December 12, 2016
Table of Contents
First Week New Meta – Winners and Losers
Back when Mean Streets of Gadgetzan cards were being revealed we’ve all tried to guess which deck is going to be the next best thing. Now that the first week of the expansion came and went it is the perfect time to look back at it and see just how well did some decks do and were there any hidden surprises that we’ve missed in our predictions. This article will feature the decklists for current top decks and as always the lists are taken from hearthstonetopdecks.com so that you can check them out there as well and upvote to show your support to the deck creators. With that out of the way lets dive right into this and see which decks were the winners of the first week of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan.
First think that I want to cover are the predictions that were going on during the card reveal. These predictions are more of a compilation of information from various sites like hearthpwn and reddit. Because thoughts and opinions tend to change overtime I’ll just take the latest iteration that had occurred just before the set was released.
If I’m going to talk about how wrong the community was then it is only fitting that I start with myself and how wrong I was in predicting which decks are going to be dominant decks in the new meta. I’ve made last prediction in an article which you can find here and in it I’ve said that the decks which are going to dominate the metagame are going to be Jade golem druid, dragon priest (non Reno version), secret mage, Reno warlock and midrange Goons hunter. I’ve also mentioned that Reno warlock is going to be the best Reno deck. Wow, boy was I wrong.
First off I haven’t even mentioned pirate warrior in my prediction and as it turns out it is currently be best deck of the first week (yay, spoilers for the rest of the article). I was sure that we will see pirate warrior at some level of play but I did not expect the deck to do this well. It is crazy just how powerful this deck currently is. The second mistake that I’ve made was saying that Reno warlock will be the best Reno deck in the new meta. Now, let me get one thing straight about this. I still believe that out of all Reno deck that warlock is by far the best one because Reno priest is too reactionary and barely ever takes the initiative (and completely loses to jade golem druid) and Reno mage is just whatever. I really don’t like that deck and I don’t see a point in climbing the ladder with it when tempo mage is so much more superior. Currently, Reno warlock seems to be the worse preforming Reno deck while Reno dragon priest is the best preforming Reno deck but I would still bet that this will change once the meta had settled. Needless to say I was 100% wrong about secret mage
Now that we’ve covered how I’ve absolutely failed in my predictions it is time to see some other predictions. For this part of the article I will be using the Means Streets of Gadgetzan Community Compendium which is an amazing compendium of highest and lowest community rated Means Streets of Gadgetzan cards. I strongly recommend that you check the entire guide by clicking this link
The compendium functions through individual card scores. As members of the community rate cards throughout the card reveal season their votes are counted and each card is given a score between 1-100. The higher the score the better the card and vice versa.
First lets take a look at the top ten highest community rated cards. Those cards are, in order from best to worst,
Dragonfire Potion with the score of 91
Jade Idol with the score of 91
Kazakus with the score of 86
Raza the Chained with the score of 86
Pint-Size Potion with the score of 85
Drakonid Operative with the score of 83
Mistress of Mixtures with the score of 81
White Eyes with the score of 81
Kabal Talonpriest with the score of 81
Rat Pack with the score of 79
Based on the data obtained from hearthstonetopdecks.com I can safely say that the community was right about all of the cards on this list with the exception of Pint-Size Potion which is barely played. White Eyes didn’t find home in every shaman deck but it is played in every control shaman and a handful of midrange shamans have played it. Other than that everything else seems to have been guessed correctly.
Moving on to gang leaders we have
Don Han'Cho with the score of 64
Kazakus with the score of 86
Aya Blackpaw with the score of 79
This isn’t much of a surprise because Don Han'Cho really does seem like the most boring and weakest of the three gang leaders. Kazakus had, unsurprisingly, seen play in every Reno deck and will see play in every Reno deck from now until the end of time and Aya Blackpaw is an absolutely amazing and powerful gang leader which is, like Kazakus, a must have in every jade golem deck. The biggest problem with Don Han'Cho is that you don’t even need to play him in your Grimy Goons decks and they will still function perfectly while you’re crippling yourself by excluding Kazakus and Aya Blackpaw from their respective decks.
Last thing that we need to check out before moving on the decks themselves is the class score.
Priest with the score of 79
Druid with the score of 64
Paladin with the score of 62
Shaman with the score of 60
Mage with the score of 59
Hunter with the score of 57
Warlock with the score of 55
Warrior with the score of 55
Rogue with the score of 53
Wow, were people wrong with this one. At this point of time pirate warrior is actually the best deck in the game. Priest sees a lot of play thanks to Kazakus for Reno priest and Dragonfire Potion for dragon priest. Druid also sees a healthy amount of play but it really struggles against the pirate warrior onslaught. Paladin is nowhere to be seen, mage is not doing any better than it had before and rogue is actually doing well with jade golem cards. Shaman remains as good as ever and hunter is not too bad. The one that is currently struggling the most would be warlock which mostly runs Reno decks but the current metagame is not too much in favor of Reno warlock but Reno priest instead. If anything I would say that paladin and warlock are currently the worst classes in the game.
