How Will Hearthstone’s Nerfs Impact the Game’s Best Decks?

The latest Hearthstone nerfs will change the game's meta and likely lead to the rise of these powerful decks.

Photo: Blizzard

Hearthstone‘s ever-evolving competitive meta was once again shaken up by the reveal of the game’s upcoming 18.4 patch.

While only two competitive cards (Tortollan Pilgrim and Guardian Animals) are set to be nerfed as part of Hearthstone‘s next update, the nerfs themselves are notable enough to ensure that the next season of the CCG’s competitive scene is going to look slightly different. We don’t suspect many previously downtrodden decks will suddenly rise to the top, but certain subtle shifts in the competitive scene could impact the viability of previously popular builds.

So if you’re just looking to climb the competitive later as fast as possible during the October season, we highly recommend you turn to one of these five decks that are well-positioned to dominate the upcoming meta.

Tempo Mage

While the recent Hearthstone nerfs don’t necessarily make Tempo Mage better than it currently is, that’s hardly a big deal considering that it was already one of the best decks in the game.

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The beauty of this deck is its variety of tools and how they keep you in the game in nearly every situation. This deck has the unique ability to survive early attacks from minion heavy boards before really popping off in the midgame and essentially putting the opponent in a checkmate position. Even some of the better control decks struggle to deprive Tempo Mages of resources.

While it’s true that some aggressive decks that don’t rely as heavily on minion damage can put Tempo Mage players in a bad spot, this deck has very few “unwinnable” matchups.

Tempo Mage Decklist

Libram Paladin

Libram Paladin has quietly been one of the best Hearthstone decks for quite some time now, and it’s certainly the biggest beneficiary of the recent Hearthstone nerfs.

Now that Libram Paladin players don’t have to worry about the infinite freeze potential of pre-nerf Tortollan Pilgrim decks or the incredibly early tempo swings that pre-nerf Guardian Animals Druids could unleash, they should be able to better execute their “slow but steady” strategy that eventually ends with them producing an overwhelming board state.

Libram Paladin still has some bad matchups, but it could be a somewhat sneaky way to quickly earn some early ranks during Hearthstone’s upcoming post-nerf season.

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Libram Paladin Decklist

Bomb Warrior

If it feels like some variation of Bomb Warrior has been competitive for quite some time now, that’s because it has. As it turns out, slowly filling your opponent’s deck with unavoidable damage while constantly removing their minions is a pretty good strategy.

Bomb Warrior is a somewhat unlikely beneficiary of the recent nerfs. We imagine that Highlander decks and certain decks that utilize the abilities of Lorekeeper Polkelt could soon become much more popular, and Bomb Warrior’s winning strategy offers a unique counter to both of those mechanics as it adds undesirable cards to their decks that are very hard to effectively remove.

While it takes a little while to learn the ins and outs of this deck’s strategy, Bomb Warrior should stand tall against the most popular post-nerf decks.

Bomb Warrior Decklist

Weapons Rogue

There are actually a few good Rogue decks out there at the moment, but the most viable option for those looking to hit the Legend ranks quickly next season should be some version of the Weapons Rogue concept.

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This variation of the previous Stealth Rogue aggressive deck utilizes burst damage from its weapon package to defeat opponents over the course of a couple of well-played turns. It’s less reliant on minion damage than the previous Stealth Rogue deck, which means that you shouldn’t have to worry as much about board clears.

Those looking for something a little different should also look towards the popular Secrets Rogue deck which isn’t nearly as aggressive but does have the ability to turn the corner if things go wrong early on.

Weapons Rogue Decklist

Aggro Hunter

While the Scholomance Academy expansion didn’t exactly offer Hunter players a bounty of new deck-building options, the class once again finds itself firmly in the meta thanks to its aggressive playstyle.

There’s really nothing fancy about the latest aggressive hunter decks, but the addition of cards such as Phase Stalker and Voracious Reader help Hunters burn through their deck faster than they ever have before. For years, we’ve wondered how good hunters would be if they could somewhat reliably draw cards, and now we’re (somewhat unfortunately) witnessing the answer to that question.

You can certainly swap out the secrets in these decks to counter whatever you’re facing, but the core minion and weapon package remains roughly the same across all popular builds.

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