Team WildSide Wild Meta Report (February 2021)
We would like to thank these top legend players who have given us their expert opinions and helped with writing the report: RenoJackson, matSund, Goku, Faguoren, Memnarch, Soda, Cubyyy, xtuliop, Jonahrah, SmellyHuffer, and LovelyDuke. Their Twitters are to be listed at the end of the report.
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Welcome to the sixth Edition of Team WildSide’s Wild Meta Snapshot for 2021! We are teaming up with Hearthstone-Decks to provide you the most accurate Wild report possible.
In this meta report, we will be going through a tier list of 41 decks we’ve seen frequently on ladder, explain the method of computing the tier list, break down the meta and analyze the decks as detailed as they need to be. In this report, we have included a Meta Ranking and will be further discussing the state of each class in terms of power and diversity. Also, we’re including some WildSide special decklists that were made by none other than our experts!
We collected our experts’ opinions through a spreadsheet, where our Top Wild legend players will rate the given decks with a corresponding score from 1 to 4 in increments of 0.5 (with 1 being top Tier 1 and 4 being bottom Tier 4). We then collect the result, standardize and categorize them in 4 different Tiers. This is what they mean:
Tier 0 (Absolute oppression)
The one deck to beat. You either play it or play decks that can beat it.
Tier 1 (Meta-defining)
Highly-optimised decks with extreme raw power that are very well positioned in the meta.
Tier 2 (High-legend viable)
Competitive decks that are not as well-rounded, but can snatch games off of Tier 1 decks or prey on their direct counters.
Tier 3 (Legend-viable)
Fringe decks that can succeed in the right meta, but are either suboptimal or outdated.
Tier 4 (Average)
Decks at a weaker power level that require an extensive understanding to be able to pilot well, but are not recommended for ladder experience.
Tier 5 (Meme)
Decks that aren’t typically played for the purpose of climbing ladder, but still have a decent enough presence to be included in the report.
Within each tier, decks are categorized to either High tier, Mid tier or Low tier to further differentiate their power level.
For Meta Ranking analysis, we allocate points to each deck from Tier 0 to Tier 3 then sum them up. The point system for rating a single deck is as below:
Tier 0: 22
Tier 1: 18 (High), 15 (Mid), 12 (Low)
Tier 2: 9 (High), 7 (Mid), 5 (Low)
Tier 3: 3 (High), 2 (Mid), 1 (Low)
Each deck is also assigned a popularity ranking and a respective coefficient multiplier based on its popularity. The highest multiplier is 12 and the lowest is 7. For example, if Odd Paladin is High Tier 1 and has a multiplier of 12, it will bring the class an additional 216 points.
Therefore, a class can be placed highly on the Ranking system based on one (or both) of these elements: having a few strong decks (deck power) or having many decks (class diversity). If classes share the same score, the class with more top decks will be ranked higher.
While it can be argued that it took players a while to catch on to the power level of some under-represented decks, the miniset and Demon Hunter nerfs have seemingly brought more changes to the meta than the actual Darkmoon Faire expansion. Hysteria gets hit with an infamous nerf within the first week; Armor Vendor are ubiquitous across Control archetypes; Crabrider carries Handbuff Paladin; Conjure Mana Biscuits is the bane of every Combo Mage; Nitroboost Poison is Pirates’ friend; Backfire offers yet another way to turbo draw and self-damage for Darkglare. The incredible influence the miniset has cast over the meta cannot be overlooked, even in an evergreen format like Wild.
We’ve seen some very interesting macro-development over the past few weeks, at least at Top Legend ranks. People have found out how good Armor Vendor and Hysteria can be against Darkglare Warlock, and how it can turn Renolock into one of the most well-rounded meta decks even without Tiller shenanigans. This has led to the meta being infested with Renolock, as the right build can handle both Aggro and Reno Priests very well. The meta slowed down quite a bit, at least until people also realized that Armor Vendor is good in Mill Rogue too. A plethora of surprisingly decent anti-Control decks like Mozaki/Time Warp Mage, Mill Rogue, Turbo Togwaggle Druid, and Tonk Hunter found their way into the meta, stacking up their wins against all the Warlocks and Priests of the world, each of which have decent matchups against different selected Aggro decks. This has led to Aggro decks, namely Odd Rogue and Pirate Warrior, returning to the meta, creating a much more diverse ladder experience than before the miniset.
