March 27, 2017

vS Data Reaper Report #7

A weekly Hearthstone Meta Report based on data from over 50,000 games now with a LIVE (beta) Meta tracker!




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vS Data Reaper Report #7

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Data Reaper Report!

Data Reaper Live (beta) now has over 900 contributors. Over the past week, we’ve compiled nearly 50,000 games. If you have not done so already, please sign up with your Track-O-Bot information here:

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Last week, our Data Engineer, Fenom, gave a great interview for the Coin Concede Podcast. If you are interested to learn more about how the weekly Data Reaper Report gets prepared, please take a listen.

Coin Concede

We begin with our deck frequency charts for games recorded between June 22 and June 30. The first chart shows all ranks, the second can be switched between different rank groups. We’ve recorded about 14.5k games at legend, 13.7k games at rank 5-1, 11.5k games at rank 6-10 and 5.6k games at ranks 11-15.

Overall Games

 

 

‘By Rank’ Games

 

Next is a graph displaying the popularity of classes during the last seven weeks: since the Data Reaper Project launched.

Class Frequency by Weeks

Class Freq. by Weeks DRR7 SmallInteresting notes we take from the data:

  1. Dragon Warrior is no longer the “under-the-radar” archetype we’ve been ranking statistically as the best deck in the game for the past few weeks. It has now spread everywhere, especially at legend ranks, where it was the 2nd most common deck after Zoo. Let that sink in.
  2. C’Thun Warrior has also made a leap forward, while Tempo and Control Warriors have taken a step back, suffering from redundancy inflicted by the C’Thun/Dragon archetypes.
  3. Speaking of Warriors, as we’ve predicted, the class spiked in numbers towards the end of the season, just like in May. Nearly 30% of the opponents at legend ranks were Warriors during the last week. Turns out that Fiery War Axe is preeeeetty good.
  4. Tempo Mage ends its honeymoon period, which lasted a good couple of weeks, and falls back to earth, while Rogue, Paladin, and Priest remain deep in stagnation.

Match Win Rates Header

Matchup Winrates Data Reaper Report




Power Rankings Header

Finally, we present the updated “vS Power Rankings” table for this week. The numbers we present are the expected win rates of each archetype based on their match ups against the field, factoring in the frequency of all potential opponents on ladder at different rank groups over the past week. Fun fact: the top 4 decks on the vS power rankings from last week were all included in Cydonia’s Americas Championship winning line up.

 

Dragon Warrior’s score decreased slightly, which is to be expected. When a deck becomes more popular, mirror matches are more frequent, pulling the expected win rate close to 50%. However, Dragon Warrior still has the highest score in the field, and it will be interesting to see whether its counter decks begin to appear more frequently. Note that at legend ranks, C’Thun Warrior jumps to the top of the rankings, sitting alone at Tier 1. Part of it is due to its good matchup against the now dominant Dragon Warrior, but we’re also seeing an upward trend in its overall performance. Another mainstay at Tier 1, Zoo has been suffering slightly with the increase of Warriors, pushing it under 52% and away from the elite group.

But the story of the week is the new, surprising addition to Tier 1, Yogg Druid. We’ve been noticing recently that this archetype may be underrated by the masses. While it doesn’t have specific, great matchups, it doesn’t appear to have many weaknesses either. Thus, its performance against the field is strong overall, and it is on an upward trend. What is more interesting is the fact that this archetype is very volatile and ever changing, which makes its score even more impressive.

Yogg Druid has a spell heavy core. With that, it has many flexible slots as well as alternative win conditions which are undergoing much experimentation. This begs the question, if someone did build a consistent list that was ‘just right’ against the current Metagame, could it become dominant? We’ll have to wait and see, but we believe that based on these results, Yogg Druid has a lot of untapped potential.

