Roffle’s Roundup #1: Hearthstone Decks for February 2018

Welcome to the first installment of the Roffle Roundup! During this new, recurring feature on Roffle.net, I’ll provide a handful of Hearthstone decks I’ve been running recently. In addition to the decklist and deck code, I’ll include my personal statistics with the deck as well as an overview of my experience playing it. Generally, I’d like to include decks in which I have a minimum of 50 games played to ensure the sample size is large enough to warrant my perspective on each deck. Eventually, the hope is that it will offer readers decks to try in each upcoming month based on those I’ve had success with during the prior month of playtesting.

Roffle’s Roundup #1

Much of my time laddering this season was spent in Wild mode, so all decks in this month’s Roffle Roundup are Wild-exclusive. In the future, this may change (especially with the reduced grind in upcoming months thanks to the new ladder changes). For now, however, enjoy some powerful decks from Hearthstone’s eternal format!

Wild Big Priest

Hearthstone Anduin Wrynn Priest Hero It should not be a surprise to regular readers or viewers that Big Priest is on this list. I’ve (mostly accidentally) become somewhat notorious for playing the frequently despised deck. Still, the deck performs well and has favorable matchups against many popular decks in the Wild meta. If you like cheating large minions into play and shaking the board with huge attacks, this deck is for you. A handful of players, including myself, have taken lists including Silence and/or Mass Dispel to high Legend ranks. Yes, people hate Big Priest. Sure, the deck is certainly powerful and drawing Barnes on curve has an unhealthy effect on the deck’s win rate. The “Draw Barnes and win” refrain is getting tired, though. In reality, once a large enough sample is accumulated, it’s the wins without Barnes that distinguish win rate. Assuming you don’t hard-mull for Barnes (which is often incorrect, anyway), you have less than a 25% chance of drawing the infamous thespian on turn four. As such, Barnes on curve is not a reliable gameplan. Without him, the deck plays out as a removal-based Control deck, biding time until a turn six Shadow Essence. Despite how frequently Barnes is isolated as the problem, it’s really his interaction with the numerous Resurrect effects that is broken. In particular, Lesser Diamond Spellstone allows Big Priest to layer threats more efficiently than in the past, inflating the deck’s win rate after Kobolds and Catacombs. With the upcoming balance changes, things are looking up for Big Priest (much to the chagrin of a large portion of the Wild Hearthstone community). Several tools used by aggressive decks that kept Big Priest in check are being adjusted. As a result, the slower pace that is likely to come out of Patch 10.2 may give Big Priest enough breathing room to joyfully punish slower developing decks in the format. That said, Aluneth Mage, which can abuse Big Priest’s slow setup, may also see a rise in popularity without as many Pirates in the metagame.

Wild Big Deck List

Wild Big Priest

Wild Big Priest Statistics

In January, Big Priest was far and away my most successful deck, boasting an impressive 64% win rate through nearly 200 games. The deck performed very well in the pre-nerf meta and continues to look strong once the balance patch goes live. Wild Big Priest Stats

  • Games Played: 176
  • Wins: 112
  • Losses: 64
  • Winrate: 64%

Wild Big Priest Matchups

In general, Big Priest has good matchups against the big three: Priest, Warlock, and Paladin. With the reduction in the speed of aggressive decks, Big Priest has a chance to bump up a tier or two in the coming months. Big Priest Matchup

Wild Aggro Paladin

Hearthstone Uther Paladin Hero Aggro Paladin is a dominant deck on both the Wild and Standard ladder right now. As predicted, Call to Arms is incredibly broken and enables a refill mechanism that ensures the deck never runs out of steam. In Wild, [Ship’s Cannon] and Muster for Battle improve upon an already potent core. Cannon, in particular, pairs extraordinarily well with Call to Arms, offering another means of incidental damage beyond the Standard-legal Knife Juggler. Early iterations of Wild versions seem to be developed by Hazer, among others, before being refined and popularized by Control. The result is a very tight list, with only the smallest windows for tech cards to rotate in and out. Spellbreaker frequently makes an appearance to deal with the increasingly popular Voidlords. Come Patch 10.2, Aggro Paladin should still be in a reasonably good spot. Call to Arms is undeniably powerful and, as a board-based deck, Paladin is likely still able to make good use of a neutered Corridor Creeper. With the change to Patches the Pirate, a shift away from Ship's Cannon and the Pirate Package may be necessary, but Murlocs remain a viable option.

Wild Aggro Paladin Deck List

Wild Aggro Paladin

Wild Aggro Paladin Statistics

Aggro Paladin closely followed Big Priest in win rate, though this is admittedly a bit skewed due to playing the deck early in the season to speed through lower ranks. Still, a 60% win rate through this many games is nothing to sneeze at. The deck is undeniably strong and reigned supreme as the king of aggro since the release Kobolds and Catacombs. Aggro Paladin Winrate

  • Games Played: 127
  • Wins: 76
  • Losses: 51
  • Winrate: 60%

Wild Aggro Paladin Matchups

Aggro Paladin has several good matchups right now. Its ability to pressure apply consistent pressure punishes slower decks like Reno Priest and Exodia Mage. At the same time, Aggro Paladin has insane explosive potential that can outpace other board-centric aggro decks. Unfortunately, my largest personal struggle with the deck was in the mirror match, which seems heavily reliant on who can draw the first/most Call to Arms. Wild Aggro Paladin Matchups

