Welcome to the 179th edition of the Data Reaper Report! This is the first report for Madness at the Darkmoon Faire.
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Number of Games
|Top 1K Legend||12,000|
|Legend (Excluding Top 1k)||42,000|
|Diamond 4 to 1||59,000|
|Diamond 10 to 5||79,000|
Class Frequency Discussion
As the first report of an expansion, it’s very important to understand the composition of each archetype, perhaps more so than its win rate. Build variance dictates how settled an archetype is on a build, and how refined it is. At the moment, many decks are not refined, so their scope for improvement can tell us in which direction their win rate is headed. We also discuss the early development of the meta in our latest Podcast episode.
Demon Hunter is the most popular class in the format. Its popularity peaks at higher levels of play, and its refinement is also the most advanced. Soul Demon Hunter’s build was figured out before day 1, and the deck was quickly established as the pillar of the meta. Aggro Demon Hunter was refined within a day, and displays a modest presence. The OTK Lifesteal Demon Hunter, centering around a burst combo through Il’gynoth and Mo’arg Artificer, is also seeing a decent amount of play, especially at top legend.
Rogue is comprised of the same three archetypes we’ve seen throughout Scholomance Academy, but all of them are tinkering with new cards in a relatively chaotic fashion. Miracle Rogue is the most popular archetype, and it grows increasingly common at top legend. Aggro Rogue is torn between hyper-aggressive builds and value/combo-centric builds. Galakrond Rogue is largely fixated on C’Thun.
Shaman has made a grand return, looking lively once again with several archetypes taking advantage of its Darkmoon Faire additions. Evolve Shaman leads the charge, followed by Totem Shaman. We also see a bit of Aggro Shaman. Some of them are generically low-curve builds, while others focus on burst damage through Doomhammer. Quest Shaman initially popped up at launch, but quickly faded away since.
While Warrior is relatively forgotten at lower ranks, it’s becoming increasingly common at higher levels of play, where Control Warrior is beginning to carve out a fairly large presence. Control Warrior is an amalgamation of different variants that are deep in the process of cleaning up. Outside of legend, we identify a concerted focus on slow win conditions such as C’Thun. At legend, the archetype is more curated with the large majority of builds running the ETC OTK combo with Pen Flinger, Bloodsworn Mercenary and Animated Broomstick. Other Warrior archetypes have very low play rates.
Much like Warrior, Druid is split into several archetypes that see little play, and one archetype that sees the majority of play. Clown Druid has entered the format, attempting to overcome its weak defensive tools with an intimidating win condition. Malygos Druid may have a different win condition, but it’s in a pretty similar situation.
Warlock was the most popular class on the first day of MDF, but has been on a downward trajectory since. So many cards were burnt by Tickatus, but it has not convinced players at higher levels that it’s a winning ticket. Control Warlock has severely declined at top legend, where it has been eclipsed by Zoo Warlock, another deck that’s deep in the process of searching for the right formula.
Hunter looks like the same ol’, same ol’. Deathrattle Hunter didn’t seem to last long, and the class has quickly gone back to the tried and true. Face Hunter players are mostly deciding on whether they want to play the new secret synergies with Petting Zoo, or just run the same deck they did throughout Scholomance Academy. Highlander Hunter remains the favorite choice at top legend, where the archetype has historically proven to be superior.
Paladin is also looking similar to its Scholomance days, though Pure Paladin seems to have control of the wheel while Libroom Paladin is taking a backseat. Pure Paladin is experimenting with different variations beyond its standard Scholomance take, such as Dude builds. Libroom Paladin is trying out some Old Gods to top its curve (C’Thun or Yogg).
Enthusiasm for Priest has waned quickly after the launch of the expansion. Resurrect Priest hasn’t taken the meta by storm, while Control Priest was hit by a bug to one of its key new cards in Nazmani Bloodweaver, leading to players running Highlander Priest.
