Wild Metagame Snapshot #1 – October 2017
Hey everyone, I’m excited to introduce to you the Wild Metagame Snapshot for October 2017. This will be the first of what will be a continuing monthly series about the Wild Metagame. These articles will provide decklists and analysis for the most popular decks you can expect to face on ladder, as well as the tools to beat them. It will also provide Tech Choices and Matchup Tips you can use to gain a competitive advantage in the Metagame.
First, let’s look at the rating scale for the different Tier’s I will divide the decks into.
Tier 1: These are the most popular and top-level decks you can expect to face on ladder. These decks are often finely tuned and feature strong synergy, power, and consistency. These decks are rarely a bad choice on ladder even when people expect them, as their raw power can carry them through to victory.
Tier 2: Decks that are competitive and can win games against the best decks. These may include decks that are powerful but in a hostile metagame, decks that are powerful but inconsistent, or decks that prey on the tier 1 decks.
Tier 3: Viable decks that continue to see play and can be a solid choice in the right Metagame.
Tier 4: All the rest of the decks that see play once in a while, lack tuning, or have yet to prove themselves in the Metagame. This Tier consists of an enormous amount of decks due to the vastness of the Wild Format, so I will not be covering these in depth.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
– TIER 1 DECKS –
Reno Priest is a deck with incredible access to powerful AoE Clears, great healing options, card advantage, versatile answers, and a Combo Finish. With Raza the Chained’s ability to make the host of your hero power 0 alongside Shadowreaper Anduin, the deck is capable of dealing with nearly any board as well as copious amounts of burst damage.
Due to the vast card pool of Wild, Reno Priest has access to many different tools and endless ways to tackle the metagame.
There are many variants of the deck floating around. Some decks contain a lot of card draw and cycle through cards to look for the power cards of the deck as well as an OTK.
Other more value oriented builds use a deathrattle package including cards such as Sludge Belcher and N’zoth.
The deck highlighted is Sipiwi94’s combo heavy variant he used to achieve high legend rank.
- Against Control: Confessor Paletress, Spawn of Shadows, Skulking Geist,Entomb
- Against Midrange: Sludge Belcher, Obsidian Statue, N'Zoth, the Corruptor
- Against Aggro: Greater Healing Potion, Tortollan Primalist, Sludge Belcher, Tar Creeper
Tips for Beating Reno Priest:
- Don’t try to beat Reno Priest at their own game by trying to outvalue them. To beat Reno Priest, you will have to be extremely fast (killing them before Reno Jackson ideally) or go over the top of their strategy (OTK Combos and or Mill).
- Some decks are capable of putting on continual, threatening pressure such as Keleseth Rogue and can fare well against Priest as well.
- Some cards like Azure Drake and Twilight Drake which have 4 power and a dragon tag are very difficult for Priests to deal with.
One of the true midrange decks of the format, Recruit Paladin utilizes some of the most powerful on curve cards the game has to offer including Shielded Minibot, Muster for Battle, and Sunkeeper Tarim. Along with these powerhouse paladin cards, the deck boasts powerful synergies with Quartermaster and [Lighfused Stegodon], making each silver-hand Recruit threaten massive damage and presence if not dealt with. The deck is versatile in that it is capable of playing defense and offence, depending on the matchup and situation. Sicapent got top 10 legend with the following list.
- Against Control – Loatheb, Stand Against Darkness, Justicar Trueheart
- Against Midrange – Equality, Justicar Trueheart, Dr. Boom, Vinecleaver
- Against Aggro – Haunted Creeper, Spikeridged Steed, Coghammer, Consecration
Tips against Recruit Paladin
- Prioritize keeping the board clear so they are unable to land Quartermaster, Lightfused Stegodon, Spikeridged Steed, or Sunkeeper Tarim. Specifically watch out for turns 4, 5, and 7 where Paladin is looking to buff their recruits and tokens.
- Punish their slower game plan by going over the top as they tend to lack heals.
Even with the nerf of innervate, this deck still remains a force to be reckoned with. The deck wins by snowballing the board with early game minions and finishing with Savage Roar. The deck runs multiple small minions alongside buffs to swarm the board early and is capable of very aggressive starts. Reddit user slizzle466 hit Legend post nerf with this list.
