Welcome to the 48th edition of the Data Reaper Report!
Our Data Reaper Project, including the Data Reaper Live (Beta) has over 2,600 active contributors. Without them, this project would not be possible, so we’d like to thank all of our contributors for their help.
Number of Games
The first thing that we’d like to note is that the legend Meta is very different from the 1-5 Meta. We’ll discuss each case more thoroughly, but a lot of it has to do with the time of the month. Since we’re still quite far away from the end of the month, players are more willing to experiment and practice/test new builds/classes once they reach legend, so it could explain some of the discrepancies that are shown. However, there are some discrepancies that can be linked to legitimate shifts in the Meta that will trickle down over time. As the month draws to a close, the 1-5 chart and the legend chart usually exhibit more similar Meta’s.
The Mage class is exhibiting an explosive rise in popularity across all levels of play. Burn Mage is seeing a slight uptick at the higher levels. But, most of this rise in popularity is attributed to last week’s Meta Breaker, Secret Mage. The archetype has basically doubled in its numbers, and it is one of the most prevalent decks at legend ranks, with players continuing to display a lot of success with it. We’re in the midst of the Meta being torn down by a deck that was completely ignored for weeks by the player base, and it is showing no signs of stopping.
Paladin’s state is very intriguing. Overall, it has risen in play and has become the most popular class at ranks 1-5. However, its numbers drop by a third at legend. When looking at the behavior of the archetypes as well as observing the numbers of Token Druids, the answer becomes clear. Murloc-based Paladin decks are being suppressed by the prevalence of Token Druids packing Hungry Crabs, especially at the very top legend ranks. While both Murloc and Midrange Paladin are very strong decks, the matchup with Token Druid is extremely off-putting for players. We can see that Control Paladin is the one Paladin deck that’s unaffected at legend, and even rises in play. Unlike the faster archetypes of the class, Control Paladin dominates Token Druid quite convincingly. The mindset of legend players this week has been quite clear and can be observed by some of the tech choices in many decks we’re featuring this week: Beat Token Druid, at all costs.
Warrior has been a on a slippery slope since the launch of the expansion and the hype that surrounded its two main archetypes. Most of this decline is attributed to Taunt Warrior, which is an archetype that has stagnated in its development. But we’re also finally seeing signs of Pirate Warrior declining at the highest levels of play. Not only is Pirate Warrior unfavored in the matchup against Token Druid, the suppression of Murloc Paladins by Token Druids is also taking away one of Pirate Warrior’s better matchups. Within this declining class, we’re seeing the rebirth of the good old fashioned Control Warrior, establishing a very small ladder presence. We cannot yet properly assess its power levels this week, but it’s been doing well for quite a few players, so it might find its way into the Un’Goro Meta.
Priest is rising in play, and there are several good reasons for it. Token Druid generally struggles against the Priest class as a whole due to its archetypes having access to pretty effective forms of AOE. Another thing to remember is that the number of Paladins and Warriors is falling at the highest levels of play. Together with Rogue, they have imposed a crippling wall on Priest’s potential. This inhibition might be lessened now, and this correlates with the top legend success that is being reached with Silence Priest for the past week.
Rogue’s numbers have been consistent for a while, with its prevalence remaining a bit higher at legend. Rogue has historically been a class that does better at the beginning of the month. It thrives in a more experimental Meta, which often occurs when the legend ladder is a bit less competitive, so we’re not surprised at the class’ behavior. Crystal Rogue is still one of the most popular decks in the game, and that is unlikely to change due to the polarizing nature of its matchups. Miracle Rogue is a bit more niche and requires a stronger read on the Meta in order to be successful.
Shaman is, perhaps, the most interesting and difficult class to assess. In terms of its build diversity, it is an absolute mess. Its archetypes are fractured and extremely erratic, with no consistent list gaining significant traction. It’s behaving as if we’re at the very beginning of the expansion and that might be due to the player base experimenting very little with it, and/or the class being difficult to figure out. However, beyond the Jade, Elemental and Control decks we’re more familiar with, something is brewing with the token-centric Shaman decks. We can still observe the aggressive, Bloodlust builds that have been performing well according to our metrics for a while, but now we’re also seeing the Doppelgangster/Evolve package appearing in several different shells. We find the Token Shamans as well as the Evolve Shamans, to be the most interesting archetypes within the class, and they may carry the greatest potential.
Hunter is declining at all levels of play. While Hunter is definitely not weak by any means, the class feels a bit pigeon-holed into the same Midrange shell it’s always had. It is suffering from a lack of novelty as well as an overall unspectacular performance level. Players at the highest levels look to counter specific decks, and Midrange Hunter’s overall balanced matchup spread doesn’t really synergize with this plan. It remains the perfect class for new players, both in terms of relatively low complexity as well as its low cost to craft. Competitively, it is a solid choice.
You need to queue up an average of 165 times in order to meet a Warlock past rank 5.
The Power Rankings table provides us with a clear picture of what’s occurring, and in many cases, explains some of the discrepancies between the legend Meta and the 1-5 Meta.
