It’s been a week since the launch of the new expansion and we’ve been hard at work, testing and perfecting our recognition algorithm in order to accurately capture the performance of every archetype in the current meta. The first iteration has been set and you can observe the meta in our Live App.
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As we’ve mentioned in our last Data Reaper report, the first full report of the K&C expansion will release two weeks after launch, on the 21st of December. This is an optimal time frame in which we can gather enough reliable data to provide solid conclusions on the state of the meta. The early days of an expansion are usually very volatile. Most archetypes are not refined, so it would be foolish to write them off if they’re slightly underperforming at the moment.
In this article, we will discuss the early success stories and provide you with some of the best performing lists within the top performing archetypes.
The best performing class in the game: Paladin
Very few people thought that Paladin was positioned to dominate the field, and we weren’t among them. Yes, Call to Arms looked like one of the best cards in the set, but other cards given to the class did not look nearly as strong. It turns out that Call to Arms is so powerful that it has elevated aggressive Paladin decks to the very top of the win rate charts.
Both Aggro Paladin and Murloc Paladin are currently boasting extremely high win rates, as these archetypes were refined relatively quickly (Note that Murloc Paladin has two interesting approaches that are strong). We don’t think Paladin will maintain these win rates, but the class seems well positioned to become a strong player in the K&C meta.
The most prevalent class in the game: Priest
Many people thought that Priest was positioned to dominate the field. They weren’t wrong. Priest has three different archetypes that currently look, or have the potential to be, very strong. Big Priest is currently boasting a top 3 win rate in the game and looks absolutely terrifying. Diamond Spellstone was a huge addition to the archetype, making it even harder to outlast the Priest’s threat generation.
Razakus Priest is the most popular archetype in the game at higher levels of play by a fairly large margin, and boasts one of the strongest win rates recorded even though it currently carries many different build approaches. We will discuss them more thoroughly next week, but the standard cycle variant continues to perform consistently well and is a safe bet. This archetype will likely continue to shape the meta around its existence.
Dragon Priest is the worst performing Priest archetype of the three, statistically, but that’s a bit misleading. There are many different approaches to the deck with a high variance of success. Translation: Some Dragon Priest build are very weak, and they push the archetype’s recorded performance down. Satellite’s Spiteful Summoner list is incredibly strong and has potential to carry the archetype’s win rate to elite status once it takes over. It should.
Other strong performers in the meta
After some experimentation, Tempo Rogue was able to fend off the influx of new cards and remain one of the best performing decks in the game without many changes to its build. Icer’s build cuts Cairne/Lich King for Elven Mistrel, which provides longevity through card draw rather than threats, and of course, Corridor Creeper slots in as well.
Pirate Warrior has received a boost through the surprising package of Spiteful Summoner and Mithril Spellstone, giving it a very strong mid-game to follow up its early game pressure. Spiteful Summoner has turned out to be one of the strongest cards in the set and a worthy build around for many of the beatdown shells in the current meta.
There has been a lot of hype over Emerald Spellstone and secret-based Hunter decks, which has led to the emergence of non-minion Spell Hunters as well as Cloaked Huntress builds. However, the best performing Hunter archetype at the moment doesn’t run secrets at all. By taking advantage of Dire Mole as well as Candleshot in order to accommodate a pirate package and a stronger early game, these Midrange/Hybrid Hunters hit hard and fast. Hunter is notorious for dropping off in its win rate as the meta becomes refined, and it has certainly fallen off quite a bit from the first day, so we’ll have to wait and see where it lands. There is definitely still a lot to experiment with in the class.
Aluneth could very well be the strongest legendary weapon, and supports aggressive Mage decks incredibly well. Secret Mage has benefitted greatly from its addition, and has also received a boost from Explosive Runes, which perfectly complements its playstyle. This archetype, much like before, thrives in slower matchups that give it time to develop its board and draw its damage spells, but struggles against decks that aggressively flood the board.
Stay tuned for the full report next week, that’s all for now!
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