Team WildSide Meta Report (June 2020)
We would like to thank these top legend players who have given us their expert opinions: RenoJackson, Jonahrah, Hijodaikan, Jack, EpigPlayer, Memnarch, xtuliop, Goku, bmking, Beeozan, Malekith and ksr. Their Twitters are to be listed at the end of the report.
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Welcome to the First Edition of Team WildSide’s Wild Meta Snapshot for 2020! 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 58 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!
21st June 2020: Article now includes Copy Deckcode Buttons.
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 capitalise on pocket metas that allow it, however, are either suboptimal or outmeta.
Tier 4 (Average)
Decks at a weaker power level that require an extensive understanding to be able to pilot well, however, are not recommended for ladder experience.
Tier 5 (Meme)
Decks that aren’t typically played to get 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.
Before we move on to the exciting meta stuff, we have an important announcement to make: from now on, the team will no longer be ranking decks in Tier 4 and 5. We are a small team with limited resources, and ranking every single deck in the ever-expanding list of Wild decks will soon be beyond our capacity.
This does not mean we don’t have Tier 4 and 5 decks and we won’t collect the decklists of these decks for you. We completely understand that many of you guys read the report for the meme deck sections. The decks will still be shown under the decklist section, it is just that they will not be ranked.
Now to the meta discussion.
What a hectic few months! We’ve gotten a new expansion, extra cards for Priest (Wild exclusive perk!), nerf reverts, AND a whole new class. The introduction of Demon Hunter is a new breeze to the format, at least in the first couple of weeks where Demon Hunter looks like one of the strongest decks, even in Wild. A couple of rounds of nerf later, the Wild meta pretty feels the same again.
‘Ashes of Outland’ has caused a slight disturbance in the power balance of the meta, not enough to turn it upside down, but certainly is enough to be noticed. While the top two classes are still the same, the distance between them and the rest of the pack has shrunk due to Demon Hunter decks occupying spots in the first two tiers. With the remaining classes, the ones that saw significant boosts to their key decks (Druid, Priest) climbed upward, while the others fell behind. A few new decks popped up here and there, like Discard Warlock, Bomb Warrior, or Murloc Paladin, but most of the new cards are used to improve the established archetypes in some way.
The Wild nerfs had the exact effect as speculated: wiping Darkest Hour Warlock from the face of the Earth while barely touches Time Warp Mage. However, it was enough to deny Time Warp Mage that mythical Tier S status, and reduce it to a mere Tier 1, behind the ancient and omnipresent Pirate Warrior. Unlike SN1P-SN4P Warlock, there are strategies out there that can consistently upset the Mage player. We’ll get to that soon.
As the differentiation in deck power levels becomes apparent, we observed the smallest Tier 1 in a long while. Decks like Secret Mage, although still strong, have some obvious flaws in them to keep them outside of Tier 1. The decks worthy of the top tier are the most well-rounded, most efficient, and can be sported in most pocket meta.
Right now, the most efficient and unforgiving decks are Aggro and fast Combo, resulting in an extremely fast meta. Meanwhile, Control decks are struggling to keep up. Gone are the days we see Jade Druid and Odd Warrior near the top of the charts. If you want to play Control, play ones that can cheat out massive piles of stats like Big Shaman and Cube Warlock.
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 (+3)
Pirate Warrior is a weapon-based aggro deck that relies on a strong early game Pirate synergy to create recurring damage with pirates and weapons. Ship’s Cannon into pirates provide consistent damage, while the Warrior is also capable of cheesing wins with late-game chargers like Leeroy Jenkins and Kor’kron Elite.
Quest Mage is no longer the king of the wild meta, and the deck that has replaced it is none other than the strongest counter. The past few expansions have given Pirate Warrior many new tools. The more recent addition of Corsair Cache to tutor Ancharrr means that Warrior remedied its largest weakness, card draw. Pirate Warrior can take early board faster than almost any deck in the game, and it has a great draw engine in Ancharrr and Cache which allow the deck to keep applying pressure in the midgame. Due to this, Mage has a lot of trouble surviving the early waves of pirates and Ancharrr refills. Other Aggressive strategies such as Demon Hunter, Even Shaman, and Secret Mage are oftentimes outclassed by Pirate Warrior’s first few turns and the refill of Ancharrr. Slower decks such as the Reno decks, Cubelock, and Jade/Maly Druid have answers, but a large upgraded Ancharrr can easily spell doom for these decks.
The most popular version of Pirate Warrior the last weeks has been a list running just Ancharrr in the weapon slot to ensure that it is always drawn by Corsair Cache. In response, almost any deck that could slot in an Ooze has been doing so. Therefore, some players have been shifting to a list that emerged from the Chinese server. Now alongside Ancharrr, there are either two copies of Livewire Lance or Wrenchcalibur. This makes the deck no longer fold to Ooze and ensures that Corsair Cache is no longer a dead card once Ancharrr has been drawn. This decision does come with the trade-off that you will less consistently create a giant Ancharrr. Lance lists have been most popular at high ranks, and while Lance isn’t quite as powerful as Ancharrr, generating lackeys is still great tempo and value.
Pirate Warrior is well-positioned to stomp combo decks, outpace the other aggressive decks, and take a game off any Reno deck that doesn’t have solid answers. If Quest Mage were to see a drastic drop in play, and anti-aggro decks like Odd Warrior were to rise in popularity, Pirate Warrior would see a significant drop in its position in the meta. But that’s very unlikely to be the case.
Time Warp Mage
Ranked: 2 (-1)
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 comfortable set up for lethal.
After months of uncontested dominance, Time Warp Mage has finally lost its throne as the best deck in the meta. Originally, it seemed as if the nerf to Open the Waygate would not be enough to put a kink in Time Mage’s armor, but with aggressive strategies such as Pirate Warrior, Odd Demon Hunter, and Discard Warlock becoming more refined there are several high tier counters to the deck.
It’s important to realize that Time Warp Mage often wins against Aggro with Flamewaker and cheap Giants, not an extra turn. The ability to remove the opponent’s board while developing their own out of nowhere is what makes the deck so oppressive. Sometimes they are dealt a mediocre hand, and that’s when the extra two spells matter. Nevertheless, it’s still next to impossible to win against a great Time Warp Mage hand.
Quest Mage still can win against anything, but with the pace of these aggressive strategies, Quest Mage can have some difficulty climbing aggro pocket metas. Most top players have come to a consensus on the strongest list. Book of Specters is almost universally played over Research Project, but there is still some disagreement over whether or not cards like Arcane Intellect, Starscryer, or Banana Buffoon have a place in the deck.
Combo Reno Priest
Ranked: 3 (+3)
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 and couple up with many cheap cards. Combo Reno Priest either plays Spawn of Shadows or Prophet Velen as its finisher, and it utilizes plenty of cycle cards to get there.
Despite not receiving support in the Ashes of Outland expansion, Reno Priest continues to be a dominant force in the Wild format. The deck has a strong matchup spread—it performs especially well against Aggro like Pirate Warrior and slow Control decks like Big Shaman. Raza the Chained and Shadowreaper Anduin are almost unbeatable when played on curve, while the power of highlander cards and Priest board clears gives ample time to draw the combo pieces. The deck still packs a lot of value, so even if the combo is disrupted or not drawn, it can go the distance against a number of opponents. The Dragon package remains the way to go, as it offers strong anti-Aggro and value tools like Duskbreaker and Drakonid Operative.
Nerfs to Time Warp Mage and Odd Demon Hunter have immensely helped this deck in establishing a strong foothold in the meta. Even though Time Warp Mage remains a horrible matchup, its reduced presence on ladder is not to be underestimted. The increase in Aggro has also positively impacted Reno Priest’s performance. However, it still has other weaknesses. Various flavors of Aviana Druid and Mecha’thun Warlock are difficult opponents, as they are more consistent and faster at executing their combo gameplan. The rise of Galaxy Reno Mage is also an issue. The incredible amounts of mana cheating provided by Luna’s Pocket Galaxy combined with Ice Block are a mix that is difficult to overcome.
Reno Priest will certainly remain a major player in the meta in the coming months, as its hardest matchups are not very common on ladder (apart from Time Warp Mage). Dirty Rat can be an effective tech choice if combo decks increase in popularity.
Control Cube Warlock
Ranked: 4 (-2)
Control Cube Warlock is a specific variant of the Cube Warlock family. This slow Warlock deck plays many slow Deathrattle cards that can gain value from Carnivorous Cube and N’Zoth, the Corruptor. Rather than trying to get on board early, the Warlock defends in the early game with reactive spells like Defile and Dark Skies, before cheating out demons or outvaluing their opponent.