- Against Control – Crazed Alchemist (to flip Crypt Lords), Loatheb
- Against Midrange – Crazed Alchemist
- Against Aggro – Golakka Crawler, Hungry Crab
Tips Against Aggro Druid
– TIER 2 DECKS –
One of the aggro decks untouched by the recent nerfs to Fiery War Axe and Innervate, Aggro Shaman has proven to be one of the fiercest competitors in the metagame. Playing powerful early plays like Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, and Flamewreathed Faceless, the deck offsets tempo with the overload mechanic, and threatens a ton of damage early. Unlike other aggro decks, Shaman is also capable of dealing incredible amounts of burst damage and bypassing Taunts with spells like Crackle, Lightning Bolt, and Lava Burst. Masinc hit #1 legend in September with this decklist. If you’re looking for a fantastic introduction and guide to this deck look here: Aggro Shaman Guide
Tips against Aggro Shaman
- As with most aggressive decks, but particularly with Aggro Shaman, try to conserve your health as best you can as they can deal a lot of damage from hand.
- Try to gain early control of the board, as Aggro Shaman can sometimes have awkward early turns without Trogg and Totem Golem.
- Once you gain control of the board, try to close the game quickly or heal up before they can draw more burn.
The new deck on the block, Keleseth Rogue is a heavy minion deck that uses various powerful battlecry effects from its minions, as well as its namesake card Prince Keleseth to gain board control and push tempo. With cards like [Edwin Vancleef], Vilespine Slayer, and Prince Keleseth, the deck is capable of generating insane amounts of value and board presence. The deck also has multiple charge minions and cards like Shadowstep and Cold Blood for plenty of burst damage from the hand. Other variants of Tempo Rogue favor Ship's Cannon and Eviscerate for more consistency and tempo over Keleseth.
Tips against Keleseth Rogue
- The deck has a weaker early game as they run no two drops. Try to take gain control of the board early.
- Don’t leave any high value minions on the board or you risk getting Bonemare’d.
- Be cautious of cards like Leeroy Jenkins and Cold Blood doing large amounts of burst damage.
Pirate Warrior is a deck that utilizes powerful Pirate synergies alongside charge minions and Weapons to reduce their opponents from 30 to 0 health as quick as possible. Though still a forced to be reckoned with, Pirate Warrior has taken a step down since the nerf to Fiery War Axe, as many of their best openers are no longer available. That said, [Ship’s Cannon] is still an incredibly powerful card, and the combination of powerful weapons and effective minions means that this deck is still a very real threat.
Against Midrange: Spellbreaker
Against Aggro: Golakka Crawler
Tips Against Pirate Warrior
- Mulligan aggressively for early game interaction or any tech cards you may have included. The huge majority of warriors you are going to face on ladder are Pirate Warriors. Look for early removal for Ship’s Cannon, early minions to contest board, and powerful taunts.
- Though the deck is less popular than before, tech cards like Golakka Crawler and Gluttonous Ooze still remain some of the most effective answers.
– TIER 3 DECKS –
A deck full of powerful AoE spells, some of the most Powerful Demons in Hearthstone, and the Highlander package of Kazakus, Reno Jackson, and Krul the Unshackled. Although often overshadowed by Reno Priest, Reno Demonlock does have its merits. It typically has earlier, powerful AoE spells in Defile, Hellfire, and more. Reno Jackson synergizes well with Warlock’s hero power, allowing you to lifetap without fear. Lastly, the deck has a more proactive gameplan with the multitude of demons, as well as the devastating combo of turn 9 Krul the Unshackled into turn 10 Bloodreaver Gul'dan. The deck featured is Mazuru’s rank 47 Legend RenoDemonlock.
Tips Against Reno Demonlock
- Be wary of overextending into their plethora of AoE spells like Defile, Hellfire, and Abyssal Enforcer. There’s a fine line between putting on enough pressure, or putting too little and losing to Reno.
- You can sometimes cheese a win by spawning multiple imps from Imp Gang Boss and weakening their Bloodreaver Gul'dan turn.
- There are a lot of really powerful Demons that can come out of Voidcaller. Let your opponent trade it off so they don’t have initiative unless you have an immediate answer to whatever can come out.
With cards like Jade Idol, Nourish, and Ultimate Infestation, Jade Druid is able to ramp, draw tons of cards, and create a board of increasingly powerful minions as the game goes on. The recent nerfs to innervate and Spreading plague has hurt Jade Druid a lot, especially in a format as aggressive as Wild. That said, the deck is still capable of some incredibly powerful starts and has tools to win any game. It remains a strong option in a midrange and control metagame as well.
Tips against Jade Druid
- Try to kill them before they get their jade engine going. They spend their early turns ramping so try to build a strong board and push damage early.