First weeks winners
Now that we’ve gotten the predictions out of the way it is time to see which decks had preformed the best during the first week. For this data I usually check the Vs Data Report because it is more objective and accurate than other pages but because the Data report is not out just yet I shall use the second, and in some even more popular, source which is Tempostorm’s Meta Snapshot. I’m not the biggest fan of their Meta Snapshots and the decks that they are using so I’ll be combining tiers from the Meta Snapshot with the decks on hearthstonetopdecks.com that the pro players have used to reach legend. Because there is such an extreme number of decks on this list I shall lower the number down to only the first two tiers and only the newer decks so decks like freeze mage and malygos druid won’t be mentioned here.
Jade Golem Aggro shaman
I must admit that I’m not really surprised that a shaman deck is located in Tier 1 and that I was expecting this to happen but with the midrange shaman that we’ve all known and grew to hate. However, his role seems to be taken over by a much faster and much more aggressive jade golem shaman which uses his jade golem generation cards to create powerful board presence and to hit you right in the face with them. The biggest jade golem in this deck is a 6/6 jade golem.
Patches the Pirate once again makes an appearance in a Tier 1 along with his friends Southsea Deckhand and Small-time Buccaneer. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see the three of them in every class that has even a single weapon. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if someone fits Medivh, the Guardian in a deck and throws the three of them in it because Medivh, the Guardian gives you a weapon. I don’t think that it will ever happen but I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw something like that.
Jade golem cards which are present in this deck, Jade Claws and Jade Lightning, both serve the purpose of hitting your opponent in the face. Aya Blackpaw is here only because she is a staple in every jade golem deck.
We have the usual suspects like Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem and Feral Spirit to put the early game pressure and we have Sir Finley Mrrgglton to help us find either druid’s hero power or hunter’s hero power.
What makes this deck so different from the midrange deck that had dominated the ladder for so long is that this one forgoes totem synergy to make room for jade golem synergy and more aggressive cards. This deck is definitely not something that I was expecting to see, especially not as a tier 1 deck.
To check out the full deck guide click here and give the deck creator some love by upvoting this deck.
Here we have the dreaded pirate warrior which has been terrorizing the ladder this week. This list is from Sintolol who had used it to reach legend 1 rank.
This is a pretty self explanatory deck. Pirates are a tribe that has great synergy with weapons which is why the only two classes which have pirate cards are warrior and rogue and although rogue has the ability to have a weapon ready at any point in time thanks to the hero power, warrior has much more powerful weapons which can make him much more aggressive than the rogue.
Thanks to N'Zoth's First Mate you can have a really insane first turn by playing it and dragging out Patches the Pirate to deal 2 damage on the first turn, have two minions on the board and a weapon ready for your weapon synergy pirate minions. Upgrade! is being used instead of Hobart Grapplehammer because it can also give you a weapon if you need one. I personally would run Hobart Grapplehammer in my pirate warrior deck along with a single copy of Upgrade! because I want to swing for face with my huge weapons and Hobart Grapplehammer makes all of my weapons huge.
There is really not much else to say about this deck that I haven’t said before. I still firmly believe that although this deck had hands down won week 1 that it will go away once the meta had settled like most of the hyper aggressive decks that always pop out when a new set comes out. There is another version of this deck which uses dragons as well and I’ve found it to be much more fun than this version. I’ve went in-depth with that version in my previous article which you can find here.
To check out the full deck guide click here and give the deck creator some love by upvoting this deck.
Here we have another deck from one of my favorite pro players, Savjz, and this time it is a Renolock deck. Last time we’ve covered his Reno priest which he had used to reach legend 1 and now we get to see his Renolock which is quite impressive if I do get to say so myself.
The very first thing that I have noticed about this deck is that it runs the old Leeroy Jenkins + Power Overwhelming + Faceless Manipulator combo which is an old combo that had appeared some time after the release of Blackrock Mountain. I honestly can’t remember the name of the player who had came up with a deck that was completely focused around pulling this combo but it was a sight to behold. I think that this combo should be in every Renolock deck because it provides you with a very much needed damage burst in the end of the game and since Reno decks tend to go into a very late game your opponent will at some point be in a lethal range for this combo and then you’ll simply play it and win the game.
