Team NoProsHere Conquest Meta Report #1

by NPH Pasca and WickedGood

After the first week of the Tombs Of Terror event, here’s what the metagame looks like in the Conquest Best Of 3 format. The data analyzed here comes exclusively from Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers Arlington 16-30.
You will see that the cards that have been brought back from Wild are having an impact, some of them more than others. Flamewaker and N’zoth, for example, had been overhyped, whlie Evolve and Ragnaros are making bigger waves.

Data summary from offcurve.com:

Tier List:

Meta Defining Lineups:
Tempo Rogue, Token Shaman, Aggro Warrior (edanco)
Quest Druid, Combo Priest, Quest Shaman (Maverick)
Highlander Paladin, Combo Priest, Token Shaman (Dreivo)

Proven Lineups:
Highlander Paladin, Resurrect Priest, Mecha’Thun Warrior (Languagehacker)
Malygos Druid, Combo Priest, Token Shaman (Maxxe)
Combo Priest, Token Shaman, Aggro Warrior (Ruby)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Combo Priest, Token Shaman (AllanPogi)

Pretty Good Lineups:
Highlander Paladin, Token Shaman, Highlander Warrior (NAGON)
Highlander Hunter, Combo Priest, Token Shaman (Baggio)
Quest Druid, Holy Wrath Paladin, Combo Priest (DeathBoose)
Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Holy Wrath Paladin (Turbon1ck)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Token Shaman, Control Warrior (Reliquary)
Token Shaman, Zoo Warlock, Aggro Warrior (BabyBear)
Malygos Druid, Holy Wrath Paladin, Token Shaman (Level9001)
Tempo Rogue, Quest Shaman, Aggro Warrior (maruth24)
Token Shaman, Zoo Warlock, Control Warrior (CheeseHead)
Tempo Rogue, Token Shaman, Highlander Warrior (Hypno)

Interesting Lineups:
Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage, Control Warrior (Bankyugi)
Tempo Rogue, Token Shaman, Zoo Warlock (zlofany)
Highlander Paladin, Tempo Rogue, Token Shaman (TechnoGoose)
Bomb Hunter, Cyclone Mage, Tempo Rogue (Flamekilla)
Combo Priest, Tempo Rogue, Quest Shaman (Freshca)
Malygos Druid, Quest Shaman, Control Warrior (pianokiller)
Holy Wrath Paladin, Combo Priest, Quest Shaman (Flasch)
Highlander Hunter, Resurrect Priest, Quest Shaman (Tranquilfern)
Highlander Hunter, Tempo Rogue, Highlander Warrior (Flix)
Combo Priest, Token Shaman, Zoo Warlock (Lucasdmnasc)
Highlander Hunter, Holy Wrath Paladin, Quest Shaman (xxCJ42069xx)
Combo Priest, Tempo Rogue, Token Shaman (WoT)

Featured Lineups:

Here are, in our opinion, the 30 most interesting combinations of decks we’ve seen this week. The qualifier winners were invited to share tips about their lineup, and some of them did. We understand that the players who are currently in Bucharest want to keep every bit of information to themselves.
You can click on the titles to find the 3 decks codes directly on yaytears.com.

edanco

I saw that the most popular top 8 archetypes of the first qualifiers of this week were Combo Priest, Evolve Shaman and Tempo Rogue, and also realized that there weren’t a lot of Control Warriors, so I chose an aggro line up. I decided to ban Shaman and target Combo Priest. In a couple of rounds I faced players with Control/Mecha’thun Warriors and that was my ban in those cases.
Since it was on Asia server and I don’t have a lot of cards there, I played a second Lightning Bolt instead of Vessina in Shaman and second Cruel Taskmaster instead of Grommash in Warrior.

edanco

Maverick

Dreivo

I took Maxxe’s lineup minus the Drud because I think that it’s targetable (by Priest, notably). So I kept his Shaman and his Priest, and I went with Highlander Paladin, because I believe in its power level, above other Highlander decks.

dreivo

Languagehacker

Maxxe

Ruby

AllanPogi

NAGON

Baggio

DeathBoose

Turbon1ck

Ban Druid, target Aggro Shaman.

