Welcome to the 46th edition of the Data Reaper Report!
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Number of Games
The diversity in the Un’Goro Meta isn’t showing any signs of stopping. While Warrior continues to be the most popular class overall, its gradual decline is still ongoing. At legend ranks, Warrior was already surpassed by Paladin last week, and the revolving door keeps spinning at the highest levels of play. As we’ve predicted last week, Druid’s favorable spot in the Meta has launched it to the top spot. Token Druid has a really strong matchup spread; only being hard countered by decks that pack multiple forms of AOE, good examples being Control Paladin, Taunt Warrior and Freeze Mage. Jade Druid has also seen a rise in play on the back of an increased performance level that we’ve identified last week. Jade Druid beats the decks that Token Druid loses to, so as a “pairing”, the class can pretty much beat any deck in the game, and we’ve seen players rotate between the two depending on which Meta they’re encountering.
Paladin’s rise has been halted, and we can observe a notable decline in the class’ play rates at legend rank. Paladin is a very powerful class, but the Murloc-centric archetypes can be focused down if they get too popular. Hungry Crabs are running rampant, and they’ve been enjoying a feast. One of the decks that have embraced these Hungry Crabs is Token Druid, and there is definitely a correlation between the rise of this archetype, and the decline of Paladin at legend.
Much like Warrior, Rogue is the other early frontrunner of the Meta that’s continuing to see a gradual decline in play. This week’s decline, however, is attributed to Miracle Rogue. Crystal Rogue has stabilized in its representation, but Miracle Rogue’s numbers at legend rank have been slashed by a third. It’s apparent that this historic archetype is struggling to establish itself in the Meta for various reasons; one of them being a pretty bad matchup against its red-headed step brother, and another is its crippling matchups against the Mage archetypes.
Burn Mage has firmly established itself as one of the most prevalent archetypes in the game, with the Guenther/Discover builds taking over. Freeze Mage is declining due to its overall inferior matchup spread, but Freeze definitely has a niche. It just struggles really hard in the mirror against Burn and performs worse against the Warrior class. Secret Mage is also around, with a very modest representation, but it might merit more play than what it’s been getting.
Hunter has seen a slight decline, and it continues to exhibit lower play rates at legend rank. We’ve already seen signs of Midrange Hunter potentially having a lower skill ceiling than other decks in the game, which might explain why its representation is so different at various skill levels. Another important thing to note is that it’s by far the cheapest deck to craft, requiring no legendary to be competitive (other than the unofficial twin legendary, Savannah Highmane), which makes it an attractive choice for new players.
Priest continues to experiment and toy with its tools, but we can observe quite a significant uptick in its play rates at all levels. This rise is not attributed to the class as a whole, but specific archetypes, since Miracle Priest is actually in decline. Silence Priest is the archetype that has shot up in its frequency the most. Its play rates have more than tripled over the past week at legend, where it is about to surpass Miracle in its popularity. The deck has significantly changed over the past week and has undergone quite a bit of development, so it’ll be interesting to see whether it can help Priest become more relevant, as it is currently seen as a class whose standing in the Meta is certainly “below average”. We’re also seeing Highlander Priest builds appearing more often, relying on the power of Kazakus alone without his trusty partner, Reno Jackson.
Shaman is fully settled into its underdog role, after being the most dominant class over the past year. It’s still going through a lot of experimentation, which is typical for a class that hasn’t really established itself in the Meta. We’re seeing Control Shaman and Elemental Shaman decks (and hybrid builds that are in-between) being experimented with. Control Shaman in particular is “all over the place” in terms of build paths. Things haven’t settled down or been figured out much, so the jury is still out and solid conclusions can’t be drawn just yet. Aggro Token Shaman is probably the most stable archetype for the class. While Shaman is definitely an underdog in the current Un’Goro Meta, it’s not that far away from the rest of the pack. What it needs most of all, is a bit of faith from the player base to try and refine its archetypes.
In this Un’Goro party of diversity, one class is absent, and it is Warlock. Who would have thought? This is the first time in Hearthstone’s history that the class with arguably the best hero power is just not relevant whatsoever. You might have queued up into a Warlock at legend once every 100 games last week. The mind boggles.
