Welcome to the 270th edition of the Data Reaper Report! This is the first report for TITANS and reflects the meta before the nerfs to Solid Alibi and Lab Constructor.
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Number of Games
|Top 1K Legend||57,000|
|Legend (Excluding Top 1k)||41,000|
|Diamond 4 to 1||225,000|
|Diamond 10 to 5||354,000|
Class Frequency Discussion
We decided to go through with this report, despite the balance changes, since there is still a lot of valuable information to be gained from the expansion’s first week of data. It’s been a hectic first week, full of surprises.
Rainbow Mage, or Spell School Mage, might be the most memorable deck from the first week of TITANS. Players have been quickly enamored by its playstyle and perceived strength, centered on a board-based finisher in Elemental Inspiration, as well as an off-board finisher fueled by Sif. It is the most popular deck throughout most of ladder and almost hit a 20% play rate at top legend before getting nerfed.
Mech Rogue has had an extremely successful launch of TITANS, becoming one of the most popular decks in the game. The deck ended up being fully committed to the tribe, aiming to develop threats every turn and magnetizing to snowball. Miracle Rogue running a Mimiron package is present in lower numbers, while Secret Rogue is barely visible.
Hunter has expectedly had a strong start. Hound Hunter quickly carved out its place in the new format, with the newcomer Secret Hunter adding to the class’ presence. Initially looking like an aggressive deck developing early game threats, Secret Hunter has begun to transition into the Arcane package, which has finally found its way into a meta deck.
Nature Shaman’s development is another interesting story to follow. The deck has been understandably difficult to figure out, with many different builds going through experimentation. The archetype progressively rises in popularity as you climb ladder, peaking at top legend with a 10% play rate. The general direction has been to fully commit to a Biolum OTK win condition, turning Nature Shaman into one of the fastest combo decks we’ve seen since United in Stormwind.
Death Knight has been mainly focused on its new Plague archetype, as well as the ever-present Blood-Ctrl DK. The class is finally looking “normal”, with a play rate that doesn’t seem inflated compared to other classes and gradually declines on the ladder climb. Both Frost and Unholy have faded away.
Control Priest has stuck around, attempting to survive a format with seemingly more powerful late game win conditions. Interest in Undead Priest is very low, as the archetype hasn’t received many new cards. Automaton Priest has quickly fallen off.
Warlock looks rejuvenated at the launch of the expansion, with Chad Warlock becoming a popular deck on the climb to legend. Curse Warlock is another archetype that has raised its head a bit, while Control Warlock centered on Loken is less noticeable. One thing to note about the class is a significant decline in its play rate at top legend. That usually signals some struggle at dealing with a more advanced meta environment.
Demon Hunter is all about Relics. Relic DH didn’t get a lot of new cards, so its play rate is relatively low throughout ladder. Outcast DH sees little play, running no new cards at all. Both Spell and Big DH have disappeared.
Warrior has had a disappointing launch of TITANS, with experimentation surrounding Odyn noticeable but fading. Blackrock & Roll died on arrival, while Enrage attracts very little interest.
Druid has failed to gain serious traction, with the class looking like a general mess. There are all sorts of experimentations occurring, with Drum Circle a common component. Druid decks running the hero power package and Ignis are labeled “Ignis Druid”. Drum Circle decks without an Ignis package are called “Drum Druid”. They usually either run Cultivation or Eonar/Freya as their late game win condition. More aggressive early game Treant builds are labeled “Aggro Druid”.
