We are well into the first full season of The Grand Tournament and already, we are witnessing a serious meta-game shake up. New archetypes have been created and once, bottom dwelling classes, have risen to the top. In this article, I’ll go over three of the strongest decks to play for season 18 as well as some of their individual weaknesses.
The Priest class was once considered one of the weakest classes to play in competitive mode; lacking strong early-game minions coalesced with a less than desirable hero power. TGT changed all that and thanks to the new Dragons, Priests are now one of the strongest classes to play. With several iterations of this deck, the Dragon Priest is one of the most accessible decks to play for an inexperienced player. The majority of the turns are played out on curve, usually with an obvious minion to drop, like Twilight Whelp turn-1, Wyrmrest Agent turn-2, and Velen’s Chosen turn-3. Personally, I’ve used this deck a lot this season; posting above a 60% win rate for over fifty games. This deck is both strong and fun, taking advantage of some of the best cards TGT has to offer.
The reason this deck is my number 1 choice for this season is because like always, it beats most of the field. Aggro doesn’t stand a chance against the Dragon Priest thanks to the decks volume of high-health, taunt minions. Twilight Guardian and Wyrmrest Agent are some of the best cards that came out of TGT, instantly stymieing the opponent’s aggression while allowing you to set up a solid board presence.
Heavy, heavy, control-type archetypes like Control Warrior and Handlock can give this deck a lot of trouble. Control Warriors ability to easily remove minions with cards like Execute and Brawl make establishing a board presence difficult, especially with a class that thrives off of extracting value from their minions. The survivability of the Control Warrior is also burdensome; allowing them to excel in the late game and finish you off with cards Varian Wrynn and Grommash Hellscream. Lack of reach: a.k.a. face damage cards, can also hurt the Dragon Priest in situations against Handlocks. Big Taunted up giant walls usually spell defeat for the Dragon Priest, having only two Shadow Word: Death’s to deal with the threats.
Because the core Dragon synergy of this deck is so strong, it has a lot of flexibility to tech-in and out cards. Although the Shrinkmeister – Cabal Shadow Priest combination is strong, it’s not necessary. Taking out one of each frees up a lot of room for cards like Lightbomb which can provide additional removal against control decks and Eydis Darkbane for stronger matchups against aggro and midrange.
You could easily make an argument that this should be the top deck as it has seen equal, if not more play in the higher ranks as the Dragon Priest has. Originally, this deck started off as a bastardized Aggro Paladin that just included a bunch of Secrets in coalition with the Mysterious Challenger. Now, the deck is much more consistent and refined by adding Dr. Boom and Tirion Fordring.
Secret Paladin smacks around most midrange decks because of its expeditious ability to take control of the board. Ironically, the one class that has a direct answer to this archetype: the Hunter (Flare), struggles the most against this deck and it’s basically because it’s a lesser version that can’t keep up with the tempo plays that Secret Paladin outputs. I don’t think there is a Paladin deck out there that isn’t playing Muster for Battle; its effectiveness on turn-3 is just not fair, instantly wresting away tempo from the opponent and allowing you to easily set up a devastating mid-late game. Additionally, this deck also does well against Control Warrior, a class that has slowly been reasserting itself into the meta-game.
A couple weeks ago everyone thought this deck was unbeatable, like seriously, how do you get through all those damn secrets!? Mage decks and super swarmy decks like Face Hunter and Aggro Paladin can easily outpace the Secret Paladin. With no consecrates or early game removal, games can quickly snowball in the opponents favor.
This is my sagacious pick of the week as it is not seeing a lot of play right now. Control Warrior and Handlock are two of the decks that consistently fluctuate in and out of the meta-game depending on the concentration of aggro decks that are being played. Right now, there’s a lot, but since we are over halfway through the season we should soon be seeing a shift from more aggression to more midrange/control, and there isn’t a better deck than the Control warrior, to play in that climate.
Dragon Priest, Patron Warrior, and Mage Decks get rocked by Control Warrior. They are some of the most popular archetypes on the ladder right now and the Control Warrior is the perfect answer to combat them.
Unfortunately, Control Warrior loses to aggro as it traditionally doesn’t have enough answers in the early stages of the game. Luckily though, it doesn’t lose hard to aggro and if you are conscious about the meta-game, you should easily be able to consistently play this deck with a few minor tech decisions.