Welcome to the 278th edition of the Data Reaper Report! This is the final report for TITANS.
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Number of Games
|Top 1K Legend||25,000|
|Legend (Excluding Top 1k)||159,000|
|Diamond 4 to 1||135,000|
|Diamond 10 to 5||127,000|
Class Frequency Discussion
Following the destruction of Ramp Druid, the new pet deck for top legend players has been Rainbow Mage. While Mage has seen increased play across ladder, its play rate doesn’t look anything special outside of the highest MMR bracket, where it’s close to hitting an absurd 25% of the field. A play rate such as this suggests one of two things; either Rainbow Mage is the new broken deck in the format, or that players really, really love playing it.
Warrior’s struggles against Ramp Druid were well established before the patch, so it’s no surprise that the deletion of the meta tyrant has led to increased interest in the class. What’s quite interesting is that while Control Warrior’s presence is steady throughout ladder, the play rate of Enrage Warrior spikes hard at top legend, eclipsing Control Warrior and making it the second most popular deck after Rainbow Mage. Its play rate is rapidly increasing too, on pace to hit an unprecedented 20% of the field for the archetype. If Enrage Warrior is this popular, it can only mean one thing; it must be completely broken.
The nerfs to Yogg-Saron and Prison Breaker have done a number on Miracle and Secret Rogue too, leaving Mech Rogue as the main representative of its class. Mech Rogue has gained some traction at top legend thanks to a new Scourge Illusionist build with Thunderbringer at its core.
Diamond ranks is where meta diversity is at its peak. This is also where Pure Paladin seems to peak in popularity. Though it’s been mostly known as a Ramp Druid counter, the buff variant of Pure Paladin has not slowed down after the balance changes. The deck is still prominent and notable at top legend, perhaps boosted by the fall of Secret Rogue. We notice a little bit of Earthen Paladin too.
There’s a small uptick in Undead Priest, since the deck suffered in the Ramp Druid matchup. Control Priest’s play rate hasn’t changed. A rise in the archetype is likely discouraged by the high presence of Mage.
Players continue to enjoy their Plague Death Knight, regardless of how good it may be. This is also true for Blood-Ctrl Death Knight. There haven’t been any notable developments in the class over the past week.
The fall of Druid has awakened Warlock. We see more interest in Control Warlock across ladder, with Chad Warlock deputizing.
Hunter’s play rate has fallen quite hard, but Arcane Hunter might be the only deck that did not collapse after the balance changes and that was heavily leveraging both Yogg and Prison Breaker. Instead, the archetype is transitioning back to the old Secret build. Hound Hunter sees a little bit of play, with some Thunderbringer experimentations observed.
Demon Hunter no longer looks like a dead class. Relic DH seems up for a minor comeback, after its Ramp Druid oppressor has disappeared.
Druid has suffered the most this week, getting hit with multiple nerfs in all directions, leaving the class in ruin. It has fallen off, fractured and in disarray.
Shaman continues to look disinterested. Totem Shaman is around, while Nature Shaman can slightly be noticed at top legend, thanks to its recent tournament appearances.
vS Meta Score
vS Power Rankings Discussion
- Rainbow Mage isn’t some broken deck. It’s a good deck, with a decent matchup spread, but it isn’t overbearing at any point on ladder. Its popularity is clearly a function of its playstyle rather than its dominance. It’s also got some strong counters, with Enrage Warrior posing the biggest problem, but also the returning Relic DH. Its most important meta role might be keeping Control Priest in check.
- Enrage Warrior is some broken deck. The deck’s matchup spread is quite insane after the fall of Ramp Druid and Secret Rogue, the dominant duo that represented two strong counters to Warrior before the patch. Today, Control Priest looks like the only hard counter. Mech Rogue might also hold a slightly bigger advantage once its new iteration fully takes over, but that’s about it. Enrage is very strong against most decks on ladder, looking particularly dominant at top legend. Players outside of top legend are still mostly blind to it, so it may not have as much of an impact there.
- Control Warrior is also doing quite well. It’s not particularly dominant and certainly has some strong answers, but it’s breathing easier after the fall of Ramp Druid and Secret Rogue. Its matchups against Rainbow Mage and Enrage Warrior are around 50-50.
- Mech Rogue looks very powerful, with its performance improving over time, as its Thunderbringer build takes over. It is clearly the second-best deck at top legend after Enrage Warrior and may challenge the top spot if its performance in the direct matchup against Enrage continues to improve. We expect the deck to spike in its performance outside of legend even harder, as more players become aware of its new build. This should establish it as a top 3 performer across ladder.
