A lot of innovation in Hearthstone can go largely unnoticed. We love writing this article to showcase & give credit to the best & and most interesting decks made by members of the community each week.
League of Explorers:
This week will be a little unique, I wrote this just before the expansion release and this article will be published just after it drops. Given this the top 3 decks are going to be my favorite community decks before the League of Explorers expansion and the next 2 are going to be my favorite ‘Theory Crafted’ decks using cards from this expansion.
#1 Darkshadow33’s Aggro Egg Druid
This is a deck used by Darkshadow33 to achieve rank 1 legend during the November 2015 season.
This deck is a particularly unconventional Aggro Druid variant. Aggro Druid normally wins by leveraging an extremely aggressive early board state with burn and savage roar to secure lethal.
This variant runs a lot less ‘burn’ (No Swipes or Force of Natures) than standard variants. As a result, you are more reliant on board advantages. This Aggro Druid variant relies on setting up combos – either with Dragon Egg, Nerubian Egg and activators or with token generation + Power of the Wild – to establish an overwhelming mid-game board presence.
This deck has a very low curve, lower than most Aggro Druid variants. As a result it runs one Jeeves to avoid running out of steam versus midrange-control match ups.
What I Like:
Dragon Egg/Nerubian Egg (2): The Defining cards of this deck list. These cards are very sticky minions and can consistently find synergy with Savage Roar for a mid-late game push for lethal. This deck also runs 10 cards that give these cards an attack value enabling it to trade into enemy minions and potentially generate a lot of 2/1 tokens (or a 4/4 Nerubian in the case of Nerubian Egg). Dragon Egg, as well as Nerubian Egg, is quite versatile within this deck list and can effectively contest aggressive board states and enable late game burst potential versus slower archetypes.
Abusive Sergeant (2): This is a card run in place of Leper Gnome and is an excellent substitution given the nature of this deck list. This deck picks up a lot of consistent Abusive Sergeant value through Dragon Egg, Nerubian Egg and even Echoing Ooze and Haunted Creeper.
Defender of Argus (2): Similar to Abusive Sergeant this card picks up value extremely consistently given the number of sticky minions run in the deck. It has particularly great synergy with Dragon Egg and Nerubian Egg, forcing your opponent to trigger their effects.
Things to consider:
Adapting to the slowing meta:
Force of Nature (+2): Despite this being a relatively new deck list the meta has actually slowed down a fair bit since this was posted. As a result, it has become more important for decks to find a consistent win condition against slower archetypes. Without the Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo this deck might struggle to find the damage against control decks and your Fel Reavers may become a liability.
Piloted Shredder (+1): Similarly to Force of Nature, Piloted Shredder is a fantastic performer against slower archetypes – albeit for slightly different reasons. Piloted Shredder is a card much more difficult to remove than most minions for most control archetypes and can push a lot of damage in the mid-game. Jeeves also becomes a lot less important when running Force of Natures as a win condition.
Jeeves (-1): Card draw just isn’t a necessary win condition when you’re running two copies of Force of Nature + Savage Roar. The tempo loss generated by playing this card just isn’t going to be worth it most of the time and it is going to get outperformed by Piloted Shredder most of the time – in every match up.
Power of the Wild (-1): This card has a lot of synergy within the deck, but I think running 2 Power of the Wilds might be one combo piece too many. Currently there is potential to draw a hand full of activators (Power of the Wild, Mark of the Wild, and Savage Roar) and can occasionally struggle to find early plays. Cutting this card should increase early game draw consistency.
Sea Giant (-1): This card feels a little like a ‘win more’ card in this deck list. This card isn’t going to do much to secure a victory in aggressive match ups (where the board control is more important than the 8/8 body). It also gets largely outperformed by Force of Nature as a win condition against slower archetypes in my opinion.
#2 Justsaiyan’s Midrange Shaman
This is a deck built by Justsaiyan and used by him to climb to rank 5 legend.
This can be seen as a relatively common Midrange Shaman build, but Shaman is currently such an unconventional archetype, not expected to get top Legend, that I felt I needed to include it on this list. (Shaman’s need some love.)
