A lot of innovation in Hearthstone can go largely unnoticed. We love writing this article to showcase and give credit to the best and most interesting decks made by members of the community each week.
Our decks are taken from Hearthpwn.com, r/CompetitiveHS or sent in to us directly. If you would like a chance to see your own deck idea featured in future segments you can submit your deck lists at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For each of the decks lists I will give a general overview, what I like about the specific list and things to consider when building your own variant for ladder.
Note: There has been a lot of Innovation this week – a lot of successful innovation. Three out of the five decks listed below were piloted to rank 1 Legend by their creator and all decks have seen High legend. As a result, these decks are fairly refined and there often isn’t too much to critique or consider and you will likely see a lot of success by emulating their deck lists directly.
#1 Bacco Reno Dreadsteed Warlock
Reddit Post: https://www.reddit.com/r/CompetitiveHS
This is a Dreadsteed Reno Warlock deck built by Bracco and used by him to climb to Rank 1 legend this season.
Dreadsteed Warlock decks typically plan to win over relatively long games. They run a lot of Board Clear and Healing to out value you over time with massive Dreadsteed generation.
Eventually the awesome power of the ‘Danksteed’ will grind its opponents out of cards.
Almost all of the cards in this deck are built to augment the power of your Dreadsteed and facilitate that as your primary condition. Games can prove to be very difficult if you fail to draw it against Midrange – Control archetypes.
Fortunately you run so much Taunt / Board Clear and Life-Gain that Dreadsteed is often unnecessary against a lot of aggressive decks.
This deck whilst being a Dreadsteed deck is also a Reno Jackson deck which makes it twice as fresh. Reno Jackson makes an astounding amount of sense in this archetype built to stall and out value its opponents over a very long game.
What I Like:
Dreadsteed (2): Despite this being a Reno Jackson deck this card is your primary win condition against anything slower than an Aggro Druid so running two is necessary as you will need to draw it.
I love this deck, I love Dreadsteed and it makes a lot of sense in a Reno Jackson Deck list. Reno Jackson allows you to draw out games versus any aggressive deck and really helps your win rate against all aggressive-midrange decks. A large flaw of Dreadsteed has always been your opponent’s ability to ignore the card and push face damage – Reno Jackson is great at punishing this line of play from your opponents.
Sideshow Spelleater (1): This is a really clever (frankly genius) addition to this deck list. Dreadsteed Warlock plays incredibly slowly and will often go to fatigue against a lot of Control Decks. This card single handedly allows you to contest Control Warrior (and their Tank-Up) throughout the entire game.
It also great against Handlocks for when they use Jaraxxus. Control Warrior and Handlock are very popular at the moment so this card can consistently get a lot of value.
Twisting Nether (1): I’ve been skeptical about this card in the past but I think it really shines in this deck list and is great in the current meta-game. There are a lot of Midrange deck lists on ladder currently (particularly Paladin and Shaman) and this card is great at shutting down these lists in the late game.
It has the added benefit of not impacting your Dreadsteed Board state. I have been punished by this card too much not to value and recognize its strength in this deck.
Things to Consider:
Running less Anti-Aggro options. Currently this deck runs a metric ton of anti-aggro tech (Doomsayer, Explosive Sheep, Deathlord, Refreshment Vendor, Demonwrath, Zombie Chow, and Healbot)
It’s worth considering as the meta becomes less aggressive to cut one of these options for a card that performs better against midrange – control archetypes. Consider one of the following:
Doomguard: This card is relatively versatile in this deck especially given its Voidcaller Synergy. It can trade with a couple of minions from aggressive lists and offers you a viable burst option against slower decks.
Dr. Boom: Dr. Boom is super consistent and feels like something hard not to include in an archetype that plays this slowly. Whilst this card doesn’t augment your Dreadsteed win condition it still gets a lot of value against midrange – control decks and gives you a strong option if you haven’t drawn your Danksteed.
Loatheb: This deck can struggle a lot with Oil Rogue and to a lesser extent Freeze Mage. This card can be a good option against these decks and can buy you a critical extra turn.
#2 Flood Deathrattle Tempo Rogue
Hearthpwn Post: http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/375
This is a Deathrattle Tempo Rogue built by Flood and used by him to climb to rank 1 legend this season.