Mage is nearly perfectly split into three different archetypes, but none of them have gained much traction. Cyclone Mage is attempting to incorporate a larger elemental package into its build. Secret Mage is attempting to make up for the fact it doesn’t possess a single, half-decent 1-drop. Spell Mage is split between high-rolling Deck of Lunacy or fooling around with C’Thun. Highlander Mage is noticeably absent.
vS Meta Score
vS Power Rankings Discussion
Remember that in the first week of the expansion, win rates are naturally going to be high for many archetypes, since the meta is filled with terrible decks giving them free wins. As the meta settles down, becomes more competitive, and pushes out the bad decks, you have a deflation of win rates across the board. A deck exhibiting a 55% win rate on the first week of an expansion is not the same as a deck exhibiting a 55% win rate on the fifth week of an expansion. Over the last year, we’ve not published reports on the very first week since Scholomance Academy, Ashes of Outlands, and Descent of Dragons all had balance changes within their first week, delaying the first report.
- Demon Hunter
- Soul Demon Hunter has firmly established itself as the #1 deck to beat after the first week of MDF, with a particularly dominant win rate at legend, backed by an insane matchup spread. The only relevant decks that look capable of consistently beating Soul DH are Clown Druid, Pure Paladin, and Control Warrior.
- Aggro Demon Hunter’s overall matchup spread is just as absurd, and perhaps even more so since it heavily punishes inefficiency at the beginning of an expansion. However, we strongly suspect that Aggro DH’s performance will significantly decline over the next few weeks because the decks that beat it are likely to emerge as a meta defining duo. Soul Demon Hunter and Control Warrior are on a trajectory to “take over” and dictate which decks rise and fall, and players at top legend can already experience it.
- Lifesteal Demon Hunter looks pretty bad, and its performance doesn’t drastically improve at higher levels of play, which makes us doubt it will have a lasting impact.
- With so many decks exhibiting high win rates at the start of the expansion, it’s a bit surprising to see the hyped Miracle Rogue lingering at Tier 2. The archetype is certainly good enough to stand the test of time, but its most viral build is extremely flawed. If Miracle Rogue wants to flourish, it will have to make some important corrections to get the most out of its synergies.
- If you see an aggressive deck exhibiting a sub 50% win rate on the first week, that’s usually not a good sign for its future prospects. Aggro Rogue, however, has a good excuse. The value/combo-centric approach is the only correct one for the archetype, while the hyper-aggressive take is dragging it down. If Aggro Rogue firmly pivots to the stronger direction, it still has a chance of sticking around.
- Galakrond Rogue might be a competitive deck at the Darkmoon Faire, but we won’t be able to tell how good it can be until it gets rid of C’Thun. Just get rid of C’Thun, guys, the experiment is over.
- Shaman is good again! Evolve Shaman is the most impressive deck within the class, displaying a Tier 1 win rate at all levels of play. Its matchups against Soul Demon Hunter and Control Warrior seem close, but they’re not trending in the right direction. It seems that these decks’ pilots are learning how to deal with Evolve Shaman more effectively and exploit its limitations. If these matchups turn red over the next week (very likely), we can see Evolve Shaman remain viable and competitive, but its days at Tier 1 could end. Can it find another breakthrough in its build to equalize these matchups?
- While we respect Evolve Shaman’s performance, we think Totem Shaman could experience a very dramatic collapse in its performance soon. The deck’s matchup spread can be summed up this way: Green? It’s a bad deck. Red? It’s a good deck. This is 95% accurate. Guess what? Those bad decks will go away soon, and more of the good decks will appear. It’s not a good time to craft Eys’or.
- So our tone with Shaman seems quite pessimistic, but here is some good news for the class: The Doomhammer variant of the archetype might be able to effectively challenge both Soul Demon Hunter and Control Warrior into closely contested affairs. If it manages to do that, we have a sleeper deck on our hands. We’ll have to see whether it can upgrade its poorly performing draw engine into a game-changer.
- Quest Shaman is a very strong… meme.