The oddball here is Faceless Shambler. In my mind this card has been nothing more than a 100 dust which I would then use to craft something better but it has been appearing in a handful of decks here and there since its introduction but it was never a high tier competitive card. Renlock is probably the only deck where this card can see play because it can copy a huge minion like Mountain Giant or Twilight Drake and give you a very big taunter for only 4 mana.
The other card that I would consider an oddball is Second-Rate Bruiser. Now, here me out on this one. I don’t think that it is that good of a card. In a very fast meta where your opponent can constantly fill his/her board the card is amazing but in any different meta or matchup it is bad. Right now I think that this card is quite good in Renolock because the deck itself desperately needs a way to survive the pirate warrior onslaught but I don’t that it is too good of a card. Maybe I am a little biased because I mostly play wild and there I have access to Sludge Belcher so I automatically compare every taunt minion to it.
Dirty Rat makes an appearance once again and I still think that it is much better in priest which can constantly heal it and doesn’t necessary have to struggle to remove whatever the rat draws out but it is also apparently good in this deck as well. The lack of some other cards like Azure Drake and Ragnaros the Firelord does confuse me a little bit and I would at the very least find a spot for Ragnaros the Firelord.
To check out the full deck guide click here and give the deck creator some love by upvoting this deck.
You can find a video of Savjz playing a very similar deck to this one by clicking this link because unfortunately there isn’t a video of him playing this exact list but the difference is very minor.
I finally get to see a functioning Reno mage deck and I must say that it is a bit different from what I’ve expected. This deck was made by Strifecro who is a very talented pro players and it is one of the better versions that I’ve found.
The deck plays like every other Reno deck but there are some oddballs here which are mainly the lack of Archmage Antonidas and Inkmaster Solia. I’ve done a bit of a research into the previous Reno mage decks and from what I’ve gathered Archmage Antonidas is one of the most important cards in the deck. The reason for this is that in the past season control warrior was running rampant and warrior beats a slow mage 9/10 times due to its hero power. However, Archmage Antonidas fixes that by providing you with additional firepower that you’ll need to take out the warrior.
Inkmaster Solia is a card that I haven’t crafted yet so I can’t fully confirm is it good or not but there is a good combo with her and Kazakus where you play your Kazakus first, get a 10 mana potion and cast it later for free with Inkmaster Solia. The 10 mana potions are quite powerful and will provide you with a major advantage if casted early on in the game.
Dirty Rat once again finds home in a Reno deck and I will repeat myself and say that I don’t think that it is good outside of a Reno priest deck. Other additions that are nice to see here are Volcanic Potion which does wonders against small aggro decks Mistress of Mixtures which is our new less powerful Zombie Chow. I personally prefer running Mistress of Mixtures in my Renolock as it heals the damage that I inflict upon myself with my hero power.
The rest of the deck is pretty self explanatory. You have cards that give more cards like Babbling Book and Cabalist's Tome, plenty of spells that deal damage, board clears like Blizzard and Flamestrike to keep you alive and a bunch of high quality minions. I’ll once again return to my previous point about the lack of Archmage Antonidas in this deck. I might be making a definitive guide to Reno decks next week and this is something that I’ve wanted to point out there but it fits perfectly here and now and that is the lack of win conditions and aggression that some Reno decks have (mostly Reno priest). Without Archmage Antonidas you will be able to stall the game, play your high value cards and survive until the late stages of the game but what then? How do you win then? It is important to have some sort of a burst or win condition in a Reno deck just like the previously mentioned Renolock combo. The main addition to this deck would 100% be Archmage Antonidas and I strongly recommend that you add it if you’re going to try out this deck.
I’ve just recently mentioned White Eyes and now we get to see a deck which I’m pretty sure exist mostly because White Eyes exists. I never would have imagined shaman, the midrange Hearthstone king running N’zoth in it but it is apparently possible because of the existence of a single card.
The deck itself is quite refreshing. Control shaman is an idea that has been given some support in the past but much like murloc shaman it never really became a good and functional deck. However, this expansion we were introduced to a very, very good card which is Jinyu Waterspeaker which has a lot of health for the cost and more importantly it heals for 6. It is like a mini Antique Healbot but with far better stats. Jinyu Waterspeaker gave shaman a huge boost in survivability and some decks even run two copies of it.
Survivability alone doesn’t make shaman a great control deck and this is where deathrattle and N'Zoth, the Corruptor enter. In my opinion N'Zoth, the Corruptor is the most powerful card of all time and this is a great example as to why it is so. Allow me a second to tell you about what I call eternal value. Eternal value means that the effect of these certain cards aren’t just valuable now in the current format but they will most likely retain their value forever. These are minions with effects that won’t get weaker over time with more cards being added to the game. Some of them will even become stronger with more cards being added to the game. N'Zoth, the Corruptor is one of those cards that will only get stronger as more deathrattle minions come into the game and this deck proves this perfectly. It took only one minion, just one, to enter the game and an N’zoth deck was made because of it.
