This article will be showcasing some of the best & most interesting decks made by members of the community each week. A lot of innovation in Hearthstone can go largely unnoticed. The Hearthstone Community has a tendency to tunnel vision on ‘Standard Tier 1’ decks which can propagate a stale meta game.
We intend to shine a light on the best and most innovative deck ideas from you guys! We’ll try to focus on decks made by non-pro players. For each of the decks listed I will give a general overview, what I like about the specific list and things to consider when building your own variant for ladder.
All of the deck lists in this article were pulled from Hearthpwn.com. 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
#1 TwoBiers’ Dreadscale Hunter
This deck is a Midrange Hunter variant. This deck, like most Midrange Hunters, typically plan to survive the early game and then leverage strong mid-game board states with burn to win the game.
This deck is extremely good at snowballing their mid-game board states with tools like Freezing Trap and Hunter’s Mark. If Midrange Hunter gets a board lead in the early-mid game their minions can be unmanageable.
Dreadscale is a minion run in this deck largely as an answer to Secret Paladin. The AOE it offers is extremely valuable when managing the token generation core to their win condition.
What I Like:
Hunter’s Mark (2): As stated in my Top 5 Tech Cards article, Hunter’s Mark is extremely strong in the current meta-game. As pseudo hard-removal it offers reliable Tempo swings in this board-centric meta and is a great tech card for Fel Reaver and Deathlord.
Sludge Belcher: Sludge Belcher weaves in and out of Midrange Hunter lists but I think is very effective currently. Sludge Belcher is a great option for Midrange Hunters looking to survive and stabilize against hyper-aggressive decks. It also has great synergy with Snake Trap.
Freezing Trap (2): Though Freezing Trap is common currently a lot of Midrange Hunter lists opt for only one due to a perceived weakness against aggressive decks. I think Freezing Trap is a fantastic tool to snowball your board state and can even be effective versus Secret Paladins if you find a board lead. A lot of modern aggressive lists still have the capacity to develop large minions and Freezing Trap enables you to ignore them if you’re able to manage the smaller minions with cards like Unleash the Hounds.
Dreadscale: Dreadscale’s impact on Secret Paladins is very valuable as there are still many of them on ladder. Even when not playing Secret Paladins Dreadscale when used with Hunter’s mark can offer enormous Tempo swings.
Things to Consider:
Haunted Creeper (+2): In an aggressive meta-game I think Haunted Creepers are a great minion option despite its negative Dreadscale synergy. Haunted Creeper’s distinguish themselves from other 2-drop minions by trading a lower attack value for more ‘stickiness’ and a higher effective health total. Haunted Creeper is arguably the best 2-drop in the game at contesting early board states and particularly excels at managing token generation. The card also has fantastic synergy with Knife Juggler and Houndmaster.
Knife Juggler (+1): Knife Juggler, when used with Unleash the Hounds is the best comeback mechanic in the Midrange Hunter’s arsenal. This combined with its synergy with
Quick Shot (-2): This card and card advantage in general is a valuable resource against slower archetypes. However, in my opinion, it gets out-performed by minion options currently. You can look to cut this to make room for Haunted Creepers.
King’s Elekk (-1): Similar to Quick Shot card advantage is not a great priority given the state of the meta-game. I think swapping an Elekk for a Knife Juggler will allow you to contest early boards more consistently.
#2 Rikitikitavi Midrange Paladin
This deck is a slightly off-standard take on the Midrange Paladin archetype which seeing a lot of success in this post-Patron meta. This archetype operates in a similar way to Tempo decks and is very good at controlling the pace of the game.
Midrange Paladin is very good at finding a consistent mana curve and is capable of having an imposing board state at all stages of the game.
This deck has a lot of tools to stall and remove its opponent’s board. It also runs a lot of life-gain allowing it to consistently run more aggressive lists out of options.
What I Like:
Zombie Chow (2): Arguably the best neutral anti-aggro option in the game. Midrange Paladin is in no rush to kill its opponent and this card is at its best in the current meta.
Coghammer (1): This card is extremely efficient at leveraging your early board state and can effectively deny aggressive early games from your opponents. Running two of this card is worth considering.
Quartermaster (1): Only running 1 Quartermaster and having less situational cards in general makes a lot of sense to combat an aggressive meta-game. Quartermaster can find a way to be stuck in your hand against aggressive lists where you aren’t allowed to develop and maintain a base of Silver Hand Recruits.
