I came into the elementals expansion for BG absolutely loving it. So many new and interesting cards, with so many ways to buff minions, that I just really enjoyed it (because let's be honest, the most fun thing about BG is making huge minions).
After many games in the new "expansion," i've found the meta to be waaayy too homogenous. Granted, I'm only 4700 MMR, but I would say that in more than half of the games, 3 of the top 4 players are just doing whatever they can do make the biggest Crackling Cyclone possible.
In addition to Rag's Hero Power being too strong, I really feel that crackling cyclone needs to go up a tier or something to prevent the new universal BG comp of Crackling Cyclone + whatever it takes to make it big to be so effective.
Do you think Crackling Cyclone would still be crazy strong at tier 4?
not sure, but higher meta bg is getting poison and divine shields. because it beats elementals in general. with 3 sources of poison it's easier to get. generally its very winning to ignore elementals and just go for pure tempo, then pivot to divine and poison. if you get lucky and get rag early etc, sure do that, but it's still effective to sprinkle in poisons etc.
This is just BG's so far. 1 week of experimentation, and then 1 OP build and 1 counter are found (especially when 1 tribe isn't rotating) and the rest is shit. Plus they've been pretty slow with the nerfs this time.
But I guess to answer your question... Hard picking elementals is not a universal strategy nor even optimal, though it may appear that way from certain ranks/metas . There are certainly counters to large elemental builds, and hard picking them is a high roll strategy where you are handing your agency over to the luck of whether you get the right cards rather then playing optimally.