Hearthstone just released its latest expansion, Ashes of Outland, and it’s already upset the status quo. As the latest of three expansions releasing this year, change is expected to happen. But it doesn’t look like everyone was quite ready for the impact this newly-added class would have on the game. Demon Hunters are the new dominating meta.
All of the other classes have myriad cards due to the years of expansions they’ve enjoyed. In comparison, the Demon Hunter class has relatively few cards. But that isn’t holding the new class back. Illidan and his fel friends are winning the tide of war.
This comes according to data collection site HSReplay, which utilizes the Hearthstone Deck Tracker app to gather class win rates and more. According to the site, Demon Hunters are well ahead of even the second-most successful classes, the Rogue and Hunter. Even in Wild, where Demon Hunters’ card collections are further dwarfed by those of other classes, Demon Hunters still prove to be the best-performing class so far.
According to impressions from players, this all comes down to the Outcast mechanic, a unique effect for the Demon Hunter class. This effect grants a bonus effect if the card is played from either side of the hand, which makes it quite easy to activate. As a result, this class is receiving powerful bonuses on a far more consistent basis than was likely expected.
Early data suggests that Demon Hunters are somewhat overpowered. But it’s still a bit early to make a definitive call. Hearthstone’s meta experiences some extremely skewed data early into an expansion’s release. Some might argue that it’s simply that a counter has yet to be found. But here are some suggestions players have come up with for turning the tide against the Demon Hunter.
Some strategies to beat the Demon Hunter class
The Demon Hunter class is an aggressive one that works through pure aggro, combo, and mid-range archetypes. It shoots for early damage in an effort to close games out with an eventual burst of damage. That means players need to target the game plan and prevent it from working. Here are some examples of methods that may help in reliably defeating the class.
The first strategy is to use Warlock/Zephyrs. These share a simple trick: access to Sacrificial Pact. This entails removing opposing minions for free while healing, which proves a thorn in the Demon Hunter’s side. The DH is meant to deliver burst, so healing is something of a premium. Being able to kill, for example, a 10/6 and gain five life in the process for no mana is a massive boon. Galakrong affords them a stream of cheap imps to eat in the process. Combine this with Nether Breath, Galakrond Armor, Kronx, and Zephyrs, and this class will have access to a massive amount of healing, while also removing threats.
The second strategy is the Tempo/Control Warrior. This entails stacking up tons of armor, ideally while gaining tempo. That’s the reason why the Warrior stands out as a good possibility. Cards like Armorsmith help stack up tons of health while allowing you to maintain control of the board. This works for both Warrior archetypes.
A third strategy is the Quest Druid. While this is one of the most polarized decks in the game, it’s still uncertain how Demon Hunter decks will be built. When a Quest Druid beats a deck, it typically comes as a massive victory. For example, this means packing two copies of Hidden Oasis and Steel Beetle. In the event that a Demon Hunter deck can’t reliably get Druids dead in a hurry, it is fair to assume that Druids can sustain what is typically thrown at them while also bouncing back for tempo swings and counter pressure.
The Demon Hunter is still early in is dominance. All people need is time to figure out a counter to what feels like an overpowered class. Given another week, it’s fair to assume people will find multiple methods of defeating this class with some ease. But then again, folks may continue to find ways to keep the Demon Hunter on top.