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Articles

With great insight Team Metaminds delivers you unique, knowledgeable and amazing guides, decklists, discussion posts and more that you'll certainly determine to be helpful for your Hearthstone experience.

 

Filtering by Category: Tier 1 Contenders

S26 Tier 1 Contenders: C'Thun Druid

Darius Matuschak

by Darius

C’Thun Druid, for better or for worse, became exactly the type of deck people expected it to become: Insanely straight forward to play, consistent performance against many decks, probably the best C’Thun archetype for most players right now - partly due to how cheap it is as well.

It’s biggest advantage for beginners and new players, the fact that it is super easy to pilot, since usually you just have to play a good minion on curve and trade efficiently, might also be its biggest downfall: People know what to expect when playing against it, and will probably keep their Shadow Word: Deaths in hand until turn 6. The deck is really strong by providing a consistent curve and high value minions, but it’s insanely easy to play against as well, something that especially competent players will abuse.

As much as C’Thun can be an amazing finisher, when it’s the last card in your deck, you’re quite out of luck. Luckily you win most of your games without him anyway, since the stats on most minions are just that good. I’d probably play a Dark Arakkoa even without the C’Thun buff, the buff itself really just is a nice bonus. And just look at Klaxxi Amber-Weaver’s face: He knows a 4 Mana 4/10 is absurd, and he loves it!


Time will tell whether C’Thun Druid might make its way into the Uberdeck tier, but as of now, it seems a bit unlikely. Players have figured out what gets played on what turn, there is little variety and room for tech. Maybe a list featuring Savage Roar, or one reminiscent of the good old ramp Druid, featuring Ancient of War, Fandral Staghelm and Cenarius? Personally, that’s what I’m hoping for, but the insane lack of removal besides Swipe and Wrath makes it hard for Druid to compete against sticky decks. In a Meta dominated by Zoos and Aggro decks however, this might be the MidRange deck to look out for.

 

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S26 Tier 1 Contenders: Miracle Rogue

Darius Matuschak

by Aidan

Returning from it’s grave, Miracle Rogue once again shows its prowess in ladder and tournaments alike, with its ability to abuse Auctioneer and burst down an opponent quickly and efficiently. The list I’ve provided was run by my favorite European player, Stancifka, at the European Preliminaries.

Miracle Rogue is one of the most interesting Combo decks to look at and even write about due to it’s nuance in players’ card choices, exemplified by my good friend Spivey’s table on competitive Miracle Rogue decklists. Running only one Conceal in favor of another spell can completely change the dynamic of your Miracle Rogue list, eliminating an alternate win condition of concealing a bloated Edwin, for example.

Opting out of Xaril can possibly streamline your list a tad more, or can block you out of useful utility from two toxins. Albeit Xaril’s toxins being an uncontrollable RNG factor, all of the toxins have a use in Miracle Rogue either by furthering cycle chains, providing small removal with a Firebloom Toxin, or furthering your reach with a Bloodthistle and/or a Briarthorn Toxin in conjunction with your Leeroy Jenkins. Combo decks have the most sensitive lists, with a simple swap or cut can drastically change how your deck plays.

Metagame-wise, Miracle Rogue tends to suffer due to the double-edged sword that is cycle mechanics. Cycle begets cycle, and you can either draw and draw until the game is well over, or have abrupt cycle chains only to draw duds. This can make Miracle Rogue an unsavoury ladder deck, due to its natural inconsistency with its heavy reliance on the Auctioneer draw engine. Although the hit-or-miss tendency of cycle in Miracle Rogue, Miracle Rogue’s weak matchups are fairly scarce on ladder, being Control Warrior and N’zoth Paladin.

Although going even with most other decks, Midrange Hunter and Tempo Warrior can be your bane, with both decks being able to apply heavy pressure and forcing a Sap on Turn 6 (Savannah Highmane and Cairne/Sylvanas respectively). Midrange Hunters can leave you on a clock, and Tempo Warriors can simply stack armor and Brawl out your board, which is not to say these matchups are unwinnable or even unfavored, but tricky to learn, deal with, and master.

Miracle Rogue has seen some interesting variants, with Malygos Rogue and N’zoth Miracle Rogue seeing success providing alternate win conditions to a Leeroy burst.

 

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S26 Tier 1 Contenders: Zoolock

Darius Matuschak

by Darius

Sometimes you’re wrong. It happens. Like when many professional players and analysts completely underestimated Dr. Booms impact on the Meta game, I was wrong when it came to my WoToG Zoolock predictions: As an avid Zoolock player before the expansion dropped, I was devastated when I found out that essential cards like Implosion, Voidcaller and Mal’Ganis (One of my favourite cards in existence) would be dropped from Standard play. I was so devastated, I considered the deck to be dead.

Dead I was. Dead wrong that is. Zoolock just barely missed out on making it into the Uberdecks list. Due to its very unfavourable matchup with Tempo Warrior, and its struggles against MidRange Hunter and Shaman, it only made the number one spot of the Tier 1 Contenders.

