The Witchwood: Early Days Report

It’s been a week since the launch of the new expansion and we’ve been hard at work, testing and perfecting our recognition algorithm in order to accurately capture the performance of every archetype in the current meta. The first iteration has been set and you can observe the meta in our Live App. Note that we will continue to refine our algorithm on a daily basis in the early days of the expansion, since the meta is very volatile and constantly changes.

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The first full report of The Witchwood expansion will release two weeks after launch, on the 26th of April. This is an optimal time frame that allows us to provide solid conclusions on the state of the meta and to evaluate the position of each archetype in terms of its refinement.

In this article, we will present the 5 best performing archetypes in the current meta at legend ranks. We expect them to set the trends for the next week or so, at least.

Cube Warlock: Was there a new expansion?

Cube Warlock has dominated the early Witchwood meta by punishing unrefined decks and matching up well against various Paladin archetypes. The deck is extremely powerful at the current state of the game. It is also, by far, the most popular strategy at higher levels of play.

Not only is Cube Warlock good, it is also extremely flexible. We’re featuring two different builds suitable for different meta’s. If you’re trying to climb to legend and face many aggressive decks in your path, we recommended running a defensive package at the 3 mana slot while cutting Mountain Giants. This build, inspired by the success of Meati, is more effective at dealing with aggression while maintaining an intimidating late game package.

If you’re already at legend and often run into slower matchups as well as the mirror, the standard Cube Warlock from the previous expansion is the way to go, simply replacing Mistresses with Mortal Coils and N’Zoth for the 2nd Faceless Manipulator. We’re aware of the experimentation done with Voodoo Dolls and the introduction of Lord Godfrey. Lord Godrey might merit a slot eventually, while we’re not impressed with the Voodoo Dolls. The main takeaway is that Cube Warlock is a Tier 1 deck without a single Witchwood card.

Defensive Cube Warlock

Standard Cube Warlock

 

Even Paladin: Beating the Odds

Odd Paladin was the early frontrunner of the expansion, absolutely stomping on the first couple of days of Witchwood. Since then, it has been relentlessly countered and fallen off quite a bit as players grew more accustomed to facing the swarming menace. Even Paladin, on the other hand, is relatively underplayed, but has proven to be a superior choice in the current meta. The deck is extremely consistent and is much more difficult to effectively counter. The archetype is also continuing to develop at a rapid pace, with several interesting approaches. The list we’re featuring is RDee’s iteration. This list looks to heavily target the Warlock matchup, which we expect will be your main obstacle for success. Two Oozes, two Spellbreakers, two Equalities, two Avenging Wraths and even a Black Knight, will make sure your Warlock opponent sweats profusely during the game.

RDee’s Even Paladin

 

Murloc Paladin: The Angry Fish Men refuse to go away.

Despite predictions that the tribal archetype would leave standard format with the loss of key 1-drops and enablers for Rockpool Hunter, Murloc Paladin has reappeared in the Witchwood landscape. Its current low prevalence should be temporary, as it is winning many, many games, making it the strongest aggressive deck in the format (!), taking advantage of a meta that is extremely inviting due to the rise of the Druid class.

Murloc Paladin in the Year of the Raven is far from settled, but we can observe two promising approaches to the archetype. BoarControl’s build ignores the new expansion’s cards and fills the gaps caused by the rotation with solid standalones, while Mitsuhide’s Secret variant includes a package centered on Bellringer Sentry.

BoarControl’s Murloc Paladin

Mitsuhide’s Secret Murloc Paladin

 

Spiteful Druid: An average of 28 stat points for 6 mana

Spiteful Summoner is a hell of a card, and the rotation has only made it better. With the Old Gods gone from the format, a random 10-drop off Ultimate Infestation is much more consistent, and is guaranteed to enable a very powerful turn. With Druid having the best 10-mana spell in the game, the class is a perfect fit for a Spiteful deck, and while the archetype was present in small numbers during K&C, it has now exploded in WW, eclipsing Spiteful Priest in both prevalence and performance. We’re featuring a pretty standard build that was piloted to #1 legend by Prince Fancy.

Prince Fancy’s Spiteful Druid

 

Quest Rogue: The Comeback Story

Quest Rogue is back, and with a vengeance. The menacing combo deck of the Un’Goro meta has shocked and awed the Witchwood landscape. It is currently displaying the highest win rate it has ever recorded in its history, making it significantly stronger than the deck that was nerfed last year, and placing it close to the very top of the meta. The deck shines at higher levels of play, where it takes advantage of the slower pace and terrorizes archetypes such as Taunt Druid, Control Priest and Spiteful decks. Its main predators are the same they’ve always been: hyper aggressive decks. However, the triumvirate Odd decks of Hunter, Rogue and Paladin, which are the primary counters to Quest Rogue, are falling out of favor to varying degrees. The meta will have to respond to Quest Rogue, and it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

Rage’s #1 legend build sets a good standard for Quest Rogue lists. Fan of Knives is a tech card against Odd Paladin, and might not be justified when the meta settles down. Vicious Scalehide is an incredible addition to the build and serves as a powerful comeback mechanic post-quest completion. Valeera the Hollow provides the fuel that makes sure you never run out of your resources in slower matchups.

Rage’s Quest Rogue

Until next week, we wish you a happy Witchwood experience!

 

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7 Comments

  1. Thank you for the great feedback! I too hope that this deck finds its place in the meta-game, and I”m convinced that it can rake in some wins, especially during the first chaotic weeks after Witchwood”s release.

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