Team Wildside’s Class Meta Ranking (July 2020)
Class meta ranking (july 2020)
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The new nerf patch has hit Demon Hunter yet again, and it’s marginally changed the dynamic of the meta. As Pirate Warrior and Odd Demon Hunter see a reduction in playrate despite still being good, Time Warp Mage reclaims the title of the King of the Wild. This change has also let to a surge in slower Aggro decks that naturally prey on the Mage, like Odd Paladin and Discard Warlock.
The last month has also witnessed a myriad of new decks popping up on ladder, thanks to the refinement of the Wild veterans. Darkglare Warlock, Linecracker Druid, Token Druid, and Dead Man’s Hand Warrior are only a few of the decks that have been doing much better during the past month, even though we are less than a month away from a new expansion. This is to show that the meta is never really ‘solved’, particularly in Wild.
CLASS META RANKING
RANK 1 – 517 POINTS
Warlock is still the king of Wild, despite overseeing an internal overhaul. Discard Warlock reigns as the deck of choice, replacing the veteran Cube Warlock, while Darkglare Warlock surfaces as another Zoo option, switching the class from a typically grindy one to an aggressive one.
Lesson learned—when you keep incrementally push something for every expansion, eventually, it will work. Discard Warlock is now the flagship archetype of Warlock, offering an explosive start that’s difficult to manage for any deck. Decks like Discard Warlock can be infuriating playing against, but are important to keep Time Warp Mage in check.
Darkglare Warlock operates on the same principle of churning out as much stats, as early on as possible. Darkglare, as a card, is so strong it can be slotted into an otherwise traditional Discard Warlock and the consistency hampering might still be worth the gains. Right now, the cards supporting Darkglare are still rather weak, but give it another expansion. Flesh Giant has just been announced, after all.
Cube Warlock still has enough resilience to withstand early Giant turns, while dealing with Aggro with their abundance of removals. We were actually prompted to move the deck to Tier 2 before the new nerf wave, but Odd Demon Hunter being gone was actually a significant boost. The Demon Hunter used to get through taunts rather easily with Warglaives of Azzinoth or Consume Magic. Right now, Cube Warlock still has trouble against Discard Warlock, but other matchups feel manageable at the least, especially now that the deck plays Dirty Rat against all the Combo Druids.
Meanwhile, Egg Cube Warlock is lagging 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.
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. Malygos Warlock–on the other hand–is seeing no love despite its potential. Maybe people will realize that a concrete win condition on top of a Voidlord package is just good.
Even Warlock is not good at all right now, but things can change drastically comes next expansion. Flesh Giant and Brittlebone Destroyer are extremely strong inclusions for this archetype, and will slot in most versions seamlessly.
RANK 2 – 476 POINTS
The nerf to Mage’s strongest counter decks has allowed the class to do what it hasn’t been able to do for the past month and take the meta by storm. Time Warp Mage is back at the top, while Control Reno Mage appears in Tier 1 for the first time. This is an impressive feat, considering Jaina only has five viable decks to boot with, with only two of them being played regularly on ladder.
The Open the Waygate nerf is comparable to a small pebble inside Time Warp Mage’s shoes. There are only a few cases where the extra spells matter, 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. Right now, Pirate Warrior and all Paladins can still do the trick, but Discard Warlock seems to be the best deck to sport into Time Warp players. What’s scary is Time Warp might get even better, maybe back the mythical Tier 0 next expansion. Devolving Missiles might be its effective, low-costed answer to a wall of taunt, and the Mage can just generate the card if they don’t want to put it in their decks.
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. However, if the Reno Mage gets to the point it can complete the quest, it’s still as effective as ever. 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 decent choice for ladder at the moment, especially if you are not seeing much Quest Mage. However, a sharp rise in the number of Time Warp Mage and Combo Druid has made the meta more hostile towards the deck, keeping it away from Tier 1.
Secret Mage–both Highlander and non-Highlander–is an archeype 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.
RANK 3 – 415 POINTS
Resilient and steady Thrall is a winner of the last patch. The patch has made Even Shaman and Big Shaman even better against Aggro, but it’s not so much the nerfs themselves that did service to the class. The rise of Combo Druids that are naturally bad into Devolves, big minions, and hand disruption has made Big Shaman miles better, while incrementally improved Even Shaman.
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. Even Shaman can clean up after Discard Warlock remarkably well, which is another huge plus that propelled it to Top Tier 1. Expect Even Shaman to get better, since it will have at least a good Even-costed card next expansion in Diligent Notetaker.