Murloc Knight (1): I like running only one of this card in the current meta-game. Similar to Quartermaster this card is relatively slow and can get outperformed by other options like Piloted Shredder and Defender of Argus in an aggressive meta-game.
Things to Consider:
Equality (+1): In a very similar way to how Hunter’s Mark is strong in Hunter, Equality is becoming very strong in Paladin. Whether used for a large Tempo advantage or as a mid-late game comeback mechanic Equality is a very consistent option currently.
Harrison Jones (-1): I would use Acidic Swamp Ooze over Harrison Jones in most decks. Whilst weapon removal is a valuable commodity against a Warrior, Paladin and Hunter heavy meta-game I think Acidic Swamp Ooze to be the better option. Tempo is a more valuable commodity than card advantage in most cases.
Ironbeak Owl (-1): I find Ironbeak Owl to be rather underwhelming currently and it gets largely outperformed by Equality.
When tempo and board advantage are so critical, to operate as a reactive card you need to able to find value very consistently and Ironbeak Owl struggles to do so. Despite Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper and Piloted Shredder being alive and well the Sylvanas and Sludge Belcher population has dropped significantly.
Ironbeak Owl is also a terrible option against Deathlord and Fel Reaver especially when compared to Equality.
#3 Harrison7718 Midrange Shaman
Midrange Shaman is an archetype that typically thrives against slower decks. It is able to handle threats dropped at a ’fair’ pace very efficiently whilst developing its own board state.
Through the use of totems and very sticky minions Midrange Shaman looks to win by creating uncontrollable board advantages in the mid-late game.
This deck performs better against aggressive decks than standard Midrange Shaman lists by utilizing a large amount of removal in the early game as well as Heals/Taunts in the mid-late game.
The primary weakness of Midrange Shaman, and this deck, is its lack of defined and consistent win conditions.
What I like:
Zombie Chow (2): Arguably the best neutral anti-aggro option in the game. Midrange Shaman is in no rush to kill its opponent and this card is at its best in the current meta.
Earth Shock (2): A lot of Shaman lists look to cut 1-2 of this card but I love it against most aggressive archetypes. Earthshock is great in the current meta-game as it’s tempo-efficient and can be an efficient answer to Haunted Creeper, Shielded Mini-Bot, Mad Scientist and Piloted Shredder.
Stormforged Axe (1): An unconventional card to be sure but one that I think is great in the current meta. There are a large amount of two health 2-drops currently and this card can stifle the early game of a lot of decks.
Healing Wave (1): This is a card added as a reaction to the current meta-game. With a relatively high cost minion core this card can consistently save you against aggressive decks. I think running two of these is likely excessive especially when running double Sludge Belcher.
Al’Akir the Windlord: This card is an extremely consistent minion and provides Shaman with one of its only viable win conditions. This card when used in combination with Rockbiter Weapon or Flametongue Totem can provide a lot of late game burst damage and give Shaman decks reach it can struggle to find otherwise.
Things to Consider:
Haunted Creeper (+1): Haunted Creeper is an extremely consistent minion in Shaman given its extreme Flametongue Totem synergy. This and its strength versus aggressive lists make two Creepers my preference.
Flametongue Totem (+1): This card is simply too strong in Shaman. Whether used in conjunction with early game minions, totems, or Al’Akir, Flametongue consistently finds value.
Hex (+1): Another card that is simply too strong not to include 2 of in most Shaman lists. Hex is extremely consistent against midrange-control archetypes and can be a game winning option against Mysterious Challenger.
Acolyte of Pain (-2): As stated previously Tempo is simply more important than card advantage in this meta-game. With a single Mana-Tide Totem, double Azure Drake and a relatively high minion curve you should have enough ‘staying power’ against most decks without these Acolytes.
Healing Wave (-1): Running two feels largely unnecessary and can impede draw consistency. One Healing Wave and double Sludge Belcher should provide enough defensive options. Look to substitute a Sludge Belcher for an Antique Healbot if struggling against Face Hunter.
#4 WingsOfWax Burst Rogue
Like with most aggressive archetypes Aggro Rogue looks to leverage aggressive early minions with a lot of burst to secure an early lethal.
Assassin’s Blade when used with weapon buffs can give this deck a surprising amount of reach against slower decks.
This archetype might be Rogues best option against Freeze Mage.