Data Reaper Report - Warrior

Dragon Warrior has finally broken out and is beginning to dominate in both ladder play and tournaments. At the Americas Spring Championship, three participants brought the archetype, while the other five brought Tempo Warrior, without much faith shown towards the slower archetypes of the class. Dragon Warrior made a strong showing, with both finalists, Cydonia and Rosty, including it in their lineups. Rosty’s list is slightly more aggressive, utilizing Inner Rage and N’Zoth’s First Mate instead of a Slam and Malkorok. Our very own RayC591 peaked at top 10 legend with the aggressive variant, with many other players finishing top 100 with the deck. Some players have also been experimenting with Deathwing.

Dragon Warrior is a very good deck against the current Metagame, boasting impressive win rates against a broad range of archetypes (including being the best counter to Aggro Shaman). One of its biggest advantages over Tempo Warrior, which is beginning to fall off recently, is its stronger early game curve and capability to completely blow opponents off the board with the right draw.

C’Thun Warrior continues to produce impressive ladder results and is establishing itself to be superior overall to Control Warrior at the current Metagame. While it may not be as consistent against Zoo and Aggro Shaman, it is much better than Control Warrior at many other matchups against mid-range classes such as Hunter and Druid, due to its stronger minions and the swing potential of C’Thun. StrifeCro recently added Crazed Worshippers to the deck to further shore up the deck’s mid-game curve.

C’Thun Warrior also dominates the match up against Control Warrior, especially with the combination of Brann + Doomcaller, which can be enabled by Emperor Thaurissan. Some counter play is possible, utilizing Sylvanas to steal the C’Thun, and another tech option that has popped up recently to improve the odds against the archetype is Tinkmaster Overspark. Be wary of those when piloting the deck on ladder.

Finally, Patron Warrior is still showing signs of life, with Thijs peaking at top 20 with a Yogg variant of the archetype. Patron Warrior is a very strong deck against aggression, but gets countered hard by slower decks packing board clears, which makes it very Meta dependent.

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

Last weekend, all eight finalists at the Americas Spring Championship included Aggro Shaman in their lineup. None of them chose to bring Mid-Range Shaman. Shocking? Probably not.

Over the past month, Aggro Shaman has proven to be the go-to Shaman archetype for both ladder and tournaments.  The archetype is just so consistent and is very difficult to counter. Utilizing cards such as Tuskarr Totemic and Thing From Below can create swing turns that complement the aggression and speed of the deck. Recently, Thijs, RDU and Cydonia have piloted Aggro Shaman to tournament victories. The culprit behind these successes is one simple, yet consistent, build that might just be the staple and go-to choice for now.

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

This week has seen an increase in Warriors on ladder which may have served as a hindrance towards Zoo’s ability to ladder successfully. However, Zoo’s overall matchups against the field still remain mostly favorable and it continues to be considered a strong deck.

At the Americas Spring Championship, six Zoo decks were featured, with a single Reno list and one player who had opted not to include Warlock in his five-class lineup. One might think that Warlock would be an auto-include in any such line-up as Zoo has many favorable matchups in the current Metagame.

Five of the six Zoo lists chose Leeroy over Doomguard. Five of six lists also included one Sea Giant, which can be a very crucial card in the mirror matchup. Lastly, the rarer inclusions we saw are one Demon Wrathguard (Duane) and one Argent Horserider (Cydonia).  The Reno list brought by Joster had some success (2-1 record), but in a bo7 format, Zoo may have been the better choice as it would have a higher chance of more favorable matchups.

On ladder though, Reno has seen success with Fr0zen finishing #1 legend on NA with Hoej’s N’Zoth Reno variant. Reno Warlock is one of the only common archetypes on ladder that has good matchups against all Warrior archetypes (save for Pirate Warrior), so its place in the Metagame cannot be underestimated.

