Welcome to the 262nd edition of the Data Reaper Report!
Contributing to the Data Reaper project through Hearthstone Deck Tracker or Firestone allows us to perform our analyses and to issue the weekly reports, so we want to wholeheartedly thank our contributors. Without the community’s contributions, there would be no project. Contributing data is very easy, so if you enjoy our content and would like to make sure it remains consistent and free – Sign up!
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||22,000|
|Legend (Excluding Top 1k)||126,000|
|Diamond 4 to 1||111,000|
|Diamond 10 to 5||143,000|
Class Frequency Discussion
While Death Knight remains the most popular class in the game, the balance patch has led to a significant decline in its popularity across all rank brackets. The fan-favorite Blood-Ctrl is your most common Death Knight opponent, followed by the previously oppressive Frost-Aggro and a small presence of Unholy-Aggro.
Drastic changes are occurring in the Demon Hunter class. Spell DH appeared just a couple of days before the balance patch and has spiked in play since, taking over the top legend meta with the notorious Fel’dorei Warband/Sinful Brand combo. Another new deck that is emerging is Big DH, centered on Felscale Evoker. Outcast DH maintains a modest presence, while Relic DH has drastically declined, consumed by the Spell DH explosion.
Druid is also going through significant changes. We’ve decided to rename Tony Druid to Zok Druid, since Zok acts as the primary win condition for the deck alongside Anub’Rekhan, while Tony is more relevant in specific matchups. Some builds opt not to include Tony at all and it’s impossible to reliably separate them from the rest of the cluster, since you don’t know your opponent is running it until you see it played. There are several variants of Zok Druid, some of which run Ozumat. Big Druid is a newly emerging deck centered on the buffed Death Blossom Whomper and a deathrattle package with Masked Reveler and Sesselie of the Fae Court.
Rogue is a messy class at lower ranks of ladder, but a highly curated one at top legend, with players flocking back to Miracle Rogue following its promising pre-patch results. Some card choices are changing in the deck too.
Undead Priest is another ‘old deck’ that is gaining more traction and visibility throughout ladder. The swarm build appears to take over following the patch, likely due to the nerfs to Blood-Ctrl and Frost-Aggro DK, encouraging the board-centric approach. Control Priest is trying to figure out how to approach the changing format, boasting high build diversity.
Spitelash Siren was one of the most hyped buffs of the balance patch, leading to plenty of experimentation with Naga Mage. Spooky Mage is heading in a slower direction, with Cosmic Keyboard taking over and some variants running a top end of Kel’Thuzad and Rommath.
Warrior is not the least popular class! Players are trying to make its archetypes work after they received plenty of meaningful buffs this patch. Control Warrior is the obvious favorite, followed by Enrage and Menagerie.
Pure Paladin is returning to its old habits, making for a popular ladder climber that high-level players avoid. The archetype isn’t stagnant though, with new builds emerging that challenge the early expansion iterations. Mech and Big Paladin are fringe decks.
The player base has given up quite quickly on Overload Shaman, as the deck is in the process of disappearing again after initial post-patch interest. Totem Shaman is noticeable but has a pretty low play rate.
Interest in Warlock is low. The deck most players want to see work is Chad Warlock, but it hasn’t received much help this patch, while players are not excited to try Imp Warlock running the buffed fatigue package.
Hunter’s play rate is shockingly low. Face Hunter hasn’t garnered interest, while a buff to Big-Beast Hunter hasn’t done much to put it back on the map.
vS Meta Score
vS Power Rankings Discussion
The current data requires a lot of context because some things are hard to notice without digging in deeper into the results. This is always true to some extent, but particularly relevant in the current format, which is far from settling down.
- Early in the patch, it was hard to notice whether anything actually changed in the class. After all, it remained popular and seemed powerful. But we can tell you that both Frost-Aggro and Blood-Ctrl Death Knight got significantly weaker in many key matchups. Some of that decline in performance was masked by the proliferation of bad decks, keeping their win rates high enough to suggest that nothing happened to them. However, as the meta continues to optimize, it will become clear that these decks were negatively affected. At top legend, where the meta is most developed, the results already look quite dramatic.