History has been made. For the very first time since the vS Data Reaper launched (May 2016), no deck in the game has a win rate that exceeds 52% at legend. Tier 1 is literally empty, and when we looked at these results, we started wondering if there’s a need to “move the lines” and/or define tiers differently (we’ll keep it as it is for now, just to highlight the current, incredible state of the game, but might change it in future reports). It’s apparent that while the Murloc-based Paladin decks and Pirate Warrior are certainly powerful, they can get countered at higher levels of play to the point where they are not clearly the best choices (Crabs have been doing work). No deck is far and away ahead of the rest of the field, and as the Meta shifts ever so slightly, different archetypes could suddenly rise or drop in their performance. Journey to Un’Goro might be the most balanced and diverse Meta in the history of Hearthstone.
Let’s dive into the numbers. Paladin has seen a slight decline in its performance, as it has attracted quite a bit of tech against it over the past couple of weeks. Murloc Paladin is ever so slightly ahead of the rest of the field, but not by much. An interesting development we’re seeing is the performance of the faster Paladin decks against Pirate Warrior. It has gradually gotten worse for Paladin, and we believe one of the reasons is that Golakka Crawler is seeing less play in these archetypes, as it is becoming more difficult to fit in without sacrificing efficiency in other matchups.
One Paladin deck, however, has skyrocketed in its power ranking score, and that is Control Paladin. One of the causes to this rise in viability is that the archetype was relatively unrefined, and it has undergone a lot of development over the past couple of weeks. However, there’s another important factor that comes into play. Much like Crystal Rogue has an extremely suppressing effect on control decks; Token Druid has the exact opposite effect, in two ways: (1) It destroys Crystal Rogue, and prevents the bouncer specialist’s numbers from going out of control, and (2) it gets hard countered by control decks, so when its numbers go up as they have over the past week, the viability of the control playstyle increases. Token Druid is one of the primary reasons why the Meta is as diverse as it is, because it encourages the Meta to slow down while keeping the top decks (Pirate Warrior, Murloc Paladin) firmly in check.
Pirate Warrior is no longer a menace. It’s a powerful deck, but it has quite a few counters of different playstyles. Taunt Warrior has also stabilized, and enjoys a slight improvement in its performance due to the rise in Token Druids. The rise of Jade Druids, however, means this uptick is quite small. Both matchups are extremely lopsided, so it’s quite a rollercoaster of emotions when a Taunt Warrior queues up into a Druid. Much like most decks in the game, Taunt Warrior’s success is very Meta dependent.
Crystal Rogue maintains a stronger level of performance at legend than at lower levels of play, though its score at legend has dropped as a result of Token Druid’s rise. While the archetype has attracted a lot of complaints due to its ridiculously polarizing matchups and its degenerate, un-interactive playstyle, it’s unlikely to take over the game because its power level isn’t quite oppressive. It’s not difficult to focus down and punish. Other Rogue archetypes however aren’t doing great. Miracle Rogue is viable, but clearly struggling and we’re not surprised at its decline in play, while Tempo Rogue is relatively undeveloped.
Burn Mage continues to look very strong against the field, but its biggest counter, Jade Druid, is gradually catching up. Jade Druid has been climbing in its power level for the past couple of weeks, and it’s now surpassed the 50% mark at legend. It feasts on slow Mages and Taunt Warriors while trying to avoid running into Rogues or Paladins. The decline in its worst matchups has a lot to do with its improving score.
What’s going on with Secret Mage? This archetype has a representation of slightly less than 1% of the Meta at legend, yet it exhibits power levels of an established archetype. Some of it might have to do with catching people off guard expecting a slower deck, but even so, its performance against the field has been consistent for a few weeks now. Considering that the archetype is largely unexplored, and its builds are very diverse, unrefined and unsettled, it surely carries a lot of potential. It’s hard to say what kind of performance it will exhibit if we see a settled build take over and spike in play, but the archetype definitely has our senses tingling and we would like an answer to this question at some point.
There are seven classes with representation at the 50%+ win rate club. One absentee is Warlock, and the other, surprisingly, is Hunter. Midrange Hunter has suffered quite a blow this week in its performance levels, dropping out of the prestigious club at legend, which correlates with its noticeably lower play rates. Still though, Hunter is not that far away from the large leading pack and remains solid, consistent, if unspectacular, against the field.
