Specialist Meta Report #7 [NoProsHere]
By ecoutepasca, mjdigit and WickedGood
The Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers for the Las Vegas Tour event are over. The next set of Specialist open cups will be Qualifiers for Seoul.
The scope of this report is the last week of tournaments, events 211-240.
Rogue is the dominating force that shapes the metagame. It has consistently the highest representation and one of the highest win rate. Warrior is good because it is the only class with a positive win rate vs Rogue (so let’s say that a nerf happened that made Rogue noticeably worse, it would affect Warrior just as much). Hunter and Mage complete the cycle as the most reliable anti-warrior strategies.
The fall of Druid is spectacular. Every lineup these days has a sideboard (Rabble Bouncer, Wild Pyromancer, Baron Geddon, Tunnel Blaster, Sea Giant, etc.) very efficient at countering both Token Druid and Zoo Warlock. However, these hate cards are like a vaccine. Now that swarm strategies are dead, you will probably be fine if you cut your Bouncer, but if everyone does, Token Druid will come back.
Miracle Priest was a cool experiment, but it did not sustain a high win rate past the surprise effect.
Bomb Warrior appeared to perform much better than Control Warrior this week. It’s definitely harder to target and has a chance to win vs any opponent.
This table was made by our data engineer WickedGood, who coded the extraction and classification of decks from the tournament pages on Battlefy. We are just starting to use this tool (next week we would like to add archetype win rate and make better use of the data overall) but one thing immediately stands out: how underplayed Freeze Mage is. So few players have tried it that it’s under “Other Mage”, which is 0,51% of the field, and it reached the semi-finals twice this week. The sample is so small that we are not comfortable placing it on the Tier List, but this is very impressive and we look forward to more experimentation with it.
- Myra’s Rogue
- Bomb Warrior
- Hand Mage
- Vendetta Rogue
- Control Warrior
- Bomb Hunter
Sleeper Tier (high win rate, small sample):
- Freeze Mage
- Big Shaman
- Holy Wrath Paladin
Here are some of the most interesting decks of the week. You can click on the deck name to find deck codes on YAYtears. If you click on the player’s name after the quote, it takes you (in most cases) to their Twitter account. Go check out what other content they make.
Deck 1 is a deck that overall is good against everything in meta. Is quite good in mirrors (expecially vs Vendetta version), really good vs Khadgar mage, Bomb Warrior but overall this list is quite playable against everything. Deck 2 is a good build vs Aggro and Token decks (Token Druid, Zoo, Mid Beast Hunter) thanks to 2x FoK but also good vs Bomb Hunter beacuse of 2x Sap and at the end Ziliax really helps trades and health sustain. This version is also good vs other Tempo Rogues (really aggro setups like my primary) because of 2x Corsair that helps a lot vs Waggle Picks. Deck 3 is a good list, expecially in fatigue matchups (Control Warrior on the top of that). With a 1x Sprint you can draw more, and play safier. 1x Tog Scheme helps to not loose by fatigue. Principal target for the Scheme are Togwaggle (Also an exclusive of this list) and when you ended your deck also Nomi will be a good target (if you dont shuffle more than 3 copies). Infinite Nomis strategy of deck 3 is also helped by the 2x Shadowstep.
If you don’t need Sap and your opposent controls a lot go with the 3. List 2 is for Mirror. Barista is a cool card to play with Lakeys and Lifedrinker fit perfect this deck ; really good for mirror because it will always finish by one of the top player trying to burst.
I just like Warrior, so I play Warrior more.
And I think that Bomb is better than Control because Control Warrior will often lose to opponent’s secondary deck, no way to win.
My deck 1 is for Rogue.
Deck 2 for Warrior or other Control decks.
Deck 3 can target either Hunter or Mage. This time I prepared deck 3 for Hunter, but there were so many Mages at high win, so I thought I was finished, but then all Mages died before I had to face them so I think I was quite lucky.
So, my lineup was made with Nalguidan and we used it on the WCG but it didn’t work.
