By Spike, Regular Contributor
This month, I made Legend in Wild for the first time on my main, which was a pretty good feeling. That’s probably child’s play for some of you, but I don’t usually spend a ton of time grinding ladder, so it was pretty cool.
At any rate, I’m going to go over the meta I encountered, as well as the decks I used. I’ll be writing another article on what decks I think are the best options for laddering to Legend in Wild (spoiler: it isn’t Secret Mage!), so you can expect that in the next week or two.
Below are the decks I used to get to Legend, from most played to least played, along with their approximate winrates. I didn’t use a deck tracker the entire time so I don’t have the exact data, but they should be fairly accurate.
I’ll also be linking what I think are the best decklists for each deck for the average player, because I made a few changes to my decks so they’d play in a way I refer or as techs- for example, Foxy Fraud over Prep in Kingsbane Rogue.
I’ll slowly be adding guides to the various decks, but those aren’t a priority because, frankly, they don’t get enough views. They don’t get a ton of views right off the bat like articles about the meta, and they don’t slowly get views over time like amiibo or Battlegrounds guides do.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
First off, my Kingsbane Rogue list. I managed somewhere around an 85% winrate with it (again, not sure of the exact percent, but give or take 5%) and used it for most of my climb.
It had a surprisingly steep learning curve- getting the most out of the Combo cards and Pirate package is more difficult than you’d expect.
Once you learn the deck, though, it’s pretty much second nature. A few calculations to see if you can e.g. draw into Shinyfinder or Raiding Party with Secret Passage or to calculate Prize Plunderer damage, but mostly instinct.
Yes, the new Poison that makes your Weapon swings have Immune is terrifying… even if Nitroboost Poison gets nerfed, that card alone could put Kingsbane near the top of Tier 1 in Wild. Right now it’s about low Tier 1/ high Tier 1.5, mostly because weapon tech (Kobold Stickyfinger and Gluttonous Ooze) sees a decent amount of play to counter Kingsbane- and Odd Rogue, Cutlass Rogue and the fringe Scimitar and Self-Sharpening Sword Rogues to an extent.
Big surprise in the list was that getting Patches off of mulligan was surprisingly not horrible. Not optimal, but he did serve as a cheap activator for Combos and activated Parachute Brigand.
Unexpected great card in the list was Dread Corsair- that’s a really nice bit of stall against other Aggro decks that gave an extra turn to pull a weapon buff from the deck.
Weird deck building decisions I made here- I play 2x Foxy Fraud, 2x Ship’s Cannon, and 2x Parachute Brigand instead of 2x Prep, an extra Shinyfinder, an extra Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil, and a pair of Eviscerates. This allowed me to have some more board and an easier time clearing the opponent’s with Cannon, but limited my burst potential and made the deck less consistent.
If I were to do this again, I’d probably cut a Foxy Fraud for a Prep- but I’m happy with my list.
Deck code: AAEBAaIHBK8QkbwC5dECu+8CDcsD1AXuBvsPmxXVjAPpsAOqywP31APf3QPn3QPz3QOB5AMA
Dust cost: 5200- so fairly cheap for Wild.
Likely best list for most players who just want to fool around with Kingsbane is the one below. It’s essentially the “netdeck” version of the deck.
Most of the lists share the same shell, just differing on if they use Prep or Foxy Fraud and if they play Cannon or Eviscerate. They’re just about all viable, though, and likely any deck can make Legend if the player is skilled and learns its ins and outs well enough. Even some homebrews.
Note: Using Prep and Eviscerate makes Pen Flinger a possibility. It isn’t popular and I haven’t tested it, but I’ve seen it and it seems okay- but you’ll want even more Spells. You can drop the Foxy Frauds, Ship’s Cannons, and Parachute Brigands from my list and slot in 2 of each if that’s something you’d like to try.
Next most used, Secret Mage. I know people don’t like it, but I personally enjoy Secret-based decks a lot. I’ve seen the deck compared to pulling legs off of insects, which isn’t entirely inaccurate- difference is pulling legs off of insects won’t get you to Legend. I pulled somewhere around a 60-65% winrate with the deck, which is way lower than I used to get. Mostly due to the sheer numbers of mirrors, which are boring, time-consuming, and just plain annoying.