Cube Warlock dropping to Low Tier 1 marks the fall of control decks. Reno Priest, Odd Demon Hunter, and Time Warp Mage are all bad matchups for Cube Warlock, and Pirate Warrior is a 50-50, so the deck can only rely on cheating big minions to stop decks on Tier 2 and below. Expect the deck to slip even further in rank should the meta be dominated by these decks.
Bad Luck Albatross leaving has hurt Cubelock more like it likes to admit. No Enhanced Dreadlord in the world can replace that feeling of Cubing your Albatross and shutting down the opponent’s deck for a good portion of the game. With that said, Dreadlord is a solid card. It’s not a resilient as a Voidlord, but it leaves behind a much bigger body that is much more welcomed from Bloodreaver Gul’dan.
Odd Demon Hunter
Ranked: 5 (+3)
Odd Demon Hunter is a hyper-aggro deck from the newest class in Hearthstone—Demon Hunter. With a plethora of odd-costed early minions that synergizes well with the 1-mana hero power, the deck tries to overwhelm its opponents in the early game. Battlefiend, Lowly Squire, and Satyr Overseer are a few staples in the deck, while Glaivebound Adept and Priestess of Fury serve as finishers.
Odd Demon Hunter was briefly a Top Tier 1 deck in Wild when it was released. Even after two rounds of nerfs, the deck still functions well enough to earn a spot in Tier 1, though it’s certainly not as popular as it was before. With Bad Luck Albatross, Altruis, and Skull of Gul’dan departing, the dominance Demon Hunter once had over Reno decks is very much severed. Nonetheless, the deck still has explosive 1 drops like Battlefiend (nerfed) and Lowly Squire (second nerfed Battlefiend) to get to an aggressive start.
Since the nerfs to many of the deck’s top cards, Odd Demon Hunter players had to get creative. They now play plenty of freeze effects like Frozen Shadoweaver and Glacial Shard to slow down Pirate Warrior and GuardianAugmerchant for better early board control. Some versions like to run Blowtorch Saboteur, but these aren’t often seen anymore since they’re only really good in the mirror.
With only one expansion of Odd Demon Hunter so far, the deck can only get better in the future. The current deck’s only card draw is from Consume Magic and Crimson Sigil Runner, so if they were to add strong draws like Skull of Gul’dan, the deck will return to its former glory.
Editor’s Note: Odd Demon Hunter has received a buff in the form of Twin Slice, which will increase their damage output. We are showcasing the pre-buff versions of Odd Demon Hunter, but feel free to swap out any card for Twin Slice.
Ranked: 2 (+2)
Even Shaman is the midrange deck that gets its name from playing only even-costed cards. Powered by Genn Greymane, the Even Shaman can spam early totems to power up highly-synergistic cards like Vessina, Thing from Below and Draenei Totemcarver. The deck overwhelms opponent in the mid-game with overstatted Overload card which can activate many high-tempo cards such as Likkim and Thunderhead.
Even Shaman has always had this reputation of being a jack-of-all-trades deck, and its proven once again as it survived another expansion without a significant boost. While not seeing much play, it is a very solid option, with the only terrible matchup being Reno Priest.
The only new addition to Even Shaman is The Lurker Below, added following its buff from 3 health to 5 health. The Lurker Below provides great comeback and removal options on top of a bulky body if you target the right minion on board. Some people are adding cards like Cryostasis for extra totem stats and survivability. The most popular build revolves around buffing totems is still the best version, and you shouldn’t try to innovate much past that.
Control Reno Mage
Ranked: 7 (+18)
Control Reno Mage is a slower Highlander deck that relies on not having duplicate cards to activate power spikes such as Reno Jackson, Reno the Relicologist, Kazakus, and Zephrys the Great. Control Reno Mage might play a heavy minion package with Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, or a Big Spell package.
Reno Mage has re-emerged to become the second strongest mage deck in the format, moving to the top of tier 2. Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, in combination with powerful expensive minions and ways to tutor the legendary spell, give Reno Mage explosive mid-late game turns which can overwhelm almost any deck in the meta. Even though the list runs an extremely expensive curve with not much to talk about in terms of removal, the power of both Reno Jackson’s, Zephrys, and Kazakus give the deck a good shot at beating any aggressive strategy. And any slow deck will find it nearly impossible to deal with the tempo of an early Luna’s Pocket Galaxy.
Galaxy Mage can have some problems with consistency, expensive hands with few defensive tools can lead to the deck getting run over by aggressive decks, and if Pocket is buried in a slow matchup, the deck can struggle to be aggressive enough to pressure out the opponent. Galaxy Mage is slow enough that it struggles against Quest Mage, but it fairs better than its Priest counterpart due to Ice Block being able to prevent an OTK and the ability to play Loatheb many turns in a row.
Galaxy Mage is a strong choice for ladder at the moment, especially if you are not seeing much Quest Mage. It might even move up a tier in the future if we see favorable shifts in the meta.
Egg Cube Warlock
Ranked: 8 (+1)
Egg Cube Warlock is a specific variant of the Cube Warlock archetype. It uses early eggs to control the board with highly synergistic cards like Plague of Flames and EVIL Genius. In the later stages, it transitions into a heavy demon package with Voidlord, Doomguard, Mal’Ganis, and Skull of the Man’ari.
There aren’t many reasons to play Egg Cube Warlock right now. It’s just a worse Cubelock, and Cubelocks aren’t exactly hot right now. Sure, you can use Unstable Felbolt to break your Eggs easier, but then the Egg will just get struck down by an Ancharrr or the Warglaives or Azzinoth.
Egg Cube Warlock doesn’t offer that edge against aggro anymore, and Doomguard is the worse win condition against Control than building walls in this meta. We suggest Warlock enthusiasts should stick to traditional Cube versions for the foreseeable future.
Ranked: 9 (+1)
Secret Mage is a variant of Aluneth Aggro Mage. It seizes control of the board in the early game by playing discounted secrets along with highly synergistic secret build-around cards. The deck has the ability to both tutor secrets and deal burn damage, while Aluneth provides a way to utilize all of its value in the most tempo-efficient manner.
Aggro just HATES Flakmage. Most of the time, there isn’t even a way to play around it. The Secret Mage is supposed to be bad against Aggro, now they just roll over and die after one Flakmage. If they haven’t yet, good luck dealing with those Duplicated Flakmages they just generated.
That is why Aggro decks have evolved to keep Secret Mage out of Tier 1. Pirate Warrior can build up big weapons and keep going face. Discard Warlock has Tiny Knight of Evil. Odd Demon Hunter can Warglaives of Azzinoth. As Secret Mage loses more often to both Aggro and Control, it’s no longer one of the top dogs.
Secret Mage is still incredible when you find the right combination of secrets, and Aluneth can simply turn games into non-games. Their arrogance can be their undoing, however. Simply drawing the wrong secrets at the wrong time can cost you the game, if you can’t get Aluneth.
Ranked: 8 (+1)
Discard Warlock is a midrange 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 provides damage to finish off the game.
Discard Warlock is a deck that preys on slow decks with overstatted minions putting unbearable pressure on your opponents; but when your opponent challenges you on board you have a harder time snowballing the game to a victory. With Quest Mage’s tyranny being over and the new combo deck in Reno Priest having better matchups against Discolock, players are starting to drop the deck for decks that perform more consistently. However, highrolls of Disco are still not to be underestimated: the early mana cheat from Kanrethad, the draw from Hand of Gul’dan and cards like Nightshade Matron and Silverware Golem means this deck still has a good shot of snowballing the game against any deck.
Discard Warlock’s main issue is its inability to play from behind. Odd Demon Hunter being a very popular deck that can remove most of your guys for 1 mana is something that you don’t want, and the meta tyrant Pirate Warrior shoots down your minions with Cannon and Skybarge. Its decline might continue if the meta starts to target Pirate Warrior with its bad matchups like Even Shaman, instead of putting Ooze in Reno decks.
Ranked: 11 (RETURNING)
Bomb Warrior is a midrange deck that relies on damage output from cards that shuffle bombs into its opponents’ decks. It aims to seize the board with early cards like Risky Skipper and Bloodboil Brute and hold out until the opponent dies from taking bomb damage. There are many different supporting packages in addition to bombs, but the most popular version plays an Enrage package.
