With yet another balance patch coming down last week to nerf some of the more powerful decks, 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.
Pure Paladin is once again topping the charts, proving that it has the gas to prey on less-refined lists and weaker classes. Although its win rate against other top meta decks leaves something to be desired, the archetype is solid enough to punish all but the best. The list we've featured today goes heavy into Divine Shield synergies, with Buffet Biggun and Azsharan Mooncatcher using the buff from Funkfin and drawing cards with Jitterbug.
Counter-pick: Spooky Mage
Mage is the class to play if you want to win the Pure Paladin matchup - there's just enough stall and survivability to keep Pure Paladin's army of minions at bay before you can finish them off with a burst of damage, and Discover effects from Prismatic Elemental and Infinitize the Maxitude can find the right answers while also feeding Grand Magister Rommath.
Frost Death Knight
Dread it; run from it - Frost Death Knight is back near the top of the meta thanks to nerfs to other classes and Death Knight packages that left it untouched. The list we're showcasing today is unchanged from the Frost Death Knight package showed off weeks ago. Frostwyrm's Fury is still a powerful way to finish games after the onslaught of an aggressive curve.
Counter-pick: Big Demon Hunter
The best answer for Frost Death Knight is a deck that can control their board in the early game, then punch back with massive minions before Frostwyrm's Fury can end the game. Big Demon Hunter can be that deck, with AoE like Unleash Fel and Immolation Aura to counter early aggression, then using Felscale Evoker to cheat out a massive body.
Unholy Death Knight
The nerf to Blightfang and Battlefield Necromancer make the archetype slightly less powerful, but still a good deck with which to ladder. In fact, despite those nerfs, the best list for Unholy Death Knight currently is indistinguishable from those that players were running prior to the nerfs. Hawkstrider Rancher into Nerubian Swarmguard is still really good, by the way.
Counter-pick: Control Priest
The answer to the swarm and aggression of Unholy Death Knight remains good ol' Priest, and this control list really goes deep by running a copy of Audio Amplifier for an extra mana and extra card in hand. It also has two copies of the recently-buffed Demolition Renovator to shut down enemy locations. The bandmates of E.T.C., Band Manager are Steamcleaner, Sister Svalna, Theotar, the Mad Duke.
Face Hunter has been shooting up the charts in the last week thanks to improved matchups against top decks (although the Death Knight class, as a whole, remains Rexxar's bugaboo) and a rejiggered list that runs Trinket Tracker for extra card draw and Dragonbane for extra damage.
Counter-pick: Blood Death Knight
Blood Death Knight turns the Hunter into the hunted. The deck's massive amount of removal, health gain, and lifesteal makes it a near-impossible challenge for a mere damage deck to overcome. This version of Blood Death Knight runs Photographer Fizzle to double its resources, while also getting a little help from E.T.C., Band Manager and his friends: Steamcleaner, Theotar, the Mad Duke, Lor'themar Theron.
Undead Priest clings to the last spot in the top five; the archetype appears to have nothing new to offer players beyond the same aggressive Undead tribal synergies. The deck can perform against a variety of decks, but loses its luster in games against the other decks that make up our top five.
Counter-pick: Menagerie Warrior
To vanquish the swarm of Undead infesting their lands, a menagerie might was called upon - and many answered the call in this Menagerie Warrior deck that can answer Undead Priest with a solid curve and powerful card generation. The buff to Chorus Riff makes a Riff sub-theme more palatable in a midrange deck whose varieties of life power up Power Slider.
What top decks are you playing in Hearthstone this season? Share them in our deckbuilder and show them off in the comments below.
The meta is in such a good place that it's really hard to pick a deck to climb with. For me, Undead Priest did the trick in the end, probably because that's the deck that felt the most comfortable for me. The second best alternative would be Frost DK because it comes with more options to discover stuff that might help you when things start to go south.
I really like these point and counter-point articles. Thanks