This deck seems very well built and is my pick for the best build of the archetype that doesn’t run Bloodlust.
Midrange Shaman typically thrives against slower decks, able to handle threats dropped at a ‘fair’ pace very efficiently whilst developing its own board state with totems and very sticky minions.
Midrange Shaman looks to win by creating uncontrollable board advantages in the mid-late game.
This deck performs better than the standard Midrange Shaman lists in an aggressive meta game by running a larger amount of low drop minions (Knife Jugglers, Totem Golems) and life-gain (Healing Wave).
Its primary weakness, as for most Midrange Shamans, is still its lack of defined and consistent win conditions.
What I like:
Knife Juggler (2): Knife Juggler isn’t a very common addition in Midrange Shaman decks but it has a lot of synergy within the deck list and does a good job at contesting early board states. Knife Juggler has a lot of synergy with Tuskarr Totemic, Haunted Creeper, Feral Spirit as well as the Shaman hero power.
Running another 2-drop minion allows you to ‘curve out’ more consistently which is particularly relevant when running Totem Golems. 2-drop minions should have a larger priority than 3-drop minions in Totem Golem decks to account for the Overload mechanic. The amount of Overload 3-mana cards is why a lot of shaman decks have a relatively low amount of 4-drop minions in their deck lists.
Sludge Belcher (2): Sludge Belcher is one of my favorite cards for the Midrange Shaman archetype. The card is great when looking to survive and stabilize against aggressive decks and has great Flametongue Synergy. – Flametongue hides behind the Belcher and can consistently buff both halves of the minion.
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.
Big Game Hunter (1): As stated in my top tech cards article Big Game Hunter is a fantastic minion in the current meta-game. He can consistently find targets versus midrange-control archetypes and can be a great answer to Mysterious Challenger from Secret Paladin. Whilst even two of this card can be worth considering in some Midrange decks is is unnecessary in this Shaman deck running two of Hex.
Things to Consider:
This is a fantastic list from Justsaiyan, and there isn’t a lot I’d change. The only thing I’d consider is this:
Al’Akir the Windlord (+1): This minion is extremely versatile and has a lot of strength against a variety of archetypes. This card is one of Shamans only consistent 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.
Ragnaros (-1): Whilst this card is a viable win condition against slower archetypes it can underperform versus aggressive decks. Ragnaros can often struggle to find value against decks with a lot of small minions or token generation, particularly Secret Paladin.
#3 CyprusDE’s Combo Priest
This deck is an OTK (One Turn Kill) Priest variant.
OTK Priest is an archetype that typically performs well against aggressive archetypes, especially Face Hunter. These deck lists have a lot of defensive tools with large taunt minions (Deathlords) and a lot of board clears (Wild Pyromancer, Holy Nova and Lightbomb).
This deck even takes the anti-aggro sentiment a step further than most with Defender of Argus and Tournament Medic.
It looks to win by establishing early high health minions, keeping them alive and then ‘pumping them up’ with Divine Spirit and Inner Fire to ‘One-Turn Kill’ their opponent.
This archetype runs a lot of situational cards and can sometimes get very ‘clunky’ hands and struggle to find plays against slower archetypes, particularly in the mid-game.
This deck will run out of steam easier than other variants, and much easier than standard Control Priest lists.
What I Like:
Lightbomb (2): Lightbomb is an extremely consistent card in all Priest variants but particularly thrives in this list running a lot of high health minions. Lightbomb is a fantastic answer to most Midrange Archetypes as well as aggressive ones and still shines in the current meta-game.
Eydis Darkbane: This is a card I love for the deck list. This card is a fantastic option in this priest deck running such a large amount of ‘buff’ cards and performs particularly well against aggressive-midrange deck lists.
Ysera: Ysera is a fantastic win condition in all priest variants and at 4 attack, 12 health has particular synergy in this deck list taking advantage of high health minions.
Things to Consider:
Zombie Chow (+2): If you’re building a deck to counter aggressive archetypes, Zombie Chow is a card that should be heavily considered – especially in Priest Decks which can enable the card trading into 2-3 of your opponent’s early game minions.
