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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.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds: Meet the Heroes!

Introduction

Hey everyone! I’m lulnenko, a Battlegrounds player with a peak rating over 10.3k. For more Hearthstone and Hearthstone Battlegrounds content, follow me at https://twitter.com/lulnenko and https://www.twitch.tv/lulnenko. You can also chat with me on the NoProsHere Discord server at https://discord.gg/vjA7DYu.

Today I want to take a brief look at each hero. I’ve ordered them from best to worst by equally weighing my opinion of each hero with HSReplay’s data for the top 20% of Battlegrounds players. I’ve heavily considered HSReplay stats while writing this, but mainly focused on my own experiences in high rank lobbies. I’ll explain why each hero ended up in the spot they did, and give some helpful tips for some of the heroes!


Millhouse Manastorm

The Great Heroes

When played well, these heroes consistently place in the top 4 due to their hero powers granting a significant advantage over other heroes.

Millhouse Manastorm

Passive Hero Power: Minions cost 2 Gold. Refresh costs 2 Gold.

Now that Millhouse starts with 3 gold (formerly 2), he can easily flood the board with minions, winning early fights. His early strength and discounted minions also allow him to upgrade his tavern earlier than most heroes while retaining strength. In the late game, the expensive refreshes become a significant detriment, but early high tier minions can often snowball into a victory.

Nozdormu

Passive Hero Power: Your first Refresh each turn costs (0).

Saving loads of gold over the course of an entire game is obviously good. It allows players to get more rolls for key units and helps them afford to play more units in a turn if they are using their refreshes. Perhaps less obviously, Nozdormu also grants important retries in early turns, which can prevent getting blown out early, and he lets players immediately reroll for higher tier units after upgrading their tavern.

Arch-Villain Rafaam

(1) Hero Power: Next combat, add a plain copy of the first minion you kill to your hand. 

Sometimes, Rafaam steals his opponent’s extremely powerful units and uses them to win the game. More commonly, Rafaam uses his hero power to find triples more effectively than other heroes without wasting much time along the way. Rafaam also has the luxury of purchasing a unit on turn 2, as using his hero power early generally grants an early advantage which allows him to catch up in levels later.

Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End

(2) Hero Power: Hire a random minion in Bob’s Tavern and give it +1/+1.

Yogg’s hero power grants such a ridiculous early game advantage that it is truly bizarre to see Yogg finish in the bottom two spots. On turn 3 (5 gold), Yogg can use his hero power to get a buffed random unit and a normal unit without having to sell anything. On turn 4 (6 gold), Yogg can sell a unit, upgrade the tavern, and use his hero power, keeping him stronger than nearly every other hero in the early game while still being ahead in tavern tiers. On turn 6 (8 gold), Yogg can upgrade the tavern for 6 gold and hero power. At this point, Yogg’s board lead has likely diminished, but he is one to two turns ahead of most opponents in terms of tavern tier and can leverage that into a victory. While this exact line of play isn’t optimal in every single game, it’s a solid guideline. Regardless, Yogg’s early strength allows him to crush the early game and quickly ramp into high tavern tiers, much like Millhouse.

Dancin’ Deryl

Passive Hero Power: After you sell a minion, randomly give a minion in Bob’s Tavern +1/+1 twice. 

Deryl can be difficult to play perfectly, but generally making a few big minions by isolating them in the store and selling a bunch of small minions is a good enough plan. Anything with divine shield, Rat Pack, Cave Hydra, or even something like Imp Gang Boss is generally a reasonable target. In a pinch, just about any unit is strong if buffed enough. Don’t underestimate the value of buying and immediately selling units, and don’t underestimate the power of pure stats!

Edwin VanCleef

(1) Hero Power: Give a minion +1/+1 for each minion you’ve bought this turn.

Edwin is strong for many of the same reasons as Deryl, but with the downside of buffing minions more slowly and the upside of having the buffs be both targetable and usable on minions you have already placed (which also means he is able to buff discovered units, unlike Deryl). Unlike Deryl, Edwin can be played without significantly altering your normal playstyle. Like Deryl, Edwin often ends the game with gigantic Deflecto-o-Bots and Cave Hydras.


