HS Journal #8: Shadow of the Arena

Hey, guys! I’m Chriseroi, a relatively new Hearthstone player who started in June of 2015 and has been playing and enjoying it ever since! I love reading a lot of these guides on Hearthstone Players from various parts of the community, and I wanted to contribute to the community by giving you a peek inside […]

Introduction

Hey, guys! I’m Chriseroi, a relatively new Hearthstone player who started in June of 2015 and has been playing and enjoying it ever since! I love reading a lot of these guides on Hearthstone Players from various parts of the community, and I wanted to contribute to the community by giving you a peek inside my own little amusing journey, whether it’s climbing up the ladder, getting better at Arena (probably not), or even just me building up my collection. I really hope you enjoy reading these little journals every week as much as I enjoyed writing them!

This is part eight of a continuing series. Be sure to read the previous entries as well!

Interlude: Confusion

[a video game console appears, and the background music is heard as it starts up]

Dad: Okay, watch and learn.

Nate: Oh, I’m learning all right.

[the video game console logo pops up on the television screen]

Dad: Is this it?

Nate: No, it has to load.

Dad: Load?

Nate: Yes.

Dad: [impatient] This is taking a really a long time.

Nate: You have no patience.

Dad: When you turn something on, you expect it to…

[suddenly, the main menu of a game emerges on the screen]

Dad: Oh. Uh, okay…

Nate: Is there a problem?

Dad: [attempting to play by hitting the controller] No, no, just uh… How do you, uh… How do you make it go?

Nate: Push the START button?

Dad: I knew that. I got it.

Nate: All right…

Checking the Meta

Okay, so I was looking over the meta analyses over at Tempo Storm and the Competitive Hearthstone subreddit, and I realized a few things were common with all of them.

The first thing is that Priest is essentially dead, with Rogue and Paladin not too far from that. As somebody who played a bunch when the WotOG expansion first came out, it’s really disappointing to see Rogue and Priest, who were played and experimented with so much during the first couple months of the expansion, suddenly at the bottom of every list when it comes to which class is better and played more on the ladder. And it certainly doesn’t mean that they are bad classes, by any means! It simply means that they don’t do particularly well against other classes, in a meta like the one we’re in today.

The second thing is that Warrior, Shaman, and Druid are the three classes that pretty much everyone agrees is dominating the ladder at the moment. The top archetype for each class is, respectively: Dragon Warrior, Aggro Shaman, and Yogg Druid. For those that are unfamiliar with those decks, let me fill you in super quickly with descriptions courtesy of Tempo Storm’s Meta Snapshot, a place you should all really visit every now and then if you’re curious like me!

Dragon Warrior is a mid-range deck that focuses on dragon synergy and weapons to gain control of the board. Its powerful on-curve plays allows the player to maintain tempo into its late-game turns, and big threats like Drakonid Crusher, Grommash Hellscream, Malkorok, and Ragnaros the Firelord leaves Dragon Warrior with a strong mid-late game win condition. Dragon Warrior players can have really aggressive openers with Alexstrasza’s Champion and Kor’kron Elite, allowing them to rush the opponent quickly with mid-game staying power from its Dragon core. When this deck curves out properly, it can be nearly impossible to stop.

Aggro Shaman is, well, Aggro Shaman. It’s a fairly basic deck to understand, but there’s a few things to remember about it if you haven’t already. Unlike every other aggro deck, Aggro Shaman can uniquely race other aggro decks without sacrificing the ability to beat out control decks. The goal is to close out games in the first 5-8 turns by means of pushing minion damage.

It has the best turn 1-2 opener in the game with Tunnel Trogg followed by Totem Golem, before closing the game out with Doomhammer. Also unlike other aggro decks is the focus on board control for the first couple of turns in order for it to push the necessary damage with minions, as well as complement the value of Flametongue Totem. Doomhammer with Rockbiter Weapon is this deck’s finisher, along with burn spells like Lava Burst and Lightning Bolt. The decklist still remains the same due to being refined to the point where tech decisions usually end up hurting the list more than helping it.

