tech choices in both Zoo and Demon Hunter are either for full mirror lineups or for DH/Warrior/Rogue lineup. Warrior tech choices (no Teron, inclusion of Grommash) are against lineups that dont ban Warrior. To be honest agressive Hunter might be better than Zoolock in my lineup but I haven’t played that deck and it just started rising in popularity exactly on Friday 🙂
TLDR: ban Warrior, wanted to face aggro mirrors / Rogue lineups, I think lineup is still pretty good against control lineups because of sheer power level of fast decks in the meta.
Last words: not running Sidekick in DH should be bannable offense.”

あれっくす on Pure Paladin, Galakrond Priest, Control Warrior:
“My lineup is anti- Tempo Warrior. In current meta, most players bring Warrior and DH with Rogue or Hunter or Warlock. And I think it’s not hard to build anti- Warrior lineup, because Warrior’s big move to beat control lineups is only Rampage or Bloodsworn Mercenary. Compared to Warrior, DH has many big moves.
This control lineup can beat Warrior and Face Hunter, in addtion more than equal DH and Zoo and other aggro lineups. So I thought control lineup is good in current meta.
Hard matchups are Gala Rogue and Gala Priest and Highlander decks. So we must ban them. Fortunately I seldom encounter them, only Rogue. Rogue is savage deck and breaks our mental, so I like to avoid Rogue.
Card choices:
Paladin: Other Japanese used this to climb Legend, I replaced only 2/2/1 Murloc legendary with Lightforged blessing. I think this list is unrefined.
Priest: Anti-weapon must, against Warrior and DH, Harrison Jones is great to draw heal cards and value cards. (It’s important to get value cards against Warrior.) On the whole, I adapted low cost cards against aggro liuneup. (I dont suppose against control lineup because they may ban my Priest.)
Warror: I think real Control Warrior is not good against Tempo Warrior because it can’t make opening board. So I used Control Warrior that’s based on Tempo Warrior. If I encounter a control liupeup, each Warrior is the worst, so I adapted Archivist Elysiana.
I don’t know if control lineup is the best, but understanding the meta is the best to win.”

Montu on Tempo Demon Hunter, Dragon Hunter, Enrage Warrior:
“I took the idea from Rombosman, a mexican player. With Demon Hunter and Enrage Warrior being a forced pick, the third slot is the only real choice. A lot of players are trying Face Zoo Warlock in that slot because it has a really good WR vs Rogue and Priest, but it dies so easily against Demon Hunter because you have to always ban Warrior. That’s where I consider Dragon Hunter, a deck that still punishes Rogues and Priests, and vs Demon Hunter the double explosive trap gives you a great comeback if you are behind (4-0 vs them). It also kills Zoo Warlock before they can do anything! So its the best third deck for me in the current state of the meta.”

Nadavt on Highlander Priest, Control Galakrond Shaman, Control Warrior:
“Obviously, this is a control lineup. I’ll start by saying that this is more a style choice, I don’t really like the tempo decks in this meta, and usually I prefer control/combo decks anyway. This of course does not mean that the tempo decks are worse than the control decks, and results suggest otherwise… For about a month I’ve been tinkering with a Shaman build. I started this out when Res Priest was on the rise again, I put in Elysiana and wanted to take free wins on the priests, while maintaining good chances vs the dmeon hunters. As time went by, Galakrond Priest has become more popular and also very refined, to the point where it is favoured vs my Shaman. However, Warrior rose in popularity and I tweaked the Shaman to have a good matchup vs the warriors and DHs (The Shaman is really good at having tempo in the mid-game, and the late-game heals are crazy!). The Highlander Priest is taken (almost card for card) from a friend, CrazyMage, and I like it much better than the Galakrond Priest, mostly due to the diversity of games. I believe Galakrond Priest is a better deck, but there’s a limit to how many games I can play with that deck. Also, in open cups the surprise factor is meaningful, and many opponents do not know how to handle unknown decks very well. Last, I took Bunnyhoppor’s Control Warrior. It took me quite some time to understand the gameplans of the deck but once I started nailing it, it appeared to be quite powerful. The lineup mostly targets tempo warriors, while maintaining fine odds vs DH and zoo. Also, face hunter rose in popularity, and this lineup absolutely crashes Face Hunter (there’s way too much heal/armor). Priests are slightly favoured vs this lineup, and mages, rogues and Gala Warlocks are very annoying. Always ban Rogue or Gala Warlock if the enemy has it.”

S8ris on Highlander Priest, Control Galakrond Shaman, Control Warrior:
“Finding the line-up took some tries.
There was 2 logical dominating strategies:
-Strong decks (Egg/Enrage Warrior, Rogue, Tempo DH)
-Strong decks, but Rogue -> Face Hunter/Zoo to get edge in mirrors.
Was having 0 luck playing mirrors myself, so decided to try and counter the most popular deck – Warrior.
First attempts was with Priest, Control Warrior, Big Druid.
It was performing well, but Druid kept getting swept, when meeting someone without a Warrior.
Was glad to see other people taking up Hate Warrior line-ups and doing well. Got motivated and inspired namely by PeaceHawk, あれっくす and nadavt wins.
Tried PeaceHawk’s lists and ran into trouble with Mage when meeting Hunters, witch were gaining popularity at this point. And it felt weird to ban it, since Warrior and Priest are very good against it.
So it was clear that the third deck has to be good against Warrior AND Face Hunter/Zoo.
In that sense あれっくす line-up is very good, and I am surprised more people didn’t get wins with Pure Paladin after his win.
Was about to craft Paladin myself to give it a try, and then nadavt came clutch and won a cup with his homebrew Galakrond Shaman.
I am not much of a deckbuilder myself. So I yoink bits and pieces of line-ups and decks that I prefer.
Egg-control Warrior from あれっくす and PeaceHawk felt very comfortable for me vs Warrior. Keeping up with tempo early and consistent skipper battlerage turns are key.
It even has an edge against control versions like Nadavt’s – Teron is very anoying to deal with, can also use it to get more Kargaths.
Highlander Priest: My good friend and former teammate SirVilgaudas was nagging me to try Languagehacker’s priest for a week now.
Was playing Galakrond Priest myself, but found that with correct approach Warrior has a decent shot at winning with a Gromash list.
They just go for Korkron+Mercenary combo into Grom next turn, not giving space to heal+remove at the same turn.
Might be results oriented, but felt like Highlander Priest was applying more pressure than the Galakrond version, not giving enough time to assemble all combo pieces or forcing them to use it for clear.
Galakrond Shaman from nadavt. In theory good against Warrior and Zoo/Face hunter. Didn’t expect much, just decided to try it out and it was a pleasant surprise. It went 7-0, and got banned once.
The decks I borrowed fit nicely for the strategy without changing any cards. If you’d compare mine and Nadavt’s line-ups. It’s basicaly the same, just Warrior and Priest lists are the ones I prefered and felt are stronger personally.
The line-up is weak to Rogue and Priest. But it’s hard to make logical line-up with both, so we just ban the one they have.
TL;DR: Main Target: Egg/Enrage Warrior; Secondary target: Face hunter, Zoo. Ban Priority: Priest/Rogue > Demon Hunter.”

