vS Data Reaper Report #268

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Welcome to the 268th 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 537,000
Top 1K Legend 30,000
Legend (Excluding Top 1k) 25,000
Diamond 4 to 1 85,000
Diamond 10 to 5 113,000
Platinum 99,000
Bronze/Silver/Gold 185,000

Class/Archetype Distribution

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Class Frequency

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Class Frequency Discussion

The patch may have only introduced one balance change to Standard with the nerf to Death Blossom Whomper, but this single change was extremely impactful, shifting the trajectory of the meta. The common theme is that decks that were hard countered by Chad Druid have immediately benefitted.

Relic DH seems to be one of them, rising in popularity after the patch, especially at higher levels of play where it is highly valued as a Control Priest counter. Outcast DH is another deck that’s relatively visible at high MMR. Big DH’s play rate is low throughout ladder. Spell DH never took off because of a Fel’dorei Warband bug that makes it unplayable on PC.

The immovable Death Knight class does not relent. Blood-Ctrl DK must be one of the most successfully designed archetypes in recent Hearthstone history. A deck that’s often very popular despite weak results. Frost and Unholy-Aggro DK see modest and similar play rates throughout ladder.

Hound Hunter is taking off, one of the triumvirate of decks that has risen in play in response to the fall of Chad Druid. Normally, Hound Hunter’s play rate noticeably declines at top legend, but this is no longer the case. Everyone seems to be recognizing it as one of the decks to beat.

Control Priest was on its way to potential meta dominance before the patch, but the nerf to Chad Druid has set Relic DH free and elevated Hound Hunter further, which seemed to have restrained Control Priest’s play rate to a peak of 10%.

Enrage Warrior is the third contender boosted by the fall of Chad Druid. It was already in a strong spot before the patch and has likely been encouraged further by Control Priest’s plateau and Hound Hunter/Relic DH running amok. Still, Enrage Warrior is not too popular outside of top legend.

Mage sees middling play. Spooky Mage continues to be the most popular deck. Secret Mage seems to have taken over from Burn Mage as the premier faster Mage archetype. A small pocket of Naga Mage can be observed at top legend, with several players swearing the deck is good now.

Rogue’s presence at legend looks solid. Both Miracle and Secret Rogue carving out a place. Interestingly, Secret Rogue has gained quite a bit of traction after the patch and is the more popular deck.

Paladin has declined throughout ladder. It seems that Hound Hunter has taken priority after the Chad Druid nerf, which Pure Paladin was an important counter for.

Shaman’s behavior is very similar to Paladin. Since it was also known as a Chad Druid counter, the patch has led to a decline in its visibility. Evolve Shaman specifically has drastically declined.

Warlock continues to establish a place in the format. It seems that every day, there’s a new build that tries rectifying the flaws of Curse or Chad Warlock, but we think this is a problem only solved with new cards.

Chad Druid has fallen off hard and seems to be on its way to disappear. Death Blossom Whomper was not a competitive card at 6 mana before it was buffed and may not be competitive now either.

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vS Meta Score

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vS Power Rankings Discussion

Demon Hunter

  • Relic DH looks strong, but as we’ve said earlier in the expansion, much of its success is down to the disproportionate play rate of its prey, especially Blood-Ctrl DK and Spooky Mage. On the other hand, its hardest counter is hugely underplayed in Enrage Warrior. There is a safe expectation that Relic’s performance should decline over time.
  • Outcast DH has looked consistently better, though it’s likely less attractive and accessible. The matchup spread continues to be very well-rounded. Unless you see a high number of Blood-Ctrl DK or Frost Aggro-DK, every matchup is close. Outcast DH does not fear Control Priest, Hound Hunter, or Enrage Warrior.
  • Big DH is quite effective despite its low play rate. Much like Relic DH, it’s very good against the grindy, defensive decks, but it also beats Relic DH.
  • Spell DH is not as strong as it was before the patch. Even if the bug ends up being fixed, it’s a good deck amongst several good decks.