Paladin is one of the least popular classes in the format. Its two primary archetypes are Pure and Mech. Pure Paladin is split between Horn of the Windlord builds and Crusader Aura builds. Most of the Crusader Aura builds run a ‘Dude’ package, leveraging Silver Hand Recruits in some way. Earthen Paladin looked dead on arrival.
vS Meta Score
Reminder: The graphs in the report are screenshots. You can see all the data, hover over graphs for more information, and select additional bracket filters, in the original tableau files on the website. Clicking on the screenshots in the report, or navigating through the website toolbar, gets you there.
vS Power Rankings Discussion
As always, we remind you not to take win rates at face value in the first week of the expansion. There’s a reason we accompany numbers with detailed write ups to put them into context. There are many decks that can drastically improve through refinement. Some decks may have peaked in their performance. Some decks are complete garbage and should disappear, which also influences the meta. We will try to evaluate where each deck may stand in a settled, optimized format. There has also been a balance patch, so we’ll try to guess the impact of the nerfs to Solid Alibi and Lab Constructor.
- Rainbow Mage has been a resounding success story, looking like a powerful deck on ladder, though not the best one. Its matchup spread is very well rounded, and it doesn’t seem to have hard counters, though some decks do have a clear advantage against it. The Blood-Ctrl DK matchup is expected to improve for the Mage thanks to a specific card choice.
- The Solid Alibi nerf isn’t expected to drastically change most of Mage’s matchups, since Solid Alibi isn’t too important in most, but there are a couple to look out for. It’s a key card against Nature Shaman and has been a big contributor to Mage’s advantage there. We expect Mage to lose significant percentages against Shaman if it opts to cut Solid Alibi. Another one is Drum Druid. This deck might become quite relevant, contrary to how it currently looks statistically. We’ll talk about that a bit later.
- Overall, we expect Rainbow Mage to be a decent performer even after the nerf, but we don’t think it will be a balancing concern. The nerf to Solid Alibi addressed both a play experience issue and opened more opportunities to attack the Mage and prevent the execution of its Sif OTK. Addressing the combination of Alibi and Sif was a sensible move.
- Mech Rogue has been a powerful deck throughout ladder, though it did benefit to some extent from an unrefined format that let its early game snowball a bit too easily. It wasn’t likely to become a serious power outlier or a balancing concern, but the nerf to Lab Constructor should ensure that never happens. You might be surprised to hear that Lab Constructor isn’t one of Mech Rogue’s best performing cards. The nerf seems intended to reduce the frustration the card creates. It is the deck’s main source of threats if the game drags out, so we do wonder how Mech Rogue adapts to the nerf and whether it remains popular at a reduced power level.
- Miracle Rogue doesn’t look great, even at higher levels of play. The deck has incorporated a Mimiron’s package, but it’s the other elements of the deck that seem to be falling behind. We’d like to wait a bit for Miracle Rogue. Usually, it takes some time before it reaches peak performance. But, its matchup spread against the best decks is a cause for concern.
- Secret Rogue shows good potential. A more refined form has appeared at top legend and seems to produce strong results. The archetype is less refined at other parts of ladder, so it doesn’t look as good.
- Hound Hunter should become the undisputed #1 deck in the format over the next few days, especially when some of its strongest competition has been nerfed. Mech Rogue is one of Hound Hunter’s strongest counters, so it’s hard to see this deck not growing even stronger after the patch. The format will be hoping to catch up through refinement, and we do see the potential of new counters emerging, but Hunter has its own room for optimization.
- Secret Hunter is a real and serious meta contender. Its transition to an Arcane build is driving its success. We don’t believe it can topple Hound Hunter from the #1 spot, as this is the one matchup Secret Hunter struggles with, but the rest of its matchup spread looks very good. If you’ve been trying to make the Arcane package work for the last 8 months, your time has finally come.
- Nature Shaman’s first day of the expansion ended up placing it at Tier 4. Since then, there has been rapid improvement in its performance as players have continued to hone it to become the most efficient combo deck it can be. This process is far from over, so the deck is on a clear upward trajectory in its performance, threatening to become a Tier 1 at top legend. Nature Shaman is already showing signs of being the most difficult deck to pilot in the format. Add the Solid Alibi nerf into the equation and it’s hard to see it not becoming one of the most influential strategies at higher levels of play. Hound Hunter becomes its main obstacle and may curb Shaman’s rise should it blow up in its play rate.