Tempo Rogue is an archetype I have been a fan of since the early HS beta, and as a result I love this deck list.
Tempo Rogue is a relatively aggressive archetype that excels at snowballing early board advantages. Rogue has a lot of very efficient tools at combatting their opponent’s board states. Tempo Rogue looks to develop its own board presence and deny their opponents in the same turn.
Tempo Rogue leverages their strong early-mid game board advantages with repetitive minion damage and burn spells to secure lethal.
This is a new take on the Tempo Rogue archetype – Deathrattle Tempo Rogue (super spooky). The new LOE Rogue card Unearthed Raptor is incredibly strong and has the potential to generate a ton of value (even on curve with Nerubian Egg) and has really made this archetype hard to deal with.
Unearthed Raptor often creates unmanageable board states in the mid-late game and has become a core minion and the defining card in this archetype.
What I Like:
Brann Bronzebeard: Brann Bronzebeard is another card released from the latest LOE wing and he is awesome (though perhaps not as almighty as Reno Jackson). Brann augments a lot of cards in this list and has amazing Unearthed Raptor synergy (potentially allowing one Raptor to generate 4 of an initial Deathrattle).
Brann also has synergy with Azure Drake, Abusive Sergeant,, Dr. Boom, and Healbot.
Antique Healbot (1): Sludge Belcher might make more sense initially given its synergy with Unearthed Raptor. The synergy is minimal though as a 1/2 taunt is relatively low impact. Antique Healbots synergy with Brann is enough to shut out a lot of aggressive decks like Face Hunter or the new SMorc shaman this deck would struggle against otherwise.
Dark Iron Skulker (1): This is a largely underrated card in Rogue that performs really well in this archetype especially against all of the Shamans and Paladins currently on ladder.
Fan of Knives (2): This isn’t a card run in a lot of these new Deathrattle Rogue lists but is something that performs really well against the army of Paladins on ladder currently.
Things to Consider:
Running more activators for Nerubian Egg. This deck also has mediocre at best Preparation synergy.
Currently Nerubian Egg and Preparation can be dead cards if you don’t draw your Unearthed Raptor or Sprint.
Dark Iron Dwarf / Defender of Argus (+2): These cards are great in this deck list; they augment the archetypes play style and have synergy with Brann as well as Nerubian Egg. I’m not sure which card is better currently and may depend on the nature of the meta game at the time – test with both of these cards and find out for yourself =D
Sylvanas (+1): Sylvanas is a card that shines against a lot of the Midrange – Control archetypes on ladder currently. Sylvanas also has amazing synergy with Unearthed Raptor and can generate game winning amounts of value against a lot of slower archetypes.
Preparation (-2): These cards are run in this deck currently largely just so the deck can run double Sprint as a card draw option. These cards can often prove to be very clunky and the double Sprint will be largely unnecessary if you have a higher minion curve.
Sprint (-1): Double sprint feels largely unnecessary if you run a slightly higher minion curve and the card loses a lot of its strength when removing double Preparation.
Kel’Thuzad vs. Ragnaros: I haven’t played this deck quite enough to speculate about the strength of Kel’Thuzad. This said, I suspect that Ragnaros might be a more consistent late game win condition – it’s not reliant on a board state and performs really well against Combo Druid, Control Warrior, Oil Rogue and Freeze Mage which are all popular ladder decks currently.
#3 LBYS Aggro Freeze Mage
This archetype, whilst new to a lot of people, has been in the Hearthstone scene for a while. It was pioneered on the Chinese Ranked ladder (where a lot of innovation happens) by Tiddler Celestial.
This new LOE Aggro Freeze Mage variant was built by LBYS and used by him to hit rank 1 legend this season.
Aggressive Freeze Mage is a uniquely obnoxious archetype that wins by drawing a lot of cards and racing their opponent. It keeps Ice Block, Frost Nova and sometimes Doomsayers from the conventional Freeze Mage builds to stall their opponents and buy extra turns to find all their burn spells.
This deck is fantastic at out-racing almost any aggressive archetype but can struggle against decks with a lot of life gain like Control Warrior or Reno Jackson Warlock.