All in all, this is one of the better times to be queuing up Wild. The distance between the strongest decks and the rest have shortened considerably, which means that any deck and any class can achieve great result on ladder. Nevertheless, some classes still suffer considerably from a lack of option within their class, and pocket metas can still feel one-dimensional when dominated by a few similar strategies.
This is a single screenshot taken from our spreadsheet if you find the tierlist infographics too long (you can open the photo in another tab to see the full-sized picture).
Ranked: 1 (0)
Darkglare Warlock is a self-damage aggro deck with Darkglare serving as the centerpiece. Darkglare allows for plenty of mana cheat that allows the deck to swarm the board with minions as early as turn 2. Molten Giant and Flesh Giant are the big payoffs for damaging yourself, and are often paired with Animated Broomstick to take control of the board or with Loatheb and Cult Neophyte to lock out any response.
Team 5 has blessed Wild with a ‘soft’ Darkglare counter card in Armor Vendor. This makes it so the Glarelock might have to take an extra turn or two to be able to cheat out their Flesh Giants and Molten Giants. Hysteria is also a card Glarelock players need to be wary as they can wipe out two Giants and a board for only 3 mana. As such, slow Warlocks and Priests decks have become much more effective in dealing with Darkglare Warlock and winning games they had no business winning before.
However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Glarelock. The rise of slow Control decks is actually beneficial for Darkglare in that it pushes out hard counters like Odd Warrior. Furthermore, while Renolock indeed has an easier time into Glarelock, this matchup is by no means favorable for the Highlander player if the Darkglare player keeps Armor Vendor and Hysteria in mind. Backfire has also helped accelerate Darkglare’s gameplan despite setbacks. Do note that Backfire can become a clunky card later on, and should be offloaded as soon as possible. For these reasons, Darkglare remains at the top of the power chain, although other decks are catching up quickly.
Combo Reno Priest
Ranked: 2 (0)
Combo Reno Priest is one of the most iconic decks in Wild Hearthstone. Popularized after the introduction of Shadowreaper Anduin, Combo Reno Priest assembles its combo by reducing its hero power to 0 with Raza the Chained and combining it with many cheap cards. Combo Reno Priest either plays Spawn of Shadows or Prophet Velen as its finisher, and it utilizes plenty of draw to get there.
Like Highlander Warlock, Darkmoon Faire gave Armor Vendor and Hysteria to Priest which further solidifies its capabilities against Aggro. This makes it so Reno Priests are more comfortable to play tech cards like Illucia which can steal games in matchups that are otherwise impossible, like Mill Rogue. For these reasons, Combo Reno Priest is still able to stand tall amidst an increasingly hostile meta.
One of Reno Priest’s main strengths is the ability to win any game with a good hand, even against decks designed to beat it. A Raza-Anduin curve can seal the game nicely even against the toughest opponent. To win versus the Priest, you have to be faster than the Priest, pressuring them and killing them before they reach their end game. Malygos Druid, Mill Rogue, Tonk Hunter, and many other decks can achieve this, as well as bursty Midrange decks like Odd Rogue.
Ranked: 3 (+4)
Odd Rogue is an aggressive-midrange deck that gets its name from playing only odd-costed cards. Powered by Baku the Mooneater’s Start of Game effect, the rogue gains access to a 2/2 weapon at any stage in the game. This gives the rogue an incredibly consistent damage output and early board control, and allows it to play a variety of synergistic Weapon and Pirate cards.
Nitroboost Poison has boosted Odd Rogue back to its rightful Tier 1 spot as the deck now centers even more around damage than before. The Poison, when Corrupted, feels like an even better version of pre-nerf Cold Blood. The card is so powerful that some decks are slotting in Argent Horserider and even Wolfrider to reap off its benefit.
With so many Gluttonous Oozes and Glacial Shards running rampant, Odd Rogue is a better deck than Kingsbane Rogue right now. Many Odd Rogues play Shards themselves to secure the win in the mirror. Loatheb and Leeroy Jenkins are about the heaviest cards you play in this deck, and a few decklists have ên cut Loatheb due to the anti-synergy with Secret Passage.
Ranked: 4 (-1)
Secret Mage is an aggro deck that seizes board control in the early game by playing discounted secrets that disrupt the opponent’s gameplan. The deck has the ability to both tutor secrets and deal direct damage, while Aluneth provides a way to constantly keep up the pressure and close out games.
Secret Mage had lost some of its steam when Reno decks reigned supreme and many other decks teched in Secret hate, but that period swiftly came to an end as anti-Control decks returned and Jaina found new targets to bully. Arcane Flakmage still gives Secret Mage an edge in the Aggro mirror, Occult Conjurers give more board presence against Control, while decks like Mill Rogue are free wins.
