vS Data Reaper Report #103

A weekly Hearthstone Meta Report based on data from over 65,000 games.

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Welcome to the 103rd edition of the Data Reaper Report!

Our Data Reaper Project, including the Data Reaper Live has 5,400 active contributors and we thank them wholeheartedly. Contributing to the Data Reaper project through either Track-o-Bot or Hearthstone Deck Tracker (recommended) allows us to perform our analyses and to issue the weekly reports. Without the community’s contribution, there would be no project. Contributing data is very easy and takes a few simple steps, after which no other action is required. If you enjoy our content, and would like to make sure it remains consistent and free – Sign Up!

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Class/Archetype Distribution | Class Frequency | Matchup Winrates | vS Power Rankings | vS Meta Score | Class Analysis & Decklists | Meta Breaker of the Week | How to Contribute | Credits

Number of Games

Overall 65,000
Legend 15,000
Ranks 1-4 22,000
Ranks 5-9 17,000
Ranks 10-14 5,000

Class/Archetype Distribution

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Class Frequency

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Class Frequency Discussion

The shifts we’ve alluded to in last week’s report are coming to fruition. On the back of its two meta-defining archetypes, Rogue has shot up further in its prevalence, surpassing the 20% mark at legend. Outside of legend, there are still hardly any Quest Rogues, but the deck has nearly doubled its numbers at legend, making it one of the most common strategies at higher levels of play. Other Rogue decks still see a decent amount of play, but as we’ve said last week, they are very unlikely to make a significant impact for various reasons.

After its recent setback, the Druid class seems to be getting back to business with a rise in its popularity, mostly observed at legend. However, the rise is not coming from Druid’s most popular strategy. Malygos Druid is actually in decline, with players growing wary of the rise of its poor matchups. Token Druid seems to have awakened, more than doubling its numbers at legend and establishing itself as the 2nd most popular Druid deck.

The fall of Warlock is now in full view, and it’s a dramatic one. Both Zoo Warlock and slower Warlock strategies are continuing their collapse at all levels of play, which lines up with their recent crashes in win rate. As long as Rogue is the top dog, it’s hard to see Warlock making the climb back up.

Hunter may seem unaffected on the surface, but at legend there is a noticeable decline in its numbers. This is a clear response to the rise of Quest Rogue, with which both Cube Hunter and Spell Hunter struggle dealing.

Warrior sees the biggest spike in its popularity at all levels of play, and it’s now the 5th most popular class at legend. Odd Warrior has breathed new life into a class that was struggling to make a mark. Some of its dominant matchups have turned it into a very enticing option, one that is legitimately powerful against the field. One has to wonder how did Quest Rogue’s rise at legend over the past week impact Odd Warrior’s performance. Another spark of life can also be observed, and it’s coming from Taunt Warrior. This archetype is currently transitioning from its classic builds, into new Baku builds. Essentially, players are taking Odd Warrior’s shell, removing the Dr. Boom/Assembly value package, and inserting the Quest support package.

The 4 classes at the bottom half of the popularity charts are also the ones that are changing the least: both in their archetype composition and in each archetype’s build composition. The one exception is Combo Priest, which is ridding itself of the APM build and experimenting with more mech-centric builds. Mage, Shaman and Paladin are just very stagnant: their numbers nearly mirror last week’s, and they do not display any interesting trends that are worthy of note.

Matchup Win Rates Header

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vS Meta Score

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vS Power Rankings Discussion

The first thing we observe is the fall in win rate of both primary Rogue archetypes. This is a sign that we might be headed for a cyclical meta in which decks drastically rise and fall in power quite often. Quest Rogue’s warping effect at legend is taking hold: as it becomes more popular, players are more inclined to play decks that beat it, or improve their decks against it. Mulligan choices also take it into account rather than solely focusing on having the best possible hand against Odd Rogue. Quest Rogue is still one of the best decks in the game at higher levels of play, but since its matchup spread is so polarizing, it’s hard for it to stay on top of the win rate charts for long. Of course, that doesn’t take away from its influence on the field.

Odd Rogue’s fall in win rate comes down to the rise of Odd Warrior and the fall of Warlocks, its biggest prey. Odd Warrior is a miserable opponent for the Rogue, a matchup in which it loses 80% of the time. Having such a terrible matchup will heavily influence your overall win rate, even at Odd Warrior’s current prevalence. With Odd Rogue’s fall, and Zoo’s ongoing collapse, aggressive decks find themselves completely pushed off the Tier 1 bracket at legend. A significant moment born out of Odd Warrior’s current dominance.

