Un'Goro Archetype Cheat Sheet
This article is for newer or returning players who have yet to experience much of the Un’Goro metagame. It will provide a quick snapshot of what the major cards are in each archetype, as well as their general gameplan. Think of this as sort of a quick refresher before you dive into the current Hearthstone meta. There are many other decks you will come across, but this will give you a general feel for what you are likely to come across.
This deck will generally begin with an Alleycat or Jeweled Macaw and follow up with a host of other beasts to buff with Crackling Razormaw. The gameplan of this deck revolves around committing to the board early and gaining tempo advantage in order to use Kill Command and Steady Shots to close out the game. Notably, many of the minions in Beast Hunter are resilient to removal. Kindly Grandmother, Rat Pack, Infested Wolf, and Savannah Highmane all make removal awkward for opponents.
You will generally need a mix of board presence, removal, and sweepers to effectively stop them from taking over the game too quickly. The deck’s late game is not that great apart from finishing people off with their hero power. Try to keep your life total high and be mindful of potential Tundra Rhinos which can present a huge amount of damage and board control with minions such as Savannah Highmane.
Yup, still a deck. And a powerful one at that. Pirate Warrior is pretty obvious as they will generally open with an early pirate and put an immense amount of pressure on your life total. Sweepers and taunts are generally the best answers. You want to ensure that their Frothing Berserker doesn’t get out of hand and try and line up taunts to stop massive amounts of damage from an Arcanite Reaper. It is important to note, however, that Pirate Warrior has a powerful midgame. Their four and five-drop threats can pump out damage so don’t plan simply to pick off little minions and be left staring down a board of 5/4 Corsairs when the dust settles.
Freeze Mage plays much like it used to with Archanologist coming in do to a Mad Scientist impression. While Freeze is the most popular Mage deck at the moment, you also need to watch out for Burn and Quest Mages. Quest Mage will be easy to spot and needs to be killed quickly unless you have Dirty Rat disruption. Burn Mage is the aggro variant and will tip you off by playing Mana Wyrm or Sorcerer's Apprentice.
If you are up against Freeze Mage, be ready for Antonidas and for the fact that they are generally running one Pyroblast. Outside of that, not much has changed.
You will know you’re up against Aggro Druid when you see efficient one-drop minions like Fire Fly, Argent Squire, or Enchanted Raven. This deck wants to put as many little minions on the board as quickly as possible. It then uses cards like Power of the Wild and Mark of the Lotus to create an insurmountable board advantage before generally ending the game with a massive Savage Roar. Try and keep the board clear and avoid letting them increase their damage output with Roar. Generally, these decks don’t play Swipe so you wont have to worry as much about that.
The other Druid decks are mostly ramp, and will be identifiable by Wild Growths and Jade cards since Aggro plays neither.
This deck will generally open with a one-drop minion such as Flame Imp, Malchezaar’s Imp, or Voidwalker. This aggressive deck is capable of churning through its deck at an impressive rate if a Malchezaar’s Imp is left unchecked. Darkshire Librarian, Doomguard, Soulfire, and Lakkari Felhound all help it to consistently discard and draw cards with the Imp.
Generally speaking, it is wise to kill the Imp when you can, forcing them to hero power for more cards as opposed to gaining card advantage by simply playing out their discard threats. Be mindful of Doomguard’s explosive damage and begin pressuring their life total as soon as you are able.
Zoo is also the most popular Warlock deck at the moment so you can safely mulligan to counter it.
It will be obvious when you are playing any of the Quest decks but this one bears mentioning for newer or returning players. Quest Rogue is an aggro/combo deck that uses early minions such as Swashburglar, Fire Fly, Southsea Deckhand, Stonetusk Boar, and Novice Engineer in combination with Youthful Brewmaster, Gadgetzan Ferryman, and Shadowstep to quickly complete their Caverns Below quest. Once the quest is complete, a timely Preparation will reduce the cost, allowing the Rogue player to deploy 5/5 minions with charge or card draw.
The list has been refined quickly, moving away from clunky cards like Violet Teacher towards more efficient combo pieces like Glacial Shard and Bilefin Tidehunter. This deck is difficult to pilot but is extremely powerful. Playing an aggressive deck versus them will require an efficient start to take them out before they can take over the board. It’s a difficult task to both keep the board clear before the minions become 5/5s and to also pressure their life total.
If you don’t see a Quest on turn one, it is most likely you are playing against Miracle Rogue. Watch out for Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Giants, and huge Edwin Van Cleefs or Questing Adventurers.
This is a control deck that resembles the older format’s versions of Warrior. Relying heavily on beefy taunt minions such as Alley Armorsmith and Bloodhoof Braves, this deck attempts to draw the game out long enough for Sulfurus’s Ragnaros effect to take over the game. Be mindful of newer sweeper combinations such as Sleep With the Fishes, which can easily manage most boards following a Whirlwind or Ravaging Ghoul.
Paladin has also had a resurgence on the ladder and has a couple variations. Most decks are playing Hydrologist so don't assume your opponent is playing murlocs based on that alone. The murloc variants are faster but cut the Equality-Pyro combo so feel free to play on the board. That said, you still need to be wary of their two Consecrations.
The more controling midrange Paladins are running Wickerflame Burnbristle and the above mentioned clear combo. Elemental Paladin is also a factor and will be given away by their Fire Flys. Midrange Paladins are known for playing Tirion but the Elemental builds appear to be cutting him.