The deck does deserve a nerf. I think the best nerf would likely be to nerf either Sayge to start at drawing 0 cards and be 4/4 or to nerf Occult Conjurer into oblivion, because though the deck is infamously good even without them, Sayge has basically allowed late-game board presence and Occult Conjurer has made your early game bard presence ridiculous.
I hate Occult Conjurer with a passion, personally… Unlike the majority of payoff cards in the deck (Cloud Mage, Medivh’s Valet), it’s pretty single use. You just use it to waste your opponent’s resources or have an unfairly strong board early. It’s not interesting in the least.
There weren’t really any big surprises in the list. I’ve played Secret Mage in Wild for a few expansions now, so adding in Rigged Faire Game and an Occult Conjurer wasn’t a huge shakeup. Same frame, now more consistent.
Unexpectedly great card in the list was Counterspell. I may honestly drop Occult Conjurer to run a second copy, just because it’s stellar in mirrors.
Weird deckbuilding decisions here- I play Aluneth instead of Sayge. I just prefer the sustained draw over the burst draw, even though fatigue is a real threat- though burning your cards really isn’t. I also don’t play Netherwind Portal, because I just don’t like the way it plays.
If you are a player who doesn’t have a large amount of Secret Mage experience, don’t do that. Yeah, you can play Secret Mage pretty autopilot and do alright… but the difference between autopilot players and experienced ones is noticeable. As an experienced player, I can make those oddball decisions and still do well. As a player who’s new to the deck, you’d almost assuredly see a worse winrate.
Deck code: AAEBAf0EBHHAAaLTApDhAw27AuwF9w3XtgLrugKHvQLBwQKP0wK+pAO/pAPdqQP0qwOR4QMA
Dust cost: 4660- very cheap for Wild. You can even cut Aluneth and Occult Conjurer for a Counterspell and Arcane Intellect and do fine for below 3K Dust.
Below is the list I recommend for newly minted Secret Mage players. I’ve also linked my guide- not the same list, but the tenants are the same. I encourage any players looking to pick up the deck to read the guide first, both because that’s an extra view on my articles and because going in with some tidbits of information for specific scenarios helps.
Third, my Odd Rogue list. I had a ridiculously good winrate with it- probably better than Kingsbane, but I played a good few less games with it, so not sure. Somewhere between 75% and 90% winrate.
The deck gets underestimated a lot. It’s Tier 1.5 at worst- I’d argue Tier 1.
Big surprise here was how well the deck actually worked- cards like Wand Thief, Spymistress, EVIL Miscreant, and Vulpera Toxinblade all feel like they should be too weak for Wild, but they aren’t.
Unexpectedly great card was Coerce- I used it instead of Loatheb, and it saved my butt a few times against decks such as Painlock and Res Priest.
Dropping Loatheb for Coerce is my only weird decision here, but the deck isn’t exactly board-based. Mostly, it wins because it can get a ridiculous amount of damage in from Weapon pokes before closing the game with a 10-15 damage burst turn (Leeroy and Nitroboost are a big deal for sure), and if all else fails, you try and high roll with Lackeys and Wand Thief.
My first ever deck, back in The Witchwood, was Odd Rogue, so it feels pretty good to return to my “roots”, so to speak, though I miss Vilespine Slayer.
Get it? Woods? Roots?
This article will be here all day. And the next day. And so on and so forth for hopefully a long time.
Deck code: AAEBAaIHBK8EkbwCnvgCitADDcsD1AWbFabvAo+XA7m4A6rLA5vNA4jQA6TRA/fUA/PdA4HkAwA=
Dust cost: 6700. Not bad for Wild, still rather expensive for any ftp players (that includes me). You’ll be able to build a LOT of decks that use Baku and/or Patches though, Leeroy slots into almost any Wild Aggro deck, and Secret Passage is played in a lot of Rogue decks, both Wild and Standard.