Bomb Warrior in its current form is an exciting new deck. Bomb Warrior has seen fringe play before, but the deck struggled to handle more aggressive decks and it had trouble putting on enough pressure to beat the slower decks. With the release of Risky Skipper, Bomb Warrior has gained both an oppressive anti-aggro tool and a draw engine to allow for massive card draw with Battlerage. The deck is quite similar to its standard counterpart, but it does gain a boost with Town Criers, Zilliax, Loatheb, and Sn1p-Sn4p. Skipper and Armorsmith to clear the board while gaining massive amounts of Armor in 1 turn and life-gain turns against aggro while using the bombs and midrange minions to pressure down and control or combo decks.
The current meta is a perfect storm for Bomb Warrior. All the Reno decks get their powerful cards turned off when multiple bombs are shuffled into their deck, and they will most likely die to the inevitably of the bombs before they can apply enough counter-pressure. Aggressive decks like Pirate Warrior and Demon Hunter struggle to play any minion that can survive Skipper turns. However, Bomb Warrior can struggle against fast decks if it can’t draw Skippers in time.
The only matchups that Bomb Warrior struggles in are those in which immense early pressure is needed. Decks like Cubelock and Quest Mage have little trouble answering the Midrange bomb minions, and they can both close out the game before they draw enough bombs to have their life total threatened. Druid can also be an uphill battle for Bomb Warrior as their immense armor gain outlast the damage the bombs can deal with. Fortunately for Bomb Warrior, all three of these decks have seen a drop in play.
Ranked: 12 (-10)
Jade Druid is a Control-Fatigue deck that aims to outlast its opponents by generating infinite Jade Golems. Jade Idol allows for this Fatigue-heavy playstyle, while access to various stall cards and board clears like Malfurion the Pestilent, Poison Seeds, Ferocious Howl, and Spreading Plague means the Druid can often comfortably get there. The deck reloads by lategame card draws such as Ultimate Infestation and Overflow. Jade Druid can comfortably go to fatigue, but oftentimes it just wins by surviving.
Jade Druid has had a fall from grace these last couple months in Wild, despite getting new exciting cards like Fungal Fortunes and Overgrowth. The late game of Jade Idols is still woefully powercrept by other late-game strategies. Even with the boosts that Kael’thas and Fungal Fortunes have given the deck, Jade Druid will still find its large green men are not enough to compete with one mana minions, Anduin pings, or Multiple N’zoths/Guldans. Even the aggressive matchups in which Jade Druid used to thrive are no longer so favorable. Druid cannot do much in the face of a large Ancharrr, and Warglaives of Azzinoth can efficiently chop down a Spreading Plague.
Jade Druid does still have the potential to win games. Large swing turns with Kael’thas or Floop’s Glorious Gloop can allow the deck to beat any of the decks in tier one, but in general, the deck is both hard to play and not strong enough to be considered a top choice for ladder anymore.
Tempo Galakrond Warrior
Rank: 13 (-1)
Tempo Galakrond Warrior, as the name suggests, is a midrange deck that wins by outtempoing the opponent in the mid-game. Apart from some key Tempo cards like Kor’kron Elite, this version of Tempo Warrior relies on the Galakrond core that keeps recharging the hero’s attack as it piles up its Invoke count. Tempo Warrior can secure the victory by playing overstatted minions that are drawn from Galakrond on top of its previously generated tempo.
Galakrond Warrior got some new tools such as Corsair Cache tutoring Ritual Chopper or a Wrenchcalibur. Galakrond has good matchups against Reno decks, with a buffed Wrenchcalibur + the invokes + charge minions providing a lot of gas. Invokes can also be used for removal which makes the matchup spread for this deck less polarized.
However, Galakrond Warrior’s playrate is suffering, as players are moving away from it to Pirate Warrior. Galakrond Warrior, even with cards like Scion of Ruin, cannot compete as well on board compared to Pirate Warrior. You’ll find yourself losing board more often than not against the better decks, and your power turns aren’t really enough to come back into the game. Hope is not lost for the deck though, as more players are starting to tech against Pirates with Golakka and Ooze, which are less effective against Galakrond Warrior.
One change in Galakrond Warrior builds could be adapting Risky Skipper package, which looks very promising in Bomb Warrior and helps fight aggro in the midgame where Galakrond Warrior is lacking, to survive until its big minions checkmate the opponents.
Ranked: 14 (+18)
Big Shaman is a control deck that gets its name from cheating big minions. Ancestor’s Call, Muckmorpher, and Eureka! are essential to the strategy, as they allow big minions like Y’Shaarj and Scrapyard Colossus to enter play way earlier than they should. Other than that, the deck plays plenty of healing, AOEs, and removals for survival.
Big Shaman has received tons of support in Ashes of Outland and finally has tools necessary to be a strong performer in the meta. The most important new inclusion is Scrapyard Colossus. It offers only 4 points of combined health less than Voidlord, but has a much higher attack, which makes it an incredibly strong minion when cheated out in early turns. It also synergizes extremely well with Muckmorpher, as the Deathrattle part is not affected by the stat reduction. Other additions are the new spells. Serpentshrine Portal and Torrent provide Big Shaman with efficient removal in early turns, while Vivid Spores allow sticking threatening boards against Control decks. The ability to cheat out Scrapyard Colossus and Walking Fountain, in conjunction with an efficient removal package, makes Big Shaman a very strong performer against Aggro decks. It also has access to incredibly powerful highrolls with Ancestor’s Call into Y’Shaarj, which can easily snowball games out of control. Surprisingly, the matchup against Time Warp Mage is fairly good—Scrapyard Colossi with Ancestral Spirit and Vivid Spores are very hard to break through for the Mage, while threatening opponent’s life total at the same time. The new powerful card additions warrant completely moving away from Reincarnate and smaller Deathrattle minions.
New cards and increase in Aggro in the meta have significantly boosted Big Shaman’s position. Its main issue is bad matchup into Reno Priest—Psychic Scream, Mass Dispel, and Zephrys are backbreaking for the Shaman player. It can also sometimes lose to some inherent inconsistencies—for example, pulling the wrong minion with mana cheat spells or having the first few threats answered and being left with no more ways to get on board. Silence and transform effects are very effective against Big Shaman, in case it becomes a common matchup. As long as meta features a high number of Aggro decks, Big Shaman will remain relevant on ladder.
Ranked: 11 (+1)
Odd Paladin is a aggressive-midrange deck which gains its name for 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.
In a world with “one mana deals two” hero powers and massive floods of early pirates, Odd Paladin is finding that itself outclassed in the early game. The deck has never had a great ability to come back on board, a situation it will find itself in often against the Tier 1 aggro decks. Most high tier decks that aren’t straight up beating Paladin on the board are running a variety of cheap AOEs. This means that Odd Paladin might struggle to stick their dudes to the board and buff them with Quartermaster. However, Odd Paladin still has cards like sidequest and Never Surrender at their disposal to make their dudes stick to the board, and one turn of unanswered recruits can be all the deck needs to snowball the game out of control.
Even with the glaring weaknesses, Odd Paladin still makes it into mid-tier two because of how strong the hero power is. One of two awkward turns from an opponent can be just enough for the deck to squeeze out a win. Meta powerhouses like Time Warp Mage and Reno Mage can struggle to deal with the constant flood of recruits as both decks are light on AOE cards. Unfortunately for Odd Paladin, almost all other high tier decks are more than able to handle their flood, leaving the deck a husk of its former self. Greedier strategies that Odd Paladin used to prey on have been all but eradicated in a meta warped around Time Warp Mage. Unless Time Warp Mage falls by the wayside, it is hard to see Odd Paladin ever working its way back up the rankings.
Ranked: 15 (+1)
Mecha’thun Warlock is a Control-Combo deck that revolves around cycling until you run out of cards and finish off your opponent with Dorian andPlot Twist into Cataclysm, with an Emperor tick on the former two. Older versions of this archetype utilized a Voidlord package for survival, but it has been mostly abandoned in favor of a turbo cycle version with several cheap draw minions and Plague of Flames.
Even though the Bloodbloom was nerfed, Mecha’thun Warlock lives on. The combo is still possible thanks to Kael’thas, Dollmaster Dorian and Plot Twist. On top of that, it requires no setup, as cost reduction from Emperor Thaurissan is not needed anymore. The new combo core also changed how the deck is built—Valdris Felgorge has been cut in favor of Hemet, Jungle Hunter, which makes the combo executable as soon as turn 7 with the Coin. Another minor addition is Unstable Felbolt—it offers efficient removal in the early game and can be easily dumped out of hand for just 1 mana. The deck’s combo gameplan is efficient and consistent, which makes it incredibly powerful against slow Combo and Control decks.
