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We Analyze The Best Hearthstone Rise Of Shadows Decks Out There
With the Rise of Shadows out a few days ago, we figured it’s best to help our fellow card-slingers and esports enthusiasts with a detailed guide on how to Hearthstone like a champ.
So far, the meta is already flooded with great deck archetypes, but which ones are the most-sought-after? To help us with this arduous task, we have expert Hearthstone tournament player LambySeries chiming in. Last we heard, he’s pretty damn good at the game & can deconstruct even the tightest decks out there.
Deck Code: AAECAZICAtaZA8mcAw5A/QL3A+YFxAbX7wLf+wL6hgO0kQPDlAPFlAPOlAPKnAPTnAMA
Deck List Example: Acornbearer x2, Crystalsong Portal x2, Dreamway Guardians x2, EVIL Cable rat x2, Keeper Stalladris, Power of the Wild x2, Wrath x2, Blessing of the Ancients x2, Landscaping x2, Savage Roar x2, Archmage Vargoth, Mark of the Loa x2, Soul of the Forest x2, Swipe x2, Wispering Woods x2, The Forest’s Aid x2.
Arguably the best deck of the current Hearthstone meta is sitting with a massive 58 percent winrate, with key cards like Whispering Woods boosting your chances up to 60 when drawn. The strategy isn’t especially different from previous incarnations of Token Druidâ€”your goal is to fill the board quickly with cheap minion-generating spells and buffs, then find lethal with the massive burst potential of Savage Roar.
The difference now is that Druid has additional tools like Acornbearer, Dreamway Guardians, and Blessing of the Ancients to reach the tipping point far more efficiently. It can often feel like Malfurion has endless reload.
LambySeries Say: With the loss of Spreading Plague, Token Druid has taken a more proactive approach toward its game plan. The deck curves very nicely almost every turn with constant minion threats to pressure the opponent. Blessing of the Ancients works very well to stack multiple buffs on your minions, while The Forestâ€™s Aid gives the deck instant refuel after board clears, allowing the threat of Savage Roar to always be looming around the corner.
The deck has definite top tier potential, and fairs decently well against the other top meta decks. The lack of card draw is definitely a concern with this deck however it is overall mitigated by the consistent flow of threats and every minion needs to be answered to avoid snowball potential.
Deck Code: AAECAaIHCLICyAOvBIoH3Qi0kQOQlwOSlwMLtAHtAu4GiAeGCcf4AtWMA4+XA/uaA/6aA4mbAwA=
Deck List Example: Backstab x2, Preparation x2, Shadowstep x2, Acidic Swamp Ooze x1, Eviscerate x2, Underbelly Fence x2, Blink Fox x2, EVIL Miscreant x2, Edwin VanCleef x1, Raiding Party x2, SI:7 Agent x2, Dread Corsair x2, Hench-Clan Burglar x2, Vendetta x2, Waggle Pick x2, Captain Greenskin x1, Leeroy Jenkins x1.
The Tempo lists you’ll find don’t look too different from what you remember during the Odd Rogue era. Devastating early-game swings like Backstab and SI:7 Agent still have their place, and Raiding Party has distinguished itself as one of the strongest cards from Rastakhan’s Rumble thanks to the arrival of better pirates and a killer weapon in the form of Waggle Pick.
The other big additions are the abbreviated Thief Rogue package with Underbelly Fence and Hench-Clan Burglar. Some decks even opt to run Chef Nomi and Myra’s Unstable Element as a way to ditch your deck cleanly and finish your opponent with one of the scariest instant boards in the game.
Somewhat depressingly, the most successful pro-approved versions of Tempo Rogue are now cutting both Nomi and Togwaggle to focus on more of the less flashy but super powerful cards that help control the early game and apply finishing damage.
LambySeries Say: Two words – EVIL Miscreant.
This card alone has given rogue so much more consistency to combo off and produce constant board pressure. The lackeys of the set all have amazing effects, and no deck now has the ability to abuse them the way rogue can.
The build featured also contains Vendetta which is a huge tempo swing when paired with the right cards. The amount of discover effects in the deck also provides added options and a little fun along the way. No 2 games would be almost exactly the same.
Long story short: very strong contender for the top deck in the meta with all-around good matchups save warrior which the deck struggles slightly with.
Deck Code: AAECAQcGyAO67ALN7wKS+AKggAOblAMMS/sBsgid8AKb8wKD+wKe+wKz/AL1gAOXlAOalAOSnwMA
Deck List Example: Eternium Rover x2, Omega Assembly x2, Town Crir x2, Loot Hoarder x2, Slam x2, Warpath x2, Augmented Elekk x2, Clockwork Goblin x2, Rabid Worgen x1, Omega Devastator x2, Wrenchcalibur x2, Brawl x2, Captain Greenskin x1, Darius Crowley x1, Dyn-o-matic x2, Zilliax x1, Blastmaster Boom x1, Dr. Boom, Mad Genius x1.
