Un’Goro has been out for quite a while and the community has gone through multiple different phases. This started with outrage over Quest Rogue, to rising complaints over the price barrier for newer players, to now going back to play Pirate Warrior. Decks that were previously theorized to be amazing turned out bad, while some overlooked cards (such as the Rogue’s Quest) became a pretty strong contender in Standard. Finally, the ladder is now no longer dominated by an overwhelmingly strong deck archetype. Between Taunt Warrior; Midrange or Control Paladin; and Discover Mage; the ladder always tries to keep you entertained.
Today, I want to focus on those three common deck archetypes and how there is no one main way to build their decks. In the past, a deck that’s so dominant in the metagame usually had little variation. Let’s take Secret Paladin for example. The deck always holds its array of secrets and Mysterious Challenger, but some aggressive players may favor a card like Divine Favor while control players may put in a card like Tirion Fordring. In between those two cards, the core of Secret Paladin remains the same.
Now, let’s take a look at the many faces of Paladin in this meta. Aside from the boring quest they got, Paladins received quite a significant amount of new toys to play with. First is the Murloc package. With Gentle Megasaur and a couple new Murlocs, Paladins are now finally able to utilize Vilefin Inquisitor to create a strong, aggressive Murloc deck. Gentle Megasaur is able to create a pretty potent board swing as it makes each Murloc harder to kill. Included with this package, the Hydrologist is also able to fetch a secret like Getaway Kodo to refresh your hand with value. Secondly, Paladins got access to Spikeridged Seed, which is a card that is filled to the brim with value. This big taunt gives you more time to establish new threats, assuming the opponent doesn’t have something like Polymorph. Finally, there’s Stonehill Defender, a card that allows you to discover more taunt cards. Incidentally, almost every Paladin legendary minion happens to also be taunt minions (not counting the Quest, of course). With the added bonus to make you more likely discover class cards, Stonehill Defender may be able to fetch a multiple Tirion Fordrings to you.
This brings three main archetypes to the forefront of the meta: the aggressive Murloc Paladin, the Midrange Paladin, and the Control Paladin. Within these different archetypes, the core can be pretty different among different players. Some midrange or control decks may opt for a copy of Wickerflame Burnbristle while other archetypes include a varying number of Spikeridged Steed. Furthermore, these decks may sometimes bleed and mix into one another to create a hybrid of a Murloc and Midrange deck.
This could partly be due to the relatively young state of the meta and the amount of experimentation that’s done to find the most optimal deck, but I think that this has more to do with the healthy variety in the Un’Goro meta. Unlike the previous metas where one deck (such as Secret Paladin) held more prominence than all others, Un’Goro has multiple different decks that aims to win with different strategies. With the meta shifting away from the triangle of midrange, aggro, and control, there are many different archetypes that challenges the norm set by previous metas. That is, of course, at the expense of Warlock and their lack of presence in this meta