After completing the comprehensive TITANS preview, it’s time for theory-crafting! We encourage you to read the card preview as it is likely to shed light on many of our decisions regarding deck building.
Our first Data Reaper Report for TITANS is scheduled for Thursday, August 10th! We will note that should there be balance changes within the first few days of the expansion, the Data Reaper Report could be delayed. We will provide an update in such a case on our Twitter.
Once again, we remind you that you can help us perform our analysis by contributing your Hearthstone game data. This can be done using Firestone, which provides us with all its user data (with an option to opt out). Alternatively, you can contribute data through our Hearthstone Deck Tracker plugin. Installing the plugin is very easy and will only take a couple of minutes of your time. We appreciate and thank all our contributors for keeping this project going. We remind our existing plug-in contributors to check on their plug-in and make sure that it is still active. Sometimes, with big patches, the plug-in deactivates inadvertently.
Remember that while we have extensively worked to produce the featured decks, they are still untested, and nothing can replace the post-launch refinement that is backed up by real-time game experience and data.
If you have a limited collection, we highly recommend that you DO NOT make big crafting investments on any theory-crafted deck. Wait at least a few days to see what strategies end up being strong and fun before making a significant commitment.
Now for our TITANIC decks!
The Plague package’s most likely home is in a defensively minded Death Knight deck that is adept at fending off the opponent’s aggression. The plague cards’ impact on the board is relatively slow, so we need ways to swing the game back in our favor. The deck also needs to be willing to take the game late since the value of plagues is more likely to be materialized in a longer game.
There is one main issue with the rune restriction for the archetype: it doesn’t have access to Blood’s survivability tools. However, the deck can still carry a lot of strong AOE effects. Between Hardcore Cultist, Tomb Traitor and Hollow Hound, the deck has multiple tools to deal with aggressive decks. Early game removal is also available with Plague Strike and Down with the Ship.
Once we reach the later stages of the game, we should have some single target removal to deal with big threats. Chained Guardians are the natural support for the archetype, but they can become quite threatening too. Sylvanas may become mandatory for archetypes with high minion density because she provides an incredible answer to enemy TITANS. The Primus is a huge late game card with a strong single target removal ability.
The archetype is naturally inclined to run a high density of minions while it isn’t blessed with card draw. Magatha becomes an obvious inclusion in a list that only runs 4 spells. The deck looks very fleshed out and clean, but we still have trouble believing its primary win condition can compete with other win conditions in the future meta.
Blood-Ctrl Death Knight faces a similar problem. Can it survive the late game inevitability of other decks? One recent development in the current format has indicated it may have a chance. A new build has propagated on ladder, one that becomes more aggressive in the late game, looking to kill opponents with Theron, Mograine and The Jailer. This list also includes Prison of Yogg-Saron, which has proven to be surprisingly strong in the deck.
The featured list tweaks the popular ladder list by adding Sylvanas and The Primus, which should be important against enemy TITANS. This list doesn’t look to drag out the game too long. If there’s an opportunity to checkmate our opponent with The Jailer, we pull the trigger. If our opponent carries non-targeted removal that can deal with an immune board, we consider our current resources. The decision becomes less intuitive.
We’re not fans of the Plague package in Unholy-Aggro Death Knight, as the cards are too slow in the short time window in which an aggressive deck’s games are decided, but we are curious about a deathrattle build after the addition of Ravenous Kraken.
Yelling Yodeler and Eggs have already seen a lot of experimentation in the archetype since the 4-drop’s introduction in the mini-set. These builds have proven to be inferior to the established variant, but the established variant might only add one card (The Primus) in TITANS, so we think it’s a better idea to show you something a bit fresher.
There is merit to revisiting a deathrattle build. Ravenous Kraken is a perfect fit for the deck on paper. It allows us to pop eggs in the early game, while setting up a turn 4 Yelling Yodeler. Its high health on turn 3 makes it difficult to kill, while killing it is a dilemma by itself. If we play a turn 2 Nerubian Egg into a turn 3 Kraken, it’s almost impossible for our opponent to deny us a strong Yodeler. They need a silence/transform effect, or we’re likely to generate an extremely sticky board the next turn.
The new potential addition for Frost-Aggro Death Knight is The Primus, with his Runes of Frost ability. That’s an ability that makes us want to run Howling Blast. A turn 8 Primus/Howling Blast is a big AOE nuke. We still want to maintain a curated package of Frost spells to be drawn consistently from Overseer Frigadara, so we cut Frost Strike to make way. Turn 6 Frigadara into turn 7 Frostwyrm’s Fury into turn 8 The Primus/Howling Blast is quite the late game curve.
There are two potential additions to Relic Demon Hunter.
The first is Argus, which we’re pretty sure is going to be an insane card in the deck. It’s both a comeback card thanks to Argunite Army, as well as a powerful mana cheating card with Show of Force. Relic DH is very dense with minions, so Show of Force can give us a massive discount. The thought of discounting Argus with Relic of Dimensions and then having Argus generate another mass discount is quite tempting. Argus’ aura also means we can give our big Relic of Phantasms threats either lifesteal or rush, which can be huge for our ability to stabilize.
