Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Rise of Shadows, was released on April 10. As new expansions tend to do, Rise of Shadows has shaken up the meta and given rise to some new and interesting decks/deck tweaks.
Since it was first released, Hearthstone has seen some fairly consistent deck archetypes and with Rise of Shadows, many of these remain relevant. However, due to new cards, mechanics and abilities, some new Archetypes have found their way into Rise of Shadows’ early meta.
Unfortunately, Priest decks are still mostly terrible and don’t even appear in the top 10 of the best Rise of Shadows’ decks. It’s all about Rogue, Hunter, Warlock and Warrior at this stage. However, Shaman and Paladin both have decent decks of their own.
Here are our top three favourites and one extra one just for good measure.
Best Rise of Shadows Decks
Tempo Rogue is one of the oldest deck archetypes in Hearthstone. Tempo refers to making changes to the board state by spending as little mana as possible.
Rogue cards have always been designed for Tempo play and decks capitalise on this with cards that cost 0 mana; Preparation and Backstab. In the early stages of the Rise of Shadows meta, Tempo Rogue is proving to be a very successful deck.
Some Rise of Shadows cards that have become part of the Tempo Rogue deck are;
- Waggle Pick
- EVIL Miscreant
- Heistbaron Togwaggle – Legendary
However, not all of these cards are necessary for a success Tempo Rogue Deck. Most of the deck’s best and most important cards are from Basic and Classic, so chances are you’ll have everything or almost everything you need to get started.
|Backstab x 2||Preparation x 2||Shadow Step x 2|
|Dead Poison x 2||Eviscerate x 2||Sap x 2|
|EVIL Miscreant x 2||Edwin Vancleer||Raiding Party x 2|
|SI:7 Agent x 2||Waggle Pick x 2||Myra’s Unstable Element|
|Southsea Deckhand x 2||Dread Corsair x 2||Lifedrinker x 2|
|Captain Greenskin||Leeroy Jenkins|
Control Warrior is another ancient archetype that’s been around for as long as Hearthstone has.
The premise of the deck is to remove any threats while gaining armour, using high powered late-game minions to deal damage and/or outlasting the opponent when fatigue kicks in. Thanks to Warrior’s Hero Power, gaining Armour is built-in but there are also many other cards that add Armour value.
As the meta has changed throughout the life of Hearthstone it has fluctuated between late-game minions or removal/fatigue. With Rise of Shadows, Control Warrior is all about removal. Two cards that push Control Warrior towards being a removal/fatigue deck are Dr Boom, Mad Genius and Archivist Elysiana.
For 7-mana Dr Boom adds 7-Armour and gives your Mechs Rush for the remainder of the game. This enables Control Warrior to eliminate most threats played by the opposition. Archivist Elysiana ensures fatigue isn’t an issue as her Battlecry replaces your deck with two copies of five Discovered cards.
|Eternium Rover x 1||Omega Assembly x 2||Shield Slam x 2|
|Town Crier x 2||Warpath x 2||Weapons Project x 2|
|Shield Block x 2||Militia Commander x 2||Omega Devastator x 2|
|Brawl x 2||Darius Crowley||Dyn-o-matic x 2|
|Supercollider x 1||Dr Boom, Mad Genius||Youtful Brewmaster x 1|
|Ironbeak Owl x 1||Harrison Jones||Zilliax|
|Unseen Saboteur x 1||Archivist Elysiana|
Yet another archetype that’s been around since the earliest days of Hearthstone is Zoolock. It’s an archetype that changes dramatically from expansion to expansion but the central idea is to get low-cost minions on the board early, then pump Life Tap to fill your hand.
With plenty of lower-cost cards in your hand, Zoolock players are able to play multiple cards per turn in the late-game.
One of Zoolock’s most loved cards, Doomguard, has been moved to the Hall of Fame which removes Zoolock’s ability to play minion damage from the hand. Instead, Zoolock, in Rise of Shadows is a Control Deck. The idea is to remove threats as they appear while overwhelming the opponent with the number of minions in play.
Only three cards from Rise of Shadows are featured in Zoolock at this early stage of the meta; Magic Carpet, EVIL Genius and Arch-Villain Rafaam. Magic Carpet is a big help when it comes to removal as it gives all 1-cost minions +1 Attack and Rush.
Arch-Villain Rafaam is a crazy late-game gamechanger, as you can see in Hunterace and Viper’s final game at the Hearthstone World Championships.
|Flame Imp x 2||Grim Rally x 2||The Soularium|
|Voidwalker x 2||EVIL Genuis x 2||Arch-Villain Rafaam|
|Abusive Sergeant x 2||Argent Squire x 2||Crystallizer x 2|
|Mecharoo x 2||Saronite Taskmaster x 2||Dire Wolf Alpha x 2|
|Knife Juggler x 2||Scarab Egg x 2||Magic Carpet x 2|
|Sea Giant x 2|
Bonus Deck – Murloc Shaman
A personal favourite, Murloc Shaman is a newer deck archetype that goes back to the introduction of Unite the Murlocs and Everyfin is Awesome. With the removal of these cards, Murlock Shaman instead relies on flooding the board with minions and using Blood Lust to get lethal.
Rise of Shadows has introduced some great new Murloc based cards; Soul of the Murloc, Underbelly Angler, Toxfin, Sludge Slurper, Hench-Clan Hogsteed and Scargil.
Underbelly Angler adds a random Murloc to your hand whenever you play a Murloc and Scargil changes the cost of all Murlocs to 1-mana. Soul of the Murloc is a 2-Cost spell that gives all minions Deathrattle – Summon a 1/1 Murloc.
Murloc Shaman is a classic aggro deck and the aim of the game is to get lethal as quickly as possible, protect your important minions and trade when necessary.
|Sludge Slurper x 2||Grimscale Oracle x 2||Murloc Tidecaller x 2|
|Ghost Light Angler x 2||Soul of the Murloc x 2||Toxfin x 2|
|Underbelly Angler x 2||Hench-Clan Hogsteed x1||Scargil|
|Murloc Tidehunter x 2||Bloodlust x2||Coldlight Seer x 2|
|Hagatha the Witch||Murloc Warleader x 2||Nightmare Amalgam x 2|
|Cult Master x2||Murloc Tastyfin x 1|
Thanks to Hearthstone Top Decks you can copy the following deck code and create the Murloc Shaman deck automatically.
We’re a month into Rise of Shadows now and while the meta will start to settle, there’s still plenty of time for changes, new decks and new synergies to be discovered.
The decks above are quite popular and after using them, experimenting with how they work and trying out various strategies, you’ll see yourself climb the Ranked ladder and earn great rewards.
Rise of Shadows is out now.
Rise of Shadows card packs were provided by Blizzard.