Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free to play experience that manages to stand tall and strong as one of the few games of this model that manages to avoid feeling like a pay-to-win experience. It’s impressive without a doubt, but every so often certain decks rise to the top of the meta, and it begs the question of the cost of being a good player.
One of the biggest decks in Hearthstone is Jade Druid, which became possible as a result of the expansion Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. This deck requires players to continuously build up the size of their Jade Golems, which I believe max out as 30/30 minions. But the cards that summon them are obviously integral to the way the game is played, and the only class that can cycle them seemingly infinitely (under the rarest of circumstances) is Druid.
That being said, it only requires one legendary minion to build this deck, and that’s Aya Blackpaw. Otherwise, Jade Blossom, Jade Behemoth, and Jade Spirit are all common, and Jade Idol is Rare. So at a glance we’re seeing a deck that instantly rises to the top of the meta at an incredibly low cost. So what does that do to the climate of Hearthstone?
Well, Jade Druid is a widely hated deck, and populates a very large amount of Hearthstone’s ranked play, at least in the mid-to-high regions of ladder. Of course it would become like this, as decks like Quest Rogue and Pirate Warrior are simply too dependent on very expensive cards to make. So you witness those who pay on the game moving to these high volume fast aggro decks to combat a combination of both paid and free players who are adjusting to low budget power decks.
I myself find these decks very interesting as I love their fun combinations, but it’s worth considering whether or not more budget decks will rise to the same level as Jade Druid. As a result of the new quests from Un’Goro, I’d bet against it. But time will only tell. Hopefully we’ll get a glimpse at the next big expansion reveal soon enough.