Rastakhan’s Rumble has brought many 152 new cards to the set, and players are eager to test out the new cards and how they fit in their decks. There are quite a few decks that has come to the spotlight in this expansion,with the cards adding the twist that the meta really needed.
With that being said, we ourselves have play tested quite a few decks this expansion. A few archetypes managed to make a comeback, while quite a few new decks were spotted in the ranked ladder too. If you have the cards (or the dust to fill in gaps as required), these are six decks you must certainly try out :-
Evolved as a new archetype shortly before the expansion dropped as a deck that was being tested for success by streamers, Odd Mage relies on the power of Baku,the Mooneater to increase the damage of the Mage hero power to 2. The hero power allows for clearing away small threats, while Pyromaniac helps you draw more cards every time a minion dies to your hero power.
If the enemy manages to create a strong enough board presence despite your hero power punching holes through their lines,Blast Wave always proves to be a strong board clear. The deck relies heavily on Elemental synergy, putting on pressure early, and never really letting down. Support cards (like Daring Fire Eater) for increasing the damage caused by the hero power help in regaining board control , and Frost Lich Jaina acts as a perfect finisher for the deck.
Odd mage does really well against tempo as well as aggro decks, including Zoo Warlock, while losing out to control decks like Shudderwock Shaman or Taunt Druid.
From the very first day of card reveals, it was expected that Discard Warlock would make a comeback this expansion. High Priestess Jeklik, blessed by the Loa Hireek the Bat, can return two copies of itself back to the hand when it is discarded. Combine that with Clutchmother Zavas,a card which comes back to hand with boosted stats every time it is discarded. Add the Lakkari Sacrifice quest to the deck, and the winrate increase to unprecedented levels.
Warlock has a lot of discard synergy, so it is not difficult to complete the quest and unleash its power mid-game. The only precaution required here is not to discard the quest once completed. Cards introduced in Rastakhan’s Rumble, like Reckless Diretroll and Shriek, are powerful cards that not only help you have some control over the card you are discarding but also allows you to hold your board against aggro decks.
The completed quest makes the deck good against control decks,who can never completely wipe out the imps being created every turn, allowing players to push for face damage. Combine that with a few Jekliks,or a boosted Zavas, and your opponent hits the Concede button before you manage to put the hurt to him. In fact, due to the insane value offered by Jeklik,there is a possibility that Blizzard actually considers a nerf for her.
Once a popular aggro deck during the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion, Pirate Rogue has not found enough support cards to make the archetype viable for one whole year, till Rastakhan’s Rumble came stumbling in. Pirate Rogue is an aggressive deck that can rely on several win strategies (all of which involve hitting the face) depending on the situation. There are two main variants, one being a more tempo-oriented deck deploying the Kingsbane rogue weapon, along with spells to clear out the enemy board while pushing damage, while the other one is an aggro deck relying on Captain Hooktusk as a finisher to win.
Raiding Party allows players to comfortably draw board presence along with Kingsbane when used, while Walk the Plank takes a fresh threat dropped by the enemy. If all fails, a Cannon Barrage does enough damage to give the players an opportunity to push for the win, once they have board control.
Pirate Rogue struggles a bit in the current meta because of the excessive use of Spell Hunters which run a lot of removals, but when the meta settles down, can be a viable deck to try and move up the ranks.
Perhaps the most played among all classes, players were positively hyped when the hunter hero card, Zul’jin was announced. Zul’jin recasts all spells played during the game with all targets chosen randomly. It’s basically a hunter-specific Yogg-Sauron on steroids!
Combined with the hunter spells, Zul’jin’s effect allows the player to finish the game in style. A hero with a strong hero power and an even stronger battlecry – Zul’jin proved to be the perfect upgrade for spell hunter. Cheap hunter secrets help control the early game, while more expensive spells help clear out the board in the mid to late game. The deck can have more power in the form of Deathstalker Rexxar, if you think one hero card is not enough, and Flare, which helps absorb the secrets in mirror matchups (which is bound to happen since the ranked ladder has a large number of Hunters at the moment).
Dragon Warrior was a decent tempo deck used as an alternative of the hyper aggressive Pirate Warrior before the year of the Mammoth. With Blackrock Mountain rotating out, a majority of the cards being run in the deck now exist in the Wild format, with very few dragon cards in Standard. New dragon cards helped boost the viability of the deck, making Dragon Warrior a contender for ladder matches yet again. Emberscale Drake make the player gain 5 armor whenever played with another dragon in hand, while Crowd Roaster helps take out a big enemy minion immediately while establishing board presence.
Support cards like Dragonmaw Scorcher and Smolderthorn Lancer add more Dragon synergy to the deck while assisting in retaining board control. For more staying power, Baku the Mooneater can be added to the deck, which improves armor gain by boosting the hero power to adding 4 armor with each use.
The Standard variant is a hybrid tempo-control deck, but the real possibilities open up in Wild, where cards like Alexstrasza’s Champion, Twilight Guardian and Azure Drake really make the deck shine. Dragon Warrior is a strong opposition to most control decks, and handles aggro decks pretty nicely too.
One of the decks that had dominated the ladder for more than a quarter of the year, Aggro Shaman is an archetype that has been in place for quite some time. Aggro shaman’s playstyle involves rapidly punching blows to the enemy ignoring any obstructions in the form of minions. The Shaman Loa, Kragwa the Frog, which gives back all spell cards used in the previous turn allows a greater burst potential once played. Combining a few damage spells with Kragwa to rinse and repeat till the enemy runs out of health can almost never go wrong.
Likkim acts like a decent substitute for Spirit Claws in standard, allowing you to push more damage after casting a few spells.
Combining the overload potential for Likkim with Unbound Elemental, which gets a stat boost after you overload your mana crystals, as well as Electra Stormsurge, which casts the same spell twice, to increase overload capabilities allows the deck to carry out the plan as efficiently as possible, with little scope of error. For minion damage,Zentimo helps a lot, especially when combined with spells like Bloodlust or Rockbiter Weapon.
Aggro shaman performs poorly against decks like Dragon Warrior and Big Druid because the armor gain prevents them from being on the risk of being blasted out of game by turn 7 or 8. Against other decks, the game gets over before either player realizes it has.
OTK (One Turn Kill) decks were popular since quite some time.The decks involve some setup, but is very rewarding when you manage to pull it off. The new OTK Paladin relies on a specific combo which includes the Paladin Loa, Shirvallah the Tiger, Baleful Banker and Holy Wrath. Shirvallah’s insane mana cost of 25 means that it is an ideal use for Holy Wrath. Hold ground till fatigue, shuffle a Shirvallah into your deck with the help of Baleful Banker,then use Holy Wrath to deal 25 damage to the enemy hero in one single turn.
Additional card draw helps cycle through cards so that you can draw your combo fast enough. The new Paladin card,Time Out, behaves exactly like Mage’s Ice Block (when now rests in Wild), with the only difference being that players get to trigger the effect themselves. Buying one turn with the help of Time Out now allows Paladin to complete the OTK combo without worrying about the opponent.
Another variant of OTK combo relies on the OTK combo for summoning four ‘Horsemen’ with the help of Uther of the Ebon Blade’s hero power. Support cards like Blackwald Pixie and Ancient Brewmaster helps pull the combo off by retaining certain ‘Horsemen’ generated by the hero power. The ‘Horseman’ OTK is flawless – no control decks stand a chance in front of it if properly executed. Aggro decks are a problem though, since they can stack up multiple minions even after a major board clear.
There are many other decks with the potential of finding a spot in the new meta, so it is worth keeping a watch for any decks that may come to the spotlight before the meta settles down.