Hearthstone Analysis –
Aggro Decks will always rule Hearthstone
Hearthstone is a game that throughout its’ course, has seen a lot of different deck archetypes reign supreme. In the history of the game, almost every single class had the strongest deck in the Meta at some point. Alas, one thing has remained true since the earliest days: Aggressive Decks seem to always find a way to be on top of the win rate statistics and ladder ranked mode. Why is that trend going on for so long? Are there any specific reasons or is just the nature of the game designed to be that way?
Let’s take a better look at it.
First of all, I find it critical to explain why aggressive decks are needed for the health of the state of the game.
In order to better understand this statement, imagine a Meta game where no Aggressive Decks are strong enough to be competitive. What will most likely happen is that, the Meta will turn to extremely greedy Control Decks, packed with late game power and huge threats. While that doesn’t sound terrific to the Control “lovers”, it brings more problems to the game than you would firstly assume. Games will become extremely time-consuming and boring. In a card game where the RNG factor is present; it’s really likely that at some point it will somehow affect the outcome of the game. While that’s sometimes irritating, picture it happening to a game lasting thirty minutes instead of one lasting five. It would feel so unrewarding and unpleasant for the losing player, and it would also most likely drive most of the player base out of the game due to that experience. Relatively to that matter, many of us might not take into consideration that Hearthstone is a game designed for mobile users too.
The vast majority of the player base- as Blizzard has stated- is casual mobile players who just want to fill their little extra free time during a break at work, commuting, or even before sleeping.
A Meta game where Aggressive Decks and quick matches are non-existent would lead to those people abandoning the game once and for all.
Aggressive decks’ Pros and Cons
All of the above might sound too unrealistic and hypothetical to some. Let’s then see the upsides that Aggressive Decks bring to the game. First and foremost, they fit the play style of a big portion of the players. The fast pace and all-in strategies are so exciting and breathtaking, that they bring excitement and love for the game to most of us. The more games you play, the more astonishing and exciting stuff are likely to happen. Which makes you keep playing and having fun, sharing incredible moments with your friends, making new ones through playing and just generally enjoying yourself in the game. In a card game, where if you play long enough you already know everything about it, and no amusing new things are going to show up out of nowhere, quick games allow you to play more and increase the chances of a unique instance happening. The above argument is also backed by the competitive scene; audiences love to attend events and clashes between the best players that are fun to watch and have insane things occurring. Aggressive Decks also provide their counterpart, Control Decks, a whole new different dimension and skill level. Many control players love the thrill and precision needed to win when facing an Aggressive Deck and hate the Control versus Control conflicts. As VLPS- one of the most known and acknowledged control players of the game- has stated: “Stabilizing at 1hp as Control Warrior against an Aggressive Deck is what keeps me excited about the game to this day”.
Now let’s take a look at this subject through Blizzard’s perspective. Why are they promoting aggressive decks and constantly pushing every Meta towards them? Apart from the reasons I’ve named above, there’s another huge upside. Aggressive decks are cheap to craft, most likely containing no Legendary cards at all, and allow new coming players to have an even chance against the big sharks. Everyone will remember the sheer joy and excitement when starting the game and crafting their first “real” deck. What you might have not noticed though, is that most of those were Face Hunter, Zoo, Face Shaman and Pirate Warrior etc., in general aggressive fast decks that are easily accessible for everyone, and also relatively simple to play at a decent level. Hearthstone is a game that demands either a lot of time or some money to be spent, and Blizzard wants to give a chance to people not willing to spend any of the two.
To sum it up, Aggressive Decks are just too beneficial for the game, whether it’s for the players or Blizzard, to ever become extinct. It may sound like a bold statement, but I think that it will continue to be the case for as many years to come in the future of Hearthstone. They just fit the motto of the game perfectly, “Deceptively simple, insanely fun!”