Welcome to the 212nd edition of the Data Reaper Report!
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Number of Games
|Top 1K Legend||7,000|
|Legend (Excluding Top 1k)||17,000|
|Diamond 4 to 1||18,000|
|Diamond 10 to 5||21,000|
Class Frequency Discussion
The meta following the last set of balance changes can be split into two. The first is a general ladder meta that is dominated by the supremely mediocre Quest Mage, a deck that somehow increased its presence this week. The player base’s fascination for this deck and its perceived power is Hearthstone’s opium of the masses.
The second is a top legend meta where Quest Mage is even worse, and though it still sneaks in with a visible presence that gives it more credit than it should, Mage becomes more of a bystander looking at a balanced field of competitive options available for nearly every class (RIP Priest).
While most classes have stabilized, we will note a couple of trends occurring at higher levels of play, which are likely influenced by last weekend’s Master’s Tour and have sparked small shifts in the field. While other portions of ladder are slightly affected, developments are bogged down by Mage’s high play rate.
Lifesteal Demon Hunter and Elemental Shaman have grown in popularity. LSDH is a very popular pick to hard counter Contact Rogue. The Doomhammer variant of Elemental Shaman has almost completely taken control at top legend, and has also proven to be effective against Rogue at the highest levels.
The biggest change this week is coming from Control-Quest Warrior, an archetype that’s currently spiking in popularity at top legend and also trickling down through the rest of the ladder in smaller numbers. It has eclipsed the play rate of its Aggro counterpart at legend, and there are some new tweaks to its builds.
vS Meta Score
vS Power Rankings Discussion
The Power Ranking table at top legend shows remarkable balance in the field’s win rates, which is not too different from the balance exhibited by its play rates. Once again, the Tier 1 bracket is empty. There are no power outliers and decks of every kind, shape, and style are successful. Contact Rogue might be a very popular choice, but it’s starting to get punished for it due to the rise and increased success of Elemental Shaman and Lifesteal Demon Hunter.
The Power Ranking table at other rank brackets is unlikely to ever be as flat, but even there, plenty of successful options are available and the most popular deck (Quest Mage) is nowhere near the best choice. The main difference is that Mage’s highly inflated play rate discourages the success of slower strategies. That is certainly a long-term issue considering that the deck refuses to go away even when it’s mediocre, or worse.
This brings us to the star of the week. Control-Quest Warrior would never be able to thrive in a field where Quest Mage is stupidly popular, but it’s finding incredible success where it’s not. It performs well against Rogue, Hunter, and Shaman. It even forces a surprisingly tight matchup against LSDH.
- One new addition to the deck is Fogsail Freebooter, which acts as serviceable removal that increases the consistency of the deck’s quest completion. We’ve updated the list for this archetype to include it as well as Bulwark, dropping Stage Dive/Kargath. The featured build is an absolute top legend meta breaker.
We’re once again skipping class sections this week, but we will note two other findings that spilled over from tournament play regarding the two other emerging archetypes of the week. Bolner looks like a superior card to Inara in Doom Elemental Shaman, and Magtheridon is an interesting tech card in Lifesteal Demon Hunter, though you probably still want Viper over it considering the rise of Doomhammer.
Class Analysis & Decklists
- Rogue Class Radar
- Contact Rogue
- Quest Rogue
- Poison Rogue
- Demon Hunter Class Radar
- Lifesteal Demon Hunter
- Fel Demon Hunter
- Deathrattle Demon Hunter
- Hunter Class Radar
- Face Hunter
- Quest Hunter
- Shaman Class Radar
- Quest Shaman
- Elemental Shaman
- Warrior Class Radar
- Aggro-Quest Warrior
- Control-Quest Warrior
- Control Warrior
- Big Warrior
- Paladin Class Radar
- Libram Paladin
- Secret Paladin
- Handbuff Paladin
We expect the mini-set to finally arrive next week, so the report will be on break, but we’ll still be around in podcast form to give you the details on the emerging new meta.
We can only hope that something happens that strongly discourages Quest Mage’s presence, so we could see some of the top legend diversity spill over to the rest of ladder.
Below is an example of that diversity.
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