Wild Malygos Druid

Malfurion Druid Hero Malygos Druid just might be my favorite deck to play at the moment. The deck ramps and cycles extremely efficiently in order to do obscene amounts of damage in a single turn, thanks to the Wild-exclusive combination of Aviana followed by Kun the Forgotten King*. Additionally, the deck has enough armor generation to survive long enough to outlast both hyper-aggressive lists and attempts at OTKs from Reno Priest. All-in-all, Malygos Druid has several favorable matchups right now and feels like, aside from random mill decks, it has the tools to find wins against just about any deck that isn’t Giants Warlock. Malygos Druid is an archetype that has a long history in Hearthstone, dating back to the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan when Kun the Forgotten King began enabling the Aviana combo. However, Zeddy was the first to begin playing around with the armor package. In fact, I began playing the deck after facing him at high Legend and, thinking the idea was so cool, pulled his list from my deck tracker after he drew his entire deck and scored an OTK against me. Eventually, I found Lesser Jasper Spellstone to be an improvement over Wrath and liked the flexibility of a tempo Alexstrasza in many matchups in place of Ixlid, Fungal Lord. *Author’s Note: Yes, it’s important to drop the combo in this order. In an embarrassing moment on stream, I got a bit too excited in my first attempt at pulling off the combination and played the minions in the wrong order. FailFish. Unfortunately, Malygos Druid’s biggest loss come February is the likely reduction in the play of Reno Priest. The deck’s ability to OTK this popular archetype is a big reason for its ascension on many tier lists. Should its favorite matchup decline in popularity, it may be a less viable choice. This will especially be true if predictions of the compensatory rising tide Giants Warlocks come true. At the very least, two copies of Poison Seeds should be heavily considered.

Wild Malygos Druid Deck List

Wild Malygos Druid

Wild Malygos Druid Statistics

Despite my love affair with the deck, my stats with Malygos Druid aren’t terribly impressive. In part, this is due to a handful of missed lethal opportunities when I was first learning the deck. Likewise, I’m beginning to question the validity of [Alexstraza] over Ixlid, Fungal Lord. The burst potential from the latter likely makes up for the flexibility and tempo play available with the former. Wild Malygos Druid Winrate

  • Games Played: 91
  • Wins: 47
  • Losses: 44
  • Winrate: 52%

Wild Malygos Druid Matchups

Unsurprisingly, Malygos Druid has a highly favorable matchup against Reno Priest. As such, the potential decline of that deck, coupled with the compensatory increase in Giants Warlock may lead to some difficulties for Malygos Druid in the coming months. Fortunately, Malygos Druid has good matchups against more aggressive decks in the format as well. The numerous armor gain mechanics in the deck give it an impressive amount of survivability. This longevity makes Malygos Druid feel as though it loses to bad draws more frequently than bad matchups (with the exception of Warlock, of course). Wild Malygos Druid Matchups

Wild Pirate Warrior

Garrosh Hellscream Hearthstone Warrior Hero The final deck of the inaugural Roffle Roundup is Pirate Warrior. While admittedly not the most creative of choices, the deck is well-positioned in the current Wild metagame right now. The deck’s popularity seems at odds with both its potency and matchup spread. Sure, the Fiery War Axe nerf hurt, but the deck is still capable of punishing many of the slower-developing decks that are popping up on the Wild ladder. With the right draw, Pirate Warrior can still score a kill in early turns. In researching the Wild Vicious Syndicate Report, I did fairly extensive testing with various iterations of Pirate Warrior. Several iterations were tested, including a Spiteful Summoner variant with Lesser Mithril Spellstones and Crush, with varying degrees of success. In the end, however, it seemed the deck won when it simply did Pirate Warrior things. As a result, a fairly typical build was determined to be the most optimal. If the game becomes a massive greedfest next most, Pirate Warrior may be the sleeper for the deck to play. Many are rightfully concerned about the rise of Cubelock, Giants Warlock, and Big Priest, three matchups that Pirates prey on. If Aluneth Tempo Mages rise a bit further, Pirate Warrior may just return to fame.

Wild Pirate Warrior Deck List

Wild Pirate Warrior

Wild Pirate Warrior Statistics

Like Malygos Druid, my win rate with Pirate Warrior is nothing to write home about. Some of this was due to testing different iterations of the deck for the Vicious Syndicate report, but the deck can still run into some highly unfavorable matchups. Pirate Warrior Winrate

  • Games Played: 92
  • Wins: 49
  • Losses: 43
  • Winrate: 53%

Wild Pirate Warrior Matchups

Indeed, much of my swashbuckling struggles were due to the prevalence of Aggro Paladin during my run with the deck. The deck succeeded in feeding on slower Priests and Warlocks, but the strength of Paladin pre-patch outshined Garrosh a bit. The ability of Paladin to swing board states makes it difficult for Pirate Warrior to get a stable footing. Pirate Warrior Matchups

Roundup Wrapup

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the first installment of the Roffle Roundup! If you have any suggestions for decks to feature in the upcoming months, please share them in the comments section below!

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