Welcome to BOOMSDAY! I’m RidiculousHat from the Coin Concede podcast, where we’re dedicated to making the competitive side of the game more accessible to you. Regardless of your investment in Hearthstone, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what’s working and what’s not – with the Standard format and a constantly changing pool of cards, what worked a week ago may not work today. To keep your time focused on playing the game and having fun, we want to answer the most common question about Hearthstone…
What do I play?
Well, there’s a lot of ways to answer that. The most important one is to have fun, but that isn’t the same for everyone. Whether you’re looking to jump on and have fun without doing much research, play something wacky, or grind to the top of the ladder, we have something for you.
Alright alright, enough talking. Give me a decklist!
If you have no idea what to play and you just want to jump on the ladder without thinking, here you go! It’s not too expensive and it’ll win more than it loses.
(By the way, if you’re not sure what that funky string of letters is underneath the deck, that’s a deck code – highlight it, copy it, and open the collection in the Hearthstone client – it’ll build the deck for you without lots of clicking.)
This is Bragi’s secret hunter, and it’s currently performing very well – he’s legend already as of the time of this writing and it’s only been over one full day since the reset! In case you’re wondering what to do… GO FACE! This is an aggro deck through and through, and you’ll be mulliganing for your 1-mana and 2-mana minions an awful lot. Keep Dire Mole, Secretkeeper, and Crackling Razormaw as a general rule. You’ll hold on to Bearshark or Animal Companion on the coin or if you already have a good curve, for example, a 1-mana and a 2-mana minion already in hand; the mana you spend each turn “curves" up to match your total available crystals. You’ll also want to keep one Spellstone if you’re going second or if you have a Secretkeeper and a secret.
The strength of the deck is the early game punch, which can be quite significant – but you can also fill the board very quickly with Emerald Spellstone, especially if you manage to upgrade it by playing two secrets. The secret package in this deck is small but powerful – these are entirely aggressive secrets meant to keep your opponent off balance and unable to trade with your minions effectively.
You’ll have more luck going face instead of controlling the board – you will generally only want to trade if it will generate you more damage over two turns. FOR EXAMPLE – if I trade my 1/2 this turn into a 2/1 so my 3/2 can attack next turn, I lost one damage now but gained three next turn. A net gain of two is definitely worth it. There will be many other small edges you may gain from playing the deck more and learning it yourself – but if you just wanna grab a cup of coffee, jam some games, and have fun without worrying too much, this is a good place to start. And the deck is really good too!
I don’t have these cards!
Well, the deck in general is pretty inexpensive outside of three cards – two Snake Traps (epic) and one Deathstalker Rexxar (legendary). Both of these cards provide some pretty significant utility to the deck, though in a pinch Snake Trap can be replaced with Wandering Monster if you don’t have the dust available to make the epics. Rexxar is much harder to recommend replacing, as he can win so many games and matchups by himself – any time your opponent has a deck built to remove your stuff over and over again, Deathstalker Rexxar will guarantee that you never run out. Still, if necessary, you can replace him with a copy of Savannah Highmane.
There is one other option if you don’t have a lot of in-game resources handy…
This little guy is a legendary, I know – but he’s a very special one. It’s going to take a bit of grinding and a bit of dust, but it’s also EIGHTEEN DECKS IN ONE! If you haven’t seen him before, Whizbang is his own class, or at least his own deck – when you add him to a deck, it stops at 1/1 cards and will not let you change anything. When you start the game, it picks one of the eighteen deck recipes available in the current format and queues one up at random… without your opponent knowing that you’re playing a “whizbang deck". Every game, you get to try a different standard deck from a different class- and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the cards for it.
If you’re looking for variety and bang for the buck in terms of your dust investment, Whizbang is the way to go. And hey, if you craft him in golden… he gives you an all golden deck. Something to think about.
That sounds cool, but I want to play something that’s a little more off-the-wall. Do you have any CRAZY decks for me to try?