- Perhaps, it’s time to explain why we see Control Warrior at the same level of Soul Demon Hunter and consider them both as the meta-defining duo of the Darkmoon Faire. The explanation lies in its refinement, which is nowhere near complete, but you can figure out where things are headed based on how poorly Control Warrior performs at Platinum, compared to how it performs at top legend. This win rate keeps rising every day, and we can tell you with great confidence that ETC Control Warrior is close to eclipsing Soul Demon Hunter’s ceiling. We estimate that, based on future meta trends and its scope for improvement, Control Warrior should eventually become the strongest deck in the format!
- But that’s not all for Warrior. Bomb Warrior might not be played right now because it’s an old deck (and… boring?), but this archetype is still doing work for those who choose to play it. It could gain traction and become another big force in shaping the meta.
- Finally, we have the failing Menagerie archetype, which we have little hope of succeeding. The way to successfully play an aggressive Warrior deck is to run Enrage Warrior. Based on its low sample, it could be another sleeper old deck just waiting for someone to pick up.
- Druid doesn’t have too much going for it. Clown Druid is a bit of a clown deck. It loses to basically every aggressive deck in the format but happens to be the strongest choice in the format against the meta-defining duo of Soul Demon Hunter/Control Warrior. This means that Clown Druid could develop into a tempting counter-deck choice at top legend. We just don’t recommend queuing it into ladder if you’re not literally sitting at top legend and meet these two decks the majority of the time.
- For a deck that has been so popular, Control Warlock sure is awful. If you’re wondering why this deck is so bad, just look at its Soul Demon Hunter matchup. Turns out that when you have a 20% win rate against the best deck in the format, you’re going to struggle and probably disappear very soon.
- Warlock did not receive any strong survivability tools in this expansion, so why would this expansion be any different for the class’ late-game strategies? The same story is seen in Quest Warlock, and while Galakrond Warlock is barely bad enough, it’s still quite bad.
- This leaves us with Zoo Warlock, which is where most of our hope in the class lies. Though it is an aggressive deck, this archetype hasn’t been explored enough for us to conclude it cannot improve. For it to survive in this meta though, it has to improve.
- Face Hunter successfully smashing opponents’ faces this early in the expansion is not a surprise. What might be a surprise to you is to find out that the older build of Scholomance Academy is outperforming the Petting Zoo build of the Darkmoon Faire. Once again though, Face Hunter’s Tier 1 standing is probably temporary. It fails the litmus test when pitted against Soul Demon Hunter and Control Warrior (significantly unfavored against both), so we predict it will take a sharp dive in its performance.
- We’re very confident that Highlander Hunter is the best Hunter deck of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Its win rate throughout ladder is dominant, but it holds up extremely well at legend and top legend too. Its matchup spread is well rounded and exhibits almost no weaknesses. Its matchups against both Soul Demon Hunter and Control Warrior are close to 50-50, which means it can live amongst the titans. Perhaps, Highlander Hunter is just another titan that players aren’t noticing.
- Did Deathrattle Hunter flop? Will MDF be another expansion in which the choices within the Hunter class are Face or Highlander? Yep.
- We understand Pure Paladin’s limitations as we are very familiar with it throughout Scholomance Academy. One has to wonder, though, whether this deck will continue to be ignored considering it’s the hardest counter available to Soul Demon Hunter and it doesn’t lose ground to Control Warrior either. This puts Pure Paladin in a very strong position, even if its matchup spread eventually worsens at higher levels of play. The deck’s defensive tools are just perfectly built to destroy Soul Demon Hunter’s game plan, while the pressure it exerts can certainly wear down Warriors.
- Libroom Paladin is looking lukewarm, and for it to get back in shape, it needs to drop the Old Gods and stick to what made it good before: a Pen Flinger calling your opponent a loser in repeat.
- We’re always careful drawing conclusions regarding deck performance in the first week of an expansion, but in the case of Control Priest, it’s literally impossible to draw any conclusions considering that Nazmani Bloodweaver is bugged, leading to its builds looking atrocious and players scrambling to find a functional list that omits it. What we do know is that Control Priest needs a working Nazmani Bloodweaver to be able to compete, because we don’t see much promise in current iterations.
