Welcome to the 258th 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
|Top 1K Legend||41,000|
|Legend (Excluding Top 1k)||79,000|
|Diamond 4 to 1||141,000|
|Diamond 10 to 5||182,000|
You’ll notice that this report’s Power Rankings and Matchup Matrix are packed with a large number of decks, which makes the images very dense with information. This is a reminder that the images presented in this report are just a sample of the available data from the original tableau files, which you can reach by clicking on the images or by finding their pages through the website’s navigation bar.
ETC, the pre-release legendary from Festival of Legends, is not included in this report’s database. The card only came out on Tuesday, so it was impossible to evaluate it properly for this report. We’ll make some surface-level comments about ETC, but we’re not sure what kind of impact it will have on the format. Next week, we’ll see in which decks it belongs to and how it’s best utilized. Obviously, it’s not the easiest card to assess, so more time is needed here.
Class Frequency Discussion
It’s back to normal Rogue, which is once again the most popular class at top legend. Miracle Rogue’s success last week has driven many high-level players back to the archetype, though Thief Rogue is still the more popular deck.
Undead Priest has risen further in play as more players have learned how strong this deck is throughout ladder. It’s in the process of cleaning up card selection to its more optimal form, with Najak Hexxen spiking in play. Control Priest has picked up slightly more interest but remains a relatively fringe deck.
Outside of top legend, Death Knight is the most popular class, and there hasn’t been much change there. At top legend, the class has significantly declined, with all of its archetypes affected.
Demon Hunter has risen in play and has become a popular class at legend. Fel Demon Hunter is driving most of the attraction. The incorporation of Silvermoon Arcanists into its build hasn’t been widespread, with most players sticking to the iteration that emerged early in the patch. Spell Demon Hunter hasn’t gained any traction.
Quest Druid has taken over the Druid class, with Quest-less Ramp Druid fading. The deck becomes progressively more popular as you climb ladder.
Frost Mage is noticeably more popular across ladder, though the deck’s presence remains modest. Mage hasn’t seen other changes in its composition beyond the Frost Mage uptick.
Paladin has declined. This decline is more noticeable at higher rank brackets, where Pure Paladin is historically less appreciated. Pure-Control Paladin hasn’t picked up play, with the rise of Fel DH and Quest Druid not helping its case. Some players opt for a sizeable Silver Hand Recruit package in Pure Paladin, which we’ve separated into Pure-Dude Paladin.
There’s a big decline in Warlock’s play rate, especially at higher levels. We’re a bit curious about this since we anticipated Phylactery Warlock getting better this week. Imp Warlock also looked fairly impressive last week. The rise of Undead Priest and Miracle Rogue could be a problem for the class.
No major movement in Hunter, Shaman, or Warrior. These classes appear to be excluded from the developing meta, though at least one of them shouldn’t be.
vS Meta Score
vS Power Rankings Discussion
- As we anticipated last week, Miracle Rogue takes the #1 spot at top legend, being very close with Undead Priest. Miracle Rogue’s current iteration is nowhere near the oppressive force it was earlier in the expansion. Its matchup spread is very checkered, and plenty of decks display a favorable matchup against it, even at higher levels of play. What tilts Miracle Rogue to perform so well are its exceptionally strong matchups into Quest Druid and Fel DH. Those two decks are on the rise and have improved Miracle Rogue’s field of opponents. The decline of aggressive Death Knights has also helped.
- Thief Rogue is its usual mediocre self. Nothing changed here. The deck is popular because players enjoy it.
- As it became more popular, Deathrattle Rogue has dropped off in its performance. Some meta trends haven’t gone in its favor, most notably the rise of Frost Mage, which is a horrible matchup.
- Undead Priest is holding up well. The meta hasn’t been quick to pick up some cards that help against it (Fel DH can do so much better here), while strategic counters to the deck are relatively unpopular. Much like we’ve said before, Undead Priest doesn’t obliterate the format, dominating everything in its path. It boasts close matchups with many of the better decks in the format, narrowly beats some, but most importantly, stomps on the bad decks. This is why it’s been so successful. Its matchup spread is very clean and resilient to changes in the meta.
- Control Priest is one of those clear counters to Undead Priest, but its inconsistent matchup spread means it can’t really become overly popular without getting targeted, which is why it struggles to get out of Tier 3.
- The more promising option here is Svalna Priest, which has been slowly improving its performance due to its steep learning curve. The problem here is that there might not be enough players who are capable of piloting this deck to a good enough level! This keeps the deck’s play rate low. If you can master it, Svalna Priest is a legitimate meta contender at top legend, sitting at around Tier 2.
