Masters Tour Castle Nathria is played throughout this weekend, and you can get up to two free packs for watching! You can find the details in our Masters Tour: Castle Nathria Guide.
In this article, I will take a look at the most interesting decks from the Masters Tour. There are nerfs and buffs coming next week, but maybe some hidden gems can be strong in the new meta as well.
Masters Tour Castle Nathria meta
A quick glimpse at the overall meta shows exactly how sorely needed the upcoming balance changes are. Masters Tour Castle Nathria is a best-of-five Conquest format tournament with one ban, so each of the 332 players brought four decks.
- 299 Shamans (296 Control, 3 Murloc)
- 241 Warlocks (170 Imp, 54 Curse, 15 Phylactery, 2 Quest)
- 191 Mages (139 Spooky, 52 Big Spell)
- 183 Druids (105 Ramp, 76 Celestial, 2 Beast)
- 176 Hunters (106 Quest, 65 Face, 5 Beast)
- 129 Priests (107 Naga, 18 Boar, 4 Quest)
- 98 Rogues (70 Aggro Miracle, 12 Bomb, 10 Shark Miracle, 4 Thief, 2 Boat)
- 6 Paladins (3 Mech, 3 Control)
- 1 Demon Hunter (1 Fel)
- 0 Warriors
A spread in both classes and archetypes as lopsided as this has never happened in competitive Hearthstone before. Sure, at the height of Jade Druid domination, an even higher percentage of players brought Jade Druid as their first deck. But even then, there was more variety behind the top choice. It is even worse when you take into account that this is the first tournament in a brand new expansion. Usually, you would expect to see a lot more variety this early.
It is a more difficult task than usual to find creative decks from this batch. Even more so as I would want those creative decks to have some wins under their belt too: they don’t have to be top tier, but they cannot just be complete failures either. It is time to embark on this journey and find the pearls amidst all this mud!
WEYuansu’s Quest Warlock
Now, this is a blast from the past. Just when everyone was happily over The Demon Seed, it decides to come back for more.
This same deck has also seen some play on the ladder, from which we know that it is not that great, as it cannot reach a 50% win rate at the moment. However, it has a couple of good matchups: Spooky Mage and Control Shaman. If those archetypes sound familiar to you, that may give you an idea of why Quest Warlock might make it to a tournament lineup. Unfortunately for the deck, its matchups against Druids and Hunters are in the 20s, which explains its low success on the ladder.
PRTHNCA’s Sunken City Aggro Druid
What new expansion? PRTHNCA carries on where Voyage to the Sunken City left off and brings the most successful variant of Aggro Druid from the last expansion to the tournament. The day one results are all wins for the deck and a 3-1 overall match record.
This Aggro Druid deck sees some play on the ladder as well, and can easily win more than half of its games. It is not getting hit with any nerfs either, so this could be an interesting deck to play in the post-patch meta if you do not have many new or expensive cards.
KYOKiE’s Fel Demon Hunter
There is just one Demon Hunter deck in the tournament, so what is it? It is a Fel Demon Hunter that uses no new cards! That’s a good call because the new Demon Hunter cards suck. Buffs are coming though, so this may change!
Fel Demon Hunter with no new cards has been the most successful ladder deck for Demon Hunter in the early days of Castle Nathria. This version cuts two copies of Metamorfin and one copy of Spectral Sight for two copies of Need for Greed and one copy of Smothering Starfish compared to the common ladder list. The choices have been successful in the tournament so far and could be considered for a ladder deck as well, given the vast quantities of Control Shamans you are likely to encounter before the patch.
SkaiWalkurrr’s Insatiable Beast Hunter
- 1Batty Guest2
- 2Castle Kennels2
- 2Doggie Biscuit2
- 2Frenzied Fangs2
- 2Selective Breeder2
- 2Spirit Poacher2
- 3Harpoon Gun2
- 3Stag Charge2
- 3Wild Spirits2
- 4Azsharan Saber1
- 5Pet Collector2
- 5The Rat King1
- 6Beaststalker Tavish1
- 7Huntsman Altimor1
- 7Mountain Bear2
- 9King Krush1
- 9Wing Commander Ichman1
SkaiWalkurrr brought one of the most recent Beast Hunter builds to the Masters Tour. This deck packs a lot of punch! From Insatiable Devourers that can eat those pesky Snowfall Guardians to Huntsman Altimor and Sire Denathrius himself, the deck is just jam-packed full of threats. It also costs more than 20,000 dust. That’s the price of threats in the current meta.
