By ProtohypeLoL

For the last several months our Conquest overlords Hunter and Patron have ruled unanimously and without pause. This is troubling for some, and a major opportunity for others trying to carve a name out for themselves as innovators and deck designers in Hearthstone's competitive scene.  

With a format so stagnant and the target painted in such an obnoxious neon green and red, it's only a matter of time until a solution will present itself to topple the tournament tyrants. Today I'll raise a few pertinent questions that seem to be floating around the hivemind and try to answer them.

Where does their power come from? What's the most optimal third deck assuming most people will be bringing these? And how could you get so drunk that you actually think up a card like Emperor Thaurissan?

Two of the biggest problems the Hearthstone collective faces when trying to build against Hunter is its versatility and unbelievably strong early game.

You create the next big control warrior deck. You're a superstar. You take it to ladder expecting to put on your new pantalones and be the talk of the town, then you queue into Midrange Hunter and receive such a savage beating that you don't want to play the game anymore.

A big part of why Warlock was top tier for so long was the decks volatility in terms of speed. You just can't know what to build or mulligan against unless you have information on your opponent in advance. Hunter has that same strength but with a few extra goodies, most namely a flush 2 drop slot rounded out by Mad Scientist and the infamously high stat to cost ratio Savannah Highmane. Here are some examples of the most popular variants:


Grim Patron has gone from the underdog trash rare of BRM to the undisputed champ of competitive Hearthstone in just a matter of weeks since its release. It would be a great story if it weren't so damn depressing to play against.  

It's easy to look at Patron and say something like "This is too good and dumb because reasons" but that would be ignoring the elephant in the room that is Emperor Thaurissan. During the spoiler phase of BRM there were numerous interviews conducted with popular pros and personalities in the scene about the overall strength of Grim Patron as a card. The vast majority agreed that it would be nothing more than a gimmick deck that might see sporadic play on ladder.

That said, at the time of these interviews, nobody knew Thaurissan was a card. These things in conjunction with a seemingly innocuous Warsong Commander charge fix created a perfect storm of sleeper factors that frankly no one was prepared for. Even though the hype has faded, Patron still stands as the dominating force driving ladder and it doesn't seem to be slowing down. Let's take a look at an example list for Patron Warrior:

Whenever you're dealing with free cost reduction in TCGs red flags start to go up. Can my opponent react to it? Is there counterplay? What is happening after the cost of these cards go down?

In Patron's case all of these questions are answered with a worst case scenario. For reference a Thaurissan played with 6 cards left in hand results in 3 free Innervates that your opponent can do nothing about. Not only does that generate an absurd amount of value in the coming turns, it creates situations that your opponent cannot react to because there are so many cards that can be played for free or in rapid succession that otherwise wouldn't see each other if they retained their original cost.

The problem is that this isn’t an one time Battlecry effect that allows you to do some cool things on your next turn, it's that it will keep happening if your opponent doesn't deal with it immediately. Being forced to kill Thaurissan immediately or losing the game feels like an unhealthy ultimatum to force upon players when the cost of the card is so low, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it nerfed in the near future.  


The Hunt for THE Third Deck

In the wake of Hunter and Patron's dominance a void has been left in the third slot of Conquest enthusiasts around the world. What do you play when the best is head and shoulders above the rest?  

Warlock has been putting in overtime trying to churn out a refined addition to the format, most recently contributing a Malygos midrange deck that has made some waves on ladder and was well represented at the Dreamhack Grand Prix. Others have opted to go for a faster approach in the form of Demonlock and Little Zoo.  

Other options have been tested and found wanting in comparison to the gold standard set for Conquest including but not limited to Tempo mage, Aggro Paladin, and Druid. Time will tell if other lists can stack up to the insanely high bar set for any deck trying to build up to a breakout performance in a major event. For now Warlock will hold the third place slot going into the last week of June. Thanks for reading and good luck with your end of season struggles.

Everyone, get out of here!

Contact Us

About Team Archon

Team Archon

Archon is the leading Hearthstone team with the best players in the world. We aim to bring you the best content through streaming on Twitch, so check our channels out! We also regularly attend Hearthstone tournaments around the world, and have a lot of titles under our belts.

Latest Team Archon Poll

What's your favorite class in Hearthstone?