First wing of Karazhan just got released. Everyone is busy beating the bosses and getting new cards, including out favorite Hearthstone public figures – streamers.
We’re going to have a sneak peek into the first decks they play, cards they test and how those things work out.
Order of decks is quite random – I have A LOT of streams to check out, so they’re not arranged in any particular pattern, the ones I’ve clicked first go first.
Streamers I’ve covered this time are: Reynad, Dog, Kolento and Zalae.
Since new decks are being tested every hour, be sure to check out my Twitter for constant updates!
P.S. I’m posting the latest versions of the deck I’ve seen on the stream at the time I’m writing this. Some streamers were changing the decks throughout the stream and some are still streaming when I’m finishing this article. If there will be a new, dramatically changed version of some of those decks, I’ll post the updated ones next time.
Reynad – Say Trap Again!
Say Trap one more goddamn time! It seems that after seeing the Cloaked Huntress‘ effect, Reynad took it very seriously. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s not something you see every day. A Hunter list with 10 Secrets. 5 different kinds of Traps. Reynad has decided to go with Explosive Trap, Freezing Trap, Bear Trap, Snipe and Misdirection. So, basically he took every trap that will help him survive in some way.
I’ve predicted this deck the moment I’ve seen Cloaked Huntress. However, I didn’t think that someone will go THIS far. In my opinion Reynad went overboard with the amount of Secrets, because now he really relies on drawing the Cloaked Huntress or rather the Cloaked Huntress + Lock and Load combo to make this work. A lot of those Secrets are quite weak when played alone. Another problem is lack of removals – in order to place so many Secrets, he had to cut a lot of removal like Deadly Shot and now he struggles against
It’s definitely a fun deck to try if you like Control style Hunter, but there will definitely be better versions. Even cutting a 4 traps out of this and adding some other cards would probably work out better in the end. But hey, even if the deck’s not working, at least you can watch the Reynoodle’s tears as the 20 spells Yogg screw him over instead of winning him the game. That’s priceless!
Reynad – Adventures of Enchanted Raven
A few different versions, Reynad seems to be experimenting with the best Beast Druid version right now. They all share the same core, however, including the new Enchanted Raven.
Beast Druid shapes to be one of the strongest decks after Karazhan is completely released. Right now, however, the deck only got a single new addition – the 1 mana 2/2 Beast. And while I think the card has clear place in this deck, I don’t think it will be good enough until Menagerie Warden gets released. That card is going to be a huge point and the “broken” factor in the deck. And let’s face it, every competitive deck needs that “broken” factor to work.
The version I’ve posted (the latest one) is a pretty aggressive Midrange deck. It runs a lot of small drops, more then any Midrange Druid I’ve seen. It also stops the curve at 5 mana, with only Ragnaros the Firelord being above that, most likely used as a finisher or as a way to utilize Innervate efficiently after the early game.
Reynad has also decided to go with the Violet Teacher and Power of the Wild combo the Token Druid uses. I honestly don’t mind it, since the deck is quite heavy on spells. It’s easy to get the value. Power of the Wild can also double-act as a Beast for the Mark of the Y’shaarj synergy, or you can just play it as a simple 3/2 on turn 2 even if you have no ways to synergize with it. Very flexible card.
One beef I have with the deck is – does it really need Wild Growth? It should be able to curve out without it. And it seems like a waste of the card in such aggressive deck. 5-drops are the biggest card he runs (besides a single 8-drop) so Innervates should be enough. Heck, I’d even prefer Darnassus Aspirant over Wild Growth in that case. It helps to curve out, but it doesn’t slow down the early game tempo the deck really needs.
But hey, we’re definitely going to see MANY more Beast Druids, especially after wing 3.
Dog – Chess Warrior
Dog had very rough night. He tried many different decks, but his win rate probably didn’t exceed 20%. Until he got back to the Taunt/Bolster Warrior he created a few hours earlier. And finally started winning!
Another deck that was bound to come. I mean, Protect the King has insane synergy with Bolster. Yes, sure, it’s pretty bad without it, but if you manage to summon 5+ 3/3 Taunts for 5 mana/2 cards – that’s both high tempo and value.
The deck is meant as a counter for the board flood decks. It’s great against Zoo Warlock, against Midrange Shaman (and Aggro/Control too, to certain extent), Aggro/Midrange Paladin (not like anyone plays those) etc. Then, it works nicely against any Aggro deck that wants to rush you down with minions/weapons, e.g. Face Hunter or Pirate Warrior. That’s because of the amount of Taunts you run. Once you stabilize the early game, it’s very hard for the enemy to get through the Taunt wall.
The deck, however, sucks pretty hard in the matches where, well, enemy doesn’t want to rush you down, nor plays tons of minions. The deck has some late game win conditions, but there aren’t a lot of them. The best bet in those matchup is to save the Bolster for the late game combos, where you can play multiple Taunts and Bolster the same turn.
But since the meta is pretty fast, I think that the deck might not be that terrible even after the expansion dust settles. Probably not this exact list, but after some experimenting it might be a nice tech deck.
P.S. We wish our favorite canine streamer best luck in the days to come, because losing for 4 hours straight again soon might put him in a serious dog depression.
