Blizzard pulled out its nerfbat and gave poor warsong-commander the starving-buzzard treatment. So great were her sins that she has been condemned to being terrible in arena as well. I guess that’s what happens to you when manage to be too strong even after being nerfed in the beta.
Enough about that past though, lets look at the future of the meta. Who loses the most from the nerf? Patron was nuked from orbit but many other decks will be sad to see it gone.
Loser #1: Handlock
This deck is the biggest loser for two reasons: because it’s so strong against Patron Warrior and because it’s weak against what the Patron preyed on. Handlock is not happy to see Face Hunter or Midrange Paladin come back. That being said Warlock’s hero power is so strong that as long as there has been Hearthstone there has been Handlock, so the deck isn’t quite dead yet.
Loser #2: Druid
Although the winrate of Druid vs Patron depends on who you ask (40% to 60%), the truth is that Druid was one of the few decks that consistently was average against Patron. The hands with fast mana are so good that it could even kill Patron, but again Druid will suffer because its not great against the things Patron was awesome against: aggro. Druid will most certainly survive but it will not be the most played deck in a tournament anymore.
Play if Handlock and Control Warrior are common.
Loser #3: Control Warrior
Control Warrior will see more play now that people won’t feel awful for choosing it over the best deck in the game, but that doesn’t mean the field gets any easier for it. Patron was one of its better matchups and that being thrown out the window is rough. On the bright side Druids will not be quite as omnipresent and Face Hunters are likely to show up more. On the not so bright side Zoo and Midrange Paladin are coming back. I’m not quite sure what the future has in store for Control Warrior.
Play if Face Hunters, Tempo Mage and Freeze Mage are common.
Don’t play if Druid, Secret Paladin and Midrange Paladin are common.
Loser #4: Tempo Mage
Tempo Mage has been showing up quite a bit recently in the Hearthstone American Championships (with some amazingly bizarre decklists too!) because it crushes Druid, does well against Handlock and doesn’t roll over to Patron. Needless to say this golden trifecta will not be on top for long. Tempo Mage has the tools to fight Hunters and Paladins so it might carve itself a space in the new world order. We might not have yet seen Tempo Mage’s final form.
Play if Druid, Hunter and Secret Paladin are common.
Don’t play if Zoo and Control Warrior are common.
Loser #5: Midrange Hunter
Like Tempo Mage, Midrange Hunters thrived off Druid and Handlock while not being awful against Patron. However the real problem is the resurgence of its nemesis: Slightly faster hunters. Face and Hybrid hunters are poised to take over the meta meaning it’s going to be a rough ride for decks packing houndmaster .
Decks to watch: If Control Warrior is popular but Face Hunter is not, then it’s time to takewebspinner for a spin.
The King is Dead, Long Live the King!
Patron Warrior is a very strange deck in the history of Hearthstone: a combo deck that is excellent against aggro decks. It single handedly suppressed Zoo and Face Hunter to the point where they disappeared both from the ladder and competitive play. However, Uther is the winner here. Be prepared for the invasion of the silver-hand-recruits.
Winner #1: Secret Paladin
Everyone is familiar with how powerful this deck is and now its natural predator is now gone. Free are the Secret Paladins to roam the ladder and crush you under the weight of free repentances and redemptions. All versions, midrange and aggro, benefit from this change. Being at the top is lonely though, and the game definitely has enough tools to make Uther very sad. We have already seen flare run in some Hunter lists pre-nerf. Expect to see more of that card even though Hunters can get by fine without it.
Play if Druid and Control Warrior are common.
Don’t play if Face Hunter and Tempo Mage are common.
Winner #2: Midrange Paladin
For those of you who don’t remember what playing against Midrange Paladin before Black Rock Mountain was like fret not, for you are about to learn it after the patch.
Midrange Paladin was extremely strong because it can curve out fast – shielded-minibot into muster-for-battle into piloted-shredder will wreck any deck- and backed some of the best removal, great weapons and tirion-fordring. The deck is so strong that despite the abysmal Patron Warrior matchup it saw a fair bit of play in the European World Championship. With the new TGT goodies like justicar-trueheart, murloc-knight, tuskarr-jouster and even warhorse-trainer the final build isn’t decided yet but it looks like it might come back with a vengeance.