Mage has leapfrogged the rest of the field and has established itself as the best class in the game. Both Burn Mage and Secret Mage exceed the 52% win rate mark at ranks 1-5, while Burn Mage only slightly drops off below that mark at legend. Secret Mage is the bigger story, as it’s looking absurdly powerful in the current Meta and has opened a significant performance gap at the highest level of play, when it might not have even reached its final form. Why is this archetype so frighteningly good? And why is it even better at legend ranks?
Let’s look at some of the other powerful decks in the Meta. Pirate Warrior and Murloc Paladin’s scores significantly drop as you climb the ranks, and since we’ve already observed the frequency charts, we can immediately understand why. Token Druid’s prevalence at legend is stopping these archetypes from going out of control. Hungry Crab is one of the most significant Meta defining cards in the game and its effect on Murloc Paladin’s performance cannot be underestimated. But Hungry Crab can’t eat a Mana Wyrm. Secret Mage is unfazed by the presence of Token Druid, and more so, it enjoys the fact that it is killing its biggest counter. Based on these numbers though, Paladin can still do well in a Crab Meta, and it is very likely that as the Meta continues to shift towards Secret Mage, its numbers will recover at legend and reduce Secret Mage’s win rate. It’s also possible that the rest of the legend Meta, which has been so focused on Token Druid, will begin to shift its attention towards Mage. The archetype to watch out for is Control Paladin, since it mostly dodges the Crab tech, and has a positive win rate against both Token Druid and Secret Mage.
Warrior is settling into its new position of being strong, but far from being dominating. Pirate Warrior’s score at legend is particularly incredible. It’s just not as scary as it used to be as the result of the Meta shifting away from it. Should Murloc Paladin’s numbers recover at legend, it might raise its head, but we don’t see it becoming a powerhouse. Taunt Warrior is a good deck, but it really feels the weight of Jade Druids and Crystal Rogue. The matchup with the popular Mage archetypes is not easy either. As for Control Warrior, since it’s fairly new in the scene, and its recent builds were just starting to appear, we’re not comfortable yet of providing data on its performance. We will say, however, that it’s performing quite well, even better than Taunt Warrior based on our preliminary findings. There is definitely potential in the old dog that’s worth exploring.
Crystal Rogue’s future in the Meta doesn’t look great to us. As long as Token Druid is this popular, it’s going to have a hard time. In addition, the rise of Secret Mage is also troubling, since this matchup is just as brutal. Any trend we anticipate results in a difficult situation for Rogue, so unless something unexpected happens, it should retain its current state of being a situational, Meta dependent choice that could be very powerful at the right moment. We are aware of the debate surrounding this deck and think its current win rate should not be the only factor in evaluating whether it is “healthy” for the game, as the deck warps the Meta to be hostile towards it. On that point, we agree with Brian Kibler. He also happens to be very handsome, has married a wonderful wife and has a very cute dog.
Miracle Rogue, on the other hand, is even more difficult to get value off at the highest levels of play. It is capable of being successful, but it requires flexibility and a really strong read on the Meta because inherently, it is most certainly at a disadvantage against the field. For more on that, you can read the Rogue section and observe two very polarizing builds that have seen success over the past week.
The Priest class looks to be in fine shape. The decline in Warriors and Paladins is helping some of its archetypes significantly. Dragon Priest even sneaks above the 50% win rate mark at legend. Interestingly, it is the only non-Paladin archetype that carries a favorable matchup against Secret Mage at the moment, so its value could further rise with time. Silence Priest is also exhibiting increasing performance levels at higher skill levels. In addition to the Meta shift that is beneficial to it, it is a relatively young archetype that may need a bit more time to settle. It is certainly strong in a Meta that isn’t littered with Paladins. Miracle Priest, however, looks much worse and it has a hurdle we do not think it can skip over. Even if Priest becomes a favorable choice in the Meta, Miracle Priest loses in the mirror matchups against the other Priest archetypes quite horribly. It just seems to be inferior in every way.
Finally, let’s talk about the chaos that is the Shaman class. Only two Shaman decks are present in the power rankings because it has multiple clusters that are very unstable and have a small sample size, meaning we’re not yet confident enough to give a verdict on them. Jade Shaman has been starting to stabilize somewhat and while its score isn’t flattering, it’s been spiking upwards due to a change in its builds, and it might be a stronger archetype than the numbers suggest at the moment. However, most of our attention is focused on the token centric Bloodlust builds that have begun to change and incorporate the Evolve/Doppelgangster package. We can also observe Evolve Shaman builds that are much slower and carry out a more value centric game plan. The preliminary data we have on these clusters, whether they have the Evolve package or not, is pretty nuts. Should a consistent build be found and settled, it could have Meta breaking potential that launches Shaman from the bottom of the Meta to the very top of it. Of course, there is no guarantee that this will happen. However, history suggests that there is some meaning behind these numbers. Secret Mage was performing very well according to our metrics from the first week of Un’Goro. It was ignored, downplayed, and here we are. Evolve/Token Shamans are where Secret Mage was a month ago. Could they follow in its footsteps?
