As with any new expansion pack release for a card game, Hearthstone’s in something of a tumultuous state right now as players – pro and casual alike – try to figure out how all these new cards affect the state of the meta.
Journey To Un’Goro is especially interesting since the release of the expansion has put a huge chunk of cards into the grave alongside all-new mechanics and systems. The options for quests, for example, give pretty powerful rewards regardless of the class you’re playing as.
Then there’s the new Adapt keyword, or the addition (and retrofitting) of Elemental minions, and a whole new playstyle that comes into focus as a result. But of course the meta can’t include everything, so we’ve drawn up some plans to help you get the most of Hearthstone’s Journey To Un’goro meta.
Key cards: Patches The Pirate, Bloodsail Cultist, Captain Greenskin, Bloodsail Raider, Southsea Captain, Dread Corsair, Weapons (Arcanite Reaper, Fiery War Axe)
Now this one isn’t exactly new, having dominated a lot of the Ladder pre-Un’goro. While it is a little weaker now, it is already proving to still be a pretty strong deck – so while there isn’t much Un’goro about this one, it’s still a worthy deck in this meta.
The focus here is on using almost exclusively Pirates and weapon cards to synergise with each other to gain certain benefits, mostly the strengthening of one another. As such this is an Aggro Deck – as is typical for the Warrior class – that means you’ll be playing a lot of cards and looking to deal damage quickly.
The benefit of the deck is that it doesn’t rely too heavily on certain cards or combos, since the majority of your cards will synergise quite well with one another. The focus should be on earning those boosts, and deal as much damage as you can. Remember the Warrior’s Hero Ability whenever you have the spare Mana, this will negative any damage you take when you attack.
Key cards: Living Mana, Innervate, Power of the Wild, Vicious Fledgling, Mark of the Lotus, Savage Roar, Evolving Spores
While Jade Druid might still be hitting the ladders, there’s a new deck in town that is beginning to take off – the Token Druid. Here’s a deck primarily focused on using the Druid’s opportunity to buff minions, bringing in weaker minions unique to Un’Goro to fill the board and strengthen them.
Cards like Living Mana can give you a solid base of minions to work with, while using Mark of the Lotus and Savage Roar can give them a healthy boost to get a lot of strong bodies for your opposition to deal with.
Of course the drawback is that by using weaker minions in this way will make your deck susceptible to any AOE clears, and that can utterly ruin an early attempt at this. At Turn 10, however, you can use Living Mana to summon your maximum of seven minions and still have three mana left to play with, even five if you also use Innvervate. That makes this a tough deck to reach, but the results are strong when it works.
Key cards: The Marsh Queen (quest), Jeweled Macaw, Stampede, Fire Fly, Igneous Elemental, Raptor Hatchling, Tol’vir Warden, Abusive Sergeant
The midrange Hunter deck still remains strong, but pretty much everyone is pointing to the Quest Hunter as the new deck to compete with, one that is bringing Hunter right back into the meta and making for a rather easy deck to play with relative difficulty to beat.
The Quest itself is perhaps the easiest of the new quests introduced into the game, and relies on playing seven 1-Mana cost minions onto the board. It’s a Zoo Deck, then, but one that rewards you with Queen Carnassa, a powerful minion card that also introduces 15 Raptors into your deck,
The deck should be primarily be built with 1-Mana costs, then, and the ones we’ve chosen have some great value, either 1-Mana minions that somehow create something more powerful for you or more expensive cards with abilities to provide you with additional 1-Mana minions.
Make sure you don’t completely fill with 1-Mana cost cards (you still want to make some mid-game plays) but that should be the emphasis if you want to get the quest completed early. As you might expect, your mulligan hand should rely on keeping cards that’ll give 1-Mana drops.
Key cards: Kalimos Primal Lord, Fire Fly, Servant Of Kalimos, Blazecaller, Tol’vir Stoneshaper, Igneous Elemental, Fire Elemental, Tar Creeper, Hot Spring Guardian,
Shaman is going to become popular in this meta, if not for the new Elemental archetype, then for the quest deck (below). This build relies on the Elementals, utilising their unique functionalities to draw on increasing power as the match goes on.
It’s a strong deck that can have a fantastic Mana curve, starting early with something like Fire Fly to begin the ball rolling and getting those Elemental buffs and ending with strong additional damage dealers like Blazecaller.
There are plenty of choices to pick from, but ensuring the likes of Kalimos and Servant Of Kalimos are in your deck will give you an end-game goal that – if successful – will be tough to beat after the chip damage from your other performers.
Jade Murloc Shaman
Key cards: Unite the Murlocs (Quest), Call in the Finishers, Finja the Flying Star, Primalfin Lookout, Primalfin Totem, Murlocs, Gentle Megasaur, Jade Claws, Aya Blackpaw, Jade Lightning
The current meta is very interesting for Shaman, allowing for a lot of customisation to its decks, and while that’s likely to shift over the coming weeks as more standards are figured out there’s still plenty of choice involved.
So while it’s clear that Un’Goro’s Shaman cards drive it towards completing its Unite the Murlocs quest – Call in the Finishers especially makes that known – there are a few ways of doing that. The quest itself requires you to summon 10 Murlocs, and how easy you want to make that task really comes down to how much you want to adapt your deck.
The simplest method would be to stock up on the key Murloc cards we’ve suggested alongside any number of other Murlocs you like, giving you the opportunity to draw as many as you can and play them quickly for a rushed quest finish and the strong reward.
Or you can choose to use your spare deck space for a tinge of a Jade Deck, which remains as strong in this meta as it did in the months prior. By utilising this you can maintain some extra board control cheaply even outside of the Murloc summoning.
Key cards: Hemet Jungle Hunter, Babbling Book, Bloodmage Thalnos, Primordial Glyph, Ice Block, Fireball, Pyroblast, Firelands Portal, Arcane Intellect, Arcanologist
There’s still a lot to iron out with this deck, but the premise is relatively simple: utilise the unique function of Hemet, Jungle Hunter to destroy your decks weaker cards to leave you exclusively with heavy hitting spells.
The idea is to have Ice Block to hand because you’re going to take damage with this deck, and in truth there are ways of countering Secrets right now so it can be a challenging deck to work for.
However, with a low-mana heavy deck focus, the idea is to stack up on cards that either give you card draw (to get that Hemet) and spell/secret discovery or the option to deal damage. By only including core damage spells beyond 3-Mana, you’ll guarantee these cards will enter into your hand and give you an end-game situation.
Sherazin Miracle Rogue
Key cards: Sherazin Corpse Flower, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Counterfeit Coin, Preparation, Backstab, Swashburglar, Eviscerate, Edwin VanCleef, Mimic Pod
Miracle Rogue remains an ever popular threat and while it doesn’t have the quick early game speed it used to have, it is now favouring some interesting options – in particular the Sherazin Corpse Flower – to create mid-to-late game shifts.
It’s not quite as reliable as it perhaps once was, then, especially since the early game is so weak. Initially you’ll spend the early game putting out fires, trying to counter while simultaneously trying to retain as many of those low-cost cards to enable both Gadgetzan Auctioneer and – later – Sherazin Corpse Flower.
There are some interesting tricks, like Mimic Pod, that can give some advantages as you play, such as doubling low-cost cards or even doubling VanCleef or Sherazin if you’re lucky. But mostly this deck is like any other Miracle Rogue, only now with this focus on the reviving man-eating plant for multiple turn attacks.