Welcome to the 191st edition of the Data Reaper Report! This is the last report for Madness at the Darkmoon Faire.
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Number of Games
|Top 1K Legend||7,000|
|Legend (Excluding Top 1k)||18,000|
|Diamond 4 to 1||27,000|
|Diamond 10 to 5||37,000|
Data Reaper Updates:
- This will be a short report, as meta developments have significantly stalled and there’s not too much to say about them. We’ll be skipping class sections and mostly going over the data at a macro level. The 20.0 patch next week is likely to completely change the meta with both balance changes and nerf reversion to cards that are about to rotate to Wild. These cards will get a chance to spend a week in Standard before rotating.
- Content on the website is not expected to slow down. Our next Data Reaper Podcast, which should come out on Saturday the 20th, will feature a returning guest in Alec Dawson. We will once again have the opportunity to talk with the senior game designer about some hot topics!
- On Sunday the 21st, we will publish a comprehensive preview of the Core Set. Just like we do for expansions, we’ve been working on a similar piece that goes over the new Core set and looks at what each class has gained and lost.
- A comprehensive preview of Forged of the Barrens is expected to be published the following weekend. A theorycrafting article will follow and should come out a day before the expansion’s launch.
- We hope you stick around and enjoy the upcoming content. Many hours are invested in order to produce it!
Class Frequency Discussion
Rogue is rising in popularity again across ladder. Interestingly, Aggro Rogue has surpassed Whirlkick Rogue’s prevalence at top legend. Secret Rogue got some strong publicity following its success in Ironforge, and we can see the deck’s numbers grow at top legend.
Druid isn’t exhibiting too many changes. Outside of legend, Gibberling Druid is the most popular deck. At legend, Highlander Druid eclipses it. Another deck that performed well in Ironforge, Treant Druid, is seeing a bit more play at top legend.
Highlander Mage has grown in popularity. This is particularly true at legend where it has surpassed Spell-Damage Mage, which has been struggling on ladder in recent weeks. Secret Mage is fairly noticeable but disappears at top legend. Mozaki Mage pops up in greater numbers at top legend, since some players at higher levels of ladder don’t mind losing as long as they look cool while doing it.
Priest is standing firm with its strong Highlander archetype. Other archetypes of the class have consistently looked terrible at all levels of play throughout this expansion.
Enrage Warrior maintains its small presence after feeling increasingly uncomfortable due to the rise of the Highlander decks. There’s a bit of Bomb Warrior, but other Warrior decks have faded away, including Control Warrior.
Good tournament publicity leads to increased ladder play, and Zoo Warlock is a deck that shined very brightly in Ironforge, boasting a high win rate and featuring in 3 of the top 4 lineups. Galakrond Warlock also performed very well in target-Priest lineups, but players recognize it’s still not very good for ladder.
Lifesteal Demon Hunter had an opportunity to prove, once and for all, how dominant it truly is at top-level play. The deck proceeded to display a sub 50% win rate (narrowly) and its representation at the top 16 was below its representation in the whole field. We’d guess players at Ironforge were just bad and we needed a smaller sample of the bestest, biggest brains to find out the truth!
Libroom Paladin experienced some bad publicity in Ironforge. It did quite well off-stream and seemed to struggle on-stream, which created the impression it was underperforming. That seems to have negatively affected its play rate at top legend this week, but its overall win rate and top 16 conversion rate were more than fine.
Poor Shaman and Hunter were almost nowhere to be found.
vS Meta Score
vS Power Rankings Discussion
- The story of the meta towards the end of Madness at the Darkmoon Faire can be summed up in a few, concise paragraphs:
- Rogue is a little better than everything else. Aggro and Whirlkick Rogue’s dominance isn’t as dramatic and ridiculous as meta tyrants of the past, but considering its high play rate alongside its win rate, it’s clearly a little too good and too influential. The meta over the last week grew a bit lax and greedy, and that’s why Rogue has picked up in its performance, especially Aggro Rogue, which now performs better than Whirlkick Rogue at top legend (also explains the shift in their play rates there).
- Beyond Rogue, every class is viable. At legend, all 10 classes have at least one representative at Tier 2 and above. Lifesteal Demon Hunter might be struggling, but Soul Demon Hunter looks like a sleeper deck in the current meta that’s doing quite a bit of work against some opponents that grew in popularity over the last couple of weeks. Even Highlander Hunter and Totem Shaman look fine, despite the fact that the classes they represent are being completely ignored. A weaker Nitroboost Poison would have likely put the classes on a nearly perfectly even field.
- The meta is about to completely change with the launch of the 20.0 patch, and while we will not be able to produce a report for it, it’s safe to say that “anything goes”. None of the classes are in a big hole, and a likely nerf to Rogue means that the field should be unpredictable. Alongside the launch of Classic and the impact nerf reversions will have on Wild format too, there should be plenty of things to do before we hit the 30th.
Class Analysis & Decklists
- Rogue Class Radar
- Aggro Rogue
- Whirlkick Rogue
- Secret Rogue
- Druid Class Radar
- Highlander Druid
- Gibberling Druid
- Guardian Druid
- Treant Druid
- Mage Class Radar
- Spell-Damage Mage
- Highlander Mage
- Secret Mage
- Spell Mage
- Mozaki Mage
- Priest Class Radar
- Highlander Priest
- Illucia Priest
- Resurrect Priest
- Control Priest
- Warrior Class Radar
- Enrage Warrior
- Control Warrior
- Bomb Warrior
- Big Warrior
- Aggro Warrior
- Warlock Class Radar
- Zoo Warlock
- Galakrond Warlock
- Control Warlock
- Demon Hunter Class Radar
- Lifesteal Demon Hunter
- Aggro Demon Hunter
- Soul Demon Hunter
- Paladin Class Radar
- Libroom Paladin
- Pure Paladin
- Cheese Paladin
- Shaman Class Radar
- Totem Shaman
- Midrange Shaman
- Evolve Shaman
- Aggro Shaman
The Darkmoon Faire is the culmination of two strong years for Rogue, which started with Rise of the Shadows and the introduction of lackeys. EVIL Miscreant will be remembered as one of the best Rogue cards of all time (do you remember that it was NERFED?), and one that enabled multiple Rogue decks over the last two years, including the Whirlkick build we see today. You’ve served Valeera well, little one.
Rotation does take away much of the value-generating tools available to the class, but its Core and Phoenix sets are still very good. Recall that its Phoenix sets brought the Secret and Stealth archetypes to the forefront.
So what lies ahead in the Hearthstone landscape? Will Valeera continue to sit on her throne and strengthen her reputation as possibly the greatest Hearthstone Hero of all time? Will Uther take advantage of his strong Pheonix sets and a revamped Core set to challenge her? Will anyone else step up? Will the post-rotation meta be as diverse and competitive, and perhaps even more so, than the one we’ve seen at the Darkmoon Faire?
All the answers will be revealed in due time. For now, watch your back.
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