4 August 2014 - 04:46

Current Hearthstone Meta & Playing A Step Ahead

An overview of the meta, how the latest Naxx cards are shifting the ladder and the new decks in town.
Dot Esports

Now that Naxxramas is released, each week we see players updating existing decks from the previous seasons - however, we have yet to see a new deck concept.

Midrange Shaman evolved to to include Nerubian Egg, with plenty of activators - Defender of Argus, Flametongue Totemand Rockbiter Weapon.

More decks are packing Loatheb. Not only does it puts a dampen on Miracle Rogues, but almost all other decks that contain combo finishers - such as Druid with their Force of Nature and Savage Roar, Handlocks with the Leeroy and Power Overwhelming. Even Miracle Rogues are running Loatheb. It's just an excellent all round minion in the 5 mana slot.

Control Warrior got a buff in the form of Unstable Ghoul, Loatheband Sludge Belcher, all great cards to give it more answers for aggro, combo and Zoo decks.

We're also seeing a resurgence in Control Paladins, thanks to Kolento bringing the class into the spotlight.

So What Do We Play?

In order to start climbing the ladder - we need a deck that is consistent in beating the Zoo. Not because it's hard to beat, but because the sheer number of it we'll be running into during the early ladder, well into upper Rank 5.

You will also notice that high level players do not worry or play Zoo at high level - because it is extremely predictable and the deck plays itself. So every time you come across Zoo, be sure to use the opportunity to learn more about the match up and be better at beating it - because you'll be doing it at the start of every season (till a significant card/meta shake up).

The follow decks have an advantage over Zoo:

  • Miracle Rogue
  • Priest
  • Handlock

So naturally, one would play one of the 3 decks above. But one of the other popular class on the ladder is the Druid - who also gotten a boost (Token Druid) in the form of Haunted Creeper.

Priest has a disadvantage against the Druid class, due to its many 4 Attack minions that it runs. And Token gives a hard time for Miracles compared to Ramp Druid. Handlocks, however, does well against both Zoo and Druids.

Thus we can deduce that in order to stay 1 step ahead of the Meta, we would play Handlock. Handlock also do well against Miracle Rogues.

Taking It A Step Further

Depending on your rank last season, you may have noticed a rise in Control Paladins. Control Paladins do well against Handlocks, with plenty of answers to shut down their Giants and heals to keep themselves out of Leeroy combo range. These players were hedging mainly against the Handlock meta.

There were other decks that could counter Handlock, such as Aggro Paladin or Backspace Rogue. But Control Paladin is a much more consistent deck that is less countered by the meta set by the rise of Zoo/Handlocks/Druids.

So there's no clear cut 'Meta'. Players are constantly switching decks and adjusting. It's up to you to study the meta of the players around your rank and settling on deck that would perform consistently against them.

Midrange Hunter & Control Warrior

With the latest Naxxramas cards, we are also observing more Midrange Hunters and Control Warriors this season. We have a in depth guide on Midrange Hunter coming up, as well as the new Control Warrior. We hope to do more games and tests with these 2 decks and decide how they fit in the meta circle, so stay tuned!

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