A brief look into the current Hearthstone Meta5 months ago
By: Cole "ILUSVHunter” Ricke
The Current State of the Meta
The meta of Hearthstone is ever evolving, growing, and changing whenever there are expansions released, new playstyles discovered, or even when a gimmick proves to be more valuable than predicted (looking at you Mecha’thun). My name is Cole, and I am a Varsity Collegiate Hearthstone player and enthusiast, here to present to you the state of Hearthstone’s tasty meta game.
First off, a black horse that came into near dominance is Hunter. Not only does Hunter have two viable decks in the top tier of ladder, they have completely different play styles as well. The first deck is Deathrattle Hunter. The annoying Devilsaur Egg presents a threat on board that the opponent doesn’t want to deal with for fear of losing to overwhelming tempo, but has to in order to play around cards such as Play Dead or Terrorscale Stalker. It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation that requires the Hunter to draw very few cards to chokehold nearly any opponent. The second deck is, as most have guessed, Secret Hunter. With the introduction of Subject 9, the idea of Secret Hunter reentered some high players mindsets. Even though not all decks contain Subject 9, the surprising success of the deck has led many players to include it in tournament lineups, especially in the collegiate scene.
The only other inarguable top tier deck o the ladder is Even Shaman. This deck is lucky, even by Hearthstone RNG standards. Not only are all of Shaman’s cards valuable in the current meta, all of the cards that they would want to include are even numbered mana cost, apart from a few cards such as Lightning Storm or Volcano. To make up for the lack of the ability to clear the board with spells, Even Shaman takes the board by force and uses it to develop value minions such as Kalimos, Primal Lord and The Lich King. Even with a clear power spike, the play of Even Shaman is nearly unseen apart from high legend. Many lower tiers can’t seem to figure out just how to mulligan or take back the board against certain decks, which is good to see. Why? Because it means Hearthstone has a deck that requires a good player to pilot, as opposed to most decks that are good and a good pilot isn’t necessary, but a bonus. This is a good sign for the health and design space for the game, and hopefully there are more decks discovered like this.
A few honorable mentions include Token Druid, Even Warlock, and Heal Zoo. Token Druid was considered a power deck until Hunter came along, but it still holds its own against other aggro and even most control decks. It’s still extremely powerful in organized play, but its ladder presence has fallen off. Even Warlock didn’t fall in rankings due to it being less powerful, but so many decks teched against it that it became null and void. Lastly, Heal Zoo is simply not winning a majority of its games. The games that Heal Zoo wins are extremely snow bally most of the time, but so are the games that it loses. Unfortunately, it has become mostly the latter, hence the lack of play.
This was only just a glimpse into the ever expanding and developing meta game that defines Hearthstone as a game. So, don’t just take my word for it. Boot up the game, listen to that oh so familiar guitar intro, and settle in for a few games. You’ll be surprised by what you see!
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