With Quest Rogue’s fall, a new #1 deck emerges. Token Druid has established itself as the best deck in the game at all levels of play, and is the easiest Meta Breaker call we could ever make. It is the only deck in the game that can consistently beat both Quest Rogue and Odd Warrior, the two recent breakout performers of the current meta. Its primary counter is Control Warlock, an archetype that has fallen off in power significantly from early Boomsday times. Add its favorable matchups against most of the aggressive decks in the meta, and you have an archetype that is simply one step ahead of everyone. Not convinced? Look at how absurd Token Druid’s matchup spread is. Almost entirely green across the board.

The Druid class has many other interesting developments that are worth discussing, other than Token Druid’s meteoric rise:

Malygos Druid takes a hit in its win rate for another week, and it becomes clear that despite its strengths, it is unable to dominate the field or become overbearing in the current meta, which lines up with its consistent decline in play rate. We do highly recommend to not run hybrid MalyWaggle builds, as they did contribute to this win rate decline (the hybrid build will be often seen in anti-control tournament line ups in the EU playoffs this weekend, but it doesn’t make as much sense in the current ladder environment). Regardless of builds, the previous rise of Cube Hunter, which was followed by Quest Rogue and Odd Warrior, has definitely knocked down Malygos Druid a peg or two. There are 4 Tier 1 decks at legend, and Malygos Druid doesn’t hold a significant edge against any of them in direct matchups. The meta is not allowing it any room to breathe.

Togwaggle Druid is continuing to show recovery in its win rate thanks to its dominating matchup against Odd Warrior. However, its poor matchups against some of the best decks in the game and the ease in which it’s countered (unlike, Malygos Druid, which is a more well-rounded deck), mean that it’s unlikely to be much better than decent.

Taunt Druid has entered the table and is the 2nd best performing Druid archetype, proving to be a surprisingly strong choice. With aggressive decks losing power, Spreading Plague isn’t as incredible of a card, and the grindy late game of Taunt Druid is becoming a stronger tool to combat a meta which might get greedier over time. Big Druid is much more likely to gas out, which is why it’s looking like an overall inferior choice.

Spiteful Druid also looks solid, hovering around the 50% mark and joining the many other good decks available to the class. Druid seems to have a lot of good decks, doesn’t it?

Odd Warrior rises in its win rate at lower levels of play and stays firmly put at legend. This was fun to follow, as this rise in win rate correlated perfectly with its best performing build trickling down the ladder ranks. Though Quest Rogue has proven to be an almost unwinnable matchup, Quest Rogue keeps other hard counter of Odd Warrior away, which means the deck is able to maintain a terrific performance level against the field for now. The tense relationship between Odd Warrior and Quest Rogue, and their effect on the meta over the past week has been very interesting to follow, and it’s the tightrope on which the current legend meta is walking.

A really good example of a deck walking that tightrope is Cube Hunter. Between the joy of queuing into Warriors and the misery of queuing into Rogues, the deck ended up breaking even amidst all the chaos that surrounds it. The exact opposite experience is felt when playing Secret Hunter against these decks. It is Spell Hunter that has fallen off the tightrope, as it loses to both Quest Rogue and Odd Warrior.

Warlock’s fall from grace is evident, but the bleeding may soon end. Should Rogue lose further power, it might be time to revisit the strategies that shined so brightly at the beginning of the expansion. Even Warlock is benefitting from shedding poorly performing and overly teched builds at higher levels of play, so it gained some of the ground that was lost. Control Warlock might become a stronger option if Token Druid rises further in play, but for now, the deck is clearly flawed. Zoo Warlock is still a fairly strong deck, but one that is nowhere near as powerful as it was a few weeks ago. Cube Warlock is still niche.

Aluneth Mage is incapable of truly capitalizing on Quest Rogue’s rise in play at legend because for every Quest Rogue, there is an Odd Warrior. While Big-Spell Mage may have the opposite effects, its fall at higher levels of play is evident and is the result of the accompanying decline of Warlocks. Big-Spell Mage does really well against the three common Warlock decks, so their decline spells trouble for the archetype. As predicted, it falls under 50% at legend, though we maintain it’s a great ladder deck outside of legend due to the absence of Quest Rogue.

Shaman’s stagnancy is not going unpunished. In the face of a more competitive and ruthless meta, both Even Shaman and Midrange Shaman are declining. Shudderwock Shaman has undergone a big spike in its win rate that moves it from the “this is pretty bad” area to “this is an alright” area, and we could see it improve even further. Don’t expect miracles to occur considering some of its horrendous matchups, and a few of them happen to occupy Tier 1 at the moment.

Odd Paladin is another victim of Odd Warrior’s slaughter of aggressive decks. The deck also suffers the effects of being figured out fairly early, and being left behind when other decks continue to get better. Paladin is still a competitive class, but it’s not the powerhouse it used to be during Witchwood.