This deck also has an insanely low mana curve and is able to easily run out of steam if it doesn’t draw into Coldlight Oracle.
What I Like
Forgotten Torch (2): The inclusion of this card in LOE has done a lot to bolster the strength of this archetype. You’re running every other burn spell so just the 3-damage initial half is almost enough to justify its slot in the deck on its own. You also stall a lot and draw a lot of cards so finding the 6 damage card you create is something that will happen a lot. Forgotten Torch thrives in all Freeze Mage decks and this aggressive variant is no exception.
Coldlight Oracle (2): I don’t see this card in all Aggro Freeze Mage variants but I absolutely love it in the archetype. This deck largely disregards most of what your opponent does and excels at ignoring their board development. The most important thing for you is to find your burn spells, your ability to totally disrespect card advantage as a concept makes Coldlight Oracle really strong in the list.
Things to Consider:
This list like every high rank aggressive list is incredibly refined. Successful aggressive builds often don’t have much room for optimization so there isn’t too much I would change. I don’t think the following changes are strictly better/worse just worth consideration.
Pyroblast (+1): Pyroblast is a card that is sometimes run in this variant and can work really well against slower archetypes. There are a lot of control decks on ladder currently a lot of them especially Reno Warlock and Control Warrior have a large amount of life gain options so the reach Pyroblast can give you is often integral to winning these match ups.
The card can be clunky though and can impede your early game draw consistency. This card will definitely hurt you against aggressive archetypes.
Mad Bomber (-1): Mad Bomber is a card that I like given the amount of token generation on ladder currently. That said I’m not totally sold on its efficacy and in a slower meta-game Pyroblast might outperform this card.
#4 Frietjeman Mill Rogue
This is a Mill Rogue deck built by Frietjeman and featured by him in a great text and video guide on r/CompetitiveHS.
If you like the deck I recommend you check out the reddit post above or his stream above.
I took the liberty of switching out a Big Game Hunter for a Brann Bronzebeard. Frietjeman’s list was posted just before the release of the second wing of LOE and as a result didn’t have access to Brann Bronzebeard.
Brann has become a core card in this archetype in my opinion and its ability to bolster your primary win condition by having Coldlight Oracles draw 4 cards is absolutely insane in the archetype.
The card also has a lot of synergy with a lot of your defensive options especially in this list that chooses to run double Refreshment Vendor and double Antique Healbot.
Mill Rogue looks to win games by killing its opponents with fatigue. They achieve this by having them draw a lot of cards with Coldlight Oracle and avoid fatiguing themselves by using gang up (ideally on their Cold Light Oracles).
Mill Rogue looks to survive their opponent’s aggression and minion options by running a lot of Board Clear / Life-Gain / Taunts and stall in Vanish.
Deathlord is a great card in this archetype that slows down your opponent and also pulls a card from their deck list which helps facilitate your win condition. The minion generated can often be easily managed with Vanish.
Vanish and Sap are extremely efficient removal options in this deck list that is able to force their opponent into a hand size of 10 cards before returning their minions to their hand – which will kill the minion.
All of the cards in this deck list are built to facilitate your primary Coldlight Oracle win condition – If you fail to draw this card games can be very difficult.
Mill Rogue can also struggle against a lot of aggressive decks – a lot of aggressive decks have very low curves and are able to take great advantage of you drawing them cards. Tempo Mage and Face Hunter in particular can really punish this archetype.
What I Like
Refreshment Vendor (2): As stated earlier this card has a lot of synergy with Brann Bronzebeard which makes it a great option in this deck list especially against aggressive archetypes. Additionally running Brann enables you to cut ‘more consistent’ Rogue minions like SI:7 agent as your primary win condition becomes a lot more consistent assuming you’re able to draw the Coldlight.
Antique Healbot (2): Similar to Refreshment Vendor a lot of Mill Rogue variants opt to cut these defensive options so that they can fit more consistent Rogue minions. The inclusion of Brann Bronzebeard makes your Coldlight Oracle draw so strong though that only running Oracles, Board Clear, Stall and Life Gain has become very viable.