Death Knight

  • It’s quite interesting to see Blood-Ctrl DK remaining a popular deck at top legend despite its poor standing there. We’re not surprised it’s popular throughout the rest of ladder, as its performance is decent enough to see a lot of play, but the hostile field at high MMR’s doesn’t leave much room for it to succeed.
  • Frost-Aggro DK tends to be better outside of legend. Unholy-Aggro DK is better at legend. Frost is more vulnerable to healing. Unholy is more vulnerable to removal.


  • Hound Hunter is the best deck up until Diamond 5, and a top 3 deck upwards. The Chad Druid nerf helped the deck a lot at legend, and it no longer significantly drops off in its performance at top legend. Its matchup spread is just very good, though not invincible. Enrage Warrior is its main counter.


  • If a report was published last week, it’d have shown Control Priest as the best deck at top legend. The Chad Druid nerf led to a dramatic change that has let loose several Control Priest counters that managed to curb its performance in a significant way, to the point it has fallen off all the way under a 50% win rate. Relic DH and Hound Hunter are the most responsible for this trend.
  • Undead Priest is solid. It has trouble against Hound Hunter and Outcast DH, but the rest of its matchup spread looks pretty good. It’s quite capable of handling Enrage Warrior, which may not seem intuitive.


  • It’s hard to argue against Enrage Warrior being the best deck in the game. The only thing that holds it back is the player base’s reluctance to play it, which is not a bad trait for a ‘best deck’ to have. Some decks become unbearably popular at a 50% win rate, but some can get away with much higher win rates without becoming overwhelming.
  • Enrage Warrior’s main counters used to be Control Priest and Chad Druid. The deletion of Chad Druid has led to the rise of Relic DH and Hound Hunter, both are good matchups for Enrage Warrior and both decks pound Control Priest. This was really the perfect patch for Warrior, setting it up for success in the last month of Festival of Legends.


  • Spooky Mage continues to look hilariously atrocious. This is a deck that players would likely play ad nauseum if it was strong. One interesting development about the deck is that it may have found a transformational card choice that could elevate it to Tier 3.
  • Secret Mage is another deck that looks a little better than what stats suggest. Its refined form is comfortably a Tier 2 performer, making it the best Mage deck and a legitimate competitor at all levels of play. Its success seems to deem Burn Mage a redundant alternative.
  • Those Naga Mage players aren’t crazy. Naga Mage is functional at high MMR. It’s likely not amazing, but its skill ceiling is crazy. It’s completely unplayable throughout most of ladder, but its win rate is close to 50% at top legend. It reminds us of a bit of Nomi Priest from Rise of Shadows. An ultimately flawed deck that the best players can make look far better than it has any right to be. We’ll see if its win rate continues to improve over time.


  • Rogue is the only class besides Priest that seems to give Enrage Warrior a hard time. Both Miracle and Secret Rogue look like solid decks at legend, with Secret Rogue making significant progress through refinement. The class is likely going to serve an important role for the next month as a curbing tool for Enrage if it spikes further in play. Secret Rogue’s ability to hit both Enrage Warrior and Control Priest is a rare trait.


  • Some decks liked having Chad Druid around. Pure Paladin served an important role at being able to counter both Control Priest and Chad Druid. For the same reason it was the perfect patch for Enrage Warrior, this was not an ideal patch for Pure Paladin. Still, the deck maintains a respectable win rate throughout ladder that many decks would be envious of. It should keep the class visible. Pure Paladin is a success story in design, but we do wonder if the class ever steps out of its simplicity and finds a more complex strategy in the future.


  • Much like in the case of Paladin, the nerf to Chad Druid was not ideal for Shaman, but the class is still firmly competitive if you choose to play it. Evolve Shaman seems to be handling the format worse than Totem Shaman due to its poor matchups against Relic DH and Hound Hunter. Totem Shaman goes 50-50 in these matchups, which is why it’s now the superior deck.