turbon1ck

Reliquary

BabyBear

Level9001

maruth24

I have done a video with the meaning fo my lineup since i have a youtube channel called Zio Maruth, but is full italian. My point of view about this initial meta was that the Shaman is god tier for me, so i want a lineup that ban him ( second choice ban Control Warrior) and try to counter 2 good decks that every player probably brings in his lineup, Combo priest and Quest Druid, since my Tempo Rogue and Tempo Warrior are pretty good in contesting first round of Priests and Priest never wins without his board. My Quest Shaman was hard teched vs Priest and is a sort of Control Quest Shaman since I play Plague of Murlocs and double Scoundrel but a lot of games he was banned. The power of my Tempo Rogue and Warrior also were the possibility to play aggro vs greedy decks like Nzoth decks, Sap is very powerful tempo play vs Karthut and slow taunts and I play a Spellbreaker in my Tempo Warrior

maruth24

CheeseHead

Hypno

Bankyugi

I built this lineup because I saw the meta in the tournament had a lot of aggo lineups such as Aggro Rogue, Combo Priest, Aggro Evole Shaman, etc. So my target is aggro deck. My deck is a little bit counter aggro, for example in the Mage deck, you will see Ooze, Bone Wraith and a lot of defensive cards. Most of deck that I ban in tournamnet is Quest Druid, Highlander Hunter and Holy Wrath Paladin.

bankyugi

zlofany

TechnoGoose

Flamekilla

Freshca

pianokiller

Flasch

Tranquilfern

Flix

So first of all my highlander decks were a little bit budget since i don’t have that much dust on NA. Otherwise i would have played Houndmaster Shaw in the Hunter deck and Grommash in the Warrior deck. My main target was Combo Priest which worked out perfectly the entire cup. That’s why I played Wing Blast and Desert Spear in the Hunter, super strong against Priest. Tempo Rogue with double Sap is extremely favoured against Combo Priest and the Warrior is also decent against it and overall a really underrated deck right now and in my opinion way better that the classic Aggro Warrior. So talking about the ban strategy i’ts kinda difficult. The ban is pretty flexible and really depending on the opponents lineup. I think in general you can say Shaman is the main ban with this deck. That’s what i did almost all of the first rounds where I faced a lot of aggro lineups. Even though Tempo Rogue and Highlander Hunter have a decent chance at beating it here and there. In the later rounds i faced a lot of control lineups with and without Shaman. Control Warrior was always my main ban when they had it in there lineup since all of my decks are unfavoured against it. Druid is also not a good matchup for my decks but there are really not that many and it’s beatable with a good starting hand.

flix

Lucasdmnasc

xxCJ42069xx

WoT

J4kubb

Team NoProsHere Specialist Meta Report #15

By NPH Pasca and WickedGood

Seoul Masters Qualifiers are over! Open cups will resume on Thursday, but they will be about Bucharest and they will be in the High Inquisitor Whitemane metagame.
This report covers the Hearthstone tournaments in the specialist format in the past week.

Data summary from Offcurve:

Tier list discussion:

Week Eight was a story of meta consolidation and fewer risks taken as we entered the final week of Seoul qualifiers. More so than any week prior, we saw extreme consolidation into a handful of decks, with fewer outliers surprising us with breakout performances. This might be a sign of the meta finally being solved, or that risk tolerance decreases as fewer opportunities to qualify remain, or both.

Cyclone Mage was the big winner this week, as more players turned to it as the natural counter to the glut of Bomb Warriors we saw last week. Representation went from 10.6% in week 7 to 13.6% in week 8, and while the same percentage of Cyclone Mage players progressed to Top 8 as last week, those players were more rewarded for their choice of deck this week, with a 62% win rate in Top 8. This is no surprise given how many Bomb Warriors also progressed to Top 8, but that goes to show that Cyclone Mage is performing in its role as the Warrior killer.

Shark Rogue continued to perform, and was even in popularity with Bomb Warrior this week. Its matchups against non-Warrior classes actually improved (Bomb Hunter and Holy Wrath Paladin, two of its only even matchups, moved to favorable), so if Warrior sees a decline based on its poor performance, Shark Rogue could be poised to take over as the top deck. Players looking to bring Cyclone Mage based on this week’s results could do so at their own peril, because Shark Rogue is one of the only decks favored against Cyclone Mage.

