Before the start of the Hearthstone Championship Tour in Amsterdam, I had the chance to ask questions to Kolento, Orange, and Muzzy about a variety of topics. Widely considered as the favorites to win the tournament (in additional to Surrender) I was interested in what they had to say about the most popular deck of the tournament, Raza Priest.
It’s so important to have those cards in the first half your deck-- what is it if not random?
Everyone who plays Hearthstone lately has been machine-gunned to oblivion by an angry Anduin with a 0 mana cost hero powered, and most players are tired of it by now. Kolento and Muzzy are ready for a change, but Orange has a surprising respect for the deck and doesn't think the power level of Priest is as toxic as everyone thinks.
What do you think about randomness in the current meta?
Kolento: Hearthstone is a card game, there will never be a meta where randomness doesn’t affect the game. Right now, randomness always affects the game. It’s only a matter of how much skill can affect that.
Randomness is always presented in order of drawn cards, right? Say you are playing Raza Priest and you draw Raza and Anduin, 5 into 8. You are more likely to win, anything otherwise, and you are not. These type of decks, they increase the randomness in some way. It’s so important to have those cards in the first half your deck-- what is it if not random?
You can say Raza Priest, even though it has no random mechanics in their cards, it is still the most random deck that has ever been created. As for other decks? Keleseth: you draw it you are likely to win. Warlock is not so dependent on this and it’s why I like the deck so much.
Orange: I actually disagree with Kolento that the deck has a lot of RNG behind it. If you just look at the mechanic and you can only play singleton, of course, you are going to have very swingy draws. But, I think that is the beauty of it too, that you have to build your deck in such a way that you make it consistent.
"I’ve been pretty vocal about how I really like Priest."
Like, we saw this back in the Renolock days and now, in Razakus Priest, you have to fit as much card draw in the deck so you consistently do the same thing over and over even though you are only playing singletons. For example, I think Razakus Priest is way more consistent than my Hunter deck. Raza Priest executes its gameplan more consistent than most aggro decks in the format, especially since the inclusion of Corridor Creeper.
I’ve been pretty vocal about how I really like Priest. The deck has a very high skill set and is super hard to play perfectly-- I really don’t mind it. I think that maybe it’s getting a little bit stale, Shadow Reaper Raza has been around for maybe a bit too long and I wouldn’t mind seeing it changed in a future patch. But I definitely do not think the deck is bad for the game or anything and I really enjoy when the top decks in the meta have such a high skill cap like the Raza priest decks have right now.
Muzzy: I think Raza priest has definitely changed the game for worse. The deck revolves around a two-card combo. If you get the two cards on curve, it does not matter what you have in the rest of the deck. Pretty much every single card you play for the rest of the game is going to read “deal two damage to your opponent. In Hearthstone you usually only have 30 health and a bunch of classes only have access to that pool.
I don’t like Kazakus Priest as a deck--err, Raza priest because Kazakus isn’t really the main problem in that deck I’ve found. Usually, in all the mirror matches that happen, you don’t even keep Kazakus in the mirror. It’s all about the two cards Anduin and Raza.
"I don’t think Cubelock or Raza priest is particularly healthy for the game"
I definitely not a fan of that deck and I don’t play that deck often. I think this past meta has been pretty terrible for players to participate in. It’s just been a bunch of Raza Priest mirrors. All that matters is that who gets the combo piece in either of those. Definently not a fan.
I think that Cubelock is not a healthy deck either. Because, right now, it revolves around getting the card card Possessed Lacky. Against certain aggro matchups, you have both Doomguard and Void Lord in your deck for the Cubelock. If they play the Lackey on five, it just comes down to the randomness whether they pull Doomguard or whether they pull the Void lord and that can completely change the game. Pretty much any aggro deck loses to Void lord on the spot unless you are running cards like Spell Breaker and you usually don't want to be playing cards like Spell Breaker, it makes your deck overall weaker in a bunch of other matchups.
Even in the Cubelock deck when it matches up against Raza priest, you don’t usually want to pull Void Lords from Possessed Lackey because the Raza Priest just wants to kill and you want to kill them, so you want to pull the Doomguards and it’s random based on that.
I don’t think Cubelock or Raza priest is particularly healthy for the game currently-- I don’t like playing against either of those decks and I’m pretty sure many other people would tend to agree.
What do you think about Raza Priest? Bad for the game, or high skill ceiling deck that is extremely consistent? Let us know in the comments!
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