- Even when including the win rate inflation caused by bad decks in the field, Frost-Aggro DK’s performance was hit by around 2% at most ladder brackets. The deck should continue to decline further in its performance, which should put it outside of the very best decks to climb to legend with. It’s still a good, competitive deck, but it’s not the best. It’s not even top 5 based on current trends.
- At top legend, Frost-Aggro DK was not only negatively affected by nerfs, but also by natural meta trends. The rise of Spell DH has crippled the deck, establishing an oppressive counter to it that has pushed its win rate down to Tier 3! Zok Druid’s response to Spell DH, which involves running armor gain to counter its burn plan, is also causing it to improve its performance against Frost-Aggro DK. Add other key matchups that Frost-Aggro DK lost % in (Outcast DH, Miracle Rogue) and you have a deck that’s gone from “best deck in the game” status to “not even good”. Should Spell DH trickle down to the rest of ladder, Frost-Aggro DK’s suffering could extend to lower ranks.
- Blood-Ctrl DK got hit even harder by the nerfs, causing it to lose around 3% on average in key matchups. It is no longer oppressively powerful at lower ranks, just a reasonably good deck (and it is likely to decline further). Its saving grace at top legend, which has prevented it from completely collapsing there, is its strong matchup into Spell DH. This has kept it in Tier 2, but it’s trending down towards the 50% win rate mark since most decks in the field have a good matchup against it
- Shockingly, the best Death Knight deck is looking like the least popular one. Unholy-Aggro DK should be miles ahead of Frost and Blood statistically once things settle down. Even though it did get nerfed in the balance patch, it didn’t rely as much on discover effects and it’s benefitting more from the decline of Frost and Blood, which are its main counters. Outside of its own class, only Control Priest seems to have a reliable edge against it. It does not fear Spell DH and it stomps on Zok Druid, so its performance at top legend looks ridiculous.
- We don’t think Unholy-Aggro DK is particularly dangerous. It’s unlikely to maintain this kind of performance if it blew up to a high play rate, but it should remain strong and might even help the other Death Knight decks maintain relevance as Unholy counters. Some decks are actively cutting AOE effects because they’re not worth running in the current format, which helps Unholy perform this way at a low play rate.
- This brings to light the delicate touch that was needed in last week’s balance changes. Nerfing Blood and Frost too hard would have very likely backfired. The nudges ended up keeping both archetypes strong and competitive, but not oppressive, without leading to undesired effects elsewhere. The only unfortunate outcome was the rise of Spell DH after the balance changes were locked in.
- The rise of Spell DH is an unfortunate outcome because this deck looks quite dangerous. It’s obliterating a significant number of decks in the format. The main way to counter it is with excessive life gain, which can be found in Zok Druid and Blood-Ctrl DK. An uncommon counter is Mech Paladin. A refined Spooky Mage and Unholy-Aggro DK may also be able to develop an edge against it. We’re hoping to see more decks optimize their builds to do better in the matchup, as it doesn’t have much scope for improvement. Some helpful card choices have been found. If Spell DH isn’t curbed, the top legend field is in for some pain. We’re not sure how much this deck trickles down to the rest of ladder, but Spell DH performs very well at lower rank brackets too. There’s nothing stopping it from heavily populating ladder, in theory.
- Big DH has entered the meta with a bang. At some point, it looked like the best deck in the game. Its performance relaxed a bit as it grew in popularity but its matchup spread is still very good. It’s mostly vulnerable to decks that snowball early against it. Its tough matchup against Spell DH means it is unlikely to be as powerful at top legend, but it is one of the best decks to climb to legend with (it’s better than Frost-Aggro DK, for example).
- Outcast DH is certainly a deck that could have spun out of control if the nerfs to Death Knight were harder. It is looking powerful throughout ladder, but especially at top legend, where it eats Druids. Its main counters come from Death Knight and its own class. Relic DH already did well into Outcast, but Spell DH does even better.
