Best March of the Lich King Decks from Week 1

This meta is lit! There have been lots of changes and newcomers every day, and things are moving clearly faster than in the previous expansions. Voyage to the Sunken City had so clear pre-built packages that the top archetypes became common almost instantly. Murder at Castle Nathria had Sire Denathrius. March of the Lich King brings added lethality to multiple classes, and even individual cards added to classes can become centerpieces of entirely new decks. On top of that, Sire Denathrius was hit with a nerf on Friday, further accelerating the change.

There is some super scary lethality in this expansion, and I have no doubt that the next balance patch window in a week or two will come in handy once we see which quick death proves to be too unbearable. There is plenty of Hearthstone to be played before that though, so let’s take a look at what’s hot right now!

Deathrattle Rogue

Deathrattle Rogue is perhaps the hottest deck out there right now. There are at least three different approaches to the archetype, and it is as of now uncertain which one is going to be the best. They all share some features: Snowfall Graveyard to make your Deathrattle trigger twice, Scourge Illusionist to make copies of your Deathrattle minions, and Invincible as one of the big Deathrattle payoff cards. You can have many copies of Invincible on the board with this archetype!

The above list is performing the best at the moment. I was, unfortunately, unable to figure out who built it. The earliest VODs I can find are from various Korean streamers. This list is the most minion-heavy out of the contenders. With Burning Blade AcolyteInfectious Ghoul, and Invincible, it packs a large number of powerful Deathrattle effects. In this case, it looks like going wide with threats is the most consistent approach overall.

The competitors fall into two camps. Either their go all-in on Invincible or they go for a Miracle-Deathrattle hybrid with Sinstone Graveyards in the mix. The Stealth Ghosts from the Graveyard are Undead minions that can be buffed by Invincible. I think you can see where this is going. It’s going big, big ghosts.

It will be interesting to see what will be the final form of this archetype. It can go for many combinations of tempo, value, and consistency and generate some crazy boards.

Evolve Shaman

Who doesn’t love some Evolve Shaman? It is the only Shaman archetype that has been able to come back again and again, and it’s back once more in March of the Lich King!

One new card. That’s all it takes. Prescience can draw Goldshire Gnolls and Sea Giants that in turn can be played for cheap and then evolved to even bigger threats. Schooling helps to discount both minions.

The deck also includes Primordial Wave which serves a dual purpose: devolve any nasty minions your opponent may have and evolve your own. It is like including a silence tech in your deck without dedicating a slot for it. The same goes for Wildpaw Cavern: you can freeze things as needed, but you are also advancing your own game plan at the same time.

Scythe Demon Hunter

Souleater's Scythe was partially bugged upon release, but it was fixed in an early patch. Since then, the sky has been the limit for Demon Hunter decks with only three minions in them. Currently, this package of Silvermoon ArcanistArtificer Xy'mox, and Jace Darkweaver is performing the best. Infusing Xy’mox is actually quite easy with all the minions summoned by Fel'dorei Warband and Deal with a Devil. Xy’mox only needs five minions to be infused, and the Warband already gives you four of them with Rush.

Scythe Demon Hunter is able to keep up relentless pressure, and it is also remarkably consistent in finding exactly the minion it needs because any soul from the Scythe can be turned into any of the three minions. Tripling your odds to draw Jace is a big deal.

Questline Fel Demon Hunter

However, there is an even stronger Demon Hunter deck around. Questline Demon Hunter can pull off some totally bonkers one-turn-kills. Between Final Showdown and Relic of Dimensions, you can get a lot of discounts, and then follow them up with Fel spells, Silvermoon Arcanists, Guild Traders, and finally Jace Darkweaver.

The whole deck uses only three new cards! Unleash Fel for damage, Silvermoon Arcanist to buff those damage spells, and Mark of Scorn for some more damage and card draw.

With the right discounts, the deck is capable of dealing more than 40 damage to the face with spells alone, and more if your Hero has a clear path to attack as well.

Pure Paladin

The self-damage package in Paladin is finally finding its true form. Pure Paladin that makes use of Sanguine Soldier and Seal of Blood for the early game and a single copy of Blood Crusader to be played after Order in the Court for a big swing turn finally packs enough damage to make Paladin end games.

