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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 Tag: Aidan

S26 Hidden Gems: Pirate Warrior

Darius Matuschak

by Aidan

Yarr! Warrior’s resident Aggro deck, Pirate Warrior uses Warrior’s powerful weapons along with Pirate synergy to aggressively establish a board and burst the opponent down. With the addition of N’zoth’s First Mate along with the success of Sir Finley Mrrgglton, Pirate Warrior is a very real, and a very scary deck to face (pun intended). With Heroic Strike and Upgrade already turning your Fiery War Axe into a death clock, the aggressive use of Pirates only backs up your burst potential. A simple N’zoth’s First Mate -> Bloodsail Raider -> Bloodsail Cultist curve is already scary in tempo terms, the Coin opens a whole other avenue of aggression with Turn 1 Fiery War Axes, coining out a Upgrade!, or a Turn 2 Bloodsail Cultist, just to name a few.

Pirate Warrior has an interesting dynamic in regards to matchups, being able to allocate weapon charges to build tempo and keep initiative versus other Aggro decks, but can get completely blown out of the water when you have an awkward curve, or have no follow-up damage via board or Mrrgglton hero power to back up your cheap burst. Pirate Warrior, albeit strong, is hard to gauge in terms of meta strength due to being one of the most inconsistent Aggro decks a Hearthstone meta has seen (note: hard to compare Pirate Warrior to staple Aggro decks such as Murloc Warlock, Face Hunter, Aggrodin and Aggro Shaman, to be fair).

This isn’t to say Pirate Warrior is an inherently bad deck, but with not always having quality draws due to unmet Pirate conditions, having no solid draw other than rolling Life Tap from Sir Finley and having a fragile board with no refill mechanics, Pirate Warrior does  have inherent flaws that are hard to make-up. Is Pirate Warrior capable of seeing more play and becoming a Contender in the meta? Of course. The only issue with this idea is that Aggro Shaman outclasses Pirate Warrior in most cases on ladder. In a tournament setting, Pirate Warrior can dish out some serious damage to your opponent’s lineup, being able to farm Rogues, Druids and Mages alike, while being just fast enough to possibly outpace Aggro Shaman or be just a turn ahead of a ready-to-heal Reno Jackson. To summarize, will you dominate the ladder with this deck? Maybe. Will you see success in tournament play with Pirate Warrior? If you build your list and lineup right, then I bet you’ll be singing sea shanties as you plunder your opponents wins, and maybe some tournament booty along with it!

My friend Jalexander quickly clinched a Top 15 finish in S25 with this list, which I’ve played as well with relative success. Nostam’s Pirate Warrior list went undefeated during his run in the North American Spring Preliminaries.

 

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S26 Hidden Gems: C'Thun Rogue

Darius Matuschak

by Aidan

Taking the Legend ladder by storm, streamer Ryzen played this homebrew to Rank 10 Legend. What makes this homebrew so notable? Before the release of Whispers of the Old Gods, there were two theorycrafts to keep in mind, one being control-style C’thun decks would dominate and the other being the strength of N’zoth Tempo Rogue. Ryzen and any other brewers found a best-of-both worlds situation, mixing Rogue’s strong tempo class cards and C’thun tribal synergy to rock the block with a corrupt cult, coins and of course, C’thun!

The deck plays similar to any Tempo deck, and knowing your tempo swings is key. Blade of C’thun and Sap are your biggest swing cards versus Midrange and Control, while your Disciples of C’thun and SI:7 Agents clean up boards while establishing your own versus Aggro.

The one weakness of this deck is it’s lack of healing, making it weak against Combo and Aggro decks alike. This weakness is only evident for less-experienced players, as playing around your board swings and thinking many turns in advance to properly set-up your own lethal or prevent your opponent’s is the key to properly execute this deck versus volatile Aggro decks and bursty Combo decks. This may seen as a core fundamental of Tempo decks (on par with playing to your opponent’s clears when versus Control) but is a tricky skill to master. You’ll see good results against Midrange and Control decks, especially Druids and Warriors and you may struggle against Shamans.

An unexpected point of interest, C’thun Rogue further makes us question which Old Gods serve as a supporting role or a core tenet of a list, and which of these categories have seen the most success.

 

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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 Hidden Gems: Malygos Reno Freeze Mage

Darius Matuschak

by Aidan

An interesting take on the infamous combo deck known as Freeze Mage, MalyReno Freeze (we really need to start giving these decks catchier names) adds a second 9-mana dragon by the name of Malygos to enable an OTK win condition in the form of Malygos -> Frostbolt x2 -> Ice Lance x2 (Thaurissan required), while also having an alternate win condition in the form of Reno Jackson. It is important to note that although this Freeze Mage variant is designed for tournament play, not only due to its high skillcap, but having a Reno win condition against standard Freeze Mage and the Malygos win condition in the mirror and providing the OTK necessary to take down N’zoth Paladin or Tempo Warrior.

With the rotation of Antique Healbot and Mad Scientist, pulling a needed Ice Block or drawing into an extra 8 points of health isn’t an option for Freeze Mage anymore. Opening more room for tech, Reno variants of Malygos Freeze are able to run cards like Cone of Cold, Harrison Jones, Coldlight Oracle, and opt in for a Pyroblast even.

My friend Fibonacci was one of the few players to bring RenoMalyFreeze to the North American Spring Preliminaries a few weeks ago, sporting this list. Opting to run Harrison and Coldlight Oracle, Fibonacci targeted his weaker matchups he expected to see, namely Warrior, Aggro Shaman and Renolock. Another player, vcT, ran a more straight-forward list focusing more on an overall approach to matchups, swapping a Blizzard for a Pyroblast.

With solid foundations for tournament success, can Malygos and Reno Jackson successfully team up to take on the Hearthstone ladder? In theory, yes. If played well, your favourable matchups are N’zoth Paladin, Aggro Shaman, Miracle Rogue, Renolock and Beast Druid. While still suffering against Midrange decks and Warrior, they’re not 100% un-winnable. While Tempo Warrior, Midrange Hunter and Midrange Shaman are all oppressive forces on the ladder, forcing these opponents to exhaust their board refills (Varian Wrynn, Thunderbluff Valiant and Call of the Wild respectively) only to have them cleared away helps greatly. In conclusion, Freeze Mage isn’t in the greatest spot right now, but a couple of tweaks and some practice could turn it into a Contender yet again.

 

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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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