Blizzard decided to empower Warriors with a new version of Dr. Boom that’s capable of summoning six of those Boom Bots, and single-handedly created a brand new archetype: Bomb Warrior.
The addition of Wrenchcalibur and Clockwork Goblin has given Bomb Warrior the potential to deliver damage that previous control variants never had, and the board swing provided by Blastmaster Boom can carry games. According to the current meta, the Bomb Warriors on ladder report a 60 percent-plus winrate against every single class in Hearthstone except Hunter.
LambySeries Says: We all know how tedious it is to be up against control warrior variants, and the new set has provided said deck with a rather bombastic win condition.
The core of the deck remains the same, providing a ton of board clears to neuter any potential threats from the opponent. Bomb synergy cards like Wrenchcalibur and Clockwork Goblin put the opponent on a clock and prevent liberal use of their health total due to the threat of dying from bomb damage.
Dr.Boom also makes a resurgence in this deck albeit in its new form. The deck decimates most tempo based aggressive decks, however, may struggle with greedy, value-oriented decks as other than bombs the threat count within the deck is relatively low and closing out games may become an issue if the odds are not in your favour and the opponent does not take enough bomb damage.
Deck Code: AAECAf0GBPIBqwaPggOXlwMNMNMB9QXZB7EIwgj2/QL6/gLchgPEiQPsjAOInQO1nwMA
Deck List Example: Arch-Villain Rafaam x1, Magic Carpet x2, Abusive Sergeant x2, Argent Squire x2, Crystallizer x2, Flame Imp x2, Grim Rally x2, Mecharoo x2, Saronite Taskmaster x2, The Soularium x1, Voidwalker x2, Dire Wolf Alpha x2, EVIL Genius x2, Knife Juggler x2, Scarab Egg x2, Sea Giant x2.
Deck Breakdown: No matter what, there’s only one type of Warlock deck that works: the one featuring the word “zoo”.
The deck archetype comes with the same piloting techniques that it had back in 2014, when Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk first dreamt up the deck: Play your stuff, use Life Tap for card advantage, and try to win by turn eight. There are some new wrinkles with Magic Carpet, which give your one-cost minions some extra juice.
But the most notable addition is Arch-Villain Rafaam, who turns all the minions in your hand and deck into Legendaries. It gives Zoo a chance to contend in the mana-swollen late game, which has consistently been the archetype’s weakness.
LambySeries Says: As with the name, Zoo is back, riding the fabric of the Magic Carpet. Half of the deck are 1-drops to synergize with said carpet to provide superior board control with cheap rush minions. EVIL Genius also provides lackeys (which are 1-drops as well) to synergize with the carpet and give the deck a little extra reach in terms of burst potential and value trading.
The deck also features Arch-Villain Rafaam as a fail-safe boss minion, turning your measly 1 drops into legendary minions to hopefully tide u through a longer game. The weakness of Zoo is still ever present though, as it is tremendously weak to board clears. Your hero power using health as a resource also usually means you will constantly be at risk of dying to sudden burn damage.
Deck Code: AAECAR8GrgaY8AKA8wKggAObhQPxlgMMtQOXCO/1ArT2Arn4AqCFA6KKA7CLA+aWA/KWA/mWA7acAwA=
Deck List Example: Mecharoo x2, Secret Plan x2, Springpaw x2, Tracking x2, Bomb Toss x2, Fireworks Tech x2, Venomizer x2, Animal Companion x2, Nine Lives x2, Spider Bomb x2, Ursatron x2, Replicating Menace x2, Zilliax x1, Mechanical Whelp x2, Oblivitron x1, Unleash the Beast x1, Zul’jin x1.
Deck Breakdown: The end of The Year of the Raven was defined by the re-emergence of Hunter, and Deathstalker Rexxar’s beast-filled beatdown. Hunter had the most powerful Death Knight in the game, and a truly devastating Spellstone that was eventually neutered to six Mana. It seemed likely that after those cards rotated, we’d see some sort of regression for the class as a whole.
So far, that hasn’t been the case.
Hunter currently holds the second-highest winrate of any class in Hearthstone. The offenders will be familiar: Midrange Hunter is still efficient, and the addition of the spell-generating Shimmerfly boosts the winrate to 61 percent when mulliganed for (That’s higher than any other card in the list!).
Mech Hunter throws in a bunch of old Boomsday cards alongside Ursatron, Nine Lives, and the new legendary Oblivitron (which was largely slept on) to create an endless mass of sticky, annoying Deathrattle Mechs.
Add Boomaster Flark and other bomb-generation cards for a toxic board that threatens massive burst damage; perfect for aggro players.
LambySeries Says: This variant of mech hunter features Nine Lives, which provides endless synergy with all the deathrattle effects in the deck. It features a small anti-aggro package to tide it through its relatively weak early game. The deck truly shines in the mid to late game with sticky minions and value cards like Unleash the Beasts, topping out at Zulâ€™jin for even more close to infinite value.
