As we approach the halfway mark of the May season, it's once again time to take a look at the decks at the top of the Standard meta. Here are the 5 decks for you to take out on the ladder and win with!
Or, if you're a contrarian, we've once again included a counter-pick for each meta deck, an off-meta (or off-off-meta) strategy that appears to do well against it - this brings our total to 10 decks for your viewing pleasure.
Unholy Death Knight
Unholy Death Knight's grip on the top spot in the meta has only tightened in the past week, as it continues to exert its dominance over the format. Many players have realized the power of Blightfang turning the opponent's board into free tempo. Speaking of free tempo, Hawkstrider Rancher is exceptional buffing up the smaller minions, and all those corpses can eventually feed a huge Lord Marrowgar.
Counter-pick: Thief Priest
Controlling Priest shells are well-positioned to counter Unholy Death Knight with their abundance of removal and the cost reduction of Love Everlasting. This is even the case when you build for larceny with a Thief Priest deck that can use its opponent's cards against them, or extract extra value with The Harvester of Envy. The cards tagging along with E.T.C., Band Manager are Steamcleaner, Rivendare, Warrider, and Theotar, the Mad Duke.
Pure Paladin is a solid deck, but its lack of imagination has led to the rise of several decks near the top of the meta that can prey on its predictability. The list we're showcasing is the same one we displayed last week, since it remains our favorite build of the archetype, using Anachronos to cancel out opposing aggression and buy Uther a couple of turns.
Counter-pick: Burn Mage
Burn Mage, with its abundance of freezes and direct damage burst, can often ignore the large minions Paladin plays while it builds up a critical mass of Spell Damage and damage spells.
Undead Priest remains committed to both the tribe and to aggression, looking to undercut the decks that build to a big finish and make sure that, when they get there, they're dead. Two copies of Bone Flinger is really the only adjustment this list has made for the archetype.
Counter-pick: Mech Paladin
The best way to counter Undead Priest is to match them for tempo and use annoying Taunt minions to keep their small things from hitting face. Zilliax and the Magnetic keyword are huge in that matchup. Besides, we think it's pretty cool to imagine a battle between Robots and Zombies.
Big Demon Hunter
Big Demon Hunter continues to keep its place near the top of the meta, combining cheap removal with the late-game dominance of larger and larger men. This version of the list runs a copy of Abyssal Depths to go along with Crushclaw Enforcer to make it a lot easier to tutor Felscale Evoker and have him ready on curve.
Counter-pick: Big Druid
To defeat the Big Demon Hunter, you must also go Big. Our pick to counter Big DH Energy is Druid, who can Ramp into its big bodies just a little faster than Illidan can and use Hedge Maze to trigger the Deathrattles of Death Blossom Whomper, Masked Reveler, and Sesselie of the Fae Court.
Outcast Demon Hunter
It took a bit, but the familiar face of Outcast Demon Hunter has regained a spot in the top 5, possibly thanks to the addition of Halveria Darkraven giving an aggressive AoE buff to its minions with the help of Rush the Stage and Vengeful Walloper. The deck can go fast, fighting to control the board against other aggressive decks, or slow down and play for value with Wretched Exile.
Counter-pick: Spooky Mage
If you're looking for a deck with a positive matchup against the Outcasts, then Spooky Mage could be the deck for you. With freeze effects, AoE board wipes, and the ability to pack on the damage with Volatile Skeletons, this archetype can be trouble for those boys from the 404.
What top decks are you playing in Hearthstone this season? Share them in our deckbuilder and show them off in the comments below.
Great content, thanks! I'm seriously considering crafting Halveria Darkraven. I don't have S'theno or Felerin either, but they seem less necessary. What do you guys think?
Probably dont, unless youre playing on a lower MMR level, because at higher MMR stheno is basically mandatory for wins.
Felerin is the one card I dont like but cannot deny that in the current meta where there's less trash outcast cards this is basically a slightly smaller unnerfed Drek'Thar. If youre going to play dhunter, this card will almost always be in it. But unless youre going all into one class I wouldn't recommend crafting this since its very likely it'll be watered down to nothing in the later expansions.
Thanks for your take! I've got the dust, so maybe I craft S'theno too? The thing is, I feel super motivated to play DH and DK, since these classes are newer and I have a long way to go to get those 1000 win portraits. I've already earned these for several of the original classes, and the others are not far behind.
Kind of a separate question, but does anyone else do this? Once I hit 1000 wins, I hardly play that class anymore since I want to get them all to 1000 eventually. Feels a bit silly, since I now have a super sweet portrait to use.
I did this as well in the past, but not anymore. All my classes are above 1600 wins except for Death Knight which is only at 600 wins currently. The gap is really too big and to main a single class in a somewhat stable meta is just too boring for me personally. The 1000 wins DK hero portrait is also not that amazing. The one for Demon Hunter is though.
Good luck! 👍🏻
I play dhunter myself, but dont have felerin. Never came to my mind that I needed that card, but its tricky this one. It has a good play winrate, but I just dont like crafting legendaries that get weaker over time.
Stheno is one of those cards that pros will always be abusing, hence why it remains relevant despite its win rate tanking. Up to you on this one. Its probably one of the hardest to use legendaries Ive seen around, but it'll likely be playable until rotation next year.
But if you'd like to play dhunter, but dont want to spend any dust on legendaries, just play big dhunter. Probably the one and only time this archetype will ever see competitive without a major push from team5.
Definitely agree with Big DH. Been playing that deck for a while now coz it's skill cap isn't as high as spell or outcast DH. I don't even have Brutal Annihilan and still win games. Pulling out a Xhilag of the Abyss on turn 5 with the coin is an instant win.
Wow, Big Demon Hunter is pretty good! And fun, too! One high point I encountered was against a mage who discovered Objection! early on, and also had a second one in his ETC band. This card would normally be fatal against a big minion deck, but DH runs enough smaller guys (Crushclaw, for example) that I was able to thwart those secrets before playing my important dudes. Solid victory!
The meta feels super weird at the moment. No matter which deck I play, I seem to reliably queue it into hard counters. I sincerely hope the nerfs will shake up the field.
That said, please keep on the new structure for these articles! It's really cool not only to see which decks are good, but also what counters them.
We need a meta where a treant deck counters an undead deck so we can have Plants vs. Zombies.
It'd be CRAAAZY!