Meta Solutions are a combination of analysis and creative deck solutions. We find the decks that have been dominating the ladder and analyze them to find their collective strengths that need to be dealt with and weaknesses that can be attacked.
We share these with you and then we take it a step further to give you the decks we think will be effective counters.
A narrow ladder meta in Hearthstone is boring and frustrating. Our goal is to add more viable decks to it each week, giving you a fresh perspective on decks you can climb with and to create a more varied and fun ladder experience.
Meta Analysis – November 16th 2015
Skip to Decks
Garrosh, Garrosh is everywhere. The hyper-aggressive chaos of the ladder two weeks ago seems like a distant memory. The ranked ladder has become an ocean of Control Warriors and Combo Druids. Decks like Handlock and Freeze Mage are also seeing a lot more play this week to take advantage of some of the early LOE cards.
Whilst Secret Paladin and Aggro Druid are still popular choices the prevalence of control archetypes which are still teching against aggressive decks has run most other aggressive archetypes out of the meta-game. Face Hunter in particular seems to be struggling more and more, week by week.
The popularity of Control Warrior, Freeze Mage and Handlock isn’t the only thing slowing down the meta-game. The latest expansion, League of Explorers, has been released with a set of cards largely geared for midrange-control archetypes. A lot of decks on ladder in the coming weeks are going to be experiments as people figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the new card base. Most of these experiments are going to be with slower archetypes because that’s the nature of the set.
Though it seems crazy to think about, only two weeks ago there was a huge public outcry about the hyper aggressive nature of the meta-game. Amazingly, we’re already back to a healthy ranked ladder. If anything, with the release of LOE, we are now playing in a relatively slow meta-game. All this said, Mysterious Challenger isn’t a balanced card and should still probably be addressed.
Community Tier 1: Combo Druid, Control Warrior, Secret Paladin, Aggro Druid, Tempo Mage, Freeze Mage, Handlock, Midrange Paladin
Countering this Meta
A lot of Midrange decks are going to be fantastic performers this week. There are a lot of Midrange Decks that develop enough pressure in the mid-game to win against the slower archetypes whilst retaining the ability to contest aggressive decks early and grind them out of cards.
Any deck that is favored against both Control Warrior and Combo Druid is viable currently.
With the decline of a lot of aggressive archetypes Board Clear and Life-Gain has become a lot less critical for most decks. Having enough ‘reach’ and more threats than your opponents have removal was important last week and is more important this week. A lot of decks will now choose to forego a lot of their anti-aggro options so that they can contest decks like Control Warrior and Freeze Mage more consistently.
The change in the Oil Rogue list this week from last week is a great example of how board clear (Fan of Knives) and life-gain/taunt minions (Antique Healbot, Farseer and Sludge Belcher) has been swapped for a lot more reach (Assassin’s Blade x 2, Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil x 2). Note though that the deck retains early game minions (Goblin Auto-Barber) so it can still contest Aggro Druid and Secret Paladin.
Though card advantage still isn’t in the place it used to be, it now at least warrants consideration in a lot of match ups. Tempo isn’t the most important thing for a lot of decks anymore and we’re beginning to return to the time we needed to count the removal and threats from our opponents. When building a midrange deck you should start thinking about whether you have enough card draw.
With the prevalence of Freeze Mage – especially after the inclusion of Forgotten Torch – Kezan Mystic should be considered as a viable option in all Midrange – Control deck lists.
For all of the solutions this week I will be including a ‘Favored VS:’ line stating what Community Tier 1 decks the solution is favored against. Hopefully this will provide more clarity as to why each deck was selected.
#1 Argent Horserider Midrange Hunter
This is a deck list similar to many others popular in the Hearthstone community and one I used to climb to rank 10 legend during the September 2015 season.
Midrange Hunter is an archetype that was very popular a couple of months ago but got pushed out of the meta recently by hyper aggressive decks like Face Hunter.
The population of these aggressive decks has receded massively over this last week and Midrange Hunter makes its triumphant return in their wake.
With fantastic match ups against Control Warrior and Combo Druid and a favorable match up against Handlock this Midrange Hunter variant runs Explosive Trap and Argent Horserider to better contest the aggressive decks that still exist in the meta.
Freeze Mage is the Community Tier 1 deck giving Midrange Hunter the most trouble. Kezan mystic can be considered in place of a Piloted Shredder or a Houndmaster to improve this match up. If Freeze Mage becomes more popular than it is currently it might cause Midrange Hunter to slide down in this list, however the popularity of Control Warrior and Combo Druid currently really makes this the #1 deck in my mind at time of publishing.
If the meta game slows down even further – assuming you’re not struggling in aggressive match ups – you can swap Horseriders for Stranglethorn Tigers.
Hunter’s Mark is run over Ironbeak Owl in this deck because of its strength against Fel Reaver, Deathlord and Mysterious Challenger.
#2 Aggressive Zoo Warlock
The Aggressive Zoo Warlock returns from last week’s Meta Solutions, and has gained two places!
This is a deck that I have been having a lot of success with over this last month. Its extremely low mana curve allows it to consistently contest and beat out the boards of other aggressive decks. Zoo also is, and always was, a great performer against Combo Druid and Control Warrior.
This deck has risen two places from last week to reflect the increase of Combo Druids and Control Warriors and the decline of Face Hunters.
It isn’t all sunshine and roses for Zoo Warlock though. Freeze Mage and Handlock are popular archetypes that can give this deck a lot of trouble. Freeze Mage and Handlock are what’s barricading this deck from the #1 spot in this article.