Finally, we have some grim news for Anduin. Control Priest looked fairly competitive for the last couple of weeks, and we were hoping we could show how good it could be once it entered the power ranking table. However, the rise of Odd Warrior and Quest Rogue kicked it in the teeth. Control Priest now looks fairly weak, and the competitive viability of its class is questionable. Combo Priest’s climb in win rate may seem amazing at first glance, but it’s simply the result of the transition from the terrible APM variant to the more tolerable Mech variant. Could the mech variant be good enough to climb to a competitive win rate? Right now, it doesn’t look to be the case, unfortunately. Priest is running out of options.

Any hidden gem that is not seen in this table? Remember the new Taunt Warrior builds we’ve discussed earlier? They look very good, probably because they’re practically Odd Warrior with a different win condition attached. Should the meta not go completely berserk by next week, Taunt Warrior may end up in Tier 1 next to its Odd Warrior relative. Interested in netdecking? Scroll down to Zalae’s list, which is the origin of this potential break-out.

Class Analysis & Decklists

Druid | Hunter | Mage | Paladin | Priest | Rogue | Shaman | Warlock | Warrior

Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Last week’s meta breaker, Quest Rogue, has seen significant growth in play at legend, pushing towards a cyclical meta in which polarized matchups are very common. Over the past week, many players have reached high legend ranks with the deck, and we expect Quest Rogue to continue being a dominant force at higher levels of play. We don’t see a reason to deviate from the current standard build. Some players run Lab Recruiter in order to beat control decks harder, but we feel it’s an unnecessary tech that’s weak in most scenarios.

Odd Rogue is one of the best decks to counter Quest Rogue, and we’ve seen many players pair both decks in high legend climbs in order to avoid being counter queued and make mulligan choices more difficult for opponents.

Other Rogue archetypes have fallen off in play. Kingsbane Rogue is a control counter that’s far inferior to Quest Rogue, so it’s been made redundant. Cube Rogue is a worse version of Cube Hunter without the infinite value potential of Deathstalker Rexxar. Miracle Rogue, even with its best performing cold blood builds, fails to impress.

Data Reaper Report - Druid

While Malygos Druid remains the class’ premiere archetype, the rise of both Odd Warrior and Quest Rogue has driven players away from the deck. The Druid archetype that is rising in play is Token Druid, which looks to be better situated due to recent meta trends. While it may seem unintuitive, Token Druid performs very well against Odd Warrior since the absence of Warpath makes dealing with Soul of the Forest very difficult.

Togwaggle Druid has been overshadowed in recent weeks but the rise of Odd Warrior has given it newfound relevance, even though it does have a glass ceiling to its potential due to the rise of Quest Rogue. Sipiwi has recently hit #1 legend with a build that runs Mind Control Techs. The card has been performing well in both Togwaggle and Malygos Druid builds.

Taunt, Big and Spiteful Druid continue to see little play, but all of these archetypes are solid and can be very successful on ladder. Druid is a very versatile class with a powerful shell that can support almost any playstyle.

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

What has gotten into poor Gul’dan? He looks like he’s seen a ghost, or maybe it was just Valeera’s shadow. Warlock’s popularity has dropped at all levels of play and across all archetypes. It’s still seen frequently, but the change is substantial and is the result of the rise of Rogue.

Zoo Warlock remains the most played archetype of the class, but the meta has turned on it in a major way. Odd Rogue was already attacking it and Baku has made an even stronger predator with Odd Warrior. The matchup is simply miserable to play for the Warlock. The strong Quest Rogue matchup does help, but ladder is not the walk in the park Zoo enjoyed at the beginning of the expansion.

Even Warlock mightily struggles against both primary Rogue archetypes. When you factor in the poor matchups against Cube Hunter and Odd Warrior, it becomes clear that Even Warlock is no longer the meta-dominating force it used to be.

Skull wielding Warlocks are still around, but they aren’t thriving. Control Warlock is having a tough time dealing with Quest Rogues and Cube Hunters, while Odd Warrior is slowly gaining percentages in the matchup as well. Similarly, Cube Warlock is struggling to make an impact beyond the success of a couple of individuals.

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

While Hunter decks have mostly stayed the same this week, shifts in the meta have caused the play rates of archetypes to change, especially at legend rank. With Quest Rogue becoming far more popular at legend, Cube Hunters and Spell Hunters are slightly pushed out.

The Standard Cube Hunter build is quite strong and reliable, but there are two main tech options that can be included and usually replace the 2nd Mossy Horror (which is a very good card in the deck). Gluttonous Ooze helps deal with high impact weapons coming from Odd Warrior and Malygos Druid. Saronite Chain Gang helps shore up the 4 mana slot and works well with Prince Keleseth.

Meanwhile, Secret Hunter lists still vary wildly in the Secret slots. Seven secrets are the current standard, but pretty much every Hunter secret is being toyed around with. One of the deck’s biggest strengths is the unpredictability of the secrets, which is why having a variety of options for the post-Subject 9 turn is optimal.