- Bless Priest’s low sample suggests a drop to Tier 2, which makes sense considering the rough matchup against Rogues. Quest Priest is a reasonably playable option throughout ladder, though it isn’t great.
- Frost-Aggro is a powerful deck throughout ladder, being particularly dominant below Diamond 4 and deputizing Undead Priest higher up the ranks. It only falls to Tier 2 at top legend due to the Quest Druid/Fel DH matchups.
- Unholy-Aggro takes off at top legend and becomes the superior choice, as it tends to do better vs Druid and Demon Hunter. It doesn’t seem that the player base is particularly aware of this occurrence, as it isn’t reflected by these decks’ play rates.
- Blood-Ctrl is pretty bad everywhere. The meta at lower ranks is more forgiving to the deck, but once you step into higher ranks, the deck becomes a sitting duck for too many strategies.
- It’s becoming more evident to us that Fel DH is superior to Spell DH if you incorporate Silvermoon Arcanists into the build. This has been holding the archetype back. However, most players are not doing that, so even though Fel DH looks statistically strong, it could be stronger. It should be a Tier 2 deck at top legend, very comfortably, despite the difficult matchups against Quest Druid and Miracle Rogue. The matchup against Undead Priest specifically should be better than it currently is. That’s a big deal.
- Quest Druid is held back from taking over the format thanks to a few important counters that keep it in check at Tier 2. At top legend is Miracle Rogue’s job, while Pure Paladin and Imp Warlock hold the line throughout the rest of ladder. Phylactery Warlock is the only late-game strategy in the format that possesses a win condition that can come online faster than Quest Druid’s. We can only imagine how oppressive Quest Druid would be in conquest tournaments.
- Frost Mage has taken a step back, which isn’t too surprising considering the Demon Hunter/Druid duo that gives it a hard time. It’s still a very good deck, thanks to strong matchups into Undead Priest and Miracle Rogue, making it relevant at every level of play.
- It’s the usual from Big-Spell Mage. Very good throughout most of ladder but dips at high MMR since players tend to exploit its predictable play pattern.
- Wildfire Mage is not having a good time in this format. Not enough grindy decks it can farm, but it also gets outclassed by Phylactery Warlock in its own niche.
- It’s a familiar pattern with Paladin, with the class starting strong in a new patch before getting exposed eventually as the meta settles down and high-level players exploit its low player agency. All Pure Paladin decks are collapsing in their performance at top legend, but Pure Paladin remains very strong outside of that bracket. Pure-Dude Paladin, by the way, is just an inferior version of the deck.
- Phylactery Warlock did get better, despite the rise of Miracle Rogue and Undead Priest, which are likely key factors scaring players away from the deck. Some encouraging factors come into play. Phylactery has a good matchup against both Quest Druid and Fel Demon Hunter, making it the only deck in the format that can beat both decks in the late game consistently. The decline of Pure Paladin, another oppressive counter, is another positive factor. Still, we can understand why the psychological pressure of Miracle Rogue is discouraging Phylactery’s play rate, as well as the fact it’s an extremely polarizing deck in the current meta.
- Imp Warlock has undoubtedly gotten weaker. The rise of Undead Priest is the major contributing factor, though Miracle Rogue’s top legend presence is also not ideal. Against these decks, it makes no sense to run the curse package either.
- While Chad Warlock did significantly improve thanks to refinement tweaks, it’s ultimately a pretty bad deck, and it’s disappearing from the format for a good reason.
- Hunter gets a bad rep. Spitter Hunter looks good throughout ladder, and we think this deck is particularly underrated. It’s not the best deck out there, but it likely merits a play rate higher than 1%. Quest Hunter has a positive win rate up until top legend, where it crashes due to the increasingly hostile field (Miracle Rogue/Quest Druid/Fel DH is a deadly trio). Even Big-Beast Hunter is quite alright up at lower ranks. The class is definitely not dead.
- Enrage Warrior is not looking great, but there are some refinement issues, and the build in this report does look more promising than what the archetype’s aggregated win rate suggests. As we’ve said multiple times in the past, this deck’s biggest issue is that it doesn’t seem to be very attractive to most players.
- Shaman looks dead. There’s nothing here that looks particularly competitive. We’re aware of all the Shaman builds players are trying, and we’re not optimistic about what we’ve seen so far. This class doesn’t see much play because it legitimately sucks.
Class Analysis & Decklists
Death Knight | Demon Hunter | Druid | Hunter | Mage | Paladin | Priest | Rogue | Shaman | Warlock | Warrior
Miracle Rogue can make a small tweak to its build by running both Astalor and the second Mailbox Dancer. Dancer has been getting progressively stronger since the launch of the patch, but we’re still very reluctant to cut the late-game insurance provided by Astalor, so a copy of Gone Fishin’ makes way.
