Power Overwhelming: A look back at the most powerful decks in history

There have been decks that have ruled the Meta in Hearthstone but some of them were really hard to beat and have been very overwhelming for players who used other decks. Every deck has its own weaknesses but when played right these decks completely destroyed their opponents. Some of them saw their cards getting nerfed […]

There have been decks that have ruled the Meta in Hearthstone but some of them were really hard to beat and have been very overwhelming for players who used other decks. Every deck has its own weaknesses but when played right these decks completely destroyed their opponents. Some of them saw their cards getting nerfed while others succumbed to the Standard rotation and stopped seeing play in Standard. There are also a couple of decks that continue to see play and even though they aren’t as powerful as before, they easily fall into Tier 1 or Tier 2 of meta snapshots quite often.

11. Spell Damage Druid

If you have not been around during the early days of Hearthstone then you are in for quite a surprise. Druid was one of the most aggressive classes in the game and spells like Starfall had the ability to go face. Savagery had the same AoE effect as Blade Flurry and you could wipe out entire boards in conjunction to Bite, Claw, Savage Roar or even the Druid hero power. You could deal large amounts of damage using your spells thanks to Spell Damage minions like Azure Drake, Malygos and Kobold Geomancer. There are players who achieved Legend (Diamond, as it was known back then) quite easily proving that it was a deck consistent enough to work well.

10. Control Warrior

Control Warrior right now is very powerful and it was even more consistent in the past. Charge was a 0 mana spell and if you could combo it with Alexstrasza with a Gorehowlequipped, you could OTK anyone at all! It had great control tools to survive aggressive decks and went on to use their high tempo removals like Execute and Shield Slam and played big threats continuously until opponents ran out of answers and finally succumbed. Current iterations of control warrior are quite good as well and the deck still remains a very powerful option for people looking for control decks that do well versus the meta.

9. OTK Warrior

No we do not mean the Worgen OTK warrior, but an old deck that relied on Warsong Commander (which gave charge to all minions), Youthful Brewmaster and Molten Giant to keep spamming giants and you could deal up to 50 damage! With so many anti-aggro tools available for warriors, drawing into the combo pieces was hardly difficult and it led to Warsong Commander and Charge being nerfed to prevent such non-interactive gameplay.

8. Handlock

Handlock was often hailed as the king of control and its ability to punish greedy decks was unmatched. In the very early stages of the game Handlock not only had powerful minions coming in very early in form of Mountain Giant and Twilight Drake but also had the lategame combo of Leeroy Jenkins at 4 mana being buffed by Power Overwhelming and people copied it with Faceless Manipulator for a 20 damage combo. Soulfire was 0 mana so you could deal up to 24 damage in 1 turn just by surviving the early game and putting up taunt after taunt. Antique Healbot and Sludge Belcher solidified its presence for quite some time. Molten Giant was nerfed to 25 mana, making it nearly unplayable right before Standard hit and Handlock has never remained the same. However, Renolock continues to carry forward the legacy retaining many of the old cards as well as the Leeroy OTK finisher, which is still possible thanks to Emperor Thaurissan. During the GvG era Demon Handlock gained popularity as well with cards like Doomguard, Mal’ganis and Voidcaller being added to the deck for more pressure.

7. Zoolock

Zoo Warlock or Zoolock is one of the most powerful decks in the game and it was much stronger in the past with its tools being more powerful in the past. Blood Imp buffed every minion on your side and Dark Iron Dwarf had a permanent buff. Defender of Argus and Shattered Sun Cleric had the same effects but they had 3/3 bodies, making them significantly more powerful. Soulfire and Leeroy were cheaper as we discussed earlier, making Zoo one of the most powerful decks to ever exist. One thing is for sure, Zoo will never cease to exist as long as the Warlock hero power exists. It is one of the few decks to be able to amass card advantage despite playing aggressively and generating massive boards. Every content update Hearthstone had so far saw new cards being added to the Zoo roster and the deck is here to stay forever!

