How Incredible Are Dr. Boom’s Inventions? The Hearthstone Meta After the Mini-Set!

Dr. Boom’s Incredible Inventions mini-set launched on Tuesday, and it brought some new top-tier decks to the Hearthstone Standard meta! In this article, I will survey what the meta looks like now in the early days of the mini-set, and where it seems to be headed.

We had the vast 29.2.2 balance patch three weeks ago, and the current post-mini-set meta is still largely based on the changes made in that patch. As crazy as it sounds, the balance patch may have had a bigger impact on the game than the mini-set! This does not mean that the mini-set is useless: there are some sweet new decks around, just not as many as I had expected. Then again, these are still the early days, and more can be discovered as players keep experimenting with the new cards. There are lots of mediocre decks around that use the new cards, and some of those may be refined into meta decks.

Death Knight

Death Knight has been down since the big balance patch. Plague Death Knight no longer counters Reno, and Rainbow Death Knight’s defensive tools lost much of their power. The mini-set brings a beacon of hope for the class, although people have not found their way back to Death Knight yet. That beacon of hope is Toysnatching Geist. The Geist has strong synergy in handbuff decks, where both its regular form and its Gigantic form can provide huge tempo swings.

I really like the early stats of this deck, but with a sample size in the low hundreds, its long-term performance is still a complete unknown. Still, it gives some hope for the class.

Demon Hunter

Shopper Demon Hunter returned to the meta after the big balance patch, and it remains the strongest Demon Hunter deck in the early days of the mini-set. The deck has been around since the beginning of the expansion, and it looks the same as ever:

The Naga variant of the deck has seen occasional bouts of popularity, but it has generally been the inferior variant. The mini-set adds a bit more power to it thanks to Sock Puppet Slitherspear. So far, it looks like that is not enough to make it the top Demon Hunter archetype, but it has a chance again.


Druid has undergone major changes during Whizbang’s Workshop, but it has not managed to become a top meta contender regardless. The big balance patch brought Hybrid Druid to the meta as the top Druid archetype, and that continues to be true after the mini-set as well. The deck does not use any of the new cards, but it is a playable deck that you can bring to the ladder. If you have not played Druid much over the past couple of weeks, it may even be a new experience for you still.

If you want to make use of the mini-set as Druid, you have a couple of options that have been able to hit a 50% win rate, although both are still fairly untested. First, you can build a good old Aggro Treant Druid with the use of the new Overgrown Beanstalk. It looks something like this:

Zilliax comes with a Pylon Module and a Ticking Module.

The second approach is to add the new Snuggle Teddy and Toyrantus into a Dragon Druid shell to create a deck like this:

People have also been experimenting with Reno Druid again because, well, you try out how good of a value pile you can build from singleton cards whenever there are new cards. For now, it looks like Reno Druid is only the fourth-best Druid archetype, and that is not competitive at all.


Hunter is one of the more interesting classes right now. The addition of Product 9 from the mini-set has rejuvenated interest in Secret Hunter, which is now played in both Highlander and regular variants.

The Zilliax in Reno Hunter includes Ticking Module and Perfect Module.

In the more aggressive Secret Hunter, the Zilliax includes Haywire Module and Power Module.

So far, it looks like the regular Spell Token Hunter may get to keep its title as the best Hunter archetype despite the Saddle Up! nerf, but these Secret variants are giving it a good fight and may be refined to overtake it.


Spell Mage has been a tragedy. It was the main focus of Whizbang’s Workshop for Mage, and it received new cards such as Manufacturing Error that would have been absolutely nuts a few years ago at its original mana cost of six. Yeah, a few years ago. Not today. The card was buffed to five mana, and it still did not make Spell Mage a thing. Well, now we have the mini-set, and Spell Mage got Malfunction on top of its other tools.

Spell Mage finally looks playable. Manufacturing Error is the best card in the deck. And the deck is still not overpowered by any means, just finally good enough to climb with. Blizzard came and fought, and finally made a fun deck that is not overpowered at all. I guess this was not a tragedy after all, it just took some twists and turns, a true hero’s journey.


Paladin is doing great. Flood Paladin, Handbuff Paladin, and Reno Paladin are all top-tier decks. They don’t need any cards from the mini-set, which is good news if you’re low on gold, and bad news if you wanted to see more mini-set cards played. Either way, Paladin remains safe and strong, if maybe a little boring.

That is quite a streak of #1 Legend decks!


Zarimi Priest remains the bread and butter of Priest archetypes on the ladder.

However, the mini-set does include a pair of cards more suitable for old-fashioned Control Priest gameplay: Funhouse Mirror and Puppet Theatre. After all, would you really play Priest to play aggro? Most Priest mains play Priest to play control, often with ways to make use of the opponent’s resources against them. These slow playstyles have not been strong in Hearthstone as of late, but now with Reno decks having a better time and Control Priest getting some new tools, the time may be right to return to Reno Control Priest.

ETC includes Dirty RatPower Chord: Synchronize, and Rustrot Viper.

Zilliax consists of Virus Module and Perfect Module.


Rogue is the trickster class in Hearthstone. There are always some new inventions being brewed for the class, and the mini-set is no exception. The main Rogue deck in the post mini-set meta is the Playhouse Giants Rogue with the addition of the new Dubious Purchase.

However, the most interesting new Rogue deck is Goldbeard OTK Rogue. The combination of The Replicator-inator, Shoplifter Goldbeard, and Shadowstep can deal eight times five (40) damage to random enemies. So far, it looks hard to survive with the deck, but a new combo is always something to keep an eye on.


The main Shaman archetype is still Reno Shaman. The deck is able to grab some nice pieces from the mini-set, especially Murloc Growfin, and carry on as before.


The most exciting deck from the mini-set is Pain Warlock. Sure, Pain Warlock has existed throughout Whizbang’s Workshop, sometimes as a top meta deck, sometimes as a niche contender, because the deck has had some major weaknesses that have kept it from rising to the top in all but very specific metas. The mini-set seems to have solved most of the deck’s problems with the addition of Mass Production and INFERNAL!. You can damage yourself faster than ever. You can also bring yourself back to 15 Health faster than ever, and with a cheap Taunt minion, too.

Pain Warlock’s main remaining weakness is Flood Paladin, and the two are locked in a close fight for the title of the best deck in the game.


Oh yeah, Brann was nerfed when the mini-set was released. Warrior players did not really notice, and Reno Warrior rumbles on as if nothing has happened. It does not need any new cards, either. Which is good, because all the Warrior mini-set cards attempt to make Mech Warrior a thing, and so far it doesn’t appear to be working.

Is This a Good Meta?

My first impression of the mini-set was a slight disappointment. I keep seeing many of the same decks as before. However, looking a bit deeper into what people around the ladder, and especially higher on the ladder where most of the new inventions are made, are playing, I am feeling a bit more hopeful.

The early winner of the mini-set is Pain Warlock. That’s obvious. It’s now a top-tier deck, contesting Paladins for the very top spot. Many of the other top decks use few if any mini-set cards. We have the Paladins and the Zarimi Priests. Behind them there’s the Reno squad, who may grab a card or two from the mini-set (Shaman, Hunter) or pass it altogether (Paladin, Warrior).

However, there is also a nice group of decks that are at an above-50% win rate, and that may be refined into meta decks. Secret Hunter, Reno Priest, Spell Mage, Treant Druid, and Handbuff Death Knight all rely on mini-set cards. If some of them become successful, the mini-set may yet become much more visible on the ladder. All in all, it is a good time to experiment with some new ideas, and maybe change the Hearthstone meta for the weeks to come.

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:

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