Knights of the Frozen Throne is coming in less than 24 hours and you'll be able to play with all the new cards really soon. You're probably just as excited as we are, so we've created four decks utilizing the cards from the upcoming expansion. If you have no idea what to play, you can use one of them and take it to the ladder right away!
Given the nature of theorycrafting, these decks might turn out to be weak, not fit the upcoming meta, or might need a lot of improvements to become viable. It's impossible to predict the meta yet, just like it's impossible to playtest the decks and add the necessary tech cards. They should be seen as a starting point - they will definitely be good enough to get some wins early, but they might need to get updated in the coming days.
Each of these decks come with a quick rundown of the deck building process (especially focused on all the Frozen Throne cards) and the basic strategy of the decks. If you wonder why they look so similar to the currently existing decks, it's because the expansion doesn't come with a new Standard rotation. While you should obviously expect the meta to change a bit, a lot of the decks will remain very similar. We expect some new decks to pop out, but the existing archetypes (probably upgraded with a few new cards) will most likely be the biggest part of the meta.
Note: After the expansion is released, we'll provide a list of decks tested by the streamers and pro players. The most successful of them should also get a guide in the upcoming days!
My first theorycraft is a Standard Highlander Priest deck, also known as the Reno Priest, Kazakus Priest or Raza Priest (named after the "highlander" cards). The reason why I've picked this deck is the new Priest Death Knight card - Shadowreaper Anduin. In a normal, Control Priest deck, the card isn’t really powerful. Where it shines, however, is the deck that also runs Raza the Chained. That’s because of the DK’s Hero Power – Voidform. Because of its effect, you’ll be able to use it, on average, around 2-3 times per turn. In a normal deck, that would cost 4-6 mana, which is way too much. However, if you play the Raza deck, Hero Power becomes free, which means that every card you play comes with 2 extra damage. This effect is incredibly powerful because Priest always struggled with putting the late game pressure on the opponent. Priest decks had multiple Control options, but rarely a way to actively threaten the opponent’s life total.
Click here to read more and see the deck list: Theorycraft: Frozen Throne Highlander Priest
My second theorycraft is an aggressive Token Druid deck. The deck is strong in this meta and it got a few new tools, so I believe that it will be even stronger after the next expansion hits. If you're looking for an aggressive option to farm poor deck builders after the new expansion launches, you're in the right place. I've picked Token Druid mostly because of the two new cards - Druid of the Swarm and Crypt Lord. Even though cheap Taunts might seem like an anti-Aggro option, it's not always true. Sometimes cheap Taunts might be best IN the Aggro decks, to protect your other minions, especially when they fit so well into the lists. Low Attack / High Health minions might not strike as the great Aggro option when you look at it, but the thing about Token Druid is that it utilizes multiple AoE buffs, turning the overstatted health into a huge asset when you give that minion a few points of attack. The deck's play style will remain similar, but it will put more focus on keeping the board alive, plus the high health of some minions will make the deck much more resistant to AoE clears. Imagine that Priest won't be able to clear your board with Dragonfire Potion, because your minions are over 5 health. The last card I'm trying in this deck is Grim Necromancer. Even though it might look like a pack filler, I'm sensing a huge potential. It fills the 4-drop slot, and 3 bodies in a single card combos really well with AoE buffs, Savage Roar and Crypt Lord.
Click here to read more and see the deck list: Theorycraft: Frozen Throne Token Druid
My third theorycraft is Miracle Rogue. It's one of those decks that's pretty much always there in the meta, even though it never really dominates it. It's a skill-testing deck that relies on high tempo plays and heavy cycling to win the games. While the deck has got some nice tools in the latest expansion, most notably Sherazin, Corpse Flower and Vilespine Slayer, it struggled because of the lack of defensive options in a relatively aggressive meta. While Rogue didn't get a direct healing this expansion, the new additions will make surviving significantly easier. Two most important cards added to the deck are Shadowblade and Doomerang, both of which let Rogue clear minions without taking damage. They also combo really well with each other, making the Rogue's early/mid game board clearing potential even scarier than it is now. The last card I've added to the deck is a single copy of Grave Shambler - 4-drop was a slot that Rogue struggled with for a while, and this can consistently be a 5/5 4-drop with a potential to grow even further. Two copies might be overkill, even one is mostly experimental, but I think that it should be good enough.
Click here to read more and see the deck list: Theorycraft: Frozen Throne Miracle Rogue
My fourth, and last, Frozen Throne theorycraft. It's the only Wild deck out of the bunch. Even though I'm not a big fan of the mode, I enjoy playing it since my favorite Standard deck has rotated out - Renolock. And I believe that the upcoming expansion will make the Renolock (which was pretty mediocre in the Wild lately) a solid contender for the high tier spot. As much as I'd love the make the Demonlock viable in the Standard, I think that might be much harder, because the deck still struggles when it comes to healing options and it might not have enough powerful Demons. The Highlander version of the deck already got a nice boost with the Gadgetzan (Krul the Unshackled), but the real reason why you should consider playing it right now is the Warlock's Death Knight - Bloodreaver Gul'dan. RenoLock often played N'Zoth, the Corruptor as the finisher in some matchups, and the new Gul'dan is like a better version of that. Instead of a 5/7 body, which is not a big deal if you're already resurrecting multiple big minions, you get an upgraded Hero Power - Siphon Life. Dealing 3 damage AND healing for 3 per turn is huge. While it's not as strong as 6/6's from Lord Jaraxxus, the card has much bigger immediate impact and doesn't make you vulnerable to burn damage. Besides the DK, two other new additions to the deck are Defile (which takes the spot of Demonwrath - not only it's 1 mana cheaper, but also has potential to be much bigger) and Despicable Dreadlord, which is a solid mid-game Demon - it fits the deck really well, giving another small AoE, good target for Voidcaller and Krul + good minion to resurrect with DK.
Click here to read more and see the deck list: Theorycraft: Frozen Throne Wild Reno Demonlock
A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. He's achieved infinite Arena and multiple top 100 Legend climbs. You can follow him on Twitter @StonekeepHS.