The second is Jotun. Jotun’s immediate impact on the board is non-existent and the effect is not as reliable, which makes us more cautious about its chances of being a strong card in the deck. But the potential of casting free relics means it’s certain to be a candidate for experimentation. Jotun also copies and casts Fizzle snapshots for free. Note that the original Snapshot is drawn, and only then does Jotus cast the copy, so you don’t burn the original Snapshot if you’re lacking hand space. Also remember that Jotun casts the first spell drawn. If you draw a minion at the start of your turn, you can still dig for a spell on the same turn and have Jotun trigger. Remembering what cards are left in your deck could be quite important in your decision making after playing Jotun.
Spell Demon Hunter could also run Jotun and find him quite consistently early on thanks to the soul discovery mechanic. To leverage Jotun a bit harder, we’re running Deal with a Devil and Metamorphosis. A free Deal with a Devil could be very strong. Note that Jotun casts the free copy randomly, so all discovery cards are random. This is also true for Dispose of Evidence, so the shuffle effect of the copy will be random. Some may suggest cutting Dispose for that reason, but we want the damage. Spell DH has a lot of card draw and churns through the deck quite quickly, so we don’t mind shuffling cards back. It might even be strategic to shuffle cards back into your deck so they can be drawn, copied, and cast for free by Jotun.
Runic Adornment is normally not a card that we’d consider running in a Demon Hunter deck, but it does have one major thing going for it. It’s a cheap spell that discovers another cheap spell. This makes it a good enabler for Felscale Evoker and a candidate for inclusion in Big Demon Hunter. Whether the shuffle effect ends up impacting the game doesn’t matter that much, but a more consistently active Evoker will have an impact.
Another potential card we could think about is Mythical Terror. However, it’s a big demon we don’t want to summon with Evoker. Evoker needs to summon threats, while Mythical Terror is a strong stabilizer rather than a kill threat. Our idea is to put Mythical Terror inside an E.T.C band. The other band members are Through Fel and Flames and Lor’themar Theron. Through Fel and Flames allows E.T.C to occasionally act as a 4 mana 5/5 rush, which isn’t terrible. Theron is a lean into slower matchups, turning our big demons into much bigger threats.
We usually don’t like E.T.C as a tech card hub, but it can be useful as a tool to bypass deckbuilding restrictions.
The Druid set gives us confidence that the class will be back to being competitive at TITANS. Ramp Druid again has many options to experiment with for its late game, with the focal point being a Choose One package and the Eonar/Freya combo. This build leverages Lifebinder’s Gift further with Topior as another source of stabilization and threat density.
The Choose One cards in the deck are Lifebinder’s Gift, Nourish and Drum Circle. All three cards are extremely powerful when they have both of their effects combined through either Embrace of Nature or Disciple of Eonar. A combined Drum Circle is the deck’s main win condition, especially in faster matchups. It’s very hard for an aggressive deck to get through five 4/6 taunts on turn 7. Sometimes this will occur earlier thanks to Lifebinder’s Gift, Summer Flowerchild, and our other ramp cards.
Summer Flowerchild has the magic number of five tutor targets. Alongside Drum Circle, there’s Topior, Freya and Eonar. Topior has many Nature spells to feed off here, turning into a big late game threat that provides another way to turn the corner against faster decks. Eonar and Freya form our main ultimate combo. We play Eonar, use Flourish to refresh our mana crystals, play Freya, use her to copy the board and cast a second Eonar ability on the same turn. Our board will have two Eonars, Freya and three 5/5 Ancients with taunt. That’s game over in any faster matchup considering you’ve likely healed to full through Bountiful Harvest. In slower matchups, you can copy your hand or draw a full hand to accumulate enough threats to finish the game.
Another approach is to utilize the hero power package with Peaceful Piper, Free Spirit, Groovy Cat and Rake/Spread the Word. We don’t run a large package of Nature spells here, so Topior is replaced by Prison of Yogg-Saron to provide us with the 5th draw target for Summer Flowerchild and an alternative comeback card.
The goal of this deck is to ramp up your hero power and win slower matchups through both Drum Circle boards and the sustained damage of the button. If you can afford to copy some Groovy Cats with Freya, your hero power can get even stronger.
One non-guaranteed but powerful finisher in the deck comes from Ignis, the Eternal Flame. If you can discover a Windfury weapon, your hero power becomes a massive source of burst damage. It only happens 60% of the time, so you can’t count on it, but it increases your chances of beating highly defensive decks with a lot of life or armor gain.
The Druid TITANS’ set has a lot of support for Treant synergy, so Druid could choose to go down the Cultivation path. This build looks to consistently hit a board power spike on turn 6-7, running both Ancient of Growth and Drum Circle. It is not an aggressive deck by any means. Your primary goal in faster matchups is to set up your big blowout turn, where you produce so many big taunts that an aggressive opponent can’t get through.
