The astronomical climb of Warrior prior to One Night In Karazhan is easily one of the historic moments in Hearthstone. The class had a whopping six different archetypes all competitive at the highest levels of play including Aggro Warrior, Control Warrior, Dragon Warrior, C'Thun Warrior, Tempo Warrior, and OTK Warrior. That type of diversity within a single class is enough to make Rogues cry at their own lack of variance, but also unprecedented for a title that just recently narrowed the card pool and struggles to inject this type of health into the eight other classes.

What was Expected


Predicting what's going to happen with each new set is never an exact science. There are always certain cards that get overlooked which can have a major impact on the metagame. There were a few cards in the set - Barnes, Prince Malchezaar, and Fool's Bane - particularly the latter, which many thought would give Warrior an even bigger lead over the competition.

Many had Barnes picked to be an automatic inclusion in most Control decks since they run a lot of high cost, impactful minions. Prince Malcheezar was believed to be a great selection when you're routinely going to fatigue - something that was far more common prior to Karazhan. And Fool's Bane seemed to be insane, another way for Warrior to deal with lots of small, troublesome minions like those from Zoolock. Sure that trade off came at the expense of Health, but in a matchup where it's already possible for the Warrior to stabilize, it was deemed to be a very strong way to control the board.

What Didn't Happen

Barnes was the first to release in The Opera, but ended up finding a home in Resurrect Priest, N'Zoth Control Paladin, and Midrange Hunter. Warrior wasn't really interested in summoning a smaller version of one of its other minions, it'd rather focus on delivering other removal tools, especially since most deck types for the class aren't really interested in bringing that minion back to life somehow.

The Menagerie is said to be the most important wing of the adventure and while that's right a few cards have fallen a bit flat. Fool's Bane is one of them.

With such an intense focus on Beast Druid ( Menagerie Warden) and The Curator there hasn't been a ton of discussion about the other new releases. We've seen some talking about Cat Trick, Babbling Book, Purify, and even Runic Egg - despite how strange of a card it seems - but absolutely nothing about Fool's Bane.

What Did Happen

Players are outright abandoning Warrior left and right. Whether this is because other classes just have more interesting cards and it'll bounce back once the meta settles down remains to be seen.

But one thing is for certain: Hunter has really prospered.

Viscous Syndicate's data shows that the class has overtaken Warrior as the most popular and many expect it to continue to rise. While we knew Kindly Grandmother would bring about a new era for Hunters, most underestimated Cloaked Huntress and Cat Trick. The latter is surprisingly relevant while the former has been absolutely crucial for the returning Hybrid Hunters that now roam the ladder. Even Barnes, a card which most didn't think about as being good in a Hunter deck, gives it a way to firmly wrest control of the board as early as Turn 4.

This of course doesn't bode well for Warriors. Hunters can continually push damage and Call of the Wild gives them an easy way to fill the board again and again.

For a long time the Hunter class has struggled and that's a large part of why Warriors continued unchecked for so long. Sure it had advantage later in the game, but if Garrosh or Magni got off to a good enough start and kept you down, it was entirely possible for the Hunter to not have enough damage to close out the game. Now, with a bolstered early and mid-game, Hunters have returned to the top of the meta.

With one more wing to release before the community can start figuring out who really winds up on top, we don't know who will end up staying there, but for now Hunters have claimed the spot and pulled Warriors back down to the rest of the pack.