Midrange Hunter also rose to the top of the list based on its good matchup against Warrior. In past weeks, we’ve described this deck as being a poor choice, since does effectively the same thing as Cyclone Mage but not as well. However, if we do see a rise in Cyclone Mages, it could see some success given that it can effectively counter both that deck and Bomb Warrior. That said, Midrange Hunter’s win rate against Shark Rogue is a miserable 28%, so this will continue to be a risky pick as long as Shark Rogue is relevant.

We’ve talked around Bomb Warrior but not about it thus far, and that’s because it actually falls out of the level of meta defining decks given its performance this week. While still the most popular deck and boasting a very good 53% win rate in Swiss, in Top 8 that win rate cratered to 39%. Not to belabor the point, but the entire meta is gunning for Bomb Warrior, and it’s unlikely to see a favorable matchup in Top 8. Of 134 decks that actually played in Top 8 (excluding players who qualified by reaching Top 8 for the 6th time), nearly half were either Cyclone Mage, Midrange Hunter or the mirror, which makes for an extremely hostile environment for a Bomb Warrior to try to string together two consecutive wins, and as a result, few were successful.

Bomb Hunter continues to be an enigma, hanging around but never quite able to maintain consistent performances. The deck had below 50% win rates both in Swiss and Top 8 but still managed to win 3 qualifiers, which says it more than likely beats itself more than is countered.

The low sample size qualifier winners this week are Token Druid, Zoo Warlock, and Midrange Token Shaman. These decks have been discussed in this space before, and really should only be considered by players who are exceedingly comfortable with them. That said, Zoo seems worth calling out due to its favorable matchup against Shark Rogue (though with a very small sample size). If Shark Rogue takes off, Zoo might emerge as a reasonable meta choice.

As for decks that reached Top 8 but did not win a qualifier, we saw an uptick in Control Warriors this week, but that deck still seems to be an inferior pick in Specialist compared to the bomb variety, with only a 44% win rate in Swiss and no wins in Top 8. Freeze Mage fared slightly better at 49% in Swiss, but given Cyclone Mage’s success, there really doesn’t seem to be any argument for bringing Freeze Mage unless one wants to both play mage and counter Cyclone Mage.

We continue to monitor rogues without Spirit of the Shark, and saw both Sharkless Tempo Rogue and a Raiding Party variety reach top 8 this week, but neither variant topped 51%, while Shark Rogue finished with a 53% win rate despite a high number of mirrors. At least in specialist, it’s still Shark Week somewhere.

Mech Paladin reached Top 8 twice, but given its only favorable matchup is against Bomb Warrior, there are more well rounded ways to counter that deck. Murloc Shaman is to Cyclone Mage as Mech Paladin is to Bomb Warrior, and while it’s harder to counter Cyclone Mage, you can do it without giving up nearly every other prevalent matchup like Murloc Shaman does. Aggro (Overload) Shaman, however, may be worth considering, given it had even or favored matchups against all of the prevalent decks this week (though with only 30 players bringing the deck, this is based on an extremely small sample size). Finally, Deathrattle Hunter and Nomi Priest were brought in single digit quantities and successful in even fewer.

Meta Defining Decks
Cyclone Mage
Shark Rogue
Midrange Hunter

Qualifier Winners
Bomb Warrior
Bomb Hunter
Token Druid
Zoo Warlock
Token Shaman

Top 8 Capable
Control Warrior
Aggro Shaman
Freeze Mage
Mech Paladin
Party Tempo Rogue
Sharkless Tempo Rogue
Deathrattle Hunter
Nomi Priest

Featured decklists:

As always, we thank the players who generously share their pro tips. You can click on their name under the quote to find them on Twitter, most of them stream or create other awesome content. Clicking on the deck name will bring you to Yaytears for deck codes.