For any new players looking to try the deck, this is essentially the list I recommend. Coerce is the flex spot, though- you can play Loatheb, Doctor Krastinov, or Jandice Barov in the slot instead. Loatheb is best if you face a lot of Control, Krastinov is best if you face a lot of Aggro, and Jandice is an all-around solid card. They’re all Legendaries, though, which makes the deck much more expensive.
If you’re looking for Dust mileage, use Loatheb. Krastinov and Jandice both see little or no meta play outside of Odd Rogue.
I enjoy Discolock a lot, with its fast style of play and ability to play Zoo without playing Zoo, if that makes any sense. At about a 60% winrate, it’s not my best deck.
I count the “purely Disco” version and the version running Darkglare, Raise Dead, and sometimes Flesh Giant and Tour Guide as separate decks. Pure Discolock and Pain package Discolock. Pain package is more popular, but I don’t really enjoy playing it personally.
Big surprise and unexpectedly good card are the same- some lists lately have cut Lakkari Felhound, but it’s amazing against Aggro. It’s getting a change to discard the lowest cost cards in your hand, which will most likely make it not worthwhile in the deck, but for now the ability to discard two cards at once is amazing.
Weird decisions here… I don’t run Boneweb Egg. It’s just underwhelming, especially since the only card that really synergizes with it is Wicked Whispers, which is already amazing on its own. I also don’t run Kanrethad Ebonlocke or The Soularium, because, well, I don’t have them and I don’t see much reason to put Dust into them. Both are pretty stellar cards, though.
As an aside, I went 20-0 with this deck (slightly different list, obviously- Wicked Whispers didn’t exist yet) a couple expansions ago. I believe during early Scholomance?
The deck hasn’t held to that standard well, but it’s still good.
Deck code: AAEBAf0GAtAE/acDDjD3BM4HwgjEFNkV1LMCvLYCkccC8tAC/aQDtbkDtrkD0OEDAA==
Dust cost: 1720. Incredibly cheap.
For players just picking up the deck, I recommend my list. Discolock is very much love playing it or hate playing it, and a cheap list to test the deck with is awesome. Plus it’s pretty easy to learn.
For players willing to spend some decent bits of Dust, here’s the recommended deck. Top one is “Pure” Discolock, bottom has a Pain package.
Last, but not least (ignoring Odd DH and Even Secret Hunter, because I just fooled around with them in Bronze and Silver and didn’t bother climbing with them), Odd Paladin. Also very strong, also very hated.
Big surprises, surprisingly good cards- none.
Not much to say about Odd Paladin. Around a 65% winrate.
My list is weird because it runs a bunch of 1-ofs and doesn’t use second copies of a lot of cards that are supposedly “essential”. I also don’t buy into Lord Barov or Loatheb.
Deck code: AAEBAZ8FCkavBKcFjA7/rwKe+AKOmgOVzQOD3gOH3gMK7A/tD9MTuMcC48sC2f4CjK0Dm80Dv9EDhN4DAA==
Ust cost: 7640- a tad on the pricey side.
I don’t recommend this list to new players at all. I don’t even recommend it to veteran Odd Paladin players. It’s been tuned to fit my playstyle, and it’s just a weird list. Plus it’s more expensive than a lot of Odd Paladin lists by ~1K Dust.
Recommended for new players at top, for veteran Odd Paladin players at bottom.
For the bottom one, feel free to cut the Corridor Creepers for whatever you want. Odd Paladin is a pretty flexible deck list-wise.
Now to the important part. I won’t be providing deck lists, but I’m going to go over each set of ranks’s “meta”, at least when I was climbing there.
Bronze: I wasn’t here long enough to see much. Just homebrews and Standard decks in the wrong queue from what I did see.
Silver 10-5: Mostly netdecking players playing cheap decks. Secret Mages, Aggro Druids, and Odd Paladin budget lists.
Silver 5-Gold 10: Aggro Druid and Odd Paladin mostly disappear. Secret Mage becomes incredibly popular. Raza Priest pops up, and Kingsbane Rogue makes an appearance.
Gold 10-Gold 5: There are essentially no more homebrews. The Tier 1, 1.5, and 2 decks become, essentially, the meta. Secret Mage, Painlock, Discolock, Kingsbane Rogue, Discolock with Pain package, Raza Priest, Odd Rogue, Odd Paladin, Pirate Warrior, Renolock, Big/Res Priest, Aggro Druid, Odd Warrior, and Token Druid will be basically all I see from now on.
