Finally! We have new cards and many, many new possibilities. I want to start by teaching a bit about my observations of the metagame when new cards are released. The metagame is a never-ending puzzle that shifts and changes over time and new cards make it shift significantly faster. With each release of new cards, the metagame will typically go through a few phases.
I am going to share 3 decks which show the evolution of a new metagame over a week. When the new cards first released, the only decks I played against were the same old Murloc aggro decks and other aggressive decks with very few new cards. These players are trying to take advantage of an unsettled meta and gain ranks quickly. A few days later, I began to play against an endless amount of N'Zoth, the Corruptor-based control decks from almost every class. To counter the new control decks, I ran into Paladin OTK and other OTK decks with minimal changes from the new cards.
This evolution of creating decks to counter playstyles gives my article its name and idea. In any settled metagame there are midrange decks and a very very wide range within the three archetypes. However, I believe the decks you see during the first evolution of a metagame fit most closely into specific archetypes and ideas that are Aggro, Control, and Combo. It is only once decklists are perfectly refined that you begin to blur the lines heavily as deck builders refine and improve decks to do more when every card has an exact purpose.
Smart players who want to climb ranks will adapt with the metagame and pick a deck based on what other decks they are running into. I get bored easily, so I typically swap decks every game or every couple of games. However, when I am trying to climb, I like to pick one deck and master it. I typically start with an idea of my own creation, one I see online, or get from friends. Then I make changes, as needed, based on what I am running into. Today I feature the 3 standouts from each phase of the metagame's first week of shifting that I believe will stick around for the duration of Doom in the Tomb.
- Aggro Winner: Evolve Shaman
- Control Winner: N'Zoth Priest
- Combo Winner: Malygos Quest Druid
Lists vary quite a bit based on personal preferences and the rank you play at, I have featured the best decks I could find that are consistent. They are: Viper's Evolve Shaman, Eddie's N'Zoth Priest, and my Malygos Quest Druid.
I have removed the descriptions for each deck type this time around, to reduce read/scroll time. If you think this is a mistake, let me know!
Rock - Aggro
The term SMOrc comes to mind when I think of aggro.
Featured Deck of the Week: Viper's Evolve Shaman
How to Play It
In the early aggro stage of the meta, the standout was Token Evolve Shaman. There were a ton of players who tried to just include Evolve in Quest Shaman, but I feel this is a poor choice and does not take advantage of a rapid, board-centered aggro deck that will cheat wins with Evolve, Desert Hare and Mogu Fleshshaper. With The Coin, I have played all three cards on turn 4, and instantly won the game. Viper's version of the deck involve's even more mana cheating via Nightmare Amalgam which together with EVIL Totem and Mana Tide Totem count for Totems to discount Thing from Below. This deck is slower than the Overload version of the deck which I have spent more time playing, but I believe that make this deck much more consistent and capable of winning via Bloodlust. The deck is incredibly powerful at continually creating boards, if you can keep ahead on board you will win the game.
How to Beat It
The key to beating this Shaman deck is to clear the board each and every turn. That's easier said than done, of course. Control N'Zoth decks which are packed with taunts and board clears really do an excellent job at beating the Evolve Shaman. One of the things I would recommend: PLAY AROUND Mogu Fleshshaper. You can't always play around it, but if they get one for free before turn 5 you are going to be in very very big trouble when they pull Ragnaros or Tirioun Fordring. This deck will cheese out wins based on pure RNG from Evolution, don't get tilted, it happens and is part of the game right now. If need be, take solace in the fact that the event is temporary and not permanent for the next 2 years. The other key to beating this deck is to get ahead on the board, other aggressive decks that can grab board first will find ways to beat the token shaman. Taunts and specifically big minions are hard for this deck to handle. I have beat the Shaman deck with Rogue (the class with the worst board clears by far) by making a big Edwin VanCleef: the original mana-cheating minion. The sooner you get big, late-game minions, the farther they fall behind and give you a chance.
Paper - Control
Featured Deck of the Week: Eddie's N'Zoth Priest
How to Play It
This deck runs Taunts, Board Clears, Impactful Deathrattles, Heals, and cards which bring all of those back to life. The deck has a grand total of 6, yes 6 board clears!!! Priest has, once again, become a premier control class that will inevitably clear your board over and over and over again. When the Priest is not clearing your board, it will play its impactful deathrattles like Sylvanus, Khartut Defender, and Convincing Infiltrator. The deck also features powerful single-target removal with all manner of Words and Penance to take care of the early-game board swings. If you find yourself playing against aggro nonstop, this deck will get the job done. Even against the ever-frustrating Token Evolve Shaman, you will have enough in the tank to afford to clear the board and stop Bloodlust lethals with taunts. For Priest Control fans, this deck will provide powerful and fun wins on the ladder.
