It’s been nearly two weeks since the release of Rise of Shadows. The meta has started to settle into a groove. We can start to look at how the meta decks interact with one another. Here is an overview of the early Rise of Shadows meta.
Rogue and Warrior Top of the Heap
Rogue in this meta is essentially the equivalent of Midrange Hunter in the last meta. Tempo Rogue is capable of beating just about any deck thanks to its versatility. It can play very aggressively with Leeroy Jenkins and all of the Shadowstep effects. It can also play for value with Heistbaron Togwaggle and his treasures. EVIL Miscreant simply provides an insane amount of tempo in the early stages of the game.
Warrior ends up being the second most popular class simply because it stands the best chance of winning against Rogue. It has weapon removal, armor gain, and board control tools that can deal with all of the threats that Rogue provides. Besides the control variant, there is also the Bomb Warrior which can aggressively do about the same things to the Rogues.
Where the Warrior falters is against high-value decks like Conjurer Mage. Mage can make larger boards of threats than Warrior is capable of clearing. Decks like Mech Hunter also pick apart Warriors because their control tools are targeted at non-mech minions.
Midrange Hunter also has a strong game against Warrior because of Dire Frenzy value hitting charge beasts. Warriors no longer have access to Tank Up so they can’t out-heal the damage.
Token Druid, Mech Hunter, Zoolock
Token Druid, Mech Hunter, and Zoolock are the new aggressive decks. Overall the meta is much slower because cards like Prince Keleseth have gone away. With the Heal Zoo package also being gone, new game plans of aggression had to be found.
Token Druid is decent overall but has quite a bad match up against Zoolock. If the Zoolock is able to get their Magic Carpets online, there is never an opportunity for the Druid to develop a board state. Druids are okay against Warriors and Rogue, but still very draw reliant overall. If the Rogues are running Fan of Knives and the Warrior draws all of their AOE removal, then Druid can and will lose.
As for Zoolock, they have a much harder time against Control Warrior. The win condition for Zoo in that matchup is high-rolling with Arch Villain Rafaam. Zoo is okay against Rogue, but can get rushed down if they lack taunt minions. Rogues can also have a lot more game against board oriented decks with their EVIL Miscreants.
Mech Hunter is a great counter to Control Warrior. Especially when the deck is running value cards like Mechanical Whelp and Nine Lives, Warrior lacks enough removal that works on mechs. The problem with this version of Mech Hunter is that it can be very bad against Rogue. Hunter tries to take advantage of the Magnetic mechanic, which all gets beaten by Sap.
Conjurer Mage, Resurrect Priest, and the Rest
Conjurer Mage is the best counter to Warrior decks. Warriors often don’t have enough aggression to end the game before the endless onslaught of giant minions comes through. Conjurer’s Calling alone provides an insane amount of value in control and aggro matchups. It gives you four cards and can be used on friendly or enemy targets.
Resurrect Priest is sort of the fragments of what it was in the last meta. You can still do interesting things with Catrina Muerte and Mass Ressurection, but it doesn’t have the ability to be as powerful as it was. It beats out Warriors because eventually you just make a giant minion with Inner Fire and kill them. It struggles against everything else though because other decks can make bigger minions, sap their taunts, and generally just kill them.
An interesting Priest build is Chef Nomi Priest. It’s essentially a Miracle Priest that relies on winning with Grave Horrors against aggro decks and Chef Nomi combos against control decks. However, if the Priests aren’t able to get their Northshire Cleric plus Wild Pyromancer plus Circle of Healing combo, they can’t win.
Other decks like Mech Paladin are good against particular classes, in this case Warrior, but get beat by most everything else. At this point in the meta game, if the deck can’t beat Rogue and Warrior, it’s not a good enough deck.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.