Languagehackr’s Cyclone Mage

Secondary vs Hunter/Rogue and tertiary vs Warrior. I think Galaxy is good enough to run in all lists for the high roll potential. Scavengers help a lot vs aggro and found it helps more than Rabble Bouncer. Wanted to try out Alex again vs Warrior. Also I tried playing a lot more for tempo against aggro (Sorcerers Apprentice/Cyclone hands for example) and it helps immensely.

languagehacker

TheLastChamp’s Cyclone Mage

This was my first attempt with Mage. The deck’s power level is unmatched in my eyes. The only additions I made were Cairne Bloodhoof into the Warrior list over Astromancer. I think 1 6 drop is always a good thing to have plus Cairne specifically calls out Garrosh which I love. I think Cairne is stickier vs brawl and I think Astromancer plats directly into Supercollider. As far as strategy a few tricks I learned were that sometimes picking any secret off Magic Trick can be good just to make your opponent test for different possibilities. Also vs Mech Hunter or any Token deck trading into say a Replicating menace to fill their board with minions and then nova after stops them from being able to magnetize anything and keeps your threats safe from Missile Launcher poison combos. Also Doomsayer I think is the best response to Faerie Dragon which sometimes gets in for 9 or 12 damage vs Mage. The 1 Polymorph is Mech Hunter/big Edwins but I think maybe a 2nd half time scavenger would be better. Last thing I think is worth noting is playing your sorcerer’s apprentice on 2 is often the best play. Feels weird to not save it for combos but every time I wasn’t greedy with cards it seemed to pay off. Mage just has more resources than most classes (maybe not Rogue). Again this was my first attempt with Mage so I’m literally noprohere but I think the fact that it was my first attempt speaks to the power level of this deck and if anyone is on the fence about trying Mage I would do it asap 😀 Don’t be like me and try and play Egg Paladin for 238 cups! Just get in with Mage! 😛

thelastchamp

MaeveDonovan’s Shark Rogue

I’ve tried some different versions of this deck, with Foxes and Vendetta or just Tempo/Lackey based, but this seems to be the best Rogue you can ever play and Rogue is the best class you can ever choose, especially when there are so many Hunters outside. The first list can basically win vs everyone, and I kept using it especially vs Hunters and other Rogues. For the second list, which you play vs Warrior, I’ve tried some greedy versions but if you go full greedy with Schemes and other stuff like that they can just SMOrc and win so this one with drakes seems to be the best one to keep pressuring them. The third list is vs Mages, and I’m pretty sure Faerie Dragons are better than going full removals with like second Betrayal for example, because you play for tempo and pressure, and Faerie Dragon is not a dead card in those spots. With this being said, SN1P-SN4P is the NUTS in every match-up and I will keep playing it until I can. Special mention to Edwin, who is still here with us yayyy and carried vs Warriors.

maevedonovan

Sjoesie’s Shark Rogue

Credit where credit is due: the lineup isn’t mine, I copied the list that I liked the most from yaytears’ site (I don’t know the original author of the lineup but this is where I copied it from: link). As for the different decklists: The first one is the decklist you use against most decks. This includes Midrange/Bomb Hunter, the mirror, Aggro Shaman etc. The flex spot for the list is Eviscerate or 1 Cable Rat for sn1p-sn4p. It’s the least reactive of the three, so often you go pretty aggressive against the midrange decks and keep board control against the aggro decks. Lackeys help enormously in both aspects, so good usage of them is mandatory. The second is the anti-mage list. Betrayal and Walk the Plank help dealing with the giants, Faerie Dragon helps pushing some early damage and is hard for Mage to deal with. Both the first list and the second list are close to optimal. The third list is the one you mainly use versus Warrior (and in some cases versus Control Shaman). I chose this list over the one that runs Mechs because most Warrior specialist decks still have an anti-Mech build. With this one you can put an immense pressure if you manage to shuffle Togwaggle and you do get more sustainability/midgame power. It’s the one I’m least sure about (Warrior remains a tough matchup even with this build), but it worked good enough for me. I changed Cairne into Jepetto, but looking back at it, I should’ve left the Cairne in the deck and replace one Scheme instead.