What I Like:
Defias Ringleader (2): I’m liking this card more and more and it particularly thrives in aggressive lists. With a very low curve the combo is quite consistent and it is a great anti-aggro option.
Argent Horserider (2): Another card that I like in all Rogue variants but something that particularly shines in this aggressive archetype. This card is very versatile, the divine shield allows it to contest the board of aggressive decks and get multiple attacks to the face against slower archetypes. The divine shield also gets a lot of value when combined with Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil or Cold Blood.
Leper Gnome (2): This is a consistent minion option for Aggro Rogue. It has the potential to push a lot of damage and is a lot of help when contesting early board states.
Things to Consider:
Backstab (+2): Backstab is a very consistent spell choice in every Rogue Variant. Backstab costing 0 mana allows you to more easily activate all of your combo cards.
Sap (+1): Whilst most aggressive lists don’t run taunt minions this is a very useful card against other archetypes. It can also be used against a large minion in aggressive lists (I.e. Mysterious Challenger, Fel Reaver) to start racing your opponent.
Coldlight Oracle (+2): This deck runs out of steam very easily! Coldlight Oracle is a great option in a meta that spits on card advantage and enables you to find the burn you need.
Ironbeak Owl (-2): This card is not a great meta option. This card jeopardizes your early game draw consistency and typically gets outperformed by sap in my opinion.
Loot Hoarder (-2): This is a card that gets largely outperformed by Coldlight Oracle in this archetype currently. When running an extremely low curve card draw becomes very important, the ability to draw an extra card – even with your opponent also drawing cards – is very worth it when considering the current meta and this decks play-style.
Dr. Boom (-1): This deck, in a similar way to Face or Hybrid Hunter, can simply play too fast for Dr. Boom to be a consistent option. Games with this deck will likely be decided before turn 7.
#5 Thebigbanana Feign Death Hunter
Feign Death Hunter is a slower Midrange Hunter variant that has seen play only recently.
Feign Death has a lot of synergy with a lot of minions core in Midrange Hunter and its frankly disgusting Sylvanas synergy is great at bolstering the archetypes playstyle.
This list plays similarly to standard Midrange hunter lists but is more reliant on board advantages and less reliant on burst damage as a win condition.
What I Like:
Snake Trap (1): This card has a lot of synergy with this decks large amount of taunt minions and double Knife Juggler. Additionally this variant’s larger than normal priority on favorable board presence makes this a very strong option.
Piloted Shredder (2): Whilst a lot of Midrange Hunter variants only run one Piloted Shredder in favor of Houndmaster its synergy with Feign Death makes it better than usual.
Feign Death (1): This card is hugely underrated at the moment. Its ability to create large board states with Hunter’s large amount of Deathrattle minions or a game winning tempo swing with Sylvanas can’t be underestimated.
Things to Consider:
Hunter’s Mark (+1): As stated when discussing TwoBiers’ list Hunter’s Mark is fantastic in the current meta-game and comfortably beats out Ironbeak Owl.
Houndmaster (+1): This Midrange Hunter variant runs an extremely large amount of beasts and Houndmaster can consistently find a target.
Sludge Belcher (+1): Sludge Belcher excels in this list with its slower playstyle and the cards synergy with both Snake Trap and Feign Death.
Kel’Thuzad (+1): Kel’Thuzad is a fantastic win condition in this slow Midrange Hunter variant. Its obvious synergy with Feign Death combined with the decks desire to trade heavily can enable you to out-value your opponents.
Kill Command (-2): I think the better way to build this list is to attempt to out value your opponents. Focusing less on burst damage allows you to run a heavier minion curve and can consistently create unmanageable mid-game board states.
Kill Command is also largely unnecessary for Midrange hunter when looking to win against most aggressive archetypes.
Ironbeak Owl (-1): As stated previously, just gets out performed by Hunter’s Mark currently.
Flare (-1): Flare is a card a lot of people are teching into their Midrange Hunter lists as an answer to Secret Paladin but I think it sounds better than it is. The most consistent way for Midrange Hunter to manage Mysterious Challenger is to have a board advantage coming into their Challenger turn.
Flare is largely unnecessary when already having the board lead as the secrets will be pretty easy to manage (especially if you have a Hunter’s mark). If you’re behind on board flare is not going to be enough to salvage the situation and running a flare can impede your draw consistency in the early-midgame.
Flare is a card that does perform well against both Tempo and Freeze Mage though and can be run for those match ups specifically.
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