- Relic DH has been dramatically displaced by Spell DH. This matchup is horrendous, as the Relic DH has little chance of pressuring the Spell DH before it gets branded to death. Add the tough Zok Druid matchup and it’s hard to justify playing the deck anymore. Its decline in play is completely understandable, though if you build it well, you can find good results against a field that isn’t specifically swarmed by those two oppressive matchups.
- Zok Druid is a top legend specialty that finds competitive relevance thanks to its strong matchups into slower decks and enjoys the fact that high-level players are reluctant to play some its hardest counters, which are numerous and very successful. Zok Druid is also the hardest counter to Spell DH, which is a major reason why it’s growing in popularity. On the climb to legend, it looks unplayable, as a large enough number of aggressive decks quickly pushes its win rate to Tier 4 territory. It’s a polarizing deck.
- Big Druid is a friendlier deck for those that look to climb ladder with the class, as it’s more comfortable in a faster environment. It’s a Tier 2 deck throughout ladder, only leapfrogged by Zok Druid at top legend since it loses to Spell DH and loses the Druid mirror.
- Miracle Rogue is another Spell DH victim. The matchup is rough, making it impossible for Miracle Rogue to be a Tier 1 deck in these circumstances. There are ways to alleviate the matchup to some degree, but don’t expect much joy if you’re constantly running into them. Overall, the deck looks fairly balanced in its matchup spread, showing strengths and weaknesses against different kinds of decks.
- Secret Rogue is noticeably worse. The balance patch and resulting meta trends have not been kind to it, as it liked running into a lot of Blood-Ctrl Death Knights. Menagerie Rogue doesn’t see much play, but might be competitive if enough players cared.
- Undead Priest is one of the best decks in the format. Just a very good choice throughout ladder. Besides Outcast and Spell DH, it doesn’t fear any of the popular decks. The swarm build is doing work, taking advantage of the field’s lax attitude towards aggressive decks.
- Control Priest looked quite promising early on, but things are turning sour again. We initially thought it’d be able to challenge Spell DH with life gain, but this matchup seems unfavored no matter what the Priest does. Demon Hunter players very quickly learned how to navigate the matchup and it turned dark red. Add the popularity of Zok and Control Priest is no better than Tier 3. A rise in Unholy-Aggro DK could help its cause though, as it is one of its only reliable counters. It also does well into Miracle Rogue and Blood-Ctrl DK.
- Naga Mage has gained around 10% in its overall win rate thanks to the change to Spitelash Siren. The problem is that its win rate before the patch was 30%, so it remains unplayable.
- Considering the mediocrity of Mech Mage while Spooky Mage sits at Tier 4, is Mage done in this format? Not even close. A refined Spooky Mage clearly has Tier 2 potential. The problem is that the archetype is mired by bad builds. In the case of Mage, being greedy is not working out.
- All Warrior archetypes are very unrefined, so the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Enrage Warrior could easily lift its win rate to the Tier 2 range with very obvious optimization. Menagerie Warrior is exhibiting Tier 3 potential, which might not be enough to garner interest from players but it looks much better than it did before the patch.
- Control Warrior is the least optimized archetype of the three. Its best build might even be able to land in Tier 3, though a more realistic estimate is the top of Tier 4. Obviously, it’s not competitive enough, but it’s much closer than it looks to the naked eye. Remember that this archetype’s win rate sat in the low 30’s before the patch.
- Pure Paladin in an unrefined format is guaranteed to deliver. It is the best-performing deck at every rank bracket outside of top legend. The situation could quickly change by next week. Based on current meta trajectories, Pure Paladin is guaranteed to lose its top spot everywhere above Platinum. It might not even be a Top 5 deck at diamond ranks. Lots of decks are improving while it mostly stands in place. The one thing that could prevent a Pure Paladin decline is its own refinement. There might be room for optimization in the deck after all.
- Mech Paladin is mostly worse than Pure Paladin, yet somehow outperforms it at top legend. The reason is that it is one of the only decks in the format that can counter both Spell DH and Zok Druid. We ‘somehow’ doubt that high MMR players will start running it for this purpose, but it’s notable enough to mention.
