With the latest nerfs, Mage were hit the hardest. They lack a single archetype with an over 50 percent win rate. Because of this, other decks that play for value can finally come into the spotlight. Mage could out-value any deck that plays for value, but slow moving decks like those using Quests can beat Mages now. Here’s five post-Mage nerf decks you can expect to see a lot more of on the ladder.
Highlander Hunter has very solid tempo throughout the game, with constant late game damage pressure. This deck already was solid against Mages, and now definitely blows them away.
Zephrys the Great and Dinotamer Brann are two great reasons to want to play Highlander Hunter. Zephrys alone can win games where tempo matters because it can just stop decks dead in their tracks. Hitting Ooze, Secret destruction, or Silence can just swing the board in your favor. Dinotamer Brann is the best card in the deck when you can play it. Developing 10/12 stats for seven mana is crazy powerful on its own, but an immediate eight damage to face is even more threatening.
The early game is occupied by a secret package, that can usually stave off early pressure. Masked Contender when played on turn three is one of the highest win rate cards in the game. A turn four Hyena Alpha when active is really strong. Being able to drop Subject 9 on five mana is also one of the best turn five plays in the game.
Quest Druid is seeing an increased win rate thanks to the Mage nerfs as well. The deck moves too slowly and lacks any way to kill Giants. With less Giants, this deck can answer pretty much all other decks threats.
The most popular version of the deck tries to develop a few large boards and win through just having minions too hard to kill with Oasis Surgers, King Phaoris and Cenarius.
Crystal Merchant and Oasis Surger are the core of this deck. Crystal Merchant provides in valuable draw before the deck can reach its Nourish turns. Oasis Surger is a big comeback mechanic since the Druid gives up so much on turns one through four.
It’s an unusual deck for sure, where turn one Quest plus Innervate is a normal play. Because of its lack of early game development, it really struggles against Combo Priests and Zoo Warlocks.
Quest Paladin really gets picked apart by decks that play for the early game. Though thanks to the popularity of Warrior, Druids and Hunters, it has a chance to perform in the current meta.
Once this deck gets its Quest Hero Power active, there really aren’t any decks that can out-value it. The deck has very little card draw, so hitting Crystology in the mulligan is key. Zilliax also provides massive heals in critical spots, and can come back with Kangor’s Endless Army.
The greatest weakness of the deck is of course Silence and Polymorph effects. These are decently common in the current meta, so this deck has some polarizing matchups. It needs to have a fair amount of Taunt for some survivability versus Priests, Shamans and Warlocks.
Aggro Warrior is really solid against everything besides Control Warrior right now. It has a lot of unavoidable damage, and can really only lose to decks with a lot of defensive options. Given a lot of decks are just playing for board and tempo right now, this deck can face race them and win.
Town Crier is an absolutely great card, especially on turn one. The current meta is lacking in one drops, and on top of having a decent stat line, draws another card that plays well for board. Rush minions are pretty good right now, especially with Bloodsworn Mercenary.
Speaking of Bloodsworn Mercenary, the card is really good on charge minions when paired with Inner Rage. More often than not, Leeroy Jenkins provides more than enough to finish off any opponent with this combo. Even just hitting a Frothing Berserker with this card can win games with the lack of early game removal from other decks.
Quest Shaman is pretty good at controlling the board and dealing a lot o face damage. The best part of the face damage Shaman can do, is that it ignores taunts because it is direct damage from Lifedrinkers, Weaponized Wasps and Fire Elementals.
Lifedrinkers are also really good for the Shamans because they provide a lot of heal to stick around in the match. They can be bounced back with Bog Sloshers as well for a lethal amounts of damage on their own. The deck does enough damage to even kill Warriors.
A surprising card is Mogu Fleshshaper from the new set. It is actually really easy to get this card out for cheap and it provides really good board control. It becomes even better when paired with Mutate, getting an eight drop for just a couple mana, sometimes even less. Another good card with Mutate is Giggling Inventor, which puts out four Annoy-o-trons with the Quest Hero Power.
Good luck on the ladder and happy climbing.
Images courtesy Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.