- YoggBreaker iterations of Secret and Miracle Rogue are dead. It’s possible that old, pre-miniset iterations of Miracle Rogue are competitive, but it’s very hard for us to say. Secret Rogue is less likely to reappear, out of the two.
- Pure Paladin looks like the best ladder climber to legend but does have an issue at top legend dealing with Enrage Warrior. Its Rainbow Mage matchup isn’t great either, so it’s not an exceptional performer at higher levels of play.
- Earthen Paladin looks surprisingly competitive at Diamond ranks and below. It does seem to struggle against a more ruthless field at legend, but the archetype has never been stronger. We believe the Earthen package is very close to being truly relevant. It’s a question of whether it finds strong support in the next expansion’s set.
- Control Priest might be one Mage nerf away from becoming a scary proposition at higher MMR’s. As win conditions get nerfed throughout an expansion, the archetype tends to perform better after multiple balance patches. Thankfully, a dominant Control Priest becomes less likely if the new expansion introduces new forms of inevitability, repeating the cycle. Control Priest is currently the strongest counter to Enrage Warrior and handles most decks in the meta well. The oppressive Rainbow Mage matchup keeps its head down. Otherwise, you’d have to rely on Relic DH and Arcane Hunter to keep it in check.
- Undead Priest is doing better after the patch. It’s not a huge fan of Warrior decks, but they’re much more tolerable compared to Ramp Druid.
- Death Knight sucks. It sucks a little bit less, but it’s still not a good class. Plague and Blood-Ctrl are mediocre on their best day, unplayable on their worst. Enrage Warrior eats Death Knight for breakfast.
- Warlock is doing better. Control Warlock looks better across ladder, though still worsens as you climb ladder and face better players. Chad Warlock is exploiting the popularity of Control Warrior. Both decks are very happy to see Ramp Druid gone.
- Arcane Hunter has taken a hit in its performance across ladder, but won’t go away. The archetype has been nerfed multiple times throughout the expansion and managed to stay strong and competitive. It remains one of the best decks for the climb to legend, though it is currently struggling facing Warriors at top legend.
- Relic Demon Hunter is back. The fall of Ramp Druid and Secret Rogue has given a lot of breathing room for slower strategies. Relic DH is known to perform well against slower strategies thanks to its scaling late game. Relic is a strong counter to Rainbow Mage, Control Warrior, and Control Priest. The oppressive matchup is Enrage Warrior, to the surprise of no one.
- Ramp Druid is done. Finito. The deck has been destroyed. Players have been trying to reinvent the archetype, which has caused its win rate to tank even harder. A refined Ramp Druid is a 40%-43% win rate deck, so still dead. Moonbeam Druid is also gone.
- Aggro and Drum Druid are playable, but not great. Judging from the past, not many of you will care about this. Players like their Druid decks to have stronger late games. Druid’s late game is back to (nerfed) Embrace of Nature tutoring Drum Circle. You don’t find this to be compelling gameplay.
- Shaman is still mostly asleep. Totem Shaman exists, supposedly. Nature Shaman might be a Tier 3 deck at higher levels of play, based on its low sample. Nerf Shaman.
Class Analysis & Decklists
Yogg-Saron is no longer good enough to be played in Rainbow Mage. This is the main adjustment required from the deck after the balance patch, with Norgannon and Naz’jar going in. Norgannon’s weakness in the mirror is long established, but the card is very good against Warrior (Control doesn’t run Shield Slam these days and Enrage has no clean answer for it either).
Mage’s design this expansion has been a resounding success, leading to the emergence of a deck that remained popular even when it wasn’t strong, due to its attractive playstyle. Hearthstone needs more decks like Rainbow Mage.
Enrage Warrior looks like the best deck in the aftermath of the Ramp Druid deletion. There is no need to change its build. Some players drop an Acolyte of Pain for Instrument Tech, but the 2-mana weapon tutor isn’t really a card you’re eager to keep in the mulligan to draw Imbued Axe, so we can’t consider it an upgrade.
Yogg is still a fine card to play in Control Warrior. It seems to perform better than Prison of Yogg, which has been a popular replacement. Experimentation with General Vezax can also be found. We’re leaning towards keeping Yogg, as its current iteration seems to be good for defensive decks in general.