As I said last week Fist of Jaraxxus is a surprisingly consistent performer in this deck list and really enables it to be incredibly aggressive. Fist of Jaraxxus can consistently facilitate mid-game tempo swings or pushes for lethal – Doomguard and Soulfire consistently trigger the effect of this card because of the decks incredibly low mana curve.
Fist of Jaraxxus can viably be swapped for Implosion if struggling against Paladin or the Mirror Match.
At a low 1280 dust, this deck is a great budget option.
#3 Zaguios Control Patron Warrior
Reddit Post: Reddit.com/r/CompetitiveHS/…new_control_patron/
Favored VS: Secret Paladin, Freeze Mage, Midrange Paladin, Tempo Mage, Aggro Druid
This is the Control Warrior variant using Grim Patron that Zaguios built and used to climb to rank 5 legend early this season. This deck makes a return from last week’s Meta Solutions article as it still very strong in the meta-game – albeit worse than it was last week.
A lot of favored match ups for this deck are less popular this week and some more difficult match ups (Control Warrior, Handlock) are more popular.
This deck in my mind though is the best option for all Patron Warriors currently. This deck takes control warrior and removes defensive cards (Sludge Belcher, Alexstraza, Baron Geddon) and situational cards (Harrison Jones) to make room for its Grim Patron core. The deck retains most of its late game and reach and is able to contest slower archetypes all the way to fatigue much better than other Patron Warrior variants.
All versions of Patron Warrior perform very well against all Paladin variants which are still very popular. This deck becomes even better than it is currently if the meta game reverts to something more aggressive.
Like all Control and Patron Warriors this deck performs very well against Freeze Mage.
This deck – and lists like it – is a lot of fun and I recommend it to anyone looking to have a good time whilst climbing the ranked ladder.
#4 Weapon Up! Oil Rogue
Oil Rogue returns! But this time its quite different. Originally brought to meta solutions to answer an aggressive meta-game the Oil Rogue deck list has undergone quite an evolution to adapt to the current meta-game.
This Oil Rogue deck is my own build but one that was inspired by a deck built by Eversiction and Crimzig.
This is a deck that can still perform well against a variety of aggressive archetypes but has been changed to target Control Warrior and Freeze Mage specifically.
This deck, running double Assassin’s Blade and double Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil has a ton of weapon damage and is able to consistently output too much damage for slower archetypes to deal with. Assassin’s Blade and Sprint are the most important cards versus both Freeze Mage and Control Warrior and I typically keep both in my opening mulligan.
Goblin Auto-Barber is a versatile card in this deck and is run to contest aggressive decks and add to your late-game reach against slower decks with Assassin’s Blade.
Dread Corsair is a card run solely to help you survive against aggressive archetypes and has a lot of synergy with the large amount of weapon damage you regularly generate.
This deck is also a great option against both Dragon Priest and Control Priest – particularly Control Priest.
Southsea Deckhand is run in this deck because of its decision to run double Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil. Oil can be a very clunky card and having a one mana minion allows you to activate its combo more consistently. The minion having charge also enables a lot of burst, Southsea deckhand is just a great addition to most Oil Rogue lists.
This deck runs no defensive options and can struggle against Hyper-Aggressive decks that do a lot of damage from hand. Druid variants can prove very difficult for this deck.
#5 Djinni of Zephyrs Combo Priest
Inspired by CyprusDE’s combo priest featured in our community decks article this deck is an ‘OTK Priest’ variant running the new LOE card Djinni of Zephyrs.
I have used this deck to climb to top 50 Legend this season.
Djinni of Zephyrs is a card that consistently finds value within this deck running 8 buff cards. A pleasant surprise for me was when Power Word: Shield gets re-casted on the Djinni you draw another card =D. Nightmare from Ysera can also allow for hilarious burst damage, hopefully you can live this dream as I have.
This deck is an extremely consistent performer against aggressive decks. Deathlord especially when given a Velen’s Chosen or a Divine Spirit can stop most aggressive archetypes in their tracks. Double Zombie Chow, Wild Pyromancer, Holy Nova and even a Lightbomb will allow you to thoroughly dominate almost any aggressive archetype.
This deck is more versatile than most Combo priest variants. It has a variety of win conditions for slower archetypes. Holy Champion, Ysera and even Djinni of Zephyrs has a lot of potential against slower decks.
You run a large amount of high health threatening minions and are often able to grind control decks out of removal and find your Divine Spirit + Inner Fire value.
This deck is the only Priest variant I know of to actually be favored against Freeze Mage. Freeze Mage has a lot of trouble dealing with high health minions and you are able to consistently develop very large Deathlords to eventually kill the Mage in one turn after drawing your combo pieces. This said Doomsayer has the capacity to ruin you – cutting Zombie Chows for Shadow Word: Pain is definitely viable for this match up.
This deck is a ton of fun and I hope you guys see success with it. It may see even more success at lower ranks where aggressive decks are more common.
Do us a favour?
Help us spread the word! The more people we get trying effective counters and new ideas, the more diverse the meta gets, and the quicker it changes!
Got a friend who’s been playing the same deck for far too long, or despairing about the state of the game? Do them a favor and share this with them!
We’re starting to get a lot of attention and we really appreciate all the people who have helped us do it. We intend to keep publishing great content, and are coming up with some new ideas for the future!
As always, we’d love to hear from you, leave a comment below and let us know what you think, what questions you have and is there anything you think we missed?