Feb 5 2015 - 5:11 pm

Wild and weird decks from the depths of Hearthstone's meta

Hearthstone should be a game that rewards thinking outside the box
Dot Esports

Hearthstone should be a game that rewards thinking outside the box. Yes it might be safe to stick with the old standbys, but the true innovators are the players that take their fates into their own hands. Do you really want to live and die by the Handlock archetype invented by someone forever ago? Or do you want to forge ahead and play the decks hewn by your own ingenuity? Something as simple as the Zoolock didn’t exist a year ago, those need to be invented before they proliferate.

We here at the Daily Dot always respect the innovators, and as Hearthstone’s meta continues to twist and turn, we’re committed to bringing you the weirdest and wildest ideas we’ve seen on ladder. The tradition is renewed today, where we take a lot at three curveballs, from a Malygos-toting Shaman, to a ludicrously exponential army of giants.

Nuke Shaman

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Blizzard

I’m a big fan of one-turn-kill decks. They’re rarely viable, but they make up for that with drama. Obviously, there are much more efficient ways to play Hearthstone than to buff up a Stormwind Knight with combo Divine Spirits and Inner Fires to a 28/28 monstrosity. But why not have fun? That’s what this game is about right? And right now, there’s nothing more fun than Ancestor’s Calling a Malygos and zapping your opponent's face with an unholy combo of Lightning Bolts, Frost Shocks, and Crackles until there’s nothing left but a desecrated, obliterated hole.

I very much enjoy this deck. I love it because it’s unreasonable. I love it because it uses Shaman cards that never ever get play, like Far Sight and the aforementioned Frost Shock. Your win condition is simple. Get Malygos on the board without spending the nine mana, and pray you have enough spells in hand to obliterate time and space.

Who knows if it will ever be competitive. But what I do know is that Crackles, which do anywhere from eight to 11 damage, are incredible. Hearthstone often lacks that inventive spirit, I’ll always prefer the chutzpah of something new and outlandish to another couple weeks queueing against Aggro Hunters and Control Warriors. We play this game because it’s fun, and last I checked pulling off a massive combo to do 26 total damage in a single turn is pretty fun.

Oil Rogue

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Blizzard

Here’s something we missed when we were evaluating the new Goblins vs. Gnomes cards. If you take an Assassin’s Blade, put two Deadly Poisons on it, and then two Tinker’s Sharpsword Oils, all of a sudden you’re looking at a weapon with four charges and 13 attack damage. Of course having all those cards on hand at once is pretty difficult. But in a world where you can run two Assassin’s Blades and two Blade Furries? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The rogue meta has struggled to find its footing in a post-Miracle world. You’d either see tryhards settling for a watered-down version of the once-dominant Gadgetzan Auctioneer, or instead stuff a bunch of high-cost legendaries and removal in what was essentially a less-effective Control Warrior or Handlock. What we failed to realize is making a weapon very big can win you a lot of games.

I like the Oil Rogue because it feels like a game of chicken. Your opponent knows what you’re up to, and they throw down as many taunts as they possibly can before getting swallowed up by your Saps and Eviscerates. You can run but you can’t hide. It’s good to have Valeera back at full power again.

Echo of Giants Mage

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Blizzard

Echo of Medivh: Copies each minion you have and places the cards into your hand. Four mana. Seems kind of boring right? Like a watered down Duplicate? Maybe something you’d use in a super aggro assault to make sure you’re not running out of cards. Yawn.

Hey wait a minute, Molten Giants are free 8/8s once you’re below 10 health right? And Mages have a card called Ice Block which makes them immune during the end game. Uh oh…


Ladies and gentlemen I give you the incomprehensible Echo of Giants Mage, which exploits the unholy synergy between Moltens and Echo of Medivh in disgusting, gratuitous ways. You need to survive until turn eight, at which point you need to hope you’re under 10 health and have an Ice Block up. If those pieces are in place, and you happen to have a couple Moltens and the namesake spell, well, there’s nothing stopping you from filling the board with a literal army of giants. It’s like if Force of Nature/Savage Roar could somehow be more evil.

Will it be viable in the long term? Maybe! I think this thing is bound to get fused with your prototypical Freeze Mage. Can you imagine playing out all these giants and then hitting a Frost Nova? That’s pretty brutal.

Image via Hearthstone