In slower matchups, this deck produces wave after wave of threats, demanding removal from your opponent at every turn. If they fail to answer your board, Drum Circle or Cultivation should mean death. Topior and a Nature spell package helps you reload the board quite consistently.
The Treant package could also be the catalyst of an Aggressive Druid deck returning to the format. This build is both fast to get down to the board and quick to discount Cultivation to the point it becomes a very threatening board buff and finisher. Together with Herald of Nature and a decent package of enablers, it’s going to be very difficult to leave a Druid board alone without being punished for it.
This is also the deck where Blood Treant could finally shine in. Its synergy with Conservator Nymph is worth exploring. A 3/3 and a 5/5 taunt on turn 3 represent a lot of pressure.
Remember that by keeping Forest Seedling in the mulligan, the card will blossom for you to play on turn 3. If you have other early game plays in hand, it should be a strong keep, but don’t hesitate to use it to play a couple of Saplings if there’s a need to fight for the board aggressively. Also remember that it’s not a Nature spell, so it doesn’t activate Herald of Nature. Don’t ask us why, but it’s likely to cause confusion early on.
The most alarming addition to Hunter’s arsenal is Always a Bigger Jormungar, or in short, ABJ. This card turns Hollow Hound into effectively a full heal and a damage nuke that greatly discourages minion development into the Hunter. Considering that both Hound and ABJ can be soft tutored, this combo is going to be very consistent. You’re going to have to play around Hollow Hound much better than you did before this expansion!
The added inevitability that comes from this combo makes Hunter’s late game incredible, to the point we think it’s likely that a Renathal build of the archetype will be superior. The redundancy of having Mister Mukla offer another intimidating ABJ target is a bonus.
One card that has recently been added to Renathal Hound Hunter is Prison of Yogg-Saron. It’s proving to be a success in the archetype, further reinforcing the idea that the card is strong in decks that look to bridge into the late game and don’t carry a lot of removal.
Other new additions to the archetype could be Aggramar and Titanforged Traps. Aggramar is likely a staple in every Hunter deck due to his great damage potential and utility. Titanforged Traps is a nice value/disruption card that Hunter can use to either stall the game or force the opponent into more awkward plays. The flexibility in playing it either forged or unforged, as well as the ability to discover a strong secret or two depending on the game state, makes it strong enough to be selected by a deck even without other secret synergies.
There’s a way to leverage ABJ harder and focus entirely on the combo. Stonebound Gargon is a forgotten Hunter beast that can be infused to cleave. It has the same attack value as Hollow Hound and is 2 mana cheaper. If we drop King Krush and Mister Mukla, we can consistently find it from Selective Breeder alongside Hound.
This build runs Hodir for the purpose of killing the opponent on turn 9 with a giant cleaving beast buffed by ABJ. One interesting interaction exists between Hodir and Absorbent Parasite. If you play Hodir, play Hound or Gargon and then magnetize Parasite on top of the beast, it will be buffed to 16/16 stats. Hodir applies the buff on the Parasite as it enters play before the magnetizing occurs. This means that Parasite can provide an absurd OTK setup if your opponent has minions in play.
Then you add Castle Kennels to the equation, which can buff the attack value of the cleave beasts further for a banked mana cost. This build is all about cleaving and doesn’t even need to draw Hodir to deal an insane amount of damage through ABJ combos.
Perhaps, this is gimmicky and inferior to playing a more well-rounded build of Hound Hunter, but it’s funny enough to try.
Hunter’s set is so strong that the class has options to go in entirely different directions from the established Hound Hunter archetype. Observer of Myths and Awakening Tremors is a two-card package that could bring about the arrival of an aggressive Token Hunter deck, one that is extremely board-centric and leverages control of the board to dish out damage through buffs.
It makes sense that this Token Hunter deck runs a sticky build that is resistant to AOE, so it’s only natural to test the same package of cards here we’ll be trying in Unholy-Aggro DK: Foul Egg, Nerubian Egg, Ravenous Kraken and Yelling Yodeler. The Eggs make great buff targets for both Observer and Bananas.
Another superb combo exists between Hawkstrider Rancher and Awakening Tremors. Developing multiple 5/2 Worms with deathrattles in one turn sounds like a nightmare for the opponent. Add some eggs and it becomes very hard to clear the board.
The minion density and low spell count beckons Magatha to provide the draw. Hope of Quel’thalas should be an outstanding card in the deck. Sylvanas, Aggramar and Hydralodon make sure we can still hit the later stages of the game without running out of powerful plays.
Some Hunters just like to hit face hard. Starstrung Bow is a very high damage weapon that Face Hunter can appreciate, encouraging the archetype to run a secret package to discount it. We already know that Costumed Singer is a strong card without any other secret synergies, so if we add the promising Titanforged Traps to the deck, the job of discounting Starstrung Bow is already done.
What else hits face hard? A bunch of 4/1’s Worms. Aggressive Hunter decks should appreciate these cheap threats, protected by Monkeys, buffed by Bananas, and tutored by Trinket Tracker. Add Aggramar on top of Starstrung Bow and Face Hunter gets so much more damage added to its toolkit. The TITAN alone brings a guaranteed 15 damage through his weapon if you so choose. More damage equals more Face Hunter wins.
