With the new expansion out, streamers have been having a gala time with the new cards at high ranks and there are some interesting lists that have been making the rounds on stream. Let’s check out some extremely effective decks that worked well on ladder for popular streamers and content creators in this unstable and fun meta.
Feno’s Token Druid
If you thought only Jade Druid was going to make it big this expansion then think again, Feno used his own take on Token Druid to Rank 1 Legend with what appears to be an anti-aggro variant with plenty of taunts thrown with Mark of the Lotus replacing Power of the Wild in the older lists. While the list is not entirely innovative the one mana difference between Power of the Wild and Mark of the Lotus does make a hefty difference to the deck due to how much more effective it is with Violet Teacher allowing you to make those swing turns even better.
While the only drawback of removing Power of the Wild is that Fandral Staghelm gets slightly worse in the deck, the addition of cards like Ancient of War balances the potential of Fandral combos out a bit. You have access to two copies of Feral Rage and Harrison Jones to make sure you are able to stay in the game long enough against all the aggressive decks that are floating around. You also have access to Druid of the Claw which wasn’t particularly popular in the older lists of Token Druid, making it well suited for countering fast decks and prevents face damage quite well due to the high HP on your taunts. The goal of the deck is to get massive swing turns with Violet Teacher and use your cheap spells to generate tokens, and then finish off your opponent with a massive Savage Roar turn for a lot of ‘burst damage’. It is a very fun deck to play and you can play the deck both proactively and reactively.
When starting off you want to look for a little bit of ramp and removals. If you happen to have Innervate for massive swing turns with Fandral Staghelm or Violet Teacher then you can keep them in your hand too. One of the biggest issues you might end up facing is spending all of your cards too quickly and dead turns after that allowing your opponents to come back into the game. Manage your resources well enough without going all in when unnecessary and you will be rewarded. The deck is very solid and does quite well in the current unstable meta!
Kolento’s Jade Druid
Kolento has been having a massive amount of success with his Jade Druid list that got him to Rank 2 relatively quickly at the time of writing this article and he has been maintaining a very high winrate throughout. While the deck does have room for refinement, it has been doing quite well and if you happen to be someone who loves the Jade Golem mechanic then you should definitely try the deck out.
It plays out a lot differently from the previous Token Druid deck and you do not have particularly explosive turns but you slowly charge up your Jade Golems and put out big minions over time. While the deck has been suffering quite a bit against aggro decks, the inclusion of multiple taunt minions and Feral Rage has been helping the deck’s cause a lot. It targets the slow Kabal decks quite well and the ability to never go into fatigue while being able to exhaust the enemy of all resources makes it a great deck to use right now. As long as you are not facing too many aggro decks, the deck should do quite well. Even in the unfavorable matchups you have the ability to ramp up quickly and push your opponents out of contention. Fandral Staghelm can auto win you games if you get high amounts of ramp and cheat your mana pool for massive swing turns.
The Jade Golem mechanic feels very powerful in Druid and you also have Brann Bronzebeard in the deck to get value out of your battlecry minions. There is no deck that can compete toe to toe against a Jade Golem Druid that has complete board presence and a high health pool, but surviving the early game is not as easy as it sounds right now!
Just like Token Druid you want to ramp up early and start developing your board while dealing with enemy early game. The faster you start spamming your golems, the faster you will be able to snowball to victory. One of the facets when playing the deck is that you need to hold on to Jade Idol to avoid draw inconsistencies and only play them when you have draw cards in hand to refill your hand right after playing it.
Sintolol’s Aggro Pirate Warrior
Sintolol hit Rank 1 Legend with this build of Pirate Warrior that is a bit different from the meta Pirate Warrior decks that we have been seeing in the recent past. This list in particular also includes Acidic Swamp Ooze to have a counter in the mirror matches. Patches the Pirate and Small-Time-Buccaneer have been doing quite well in the meta and they have become must include cards.
One of the replies I keep getting when people tell me Patches the Pirate is a bad card when I talk about him. One of the best things about Patches is that he takes out one card from your deck right at the start of the game when you play a Pirate, making your draws slightly more consistent even though it is by a little bit. It is also to be noted that pushing out 2 pirates on turn 1 or 2 makes it very difficult for both of them to be cleared in one turn and Bloodsail Cultist becomes a lot more consistent with its battlecry effect.