Big Shaman has been refined to fit the current meta. Early Taunt minions are a must if you want to survive against Mages, thus it is advised that Colossus of the Moon is removed. This makes the deck more well-rounded against Aggro and Control alike, well worthy of Tier 1 status. A 14/14 on Turn 4 while fishing a battlecry from your opponent is nothing to sniff at.
Other than those two decks, Reno Shudderwock Shaman and Evolve Shaman are the closest to playable decks the class has. With Reno Shaman, a Galakrond package is heavily favored right now for its high tempo, which complements an abundance of tech cards. We hope that the deck will be good again once Galakrond is rotated, for the nerfed cards might be unnerfed.
With Evolve Shaman, the best way to build the deck might be to rely on Boggspine Knuckles’ raw power. The card is so good that Doppelgangster is seeing play again, while Hoard Pillager and Dread Corsair are included only to capitalize on the synergy with the weapon. Evolve Shaman might be sleeper OP, but there’s no way to find out with the playerbase not picking it up.
RANK 4 – 346 POINTS
Druid is like ancient hardwood. It’s almost never the most decorated class, but it’s never the worst looking. It’s present in every meta game, but is rarely really gamebreakingly popular. Spell-weilding Malfurion is once again in the middle of the pack, but his presence is certainly greater than just a month ago. Combo decks–Malfurion’s specialty–once again infest the ranks in the form of Malygos and Linecracker Druid.
Jade Druid is still the best Druid deck, however, it has gotten some fierce competition this time around. Jade is an archetype that needs to adapt to survive, and the easiest way to do it in Wild is to highroll more often. Barnes is now a mainstay in the deck, replacing top-end like Yogg and allow an early Kael’thas to wreck havoc. This swing is very much needed in some matchups, especially the one against Time Warp Mage.
Malygos and Linecracker Druid are back at full force, occupying two spots in the Middle of Tier 2. At first glance, these decks might look different, but they operate the same in essence: you drop the combo and the game ends. Spreading Plague looks much better against aggro now that Warglaives aren’t a thing anymore, and both decks can highroll a combo really early against Control.
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 deck is still quite good even with Fungal Fortunes nerfed. 3 mana draw 3 is still a really solid card.
While Aggro Druid is dropping off the face of the Earth, the brand-new-but-not-so-brand-new Taunt Druid fills its exact spot in High Tier 3.
RANK 5 – 334 POINTS
Warrior is another class that saw significant shake-ups in the past month. Pirate Warrior has lost the throne while existing Warrior decks are slipping away from top ranks, which means that the newcomers need to do extra hard to keep the class where it was. And they are not doing it well at all.
Corsair Cache tutoring Ancharrr was probably the single greatest adjustment to Pirate Warrior that we’ve seen in two years, so the nerf to Corsair Cache was predictably devastating. Not being able to kill off 3 HP minions in the early game and losing plenty of burst has weakened the deck in both the early game and the late game. Nevertheless, Pirate Warrior still has plenty of staying power to play the longer game, which is crucial in matchups against decks like Reno Combo Priest, and can still confidently queue into a Time Warp Mage.
Bomb Warrior is in a less favorable position too now that Demon Hunter is gone. The number of Time Warp players have gone up and this is bad news for the Bomb wranglers, as Time Warp Mage is one of the worst matchups for the deck. Along with Galakrond Warrior which hasn’t improved for the past few months, Bomb Warrior slipped to Low Tier 2.
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, Bladestorm, and Plague of Wrath, but in general the deck looks more or less the same.
If you’re looking for a real innovation, try Dead Man’s Hand Warrior. The deck’s defensive core has been replaced by a Risky Skipper package, which proved to be extremely resilient. Dead Man’s Hand enthusiasts like Zeddy asserts that the deck does well against most meta decks right now. It still has a fatal weakness, though: Time Warp Mage. If the Mage loses traction in the following expansion, Dead Man’s Hand Warrior might be able to sneak into Tier 2.
RANK 6 – 252 POINTS
One word: Raza. Any prevalence that Anduin might have right now is largely owed to the resurgence of its iconic Combo Reno deck, brought back after the nerf revert. Having only one relevant deck makes it really easy to mulligan against a Priest, which means the class can’t really take off. There are signs that Inner Fire Priest might be back next expansion, though, so that should help Anduin a bit.
Combo Reno Priest is the best Priest deck there is, though it’s position has been a bit shaky following the Aggro nerf. Combo decks like Druids and disruptive decks like Dead Man’s Hand are tough cookies to crack. On the other hand, Discard Warlock and Big Shaman are Reno Priest’s new favorite preys. But still, Reno Priest can’t combo against Time Warp Mage fast enough to save its life.
