The February balance update is now live. We are going to see a slight meta shift in the coming weeks leading into the HCT Winter Championship. Some of the popular decks that are unaffected by these changes are going to nudge their way up the tier lists. Here we look at a few of the Best Ladder Decks for February that gain a little power with the coming nerfs.
Odd Paladin was the previous Paladin archetype to receive a nerf but it remained a very powerful Aggro deck. Thanks to the Equality nerf it should once again surge forward as the most popular choice for the Paladin class.
Odd Paladin will likely rise to be the king of Aggro decks once more. The nerf to Cold Blood means that Odd Rogue ends up being a lot less aggressive. Hunter’s Mark is one of the less important cards in Hunter but the nerf to it means it can’t be as aggressive with large minions in the earlier stages of games. Odd Paladin already had favorable matchups against both archetypes and now it gets even stronger.
Odd Paladin had weak matchups against OTK and Even Paladin. It could still struggle a little in those matchups given that Consecration is often a full clear for Odd Paladin’s small health boards. However, with these archetypes being nerfed they will likely be less prevalent meaning more good matchups for Odd Paladin.
Though players will have to be careful of the meta switching towards Control Priests and Warlocks. These classes have good tools to deal with Odd Paladin board states.
Deathrattle Hunter is one of the popular Hunter archetypes that is the least affected by the Hunter’s Mark nerf. It’s a slower form of Hunter that fits very well in a meta where aggressive decks are being nerfed.
Deathrattle Hunter players could easily cut Hunter’s Mark from their lists thanks to Spider Bomb being able to deal with large single targets. It’s a very flexible spot that could be fitted with tech cards to deal with wide boards like Mind Control Tech, or weapons with Gluttonous Ooze. Two Stitched Trackers can also be ran to search for the minions needed to deal with specific matchups.
A lot of Deathrattle Hunter’s bad matchups include Midrange Hunter, Secret Hunter, Odd Rogue, and Even Paladin. All of these decks are receiving nerfs and should help Deathrattle Hunter get more wins.
The one deck that Deathrattle Hunter will likely have to tech against is Odd Paladin. Already one of its worst matchups, its popularity is likely going to increase. Deathrattle Hunters can run things like Tar Creeper to help out in the early game.
Control Priest benefits from the nerfs to Odd Rogue, Hunter, and Equality. As decks like Odd Paladin and Deathrattle Hunter go up in popularity, Control Priest is very good at dealing with both of those decks.
Against Odd Rogue, Priest cannot clear those pesky 4/4 Hench-Clan Thugs. They would easily turn into 9/5s on the following turn and set up early lethals. Against Hunter it was difficult to stick a large Twilight Drake thanks to Hunter’s Mark being able to take it off right away.
The same goes for a cheap Equality and trying to build a board in the early stages against OTK and Even Paladin. Control Priest will have more game against these decks on top of being good against other meta decks.
Control Priest has a few good tools to deal with Odd Paladin. Spirit Lash can clear boards of Silver Hand Recruits, and Mass Hysteria or Psychic Scream can deal with the higher health board states. Against Deathrattle Hunter, Carnivorous Cubes and Devilsaur Eggs can be ignored when Psychic Scream gets played.
Priest has to be careful of Warrior or Druid becoming more popular. It has a hard time dealing enough damage against the massive armor gain of both of these classes.
Even and Cube Warlock
With the exception of Even Shaman, Warlock decks really struggled against all of the decks receiving nerfs. Even Warlock couldn’t survive long enough and its taunts like Hooked Reaver could be so easily removed by Hunter’s Marks, Equalities, and Vilespine Slayers. Cubelock just didn’t have enough early game to play any of it’s powerful minions and combos.
As its bad match ups with Odd Rogues, Hunters, Even and OTK Paladin go away it will be a slight bit better. Both Even and Cube Warlock can deal with Odd Paladin board states thanks to Defile and Hellfire. Twlight Drakes and Mountain Giants will stay on the board more often with Hunter’s Mark and Equality being nerfed.
Evenlock is able to put multiple big threats in the early game that require answers like Mountain Giant. Deathrattle Hunter will need Spider Bomb, Priest will need Twilight Acolyte or Shadow Word: Death, and Odd Paladin will need cards like Righteous Protector. Cubelock forces boardstates that can mostly only be handled by cards like Psychic Scream in the late game.
Warlock will have to be careful with how popular Control Priest will become. The class plays by lowering its life total which falls right into the burst damage potential of Control Priest.
Overall the meta will have a healthy amount of game across the board and hopefully be less Hunter dominated. Shaman will be in the cellar along with Druid unfortunately. Though maybe someone will discover some more decks for those classes that do well.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.