- Other Priest archetypes are unlikely to gain traction. Resurrect Priest is a bust. Highlander Priest looks like a classic Tier 4 deck.
- Will Mage be the dead class at the Darkmoon Faire? It’s certainly looking like it considering the power levels all of its archetypes exhibit. Cyclone Mage looks done and dusted. Spell Mage remains meme-tier. Secret Mage is a Tier 3 fraud that only farms wins against very bad decks and is largely expected to sink into oblivion. Out of every class in the meta, Mage was the only one where we found nothing that we were remotely positive about. GG, Jaina?
Class Analysis & Decklists
Demon Hunter looks like the strongest class in the format after the first week of MDF, and we’re not very surprised to see it thrive.
Soul Demon Hunter has been tearing up the Darkmoon Faire with relentless efficiency. It certainly helps that its best build was already figured out before launch, in our theorycrafting article!
Some will say that Il’gynoth is the deck’s most impactful addition, but the legendary isn’t as powerful as it was predicted to be. It is Bladed Lady who has proven to be Soul Demon Hunter’s best new card, which is why we really like Relentless Pursuit as an additional enabler for her, on top of being a decent source of damage.
Wandmaker is a fairly common inclusion in other builds, but except for providing a good turn 2, it declines in the late game in the absence of Pen Flingers. Consume Magic is not as narrow of a tech card as it may seem. It’s sneakily effective against most decks in the format, and is absolutely game-changing against Rogues and Paladins. Pure Paladin is Soul Demon Hunter’s hardest counter, so Consume Magic’s stock should rise over the next week.
Aggro Demon Hunter has also been performing extremely well, with a nearly perfect matchup spread that’s blemished by its poor standing against what might be the two strongest decks in the format: Soul Demon Hunter and Control Warrior. Lemon tweaked our theorycrafted build by just swapping Skull of Gul’dan for Stiltstepper, and Stiltstepper has proven to be a very good card in the deck.
The OTK deck, Lifesteal Demon Hunter, has failed to perform well at any level of play. If you do decide to play it, note that it’s quite important to run Raging Felscreamer in order to set up Mo’arg Artificer more easily. It also helps to run at least one copy of Felosophy, since we would run 3 copies of Artificer if we could.
- Demon Hunter Class Radar
- Soul Demon Hunter
- Aggro Demon Hunter
- Lifesteal Demon Hunter
Rogue is getting a lot of hype but isn’t quite delivering the results to back it up just yet, and some of it certainly has to do with its card choices.
Miracle Rogue is the best performing Rogue deck, and its current builds are nowhere near optimal. This scope for improvement could help it match up better against the top meta decks eventually.
XiaoT hit #1 legend with a list that has been naturally netdecked everywhere, but is easy to improve. Zephrys is an atrocious card in the deck, and should never be included. Running only 3 secrets tanks the performance of Hanar and Blackjack Stunners, and Plagiarize is a very clunky choice when we have so many forms of card draw and card generation (partly thanks to the outrageously strong Swindle). Furthermore, cutting Pharaoh Cat is straight-up illegal!
The featured build brings back two Pharaoh Cats, runs the tempo-focused Ambush and cuts one Questing Adventurer. QA is not super core to the deck in the current meta, since it only truly excels against the fairly fringe Druid. Running one is more than fine, and we suspect the consensus inclusion of two is a product of inertia.
Aggro Rogue is underperforming with builds exhibiting a wide gap in performance (there are good ones and very bad ones). Taking the all-in hyper-aggressive approach seems to be falling flat. The stronger lists are ones that run the value combo cards of EVIL Miscreant and Wand Thief, and the featured build incorporates their strengths. We highly recommend running Wriggling Horror, as it has sneakily strong synergy with stealth minions and Shadowstep.
It’s clear that Galakrond Rogue should not be running C’Thun (and neither should any Rogue deck) and the presence of the Old God is weighing down the archetype’s win rate. There might be a competitive deck there if we take C’Thun out, but until we see the transition happening, we can’t tell what Galakrond Rogue’s ceiling is.