The new combo core has made Mecha’thun Warlock a more polarizing deck than before. It is now even more oppressive for slow Control and Combo decks, but it is no longer a strong performer against Aggro. It runs more dead cards compared to the old version (double Plot Twist, Hemet), which reduces its defensive capabilities.
Furthermore, Time Warp Mage matchup is still almost unwinnable, which prevents Mecha’thun Warlock from being a powerful force in the meta. It is unlikely that the deck becomes better without new support being printed. In addition to that, Dirty Rat is very effective against the new combo core, which now features 3 minions.
Mech Handbuff Paladin
Ranked: 17 (-3)
Mech Handbuff Paladin is a premier aggro deck that maximises the highroll potential of efficient mech and handbuff cards. Early handbuff cards like Smuggler’s Run and Grimestreet Outfitter buffs up other mechs, who retain their buffed stats when magnetized on existing minions. Mechwarper and Galvanizer allow for really early swarm boards.
Mech Paladin faces many of the same struggles as Odd Paladin. Other Aggro decks can simply build up too much of an early lead, and control is simply too good at removing large early boards, meaning the buffed magnetic mechs will have trouble connecting. Mech Paladin has always struggled with consistency, if a handbuff or mana cheat card is not drawn the deck can fall quite short of the explosive early turns it is capable of.
The deck has received a slight boost in the form of Replicat-o-tron. This card has great synergy with the handbuffs/magnetic cards and if it manages to stick on the board the game will quickly snowball out of control, which actually happens more often than not. On ladder, you are likely to see quite polarized results with Mech Paladin. In some games, you will draw your handbuffs and some mana cheat with Mechwarper/Galvanizer and just blow your opponent out of the water. In other games, these cards will be buried and you will be stuck playing out a weak curve of unbuffed mechs. Due to the inconsistency of the deck, as well as Silence effects being ever-present, Mech Paladin has fallen to low tier two.
Ranked: 17 (-5)
Aggro Rogue is an aggressive deck that relies on cheap minions (usually pirates) to take control of the early game. The deck traditionally utilizes efficient damage cards like Eviscerate and card draws like Myra’s Unstable Element to finish the job.
Aggro Rogue builds utilizing Stealth packages look like the best right now, with Ashes of Outland featuring a lot of good Stealth cards like Spymistress, Ashtongue Slayer, and Greyheart Sage. The power of these cards combined with One-Eyed Cheat and Skyvateer bringing their Pirate buddies along with a very lovely Cannon makes this deck a force to be reckoned with. Explosive starts and efficient draw cards make this deck very good at killing opponents, especially when they don’t want to react and do their own thing as Quest Mage does.
Aggro Rogue has gone downhill with the recent meta shifts, as it is less durable on board compared to Pirate Warrior, especially because they have double the number of Cannons and those are pretty good at clearing stealthed minions; and Zephrys is devastating even when used for a Whirlwind. However, one saving grace of this deck is Stealth counters targeted freeze/removal such as Penance, Ray of Frost and Glacial Shard, and is very good against current Demon Hunter builds, since those have no cards to deal with a stealthed One-Eyed Cheat; which will keep hitting Illidan’s face as he turns into a Skyrim NPC with an unsheathed Warglaives of Azzinoth, running around in confusion trying to find where your minions are. It’s also more explosive when compared to its sister deck Kingsbane Rogue, which is positive when trying to choose between the two.
An interesting debate while building this deck revolves around Myra’s Unstable Element: the card has been considered core in Aggro Rogue variants ever since Kingsbane Rogue popped up in Rastakhan’s Rumble. However, Greyheart Sage and Skyvateer work against you if you get them from Myra’s, and the addition of Raiding Party on top of the already existing draw makes Myra’s less necessary. No Kingsbane in the deck also means Fatigue might become an issue after Myra’s is cast. Even then, Myra’s is still a really good card and Myra’s approach might prove to be the best.
Reno Time Warp Mage
Ranked: 19 (-8)
Reno Time Warp Mage is a Highlander deck that occupies the spot between Reno Mage and Time Warp Mage. On one hand, it retains the powerful extra turn win-condition provided by the quest. On the other hand, it uses Kazakus, Reno the Relicologist, Reno Jackson, and Zephrys the Great as stabilizing tools or extra value.
The nerf to Open the Waygate has affected Reno Time Warp Mage way more than its non-Highlander cousin, making it even weaker than before. The only new addition in the Ashes of Outland is Evocation. While strong, it is far less powerful than in regular Time Warp Mage, due to hand size issues and no access to Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Reno Time Warp Mage only beats slow Control decks, however, thanks to powerful highlander cards, it does not lose very badly to anything.
The main redeeming quality of the deck is a better matchup against aggro (though still unfavored) than its faster twin. Unfortunately, it does not offer much more at the moment. The Dragon package provides a good amount of value, what lets Reno Time Warp Mage play out similar to regular Control decks, however, Galaxy Reno Mage does this job much better. It cannot deal effectively with early highrolls from other decks. It is worth noting that the maximum damage output is higher than for regular Time Warp Mage, although it requires extensive setup. This may be potentially useful against decks that stack very high armor.
While other decks got stronger, Reno Time Warp Mage did not manage to accomplish the same. There is little reason to play this deck, as it is simply too slow for the current meta. It is also difficult to fit in tech cards, as it slows down quest completion. Regular Time Warp Mage and Galaxy Reno Mage are superior choices for the ladder. It is very unlikely Reno Time Warp Mage becomes relevant in the meta without new powerful support being printed.
Ranked: 20 (-3)
Murloc Paladin is an aggro deck that relies on Murloc tribal synergies to flood the board in the early turns. Seizing control from Turn 1 with cards like Murloc Tidecaller is essential to chain buff the Murlocs and finish the game with Murloc Warleader or other board aura. Murloc Paladin also benefits from strong Paladin spells like Tip the Scales, Call to Arms, and Crystology.
The release of Underlight Angling Rod has seen an old favorite returning to the wild meta. This weapon serves a similar purpose to Ancharrr in Pirate Warrior, giving both tempo and refill. It can be a struggle to get the relatively weak Murlocs to stick to the board, but if they do, Murloc synergies can lead to some stunningly fast lethals. There are two main builds of Murloc Paladin on ladder at the moment; one runs Crystology to give the deck an efficient draw engine, while the other runs the Tip the Scales/Prismatic Lens package to give Murloc Paladin a way to cheat out seven murlocs at once at the price of only a few mana crystals.
Murloc Paladin’s main strength in the current Meta is a strong matchup against Time Warp Mage. The mage cannot efficiently answer the early murlocs, which can easily snowball into minions too large for any Flamewaker to clear. There aren’t too many other positives for Murloc Paladin, though. Other aggressive decks have little trouble keeping the board clear of murlocs, and Megasaur/Coldlight Seer is not always enough to make murlocs survive early AOEs. It is always possible that early murlocs can go uncontested and snowball into a victory, but for now, Murloc Paladin is limited to being an inconsistent aggro deck only really capable of countering Time Warp Mage.
Rank: 21 (-6)
Togwaggle Druid refers to any combo deck that uses the interaction between Togwaggle and Azalina with the aim of disabling the opponent’s access to more resources. Togwaggle Druid traditionally plays Aviana and Kun as enablers for their combo turn, but the release of Imprisoned Satyr and Jepetto Joybuzz has made it possible to swap decks without playing Aviana first.
Togwaggle Druid received very few tools in Ashes of Outland. The main new addition is Overgrowth. Unfortunately, as it needs the combo to win, Fungal Fortunes cannot be used. The deck is effective against any slow Combo and Control decks, most importantly Reno Priest, while still having decent matchup against aggro with the Oaken Summons package. Another interesting application for Oaken Summons is to fish out the new Imprisoned Satyr, which can discount a combo piece for free.
Due to an increase in Aggro’s presence in the meta, Juicy Psychmelon can be cut in order to fit in more removal. The deck is also very difficult to pilot, which can further bring down the winrate for inexperienced players.
Being unable to use Fungal Fortunes and Kael’thas effectively, Togwaggle Druid has been left behind in the current meta. Aggro decks have gotten much stronger, rendering the Druid’s defensive package insufficient to consistently score wins against them. Furthermore, the deck still has to deal with some inconsistencies, as it has never truly recovered from the Aviana nerf to 10 mana. It is unlikely that Togwaggle Druid will become relevant in the meta without new powerful support being printed.