This doesn’t excuse the fact that the meta might be increasingly hostile towards the class. We’ve seen lots of experimentation on ladder, and these decks either play lots of Secret hate or naturally have an abundance of healing and taunts to withstand Aggro. Secret Mage has disappeared from Top Legend ladder, which is an indicator that its oppression has passed. However, it’s still a force to be reckoned with at lower ranks, hence the high ranking in our report.
Ranked: 5 (0)
Kingsbane Rogue is a deck that revolves around buffing and redrawing its namesake card, Kingsbane, to create a high-attack weapon that will inevitably end the game. Kingsbane Rogue used to play a Mill package with Coldlight Oracle, but after the nerf to Leeching Poison, it has switched to an early aggressive Pirate package.
Kingsbane is bonkers. Nitroboost is bonkers. Passage is bonkers. It’s not a surprise that Kingsbane Rogue is Tier 1. The deck has become so efficient at utilizing its resource and refilling its hand that you almost never run out of cards. Couple that with a slower meta, Kingsbane Rogue is in for a feast.
The only downside to play Kingsbane Rogue is the amount of tech against it right now. Gluttonous Ooze and Glacial Shard are being played more often than ever before, not to mention the walls of taunts from Renolocks and Big Priests. The good news is that the number of Paladins and Aggro Druids have gone down quite a bit, which means the meta, in general, is a pretty good spot for Kingsbane to be in. Because of the decline of board centric Aggro decks, most Kingsbane Rogue lists have cut Ship’s Cannon in favor of steady weapon buffs, as Prize Plunderers and Dread Corsairs should be more than enough to wrestle for board in many cases.
Ranked: 6 (-2)
Odd Paladin is an aggressive-midrange deck which gets its name from playing only odd-costed cards. Powered by Baku the Mooneater’s Start of Game effect, the Paladin can summon two 1/1 recruits at any stage in the game. This gives the Paladin an incredibly consistent board presence that synergizes with cards like Quartermaster, Warhorse Trainer, and Steward of Darkshire.
The formula of consistency + turn 1 highroll works particularly well in Odd Paladin, especially when the deck has access to Righteous Cause and Tour Guide to potentially vomit 10/10 worth of stats on Turn 2. To wholly focus on the token generation gameplan, decklists have included the new Carnival Barker which spawns more aggressive minions than Steward of Darkshire, as well as Lothraxion which is a great boost against Control (although he might be a tad slow). However, the biggest gain for Odd Paladin in this expansion is Oh My Yogg, which acts as a Counterspell very often to prevent losses.
There are some setbacks that prevent Odd Paladin from being at the top of the tier list, however. Unlike Odd Rogue, Odd Paladin no longer has a Highlander disruption like Beneath the Grounds after the Bad Luck Albatross nerf, which means Reno decks are still happy to devour the Paladin alive for supper even with Lothraxion. More Warlocks mean bad news for Uther as well, since neither the matchup against Darkglare nor Renolock are favorable. Nevertheless, Odd Paladin is a very strong option for laddering, as its performance never falls too low even for unexperienced pilots.
Ranked: 7 (+3)
Reno Warlock is a Highlander deck that relies on not having duplicate cards to activate power spikes such as Reno Jackson, Kazakus, and Zephrys the Great. The Warlock core is different from other Reno decks in that it usually revolves around Demon synergies. There is a multitude of ways to build Reno Warlock, but not every Highlander Warlock will be listed under Reno Warlock. A Reno Warlock deck is listed under Renolock if the Highlander cards are a crucial part of their gameplan.
Armor Vendor and Hysteria have helped Renolock in the matchup it’s weakest against: Darkglare Warlock. Now Renolock has become one of the most well-rounded decks in the format, with decent matchups against any deck that isn’t a Combo or Mill deck. Tickatus also help the Renolock milling key cards to win the matchup against Reno Priest, although some Renolock players have claimed that they don’t necessarily need Tickatus to win. These same Renolock players also believe that Warlock is a better Highlander class than Priests overall, but given how large a cult Renolock managed to gather, we’ll need to observe a bit more before coming to a conclusion.
Another noteworthy inclusion from the miniset is Backfire, a card that isn’t sorely needed but is too good to not include. These new cards are the final pieces that upgrade the archetype from a jack-of-all-trades to a king-of-all-trades, if such a title exists. If a deck is good enough to unearth Mill Rogue, it must be pretty broken, right?