Things to Consider
Blade Flurry (+1): Blade Flurry is a great way of dealing with your opponent’s board states. When playing against Mill Rogue your opponent will often try to play multiple low mana minions as opposed to large minions to avoid over-drawing cards. Blade Flurry is your best way of punishing this mentality and really shines against all of the Paladin and Shaman decks on ladder currently.
Azure Drake (-1): Azure Drake is something that I just don’t think necessary in this archetype – especially after the inclusion of Brann Bronzebeard. Azure Drake despite being a consistent minion doesn’t do enough to facilitate your win conditions and isn’t too useful at managing your opponents board presence.
Azure Drake can be useful when trying to find a Coldlight Oracle but I think it gets largely outperformed by Blade Flurry in a lot of match ups.
#5 Reynad Reliquary Seeker Zoo
Whilst I normally don’t feature popular streamers in these articles Reynad has been crushing it this past week and this deck is both innovative and a lot of fun.
This is a deck used by Reynad to reach Rank 4 legend this season.
Reynad took a card given a negative review by a lot of people (including myself) and made a really strong archetype around it. Reliquary Seeker is very strong in this deck list and can consistently find value with all of the tokens you generate.
This is an aggressive-midrange zoo variant that can perhaps be defined as a ‘Token Zoo’. Token Zoo has a huge emphasis on developing a strong early to midgame board presence to facilitate massive midgame tempo swings.
Cards like Gormok the Impaler, Sea Giant and Reliquary Seeker are all extremely efficient at leveraging a favorable early-mid game board presence filled with token minions.
Cards like Haunted Creeper, Imp Gang Boss and Implosion are integral for this archetype to function and allow you to develop tokens whilst removing your opponent’s minions.
This archetype thrives against a lot of other board centric lists like Paladin that also generate a lot of token minions. Sea Giant is great at punishing aggressive board states from your opponents.
What I Like
Reliquary Seeker (2): Reynad changed the opinion of a lot of people by running this card with such success in this deck. Reliquary Seeker consistently finds value, which is something a lot of us found very surprising. But the token generation of this archetype is insane and incredibly consistent, a lot of decks are unable to deal with it.
A large reason this card finds so much value so consistently is because you only need a 4 minion board state in the Mid-Game (3 if one of those minion is an Imp Gang Boss) and you can play a lot of low mana cards with Reliquary Seeker in the same turn to get value. You don’t need 6 minions to stick for a turn.
Dark Peddler (2): Dark Peddler is absolutely nuts in these Midrange Zoo warlock decks that are aggressive enough to value the 2/2 body and play slowly enough to value the card draw. Dark Peddler enables a relatively low minion curve – you can run less 3 mana minions because this card is essentially a pseudo 3-mana option.
The ability for Dark Peddler to generate a Warlock 1-drop is extremely valuable and even generating any 1 mana minion is useful when looking to find Reliquary Seeker or Sea Giant value later in the game.
Gormok the Impaler: In a deck where Reliquary Seeker is good Gormok is insane. This card can consistently find value in this deck and is great at dominating your opponent’s board or finding lethal in the mid-late game.
Things to Consider
This deck like all successful aggressive lists is incredibly refined and I’m frankly unwilling to suggest any replacements before playing with this list more. The following are just cards to consider running in the deck – I’m unsure whether finding space for them will improve the deck list.
Knife Juggler (2): In a deck running so much token generation, Knife Juggler can get an insane amount of value. My initial thought was simply to replace Echoing Ooze with Jugglers but I’m unsure how important the extra minion generated from the ooze is to the archetype.
I encourage you to experiment with these cards in your deck list – likely taking out an Echoing Ooze.
Brann Bronzebeard: There are a lot of Battlecry minions in this deck, some of which have incredibly strong Battlecry effects and can generate game winning value if allowed to connect with this card on the board.
Abusive Sergeant, Reliquary Seeker, Dark Peddler, Echoing Ooze, Defender of Argus, Gormok the Impaler, Loatheb and Dr. Boom all have synergy with Brann in this deck. The Reliquary Seeker and Gormok synergy in particular makes Brann an exciting potential addition to this deck list.
Brann may not prove to be consistent enough in this archetype enough and it might be too fast too value a 2/4, 3-mana minion. Time will tell.
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