vS Data Reaper Report #293

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Welcome to the 293rd 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 2,359,000
Top 1K Legend 62,000
Legend (Excluding Top 1k) 87,000
Diamond 4 to 1 443,000
Diamond 10 to 5 345,000
Platinum 375,000
Bronze/Silver/Gold 1,047,000

Class/Archetype Distribution

Class Frequency

Class Frequency Discussion

The population of Reno Warrior seems to have reached a plateau in its growth, but the meta hasn’t been able to lower its overwhelming presence.

Insanity Warlock has rapidly blown up, becoming one of the most popular decks in the game within days. The early indications of its strong Reno Warrior matchup have convinced players very quickly that it’s a great choice. Above Diamond 5, you should be expecting this deck when queuing into a Warlock. Snake and Sludge Warlock have a small presence in comparison.

Excavate Rogue hasn’t moved an inch. It’s mostly trying to solve the Reno Warrior matchup with new card choices. A small population of Sonya Rogue is seeing a little bit of play at top legend. This deck’s goal is to copy and develop three Sonya’s on the board with Cover Artist and Sandbox Scoundrel, dealing OTK damage with Deadly Poison generated from Valeera’s Gift.

Paladin is getting respected, with both Aggro and Handbuff Paladin rising in play across ladder, including top legend. Aggro Paladin is the best counter in the game to aggressive decks, including Token Hunter, while Handbuff Paladin has shown promise in slower matchups.

Hybrid Druid has gained traction across most of ladder, with more players becoming aware of the deck. However, the deck has declined in play at top legend, likely due to the rise of Paladin and Priest. Reno and Dragon Druid are at the fringes of the format.

Zarimi Priest has grown in popularity, but its presence is mostly relevant at top legend. Players at lower ranks are slow to pick up the deck again, so you’re not seeing much of it on the climb.

Token Hunter has declined in play at legend ranks, likely due to the rise of Aggro Paladin.

Death Knight is still popular at lower ranks of ladder, but gradually disappears once you hit Diamond 4.

Shaman’s presence, mostly consisting of Reno Shaman, is low across ladder. Interest in Shopper DH hasn’t picked up. Faith in Spell Mage is waning.

Matchup Win Rates Header

Power Rankings Header

vS Meta Score

vS Power Rankings Discussion

Warrior

  • While Reno Warrior’s popularity hasn’t been affected, the meta has successfully curbed the deck’s performance level to the Tier 2 range. The deck responsible for this change is Insanity Warlock, which has proven to be the strongest Reno Warrior counter in the format, boasting a consistent 62-38 advantage across ladder.
  • The name of the game remains killing Reno Warrior before its Brann-powered late game takes root. Insanity Warlock possesses the combination of board pressure and burn to successfully circumvent Warrior’s removal toolkit and armor gain. Prolonging the game is a recipe for an unfavored matchup into Reno Warrior.

Warlock

  • Insanity Warlock is the meta breaking deck the format needed to stop Reno Warrior from choking out all other options. It has proven to be a strong deck beyond its Reno Warrior matchup, placing at Tier 1 across ladder. The deck does have some weaknesses, most notably to Paladin.
  • The rise of Insanity Warlock has placed Sludge Warlock in a redundant position in the format, with its performance declining across ladder. Its advantage against Reno Warrior is softer, while displaying similar matchup weaknesses to Insanity Warlock. There is no great reason to play it.
  • Snake Warlock is quite bad after the bug fix to Alexstrasza. As we expected, it no longer holds an advantage in the Reno Warrior matchup.

Rogue

  • Excavate Rogue is looking a little better, a product of some refinement dedicated to improve the Reno Warrior matchup, as well as changes in the format. It is comfortable facing Insanity Warlock. It also prefers the Aggro Paladin matchup over the Token Hunter one.
  • Cutlass Rogue has drastically improved. It has a good matchup into Insanity Warlock. It’s a very polarizing deck that likes slow matchups but struggles against aggression.
  • All indications are that there are very few players having a good time playing Sonya Rogue. Based on its low sample at top legend, it is a Tier 4 deck with a win rate in the mid-to-low 40’s.  A remarkable turnaround is required for serious traction here. It’s happened before with a deck such as Garrote Rogue, but it’s very rare.

Paladin

  • Aggro Paladin has had a big impact on the format, drastically suppressing Token Hunter and beating it out as the superior aggressive deck from Diamond 4 and above. Its Reno Warrior and Excavate Rogue matchups aren’t great, but it’s amazing at dominating decks that rely on having the initiative. It has superb matchups into Insanity Warlock, Token Hunter, and Zarimi Priest.
  • Handbuff Paladin is another great deck choice. Its upsides are different from Aggro Paladin, as its strength in slower matchups is its main selling point. We maintain that the non-Excavate build is effective into Reno Warrior. Both variants are very strong into Insanity Warlock.