Infinite Toki

The Good Heroes

These heroes either lack the consistency of the great heroes or require more skill to perform well. However, they still often get strong results and offer a lot of power to those who know what they’re doing.

Sir Finley Mrrgglton

Passive Hero Power: At the start of the game, Discover a Hero Power.

The strategy behind Finley is pretty simple. If your other two options aren’t either great heroes or good heroes that you feel confident playing, choose Finley as a reroll. Whether you choose him over a reasonably strong hero like Elise is up to you, but stats do seem to suggest that taking Finley often pays off. Finley often creates lobbies with multiple copies of the same strong hero, which can occasionally lead to mutually beneficial scenarios for each of you (like the whole lobby awkwardly trying to navigate double Rafaam) or mutually destructive (like the whole lobby gobbling up units that summon tokens, so that they can defeat two Deathwings). It remains to be seen whether the recently added option to choose between 4 heroes instead of 3 makes choosing Finley less attractive.

The Great Akazamzarak

(2) Hero Power: Discover a Secret. Put it into the battlefield.

Akazamzarak is one of the most under-picked heroes for how strongly he tends to perform, at least according to available statistics. Ice Block alone often offers enough stalling to convert a potential 5th place finish into a 3rd place, and secrets like Splitting Image and Redemption are often game-deciding. While some of the secrets in Akazamzarak’s arsenal are truly abysmal, Redemption is particularly strong with deathrattle minions like Goldrinn and Splitting Image is great with large taunt minions.

A. F. Kay

Passive Hero Power: Skip your first two turns. Start with two minions from Tavern Tier 3.

A. F. Kay’s strength depends quite a bit on the strength of tier 3 minions, but with strong early game units like Deflect-o-Bot, Hangry Dragon, and Soul Juggler available, she can quite regularly convert her first two turn losses into multiple turns of wins. The difficulty in playing her comes in navigating the games where suboptimal tier 3 minions are offered, but even in these games she rarely falls too far behind.

Infinite Toki

(1) Hero Power: Refresh Bob’s Tavern. Include a minion from a higher Tavern Tier.

Toki’s hero power shines in the mid to late game, as cheating out tier 5 and 6 minions early can offer a substantial advantage over other heroes. Toki can also take advantage of this by leveling aggressively, getting her tier 5 and 6 units into play early and mitigating the drawbacks of early leveling by guaranteeing high tier rolls. However, Toki players are often weak in the early game, so learning to minimize early health loss is key to effectively playing Toki.

Elise Starseeker

Passive Hero Power: When you upgrade Bob’s Tavern get a ‘Recruitment Map’.

While Elise does not offer huge power spikes like some other heroes, she offers general consistency. Maps can be used on turns when no good options are available in the shop or can be used immediately after upgrading the tavern tier to get a higher tier unit without having to reroll.

Deathwing

Passive Hero Power: ALL minions have +2 Attack.

Despite having a symmetrical hero power (that is, one that affects both players in a fight equally), Deathwing usually gets a net benefit from his hero power because he will generally spend every turn purchasing units that benefit from the hero power while his opponents will not. In some lobbies, Deathwings may struggle if their opponents purchase copies of Rat Pack, reducing the number of Rat Packs available and keeping themselves strong against Deathwing. Deathwing players who find Rat Packs early will sometimes level extremely aggressively, but I would not advise this in most lobbies as opponents will generally begin to outpower Deathwing within one to two turns. It’s worth noting that the nerf to Deathwing (previously +3 Attack) weakens Deathwing in early fights due to 4 health minions like Vulgar Homunculus and Steward of Time now surviving attacks from minions with 1 base attack, like Alleycat and Mecharoo.

Malygos

Hero Power: Replace a minion with a random one of the same Tavern Tier.