Warlock & Druid

  • Warlock is still quite bad, but Druid is completely done. Chad Druid has collapsed. The class is now left with no competitive alternative. It will have to reinvent itself at Ulduar.

Class Analysis & Decklists

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


Relic Demon Hunter sees no reason to change its build. Outside of the choice of 4-drops (Pozzik/Mel’Tranix/Okani), everything seems solidified. We’ve seen Prison of Yogg being tested in this archetype and it looks bad. Relic DH has a very consistent and successful late game, so Prison ends up being an expensive investment that doesn’t directly further its game plan.

The same can be said for Outcast & Big Demon Hunter. Any growth in Spell Demon Hunter’s popularity has been restrained by a bug to Fel’dorei Warband that makes it unplayable on PC.

Death Knight is another class that looks firmly solved. Blood-Ctrl DK hasn’t even seen much reason to experiment with Prison of Yogg, as its removal toolkit is already good enough. Unholy-Aggro DK has dropped Yodeler builds and is doing well with Magatha. Some Frost-Aggro DK builds have tried running Magatha, but the card doesn’t seem great there, so far.

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

The 30-card and 40-card versions of Hound Hunter look equally competitive. When looking over the data from the last few weeks, we can pinpoint the nerfs to Pozzik and Hope of Quel’thalas as big factors in reducing Hunter’s need to draw its best cards, helping Renathal builds catch up.

One ‘weakness’ in the Renathal build is its lower late game consistency, so a recent trend has been to add more threats. Dropping the early game focused Vicious Slitherspear to make way for Ara’lon is a move we’re liking, since we can run enough 1-drops without Slitherspear and the card is weaker when we draw Bananas less often.

Data Reaper Report - Priest

Control Priest is going though an interesting change. Initially emerging out of the need to respond to Spell DH, builds have started running more healing and card draw. Flash Heal, Fan Club (alongside Armor Vendor), Crimson Clergy, Holy Nova and Handmaiden have all increased in play, usually replacing much of the Thief/Generation package of Conjurer/Hipster/Mind Eater/Vizier.

Rather than a variant that’s more suitable for specific matchups, the product ended up just being a better deck. Initial builds of this variant don’t even run Astalor (which is a crime) yet still outperform generation builds. Control Priest might be a “fatigue” deck, but it still wants to draw its good cards rather than rely on random generation to stabilize, which is why Cathedral of Atonement is one of the best cards in the archetype.

What’s also interesting is that running more draw makes Dirty Rat less of a liability in the early-to-mid game. We’ve previously done an internal analysis, in which we’ve found that you generally don’t want to draw Rat before turn ~8, which is when Control Priest is more likely to have consistent removal pairings for Rat and is at a more comfortable stage of the game. Playing Rat earlier can have its moments, depending on the matchup, but it’s a low percentage play that carries greater risk.

Dirty Rat’s high mulligan keep rate is one of the worst mistakes Hearthstone players make. For the love of the Old Gods, stop doing that. In fact, you’d rather draw Prince Renathal at the early stage of the game than Dirty Rat. You want to spend mana on good standalone plays, and if you draw Rat early, causing you to have no good standalone play, you often get into trouble.

In lists that focus on generation, Dirty Rat is a more punishing draw, since you’re drawing fewer cards from your deck and have a lower quality hand. But in lists that run additional draw, you’re more likely to have other cards to spend mana on, making a dead Rat sitting in your hand less inconvenient.

It’s also just entirely possible to cut Rat and make room for other cards. Shadow Word: Ruin, for example, is much more helpful in the difficult Relic DH matchup. We do not like Flash Heal in the current meta since there aren’t a lot of Spell DH or Frost-Aggro DK, but the other parts of the healing package perform well. Audio Amplifier’s late game power could be underrated. It’s widely accepted to be a good card in Spooky Mage, but it could be just as good in Priest (if not better).

