The first 24 hours plus of the new United in Stormwind expansion are behind us, and so we are now delving deeper to see what's been working out for the top Standard players thus far. We've already been keeping track of some of the earliest experiments from various personalities in the Hearthstone community - including your favorite Battlegrounds streamers who may or may not have forgotten how to play the Ranked part of the game. This will be more about checking in on the experts with their initial meta-breaking ideas.
It is a 5-set meta now, which means our deckbuilding options have expanded considerably. The very very early impressions? Combo decks are having a decent time, Control ones not so much as they struggle to find enough time against any inevitable faster win conditions. Some Questlines are actually proving to be better than expected. Complaints about "not enough interaction" might be a thing, which is something we are quite used to by now. Many new decks tend to be very fun to play, but perhaps not nearly as fun to play against when they can pull off a win by doing their own thing and paying little attention to the other side's efforts (but when is it ever fun to lose if playing with serious zeal).
Our current knowledge and perspectives are still likely to shift during and after this first weekend of the newest set, as people try to come up with counters and then counters to counters. Fresh Standard metas are often dynamic. That's why we don't really recommend going out of your way to try to craft anything "essential" just yet. If there is any Questline or a Legendary you absolutely feel you must have for the fun factor or personal appeal, that's a much better way to avoid regrets later.
Let's have a closer look at a handful of recommendations with some helpful notes attached:
Jambre's Fel Demon Hunter
Jambre's at times eccentric decks may not be everyone's cup of tea, but you cannot deny there is that occasional stroke of genius. And he's been climbing to the top with the help of our new pal Jace Darkweaver.
In this take you will notice a higher minion count (culminating with the ever scary Illidari Inquisitor), and lack of certain Fel spells (such as Fury (Rank 1)). There is also that Tuskpiercer + Persistent Peddler package, since thanks to Tradeable keyword you can always guarantee the latter sits in your deck to be conveniently pulled by the weapon's Deathrattle. Plus Insatiable Felhound MVP?
KingVenom's Questline Fel Demon Hunter
Here is a different take from KingVenom, one that might perhaps earn Echo's stamp of approval (in case you've missed the whole campaign in its favor on our Discord). As it prominently features Final Showdown. And Glide!
Will the Questline build prove superior, or will the naysayers turn out to have been right all along? Tune in to find out!
McBanterFace's Questline Druid
Lots of early hype surrounding Druid's Questline, after many early predictions weren't too kind to Lost in the Park. New Americas Grandmaster McBanterFace has been iterating on the list from Vicious Syndicate's main resident expert Zacho.
Accumulate tons of armor and tons of attack, add some board presence. Be tanky while hitting them in the face. Fungal Fortunes and Glowfly Swarm stand out, and there is still room for some ramp in the form of Overgrowth.
Jimon's Questline Hunter
Most recent DreamHack's Alexstrasza Champion for APAC region, Jimon, has been testing that Hunter's Questline many were so hopeful about. With good results.
Professor Slate actually seeing play, what is this?!? And Bola Shot? We live in strange times. Not quite convinced by that Taelan Fordring, however.
NoHandsGamer's Questline Mage
Perhaps the Questline is not too slow after all. Sorcerer's Gambit has been featured quite prominently across many early decklists. Americas Grandmaster NoHandsGamer was seen trying out this version on his stream while fighting for top Legend ranks.
Hey, you know what everybody's been talking about all over again? Nerfing that card called Incanter's Flow. If you are good enough, you are bound to draw it by turn 2 - which apparently helps with winning matches decisively.
Otsuna's Divine Shield Paladin
We have a theme, and it isn't about Secrets. The class has always had deep fondness for Divine Shield interactions, but it did not seem to work very often. Remains to be seen if there is something more here. Otsuna sure hopes so.
This is your excuse to show off that Diamond Varian, King of Stormwind you might have. Besides, any list with Annoy-o-Tron deserves our due attention. Juicy inclusion of a Battleground Battlemaster, plus Conviction (Rank 3) is always threatening whenever you stick a few minions on the board.
Habugabu's Shadow Priest
The one we have all been waiting for, Darkbishop Benedictus converting the class to the dark side - where some might say it rightfully belongs. Priest, after all, has always been quite evil when we had to play against its endless answers. Luckily, this isn't forever healing Control type, but a far more proactive focus with direct damage options.
Habugabu has been doing quite well in the shadow realm, still seeing areas for improvement. For example, double Rustrot Viper might not be necessary if we are not facing greater numbers of dangerous weapon classes. And Psychic Conjurer is debatable when we consider other alternatives.
Casie's Questline Rogue
We are seeing a lot of love for all the new Rogue toys, as signed by the SI:7 company. Europe Grandmaster Casie had a pretty good run with this one.
It might take a little practice as you try to Find the Imposter and play around with all the gizmos on top of SI:7 card interactions.
Norwis' Elemental Shaman
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Shaman and its Elemental package might have only gotten stronger. Norwis made it to the very top with the following variant.
This is a Doomhammer deck, something Mages and Warlocks usually don't appreciate (and which may eventually run into some trouble if people start teching in more of Rustrot Viper), but we know the class also has other options if ever needed. The inclusion of Cult Neophyte and Far Watch Post might be more unexpected.
XiaoT's Questline Warlock
There are a lot of variations with The Demon Seed currently (and even some without). From full on Handlocks, through "draw through your deck asap", to even Zoo. Known Chinese contender XiaoT calls this one "broken". Some people have indeed been calling out Stealer of Souls as potentially becoming problematic in Standard as well.
You know the game plan - once Blightborn Tamsin is in play, even your fatigue damage transfers towards your opponent. Hence Gadgetzan Auctioneer to speed things up.
Iscoman's Big Warrior
Hey look, somebody (namely, Iscoman) climbing high with the most unexpected Warrior type. Just remember, I called it! Even if it's not there to say, it's kind of fun to see.
Personally I'm still not too convinced by Barricade - it often feels underwhelming. And we will have to see whether Heavy Plate plus Shield Slam package proves superior.
This isn't an extensive list of all potential decklists by any means, and we will be sure to showcase more in the very near future. Hopefully something here catches your attention for the time being, leading to good results and - even more importantly - fun times in the game.
What have you been climbing with or just experimenting while having fun? Have any standout favorites? Were the packs even kind enough to you with all the desirable Questlines and other new Legendaries? Share your takes with us below!