The Ashes of Outland meta has gone through some changes as there have already been two sets of balance changes in just a couple of weeks.
The first set of nerfs was targeted at Demon Hunter alone, but the second set also touched the other top meta decks Spell Druid and Galakrond Warlock.
The winner to emerge from the rubble is, once again, Demon Hunter! Galakrond Warlock was hit the hardest and can no longer be recommended at all, while Spell Druid took a more moderate hit and remains a functional deck, albeit no longer a top-tier one.
When evaluating decks for their ability to climb, the most important matchup is still Demon Hunter. Decks have to be able to hold their own against that menace in order to be recommended, and anyone who can inch their way to a favorable matchup against the scourge automatically makes the list. The list is still short, very short.
If you would like to watch and listen to the top list, here is my video:
And here is the top list in written format:
#5 Dragon Boar Hunter
Deck code: AAECAR8Ch7AD+boDDqgCyQThBIgFlwiKrQOLrQP5rgP7rwP8rwP+rwP/sAOvtwP/ugMA
Dragon Hunter is one of the few decks that feels good to play against Demon Hunter. With Explosive Trap as the only secret and a number of ways to tutor them from the deck (Phase Stalker, Scavenger’s Ingenuity, Tracking), Dragon Hunter can reliably destroy Demon Hunter’s early board.
The deck has a number of weak matchups as well, which prevents it from being the absolute best deck, but it is one of the best options to beat Demon Hunters.
#4 Highlander Hunter
Deck code: AAECAR8eqAK1A8cDhwThBIoHlwjbCfyjA+SkA6alA4SnA4qtA4utA46tA/muA/uvA/yvA/6vA4ewA+ewA/+wA4KxA5GxA9iyA7q2A6+3A4O5A6K5A/+6AwAA
With the previous top decks getting hit with nerfs, Hunter is one of the winners. Highlander Hunter has also been able to find success now: it has a fairly even matchup against Demon Hunter and no major weaknesses.
With Highlander Hunter, you always have a chance, although you can get stuck in a sea of Demon Hunters.
#3 Galakrond Secret Rogue
Deck code: AAECAaIHCLICiAeSlwPBrgPjtAPOuQPLwAP7xAMLtAGPlwP1pwO5rgP+rgOqrwPOrwOCsQPMuQPQuQO5vgMA
Rogue is another winner of the nerf patch. It is time to return to Galakrond business as usual, with long games having up to a hundred cards played per side, most of which did not start in the players’ decks.
Rogue can also hold its own against Demon Hunter, and while it has some weaknesses against pure aggro, it can punish slower decks even harder than Highlander Hunter.
#2 Pain Warrior
Deck code: AAECAQcCyAPerQMOFhyQA9QE1AjSpQP1qAPcqQPdrQOktgOrtgO7uQPAuQOcuwMA
NoHandsGamer was the first to build a damage-focused Warrior list with Serpent Eggs, thereby named NoHandsGamer Warrior or Egg Warrior. However, it turns out that the deck is even better without the Eggs, which brings about some naming problems. HSReplay calls this archetype Control Warrior if it does not run Serpent Eggs, which is, of course, ridiculous, as it is not a control deck.
Anyway, the deck is strong against Demon Hunter and has very few weaknesses, mostly Priest.
#1 Tempo Demon Hunter
Deck code: AAECAea5AwSKB8y6A8O8A9rGAw35rgOLugO9uwPXuwPEvAPgvAO6xgPHxgPZxgPXyAP3yAP5yAP+yAMA
Nerfers gonna nerfs nerf nerf nerf nerf, but Demon Hunter shakes it off, shakes it off. Yeah!
The only change the latest round of nerfs caused for Tempo Demon Hunter is that Priestess of Fury is back now that it does not get eaten by Sacrificial Pact anymore. (Next nerf candidate by the way?)
You can play whatever list you were playing pre-nerfs and do fine, but Felscreamer/Priestess package is now in a small lead over the more aggro variant that runs Frenzied Felwing (should it even do so anymore?) and tops out at Skull of Gul’dan.
The nerfs caused every other deck in the top-4 to change, but could not wrestle Tempo Demon Hunter from its rightful place at the top of the world.