Data Reaper Report - Warrior

Enrage Warrior is the best deck in the game at Diamond 4 and above. The finishing package for the deck is flexible, but keep in mind that this report could increase the desire to counter Enrage Warrior with Control Priest. Crazed Wretch is normally superior to Grommash Hellscream, even after the nerf to Chad Druid, but Grom is one of the best cards against Control Priest. It is also good against Blood-Ctrl DK. If you don’t run into these decks at an obnoxious rate, run Wretch. If you hate losing to Priest, run Grom. Running two Wretches, or Grom/Wretch is also possible by cutting a Roaring Applause.

Data Reaper Report - Mage

Prison of Yogg is no meme card. Its perfect home is Spooky Mage, where it might be the best card in the deck (!!!), on par with Rommath. Spooky Mage’s lack of strong removal alongside its weak finishing potential could be why Prison fills a need. This deck still isn’t very good, but it might not be as terrible thanks to Yogg.

Secret Mage is the best performing Mage archetype and a deck that looks quite good when refined. Our insistence on Star Power being a strong card in Burn Mage has led players to wonder whether the card would be good in Spooky Secret Mage too. After receiving a lot of data on Star Power in Secret Mage, the answer is yes. The only change we’d make to the popular list is to run Prismatic Elemental over Suspicious Alchemist.

Naga Mage is showing competitive functionality at top legend, where it nears a 50% win rate. This deck appears to be extremely difficult to play, much more difficult than Miracle Rogue and reminds us of some of the most skill intensive decks in the game’s history. Be cautioned that if you’re not a top player, you will likely be throwing games left and right with it (you’ll probably still be throwing games as a top player). This is Einstein Mage.

Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Blademaster Okani looks stronger than Pozzik in Miracle Rogue. Secret Rogue has started running Prison of Yogg. Though it isn’t as strong as it is in Spooky Mage, the card fits into the deck relatively well. The late game juice and swing potential seems to cover some of Secret Rogue’s weaknesses. We do wonder if it ever makes sense to run Prison in Miracle Rogue too, over a copy of Fan of Knives, Gone Fishin’ or Door of Shadows.

Data Reaper Report - Paladin

There’s not much going on in Pure Paladin. Kotori seems to be better than Order in the Court in the current meta as it helps Paladin snowball early and the late game consistency of Order isn’t as valuable.

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

Prison of Yogg might be a good fit in Evolve Shaman! Though these are very different decks, we see some similarities between Secret Rogue and Evolve Shaman that might be the cause of their overlapping need for Prison. Both decks have weak comeback potential and both decks are prone to running out of gas in the late game. Evolve Shaman is already a very “random” deck, so Prison of Yogg fits its wacky game plan.

We’d like to see more data on the card in Evolve Shaman. It’s a bit tricky to fit in, but we opted to cut Blazing Transmutation completely from the deck. Cutting a single copy did no harm before, so perhaps it’s not needed. We’ll see if this build is too greedy, since Pack the House, Prison of Yogg and Horn of the Windlord compete for mana.

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

Out of all the TITANS coming in the next expansion, Sargeras could be considered the strongest standalone win condition. Perhaps, Warlock’s late game could finally match the other powerhouses in the format, but the class also needs more survivability. Keep an eye out for that.

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Druid has been left with nothing, following the fall of Chad Druid at the hands of a Death Blossom Whomper nerf. This is the second time in the expansion that Druid sees a cornerstone card nerfed, leading to its archetype disappearing. Hopefully, Druid manages to establish a strong ramping strategy in TITANS that doesn’t cause so much grievance to the point it’s nuked from orbit.

Eonar, over to you.

Enrage Warrior is the deck to beat. If you’re willing to play it, you’ll likely have a good time. Relic DH, Hound Hunter, and Enrage Warrior are the most prominent winners of the deletion of Chad Druid. However, Enrage comes out on top in the direct matchups against the other two, leading to its very strong performance. As long as Hunter and Demon Hunter remain popular, Control Priest should also be kept at bay.

We’re closing in on the end of Festival of Legends. An expansion that started with Warrior viewed as the biggest joke in the format, will end with the class sitting at the top of the meta.

How the turntables.

Enrage Warrior

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