Mech Rogue has reinvented itself with a new Scourged Illusionist build centered on Thunderbringer, adding Neptulon the Tidehunter as an Elemental to cheat out through Thunderbringer’s deathrattle. The deck has multiple beasts that can be pulled. The most desired outcome is Crabatoa, but this part is less important.
In this new build, Scourge Illusionist is no longer a filler card. It’s the best card in the deck, as well as a highly prioritized mulligan target. You never want to naturally draw Thunderbringer or Neptulon, but you do have the option to shuffle them back into your deck with Gear Shift on some occasions.
Thunderbringer Mech Rogue performs insanely well. Only Enrage Warrior looks like a stronger option on ladder.
Pure Paladin looks good. Even though Buff Pure Paladin was created with the intention of countering Ramp Druid, it still performs well in the current meta. The simple adjustment post-patch is to cut Resistance Aura, which was a strictly anti-Druid card, to run a second Spotlight and Liadrin. This variant is generally superior to the Dude variant throughout ladder.
- Paladin Class Radar
- Pure Paladin
- Earthen Paladin
Control Priest’s success is largely held back by the popularity of Mage, so adjustments to the post-patch format should be about dropping cards that were meant for the Druid matchup and refocusing on the Mage and Warrior matchups.
Rustrot Vipers are still highly valuable, since they answer key weapons in these classes (Keyboard, Hammer, Axe). Identity Theft’s main upside before the patch was the possibility of stealing a cheap Yogg. It’s not a good card against Mage or Warrior. Theotar is extremely valuable against Sif and Odyn. The card shouldn’t be put inside ETC.
Plague Death Knight still very clearly wants to go the triple Unholy route. The featured build is the standard list that doesn’t run Neophyte/Stomper for the defunct Druid matchup. Nothing else is going on in the class, as Death Knight has been quite stagnant for a long time.
- Death Knight Class Radar
- Plague Death Knight
- Blood-Ctrl Death Knight
- Unholy-Aggro Death Knight
Lord Jaraxxus is a very popular card in Control Warlock, even though it pretty much sucks. If you do insist on playing Jax for the culture, we recommend cutting Okani rather than a defensive early game card (Vendor/Tentacle are popular cuts we would avoid).
In Chad Warlock, Habeas Corpses is making a comeback, since it’s a very good card against Warrior.
- Warlock Class Radar
- Control Warlock
- Chad Warlock
- Curse Warlock
After the nerf to both Yogg-Saron and Prison Breaker, it seems that the correct approach for Arcane Hunter is to go back to the Secret build. The archetype seems more bothered by the rise of Warrior than the nerfs to its key neutral pieces.
A relatively promising approach for Hound Hunter is to run Thunderbringer alongside Ragnaros and Neptulon. This build is far superior to older iterations of the archetype and might even be good enough to break the 50% win rate mark in some rank brackets. Food for thought for a potential Highlander Hunter in the future.
Relic Demon Hunter is coming back to the format, little by little. Good matchups against some of the slower decks, following the disappearance of Ramp Druid, are doing wonders for its position in the meta. Not much Outcast Demon Hunter can be found, but it’s likely that the deck is having a better time after the nerfs to Prison Breaker and Yogg.
- Demon Hunter Class Radar
- Relic Demon Hunter
- Outcast Demon Hunter
Ramp Druid is completely dead. The deck lived and died by a 0-mana Yogg-Saron and can no longer function at a competitive level, especially when it got hit with several other nerfs too. The class still has some competitive options, with Drum and Aggro Druid performing okay, but these archetypes have never been popular or attractive throughout this expansion. Malfurion will sit quietly until the dragons arrive.
Totem Shaman is the only Shaman deck with a noticeable presence on ladder, with its build unchanging for months. Nature Shaman had a couple of glorious weeks that were ended by the Bioluminescence nerf. There’s been a minor wake up after the patch due to its inclusion in tournament line ups, but the deck is nowhere near its Titans’ peak.
‘Yogg-Saron, Unleashed’ was one of the most meta warping cards we’ve ever seen, so it’s no surprise to see the meta completely transformed after its rework. Heavy cycling, spell-centric decks have fallen off. Enrage Warrior’s snowballing boards and buffed threats are harder to deal with. The deck is going to be giga busted until November 14th, but that’s not too bad.
The era of TITANS is ending. We’re soon hitting the Wild West, excavating treasures, or playing Highlander decks. This Reno Jackson guy… What’s he up to now? Find out at Blizzcon.
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