Holy Champion (+2): This deck is struggling for viable 4-drop options and Holy Champion is a great one especially as it can provide a win condition against the slower archetypes this deck currently struggles with. This card is particularly great in this deck list which looks to constantly heal and get value out of their Deathlords – which will also protect the growing Holy Champions.
Vol’Jin (+1): This card feels too powerful not to include in any Priest variant. This card is incredibly consistent and particularly thrives in a meta-game still running a lot of Fel Reavers and Deathlords.
Shadow Boxer (-2): The logic behind this card when countering aggressive decks and their token generation is understandable and the style points undeniable. That said, Zombie Chow just outperforms this card as an anti-aggro tech choice. Ultimately Shadow Boxer is a card flawed conceptually as a way to fight aggressive decks because of your need to prioritize your hero power and lose Tempo in order to get the effect.
Tournament Medic (-1): This card despite being a high health minion feels like a step too far on the anti-aggro tech. The meta-game has slowed down some-what and Deathlords should be able to provide this deck a consistent enough target for its combo pieces (Divine Spirit + Inner Fire)
Defender of Argus (-1): This deck doesn’t look to develop multiple minions in the early game and its stickiest early-game minion already has taunt. Holy Champions should be a much more consistent option in this slot as it has much more synergy with the rest of the deck list.
Faceless Manipulator (-1): This card is slow and seems to be at odds with the anti-aggro nature of the deck list. Its ability to copy a Deathlord with Divine Spirit feels superfluous in most match ups. I don’t think card is going to do much to facilitate a win against aggressive decks and gets largely outperformed by Vol’Jin as a win condition against slower archetypes in my opinion.
Djinni of Zephyrs (+2): Whilst I’m unsure currently what to remove for this LOE card it is a FANTASTIC option in this deck. There has been a lot of speculation about the strength of Djinni of Zephyrs in all Priest decks and it will particularly shine here with the massive amount of buff cards already run in this variant.
League of Explorers Theory Crafts
#1 LewisJLF’s Battlecry Shaman
This is an idea for a fun and interesting new take on the Midrange Shaman archetype built by LewisJLF.
There is a lot of potential packed within this deck list. Shaman has been a weak class for a long time so, in a similar way to TGT, LOE is rolling out a lot of promising shaman cards.
Rumbling Elemental is the defining card of this deck list and it takes advantage of the large amount of shaman and neutral minions commonly run in Midrange Shaman builds. This Rumbling Elemental Shaman build also takes fantastic advantage of what some people are calling ‘the card of the set’ Brann Bronzebeard.
A lot of people have been theory crafting decks with Brann Bronzebeard but this is the best idea I have seen so far to best take advantage of the card. Brann Bronzebeard is a 3-drop 2/4 minion that makes all battlecry effects trigger twice.
Hopefully new Battlecry Shaman builds are strong enough to push the class back into relevance.
What I Like:
Tunnel Trogg (2): This is a card Shaman desperately needed, a strong one-drop minion that takes advantage of their awkward overload mechanic. This card is a fantastic addition to the class and might become a staple addition to most Midrange Shaman variants. Turn 1 Tunnel Trogg into a turn 2 Totem Golem (or even a coin Feral Spirit in other builds) creates a very intimidating board presence.
The Mistcaller: This is a card that received a largely underwhelming reception in TGT. The Battlecry is very strong but the Tempo loss was often too significant to warrant playing the card, especially against aggressive archetypes. A lot of people have been discussing Brann Bronzebeard synergy but I don’t think enough attention has been brought to its insane potential with The Mistcaller – giving all of the minions in your hand and deck +2/+2 will often be a win outright versus slower archetypes.
Stormforged Axe (2): As stated in my previous Community Decks article I think this card is criminally underrated currently in Midrange Shaman. The card is very efficient at dealing with a lot of the in-meta 2-drop minions and in this list it has the added benefit of synergizing with Tunnel Trogg.
Abusive Sergeant (2): Abusive Sergeant has always been a viable option in Midrange Shaman because of its ability to consistently find a target with your token generation. The card has the potential to be exceptionally strong in this list running a lot of Battlecry synergy in Brann Bronzebeard and Rumbling Elemental.