Sintolol did not include the new Warrior legendary everyone has been hyped about due to the temp loss the deck has on turn 2 due to playing a 2 mana 2/2 compared to how good the other 1 and 2 drops are. While the weapons getting buffed is no doubt an extremely strong effect, the buffs do not add up to much considering the deck can win consistently by turn 6 even without running Hobart Grapplehammer. The deck feels very refined and consistent and it doesn’t run any gimmicky cards. Acidic Swamp Ooze does make quite the impact against weapon decks and negates plenty of burst damage. You need to mulligan aggressively for your cheap cards and try to push out as much damage as possible.
If you are playing against Reno decks then the only way they can push you out of contention is if they get a very early Reno on turn 6 or 7, which should be enough to exhaust you of your resources. But singleton decks are not very good at drawing answers and you should have an edge over them anyway.
The deck has lots of aggressive early game and weapons and curves very smoothly. You want to look for your cheap minions and weapons at the start of the game and then curve into your 3 drops and higher cost cards to out-tempo your opponent.
Noxious’ Face Hunter
If you like aggressive Hunter decks and firmly believe face is always the place; then Noxious has just the right deck for you. This particular Hunter list caps out at 4 mana and there are plenty of sticky minions that allow you to not only be extremely aggressive but also have tools to survive board clears due to the abundance of deathrattles in the deck. Dispatch Kodo is a great minion in the deck for not only maintaining your board presence but also ensuring you have some extra reach as well. Rat Pack has been one of the biggest sleeper value cards in the expansion and it has been performing quite well in most of my Hunter decks. Buffing it with Houndmaster makes the Deathrattle even stronger and puts out more tokens than what its original stat line would provide. With so many greedy decks around it makes sense to run some aggressive decks to blow out slower decks quite easily and it also does well against Jade Golem decks as well.
Look for your 1 and 2 drops and if you get good opening you should also keep your Animal Companion in hand for a powerful opening. Since the most expensive cards in the deck cap at 4 mana you should not have trouble developing threats on the board and applying constant pressure against your enemies. The Hunter hero power can help you squeeze in damage in some weaker turns to ensure your opponent is always on a clock to survive and has to spend time dealing with your threats instead of being able to consistently develop their own minions.
Sjow’s Anti-Aggro Dragon Priest
Unless you missed out on the news alert, Priest is back in the meta and how. Dragon Priest has always been a great deck but some of its shortcomings happen to be its 5 mana slot and AoE options. While Blackwing Corruptor is a great tempo tool, Azure Drake does not feel like a high tempo play in the deck, which aims to play a bunch of stats every turn and push the opponent out of contention.
In the older meta, Holy Nova was the AoE of choice for most Dragon Priest decks but it was not very good with so many minions floating around that have 3 health. And the other good AoE option in form of Excavated Evil just did not feel right since it damaged your own board too, which is really bad in the deck compared to Control style decks that have minimal board presence. Kabal Talonpriest has been one of the sleeper hits in Priest and being able to buff up your early game taunt minions makes the deck extremely good against aggressive decks. While Blackwing Technician had Dragon synergy attached to it, it was only a body with high stats that could feel underwhelming if you did not have a Dragon in hand, but it is not the case when it comes to Kabal Talonpriest because of the 3/4 stat line. Dragonfire Potion makes things really interesting for the deck because it allows you to preserve your board state while clearing off other non-Dragon minions.
Drakonid Operative is one of the most powerful discover cards ever made in the game. While all the discover cards printed so far allows you to draw from a specific pool of cards specified in the card text, none of them involve anything to do with your opponent’s deck. Drakonid Operative is the first card that lets you peek into your opponent’s deck and draw from their cards instead of outside both the decks of players. It allows you to not only get access to powerful cards but also know more about your opponent’s deck and counter it better. I have been able to snatch out lethal damage or powerful spells and minions out of my opponent’s deck and use their own cards against them. The effect does seem kind of unfair to me, but as long as it keeps winning me games I do not mind!
For your mulligans you want to look for a solid curve with a cheap Dragon effect activator in hand to make sure you get value out of all your cards. A good Dragon Priest curve against aggro almost always goes unbeaten and you will not have too many issues against aggressive decks due to the anti-aggro tools in your deck.
These were some of the highlight decks from streamers from the new set and if you have some deck ideas or lists that you’ve seen online do let me know and I’d love to try them out. Let us know how the decks work for you on ladder and what changes you would make to them in the comments below!