6. Freeze Mage

Freeze Mage is quite good right now thanks to its ability to control entire games and burst down opponents in one or two turns. The game plan of the deck might feel very simple but there is a lot of planning involved and the deck requires a considerable level of skill to play correctly. The deck has been more popular in tournaments than in ranked play and there are many pros who manage to get high legend ranks very often. Back in the day Frost Nova, Blizzard and Cone of Cold had lower mana costs. To top of off Alexstrasza was able to cut armor down as well. Despite all the nerfs the deck continued to dominate. However the departure of Mad Scientist and the dominance of Warriors in the current meta have kept the deck away, for now…

5. Undertaker Hunter

Undertaker Hunter in its prime was the most powerful deck in the game and if you could not answer Undertaker when it was played, you ended up losing most of the time. Tools like Flamecannon or Darkbomb did not exist when Naxxramas was launched; making things difficult for most classes to answer a steadily growing Undertaker that could go out of control and end games by turn 6 or 7 in cases. Another powerhouse in the deck was Mad Scientist, which is quite strong to put it mildly and Freezing Trap and other tools Hunter had like Sludge Belcher and Eaglehorn Bow, they made sure an early Undertaker kept on growing!

4. Starving-UTH Hunter

There wasn’t an official name for the deck I am talking about, but it revolved around using Starving Buzzard when it had a cost of 2 mana, the goal was to keep generating cards and wiping out boards with Unleash the Hounds and Timber Wolf to ensure you always had card advantage no matter what. It was dubbed Sunshine Hunter and Lifecoach’s iteration was quite powerful with cards like King Mukla making the cut!

3. Combo Druid

Force of Nature and Savage Roar made Combo Druid one of the most powerful combo decks to ever exist in the game and thanks to sufficient removal like Wrath, Swipe, Living Roots and even Keeper of the Grove, Druids were able to survive the early game. Ancient of Lore before its nerf drew 2 cards instead of 1 and was one of the most powerful epics in the game. The level of consistency that Druid had was incredible and it was not only popular on ladder but also in the competitive scene. Recently Keeper of the Grove, Force of Nature and Ancient of Lore were nerfed all at one go making it one of the most significant nerfs in the game to ever occur. While there are more powerful combos, they are difficult to pull off or inconsistent while the Druid combo needed just 2 cards to burst down opponents from half health and adding another Savage Roar meant a near OTK most of the time. The combo pieces were present in both Aggro and Combo variations. In some cases Ramp Druid ran 1 copy of the combo cards as well to serve as late game finishers.

2. Grim Patron Warrior

It is considered to be the single best deck to ever exist in the game in terms of its power levels and lack of bad matchups. The deck relied on drawing into Warsong Commander, Grim Patron, Frothing Berserker and other whirlwind effects to spawn Grim Patrons. Seems simple right? Well, if you factor in the spawning of Patrons that gain charge until there’s no room left on the board and the Whirlwind effects constantly buffing Frothing Berserkers, things could go out of hand real quick. The deck was extremely cheap and OTKing your opponents was easily possible thanks to the draw power of the deck with cards like Gnomish Inventor, Acolyte of Pain and Battle Rage drawing cards very consistently for a good Emperor Thaurissan tick. Despite the nerf to Warsong Commander the deck manages to be relevant, but it doesn’t have the burst potential it had anymore. With Grim Patron leaving us next year, there’s not much time left.

1. Miracle Rogue

Miracle Rogue has been one of the most consistent tempo decks in the game with the ability to cycle through decks and find combo pieces quite easily with Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Azure Drake and other tools. Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Leeroy Jenkins used to cost 1 mana less and when you consider the fact that Edwin VanCleef was a 1/1 minion with Stealth and the same effect, the deck was incredibly powerful and managed to pull wins out of nowhere with just one or two strong turns in the mid to late game. The community felt that Rogue would be dead with Blade Flurry being nerfed but Rogue continues to be relevant in the meta thanks to Xaril, Poisoned Mind and Tomb Pillager allowing Gadgetzan to work well enough in Miracle Rogue. Miracle Rogue’s finisher of choice involved the use of Leeroy Jenkins, Shadowstep (2x), Cold Blood (2x) which could deal 26 damage for 10 mana! But the high tempo tools that the deck had didn’t need games to last till turn 10. You could finish games off using Questing Adventurer, Preparation + spells and Mana Addict to end games way sooner.

These are some of the most powerful decks that have existed in the past or still continue to function. Their efficiency and consistency have caused nerfs to take place to help their respective classes develop and move out of their core archetypes, however some of the nerfs have been inconsequential and decks like Zoo or Control Warrior have managed to live on. What other decks do you think should make the cut? Let me know in the comments below.