S21 – Part 1 – Top Legend Ladder Decks

S21P1 - Top Legend Ladder Decks

This season promises to be a very exciting one. It is the first season that will award points for the Hearthstone World Championships of 2016. Blizzard did announce that ladder points will be awarded in December and anyone who reaches Legend this season will receive points!

At the meantime the League of Explorers experiment continues, hobgoblin decks, murlock OTK and many players are trying out the impact of Sir Finley Mrrgllton in all types of decks. These are the decks used at top legend we have featured for you:

  • Aggro Shaman (#1 Legend Koroneko)
  • Hobgoblin Flood Zoo (#2 Legend Zalae)
  • Dragon Priest (#4 Legend Astrogation)
  • Reno Warlock(#2 Legend Ekop)

Aggro Shaman

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We have seen the very aggressive mech shaman in the past with Fel Reaver, but it proved to be inconsistent. This new version of aggro shaman (created by Luffy) disregards mechs and focuses on Leper Gnomes and charge minons aiming to end the game before their minions lack of value begins to matter.
Koroneko has been holding rank 1 Legend on NA with this deck,also the player Cursed was one of the first players to make it to legend with this new shaman archetype!

General Strategy:

Keep in mind that “the face is the place”, your goal is to rush down your opponent until his HP drops to 0. Try to take control of the early game, a Lightning Bolt can always be used as a removal tool in order to protect your board, minions that stick can deal a lot of damage over time.
Plan your future turns and count your damage, sometimes you have the damage in hand to kill your opponent in two turns.

General Mulligan:

Against everything, you want minions such as Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, and Leper Gnome. When you have no other minion in hand keeping Abusive Sergeant is also reasonable.
Against control or midrange you’ll want [Feral Spirits] they are great versus weapon classes and protect your board.
When on the coin use [The Coin] + Totem Golem and follow it up with a turn 1 Leper Gnome / Abusive Sergeant. You can also use [The Coin] to play your Feral Spirit on turn 2, and have a 3/3 Tunnel Trogg and 2x 2/3 Feral Spirit.

Notable cards:

  • Doomhammer: Can push for a lot of damage over a few turns especially with Rockbiter Weapon
  • Tunnel Trogg: A new LoE powerhouse card that snowballs rapidly
  • Argent Horserider: A sticky minion that can be used for efficient trades or face damage
  • Lava Shock: Because you are running so many overload cards, Lava Shock gets value 80% of the time and provides extra damage from the spell itself and the mana crystals unlocking

Matchups:

Favorable matchups: Oil Rogue, Malylock, Control Warrior, Midrange druid
Unfavorable matchups: Paladin, Tempo Mage, Patron

Tech choices:

Versus Control: -1 Wolfrider + 1 Loatheb / Unbound Elemental
Versus Aggro: -1 Flametongue Totem + Annoy-o-Tron

Worth mentioning it the new LoE card [Sir Finley Mrrgllton], many pro players have been argueing how great this card fits in the aggro shaman deck. The new provides you with alternative hero powers that are all very fitting in the deck. Hunter provides an extra 2 burst, Warlock gives you the ability to draw more burst and even druid can provide extra damage when combined with Doomhammer.

Hobgoblin Flood Zoo

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Zoo has been performing very well these last couple of weeks, we have all the seen the power of Reynad’ Flood zoo and the new card Dark Peddler gives zoo an extra edge. Dark Peddler is more likely to draw class cards and Warlock 1-drops are pretty powerful: Mortal Coil, Power Overwhelming, Flame Imp, Soulfire and even Corruption are all very solid cards. Zalae makes clever use of the flood mechanic and takes zoo to a new level pairing it up with Hobgoblin. He created his own Hobgoblin deck and made it all the way to up to rank 2 Legend NA.

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General Strategy:

Your goal is to take control of the board very early and using that to snowball into a win. You want to be “flooding” the board in order to get the benefits of Reliquary Seeker or make Sea Giant very cheap to be played. Hobgoblin provides an extra win condition because it gives a very powerful buff to your otherwise somewhat lackluster minions.
Keep control of the board and trade your weaker minions. When you are already far ahead you can just start pushing in the damage.

General Mulligan:

Look for an early curve (1,2,3), don’t keep Wisp or Murloc Tinyfin unless you have Hobgoblin in hand.
When on the coin look for double 2-drops.
Keeping Hobgoblin and other combo pieces versus control is also reasonable.

