One week after the release of United in Stormwind, we are back with the complete data from a new weekend of Masters Tour Qualifiers. The Open Cup metagame has quickly evolved into a rock-paper-scissors between the combo decks that had been dominating thee first 24 hours of the expansion, aggressive strategies built around Hunter and Paladin that players like Norwis used to counter the “solitaire” players, and finally a full control lineup that was mostly refined by Odemian and that looked to farm Face Hunters.
This report contains analysis of the complete data from the last 20 tournaments and a comprehensive tier list.
15 of the winners of those tournaments also provided comments and tips about the lineup that they used. Make sure to check them out in the last section.
Data summary from Off-Curve:
Click on the players names to get full lists and deck codes from D0nkey. You will also see which class the player banned throuhout their run. The players named in bold are qualifier winners who generously sent comment about the strategy they used. Scroll past the tier list to read them.
Handbuff Paladin, Questline Rogue, Elemental Shaman (cheesee10)
Questline Mage, Questline Rogue, Questline Warlock (Duelist)
Questline Hunter, Questline Mage, Questline Rogue (QueenOfRoses)
Handbuff Paladin, Elemental Shaman, Rush Warrior (ElDiablo)
Questline Demon Hunter, Questline Mage, Questline Zoo Warlock (Sveiks)
Pretty Good Lineups:
Face Hunter, Handbuff Paladin, Doomhammer Shaman (KNMDehua)
Anacondra Druid, Face Hunter, Questline Rogue (GamerRvg)
Questline Demon Hunter, Questline Mage, Questline Priest (hone)
Questline Demon Hunter, Control Priest, Questline Warlock (西陵珩)
Questline Demon Hunter, Questline Mage, Questline Rogue (OrcMalade)
Face Hunter, Handbuff Paladin, Questline Rogue (Rampengu)
Questline Mage, Hndbuff Paladin, Questline Rogue (Lucasdmnasc / Cikos)
Questline Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Elemental Shaman (livevil)
Questline Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Questline Mage (KrajdaCz)
Questline Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Doomhammer Shaman (Norwis)
Questline Demon Hunter, Questline Mage, Questline Warlock (Turna)
Questline Hunter, Questline Mage, Questline Warlock (Correctness)
Handbuff Paladin, Questline Rogue, Questline Warlock (yerolo)
Questline Demon Hunter, Questline Zoo Warlock, Rush Warrior (kugatsu)
Anacondra Druid, Questline Rogue, Questline Shaman (DDoBaGi)
Questline Demon Hunter, Libram Paladin, Control Warrior (Blaz3r)
Questline Druid, Handbuff Paladin, Evolve Shaman (BouncyKnight)
Questline Mage, Control Priest, Questline Shaman (ythehunter)
Deathrattle Demon Hunter, Handbuff Paladin, Questline Zoo Warlock (Zoltan)
Questline Demon Hunter, Questline Priest, Questline Warlock (Konrad)
Questline Mage, Control Priest, Questline Rogue (Sergiy)
Questline Mage, Questline Rogue, Doomhammer Shaman (Teccadego)
Deathrattle Demon Hunter, Questline Druid, Face Hunter (ScreaM)
Questline Demon Hunter, Handbuff Paladin, Questline Rogue (Athanas)
Comments from the winners:
iNS4NE on Questline Demon Hunter, Control Priest, Control Warrior:
“The lineup is good against aggro and bad against anti-control OTK decks. You usually ban Mage or Warlock, against aggro you ban Paladin. A few changes I’d recommend is adding Rattlegore and maybe even Kel’thuzad, Faceless Manipulator in Warrior for mirrors and adding a bit more value to Priest.”
Rony on Questline Demon Hunter, Control Priest, Control Warrior:
“First of all I took the lineup directly from Odemian, exact same 90 cards. The lineup is meant to counter aggro decks that targeted combo ones. And it really paid off. 7 out of 9 rounds I faced aggro and 6 of them, had Hunter, which was the actual main focus. The ban was Paladin most of the time, but had to leave it open on round 6 as DH OTK seemed really awful to face (a mirror or an unwinnable match for Warrior). Fortunately I faced only one Mage which is an instaban and was in the lineup with Hunter.
The other two rounds were mirrors with same classes but a couple of different cards. In fact, my rivals used Ysera instead of Rattlegore in Warrior to do the Dream+Mutanus combo against Rattlegore, but they were never able to do it and that abomination from Scholomance helped a lot. For the first mirror I banned DH because I was scared of it, but I lost to Illucia so changed my ban for the second mirror.
