vS Data Reaper Report #3

A Weekly Hearthstone Meta Report based on data from over 8,000 games.

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vS Data Reaper Report #3

 Welcome to the third edition of the Data Reaper report!

The final week of May was very hectic, much tryharding was done and more trackers were added. We have accumulated data for over 8,000 games, more than doubling the number of games last week (3,500).

These are the numbers for total games played between May 25 and May 31.

Total Overall Games Played

Class/Archetype breakdown for all games played.

These are the numbers for games played at legend rank (nearly 5000 games were collected).

Legend Games Played

Class/Archetype breakdown of games played at Legend ranks.
Class/Archetype breakdown of games played at Legend ranks.

And finally, these are the numbers for games played at ranks 5-1, where players attempted to reach legend during the final week (over 2000 games). It’s interesting to see Shamans and Hunters being drastically more common at these ranks, while Warriors and Zoo are most dominant at the highest level of play.

Rank 5 to Rank 1 Games Played

Class/Archetype breakdown of games played from Ranks 5 to 1.
Class/Archetype breakdown of games played from Ranks 5 to 1.

Compared to last week, we are noticing the following trends.

DRR3_Trends

Warriors continue to be kings of the legend ranks, boasting a variety of archetypes which is the envy of everyone else. Control Warrior specifically has seen a significant increase in play, while Dragon Warrior is also appealing to more players.

As we predicted, the Meta of last week was waiting for Zoo to take over. The archetype has surged in its popularity, while keeping Shamans and Hunters in check.

Perhaps as a response to the large amounts of Warriors, Druid has lifted its head and is showing a slight upward trend. In addition to that, it is becoming more diverse, with new decks popping up recently. It remains to be seen whether it’s the beginning of something more significant.

Combo decks such as Miracle Rogue and Freeze Mage have not received much faith from the masses on the final week, while Paladins continue their slow, depressing decline.

Warrior

Warrior might be the most volatile class in standard when it comes to which archetypes are the most popular. Each week new archetypes spike and wane in popularity. The flavors of the week seem to be Dragon Warrior and Control Warrior.

Dragon Warrior fulfills the same strategy as Tempo Warrior but arguably does it better as it has a stronger early game curve. It appears that Dragon Warrior has a strong place in the Meta, and it’s continuing to trend upwards, so expect to see it more often on ladder.

While Tempo Warrior has not taken off in terms of ladder presence this week, it retains its viability, with Thijs finishing #2 on the Asia server as well as maintaining top 10 spots on multiple servers for a period of time.

Pirate Warrior’s popularity did not increase as anticipated despite the success Nostam has had with it. It is still a strong deck with some ladder presence.

C’Thun Warrior is still seeing a decent amount of play, and its place in the Meta has not changed much. With the increase in Dragon Warrior, it is a possibility that the deck becomes more popular since it has a very good matchup against it.

Control Warrior has seen some resurgence lately with Fibonacci finishing at rank 3 legend with a variant running N’Zoth as a win condition, a trend that’s been occurring on other classes as well.

Shaman

Shaman still stands as one of the go-to classes to grind the ladder. This week we highlight two Aggro Shaman variants that got to top 100 on the legend ladder this week. Both variants lack card draw mechanics, which is an interesting development in the archetype, making it even more all-in.

Chakki’s GNC variant utilizes Master of Evolution and Nerubian Prophets, which provide you with swing turns in the mid game, leading to a more board centric style of play.

Xixo’s variant utilizes Tuskarr Totemic and Thing From Below, taking a hybrid approach. Thing From Below can get a bit clunky at times and has anti synergy with Sir Finley Mrrgglton, but while our internal experimentation found it underwhelming, it has produced good results for Xixo on the legend ladder.

Finally, Archon’s Zalae and Amnesiac won the Deck Gauntlet tournament utilizing a more standard Aggro Shaman variant in their line-up.

Warlock The star of the week, Zoo has seen a massive increase in play. Some lists have continued to take a more aggressive route with the inclusion of 1-2 Soulfires, Leeroy, or even Argent Horserider. Argent Horserider recently saw more use as a result of Mitsuhide’s Zoo guide, as it is a versatile card in trading or acting as a finisher. The two Doomguard variants with the removal of Soulfire and Leeroy are just as viable but not as popular.

Zoo’s most common tech card continues to be Crazed Alchemist, acting as instant removal to totems and doomsayers, but also as a tool to generate favorable trades without having to buff minions (sending a mere pleb of an Abusive Seargent into a Bloodhoof Brave, or a Possessed Villager into a 5/1 Darkshire Councilman, waving his hands in the air like he just doesn’t care).

Zoo has seen an increased difficulty on the finals days of the month due to the ever growing number of Warriors, which pose greater resistance to the deck than Shamans and Hunters, especially the Tempo and Dragon variants. Acidic Swamp Ooze continues to be a tech choice for this reason but has not been too common. Almost all versions of Warriors run Ravaging Ghoul which is a very threatening card that can single-handedly destroy a Zoo board if not careful.

Reno Warlock has not had much of an appearance recently, as the Meta has not favored it, but it is expected to return at some point.

Hunter

 After many fine tunings, Mid-Range Hunter is starting to establish itself as a middle of the pack deck in terms of strength, while being a very popular deck on ladder. It is not considered a dominant deck; however it has really good matchups against most of the slower decks in the Meta, such as N’Zoth Paladin, Freeze Mage, Mid-Range Shaman, Control Warrior, and Reno Warlock. Call of the Wild, or as some people call it, Dr. 8, gives a significant advantage to the class in these match ups.

