Alternative Ladder Decks

The nerfs came and with them, new decks started showing up, people are playing different lists and playtesting a lot. We are in a whole new standard. Between many of the changes, there is this part which concerns a few decks that weren’t good enough but that became much better post-nerf simply because the decks […]


The nerfs came and with them, new decks started showing up, people are playing different lists and playtesting a lot. We are in a whole new standard. Between many of the changes, there is this part which concerns a few decks that weren’t good enough but that became much better post-nerf simply because the decks that were good against them became weakened as well as the decks in which those decks are good against are now being played a lot more.

This article will not only show you these decks, but also bring you different and alternative options for you to ladder with. All lists posted here have been personally playtested by me various times and updated as well in order to be at an optimal state, enjoy!

Control Shaman

After the tuskarr-totemic nerf Midrange and Aggro Shaman got a serious hit. The fact that those decks are still viable is just proof of Shaman’s powerful curve that even when seriously injured still packs a punch.

However, Shamans aren’t limited to Midrange and Aggro, and the Control strategy feels just as powerful nowadays, especially because its main predator, call-of-the-wild based Hunter, is now gone from Hearthstone.

There are many reasons why you should consider playing Control Shaman, first is that currently there is no real Counter in the game for the deck, second is that it actually is highly favored against the most played decks in the ladder right now, third is that the deck is actually tons of fun and requires a considerable amount of skill to be piloted, and last is that the deck actually hard counter most of the highly played ladder decks.

The most interesting and different pick on this deck is jeweled-scarab, which is a massive buff for Control Shamans that had to be neglected in order for more consistent early game defenses pre-nerf. The card itself makes up for a huge advantage, as Shamans have the most amazing 3-drops in the game. An amazing discussion regarding Jeweled Scarab was brought up in /r/CompetitiveHS, and apparently tons of other players also agree with my statement:

The inclusion of Jeweled Scarab allows for the deck to run the-curator and elise-starseeker as tools for both Card advantage and Control matchup reach.

This list is the personal Control Shaman list of mine, which was based on WiRer’s pre-nerf Control Shaman list that he used to farm all the Control Warriors on the high rankings of the ladder.

N’Zoth Rogue

Rogue itself was a class that gained a lot from the nerfs. The class basically jumped from a bottom tier-3 class to a top tier 2 class simply because the aggressiveness of the ladder diminished greatly.

There has been great discussion regarding which build of Rogue is actually the optimal one, if it is the reactive or the proactive, which is: People actually discuss between nzoth-the-corruptor and questing-adventurer based Rogues. The question is mostly regarding the Control matchups and consistency.

My opinion on the matter is that N’Zoth Rogue has an edge on the Ladder while the Questing Adventurer version seems more fit for tournaments, and since we are talking Ladder here, I would like to share with you my personal version of N’Zoth Rogue.

My list runs quite different from other versions, firstly is that I don’t use card such as burgle and ethereal-peddler because they just add too much randomness and can never make up for a reliable deck, then I run some bombs together with the N’Zoth Shell in the form of alexstrasza and sylvanas-windrunner. Sylvanas is a N’Zoth additional tech, and a meta-choice more than anything. Meanwhile Alexstrasza is being casted quite a lot, even when our opponents are rushing us, and another important fact regarding the big Dragon is that we are using it very often as an offensive minion, which leads us to believe it is being the correct pick for the deck as of right now.

Other card choices are pretty much self-explanatory, like the Miracle Shell and the proactive 1 and 2 drops.

Dragon Priest

Last, but not least, I would like to once again point my finger at Dragon Priest. The deck was, unsurprisingly (at least for me) the one deck that performed the best on the playtests by a huge margin. The simply fact it is one of the few decks that can still get auto-wins given a strong curve combined with the idea that most of its major counters were removed from the game makes Dragon Priest a strong candidate for the Ladder Grind.

It feels strange to say something like this especially when Priest (the worst class in the game by a huge margin) haven’t had any new cards added or buffs of any kind, however literally all the decks that had a better curve than Dragon Priest got heavily nerfed with the latest patch.

As for the list, this is literally the same build that I have been running for quite some time now, but that only recently had a massive increase in winrate.

Going over some of the choices that I believe makes this list great, are forbidden-shaping, that (together with netherspite-historian) makes up for the lack of late game bombs and can fill in curve slots that are missing during any matchup, only one entomb so we don’t get stuck behind on Tempo, and deathwing that functions as both a Dragon Enabler as well as a Last resort card.

Different from the previously posted lists, this list is easier to pilot as it is still a “curvestone” list more than anything, but different from other “curvestone” lists this one has quite a lot of decision making in Midrange and Control matchups.

Did I mention this is an amazing deck to display your new Hero Tyrande? WOAH!

PS: “Curvestone” is a term I decided to use to describe decks that over-relies on curving in order to win games, like “Midrange Shaman”, “Dragon Warrior” and pre-rotation “Secret Paladin”. These decks usually requires very little skill to be piloted, so the term is a mockery.


There is so much more about brewing, though! With this new standard Brews are showing up a lot, and I’ll have and save some time this week to Brew! Make some new decks and discuss previously unused cards, maybe we can find some sleepers, eh?

As for the article, the posted decks are the ones I enjoyed playing the most and I haven’t seen anyone else playing them, while they are giving me so many wins, so I am sharing those lists with you guys!

Hope you all enjoyed this article, and we’ll be seeing each other again very soon in our next article!

Love you guys,