vS Data Reaper Report #297

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Welcome to the 297th 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 1,494,000
Top 1K Legend 83,000
Legend (Excluding Top 1k) 127,000
Diamond 4 to 1 340,000
Diamond 10 to 5 309,000
Platinum 221,000
Bronze/Silver/Gold 414,000

Class/Archetype Distribution

Class Frequency

Class Frequency Discussion

We expect this to be the last week of the current format before possible shake ups and an expansion announcement next week. The current meta is largely settled, with play rates not changing much from last week. Top legend continues to be Rogue-centric, while the climb to legend is very diverse when you examine both class and archetype play rates.

There are only a few small trends that you may struggle to notice at a quick glance, so we’ll specify them.

Handbuff Paladin has declined at top legend. Excavate Rogue has also slightly declined in favor of more Gaslight Rogue at high MMR’s. Spell Mage, Nature Shaman and Boomkin Druid continue their declines from previous weeks.

Death Knight has risen in play across ladder. At top legend, interest in Shopper DH and Pain Warlock has picked up, two decks that have been slumbering despite strong performance levels in recent weeks.

Matchup Win Rates Header

Power Rankings Header

vS Meta Score

vS Power Rankings Discussion

This is one of the most balanced formats we can remember. Both Handbuff Paladin and Insanity Warlock have been successfully curbed. The dramatic decline in Handbuff Paladin’s win rate lines up with its decline in play rate. At top legend, where players are better at countering the strongest strategies, no deck performs at a Tier 1 level.  There are 25 decks with an ample sample size that sit within a 47-52% win rate range. The best decks outside of legend aren’t overbearing either. Balance wise, things are good.

It is a bit of a contrast to the play rate charts. Top legend is Rogue-centric, yet there are many competitively balanced options. On the climb to legend, a few strategies are clearly more efficient than others, but you see a larger variety of decks. Though the meta is diverse, there is clearly an underlying issue which we’ve discussed before, causing Rogue’s play rate to be so high at top legend. Players seeking a non-highlander late game strategy struggle to find options beyond Excavate Rogue. While Reno decks aren’t particularly strong, late game synergies are almost non-existent, making the highlander route the best path to compete in the late game for most classes.

We haven’t found many discoveries this week, but there are a few, impactful ones that are worth mentioning. The Evolve Shaman archetype centered on Wave of Nostaglia looks competitive and has some potential of further improvement. Boomkin Druid may have found a missing piece to help it compete better, which is why its win rate has shot up despite declining in play. Shopper DH is finally picking up interest again because it’s close to becoming the best thing to do at top legend, alongside Pain Warlock.

Class Analysis & Decklists

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


Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Gaslight Rogue has started to run Speaker Stompers to perform better in slower matchups, where mass removal can answer the deck’s giant turns. Although this does weaken the performance of Dig for Treasure, Stomper does improve the deck’s overall performance going into the later stages of the game.

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

The old Sludge Warlock doesn’t see much play, but is very competitive, though slightly inferior to Insanity Warlock due to its weaker late game. Pain Warlock has become the best performing deck at top legend by doing the same thing it’s done before.

Data Reaper Report - Warrior

The meta is becoming more and more greedy over time, so we’ve swapped out Armor Vendor for Slam in Reno Warrior.

Data Reaper Report - Paladin

Handbuff Paladin is still in a very good spot, though it isn’t as dominant as it was before. Nothing has changed about its build.

Data Reaper Report - Priest

The greedy route remains the best approach for Reno Priest. Pain Warlock is strong, but still unpopular, so there is no need to switch to a mass removal build until its presence becomes significant.

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Boomkin Druid looks much better if you add Perfect/Virus Zilliax. Of course it does! Why didn’t any of us think about this before? It’s an insane card to draw with Dorian, helping the Druid stabilize in its worst matchups. This doesn’t make Boomkin Druid some meta breaking deck, but it’s no longer a joke at high MMR’s.

Rainbow Death Knight is tuning its build to deal with slower matchups better. Main deck Fizzle. Dirty Rats. This is the Reno way.

Data Reaper Report - Mage

Current meta developments are good for Spell Mage, as it struggles against the established top performing decks. If Pain Warlock can become more prominent, Spell Mage will find another decent matchup to queue into.

Players are slowly waking up to how good Shopper Demon Hunter is, with the Naga build doing great work at higher levels of play.

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

Nostalgia Evolve Shaman looks like a decent deck. The featured build was popularized by Jambre.

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

Camouflage Mount looks like a decent card in Secret Hunter, offering more vertical pressure that can put the opponent in a very difficult position when you’re backed by secrets.

The two sleepers in the format are decks that dominated the meta at some point during Whizbang before getting nerfed. Nerfed decks tend to be underplayed, but considering that every deck in this expansion has basically gotten nerfed, we might have reached a point where this doesn’t matter. Over the last couple of days, we’ve noticed both Pain Warlock and Shopper DH gaining some serious traction, so expect to see more of them going forward.

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