Is Tuskarr Totemic still competitive?
 
We've been getting asked whether or not players should still be using the cards that were recently nerfed and wanted to address it with you all. Some may be more obvious than others, say Execute in comparison to Tuskarr Totemic, but thankfully we have some data to draw from now that the European Last Call decklists have been released.

You may have previously seen the infographic we put together, examining the field's composition and breaking down some of the most used legendary minions. Granted this is tournament play and isn't necessarily representative of the ladder experience, there is some valuable information that we can learn from.

 

Execute

Control Warrior hasn't really been affected all that much by this change. It is a bit limiting, but for an archetype that prides itself on having an answer for everything your opponent does, it still remains a crucial option in your toolset. Faster versions like Pirate Warrior obviously didn't use Execute anyway, but the line for more Tempo oriented lists like Dragon Warrior is a bit cloudier. We, unfortunately, don't have any decklists to draw inspiration from as it has largely been left alone since the nerfs went live, but we're willing to bet the one mana increase doesn't cause it to be too slow. It'll inevitably make life a bit harder though as decks like this are likely what Blizzard was targeting.

Verdict: Yes

Call of the Wild

Just after the nerfs were announced, Orange described the Call of the Wild nerf as "bittersweet," saying that he's never been a fan of the card, but was afraid of Hunter falling out of favor. Luckily, this doesn't seem to be the case at all, however, it has certainly lost some favor among professional players.

At this weekend's EU Last Call tournament, out of the five Hunter decks (two Midrange, two Secret, and one N'Zoth Camel) two cut Call of the Wild, two have a single copy, and one still runs two. Secret Hunter is simply too fast to run Animal Companion let alone nine mana spells and even though you'd expect the slowest list to be the one running multiple copies, that isn't the case.

For now, we're comfortable saying that Midrange Hunters should at least be running a single copy of Call of the Wild, but if you're trying to run anything faster, it might just be right to eliminate it.

Verdict: Probably.

Yogg-Saron

There are two sides of Yogg-Saron, Hope's End: competitive play and ladder. The former of which we know have some decent insight into, but no results to back it up yet. As the first major tournament following the changes, EU Last Call shows that out of seven Malygos Druids, an archetype that usually always runs Yogg, only four of them are actually doing so. And the one Tempo Mage in the field is also lacking everyone's favorite RNG Old God.

This is good news for ladder players because if professionals are still hedging their bets on whether Yogg can still be somewhat reliable, then it means we'll likely still see it on the ladder where RNG is much more acceptable. That said, SuperJJ is one of the few that has since run Malygos Druid on the ranked ladder and he chose not to put Yogg in it.

Verdict: Probably.

Abusive Sergeant

Abusive Sergeant  is a really interesting case because so many players have transitioned away from Aggro and into Midrange or Control. We also happen to see less traditional Zoolock and more Discard Zoolock like RDU's Discard Warlock - EU Last Call 2016 - one of the few we've seen using Abusive Sergeant - which may have something to do with why there hasn't been a ton around since the changes.

This continued throughout the weekend in the Asia and Pacific (APAC) Last Call tournament, so we're comfortable saying it's still acceptable in that archetype.

Verdict: In Discardlock only.

Rockbiter Weapon

The other half of the Doomhammer combo, Rockbiter Weapon still sees play in Aggro Shaman, but has found itself ousted from the slower versions which now prefer to run beefier minions.

Not a single of the seven Midrange Shamans or the lone Totem Shaman at the EU Last Call runs either, but head to the ladder and it's still somewhat common.

Verdict: Yes (In Aggro Shaman).

Charge

As it's no longer a good one-turn kill tool, Charge has essentially become one of those gimmick cards that isn't nearly good enough to see play. That said, people will always try to get something to work. Thijs recently made a Charge Control Warrior simply to use it as flexible removal or card draw.

Verdict: No.

Tuskarr Totemic

And finally, we arrive at Tuskarr Totemic. The former king of Shaman decks has fallen entirely out of favor. Summoning a random Basic totem simply isn't worth the cost even in Totem-centric decks. You're better off replacing them with guaranteed Totem activators.

It seems as if ladder and competitive players are in agreement on this one, Tuskarr just isn't good enough to make the cut.

Verdict: No.