- Totem Shaman is quietly strong, though polarizing in its matchup spread. It’s very similar to Pure Paladin, since it dominates passive decks like Druid and doesn’t like opponents that get ahead of it on the board or have a lot of stalling and removal effects. You can have a lot of success with it.
- Overload Shaman looks like a flop. The buffs didn’t matter too much here because the archetype lacks a win condition, so it’s far away from being competitive. It’s currently just a bunch of cards assembled together without a clear purpose or direction.
- Imp Warlock looks solid now. Its win rate is hovering around 50%. The problem is that it gets destroyed by Spell DH, which means that things could look quite bleak for it next week. Considering that Chad Warlock is looking quite bad, the class is not in good shape going forward.
- Hunter’s play rate does not line up with its performance. Face Hunter might be the most slept-on deck in the format, sitting at Tier 1 at every rank bracket. Its ability to demolish Druids while boasting a good matchup into Spell DH is very notable. The archetype is very similar in its standing to Unholy-Aggro DK. It is not as strong since it doesn’t dominate the board as much, but it does have off-board damage that allows it to finish off opponents even if it falls behind. There is room for optimization too, so we’ll have to see whether it stands the test of time as the meta becomes more competitive and its play rate rises.
- Big-Beast Hunter didn’t get enough help in the patch. Hybrid builds are statistically better and should be able to land in Tier 2, but going into Big Dreams still leads to Big Nightmares.
Class Analysis & Decklists
Death Knight | Demon Hunter | Druid | Hunter | Mage | Paladin | Priest | Rogue | Shaman | Warlock | Warrior
Unholy-Aggro Death Knight is the hottest strategy within the class. Rowdy Fan has fallen off in its performance in the archetype, so we’ve opted to add Pozzik and a single copy of Famished Fool instead. Pozzik started seeing play in the deck and looks good enough. Fool gives you some reload in the tougher control matchups. A murloc package has been proposed, but it doesn’t seem to perform particularly well.
The balance changes haven’t significantly affected Blood-Ctrl Death Knight‘s card choices. There’s an option to run Dirty Rat, which is mostly an anti-Druid tech. Amalgam of the Deep or Screaming Banshee could make way. Cutting Banshee seems crazy on paper, but the card is really bad against Demon Hunters, which are usually very popular at the ranks Druid is popular.
Frost-Aggro Death Knight is noticeably weaker, though still a strong deck to climb to legend with. Rowdy Fan did get worse, but the card isn’t as bad as it is in Unholy. Astalor vs. 2nd Might of Menethil is the main decision, depending on the number of Blood-Ctrl DK’s at your rank. The 1st Might of Menethil is much better than Astalor, but the 2nd copy often causes corpse starvation and is much weaker.
- Death Knight Class Radar
- Blood-Ctrl Death Knight
- Frost-Aggro Death Knight
- Unholy-Aggro Death Knight
Spell Demon Hunter may become the most dominant deck in the game. The deck is all about throwing as much damage onto the opponent’s face as possible while utilizing removal to defend itself from aggression. Our best advice to play the deck is to try to avoid wasting damage that can go face to clear minions. You have Arcanist/Unleash Fel to deal with wide boards, while a big minion is just a future target for Sinful Brand. The Warband/Brand combo is as obnoxious as ever and is very likely to get nerfed. Sinful Brand is still a ridiculously strong card at 2 mana.
The main card choice tip for the deck is to run two Chaos Strikes and to drop Feast of Souls. Feast just isn’t very good and you have so much unconditional card draw already. Chaos Strike is a reliable cycle card that also gives you more damage (every little bit helps). There’s an option to run Abusive Sergeant over Felerin to juice up a S’theno combo in slower matchups, but Felerin is generally very good.
Outcast Demon Hunter has some interesting decisions following the nerf to Rowdy Fan. The S’theno combo looks pretty bad now, to the point that cutting S’theno completely from the deck has serious data-driven justification. But because this would impact several other cards in the deck (Predation/Dispose), we’re not sure about it. Hawkstrider Rancher looks like a decent card in the deck, so we’ve opted to run a copy of it. Cutting S’theno/Predation/Dispose for a new package of cards, possibly centered on Ranchers, is something to think about.