Shaman as a class is definitely underrated to some degree. It’s clear that Elemental Shaman hits a wall at the highest levels of play, perhaps a result of its on-curve playstyle, which is not too different to Midrange Hunter. However, the new token focused Aggro Shaman has been consistently performing well for a few weeks, and the archetype’s build has now settled and is pretty stable. Moreover, Control Shaman is displaying a pretty good score considering it’s in its diapers in terms of development, so a lot of things can change there too. Overall, Shaman is not in a terrible spot, and can definitely be competitive. Its biggest issue might be redundancy more than anything else, since other classes have archetypes with similar playstyles to the Shaman decks, but carry a more proven track record. Time will tell whether the class can shake off the labeling it has received.
We finish with the biggest story of the week. Priest has struck oil and might end up being an important player in the Meta that lies ahead. Silence Priest’s score has skyrocketed by 2% just over the past week, placing it well above the 50% win rate mark at legend. This archetype is not done, and its power level continues to trend upwards. The cause is Zuka’s Silence Priest build, with which he peaked at #2 legend as the month was drawing to a close. As this particular list has begun to spread, the archetype blew up in its win rate and ladder presence, particularly at legend. Looking at the numbers, the archetype seems to be vulnerable to Paladin decks, which might explain the Hungry Crab tech in the specific build. However, Paladin is declining somewhat, while Druid has been on the rise. Silence Priest is the best deck in the game against the Druid class and the only deck that can beat both archetypes consistently. It has a fairly decent matchup with Token Druid, but utterly annihilates Jade Druid. It also dominates mirrors against other Priest archetypes, so it’s bound to take over the class. Overall, we think Silence Priest is now a fairly strong archetype that may push Priest towards a higher level of relevance. Lyra may have finally found the home she needed, built on strong foundations. In comparison, Miracle Priest seems to be performing very poorly and will likely fade away, while Highlander Priest looks fairly decent at first glance, though the numbers for this archetype are quite preliminary.
Class Analysis & Decklists
Druid continues to see a rise in play rates, especially at legend, where it was the most popular class over the last week. This is due to its superb standing in the current Meta. Token Druid is a massive counter to Crystal Rogue, and has a favorable matchup against the other hard counter to Rogue, Pirate Warrior. It also does fairly well against other aggressive decks due to its ability to control the board through sticky minions and buffs. Token Druid loses to almost exactly what Jade Druid counters, which are AOE packed decks that stall the game (Freeze Mage, Taunt Warrior, Control Paladin). This makes the mulligan phase against Druids a nightmare for most classes. Both of the Druid archetypes are very polarizing: they have dominant matchups, but also matchups where they get crushed. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.
Token Druid is the only archetype other than Midrange Hunter that can comfortably run a 4 crab package without sacrificing its efficiency. In non-murloc matchups, Hungry Crab is a good on-curve target for Mark of Y’Shaarj. Golakka Crawler is a solid 2-drop that doesn’t carry any stat penalty for its ability. Considering that Token Druid runs both pirates and murlocs, an increase in mirrors due to the archetype’s increasing popularity makes these techs nearly a no-brainer.
Tyler peaked at rank #4 legend before finishing around #10, utilizing a build that runs the full crab package and Vicious Fledgling. Vicious Fledgling is beginning to see more play as players realize its massive potential in winning games by itself. It is a devastating card with Innervate on turn 1, and serves a similar purpose to Frothing Berserker and Scavenging Hyena by acting as a snowballing, cheap threat that requires immediate attention on any turn it’s played.
JustSaiyan’s list of Jade Druid is also seeing a lot of success on ladder. Tar Creeper, Gluttonous Ooze and Jade Behemoth, as well as its four copies of armor gain, give it a fighting chance against aggressive decks, while holding a great win rate against slower decks like Taunt Warrior and the different forms of Mage. Some players are opting to run Druid of the Claw instead of the 3-drops, which is a viable option that gives you a bit more versatility. The biggest obstacle for the deck is the matchup against Crystal Rogue. There isn’t a great way for the archetype to fight against it, other than the Rogue being slow on completing his quest. If you’re seeing a lot of Rogues on ladder, it’s probably better to switch to another deck.