- We do wonder how good Nature Shaman can be across all of ladder. Its baseline power could be high enough to deliver respectable numbers post-refinement, but we suspect it may resemble Miracle Rogue in its play rate and win rate behavior in previous expansions.
- Totem Shaman is okay. It’s not exciting, so it’s not going to see much play. Since there’s little room for it to improve, it may suffer a decline in its performance over time.
- The prospects of Plague Death Knight don’t look very good. The deck has enjoyed success at Bronze-Gold ranks early on, but once it steps into Platinum, it already sinks into Tier 3. This is a very bad sign that suggests it gets completely outclassed in a refined format, facing the best decks. We don’t see a significant path for it to improve, so it may not survive.
- Blood-Ctrl DK holds up better, but late game lethality is becoming a problem for it too. It loses to every deck that has a good late game, except for Mage. The rise of Nature Shaman and Hound Hunter could only make things worse.
- Frost and Unholy have been pushed out. A combination of failure to incorporate new cards and a format growing in power has made them obsolete. Death Knight seems to be paying the price for its narrow TITANS set and may devolve into a fringe player in the format.
- Late game lethality is not what Control Priest wants to see. The combination of Rainbow Mage, Nature Shaman and Hound Hunter is simply back breaking. Nature Shaman is the worst matchup of the three, as its combo is nearly impossible to disrupt. Mech Rogue is the one matchup Control Priest handles well, so the Lab Constructor nerf doesn’t help its cause at all. The Solid Alibi nerf does not either, as Priest is very ineffective at pressuring the Mage. Mage can also improve this matchup further. Things do not look good for Control Priest. We don’t think even the staunchest advocates of the archetypes can make a good case for it.
- Undead Priest looks weak, but most of its builds don’t run Aman’Thul, which is the best card in the deck. The deck is therefore better than it looks, but we don’t think a lot of players will care about this. It’s an old deck that doesn’t have an exciting new build.
- Automaton Priest sadly doesn’t work. Sad Beep Boop noises.
- Chad Warlock looks top tier below Diamond 5 but looks increasingly questionable at higher levels of play. This is not a good sign, as it indicates that the archetype is struggling to handle the best decks in an optimized format. The Hound Hunter matchup is surprisingly good, but Mage and Shaman are a nightmare. Warlock cannot handle over the top burst, especially not OTK’s. The Mech Rogue nerf should help, as this matchup was oppressively poor. Chad Warlock may also be able to improve its standing if Hound Hunter manages to give it a hand by curbing its biggest enemies. In a meta dictated by Mage and Shaman, it cannot thrive. Therefore, our general expectation is that Chad will get stronger after the patch by piggybacking on Hunter’s success.
- Curse Warlock may not look as strong at lower ranks, but it seems to translate better into higher levels of play. The matchup against Mage is better, as it has its own clock and isn’t weak to Reverberation. The matchup against Control Priest is drastically better thanks to its late game inevitability. But, Curse Warlock does much worse against Hound Hunter compared to Chad. Nature Shaman remains an equally frustrating matchup. If you were playing at Diamond 4 or above, you’d have likely done better with Curse over Chad.
- A Loken Control Warlock is also going through refinement, but we don’t have a confident assessment of its power. It’s likely inferior to both archetypes and may not be able to survive.
- Our estimate is that Imp Warlock is not very good and there’s a good reason why it sees almost no play above Gold. It’s not doing well currently.
- Relic DH is quietly doing fine, despite the fact players are doing their best sabotaging it with terrible packages of cards. It also has the flexibility to adapt if the meta changes, as it can theoretically fit a lot of disruption tools to combat Mage and Shaman at the cost of its other matchups. There’s no reason to go crazy just yet, as Hound Hunter is just as big of a threat, if not more.
