This is where it all begins, Season 1 has officially begun; the cycle of beta seasons has finally come to a close. You thought beta was intense, this is where it starts to matter; the meta will continue to change, so sit back, relax and let’s get to it!.
The meta is a mess and we’d be lying if we said we could predict how things are going to be in the next week, let alone in a few days. So let’s focus on what’s happening here and now and see if we can find a pattern among the recent chaos.
Here’s Team DKMR’s weekly meta ranking. Keep in mind, it’s about which classes and archetypes are played the most, not about which are the strongest. Most of the times, the strongest decks will also be the most frequently played, but that’s part of how the meta works.
Warrior has slain the mighty Warlock and taken his crown! Note we are only talking about Control Warrior, as it’s still the main archetype to be found on the ladder. Warrior Aggro is still almost non-existent, but we are seeing some play on the path to rank 5 and while we’re sure it’s an archetype that’s going to evolve a lot once new cards come out, for now it’ll remain underplayed.
Warlock has its own way around a lot of decks by simply playing more threats than anyone can handle. Yes, Aggro warlock is on the rise once again, even though just a week ago it was toe to toe with his bigger cousin, Handlock. That’s how strange the meta can be, especially at the beginning of a new season. So far, no innovations have been spotted for any archetype, but you can expect to see more murlocks and zoo than ever before, at least for the first week. Zoo has a favorable matchup against Control Warrior making it a good choice.
Hunter is everywhere, as expected. Since it’s a very fast paced deck, it allows the player to rank up considerably faster, especially when going through win streaks. However we are starting to see a more mid-range beast themed deck popping up from time to time. While it’s still way too early to say for sure, a little variation between hunter archetypes would be a welcome sight and it would benefit both decks, as the mulligan against Hunter becomes a little harder.
Druid is arguably the safest bet when ranking up in such a chaotic meta. A lot of people realize this, as Druid is seeing slightly less play then Hunter at the moment. Its “natural” abilities to deal with Aggro are also VERY helpful, since you can expect to face a lot of aggressive decks from almost all classes at the moment. Also, there’s a new Druid variation: Ramp Druid. This deck focuses on getting tempo advantage through “ramp” cards (cards that increase your mana permanently), and thus making your plays much faster in the long run. This allows you to be at a 2 or more mana advantage from your opponent for a few turns. Just be careful, because if you lack innervate or wild growth you may be stuck with a bunch of high cost cards and nothing to play in the early turns.
Shaman is still popular, just like last week. Probably because it’s also a safe option against most Aggro and Control decks and has no particularly bad matchup of its own, except for Aggro hunter. Some Shamans are even taking a more aggressive route with Bloodlust, a lot of minions and totems. While we don’t feel like this strategy has enough going to become a viable archetype, it can certainly surprise some decks, like Rogue or Druid.
Rogue is seeing a little less play as well, and we’re not quite certain of the reason for that. At the moment, both Standard Rogue and Miracle Rogue are viable options in the current ladder, due to their ability to keep the tempo going against other Aggro decks with very cheap removals. It is favored vs the new Ramp Druid, but Druid can still win this. Most Druids are running Ancient of War once again, which could be bad for rogues that don’t have The Black Knight or sap at their disposal. Now that Tinkmaster Overspark is gone, you should think about putting assassinate back in your deck.
Priest is climbing the ranks, slowly. We feel like it’s a poor choice for such a chaotic meta, due to the fact that most Priest decks are very strong when tailored against a specific matchup and the meta right now is anything but specific. It’s not impossible to thrive with the class among this complicated meta, but it’s definitely going to be much harder than almost all other choices. The shadoword: Death is very good, because there are many decks running large minions. Thoughsteal also is favorable in the ladder because of the chance to steal large minions. And you can defeat many Aggro decks with cards like, Holy Nova, Wild Pyromancer and circle of healing combos. The problem is you need to draw the right half of your deck vs your opponent and this varies depending on the deck your playing against.
Mage is not a great class to ladder with in the current meta. Most of them are using some form of Aggro or Midrange-tempo builds, no Control Mage in sight, be it Frost Giants or some other archetype. While Mages have to deal with their lack of synergy with their minions, they’re still not a bad choice when it comes to dealing with Aggro, due to their strong AoEs and removals.
Paladin is still one of the least used classes in ranked play and we do not recommend laddering with this class. The class has a lot of strong cards, like Equality and Divine Favor, we feel like they’re inconsistent, due to their conditional effects (Equality only works if you can damage the board for 1, Divine Favor is only worth if you can draw at least 2 cards, etc.). This hinders the possibilities for the class. Don’t be surprised if you see an Aggro Paladin deck from time to time on the ladder. Paladin Control (or giants), is really only a tournament deck and will have a hard time on the ladder.
Deck of the Week: DKMR Giants
Hardcore control, this is what the deck is all about. You’ll always have a way to make your opponent’s turn a little weird, and six effects to almost nullify big threats. You’re just one over-commitment away from gaining total board and card advantage, through Equality combos. However, this is a very specific deck, fit for tournaments when you’re sure you’re going to face decks like Handlock, Shaman, and Druid.