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What line-ups to expect for the Masters Tour: Murder at Chateau Nathria?

This Friday begins the fifth and penultimate Masters Tour of the year, and it is a special tournament: the first on an international level since the release of the Hearthstone expansion: Murder at Castle Nathria.

In this article, I suggest you explore the different line-ups that seem to make sense at the moment given what we know about the metagame. This is all in an effort to familiarize you with the competitive environment since the expansion’s release and perhaps improve the tournament viewing experience.

No long introduction this time, let’s go for the line-ups:

*The lists presented in this article are intended to present the archetype and reflect at best my opinion on the deck. From one player to another, it is quite possible to see very similar ideas executed differently.

1. Simply the 4 Best Decks

In this line-up, which is essentially looking for a good average power, there are 5 classes that can claim a place:

Druid Ramp or Celestial Alignment

Malfurion is undoubtedly one of the dominant classes of these first two weeks of expansion. The only reason not to choose him would be fear of a counter line-up dedicated to taking down Druid.

Skeleton Mage or Big Mage

Much like Druid, Jaina has two very strong archetypes right now. Outside of OTK strategies, it’s very hard to imagine the Mage being targeted especially in this tournament, and the Big mage isn’t even that bad in that scenario.

I expect Mage to be a solid deck that will rarely get banned or targeted.

Imp Warlock

With the many variants that exist (Curse – Sire Denathrius – Pure Aggro…), Gul’dan has found the flexibility that the aggressive archetype has been sorely lacking in Hearthstone for a long time.

The deck still has some weaknesses, but is much more adaptable than a Face Hunter for example.

Renathal Shaman Denathrius

The list made popular by Habugabu took the ladder by storm and brought several players to the top of the legend rank during the week. By mixing everything that Thrall does best (Evolution, War Cry, Murlocs, Freeze…) the deck always seems to have possibilities to annoy its opponent.

Hunter Quest

Like an eternal restart since the expansion a year ago, Rexxar started with its face archetype but saw the Quest dominate after a while. Particularly effective against Mage and Shaman, the Quest Hunter’s damage output is impressive when not in danger.

It is very difficult to find a quartet stronger than another among these 5 decks. The choice will surely be made according to the deck that we expect to see being the most targeted by the other line-ups, or simply the one that is the easiest against the other four. Personally, I think Mage and Hunter are the two safest decks to bring to the tournament.

2. Aggression, right in Malfurion’s head

A much less flexible strategy for this second entry, since it is a question here of betting everything on the strong popularity of Malfurion on one side. And his inability to deal with aggression by the table early in the game on the other side.

The advantage of this line-up is that it should play on 2 advantageous aspects: Malfurion is a highly anticipated class on the one hand. And defensive decks aren’t exactly in good shape these days with the best decks being almost impossible to exhaust, and combo decks always on the prowl.

Thus, we could see as is the case regularly, one or two players climb into the top 16 by choosing the path of sweetness and pleasure to offer.

Imp Warlock

If in the strategy above, I put forward the flexibility of the archetype over time, it will not be what will be exploited here. We’re looking for a roster that will grow quickly and hit hard before Malfurion takes advantage of his mana.

Naga Priest

A fairly discreet deck, because it is very sensitive to the freezing mechanics of the Mage or the Shaman, the Naga Priest is nevertheless an excellent counter to the Druid.

However, it is the type of deck that is starting to largely specialize our line-up.

face hunter

With the addition of Wild Seeds to the deck, Face Hunter is now able to develop a lot of minions early in the game. As a result, the armor that the druid can generate is much more anecdotal than in the past, and it is his ability to control the table that is put to the test.

Shaman or Miracle Thief

The fourth complicates things a bit for this line-up, because there aren’t really 4 decks that have at least 60% against Druid. Thus, once out of the top three, you have to fall back on a good general deck (Shaman) or the most logical in terms of percentage (Miracle Thief), despite the very unstable side of the latter.

3. OTK decks to punish Mage and Shaman

Thanks to the freeze mechanic, Jaina and Thrall have become the two go-to decks against table-based strategies. However, by dint of playing on their strengths, these classes have also lost their aggression capacity and can be put in difficulty by combo decks.

The presence of Rénathal helps a little in this case, and Mage has access to Alibi Solide for example, but there are also certain decks against which the match is very difficult.

Mine Warlock

An archetype that had disappeared from radar for a while, the Warlock Mine returns, and with it a combo that can reach 56 points of damage, well above the 40 of Prince Rénathal therefore.

Note that an Imp Warlock with the Choking Starfish could also make sense in this regard.

Hunter Quest

Already featured in the first line-up, Quest Hunter is currently played to take advantage of its ability to race Shaman and Mage.

By emphasizing the damage potential when building the roster, Rexxar shouldn’t have a problem in these match-ups.

Big Spell Mage

While Kel’thuzad’s build has become the gold standard for defenses for Jaina, her spell-based build is still very solid when it comes to outflanking a slow opponent. Thus, the deck seems well suited to take advantage of Shaman and Mage’s focus on holding the table rather than actually being aggressive.

Ramp Druid or Mine Rogue

Depending on preferences, two decks can be interesting to complete the quartet. The Druid has the merit of being a much more complete deck than Rogue Mine and should therefore be able to adapt more easily to different line-ups.

Mine Rogue, on the other hand, is a more specialized deck, but which, like Quest Hunter, can develop a lot of damage if given the time. The question of Renathal’s impact arises, however, as the card can greatly affect the deck, and often pushes it to play a table-based version.

Conclusion

You may have noticed that three classes are missing across these different line-ups: Demon Hunter, Paladin, and Warrior.

The reason for this is quite simple: the current metagame is centered around the raw power of decks. So even strategies targeting a particular deck or mechanic can be done with relatively strong decks.
This situation leaves the recessed classes completely unplayable, and completely useless in any strategy whatsoever.

Obviously, there are other approaches than just the three I’ve shown you, and the more creative players might find decks or links that no one has seen yet.

Either way, there’s no doubt that this tournament will determine the best decks for good until the next balance, which should happen pretty soon after the tournament.