It’s been a little less than a week since the launch of Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne. The Data Reaper has been hard at work, analyzing and learning the new picture of the metagame. With the introduction of our HDT Plugin, which allows you to contribute data through the HDT tracker, our list of contributors is rapidly growing. To join them, Click here.
The first iteration of our recognition algorithm has been set, and you can observe the meta in our Data Reaper Live sheet.
Of course, these are very early days in the expansion: archetypes are constantly changing, merging and splitting, and we are continuously adjusting our algorithm according to these changes. As we’ve said before the expansion, delivering the first Data Reaper report is not a simple task, and involves a multi-step process. We’ve finalized the first step, and by next week, we will have enough meaningful, accurate data to gather solid conclusions on the new meta. Therefore, the first Data Reaper Report will be released as scheduled, on the 24th of August.
We know that visitors to the site are thirsty for information, so we’ve decided to write a short article on the top 5 highest win rate archetypes of the first week, with a representative list for each, just to keep you occupied until next week’s report. Once again, this is the first week, so there are many games yet to be played and much more to explore and refine, especially when it comes to new archetypes.
Note that the following decks are not ordered by their current win rate, but rather by their influence on the meta.
Check out the infographic summarizing this article.
THE META TYRANT: Jade Druid
The most influential deck in the current meta is Jade Druid; there is little doubt about that. The archetype has exploded in its popularity since launch, and has established itself as the most popular deck in the game across all levels of play. Ultimate Infestation is pretty busted, and has provided the archetype with much more consistent card draw compared to Auctioneer. Spreading Plague is also an effective tech card against board flooding decks, the previous bane of Jade Druid’s existence. During Un’Goro and Mean Streets, Jade Druid was a moderately prevalent deck that displayed a mediocre performance against the field. Those days appear to be over, as it is now one of the most powerful decks in the game, smashing the 50% win rate mark by a large margin, and bringing many control archetypes to their knees.
Zalae’s build, with which he hit #1 legend, runs three tech cards meant to alleviate Jade Druid’s primary weakness in dealing with large threats: Black Knight, Spellbreaker and Big Game Hunter. It also runs Kun, which is a very powerful swing card and is particularly devastating with Ultimate Infestation, or as a follow up to Ultimate Infestation.
THE DEADLY LITTLE BROTHER: Aggro-Token Druid
Good ol’ Token Druid was already very good in Un’Goro, and it just got stronger. It also got split into two archetypes, but we’ll focus on the aggressive variant that is at a more advanced stage of refinement. Crypt Lord has replaced Tar Creeper as that annoying 3-mana taunt you can’t get through, but this one snowballs off board development much harder. Druid of the Swarm is another very powerful card that is also seeing play in slower Druid decks. The deck has dropped the crabs as a result as it’s much more difficult finding room for them with the list becoming so competitive. If you read on, however, you might find a case for them to return.
DerpyTroller hit #1 legend with a build that is heavier on the curve, topping out at Black Knight and Bonemare. Bonemares are everywhere, and Black Knight is a legitimate tech card in a meta infested with powerful taunt minions. This 3-card package was first utilized by Cross7224 to reach top 10 legend.
THE POWERHOUSE: Murloc Paladin
As you may have noticed, Druid is a very strong class, but the archetype that currently boasts the highest win rate in the game is not a Druid deck. Murloc Paladin, simply put, looks unbeatable right now. It certainly helps that it is one of the only decks in the game with a positive win rate against Jade Druid at the moment, but its matchup spread looks quite good against everything. Righteous Protector is a very powerful 1-drop that adds consistency to the deck, and while it is still up to debate, Corpsetaker is also seeing a lot of experimentation.
Mitsuhide’s top 20 list is a good representation of current Murloc Paladin. Grimscale Chum is a common inclusion, pushing the number of 1-drops to eight, while Curator packages are also being experimented with. If you’re worried about crafting Bolvar, his merit is still up in the air. He’s not a necessity and there are many cheap alternatives available (just run a second Stonehill Defender, for example).
THE OTHER POWERHOUSE: Pirate Warrior
Notice the pattern? Decks that are already good, are getting stronger, while new archetypes are going through growing pains trying to figure themselves out. It’s arguable that Pirate Warrior, and the other aggressive decks, are doing so well because the meta has been so greedy and slow during the first week of the expansion, but this deck is quite dominant nonetheless. The lists themselves have not changed much save for Phantom Freebooter replacing Naga Corsair, as exhibited by PNC’s #3 legend list.
THE UNDERDOG: Secret Tempo Mage
Secret Mage seems to be an archetype that is often underestimated, and ends up surprising everyone. The Mage class has been struggling in general so far, but Secret Mage just keeps going under the spotlight. Its ability to cheat an obscene amount of mana allows it to pressure slower decks quite effectively. It struggles against the aggressive decks we’ve highlighted above, so it might find its win rate drop as these decks become more popular. However, the archetype is fairly flexible and is certainly capable of improving some percentages in these matchups if it so chooses. Cards such as Volcanic Potion and Breath of Sindragosa are good examples.
Apxvoid hit top 10 legend with a build that runs one Ghastly Conjurer and one Burgly Bully in addition to one Mana Bind in order to provide further fuel to Antonidas.
See you next week for the full report with all the details, and remember; face is the place!
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