Thief Rogue has been trying ETC, and we have the largest sample of the card being played in Thief Rogue, though it’s nowhere near enough to make strong conclusions. Our very initial impressions of the current builds running ETC look sub-optimal, but that could still be a case of poor card selection rather than ETC being a bad card in the deck. Specifically, cutting Crabatoa from the primary build to turn it into a sideboard card looks like utter madness. We would probably not do that.
- Rogue Class Radar
- Thief Rogue
- Miracle Rogue
- Deathrattle Rogue
Undead Priest players are having a good time. The featured build looks perfect. We do not favor Mind Eater over Bonecaller. If you want a real challenge, though, Svalna Priest is probably the most rewarding deck to learn outside of Miracle Rogue. Be warned, since much suffering is possible, both from you and the opponent.
- Priest Class Radar
- Undead Priest
- Bless Priest
- Control Priest
- Quest Priest
- Svalna Priest
Death Knight decks are fairly refined and established, though Blood-Ctrl DK will likely have a lot of ETC data next week. Whether that fixes its widespread matchup issues is highly questionable.
- Death Knight Class Radar
- Frost-Aggro Death Knight
- Unholy-Aggro Death Knight
- Blood-Ctrl Death Knight
Silvermoon Arcanists in Fel DH are a game changer. The early game consistency of Unleash Fel as a stabilizer, as well as the late game consistency of Fel Barrage as a finisher, both go up significantly thanks to Arcanists. Brann is completely unnecessary. The deck is 1-2% better with Arcanists.
- Demon Hunter Class Radar
- Fel Demon Hunter
- Spell Demon Hunter
The Quest Druid build looks perfect, but ETC is a strong candidate for the deck. We’ll see if it makes sense next week as Quest Druid looks to solve a few tough matchups.
- Druid Class Radar
- Quest Druid
- Ramp Druid
- Aggro Druid
Frost Mage beats the two most dominant decks in the format: Miracle Rogue and Undead Priest. That counts for a lot. Its matchup issues lie elsewhere, but if you want to beat these decks, it is the best choice for the job.
- Mage Class Radar
- Frost Mage
- Big-Spell Mage
- Wildfire Mage
Paladin remains one of the best classes to pick on the climb to legend, though you might find yourself stuck climbing with it at higher MMR’s. The Turbo-Countess Pure Paladin route is definitely a predictable play pattern that high-level players anticipate better. Pure-Control has a bit more agency, but faces a problem when dealing with strong late-game inevitability.
- Paladin Class Radar
- Pure Paladin
- Pure-Control Paladin
Warlock is okay. There’s a discouraging element with the class tending to struggle against Miracle Rogue and Undead Priest, but the good news is that these are not the only decks in the format. Warlock is the only class that can beat Quest Druid both in the early game (Imp) and in the late game (Phylactery). Gul’dan can hold that trophy.
- Warlock Class Radar
- Imp Warlock
- Curse-Imp Warlock
- Phylactery Warlock
- Chad Warlock
Spitter Hunter is quite underrated. It’s possible that the player base is simply tired of Shockspitter, but if you like to spit on your opponent, I want you to put the word out there that we back up. Understand me? We back up.
- Hunter Class Radar
- Quest Hunter
- Spitter Hunter
- Big-Beast Hunter
Enrage Warrior is okay. The Fire variant is likely a bit better in this format. The featured build ended up being a card-for-card list from one of our Patreon supporters, WorldEight. We only learned about it after building the deck, so let him cook.
Shaman sucks. We know. There’s that deck from XXXX and that other deck from YYYY. They’re all bad, unfortunately. Shaman is paying the price for its evolving sins.
Quest Druid might be the true meta-defining deck in the format. Its late-game dominance forces most decks to go under it, which helped establish Miracle Rogue as the go-to deck at top legend, as well as establish Pure Paladin and Imp Warlock as important players in the meta on the climb to legend. After all, Miracle Rogue’s matchup spread is not that scary. It is strong because of its ability to go into the late game while also possessing early snowballing to beat late-game powerhouses such as Fel DH and Quest Druid. Undead Priest is another deck that gives Quest Druid a harder time, though the matchup is close and very winnable for the Druid.
ETC utilization is very possible here, and players have started to experiment. Can Quest Druid utilize ETC to plug some of its weaknesses and take up another level? If there’s one deck to watch out for when it comes to the utilization of the new legendary to impact the format in a significantly way, it’s probably this one.
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