What to do When Everyone Knows the Place
Aggro general runs the ladder and this season is no different. Board control, therefore, is paramount when games can get out of hand so quickly. Between Pirate Warrior and Token Druid, games can regularly end on turn five. Those aggro decks, and the slew of others running around, are skewing the meta towards certain strategies. You need to be able to get on board early and execute your payoff, or be able to interact with your opponent's plan while still enacting your own. Very few decks have the ability to consistently do both.
This is why I think Secret Mage has been making such a resurgence lately. It has the aggressive draws to punish the control decks but can also use its extreme mana efficiency to contest the board. On the other hand, Token Druid has been gaining in popularity because it is the fastest at getting on board. If it doesn't have a solid first few turns, however, Druid does not have much of a chance to get back in the game.
In formats like these, what's just as important as combat is knowing when to be mana efficient, and what you need to answer. The latter of those is an interesting one here, the threats are diverse which means the answers have to be as well.
The most aggressive decks have access to my personal favorite answer in standard, Spellbreaker. He almost always trades up in mana and board presence when you are getting use out of his ability. He is especially powerful now because he allows aggressive decks to catch back up on board in mirrors by negating one of their pay off cards. Spellbreaker also excels at pressuring the decks that are trying to catch up through taunt and freeze. Blizzard does not seem to like to print good Silencers (execept for in Priest, thanks for that), so you have to use what's available to you. Once you Silence a Spikeridge Steeded minion, you will never look back.
Spellbreaker is a very broad answer, but with the state of standard being all aggro all the time, more specific answers may be required. The obvious swing cards are the crabs. When they are active, they are best cards in the deck, but when they aren't, well, have fun with your River Crocolisk. With the Murladin falling off and Token Druid moving away from the Murloc package, Hungry Crab has lost its allure. Gollaka Crawler is still a solid as Patches is still too good not to play.
Hate cards that can act as sweepers are at a premium. Token Shaman having access to Devolve makes it a solid contender in the meta right now. In the same vein as Devolve, Volcanic Potion is in pretty good shape to see play as it is incredibly cheap for the effect. For the non-Mages out there, Wild Pyromancer or Doomsayer can pull off the same effect or better given the right fuel. Quest Rogue utilizes the crabs to great effect, but it has Tol'Vir Stoneshaper as another great hedge against aggressive strategies. The elemental requirement is pretty easy for them, and it can completely shut down aggressive draws.
Having the right cards for the right matchups is obviously important, but once the list is set, the next step is facing off the mulligans and sequencing your plays. So, if you need your hate cards in the matchup, mulligan aggressively for them. If they aren't useful, either mulligan them if possible, or keep whatever is on curve.
As for the sequencing, it is often correct to be as mana efficient as possible, even more so when you are the aggressor. It is therefore important to figure out if you are the aggressor quickly. Knowing whether to contest the board and attack their minions or just go straight to the dome is the hardest part of the aggressive mirror match. Usually we call that point in the game "turning the corner", it's recognizing that you have gotten ahead enough of your opponent that when you attack their face, that they now have to deal with your board instead.
Hopefully some of these points helped out with the aggressive mirrors, that the ladder is riddled. Having the right hate cards in the right deck, knowing your position, and sequencing your cards in order to turn the corner on your opponent are the keys. Thanks for reading this week, good luck playing one-drops on curve and please don't tilt after you draw your Patches.