PeaceHawk on Highlander Mage, Galakrond Priest, Control Warrior:
“The line up was designed to target the Warrior. During the tournament, I always started with the Priest since it was stronger than the Warrior, and any other class left to the opponent. I was never able to play with my Warrior as it was banned. Finally, i think that you have to have a little luck with the Highlander Mage which I had throughout the tournament.”

LzJohn shared his thoughts on Highlander Hunter, Resurrect Priest, Highlander Rogue their his Facebook page.

Team NoProsHere Conquest Meta Report #18

By NPH Pasca and WickedGood

Welcome to our first Hearthstone metagame report of the Year of the Phoenix!
The data featured here is from the 15 official tournaments played this weekend: Masters Qualifiers “Online (#4)” 16 to 30. The format of these Open Cups is best of 3 Conquest with one ban, so this meta might not be exactly the same as what you see on ladder.
On top of all the statistics for decks popularity and win rate, we are proud to bring to you insights from 10 of the 15 winners of the week. They are all the way down after the Tier List.

Data summary from Off Curve:

Tier List:

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:
Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Galakrond Warlock (Sevel / notcreater / matff / Jucchan / GamerRvg)
OTK Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Face Hunter (livevil / Cassia / SaltOPepper)

Proven Lineups:
Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Dragon Hunter (zlsjs)
Resurrect Priest, Galakrond Warlock, Tempo Warrior* (Trec)
Spell Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (Adriano)
*Sorry Trec, next time we’ll review our Warrior archetypes classification

Pretty Good Lineups:
Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Bomb Warrior (Chatthon)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Resurrect Priest, Galakrond Warlock (현명한로나 / 黑羽 / lattosio / N0lan)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Dragon Hunter, Zoo Walrock (Flamekilla)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (KrajdaCz / Mysterious)
Spell Druid, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (Darq7007 / 현명한갱민 / Scr3am / Fatalocity)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Galakrond Rogue (Immortal)
Highlander Priest, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (levik / Rpbalance)

Interesting Lineups:
Aggro Demon Hunter, Highlander Priest, Galakrond Warlock (MegaGliscor)
OTK Demon Hunter, Resurrect Priest, Galakrond Warlock (Silvors)
OTK Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Bomb Warrior (tom)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Highlander Rogue (AVZ075)
Spell Druid, Quest Priest, Galakrond Warlock (Kowsai / nadavt)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Zoo Warlock (CoDyPhin)
OTK Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Galakrond Warlock (Tlenn)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Galakrond Shaman (Sindo)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Face Hunter (Hibadino / 樂天盜賊)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Dradon Hunter, Galakrond Warlock (Karolos)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Dragon Hunter, Quest Galakrond Warlock (銀風)
Spell Mage, Galakrond Shaman, Zoo Warlock (Memory)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Murloc Paladin, Galakrond Shaman (Hypno)
Spell Mage, Highlander Priest, Galakrond Warlock (datLMF)
Aggro Demon Hunter, Highlander Mage, Bomb Warrior (Maricochet)
Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Warlock (Itzvan)
OTK Demon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Zoo Warlock (Sa10)
Spell Druid, Dragon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue (LzJohn)
Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock, Galakrond Warrior (Definition)

Comments from the winners:


Sevel on Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Galakrond Warlock:
“Strategy was easy – 3 good decks + ban DH since it’s the best class in the game right now, netdecked Windello for Warlock – I liked Rain of Fire idea, card performed well. About DH Questings sort of made sense though you could probably build better version vs Warlocks/Druids than the one I used.”

Jucchan on Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Galakrond Warlock:
“I planned around banning Warlock, which had around 60% winrate at the end of Day 1 of the Japanese Bo5 conquest tournament that was being streamed the night before. Rain of Fire in Gala Warlock was inspired by Windello, but I only play one copy because I was not planning on fighting the mirror where it normally helps clear imps. Instead, I play two Overconfident Orcs for Demon Hunter. Spell Druid is taken from BoarControl, I considered running Starfall for mirror/Demon Hunter boards but I was not able to test enough to be confident in running it. Tempo Demon Hunter is pretty standard with one Frozen Shadoweaver for the mirror and Hunter. The priority bans are Res Priest and Gala Warlock. Final record for each deck was 5-0 Warlock, 7-3 Druid, 6-0 Demon Hunter. Overall I felt the lineup was well-rounded and had a chance against any other lineup.”

levevil on OTK Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Face Hunter:
“Introduction:
After hotfix, the meta divided into three parts by Aggro DH, Spell Druid, and Galakrond Warlock. Of course it became the most popular lineup, and strategy started at this point. ‘Which deck should i aim?’ Spell Druid and Aggro DH has explosive potential with nut draw, so i decided to counter Warlock. Nowadays Galalock running more control cards(like Rain of Fire,Overconfident Orc) and less tempo cards(Albatross, Rite), So if i could find out right 3 decks to beat warlock, it seems to be no variable. Then I wahtced Orange’s stream and his lineup, I just realized this is what i was looking for. I coppied his lineup and tuned couple of cards.
Card Choices:
DH : This is perfect 30 cards of OTK DH imo. could run Blade Dance instead of Kayn or Consume Magic
Druid : 2 Mountseller is better list i guess(Especially against Galalock), Blessing and Starfall are flexible(Roar, 2nd Rising Winds, The Forest’s Aid or whatever)
Hunter : Most of times, The opponent who has Galalock banned my Hunter, so i played this deck only 2 times, but when you play Scavenger’s Ingenuity and draw Lion, you’re not gonna happy. so i suggest 1 Lion replace into Dragonbane or trap.
Ban Strategy:
When I watched Orange’s stream, he banned DH in most cases. But my lineup is most unfavored to Spell Druid imo. So my ban priority was Spell Druid, Priest, Warrior, AggroDH in order.
Trivia:
This lineup made such a huge success in this week, so next week many people gonna try this or counter this. If you’re gonna try this lineup, just wish you facing galalock 9 times. If you’re gonna counter this, Frozen Shadoweaver is really good tech card against OTK DH, and Warrior might be the Metabreaker of the next week of qualifier.”