- Druid Class Radar
- Tyler’s Token Druid
- JustSaiyan’s Jade Druid
- Fr0zen’s Ramp Druid
- AdaMiries’ Ramp Druid
Warrior remains largely constant in a Meta which is shifting all around it. A significant increase in Druids is doing very strange things to Taunt Warrior because of how wildly different its matchups are against the two prevalent Druid archetypes. Token Druid is a dream of a matchup – in fact, it’s the deck’s best matchup by a significant margin. However, the rise in Token Druid has been accompanied by a rise in Jade Druid, which is an absolute nightmare for Taunt Warrior, being its worst matchup. Overall, Taunt Warrior remains a solid choice in the current Meta, while also seeing significant representation in tournament lineups. Kolento was at one point #1 legend on both AM and EU with a build that runs Armorsmiths but no Dirty Rats, a surprising exclusion considering Dirty Rat has been a staple in Taunt Warrior up until then. This build also does not run Shield Blocks/Shield Slams while carrying just a single copy of Brawl, and instead opts for aggressive cycling through Slams and Battle Rage. With less Freeze Mages on ladder and not a lot of decks requiring strong single target removal, this adjustment makes some sense.
Pirate Warrior is still one of the best decks in the game; however it’s become abundantly clear that “one of” will always be part of the description. It has bad matchups against a few fairly common decks, in particular Token Druid and Taunt Warrior, and its winrate, while good, is not far and above the rest of the field.
There’s finally been a stir amongst the other archetypes of Warrior, though their presence remains very slim. After continuous experimentation, Fibonacci managed to come up with a Control Warrior list which he piloted to #13. It runs a variety of anti-aggro tools while relying on Ysera and Elise to be able to threaten slower decks. Meanwhile, IAmTheKing managed to breathe some life into Tempo Warrior with a new-look list he piloted to #20. It runs the Pirate early-game along with Bittertide Hydra in order to be able to put more pressure on the abundant slower decks in the Meta. It’s clear that these two archetypes are still far behind Pirate Warrior and Taunt Warrior in their development but it’s encouraging that they’ve managed to achieve something. A slight shift in the Meta may be enough to push one of them to the fore.
- Warrior Class Radar
- Kolento’s Taunt Warrior
- Standard Pirate Warrior
- Fibonacci’s Control Warrior
- IAmTheKing’s Tempo Warrior
Rogue continues to be a very strong class on the back of Crystal Rogue’s power level. The archetype is very polarized in its matchups, and has clear weaknesses against aggressive decks that flood the board and rush to drop its life total before it is able to complete the quest. In contrast, it dominates slow decks that aren’t capable of mounting enough pressure to threaten it.
Crystal Rogue has mostly settled into fairly standard builds with clear guidelines, though it is in a unique position where its minion choices can be quite flexible. Battlecry effects are very powerful in a deck that is able to bounce them back and replay them, and since the deck is packed with low value minions in general, it is able to aggressively tech against specific matchups without sacrificing its efficiency by a significant margin, as the win condition of the deck remains linear in every matchup, which is to complete the quest as soon as possible.
A good example of this is DamDam’s build, with which he finished #1 legend on the Asian server. This build runs two Hungry Crabs and an Eater of Secrets, with the obvious purpose of beating Murloc Paladins and Mages. Other fringe cards are also being experimented with, such as Voodoo Doctor, which even showed up at the Global Games. It seems that one of the biggest skills when piloting the deck happens before the game even starts, and it is determining the list which best suits a particular Metagame.
Miracle Rogue, however, is in a more difficult spot. It also struggles against aggression, but its win condition is much slower, which means it loses in the race against Crystal Rogue, and its weakness against Mage decks carrying Ice Blocks is much more profound. While it is capable of changing its build to being faster, running Leeroy and Cold Bloods instead of relying on Arcane Giants, it makes some of its better matchups against control decks worse, and the loss of Conceal makes Cold Blood a significantly weaker win condition. Casie, who is one of the most proficient Miracle Rogue players around, placed top 100 on multiple servers with his latest build, which is likely the strongest option against the field.
