Picking up where things left off last week, we’re talking about the changes and updates to the classes that came from ‘Goblins vs. Gnomes’, and how I see the decks for those classes shaping up.
Rogue – A Pirate’s Life For Me!
Pirates, like mechs, have long been a subset of minions in Hearthstone without much in the way of support. You would occasionally see a gimmick deck built around the scurvy scalawags, but almost never on the ladder. ‘Goblins vs. Gnomes’ brings not only more pirate minions, but cards that benefit from you playing pirates. The [Ship’s Cannon] goes off every time a fresh pirate hits the table, and [One-eyed Cheat] disappears from view under the same circumstances. I still don’t know if there’s enough there for a competitive deck. However, with the addition of the [Salty Dog] and [One-eyed Cheat], there are more mid-game threats that a pirate crew can present.
I like pairing pirates with the Rogue because the Rogue is never without a weapon, and many pirates still operate best when a weapon is involved. While other classes do have weapons, the Rogue gets one from her hero power, meaning that pirates can almost always be at their best. Even in Casual games, when things are going well, you’ll be singing shanties in no time.
Shaman – Murlocs? Really?
Much like pirates, murlocs – the barely civilized species of amphibian beings found throughout Azeroth – had several minions with low casting costs, and even a Legendary leader in [Old Murk-Eye], but it was difficult to make things viable for a lasting game against competitive decks on the ladder. And, much like pirates, murlocs got some reinforcements in ‘Goblins vs. Gnomes’ with beefier minions. However, the biggest changes were exclusive to Shamans, with the [Siltfin Spiritwalker] who benefits from your murlocs being killed or sacrificed… and the elemental lord of water, [Neptulon].
Despite a hero power that always cranks out little minions in the form of totems, Shaman decks have tended towards control schemes, the Overload mechanic keeping their speed under control, for the most part. With the new murlocs, a Shaman deck can be a great deal more aggressive. My experiments with the deck I’ve built have proven it can be fun, but it doesn’t quite have the consistency to be truly competitive. Still, it never hurts to have a fully aggressive weapon in the arsenal.
Warlock – Demonology is totally a viable build, guys.
The above is a statement made within Hearthstone‘s inspiration, World of Warcraft. Warlocks have a sub-type of minions all to themselves, for the most part – demons. In Hearthstone, you can fill your deck with infernal minions, and Naxxramas added the [Voidcaller], which brings demons into play even more quickly. However, most Warlocks do not take this route.
A deck focused on demons would likely sit squarely in the middle between the aggressive (“Zoolock”) and late-game control (“Handlock”) variants that most people would be familiar with,if they are familiar with Hearthstone‘s competitive scene at all. As a “Demonology” deck is a more rare sight, it will be more difficult for opponents to predict your next move. There’s something to be said for that, what with season after season seeing variations on the same decks returning over and over again to the Legendary ranks. If you’re going to try and compete with this deck, however, I would recommend acquiring [Mal’Ganis] – he’s a potent threat that opponents need to address.
Warrior – Garrosh Is Still A Massive Dick
Of all of the classes in Hearthstone, I would venture to say that Warriors have changed the least since the advent of ‘Goblins vs. Gnomes’. While Warriors can field mechs or pirates like any other class, but there’s very little incentive to do so. The most effective Warrior decks are still control-flavored, favoring minions that buff you or your other minions when they are harmed.
The only two minions to really earn places in a competitive Warrior’s deck are the [Shieldmaiden] and the [Siege Engine], which bolster your armor and continue to put pressure on your opponent. Warriors already have an incredibly solid core for ladder-climbing, and if there’s any group of folks who subscribe to the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, it’s CCG players. I mean, look at the people who play Legacy in Magic: the Gathering!
(…please don’t hurt me, folks)
So what’s the future for Hearthstone? If ‘Goblins vs. Gnomes’ is any indication, the guys at Blizzard know what they’re doing when it comes to designing a cracking good card game. There’s an active community that is providing constant feedback, and tweaks are routinely being made to maintain balance between the classes and competitors as much as possible – looking at you, [Undertaker]. I’m still playing when I can, possibly live on Twitch… if people would be interested in watching, that is.