HCT Orange County was the first tour stop in the Post-Giggling Inventor meta, and we got to see what the pros think are the best decks without the card. No surprise to anyone, Druid still sits in the number one position for best class.
Druid Core too Strong
Druid’s must-include cards are in every single Druid deck because of their raw value. Token Druid before the Post-Giggling Inventor meta was running two Inventors and Strongshell Scavenger to buff taunts. Token Druid persists simply because taunts aren’t key to its plan of attack.
Hunter, Rogue, Paladin: One Deck Each
All three of the classes Hunter, Rogue and Paladin have more than one tournament viable archetype. However, in HCT Orange County’s top 16, only one archetype each was represented by the three classes.
Pros opting to bring Hunter are rolling with Deathrattle Hunter. The deck performs well in tempo, as an anti-control gameplan with Deathstalker Rexxar, and can beat aggro with a good draw. The deck can be teched for whatever you expect others to bring. Charged Devilsaurs can be used for burst damage out of Kathrena Winterwisp, and Mind Control Techs can be included to beat any deck spreading the board. Devilsaur Egg creates a mind game for the opponent as well.
With the nerf to Giggling Inventor, Quest Rogue’s power level has decreased, once again bringing Odd Rogue to the forefront as the go-to Aggro deck. The hero power in Odd Rogue is so strong, and combined with the great Combo tools of Rogue, it makes it a tough task for tempo decks to compete with it.
Odd Paladin is back in the meta, as its turn five is now one of the strongest in the game again, not being slowed down by Giggling Inventor taunts. The issue with Level Up! on five was that it could be stalled out by Giggling Inventors, forcing it to tech Blood Knight. The later games go for Odd Paladin, the weaker it gets, which means it wasn’t a great tournament deck before the recent nerf.
Warlock and Shaman
Warlock and Shaman bring some interesting variety to the table. Shaman doesn’t have to bring only Shudderwock to compete. Warlock has been a three-archetype class for a while now.
Even Shaman is now a viable alternative for Shaman players. It’s hard to compete with the infinite combo that Shudderwock can create, but it’s also whiffed a lot in tournament play. Even Shaman can create powerful board states with decent burst damage, and really take advantage of its one-mana hero power. Corpsetakers and Sea Giants can really snowball the early game if not immediately answered.
While Zoolock and Cubelock are very strong in their own right, pros are convinced that Evenlock is the most versatile Warlock deck. Drawing Mountain Giants and Twilight Drakes creates massive obstacles for classes that often don’t have the removal answers. Cubelock is a deck that has a hard time losing in the late game, and Zoolock is still a strong aggro deck, given the right opening.
The popularity and strength of Odd Warrior has died down, and Tempo Mage is dead completely after the Mana Wyrm nerf. One player did manage to make top 16 with Murloc Mage, and Warrior was still represented by an interesting Control version. Priest had its single representation with an Inner Fire Combo Dragon version.
It’s not to say that these classes or decks are bad, but that the other classes are so good that these classes get left behind. You are left with three deck slots right off the bat because it’s pretty much mandatory to bring Druid if you want a strong deck lineup. Druid has been an oppressive class and will continue to be that way.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.