- Rogue Class Radar
- Rdu’s Crystal Rogue
- Xixo’s Crystal Rogue
- DamDam’s Crystal Rogue
- Casie’s Miracle Rogue
- Jalexander’s Tempo Rogue
Paladin might be the most diverse and successful class at the moment. Its viable archetypes range from aggro to midrange to control and anywhere in between. Murloc synergy is usually central to everything Paladins do in faster decks, while N’Zoth usually anchors Control Paladin’s win conditions.
Murloc Tidecaller leads the charge in Murloc Paladin and is also seeing more play in Midrange lists in order to increase the deck’s early game consistency. With proper follow-up, usually by a Rockpool Hunter, it can end games very quickly if not accounted for. Murloc Paladin maximizes the tribal synergy and forgoes defensive tools like Aldor Peacekeeper and Equality. It also runs Blessing of Kings which helps extend a board lead. Spaiikz peaked at #1 legend with a similar build to the original Tholwmenos list that blew up a couple of weeks ago, but adds Black Knight as tech removal, since the deck doesn’t run equality and can be halted by a big taunt standing in its way.
Midrange Paladin opts to run a more modest Murloc package with the focus on having a quick enough early game to apply pressure on Rogues, Mages and Hunters, while milking value off the tokens in grindy matchups such as Taunt Warrior, Priest and Shaman. Together with Stonehill Defender, Midrange Paladin packs a lot of value which can help it last well into the late game and exhaust a control deck’s arsenal of removals.
Control Paladin runs the classic Wild Pyromancer and Equality combo for board clears. It packs healing to avoid getting burned down. Doomsayer can be used at any point of a game to stall. Deathrattle minions and N’Zoth are the threats the archetypes use to fight back, with Elise also being a popular value engine. It’s become a popular and successful choice in tournaments due to the ability to ban Rogue or Jade Druid and do fairly well against aggressive decks. Even with the presence of these decks on ladder, Control Paladin still performs quite well against the field, with the latest development being Rase’s top 100 finish, as well as Underscore’s early legend climb for the month of May with a non-N’Zoth build.
- Paladin Class Radar
- Tholwmenos’ Murloc Paladin
- Spaiikz’ Murloc Paladin
- Thijs’ Midrange Paladin
- Machamp’s Midrange Paladin
- Rase’s N’Zoth Control Paladin
- Underscore’s Control Paladin
Mage has remained in a healthy spot in the Meta pecking order. It has multiple viable archetypes, each packing their own unique punch. The two most popular archetypes are Burn Mage and Freeze Mage. While Freeze overall isn’t as strong as Burn Mage, there are some matchups, such as Token Druid and Crystal Rogue, that merit the choice of Freeze over Burn. Overall, Burn Mage has better matchups across the board than Freeze Mage and it is heavily favored in the mirror due the value and early game pressure it can generate on top of running Ice Blocks. Burn Mage has the ability to develop board presence which, in certain matchups, allows for repetitive damage over multiple turns, whereas Freeze Mage relies almost solely on burn from hand. This makes Burn Mage much less vulnerable to healing and armor gain. It also has more proactive cards than Freeze Mage, which is loaded with cycle and reactionary tools. Both are very strong decks though, and Freeze Mage’s return to ladder relevance is exhibited by Laughing’s top 5 legend finish with the deck. Burn Mage has seen high level success across many individuals towards the end of the month, and is extremely prevalent in the tournament scene.
Secret Mage is becoming less of a secret, and is emerging on ladder with multiple lists breaking into the Top 100. There are numerous versions floating around but the most recent one that got to top 100 was Skywalker’s, which runs a more modest package of three secrets: Mirror Entity, Counterspell and Spellbender. As the archetype gains popularity, it will be interesting to see what combination of Secrets offers the greatest power level and consistency, as the optimal choices might be Meta dependent.
Going forward, the Mage class is in a great spot. It is extremely versatile, and carries a lot of hidden potential that is unexplored on top of the established archetypes that are already powerhouses. It doesn’t seem like you can do much wrong piloting the class.
