MrYagut’s Midrange Rogue
Rogue isn’t in a great place since the release of GvG and the accompanying nerf to Gadgetzan Auctioneer, but it remains an interesting class for some of Hearthstone’s best innovators to experiment with. This list was created by the iconoclastic MrYagut, and then used by Hyped to reach the final in week 6 of ESL’s Legendary Series, where he lost to his new Tempo Storm teammate MagicAmy.
Dog’s GvG Miracle Rogue
If you’re happy to pay the extra cost for Auctioneers, this deck designed by Dog and played competitively by Gnimsh will do the trick. Otherwise, the lists are very similar. Like MrYagut’s deck, Dog’s includes Alexstraza, which Firebat popularised pre-GvG, but adds an Antique Healbot for extra healing. (Because Hunter.) Or… How about Pirates!
Whilst it runs much of the old Miracle Rogue shell—Back Stab, Eviscerate, SI:7 Agent and so on—the late game looks a lot different. With the Auctioneers gone entirely (additional card draw is provided by a single copy of Sprint, ideally to be combo-d with Preparation), the win condition involves drawing into your bigger minions, like Dr Boom and Ragnaros, and doing direct spell damage. Which essentially makes this a classic midrange deck.
What’s unusual about that is that midrange decks have also been in a pretty sticky place lately, with most players opting for ultra aggro or total control. A single copy of Sabotage provides some extra minion/weapon removal, but I won’t pretend to know how to get the best out of the new Rogue class legendary, Trade Prince Gallywix, who seems like a deluxe version of Lorewalker Cho but with less downside. Still, if anyone can work it out, it’s probably Hyped. He’s so dreamy, etc.
Chakki’s Board Control Hunter
It turns out that Hunter is still very much a thing in the Goblins vs Gnomes meta. Who knew! A lot of the cards in this deck, created by aggro maestro Chakki, are familiar from the pre-GvG ‘Huntertaker’ Deathrattle build that we all knew and, hey, probably didn’t love. In new cards like Gahz’rilla and Steamwheedle Sniper, Blizzard has tried to open up slower options for the Hunter class, but with the existing archetype still so brutally efficient, the new stuff hasn’t seen wide use.
Firebat’s Pinnacle Hunter
If Chakki’s deck is a little too all-in for your taste, try the list which Firebat used as part of his Pinnacle-winning lineup. The BlizzCon 2014 champion includes Piloted Shredders, which have been appearing in a lot of Hunter lists for guaranteed stickiness, and also adds Dr. Boom for another huge threat in addition to the double Savannah Highmanes. Ugh.
Instead, many Hunter decks have been adding the likes of Dr. Boom and Ragnaros for late game punch, but here Chakki goes in the other direction and doubles down on early damage. The most expensive card in the deck is Houndmaster, for a not so princely sum of 4 Mana.
In his excellent write-up on the Competitive Hearthstone subreddit Chakki calls this a board control deck, (I just call it brutal), because you need to decide whether to make high value trades or push for face damage. In that sense it’s a control deck in the same way that Zoo is. You win by throttling your opponent, buffing the constant stream of small minions with your Dire Wolf Alphas, Defenders of Argus and Glaivezookas.
Note also that there’s no card draw whatsoever beyond the Webspinners. So obviously there’s a risk of running out of steam but, if you’re smart with how you trade, by the time you lose the board you’ll be able to finish the game with Kill Commands and Steady Shot. I played this deck over Christmas and it carried me to the rarefied airs of rank 5 with about a 70% winrate. Yes, Priests will ruin you, and Mech Mage can be tricky too, but even the games you lose are over so fast that it makes ladder grinding a breeze.
Ek0p’s Mustard Paladin
Every single post-GvG Paladin deck worth its (and Reynad’s salt) is running the Muster for Battle and Quartermaster combo. And with good reason. Whereas Paladin previously struggled with heinously slow starts it can now whip up a powerful board in a single turn. Coupled with Shielded Minibot’s durability (Divine Shield on a 2/2 minion makes it almost impossible to remove efficiently), Paladin players now enjoy much smoother openings.
Spark’s Battle Master
Though less known than the likes of Trump, who also experimented with a Muster for Battle-based Paladin, Spark is an excellent decksmith whose creations are always ladder viable. His take on midrange Paladin does include double Equality and the extra Consecration, as well as the new Paladin legendary Bolvar Fordragon, who it turns out is a lot less terrible than everyone assumed.
Ek0p is a formidable Paladin player, and his midrangey deck includes a Zombie Chow and two Haunted Creepers to ensure early presence that will benefit from buff cards like Defender of Argus and the single Coghammer he runs. From there the deck curves smoothly through Truesilver Champions and Piloted Shredders, up through powerful tech cards like Harrison Jones and Sylvanas Windrunner, with the latter designed to bait out Silence before you slam Tirion down.
With three weapons included, Ek0p even finds room for the otherwise unloved Captain Greenskin, enabling you to buff your Truesilver to five damage and three charges. Yowchy. There are trade offs, though, and they come in the form of lack of card draw and board clearance spells—note that there’s no Equality/Wild Pyromancer combo here, and only one Consecration. Still, the deck’s ethos is based on creating an unanswerable board of its own, and this is an object lesson in making hard choices when it comes to creating a deck with a coherent way to win.
Next page: Shaman, Warlock, Warrior