Hearthstone’s Classic Format And Deck Archetype Guide
Hearthstone’s classic mode is finally here and while it may sound familiar if you’ve been playing since 2014, newer players may find the changes irritating. At its core, the classic mode is like a trip back in time, where you make decks using the original 240 cards in the game, with no balance updates or content from adventures or expansions. Your Basic, Classic, and Hall of Fame cards will have different statistics when you create a deck in this mode, just like in patch 188.8.131.5232 from June 2014.
For example, we can look overzealously at everyone’s favorite paladin, Leeroy Jenkins. Either default and Wild the Legendary servant It costs 5 mana to play, but Classic mode gives you access to the pre-built version that costs just 4 mana.
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To celebrate the launch of Classic mode, all players who sign up at Hearthstone will receive a free, Golden Classic card package.
The biggest differences between the modes
Put simply, Classic mode is slower, more predictable, and feels fairer in many ways than Standard and Wild. This was due to a smaller pool of cards to choose from and little RNG. Today’s meta decks in Standard and Wild consist almost entirely of cards from Adventures and Expansions, as Power Creep has resulted in new cards often receiving more stats, higher value, and stronger effects than older cards.
As a result, dominance in classic mode depends more on speed, initiative and card advantage, all with cards that are “weaker” than newer cards. In July 2020, esports player Maxime Pelletier detailed how those basics were for top levels of play, but replaced with keywords like Rush, and gave many classes safe access to drawing cards with few drawbacks to the point where The Fight For the board is largely irrelevant. See the video below for an older video that teaches the basics of card pace, value, and card positioning. Mainly cards from the Basic and Classic Set are used.
As already mentioned, RNG also plays a much smaller role in classic mode. There is no Discover Keyword, there is still Zephrys the Great or Chattering book to offer you a game-winning solution. Instead, what you get is what you get in one deck.
Strong deck archetypes
Hearthstone has always been an expensive game if you wanted to play certain decks, but there are some excellent free options too. Below are some of the most popular deck types from 2014 that should be just as powerful in Classic Mode. Note, however, that the list is hardly complete. With that in mind, players have found new ways to minimize / maximize the content World of Warcraft Classicand the same could happen here with new strategies.
One class that embodies both price points is that Sorcerer thanks to his Hero powerThis is by far the best in the game and gives you access to consistent card draw. The Warlock hero power is so powerful that Blizzard almost changed it before the game launched but couldn’t find a suitable replacement.
With such a reliable card draw Zoolock is one of the best decks to jump into classic mode. It’s cheap to make, doesn’t require legendary minions, and requires you to focus on properly positioning the board to play effectively. Even today, Zoolock variations often find a place in a meta. So be sure to check out the deck that started out in Hearthstone as a whole.
Handlock is the other side of the Warlock deck archetype that also takes advantage of reliable card draws to lower the cost of mountain and Melted giantsGet the most benefit Twilight Drakes, and then add mockery with Sunfury Protector and Defenders of Argus. Both decks are strong and capable of making you legend. Because hero power is so powerful, Blizzard had to give the Warlock class below-average cards with each new expansion. Below is a template of the most common Zoolock and Handlock options.
Face hunter, or Smorc Hunteris the next deck archetype that is sure to be powerful in classic mode. As the name suggests, Face is the place and you control this deck as pure aggro. There are several notable Nerf reverts that make this deck a deck to be feared. First, Eaglehorn Bow will again receive expiry fees from every secret activated, not just your own secrets. Second, the Starving Buzzard drops from its reduced 5 mana cost back to 2 mana. In combination with “Unleash the Dogs” you get an immense amount of draw.
Since this has been improved, the Hunter class has never had so much pulling power available. So be aware of the hunters who will be able to close games quickly. Like the archetype of the Zoolock deck, this is a relatively cheap deck that can be made. Leeroy Jenkins is the only Legendary used as an excellent option for dealing that last bit of damage. Midrange Hunter will also be another strong option, with Savannah Highmane being one of the best midrange drops in the game. Below is what a great start to a Smorc Deck.
wallet, or Control the warrioris next on the list and is the original control deck in Hearthstone. Unfortunately, years ago it was rarely seen in the game, as Wallet Warrior, as the nickname suggests, was damn expensive in 2014 due to the need for legendary cards like Grommash Hellscream, Alexstrasza, Ragnaros the Fire Lord, Cairne Bloodhoof, Harrison Jones and sometimes others in technical or optional cards like The Black Knight, Bloodmage Thalnos. Add in epics like Shield Slam, Brawl, and Gorehowl and you may need 10-15,000 dust for a single deck.
Even so, Control Warrior was a great deck in the early days of Hearthstone. Unlike today in Standard and Wild, an opponent cannot produce the almost infinite value that we see in games. In most cases, once a servant is gone, he is gone for good. There are no full board resurrections, so controlling the board to survive and overrate an opponent is a viable strategy.
Finally, there are several options that can be thought of as combo decks, although unlike today, they are less capable of creating them One turn kills (OTK) from 30 health points to zero, unless under strictest conditions. Instead, most of these decks require control of the board and a twist to get a great finish. For that we have Freeze Mage, who blocks the game with Frost Novas and Ice Blocks, Miracle Rogue with jumping Leeroy Jenkins and Cold Blood, and both middle-range druids with Force of Nature and Savage Roar, as well as Malygos Druid with big, cheap spells in the face.
Will the meta ever change?
Most likely, the meta will be largely resolved from day one. These were among the best decks in 2014, and it wasn’t until a new card interaction was discovered that a major change could come about. Even so, over the years so many players have passively added to their Classic mode collection by simply playing the game that decks that were previously too expensive may now be more common. Otherwise, Blizzard would have to make changes to the targeting credit to get players interested in Classic mode after the first launch window.
However, if you’re looking for a slower form of Hearthstone that rewards strategic play while protecting you from the random gimmicks of Standard and Wild, Classic Mode is for you.
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About the author
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The Fantastic, Science Fiction and Horror are Patricio’s favorite genres for literature, film and games. Dead by Daylight is his daily bread and butter, as he writes for TheGamer. He teaches Spanish at McGill during the day and writes in front of the SPCA at night alongside his Staffy x Boxer Rescue. Patricio graduated from the University of Alberta in 2006 and 2012 and will have another degree in hand by 2020. Innovations in game development, the economics of making games profitable, and the downward, decadent spiral of former large gaming companies inspire his soul as he writes every day. Will Blizzard Entertainment do controversy enough often to keep this reference relevant? Patrick certainly thinks they will.
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