Yogg Druid is probably the most interesting deck out of the three. The goal with this deck is to use combinations of cards together to create extremely powerful turns. For the first few turns, stall with Wrath, Living Roots, and Swipe, while using Wild Growth and Mire Keeper to ramp.

After that, use Violet Teacher and Fandral Staghelm in combination with area-of-effect buffs such as Power of the Wild and Soul of the Forest to create a board which your opponent simply just cannot efficiently and quickly deal with. Or, if they can, just build it back up with Wisps of the Old Gods! If you’re getting destroyed, you’ve just gotta praise Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End! With so many win conditions, it makes this deck very strong as a result. Yogg Druid is slightly unfavored against decks like Zoolock and Aggro Shaman, but with early ramp, token combos, taunts, and Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End, you are still in a good position to maintain board pressure and grab a win.

Now that you know about these three decks, I wanted to note that lastly, most decks aside from these three seem to be variable in their performance in the meta. It could very well be that these three decks are just so strong (not overpowered, but strong enough) that it’s hard to gauge the viability of other decks. I’m talking about decks like Mage and Hunter builds, for example, not similar archetypes to these three such as Control Warrior. It’s interesting to see a variety of strong decks without a specific singular one deck with an overwhelming presence, such as Secret Paladin of ages past. It might sound like I’m exaggerating though, so take this last point with a grain of salt, if you will.

Anyways…

Searching for Greatness

I already have cthun (obviously), twin-emperor-veklor, and Hallazeal the Ascended, but that’s just a mere three legendaries out of the entire WotOG set. I could go back and grab some Classic legendaries instead, but hold up! I can’t make this decision by myself! But what about you guys? What do you all think? My question to you is: what other legendaries should I get? I have enough dust for two legenaries, so keep that in mind.

Here, I’ll list out a small list of legendaries that I don’t have yet, and a description of each one to help.

N’Zoth, The Corruptor

This guy allows for entire deck archetypes to be built around him and he allows annoying, sticky minions to become even more annoying as a finisher.

Fandral Staghelm

A very versatile card which provides insane effects with choose one cards allowing a greater effect, it’s a staple in C’Thun Druid and Midrange Druid.

Princess Huhuran

It’s basically Savannah Highmane for one less mana and allows more versatility.

Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End

It’s a very fun card which provides a massive amount of RNG, in order to hopefully win the game. This card can be considered as semi-competitive but it excels in the fun factor.

Lord Jaraxxus

If you play him and don’t get killed on the next turn, you usually win. Control decks can’t keep up with the everlasting stream of 6/6s and aggro decks can’t get through if you taunt them up. The only downside of Lord Jaraxxus is his low life total, making him susceptible to combo attacks.

Ragnaros the Firelord

Now that the amount of sticky deathrattles has decreased dramatically, it’s harder to waste his damage on a small minion, and he’s hard to remove while removing eight health minions for free, essentially.

Ysera

As the ultimate card for card advantage in control matchups, if you can get her to survive for at least two turns, you’ve basically won the game as the cards she provides are pretty much all insane. Her 12 health also makes her really difficult to remove.

Why am I asking? It’s simple: I want to play a new legendary, but I just don’t know who to craft! I’ve been out of touch recently with the complexities of the Hearthstone meta (hence my reading up on the meta analyses) so I’m more hesitant to craft a legendary than I used to be, understandably. Help me out a bit, if you can!

Anyways, there’s no new deck this week. I haven’t been looking into anything new since I simply don’t have the cards for it, and I haven’t been playing as much as I should have been recently, unfortunately. On top of that, I’m going to be immensely busy starting this week, so not only may I not have time to play Hearthstone at all, I’m not entirely sure if I can throw out a new article next week either! While that’s not set in stone, please don’t be surprised if the articles skip a week this time. Sorry!

Closing

I’ve retooled these journals a bit to be more brief, but hopefully with the sake of being more frequent than they have been in the past few months! Thanks for reading, by the way! I really hope you enjoyed what I’ve written here, and I’ll try my best to write a new one every now and then. Oh, and hey, if you guys want me to write up a little something-something, like a guide or whatever, for any of the decks I’ll be talking about here, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do. See you guys in Hearthstone!