Mage’s most anticipated archetype is Spell School Mage, an archetype that’s looking to play spells from every color available in the game to ramp up its power. This build attempts to balance a healthy amount of Fire, Frost and Arcane spells. We also run Discovery of Magic, Prismatic Elemental, and Molten Rune. Those should be very important cards in our search for spells from other classes, with spell schools that Mage normally doesn’t have access to.
Inquisitive Creation should become one of the strongest AOE cards in the format. The 4-drop directly scales from spell schools, so there’s a lot of incentive to cast spells from different schools to stabilize early on.
Wisdom of Norgannon gives us more draw alongside Volume Up to find our late game pieces. The card gets gradually discounted down to 0 mana if you’ve cast spells from five different schools.
In many matchups, you’ll be looking to seal the deal with Elemental Inspiration. The more spells from different schools you’ve cast, the more overwhelming the stats output of this card is. It should present problems even to the most defensive minded decks.
But if you’re facing a wall of removal, there’s one more win condition available to the archetype in Sif, one that represents strong inevitability. Sif’s ceiling is of a +8 spell damage minion. A turn 10 Sif/Forged Molten Rune/Arcane Bolt is 33 damage. Spell damage of +7 is the sweet spot for a full health OTK of 30 damage. Don’t be overly attached to your combo pieces though, as you don’t need to hold on to them in most matchups. You can always discover more from Infinitize the Maxitude too. Look for 1-mana damage spells from Infinitize if you need to OTK in a certain matchup.
Mage could pass going all-in on Spell Schools and play more aggressively. It’s getting strong tools to support Burn Mage. A forged Molten Rune is very powerful with any kind of spell damage, turning into a Pyroblast if boosted by an Aegwynn buff. A +4 spell damage Sif is still a realistic and powerful card in this build, especially when Burn Mage is adept at dealing chip damage early and doesn’t need to set up a full OTK.
Another package we’re very curious about is the Elemental package. We think there is merit to explore cutting Volume Up, a card that’s not the best fit in an aggressive deck, for Chained Guardian. An Elemental package consisting of Aqua Archivist, Synthesize, Arcane Artificer, Flame Geyser and Prismatic Elemental should be more than enough to fuel Guardian.
Synthesize is particularly good at setting up a turn 4 Guardian, since you can use the generated 1-drop and 2-drop on turn 3, then proceed to draw three cards with Guardian on 4. The bonus is that your increasing minion count from Synthesize also helps infuse Frozen Touch later in the game. In the late game, remember that a forged Molten Rune deals the same amount of damage as an Infused Frozen Touch when buffed by spell damage.
Mech Mage has been sleeping through Festival of Legends, but there’s a chance some of the cards in this set are going to wake it up. Chill-o-Matic is a quality minion for the archetype that gives it a strong early game line that should be highly irritating for weapon classes (1-drop, magnetize with Chill). Chill-o-Matic is also hilarious with Mecha-Shark, as it will causes the 3-drop to freeze every enemy character it deals damage to.
Another card that works well with Mecha-Shark, and is generally amazing in Mech decks, is Drone Deconstructor. It’s flexible enough to be both a 1-drop and a 2-drop. It’s a single card that can activate Mecha-Shark twice. It can help the deck fill its curve throughout the game and may come up clutch with some Sparkbot generations.
We’re quite confident that Mech Mage should be running Magatha and Norgannon. Both cards may not be mechs, but they sure are busted.
The most influential addition to the Paladin toolkit may not be a TITANS card, but a Core set card. Crusader Aura is guaranteed to make a huge impact as a board-based finisher, influencing the class to produce board flooding strategies that can leverage it optimally.
Pure Paladin certainly can. Instead of the Horn of the Windlord burst damage package, we run a Silver Hand Recruit package that allows to constantly load the board with tokens and threaten a Crusader Aura. Muster for Battle, Boogie Down, Stand Against Darkness and Buffet Biggun are all big threats in this build.
One of the nastiest combos in this deck is a comeback line of play. Crusader Aura can set up a Liadrin/Stand combo, in which we buff a bunch of dudes with Divine Shield, Rush and +2/+1. This allows us to clear an opponent board and develop tons of stats on the same turn. Muster for Battle can also work well with Liadrin.
The Purator package sees a minor tweak, with the proactive Lothraxion replacing Anachronos. We’re going to be flooding the board constantly with Dudes, so Anachronos makes less sense when we’re not looking to stall into a Horn setup.
At the top end, Amitus provides us with another board buff that makes our Dudes incredibly resistant to damage based AOE effects.
Mech Paladin is another archetype that could heavily benefit from Crusader Aura due to its synergy with Inventor’s Aura. Forget about clumsy magnetic mechs that have proven to be too weak in the current format. We think Mech Paladin should be all about flooding the board with cheap mechs, fully taking advantage of its mana cheating and card draw capabilities.