Cassia on OTK Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Face Hunter:
“The lineup is originally from Orange and I changed 1 card, played an extra Pack Tactics instead of a Mok’Nathal Lion beacuse it is the worst draw from Scavenger’s Ingenuity in most cases. The lineup heavily targets Galakrond Warlock, and not bad against Tempo DH. Spell druid is the primary ban target. In my opinion, this lineup is not perfect since OTK DH and Hunter also struggles against other several decks, but it is very effective when control type Warlock is dominant in the meta.”

SaltOPepper on OTK Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Face Hunter:
“Huge thanks to Orange for the lineup idea. The idea of this LU is to counter Warlock, so leave it open an ban Priest then Druid. I dont play savage roar in druid, because it is overkill most of the time. It might be useful every 10th game or so. Kael’tas is just op. Other than that huge shoutout to SMOrc for the constant support the past weeks.”

Trec on Resurrect Priest, Galakrond Warlock, Trec Warrior:
“As always I don’t like to play meta so I did this line up to counter Demon Hunter and to be fine versus Druid.
The Warrior is undersestimated because it is new and when you look the deck it just seems to be bad but you understand the deck by playing it ; you can control the board and doing a lot of value while punching face with weapons.
Warlock is the logic choice when you want to beat Demon Hunter ; Hello Sac Pact. I put even more defense with Unstable Felbolt and Bone Wraith because i knew people will ban Priest instead of this one.
I didn’t find a good third deck so i took Priest. Anduin is a nightmare for a lot of people and I hoped each round my opponent to ban the Priest so I can play the two good decks. In theory Priest is good versus Demon Hunter and Druid but as always Priest Rez is just to much linear and slow to be a good deck.
I usualy ban Hunter Face and Dragon because it’s too aggressive and my goal is to play versus Druid / Demon Hunter.
I don’t know if the line up will work in the future but at this moment with so much Demon Hunter, take this line up and have fun. But I am confident with the power of the Warrior because the Corsaire Cache is so good.”

Chatthon on Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Bomb Warrior:
“I wanted to test Bomb Warrior so I built a lineup aroud it. I needed two decks that are strong vs Warlock and ok vs Demon Hunter. Control Priest must always be banned, otherwise it depends what the opponent has and what you expect them to ban. The Warrior list is still far from being optimal.”

tom on OTK Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Bomb Warrior:
Check out tom’s Reddit post

AVZ075 on Aggro Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Highlander Rogue:
“Main ban for the lineup: Warlock, in my mind if people play Warlock they leave DH open, and that matchup is very Warlock favored, Warlock also does well against Spell Druid so it’s a good ban all around. I played Highlander Rogue because I think its good vs tempo DH and it also beats Priest, Hunter and Mage and I build the deck with a low curve to keep up with DH and Druid which are 2 very prominent decks atm. I think Rogue>DH and even though the Druid matchup is unfavorable you can go for a smorc heavy gameplan with a low curve. And you have some really good counterplay with Flik and Zephrys. I copied Hunterace’s version of tempo Demon Hunter I really like Mana Burn and Questing Adventurer for the Spell Druid matchup, a properly setup Questing Adventurer is neigh impossible for Druid to deal with and playing Mana Burn when Druid is about to hit 7 mana is really strong, Questing feels a bit underwhelming in the mirror and if I had more time to playtest I might have cut Questing for the 3 mana freeze minion because its better in the mirror. Im not 100% confident in saying the version of Druid I played is the best list, because theres still so much to figure out in the deck, but I think playing Starfall is correct because it’s great in the mirror and good vs tempo DH. My overall gameplan was to win out in the DH matchup, all 3 of my decks have game against it. And in the general the 3 decks I played are fine ish against most of the field, so no matter what you always have a shot of winning.”

Karolos on Aggro Demon Hunter, Dradon Hunter, Galakrond Warlock:
“Demon Hunter : I had an aggresive plan to begin with by creating a small board able to inflict damage (the cards helping to do Battlefiend, Blazing Battlemage, Chaos Strike and Umberwing). I chose to play x2 Glavebound Adept because is a powerfull card and many time was given lethal damage or removal. Mulligan Battlefiend, Blazing Battlemage, Sightless Watcher, Skull of Gul’dan.. In the mirror matchups twin slice is nuts card and always keep exept vs otk Demon Hunter.. Core cards Altruis the outcast, Metamorphosis , skull of Gul’dan.
Warlock : A midrage to control deck, which is basic a counter of DH with many combinations like all the invoked cards with the plague of flames. The Mo’arg artificer with the mortal coil and nether breath. The Overconfident Orc is very powerful vs aggro matchups. Finally the twisting nether vs control and mirror matchups is a very powerful removal. Mulligan vs DH Sact Pact, mortal coil, dark skies, overconfident orc, vs other matchups Dragonblight cultist and the veiled worshipper. Target DH , Spell Druid , Ressurect Priest. Core cards Sact Pact , Zephrys the Great , Kronx Dragonhoof , Galakrond the Wretched and Dragonquenn Alexstrasza.
Hunter : Okay, Leeroy made it HoF, but I had to complete my line up, so I chose Dragon Hunter. Aggresive playstyle was my choise once more and at this moment I change all the classic secret package. I added x2 Scavenger’s Ingnuity and Zixor the Apex Predator, a powerful combo against aggro and control matchups. Mulligan Blazing Battlemage, Dwarven Sharpshooter, Scavenger’s Ingenuity and the Stormhummer. Target Ressurect Priest, some Warriors and the OTK DH.
Ban guide : There are certain matchups, that it wouldbe better to avoid with this line up Stealth Galakrond Rogue, Face Hunter and Zoo Warlock.
PS see u lan boys and grills”

The 2020 Hearthstone Hall Of Fame: Goodbye to Aggro? Not Quite.

by Contriiver

Introduction

Hello there! I’m Contriiver or The4mana77. I’m an avid Hearthstone player with ~5.3k wins since the launch of Old Gods who’s consistently hit rank 3 every month for the past year, peaking at one win away from Legend and currently at Diamond 4 after acquiring a 10x star multiplier for the new season. I’m a data and analytics fanatic and absolutely love all things statistics, including analyzing the meta and countermeta, conquest and specialist lineup creation, Battlegrounds strategies, and tech choices. You can contact me at any time on Discord at Contriiver#1963, Battle.net at The4mana77#1858, or Twitter @Contriiver if you ever want to talk Hearthstone, have questions, or want to practice in some matches. 