- Rogue Class Radar
- Miracle Rogue
- Aggro Rogue
- Galakrond Rogue
Shaman has made a triumphant return to the format, with several of its archetypes exhibiting great results.
Evolve Shaman looks like the strongest Shaman archetype, massively benefitting from the addition of Cagematch Custodian finding Boggspine Knuckles. Derailed Coaster has looked like a serviceable card in the deck, exhibiting strong synergy with Mogu Fleshshaper.
A card we suspect doesn’t really belong in the archetype is Inara Stormcrash. The featured build runs no legendaries and also omits Instructor Fireheart, though she might eventually prove to be important if Warrior spikes in play. Instead, we focus on alleviating Evolve Shaman’s weakness, which is falling behind and having no way to interact with the opponent’s minions. Both Stormstrike and Serpentshrine Portal significantly help us do it. Sea Giant and Faceless Corruptor are other cards we’ll keep an eye on, though they don’t seem to quite make the cut.
Totem Shaman has started the expansion well, though we strongly suspect that it will eventually taper off as the meta becomes more efficient. It tends to beat bad decks while losing to good decks, and those bad decks are not going to be around for long.
Much like in Evolve Shaman, we try to maximize Totem Shaman’s ability to respond to the opponent’s board, which is why Stormstrike and Serpentshrine Portal are included. Grand Totem Eys’or is absolutely necessary for the deck’s success.
We’re very intrigued by Aggro Shaman’s potential. Its Doomhammer variant is the best approach the class has found to challenge Control Warrior consistently, and its racing potential makes its matchup against Soul Demon Hunter very tense and close, where both decks smack each other in the face until one of them falls.
Its build is also very easy to improve, with Voracious Reader looking very weak. The deck just doesn’t dump its cards quickly enough for Reader to be effective. There are many possible replacements, but we suggest Diligenet Notetaker to provide a different kind of reload in the late game, as well as a burst damage enabler. While most players are hyped about Evolve Shaman, don’t sleep on this deck.
- Shaman Class Radar
- Evolve Shaman
- Totem Shaman
- Aggro Shaman
Warrior may pose the biggest threat to Demon Hunter’s ladder dominance, no thanks to the Menagerie tribes.
Control Warrior has the ideal finisher for its defensive game plan, and one that is much faster than some clunky Old Gods. The ETC combo with Pen Flinger, Bloodsworn Mercenary and Animated Broomstick is real and very successful. The key to the success of this combo is the fact that Bloodsworn Mercenary functions as a separate win condition in faster matchups alongside Skipper/Armorsmith, while Broomstick is also very useful with Lord Barov. The only “truly” dead card in this package is ETC himself.
Refining Control Warrior has proven to be quite difficult, as there are several cards we’re tempted to run, but space is scarce. Animated Broomstick is so useful outside of the context of the combo that running two could be correct. Rattlegore is critical in the mirror. Bulwark of Azzinoth is monumental in the Demon Hunter matchup.
The problem is that we have no space for Minefield, and we can very clearly tell that the card is amazing in the early game while still being very useful late game. We wonder whether we can get away with cutting a Brawl, which is mostly strong against Shaman/Rogue/Druid, but a more consistent Broomstick/Barov gives us an alternative board clear. Galakrond is also a bit questionable, as it is only somewhat useful in slow matchups, but possibly prevents opponents from fatiguing us by not playing any minions into our OTK.
As new Warrior archetypes have failed to make an impression (sorry to the Menagerie Warrior fans, we didn’t find a single good idea that could remotely improve this deck), older ones could be creeping back up again. Bomb Warrior is looking very promising and we suspect that Minefield could boost its weaker aggressive matchups, as it’s a very nice stalling/survival card before Wrenchcalibur is equipped.
While Enrage Warrior is a very different deck from Control Warrior, it wins in conceptually similar ways. It carries the same win condition in faster matchups as Control Warrior (Skipper/Armorsmith/Mercenary), while cycling into a late-game burst combo. We find the featured build, which adds Sword Eater to its pirate package, to be quite promising.