Especially Stonehearth Vindicator has risen to an entirely new level when combined with Seal of Blood.

Kotori Lightblade also finally gets to see play, but it is one of the weaker cards in the list, so I would be hesitant about crafting it this early. There is still a good chance that it ends up being dropped in favor of something else. In particular, Blood Matriarch Liadrin looks like a direct upgrade, although we do not yet have enough data to say for sure.

Undead Priest

This is something I did not see coming. Old-school Control Priest is back! It’s not a Quest Priest, you are not going for a guaranteed win after a very long time. Rather, you are going for maximum pain and suffering.

The key card in the deck is Plaguespreader. You can just turn everything into Plaguespreaders. The more Plaguespreaders, the merrier. Things are even better if you manage to play your Sister Svalna and Mi'da, Pure Light before everything is contaminated. If you do, you will have some infinite value to contest whatever little your opponent can do.

This is currently the best-performing Priest deck in the game, and it is very close to being a top-tier deck. The future is plagued.

No New Cards, No Problem!

March of the Lich King has managed to strike a beautiful balance between the new and the old. As the new archetypes are getting refined, they are taking over the top spots in the meta, but there are still several old decks that are doing extremely well. These are the old archetypes that have survived the new expansion the best.

Aggro Druid remains the dominant budget deck. You can use Lingering Zombie in the list if you like, but the good old Beaming Sidekick will also do. Aggro Druid has a miserable start in March of the Lich King because the deck crumbles in front of Blood Death Knight. Blood Death Knight has proven to be mediocre and as people are gravitating away from it, Aggro Druid has more room to shine again. If you are still facing many Blood Death Knights, you should stay away from Aggro Druid, but if you are in any other meta pocket, the power of nature can help you succeed.

March of the Lich King arrived, but Beast Hunter did not notice. Sire Denathrius was nerfed, and the deck just shrugged. Who knows? Surely the deck would want at least Astalor Bloodsworn, but nope, it’s still the same list that sees play.

Beast Hunter is solid, has answers to many questions, and can play fast or slow depending on the situation. It is the jack of all trades of Hearthstone and not easily displaceable.

Big Spell Mage is also still plodding along with no worries. If you want a new twist to the deck, you can include Astalor Bloodsworn and some Arcane Defenders, but the old list with Brann Bronzebeard and School Teachers is just as good. Astalor does look like something you really want in any slow deck though.

Imp Warlock is also still doing great. Both this faster variant and the Curse variant are perfectly playable decks on the ladder, and they may even be the strongest of the old archetypes right now. Play Imps. Win. It’s a good plan.

What’s Next?

March of the Lich King has turned out to be delightful when it comes to new decks popping up everywhere. I’ve recently seen tweets about decks like Aggro Unholy Death Knight (sadly, the early stats indicate that it is not a meta-breaker) and Egg Priest (no stats yet).

This meta has proven to be more difficult to solve than the past two expansions, and that is a great thing! We are currently seeing many new decks that make use of only a couple of new cards, but they use them to enable old shells in new and more powerful ways. At the same time, people are still searching for optimal Death Knight builds and there is experimentation ongoing with some of the new packages, like Undead Shaman.

I hope there will still be multiple days of exploration left. With all the resources available about deck performance, Hearthstone tends to become largely solved in a matter of days, and March of the Lich King has so far defied the odds and keeps presenting us with new things.

Old Guardian

Ville "Old Guardian" Kilkku is a writer and video creator focused on analytic, educational Hearthstone, and building innovative Standard format decks. Youtube: Twitch:

Check out Old Guardian on Twitter or on their Website!

Leave a Reply


  1. Chi.Spurger
    December 12, 2022 at 4:59 am

    More nerfs incoming?

  2. KonuTech
    December 11, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    Dead meta

  3. Asperkraken
    December 11, 2022 at 11:45 am

    Poor Warrior. I feel the whole “Fire Warrior” idea seems to be setting up archetypes for future expansions – both the Legendaries this cycle don’t really fit the Enrage plan. Enrage Warrior is barely 50% right now.