This article aims to analyze and juxtapose the general state of the meta, both on micro and macro scales, from before and after the balance changes. All data I reference has been published from HSReplay.net and ViciousSyndicate.com.

Before the Crash

Prior to the Hall of Fame changes this year, the meta was seemingly one of the most balanced yet diverse we’ve seen in a while. With a trio of decks from different classes at the top, there was no singular meta-breaker and each of the decks had its own counter. Perhaps the best part of the meta was its unlimited arsenal of powerful yet balanced decks, with anywhere from 5 to 12 combined decks being competitive in tiers 2 and 3 while also fluctuating over time. However, each of the top tier decks did have an “unfun” variable in it: Dragon Hunter felt like an onslaught from the start, Galakrond Rogue always had an answer, and Galakrond Warrior was an inevitable behemoth of armor and chip damage. Furthermore, there was a lot of blandness when deckbuilding: to be competitive, a deck needed to include either the Galakrond or Highlander package, or sometimes even both. If a deck didn’t include either package and was a good deck, it utilized some other uninteractive or unfun mechanic (see: Embiggen Druid, Mech Paladin). If this wasn’t cookie-cutter enough, there were too many neutral staples carrying every deck. Zilliax and SN1P-SN4P were (and still are) used in 40-50% of all decks, any deck needing aggressive fodder would use the highly effective “tech” cards of Boompistol Bully and/or Bad Luck Albatross, and nearly all aggressive decks would be >50% neutral cards by abusing Blazing Battlemage, Faerie Dragon, Injured Tol’vir, Scalerider, Frenzied Felwing, Evasive Feywing, and Big Ol’ Whelp. Finally, on the macro scale of things, ladder felt bland despite the variety. Across all ranks and over the course of late February up until the balance changes, Rogue and Hunter both maintained a steady 20% of the field in play rate. Meanwhile in Legend, only 6 decks held over a 5% play despite the bottom four classes (Priest, Warlock, Shaman, and Paladin) never eclipsing a coalesced ~16% of the field. Overall, it was a plain meta with superficial diversity, a high power standard, and controversial meta giants. 

Hall of Fame

On March 26th, the changes hit and disrupted the solved meta. Mage was dealt a soft blow by the loss of Acolyte of Pain, while Priest’s Combo deck was gone in the blink of an eye. Every aggro deck out there, as well as Rogue, mourned the loss of the beloved Leeroy Jenkins. However, the most impactful change was caused by two losses: Galakrond Warrior lost both it’s most powerful draw engine in Acolyte of Pain as well as it’s biggest burst enabler, Leeroy. Although still strong now, the deck was viewed as a crippled husk of its former self, leading to a power vacuum. This led to many decks previously held back largely by Warrior to gain in play rate and win rate. Both variants of Galakrond Warlock skyrocketed in winrate despite their playrate staying put, while Highlander Mage and Mech Paladin rose slightly in both rates. The biggest winner of the changes was Highlander Rogue; it only lost the non-essential and even clunky Leeroy while the field became much less hostile. It’s arguably a tier one deck right now and has filled the shoes of Warrior. 

Reverted Nerfs

When it comes to reverted nerfs, there were 3 “new” decks that arose. The most prominent one, in tournaments at least, would easily be Control Warrior. It’s tough to simply use that term due to the large variety of Warrior decks including Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, but they all accomplish the same general role of being an obnoxiously value and removal filled control deck. It’s showing early signs of success in tournaments due to its lack of a plethora of counters, and is somewhat present on ladder. Another deck that has been revitalized is the infamous Raiding Party Rogue. I can’t speak to its strength right now; it has too low of a playrate and too scattered of winrates to draw any conclusions to its power level. However, perhaps the clearest yet most unsuspecting winner of the bunch would be Aggro Shaman. I may be biased in this due to my 66% winrate with it over 71 games, but various sources both speak on and provide evidence for this deck’s power level. It’s only hard counters are Control/Highlander Warrior and Control Warlock, it boasts competitive win rates against Druid, Rogue, Hunter, and Priest, while it slaughters Mages and Paladins. This deck is especially strong in tournament format, where Warrior is bannable and Warlocks are few and far between. Aggro Shaman is a complete sleeper which I expect to quietly rule over the meta in small clusters until Ashes of Outland arrives.

False Hope

Prior to the arrival of the changes and after they had been announced, many players began telling of a new era, one of slow matchups and devoid of aggro. These doomsayers spoke of an apocalyptic world, one in which only pros, tryhards, and sadists would thrive due to the lengthy control and combo matches to come. However, when the changes arrived, predictions were shattered: there was no control revolution. Aggro players, tentative at first to attempt playing after losing their King Jenkins, slowly realized that not much had changed. Control Warrior players rejoiced in the juciy aggro prey ready to be gobbled up and holding a pillow, ready for the occasional control mirror during which they could get a long night’s rest. All the poor souls aching and itching to play Malygos Druid shed a few tears before sitting up straight and embracing Quest Druid yet again. The meta was the same, save for a few more sleepers, a couple less Combo Priests, and the quiet dethroning of Galakrond Warrior. All in all, the balance changes haven’t exactly brought about a brooding control meta or a controversial combo meta. Players were given a change of pace; a brief taste of the new metas they’re all addicted to, but only enough to satisfy them through the ranked changes and until the much anticipated Ashes of Outland release. And so the Hearthstone world returns to its default state pre-expansion in a new year: ominous, meta, and ever-aggressive.