Lastly, we take a look at some success with a new variation of Zoo. Azumoqt, aka TJ Sanders, managed to hit top 100 legend with a Yogg’Saron Zoo. For any true Yogg believers looking to have some fun, give it a try. Zoo is a very strong ladder deck, allowing for many versions to be successful. It will never be as copy-and-paste as other archetypes, and it leaves plenty of room for flexibility. Yogg offers late comebacks (for true believers only!) if Zoo had lost the board. However, if you forget your prayers, you might be met with a swift Pyroblast to the face.

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

Hunter continues to be one of the most popular class choices for both ladder and tournaments. In the Americas Spring Championship, seven of the eight finalists included Hunter in their lineups. Most of them brought Mid-Range Hunter, with the exception of Rosty, who brought more of a hybrid variant of Mid-Range and Aggro, dropping Highmanes. At the finals, Cydonia won the Championship after an insanely close Hunter mirror match up against Rosty, in which both of them optimized their resources to push for lethal.

This week, Hybrid Hunter is emerging at high legend ranks, with two players peaking at top 10 legend with this variant, Archon’s Amnesiac on the NA server and Sector One’s Mitsuhide on EU. The former sticks with Highmanes in his build, while the latter opts for Tigers similar to Rosty’s build.

Hybrid Hunter focuses on developing a strong early board to fight for board control and push for damage faster with lower curve minions. It performs better against mid-range and aggressive decks compared to Mid-Range Hunter. The downside to that is losing some of the late game power Mid-Range Hunter has. But, with cards like Call of The Wild, it can still pull through most matchups, even when falling behind or running out of steam in the late game against control decks.
Although not much success has been seen since earlier in June, there are still a decent amount of Yogged & Loaded Hunter on ladder and tournaments. Spark, a legend player from France, has written a refined guide for the archetype recently.

Data Reaper Report - Mage

Freeze Mage did very well, maybe even well enough to say over-performed, at the Americas Spring Championships. Rosty finished 2nd with the standard build of Freeze Mage, while Napoleon reached the Semi-Finals with the archetype, but struggled to get a win with it in his eliminating series. It could be argued that he did not play those games optimally and had a good chance to win.

Freeze Mage was commonly labeled by casters as the weakest link in players’ lineups and the deck most likely to lose out, but if played optimally, that is very incorrect. When played optimally, Freeze Mage has favorable matchups against Hunter and Druid, which have gained popularity in tournament and ladder play. Expertise in the deck can change match up win percentages by up to 15-20%, which makes it a very strong pick for players proficient in the play style.

Laughing ended up peaking at rank 6 legend on NA with a Reno Jackson variant, which improves the Warrior matchup. Reno Jackson doesn’t generally fit the Freeze Mage’s strategy of playing Alexstrasza and finishing off the opponent with burst damage, so there are doubts on whether the deck is actually better than a consistent strategy.

Tempo Mage has established itself as one of the most commonly seen decks on ladder. This is due to its ability to take control of the board very early on in the game with its plethora of spells. It is standard to include Ragnaros/Yogg at the top end of the deck with one copy of Flamestrike. Some builds from the Asian region have tried running Archmage Antonidas instead of Ragnaros (-1 Water Elemental, -1 Ragnaros, +1 Emperor Thaurissan, +1 Archmage Antonidas) to some success in tournaments. Freeze Mage is almost non-existent in the Asian region so there has been more innovation with the Tempo archetype.

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Druid continues to remain middle of the pack in terms ladder play. This week we feature a list created by the Chinese Hearthstone community, another innovative variant of the most volatile archetype in the game, Yogg Druid. This build is a hybrid of the Token and Ramp ideas supplemented with a Yogg comeback mechanic. Most interestingly, it utilizes Onyxia as another late game threat that also synergizes with cards such as Savage Roar and Power of the Wild, while cutting the Wisps of the Old Gods for Ancients of War at the 7 mana slot, to increase survivability against aggression. AlSkyHigh peaked at top 10 legend with this build.

