State of the Meta is a series published bi-weekly. Its goal is to showcase some of the popular decks being played on ladder, decks being experimented on and feature some of the decks that has generated some excitement around them.
To quickly sum up the content of this article, we'll be reviewing the following:
- State of the Meta, Deck Types / Tiers and sample decklists
- Tournament Results / Analysis
(Our spotlight section is now blended in within the meta deck sections - notable decks this time include the return of Token Druid and Dragon Warrior)
State of the Meta
We have our Standard Deck Rankings listed here.
Major shifts in the categories include bumping Miracle Rogue to 'Decks to Beat' tier, adding Dragon Warrior and Token Druid to 'Decks to Watch', and (surprise!) moving Murloc Paladin and Secret Paladin from the 'Obscure' tier to 'Decks to Try'.
The current trend of the meta has been shifting towards a more midrange and board control environment. The top decks are made up of mainly tempo/midrange decks while aggro and control decks are falling out of favor/popularity.
In the previous report, we observed a rise in Midrange Hunters, both on the ladder and in tournaments (scottyda finished Rank 1 Legend on NA May with this Midrange Hunter list). After Rexxar, we observed the Hearthstone community reviving two meta decks that hasn't see much play since the Old Gods - Token Druid and Dragon Warrior.
Top Decks to Beat
Top Decks to Beat are Standard Format decks that are being prominently played on the Hearthstone Ladder/Ranked play. Extremely well refined and balanced decks.
Shamans (both aggro and midrange) aren't going away any time soon. Xixo and Mr. Yagut dominated during the final hours of the May 2016 ladder piloting this deck type. This deck can be tricky to play - luckily, william11327 got you covered.
Midrange Shaman has the biggest pool of potential cards to swap in and out - different finishers (Doomhammer, Bloodlust, Al'Akir the Windlord, Thunder Bluff Valiant), whether to include one or two (or zero) Flamewreathed Faceless and/or use Fire Elementals; with the shift towards a more midrange meta, even Hex no longer has a guaranteed 2x spot in some lists. It's perhaps the most fluid deck out of all the decks right now. Here's a great guide on Midrange Shaman by Stonekeep.
Miracle Rogue is the latest member added to this tier, due to its consistent presence on both ladder and tournament play. Note it's prone to getting beat by decks faster than it - such as Pirate Warrior and Aggro Shaman. Playing Miracle can be tricky - lucky here's an in-depth guide from Jakadasnake.
The classic Tempo Warrior remains rather stagnant in its card choices. However, another kind of tempo warrior in the form of Dragon Warrior is seeing a rise in play. Learn more about Tempo Warrior in this guide by Stonekeep.
Like the Aggro Shamans, Zoo Warlock is a cheap and powerful deck that still thrives on the ladder. Zoo will always be one of the decks to beat. (Tempo/Control/Patron Warriors are good counters to Zoo) Here's a in-depth Zoo guide from PDeegz.
Top Decks to Watch
Top Decks to Watch are Standard Format decks that have a consistent presence on the ladder. Their prominence is dependent on the meta. When the meta shifts in the right direction, these decks can rise to become the Decks to Beat.
Control Warrior has been on the quiet side of things. Fibonacci is enjoying success with it in the form of N'Zoth Control Warrior.
Dragon Warrior is the latest deck type being refined by the community. Similar to Tempo Warrior, it utilizes the dragon package to gain tempo and board presence. Check out Chiron's in-depth Dragon Warrior guide here.
Midrange Hunter has been refined enough to be a deck to watch out for on the ladder. Justsaiyan's list was taken to Rank 1 Legend by scottyda during the May season. Check out the last meta report for more discussions and guides on Midrange Hunter.
N'Zoth Paladin is the Control deck. But like most control decks, it's slowness is prone to being overwhelmed by the faster decks (like Miracle Rogue) populating the current meta.
Pirate Warrior remains a potent deck and a good counter to Miracle Rogues. Feno enjoyed great success on the EU ladder with this deck type. Here's a sample guide from Saxonhamish.
Like N'Zoth Paladin, Reno Warlock is seeing less play due to the faster nature of the current meta. Be sure to check out Stonekeep's C'Thun Reno Warlock guide!. Here's a Leeroy variant of the Reno Warlock guide by seeBanane.
To keep up with the faster meta, Archmage Antonidas finds itself getting benched in lieu of Yogg-Saron, Hope's End. More often than not, Yogg can clear the board and gain card resources for you and turn around the game. Don't underestimate Arcane Blast when it comes with a spell power minion on board!
Token Druid could very well be on its way back to being a top tier deck - thanks to Savjz and J4ckiechan. While both are labelled Token Druid, Savjz's list has more drawing power (Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Azure Drake) and J4ckiechan has finishers in the form of Wisps of the Old Gods and Savage Roar.
As for Yogg-Saron, Hope's End, it's quite consistent in improving your board/resources, usually in the form of card draws, extra cards, board clears and even as a finisher.
Check out J4CKIENCHAN's guide on his Token Druid here.
Special Mention - Secret Paladin
Jambre took his Secret Paladin to Rank 10 Legend last season. We haven't heard much of Secret Paladins otherwise, so we currently have this deck under 'Decks to Try'. And with just three secrets for Mysterious Challenger to take advantage of, this is a very interesting list indeed.
Special Mention - Miracle/Malygos Druid
Over on the China servers, XiaoBao reached Rank 1 Legend with Malygos/Miracle Druid. We'll be keeping a close eye on how (and if) this deck translates to the NA/EU region.
2016 Blizzcon World Championship NA Spring Preliminary
The NA Spring preliminary concluded over a week ago. Here are some links if you wish to catch up:
EU vs CN Season 3 Tournament
Season 3 of the EU vs CN tournament concluded last weekend.
Hope you guys enjoyed this issue of the State of the Meta. As always, we're always looking for feedback so we can improve - both this series and the website. So if you have any critiques, feedback or comments, please share it with us.
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