The game plan of this build is simple. Find Radar Detector and Inventor’s Aura. Fill your hand and pull the trigger, dropping down a massive board in a single turn. If your opponent cannot provide an answer, solidify your position with a Bubblebot or pound their face with Crusader Aura. This deck can still curve out incremental threats, but Aura gives it another dimension. The need to load the board with a lot of cheap mechs is why we like Gorillabot, a card that might raise some eyebrows at initial glance.
The TITANS set offers Paladin a genuine late game path with very strong scaling through the Earthen package and resurrection cards. This deck is in danger of being too slow, but trying to make it work has been one of our favorite little projects during theorycrafting. If competitive, this deck could become a favorite for many players.
The goal of this build is to be as defensively strong as possible, while keeping a curated Paladin minion package for our resurrection effects. Righteous Protector is a good target for Boogie Down and Tyr’s Tears. Astral Serpent provides our card draw. Stoneheart King and Disciple of Amitus provide the Earthens. Amitus has incredible utility.
In this deck, Tyr resurrects an Earthen, Astral Serpent or Stoneheart King, and Disciple of Amitus. This greatly accelerates our Earthens into becoming giant threats. The deck’s curve ensures Order in the Court finds the rest of our Earthen package quickly once we feel comfortable ramping up our scaling.
The rest of the build is dedicated to surviving. Equality clears boards with either Consecration or Pyromancer. Pyromancer can also work with Holy Maki Roll, our major source of sustain. Dance Floor enables a resurrected board to immediately respond to opposing threats. The location might serve an important role in offsetting the major weakness of Earthens, which is their lack of protection.
Control Priest could be facing a more hostile environment, with many classes gaining powerful win conditions that will be difficult to beat through attrition alone. The archetype from Festival of Legends is only gaining a couple of cards. While those cards are very powerful, they don’t offer a solution to an increase in late game lethality.
Creation Protocol is a great value engine for the class. Control Priest runs many high impact minions that Protocol can help us find. The card is also very flexible. Depending on the matchup, we could choose to copy different minions. Armor Vendors or Blackwater Behemoth may come up clutch in a matchup against a burn deck. Aman’Thul or Astalor would be very powerful in slow matchups. Copying Dirty Rat gives us a desperate way to knock opponents off a game plan we can’t otherwise stop.
Aman’Thul is just generally insane. Incredible responsive tool. Incredible value generator. Incredible proactive tool. This card does everything. Both Protocol and Aman’Thul are staples in every Priest deck.
A potential adaptation of Priest to an increase in late game lethality is the incorporation of its own clock, a faster win condition that can pressure opponents and force them off their normal game plan against an attrition deck. Astral Automaton is the most promising path to that adaptation, offering Priest its own version of Pogo-Hopper.
The featured build (which NoHandsGamer landed on) doesn’t go all-in on Automatons. It does not sacrifice Control Priest’s solid defensive shell, but drastically cuts on minions to strengthen the consistency of Creation Protocol. It also drops Renathal to sharpen its late game.
The minions we run in Pogo Priest serve very specific and impactful roles. Celestial Projectionist offers a cheap copy effect for Astral Automaton alongside Animate Dead, Power Chord: Synchronize and Creation Protocol. Zilliax and Ini provide the best payoffs for scaling Automatons, giving us huge board swings and recovery potential.
Blackwater Behemoth and Aman’Thul are Control Priest’s strongest overall cards. Svalna provides infinite spell value for Love Everlasting and an attrition path to victory. Ra-den is our Automaton bomb, but also works well with Aman’Thul. You can kill Ra-den on the turn it’s played with ‘The Light! It Burns!’ if you need an immediate board of Automatons and/or you’re worried about silence/transform effects.
Undead Priest is in danger of going stale, but the set could help it pivot more often to the late game. Aman’Thul should still be an incredible card for the archetype, as it provides so much pressure and value. Turn 7 Aman’Thul is also a good bridge into turn 8 Astalor.
To make way, we cut the Amalgam of the Deep/Bone Flinger slots. They’ve mostly been here to fill the numbers.
The rest of the Priest set doesn’t leave much room for confidence, but even if The Stars Align doesn’t end up a competitive card, it should at least be wacky and fun. This build tries to leverage its transformation effect in the most dramatic way.
The principle is to run a minion dense build, with minions that can generate other minions to keep our hand full of Stars Align targets while we contest the board. We have a very small package of spells, which means Thrive can always find us The Stars Align or Creation Protocol.
If Ra-den doesn’t end up transformed himself, he should be a powerful late game card in the deck. Suspicious Usher, False Disciple, Paparazzi and Aman’Thul are guaranteed to discover legendary minions and fill Ra-den’s summoning pool.
We have little faith in a fully tribal Mech Rogue archetype that develops minions every turn and looks to curve out by magnetizing. We think this deck is likely too fair and one dimensional to be competitive. The best path for mechs to find their way into Rogue decks is likely through the Miracle Concoction shell. This build attempts to take one of the most promising aspects of the tribe and incorporate it into Miracle Rogue.