Play if Zoo, Druid, Handlock, Face Hunter or Control Warrior are common.
Don’t play if Tempo Mage, Midrange Hunter or Oil Rogue are common.
To see where Midrange Paladin could look like updated for TGT check out this video.
Winner #3: Face and Hybrid Hunter
Well, that was a nice Hunter vacation we had for 6 months. Aggressive hunters were practically extinguished by Patron Warrior but now it’s ready to beat up a lot of the decks that will do well in the post-Patron meta.
Both Face and Hybrid Hunter boast high win rates against Secret Paladin and Zoo, two decks looking strong in the new order of things. I’m lumping Face and Hybrid Hunter together because they have the same tools that make them so good in the meta – an aggressive game plan backed by explosive-trap and unleash-the-hounds.
Many Hunters will be temped to tech in flare but that’s not a great idea unless the majority of your games end up being against Secret Paladins and other Hunters.
Play if Zoo, Secret Paladin and Oil Rogue are common.
Don’t play if Midrange Paladin and Dragon Priest are common.
Winner #4: Zoo
Zoo was another of decks that went from dominating to totally dominated because of Patron. Since Zoo was not great against Patron Warrior and Handlock crushes Zoo, all those imp-losions had to stay in the collection.
The new field is much more appealing: Druid looks like a strong deck but it suffers against Zoo, Secret Paladin is an even to favored matchup and Control Warrior is utter crushed by Zoo. Not only are we going to see the Demon Zoo of old come back but gormok-the-impaler is a real beast in the deck. Some of the other TGT cards like wrathguard or argent-horserider could also make a splash.
Play if Druid, Control Warrior and Secret Paladin are common.
Don’t play if Face Hunter, Handlock, Midrange Paladin or Dragon Priest are common.
Winner #5: Dragon Priest
Finally a new deck enabled by this nerf! Dragon Priest is looking to be very strong with its very beefy, cheap taunts, cabal-shadow-priest and many board clears. It’s already a solid choice against Secret Paladin and will undoubtedly be good against the wave of Zoo and Face Hunters approaching. It also has decent matchups against Druid and Midrange Paladin, making it look good regardless what the new meta looks like.
Play if Secret Paladin, Zoo and Face Hunter are common.
Don’t play if Handlock is common.
Winner #6: Oil Rogue
I’m skeptical about Oil Rogue’s resurgence because it’s one of the few decks to get nothing good out of TGT (cutpurse ?). It’s the natural counter to Midrange Paladin as we saw in the GvG meta but it’s also soft to aggressive decks.
It’s going to come down to how good it is against Secret Paladin, which I’m mildly optimistic about because fan-of-knives and blade-flurry look good against flooded boards and saping an avenged mysterious-challenger is not the worst way to deal with it. divine-favor matches up well against sprint and Oil Rogue has always struggled with aggro so Oil Rogue’s future is uncertain.
Play if Midrange Paladin is common.
Don’t play if Control Warrior and Face Hunter are common.
Winner #7: Freeze Mage
This deck really can capitalize against the early wave of aggro that the changes will bring but it’s longer term future is not clear. Freeze Mage struggles against Druid and it is a hard deck to play well. The lists have been refined for a long time so innovation on that front seems unlikely.
Another reason to be skeptical of Freeze Mage is that it might end up being a collateral victim to flare and even kezan-mystic if Tempo Mage and Secret Paladin end up being too popular.
Play if Zoo, Face Hunter and Secret Paladin are common.
Don’t play if Druid and Control Warrior are common.
Winner #8: Shaman?
Finally we come to the worst class in Hearthstone. It’s optimistic to think that Shaman will rule the ladder with Patron gone, but it does provide an opportunity for the class to come back. Many of the new class cards are very powerful and it looks like a good deck is hiding somewhere mixed in between the lightning-storms and the tuskarr-totemics.
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