Big Demon Hunter is yet another strong strategy emerging for the class. The archetype was initially popularized by Brian “Brian Kibler” Kibler. WorldEight then made some crucial changes (Dispose of Evidence) that shot up the deck’s performance. The featured build is the most popular build, which currently looks like the most successful. The deck’s reliance on drawing Evoker early has prompted players to experiment with cutting the early Naga package for Crushclaw Enforcer, which can then tutor Evoker. This hasn’t been the slam dunk it was expected to be, as S’theno/Guard/Predation is a good package of cards (Astalor is filler and very cuttable). Treasure Guard is a stable turn 3 play that helps you bridge into Felscreamer on 4, while S’theno/Predation helps you fight for board.
If you do go for the alternative path, we recommend running Chaos Strike over Immolation Aura, as the latter is very weak and may be the cause for the Enforcer build not looking as good. Chaos Strike is a cycle card that activates Enforcer on curve. Eye Beams and Abyssal Depths are fine, but players are incorrectly using Depths. Do not keep this card in the mulligan! Seeing you do this hurts our souls. It is meant to be a tutor for Silvermoon Arcanist later in the game. It is not a good turn 3 play in this deck, as there are more pressing things to do at this stage of the game. Finding and activating Evoker or Enforcer are much more important.
Relic Demon Hunter has fallen off a bit, though it still performs very well if you build it correctly. You need to be greedy and not run Immolation Aura. The noticeable decline of Blood-Ctrl DK has made Fizzle unplayable. We cannot justify it anymore. Queen Azshara is a stronger form of greediness. The S’theno/Rowdy Fan combo is still good in this deck because of the discount potential of Relic of Dimensions.
- Demon Hunter Class Radar
- Spell Demon Hunter
- Outcast Demon Hunter
- Big Demon Hunter
- Relic Demon Hunter
Building Zok Druid is very interesting. There are multiple approaches that may work better at different ranks.
For the first time, we’re seeing strong utilization of E.T.C, as a way to improve the consistency of Anub’Rekhan. What players are beginning to understand is that it is optimal to have no more than five targets for Summer Flowerchild. The Mish-Mosher build, for example, hides Jailer inside E.T.C. This makes it more likely that you can find the Anub/Zok combo, which is your primary win condition in the majority of matchups. E.T.C also allows you to have Crazed Alchemist in the deck to blow up an opponent with one of Zok’s taunts, or Smothering Starfish to bypass an opponent’s Zok. The Mosher build is what we would run outside of legend ranks.
The Ozumat build offers alternative ways to clear the board, which makes it the best performer against aggressive decks. Explosive Sheep, which can be drawn by Peaceful Piper, works well with Hedge Maze to answer an early board. Hedge Maze activates Ozumat on curve, offering a massive board clear that can beat a Jailer board in the mirror matchup. What’s curious about the Ozumat build on ladder is that it does not run the Tony/Jailer combo, which significantly hurts its slower matchups. We don’t see a reason not to run this combo and it’s pretty easy to fit in. Jailer is inside E.T.C to keep the five-target rule for Summer Flowerchild.
The final build is recommended for top legend. This build passes on board clears, making it the weakest at dealing with minion pressure. Instead, it focuses on armor to sustain through burn and counter Spell Demon Hunter. Chitinous Plating serves an important role here, while E.T.C can also discover Beetlemancy. Since we don’t run Mosher or Ozumat, Jailer is run in the primary list as the 5th Flowerchild target.
And before you ask, Astalor is core for all of these variants. It’s a mistake not to run it. Just too good.
Big Druid has appeared and looks like a better choice on the climb to legend because of its blowout potential, making it stronger in faster matchups. The build was popularized by Jambre and made possible thanks to the buff to Death Blossom Whomper, which is now very strong with Hedge Maze and Masked Reveler. The one change we made to the deck is to run a 2nd Drum Circle (excellent card) and drop one Lunar Eclipse, which is less impactful.