Team NoProsHere Conquest Meta Report #17

By NPH Pasca and WickedGood

Once again in #46 to #60, the Hearthstone Masters Jönköping Qualifiers were dominated by lineups made of Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior, and any third deck. By now, we can say that the Conquest metagame is pretty much solved. This report includes all the statistics from last week’s online tournaments, including the bans data, plus comments from some of the winners.

Data summary from Off Curve:

Tier List:

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:

Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Toastmonster / yeschickenDabs)

Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (topopablo11 / MoneYZ / pAc)

Dragon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Cptnkitty / Bravo)

Proven Lineups:

Quest Druid, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Rogue (Player671)

Quest Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Mikro)

Embiggen Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (香菇奾汁)

Pretty Good Lineups:

Quest Druid, Highlander Mage, Highlander Rogue (petrovic)

Embiggen Druid, Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage (레몬박하)

Quest Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue (Déjàvu)

Quest Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warrior (Lethal)

Quest Druid, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (L3bjorge)

Quest Druid, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Priest (Lucasdmnasc / Torph)

Quest Druid, Quest Hunter, Highlander Mage (NikART / Muigetsu)

Quest Druid, Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue (Solojazz)

Face Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (JhenRs)

Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock, Galakrond Warrior (grr)

Quest Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (약강)

Interesting Lineups:

Highlander Mage, Galakrond Rogue, Hand Warlock (J4YOU)

Mech Paladin, Galakrond Priest, Highlander Warrior (Gregoriusil)

Embiggen Druid, Dragon Hunter, Hand Warlock (BladeMaster)

Highlander Mage, Quest Priest, Galakrond Warrior (Silvors)

Face Hunter, Mech Paladin, Galakrond Rogue (AnMul)

Comments from the winners:

Toastmonster on Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“So the general idea of the lineup was to be in a favourable position vs almost all of the popular Hunter decks while not being over weak to lineups that didn’t include Hunter. I don’t actually have a full collection on Asia, so I had to make some budget replacements; things like Faerie Dragons in Rogue could (and probably should) be replaced for cards like Skyvateer. With the ban strategy primarily being Rogue I would not include Bully in my Rogue list anyway as that is really only for the mirror. The lineup felt really good for the field, and there was not a single series I felt I favoured going into.”

Dabs on yeschicken’s Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“First, it should be noted that I netdecked my lists from yeschicken who won qualifier 50. I picked those lists because I think they have the strongest match up spread and chances at winning their unfavorables. Gala Rogue vs. Highlander Mage and Gala Warrior vs. Quest Druid, for example, are very skill dependent and much deeper than just drawing Galakrond. Though, that is a pretty strong play. As for the Priest, that got banned every set and I brought it because its beats up on Hunter and Warrior so hard. Hunter is definitely the class I was most comfortable playing against. Eternium Rover in Warrior and Bone Wraith in Rogue are nice additions against it. I think if you’re going to bring this lineup, you need to be confident in your mirror matching because you will find a lot of sets banning to Warrior Rogue vs. Warrior Rogue.”

topopablo11 on Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“Actually, I chose for this tournament, the 3 decks that I play the most. The decks are quite solid, but I decided to go for the experience rather than the strategy and I’m generally a player who does a lot of weird lineups xD the ban was Priest and Druid, mainly. I have to be honest, in the tournament I drew a lot of topdecks, there are sometimes where you have the luck of the champion and in fact, example in the final I drew topdeck lethal xd. It was quite rewarding to win, since I haven’t been able to play so many qualis for Sweden, so I was a little afraid of running out of time, but I could win 😀
I can tell you that I was surprised at how strong Boompistol is, sometimes that card carry so hard and also very important is the correct use of Bomb Wrangler, this card is very aggressive and in early if you play it well it can do a lot of damage, play around Rogue removals, you wanted to play it in turn 3 + Inner Rage.”

CptnKitty on Dragon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“The lineup doesn’t have a real strategy and is mostly based on just playing good decks. Hunter often takes the ban which leaves you with Rogue and Warrior which are some of the best decks at the moment. The lineup does slightly target the popular Druid – Rogue – Mage lineup.Because you’re often left behind with your Rogue and Warrior vs their Rogue and Mage, which makes you favoured. In the Rogue list id swap second faceless for second Bully, which is already fairly common.”

Bravo on Dragon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“I just took the fastest and cheapest decks since America is not my main region. I added Korkron to the Warrior for the greater good of Galakrond. I might add to the Warrior Acolyte of Pain. And the Hunter has at least one secret. Most often I was banned by a Hunter, most often I banned a Druid.”

Mikro on Quest Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“I love this lineup I like to ban Priests and Warriors my targets is make 3/0 versus Rogue and Mage.”

香菇奾汁 on Embiggen Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“In fact, that was an accident. It’s my first time playing that Druid in qualifier
and I play Rogue less. Just try to face everyone’s Rogue and Warrior. Win a lot Rogue Warrior VS Rogue Warrior. So i think just luck made me win. The semifinal I didn’t win any single game. First game I died but opponent didn’t finish his last step, he took the 2 damage back already. The third game he just used the class I banned.”

Team NoProsHere Conquest Meta Report #16

By NPH Pasca and WickedGood

Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers Jönköping #31 to #45 happened last weekend. Here’s a look at the Conquest metagame of the late Year of the Dragon!
Make sure to scroll all the way down, this week 10 of the 15 open cup winners share their thoughts and strategy tips.

Data summary from Off Curve:

Tier List:

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:

Quest Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (jerry / Gaby)

Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (insania / MeninoZAP)

Quest Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warrior (LeandroLeal / haborigini)

Dragon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Pepe / Jakaso27)

Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Habugabu / tholwmenos)

Proven Lineups:

Quest Druid, Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue (로좀)

Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Rogue (Mariana / ShamazinGG / Stacker)

Quest Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Shaman (Tatchan)

Face Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Reliquary / zlsjs)

Quest Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Jarqoni / Fungggg / iLiDan / Coricarsi)

Quest Druid, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Rogue (Johnnybambou)

Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warlock, Galakrond Warrior (Maelstrom)

Pretty Good Lineups:

Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Combo Priest (Felzak)

Quest Druid, Quest Hunter, Galakrond Warlock (Gev)

Quest Druid, Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage (N8BIZ)

Highlander Hunter, Combo Priest, Galakrond Rogue (모리노아)

Combo Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (LostHead / Mikro)

Quest Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue (Hatul)

Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Highlander Rogue (LzJohn)

Embiggen Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Nerdstrom / DK07)

Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock, Galakrond Warrior (Polar / rascal)

Interesting Lineups:

Quest Druid, Highlander Quest Hunter, Galakrond Priest (WaningMoon)

Quest Druid, Highlander Hunter, Combo Priest (Xeno)

Holy Wrath Paladin, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warlock (Jozelui)

Face Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Aggro Shaman (TmwKOxyd)

Embiggen Druid, Dragon Hunter, Galakrond Priest (Kholgan)

Quest Druid, Highlander Mage, Highlander Rogue (Valento)

Quest Druid, Highlander Hunter, Mech Paladin (Aristippe)

Comments from the winners:

Gaby on Quest Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“No real strategy this time around, just a lot of practice on ladder, and I brought the decks I’m most comfortable with.”

insania on Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“I really liked Priest as it took lots of bans. I always banned Rogue, and if they didn’t play Rogue I banned Druid. Galakrond Warrior was MVP it went like 9-1 or something!”