Things to Consider:
Big Game Hunter (+1): As stated earlier Big Game Hunter is a fantastic card in Midrange Shaman and frankly all midrange-control archetypes. It is particularly good in this deck list as it has additional Brann Bronzebeard and Rumbling Elemental synergy. Big Game Hunter is also extra effective when running abusive sergeant as it enables you to also remove their 5 or 6 attack minions. A double Big Game Hunter effect may be enough to make the poor Handlocks you victimize uninstall – be mindful of their grief and emote how sorry you are.
Hex (+1): Hex is frankly too strong and too necessary in all midrange-control shaman variants. The card is great at dealing with large minions from slower decks but also can be a fantastic answer to Piloted Shredder against aggressive decks, it is simply too consistent not to run at least one.
Fireguard Destroyer (+2): This is a card that has a metric ton of synergy in this deck list. It has strong synergy with Brann Bronzebeard, Rumbling Elemental and Tunnel Trogg.
Crowd Favorite (-2): Despite this card having a lot of synergy within the Battlecry heavy deck list I still don’t think it good enough. The 4/4 body is simply much more easily dealt with than the 2/6 body of the Rumbling Elemental and the effect is frankly less relevant. This is a card that I think can get outperformed by a lot of options. Replacing these cards for 3-drops also allows you to curve out better.
Draenei Totemcarver (-2): This is a card that I think gets outperformed by Fireguard Destroyer. This is a deck list that loves to play minions on curve and likely won’t be making as much use of their Hero Power as other Shaman variants.
A dream scenario for this card may be to play it on a board with Totem Golem and Brann Bronzebeard which will create a 6/6 minion. Fireguard Destroyer on the same board state will generate a minion between 5/6 and 11/6 and has the benefit of being much stronger onto an empty board state. The overload detriment becomes less significant after the introduction of Tunnel Trogg.
#2 Thijs’ Forgotten Torch Freeze Mage
This is an idea for a slightly different Freeze Mage build by Thijs that makes room for Forgotten Torch.
Forgotten Torch is a card getting very positive reviews and with good reason. The card has an insane amount of potential in slower Mage builds without bolstering the strength of aggressive archetypes like Tempo Mage.
Forgotten Torch will consistently get value in Mage Archetypes like Freeze Mage or even Grinder Mage which play very slowly and draw a lot of cards.
Freeze Mage is an archetype that performs well against most aggressive-midrange archetypes particularly tempo decks. The deck has fantastic board clear options and excels at slowing down the pace of the game. Freeze mage has multiple life-gain options as well as Ice Block to stall.
Freeze mage will focus on card draw / secret development in the early game, board clear/stall in the mid-game and healing themselves / killing you with burn spells in the late game.
What I Like:
Forgotten Torch (2): The only change in this Freeze Mage deck in this new expansion. The 3 damage allows you to answer a lot of early game minions with the blessed benefit of not sacrificing late-game burn damage. This card really is a perfect addition to the Freeze Mage archetype which can often struggle to find a balance between early removal and late game burn.
Flamestrike/Blizzard (1): This deck has cut some board clear in order to make room for the Forgotten Torch inclusions. This should make a lot of sense as board clear becomes less critical when you have more early removal options.
Things to Consider:
Fireball (+1): Although the inclusion of Forgotten Torch makes this card less critical to facilitate your win conditions I think it may be too strong and versatile to not run 2 anyway. This card, if not needed as burn, is a great removal option against Midrange – Control archetypes which you have the capacity to do now that you have more burn in the deck list.
Cone of Cold (-1): The meta-game is not as fast as it once was, as the meta game slows down Cone of Cold becomes less necessary. Given this and the added removal option in the early game provided by Forgotten Torch, Fireball largely outperforms Cone of Cold in my opinion – especially given Fireballs strength against midrange – control decks.
Reno Jackson: Freeze Mage despite being a deck that likes running a lot of ‘2-ofs’ also likes to draw a lot of cards. Look to experiment with this card in Freeze Mage decks to shut out aggressive – midrange lists.
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
Do you agree?
Have you seen any lists or theory-crafts out there that you think could be even better/more interesting than these? Leave us a comment below.