- Mage Class Radar
- PsyGuenther Discover Burn Mage
- B787’s Elise Burn Mage
- Standard Tony Freeze Mage
- Viper’s Double Pyro Freeze Mage
- Skywalker’s Secret Mage
- EndBoss’ Secret Mage
- Latryna’s Secret Mage
The wheels are still spinning when it comes to the Priest class, which might be the least figured out in terms of development. The decks are very fun to play, and at this point we can’t be certain that we have found the most optimal builds, especially when it comes to the highly erratic Miracle Priest.
Silence Priest has begun to gain more traction on the back of significant success at the high legend ladder. Zuka’s build got him to peak at #2 legend on the European server, while Feno also hit top 100 with the same list. The deck has evolved quite a bit since the first week when it was seeing the most play. It is now more about making sure you curve into minions and leaving AOE to the wayside, though it might be worth considering adding a Pyromancer into the build instead of a Hungry Crab. Lyra also makes an appearance in the deck, as it should in just about every Priest deck. It is an incredibly powerful value engine and has great synergy with the build’s cheap spells. It is insane to think about how wrong just about everyone was about Lyra, as she alone is keeping Priest not only fun, but possibly relevant.
Dragon Priest continues to see a decent level of play, at a decent grade. It is still a deck that has bad matchups against the powerhouses of the ladder in Pirate Warrior, Midrange Paladin, and Rogue. Gcttirth finished top 100 with an updated list that includes Divine Spirit and Inner Fire, which are becoming more popular recently since they allow the Priest to choose more aggressive lines up of play.
Miracle Priest appears to be more or less just a lesser version of Dragon Priest and Silence Priest at this point. You can build it to be quite effective against aggro decks, which makes it an interesting choice in tournaments, but the deck has serious problems dealing with Rogue and grindy decks like Taunt Warrior and Midrange Paladin on ladder. There is also a small amount of Highlander Priests on ladder, though it’s a bit too early to properly assess how effective they are in the current Meta game.
- Priest Class Radar
- Zuka’s Silence Priest
- Gcttrith’s Dragon Priest
- Tictac’s Miracle Priest
- StanCifka’s Miracle Priest
- Amaz’ Elemental Miracle Priest
- Thijs’ Highlander Priest
Hunters remains in its middle-of-the-road spot, though it has achieved a bit more success this week as a few players took the deck to high finishes at the end of the season. Midrange Hunter as a whole is fairly even in most matchups, and can tech in order to slightly improve specific ones. Unless there is a drastic Meta shift, expect Hunter to retain its current position for the foreseeable future.
The most prominent high finishing list was highly influenced by Xzirez and piloted by Muzzy to a #8 legend peak in Asia. The list shows the evolution in Hunter one drops, as double Firefly replaces one of the Macaws to better combat Token Druids and Pirate Warriors. The Tundra Rhino/Scavenging Hyena Package, which is included in most builds, is present too, assisting in the Paladin matchup. If you want to play a standard Midrange Hunter with little tech, this is the deck for you.
Zumpp followed up on Janetzky’s Crab Midrange Hunter from last week by peaking at #30 legend with a slightly modified build. This list takes advantage of the fact that crabs are not as punishing tech choices as they are in other decks, since the beast synergy is enough to make them reasonable minions to drop on curve for the Hunter.
Freddykuhl, with inspiration from Senfglas earlier in the month, developed a slightly more aggressive, hybrid version of Midrange Hunter, which Sintolol piloted to a top 20 finish. The deck cuts Savannah Highmane in favor of Leeroy Jenkins. Savannah Highmane can sometimes be vulnerable and slow, especially with the prevalence of Paladins carrying Aldor Peacekeepers, and aggressive decks that ignore it and go face. Leeroy makes up for the lack of Quick Shot to provide necessary burst to break through Ice Blocks and lethal Rogue before they can make a comeback. Another important thing to note about the list is the 1 drop slot is also more aggressive. Instead of Jeweled Macaws, the build utilizes Fiery Bat and Crabs to provide stronger openings. Because of its more aggressive nature, this deck is better to play if you are facing lots of aggressive mirrors, or Rogues.