MeninoZAP on Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“My choice was based on something that could hit head-on against the Priest/Druid/Warrior line, I trained a lot with Priest to better the bad battles and makes them fairer, my main BAN is the Rogue with Priest as a second option, my path was difficult with several well-balanced battles, as a forward i picked up third in qualy #41 and first in the #45, I think the differential for this composition is know how to play very well the mirror of Warrior.
I would like to thank my teammates Torph and Haborigini for training during the week and my NYXPROGAMING team for calling us for this project.”

LeandroLeal on Quest Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warrior:
“I don’t have much to say, I got the lineup from Rase who qualified last week. All decks are insanely good against Galakrond Warrior and decent against all Hunters. I banned all the Rogues that I faced and Highlander Mage. The thing I most like in this line is the Pirate package in Galakrond Warrior, it really helps you to never run out of gas.”

haborigini on Quest Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warrior:
“The choice of my lineup was easy, several players won with it, it is really very strong. I wanted to target Hunter and Warrior. My initial idea was to ban Rogue, but in the course of it became a Priest because it was favorable against all my decks, my most difficult ban was
against the line that had Paladin, Druid and Priest because there it would be easy to lose 2/0 if the Paladin beat the Warrior, but I ended up winning 2/0. In the top 8 games my draws were good and I managed to reach the final, it was the final of my dreams against Hunter and Warrior, resulting in 2/0.
The priest and Druid decks were the traditional ones but Warrior for not having the weapon I opted for 2 Kor’kron and 2 Acolyte of Pain which ended up being very good. I would like to thank my teammates Torph and Meninozap for training during the week and my NYXPROGAMING team for calling us for this project.”

Habugabu on Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“Galakrond Rogue and Warrior are the two meta-defining decks at the moment. I chose Hunter as my third class so that my lineup would target Highlander Mage. Highlander Hunter is a lot better against Galakrond Warrior than other Hunter variants, so it seemed like the best choice. The most important bans are Quest Druid and Resurrect Priest. I expected to leave Rogue open in a lot of matches, which is why I play 2x Boompistol Bully in my own Rogue list. They were definitely worth including; not only did they win otherwise lost games against Rogue but also against Mage.”

tholwmenos on Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“This time I actually focused on Ladder, it just happened I qualified through this open cup. I played the Rogue list which performs greatly for me in Ladder, and Hunter/Warrior which I feel that are the strongest classes after Rogue. Comfort picks, decks based on Tempo and killing your opponent in the midgame. I didn’t work on Warrior and Hunter lists, I got lists which were performing well for other players and they just happened to do the job for me. I banned many different decks, Res Priest was the priority ban. Then it really depended on what the opponent had. The lineup is doing ok vs. Rogue but I had to ban it when opponent had Rogue/Warrior and some other bad deck. Other decks I banned often was Quest Druid, Face Hunter and even Mech Pala in a weird lineup. Highlander Hunter was my ban in the mirror, but I am not sure if it’s correct. The lineup targets bad decks or plays coinflips, that’s pretty much it. I did top 4/top1 in 3 attempts with this lineup so it should be good enough. I played without stress so that maybe helped, my mulligans and decision making were pretty good I think. Sadly, luck is very important factor in winning a qualifier and that’s why I prefer Ladder which rewards more, if you can win consistently. I suggest all players to play good decks which they feel comfortable with, reflect on their mistakes, and ALWAYS play Rogue. Lineups without Rogue are a total joke.”

Tatchan on Quest Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Shaman:
“Shaman can still fight!”

Maelstrom on Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warlock, Galakrond Warrior:
“I played a typical lineup with Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warrior and Galakrond Warlock, decks that I’m used to and comfortable playing.
My plan was to ban aggro decks, in this case mostly Hunter which I banned every time.
I think I won 100% of my games as Warlock, it carried my matches, it’s a versatile deck that I recommend to everyone in Bo3.
Also, I played without deck tracker and I think everyone should do that in order to prepare for Masters Tour.”

Felzak on Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Combo Priest:
“I noticed in the past qualifier that most of my opponents were playing Quest Druid so I tried to target it. Combo Priest and Highlander Mage destroy it and Highlander Hunter does well enough. I made sure I am not going all in and I am actually playing good decks so I have a good shot against lineups with no Druid. The lineup also does really well against Rogue so I didn’t have to ban that and I usually ended up banning Hunter since it preys on the Mage. Just played good decks that also happened to hard target one of the most popular decks. There should be a Manasaber in the Mage.. oops.”

Team NoProsHere Conquest Meta Report #15

By NPH Pasca and WickedGood

Online qualifiers for Hearthstone Masters Tour Jönköping have continiued last weekend with open cups 16 to 30. This report explores the data from these 15 conquest format tournaments. We are also extremely pleased to be able to feature the explanations from 10 of the 15 tournament winners about the decks that helped them get there!