sjoesie

Lestos’s Midrange Hunter

This version and its sides was largely inspired by Bunnyhoppor, and was built by my teammate Dreivo who played this deck a lot. I just tried his list after other Midrange Hunter versions, and liked it the most in the current Qualifiers meta. You have all the tools in it to control the game if your opponent is aggro, or to be aggro when your opponent is passive. In a lot of matchups you want to play aggressively so that your opponent is busy dealing with your threats and you can reach your Zul’Jin to finish the game. If your hand is not aggressive then it’s very likely that you have the tools in hand to deal with your opponent’s aggression, so you can achieve the same objective. I don’t feel like I need the Hatchet too much, It feels pretty awkward versus Rogue and Warrior, which I face more than Hunters or Token Druids against whom it is pretty useful. I like two Deadly Shot, which often deals with an Elekk on T3, a Shark or an early Van Cleef. Marked shot is very strong as well, giving you good options very often. You want to play the Secondary version against Warrior and Holy Wrath Paladin, the Savannahs help you fight for the board against the first and have some minions stick after a boardclear against the second. I didn’t feel the need to add a Rhino to this side yet, but that’s something I’m still considering. The Tertiary deck is meant to face Rogues. Rat trap on turn 2 is strong most of the time and will force your opponent into sub-optimal plays. However I’m still not sure about this anti-Rogue side since my Main performed equally if not better against Rogue the last two weeks. I might replace it by an anti-mech side, inspired by the one used by Maricochet and FlècheNoire to win the Qualifiers 167 and 137M.

lestos

Hoej’s Bomb Warrior

I didnt make the lineup – I think it was Magoho.
In regards to strategy, I think you often should see Warrior as a tempo deck. Don’t trade too much – getting face damage is really important especially vs Rogue, since they get so much value late game after sideboard. Also the mirror really rarely goes to fatigue so don’t be scared to draw cards and try to out tempo the other Warrior. Most Warrior lists also only play 1 Brawl, so they will run out of removal at some point.

hoej

Nagon’s Bomb Warrior

I don’t want to put Elysiana on the primary deck that I use three times for Rogue and Hunter. Secondary deck is for mirror match. This match after game 1 will be very aggressive. I think Wargear is better than Gromash on early game. Tertiary deck can compete with both Mage and Mech Hunter. Against Mage, it is difficult to remove all card after game 1. So I need to beat face while removing enemy minions. Faerie Dragon is the best card for this plan. Spellbreaker is good to silence Twilight Drake or my frozen minion. Supercollider is the only card that can remove double Giants and essential card. so I put it in primary and add for tertiary. Against Mech Hunter, they always play Mechanical Whelp and Nine Lives. Supercollider and Big Game Hunter is good to remove 7/7. 2-drop is also good for Mech Hunter to trade Ursatron.

nagon

Disq’s Bomb Hunter

After many open cups grinding, I sat through the statistics that the good people at offcurve.com provided to find out how the field looked like. For quite a few weeks, the top 4 consisted of Bomb Warrior, Shark Rogue, Midrange Hunter and Cyclone Mage (in no particular order). So I sat down and went through all possible decks of my stats and the stats of offcurve.com to find a deck that has a good winrate against them and came down to Bomb Hunter. But instead of going with a lot of Bombs, I start my primary list with the Nine Lives, Necromechanics and Mechanical Whelps in the list. This will give me quite an edge against Warriors, Shark Rogues (due to Spider Bomb) and Midrange Hunters due to the sheer amount of value. Mages were the problem and it’s a 50-50 winrate against them. Cyclone Mages can get some good cards from Mana Cyclone or some bad ones. It also depends on whether they put in a lot of Freezes, which is detremental to you, or if they go with silences/mind control techs.
Highlighted card choices: Necromechanic is a 4 mana 3/6. Do not fear to play it as a tempo card to get on board, but know the matchup. If you can combo it with Nine Lives into a Mechanical Whelp, it spawns 2x 7/7s for the cost of 7 mana. And that they are Mechs will help magnetize them. Know the matchup when you can use it as a tempo card. Sn1p-Sn4p: Already a broken OP card, but it’s even better in a Mech deck. Bomb Toss: One Bomb toss is in there. It is for early removal like Scavenging Hyena, push for an extra ounce of lethal or use it to remove Zilliax. Don’t use Bomb Toss to get the token out, use it for removal.
The primary deck is for everything. It is an all-rounder and can go either quite aggressive or midrangey. The secondary deck is for your worst nightmare; Token Druid. While the deck will help pull off a win potentially, it is a hard matchup you are unfavoured for. The tertiary deck is meant to play against more aggressive Mech Hunters or Shamans. However, I only got to use it once and it didn’t really work as expected. The tertiary deck definitely can be tinkered upon.
Don’t fear the anti-mech packages, but play around it. Spread your mechs, plan around their removal and MCTs. The three times opponents brought an anti-mech package, I won against all of them by playing differently and taking value trades and making sticky deathrattles. The anti-mech package is not as unfortunate for you as it may seem.

