Welcome to the 50th issue of our weekly Hearthstone (Free) column. Half a century is definitely a milestone that shows how much has been going in the world of Hearthstone these last few months. While it is a nice number, unfortunately it didn’t come on a week with any groundbreaking news. It hasn’t been a boring week, though, and there’s still plenty to talk about regarding the various Renolock decks, the influence of Whispers on Arena, along with general tips about the expansion, which neutral Legendaries to craft, and, of course, the current state of the meta. With the dust settling, we are beginning to see the effects of the expansion and of the shift to Standard on the game, and you might be wondering which classes are the best right now. Well, read on and find out.
How Has WoG Changed Arena?
While we often talk about how Whispers has changed Standard and Wild, we don’t often talk about how it changed Arena. This GosuGamers story does just that, focusing on how Arena plays after the expansion. The video talks about how the various classes rank at the moment and how they scale. There’s also a discussion about the 5 top Arena cards and a detailed analysis of those cards within the context of the Arena. If you’re an Arena player, definitely check the video out.
Designer Peter Whalen Talks Design Process for Whispers
It’s always entertaining to hear about the design process of an expansion, and this Peter Whalen interview was no different. The first interesting note was that because of how unfamiliar many players were with the Old Gods, the team decided to ground the expansion by giving us corrupted versions of older cards. They are overall happy with the reception of the Old Gods, and are surprised to see cards they didn’t think would be competitive, like Shifter Zerus, be played a lot in the casual community. As for the nerfs, there were some that were looked at (Ice Block and Alexstrasza), but they decided not to nerf them. That doesn’t mean they are safe forever. You can check the whole interview and some notes from it here.
Breaking Down Renolock Types
This HeartHead guide breaks down the various Renolock types now that the deck is pretty much everywhere you look. While all decklists are similar in terms of their Control strategy, high value minions, and of course proper use of Reno’s healing, there are some interesting archetypes evolving. We have Fibonacci’s Renolock, Zalae’s N’Zoth Renolock, and Thijs’ Reno C’Thijs, and the guide gives you plenty of details on each one including strategies, tech options, and matchups. Check the whole list here.
Best Neutral Legendaries to Craft
After talking last week about the best class Legendaries to craft, this week we got an article about which neutral legendaries to craft and which not. Deathwing, Dragonlord gets a pass because he lacks an immediate board impact. Hogger gets a pass as does Mukla. N’Zoth is a good one to craft, Nat the Darkfisher gets a pass as does Shifter Zerus, Soggoth the Slitherer, and the Boogeymonster. Twin Emperor Vek’lor is the most unsurprising craft of all if you play any C’Thun decks, Y’Shaarj gets a pass and Yogg-Saron is one to craft if you like fun decks. Check out the reasoning here.
Whispers Strategy and Tips
This story looks into some basic tips regarding the latest expansion and talks about how to make the most of the current cards. It gives some ideas on how to make various Gods-based decks work, and then talks about Aggro Shaman, Miracle Rogue, N’Zoth Control Paladin, and Tempo Warrior, some of the best decks in the current meta. If you want to get a good overview of the current meta along with some good basic advice on how to go about building those decks, check out the story here.
Is C’Thun a Failure?
This interesting article raises the question of whether C’Thun is a failure and not deserving the hype. A week into the expansion C’Thun decks started drying up, and at DreamHack Austin only 2 of the 8 top players brought a C’Thun deck (despite each bringing four decks), so on that evidence the article is claiming that C’Thun hasn’t lived up to expectations. The writer goes on to show that C’Thun isn’t underpowered and it’s actually fun to play, but where issues come in is in the deckbuilding aspect. With C’Thun decks having too many similar cards to other C’Thun decks (since the God requires a specific number of cards to be viable), the process of building a new C’Thun deck just isn’t as fun and there aren’t many ways to innovate upon the archetype.
However, while veteran players might not be enjoying C’Thun, it doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t; the writer points out that C’Thun has been a great success in providing a way for new players to round up other decks, and that’s what many talked about prior to the release of the set. Blizzard gave everyone a C’Thun as a way to help beginner players get more into the game and the expansion. By offering a relatively cheap and easy to build deck with a decent power level, Blizzard ensured that new players with only basic deckbuilding skills won’t be locked out of the meta. Read the whole story here.
The Most Underrated Cards in Hearthstone
During every meta shift and any new card influx, some cards get left out of the party for a variety of reasons, and as a result we often see strong cards that see barely any play. This story tries to look at some of those cards. It talks about Kodorider (which gives you great value), Deathwing, Validated Doomsayer, Scaled Nightmare, Mass Dispel, Stranglethorn Tiger, Hogger Doom of Elwynn, and Psych-o-Tron. There are some interesting explanations as to why each of these cards deserves to be re-evaluated, so check out the story here.
Americas Spring Preliminaries Post-Mortem
Americas Preliminary brought about some interesting stories as this ESPN article writes. We saw the return of the upstarts with some big names not doing very well, and we saw the meta starting to stabilize, with some classes (Shaman, Warrior) becoming increasingly popular while Warlock becoming pretty hard to find. Tempo Warrior continues its dominance while the Old Gods are slowly but steadily losing their place in the current meta. Only one player out of the 8 advancers brought an Old God deck and only 4 of the final 16 used an Old God deck. Also, Freeze Mage has become a very risky deck for tournaments since we had many moments when the deck just didn’t work. Read the whole story here.
The meta has only seen minor changes this week in the top-tier decks according to Tempo Storm Snapshot. However, Priest continues falling down the Tiers while Warrior’s various archetypes are starting to stand out even more. Shaman is also seeing more versatility. Aggro Shaman has dropped from the top spot with MidRange (Totem) Shaman taking its place. Zoolock has risen to Tier 1 in part because a number of the Warrior decks are bad matchups against it. Tempo Warrior continues to be a good deck and can go up against any deck. This week we also got HearthHead’s Attack of the Meta, an interesting “anti-meta" report that talks about the decks that can challenge top tier archetypes. Check AofM here for info on how to build a Midrange Hunter deck, a C’Thun Warrior deck, a Tempo Rogue, and a Tempo Mage deck to counter those powerful top-tier decks.
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As always, we have some good resources on the site for you in case you are new to the game or simply want to sharpen up your game. There’s never such a thing as too much help in Hearthstone, so check out our guides.