Data Reaper Report - Warrior

Warrior continues to increase in play, and it’s no wonder: Warrior is good. Odd Warrior is displaying one of the highest win rates of any archetype, now at all levels of play, which is a result of players running more refined versions of the deck.

While Quest Rogue is a terrible matchup (Just ask Garrosh), other hard counters that could potentially threaten Odd Warrior have not risen in play. Togwaggle Druid and Shudderwock Shaman are good examples. When looking at the common meta decks, Odd Warrior’s matchup spread is a sea of green. Zoo Warlock, Odd Rogue, Aluneth Mage, Malygos Druid and Even Warlock all fall prey to Odd Warrior’s resilience.

ZachO’s build has established itself as the standard and has pretty much taken over ladder play. Azalina and Zola are optional tech cards, but they often aren’t as strong as they’re perceived to be.

One interesting spin on Odd Warrior has come from Zalae, who opts for a quest package instead of the normal late game of Dr. Boom and Omega Assembly. This makes the deck more threatening against some its hardest counters due to the addition of inevitability, at the cost of its overall consistency. There is promise in this direction.

Data Reaper Report - Mage

While the Boomsday meta continues to shift and evolve, Mage has remained stagnant and still holds tight to its two longstanding archetypes, Big-Spell and Aluneth Mage.

With Quest Rogue’s rise this week, you might expect a deck that beats it 90% of the time to benefit. Unfortunately, Aluneth Mage also happens to lose to Odd Warrior 80% of the time, so the deck is one of the biggest ladder roulette options in the current meta. Apxvoid continues to tinker with the standard list and has recently been running a single copy of Flame Geyser instead of the Bloodmage Thalnos on his way to #5 legend.

Big-Spell Mage sees recent trends cancel themselves out in the exact opposite way. It boasts an extremely favorable matchup against Odd Warrior while having a miserable time dealing with Quest Rogue. Big-Spell Mage is still a great option to climb to legend, and in the rank 1-4 bracket, running a proactive Keleseth build has great results.

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

Shaman has steadily dipped in usage these past few weeks and has remained mostly stagnant, with very little interest from the player base.

Shudderwock Shaman continues to see a moderate amount of play and not much success. Quest Rogue is bad news for the archetype’s chances of ever making a significant comeback, and it’s also hurting Midrange Shaman’s performance against the field.

Even Shaman sits behind the other two Shaman decks in play rate, but is actually the most successful strategy available to the class, and one we wish would be given a little bit more credit. It’s stronger than it’s perceived to be.

Data Reaper Report - Paladin

Much like other less prevalent classes, Paladin has stagnated. Odd Paladin is still quite strong, but players are not enamored with what the archetype currently offers. The deck excels against other aggressive decks and Quest Rogue, but struggles against the AOE wielding slower archetypes, which have recently seen their ranks bolstered by the addition of Odd Warrior.

The only other recent news regarding the class comes from Even Paladin. Hypno hit high legend this week utilizing a Corpsetaker build that takes advantage of both Crystalsmith Kangor and The Glass Knight.

Data Reaper Report - Priest

It’s becoming more apparent that Priest is outclassed by more popular options in the meta. It’s still early to say this with 100% certainty, but Priest could very well remain at bottom of the barrel for the entirety of Boomsday, especially with recent trends making it harder to justify running Control Priest on ladder.

While given much fanfare early, the APM Combo Priest build with Topsy Turvy/Stonetusk Board is just not very good. Sure, it’s a hard deck to play, but it’s also a hard deck to win, because it sucks. The latter is sometimes lost in the excuses built into the former.

Over the past week, we’ve seen experiments with Combo Priest decks running a mech package. While backed by some individual success, this direction has turned out to be very weak after the initial novelty phase. Mecha’thun Priest remains a meme, while other experiments have also fizzled out. It looks grim for Anduin.

Data Reaper Report - Meta Breaker

As all decks are forced to fall in line between the overbearing defensive tools of Odd Warrior and the unrelenting late game of Quest Rogue, one deck is not only able to walk the tightrope, it prances on it in elegance like an expert ballerina.

Token Druid simply has it all, and with the fall of Warlocks carrying Defile, there is no stopping it right now. It beats aggressive decks off the board, sets up immortal Soul of the Forest board states against slower decks, and leverages its board presence into burst damage that the old Force of Nature Combo Druid would be proud of. Backed up by the incredible core cards that Druid has assembled over the past year, and its powerful ramp mechanics, Token Druid also takes advantage of the versatility of Branching Paths like no other deck. Having 2 extra Savage Roars, that can also be used to draw cards or gain armor when necessary, is pretty good. It is simply suicidal to leave up any board that the Druid has assembled towards the later stage of the game.

As we’ve said earlier in the article: easiest Meta Breaker call of our lives.

Token Druid

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