In the lower Gold ranks, Secret Mage remains by far the most prevalent deck. Discolock also appears in large numbers, as do Pirate Warrior and Odd Paladin.
Raza Priest and Renolock see a lot of play in the hands of players who aren’t skilled with their decks here.
Painlock is noticeably absent. Likely most skilled players have moved on, or realized that self damage isn’t a good idea when Secret Mage, a deck that is known for its impressive burn, is appearing in swarms.
Gold 5-Platinum 10: Pirate Warrior and Odd Paladin are very rare now. Secret Mage is starting to thin out, revealing large numbers of Raza Priests, Renolocks, Kingsbane Rogues, and Big Priest.
Platinum 10-Platinum 5: Aggro Druid, Odd Paladin, Big Priest, and Odd Warrior have all essentially disappeared. Painlock begins to make appearances, and Secret Mage becomes rarer and rarer, all while Raza Priest numbers continue to grow.
Kingsbane Rogue and Discolock maintain a decent appearance.
Platinum 5-Diamond 10:
Secret Mage, Painlock, Discolock, Kingsbane Rogue, Pain Package Discolock, Raza Priest, Odd Rogue, Pirate Warrior, and Renolock are pretty much all I’m seeing up here. This pretty much reflects the overall meta, at least by the Tier 1 and 2 decks in the Tempo Storm meta snapshots.
Secret Mage is, thankfully, rare now. Both versions of Discolock are also rare, as is Pirate Warrior.
Renolock and Raza Priest are by far the most popular decks, from what I can tell. Painlock starts to be noticeable again too, likely due to the lack of Secret Mages and Discolocks.
Odd Rogue, despite being quite good, is not common at all. I played it a good bit around here, but very rarely saw any.
I don’t know why, it’s a very successful deck.
Diamond 10- Diamond 5:
Raza Priest and Kingsbane Rogue are incredibly popular here. This is the one spot where I decided to switch to Secret Mage for most of my climb, out of frustration with Rogue mirrors.
It went alright.
Pirate Warrior, both versions of Discolock, and Renolock (with Archwitch Willow) both fall out of favor, leaving only the top decks- Odd Rogue, Secret Mage, Kingsbane Rogue, Raza Priest, and Painlock. Odd Paladin makes somewhat of a resurgence, while bizarrely the version of Renolock using Tickatus pops up. I didn’t see it for most of my climb, but hit Diamond and it pops out of the woodwork.
Thankfully, it’s slower than Secret Mage. Plus, Explosive Runes killing off Voidcaller to pull Tickatus from their hand is awesome when you can immediately kill Tickatus.
It’s mostly Raza Priest, Odd Rogue (finally it pops up in large numbers), Secret Mage, Painlock, and Kingsbane Rogue here. I don’t know why, but using Odd Rogue and Kingsbane, this is the easiest my climb has been since Bronze and low Silver.
Most of the Kingsbane players here use the Prep/Eviscerate list instead of Foxy Fraud and Brigand/Cannons- turns out it’s an edge to have a board and the ability to clear your opponent’s in the mirror. After hitting Diamond 2, I won 6 straight to make Legend.
The final opponent, the gatekeeper so to speak, was a Secret Mage. I was using Kingsbane Rogue.
Thankfully, he got a horrible mulligan- no Turn 1 or Turn 2 plays, he played Secrets turn 3, 4, and 5, (I don’t know what two of them were- I assume they were Rigged Faire Game and then either Netherwind Portal or Counterspell, because they never activated, the third one was Explosive Runes) and then I killed him Turn 6.
All in all, it was a fun time. From what I can tell, the most common decks in Wild are Secret Mage at lower ranks and Raza Priest at higher ones, but every Tier 1 and 2 deck except Painlock and Odd Rogue see a fair amount of play across the board.
I’ll hopefully have an article out soon detailing my picks for what decks to climb with. It’s actually not my lineup and I actually don’t think Secret Mage or Raza Priest are great options for most of the climb… so stay tuned!