Druid

  • Hybrid Druid has clearly been hurt by the rise of Priest and Paladin, though some of its decline in performance has been offset by its strong matchup into Insanity Warlock. It could have been even worse. A Tier 3 placement is where it will likely settle.
  • Reno and Dragon Druid are underwhelming ladder choices. They get similarly farmed by Paladin and Priest, without a good Warlock matchup to make up for it.

Priest

  • Zarimi Priest’s resilience is eye opening. The rise of Aggro Paladin should have dealt a huge blow to its performance, but the addition of Clay Matriarch to its optimized build has offset this. It remains a top 3 deck across ladder, as well as the #1 deck at top legend. Its matchup spread, outside of the debilitating Aggro Paladin encounter, is impressive.

Hunter

  • Token Hunter has gone through an incredible collapse in its win rate, falling by over 5% (!!!) at most ladder brackets in the space of a week. Hilariously, the deck is still very strong, continuing to dominate ladder below Diamond 4, but it has fallen to Tier 2 at top legend and no longer displays win rates above 60% elsewhere. This collapse is mostly driven by the rise of Aggro Paladin, which is an oppressive matchup (nearly 30-70). Insanity Warlock is another surprisingly challenging matchup. Hunter does not enjoy Pop’gar/Crescendo.

Other classes

  • Shopper DH is clearly good, but there is little interest from the player base to revisit it. Death Knight, Shaman, and Mage don’t see much play because they are genuinely weak.

Class Analysis & Decklists

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

 


Data Reaper Report - Warrior

Reno Warrior’s power has been curbed, but the deck still dominates and dictates the format’s late game. A nerf to Brann seems inevitable.

The established build on ladder is very successful, with a focus on the mirror matchup.

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

Insanity Warlock has proven to be a very successful deck and the strongest counter to Reno Warrior. The featured build looks great. We wouldn’t change anything about it. We’re not impressed with Symphony of Sins.

Data Reaper Report - Rogue

In its search for more percentage points against Warrior, Excavate Rogue has introduced running Greedy Partner over Antique Flinger. Partner helps accelerate your curve, which suits a beatdown plan. We just need to be conscious of having enough 2-drops for Partner to be consistently active. Cult Neophyte is the 30th card in the deck and could be any other 2-drop.

Another card that’s popping up is Leeroy Jenkins. We suspect our discussion on Leeroy last week has encouraged players to test it in other decks, beyond the aggressive ones. We can confirm that Leeroy does help Rogue perform better against Reno Warrior.

Playing Sonya Rogue is not for the faint of heart. The deck is hard to play and hard to win with.

Data Reaper Report - Paladin

The Aggro Paladin’s build we settled on looks very good. This is the strongest counter in the game to Token Hunter, to the point it has become the strongest choice on the climb to legend.

We’re also happy with the Charger Handbuff Paladin build we floated last week. Acolyte of Pain works very well with Living Horizon, a card that was previously only utilized by Excavate builds, but clearly has its place in this variant too.

We’ve also received more encouraging data on the Excavate variant of Handbuff Paladin. The featured build looks more promising than other iterations. Generally, the Charger variant is better against Warrior and Hunter, while the Excavate variant is better against Rogue.

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Hybrid Druid doesn’t have a great solution to the rise of Paladin and Priest. We’ve noticed that Sing-Along Buddy provides a similar improvement in the Reno Warrior matchup as Aviana, without being a liability in other matchups, so we’ve swapped it in.

Data Reaper Report - Priest

Zarimi Priest’s featured build is perfect. Clay Matriarch solves the problem created by the nerf to Zarimi. Zarimi has clearly gotten worse as a card, but the deck has benefitted from the reduction in strong AOE effects in the format.

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

Token Hunter is still very strong, but the rise of Aggro Paladin makes the climb to legend not as “free” as it was before. The featured build we tweaked last week looks like the best way to gain percentages in the Reno Warrior matchup. Scarab Keychain and Painted Canvasaur are unnecessary.

Reno Hunter is likely competitive based on its low sample size, but interest in the deck is low.

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

Running Rats helps Reno Shaman feel less hopeless against Warrior, but the matchup is still very discouraging. Nature Shaman hasn’t gained any momentum.

Death Knight is depressingly weak. There doesn’t seem to be any discovery that lifts either of its archetypes back to competitive relevance.

Shopper Demon Hunter is quite good, but not many seem to care. The Sharpshooter variant is better at top legend, but worse elsewhere.

Data Reaper Report - Mage

Mage is the worst class in the game. It needs a lot of help in the upcoming mini-set. We do like Malfunction, a new Spell Mage payoff that helps the deck survive in the early game.



Insanity Warlock has changed the format for the better, stopping Reno Warrior more effectively than any other deck, preventing a clear “tyrant” situation from being established. With Aggro Paladin putting the breaks on Token Hunter’s absurd domination of lower ranks, it seems that the biggest outliers last week have been successfully answered to some extent through natural means.

The mini-set is coming next week. We will have a podcast to discuss it this weekend, as well as a Comprehensive Preview article in which we will try to guess how impactful each of the new cards is going to be. It’s likely coming a day before the mini-set’s launch, on the 13th.

We’ll see you then!


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Contributors

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