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Deck diversity in a balanced meta

  • Bersak's Avatar Salty Dog 330 280 Posts Joined 06/12/2019
    Posted 1 week, 5 days ago

    Hey folks, who is up for some good old meta discussion? 
    It’s the third ladder climb in the Scholomance academy and I gotta say, there are still some things to discover! 

    We all know the top dogs by now. Different variations of hunter, libram paladin, tempo mage, a couple rogues and DH of course.

    In grand masters, druid and bomb warrior see a lot of play but I haven’t seen either of those in probably 20-30 games on ladder. Tbh, I don’t know how good these decks are right now. It may be just a tournament meta thing..

    To spice things up, I prefer playing T2 or even T3 decks and I am time and time again surprised how strong those decks can be! Currently I am having minor success (but success nonetheless!) with big warrior. I had pretty good runs with Galakrond warlock and spell shaman as well the last couple weeks. To clarify, I’m generally ending the season around the legend ranks 2-5k, and use these decks to climb in diamond.

    I can highly suggest, checking out those underdogs more often. For once, I think there are hidden a couple real gems that are immensely underrepresented. 
    And second, it’s baffling how many opponents struggle against unknown decks. The amount of misplays i witnessed after playing bulwark of Azinot is way to high.

    What are your experiences on ladder? Any decks to recommend? Any decks you struggle to beat? 

    Winner winner chicken dinner

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  • SLima's Avatar 245 213 Posts Joined 08/17/2019
    Posted 1 week, 4 days ago

    Guardian Druid might still be good enough for tournaments because it's easier to predict opponents and adjust accordingly. But the deck is struggling a lot on ladder after the nerf. 

    I'm not as much into playing underdog decks but i'm into testing underdog cards. I like to play with decks that i create even if they are not very good. I created a Highlander Control Shaman with King Phaoris and it's 12/12 (50% WR) but it's the most fun i had with a deck this expansion so far. I was lucky enough to open some of the legendary cards i wanted for the deck (Speaker Gidra and Instructor Fireheart) recently so i'm going to make some adjustments and see how it goes.

    I'm also trying a Highlander Warrior with the bomb win condition but the main purpose was to test the effectiveness of Playmaker. The card is perfectly fine and can be pretty powerful but it's lacking support because of the rotation. There's only a few good targets available: Kargath Bladefist, Kargath Prime (with the help of a discount from Athletic Studies), Doctor Krastinov, Restless Mummy, Ruststeed Raider and Evasive Wyrm. If Zilliax was still around, it would be enough to make the card extremely powerful. The deck itself is currently at 9/6. Very small sample size so it's not really possible to tell if it's good or not.

    I also made a Highlander Hunter with a bunch of spells just to test Professor Slate and Krolusk Barkstripper. Both are fine cards but Slate is suffering from the same problem as Playmaker. There aren't enough good spells available to justify adding him to a deck but he is very good at handling those big minions. I won quite a few games against Paladins that played their usual strategy of "apply big buff to minion and play Argent Braggart for cheap big boy" just to have their big guys instantly destroyed by Rapid Fire. This deck is 19/13, currently. It's actually quite old as i made it within the first week of the expansion and haven't played with it a lot.

    I'm not playing Hearthstone as much recently as i decided to step away for some time to test Legends of Runeterra. I'm still doing my quests but that's it. Probably will only bother with climbing near the end of the month. The meta has been quite diverse but i'm not having a good time playing because of the constant presence of face decks (Face Hunter, Aggro Rogue and Aggro DH). I really hate those decks because playing against them is either a hopeless loss or a complete stomping victory but totally soulless. It always feels like a complete waste of time and i'm encountering them very frequently so i'm not getting any enjoyment whenever i play on ladder. At this point, i'm already in "Wait for next expansion" mode.

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  • dapperdog's Avatar 725 1317 Posts Joined 07/29/2019
    Posted 1 week, 2 days ago

    The meta has solidify around face decks and value right now, with the decks to beat in standard comprising of face hunter, soul dhunter, libram (pure or not) paladin and cyclone mage. Basically, if you're going to run off using an off meta deck these are the decks to beat.

    Fringe but good decks. Bomb warrior, secret rogue, dragon priest, and druid (whether its guardian or mountseller, same strats). The problem with these decks are not that its not good, but gets beaten generally by the current meta decks dominating ranked. Druid and bomb warrior suffers from consistency (the decks function only if you draw specific cards early, more so than other decks) while secret rogue and dragon priest gets destroyed by face decks fairly consistently.

