vS Data Reaper Report #223

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Welcome to the 223rd edition of the Data Reaper Report!

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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 210,000
Top 1K Legend 11,000
Legend (Excluding Top 1k) 34,000
Diamond 4 to 1 30,000
Diamond 10 to 5 35,000
Platinum 29,000
Bronze/Silver/Gold 72,000

Class/Archetype Distribution

Class Frequency

Class Frequency Discussion

Unsurprisingly, Ramp Druid isn’t going anywhere. While the archetype exhibits a small decline at most rank brackets, it has grown in popularity at top legend. Beast Druid has also picked up play and is more popular than Taunt Druid at legend.

Burn Shaman exhibits significant growth, nearly doubling its play rate on ladder and is now over 10% of the top legend field, only second to Ramp Druid. Other Shaman decks see little bits of play.

Control Warrior has also picked up momentum, and together with Burn Shaman, form a deadly duo that counters board-based aggression effectively. Quest Warrior is visible outside of legend ranks.

Though it’s still popular at lower ranks, Dragon Priest is declining. The ‘bad’ Priest decks decline as you climb ladder, leaving only Shadow and Miracle Priest visible at top level play.

Quest and Poison Rogue have declined. Not much else is happening with the class.

Hunter shows a slight decline at top legend, and not much movement elsewhere. Both Face and Quest Hunter are seeing some experimentations with Drek’Thar, but we’ll already tell you we’re not convinced.

Warlock is a fractured, messy class. What’s interesting is that all Warlock decks besides Owl disappear from top legend, and that includes Handlock, a previous pillar of the format.

Wildfire Mage exhibits the same pattern of being popular on ladder but looking entirely irrelevant in the most competitive bracket. Mozaki is the opposite.

Demon Hunter and Paladin attract very little play and interest in general.

Matchup Win Rates Header

Power Rankings Header

vS Meta Score

vS Power Rankings Discussion

  • A solved format
    • The current meta looks very much solved. While win rates are still settling down as the field becomes more competitive and curates itself of bad decks, most archetypes have figured out how they should be built to compete. We’ve only had to update the Beast Druid build from the last report, so class sections will be mostly missing. Let’s go over where each deck stands in the current format.
  • Druid
    • Ramp Druid has made some improvement in its build, but we don’t think it ever will be fully optimized. Its win rate hasn’t risen despite its improvement in a vacuum since free food for the archetype (such as Dragon Priest) has declined. We don’t think it can rise in its win rate if it’s so popular that it easily invites counters.
    • Beast Druid is suffering from the rise of Burn Shaman and Control Warrior, and yet it is still a Tier 1 deck at all levels of play and is only one of two Tier 1 decks at top legend.
    • Taunt Druid is facing similar problems to Beast Druid (Warrior/Shaman) but is generally a more vulnerable deck that drops off harder at higher levels.
    • Celestial Druid is fringe but continues to perform at a decent level at top legend.
  • Shaman
    • Burn Shaman is the best deck in the format. It continues to excel with a relatively well-rounded matchup spread (for an RPS meta) and the flexibility to run Viper to alleviate one of its most difficult matchups (Control Warrior). It seems to be the most reliable and consistent deck to climb ladder with, as it’s less polarizing than Beast or Taunt Druid, but the deck is one of the more difficult ones to navigate as its game plan isn’t intuitive. Less experience players will treat it as an aggressive deck when it’s very much a late game strategy akin to Freeze Mage, but with more room for early game proactivity that can pressure an opponent such as Ramp Druid.
    • Bolner Shaman is the class’ way to counter Warrior, maintain a decent matchup into Ramp Druid but generally perform much worse against the rest of the field. Elemental Shaman is looking okay. Quest Shaman is not looking okay.
  • Warrior
    • Control Warrior is strong. Together with Ramp Druid, it is largely responsible for the polarization of the current meta. It is so dominant against any strategy that doesn’t possess insane late game lethality and falls over to the ones that do.
    • Quest Warrior is very good at lower ranks, and very bad at higher ranks. Nothing is new here.
  • Priest
    • Shadow Priest is feeling the rise of Burn Shaman and Control Warrior, though it’s still a strong deck thanks to its Ramp Druid matchup. Miracle Priest exhibits one of the higher skill ceilings in the game, but even that doesn’t push its performance out of Tier 3 at top legend. Too vulnerable to Warrior’s removal.
  • Hunter
    • Face Hunter is dealing with the issues we highlighted last week. While it’s a good counter to Ramp Druid, it matches up poorly with other Ramp Druid counters. Add the rise of Burn Shaman and Control Warrior and you have a deck that falls in priority to Shadow Priest.
  • Rogue
    • Quest Rogue is quite strong throughout most of ladder, but dips hard at top legend due to a very hostile meta environment with Burn Shaman and Control Warrior wreaking havoc to its win rate. The Smuggler change should also hurt.
    • Poison Rogue’s win rate has relaxed and settled at Tier 2 at top legend, where it’s mostly played. This was expected, as it was farming wins off garbage decks. Still strong in a competitive field.
  • Warlock
    • The Demon Seed has never been less relevant. Turns out when you print a neutral questline reward, talks of Demon Seed ‘oppression’ becomes quickly obsolete. Handlock increasingly struggles as it climbs ladder and faces more hostile opponents. So, there’s a good reason it has been abandoned at top legend.
    • Owl Warlock is the most competitive representative of its class, and it looks quite impressive thanks to its strong matchups into aggressive decks as well as Burn Shaman, while obliterating Control Warrior with its OTK capability.
  • Mage
    • Wildfire Mage is a designer’s dream, and it’s becoming clear why it was buffed multiple times. It’s popular despite not being strong, which means players very much enjoy playing it. But it doesn’t cause the meta related issues that Ramp Druid creates, and it doesn’t attract any complaints.
    • Not much movement in Mozaki Mage, with it looking playable at top legend, and horrible elsewhere.
  • Demon Hunter
    • Fel Demon Hunter feels obsolete on ladder due to sitting in the same niche as Control Warrior, but generally having worse matchups. There are some small exceptions, but it’s hard to justify it. Deathrattle DH looks similarly mediocre.
  • Paladin
    • With the meta settling down, Paladin’s win rate is dropping across the board. We like Libram on the climb to legend, while Buff Paladin is more suitable for the high level meta, but neither choice is enticing.

Class Analysis & Decklists

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

 


Data Reaper Report - Druid

The Ramp Druid builds featured last week have proven to be the most effective approaches to the archetype. What’s been said last week about the variants remains true today, both regarding card choices and small differences in matchups.

Beast Druid has started utilizing Irondeep Troggs to good success, which makes the Ramp Druid matchup even more lopsided but is also effective in numerous other matchups that makes it worthwhile.

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

 

Data Reaper Report - Warrior

Data Reaper Report - Priest

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

Data Reaper Report - Mage

Data Reaper Report - Paladin


The small tweak to Kazakusan might help the card feel a little better to play against, as Locusts was a clear outlier in terms of treasure power, but we don’t expect this change to be highly impactful when it comes to Ramp Druid’s play rate. The deck has clearly shown to be very attractive to players for a long time, and we think it will continue to shape the format.

But when it comes to dominating, Burn Shaman is the closest thing in the format to a dominant deck. It’s hard to call it dominant when it gets destroyed by Control Warrior, but when it comes to a polarizing meta, it’s about picking your poison, and Shaman’s pill is the least bitter one to swallow.


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Contributors

Here are all the people that participated in bringing you this edition of the vS Data Reaper Report:

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