- In the mid game, Jade Druids will try to stabilize with cards like Swipe, Spreading Plague, and Primordial Drake. You can play around Spreading Plague by trading off weaker minions or not extending if necessary. You can play around Swipe and Primordial Drake to an extent by keeping minions above 1 and 2 health.
- If you are a control deck, you will need either a combo finish or Skulking Geist to survive the endless march of Jades.
Against Midrange: The Lich King
A combo deck that utilizes the new interaction between Naga Sea Witch and Giants like Clockwork Giant and [Mountain giant] to reduce their cost to 0. The deck can fairly consistently play 3 to 5 Giants on turn 5 by using cards like Tracking and Stitched Tracker to dig into their deck for Naga Sea Witch. One of the most uninteractive decks in the matchup, the deck tends to have very polarized matchups.
Tips Against Giant Hunter
- Beating Giant hunter is simple: You either kill them by turn 6 or you have an answer to a board of Giants by turn 6 or 7. If you can’t do either of these, you will likely have a bad matchup.
Against Secrets: Flare
Against Control: Deathstalker Rexxar
Against Midrange: Nothing, the deck excels here.
Secret Mage utilizes all of the Secret Synergies such as [Medih’vs Valet] and Kabal Crystal Runner as well as tempo positive cards to get ahead on board and limit opponent’s options. The deck thrives on early tempo plays and utilizes burn from the hand to close the game quickly.
Tips Against Secret Mage:
- Most common secrets are Counterspell, Mirror Entity, Duplicate, and Spellbender in that order. Playing badly into one of these secrets can lose you the game on the spot.
- Try to get ahead early on board so you can deal with their minions without having to play into secrets.
- Watch for Burn from hand with spells like Frostbolt, Fireball, and Firelands Portal
Against Aggro: [Flame Cannon], Arcane Blast
The king of tempo decks, Oil Rogue is a deck capable of incredible bursts burst damage and tempo swings. Known as a very skill-intensive deck, Kohai_ popularized the deck by hitting Rank 1 Legend with his variation in September. The fact that its two worst matchups, Pirate Warrior and Aggro Druid, got nerfed was a huge buff to the deck as well, giving it room to thrive in a Priest heavy metagame.
- Against Reno: Beneath the Grounds
- Against Control: Loatheb, Piloted Shredder, Violet Teacher
- Against Midrange: Vilespine Slayer
- Against Aggro: Earthen Ring Farseer, Sludge Belcher, Antique Healbot
Tips Against Oil Rogue
- The deck is fairly threat-light, so try to keep their board clear so that they can’t land [Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil] for massive Damage.
- Once behind against Oil Rogue, it’s extremely hard to catch back up. Try and try to gain initiative in the early turns.
- Don’t rely on clunky and expensive minions to stabilize. Oil Rogue is very well equipped to deal with these threats with cards like Sap and Vilespine Slayer, while continuing to apply pressure.
- The deck tends to be unfavored against aggressive decks like Pirate Warrior and Aggro Druid as you can win the early game and they lack taunts and heals. (and saps and Sharpsword oil are ineffective).
With the nerfs to Fiery War Axe and Innervate, Reno Priest has risen to the top as the deck to beat. In a response to the rise of Priest, Rogue deck variants are becoming more popular as an answer. Wild Metagame staples like Recruit Paladin, Aggro Shaman, and Aggro Druid still remain solid choices. With the rise of Priest, cards like Piloted Shredder, Azure Drake, and Loatheb are becoming popular options to fight back. With two of the best and most aggressive decks in the format taking a nerf, we’re seeing more room in the format for other decks to rise up .
Since the release of the Frozen Throne, a couple of new archetypes are showing a lot of potential and have the chance to break into the tier lists. Big Priest is an incredibly powerful deck utilizing Resurrect and Eternal Servitude to cheat out fatties early in the game, though it is lacking consistency with Barnes being the best enabler by far. Prince Keleseth is popping up in various decks as players begin to brew around the card that no one thought would see competitive play.
That’s it! It was quite an adventure and bit of work to put these together, so we hope you were able to gain some insight into the Wild Metagame! If you enjoyed or appreciated this content and would like to see more, please comment below so we can find out if this is worth making these Metagame Snapshots a monthly recurring series. If you have any questions, disagreements with the Tier list, or interesting insights, please share below as well! Our community here at WildHS.com is growing at a much faster rate than I had anticipated, so I want to thank all of you guys again for finding us here and sticking with us. We hope to provide quality articles, deck guides, and more meta snapshots in the future. We hope to grow and highlight Wild Community as we believe that it’s an under appreciated, underplayed, and unexplored format. See you next time!