Aggro Demon Hunter
Ranked: 22 (-3)
Aggro Demon Hunter is another hyper-aggro deck from the newest class in Hearthstone—Demon Hunter. Instead of leveraging off of a 2-attack hero power, Aggro Demon Hunter employs high tempo class cards like Umberwing and Altruis the Outcast to deal huge amounts of damage in the early turns. The most popular Neutral package in Aggro Demon Hunter right now is a Pirate package.
Aggro Demon Hunter in Wild is not having a very good time. As a deck that has a lot of damage pointable at the enemy face over the course of the game, it doesn’t suit a metagame where Baku/Genn decks and Pirate Warrior just beat it on the board and pressure it harder. Demon Hunter cards keep getting nerfed, and its niche of pressuring decks that want to play Solitaire isn’t in very high demand since the Time Warp Mage nerf. Other decks like Even Shaman which had even matchups against Quest Mage are now more favored. Reno Priest being a deck with very high healing capabilities doesn’t help Aggro Demon Hunter either, as you will find all the damage directed at their face might not be enough before the Priest hero powers you to 0 HP. All this leads to Aggro DH falling out of popularity.
The current Aggro Demon Hunter list plays a Pirate package and good burn cards like Metamorphosis, Kayn Sunfury, and Leeroy Jenkins. Having the freedom to put Even-costed cards like Twin Slice, Chaos Strike and Umberwing also makes your early turns okay, but don’t get baited into playing for board too much, you need to connect as much damage to face as possible to maximize your chances of winning the game.
Editor’s Note: Aggro Demon Hunter suffered a blow with the nerf to Twin Slice. The deck might not even be good enough for Tier 2 anymore.
Ranked: 24 (+2)
Odd Rogue is a tempo-midrange deck that gains its name for 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 as well as early board control and allows it to play a variety of synergistic Combo and Pirate cards.
Odd Rogue still has its niche: it preys on other Aggro decks like Odd Demon Hunter. A consistent 2/2 dagger, Magic Carpet, Evil Miscreant and Faceless Corruptor are amazing cards against other aggro, and are good enough to secure wins comfortably against every aggro deck bar Pirate Warrior. Odd Rogue’s core has stayed the same for the most part, with Spymistress being the only new card being played; although some players are making space for a mini Stealth package with Greyheart Sage.
Looking toward the future, Odd Rogue needs a reliable way to beat its worst matchups—Reno decks. Odd Rogue runs out of steam against these decks often, even when it opts to play more late-game through cards like Cursed Vagrant or disruption with Boompistol Bully and Shadowcasters. And the deck becomes less consistent in its good matchups by these changes and loses its main reason as to why it’s good. For now, it is outclassed by Baku favorite Odd Demon Hunter, a deck that functions more or less the same, but has a more comfortable time into these parts of the meta.
Inner Fire Priest
Ranked: 25 (-1)
Inner Fire Priest is any variant of Combo Priest that uses its namesake card – Inner Fire – as the main win-condition. Utilizing high health cards like High Priest Amet and Deathlord, the Priest buffs them up with Power Word: Shield, Divine Spirit, and other cards to create a huge Inner Fire minion. Northshire Cleric serves as an excellent draw engine, and it can sometimes even draw the Priest a full hand in a single turn.
Inner Fire Priest has received an incredibly powerful card in Ashes of Outland: Sethekk Veilweaver. This alone put it on the map again; however, it is still not a major meta player. Another interesting addition is Renew, which synergizes very well with Auchenai Phantasm, Northshire Cleric, and Sethekk Veilweaver. The new build focuses on getting on board as fast as possible and securing it with multiple health buffing spells and minions, in order to prepare for the Inner Fire + Divine Spirit OTK. It is the fastest Combo deck in the meta, which allows it to beat Time Warp Mage and slow Control decks.
Despite that, Inner Fire Priest struggles to come back on board if it falls behind, with the only real comeback tool being Auchenai + Circle of Healing combo. Due to the high presence of Aggro in the meta, Inner Fire Priest remains a niche deck. Weapons are also a major issue when it comes to establishing board control, as they can trade multiple minions. Upgraded Ancharr, Warglaives and Devolve prevent it from establishing board control. Furthermore, silence and transform effects are backbreaking for Inner Fire Priest, what makes it weak against Even Shaman. The deck has big highroll potential and can kill as soon as turn 3-4 with perfect draw. The deck is also very difficult to pilot, what further lowers its presence on ladder.
Ranked: 26 (-3)
Token Druid is a deck revolving around generating wide boards of minions with spells multiple times until the opponent is unable to remove it. Then, it uses cards like Savage Roar and Branching Paths to deal heavy damage to the opponent, usually killing them outright. It features standard Druid defensive package and strong card draw in order to consistently generate boards of tokens. Soul of the Forest is used to protect tokens from board clears.
Token Druid has received two extremely powerful cards in Ashes of Outland—Fungal Fortunes and Glowfly Swarm. This allows the deck to consistently generate wide boards of tokens and threaten lethal. However, even though the new cards are powerful, the main strategy of the deck is just too fair for the Wild format. It gives the opponent a turn to answer the threats, so it can only accomplish its goal if the opponent fails to draw a sufficient number of removal cards.
Overall, Token Druid has fairly okay performance across the board. It loses badly to Even Shaman but can handle Pirate Warrior and Odd Demon Hunter surprisingly well, which put it in Tier 3. With further development, the deck could become Tier 2, but currently, it sees very little play. We will keep an eye on this deck, as we believe it has room for improvement.
The deck can be teched with the Oaken Summons package in order to improve aggressive matchups, and this is the approach we recommend.
Ranked: 27 (-5)
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.
Odd Warrior has fallen a tier in this meta report. Players have come to realize there is no real purpose in playing this deck on ladder with intentions to climb as Reno Priest proves to be equally as powerful against aggressive strategies whilst having good matchups against slower decks, something Odd Warrior can’t boast about. Funnily enough, Odd Warrior isn’t even the best anti-aggro deck in the meta. If the aggressive deck has a good early game followed by Aluneth, Metamorphosis, or Loatheb, it is going to be overwhelming for Odd Warrior.
Against greedy non-aggressive strategies, Odd Warrior usually has a hard time, as the concept of having no real win conditions other than outlasting your opponent doesn’t work as well when facing a deck that is designed to out value and grind the Odd Warrior to its cordial demises, such as Cube Warlock and Galaxy Control Mage. All hope is not lost in these Control matchups, as the combination of Brann Bronzebeard and Coldlight Oracle has the potential to mill important cards to cheese a win. The mere threat of this combo usually causes opponents to play haphazardly, frantically dumping cards from their hand trying to avoid this possibility which works out well for the Odd Warrior as the plethora of board clears at your arsenal shall effectively punish such plays.
Ranked: 28 (-8)
Kingsbane Rogue is a deck that revolves around buffing and redrawing its namesake card, Kingsbane, to create an infinite amount of damage that can eventually 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.
The rotation patch this year had good news for Kingsbane Rogue: Raiding Party is back! Once the queen of the wild meta, Kingsbane Rogue had been mostly abandoned when the backbone of the deck was shattered with two nerfs in one patch; but when it was announced Raiding Party would be 3 mana again, fans of this deck were hyped. The unnerf wasn’t enough though, as Valeera finds herself in a very different environment compared to last year.
During the last year, Kingsbane Rogue got some support through cards such as Parachute Brigand and Bloodsail Flybooter, but this turned out to be a double-edged sword: Other Aggro Rogue variants are benefiting more from these cards, and Brigand, in particular, is a very good card in Pirate Warrior, which has been a bad matchup for Kingsbane since forever. Ancharr being a key part of the metagame doesn’t suit Kingsbane either: all the Oozes flying around are hurting Kingsbane even more it seems.
The deck’s matchup spread is similar to Stealth Rogue, where it wins against decks like Quest Mage as well; but the advantages to running Stealth cards are more glaring, as there are a lot of targeted effects Stealth will dodge. The infinite damage fantasy Kingsbane Rogue provides doesn’t look like a good enough reason to play the deck, as you’ll find yourself disrupted way too much from Zephyrses and Gluttonous Oozes for that to matter. For now, Kingsbane will have to step down and let One-Eyed Cheat does his job.
Ranked: 29 (0)
Reno Hunter is a Highlander deck that relies on not having duplicate cards to activate power spikes such as Reno Jackson, Dinotamer Brann, and Zephrys the Great. Reno Hunters are usually built pretty aggressively and revolves around playing either small beasts or big beasts. But generally, the Hunter’s gameplan involves much more pressure than other Reno decks.
