Best Post-Nerf Hearthstone Decks for Balance Patch 10.2 – Day 1

Nerf patch just went live yesterday. You can find all the information about it here, but just to recap everything quickly:

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.

This isn’t really a big surprise. People have predicted Cube and Control Warlock to be good. I feel like Cube is in a better spot right now, so I’ve decided to feature it instead. From what I’ve seen, especially at the low-mid ranks, Cube Warlock is THE deck to beat right now, so prepare to face it a lot.

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.

Now, if you’re an Aggro player and you thought that you won’t be able to play anything without Patches the Pirate or Corridor Creeper, you no longer have to worry. Murloc Paladin is good. And I mean it – it’s really good. Patches wasn’t necessary anyway, and tons of cards have waited to replace the Creeper.

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.

Secret Mage seems really solid in this early post-nerf meta. The deck lost Corridor Creeper, but that’s really not a problem. In fact, Creepers weren’t even THAT good in Tempo/Secret Mage builds. I mean, of course, it was still a good card, but it wasn’t as good as in the more minion-heavy decks (e.g. Zoo Warlock or Aggro Paladin).

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!

Spiteful Priests are really common right now. And well, for a good reason. While the deck got hit a bit, it’s core is still there. Sure, you can no longer tempo out with a Creeper, but Spiteful Summoner on the curve is as powerful as before. Against faster decks, Duskbreaker is obviously an MVP. Getting him down on Turn 4 often seals the game on the spot if your opponent had a really aggressive start. On the other hands, in slower matchups, Summoners and especially Grand Archivist are wonderful. Mind Control has never felt so useful. It’s great against Warlocks, it’s great against Big Priests, it’s great in the mirror matchup. Not only they remove a big threat, put it on your side of the board, but they also prevent your opponent from reviving it (with e.g. Bloodreaver Gul'dan or Eternal Servitude).

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, well, wasn’t that big in Kobolds & Catacombs. While both Lesser Diamond Spellstone and Psychic Scream made it better, the meta still wasn’t favorable. But the tides might have turned just a little bit.

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.

Interesting/Off-Meta Decks

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!

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over four years of playing and three years of writing about the game, he has achieved infinite Arena and multiple top 100 Legend climbs.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

13 Comments

  1. Kingsbane Player
    February 13, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Kingsbane mill rogue was played by kolento and dog, achieving #1 and #6 legend respectively. I think that alone is enough achievement from pro players. True, aggro paladin is an auto-concede and it does bad against tempo mage but against every other deck it does pretty well.

    Reply
  2. BCS
    February 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    these decks might have overwhelming success on NA servers but EU servers generally tend to change things… tried 3 of the above decks at rank 60-120 Legend and got absolutely shit on numerous times.

    Reply
  3. 007musa
    February 10, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Is there a replacement for leeroy in miracle rogue or would that just make it useless, I have all the rest of the cards… and most other rogue cards

    Reply
    • Necrofelic
      February 16, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Well the other options are , argent commander or reckless rocketeer , not sure if it works , but you could try it.

      Reply
      • vincent
        March 3, 2018 at 3:58 pm

        reckless rocketeer

        Reply
  4. Sixteen Nails
    February 9, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Why isn’t Kingsbane Mill Rogue in the top deck list? It doesn’t show up as a best, great or fringe deck. Yet it beats all my meta decks over and over and over.

    Reply
    • Stonekeep - Author
      February 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      The deck is neither good or popular, even after the nerfs. It loses hard to any fast/aggressive deck. Yes, it has some good matchups (Control/Cube Warlock, Big Priest), but the bad ones far outweigh the good ones. You can check some stats here: https://hsreplay.net/archetypes/151/mill-rogue#tab=matchups

      Most notably, Aggro and Murloc Paladin are at about 10% win rate… That’s why it’s not on the list under the best decks.

      I could put it under the interesting/off-meta decks, but I didn’t see any list from a pro player (I generally prefer to put decks tested by the best players to give them more credibility). But I might put it in the next compilation if I stumble upon one!

      Reply
  5. Shiny
    February 8, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Aggro PIrate warrior so good

    Reply
  6. Oregoninja
    February 8, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Thanks for the write-up. For the “fun” category, Bob (lolnostam) was playing an OTK druid and did surprisingly well with it. Twig, ixlid, faceless, maly turns Moonfire into double pyroblast

    Reply
    • Stonekeep - Author
      February 8, 2018 at 11:47 pm

      I’ve seen a few Malygos Druid before the nerf patch, even played a few games myself. Pretty fun deck, but didn’t really know how well it will be doing right now. Might include it in the next compilation (if there will be one).

      Did he play the Quest or non-Quest version, by the way?

      Reply
      • hsacugo
        February 11, 2018 at 11:04 am

        The quest version is better I think, you have some insane combos to do with Kun ! And the ultimate infestation is crispy after you’ve summon barnabus.
        Plus, Oaken Summons is really good with the kobold 5/1. I think you have to play the drake 5/6 for 4 (with naturalize) or the Ticking Abomination to finish your quest faster but i dont know yet which one is better.

        Reply
  7. rukh
    February 7, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Thijs’ Miracle Druid OP

    Reply
  8. Fishy
    February 7, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Gimme Control lock

    Reply

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