- Warrior Class Radar
- Control Warrior
- Bomb Warrior
- Enrage Warrior
Druid seems to be headed to a relatively fringe role in the meta, with most of its archetype not panning out.
Clown Druid is the only Druid deck that’s worth talking about in the first week of Darkmoon Faire, and it’s not performing well on ladder. It’s a very polarizing deck that gets utterly destroyed by aggressive decks, while proving to be very intimidating for any opponent that gives it time to breathe. This is where its unique role comes into play: it’s the only deck in the format exhibiting a significant advantage against both Soul Demon Hunter and Control Warrior at higher levels of play, and those might be the two most influential decks in the format. So, we can see Clown Druid succeeding in a very specific scenario, at the very top of legend where the popularity of these decks peaks.
Guess the Weight has proven to be a key card for the archetype. For general ladder play, you should be running Lunar Eclipse and Gidra, but we don’t actually recommend the deck at the ranks where Eclipse/Gidra are most useful. If you’re only playing Clown Druid to target two specific matchups, you might find the late-game stabilizers of Amulet and Y’Shaarj to be more useful.
Warlock is probably the most overhyped class during the first week of MDF. From a day 1 hero, it’s proving to be not much more than a day 10 zero.
The Tickatus hype was so strong at the launch of Darkmoon Faire that people proceeded to build Control Warlock decks only to find out that the archetype has received no survivability upgrade that would change its fate from the days of Scholomance Academy. As such, it has the small issue of losing to Soul Demon Hunter 80% of the time. Burning your opponent’s cards doesn’t matter if you’re dead.
We’ve looked into the popular pile of garbage and found a way to make Control Warlock less terrible, by running the dragon package and subsequently, Nether Breath. A dual tribe build (demons & dragons) sprinkled with soul fragments and Khartut Defenders can give us the sustain we need to climb to the top of Tier 4. Circus Amalgam and Twin Tyrant have cute synergy in this deck.
Galakrond Warlock running Plague of Flames has looked like a stronger shell for Tickatus, and the featured build is taken straight from our theorycrafting article. Unfortunately, even this archetype is missing quite a bit of power to look like a competitive one.
So, we’re left with Zoo Warlock. An aggressive deck that already looks somewhat mediocre at the beginning of an expansion is not a great sign (especially when it struggles against Soul Demon Hunter), but progress is being made with regards to its refinement and there’s a good chance it will stick around and remain competitive. Felosophy is looking quite strong in combination with a demon heavy build.
- Warlock Class Radar
- Control Warlock
- Galakrond Warlock
- Zoo Warlock
In typical Hunter fashion, the class is having quite a bit of success without much play and fanfare, led by the usual suspects.
Interestingly, Face Hunter is not embracing an expanded secret package with Petting Zoo as fondly as we thought it would. Scholomance builds running Polkelt are the ones that perform best, and they contain no cards from MDF.
The archetype that seems to enjoy new secret synergies more is Highlander Hunter. Ringling’s Rifle is particularly incredible in this deck, but all of its new additions are performing well. The build we’ve theorycrafted before the expansion is tearing through ladder, and offers one of the strongest decks choices in the format. Unlike Face Hunter, Highlander Hunter goes toe-to-toe with both Soul Demon Hunter and Control Warrior. That’s very important when we look at its future potential.
To the surprise of no one, Deathrattle Hunter is unlikely to be a thing. While the deck looks far more functional than it did in previous expansions and carries very strong matchups against slower decks, it’s completely hopeless against faster decks. Animated Broomstick helps swing the board back sometimes, but it’s no miracle worker.
- Hunter Class Radar
- Face Hunter
- Highlander Hunter
- Deathrattle Hunter
Paladin is another quiet success story so far at the Darkmoon Faire, and offers the best answer to the best deck in the game today.