Notable cards:

  • Gormok the Impaler: With all this flood a [Gorm the Impaler] isn’t super hard to pull off
  • Abusive Sergeant: Staple card in zoo provides excellent trades
  • Sea Giant: One of the win conditions of the deck, a Sea Giant that remains unanswered can end the game rapidly.
  • Echoing Ooze: Great card to flood and combo with Hobgoblin

Matchups:

Favorable matchups : Druid, Tempo Mage, Aggro Shaman, Control Warrior
Unfavorable matchups : Freeze mage, Dragon / Lightbomb Priest, Patron, Renolock, Malylock

Dragon Priest

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Dragon Priest is a solid deck and a heavy contender in the meta due to its ability to combat aggro. The deck’s main strength is to use dragon synergies in order to play out strong mid-range minions on curve. It packs minions for every phase of the game. Priest overall has been doing very well with several decks builds. This deck was used by Astrogation to climb to rank 4 Legend! It is the same deck that was also used by ThijsNL in the Hearthstone World Championships.

General Strategy:

The gameplan of this deck is to control the match from turn 1. Use your spells such as Power Word: Shield / Velen's Chosen and synergy minions to buff up your creatures so they can make multiple trades with your opponent’s minions.
Dragon Priest also has an AoE kit with 2x Holy Nova & Lightbomb in order to counter any form of board flooding.
Keep in mind that the Shrinkmeister + Cabal Shadow Priest combo can be used to steal anything with 4 attack or less (e.g. Ysera)

General Mulligan:

There is no “hard” mulligan guide for dragon priest, the important thing is to make sure you have a plan to utilize your mana curve from the start. Make sure you pick cards that are going to synergyse with one another.
When playing versus aggressive decks, try to look for a one drop Twilight Whelp, Zombie Chow or even Wyrmrest Agent and buffing them up with Power Word: Shield.
Against tempo/control: mulligan for only one of the one drops. Dark Cultist and Velen's Chosen are good cards to keep.

Notable cards:

Matchups:

Favorable matchups: Aggro Druid, Midrange Druid, Tempo Mage, Zoo
Unfavorable matchups: Freeze mage, Oil Rogue, Renolock

Tech choices:

Versus aggro: -1 Velen's Chosen + 1 Holy Smite (the deck is already heavy anti-aggro)
Versus Control: -1/-2 Zombie Chow + 1 Confessor Paletress / Vol'jin

One of our readers noted the addition of Brann Bronzebeard to the deck. As explained by KARMA_POLICE: “Brann strengthens your midgame-lategame presence. However, he is too slow for aggro decks, which may burst you down before you can get value out of him. This means he will perform different against aggro decks than he would against midrange or control decks.”

Reno Warlock

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Reno Warlock is a twist on the classic Handlock archetype, using Life Tap to cycle through the deck and entirely centered around abusing Reno Jackson. There are a few versions of this deck but it’s general idea is to survive the early game and pump out big threats in the mid to late game.
Reno warlock has been played by many of the top legend players and Ekop was one of those players. He took the #2 Legend spot with this decklist.

General Strategy:

Look for an efficient series of plays that will get you out onto the board from the very start. You will be hitting Life Tap an awful lot with this deck, so factor that into your thinking. You want to be surviving the early game until you hit big swing turn, being able to play a single Molten Giant for free and then heal back to full can be enough in most match-ups.
Versus control you want to make sure your Lord Jaraxxus is out as soon as possible so you can start making those infernals.

General Mulligan:

Try to look for a solid curve, and try to plan our your first three or four turns.
If you suspect any sort of board flooding keep a Hellfire or Demonwrath. Your Twilight Drake and Imp Gang Boss cards remain must-keeps.

Notable cards:

  • Siphon Soul: extra heal and can take away a big creature easily
  • Twisting Nether: surprise factor, rarely expected
  • Feugen & Stalagg: a recent addition to the reno warlock great for summoning [Thaddius] in those grindy games

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Matchups:

Favorable Matchups: Control Warrior, Freeze Mage, Dragon Priest, Patron Warrior
Unfavorable Matchups: Midrange Druid, Aggro Druid, Malylock

Tech choises:

You want to replace same cost cards

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