So you want to be different, eh? How about this beauty:
It’s a little bit more expensive and I have no idea how good it is, but I can tell you for sure that it’s fun. Pipipipi managed to hit legend with it so there’s at least some kind of viability there. It’s somewhat similar to a deck Chinoize developed early on when Boomsday first came out… and it seems like the strategy is still viable in the right hands.
In case you’re not sure what to do, here’s a step by step guide:
- Overload a bunch
- Play Eureka for big minions
- When one of them sticks, play Ancestral Spirit on them and then use an upgraded Sapphire Spellstone to make somewhere between one to three extra copies of it.
Of course the deck is more complicated than that, but the basic idea is that you’re slow and controlling in the early game – bad at building a board quickly but good at removing stuff and slowing your opponent down. In the middle of the game, you’re going to start developing your own threats – big and strong minions like Earth Elemental or whatever you can pull out of a Eureka. In the late game, you’re going to lean into your Sapphire Spellstones and Ancestral Spirits to make multiple super-powerful minions that come back when they die – or sometimes, you’ll use a Spellstone on Malygos and then your Lightning Bolts will deal 23 damage each!
The mulligan here is going to be tricky based on what you’re up against, but basically you’re going to keep Far Sight as often as you can as well as removal options that match up against what you think your opponent is trying to do. Cards like Lightning Bolt, Doomsayer, and Lightning Storm should perform very well against decks that play a lot of minions quickly, while Hex is going to perform better against decks that put out single big threats. You’ll learn over time, but no matter what, I can say for sure that you’ll have a ton of fun with this one.
This is all very fun, but I’m here to WIN. How do I figure out what’s the best deck for me to play to crush my enemies?
Well, if you’re looking to win by playing the very best strategies and understanding the “metagame" (which is the term for the collective decks that are most popular at the moment), there are quite a few resources for you to turn to. We’re fortunate enough to have a substantial number of content creators in our little community, including those who build new strategies and share them freely as well as those who analyze data on a larger scale.
If you only have time to check out one place, it should be the weekly Vicious Syndicate meta report, which can be found here: <Link>
The VS team compiles analytic data from the thousands of players using Hearthstone Deck Tracker and Track-o-Bot to figure out what’s working, what’s not, which matchups are favored (or unfavored), and what the landscape of the current metagame looks like. You’ll find nuanced discussion about the meta’s trends, changes, and shifts that can be used to identify which deck to pick up based on what you’re likely to see. There are also curated decklists by class and many, many graphs and charts for you to sink your teeth into if that’s your jam. Full disclosure: I write the Warlock section. Stop by and say hello!
These two fine folks are the most active decklist collectors you’ll find, and the most important thing is their speed. They move fast and will collect decklists from both known pros and lesser-known players with high finishes. HSProDecks will typically tweet in English while Ahirun will often tweet in Japanese… but almost always Ahirun will mirror the decklists in English on the website Beerbrick.com after a little bit of time. And still, card art and deck codes are the same in every language!
You can also check out robotmoon, which pulls from current legend ladder replays as soon as they are uploaded to HSReplay’s servers. This site is great for getting decklists, but even more important it’s great for watching high-level gameplay from both sides. Learning how to play a deck is just as important as knowing which deck to play, and with this tool you can learn both at once.
Just tell me what to play!
Okay, okay! I’ve personally been having quite a bit of success with Odd Warrior, though Token Druid is increasing in popularity rapidly and has started to become far more prevalent on ladder, especially with the new “taunt package" that includes Strongshell Scavenger. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a 4 mana 2/3 Druid minion that gives all of your taunt minions a permanent +2/+2 buff – and when combined with Spreading Plague tokens, Giggling Inventor’s Annoy-o-Trons, and Saronite Chain-Gang, it packs quite a punch. Hunter decks centered around abusing Deathrattles and Carnivorous Cube are definitely still quite popular and the strategy is a great choice right now for all-around effectiveness. Pick any of these three and learn the one you choose inside and out – there’s no substitute for practice!
Until next week, thanks for reading!