Nerf patch just went live yesterday. You can find all the information about it here, but just to recap everything quickly:
- Corridor Creeper is now a 2/5 minion (instead of a 5/5).
- Patches the Pirate no longer has charge.
- Bonemare costs 8 mana instead of 7.
- Raza the Chained reduces the cost of Hero Power to 1 (instead of making it free).
If you have played the game during last weeks, you surely know how much those changes matter. Those cards were in the majority of the decks on the ladder, which means that a lot of them are now weaker, or even completely unplayable. Which means that it’s a time for other decks to rise.
But what decks, exactly? At this point, it’s still hard to say. While it’s true that the changes weren’t as big as for example a new expansion (or even better, a Standard rotation), it will still take at least a few days (possibly a week or two) to figure everything out. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to wait. You can already start trying out some of the popular decks.
In this article, I’ll list some of the best performing decks after the nerfs. Of course, given that the nerfs happened only yesterday, I would NOT recommend going all-in and crafting those decks yet. With that said, let’s start listing the best decks. If you’re more into “fun” and “off-meta” decks, I’ve also got something for you – I’ll post a few of them at the bottom.
Disclaimer: Best decks are based on my personal ladder experience from the first 24 hours, watching pro players’ streamers, talking with high ranked players and external sources such as HSReplays or Vicious Syndicate Live. Best decks might (and probably will) change. Order is random.
But I don’t think that it will truly dominate the meta like tons of people thought. The reason is that the deck isn’t uncounterable. There are good decks that have solid matchup against it. Not to mention that it’s one of the easier decks to tech against – you can put Silence, even a few copies, often without hurting your other matchups that much. If you face a lot of Cube Warlocks, instead of going with the flow, you should probably play one of the counter decks and tech against them instead.
After the meta stabilizes, I’m completely sure that Control or Cube Warlocks will be solid, viable decks. But right now, when it seems like the whole ladder wants to counter them (I’ve played against Priest with four silence cards), they might not be a great choice.
Deck lists didn’t really change yet. Players might adapt them to the meta over the next few days, but if you have one from before the nerf patch, it should be good now.
Call to Arms is one of the cards I thought might see a slight hit, but it didn’t. It’s still as good as it was before, maybe even better, since a lot of your opponents had their tempo tools gutted. Murlocs are highly synergistic. Thanks to that, other fast decks might not keep up with you when you buff them around, while slower decks should crumble under the Murloc snowball (seriously, Gentle Megasaur is an MVP here – if you stick 2-3 Murlocs into Megasaur you often just win the game on Turn 4).
While the deck isn’t great against Cube (it’s not bad either, the matchup is quite close), it is great against a lot of the anti-Cube decks running around the ladder. It crushes Secret Mage, it’s good against Spiteful Priest, not to mention that people who try to run Mill Rogue to counter Cube definitely won’t appreciate your Murloc aggression.
While it’s hard to say how everything will look like when the meta stabilizes, right now it might be one of the best, if not the best deck in the meta.
The deck has a good matchup against Cube/Control Warlock. It might not feel that way if Warlock gets all their heals, but trust me, the amount of burn Mage can produce is insane and the early pressure with something like Mana Wyrm can’t be underestimated. In order to make the matchup even better, Rdu has decided to tech in a Potion of Polymorph (which works really well against Turn 5 Possessed Lackey, often completely countering their game plan) and Pyroblast (to have more burn in order to finish the game through the heals).
Other than Warlock, Secret Mage works wonders against other slow decks. When people first try things out, they tend to build their decks on the greedy side, which you can punish with this one. Big Priest, for example, is also pretty popular and unless they high-roll, the matchup is pretty solid.
On the other hand, it has pretty poor matchup against some of the fast decks like Murloc Paladin, so before you jump and play Secret Mage, you should probably monitor the meta around your rank first.
We’ve updated our Secret Mage Deck Guide for post nerf!
Harrison Jones tech is specifically against CubeLocks, so if you face a lot of them, definitely keep it. It’s better than any other weapon removal against that deck – not only it comes on the curve, it draws you three cards. So Warlock spends 5 mana and a card doing nothing, and you develop a 5/4 body and draw 3 cards – how cool is that? Other good tech vs Warlock is obviously some kind of Silence. I’ve seen Spiteful Priests running BOTH Spellbreaker and Kabal Songstealer to mess up with Warlocks, but I personally think that it’s an overkill. I’ve been running a single Spellbreaker (even though Songstealer has better stats, Spellbreaker is a bit more flexible because of the mana cost) and I honestly think that’s enough for the most part.
Alternatively, Combo Dragon Priest can also be a good deck in this meta. You can find an example list (from Firebat) here. But mind you that I didn’t have time to play it yet, nor did I face it on the ladder a lot (only two times so far, to be precise).
Big Priest hasn’t got nerfed in any way. Every card is just the way it was, while most of the other decks got weaker. At the same time, both Raza the Chained and Corridor Creeper nerfs have helped the deck. With Highlander Priest gone, the meta is suddenly better, since you don’t have to worry about dying out of nowhere, even though you are at full health. And the Creeper? Well, it was truly a problematic card. After finally landing that board clear, when you thought that you’ve stabilized, your opponent has dropped a 0 mana 5/5 to refill. That was often more than you (or your AoEs) can chew, and even if you did have a way to clear it, it often delayed your revives or Shadow Essence.
Alas, I still can’t recommend the deck for people who don’t like RNG, draw RNG in particular. The deck is very (for lack of a better word) high-roll’y. Today I’ve played some games and I haven’t lost a single one where I’ve got Turn 4 Barnes. But not getting it… well, it doesn’t mean that you just lose the game, but it will definitely be harder. Not getting Barnes OR Shadow Essence? Now it will definitely be a rough ride (because you won’t be able to play a single minion, or revive, until Turn 8 or 9).
P.S. I’ve played a list with only one Scream and Shadowreaper Anduin instead. Can’t say which one is better, but I feel like Anduin is pretty useful.
In this section, I will put the decks that are either more “fun” than “competitive”, or ones that I’m simply not sure about yet. I haven’t seen / tested them enough to tell whether they will actually work or not. They might turn out to be useless, or maybe a next meta-breaker, who knows!