Maiev Shadowsong has been a long-time steady seller in Battlegrounds. She was patched five times but still a decent tier 2 hero according to both Blizzard’s armor system tier list and HSReplay.net.
The current version of Maiev Shadowsong takes 3 turns to get the minion but gives +2/+2 buff. Compared to the previous versions of Maiev, the current version takes one more turn to get the minion to your hand but gets more stat buff.
Maiev is a hero that improves as the player’s mmr is higher. Based on all players, Maiev’s average placement is 4.61, staying on low tier 3 — 4.50 in top 50%, 4.49 in top 20%, 4.46 in top 5%, and 4.30 in top 1%. Maiev is a difficult hero that improves based on the player’s understanding.
Maiev's gold curve follows the well known Rafaam curve, which is intuitive and easy to understand. Stay on tier 1 and use hero power every turn, then start upgrading your tavern tier starting on turn 4.
The question is, up to which turn do I keep upgrading my tavern tier? This isn't a clear answer to this question as it depends on many different factors in the game. Although we can’t give you one correct answer, we can tell you what to consider to decide your play.
- Is your board and health point safe enough to risk another loss?
- Which minion are you looking for? Think about the pair/triples you have and what tribes are banned.
- When is your dormant triple coming to your hand?
- Who is your next opponent? For example, Shudderwock is very weak in early game and suddenly becomes very strong later in the game.
- Are you above or below 15 health?
Think about these questions to make the winning play.
Searching for triples
Maiev has always been reliant on finding triples with hero power, but now it is even more important to search for triples given that Maiev is slower on early game tempo. More stat buff helps Maiev to help save some health points but the one turn difference is too significant for the extra stats to make up for it.
You might have to choose a worse minion if Bartender Bob offers you pairs or triples in the shop. The best scenario would be getting a triple on great minions like Sellemental and Murloc Tidehunters, but you will have to take Scavenging Hyena triples if thats what the shop offers you.
Correct use of hero powers
Back in the days when Maiev's hero power only had to wait two turns being dormant to get the minion, using hero power every turn (including turn 1) was almost always the correct play. The current version of Maiev is different.
Firstly, using hero power on turn 1 is only good if you have a token minion. Now that you have to wait for three turns to get your minion, not playing any minion on turn 1 is risky.
Secondly, if you found a third copy of a minion in your shop to hero power, think about when that minion is going to come to your hand.
You can choose to delay the timing by using hero power on a different minion, freezing the shop, then using hero power the next turn. It goes back to the game plan question. What are you searching for and how much can you risk? It will be the decision you have to make.
Lastly, consider that the dormant minion takes up a slot in your shop. Back in the old days, if you had two dormant minions in the shop on tavern tier 6, you got one less minion per roll because there can only be up to 7 minions on either side of board and tavern tier 6 has to offer you six minions but two dormant minions take up the slot.
Now that the hero power takes three turns, using hero power every turn can take up to three slots in your shop. Shop in tavern tier 4 and 5 has to offer you five minions per roll, but having three dormant minions will offer you one less minion per roll.
This does not mean that Maiev’s hero power is bad once you hit tavern tier 4, but it is not as important as before. Playing it to buy certain minions like pairs, extra golds, decent buffs, and late game minions is fine, but there is no need to feel obligated to play the hero power every turn, especially if you think the game is going to end soon.
Think a lot while you play Maiev, as she gets stronger as you are better. Enjoy winning with Maiev!