    So let's have a small look at the so called underdog decks/classes, which I have been happily wasting my stars on;

    - Shaman decks in general are really bad. Either they simply dont draw the cards they need (because unhappily this is the only class with the weakest card draw and generation engine in the entire game) or their cards aren't up to snuff when they needed to be. I've tried control shaman, highlander, quest, galakrond, totem shaman and all of them falter in the same way; no card draw, running out of value, or having absolutely no tempo swing cards in the early game. The most broken thing you can actually play without dying in shaman right now is unironically magic trick totem, which under most circumstances will either be ignored by poor players, or just go completely ham on board and allowing you to capitalize with Totemic Reflection into Splitting Axe.

    Another decent thing you can do is to play Diligent Notetaker into Dragon's Pack. But nearly all the meta decks with the exception of mage on a poor day can deal with it handily, or simply kill you before you get the chance.

    If you plan to play shaman at all, here's a handy tip. Go totem, doesn't matter what archetype. Somehow, someway, if you manage to cast totemic reflections successfully in the early game you are no longer guaranteed to lose that match. Go hard for either mana tide or magic trick totem if you can. Your opponent will be too busy trying to clear your board to focus on their game plan. Dont even bother with cards like Earthquake or Hagatha's Scheme; face decks and bomb warrior just laughs at your face, paladin has divine shield, and mage...well...simply generate more stuff. Instructor Fireheart is a must in all builds. Its just about the only saving grace for shaman thats not a totem.

     

    - Warlock. How the mighty has fallen. Zoo dies to face decks, and without Darkglare they can't mount a counter offensive fast enough to avoid dying. Scrap imp builds are too slow, and mage just laughs at it anyway. That's not to say that its not good; you can still win games, but only because your opponent drew like shit. Diseased Vulture and Flesh Giants wins most games, since every other card is basically just cannon fodder.

    Ive tinkered around midrange handlock to some success, but its so fair that a single solarian prime just destroys the entire game. You have a better chance against hunters since they can't easily deal with taunts, but dhunter has blade dance so either play around that or you just lose. Priest is 50-50, decided solely by their draws, not yours. Flesh Giant is very good, and the mandatory inclusion of either zzeraku or jaraxxus (play along with tour guide or demonic studies so you can hp on 9 or 10) as a win condition. I've tried a curve version with more early minions, and also a more control version with Dark Skies and Shadowflame. Curving minions are generally the stronger built, ditch the dark skies. In generally, I'm not exactly sold on handlock. Galakrond warlock seems stronger, if only because Veiled Worshipper acts as a much needed draw engine.

    Archwitch willow? Dont make me laugh. You either die way before you get it out, or your opponent mind controls your enhanced dreadlords and you can't deal with it. Warlock currently suffers from the lack of quality; best thing around is kanrethad ebonlock for some really cheesy starts.

     

    - Control warrior is doing very well because nearly the entire ranked is swamped with face hunters and soul dhunters. I've not really tried my hand with it but it doesn't feel too right. Seems like anything thats not a face deck manages to deal with rattlegore then the match is over.

    I've been wanting to try my hand at quest warrior again for some time. Maybe after Im done with warlock this would be the one I waste my ranks with. Athletic studies seems really strong and I havent tried Reaper's Scythe with it yet.

     

    - Quest druid is strong, but it always seemed like if you're playing plain quest druid with no Guardian Animals or Exotic Mountseller, and you're not playing Overgrowth, then you're doing something wrong, like fighting a boxing match with your dominant hand behind your back. For what's its worth, malygos quest druid is still really good and can actually win games.

     

    Here's a few cards I think is worth mentioning if you're considering an off-meta deck.

    - Togwaggle's scheme (tech card against mage. Yes I've actually had 11 solarian primes in my deck before)

    - Ogre summoner (tech against mage, and paladin)

    - Frozen shadoweaver (Im actually surprised I dont see this one more often)

    - pen flinger (always manages to surprise me how stupidly useful this is against aggro)

    - Animated broomstick. Because if youre playing an off meta deck then its likely midrange, which will benefit from this enourmously.

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  • Koetti's Avatar Island 680 677 Posts Joined 11/21/2019
    Posted 1 week, 2 days ago
    Quote From dapperdog
    - Shaman decks in general are really bad. Either they simply dont draw the cards they need (because unhappily this is the only class with the weakest card draw and generation engine in the entire game) or their cards aren't up to snuff when they needed to be. I've tried control shaman, highlander, quest, galakrond, totem shaman and all of them falter in the same way; no card draw, running out of value, or having absolutely no tempo swing cards in the early game. The most broken thing you can actually play without dying in shaman right now is unironically magic trick totem, which under most circumstances will either be ignored by poor players, or just go completely ham on board and allowing you to capitalize with Totemic Reflection into Splitting Axe.