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. What Inner Fire Priest needs is another way to close out games early, and a vanilla 1 mana 1/4 like Frazzled Freshman might be just what the deck needs.
Big Priest couldn’t resurrect itself the way Big Shaman did, but it got marginally better at least. Making-a-bunch-of-statues seem to be a valid enough strategy against both Aggro and Time Warp Mage. Also, it found a new target to cheat out: Scrapyard Colossus.
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 7 – 229 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 decks like Murloc Paladin popping up here and there. The class is also trying to grow out of its Aggro reputation, but experimentation with Reno Paladin and Libram Paladin hasn’t been fruitful so far.
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. Now that Time Warp Mage reigns again, there’s even more reason to play Odd Paladin. Uther would much rather playing against Jaina than Garrosh.
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 and Reno Paladin are now more playable following the buffs to Libram cards . 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. Versions of Libram Paladin without an Exodia win condition have surfaced as well, utilizing incredible value from Lady Liadrin and Lynessa Sunsorrow. Just remember to play Libram of Hope on your minions to get them back later.
Big Paladin might be a deck to watch out for future improvement. Call to Adventure can always tutor Barnes if you build your deck right, and Duel! is essentially a minion cheat card while removing opponent’s resource. Turalyon, the Tenured might fit right in this deck as an option to cheat out from your deck.
RANK 8 – 128 POINTS
Poor Illidan. He really felt the hatred of 10,000 years with yet another nerf. With Odd Demon Hunter now weakened, Demon Hunter join ranks with Rogue and Hunter as the three weakest classes in the game. Illidan is excusable, though, being the weakest class with only two playable decks to boot.
What do the cards Imprisoned Antaen, Skull of Gul’dan, Bad Luck Albatross, Altruis the Outcast, Battlefiend, Glaivebound Adept, Metamorphosis, and Warglaives of Azzinoth have in common? They are nerfed cards that were (or still are) present in Odd Demon Hunter. And the deck is still on top of Tier 2! The main difference with Illidan now is that people have to get creative with deckbuilding as there are fewer auto-includes. Odd Demon Hunter might get marginally better next expansion, as new cards like Ace Hunter Kreen will improve its early game against other Aggro decks.
Aggro Demon Hunter gets much weaker with each passing month and more core cards being nerfed. The deck is largely overshadowed by Odd Demon Hunter and can’t fall back on a broken hero power. Exciting news for non-Odd players are coming, however. Glide might look like one of the best card draw and hand disruption cards ever printed, and this might fit right into Pirate builds with plenty of cheap minions.
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 versus aggro. However, it might actually get stronger, especially in the combo disruption department, as cards like Glide and Star Student Stelina are introduced. Felosophy might urge people into toying around with a Big Demon package too.
RANK 9 – 121 POINTS
Valeera has yet to find a way out of her pithole. 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 still 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.
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. However, great things are in store for the deck in the future. Secret Passage is like Soularium on steriod, and might be just the refill Odd Rogue needs to close out games.
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 Galakrond itself has just been nerfed. Right now, Hanar is seeing play in Reno Rogue, the weakest viable deck in our report.
RANK 10 – 111 POINTS
Rexxar LOL. Zero representation in the first two tiers LOL. Hunter bad LOL. We’ve heard so many times how bad Hunter is right now, so let’s focus on the positive notes for now.
Reno Hunter is the most legit deck Hunter has right now, with an early game package that can fend off aggro and quite a hefty mid-game arsenal. The good matchup against Druids (lots of pressure, lots of Pressure Plates) have lifted the deck’s position from last report. Although consistent, it’s only consistently “alright” most of the time, and never really edges out anything. It barely sneaks into Tier 2 for winning enough games versus Aggro, Control, and Mages.
Reno Hunter and Even Hunter are the only competitive decks that’s received a “buff” after the last patch, as Transfer Student is going into almost every iteration of these decks. While this can be considered a good thing, it’s just saying how much of an improvement Hunter decks need in the early game. With Scavenger’s Ingenuity nerfed, Rexxar is even less likely to gain board control around Turn 3 to 5, which is often the backbone to its strategy.
Mech Hunter gets a tad better now faster Aggro decks aren’t half of ladder anymore. It can prey on slow decks with a very explosive hand, but it’s not consistent or explosive enough in many cases.
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? Jokes aside, these new cards are nowhere near enough. What Deathrattle Hunter needs is a class-only pre-nerf Undertaker, since it’s Turn 1 and 2 are so abysmal. And a Hunter who loses board control Turn 1 is not going to win any games.
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.