As many of you may know, the Meta in Hearthstone right now seems to be at a bit of a standstill. The rise and fall of top tier decks has been hampered due to the fact that they have, for the most part, all been discovered. Let’s discuss how and why this is occurring.
Let’s look back to when the Old Gods expansion first released. Early after its release, Zoo Warlock and Aggro Shaman ran rampant around the Standard and even Wild competitive ladder. If you weren’t running these decks, you weren’t winning consistently enough to climb the ladder, end of discussion.
Now, jump ahead a couple weeks. A beacon of hope – Warrior decks have begun to emerge as not only viable, but also really, really good. First, it was Tempo Warrior – a deck that, despite being decently Aggro itself, had more of a early game defensive playstyle, and used things such as Bloodhoof Brave to deal with aggro pushes while at the same time pushing for damage, and forcing board clears, keeping your Hero at moderately high health. From there, late game win conditions like Grommash or Ragnaros can finish off an already weakened opponent with ease.
From here, Aggro players came to a bit of a standstill. One of the most played decks on the ladder was a hard counter to their own. To beat it, they needed more late game to contest with that of a Warrior. Henceforth, Aggro decks became Midrange decks. These, although similar to aggro, featured more of an archetype for a late game win condition. For example, Totem or Evolution Shaman are Midrange. These began to perform so well that they hit top tier quickly – eureka! A solution to Tempo Warrior, and we’re seeing less aggro decks in ladder! This must be healthy for the Meta – right?
Maybe not. Warrior wasn’t finished yet – with all the Aggro decks jumping around, we reverted to a classic deck – the Control Warrior. Utilizing tools like Dragon synergy, Weapons and late game tools like Justicarr Trueheart, this deck is typically able to make it out of the early game nicely using crazy value weapons like Fiery War Axe can get, and still can have the deck space to have one of the most powerful late games that can be had.
Here, we have come full circle. It started with Aggro, Tempo and Control Warrior rose to stop it. Now that all these Control decks have come about, Midrange decks rose to deal with them. Finally, Midrange’s weakness is exactly where we started – aggro. From there, the Meta is at a standstill – a paradox, if you will. One cannot happen without the other, and unless we come up with some higher tier decks that haven’t been discovered yet, this is likely how things will continue to be. This task is yours, players – even Ben Brode has hinted that he thinks there are very powerful decks we haven’t discovered yet, so start looking!