I got 99 problems and Patches is one...

A look January's meta in Hearthstone

Daniel Shelden

1/24/2017 6:35pm

Keywords: Hearthstone, Blizzard, Esports.

The Hearthstone world is finally settling back into its own after a dramatic shakeup from the most recent expansion of Mean Streets of Gadgeztan. Pirate warrior is no longer the only way to win games (although it certainly is one way), Jade Golems have finally become relevant and mid-range shaman is still as top tier as ever. How the hell do you play against these increasingly common decks?

Pirate Warrior-

Let's start with something obvious. Pirates are insane right now. Every pro player knows it and every new player hates it. Check out the most recent tournament in China here. The match between Korvus and PNC can show just how powerful warrior can be.









If you're looking for a deck that will just hit face. This will hit face.

Tips To Play- Hit. Face. When you've finished...Hit more face... Finally after all that hit their face some more. This rule should essentially only apply to your minions as you have to use weapons to help control the board and keep key minions such as small-time buccaneer alive. Make sure that when you play a pirate you attack with patches. I can't even count the number of times I've summoned Patches and then passed the turn.

Tips To Counter- Honestly the only thing you can hope for with pirate warrior is to throw out all your resources early and pray that late game goes in your favor.

Jade Golems-

If there is a single deck more devastating at the late game then Jade Druid you let me know. They have enough taunt and ramp to deal with early game quickly and move into the late game before they fall too far behind. The insane combo near every game involving an auctioneer and a god awful amount of Jade Tokens will result in a board that no one wants to take on. If you're able to take advantage of their lack of any early game you should be able to take them down.

Tips To Play- If you're going against another slow build deck such as a Reno-lock or Reno-Mage play as passively as possible and just focus on getting your jade golems stronger. Remember in a control v control game it's all about VALUE. If it's a choice between taking two damage or summoning a 1/1 jade I usually take the jade. 

Tips To Counter- Watch out for swipe.  It can happen on turn one (If he has coin and innervate) or it could happen on turn five. Try to avoid giving your opponent a full board to wipe. Sometimes I'll just hold a minion or two on my turn so if he swipes I can regain board control quickly. Other than that push aggro as much as possible and try to finish him before he hits turn 7 and can drop his Ancient of War.

Mid-Range Shaman

An oldie but a goodie. This deck didn't see much play in WSG because it was banned by almost every single player, but don't let it slip your mind because it's insane. Many top tier players are currently running a Jade Golem focus deck which benefits from cards such as Jade Lightning and Blackpaw. 

Tips To Play- Mid-Range is all about getting the value trades and tying to take advantage of your extremely powerful cards that may leave you vulnerable next turn. If it's turn 4 and an empty board you might as well throw down your flame-wreathed faceless card. Either your opponent throws out one of their only removal cards or you're about to hit him in the face for 7 damage. Ouch.

Tips To Counter- Hold off all removal for cards such as flame-wreathed or Aya Blackpaw. Also watch out for shaman's intense AoE as they have both maelstrom portal and lightning storm which if buffed up at all can be decimating. Focus on trying to keep a clear board and developing your play slowly and carefully.













Miracle Rogue-

Amnesiac was one of the first players to start putting a questing adventurer in a miracle deck and it has exploded ever since. Being able to conceal a 6/6 questing adventurer on turn 6 and then hit face with that and a Leeroy Jenkins is just ridiculous. This deck does suffer from some early aggro flaws, but lets be honest every deck that isn't pirate warrior suffers from early aggro flaws. 

Tips To Play- The whole goal of the deck is to try and build as powerful of a questing adventurer and Edwin VanCleaf as possible... so do that. However that doesn't mean you have to wait until turn 10  to play all your cards to have a massive 34/34 VanCleaf. If you can put out a 6/6 VanCleaf and a 4/4 questing early on it's going to mean trouble. Look for value not power here.

Tips To Counter- There isn't much AoE in miracle rogue with the exception of fan of knives which is a measly one damage and is more often used for card draw than anything else. Try to overload the board as quickly as possible and save your removal for the three previously mentioned creatures. Everything else is just fodder.