Mimiron is a powerful card that can act as both a value engine and a swing card in Miracle Rogue. His supporting package consists of From the Scraphead and Pit Stop, which we can discount with Preparation, and the Frequency Oscillator/Drone Deconstructor pairing.
Since we only run three unique mechs in the deck, Pit Stop finds us a buffed Mimiron every time. Preparation/Bone Spike can allow us to cheat out Mimiron early and snowball through his ability. A Mimiron turn is a card flinging chain that can fuel a Sinstone Graveyard in the mid-game. The rest of the deck wins the Miracle Rogue way.
The other promising aspect of Mech Rogue is Lab Constructor. This card has potential to be a very powerful win condition in the right circumstances, so what if we dropped the established win conditions of Miracle Rogue and replaced them with a Lab Constructor package?
The key could be the pairing of Scourge Illusionist and Containment Unit. In this deck, when Scourge Illusionist dies, it adds a 3 mana 4/4 Containment Unit to our hand. We then attach Containment Unit onto a Lab Constructor and have a snowballing, massive threat that our opponent must deal with in one turn or likely lose the game.
Another path to enabling Lab Constructor is finding a way to stealth it. This can be done via either Mimiron’s Cloakfield or a stealth Sparkbot. Once Lab Constructor is given stealth, we can then attach even a normal sized Containment Unit to it and watch it split further.
This list has five mechs, so even though Pit Stop is not a guaranteed tutor, it’s still highly likely to find us either Mimiron or Lab Constructor, our two most powerful cards.
This list was made quite late, after writing the Comprehensive Preview. The idea just hit, after scrapping an earlier prototype of Mech Rogue. What struck us is that there’s no need to forge Lab Constructor to execute the powerful plays available in this deck, as we’re using it as the base mech and just need its end of turn effect. Perhaps we should take back the 1 we gave the card, as this looks a bit more interesting!
Can one of Rogue’s favorite archetypes return to a competitive level? We sure hope so because this pile of cards looks like fun. Thief Rogue didn’t get much direct support in the Rogue set beyond Kaja’mite Creation, but it did get some indirect support.
Watcher of the Sun is a forge neutral that is a good fit for Thief Rogue. It adds a Holy spell from another class to our hand and it can heal us for a significant amount in combination with Shadowstep. Thief Rogue was already inclined to run Sunfury Clergy before. Watcher is arguably the better card for this deck.
Cyclopian Crusher gives us a decent enough turn 3 play, something that’s otherwise missing from the deck and it’s not a terrible card to Shadowstep either. Those are two playable forge cards, so we might as well run Ignis and have a new condition for the archetype!
Kologarn looks like an unplayable neutral legendary from this set, yet Kologarn/Breakdance is a hilarious late game combo that can steal an enemy TITAN without counterplay and have them join Tess Greymane’s ranks. Sylvanas, Astalor, Tess Greymane and Cyclopian Crusher are other strong Breakdance targets. Add Prison of Yogg and we’ve got a surprisingly delicious looking stew cooking.
The hype surrounding the Shaman set is high. Overload Shaman looks like a real deck, though likely a complicated one that’s going to be hard to figure out, both in deckbuilding and piloting.
This archetype plays in swing turns and is otherwise quite passive in the early game. In faster matchups, you’re looking for ways to clear the board and swing the game. Lightning Storm is a reliable board clear but executing a swing turn is more complicated. It can be done with either a forged Champion of Storms or Crash of Thunder, enabled by a Flash of Lightning setup to Lightning Reflexes.
The deck wins primarily through softening up opponents with Horn of the Windlord and Turn the Tides, then executing a direct burst damage turn that ends with Overdraft. This can be done with Novice Zappers/Lightning Bolts/Crash of Thunder to deal a fair amount of damage, or through a Bioluminescence OTK. The Bio OTK is set up by Flash of Lightning, into a Champion of Storms/Lighting Reflexes turn. Champion of Storms will fill the board with bodies, as Nature spells are cast, which we then buff with Bioluminescence before hitting our opponent with Lightning Bolts, Crash of Thunder, and Overdrafts.
Inzah makes our OTK much easier to execute, since he discounts Novice Zappers and Lightning Bolts to 0 mana. If it’s found early, the deck becomes so much stronger. Remember that the effects of both Inzah and Flash of Lightning apply to discovered cards too.
Golganneth and Turn the Tides are almost certain to make an impact on every Shaman deck. Golganneth’s fit in Evolve Shaman is incredible, as it gives the Shaman excellent reload and swing potential. We want to run a minimum of six Overload cards for Golganneth, so Ancestral Knowledge, Turn the Tides and Pack the House make the most sense. If it’s possible, we want to draw with Golganneth at the highest priority, while using its removal abilities in cases of emergency. A turn 6 Golganneth guarantees a Pack the House follow up and may give us a copy of Turn the Tides or two to utilize with Horn of the Windlord as we reach the later stages of the game.
