15 January 2018 - 16:04

Hearthstone's World Championship decks show a meta that is all but solved

Sixteen of the world's best are competing at the event.
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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The best players in the world have chosen to bring the best decks.

That might seem obvious, but when it comes to the Hearthstone World Championship some might have hoped for a little bit more in the way of out of the box thinking. Remember 2015, when Thijs Molendijk brought Priest and a post-nerf Patron Warrior and people thought he was mad?

Well with the 2017 World Championship, the overwhelming majority of players have stuck to the consensus best decks. Kobolds and Catacombs might have only been out a month, but the meta is pretty much solved.

The Vicious Syndicate meta report shows that Priest is dominating, followed a step behind by Warlock, Rogue, Paladin, and to a lesser extent Druid. Paladin doesn't feature as highly, but the meta for the World Championship reflects that.

All 16 players are bringing Priest. Of those 16, 14 are bringing a highlander version with Raza, Anduin, and Kazakus. The other two are bringing a straight Dragon Priest (Sintolol), and a Spiteful Summoner variant of Dragon Priest (Anthony "Ant" Trevino). Druid and Warlock are favored by all but one player for each class. Ant has eschewed Warlock, while Jon "Orange" Westberg has opted not to bring Druid. Tempo Rogue is the most represented deck list, with 12 players bringing it.

The omissions or aberrations in those three top classes point us to the three arguably most unorthodox lineups in the event. Ant has gone fully aggressive in a meta with Priest and Control Warlock at the top. His lineup of Summoner Priest, Aggro Druid, Murloc Paladin, and Tempo Rogue could be the antitode to the swarm of control decks—or it could run into a brick wall.

Orange meanwhile is the only player to have brought Hunter. With Shaman and Warrior nowhere to be seen, Hunter is the worst represented class that's actually present in the tournament. Orange has opted for a Face Hunter, hoping to do early damage with a Pirate package before closing out with Bittertide Hydra, Corridor Creeper, and Leeroy Jenkins.

For Sintolol, he's one of two players bringing Mage. He's opted for a Big Spell Mage with Dragoncaller Alanna. Arguably it's the most interesting deck of the bunch. The other mage belongs to Frank "Fr0zen" Zhang, who's bringing a more traditional Control Mage.

How will these decks pan out? Well, this weekend we will find out. The sixteen players are fighting for a $250,000 first prize and the title of world champion. A win would write their name into Hearthstone history, while falling short will leave them wondering what might have been.

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