There is probably nothing more exciting for hearthstone players than the start a new season and a fresh set of cards. The Rise of Shadows expansion, which released on April 9, includes 135 new cards, three new mechanics — including scheme cards — an array of brand-new archetypes, and new baddies in The League of E.V.I.L.
If you're wondering which deck to choose on the ladder right now, we've made this guide for each of the nine classes in the following order:
You will find everything from the most aggressive types of decks like Murloc Shaman and Token Druid to midrange lists like Secret Paladin and Mech Warrior, as well as combo loops in the form of Inner Fire Priest and Jepetto Mage, and a control monster of Fatigue Warlock.
Let's get started.
Blizzard keeps releasing more Treant cards for Druid, and they actually have a chance to make Token Druid work really well on the ladder right now.
Cards like Forest's Aid and Acorn Bearer make up a solid base for a few older token spells. But the one card that makes tokens really work is the Blessing of the Ancient, a twinspell that buffs all of your minions. This means that you can freely play your cards and not worry about board clears and removal spells.
As for Keeper Stalladris, a new legendary that provides a lot of value for this type of deck, it is excellent against other aggro decks, which will surely have their say in this meta.
The Hunter class currently has a significant number of spells that synergize with beasts. One of the latest additions is the Nine Lives spell that works like a charm with Savanna Highmane.
There are also other early-game deathrattle minions that could be discovered using Nine Lives, such as Shimmerfly and Hench-Clan Hogsteed. Consequently, this is a versatile tool that could be used in all sorts of ways depending on your situation.
Of course, the trump card of this hearthstone deck is Zul'jin, which can instantly change the course of the game because of its Battlecry.
But don't rush to play it too fast, as its value grows the more spells you play. Try to hold on to it for as long as possible since it will cast every spell you've already played, even if it is at random targets.
This deck is really fun to play with. It's basically a combo deck that can go in several possible directions.
You can either play Jepetto Joybuzz and reduce the cost of two of your three big dragons — Alexstraza, Malygos, or Kalecgos, the latest addition in the Rise of Shadows expansion — before blasting your opponents with a 15 damage zero mana Pyroblast.
Since Jepetto isn't too reliable, as you can simply draw all of your combo pieces before him, this is a welcome set of combos. But if you have alternative win conditions, then this deck will be a sure winner in almost any match-up.
There are seven secrets in this deck, but technically, you will have 11 because of the new twinspell, Desperate Measure. It is also important to remember that Secretkeeper doesn't respond to Desperate Measure, as it isn't a secret but a spell that casts secrets.
A new weapon Mysterious Blade is also included which synergizes very well with all the secrets in this deck. Finally, the legendary card Commander Rhyssa is also included, which triggers all of your secrets twice.
One of the better cards from the previous expansion, Bellringer Sentry, is here to support the archetype, as well as Subject 9.
But the best inclusion is Sunreaver Spy, a two-drop that becomes a 3/4 in case you control a secret. That is very powerful no matter when you play it.
The good ol' Combo Priest has become so much more powerful alongside Rise of Shadows cards, such as Catrina Muerte and Archmage Vargoth. The first one allows your huge taunts return from the dead, while the latter one provides more free buff spells.
Of course, the Divine Spirit + Inner Fire combo is the main driving force of this deck, but so is the new Mass Resurrection spell that summons three minions back to life.
It's hard to imagine how much removal your opponents will need just to get rid of your minions. But for the OTK combo to work, you will probably need only one anyway, so board clears and removal spells are something you can deal with with ease.
Academic Espionage and Tess Greymane created a lot of problems for hearthstone players last season. This time they're back, with even more tools to play with, such as Underbelly Fence, Vendetta, and the one and only Heistbaron Togwaggle.
All three cards synergize well with the thief mechanics of this archetype, so bringing chaos to the battlefield is even easier.
Another addition from Rise of Shadows plays a very important role: Hecklebot. This taunt minion removes combo pieces from your opponent's deck so that they can't OTK you or summon a powerful battlecry minion like Kalecgos.
Just a year ago, Murloc Shaman would sound like the worst deck ever, but not today. The Rise of Shadows expansion changed everything when it introduced Scargil, a legendary murloc that reduces the cost of all your other murlocs to just one mana.
It allows you to cast a small army of murlocs in one turn and hit your opponent for lethal damage with the help of Bloodlust.
Besides the murloc package, you will find Lava Burst and Leeroy Jenkins as alternative finishers. However, murlocs is all you need to keep winning and climbing the ladder this season.
The Control Warlock archetype wasextremely powerful in the Year of the Raven. But after the rotation happened, it lost some of its most essential elements, such as Carnivorous Cube and Voidlord.
However, the concept of the Control Warlock isn't lost entirely this time; it has simply changed to a fatigue archetype.
You can use cards like Augmented Elekk and Plot Twist to create many copies of cards in your deck, and eventually, you can turn this into a draw engine that will never make your deck go into fatigue stage, unlike your opponents.
Then, you can use a new legendary Arch-Villain Rafaam and transform all of your cards into legendaries, which would completely devastate your opponents and prompt them to concede.
So it looks like Warlock has more chances to survive than ever before.
The Warrior class has gently shifted from Pirate class to Mech class in the span of just a year, marking a drastic change.
Mechs have become very aggressive and not only attack with Rush, but also throw bombs into opponents' decks. This makes things so much worse for anyone playing against Mech Warrior this season.
The new legendary Blastmaster Boom turned out to be so strong that this could easily become the most OP archetypes in the Rise of Shadows meta. But besides that, you can use Omega Devastator and deal 10 damage to any enemy minion, which is unheard of.
If you like playing midrange decks with solid control tools, then Mech Warrior should be your number one choice in 2019.
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