I can’t believe we are already into our twentieth season of Hearthstone. Over four hundred new cards and five expansions later the game is stronger than ever. It is pulling in over twenty million per month and Activision Blizzard’s stock prices have never been higher. This cash cow doesn’t look like it’s going slow down anytime soon either, with the new expansion: The League of Explorers coming up strong after two sub-par expansions: Black Rock Mountain and The Grand Tournament. Not only is it finically doing well, the meta-game is also healthy, with a plethora of diversified decks and no evidently dominate deck like Patron Warrior at the top of the charts for months at a time. It is with this in mind that I’ve tried to tepidly corral some of the best decks so far, knowing that it could change next week with another coterie of meta-changing cards!
This is probably the strongest overall deck to play on the ladder right now. With the release of Reno Jackson, this deck has seen a renascence, providing it with another “in case of emergency break glass” card. Reno Jackson has completely changed how many of us think of this game; making once perceived unviable cards playable thanks to Reno significantly slowing down the game. And there is no deck that takes advantage of Reno better than the Freeze Mage, with cards like Ice Block, staying alive has never been so easy and setting up huge wombo-combo plays has never been so fun!
This is the top deck this season because it’s favorable against the majority of the field. Favorable, isn’t the right word, this deck straight up destroys archetypes, usually making the opponent feel like they never had chance! Some of the most popular decks in the meta right now are Secret Paladin, Dragon Priest, and Tempo Mage and none of those archetypes stand a chance against Freeze Mage. Cards likeFrost Nova,Forgotten Torch, and the Doomsayer allow the Freeze Mage to stay in the game and if you ever get in a pinch good ol’ Reno Jackson can help save the day, brining you back up to full health. The Freeze Mage sanguinely perseveres, slowly biding its time so that it can set up a huge play that usually consists ofPyroblasting the opponents face off!
Druids and Warriors feast on this schizophrenic deck making you feel like that person that never had a chance. Druids have the ability to drop devastatingly strong minion’s early, making cards like the Doomsayer mute against them. Warriors on the other hand, don’t drop anything, doing to you what the Freeze Mage does to everyone else: biding its time until it can drop a massive wombo-combo on your face.
One of the only good things to come out of The Grand Tournament was the Secret Paladin. It was a completely new archetype that kept getting stronger; starting off as purely aggressive deck to then transform into what we know and “love” today. I mean, who doesn’t love snowballing the opponent into the ground with cards like Muster for Battle? What’s that, you don’t like a start-to-finish shellacking? How about watching the opponent wither in despair as you consecutively drop a Dr. Boom and Tirion Fordringon them late game?
If I had to guess, this deck probably has a 50-60% win rate against the field. It dominates few decks (Control Warrior) while also not getting completely owned by most others. It is a great middle of the road choice that will meddle around in the upper tier ranks while dominating the lower tier.
Aggressive decks that can get an early start and build off it precipitously will always give the Secret Paladin problems. Secretkeeper is the only 1-drop minion in the deck and it usually isn’t enough to stop onslaught. If you’re seeing a lot of aggro on ladder take out a Blessing of Kings and add in another Consecration.
Aggro Shaman has always been a deck that has fluxtuated in and out of the meta. Traditionally, it is a deck that has not been able to sustain long periods of dominance because of its lack of early game minions. Cards like Zombie Chow and the Totem Golem were what the early game hinged on, and its negative overload and heal effect ultimately nullified their usefulness. The Tunnel Trogg changes all that by giving Shamans a solid 1-drop card that doesn’t heal and that combos off of the once negatively perceived overload mechanic.
This is my favorite deck to play on ladder right now with it absolutely dominating the most popular archetypes. Midrange decks are the Aggro Shamans specialty; releasing a powerful early game onslaught the opponent can never recover from. If all you’re seeing is midrange then this is the deck for you, replacing the hobbled hunter as pro favorite for an aggressive archetype.
Ironically, this decks largest weakness is greatest strength: aggression. Decks that are able to flood the board or control the early stages of the game play favorably against the Aggro Shaman. Watch out for Zoolock and Tempo Mage, the two most popular archetypes that successively beat this deck.