Ten awesome decks from the first week of Un'Goro to help you crush the ladder
Journey to Un’Goro is by far and away Hearthstone’s most diverse expansion. Not even during the first days of League of Explorers and Whispers of the Old Gods did we see such wide variety of viable decklists.
Take the Hearthstone Global Games, as an example, the first major tournament played in the new meta. 25 different archetypes were played in the first 12 best-of-5’s alone. There are four different Mage and Shaman decks, three different Hunters—a class which was all but extinct in Gadgetzan—and brand new forms of Warlock. Many of these archetypes have been enabled by just a handful of cards, contributing to the unsuspected brilliance of Un’Goro’s design.
There truly is a deck for everyone and their cousin to enjoy and to guide you through these first weeks of the new expansion. We’re bringing you the best—or just most interesting—decks which players found and have now polished.
Beast Aggro Druid
Druid was anything but diverse in Gadgetzan. The options before Malfurion were either to play a standard Jade, or try and be fancy with a Kun/Aviana combos. The class lacked a true, reliable aggro build—in a sense, it always had—but it has got one now thanks to a few Un’Goro additions.
Thanks to Fire Fly, Ravasaur Grunt and Golakka Crawler, Druids can not only build a wide board, but a durable one, too. A good opening hand would often generate multiple tough minions with Mark of the Lotus. A Fire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair and Mark of the Lotus mean three 2/3s and a 2/2 as early as T2 with the coin which is just deadly against classes with limited board clear (e.g. Hellfire or Lightning Storm).
This is one of the best decks to climb the ladder with, as it combines speed with strength, and it’s also much cheaper than the legendary-jacked Y’Shaarj Ramp, the other Un’Goro alternative for Druids currently viable.
Staying on “fast, punch and cheap” wave, we have the Aggro Hunter, the original most-loved-yet-most-hated deck in Hearthstone.
The archetype is undergoing renaissance thanks to a couple of early drops in Jeweled Macaw and especially Crackling Razormaw. The 2-mana adapt minion is precisely what the class has been lacking all these expansions and enables a variety of openings, from the hyper aggressive 5-attack Fiery Bat to the face to more defensive (+3 health, divine shield) or durable ones (spawn 1/1 tokens on deathrattle).
The list below is courtesy of Hunter specialist NickChipper, who drove it to high legend during the first week, but there’s plenty of room in it for personal preferences. Some lists are faster, curving out at Tundra Rhino, others are meta-teched with Golakka Crawler to stop Pirates. The important thing is that Hunter is here to stay!
Freeze Mage might just be the most stubborn deck in Hearthstone. It has existed in various forms since 2013. Since then, it has had its Pyroblast and stalling mechanics nerfed, its Ice Lances exiled into the Hall of Fame and Emperor Thaurissan rotated out with Year of the Mammoth, but the archetype is just refusing to die.
This certainly wasn’t Blizzard’s intention, but it’s their own fault for printing the powerful Arcanologist and Primordial Glyph.
With the increased consistency of drawing the secrets and the flexibility provided by the Glyph, Freeze Mage aficionados are even arguing that the archetype might be stronger than ever (yes, including the Thaurissan-enabled 30-damage burst). The deck remains one of the most difficult to play in all of Hearthstone, so if you’re a novice maybe try some of the other eight decks we’ve presented.
Of all the classes, Paladin has had the toughest time so far in Un’Goro. Anyfin Can Happen is gone, and with it the Murloc OTK deck. The loss of Sylvanas and Ragnaros the Firelord didn’t help N’Zoth Paladin either, and there’s not enough minion buff cards yet to enable any sort of Quest Paladin.
Thankfully, Hearthstone has players like Kolento, whose madness goes hand in hand with their genius. Here, the champion is thinking outside the box, insisting that Elementals are not the exclusive domain of Shamans. He has combined the hand-buff mechanic of Gadgetzan’s Grimy Goons with the elemental chain of Un’Goro to make for a very linear deck to play.
It’s an archetype that needs polishing for sure, but it’s likely the best for the novice Paladin players out there. There is just one legendary in it which is easily replaceable and offers the major satisfaction of dropping 4/5 Fire Flies for one mana.
It just gets ugly sometimes.