Kolento – Anyfin Can Happen (now up to 4 times)
Kolento quickly jumped on the NA server and started playing way before Karazhan was released on EU. And this is how we’ve got this deck – a pretty standard Murloc/Anyfin Paladin (short rant – I don’t like when people call this deck Murloc Paladin, because if the Aggro Murloc Paladin would become popular, it would be really confusing – Anyfin Paladin seems like a much better name) but with two copies of the newest addition – Ivory Knight. The card is pretty strong in this deck. Even though Paladin spells aren’t most impressive, the class has a lot of 1 mana cards, there are few things that work in this card’s favor. First of all – Discover mechanic is amazing. Especially in the mid/late game, when you play this card. You get to choose one of the 3, and you pick whatever fits the situation most. Then, the healing depends on the card’s cost, so if you need healing, you can just pick the most expensive card and that’s alright. It will serve as something like an Antique Healbot. For example, picking a Lay on Hands is 8 healing immediately and then 8 more from the card itself. It’s really amazing against any heavy damage deck.
But what is really cool about this card is that you have a chance to get Anyfin Can Happen. While the chance isn’t incredibly high, you get 2 tries. If you don’t get it, it’s not the end of the world. But in certain matchups, having a 3rd copy is game-changing. Let’s say you face a C’Thun Warrior. You might not be able to kill him with just 2 copies, because of all the Armor and taunts and such. But if you get a 3rd one, it’s almost like a free win. I mean, with so many Murlocs dead you might get incredibly unlucky and get 7x Murloc Warleader back, so no charge burst, but even that board means that enemy HAS to clear everything or he dies.
From what I’ve seen on his stream, Ivory Knight worked pretty well. It’s still not clear whether 2 copies of the card will be played, especially after The Curator comes out, but it’s definitely alright card to have in the deck.
Kolento – Not-As-Many-Traps-As-Reynad (but still a lot)
So… Only 8 Secrets this time. It might sound like a lot, but it’s nothing compared to Reynad’s 10. And this deck seems to work quite better because of that. Kolento decided to not play the (questionable) Misdirection at all and added one copy of Snake Trap instead, which is more consistent. And not that hard to activate, because this version has some more minions. He also reduced number of Snipes to 1.
Since there are less Secrets, more minions and more removal – it is much more consistent. There is still most likely a lot of figuring out to do, but he was playing it in Legend and his win rate wasn’t terrible.
One card I’m not sure about is King’s Elekk. Since the deck runs 2x Cloaked Huntress now, and 3-drops don’t really win joust consistently, it’s not “nearly guaranteed” card draw like in the standard Yogg Hunter. Also, lack of Emperor Thaurissan makes some big hands very awkward to play out. But Kolento is a way better deck builder than I am, so I’ll trust him on that one.
Not much more to say about the deck. Or, maybe one thing – if you have no experience with the deck and you can’t win with it, don’t worry, the deck is pretty hard to play and you need to learn it first. It took me some games to figure it out when I’ve first played it and I’m pretty experienced with all kinds of decks.
P.S. I’ll generally try to not include very similar decks in one compilation, but I just wanted to show different approaches to the same archetype.
Zalae – Discolock Ready For The Party
It’s the list I want to try most, because Warlock is my favorite class. I was surprised that not so many streamers have tried it, but hey, they don’t know what they’re missing.
Okay, so this deck isn’t complete yet without the Malchezaar’s Imp, but since we’ll have to wait until the last wing (3 more weeks) to see it, this should be enough for now. And the deck already shapes out nicely and WORKS. Yeah, it seems pretty strong thing. It’s hard to say if it’s better or worse than the classic Zoo, and we probably won’t be sure until the meta completely stabilizes and people figure out the most optimal deck list.
The deck plays kinda similar to the Zoo, but it’s even higher tempo. You see. Cards that discard something usually have better, effects, are stronger in general. Then, the cards that want to be discarded do something for free when they’re discarded. If you add both of those – a high tempo card that then plays another card for free – you get some insane turns.
There is one thing I really hate about this deck, though. RNG factor is pretty huge. Zoo was always the most consistent and non-RNG deck. Sure, it had Knife Juggler (still has), but that’s it. Now, discard is a HUGE RNG thing. Obviously, in the best case scenario you don’t play discard cards until you have only the cards you want to discard in your hand. But let’s say that your hand is 2x Soulfire, Silverware Golem and Fist of Jaraxxus. Now, there are two outcomes – you either get an insane turn that might win you the game (2x 4 targeted damage, 4 random damage, a free 3/3 minion)… or your first Soulfire can discard the second one and you’re going to cry in the corner. Discard is one of those RNG effects that you often can’t control and losing the roll might be devastating.
The deck also runs out of cards insanely fast. It’s not that big of a deal thanks to the Hero Power, but I’ve seen one streamer playing against it and enemy ran had empty hand on turn 3. Sometimes you need to start tapping extremely early and that – combined with some bad RNG – might lead to a very quick lose.
On the other hand, a perfect early game Soulfire into discarding Silverware Golem might just win you the game on the spot.
It’s definitely a deck to watch out for, especially when the Malchezaar’s Imp gets released. I think it might be a serious contestant for a tier 1 deck after the meta stabilizes.
That’s it for the first part. I still have a lot of streams to go through + a lot of the EU streamers haven’t even played Kara yet (we all love EU release times), so the second part will most likely come out soon. Especially if you guys will like this one 🙂
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. If you want to be up to date with my articles, you can follow me on Twitter.
Good luck on the ladder and until next time!