    Another decent thing you can do is to play Diligent Notetaker into Dragon's Pack. But nearly all the meta decks with the exception of mage on a poor day can deal with it handily, or simply kill you before you get the chance.

    If you plan to play shaman at all, here's a handy tip. Go totem, doesn't matter what archetype. Somehow, someway, if you manage to cast totemic reflections successfully in the early game you are no longer guaranteed to lose that match. Go hard for either mana tide or magic trick totem if you can. Your opponent will be too busy trying to clear your board to focus on their game plan. Dont even bother with cards like Earthquake or Hagatha's Scheme; face decks and bomb warrior just laughs at your face, paladin has divine shield, and mage...well...simply generate more stuff. Instructor Fireheart is a must in all builds. Its just about the only saving grace for shaman thats not a totem.

    I've been playing a Highlander-Galakrond Shaman for the past 2 Weeks or so

     

    I can agree that Card Draw/Generation is an Issue for slower Shaman Decks, which is why you almost always have to run Instructor Fireheart, Mana Tide Totem, Far Sight or even Marshspawn.

    But I wouldn't say that Shaman doesn't have some good Stuff. There's Transformation- Effects that help against Libram Pally and Tempo Mage, and they have some good Healing/Removal against Face Hunter or Bomb Warrior.

    Getting back on Board is a bit tough, but Stuff like 1 Mana Torrent or the whole Galakrond Package really help with that. When it comes to early removal, I found Lightning Bolt/Devolving Missiles + Diligent Notetaker to be efficient enough. Diligent Notetaker btw is probably, in my Opinion, one of Shamans best Cards at the Moment. Getting a second Hex or Earth Shock against Librams, another Round of Witch's Brew or simply another Far Sight is just really good.

    The only Thing I'm really struggling against is Demon Hunter. Though I don't know if it's because it counters Shaman or because they have so much Burn and can club you to Death with 10 Attack out of Nowhere.

    Long, drawn-out Control Match-ups with Boardclears en masse and an unbelievable amount of greedy cards?

    Sign me up!

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  • dapperdog's Avatar 725 1317 Posts Joined 07/29/2019
    Posted 1 week ago
    Quote From Koetti
    Quote From dapperdog
    - Shaman decks in general are really bad. Either they simply dont draw the cards they need (because unhappily this is the only class with the weakest card draw and generation engine in the entire game) or their cards aren't up to snuff when they needed to be. I've tried control shaman, highlander, quest, galakrond, totem shaman and all of them falter in the same way; no card draw, running out of value, or having absolutely no tempo swing cards in the early game. The most broken thing you can actually play without dying in shaman right now is unironically magic trick totem, which under most circumstances will either be ignored by poor players, or just go completely ham on board and allowing you to capitalize with Totemic Reflection into Splitting Axe.

    Another decent thing you can do is to play Diligent Notetaker into Dragon's Pack. But nearly all the meta decks with the exception of mage on a poor day can deal with it handily, or simply kill you before you get the chance.

    If you plan to play shaman at all, here's a handy tip. Go totem, doesn't matter what archetype. Somehow, someway, if you manage to cast totemic reflections successfully in the early game you are no longer guaranteed to lose that match. Go hard for either mana tide or magic trick totem if you can. Your opponent will be too busy trying to clear your board to focus on their game plan. Dont even bother with cards like Earthquake or Hagatha's Scheme; face decks and bomb warrior just laughs at your face, paladin has divine shield, and mage...well...simply generate more stuff. Instructor Fireheart is a must in all builds. Its just about the only saving grace for shaman thats not a totem.

    I've been playing a Highlander-Galakrond Shaman for the past 2 Weeks or so

     

    I can agree that Card Draw/Generation is an Issue for slower Shaman Decks, which is why you almost always have to run Instructor Fireheart, Mana Tide Totem, Far Sight or even Marshspawn.

    But I wouldn't say that Shaman doesn't have some good Stuff. There's Transformation- Effects that help against Libram Pally and Tempo Mage, and they have some good Healing/Removal against Face Hunter or Bomb Warrior.

    Getting back on Board is a bit tough, but Stuff like 1 Mana Torrent or the whole Galakrond Package really help with that. When it comes to early removal, I found Lightning Bolt/Devolving Missiles + Diligent Notetaker to be efficient enough. Diligent Notetaker btw is probably, in my Opinion, one of Shamans best Cards at the Moment. Getting a second Hex or Earth Shock against Librams, another Round of Witch's Brew or simply another Far Sight is just really good.

    The only Thing I'm really struggling against is Demon Hunter. Though I don't know if it's because it counters Shaman or because they have so much Burn and can club you to Death with 10 Attack out of Nowhere.