Inner Fire Priest
For the past four years, Inner Fire/Divine Spirit Priest has been a meme deck, played by crazy meme streamers who get off of the perversion that are 18/18 minions built through a sequence of cards and which get to finish one in four games, maybe.
Today, this is a top tier deck.
We’re not even kidding. Humongous Razorleaf, a 4/8 minion for just 3 mana, and Shadow Visions were just the cards that the archetype needed to graduate from gimmick to powerhouse. Not to mention Purify is now a thing. Yes, that one card that everyone laughed at once upon a time.
The version shown below was played by Cloud9’s Ddahyoni in the Global Games in Korea’s victory over Greece and it’s just too much fun. The deck has great anti-aggro potential with all these durable minions and performs well against control decks, too, as the size of the threats just get out of control. Believe us when we say there’s never been a better time to climb ladder with Anduin.
You thought it was Quest Rogue, but it was Miracle. Bamboozled again.
In all honesty, jury is still out on which Rogue archetype is better. Miracle and Quest are almost dead even so far in Global Games and both have exactly a 50% win-rate. Quest Rogue is definitely the cool new kid on the block, but Miracle—like Freeze Mage—has once again proven that as long as there’s Gadgetzan Auctioneer in rotation, the deck will find a way to survive and win games.
The new Miracle uses Razorpetal Lasher to generate extra Auctioneer fodder, Vilespin Slayer for hard removal and Sherazin to produce a perpetual threat on the board. Questing Adventurers have been dropped for Arcane Giants and although the deck has lost some of its potency due to the banishment of Conceal, it’s still a scary archetype to face if you’re not an aggro deck.
You’re still pissed it’s not Quest Rogue, you say? Fine, have Rdu’s list for that, too!
There’s really no surprise what Shamans have been playing this past week. Tunnel Trogg and Totem Golem are gone, so Thrall turned to the Elemental curve for salvation.
With 61.5% win-rate over 13 games in HGG, Elemental Shaman is both one of the most popular and most successful decks in the new meta and provides much of the same turn planning as old midrange builds. You need to play Elementals each turn to enable their effects but you also have to maneuver around Overload cards, so navigating the perfect Shaman turns is a tall order.
When figured out, however, the deck will carry you through the ladder with ease.
Bloodbloom Control Warlock
Discard Zoo was supposed to do well in Un’Goro with Clutchmother Zavas, but that hasn’t been the case so far. The archetype has actually won only one of five games in HGG so far, and is really struggling to close games.
A very unlikely new archetype, however, has emerged and has started winning tournament games. Found by StanCifka, the Bloodbloom Control Warlock is a terrorizing anti-aggro deck that seems to lack real win conditions until you somehow die.
A key card of the deck is its namesake, obviously. Bloodbloom’s pay-mana-with-health effect allows you to create power swings and retake tempo, which is then maintained due to the abundance of removal in this deck. Bane of Doom, Siphon Soul and Doom are the obvious choices for a Bloodbloom turn and even if it hurts, health doesn’t matter as long as your opponent runs out of it first.
Medivh and Lord Jaraxxus are the go-to finishers for the deck—the only ones, really—since you won’t close that many games off of Twilight Drake alone.
We had to feature at least one Quest deck in this article and there’s none more suitable than Fire Plume Warrior (and we certainly weren’t going to write how Pirates are still crazy strong).
Quest Warrior is the bane of aggro and control decks and has been piloted by the likes of Sjow (shown below) to the topmost of the legend rank. Against aggro, the archetype often forgoes the Quest altogether in favor of more taunts and removal and aims for exhausting the enemy resources. Against control, a timely Sulfuras will spell the end.
Quest Warrior is certainly not the cheapest deck out there, but it’s far from the cost of the old Control Warriors for certain. Yes, you will need to craft Fire Plume’s Heart, but the Curator—the only other legendary in the deck—is obtainable with Karazhan. You’ll need a lot of epics, though, including the board-sweeping combo of Primordial Drake and Sleep with the Fishes if you want to even have a chance against midrange decks which are likely to give you the most trouble.
With that, we leave you to your Un’Goro explorations. Will you choose to SMOrc with Hunters and Druid? Control with Mage and Warlock? Play Curvestone with Shaman and Paladin? Explode with Rogue combos? Taunt up with Warrior?
The possibilities are endless.
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Photos and image properties courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.