Reno Hunter finds itself in High Tier 3 throughout the Ashes of Outland meta, which is a slight improvement compared to where it was last expansion. The new cards it received in the last two expansions greatly helped the deck. Reno Hunter is a jack-of-all-trades type of deck by its nature, it wants to play the control game against aggro with rush minions like Zixor, Gryphon, and Shaw; removal, and of course, its highlander cards. When you face a slower deck like a Highlander mirror it wants to pressure them with Stormhammer, dragons and Dinotamer Brann. It also welcomed the Call of the Wild unnerf, which isn’t the legendary game-ender it once was in WotOG, but still a good card by all means.
Reno Hunter likes the Time Warp Mage and Darkest Hour nerfs, as both of the decks didn’t struggle very hard to checkmate Reno Hunter out of the game; and with their nerfs aggro decks and Baku/Genn decks rose up in popularity which makes Reno Hunter better positioned in the meta. Unfortunately, Reno Hunter still lacks that oomph to push it to the top of the meta, with its toolkit being more “fair” compared to other decks that thrive in the Wild format. Still, we recommend playing this deck if you’re a Rexxar fan as it is the most successful deck Hunter has right now.
Ranked: 30 (-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.
Reno Warlock has seen minor improvements over the past few months, with the inclusion of Unstable Felbolt and Enhanced Dreadlord, but is still the inferior Warlock deck. While Cubelock can play a bunch of broken pairs, Reno Warlock can only utilize a single copy of them, all the while desperately praying that Reno and Zephrys can make up for their weaknesses somehow. The deck is still not consistent enough to gain an edge over Cube Warlock, and it certainly doesn’t have as much value.
One thing Reno Warlock does better than other Warlock decks is the matchup against Aggro, particularly Pirate Warrior. Being able to slot in two Oozes and Golakka Crawler helped immensely, while Reno Jackson and Zephrys comes in clutch in dire times. That’s not enough to propel Reno Warlock anywhere higher than Tier 3, though. For now, it is mostly reserved for Warlock enthusiasts.
Ranked: 31 (-3)
Aggro Druid is an aggressive deck that plays a large number of small tokens then buff them up with cheap board buffs like Mark of the Lotus and Power of the Wild. Aggro Druid typically plays small Beasts and good early token generators, but there have been tribal-focused decks like Pirate, Mech, or Water Druid.
Aggro Druid has not received any new cards in Ashes of Outland. The Embiggen build from Descent of Dragons remains to be the go-to pick. The biggest selling point of this deck is a strong matchup against Time Warp Mage. It can do well if it is allowed to get on board uncontested and snowball with buffs, which can make it effective against decks that do not have good early plays. However, once it loses board control, it has extremely limited comeback mechanics and has almost no burn to secure the kill. Aggro Druid has a big highroll potential with Parachute Brigands and Embiggen, which can steal games from most of the meta, although it does not happen consistently.
Aggro Druid relies mostly on Embiggen highrolls and is pretty weak without early 3/3 Patches. Most of the decks in the meta can keep it off board effectively, nullifying the Savage Roar burst. The deck is unlikely to become relevant in the meta without powerful new support cards being printed.
Ranked: 32 (-12)
Even Hunter is an aggressive midrange deck that leverages a 1-mana hero power granted by Genn Greymane to finish the game early. An abundance of hero-power synergistic cards like Steamwheedle Sniper, Garrison Commander, Phase Stalker, and Dragonbane helps the deck seize control of the early game and unleash recurring damage.
Even Hunter is a deck that got a lot of cards this expansion: Imprisoned Felmaw, Pack Tactics and Scavenger’s Ingenuity (tutors Phase Stalker, unfortunately card got nerfed and might not be in the deck anymore) perform very well in the deck. The deck is very good into Time Warp Mage and Rogue variants, but as those decks are getting more unpopular, Even Hunter is losing its prey on the ladder.
The rise of Warriors became a huge issue for Even Hunter and it shows, as the deck dropped 12 rankings, all the way to Tier 3. While it can handle Demon Hunters, all kinds of Warrior decks are abysmal matchups for this deck. Even with a Golakka tech, the matchup against Pirate Warrior still isn’t favorable.
Fan favorite death knight Deathstalker Rexxar is showing up in Even Hunter decklists, and while it might be because people love to play him; giving up your 1 mana Hero Power is going to lose you games more than it will win and in many games you’ll have him stuck in your hand hoping it was a Quick Shot instead. Therefore, if you want to win as many games possible while playing Even Hunter,
just switch deck Deathstalker becomes a bait, because even when it’s supposed to be good against decks like Reno Priest, turns out the randomness of the Zombeasts isn’t usually enough to finish off the game before you get machine gunned.
There isn’t much to do about Even Hunter’s sorry state in the meta. All the Oozes and Golakkas of the world won’t save it from getting obliterated by Ship’s Cannon, and get ready to kiss your soul goodbye every time you hear “We’re gonna be rich!”
Ranked: 32 (RETURNING)
Malygos Druid is a Combo deck that revolves around Malygos in order to buff damage of cheap burn spells and OTK the opponent. Currently, the most common shell is Aviana and Kun the Forgotten King, which enables extreme mana cheating on the combo turn. Tutor cards like Juicy Psychmelon and Jepetoo Joybuzz are used to improve the consistency of the combo.
Malygos Druid has received several new cards in Ashes of Outland expansion, however, not all of them can be played at the same time. There has been experimentation with different variants. We think the most effective version is the one featuring Sathrovarr and Kael’thas to maximize damage potential against armor decks. Sathrovarr makes the damage output extremely high, allowing OTK even against Jade Druid and Odd Warrior. The new cards have their applications. Overgrowth is used to ramp rapidly, while Kael’thas—tutorable by Juicy Psychmelon—lets the Druid cheat out Ultimate Infestations both on and outside of combo turns.
Malygos Druid only beats slow Control and Combo decks, like Reno Priest or Jade Druid. It also has highroll potential thanks to Jepetto Joybuzz, as a 1 mana Aviana can allow insane combos in the mid-game. Unfortunately, the deck is fairly inconsistent and requires many combo pieces. This makes its winrate against Aggro extremely bad, Druid player will need an incredibly strong draw to overcome early aggression. In addition to that, Ice Block is also a major problem. As the spells buffed by multiple copies of Malygos deal more than 15 damage, it is possible that Mage will still be left at a comfortable life total after clearing the combo board.
Class Meta Ranking
Rank 1 (0) – 463 points
Warlock is still the best class after the release of Ashes of Outland, but they’ve dropped a whole 200 points since then. Many of their slower archetypes have been considerably weaker due to new hostile Combo Reno Priest, or is completely wiped out like Darkest Hour Warlock, but the aggressive Discard Warlock jumped in just in time to ensure the King holds on to his throne. It is looking grimmer for Warlock as the meta settles, though, as Cubelock being pushed from the top tier. We might get to see a new overlord soon.
The two sub-archetypes of Cube Warlock are starting to diverge in power level. One might think the Control Cube Warlock will actually get weaker following the departure of Bad Luck Albatross; however, Kantherad Ebonlocke and Enhanced Dreadlord brought enough to the table to offset this loss somewhat. Cube Warlock still has enough resilience to withstand early Giant turns, while dealing with Aggro with their abundance of removals.
Meanwhile, Egg Cube Warlock is really falling behind. The early game Egg package is sometimes not enough to fend off aggressive aggro like Pirate Warrior or Discard Warlock, while the use of Taldaram over Dark Skies means one fewer option for early game removal. Egg Warlock’s main late game comes from Doomguards, and Doomguards are not as desirable as several N’Zoths and Bloodreaver Gul’dans. Note that by ‘falling behind’, we mean that the Egg variant simply fell to the Bottom of Tier 1, not that it’s no longer powerful.
Discard Warlock is one of the most exciting breakthroughs of the new expansion. Lesson learned—when you keep incrementally push something for every expansion, eventually, it will work. Discard Warlock made the most gigantic jump ever to the very top of Tier 2, which might seem controversial but ultimately deserving. The firepower from the new additions made the deck more consistent than ever, and that is everything Discard ever really needed.
Darkest Hour Warlock has completely disappeared following the nerf to Bloodbloom, and it was expected that Mecha’thun Warlock would suffer the same fate. Instead, Mecha’thun proves its longevity by simply replacing Bloodbloom with a new engine: Kael’thas Sunstrider. The deck can still combo pretty much around the same turn as the earlier version, and is still pretty much as strong.
Reno Warlock has a few upgrades that keeps it at the top of Tier 3, but it’s mostly reserved for veteran who are looking for an old-timey experience. There are still many people loving the deck, and they keep on refining it to keep it somewhat relevant in the meta.