    I see you have been farming paladins all day with this list. Seems to me that this can never really beat mage, unless mage just gasses out on rng. It would struggle against rogue as well, but well teched against bomb warrior and face hunter. Highlander hunter's a trickier proposition.

    That Archivist Elysiana inclusion's a bit weird in my opinion, since its anti synergy with highlander cards, and there's no real way shaman ever draws all their cards anyway. And their card draw's so bad that half the time this just gets stuck in hand.

    Diligent Notetaker is certainly an mvp and every bit as strong as it looks. Unfortunately, its couched within a class so lacking that its real potential remains unexploited. Same as for trueheart.

     

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  • Koetti's Avatar Island 680 677 Posts Joined 11/21/2019
    Posted 1 week ago
    Quote From dapperdog
    Quote From Koetti
    Quote From dapperdog
    - Shaman decks in general are really bad. Either they simply dont draw the cards they need (because unhappily this is the only class with the weakest card draw and generation engine in the entire game) or their cards aren't up to snuff when they needed to be. I've tried control shaman, highlander, quest, galakrond, totem shaman and all of them falter in the same way; no card draw, running out of value, or having absolutely no tempo swing cards in the early game. The most broken thing you can actually play without dying in shaman right now is unironically magic trick totem, which under most circumstances will either be ignored by poor players, or just go completely ham on board and allowing you to capitalize with Totemic Reflection into Splitting Axe.

    Another decent thing you can do is to play Diligent Notetaker into Dragon's Pack. But nearly all the meta decks with the exception of mage on a poor day can deal with it handily, or simply kill you before you get the chance.

    If you plan to play shaman at all, here's a handy tip. Go totem, doesn't matter what archetype. Somehow, someway, if you manage to cast totemic reflections successfully in the early game you are no longer guaranteed to lose that match. Go hard for either mana tide or magic trick totem if you can. Your opponent will be too busy trying to clear your board to focus on their game plan. Dont even bother with cards like Earthquake or Hagatha's Scheme; face decks and bomb warrior just laughs at your face, paladin has divine shield, and mage...well...simply generate more stuff. Instructor Fireheart is a must in all builds. Its just about the only saving grace for shaman thats not a totem.

    I've been playing a Highlander-Galakrond Shaman for the past 2 Weeks or so

     

    I can agree that Card Draw/Generation is an Issue for slower Shaman Decks, which is why you almost always have to run Instructor Fireheart, Mana Tide Totem, Far Sight or even Marshspawn.

    But I wouldn't say that Shaman doesn't have some good Stuff. There's Transformation- Effects that help against Libram Pally and Tempo Mage, and they have some good Healing/Removal against Face Hunter or Bomb Warrior.

    Getting back on Board is a bit tough, but Stuff like 1 Mana Torrent or the whole Galakrond Package really help with that. When it comes to early removal, I found Lightning Bolt/Devolving Missiles + Diligent Notetaker to be efficient enough. Diligent Notetaker btw is probably, in my Opinion, one of Shamans best Cards at the Moment. Getting a second Hex or Earth Shock against Librams, another Round of Witch's Brew or simply another Far Sight is just really good.

    The only Thing I'm really struggling against is Demon Hunter. Though I don't know if it's because it counters Shaman or because they have so much Burn and can club you to Death with 10 Attack out of Nowhere.

    I see you have been farming paladins all day with this list. Seems to me that this can never really beat mage, unless mage just gasses out on rng. It would struggle against rogue as well, but well teched against bomb warrior and face hunter. Highlander hunter's a trickier proposition.

    That Archivist Elysiana inclusion's a bit weird in my opinion, since its anti synergy with highlander cards, and there's no real way shaman ever draws all their cards anyway. And their card draw's so bad that half the time this just gets stuck in hand.

    Diligent Notetaker is certainly an mvp and every bit as strong as it looks. Unfortunately, its couched within a class so lacking that its real potential remains unexploited. Same as for trueheart.

     

    Paladin can be easy, if you get rid of both Libram of Wisdom early on, your good to go most of the Time. The only Thing that can screw you hard is Shamans bad Draw.

    Mage is tough, but certainly doable. Unless they manage to generate 5 Evocations and Astromancer Solarians (true Story!)

    I haven't faced a lot of Rogues, but I actually won against most of them. Diligent Notetaker + Witch's Brew and the Tempo you get from Galakrond seems to wreck them.

    Archivist Elysiana is definitely a Card that you could swap for something better. Got screwed a couple of Times, just because I had her in my opening Hand. I keep her in the Deck solely because I love to defeat other Control Decks. 

    Long, drawn-out Control Match-ups with Boardclears en masse and an unbelievable amount of greedy cards?

    Sign me up!

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