Rather than being entirely dependent on minion damage to win, Evolve Shaman only needs to put the opponent within reach of its Horn/Tides burst combo now. Golganneth makes that plan far more consistent. Find him and you’ll win more Hearthstone games.
Even Totem Shaman, the most board-centric deck you can think of, may turn to an off-board, burst damage finisher thanks to Golganneth. Bloodlust is just not that good anyway, so we have reasons to believe Horn/Tides can outclass it. It’s a different game when opponents cannot solely focus on clearing the board to claim victory. They need to be wary of our off-board reach too. The story of Pure Paladin during Festival of Legends could repeat in Totem Shaman during TITANS.
The three overload cards in the Golganneth package in this deck are Ancestral Knowledge, Turn the Tides and Feral Spirit. Feral Spirit can also be replaced by Lightning Storm, but we opted for the card that represents proactive board development and can protect our snowballing totems as well as our TITAN.
Another sleeper addition to Totem Shaman is Ancient Totem. This card becomes very strong the moment you play either Grand Totem Eys’or or The Stonewright. It also discounts Gigantotem and Thing from Below for no mana investment. Ancient Totem is certain to make an impact in Wild’s Even Shaman too.
Big Shaman is a bit of a meme deck these days, but some of these new Shaman cards are very tempting additions to the deck. Flash of Lightning/Lightning Reflexes/Crash of Thunder provide an early swing turn that’s not reliant on minions and can be fit into a Prescience build. Flash of Lightning can also help us play Command of Neptulon a turn early, which is a very important card for this deck’s ability to stabilize in the mid-game.
Golganneth should be an incredible card in this deck, finding us Lighting Storm, Command of Neptulon, and Ancestral Knowledge. Big Shaman’s greater drawing power means it’s more likely to find the horsemen and execute its From the Other Side finisher from hand. You’ll also occasionally spawn a Golganneth from Masked Reveler, which is certain to win some games.
Is it finally Warlock’s time to return to the format in glory? Its TITANS set is promising and may promote a variety of late game strategies thanks to new survivability tools and a shiny new win condition.
Chad Warlock is the closest archetype to a competitive level, so some of these new cards can push it to become a serious meta contender. Forge of Wills is one of the most powerful cards in the set, one that Chad Warlock is certain to take advantage of throughout the game thanks to its scam potential. However, Forge of Wills is not entirely reliant on scamming out big threats. Imposing Anubisath provides a consistent follow up on curve that should be able to swing the game in many matchups.
Shallow Grave is currently one of the strongest cards in Chad Warlock due to its synergy with Amorphous Slime, so there’s a good chance Chaotic Consumption and Ravenous Kraken will find their way to the deck. Ravenous Kraken/Shallow Grave is a 5-mana combo that’s equivalent to Carnivorous Cube/Dark Pact (just without the healing). If you have any threat on the board, you can now duplicate it and pressure your opponent even harder.
Finally, we have Loken and Sargeras. This build is geared for Loken to produce a strong body at a very high likelihood. Sargeras’ odd mana cost means he can be cheated out for 1 mana the moment you have a Thaddius in play, so plan for that outcome and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.
The boost in the class’ survivability has encouraged us to explore a more defensive minded Warlock deck that packs a ton of removal and relies on the Abyssal Curse package and Sargeras to carry its late game. The idea is very promising on paper, because both win conditions are very powerful in drawn out games.
Mortal Eradication is a card that’s going into every defensive Warlock deck. Thornveil Tentacle is a cheap minion that can fight for board in the early game and provide sustain. Chaotic Consumption has a lot of cheap minions that enable it in the deck, making it likely that you’ll be able to deal with large threats, such as TITANS, for a low mana cost. It can also be used to sack off one of Lady Darkvein’s Shades.
One of the most interesting cards in the deck is Drone Deconstructor. It’s a unique enabler for Defile, providing both a 1-health minion and a 2-health minion in one card, which will allow you to use the AOE effect to clear bigger boards much more easily.
Finally, the curve tops out with Sargeras, which puts the deck in a unique position to tutor the TITAN with Movement of Pride and play him as early as turn 6.
What if we turned Loken into the biggest scam card in the format? This build maximizes the legendary minion’s potential by running only three other unique minions in the deck: Imposing Anubisath, Sargeras and Fanottem! Our goal is to play Loken and use it to draw Fanottem, which summons a 15/15 Tentacle taunt to the board. Add Forge of Wills to the equation and things get crazy. This is an idea tested by ZachO in the theorycrafting streams and it worked shockingly well. A board of three 15/15’s as early as turn 6 is possible.
The rest of the deck is about survival, packing as much removal as possible to help us survive until the Loken turn or our other late game win conditions. A sleeper AOE effect might be Wing Welding, which becomes a massive board clear once Fanottem is drawn but can also be used to discard Lord Jaraxxus or Twisting Nether for practically the same kind of effect. We’d rather avoid discarding Sargeras, but Lord Jaraxxus provides some late game redundancy. One of them is more than enough to win faster matchups. In the slower matchups, we’re less likely to need Wing Welding to survive, so there’s no danger of discarding an important win condition.