- Based on its small sample size, Outcast DH seems strong. It’s one of the only decks we can identify that seems to perform well against both Hunter decks. The fact it has no new cards leads to its low visibility, but if you’re sick of Hunters, this is an option. We estimate a performance level for Outcast DH that’s around Tier 2.
- Control Warrior looks unplayable, a big disappointment for Odyn fans, but there’s ‘some room’ for optimism. There’s a path for Odyn to become a successful win condition in the future and it’s something that can be seen in the data. Warrior’s major flaw that prevents it from competing in the current format has little to do with Odyn. More on this in the Warrior section.
- Enrage Warrior doesn’t see much play but might be okay. Other Warrior decks look hopeless.
- Forget about the stats this week on Druid. They are not an indication of Druid’s peak potential whatsoever. The situation of the class is simple. There’s a big pile of garbage. A massive pile of terrible decks that do not work. The hero power stuff isn’t working. Aggro Druid has fallen very quickly, while the Eonar/Freya combo looks too slow to matter.
- There is one gem of a deck inside all the garbage, a very curated Drum Druid centered on Topior and a consistently active Drum Circle. This deck seems capable of competing at a high level. Its worst matchup, by far, is Mech Rogue (20-80). A decline in Mech Rogue is very likely to boost its performance after the patch. The Solid Alibi nerf may establish Drum Druid as a serious counter to Mage, on top of looking like a serious answer to Hound Hunter. If Mech Rogue completely collapses and disappears, Drum Druid could even become a Tier 1 contender. Watch out for this deck. Malfurion is far from done. It may just have been a matter of combining the right ingredients to cook the perfect stew.
- Pure Paladin is a solid deck. The Dude variant looks promising and has shown the potential to give serious problems to the Hunter class. An optimized Pure Paladin is likely significantly favored against both Hound and Secret Hunter, while not doing badly against Shaman either. The Mage matchup seems to be the one that’s scaring Paladin players away, but a reduction in Rainbow’s power could open an opportunity for the class to become more prevalent.
- Mech Paladin doesn’t seem good enough to hang around. Mediocrity is usually a death sentence for an aggressive deck and potential improvement through refinement is low.
Class Analysis & Decklists
Rainbow Mage was one of the three meta defining strategies in the first week of TITANS. Its best build could change due to the nerf to Solid Alibi, but the solution seems rather obvious after evaluating its card choices.
Throughout a significant portion of ladder, Solid Alibi wasn’t a great card. It’s extremely powerful against Nature Shaman and Drum Druid but wasn’t all that amazing against other strategies. If the card stayed at 2 mana, we would have told you it’s core at top legend but surprisingly cuttable elsewhere, with Star Power proving to be superior in many other matchups. At 3 mana, Mage might be better off cutting Solid Alibi, but we’ll only have a concrete conclusion on it next week. In a heavy Shaman environment, it could still be good enough.
One of the sleeper cards in the deck is Lady Naz’jar. Her Arcane mana discount ability is a game changer in multiple matchups, including Control Priest, Blood-Ctrl DK, Nature Shaman, and the Mage mirror. She increases the Mage’s burst potential through the Sif combo, extending the reach to levels that are difficult to dodge even for a Death Knight that played both copies of Vampiric Blood. But she can also accelerate the combo, allowing you to execute it earlier, making her just as powerful in an OTK race, hence her strong performance against Shaman and other Mages. Her flexibility makes her good in other matchups too, such as Hunter, thanks to the Frost and Fire abilities.
Another card that’s very important is Elemental Inspiration. It’s been a common occurrence to see lists running one, or even no copies of the card. It looks like a mistake, as it offers a win condition in many matchups. The pressure it can apply is valuable in slow matchups, while it can simply end games against faster decks. It makes Rainbow Mage less reliant on Sif to close out the game. Very strong with Cosmic Keyboard too. Respect this card.