Ranked: 8 (+4)
Big Priest is a beatdown Control-esque deck that relies on cheating out their few huge minions in the deck using Shadow Essence, then reviving them with cards like Resurrect and Eternal Servitude. The deck plays a very reactive game until it can play its big minions, before switching to a tempo-based mid-game and value-based late-game.
Though only gaining Hysteria, Big Priest benefits from farming the Aggro portion of the meta. Big Priest is arguably the most supported deck in Wild in Darkmoon Faire, gaining two key cards in Blood of G’huun and Palm Reading. Blood of G’huun is a better Y’shaarj and has managed the unthinkable of pushing Y’shaarj out of a Big deck. Meanwhile, Palm Reading enables a Turn 5 Essence and Turn 6 Psychic Scream, which are much scarier when they’re one turn early.
There’s a definite reason behind the Y’shaarj cut: to shore up the game versus Aggro. With only Colossus, Blood of G’huun, and Vargoth as the only minions, Essence is almost always guaranteed to hit a taunt that generates another Taunt now. This ends the game if the Aggro deck doesn’t have burn lethal or Silence. Big Priest is much more resilient against Aggro now while is still very scary against Control, which makes it a very solid choice for laddering. However, be mindful of this trend: the higher on ladder you approach, the fewer Big Priest you’ll see. This suggests that the power level of this deck might not be as high as people assume.
Ranked: 9 (+10)
Pirate Warrior is one of Wild most iconic and established Aggro decks. The deck relies on minion pressure from Pirates and combine them with high damage weapons to finish off the opponent. Ancharrr is often the main draw engine, but the deck usually doesn’t need draws to finish its job.
Secret Highlander Mage
Ranked: 10 (-1)
Secret Reno Mage is a variant of Secret Mage. It seizes control of the board in the early game by playing discounted secrets along with highly synergistic secret build-around cards. In addition, the deck also runs Highlander cards to gain access to extra burn, board clears, and health gain.
There’s been much less interest in Highlander Secret Mage when it’s become clear that the traditional version is better in most cases. It doesn’t help that unlike most other Mage archetypes, Secret Mage variants didn’t receive any support from Darkmoon Race. The only reinforcement the deck got was the highly expendable Keywarden Ivory. This has pushed the Highlander sweetheart from the Top of Tier 2 to the middle of the pack.
With plenty of Aggro and Anti-Control decks out there, consistency gives you better results. You need to hit Flakmage and Flame Ward against Aggro, and you need some key secrets versus other decks. Having two copies of these cards is still more desirable to Highlander effects which are weaker as offensive forces than reactive cards.
Ranked: 11 (+16)
Odd Warrior is a reactive control deck that gains access to 4 extra armor every turn from Baku the Mooneater’s Start of Game effect. Odd Warrior can call upon some of the strongest removals in their arsenal in Brawl and Shield Slam, while their armor accumulation opens up synergies with various armor-related cards.
Ranked: 12 (-5)
Discard Warlock is an aggro deck that aims to generate tempo through Discard synergies. While Discard cards typically sacrifice hand resources for immediate tempo, cards like Silverware Golem and Hand of Gul’dan can effectively negate these downsides. As such, the Warlock can create huge boards very early on, while Doomguard and Soulfire provide damage to finish off the game.
Discardlock feels like that second-rated Warlock deck that isn’t even the best in its niche. It can bully other board-centric decks, but sadly those decks aren’t too prevalent anymore. As such, Discard Warlock doesn’t have a concrete edge against Darkglare Warlock apart from not caring as much about a Turn 1 Armor Vendor.
Unlike Darkglare, Discard Warlock can’t effectively utilize Backfire since its problem was never efficient draws. It doesn’t get on board as fast, so it usually loses to Darkglare and Reno Priest. However, Discard’s minions are very pesky to deal with for Renolock, a deck that can’t deal with too many thick boards. Maybe there’s a niche for this deck after all.
Control Highlander Priest
Ranked: 13 (RETURNING)
Control Highlander Priest is the variant of Highlander Priest which doesn’t rely on a specific combo to win the game, but rather on outvaluing the opponent with an arsenal of card generation effect. Cards like Benedictus and Madame Lazul are employed to ensure the Priest is always well-stocked, while tech options like Dirty Rat help win the game versus combo oriented opponents.