Mid-Range Hunter is only being held back by faster decks such as Zoo and Aggro Shaman and its matchup against the faster archetypes of Warrior is not very good either.

If you’re facing a lot of aggressive decks on ladder, try running Doomsayers and Explosive Traps instead of Fiery Bats.

RogueRogue is still an underappreciated class in terms of use on ladder. Having favorable match ups against the majority of the field with a small % of ultra-aggressive decks on ladder, Miracle Rogue is still a major player and a great deck to use while grinding ladder.

Sjow has piloted a new variant of Miracle Rogue to top 10 legend, utilizing Journey Below, Undercity Huckster and N’Zoth as the late game win condition. The deck does not have a burst damage combo such as Leeroy + Cold Blood, so identifying the deck early on in the game can give you an advantage playing against it. Meanwhile, Chessdude finished top 10 with his Malygos Miracle Rogue, further showcasing the flexibility of the deck’s win condition.

The reason why Rogue does not see as much play on ladder could be due to the inconsistencies the deck can have with its draws, sometimes just losing to itself, which is a frustrating experience. Secondly, playing the deck can be intimidating, as many players believe that they have to be a “Rogue God” in order to achieve high ranks with the deck, but the best way to learn how to play a strategy is by playing it while learning the small things that you can do in order to gain an advantage.

Druid

The Druid class just keeps getting novel additions. Some of the tricksters on ladder have been climbing to high ranks with a Miracle Druid build. This newly created build hit rank 1 legend on the CN server at the hands of treenewbee. His version features the unique combination of Malygos and Moonfires, being less common than other variants of the deck but proving to be most successful. Another Druid deck that is gathering momentum is J4ckiechan’s Token Druid. It is another Yogg-Saron spell heavy deck that focuses on token generation. While both decks have not yet reached a critical mass in our data, we expect that to change soon, especially for the Token Druid.

N’Zoth Ramp Druid is certainly a deck to consider when playing in online tournaments. It can make a good fit in lineups that are targeting Warrior because it can usually outlast the Warrior in a long game. This is what Silentstorm accomplished at the Americas preliminaries, except his Druid was the C’Thun variant, with which he has been maintaining rank 1 legend for a long period of time during the last month.

mage

Mage is a pretty uncommon class to see on ladder but it is very present in the tournament scene with Freeze Mage being very popular. Many people have been pushing high ranks with the deck due to the Warrior matchup being somewhat winnable since Armorsmiths have generally been cut from lists.

Tempo Mage seems to be in a weird spot right now. Due to the very poor matchups against Zoo/Shaman/Warrior, it’s not expected to have any significant success but the right build could do well. With the upcoming Spring Championships, Freeze Mage is expected to have a significant presence while Tempo Mage remains a popular ladder choice but a tournament underdog.

Priest

Anduin needs our help, for at the moment he is staler than the crackers at the back of your pantry. There is a place for Priest in the Meta, but it still remains mostly underutilized as a class.

The control roots and the addition of Shifting Shade kept N’Zoth being the main archetype of Priest Post-WoToG. Using Kolento’s list as an initial template for the archetype, the large presence of weapon classes as well as aggressive decks makes the addition of Harrison Jones and/or a 2nd Excavated Evil reasonable in place of a card such as Thoughtsteal.

Snower’s Dragon N”Zoth Priest has slightly gained traction since last week, as people have taken the core of the list and teched different choices in for what they are seeing on the ladder. Deathwing is the card often replaced by Harrison Jones/Excavated Evil.

It is understood by most experienced Priest players that making constant changes to the deck in order to match the Meta of the ladder is key to the success of the class, while what is still being discovered is the absolute core set of cards in every build.

Paladin Paladin has remained stagnant over the past week. N’Zoth lists have seen a slight increase in favorable ladder matchups due to the strong performance of decks like Aggro Shaman and Pirate Warrior, which rely heavily on accumulating face damage and often can’t afford to play around healing. However, the archetype still struggles against decks that combine burst and board pressure, such as Midrange Shaman, Zoo, and even Tempo Warrior with Grommash and Ragnaros.  Eventually, it runs out of board clears, and repetitive damage from a small board will add up for lethal. No major successes have been posted with other paladin archetypes either, so it’s hard to recommend Paladin as a ladder choice until further innovation occurs.

Meta BreakerZalae's Patron Warrior (DRR #3)

Much has been said about the various Warrior archetypes, but one forgotten child remains in the background waiting to return. Considering that most of the Meta is infested with aggressive, low curved decks, lacking AOE that could deal with, let’s say, a board full of Dwarves ready to pile on, it might be time to bring that child back.

Patron Warrior does extraordinarily well against Zoo, Shaman and Hunters, while having a decent match up against the faster Warrior variants. It is a miserable deck to play against slow control decks that pack board clears, but those are not very common currently, and they should be even less common as the ladder resets once again. Patron might be a difficult deck to run successfully in the tournament scene, where it is too easy to counter, or at the very high levels of ladder, where it could run into too many Control Warriors, but as a ladder deck to punish the current aggression, it certainly fits the bill.

Also, if you missed it make sure to check out our latest Top 25 Most Frequently Played Cards Post-WotOG article!

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Contributors

Here are all the people that participated in bringing you this edition of the vS Data Reaper Report:

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