One card that hasn’t proven to be very important is Norgannon. The TITAN is an active liability in the Mage mirror due to Reverberation. We can tell the cause is Reverberation as it’s equally horrible against Warlocks. Its performance in other matchups doesn’t seem to offset that issue. Its best matchup is Druid because of its high health. If the popularity of Mage declines, we’re open to run it.
Volume Up is fine as a single copy. You rarely can play both copies during a single game. The second copy is usually dead, as Mage’s hand tends to fill up very quickly.
Refining Mech Rogue after the nerf to Lab Constructor could be tricky. Contrary to many people’s expectations, Constructor hasn’t proven to be one of the deck’s best cards. A 5-mana Lab Constructor might not even be good enough to be included, though we’ve kept it until we can evaluate its new cost.
Cards that don’t impress us in Mech Rogue’s most popular build (from NoHandsGamer) are Zilliax and Bronze Gatekeeper. V-07-TR0N Prime is another card you can absolutely do without. The only reason it’s still included in the deck is that we didn’t find a better card to replace it. After cutting Zilliax and Gatekeeper, it’s the worst card in the deck.
A 6-mana legendary we do like in Mech Rogue is Crabatoa, which is an exceptionally strong performer that should be considered core. Mistake is an additional 1-drop that can help you develop early targets for magnetization. This deck is generally thirsty for 1-drops.
Secret Rogue has been given some encouragement thanks to Bunnyhoppor, popularizing the featured build. We like Ignis’ potential as a win condition in the deck, but the absence of activators beyond Watcher of the Sun seems to restrict Ignis’ consistency. Other forge cards don’t fit the deck very well, so it might be the best it can do.
Miracle Rogue does not look too good so far. The Mimiron package is proving to be a good fit, but the other win conditions seem to be getting outclassed. Sinstone Graveyard just isn’t a great card in the increasingly powerful format.
- Rogue Class Radar
- Mech Rogue
- Secret Rogue
- Miracle Rogue
Hound Hunter is the deck to beat, especially now that both Mage and Rogue received nerfs. The list we’ve featured in our theorycrafting article performs extremely well, but there are some adjustments the Hunter can make to optimize its performance in the emerging format.
One of those is dropping Always a Bigger Jormungar for Awakening Tremors. The ABJ combo can be strong, but Hunter doesn’t find a lot of opportunities to use it in some matchups. Most decks just don’t put a lot of small minions in front of the Hunter. Tremors is a much better pressure card in the early game, which is what Hunter wants to do against Mage, Shaman, and Druid.
The other adjustment is disruption. Speaker Stomper and Blademaster Okani replace Thornmantle Musician and Barrel of Monkeys. Barrel of Monkeys looks like a very weak card at this point, as it doesn’t provide enough pressure against slower opponents. Awakening Tremors is much more threatening. Musician is okay, but weaker without Monkeys.
Stomper is good against Mage, Druid and Shaman. Okani is particularly strong against Shaman. The Hunter needs to be able to slow down these decks to get to its own power spikes. Drum Circle is a big problem for Hunter, while Nature Shaman is refining to the point its execution of the OTK could occur very early in the game.
Secret Hunter is the other, very promising archetype for the class. While initial builds of the archetype took an aggressive direction, the strongest variant contains the Arcane package.
The adjustment we’ve made to the popular build from Jimmypepz is to drop Twinbow Terrorcoil for Hydralodon and a 2nd Star Power. Terrorcoil looks very clunky. Not running Hydralodon seems like a massive oversight. There’s little chance this isn’t one of the deck’s best cards, making Secret Hunter’s current performance even more impressive. Star Power could become more important in combination with Urchin Spines to deal with Drum Circle. We’re open to running two Urchin Spines if Druid really blows up, but that requires cutting a Ricochet or Arcane Shot (Arcane Shot is the best 1-mana spell, generally).