Rank 2 (0) – 441 points
While Time Warp Mage is still the strongest deck in the game, Mage as a class is severed. As both Reno Time Warp Mage and Secret Mage are kicked out of Tier 1, Jaina was unable to capitalize on Gul’dan’s weakening.
The Open the Waygate nerf is comparable to a small pebble inside Time Warp Mage’s shoes. It’s worth noting that the nerf is somewhat offset by the introduction of the 1-mana spell Evocation, which makes spell generation relatively easy. There are only a few cases where the extra spells matter, though, which are often when the Mage is having a subpar hand, most likely without Flamewakers, or when the Aggro deck has a really explosive opening, and the Mage needs one more turn to finish the game. The winrate of Aggro against Time Warp Mage is thought to be bumped up by a few percentages as a result, which is enough for clear counter decks to emerge. Pirate Warrior, Aggro Druid, Kingsbane Rogue, and all variants of fast Paladins can achieve good success against Time Warp Mage.
Open the Waygate nerf hits Reno Time Warp much harder than its non-Highlander cousin. It’s marginally more difficult for the Reno version to fulfill its 8-spell condition, as they have far fewer spell generators, and Evocation doesn’t work nearly as well with a much heavier hand. The deck is now placed within Tier 2 for this reason.
Meanwhile, Reno Galaxy Mage resurfaced as a counter to slower decks, while not losing much against Aggro. Galaxy Mage is a strong choice for ladder at the moment, especially if you are not seeing much Quest Mage. It might even move up a tier in the future if we see favorable shifts in the meta.
Secret Mage is another deck that isn’t too hot in this meta. We’re getting to a point that many decks can actually survive a Turn 6 Aluneth, which makes Secret Mage not all that strong against the top performers like Reno Priest. It’s funny to see the day Secret Mage does better against other Aggro than against Control, but anything is possible with a game-changer like Arcane Flakmage.
Reno Secret Mage is just Secret Mage but weaker. Odd Mage can now play Evocation, but the rest of the deck just isn’t that strong. It looks like Mage won’t have another blossoming archetype in the coming months.
Rank 3 (0) – 413 points
Warrior is slowly cementing its position as the gatekeeper against some of the most oppressive strategies in Wild. Nevertheless, Garrosh is still pretty impressive. It’s three main catalysts—Pirate Warrior, Bomb Warrior, and Odd Warrior—can be used to target different pocket meta for an untroubled climb.
Corsair Cache tutoring Ancharrr must be the single greatest adjustment to Pirate Warrior that we’ve seen in two years. Ancharrr rarely runs out of charges before the game ends, and can draw you your whole deck in the process (hence the new name Reload Warrior). Pirate Warrior now has plenty of staying power to play the longer game, which is crucial in matchups against decks like Reno Combo Priest. The fact that it’s also the best deck—a clear favorite we dare say—into Time Warp Mage makes it all the more terrifying. Other decks seem to be catching on to the trend, and the increasing number of Oozes means that Livewire Lance, Wrenchcalibur, and even Death’s Bite are starting to see play again.
One deck that has gotten significantly better is the unlikely hero Bomb Warrior. Bomb Warrior incorporates the new Enrage-related cards like Bloodboil Brute and Risky Skipper to fend off aggro. The deck does pretty well versus Aggro and Reno decks, but can often just loses to itself by not drawing the right cards or the opponents not drawing bombs.
Galakrond Tempo Warrior is in a weird spot. More aggro means a better meta, but other than that, the deck just didn’t improve over the last expansion. People have been experimenting with cards like Kargath Bladefist, but he is at best just a slightly better replacement for the worst cards in the deck.
Odd Warrior is still Odd Warrior, a good aggro farming tool. A few innovators have tried to improve the deck’s resilience against Warlocks by adding Dr. Boom and Plague of Wrath package, but in general the deck looks more or less the same. Bladestorm is a massive letdown, while Sword and Board and Bonechewer Raider are just more anti-aggro options to choose from.
Rank 4 (+2) – 279 points
Shaman mains must have dreaded playing Even Shaman right now since it’s probably the only functional deck the class has for the past year. The good news is that Even Shaman is still doing very well! Who doesn’t like farming Aggro? And it’s not like Even Shaman is unfavored against Time Warp Mage.
And what about the bad news? Shaman finally, finally got another good deck. Big Shaman has been making waves among the Wild community for its totally new and refreshing ‘cheat-out-big-minion’ Control style that we totally didn’t see in Big Priest and Cube Warlock. Thing is, this deck is the real deal, and people love it. Expect to see more 4 mana 14/14 Colossus that just shuts down your whole Pirate board in the future.
We can all agree that the Totem-centric Even Shaman version is vastly superior to the Overload build. Various cheap totem cards are extremely efficient at swarming the board and wrestle for board control early on, which makes the deck even better against aggro. To summarize, Even Shaman is well-positioned into the current aggro portion of the meta, while still being able to pressure both Mage and Warlock very effectively. That is indeed the recipe for a successful deck in this meta: just be reasonably good against most stuff.
Other than those two decks, Reno Shudderwock Shaman is the closest to a playable deck the class has. Marshspawn and Shattered Rumbler are decent additions to the Battlecry pool, but they’re nowhere near hard-carry material. Reno Shaman has some pieces to build a good deck but is struggling to string them together. Malygos Shaman is another close contender, a decent Combo deck that can fend off Aggro and outrace Reno Priest.
Every other Shaman deck has been a massive disappointment. Murloc Shaman, although decent against Mage and Warlock, is way too weak into other aggro decks to be worth the payoff. Evolve Shaman never recovered from the nerf to Mogu, even with so many new cards printed for them. Big Shaman can play some new cards like Scrapyard Colossus, but is still far from being good enough. Aggro Shaman is all over the place.
Rank 5 (0) – 265 points
One word: Raza. The revival of Anduin is largely owed to the resurgence of its iconic Combo Reno deck, brought back after the nerf revert. Combo Reno Priest jumped straight to Tier 1 from Tier 3, with a removal package that can upset every aggro deck and a damage output that can break through the most fortified Druid and Warrior armor.
Combo Reno Priest would probably be the strongest deck in the format if it wasn’t for Time Warp. The deck just can’t combo fast enough against Mages to save its life. But it sure can against most other decks, though. The thing about Reno Priest is that even though it often can’t combo fast, it can surely survive until it gets the combo online. Maybe Time Warp not being nerfed to oblivion had its upside as well, since if that happened, there would just be another combo deck like this one to take its place.
While Combo Reno Priest’s comeback is not in the least surprising, the stable performance of Inner Fire Priest is something not many people would envision. Inner Fire Priest is supposed to die along with the nerf to Power Word: Shield, but it finds another way to utilize the card, or any other cheap Priest spells for that matter. Sethekk Weilweaver is such a powerful card that it wins games versus Control by its own (see Underbelly Angler), and Renew is a decent card that works well with the rest of the deck. Inner Fire Priest is still being optimized, and a refined version is expected to break into Tier 2 in the future.
Big Priest seems to be enjoying local success. Making-a-bunch-of-statues seem to be a valid enough strategy against both Aggro and Time Warp Mage. Big Priest might never again achieve the height it used to, but it’s reassuring (or daunting) to learn that mana cheat strategies like this will forever be a part of the Wild experience.
Of all the Spiteful decks, Spiteful Priest seems to be the strongest. The Dragon package has always been a solid midrange strategy, and new dragon support like Aeon Reaver and Frizz Kindleroost help out even further. Spiteful is no longer the dominant force it once was as Turn 6 is way too late for a power spike nowadays, but it is enough pressure if you manage to solidify your early game position. Spiteful Priest is in the Middle of Tier 3 for now, with little room for improvement.
Rank 6 (-3) – 218 points
Druid is a class that isn’t too strong, but certainly doesn’t deserve the criminally low playrate it’s been having lately. Jade Druid’s drastic fall is predicted, and the resurgences of Token Druid and Malygos Druid aren’t enough to offset this.
Jade Druid gains some of the most powerful cards in this set, at a total of 4 new cards: Overgrowth, Fungal Fortunes, Bogbeam, and Kael’thas Sunstrider. Even with that many new additions, the deck still finds itself unable to replicate its former success. Other decks either got better tools (like Pirate Warrior), a full set of extremely broken cards (Odd Demon Hunter), or is simply a better deck (Time Warp Mage).
Togwaggle Druid has long been a fairly underrated deck by the community, and it’s refreshing to see the deck back in Tier 2. The Malygos Druid that is re-popularized by Chinese streamers have some potential and a similar playstyle as well. However, both decks can’t really utilize the most powerful new card draw in the form of Fungal Fortunes. In a more aggressive meta than before, Jade Druid is still a better, more resilient option.