- Druid Class Radar
- Zok Druid
- Big Druid
Miracle Rogue‘s main focus is to improve its performance against Demon Hunter. This involves improving its ability to exert pressure through the board. Pozzik looks like a decent card in the deck, but we particularly like Cult Neophyte, which has emerged as a very strong card in the Spell DH matchup. Cutting Thalnos and Fan of Knives is part of a field-wide trend to drop AOE from decks, until players are willing to play aggressive decks.
Secret Rogue is experimenting with Blingtron as an Astalor enabler. The card looks quite promising in this deck. Secret Rogue doesn’t have the threat density of Miracle, so it is more reliant on Astalor to close out games. As we’ve said before the patch, secrets that impact the board are the best secrets. Cheat Death and Double Cross are traps.
Menagerie Rogue does not look bad at all based on its low sample and there’s much to improve in the deck. We would like to see it experiment with a Gorloc Ravager package, which looks quite powerful in menagerie decks since it helps you find The One-Amalgam Band and its best activators more consistently. The concoction package is very valuable here and Concoctor seems good enough even without a tribal tag. Shadowstep and Breakdance look weak, as do Zilliax and Blingtron, surprisingly.
- Rogue Class Radar
- Miracle Rogue
- Secret Rogue
- Menagerie Rogue
The swarm build has pushed ahead to become the best variant of Undead Priest. The nerfs to Frost and Blood Death Knight have clearly encouraged the archetype to go wide and focus on the board more. We’ve carefully looked at alternative card choices for the deck but haven’t found clear upgrades. Bone Flinger is not better than Amalgam of the Deep or Mind Eater.
We’ve made some adjustments to Control Priest by giving it more proactive plays in the early game. Psychic Conjurer and Mind Eater give you more early targets for Cathedral of Atonement and can help you activate Nerubian Vizier. We also like Audio Amplifier for the greedy top legend meta, where Control Priest is most functional. We dislike cutting win conditions from the deck, so Astalor and Azshara have stuck around, performing very well. An alternative build runs more sustain in Armor Vendor and Sunfury Clergy, but the potential decline of Frost-Aggro DK could make this approach weaker over the next week. We’ll have to see how the deck can adjust to an explosion of Spell DH, if it’s even possible.
Don’t be fooled by Spooky Mage‘s poor aggregated performance. The deck is legitimately competitive as long as you build it well. The build we suggested before the patch, running Vexallus and Arcane Bolts, looks very promising. We’d like to see more data on Vexallus. Most players opt for Astalor and Flame Geyser, which is perfectly fine, but we’re not impressed with Astalor in this deck.
Value-centric builds that top out at Ke’Thuzad and Rommath do not look great.
Mech Mage is underwhelming. Naga Mage is terrible.
There is more hope for Warrior than before and the buffs have moved the class closer to competitive play. We think all of its archetypes are currently underperforming due to refinement issues. None of the Warrior decks are great, but they look worse than they actually are.
Enrage Warrior is significantly stronger running a low and aggressive curve, making Rancher a good fit. We mostly question Hookfist’s inclusion in the deck. There might be a better card if we had more data.
Menagerie Warrior is noticeably stronger running a Gorloc package. The strength of this package in Warrior is what prompted us to suggest it in Rogue. Snapdragon is awful. Power Slider is now one of the best cards in the deck, after previously looking like a very mediocre payoff. Voone also got much better after the buff and works extremely well as a Gorloc Ravager follow-up.
Control Warrior running Blackrock ‘n’ Roll and the Riff package is looking much better, though it might still be two cards away from being a serious strategy. Ladder builds are very unrefined, so the scope for improvement is high for the deck. The featured build attempts to optimize the deck based on the common traps we’ve found on ladder. One of the biggest issues is the utilization of Last Stand. This is one of the strongest cards in the deck if you let it be. Running Frightened Flunky alongside Last Stand can be considered Hearthstone terrorism. We’d go one step further and say that Sword Eater is a liability and we’re running School Teacher instead. You want a small package of taunts, ideally five that become nuts off Last Stand.