Malygos combines two of the themes common among good heroes: “having options is good” and “having a strong start is good.” With an Alleycat or Murloc Tidehunter, Malygos gets to upgrade the 1/1 token for free, and without this start bad units can still be rerolled into (hopefully) better options. The hero power can also be used to look for triple, to reroll high tier units that don’t fit Maly’s current board, or to upgrade units like Nathrezim Overseer which are valuable for their battlecries but do not have strong stats.

The Rat King

Passive Hero Power: Whenever you buy a Beast, give it +1/+2. Swaps type each turn.

Free stats are great! Rat King usually gets a strong start, which can be used to try to get ahead of the rest of the lobby. Unlike Yogg and Millhouse, Rat King cannot as easily convert his early stats into a tavern tier advantage, because he cannot purchase minions for a discount. However, the tempo advantage from getting +1/+2 on several minions is often at least enough to help The Rat King avoid low finishes.

Alexstrasza

Passive Hero Power: After you upgrade Bob’s Tavern to Tavern Tier 5, Discover two Dragons.

Statistics from HSReplay.net show that Alexstrasza is the definition of a boom-or-bust hero. She gets more first and last place finishes than almost any other hero, with relatively few results in between. That indicates a couple things: many players are simply dying before getting value out of this hero power, and those who do make it to turn 5 experience wild variance in how strong it actually is to discover two dragons. It goes without saying that players who find Razorgore and Kalecgos will generally finish much higher than players who do not, but experienced players can reduce Alexstrasza’s variance a bit by playing carefully. I would recommend leveling to tiers 3 and 4 at a normal or even slow pace, as rushing to 5 rarely pays off. After leveling to tier 4, leveling to 5 immediately the next turn will allow the player to catch up to other players in tavern tier while offering either a huge buff (with minions like Kalecgos) or some playable minions (like Cobalt Scalebane). Using this strategy, it is rare but not impossible to hit dragons which simply leave Alexstrasza dead in the water.

The Curator

Passive Hero Power: Start the game with a 1/1 Amalgam with all minion types.

The somewhat recent addition of dragons to Battlegrounds increased the power level of cards like Zoobot, Menagerie Magician, and Lightfang Enforcer, all of which are also fantastic for The Curator. Curator’s Amalgam also slots nicely into other tribal synergies, even if it’s just being used to make Soul Juggler juggle just a little bit more or it’s helping Razorgore grow. Realistically, though, it’s not uncommon to miss buffs for the Amalgam, and in those games it may serve as little more than a coin and a near-guarantee to win the first fight. Do not be afraid to sell your Amalgam.

Pyramad

(1) Hero Power: Give a random friendly minion +4 Health.

Stats are good. While the benefits of 4 extra health per turn dwindle in the late game, Pyramad can often hero power his way to early fight victories. As seen with many heroes higher on this list, early fight victories can be converted into an advantage later in the game. Interestingly, it is fairly common to see Pyramad players play murlocs, as early game murlocs which might normally lose fights become fairly strong with health buffs. This approach is risky, though, as its strength will fall off quickly if Pyramad does not find Murloc Warleaders and then immediately transition to their late game. Another interesting interaction with Pyramad is using the hero power to buff Micro Machine, a unit which quickly gains attack but usually struggles due to its low health.

Reno Jackson

(3) Hero Power: Make a friendly minion Golden. (Once per game.)

Like Alexstrasza, Reno comes with a late game payoff which can be game winning but usually comes at the cost of losing early fights. Reno games often go one of three ways: 1. Finding a triple on tier 4, discovering a tier 5 minion, and hero powering that minion; 2. Hero powering an early minion like Soul Juggler or Iron Sensei; or 3. Dying before the hero power accomplishes anything. While a golden Brann, Baron, or Lightfang Enforcer is generally stronger than a golden Soul Juggler, it’s also usually a bit harder to pull off, so the direction a Reno player chooses to go depends a bit on how quickly they are taking damage and how quickly they find pairs (which represent potential triples into tier 5 discovers). If opting to go for discovers, tier 5 discovers are usually much stronger than tier 4s, and waiting until tier 6 is usually much too slow. Don’t be afraid to use Reno’s hero power on suboptimal minions like Drakonid Enforcer or Iron Sensei, as a modest strength boost in the early to mid game is much better than waiting for a large boost when it’s already too late.


Shudderwock

The Bad Heroes

These heroes are very inconsistent or are much weaker than the good heroes. It’s still worthwhile to learn how to play them well, as these heroes will still frequently be the best ones available. Any hero can perform well, and these are still significantly stronger than the terrible ones.

Nefarian

(1) Hero Power: Start of Combat: Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions.

Nefarian’s hero power is fantastic against divine shields in the late game, but does not impress overall due to a lack of early game strength. Additionally, dealing 1 damage to all enemy minions is almost exclusively good against divine shields, and even then not ones that are generated by minions like Nadina the Red. In many fights, the hero power will simply be ineffective.

Sindragosa

Passive Hero Power: At the end of your turn, Frozen minions get +1/+1.

Sindragosa, formerly one of my personal favorite heroes and likely still in my top ten most played heroes, has sadly fallen into the “bad” category. Sindragosa offers a significant stat boost in the early game (starting on turn 3), but in a fairly unconvincing way compared to some heroes available. Sindragosa players are often forced to play subpar units (but with a stat bonus), and unlike Yogg and Millhouse, Sindragosa neither plays minions faster than other heroes nor generally gets the luxury of upgrading the tavern faster than other heroes. As a result, Sindragosa’s strength often falls off by the mid game.

The Lich King

(1) Hero Power: Give a friendly minion Reborn for the next combat only.

When I first saw that Lich King’s hero power was changed to be targeted, I thought it was overpowered. I was wrong. While it is quite strong to consistently get double value on powerful deathrattles like golden Spawn of N’Zoth, Goldrinn, or Ghastcoiler, Lich King still seems to fall flat in many games. In a meta where powerful deathrattles are more easily found, The Lich King may prove a serious threat. Currently, he’s fairly inconsistent and often weak.

Patchwerk

Passive Hero Power: Start with 50 Health instead of 40.

10 extra health is not very much when you are unfavored to win fights from the beginning of the game until the end. It may be enough to buy a little extra time, so that Patchwerk finishes 6th instead of 8th or 4th instead of 5th. It also lets wrath weaver players play a few more demons before dying. Patchwerk is bad, but playable in a pinch.

Galakrond

(1) Hero Power: Replace a minion in Bob’s Tavern with a minion from a higher Tavern Tier.

I have a soft spot for Galakrond, but realistically the most common Galakrond strategy, building a tier 6 minion early in the game, is nearly never a good idea. Galakrond can actually be played by progressing normally in the early game before trying to create higher tier minions using the hero power, a strategy which will both increase consistency and drastically decrease highroll potential. I personally enjoy playing Galakrond this way – very similarly to how I would play Toki – but for many players it may be advisable to only pick Galakrond if they believe in their ability to make a turn 6 Mama Bear.

Illidan Stormrage

Passive Hero Power: Start of Combat: Your left and right-most minions attack immediately.

As the newest hero on this list, Illidan is also the one with the most uncertain placement. While his hero power can be extremely beneficial when running powerful deathrattles or cleave minions, Illidan is generally weak in the early game and needs specific minions to really shine in the late game. While Illidan players may develop new strategies for him in the upcoming weeks, the initial stats are not promising.

Bartendotron

Passive Hero Power: Reduce the Cost of Tavern Tiers by (1).

Upgrading the tavern early sounds like a great idea. In practice, a 1 gold discount doesn’t actually line up nicely with the amount of gold players are likely to have most of the time. In general, Bartendotron does not benefit from his hero power compared to most heroes until around tier 4 or 5. Compared to other heroes who can level aggressively, like Millhouse, Bartendotron offers almost no benefit while also lacking the early game board advantage.

Shudderwock

(1) Hero Power: Your next Battlecry this turn triggers twice.

Are Shudderwock’s stats lowered a bit by players who attempt to force Pogo Hoppers? Probably. Regardless, the HSReplay stats actually show Shudderwock’s odds of winning a fight increasing pretty steadily throughout a game. Doubling battlecries is a very strong effect, especially in the late game with valuable battlecries like Annihilan Battlemaster and Murozond, but some team compositions don’t benefit greatly from battlecries and the late game disadvantage is often insurmountable.

George the Fallen

(3) Hero Power: Give a friendly minion Divine Shield.

3 gold is expensive. George, like Shudderwock, actually gets quite strong in the late game, should he make it to the late game with a team composition that makes sense. With divine shield synergy units like Drakonid Enforcer and Bolvar, George can create a powerful team, and hero powering important units like Mama Bear or Baron Rivendare is also strong. Highly experienced players should likely value George a bit higher than his placement on this list, but as this list takes into account all HSReplay statistics for players at 6700+, he places very poorly.


Lord Jaraxxus

The Terrible Heroes

These heroes should be avoided at all costs. A few of them may offer high entertainment value, but they are all consistently weak. Regardless, highly skilled and highly lucky players can sometimes manage to win with these heroes.

Millificent Manastorm

Passive Hero Power: Mechs in Bob’s Tavern have +2 Attack.

Forcing yourself to play a specific tribe is a very bad idea. Even with the extra attack on mechs, it’s often better to just take other things that are offered and accept that your hero power is accomplishing almost nothing. If you do manage to build a strong team, it’s unlikely the +2 attack was what really got you there.

Queen Wagtoggle

(1) Hero Power: Give a random friendly Mech, Murloc, Beast, Demon, and Dragon +2 Attack.

Sure, it’s strong to buff Cave Hydra, Holy Mackerel, Bronze Warden, Annihilan Battlemaster, and Mechano Egg. Those are not the minions Queen Wagtoggle will be buffing early in the game. She spends a fair amount of time and resources buffing early minions that will be sold in the mid to late game to start the buffing process over again. Without finding strong minions to buff early, the Queen will fall apart in the mid game.

Ysera

Passive Hero Power: At the start of your turn, add a Dragon to Bob’s Tavern.

First, let’s establish that staying on a low tier and making red whelp triples is a bait and a terrible idea (even if you saw Purple gain ranks doing it). Ysera does benefit from often having a decent turn 1, and having extra minions in the tavern is never really a bad thing, so she is perhaps a bit better than some of the other “terrible heroes” when played well. The truth is that playing a dragon build is often just very weak unless a Kalecgos or some early Razorgores are involved.

Fungalmancer Flurgl

Passive Hero Power: After you sell a Murloc, add a random Murloc to Bob’s Tavern.

A common theme among the terrible heroes, Flurgl baits players into playing a very weak, inconsistent strategy. Playing and selling a bunch of murlocs early in the game is not a good idea. Once Flurgl gets to tavern tier 5 or 6, cycling murlocs for triples may be strong, but the odds that he should actually be playing a murloc build after making it to that stage of the game are actually fairly low. Flurgl will usually die before getting the crazy payoff turns you may be imagining.

Professor Putricide

(1) Hero Power: Give a friendly minion +10 Attack for the next combat only.

Putricide is a bit like a “find Cave Hydra” simulator. Putting all of your eggs in that basket is probably not a good idea. Giving extra attack to a divine shield minion or a Rat Pack can be strong in early fights, but will quickly be outpowered without extra health to go with it. It’s hard to imagine a game where Putricide’s hero power isn’t outclassed by every other hero power in the lobby.

Lord Jaraxxus

(2) Hero Power: Give your Demons +1/+1.

YOU FACE JARAXXUS, EREDAR LORD OF THE BURNING LEGION! Forcing one tribe is still bad, and 2 mana is hilariously overpriced for this hero power. Interestingly, Jaraxxus actually performs decently at low ranks, where players generally make their boards stronger at a much slower rate. I would still advise against picking Jaraxxus even in low ranks, because learning to play any other hero well will still give better results than playing Jaraxxus.


Thanks for reading! For more Hearthstone and Hearthstone Battlegrounds content, follow me at https://twitter.com/lulnenko and https://www.twitch.tv/lulnenko. You can also chat with me on the NoProsHere Discord server at https://discord.gg/vjA7DYu.

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.”