We did it. We managed to put Lord Jaraxxus in a deck while producing a solid argument for it.
All that attention on late game Warlock strategies must have led you to think we’ve neglected poor Imp Warlock. Not at all. Imp Warlock is getting one of the best aggressive cards in the set in Imprisoned Horror, a threat that’s going to be remarkably fast to discount to 0 mana thanks to just some deck building maneuvering.
Between the fatigue package, Flame Imp, Tour Guide, Spirit Bomb and the underestimated Trogg Exile, Horror is going to come down to the board before you can even blink. This card might be the new Corridor Creeper.
There’s a possibility that we’re hurting ourselves too much with this build and we don’t need that many self-damage effects, but we do like the possibility of keeping Horror in the mulligan with the confidence that we can discount it fast enough, just like we did with Corridor Creeper. Void Virtuoso can help us avoid some of that self-damage later.
From a class that had little to no late game, Warrior might be receiving the scariest late game piece in the set. Odyn turns Control Warrior from a defensive turtle into a ferocious beast. This build looks to maximize the consistency of finding Odyn while incorporating a strong package of armor gain cards that turn into pure damage nukes post-Odyn. It doesn’t mean much, but this was ZachO’s best performing deck during the Theorycrafting streams.
The key could be passing on reactive removal cards that don’t synergize with Odyn. Some surprising absences include Shield Slam and Brawl. Brawl could prove important should Drum Circle Druid become a common opponent, but the card is generally weak and doesn’t further our own game plan. Bellowing Flames and Trial by Fire are much more versatile cards.
The Riff package could be important in increasing the deck’s late game consistency thanks to Chorus Riff tutoring our minions. Verse Riff is also a strong armor card in the late game that works well with Razorfen Rockstar.
The survivability additions in this set are amazing. Craftman’s Hammer is a huge stabilizing weapon that helps us activate Stoneskin Armorer. Minotauren is a superb 6-drop that synergizes with Chorus Riff and is impossible to ignore. This card doesn’t just gain 5 armor. Any damage it deals, including on the opponent’s turn, gains you armor. This minion lifesteals armor.
Ignis is a possible addition to this deck, but it doesn’t seem to be necessary unless the format goes hard on sustain. Treat Razorfen Rockstar as your post-Odyn combo piece and you should have more than enough damage. Tidal Revenant and Astalor are very effective at softening up the opponent too.
Steam Guardian might be the most impactful addition to the Warrior class, in the sense that we think it’s going to be played in every Warrior deck. In Blackrock ‘n’ Roll Warrior, it’s an absolute game changer. This build runs Blackrock ‘n’ Roll as the only spell in the deck, so it’s always drawn and discounted to 4 mana by Steam Guardian.
Don’t bother keeping any other card in the mulligan. You want Steam Guardian, and you want to find Blackrock ‘n’ Roll. The odds are in your favor if you’re aggressive enough.
The rest of the build simply takes advantage of the fact that we will find the legendary spell early and often. There are some other huge additions to this archetype though. Craftman’s Hammer is a lifesaver. Stoneskin Armor provides more draw so you’re less likely to gas out with this deck (a problem it currently has). On top of it, you’ve got Magatha making sure you always have threats in hand. ETC provides you some utility spells you can’t run in your main deck.
While Minotauen should be great in Armor Warrior, this card becomes absolutely disgusting in BRR Warrior, gaining you an absurd amount of armor, and potentially ending some games on the spot. It is stronger than Zilliax by some distance. Khaz’goroth is another nice addition, since his stats are relevant to his abilities.
This was ZachO’s 2nd best performing deck in the TC streams. He just couldn’t stop winning with Warrior. Hopefully, Warrior doesn’t go down the same path as Menagerie Death Knight and Millhouse Mage. It was special.
We almost forgot that Enrage Warrior has been a top performing deck during Festival of Legends. With the addition of Steam Guardian, it is likely to get even better. This deck is filled with Fire spells that Steam Guardian can discount. You don’t mind drawing Riffs with the card either. Just a major consistent boost to the archetype.
Menagerie Warrior has the chance of picking up a very low hanging fruit. Steam Guardian is an Elemental that can find you Roaring Applause. You can add Blackrock ‘n’ Roll and have a small package of spells that either scale your threats or provide you card draw. A turn 5 Guardian/Roaring Applause is something you can also plan for, to some extent.
Another card we really like in the deck is Drone Deconstructor, since you have a bunch of Amalgams to attach the Sparkbot to. It’s the best mech available to the deck now.
We hope you have fun with these decks on day 1. Note that a podcast episode is coming on expansion day tomorrow! We’ll be talking more about our expectations from the expansion.
Special thanks to our Patreon and Gold supporters who have provided feedback on these decklists.
The Data Reaper Podcast will also return to discuss the early impressions of the TITANS meta! Follow us on Twitter for updates on when it will occur, if you want an early scoop on developments before August 10th, when Data Reaper Report #270 comes out.
We’ll see you then.
The Vicious Syndicate Team