There’s just over a week left in the current meta. We will see a fresh meta game with the Rise of Shadows expansion release, marking the start of the Year of the Dragon. Lets take one last look at the pre-Rise of Shadows meta as we wave goodbye to the Year of the Raven.
Meta Strangling Decks
Hunter was the biggest thorn in everyone’s side for the longest time. At all levels of play, Midrange Hunter performs as the single best deck. Not far behind it is Deathrattle Hunter, simply because the deck also benefits from Deathstalker Rexxar and out-valuing the Control matchups.
Odd Paladin, while a less popular competitive deck, had the second largest foothold on the ladder. The deck maximizes time efficiency since it wins a lot of games in a very short period of time. It has some hard counters with Priests and Warriors, but performs pretty well against all the other meta decks, and definitely takes out off-meta decks.
Zoo Warlock is a deck that never really faded thanks to the existence of Prince Keleseth. If you were able to play Keleseth on turn two, it resulted in a win a vast majority of the time. The Saronite Chain Gang nerf had minimal impact on its role in the deck.
The Almost Top Tiers
A deck that became largely popular thanks to its strength against Midrange Hunter and Zoo Warlock was Odd Mage. The archetype was often passed up in favor of the Aggro Secret version, but it just didn’t hold up as well overall. Odd Mage makes great use of the upgraded Hero Power combined with control elements.
Control Priest is a deck that is very reactionary with a great damaging late game. It’s another deck, like Odd Mage, that controls those aggressive decks, but holds up better against Odd Paladin. It’s a little less good against Midrange Hunter though, needing a good draw to get by.
Odd Warrior is simply an anti-fun deck. Without a doubt the archetype that takes the most time to play per game, it is the most favorable against aggressive decks. Despite being favored against Midrange Hunters and the like, it moves way too slowly. It’s weaknesses are Deathrattle decks like Hunter, and Mecha’thun decks.
Unique Decks in a Stale Meta
One of the most exciting things to happen to the meta at the end of this card cycle was Wall Priest. An original deck archetype turned into a pretty good part of the meta. It is the single one most popular deck list as far as the card-for-card copy goes. It provides some decent game against aggressive decks since it is comprised mostly of taunt minions. Wall Priests surprise the control decks with giant burst from Divine Spirit and Inner Fire.
For the sake of trying something that wasn’t droll and boring like the rest of the meta, Thief Rogue rose to that spot. It performs quite horribly on the whole, considering it has very little defense. It shines against very slow decks however. More importantly, it maximizes the RNG elements of Hearthstone to create a unique experience in each game.
Secret Paladin was sort of an off the beaten path deck that saw viability in the lower ranks and skill levels. The cards being ran in the deck do nothing very powerful on their own. However, the secrets and divine shields can be very annoying to deal with. Of course, Sunkeeper Tarim can win games on his own by turning a bunch of 1/1s into 3/3s.
We look forward to all of the new deck archetypes in the new year!
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.