So I used on the qualy on first day and ended 6-2.
So i went again on Wednesday and it worked.
The primary deck is made to win against more aggro line up, mostly Rogues.
I didn’t face any Token Druid so I don’t know how it goes.
The secondary list is to win against Hunters and Mages.
And the tertiary is to play against Warriors (Control and Bomb) and Control decks.
The tertiary list is supposed to use a Banker instead the Slam so it gets the mirrors and Warrior Control matchup pretty much better, but on the day I sent the wrong version cuz 1 hour before the qualy I had to get my car on the mechanic.
My primary deck has Sap for the Mages/Hunters and Heistbaron Tog because of Warriors. It’s like a ladder deck. Secondary is for the mirrors, but i used it against Midrange Hunter too. Lifedrinker is pretty good. Tertiary is against Warrior, but only faced Bomb Warriors in the tournament. Not sure if that’s the best deck against them tho, but it worked.
Version 2 is for Warrior and mirror.
Version 3 I didn’t use… it is for Druid and Warlock.
Versus Rogue I keep the primary.
I had Mossy Horror taken out for Rotten Applebaum for all the tourneys before the one i ended up winning, so i didn’t get to use it. Mossy was huge in the semis and finals tho against the Giggling.
I tried Giggling in place of the 2/7 for 7 for a bit… but didn’t like it at all in comparison.
I mulligan pretty aggressively for Book or Witchdoctor.
If i have Book in opening i keep any other spells.
If I’m on draw i keep Giant.
But on play vs Rogue too slow so i fish for Books and Witchdoctor.
Warrior is a great match, but you can’t overplay board.
Turn 4 i like Twilight over Giant if that’s an option.
Draw out their removal.
And unless it’s turn 2, I often don’t play Books… the spells are too crucial. If you burn 2 you’re likely sunk .
I’m ecstatic about this since I only decided to even try competitive Hearthstone last weekend, and here I am with a win already. ?
I think a big part of this was luck in the pairings. I faced two Rogues, one Token Druid, and the rest were mirror matches (kind of, a number of them were playing Bomb Warrior.) Also, none of my opponents ran a single Unseen Saboteur, so outside of the lucky pull from Hecklebot, they really had no way to shut down the Mecha’thun/Malygos secondary deck I was running. If I saw they had Hecklebots, I tried to mulligan in a way that had them in my opening hand. Luckily Control Warrior mirrors are so slow that it really doesn’t matter if you keep something like Dr. Boom/Mecha’thun/Maly in your opener.
I’d say the only real difference between my build and other common builds is the lack of a way to activate Elysiana more than once. Going into the mirrors, I would look at my opponents builds and go with a different strategy based on what they had.
Elysiana with multiple activations: Go aggressive and look for Mecha’thun discoveries whenever possible. Then switch to the Mecha’thun deck in the 2nd and 3rd games.
Mecha’thun: Most people were using the Galvanizer/Shield Slam combo to activate, which I think gives me an advantage, since they need to play out more cards than I do with the Boomship/Maly combo. In most of these matches I ended up winning 1-2 turns before they could empty their hands.
I decided to play Big Shaman because Hex and Earth Shock are so good vs Mech decks. Ancestral Spirit and Big Bad Voodoo are good vs Warrior.
I am honestly quite surprised, that no one has found success with a list like mine in Specialist yet. The only matchup that seems very poor is Mage, but that is the same for Control Warrior. With this deck I lose access to Dr. Boom, but Hagatha is not far worse. However, I get to beat Mechathuns, Mech Hunters and Mech Paladins relatively easy due to at least 2x Hex and 1x Earth Shock. The tertiary deck is strong against all combo and control decks, the secondary is for for aggro. There are a lot of flex slots with which people might want to experiment: The second Witch’s Brew, Bog Sloshers (who are godly with Hagatha’s Horror), the Haunting Visions. I am certain that there is a highly competitive Control Shaman list out there that is very similar to the one I have been using and I’m looking forward to working on it more.