The Doom in the Tomb event launches tomorrow, October 8th. With it, arrives a unique time-limited Treasures of the Tomb set, which includes some of the most powerful cards in Hearthstone’s history. This re-introduction of Wild cards back to Standard is expected to last until the next expansion.
What is also expected is a transformation of Standard format. While the set contains only 23 cards, their power level is so high that they should completely re-define the meta. If this was an actual expansion and we saw these cards for the first time, many of them would score 4 out of 4 in a card preview. As such, it makes sense that we’d start theory-crafting and speculating on how these cards could be utilized, how archetypes could change and whether new strategies could emerge.
The first Data Reaper Report following the launch of the event is planned to be released on October 17th. However, this date is tentative and depends on the amount of data we can collect in this period. We hope that game activity will rise with the launch of the event, but our deadline can also be met through more contributors registering. If we’re not comfortable with the amount of data collected, we could delay the report. It’s a real possibility that we’d like to avoid with your help.
Contributing to the Data Reaper Project through either Track-o-Bot or Hearthstone Decktracker (recommended) is very easy and takes just a couple of minutes of your time. If you haven’t done so already, you can sign up HERE. If you have signed up in the past, make sure your tracker or plug-in is active with the event’s launch.
Kun the Forgotten King is a fantastic addition to Quest Druid, and we expect all variants of this archetype to include it. The more interesting question is whether the strongest combo enabler in Hearthstone’s history, Emperor Thaurissan, will make his own impact on the archetype.
As we’ve said in previous Data Reaper Reports, the Malygos variant of Quest Druid is significantly weaker than the Phaoris/Nomi variant because its win condition is clunkier and harder to execute. However, with the addition of Thaurissan and his obvious synergy with Elise and Floop, setting up a burst OTK with Malygos is a lot easier and more flexible on paper.
Astral Communion is one of the “fun” cards in this set. We’re less confident it will make it into the meta considering it’s never been part of a competitive deck in the past. It is normally the building block of an extremely greedy Big Druid deck that goes all-in on Astral Communion and looks to topdeck a big threat every turn. However, we do think Astral Communion has great synergy with Biology Project and Juicy Psychmelon specifically. Slap a N’Zoth win condition alongside Floop and maybe we can go some places.
As one of the two best decks on ladder today, Highlander Hunter has great potential to take advantage of the upcoming Wild set. Highlander Hunter is currently dominated by the Subject 9 build, with other variants seeing fringe play. It will be interesting to see whether the fringe variants can make the upgrades necessary to compete with the most successful build.
When it comes to upgrading the Subject 9 variant, it’s almost too easy to do. Ragnaros should be a devastating follow up for either Brann or Siamat. Call of the Wild has disgusting synergy with Zul’jin. These two additions alone make Highlander Hunter’s late game very scary.
The Malygos/Jepetto combo variant of Highlander Hunter sees fringe play on ladder, and it sucks. However, the addition of Emperor Thaurissan is a big boost for any combo. Much like in Quest Druid, Emperor should help this deck execute its win condition more consistently. Lock and Load could be a useful late game reload tool, while Call of the Wild is a big upgrade for a deck that is limited to a specific package of minions and needs all the board generating spells it can get. Whether that will be enough to lift it from its current sorry state remains to be seen.
The aggressive Mech variant of Highlander Hunter, which was popularized recently by Zalae, is currently showing more promise. It is also the inspiration for this juicy, minion-dense, quintuple-tribal build. Mechs, Beasts, Murlocs, Dragons, and Elementals join to form a powerful curve that is topped off by a N’Zoth package and the first symbol of tribal Amalgamation in Hearthstone: The Curator.
N’Zoth is simply a great potential addition for Highlander decks. It serves as a powerful win condition that isn’t hindered by their deck-building restriction. It works well with Zephrys, who loves to offer you a Tirion in the late game. It works well with Khartut Defender and Rotten Applebaum to provide you with protection and sustainability, and it’s a big threat when re-summoning Cairne and Sylvanas. Add Luna’s Pocket Galaxy to the equation, with the disgusting potential of a Sylvanas/Conjurer’s Calling combo, and Mage just seems like a great fit.
But that’s not even the biggest news within the class. Flamewaker is one of the strongest Mage cards ever printed, and its potential in a Cyclone Mage deck is mouthwatering. The biggest question is whether Cyclone Mage will keep the Giant/CC shell and utilize Flamewaker as an upgrade, or whether Cyclone Mage will look to maximize the threat of Flamewaker by incorporating more burn instead. The featured builds present the two different pathways.
Flamewaker should perform better in the Burn build because it does have some anti-synergy with Giants (Flamewaker wants you to spend cards rather than hoard them for Mountain Giant, and it clears minions on the board, weakening Sea Giants), but Giant/CC is still such a powerful package that it’s hard to say which will be the best way to go.
Who am I? None of your business! One of the most iconic build-around cards is making his return, and Mysterious Challenger should provide a monumental boost to Secret Paladin alongside Avenge, which is the strongest Paladin secret ever printed. In its current iteration, Secret Paladin is dead, so we’ll see how high these two additions can lift it from the dumpster, and whether it will be enough to successfully compete.