disq

KNMDehua’s Zoo Warlock

The secondary is designed to counter Warrior, with Mech minions that can’t be hit by Dynomatic. The tertiary has more reach, to win the race vs Hunter.

knmdehua

五香肉丁’s Token Shaman

This Shaman deck is made for beating those common deck in masters qualifiers: like Warrior, Mage & Rogue. The strategy is simple, play most Battlecry cards I can, and get the value from Shudderwock. Also a lot of people don’t know how to play around this deck, if they don’t clear my board, I can use the legendary spells to get many huge minions, or just use the Bloodlust to kill them. My primary deck counters the Warrior decks, deplete Warrior removal cards and use the Bloodlust kill them at last. Card choices: Barista Lynchen, get more value from the small Battlecry minions, sometimes I can get back my Shudderwock, create more value. Jepetto Joybuzz, draw two minions and made them become 1 mana, it’s so good when you draw the Shudderwock or Barista Lynchen. Storm Chaser, draw Bloodlust or legendary spells. My secondary deck is play around the Rogue and aggro decks, this matchup is so important in the early game, I usually keep the weapon and the lowcost spells, to get the board before Rogue plays Spirit of the Sark. Card choices: Mossy Horror, kill spirit of the shark and those small minions. Rabble Bouncer & Sea Giant, punish opponent playing too many minions. My tertiary deck counters mage, I removed all those high mana cards, and added the Murloc, because the best way play against Mage is become the aggro, kill them before mage play the Giant. Card choices: Underbelly Angler, if Mage can’t kill it, I can get many Murlocs, become the Murloc Shaman. Murloc Tastyfin, get two murlocs from my deck. Big Game Hunter, kill the Giant. Mossy Horror, clear mirror & Khadgar combo.

五香肉丁

Hatul’s Token Druid

Myr’s Aggro Shaman

Plko’s Freeze Mage

Dono’s Control Warrior

미르기르기’s Deathrattrle Hunter

Primary deck is the standard form. 2nd deck is anti-Warrior deck. I use Savana Highmane and Dire Frenzy and Zul’jin in order to maximize the deck value. 3rd deck is anti-Rogue. I use Rat Trap to contain Rogue’s card play and Multi-Shot to clear Rogue’s field. But I think removing two Acidic Swamp Ooze is my mistake. So if you want to use this deck in a Masters Qualifier, remove one Sunfury Protector and one Wing Blast instead of Acidic Swamp Ooze.

미르기르기

WaningMoon’s Mech Paladin

BabyBear’s Murloc Shaman

This Shaman list is very versatile with many options and different game plans. There is Thunderhead with overload cards to clear the board vs aggro decks, Former Champ with Mutate to create a strong board and the Shudderwock, Mojomaster, Swampqueen Hagatha package for a late game plan. The primary list is overall fine, the secondary list is played against Mage because Zentimo with Hex or just Big Game Hunter can deal easily with big minions. The tertiary list is for token decks.

babybear

Cydonia’s Murloc Shaman

Murloc Shaman is the best deck in the game if you want to destroy Mage (they can only win if they get coin and nut draw every game), and have game against Warrior, Rogue and Hunter but it is bad against other aggro decks like Zoo or Aggro Shaman. There are many ways to build it but I like having a ton of Murlocs for consistency and starting with greedy list since the upside against Warrior is way bigger than the downside against other classes.

cydonia

Matsuri’s Chef Nomi Priest

This Nomi Priest is Purple’s deck. It is not much different from ordinary Nomi Priest, but I felt that the number of Warriors decreased and the number of Rogues and Hunters increased, so there was less hard match-up. Find a winning line in Elysiana against Bomb Warriors. The timing to put out Elysiana is when the Bomb is buried with Nomi and Seance closed. The other is when the other party deals with Nomi without using Brawl. The secondary deck is looking at the Mage, the tertiary deck is looking at the Rogue. However, there is a better construction, as neither of them has been considered deeply.

matsuri

KNMKarsa’s Raiding Party Rogue

D3oxy’s Tempo Rogue