A couple of weeks ago the meta took a turn, it took us back to the past. A time where Warlocks reigned supreme, Kings of the ladder. A time where each deck had to be carefully “tailored” around being able to defeat Warlocks or else it wouldn’t have any chance at all. Well, this is the meta my friends. This is how chaotic it can be: One week, Control decks everywhere and the next week Aggro starts dominating again. DKMR’s here to show you how you can go around the meta or if you wish, become a part of it.
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.
Warlock refuses to leave his newly claimed throne, taking as much advantage as possible from his small powerful minions. Indeed, it seems like the old days of Warlock Aggro have returned. Board Control decks are all over the ladder, especially the Zoo variation. These decks use Shieldbearer and Dire Wolf Alpha to always get the best possible trades. As far as Aggro goes, this variation is seeing much more play than your standard rush warlock since it’s strong against both Control and Aggro decks. Handlock is around as well, taking advantage of all the Aggro decks to play their Molten Giants very early, while playing some early cards like Voidwalker in order to avoid getting rushed by classes like Hunter. Overall, Warlock remains as one of the best choices for ranked play, and we don’t think it’s coming out of top 3 again anytime soon.
Hunter is making a comeback, since it’s one of the cheaper and easier alternatives to fight the new Warlock Zoo: Just race them! Their own hero power will assist Hunter at that, and you can always count on them having a LOT of minions on the board, which makes Unleash the Hounds much more lethal. However, Hunter can still have a tough time dealing with other classes, especially now that they’re preparing even harder against other Aggro decks, and we all know how a couple taunts can easily crush Rexxar’s (lack of) strategy. And even though Midrange Hunter is pretty much dead, we believe that this could be a good time for them to make a comeback, since their cheap but efficient removals can do a lot against other Aggro decks, while keeping the pressure going with their hero power and value Beasts, like Savannah Highmane.
Druid still has its own place in the sun. Watcher Druid has become more popular due to its anti-Aggro capabilities and Token Druid is seeing more play as well as one of the more aggressive decks. The Druid’s strength is its capability to either play as both the aggressor or the controller without any problems. Your role in the game might change from time to time, but Druid’s versatility covers that really nicely. However, Tinkmaster was just recently nerfed and let’s be honest, he was basically all that Druid had in its arsenal to counter huge minions (without resorting to cards like Naturalize). We believe that this nerf will greatly affect Druid’s matchup against decks like Handlock and Warrior Control, but overall the effect is yet to be seen.
Warrior has proudly become the new “anti-Aggro control” deck. Its cheap removals work great against small minions and when you have a lot of cantrip cards like Shield Block and Slam, you can easily set up devastating Whirlwind or Wild Pyromancer combos. And worst case scenario, you can just Brawl. The class has a LOT of options against its foes in the current meta and it’s certainly a great deck to rank up with (if you don’t mind the long games)! Their worst matchup is still Shaman, but luckily for them Shaman is falling off the ladder. Just be careful with those handlocks, they can still give you a tough time. On the other hand, Warrior’s Aggro version, seems to have lost a lot of flavor. This is to be expected since the other classes are much better at Aggro and closing games.
Rogue is moving up, we are seeing more of them in ranked play due to their strength against aggressive strategies. Their early removals can completely crush the tempo gained by other board Control decks and that makes Midrange Rogue a very solid choice for laddering now. While they’re still not as great against other Control decks like handlock, they can win if they play their damaging creatures and spells right. Miracle Rogue is still around as well, crushing a lot of Control decks out there in the ladder, but they have a tougher time dealing with rushdown decks.
Shaman is still around, although they’re still having a tough time against rushdown decks like Hunter. Some players have tried to adapt to this by using cards like Ancestral Healing coupled with minions like Ancient Watcher and Injured Blademaster. This is a pretty interesting combination that might actually give Shamans a bit of much needed room for innovation. It’s also worth noting that the class might start to see a lot more play due to its strength against other Aggro decks, including the popular Warlock Zoo. Look for Shaman to have more play due to the recent nerfs to Tinkmaster Overspark, since they didn’t really need it in the first place, while many other Control decks will be affected.
Mage is still trying to find their identity. Some weeks we see more play and others we see them fall. Polymorph suddenly got a lot of value and considering Nat Pagle’s changes, Mage is now one of the classes that can easily handle the fisherman before he gets too much value. They also have quite a lot of strong options against Aggro decks with cards like Water Elemental, Frostbolt and Blizzard. However, Mages are still in a rough spot against other Control decks like Warrior Control and Handlock. While they have access to hard removals, it can be hard to deal with a 8/8 giant early on if you don’t have them in your hand. Look for Mage to start using cards like Mirror Entity since they’re good for keeping the tempo advantage against other Aggro decks and they also do a great job at cloning huge minions from Control archetypes.
Priest still is not a class you should be playing in the current meta on the ladder. While it has a lot of strong 2 cards combination, that doesn’t help with their consistency overall. Priest decks tend to be tailored around countering a certain archetype (Aggro or Control) which doesn’t help the priest player at all against other decks. It goes without saying that anti-Aggro Priests could be powerful right now, the few Priests we see in the ladder are using cards like Wild Pyromancer, Shadow Madness and Ancient Watcher, some even comboing it with Silence.
Paladin is nowhere to be found for now and prior to the Tinkmaster nerf should also not be played in the current meta. We firmly believe that with the removal of Tinkmaster from the game, Paladin Control decks will have a better time against multiple other fairly bad matchups. This time around Tirion won’t get immediately Tink’ed. Once again, the effects of the recent nerfs have yet to be seen, but Paladin giants might once again find its way back into the ladder. The challenge they will have to overcome will continue to be the swarm of Aggro decks.
This deck is so strong and one could even argue it’s cheap. It kinda feels that way when you’re removing your opponent’s 4~5 mana drops with your 1 drops. Dominate the trades is the name of the game here and with your hero power, there’s just no end to the swarm of minions you can play at a given time (unless your opponent is packing every AoE and taunt in the book, that is). One of our members, [DKMR]Alchemixt, made it to legend on his secondary account with this deck, in less than 10 total hours of play at the end of season 3!