Pure Paladin is the strongest counter available to Soul Demon Hunter, and that should earn it some respect. Its build is still a work in progress, though it’s become obvious that tall development of the board is a superior plan to dudes if we want to beat Demon Hunter, so Blessing of Authority is very common. Shotbot (faster matchups) and Argent Braggart (slower matchups) are interchangeable, while Hammer of the Naaru is quite impressive as a standalone card. Yrel was always going to prove she’s core to the archetype.
Libroom Paladin is not currently exhibiting the same kind of pure power that its counterpart archetype is showing. At the moment, it’s mostly getting baited by Old Gods. Yes, the C’Thun thing was on us, but did you know that Yogg sucks in this deck too? The best way to build Libroom Paladin is by copying and pasting the decklist from Scholomance Academy.
Priest players are mostly waiting for a fix to the Nazmani Bloodweaver bug to revive a class that has fallen flat in the early days of the Darkmoon Faire. This bug causes Bloodweaver to hit discounts on cards that already cost 0 mana, making it far less effective than intended.
As such, we’re not going to draw any big conclusions on the performance of Control Priest, which has been hit by the bug and left players scrambling for alternative builds that exclude Bloodweaver and look a little more playable. We’re featuring what is likely to be the best one, utilizing the nutty Palm Reading.
We’re a bit more confident regarding the performance of other Priest archetypes. Highlander Priest looks underwhelming and is unlikely to become a significant player in the meta.
As for players who were fearing a return of the Resurrect Priest archetype, fear not, for it has flopped. If you insist on piloting the menace from the past, try to run as many AOE effects as you can find. Holy Nova, Breath of the Infinite and Plague of Death are all quite important, while Wave of Apathy helps you stall the game.
- Priest Class Radar
- Control Priest
- Highlander Priest
- Resurrect Priest
The Mage class looks like the biggest flop of the Darkmoon Faire. Not only do the class’ archetypes look poor, but they also don’t have any bugs to fix or even a fringe role to claim. They’re just bad.
Cyclone Mage’s elemental spin was interesting to experiment with, but ultimately, the deck’s power level leaves a lot to be desired. Elementals are not quite there to turn Grand Finale into a consistently strong Finale, while Yogg-Saron has looked fairly disappointing.
Deck of Lunacy has proven to be a fairly powerful and toxic opener for Spell Mage, but it wasn’t enough to lift the archetype to a more competitive Tier. It is likely going to drift back to meme status, though Deck of Lunacy’s performance suggests that it might be hit by a future nerf once the Mage class is actually good again.
Secret Mage’s Tier 3 standing is mostly the result of its good matchup against terrible decks. Once those decks go away, the archetype will have nothing left to beat and is pretty much guaranteed to disappear at that point.
- Mage Class Radar
- Cyclone Mage
- Secret Mage
- Spell Mage
Soul Demon Hunter has been the #1 deck of the first week of Madness at the Darkmoon, but it won’t be the only litmus test that determines whether another deck in the meta rises or falls. We estimate that Control Warrior running the ETC combo should emerge as the new best deck of tomorrow. Not only does it exhibit an edge against Soul Demon Hunter, but its matchup spread against the top meta decks could become nearly flawless.
A rise in Control Warrior could lead to a big shake-up in the meta, reducing the power level of aggressive decks across the board (together with Soul Demon Hunter). The question is whether Control Warrior’s new OTK win condition, combined with Soul Demon Hunter’s unrelenting damage and burst, allow anything else to thrive?
If there’s one deck that currently thrives in their presence without crumbling under the pressure from other forces, it’s certainly Highlander Hunter. Considering its low play rate and visibility, it’s definitely being heavily underrated, though it’s not a deck that can truly break the meta and re-shape the format.
So, the Old Gods lay dead. Soul DH and Ctrl Warrior must be stopped. The fate of the Hearthstone meta is at stake. Counter them. Punish them. Beat them.
Or… just play them.
Remember, another Podcast episode is coming this weekend, in which we will continue to discuss the direction and development of the meta!
The Meta Defining Duo
The Big Sleeper
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