The deck has achieved reasonable success on the ladder and may be the most competitive Beast Hunter list right now. Opting to go for Beast Hunter over the more obvious Quest Hunter or Face Hunter is not necessarily misguided.
wiRer’s Convoke Ramp Druid
This is not your Topior’s Ramp Druid! In fact, wiRer does not use Topior the Shrubbagazzor in the deck at all, opting to go for a much more minion-heavy approach. There is even Barbaric Sorceress in the deck to discount Convoke the Spirits! Yes, there is Convoke the Spirits in this deck!
One similar list has been played a little on the ladder, but this version includes multiple changes. The overall concept looks viable! It still loses to Imp Warlock, but the matchup is closer to 40-60 than to the 20-80 it has been at its worst. It still does not have a great set of tools against Control Shaman, but the matchup is not terrible. If you’re looking for a different way to play Ramp Druid, look no further!
Sezoklo’s Midrange Renathal Imp Warlock
This is what happens when you take Imp Warlock, add Prince Renathal so that you can fit in every card you can dream of, and top it all off with Insatiable Devourers, Smothering Starfish, Theotar, the Mad Duke, and Sire Denathrius.
This is a midrange Imp Warlock deck. At 40 cards, it cannot really pretend to be an aggro deck anymore. On the other hand, it is also serious about conquering the board with Imps and does not pack any pure control tools.
We have only a bit of ladder data of the deck, but it seems to be playable. If you like Imps, but want something different, give it a go!
Bunnyhoppor’s Big Spell Mage
Big Spell Mage is experiencing a minor resurgence on the ladder thanks to its Control Shaman matchup. Whether it will have longevity beyond the balance patch remains to be seen, but right now, it is a tool that can perform specific tasks, and Bunnyhoppor brought this Renathal version of the deck to Masters Tour and has been doing well with it.
OldBoy’s Miracle Rogue
- 1Blackwater Cutlass2
- 1Door of Shadows2
- 1Gone Fishin’2
- 1SI:7 Extortion2
- 2Maestra of the Masquerade1
- 2Serrated Bone Spike2
- 2Tooth of Nefarian2
- 2Wicked Stab (Rank 1)2
- 3Shroud of Concealment2
- 3Sinstone Graveyard2
- 4Edwin, Defias Kingpin1
- 5Necrolord Draka1
- 5Wildpaw Gnoll2
Some call it Lamby Rogue. Others call it HKroms Rogue. Call it what you will, this aggressive list that combines the good old Wildpaw Gnolls and the new Sinstone Graveyard and Necrolord Draka is a viable ladder deck that is going to be buffed in the balance patch with improved Edwin, Defias Kingpin (3-mana 3/3).
OldBoy’s list cuts some of the late-game for more explosive card-swinging turns early in the game, and it has worked well in the tournament.
Matty’s Curse Imp Warlock
- 1Flame Imp2
- 1Flustered Librarian2
- 1Grimoire of Sacrifice2
- 1Touch of the Nathrezim2
- 1Wicked Shipment2
- 2Impending Catastrophe2
- 2Vile Library2
- 3Dragged Below2
- 3Fiendish Circle2
- 3Sira’kess Cultist2
- 3Tamsin Roame1
- 4Mischievous Imp2
- 5Lady Darkvein1
- 6Abyssal Wave2
- 6Dreadlich Tamsin1
- 6Imp King Rafaam1
The more midrange Imp Warlock variants have been doing well at the Masters Tour. Matty brought this Curse/Imp hybrid list that can win either with overwhelming Imp power or with Abyssal Curses. The archetype has seen moderate success on the ladder as well, and with a nerf to Vile Library coming next week, these slower strategies may become the future of Imp Warlock.
This time, the meta of the first Masters Tour of a new expansion was surprisingly slim. There were fewer classes, and fewer archetypes in the classes that were brought, than usual. It is still possible to find some interesting takes and twists on common archetypes in the field. Miracle Rogue is definitely one of the decks to keep an eye on! Renathal Imp Warlock also looks intriguing. And a Beast Hunter with loads of top end looks ready to beat down anything slow that it can come across. I hope these give you some ideas for decks to play until the balance patch, and some of these have a chance to shine after the balance patch too!