It felt like a dream, I’ve always wanted to be a #LegionLATAM and I think the planets aligned and everything went the right direction, I don’t think I am a good player and I am nowhere near the level of the other Argentinians playing the MT, but I will really tryhard to make the most of the chance I have on the Master Tour.”
garubor on Questline Demon Hunter, Control Priest, Control Warrior:
“Target: Face Hunters, Aggro Shamans (or any weapon-based hero)
Ban: Anyay, Warrior and Priest are weak decks. If there is a Quest Mage, I will surely ban it. After that, I will consult with the HSReplay matchup table.
I just brought in the same deck that my opponent lost in the last tournament, to be honest.
If I had to play again, I’d consider QOTK Demon Hunter, Quest Mage, and one more.”
cheesee10 on Handbuff Paladin, Questline Rogue, Elemental Shaman:
“The lineup was soft targeting Paladin, as I expected that to be present in the field, which is why the Questline Rogue and the Whack Shaman were there. In addition, based on prior results, I expected a good amount of DH/Priest/Warrior lineups, which my decks should be fairly favored against. The ban was always Mage if it was in the lineup, I think any lineup with Rogue and Paladin should cut the Mage tech and just ban out Mage. After that, the ban was flexible, but usually the most aggressive deck, so Shaman, then Rogue, and finally Hunter.”
Duelist on Questline Mage, Questline Rogue, Questline Warlock:
“I wanted to target control configurations and Paladins.
Soul Rend, Flurry + Shattering Blast has the potential to deal with Paladin’s Robes of Protection and is not bad for other uses, so I’m using it.”
ElDiablo on Handbuff Paladin, Elemental Shaman, Rush Warrior:
“About my principal strategy, I started to look a lot of top 8 lineups and I saw a lot of Mage, a deck that I wouldn’t face, and a lot of OTK Demon Hunter, Priest, and Weapons Shaman.
The first idea was to pick the Paladin Handbuff, which was just insane, didn’t loose any game, and able to win against all main decks. Then, the Elemental Shaman, which had a big edge against the Doomhamer Shaman, great vs Priest and ok vs OTK DH.
The last deck was Rush Warrior, which was one of the best decks in the previous meta, and still great in this one. The 3 games I losted were with Warrior, which was sometimes a little bit slow vs Warlock or Face Hunter.
About the ban, it was Mage first, and Control Warrior in second, which had an edge vs rush Warrior without ETC or the Elemental Shaman.
I played Watch Post in my deck against Quest OTK Demon Hunter, and that was one of my best decisions.
And I think that all of my strategy for this qualifier!”
Sveiks on Questline Demon Hunter, Questline Mage, Questline Zoo Warlock:
“You just ban the fastest deck opponent has. Usually it should be Hunter, if they don’t have that then Shaman/OTK DH/Paladin probably in exactly that order (and if someone actually plays SMOrc Priest, then that should come after Hunter, I didn’t see it though).
These 3 decks should be good vs anything slower. Also some people have not yet realised that Priest/CW have literally under 5% matchups vs Warlock and leave it open for some reason with the Priest-CW-OTK DH lineup.
Theoretically Hunter-Shaman-OTK DH lineup should be favoured vs my lineup, but I feel like Shaman is super overrated, it just does not beat combo stuff as well as Hunter.
I can’t comment too much on the exact lists though, I just copied the Mage from Orange, DH from Gaby and Warlock from AuroN.
On another note… OTK DH is dumb. While Mage and Warock should lose to Aggro, DH really does not. It only loses to Mutanus highroll/opponent drawing Illucia/itself blanking and not seeing card draw. So, nerf pls :)”
GamerRvg on Anacondra Druid, Face Hunter, Questline Rogue:
“I brought a lineup of decks that I felt are overall solid in the meta right now. Rogue feels not too strong but I think it can beat almost everything in the meta. Hunter felt like an obvious bring and I expected it to be banned a lot and expected to be banning Hunter most of the time. Other bans with the lineup can be Control Priest or Shaman, but priorities on the Hunter. When I was thinking about the decks in the meta right now I felt Like Anaconda Druid was a sleeper deck and solid into most lineups right now. The lineup isn’t specifically targeting anything, just a bunch of decks with pretty good matchup that you can win most of your sets by playing solid Hearthstone.”
西陵珩 on Questline Demon Hunter, Control Priest, Questline Warlock:
“I saw the counter-aggro lineup is actually good (Control Priest, Control Warrior and OTK Demon Hunter). So, based on the target (Hunter and other aggro decks). The warlock built by Deaddraw is pretty good against the aggros. Also, Warlock counters control Warrior. Therefore, the counter-aggro lineup needs to decide to ban Warlock or Demon Hunter (usually Warlock). And it puts the player who brought Control Warrior in big trouble. I think that Control Warrior is still an unplayable deck, even in the qualifiers. At last, about the Giant Priest. Sethekk can bring a lot of value and spells to destroy control decks. Even if they brought C’Thun to set the win condition, it still can’t stop Sethekk+Raise Dead.”