Paladin is the “original” N’Zoth class, so it’s very likely to experiment with a package of deathrattle minions. The featured build is a Highlander hybrid of Control Paladin and Holy-Wrath Paladin, which we think could be very promising. With Emperor Thaurissan available to discount our combo pieces, we can hit a perfect 30 damage OTK with the help of Zephrys giving us Lava Burst. The N’Zoth package allows us to pressure opponents through the board, making it less likely that we will lack damage, and offers us a quicker win condition in faster matchups.
Sylvanas, Thaurssian, and Ragnaros are all incredible resurrection targets, making experimentation with a Gallery Resurrect Priest extremely likely with the launch of the event. Resurrect Priest’s strong selling point in the upcoming meta is that it has the best anti-N’Zoth board clear in the game (Plague of Death). Together with Lightbomb, another historically strong AOE, this archetype looks promising.
While the first build is the most straightforward and well-rounded one, players may still run the quest in the archetype, leading to our second suggested build that includes Sandhoof Waterbearers and Divine Hymn. We wonder if the quest will still be necessary for the archetype considering it hampers our early game resilience: If we need more “late game value”, we could always run Séance in the first build and use it on an Emperor-discounted N’Zoth.
Combo Priest should stay the way it is. There’s a chance it could utilize Vol’jin as a pseudo removal card, but we’re not too excited about this prospect.
Did Rogue get the most obvious upgrades of all classes? Swashburglar is the 1-drop Valeera craved when she saw Underbelly Fence and Vendetta revealed. Alongside Shaku, Quest Rogue has received a big boost in its early game and quest completion capability. In the featured build, we’re also including Ragnaros, Leeroy and Shadowsteps. Quest Rogue’s biggest problem in the current meta is its ability to close games, and this issue might become more problematic should the meta include N’Zoth and Emperor/OTK decks. It won’t be able to afford grinding things out slowly. Rogue will need to kill opponents before they reach their late game.
The addition of Swashburglar and Shaku makes it difficult to pass on the Vendetta package for other Rogue decks too. This Lackey Rogue build has already seen success by ZachO last month and is a viable alternative to the more aggressive and popular Aggro Pirate build. With Swashburglars replacing Jar Dealers, and Ragnaros offering another closer alongside Togwaggle, Lackey Rogue should upgrade its lethality.
Shaman may have received, pound for pound, the best cards in this set. We think Evolve is going to be absurd with Desert Hare and see it as a package that’s going to be hard to pass up for any Shaman deck. Hare/Evolve might be stronger than Dopplegangster/Evolve because it comes down earlier, making it less likely that the opponent can deal with it.
We’re featuring two directions for Evolve Shaman. The first involves upgrading the Overload Jambre build with Hare/Evolve. This makes the deck even faster to get on the board and reach its power spikes.
The second build incorporates Thing from Below and maximizes its abuse through a Totemic tribal package. Nightmare Amalgam shines in this deck as both a murloc and a totem, following up Underbelly Angler and curving into Splitting Axe. Hench-Clan Hag has great synergy with Thing from Below, Evolve and Sea Giant. This deck could even take one step further by running Totemic Surge and Flametongue Totem, but they might be too situational.
Remember what we’ve said about clunky combo win conditions that are hard to execute? Shaman has them too, with Muckmorpher Shaman failing to live up to its hype after the launch of Rise of Shadows. The Malygos build especially has looked unplayable because of how difficult it is to get an OTK done.
Not anymore! With Emperor Thaurissan available, Lava Burst can come into play and provide a more consistent finisher alongside Malygos, Totemic Smash, Lightning Bolt and Frost Shock. Ragnaros is another incredible Eureka/Muckmorpher target because it provides immediate damage that can put the opponent within reach of fewer direct damage spells. Of course, we still maintain the survivability offered by Walking Fountains and Zilliax. This deck has always been able to outlast aggressive decks quite adequately, but now it may have a reliable way of winning slower matchups too.
Warlock players might be disappointed with the cards introduced in this set. While there is a chance that late game Warlock strategies strengthen with N’Zoth entering the fray (and adding sustainability through Rotten Applebaum/Khartut Defender), it’s most likely that they are still too far away from being serious contenders in the meta. Time will tell.
What Warlock did receive is a great 3-drop for Zoo Warlock. Imp Gang Boss has always been a very strong card, and with its addition, there is less “pressure” to run Neferset Thrasher. This could push more players into the Lackey/Tekahn build, which is already performing better on ladder now.
Renounce Darkness has always been a meme and we don’t expect it to be any good now. It was included in this set as a “memorable” card that players have always tried to make work and have fun with. Still, we tried to build the best Renounce Warlock we could think of to provide a starting point for experiments. This deck aims to survive, and tap into a full hand before playing Renounce. Certain packages in this build make for interesting additions: Plague of Flames alongside Impish Circle or Rafaam’s Scheme offer a strong board clear. Sense Demons gives us drawing power and sustainability through Broodmothers. Impbalming delays our fatigue clock and gives us more fodder to transform.
Warrior also received relatively underwhelming cards. Varian has never been a dominant build around, and it’s very hard to see use for it with the current tools available for the class. Bloodhoof Brave is a more interesting addition, since we think it’s a strong fit for current Aggro Warrior. It’s a great target for enrage activation and a big threat with Rampage and Bloodsworn Mercenary. It might lessen the need for a turn 5 Arcanite Reaper as a result, since turn 5 will be more about following up on the Bloodhoof Brave. Ragnaros should also be very strong in Aggro Warrior due to the immediate damage potential.
That’s it from us. We’ll see you in the Tombs!