22 February 2018 - 16:00

Best Standard Hearthstone decks to play right now

Here are the decks crushing the ladder.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

It's been two weeks since Hearthstone's last set of nerfs. In all likelihood, there won't be any more changes until the set rotation—that's likely coming in April.

Warlock is dominating the meta now. It was already pretty strong, and while the other top classes got nerfed Warlock escaped. That means it's going to be powerful—but just how powerful?

Maybe you were a diehard Razakus Priest or Tempo Rogue player, and you still haven't figured out what the best deck to play now is. Or maybe you're just looking for something different to queue. In any case, here are some of the best decks to play in Standard Hearthstone right now.

Control Warlock

Control Warlock is the most popular deck on ladder right now.

The new cards Possessed Lackey and Voidlord have created a powerful control package that shuts down just about every strategy out there at the moment. Now that Razakus Priest is gone, Control Warlock is the king of the meta for now.

The deck plays an impressive array of board clear and control tools, allowing the demons to flood the board. With Bloodreaven Gul'dan and N'Zoth, those demons can return again and again. Some variants play Rin to try and win the fatigue game too.

Even as players try and counter it, the few flex slots show that the deck can withstand just about whatever is thrown at it. Whether its Doomsayer, or Tar Creeper, or even Plated Beetle, Control Warlock players are finding ways to deal with aggro counters.

Murloc Paladin

Taking Control Warlock out of the equation, Murloc Paladin has its run of the ladder. The deck has very few weaknesses—apart from a massively unfavored matchup against Control Warlock.

Again, managing to come out of the recent nerfs unscathed has really pushed this deck up the rankings. The Patches and Bonemare nerfs hit the rest of the aggro decks pretty hard, but Murloc Paladin still has a powerful and consistent strategy.

Even though Murloc Warleader was previously nerfed, it still has a home in this deck. Right now, no aggro deck can snowball as successfully as Murloc Paladin.

Cube Warlock

Cube Warlock could have taken the second spot on the list, and it's not exactly weak to Murloc Paladin—but it does have a worse matchup against aggro than Control Warlock.

The trade off for that is a more consistent matchup against control decks, which still make up most of the meta between Warlock and Priest. The reason for that is that it has the potential to output significant damage for a burst finish using Doomguards and Cubes.

However adding those Doomguards has a downside—it removes the ability to consistently draw Voidlords from Lackeys. The limited Demon pool is one of the strengths of Control Warlock, as it improves the consistency of the strategy.

Secret Mage

There's a recurring theme with the top decks in this list—they all managed to avoid getting nerfed recently. Secret Mage, or Tempo Mage if you prefer, is another deck on the rise because of the decline of others.

It exists in a sweet spot in the current meta. It struggles against aggro, but the nerfs hit its worst matchups really hard. On the other hand, it does well against control and is one of the best options to counter Control Warlock.

The deck relies on early pressure, cheating out secrets with Kirin Tor Mage and Kabal Lackey, and using Medivh's Valet to control the board. Then the deck has a ton of burn spells, and Aluneth to be able to draw them. The roadmap to victory is pretty simple.

Dragon Priest

With Razakus Priest gone thanks to the nerfs, Priest players are having to shift their focus.

Enter Dragon Priest. Ever since the Blackrock Mountain expansion, Dragon Priest has been a thing—but with set rotations it comes in and out of the top tier. Now Razakus Priest has gone, Dragons are the best option for consistent Priest play.

There are two major builds of Dragon Priest, but they retain the same core. The first is Combo Dragon Priest, which aims to finish a game with an out of nowhere Divine Spirit and Inner Fire combo. It's one of the oldest combo finishers in Hearthstone—but it's still very satisfying.

The other version runs a Spiteful Summoner spell package to create an insurmountable board presence. The amount of big threats that Free From Amber can put out in this deck can be unbeatable in a lot of situations.

Zoo Warlock

Yep, that's right. Warlock makes up half of this list all by itself. That's pretty terrifying, and speaks to the overall strength of the class right now. It will likely stay that way too—at least until the Standard rotation.

Zoo Warlock might have taken a hit from the aggro nerfs, but the overall board presence package that Zoo has always had mean that it remains relevant. As long as there are cheap minions to be had, Zoo will probably always have a place.

The Patches nerf means the Pirate package is gone, and players haven't settled on a single replacement. The most common appears to a focus around a Keleseth strategy, borrowing from the seriously nerfed Tempo Rogue. Other players are going with a bigger focus on Demons—that's hard to argue with when Bloodreaver Gul'dan is so powerful.

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