Classic Ramp Druid and Beast Druid have been overshadowed recently due to the hype surrounding Yogg Druid, but they can still be powerful on ladder. APXVoiD finished at rank 7 legend with Neobility’s Ramp Druid, which we featured a few weeks ago, while Chakki finished the month at rank 6 with a hyper aggressive brew of Beast Druid.

At the Americas Spring Championships, four players brought Druid, with three of the C’Thun archetype and one Yogg. Cydonia, winner of the tournament, included C’Thun Druid in his lineup, which is very similar to SilentStorm’s build, but includes a Ragnaros instead of Klaxxi Amber-Weaver to add another late game threat.

Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Over the past 3 weeks Rogue as a whole has been in a stasis, with Miracle Rogue decks all looking very similar, typically only varying in 1 or 2 cards. Fellow Rogue enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to make the class great again.

A new adaptation in Miracle, originally made by Amnesiac, features Questing Adventurer as a win condition instead of the typical Leeroy Jenkins finisher. This deck is capable of having explosive early openers on turn 5 after playing an Adventurer and conceal on turn 4, then using everyone’s favorite Gadgetzan merchant to refill the hand and play another giant adventurer. Amnesiac and Chessdude both hit top 10 with this build.
Taking a second look at GoYugiohPro’s version of Reno N’Zoth Rogue, which we featured a couple of weeks ago, it seems to be geared at beating the control and midrange decks in the Metagame, by playing more threats than your opponent can. Shadowstep is a card that can put in a lot of work in this deck, allowing you to play a second Reno Jackson or N’Zoth. Considering that the deck only contains 9 baseline spells, it would be interesting to test the deck with a Shadowcaster instead of an Auctioneer, as a way to copy powerful deathrattles such as Sylvannas and Cairne, or copying powerful battlecries such as Reno Jackson or N’Zoth.

Data Reaper Report - Priest

We continue to see less and less Priest play throughout the Hearthstone landscape, with no real saving grace in sight. Another week of majors brought another week of complete lack of faith in Anduin. With the Americas Spring Championship in the books, we saw 24 total players compete at the three major regionals. Only one out of these 24 players brought Priest, by far the lowest number of all. This is a staggering and damning statistic for the class.

Players such as StrifeCro can be seen trying to innovate the class in any way they can, his example being in the form of his moderately successful N’Zoth Dragon variant. It is an extremely teched out build meant to combat this particular Meta, but lacks the consistency of many other options available. Priest is a class built to finish games in fatigue, but other control archetypes can seemingly do it a lot better.

Data Reaper Report - Paladin

Paladins continue to remain mostly absent from the tournament scene. Along with Priest, it was not included in anyone’s line-up at the Americas Spring Championship, and it wasn’t featured at the Starladder qualifiers either. However, players continue to make periodic high Legend pushes with Secret Paladin. Jackker and Mitsuhide climbed to top 15 Legend on EU with a new list, cutting most of the traditional late game (Ragnaros, Avenging Wrath) for a lower curve with 5 secrets and Bilefin Tidehunter.  Secret Paladin may be the best hope for the class at the moment, but someone will need to post more consistent results for players to fully embrace the deck again.

Data Reaper Report - Meta Breaker

Senfglas is one of the most talented deck builders in the scene, and we are featuring his take on Yogg Druid, the most interesting phenomenon we’re currently observing in our statistics. This build helped him secure a top 100 finish for the month of June, peaking at top 10. Mr.Yagut also successfully secured a top 100 finish with this build. Yogg Druid has many flexible slots, and a change of a few cards can significantly alter match ups. While the archetype doesn’t appear to specifically counter a certain strategy, its own strategy is strong enough to carry itself to impressive results in the current Metagame. Note that this isn’t an easy deck to play, and utilizing its resources correctly is not straight forward, unless you fell behind on board, reached turn 10 and had Yogg in your hand. Praise Yogg!



Contributors

Here are all the people that participated in bringing you this edition of the vS Data Reaper Report:

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