It’s not just Jade Druid that gains from the new expansion. Token Druid, somewhat similar to its Standard counterpart, has crawled back into the limelight too. The return of this long dead archetype is probably a testament to how powerful the new tools given to Druid is, and how devastating Kael’thas can be even at 7 Mana.
The only other noteworthy Druid deck is Aggro Druid. The deck has such an all-in strategy that pays off big time if you hit the nutty curve but generally falls apart after the first board clear. The thing is that an all-in board buffing strategy is everything Time Warp Mage hates; thus, it gains the deck a spot in the meta, albeit only Top of Tier 3.
Linecracker Druid and Taunt Druid have achieved local success. But they’re both mostly too slow and clunky for the current meta.
Rank 7 (0) – 206 points
Illidan puts the other classes to shame. To think that a completely new class able to get a foothold in Wild, and is more worthwhile to play than three other classes even after two rounds of nerf, is beyond any speculation. Demon Hunter cards were (and still are) so broken, it felt like they were taken straight from some Solo Adventure battles.
It’s so easy to realize what most Demon Hunter cards are used for: SMORC. Both of Illidan’s emerging decks go face and are overwhelmingly efficient at doing so. Odd Demon Hunter is a striking example. Imprisoned Antaen, Skull of Gul’dan, Bad Luck Albatross, Altruis the Outcast, Battlefiend, Glaivebound Adept—those are the cards that are no longer usable or are weaker in that deck. And it’s still a Tier 1 deck. Demon Hunter can win against many slow decks like Warlocks, and it is fast enough to beat other Aggro decks, or can swing things around with their weapons.
Aggro Demon Hunter is another strong Aggro deck, able to utilize compelling Even-costed Demon Hunter cards. In essence, it functions like a somewhat weaker Odd Demon Hunter. It’s the same situation as Odd Rogue & Aggro Rogue half a year ago.
The “slowest” Demon Hunter deck is a Reno Demon Hunter that plays all the good class cards. There are just that many good Demon Hunter cards, even after two rounds of nerfs. Playing strong cards on curve into a Zephrys finisher is oftentimes enough versus slow decks, while Reno helps a ton veruss aggro.
There haven’t been any Control Demon Hunter decks popping up in Wild yet. Strong Wild Control decks rely on strong Control tools over many expansions, so we probably won’t see slow Demon Hunter anytime soon.
Rank 8 (0) – 188 points
Paladin, along with Rogue, are now strictly aggro classes that can’t aggro as well as other classes. Unlike Rogue, Paladins have a nice niche of being able to beat Time Warp Mage somewhat consistently. Unfortunately for Uther, most of the strong new cards don’t support their established archetypes; instead, we see experimentation with decks like Murloc Paladin popping up here and there.
Odd Paladin is now the flagship deck of the class, as it has been for the majority of the past two years. It’s the consistent, the resilient, the ol’ reliable. Odd Paladin is the garbage-proof for the class so that it never suffers from a gruesome fate like that of Hunter.
Mech Handbuff Paladin is still a relatively strong deck although it only has one new addition. Replicatron is a really annoying minion, especially when buffed and magnetized on. It’s a very sticky and undoubtedly powerful minion that also acts as a late-game powerhouse; however, it doesn’t solve Handbuff’s weakness to silence effect. Mech Handbuff Paladin is now underplayed, so the deck needs to be observed more to carefully assess its power level in the current meta.
Another breakthrough deck of this expansion is Murloc Paladin, a deck that’s heavily pushed with a few really good cards. Murloc Paladin is consistent enough to win without Prismatic Lens, and highroll enough with Prismatic Lens to be considered decent. Its main weakness, as with Murloc Shaman in the past, is that it often loses board early on in Aggro mirrors. Nevertheless, there’s always hope that the deck will pick up steam as it is refined.
Exodia Paladin is now more playable following the buffs to Libram cards (which are not yet playable on their own, so don’t try). It now plays the Kaleidosaur quest to reap off benefit from free coin generators and draws like Time Warp Mage, and as crazy as is sounds, to actually finish the quest. 0-mana Libram of Wisdom can be replayed until you satisfy the condition to wake Galvadon, which can surely bring your opponents to their demises! Well, if not, Auctionmaster Beardo helps.
Even Paladin slightly benefits from the addition of Hand of A’dal and Murgur Murgurgle. These cards are not good enough to bring the deck back to its former glory, however. Maybe a Call to Arms revert will?
Pure Paladin looks less like a laughingstock and more like a fun off-meta deck as the Libram cards get buffed. Paladin class cards are decent on their own, and Lightforged Zealot is very good Turn 4 tempo. Lightforged Crusader doesn’t look nearly as atttractive, though.
Rank 9 (+1) – 162 points
Valeera is at one of her lowest points since the inception of our report. The birth of Odd Demon Hunter has rendered Odd Rogue redundant, while the Secret package with Shadowjeweler Hanar isn’t nearly as impressive as in Standard. The greatest hope for the class now is Aggro Rogue, a deck that’s showing potential with a robust Stealth package.
Aggro Rogue is relying on powerful Stealth support cards that interweave with their Pirate package. Greyheart Sage provides much-needed card draw, and Ashtongue Slayer can be used as a single-turn Cold Blood or for value trade. The deck isn’t weak by all means, it’s just that so many decks are doing the same thing and it makes Aggro Rogue rather bland and unimpressive. The same thing holds true for Kingsbane Rogue. Note that if you play Aggro Stealth Rogue, you will beat Odd Demon Hunter, so that’s something to consider.
Odd Rogue lost Bad Luck Albatross and gained Cursed Vagrant and some Stealth minions. They couldn’t use any of the Stealth or Stealth-gaining pirates. Needless to say how that went.
Shadowjeweler Hanar is an extremely powerful card, but there’s not yet a good enough home for him. Hanar and his secrets see the most success in Galakrond Rogue, but that deck as a whole is only a Tier 3 deck. Maybe in the next snapshot, we’ll see archetypes like Caverns Rogue and Miracle Rogue resurface, but let’s not get our hopes up.
Rank 10 (-1) – 113 points
With Even Hunter kicked out of Tier 2, Hunter once again has zero representation in the top two tiers. No other classes have seen nearly as much time at the absolute bottom of the pecking order, and it seems like Team 5 doesn’t have a clue about what they should do to revive the class. Do you know how many playable Hunter decks there were just last month? Nine. NINE. That’s even more than Warlock. Yet, Warlocks are on top and they are here. Maybe Team 5 can eventually learn to support ONE Hunter archetype just enough so it’s no longer mediocre?
We can’t possibly talk about all nine playable archetypes, so we’re going to skip ones that were discussed and dissected last time without further changes (Beast Hunter, Reno Hunter, Dragon Hunter, Mech Hunter, and Odd Hunter). Here is what we think about the other four.
With Scavenger’s Ingenuity being an inclusion for Even Hunter, drawing power bombs like Phase Stalker is much easier, and Fresh Scent is less likely to be a dead card. The deck is on its way to figure out its best 30 cards, and that’s a good sign since it means there aren’t mediocre cards to choose from. For now, Even Hunter can keep preying on Time Warp Mage while the rest of the class stays on the ventilator.
Deathrattle Hunter got some really cool toys—Augmented Porcupine, Zixor, and Mok’nathal Lion. The greatest upgrade these cards gave to the archetype is many, many, many highlights on Reddit! Did you see that Porcupine OTK on that poor Big Priest? That’s not to say the cards didn’t do anything at all. Scavenger’s Ingenuity draws the Deathrattle beasts and buff them big enough for minor power plays. These power plays are still too meager for Wild, though.
While Deathrattle Hunter’s lifeline is their new cards, Spell Hunter latches on the reverts to Lesser Emerald Spellstone and Call of The Wild. These cards are actually pretty powerful now and allows the Spell Hunter to apply enough pressure to win Reno Priest and Jade Druid half of the time. Pressure Plate and Rat Trap can cause trouble for Time Warp Mage, but we think there are way better decks to sport if you want to beat the top dog. A bad matchup against Warlock also prevents the deck from getting into Tier 2.
Spiteful Hunter can be considered a sub-archetype of Beast Hunter, with the only difference being that it runs Spiteful for its Nagrand Slam and Call of the Wild. The archetype doesn’t seem completely hopeless because both Call of the Wild and Nagrand Slam are overvalued, though Turn 6 is a tad too late for power spikes in this day and age.
Deckcodes (Other decks)