Data summary from Off Curve:

Tier List:

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:

Face Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Cursed / Woven / Coolkid2001)

Quest Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warrior (Pinche / Rase / 執念の蒼汁)

Proven Lineups:

Quest Druid, Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue (Zuhex)

Embiggen Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Wizllire)

Dragon Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Sergio932 / Acorn)

Highlander Mage, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (DashingHenry)

Highlander Quest Hunter, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Rogue (Burr0)

Quest Druid, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Rogue (Maverick / doge34)

Highlander Hunter, Combo Priest, Galakrond Rogue (Sintolol)

Pretty Good Lineups:

Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Warlock (Smaug)

Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Highlander Rogue (P2Reinn / LzJohn)

Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (NikolajHoej / Valou / STePaN)

Quest Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue (Balorix / Lawfuldog / BabyBear)

Quest Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (LooGiiQQ / Jaziel / Fungggg)

Quest Priest, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (L3bjorge)

Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (MegaGliscor)

Embiggen Druid, Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue (Captain)

Combo Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (jwrobel)

Quest Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Highlander Warrior (Silvors / TopDeckMan)

Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (Fujitora)

Quest Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (HonestZaib / NoHandsGamer)

Quest Druid, Quest Hunter, Galakrond Rogue (Coricarsi / lalasong)

Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock (PadrePio)

Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock, Galakrond Warrior (IrvinG)

Treant Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warrior (reqvam)

Quest Druid, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (WoT / Kimberlay402)

Highlander Hunter, Highlander Rogue, Galakrond Warrior (DrEddy)

Interesting Lineups:

Holy Wrath Paladin, Galakrond Priest, Control Warrior (Jozelui)

Quest Hunter, Mech Paladin, Galakrond Warrior (AngryToad)

Quest Hunter, Galakrond Warlock, Highlander Warrior (martim)

Quest Druid, Highlander Quest Hunter, Highlander Mage (CoravStenom)

Treant Druid, Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Warlock (갓윤나)

Malygos Druid, Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue (Habugabu)

Face Hunter, Aggro Shaman, Galakrond Warrior (Pardub)

Highlander Druid, Highlander Quest Hunter, Murloc Paladin (란탄)

Comments from the winners:

Cursed on Face Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“I played this lineup with the strategy of leaving Rogues and Hunters open in mind. I consider this Galakrond Rogue list to be one of the strongest ones and I like the flexibility of 1 Questing Adventurer and 1 Shark. In my opinion, Devoted Maniac is the weakest invoke card and you can easily get away with running only 1 copy. The Galakrond Warrior I used was a forced budget choice, since I was playing the qualifier in the Asian server, despite my main one being the European one. I would have went with a more standard Galakrond Warrior, with Skippers and Armorsmiths, if I had the option. My third deck was Face Hunter and it was the best performing by far, going undefeated and getting banned in a couple of series. In my opinion, Face Hunter is heavily underestimated, despite being in a very good spot in this meta. It has very good matchups with Rogues and other Hunters, so in a bo3 conquest environment where you can just ban your opponent’s third deck Face Hunter really shines. My ban priority was Highlander Warrior, Resurrect Priest, any Druid deck and finally Mech Paladin, anything else did not worry me too much.”

Coolkid2001 on Face Hunter, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“My lineup being aggro targeted decks like Highlander Mage/Galawarlock. The Hot Air Balloons in Rogue is an idea i got from Rezdan, it helps a lot against aggro decks like the other two in my lineup and Dragon Hunter etc. the Dragonmaw Poacher helps a lot in the Dragon Hunter matchup and the Embiggen Druid matchup if you end up having to let it through. Main bans were Quest Priest, Highlander Warrior and Quest Druid. Against lineups similar to mine the opponent always banned Warrior which i think is wrong, I banned Rogue in these scenarios as my Rogue i believe is favoured against all Hunters except Quest Hunter. Start running Hot Air Balloon peeps it’s the nuts.”

Rase on Quest Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warrior:
“So when I saw most of the people playing some Hunter and Galakrond Warrior, I tried to build a lineup that was good against it. So Priest is super good against both, and I also had 2 Albatross + 2 Grave Runes to help against the “bad” matchups.
About the Quest Druid, I think it is favored against Galakrond Warrior and also good against Hunters (I was using 2 beetles to gain armor and help at this matchups) Highlander Hunter is a bit tricky, but kind of a 50-50 And the deck also have Cenarius, Ysera and Phaoris, to help at the mirror and against the “bad” matchups.
And then I had Galakrond Warrior, that I think is favored against all Hunters (I was also using 2 armorsmiths to help).
About the ban, it is kind “flex” Even tho you want to ban Rogue (because of your Priest), sometimes I just left Rogue open, expecting my Priest was going to be banned and then I had Druid and Warrior against Rogue (that I think is fine). You mostly want to ban Priest (because you have 2 bad matchups and a mirror) Druids (specially Embiggen) was my ban sometimes, so I could have better matchs for my warrior. Warlock/Mage are also annoying but winnable. So you are expecting to face Warrior and Hunters and you don’t like to see the Rogue+Galakrond Warlock+Highlander Mage lineup (even tho it is winnable).
And of course you don’t want to face the “mirror lineup” like I did on Saturday finals facing Pinche :P”

Zuhex on Quest Druid, Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue:
“It was my first qualifier with all adventure cards so I just tried to play the most broken decks I have seen in ladder. The main ban was Dragon Hunter but I met 0 Dragon Hunters so I ended banning Embigen Druids and Highlander Mages. I decided to ban Embigen because it counters my Rogue and most of my games were to protect my Rogue. I feel like a lot of people tried to target Rogue and ban Hunter so I just ban the deck that counters my Rogue. Also I decided to play normal Rogue list with Snip and Zilliax because Gala Warrior and Face Hunter, I feel like Bullies are overrated and it is a bad card for Rogue. I think Druid you must play Cenarius and Phaoris because only with Ysera something you lack of win conditions and you let your oponent come back in board.”

DashingHenry on Highlander Mage, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warlock:
“I just played 3 decks that I like and are strong. My ban strategy was simple: Just ban Rogue.”

Burr0 on Highlander Quest Hunter, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Rogue:
“The purpose of the lineup is pretty simple: target Rouges and always ban Hunter. If your opponent doesn’t have Hunter you can be very flexible what you ban (just make sure to leave Rogue open). Sometimes I imagine what my opponent will ban and queue first so I try to ban and pick accordingly to get a favorable in the first game. The Rogue is heavily teched for the mirror with 2x Bullies and 1x Skyvateer. The Bullies are also good against the other Galakrond and Highlander decks, Snip+Zilliax are not needed because you ban Hunter. Mage is a standard list, I don’t like The amazing Reno because he’s better for your opponent than for yourself. My hunter is pretty unique, the mix of Highlander and Quest is really good against Rogue and Quest Druid. Another advantage of the Hunter is that people understimate it and don’t ban it so you often get a free win in the first game with it.”