The deck has an extremely favoured matchup versus the likes of control warrior. However, survivability in the early to mid game is a huge issue, and unlike Deathrattle Hunter of old, it is not exactly as explosive as well. This may not be the most rewarding deck even if played well due to the nature of the other top decks in the meta now.
Deck Code: AAECAaoIBOAGkwmn7gKcmwMNxQPbA/kD/gPQB6cI4okD9ooDjJQDtZgDxpkD9JkDx50DAA==
Deck List Example: Grimscale Oracle x1, Murloc Raider x2, Murloc Tidecaller x2, Sludge Slurper x2, Toxfin x1, Bluegill Warrior x2, Ghost Light Angler x2, Murloc Tidehunter x2, Soul of the Murloc x2, Underbelly Angler x2, Coldlight Seer x2, Murloc Warleader x2, Nightmare Amalgam x2, Murloc Tastyfin x2, Scargil x1, Bloodlust x2.
Deck Breakdown: The best Shaman deck on ladder takes advantage of the expansion’s new Legendary: Scargil.
Murloc Shaman reigns supreme in most deck aggregate sites like HSReplay.net thanks to the set’s new Legendary, Scargil. This fish boss, which discounts all Murlocs in your hand to 1-Mana, is undeniably sickâ€”but heâ€™s not even the most important ingredient. That would be Underbelly Angler, which adds a random Murloc to your hand every time you play a Murloc.
It can get ridiculous, and it also gives you the most one-sided matchup in Hearthstone right now. If you want to play Shaman in the next few months, itâ€™s time to go fish.
LambySeries Says: I’m pretty sure most of you have had your fair share of experiences with the murlocs, which are usually associated with aggressive strategies. Nothing has changed in this set with regard to this trend.
The deck aims to dominate the board from turn 1 and snowball turn after turn of every increasingly fat murlocs. Underbelly Angler and Soul of the Murlocs allow for very consistent streams of murloc pressure every turn which if not answered result in death by Bloodlust or the small burn damage package in the deck.
Aggressive murloc decks beat up on most combo-oriented and greedy strategies due to the nature of how fast they get their engine going. The deck though is not the best fit for the meta now, as the likes of rogue and warrior are rather favoured versus it. The former has massive tempo swings while the latter just has some of the best removal in the game.
Deck Code: AAECAf0EBMUEkAeggAOWmgMNigHeBfsGigfhB40Izu8Ct/ECw/gC4vgC0okDg5YDoJsDAA==
Deck List Example: Book of Specters x2, Khadgar x1, Conjurer’s Calling x2, Astromancer x1, Power of Creation x2, Kalecgos x1, Acidic Swamp Ooze x2, Firetree Witchdoctor x2, Sunfury Protector x2, Mind Control Tech x1, Voodoo Doll x1, Scaleworm x2, Twilight Drake x2, Dragonmaw Scorcher x1, Harrison Jones x1, Rotten Applebaum x1, Zilliax x1, Crowd Roaster x2, Ysera x1, Mountain Giant x2.
Deck Breakdown: The Mage class has gone back to its roots as a slow, plodding value deck thanks to the summoning powers of Khadgar, Astromancer, and the Power of Creation. Your goal is to stick a discounted Mountain Giant on the board, drop Khadgar, and then hit it with Conjurer’s Calling, giving you four random 12-drops. The following turn you point those 12-drops to your opponent’s face, and win the game.
All of that sounds great on paper, but right now you’re looking at a winrate of around 53 percent. Conjurer Mage is a great idea, and it does punish Warrior, but it takes so long to get off the ground that by the time you can play your big cards, you’re probably staring down a second Savage Roar.
LambySeries Says: Nothing speaks greedy and explosive like Conjurer Mage. At a glance, the deck looks like an arena deck however the synergies with Conjurerâ€™s calling are insane. Turning a Mountain Giant into two giants/two Grave Horrors is nothing short of devastating, and pairing the above-mentioned combo with Khadgar puts too much stats on board for almost any deck to handle.
Conjurerâ€™s calling also features the Twinspell mechanic, so effectively you have four copies in your deck for a ton of value. Turning a weak Giggling Inventor into two potentially dangerous 7 drops is also a game-changing combo.
The deck itself being like an arena deck has a ton of flexibility with the kind of minion package it runs. The list featured has a decent amount of early game deterrence and weapon destruction that is tailored well to the current meta. The deck has superior high roll potential and utterly wrecks control oriented decks. It still struggles with early aggression; any single big threat has to be unanswered due to how fast the deck can snowball on board.
Definitely deserving of a top spot in the meta.
LambySeries Says: These 2 classes have fallen off the map drastically for various reasons.
Priest, with the loss of Shadow Visions, is struggling greatly with its consistency, as well as the fact that there has been no card printed to date with as drastic of a board clear effect as the late Psychic Scream.
Paladin on the other hand simply faded into the shadows as almost every other deck in the meta has the ability to do what it can do, only they do it better. As of the time of writing, I would rank Paladin as the least relevant class in the meta.
Check out LambySeries’ streams and Hearthstone content on his Twitter, Twitch, and Facebook.
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