Darkmoon Race’s Control Highlander Priest stemmed from the Chinese server, which has been known to spearhead many groundbreaking decks with respect to the Wild format. The idea is that the core of the Combo deck is already good against Aggro, especially with Armor Vendor and Hysteria added, but the matchup against the popular Reno Warlock is less than desirable. So by replacing the Combo core for plenty of value cards, the Priest can ensure that it never loses the Warlock matchup again.
Control Highlander Priest is excellent in a meta infested by slow Warlocks. Some versions even include Chameleos and Cloning Device for more value, but we think that these are redundant and can be replaced with Rogue/Mage tech cards and anti-aggro. All in all, Control Highlander Priest feels surprisingly solid deck, at least if you don’t run into fellow Priests of the traditional Combo and Big variants.
Time Warp Mage
Ranked: 14 (+8)
Time Warp Mage gets its namesake from the card Time Warp, the reward of the Mage quest Open the Waygate. The Mage tries to complete the quest quickly to pump out either Flamewakers, Arcane Giants, or both, and try to kill their opponents in the extra turn allowed. Archmage Vargoth is sometimes used to give the Mage another turn to comfortably set up for lethal.
CLASS META RANKING
RANK 1 – 501 POINTS
The short-lived Tiller Warlock had wreaked enough havoc for people to be tired of yet another cycle of Gul’dan oppression. Warlock still retains the title of the strongest class in the game, but never has its position been threatened as it is right now. The imposing rise of Valeera gives Gul’dan something to be wary of, especially when there are more and more ways to counter their best decks Darkglare Warlock and Highlander Warlock, and other decks are fading into obscurity.
Darkglare Warlock is still the best deck despite the newly-printed cards designed to soft target it. The popularity of Renolock is supposed to be a good thing for Darkglare players as Armor Vendor and Hysteria create the illusion that Renolock is favored. A misplay against Renolock is really punishing, but as long as you can play around key removals like Hysteria and Plague of Flames, you still have a good shot at winning. Other than that, Darkglare is still a very solid deck into the rest of the meta, although it struggles just a bit more to the burst from Nitroboost Poison.
At top Legend, Darkglare is only the second most popular deck to Highlander Warlock. The prevalence of Priests and Rogues means that Darkglare’s winrate isn’t that great in this corner of the ladder, so people resort to decks that steal more games off of these ubiquitous adversaries. Renolock is a great ladder deck for how well-balanced it is between offense and defense, and how you can slot in tech choices almost seamlessly. Tickatus has made it so the deck is no longer about packing way too much value since milling 10 cards from the opponent is normally enough to win you the Control mirror.
Discard Warlock, while still a decent deck, has seen better days. Cubelock got some renewed interest when the Tiller combo was an available option for it, but now it’s back to being the former shadow of itself. The game has come a long way from when a 9 mana 3/9 Taunt on Turn 4 was a terror, and Cubelock finds itself unable to adapt. Even Warlock has all but disappeared from ladder. Dinomancer Warlock with the Expired Merchant into Dinomancer combo sees some very limited play, but the extra defense from Armor Vendor is not enough to pull it out of meme tier.
(This section has been added after the announcement of Forged in the Barrens) With the release of Shadow Hunter Vol’jin comes the resurgence of Mecha’thun Warlock. Vol’jin on a low-cost minion allows for a 4-card combo that’s much more efficient than Plot Twist + Dorian. The extra defensive capability from Armor Vendor and the draw from Backfire fit neatly into this deck, making it potentially a strong deck going forward. Mecha’thun Warlock will have some problems into faster combo deck and Secret Mage, but it can handle board-based Aggro and Control well. Thus, we put it at Tier 3 for now.
RANK 2 – 405 POINTS
We rarely see Valeera at either side of the spectrum, as she’s always been that mediocre but unspectacular, middle-of-the-pack performer. However, the introduction of Secret Passage last expansion and Nitroboost Poison this miniset has changed things for the better. The two cards are ubiquitous in all Rogue decks that are aggressive in nature, and are only unseen in the infamous Mill Rogue that has no need for big weapons. As usual, Kingsbane Rogue and Odd Rogue are the class’ flagbearers, with Mill Rogue making significant improvement to jump all the way to Top Tier 3.
Odd Rogue has surpassed Kingsbane to become the best Rogue deck in the format, though they’re not that different in power level. Odd Rogue has that added bonus of not getting invalidated whenever someone freezes its face of Oozes it. It doesn’t even lack behind Kingsbane that much in terms of damage output nowadays, especially when people are opting for chargers like Argent Horserider. Pirate Rogue also relies more on minion combat and less on weapons than Kingsbane Rogue, but it’s just not as consistent as you don’t draw for cheap off of Cutting Class as frequently. Kingsbane Rogue is still much more efficient when it goes off, however, stealing wins out of nowhere with Secret Passage, Cutting Class, and a bunch of tempo-efficient pirates. If a deck only has great board control tools and often lacks weapon removals (like Control Warrior variants), they’re going to struggle much more against Kingsbane.
