This week DjBigRuss takes a look at which classes have the most to gain from The Grand Tournament Expansion.
All classes are not created equal. This is the current state of competitive Hearthstone. In this article, I will identify the classes that have the most to gain from the new expansion in order to become more competitive in constructed Hearthstone. Certain classes currently only have 1 viable archetype, while others just have a weaker card pool. That is the criteria I am using to determine which classes need the most help from TGT. In fairness, I will not be discussing any TGT cards since they have not all been released at this time.
Druid might be a surprise on this list because they have always been a mainstay on the competitive scene. However, the competitive format has evolved to the point that you pretty much know what you are getting when you are facing a Druid. 99% of the time you will be facing either a Ramp or Combo deck. I’m not saying that Ramp or Combo aren’t viable, but they are predictable. The more predictable the class is, the easier it is to tech against it in tournaments or on ladder.
My hope is that Druid is able to gain enough cards in TGT in order to make a new archetype viable. Token Druid, Mech Druid, and even Hobgoblin Druid have all been attempted and seen play in the past, but none of them have really been competitive lately. I mentioned in my analysis of Tribal decks, that Beast Druid isn’t quite there yet, but could improve with help from TGT. Dragon Druid is seeing a little bit of play at the moment on ladder as well, and could get better from the next set as well. Even though I think Druid could gain some things from TGT, I think they are already in a pretty solid spot because Ramp and Combo Druid are solid options for ladder/tournaments.
In the same vein as Druid, it is probably a surprise to see Rogue on this list. Rogue has been played competitively in some form since the beginning of the game. Much like Druid, the problem with Rogue is that they are very predictable right now with one viable decktype. Oil Rogue has been a mainstay at the upper tier of ladder decks for months, and seems like it will continue to stay that way until TGT releases.
Before GvG released, Rogue was a very popular option for competitive players. The amount of different Rogue decks from Backspace Rogue to Miracle Rogue to Malygos Rogue that were played competitively was impressive. Then the nerf to Gadgetzan hit, GvG released, and Oil Rogue has really taken off. My hope is that a more minion based Rogue emerges post-TGT. A few players have tried to bring back Aggro Rogue, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes a resurgence as well.
Priest & Shaman
I've grouped Priest and Shaman together because their primary problem is not the amount of deck archetypes, it's that they have a weaker card pool than other classes. Over the past few months, a lot of different Priest decks have popped up on ladder. Currently I've seen Priest players play Shadow Madness Priest, Control Priest, Velen Priest, and Aggressive Priest. Even though they have all these archetypes, they all are still considered to be lower tier. While these decks are solid against super agressive decks, they still struggle with decks like Oil Rogue and Handlock. My hope is that Priest get better control options in TGT, and will be able to improve existing archetypes to compete with more decks.
I've talked a lot about Shaman recently and the problems the class has had for quite a while. The current overall card quality for shaman is currently quite poor, and many of the things Shaman can do, other classes just do better. Mech Shaman is a pretty strong and explosive deck, but I'm not sure. My hope for Shaman is they get a boost similar to the one that Paladin got in GvG, and are able to improve their Midrange deck and possibly create a new totem archetype. Either way I believe Priest and Shaman have the most to gain in TGT of all the classes in Hearthstone.
The rest of the classes: Mage (Tempo, Freeze, Mech, Giants), Warlock (Zoo, Demon, Malygos, Handlock), Paladin (Aggro, Midrange), Warrior (Control, Patron), and Hunter (Face, Midrange) all have multiple viable options going into TGT, and don't have as much to gain as the classes listed above. It's very difficult to keep the game completely balanced for every class, especially when each class plays differently. My hope is that all the classes gain something strong to keep the game fresh and interesting, even if some need more help than others.