Stalwart is a major candidate because of its strength against Demon Hunter. Zilliax is obvious. Lavagorger is amazing with Naga Giants, which are core to the deck thanks to the significantly stronger Riff package and Voone. A 2-mana Chorus Riff and 3-mana From the Depths should put this deck over the top. When evaluating the deck’s performance in key matchups, the absence of meaningful plays on turns 2-3 is what hurts it the most. The late game is very much there.
- Warrior Class Radar
- Enrage Warrior
- Menagerie Warrior
- Control Warrior
Pure Paladin is rediscovering some old synergies that may end up being superior to the package introduced in Festival of Legends. The Garden’s Grace looks strong in combination with the numerous Holy spells in the deck and Kotori Lightblade. These new builds are cutting cards that are reliant on being ahead, such as Jitterbug and Funkfin. A Purator package with Anachronos also gives the deck another dimension. One Order in the Court is making more sense, since it can find us The Garden’s Grace.
Mech Paladin is one of the only decks that reliably counters Spell DH. This could make it relevant going forward.
Totem Shaman could benefit from the ongoing trend to cut AOE in the format. The featured build we’ve refined pre-patch works extremely well. The extra draw makes it more difficult to run the Shaman out of resources, making its late-game matchups stronger. Overload Shaman still has a long way to go. Unlike Control Warrior, it does not have a functional win condition, so we’re less optimistic about its ability to compete in the future without the addition of cornerstone cards.
Imp Warlock looks more competitive after the patch. The buff to the fatigue package has been impactful since Conductor and Crescendo have become very strong. Dar’Khan Drathir is likely much better than Symphony of Sins, which some players run for the culture.
Chad Warlock did not get the help it needed this patch.
Face Hunter stocks are worth investing into, as most players don’t seem to realize how strong it currently is. The build we’ve refined pre-patch looks nuts, though we’ve made one change. Mister Mukla is the worst top-end card in the deck and the only one that seems to not pull its weight in the context of this greedy build. We’ve replaced it with Dragonbane, which should be very strong against Spell DH.
Big-Beast Hunter hasn’t changed. The patch hasn’t made the archetype more appealing. The hybrid build, which is basically a worse Face Hunter, is the best approach.
The meta is young and unrefined, so we should expect more twists and turns in the format. Some decks are clearly underexplored. With so much attention on Blood and Frost, most players haven’t noticed that Unholy is the strongest rune. At its current trajectory, Unholy-Aggro DK may become the best-performing deck at every rank bracket. A spike in its play rate could lead to the format adjusting accordingly, but it’s a big shake-up.
Face Hunter is barely seeing play, yet it’s delivering superb results across ladder. We’d like to see its play rate rise and understand just how good it can be. Note that both Unholy DK and Face Hunter demolish Zok Druid and exhibit a decent matchup into Spell DH, which makes them a relevant choice at top legend too. Most decks that counter Zok Druid tend to struggle into Spell DH, so finding decks that do well against both is currently quite valuable.
In fact, it’s quite meta breaking.
Preparing our weekly article requires a significant amount of time and effort from many individuals. We would like to wholeheartedly thank our current Patreons, whose generous donations help us fund computing and server costs.
vS Gold is our membership plan aimed to support our efforts towards improving our content and data analysis while receiving some bonuses and extra features.
Tier 3+ Patrons
Special thanks to Leo, Jed M, Drew M, Alan J, Zolstar, Sean H, Steve F, Andrew N, Alonso P, Je-ho, William H, 1RiceBowl1, Alex S, PeejTreon, Josh G, Amir, Matthew P, amenbrotep, Karhu, Christopher N, Eric F, Lime, Kaushal, Joshua B, Jeff C, Scott L, Mark P, The Big Dawg, nburst, Jess M, Peter, Lepton, Bob L, Charlah R, Chocobo, Chad K, Alex W, Ashton F, Ethan G, Potato, Swift, Logan, Fisherington, Michael H, WorldEight, Jacob M, Joseph G, Kristopher S, Timothy M, Dylan X, Darren J, Wyatt P, Nick M, and Kevin for supporting us this month.
Here are all the people that participated in bringing you this edition of the vS Data Reaper Report: