Hearthstone Global Games Week 1 has opened up the thinking processes of 48 countries around the world. Teams have been tasked with submitting decklists for all nine classes. Most countries have decided to not deviate from what has been expected for HGG lineups. Some, on the other hand, have brought out some very off-meta decks to catch other teams off guard.
The Warlock Trio
In terms of Warlock, Hearthstone Global Games Week 1 has a lot of Evenlock. It handles aggro very well and can win the control match-ups by generating multiple large, early threats until the opponent runs out of answers. Bloodreaver Gul’dan on his own generates so much value by being able to deal three damage and heal for three every single turn. It’s been winning a ton of different matchups so far.
Another Warlock represented by a decent amount of the pool is Cubelock. This deck is much more favored against control as the threat of Carnivorous Cubes with Doomguards coupled with an endless wall of taunt from Voidlord overwhelms opponents.
The last Warlock list is one that has cropped up only more recently. This new take on Zoolock tries to take advantage of a really early tempo swing with the card Happy Ghoul. Though it has seen some serious struggles, losing Evenlock and Quest Warrior.
The Jaws That Bite
Shaman has two decks in play for Hearthstone Global Games Week 1. Both decks contain Hagatha the Witch. She is able to generate so much value and can win games on her own if the primary win condition fails.
The first and most brought by a large margin is Shudderwock Shaman. The deck has good AOE board clears, good healing, and an infinite combo. By the time the deck gets to play Shudderwock, there is only a tiny percentage chance for it to lose. The deck hasn’t been peforming too well so far. It seems to be hovering around a 50 percent win rate in the tournament.
The alternative deck brought by a few countries has been Even Shaman. The board-centric deck aims to fill the board with totems to buff and drop early Sea Giants. It might perform better than its Shudderwock counterpart.
The other class to feature a hard-carrying Hero card is Hunter. Deathstalker Rexxar has the capability of producing a beast for any situation. Essentially never running out of threats, it creates a powerful win condition for a class that often runs out of steam.
The most popular Hunter is Midrange Deathrattle featuring Kathrena Winterwisp. The other two decks are Spell Hunter and a single off-meta Midrange Hunter. This Midrange Hunter brought by the Philippines features no Deathrattle cards but a lot of small beasts and a secret package. Overall, Hunter has been performing well.
The Variable Classes
Rogue and Druid actually have a handful of deck archetypes all seeing play in Hearthstone Global Games Week 1. It’s refreshing to see from a metagame perspective, as repetition tends to bore both players and viewers.
Rogues can select from an aggressive option, a slow option, or a mix of both. There is Odd Rogue, Miracle Rogue, and Quest Rogue represented at HGG. The Odd Rogue is simple, hit face fast and hard. Miracle Rogue controls the board and draws heavy to build their own board or burst down the opponent. Finally, Quest Rogue is the control killer which turns cheap minions into an onslaught of 4/4s.
The consensus for Druid based on representation by the countries at HGG is that Malygos Druid is the best.
However, there is a good amount of Token Druids and Taunt Druids. In the end, each of these decks aim to take advantage of ramp to play mana expensive cards before their opponent.
Interestingly, Austria has brought a Dragon Druid. Master Oakheart has the potential to pull out Drakkari Enchanter, a Dragonhatcher, and Hadronox all on the same turn. Because of the Enchanter, the Dragonhatcher has potential to recruit both a Sleepy Dragon and Ysera on the same turn. It’s a game plan crazy enough it might just win.
The Handcuffed Classes
Two classes at Hearthstone Global Games Week 1 are being represented by just one deck each. Paladin has its Odd version and Warrior has its Quest version.
Paladin has no other choice than to be aggressive as possible. Even the semi-popular Even variant is focused around aggression. Though since the nerf of Call to Arms, its popularity has fizzled. Odd Paladin can see success but its path to victory is extremely one dimensional.
Quest Warrior is a fantastic deck for beating aggro. However, being reliant on an RNG hero power is also its downfall in control games. Though when it draws well, its hard to beat regardless of the match-up.
As expected, nearly all of the countries brought Control Priest as their priest decklist for Hearthstone Global Games Week 1. Unexpected, however, were the three lists brought by Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Portugal, and Bulgaria.
Malaysia brought a Murloc Priest. While Priest has no Murlocs in the class itself, it can heal and buff its Murlocs to maintain board control. Then if it loses board, it has some Mind Blasts to finish off the opponent. A few pros were experimenting with the idea on ladder but seeing it at HGG is a shocker.
Kazakhstan went with a Combo Priest. This deck is not too uncommon, but there is a reason why it doesn’t see a lot of tournament play. The amount of decks running Skulking Geist, the Achilles heel of the deck, is too high. Kazakhstan takes a big risk with this deck choice.
Lastly, Portugal and Bulgaria opted for Quest Priest. This slow deck beats aggro with early game minions, removal, and healing. It wins the long games with card generation and Archbishop Benedictus, or by putting the opponent to sleep (just kidding).
This is only the beginning of a multiple month long event. Get ready to watch a ton of Hearthstone being played by your nation’s best players. You can find the bracket with the current standings on battlefy.