With great consistency, easily played gigantic minions in the form of Sea Giants and Darkshire Councilmen that put buff reliant-minions like Mana Wyrms and Tunnel Troggs to shame, Zoolock is currently the best Warlock option out there. Oh, and Forbidden Ritual + Knife Juggler probably is just as bad as Knife Juggler + Implosion, if not worse. It’s a nightmare to deal with, unless you’re playing with a Pyromancer or as an already mentioned Warrior.


All in all, Zoolock is just as strong as it was before the new expansion dropped: Despite losing a few very important cards, and Knife Juggler getting nerfed, it’s just as much a nuisance to clear those Imp Gang Bosses and Possessed Villagers.

 

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S26 Tier 1 Contenders: Patron Warrior

Darius Matuschak

by Darius

I hate Patron Warrior. I really do. I couldn’t stand it when it was the undisputed Tier 1 deck, and I still cant: The fact that I have to listen to “EVERYONE! GET IN HERE” about twenty times each time I queue into this deck is driving me mad.

I was hoping, with Death’s Bite being gone and all, that this deck would be dead for good. No Warsong Commander. No Death’s Bite. No Unstable Ghould to hide the emerging masses of Patrons behind. Surely this would be the nail in the coffin.

But no, Blizzard had to release Blood to Ichor and Ravaging Ghoul. They had to take Unstable Ghoul and improve it, by giving it a stronger body and the player the ability to trigger his 4th Whirlwind whenever /he/ wants to. Blood to Ichor, a 1 Mana Spell that summons a 2/2 /and/ enables more Patrons or at least the removal of any creature for /two/ Mana when played together with Execute.

Patron players don't even need to care for the loss of Sludge Belcher, as they now have Bloodhoof the Brave to viciously protect their Frothings and Patrons. Available tech choices come in form of Tentacles of N'Zoth and Malkorok. As of now, Tempo Warrior is the prevailing Warrior archetype, however with a shifting Metas I'm sadly certain we won't have seen the last of Patron Warrior.

 

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S26 Tier 1 Contenders: Beast Druid

Darius Matuschak

by Aidan

High-Legend-Beast-Druid-Guukboii.jpg

Employing a deadly mix of strong early game plays and bestial synergy, Beast Druid aims to quickly establish a board and push forward to a quick finish. Taken to Top 20 Legend, Guukboii of Sector One eSports has shown that this hard-hitting Druid can definitely hold it’s own on the ladder.

While not being a widely popular deck, it is hard to gauge from ladder presence alone whether this deck statistically stands up against the top echelons of the meta. Quickly able to establish a large, and potentially sticky board, Miracle Rogue naturally has a tough time against this deck, not always being able to line up all the removal or having no chance to safely set up an Auctioneer.

Whilst being able to go toe-to-toe with Aggro Shaman and Tempo Warrior due to being able to dictate the pace of your game yourself, N’zoth Paladin and Midrange Shaman have the clears and respective board presence to match and/or outlast the Beast Druid, leaving them forced to either overextend into a clear or simply run out of steam.


Guukboii’s list is a fast, savage list, which also means it can quickly run out of steam. Changes can be made to push the list into a more token-oriented or midrange-oriented direction.


While being relatively quiet on ladder, Beast Druid has the chops to be a top contender, but does require a skilled pilot to use to it’s maximum potential. Roar with caution.

 

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S26 Tier 1 Contenders: Control Warrior

Darius Matuschak

by Aidan

Axes, Bashes, Slams, and Blocks, Warrior has it all! Well, Control Warrior does, utilizing a variety of spells and Legendary minions to amass huge amounts of armor and keep the board clear of any threats. With widespread success of Chakki’s adapted Dreamhack list, Control Warrior isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Always fitting the role of an anti-meta deck, Control Warrior has seen its peaks and drops in the metagame, either around to quell Aggro, outrange Combo, or even both. 

With weapons, board clears, and hard removal, Control Warrior can almost always answer a threat (or three) and provide threats of their own, with impending game swings such as Justicar or Elise Starseeker, or immediate answers in the form of Baron Geddon’s AOE, or a single-target burst from Grommash Hellscream. 

In the current meta, Control Warrior shines against Miracle Rogue and Aggro Shaman, but has difficulty against N’zoth Paladin and Midrange Shaman due to their never-ending board presence. Control Warrior, due to the nature of the deck, will rarely see a spot, let alone hold a place in Tier 1. Although its reactive nature, Control Warrior has been around since the early days of Hearthstone, and is here to stay.

Seeing multiple variants, from Dragon to Fatigue, Control Warrior has never failed to been stylized with new expansions, with Whispers of the Old Gods seeing the inception of C’thun Warrior, piloted to Rank 1 Legend.

Welcome to the Grand Tourn- ResidentSleeper

 

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