Nature Shaman is going through a productive refinement phase, in which it is perfecting its craft as a pure combo deck solely focused on a Bioluminescence OTK. It may come out of this phase as one of the most dangerous decks in the game. The nerf to Solid Alibi is a big boost to its late game prospects, as it was a major tool that tilted the matchup in the Mage’s favor.
It may be that no player has come up with the perfect Nature Shaman build yet, as our analysis has produced a novel build. Our write up is focused on the steps in reaching the novel build, but a more ‘standard’ build is also featured. It was much more straight-forward to figure out. We’d like to see more data on the novel build, so we can best compare them. Even if the novel build does not pan out, the standard build looks very good.
The novel build starts with Totemic Evidence, which may be the strongest enabler of Bioluminescence on paper. Together with Carving Chisel (a card that’s already good enough to include in the standard build), it makes the execution of an OTK easier and faster. Totemic Evidence is perceived to compete with Schooling as the Bio enabler, but there’s no reason to cut Schooling, since it’s an efficient card that’s strong in the early game but still carries late game utility. Azsharan Scroll is a common card in Totemic Evidence variants, but it looks bad.
The deck benefits from cutting Overload cards and synergies. Thorim isn’t great. Novice Zapper is a bit redundant. Having a smaller Overload package makes Golganneth much more consistent. We only run Lightning Bolt, Ancestral Knowledge, and Feral Spirit as Overload cards. Bolt and Spirit are relevant OTK pieces. Storm can replace Feral Spirit, but in the current meta, Feral Spirit is superior. We can see Storm becoming better if Druid blows up and we need ways to deal with Drum Circle.
Another card that could make the combo more consistent is Scalding Geyser. Shaman may just want more spells that can go face so that it’s not stuck with a Bio combo and no direct damage spells in hand. It also increases Shaman’s reach in slower matchups.
The final minion package is what’s most interesting. School Teacher and Flowrider are reasonable minions that offer some proactivity. Radiance of Azshara is a nice combo piece, but none of these minions can be considered core inclusions.
Considering how good the Totem package is, we’re very curious about the possibility of running Prescience with Inzah and Thing from Below, which was also suggested by WiRer this week. We landed on the same direction. Early indications are that Prescience is very promising. The main goal of this package is to draw Golganneth more consistently. The Titan is the best card in the deck, by far. It’s so strong that keeping it in the mulligan is correct when we don’t run Prescience, so the ability to soft tutor it could be quite powerful.
The mulligan is quite simple. You should be aggressively looking for Carving Chisel and Prescience. Schooling might also be a strong keep. Totemic Evidence is a secondary mull target. For the Standard build, you should be looking for Chisel, Schooling, Golganneth and Inzah.
The cards we’re least certain about in the novel list are Geyser and Inzah. Inzah, specifically, is not a great card when so much of the Overload package is cut. There might be a better 4th minion to add to the Prescience package, but this has not been explored yet.
Totem Shaman hasn’t embraced Horn and runs the same pre-expansion build.
- Shaman Class Radar
- Nature Shaman
- Totem Shaman
Control Priest is having problems dealing with so much late game lethality.
One card the archetype has been experimenting with is Ignis, but we’re seeing a similar problem with the card that we’ve seen in Secret Rogue. Creation Protocol alone does not activate Ignis consistently enough, making it a dead draw in a large percentage of games. This is especially true when we’re talking about a Renathal deck. Because we like the potential proactivity coming from Ignis, we suggest running Watcher of the Sun as an additional Forge minion. The minion already sees some play in Priest and looks very solid, offering more healing and a potential turn 2 set up for Cathedral of Atonement when needed.
Another card that continues to be underestimated is Audio Amplifier. We think the OTK decks are making players think that Amplifier is too slow to matter. The logic makes sense, but Amplifier’s factual performance is contradictory. It just looks very strong.
You’ll hear no Dirty Rat complaints from us in this format. It’s much better now compared to Festival of Legends. Crucial in the Mage matchup.
