What a 73% Win Rate Rogue Taught Me About Deckbuilding
Every once in a while when you’re playing Wild you come across a deck that seems as if the creator of the deck just hit the randomize deck button and ran off to the ladder. Today I ran into a deck that made me wonder if the win was just a fluke, or if there was any substance behind what seemed like mad scientist deckbuilding.
The game started out with coin Prince Keleseth Shadowstep. As the game progressed he continued into midgame with combos like Vilespine Slayer Shadowcaster, and shut out me out from chaining spells to try and make a comeback with Nerubian Unraveler. I had to find out what on earth this guy was playing. After doing some research online, I found this on HSReplay.net:
It turns out that this was a crazy standard deck that happened to be having more success in Wild than in Standard. The Deck had an absurd 73.6 % winrate, far higher than any other deck on HsReplays, albeit with a small sample size of 280. Even considering the smallish sample size and somewhat inbred data that HsReplays can sometimes produce, a win rate that high means that there’s something about the deck that is producing a lot of wins. If you had shown me this deck without any context, I would say you were crazy if you thought this deck could survive in the wild. Here are just some of the absurd things about this deck:
- Prince Keleseth and Prince Valanar in the same deck means no other 2 drops and 4 drops.
- “Clunky”, slow cards like Cobalt Scalebane and Nerubian Unraveler
- No clear game plan other than just playing midrange cards and getting decent value.
- A rogue deck with only 3 spells, one of which is Shadowstep.
- Weird singletons like Plague Scientist.
- Perhaps the most exciting thing: The Deck is ported over from Standard, meaning it’s not even optimized yet for Wild. There’s a lot of discovering, tweaking, and new card choices you could add to this deck.
- If decks like this can be so successful in wild, what other “unicorn” decks are out there that we have no idea about?
These are my Hypotheses about why this deck is KILLING IT in wild right now.
- Reno Kazakus Priest is really popular right now, and this deck fares well against Priest with cards like Shadowcaster, Bonemare, and Cobalt Scalebane.
- A card I thought previously unplayable, Nerubian Unraveler might have something to do with its success. This deck is actually really good in some matchups, making cards like Ultimate Infestation uncastable, and really punishing spell heavy classes like Mage and Priest.
- A Strong game plan against aggro with Prince Valanar ,Stonehill Defender, and a plethora of effective one drops, and cheap removal. Prince Valanar might seem innocuous, but Taunt and Lifesteal is an extremely potent combination against aggro, especially if it has been buffed or can takes multiple hits.
Other than that, your guess is as good as mine as to why this deck is showing up. I’m still extremely hesitant to craft cards like Prince Keleseth and Prince Valanar to try it out, but if you have the bravery or more likely insanity to try this deck out, then I would love to hear your experience. What Wild additions would you add to this deck as it seems to just be a port over from standard? Loatheb over Nerubian Unraveler seems like a good place to start as it’s generally a more powerful effect for a mana less, and has synergy with Shadowcaster. [Bran Bronzebeard] also has a ton of synergy with the deck, from Swashburglar, Bonemare, Shadowcaster, Stonehill Defender, and Loatheb if you add him. He could possibly replace the odd singleton Plague Scientist.
So what do you think? Just a fluke deck that made a small blip on the Wild hearthstone Metagame, destined to fade into the shadows? Or is there something here that we can all learn from about deckbuilding and questioning what cards can succeed in the Wild? I know one thing is for certain, there are tons of decks in wild out there, waiting to be discovered, and we’ve just touched the surface.