How to Beat It
You have two routes to beat this Priest deck: super-fast burnout or an OTK. OTK-Combo decks will eat this Priest for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not even remotely clost to a contest, which is quite unfortunate. The Priest struggles to put out meaningful damage of any sort until the combo is already in hand for the OTK deck. The featured Malygos Quest Druid as well as the already popular Shirvalla OTK Paladin will both beat the Priest. Rogue will also find ways to beat the Priest, historically the former preys on the latter due to Sap and the typical tempo-based game plan to deal enough damage for lethal. The Priest's board clears, while effective, are incredibly expensive; so if you can manage to play around the clears and save minions to follow-up, you can always have tempo. Good luck!
Scissors - Combo
Featured Deck of the Week: Malygos Quest Druid
How to Play It
I started to play this deck because I was running into so many N'Zoth, the Corruptor-based decks that won in the very late-game by having more resources than the opponent and creating a giant board of taunts that healed. One thing that beats infinite health enemies is decks that can deal more direct damage than any effective health pool a class could have.
that kill you with way more than the maximum amount of health that any class is capable of.
Alright, so the re-introduction of Kun the Forgotten King and Emperor Thaurissan pushed this deck over the edge. I featured a Malygos Quest Druid deck about a month ago, that was terrible compared to how powerful it has become. This climb to Legend was one of the most fun ever and I got to do it with an OTK deck. At one point I had a 13-0 streak from Rank 3 to 1, this deck is that good! There are so many ways to get this combo off via discounts to Malygos and Kun the Forgotten King, then you can copy them with Elise the Enlightened for up to 83 damage in a single turn!
This deck beats Aggro simply by overwhelming it with Choose One tempo cards. My goal pretty much every game is to play Nourish on-curve, the advantage is enourmous in both cards and mana. The nail in the coffin for all aggro decks is Kun the Forgotten King into a spell with Flobbidinous Floop into any other play. You gain 20 health, clear the board, and summon your own giant board all in one turn. This combo alone makes the deck capable of beating almost any aggro deck if you can survive the first few turns. I would also recommend using all your mana early if it will keep you alive longer, you will always win the late-game; if you don't make it there, you lose. Mastering this deck takes practice, but once you get in the groove of it, it feels invincible.
There are so many ways to get the combo, so this will be a bit complicated. Instead of steps, I will list goals.
Goal 1. Use discounts to make 2x Malygos in one turn possible
Use Jepetto Joybuzz, Dreampetal Florist, and Emperor Thaurissan to get discounts on your Malygos and/or Kun the Forgotten King. You can also play Malygos followed by Elise the Enlightened to get 2x Flobbidinous Floop that can copy Malygos in the same turn.
Goal 2: Copy damage enough damage cards for an OTK
The change to Elise the Enlightened copying your left-most cards in hand makes this much easier. You will need to end up with 2x Malygos in your hand and a few Moonfire for enough damage after the hand copy.
Goal 3: Play your Malygos and OTK with Spells for the Win
This is the easy step, but if you are playing against a Hunter or Mage make sure you play around secrets by activating them each turn.
How to Beat It
Zoolock, Combo Priest, and any Murloc deck stand a really really good chance of just winning against the Druid. You should look to make as big a board, as early as possible, to stand the best possible chance of beating the Druid before it gets to the late-game. Another trick I would recommend is creating massive boards as the Druid tries to maneuver to get their combo set up. Never, ever give the Druid a free turn. Every turn they make that doesn't fight for board in some way should result in them taking as much damage as possible. Keep in mind that the Druid is capable of gaining up to 52 health and armor via his cards, so don't burn your spells and believe that they can't get you back into the game. Your lethal should be all or nothing when you go for the kill.
I hope you have enjoyed this week's edition of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Tune in next week for another 3 competitive decks of each archetype.
Have you encountered these decks or played them? Tell us about your experiences and share your thoughts below!
If you believe a deck should be featured: please comment below or feel free to DM me, and I'll take a look!