Perhaps one of the more surprising inclusion in this month’s tierlist is Mill Rogue, sitting at the Top of Tier 3, the highest it’s ever been since the start of the report, and the strongest it’s been since Leeching Poison nerf. The Mill Rogue population has always been disproportionately abundant without good reasons, but at least right now it’s somewhat justifiable. The mass of Stealth effect and the seamless addition of Armor Vendor has built a good enough defense for the deck to win more against board-based decks in addition to the Control matchups. It is the winrate rise against decks like Darkglare Warlock and Kingsbane Rogue that has boosted the archetype into the realm of playability. Note that these matchups are still far from favorable, but at least you can play them out without hitting insta-concede every time you see them.
Shuffle Rogue has suffered a blow as Edwin van Cleef is nerfed, which means that it loses an important alternate win condition, especially against opponents that are too fast for its Spiders and Teddy Bears. For this reason, it’s made no significant progress despite being a rather good deck into Reno Priest.
RANK 3 – 346 POINTS
Same rank, same points, same decks—Anduin hasn’t made much progress since the introduction of Darkmoon Race apart from the fleeting Tiller Priest. Nevertheless, its good decks keep performing without fail, and that’s enough to put it ahead of seven other classes at the moment.
Combo Reno Priest is losing a bit of its momentum at the moment, nearly slipping outside of Top Tier 1. It has some difficulties dealing with Renolocks, especially ones running Tickatus and Willow. It sweats whenever it sees a Lab Recruiter or Oblivitron played. Despite the hate on ladder, Reno Priest is still a top deck because of its inherent power level that allows it to win games even against great odds. The Priest still fares very well into the rather large proportion of Aggro on ladder as well as anti-Aggro decks like Odd Warrior or Jade Druid. No matter how much hate Reno Priest receives, it can’t seem to go away.
Big Priest is another benefactor of the rise in Renolock, as the matchup is almost unloseable when you draw a half-decent hand. It’s also a better deck into some Priest-hate like Tonk Hunter or Odd Rogue, although the matchup against Mill Rogue is even more insufferable. Big Priest can hit its taunts more reliably than ever now, so it lends itself to that controlled RNG to turn the tide against Aggro, and more often than not wins. The Top of Tier 2 is where Big Priest belongs at the moment, the same position that caused Barnes to be nerfed the last time around. Luckily for Anduin, there are way more unfair decks for the community to complain about this time.
Control Highlander Priest is a deck designed to target matchups that traditional Combo versions often lose to, namely Renolock, and with the right techs, Pirate Warrior and Rogues. It’s an all-around inferior deck to Combo Highlander Priest that always loses the mirror, but it does have interesting applications. It’s not like you can ever go wrong with a Reno Priest package.
RANK 4 – 328 POINTS
Jaina is having a mini identity crisis. Theoretically, Secret Mage is still the strongest deck, but players can’t seem to decide whether they want to keep toying with old sports or playing with those shiny new Mana Biscuits that’s enabled many fun combos, not to mention that new memey Spell Damage Mage that just popped up. The good news is both Secret variants and combo decks are playable right now, giving Mage players a few more choices, a luxury they didn’t have for the last couple of months.
Secret Mage is by large the best Mage deck at the moment, and is the one you should queue up if there’s no Secret hate. In some pocket metas, the Secret hate is just too much, oftentimes to the point of game-losing considering how much tempo the Mage sacrifice to get each secret into play. Reno Secret Mage can circumvent this Secret hate, but it’s frankly just not as good of a deck for reasons aforementioned. All in all, Secret Mage is still a great deck, but it can be seen from the West vs. China event that it was a weakness in every lineup that brought it. When the opponents are at a level they can play around secrets or calculate the probabilities to make a winning play and risk playing into secrets, the deck is a fair bit worse.