- Hunter Class Radar
- Muzzy/Xzirez’ Midrange Hunter
- Zumpp’s Crab Midrange Hunter
- FreddyKuhl’s Hybrid Midrange Hunter
Shaman continues to show little usage in the current Meta. Once a pillar of competitive play, it is now overshadowed by all of the classes except Warlock in terms of prevalence.
Elemental Shaman continues to be the “default” deck for Shaman this season. Early in the season we saw various configurations of the deck. Some opted for the Elemental-only package, while some incorporated a Jade package to produce a hybrid list. Now, however, the preferred configuration of the deck is the Jade/Elemental hybrid list, which provides stronger removal, utility and staying power into the late game.
Control Shaman is also out there and is going through a lot of experimentation. Armed to the teeth with multiple taunt sources, heal, and board wipes, this archetype is designed to stop aggressive decks in their tracks. wiRer finished top 50 Legend with a Control Shaman that cuts Earth Elementals/Ancestral Spirit, focusing on an N’Zoth package complemented by Spirit Echoes. This provides the deck with a good amount of potential value to carry it into the late game.
- Shaman Class Radar
- BoarControl’s Elemental Shaman
- wiRer’s Control Shaman
- Weghuz’ Jade Shaman
- Abar’s Aggro Token Shaman
- J4ckieChan’s Aggro Murloc Shaman
Best Meta ever? Balance and diversity? Tell that to Gul’dan, who’s sinking deeper into the depth of Hearthstone hell. Warlock is, for the very first time, the worst class in the game. We have not seen any indication that the class can be remotely competitive in the current Meta, except one. Wabeka managed to peak at the top 100 with a Zoo deck that runs Hungry Crabs in order to highroll some unsuspecting Paladins. Other than that, the class has been a barren wasteland in terms of success. Handlock appears to be dead in the water, and other than the odd meme, we can’t say much else. The class may go through a 4 month vacation until the next expansion. Maybe, for some, this was overdue.
What is clear, however, is that Control Warlocks need healing, and if there’s a reluctance in printing strong neutral healing like Healbot, class specific healing might be the way to go. Without the ability to recover its life total, the Warlock is left too vulnerable. As for Zoo, it needs some stronger class specific minions. The approach to reduce the power level of early game neutral minions is very welcomed, but with the new approach, there might be merit to print some strong-build around minions for a class that has very few of those. Discard just doesn’t work.
Based on our observations, we think Hearthstone is in a good place right now. You could pick one of eight different classes and achieve ladder success. In most of these classes, there are several different paths and playstyles that are competitively viable. We’ve never measured a Meta that is more diverse than the one we see right now.
As for a Meta breaker, there isn’t really a Meta breaker at the moment. There isn’t a deck that is far and above the rest, and that is a very good thing.
There are trends, however, decks that cause slight “fractures” to the Meta and re-shape the landscape while continuing to keep it fresh.
One of these is Silence Priest. Purify is no longer a meme. This archetype has seen the biggest improvement in its performance level over the past week, which correlates with the appearance of Zuka’s build. This build sheds some of the clumsiness of earlier builds that maximized silence targets and silence effects. Instead, it opts for more control in the form of Potion of Madness, which helps swing the board in the early game against aggressive decks. Acolyte of Pain helps the deck’s consistency in drawing the silence effects and the silence targets. Divine Spirit and Inner Fire is the deck’s primary and fast win condition, which helps it race against aggressive decks or build a taunt wall they can’t go through. This package is the primary reason why the archetype dominates Jade Druid while boasting a matchup against Crystal Rogue which is only slightly unfavored. Lyra is the new addition and the crown jewel of the deck, being the secondary and slower win condition, a value engine in more grindy matchups against decks that are capable of shutting down your big threats. Lyra can win games by herself, and has tremendous synergy with your cheap spells which are complemented by Radiant Elementals. The deck has one clear flex slot, filled by a Hungry Crab which was aimed to target a Paladin infested Meta. This card can be changed depending on the changing landscape, with Wild Pyromancer being a very good choice against the trending Token Druids, or just adding a Tar Creeper as another tool to fend off aggression.
Unicorn Priest is featured in the Meta breaker section.
Warlock is the worst class in the game.
Let the pigs fly.
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