Two notable exclusions from the list. Identity Theft is slow and isn’t great against a lot of decks in the format, especially the high lethality ones. Many decks are synergy based, so their individual cards aren’t too valuable by themselves. What we’re surprised about is that players have been willing to cut it. It’s decent against Hunter and some of the decks that aren’t too popular, so we’ll see if things change after the patch.
If not for the nerf to Lab Constructor, Shadow Word: Ruin would be included in the deck. It’s a very powerful card against Mech Rogue, but it’s useless against Mage and Shaman. It also doesn’t provide an answer to Drum Circle if the Druid is smart enough to avoid casting Cultivation on the same turn. Skipped for now.
Undead Priest is okay but doesn’t attract much interest. The featured build came from our theorycrafting article and looks good. Aman’Thul is a disgusting card in both Control and Undead Priest. The best card in both, despite being the most expensive card in this aggressive deck.
Plague Death Knight is having a difficult time dealing with a quickly refining format. We’ve looked for ways to improve our build from the theorycrafting article and ran into Ignis.
Once again, the problem is that players are only running two copies of a Forge card to activate Ignis. This time it’s Watcher of the Sun. When looking for another Forge card that could work, we found Mechagnome Guide. Discover cards are very strong in Death Knight, so it’s the class most likely to make the 4-drop work. Another card we’ve added is Prison of Yogg-Saron, to give the deck more late game comeback mechanics, which could become more important against Druid.
To make way, we’ve dropped six of the weakest cards in the deck. Bone Breaker, Hardcore Cultist and Plague Strike.
Blood-Ctrl Death Knight doesn’t seem to warrant major adjustments from our theorycrafted build. Fitting in an Ignis package is more difficult and doesn’t seem to provide a significant advantage currently. We’ll keep an eye out, but it requires the same 5-card package as seen in Plague DK. A couple of Watchers aren’t going to cut it.
- Death Knight Class Radar
- Blood-Ctrl Death Knight
- Plague Death Knight
Warlock gets progressively worse as you climb ladder and face the high lethality combo decks, but we do see potential for it to rise in prominence with balance changes. The class looks real, with several fleshed-out strategies that function quite well. All the late game strategies we’ve published in the theorycrafting article have birthed a deck worth discussing.
Chad Warlock should drop the Kraken/Chaotic Consumption experiment for Reverberation and Tour Guide. The rest of the build looks clean.
Curse Warlock similarly adds Reverberation. Dar’Khan and Finley aren’t that strong in this deck, so they can be possibly cut to make way. Curse Warlock suffers from poor Shaman/Mage matchups, much like Chad, but does much better against Control Priest.
Loken Control Warlock can be less all-in and run more minions that work well with Loken. Tour Guide and Armor Vendor can also be added. Two bad rolls maximum, which means Loken always has an option with high stats. The Jailer makes Fanottem a better draw in the late game and offers another fodder card for Wing Welding. Welding isn’t too strong currently but should become a very important card should Druid rise in play.
Not enough data for Imp Warlock. It sees very little play past Gold.
- Warlock Class Radar
- Chad Warlock
- Curse Warlock
- Control Warlock
Relic Demon Hunter refinement is more about cleaning up bad ideas rather than finding the perfect cards. An Ignis package looks horrendous. Runic Adornment looks bad. Jotun is okay, but players are hilariously keeping it in the mulligan. Don’t do that.
There is great temptation to run a disruption package. Okani, Mel’Tranix and Stomper certainly have merit in some matchups. There are about seven cards in the deck that can be theoretically cut to make way for them, each of them having their own reasons to be included or omitted.
We don’t want to write another book here, so to keep things simple and save Feno time, the disruption package currently isn’t great. Hunter has more space to work with, but Demon Hunter is very curated. The disruption package in Demon Hunter doesn’t provide any advantage unless you play in an inbred, narrow meta of Mages and Shamans. If you do, then you can go nuts and curse your luck for queuing into Hunters, because that package doesn’t work very well against them. There’s a chance things will change next week, and we’ll let you know.
