Yesterday we took a look at some of the most impactful cards that will be cycled out of Hearthstone when the new Standard format launches sometime this Spring. Today, we're going to be examining a few off the top archetypes, as selected by our first Meta Review, to see exactly which ones will be hit the hardest.

Secret Paladin

With the death of classic Patron Warrior, Secret Paladin rose out of its ashes, taking a place at the top of the heap. Largely in part due to Mysterious Challenger, the deck has prospered thanks to great drops at each mana cost and overall efficiency in tempo plays. Unfortunately for it, it also happens to rely heavily on cards from Naxxramas and Goblins vs. Gnomes. In Standard it'll be losing four of it's best drops in Shielded Minibot, Muster for Battle, Piloted Shredder, and Dr. Boom. In addition to that, it'll no longer have a few crucial Taunt minions, or Taunt givers, along with Avenge, one of the more annoying Secrets in the Paladin arsenal.

That considered, we're likely to see Secret Paladin slow down a lot more and take on more of a Midrange Paladin style since they'll both be facing similar issues, aside from Quartermaster which is more unique to the latter. A lot of the sub-optimal class cards are of higher cost with those that tend to be cheaper being much more niche or low quality.

Overall, it's taking a huge blow. With these subtractions, the deck is down to 16 total cards, nearly half of what it had before. Finding optimal replacements that still allow the deck to be just as strong doesn't seem likely.


Midrange Druid

It's a good thing Blizzard says it's doing a balance check on some of the cards from the Basic or Classic set. Some of the larger concerns with the new Standard format is about how both Midrange Druid and Freeze Mage, which we'll get to later, have so many of their core cards based in these two sets.

Nothing too big here, especially considering many have been teching Shade of Naxxramas in and out depending on the meta. Don't expect much to change with Midrange Druid unless there's some serious card nerfs.


Zoo

Somehow you'd think Zoo would be getting hit harder than this, but it's not. Imp-losion in particular is one of the biggest blows as its well known to provide ridiculous board swings, but Nerubian Egg is also pretty notable as it's always been the best target for cards like Power Overwhelming and Void Terror. Obviously these hurt, but it's nothing the archetype can't easily recover from with the upcoming expansion looming.


Freeze Mage

The core of Freeze Mage will almost entirely remain untouched. Mad Scientist does hurt in that you'll need to actually draw and play your secrets (imagine that), but this is minuscule compared to some of the other classes out there.


Patron Warrior

The ever resilient Patron Warrior survived the Warsong Commander, but we're unsure how it'll do in Standard. Most of the important cards will remain, but Death's Bite and Unstable Ghoul are pretty concerning. If there's one thing this deck needs, it's Whirlwind effects. Without these two crucial cards, you're literally reduced to just Whirlwind itself, and that's not very promising at all.

If we don't see any new effects introduced in the new expansion, you can basically kiss this deck type goodbye.


In the end, most archtypes will still be around with the launch of Standard, but there are some decks that really are in dire straights. Secret Paladin and Patron Warrior are probably the most notable, but Mech Mage and Renolock are losing at least half of their arsenal. Others will probably manage to get by such as Tempo Mage, Control Priest, and Midrange Hunter, however they'll have been severely weakened from the loss of core cards. No one knows for certain what will and won't be relevant since we're at the dawn of a new expansion in addition to there being no way to know for certain how the meta will react.

But we do know one thing for sure: this is the biggest change Hearthstone has ever faced and it's going to take some time to get used to. We just wonder which decks will still be around to accompany us.