If the Hearthstone patch was good for the metagame, it was really just a waiting room for the next mini-set. Indeed, if new archetypes have been able to illustrate themselves from the nerfs like the Beast Hunter, the Relic Demon Hunter or the Naga Priest, we can begin to feel a certain weariness vis-à-vis the current metagame.
The fact that the decks are less flexible than the dominants of the previous environment leads to quickly knowing the game patterns that work and to provoke a desire for faster change.
Luckily for us, Blizzard announced the arrival of the mini-set for Tuesday, September 27, and therefore the big changes that should accompany it.
Usually a regular at the top of the table, Malfurion has dropped significantly after the last patch, keeping his head above water thanks to his aggressive archetype. We went to meet him to discuss his expectations regarding the mini-set and the help he would like to receive to become a dominant class again.
1. Hello Malfurion. To start, what are your expectations of this mini-set?
Malfurion: I think my expectations are the same as the players and the numbers speak for themselves. Despite the nerfs, Druid Ramp is still one of the most used decks in Hearthstone at all ladder ranks. This is a strong message from the community that highlights how much the mana gain mechanic is appreciated in the game.
In this mini-set, I’m expecting overall support accordingly so I can keep doing what I’ve always done best, outflanking my opponents with more mana. What I lack is the ability to contain my opponent, so the main thing would be healing cards like “Earth Scales” or the ability to control the table in the early game.
den : Still, you have plenty of damage cards to help you slow down your opponent in the early game. Anger, Living Roots, Natural Cause for example could not help you?
Malfurion : Unfortunately, I don’t have room in my deck for these little cards. I would need more flexible things, like a card that would do damage and gain mana at the same time.
den : But you play well with Prince Renathal, don’t you? Forty cards not enough?
Malfurion : But finally young man, What Hearthstone do you play?! Between Brann, Theotar, Topior, Onyxia, Denatrius, Guff, Yvus or the Devourers or the Naga Giants, where do you want me to find space for your “Damage Maps”? No, the deck has a theme, it’s mana, period!
2. Speaking of theme, Druid Aggro is currently the class’s flagship deck in terms of competitive performance, and is themed around nature spells and explosiveness. Does this change your view of the upcoming mini-set?
Malfurion : The aggro archetype is a necessity, you know. When the metagame is too fast, and my opponents develop their table too quickly, I show them that I can do it faster than them. But it’s basically for scaring so defensive decks come back and I can beat them with mana.
And the numbers show it again. Not once has the aggressive archetype been more popular than the Ramp, so that’s proof that I’m not the only one who wants mana.
Obviously, if you want to give me a card of the Reforestation type, I wouldn’t be against it, it would help the deck a lot. Or continue to press the side of nature spells eventually. But Druid Aggro feeds off neutral cards a lot if you think about it, so I think I prefer cards for mana.
den : The current decks have a ratio of 20 to 24 class cards for 6 to 10 neutrals in Druid Aggro…
Malfurion : Well then, you put me a minion with dash and that would give me mana. You don’t put too much money on it like that, it would be playable in Druid Aggro, does that suit you?
den : You really don’t want anything more than to gain mana?
Malfurion : But mana is all I have… Have you seen what happens every time I play anything other than mana gain or a very aggressive deck? It is a disaster.
Each class has its own way of creating a snowball effect, Illidan has its Relics, Rexxar has its Beasts, Uther has its recruits *laughs*… For me, it’s mana. No, you have to know how to face the facts, the Ramp archetype has always been my safe bet. Besides, players like the deck so we have to go in that direction.
3. What about archetypes that have a few cards, but are currently unused, such as Deathrattle for example, or Choice of Weapons? However, you have very good support cards for these mechanics with the Vegetal Labyrinth or Fandral Staghelm in your collection.
Malfurion: With a few more cards, these are mechanics that can be useful in a deck ramp, I think.
den : I meant outside of the ramp archetype, having a deck based around those mechanics.
Malfurion : But after all, it’s impossible! How much will I get, four, maybe five cards with this mini-set? It would take triple that for these mechanics to have a chance of having a deck dedicated to them.
den : So really, apart from mana, there is nothing possible in your eyes?
Malfurion : One can imagine sorts of hybrids. Imagine a minion whose Deathrattle would give me mana. There, I could consider playing it, the Vegetal Labyrinth. Or, give me real death rattles, very impactful like those of the Priest for example, there, we could imagine something.
4. Thank you very much Malfurion for sharing your thoughts with us. A reflection very oriented around mana all the same… We leave with a few cards that seem to make sense in view of the discussions during this interview.