Conjure Mana Biscuits is a very powerful card. It’s two spells in one and allows you to play your mana whenever you want; the perfect card for a spell-based combo deck. Whether it be Mozaki Mage that ramps up its damage with each spell played or Time Warp Mage that accelerates the quest for every spell, the deck provides extra resources and mana whenever called upon. The card has revived Time Warp Mage and help it cheat more stuff against faster decks to bump up its winrate. With Mozaki Mage, we’ve all seen what it can do. It’s able to conjure incredible chain spell turns to draw with Cram Session or to boost spell damage for lethal, and Biscuits have helped a lot to achieve this. It’s a shame you can only play one copy of Biscuits in Time Warp Highlander Mage, and that’s probably why that deck still sucks.
Although Spell Damage Mage is not on the tierlist (yet), we’d like to give it an honorable mention for being the only deck to play Imprisoned Phoenix. The card is actually pretty decent in this deck, being indestructible for two turns to allow the Mage to reap benefit off multiple cards like Unexpected Results, Cram Session, and Ras Frostwhisper. We’ll be keeping a keen eye on the development of this deck and see if it can become viable.
RANK 5 – 203 POINTS
One thing hasn’t changed about Paladin all these years: Odd Paladin still reigns supreme. However, lots of the other stuff are up in the air. With access to decks like Libram Paladin, Handbuff Paladin, Mechbuff Paladin, Murloc Paladin, Recruits Paladin, and Midrange Paladin, Uther has access to the most varied assortment of generic midrange decks of all the classes.
Odd Paladin is one of the best Midrange decks right now, and it’s easy to understand why. The deck has the best board-generation Hero Power in the game, and is the best Hero Power for Tour Guide across all game modes. If there’s a deck that can perform remarkably decently 99 out of 100 games, this is the deck. Odd Paladin is the garbage-proof for the class so that it never suffers from a gruesome fate like that of Hunter. Barker and Lothraxion gives the deck even more staying power against Control, but they aren’t that good against Aggro, so you don’t really need too many new cards if you want to keep playing this archaic deck. Oh My Yogg seems like a must, though.
It might be hard to imagine to some, but Handbuff Paladin (no, not the Mech version) is in fact the second-best Paladin deck in the game right now. It doesn’t mean much to be the second-best if you’re all the way down at Top Tier 3, but it’s still quite a feat for a deck that was considered meme not too long ago. The introduction of one of the best Darkmoon Race cards—Crabrider—has enhanced Handbuff’s early offensive capabilities tremendously. It now has a minion that can do things the Mech Flying Machine can do, but for one mana cheaper and with no tribal restriction. Other than that, the deck employs generally good Paladin cards like First Day of School and Hand of A’dal, along with cards that are great when Handbuffed like Vicious Scalehide.
With the addition of Yrel, it might that there might be some reason to play Pure Libram Paladin. However, the Pen Flinger might still be superior since they have ways to actually finish the game. The Holy Wrath version is dead along with the Polkelt nerf, so the matchup against Reno Priest is close to unwinnable now. It’s not a good meta for a slow high-value midrange deck, though, as combo decks like Reno Priest and Malygos Druid are rampant, Big Priest won’t ever let you through, and Control Warrior scattering like swatted flies. If you see these decks, Murloc Paladin is a much better option; however, it kinda sucks against Aggro. Clown Paladin is too highrolly, and Secret Paladin is too fair. In terms of diversity, there’s not much to hope for from Uther.
RANK 6 – 199 POINTS
Once the Robin Hood class of Wild, Warrior is now part of the poor. Apart from Pirate Warrior, Garrosh’s sweethearts have to hope for a good pocket meta to be able to scrape wins. While Odd Warrior saw a small resurgence, most other slower Warrior decks have dropped from the surface of the Earth.
Pirate Warrior has gotten the same boost as Rogue in Nitroboost Poison, and this is part of the reason why the deck is one of the best Aggro decks currently. Although there are fewer weapons to play Nitroboost on in Warrior, it’s also easier to Corrupt the card. Kingsbane Rogues have largely cut Ship’s Cannon as well, so you can win on board against Rogues more often than not. If you’re looking for a solid Warrior deck to play on ladder, this is no doubt the one.
However, if your local meta is aggressive, Odd Warrior might be a better ladder option. With Armor Vendor and Spiked Wheel, the deck gained even more anti-aggro tools. It’s solid enough against Aggro that it can start tech-ing anti-control cards without dropping too many wins against the decks it’s supposed to target.
Dead Man’s Hand Warrior and ETC Warrior are not as lucky, however. Armor Vendor is a good card, but it doesn’t line up as well into what these decks are trying to do. The rise of Big Priest and Renolock has made both these decks miserable. Odd Warrior suffers from the same weaknesses, but at least it’s very dependable against Rogues. Non-Odd Warrior? Not so much.