Outcast DH runs no new cards and looks fine doing it.
- Demon Hunter Class Radar
- Relic Demon Hunter
- Outcast Demon Hunter
Druid may have started poorly, but the class has great potential to be competitive in the format. The nerf to Mech Rogue is massive, as this is the one matchup it cannot handle. Solid Alibi is the only effective stalling tool Mage has against Drum Circle. We expect this matchup to become more Druid favored.
Of course, refinement of Drum Druid is key for it to show that potential in aggregated stats. The process is far from over, but a strong decklist already exists that is centered on Treant synergy. The key is running only two Choose One cards: Drum Circle and Lifebinder’s Gift. Gift helps Topior become a stronger card, but Drum Circle is your primary win condition in every matchup. Finding it more often with Embrace of Nature leads to better results. We can see a world where we even cut Gift, but that could hurt Topior’s performance.
This build is very well positioned if Mech Rogue falls off. It beats Rainbow Mage, Hound Hunter, and Relic Demon Hunter. It’s comfortable against Warlock. It destroys Death Knights. Control Priest and Nature Shaman are the main unfavorable matchups (40-45%).
Warrior has been a big disappointment, though under the surface, we see hope for Odyn Control Warrior in the future. This deck’s problem isn’t its win condition. It matches up well against Mage, Shaman, and Demon Hunter. Those are the three classes that possess the strongest late game win conditions. Warrior kills two of them with shocking ease (Mage, DH) while presenting a close matchup with Shaman. This is when Odyn Warrior is optimized, of course. You’re not going to see that in aggregated stats currently.
The problem is Warrior’s survivability. Specifically, it relies on damage-based removal to survive. Bellowing Flames and Trial by Fire are great cards, but they can’t deal with insanely big boards. Bladestorm and Brawl help. They make the Mech Rogue matchup very winnable, even before the Constructor nerf, but other classes are too much to handle. Hunter, specifically, is the biggest roadblock to Control Warrior’s viability.
The featured build sits in the upper Tier 4 range. nowhere near as bad as aggregated stats imply, but we’re probably some balance changes and a mini-set away from this deck becoming a real threat.
Enrage Warrior? The deck is fine, but it’s understandable that with just one new card, it’s not going to be very popular.
Paladin has been quiet, but Pure Paladin running a Dude package has a lot of potential. The featured build looks very strong, running zero TITANS cards, which is probably why it won’t see much play. Warhorse Trainer looks very promising, as does Jury Duty.
Of course, you can still run the old Doomhammer build. It does perfectly fine, but we think running dudes could be superior because of the Hunter matchups.
Mech Paladin has been completely outclassed by Mech Rogue, just as everyone has accurately predicted! We tweaked the theorycrafting article build to run Mistakes, for additional early flooding. Magatha isn’t great in this deck, as it turns out.
- Paladin Class Radar
- Pure Paladin
- Mech Paladin
Hound Hunter will undoubtedly become the deck to beat this week. We recommend it if you’re asking for a safe and easy climb on ladder.
However, there are other exciting developments that could completely flip the meta upside its head next week. Mostly, we’re looking at Nature Shaman’s refinement and Drum Druid’s emergence. Nature Shaman might become one of the most skill intensive and influential decks we’ve seen at higher levels of play, while Drum Druid could completely change the landscape of the format if it’s able to take advantage of a Mech Rogue decline.
Nature Shaman may run into a serious problem facing Hound Hunter running the disruption build. This is something that could stop Shaman’s rise in performance. However, Drum Druid seems very comfortable facing Hound Hunter. In a format that doesn’t contain a lot of Mech Rogues, it’s a Tier 1 contender.
The start of TITANS was hot, but things may get even more interesting next week.
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