This is a very fun deck to play and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is sick and tired of playing the same old midrange shaman and wants to give control shaman a spin. The only flaw with this deck is that it desperately needs White Eyes to reach its full potential.
Hand buffing paladin
Next deck that we’re going to talk about is something that I knew will be a trouble since the very beginning and that is aggro Grimy Goons paladin. Before I go deeper into this deck I would advise all of you who are premium users to go and check out Joseph’s guide on this deck which you can find here because he does amazing work at explaining how each deck functions and has some great gameplay footage.
Now, this deck is again another one that is all about dat face, all about dat face, no trading. Paladin is the only class that had managed to really pull off the Grimy Goons hand buffing mechanic by giving buffs to each and every minion in your hand which is quite insane. At first I thought that the golden glow which shows your opponent just how much minions you have in your hand will be too much of a problem but this deck doesn’t really care about that and it is only interested in ending the game as soon as possible.
One of the most powerful paladin cards that came out in this expansion is Small-Time Recruits. The power of this card is INSANE! Here is an example. You have 5 mana and a Grimestreet Outfitter in your hand which is currently useless because you don’t have enough minions in your hand. No problem! Play Small-Time Recruits and congratulations, you now have 3 additional minions in your hand that have just received a +1/+1 buff from Grimestreet Outfitter.
A perfect example of just how powerful this hand buffing mechanic can be is Argent Squire, a 1 mana 1/1 minion with divine shield which suddenly becomes a Shielded Minibot for 1 mana with only a single hand buff. Cards like Meanstreet Marshal and Dragon Egg are suddenly amazing for their cost and your charge minions can become quite brutal after a single buff.
N’zoth Jade Golem rogue
Last but not the least is N’zoth Jade Golem rogue or ninja rogue for short. This deck is not as powerful as the other decks on this list but it is a nice addition which can be quite good if played correctly. N’zoth rogue was a thing even before the newest set and this had just made him a little bit better.
The core idea remains the same. You play your deathrattle minions, wait for enough of them to get killed and then drop N'Zoth, the Corruptor on turn 10 to bring them all back and win the game. A nice bonus to this strategy is the Jade golems which make your deathrattle minions even more stickier than usual. Unearthed Raptor is here to take any deathrattle which spawns Jade golems and give you even more Jade golems in return.
If I’m going to compare various rogue decks than this one is far weaker than the regular miracle rogue but it is a lot better than the previous deathrattle rogue. While not the best deck it is nice to see that rogue didn’t end up getting nothing this expansion and that the community had managed to get this deck to work. It is indeed a lot of fun to play and much simpler than the miracle rogue deck but I’m not sure how viable it is for climbing to legend. If you want to try out a different approach to rogue decks than I strongly recommend that you give this deck a go.
Dragon priest and Reno priest
What really bothered me about this Meta Snapshot is that it didn’t include these two amazing decks (for some reason). I think that Dragon priest is quite insane now and so is the Dragon Reno priest. Those decks are at their very worst at least better than N’zoth Jade Golem rogue deck. I won’t go into detail as to how and why but if you want to check those decks out than check out my previous article on all thing dragon by clicking here.
Week one losers: Jade druid and secret mage
One last thing that I want to mention is the lack of Jade golem druid. I know that a lot of people were super hyped about it after seeing it being played on the card reveal stream but the truth of the manner is that it was never really a good deck and it gets destroyed by every aggro deck in the game. This deck is only good against control decks and especially against very late game and very slow control decks such as Reno priest which really doesn’t have much in the terms of actually winning the late game. As pirate warrior slowly leaves the meta and people try to experiment more with this deck I’m sure that it will see a lot more play but I don’t expect it to be so.
The other week one loser is the secret mage and I’m really sorry about this one because I have had such high hopes for it. I’m still not sure what is the actual problem with it and I hope that as people experiment with it more that it will eventually turn up if not in this standard year than in the next one when more cards rotate out.
That is all that I have for you today. I will make this conclusion very brief and simply ask you what do you think about the current meta and which decks do you expect to see rise and fall by the end of the next week? This is a new type of article that I’m still experimenting with so please tell me are you interested in seeing weekly meta analysis more often? As always leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments below and I will respond to them as soon as I can. As always if you’ve liked this article do consider following me on twitter https://twitter.com/Eternal_HS. There you can ask me all sorts of Hearthstone questions (unrelated to this article) and I’ll gladly answer them as best as I can.