Galakrond Warrior is too slow against anything that isn’t Reno Priest these days. Reno Warlock has more than enough taunts to stop the damage from ever connecting face, while aggro decks just kill you before you can do anything meaningful. Menagerie Warrior might even be a better choice if you’re looking for a fun Midrange Warrior deck.
RANK 7 – 120 POINTS
Darkmoon Race means sadness for Malfurion. Not only that there isn’t any new card for the more decent decks they have, the tumultuous meta also makes it difficult to target with Druid decks. Decks like Jade Druid can be built to combat Aggro or Control, but once you start tech-ing for some archetypes, you lose percentages against the others. As such, Druid has dropped all the way to Rank 6, having barely enough points to avoid the bottom feeder sub-100 club.
Jade Druid, the strongest current Druid deck, still plays nine cards from when it’s introduced back in Frozen Throne; an astounding number considering that was four years ago. This is perhaps the testimony that slow Druid decks might either need a new shell or at least some updates to their existing Control shell. Poisons Seeds and Spreading Plague were the premium stalling cards in their prime, but now they’re just another Control tool. Jade Idols aren’t even good end game anymore, but they’re just there so you don’t die to fatigue. Most games are decided by you exhausting your opponent’s resources, or by Yogg and Ysera. These might be solid arguments to replace Jade Idol with another end-game, one that can leave an impact immediately. But there has yet to be a worthy inclusion since Ysera, however. Maybe the Kun and Clown package would work? It’s been doing okay as a standalone deck anyway.
Aggro Druid having to play Voracious Reader at 3 mana anyway speaks to how hungry it is for half-decent card draws. Since the Reader nerf, the deck has been writhing down at Tier 3 along with every other mediocre Druid deck. Malygos Druid is also having a hard time against the more aggressive portion of the meta as well, and it’s not as great an anti-Control option has before when there are other decks that can do what it does and kill it (see Combo Mages). Token Druid gained a very powerful card in Arbor Up, but it’s 5 mana. The deck goes off at around Turn 4 anyway, which is often too slow in Wild.
RANK 8 – 60 POINTS
Shaman slid down the tierlist as quickly as a Warsong Commander after a nerf. Most of their decks have plummeted in ranking—a fair reflection of their power level—and the sole climb of Odd Shaman is not nearly enough to save a dying class. The class is fairly under-represented at the moment, though, so there might be some hidden gems like Aggro Shaman or Reno Shaman that have yet to show their potential. Unlikely, though.
Any metagame where Odd Shaman stands higher than Even Shaman is not a good metagame for Thrall. Odd Shaman didn’t even get anything new apart from Guidance which is an iffy card anyway. It doesn’t have matchups where it excels at but is just in general winning enough games to remind people it’s not a bad deck.
RANK 9 – 53 POINTS
The story of Hunter is same old: it’s just not very good. Its best performer, Tonk Hunter, is at best a niche deck used to counter specific matchups or to be queued in highly favorable meta. The other decks are nowhere near the competitive level needed for Top Legend, but with enough perseverance, you can still get Legend with them when the end of the month approaches.
Tonk Hunter is a step up from the Deathattle Hunter featured in the last report, focusing on killing with Darkmoon Tonk rather than on Jewel of N’Zoth value. The more offensive approach has solidified the deck as a Control killer, as many Control and anti-Control decks can’t deal with turns after turns of unavoidable damage. The deck still struggles a lot versus fast decks, but at least Hunter players have something to fall back to when they can’t seem to win.
Even Highlander Hunter’s position has been weakened after the deck received zero good cards other than Felfire Deadeye. The deck is very dependent on draw to win against Aggro and is too fair for the meta in general.
Even Hunter’s playrate dropped significantly when Time Warp isn’t around. The deck was only really good at disposing of Darkglare and Time Warp Mage, and doesn’t really excel t anythng else. Even Hunter struggles to beat Priests unless it goes really heavy, but as with many other decks, you don’t win against Aggro anymore if you beef up. Beast Hunter has gotten some new stuff, but let’s be honest, nobody is getting pumped about Dancing Cobra and Don’t Feed the Animals! Secret Hunter is another deck that has gotten massive buffs. It can produce very consistent tempo in the early game, but the main problem still persists: those tempo rarely transfer into pressure. Therefore, Secret Hunter can be a very good deck versus other Aggro, but can’t hold its own versus decks that spend time setting up like. . . the Top decks currently.
RANK 10 – 27 POINTS
Odd Demon Hunter.