Sintolol on Highlander Hunter, Combo Priest, Galakrond Rogue:
“Muzzy sent me the decks because I asked for a lineup without adventure cards. I banned Rogue or Warrior most of the time. Not really targetting anything but fine against Druid, Mage and Highlander Hunter. I had to play opens because I was’nt sure if I’d have enough time for ladder.”

Smaug on Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Galakrond Warlock:
“I used 3 decks – Highlander Mage, Highlander Hunter and Galakrond Warlock (non-Zoo version). All three of these decks are very vulnerable to all Hunters (be it a Quest, Face or Highlander), so it was quite easy to decide on a ban every time. You see the Hunter – you ban the Hunter (although each time I checked the winrates of my decks against the opponent’s decks anyway, but each time I was convinced that there was nothing worse than a Hunter.
And as a rule, such three matchups as a Hunter do not have all three decks. For all 9 rounds, I only had to play a bad matchup in 1 game. And against a strong player, and also it was a game for top 16 (for me top 8 was already an excellent result that would satisfy me). This was perhaps the most difficult moral and mental plan for me – the game was decisive, the opponent would not make a single mistake (like the players can do at the beginning of the tournament) and most importantly – my Warlock has 40% winrate against the opponent’s deck (this was a Galakrond Warrior). It was very scary to start the game with the idea that according to statistics, I have to lose the game and fly out in round 5 … But I was lucky, my opponent made a not-so-good start, and I found answers to all his threats and even played excessively carefully.
All other games were either 48-50%, or 55%. So I am very pleased with the choice of decks, and most importantly, I was able to find the ban against which I was extremely unpleasant to play my decks.
As for the other decks, when compiling the lineup, I realized that there would be a lot of Rogues at the tournament, and somehow I need to build on this. Either ban it by picking up the decks accordingly, or play purposefully against them. But the Rogues are now such that even if it is written in HSReplay – that you have to win the Galakrond Rogue in 99% of cases (I will exaggerate, of course), this does not mean that you will win it very easily. So the strategy game – to take decks that are good against the Rogue – did not suit me.
Spending a ban on a Rogue means letting your opponents play even more unpleasant decks (for me personally, these are Priests, Hunters). So I decided that I would simply pick up decks that play either plus or 50% with Rogues and ban something else – with my set of decks, it was Hunter.
When the opponents didn’t have a Hunter in the lineup, I likewise compared the percentage of victories against all opponent’s decks and chose the most negative for me (all statistics are available for free on the HSReplay website). In the fifth round (which I mentioned above), I didn’t ban the Galakrond Warrior, which was supposed to be banned by the percentage of victories (there was no Hunter in the enemy’s lineup), but the Galakrond Warlock (this is the only time I deviated from my strategy). This happened only because I realized that my decks well suffer very much from the Bad Luck Albatross, which in the Warlock deck were already as many as 2! (By the way, I advise everyone to play with them. Highlander decks interfere very much with life). Well, and as a result – I had to play a negative matchup for myself in the decisive game with a score of 1-1.
But in general, to be honest, the tournament was surprisingly easy for me. For me there were absolutely no winnings matchups, somewhere even I allowed myself to make mistakes, but the game on the same strategy, strong concentration and wild motivation to get to Sweden did the job!”

Fujitora on Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Rogue, Galakrond Warrior:
“I have targeted aggressive decks such as Mech Paladin, Galakrond Warrior and Hunters because people play those in Asia cups due to lack of cards. You always have advantage while in the pick/ban phase because everyone bans Priest even when they are favored against it. (8/9 banned in my run) I mostly ban Embiggen Druid because that is Warrior’s worst match up. I have used a Snip-Snap/skyvateer version of Rogue to get a better chance vs aggro. I used this kind of rogue because I did not have Quest Druid in my Asia account. And my Warrior has double Armorsmith / Anchar to be better in the mirror and and it is already super good versus all other aggro decks. Not much to say about my Priest card choice. The same morning I was playing face hunter and my opponent got Ancestral Guardian to beat me, and in the finals I did the same as Rogue vs Face Hunter. It was poetic. In conclusion, It was gg.”

reqvam on Treant Druid, Galakrond Priest, Galakrond Warrior:
“After tanking hard in early rounds I decided to change up my strategy and try to target Hunter with this lineup. As Gala Warrior had been doing very well for me on ladder vs a plethora of Hunters it seemed like a natural fit. I basically made a hybrid of BoarControl’s and Wirer’s lists from a couple of days ago. Armorsmith improves the already favorable Hunter matchup, while Ancharrr substitutes an Acolyte of Pain as card draw and tutors Risky Skipper (a key card that made the deck a lot better than before). 1 Sky Raider is there to make Ancharrr more consistently draw 2 cards while providing a cheap minion to combo with Skipper. (In addition, sometimes it’s nice to have a turn 1 play.) To make room Korkrons have to be cut. – I didn’t run into matchups where I needed the OTK/burst potential to close out games (e.g. Resurrect Priest) so they weren’t missed. Ancharrr is still busted, run it in every Warrior deck if you can. (Gala) Resurrect Priest has been a classic Hunter/aggro counter for a while now so I copied this list from NoHandsGamer, the resident Resurrect Priest expert. Pretty straightforward choice that took the brunt of the bans, very good vs aggro in general, and all Hunter archetypes. Try to shuffle a lot of Albatrosses vs slower decks. That’s about all the insight I can provide for this deck as it was my first time playing this iteration. If you want to learn the deck, NoHands is your guy. Token Druid was a sketchy, last second pick but it worked out. I was frustrated with Quest Druid letting me down in previous qualifiers, so guided by the thought of beating up on Highlander Hunter I turned to Token Druid. I found a list I liked from MT Arlington and went with it. The deck also has a passable Warrior matchup but with the addition of Risky Skipper it’s obviously worse than in the past. I would definitely not suggest playing Token Druid in the future as the deck’s power level is just not that high. Quest Druid should be a better fit in this slot (in line with what Pinche and Rase did in a later qualifier where they finished 1st and 2nd respectively). With this lineup, I defaulted to a Rogue ban vs most lineups I faced (a lot of aggro), but adapted when necessary (e.g. vs NikolajHoej in top 8 when I banned Gala Lock). Ban priority for this lineup should probably be Res Priest > Druid (Quest or Embiggen) > Rogue. Obviously, very dependent on the entire lineup your opponent is bringing.”