Rampengu on Face Hunter, Handbuff Paladin, Questline Rogue:
“I made my lineup to target spell based combo decks (Faster Quest Warlock, Quest Mage, Lifesteal Demon Hunter) while also still maintaining a favorable matchup vs Paladin. My worst matchup was usually either Face Hunter or Control/Heal Priest. Those usually got banned. I increased the margin for my win percentage with my Hunter against the combo decks by specifically adding Robes of Protection and Cult Neophyte to the list. You already have enough burst to close the game with Aimed Shot etc. The Rogue deck is very well rounded and can beat everything in my opinion and almost never gets banned. It also is very favored against Paladin because of SI: Assassin and the gizmos. This list didn’t need Robe because the stealth acted in the same way. I simply put Sage in this spot to help finish the quest much more easily. It was pretty easy to play around Felscream Blast by positioning the stealth minion in the middle. To solidify my line-up against the spell decks, I also added Robes and Neophyte to the Paladin list. Hopefully this was helpful and made sense :)”
livevil on Questline Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Elemental Shaman:
“My lineups are not to counter any specific decks, I just tried to find out best decks in early meta of the new expansion. Decklists are pretty standard, but I cut off Trueaim Crescent and 1 Wriggling Horror for 2 Cult Neophyte in Hunter. I played Doomhammer Shaman in first 2 days, but more and more decks were running Rustrot Viper so i changed to Whack-a-gnoll version (but it makes worse vs Mage, so the decision is yours). Quest DH is Jayhuang’s list but i replace 1 Tuskpiercer into 1 Rustrot Viper because I wanted more instant draw. My ban priority was Control Warrior > Control Priest > Face Hunter > Quest Mage > ETC.”
Norwis on Questline Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Doomhammer Shaman:
“Well I played aggro decks that I am comfortable with and OTK DH because I felt this deck is currently the strongest in the game, even though I have not much experience with this archetype. My plan was to ban OTK DH because both of my fast aggro decks are weak against it but target all the other OTK/Questline decks and paladin. I included 5 vipers in my decks because the card is strong and flexible – 1 mana draw a card or “vanilla Spider Tank stats” for those who remember. Another reason is that so many strong decks play weapons – OTK Quest Warlock, Buff Paladin, Doomhammer/Elemental Shaman, Face Hunter, Weapon Rogue and Deathrattle DH etc. I played neophytes to again target and delay OTKs, spell decks and other fast decks. In hunter I cut Aimed Shot to guarantee to draw Mankrik’s wife with Barak Kodobane. If someone wants to play my lineup, I would recommend to swap the DH list to a better version with deathrattle weapon and the tradeable deathrattle minions for better draw efficiency. I hope that in the Masters Tour top 16 we will see many different lineups with variety of decks. Also I wish that future nerfs won’t affect the meta too much – for it to become to become too simple. Now the meta feels balanced and I am enjoying it. In the end, good luck for everyone competing in the current season of Masters Tours Qualifiers.”
Sergiy on Questline Mage, Control Priest, Questline Rogue:
“My idea when I built my lineup was to counter aggro lineups and Paladin in general so I chose good board control decks, because of that I added Missiles to Mage and Death to the Priest so decks become better vs Paladin, ban vs aggro lineups most of the time is Doomhammer Shaman. Then I started thinking about how to beat another popular lineup (Priest, Control Warrior, OTK DH), this lineup always bans my Mage I ban Control Warrior because I think Rogue has more chances vs Priest than vs CW, plus I add Scoundrels so Priest mirror becomes much better for me.”
MSC ScreaM on Deathrattle Demon Hunter, Questline Druid, Face Hunter:
“My concept for this lineup is use chaotic and unstable meta situation to take advantage from . First I choose the fastest aggro deck “Face Hunter” to end the game before they finish all quests. Following by DR DH the deck that have a good curve for pressuring from early to mid game , it will be hard to finish quests against this deck either. Last and only one Questline deck is Druid. Druid’s quest is the most easiest quest to finish also the first and second reward are good against aggro decks with no board pressure like Doomhammer Shaman and Face Hunter. So this deck is just for secure win against Face Hunter who is the most interested deck for competitive after UoS updating. Somehow Druid was mostly banned against the lineups that have Hunter anyway.”
Athanas on Questline Demon Hunter, Handbuff Paladin, Questline Rogue:
“For Bo3’s I decided to bring the most powerful decks, SI7 Rogue and OTK DH are the best in my opinion. I also used Buff Paladin with Cult Neophytes, Watch Posts and Robes of Protection to have an edge against the decks I will for sure not ban for example Mage/Priest. I mainly banned OTK DH > Face Hunter > Doomhammer Shamman. I’m pretty happy winning a qualifier this time because with the big changes (no more top8’s) I’m not sure how to approach that to maximize my chances to qualify.”