Class Analysis & Decklists
Paladin is one of the strongest and most versatile classes in the game, with three archetypes performing well against the field and each of them establishing a fair amount of ladder representation. Murloc, Midrange, and Control Paladin are all turning in fantastic results.
This week saw Murloc Paladin piloted to Top 10 by Sempok, who most notably cut Finja from his list. Instead, he added Murloc Tidehunters to help the deck establish board in the early game. The merit of Finja is a big debate right now, since it usually only spawns fairly small bodies in a heavy murloc build. Some suggest the sacrifice in consistency isn’t worth it, while others point out that it’s still a fairly effective comeback mechanic that thins your deck while also synergizing with Gentle Megasaur.
Midrange Paladin has remained mostly stable since the early days of its emergence, but nevertheless it is one of the sturdiest and most consistent decks you can choose to pilot. Zanananan piloted the deck to Legend earlier this month, and his build, interestingly, does run Finja. Since Midrange Paladin runs a smaller murloc package, the chances of spawning a Warleader are higher, so Finja might be more effective in a slower deck that needs a swing turn more often. In addition, this build only runs one copy of Equality, which makes sense in a Meta that is quite aggressive and light on Taunt Warriors.
Control Paladin is the most intriguing archetype to watch evolve. After the initial successful decks being largely N’Zoth-based, the trend is leaning toward decks that don’t rely on the Old God as a value engine. In an aggressive Meta, N’Zoth is unnecessary, and deckbuilders are mostly focusing on the archetype excelling at its strong point, which is exhausting aggressive decks out of resources. Evangelion added Elise in his climb to legend as an alternative value engine for the build. The advantage of Elise over N’Zoth is she requires no further supporting deck slots, which are instead filled by more consistent, standalone cards. Interestingly, this build cuts Doomsayers for Dirty Rats, which can help in the more difficult matchup with Crystal Rogue.
- Paladin Class Radar
- Sempok’s Murloc Paladin
- Spaiikz’ Murloc Paladin
- Machamp’s Midrange Paladin
- Zanananan’s Midrange Paladin
- Rase’s Control Paladin
- Underscore’s Control Paladin
- Evangelion’s Control Paladin
The Secret is out. Secret Mage is one of the strongest archetypes in the game, and Mage now has at least two dominant archetypes alongside Burn Mage. The most popular version of Secret Mage on ladder at the moment, with which Sveiks and Sytrax had great success last week, runs a very low curve and aims to out-tempo opponents as early as possible. It runs a consistent package of 4 secrets that provide the most immediate tempo advantage: Counterspell and Mirror Entity.
Kabal Lackey, however, is currently getting cut from many lists as players work to refine the archetype further. While it allows you to cheat out a secret on turn 1, that play is not even very good most of the time. It requires you to keep a secret in hand with the Lackey, the secret is not likely to perform very well into the opponent’s first turn and the minion itself dies to pretty much everything. This makes Lackey’s usage more optimal as a utility minion in the mid-game that acts as a Preparation for secrets, which might not be a great fit in a deck that runs out of steam and relies on top decking high impact cards quite often.
ZachO steamrolled to legend this month with a build that cuts Lackeys, adding Pyros and Faceless Summoner. Pyros is an underrated legendary that might be better than people first anticipated. For 2 mana, you get a solid body that draws you a high value minion, which fills the curve on your weakest mana slot: turn 6. It is also a threat that the opponent has to deal with, providing the Mage with much more longevity. Faceless Summoner is another high value card that is also a strong tempo play since it produces an immediate board, acting as a 3rd Fireland’s Portal. Players are also experimenting with other flex cards. HelixFossil hit top 10 legend with a similar build that runs Ice Block instead of one Mirror Entity, as well as a Pyroblast. This small tweak sacrifices some board presence to enable the Mage to sometimes ignore the opponent’s board behind an Ice Block and dish out enough face damage that can be closed out with Pyroblast.
The PsyGuenther Burn Mage archetype is also doing well on ladder. Much has been said regarding this deck’s incredible flexibility and this week is further proof of that. Blitzchung hit #1 legend this week with a list that runs two Volcanic Potions as well as a Secret Eater. The Potions are a clear tech against Token Druids, while Eater of Secrets can make the mirror matchup quite lopsided. Since the build has a multitude of reactive cards, these answers can be adjusted according to the questions that are being asked by your opponents. Burn Mage is a deck that should not be blindly copied and pasted! Consider the original PsyGuenter build as the ‘default’ one and treat the Babbling Books, Kabal Couriers and Gluttonous Ooze as the flex slots that could be replaced with a “definitive” answer to a problem you’re facing.
There are other Mage archetypes that see success even though their play rates are very low. Lektron’s Tempo Mage continues to have some top legend success by a few players, and although it has been overshadowed somewhat by the now higher profile Secret Mage, it could potentially be very powerful as well since both archetypes share some of the tools that make Mage such a strong class.
To finish things off, could Exodia Mage make a comeback? The forgotten archetype with the potentially game breaking quest reward has been piloted by Rage, combo player extraordinaire, to the #24 legend spot. His unique build runs The Curator with Coldlight Oracles and Mukla, Tyrant of the Vale, as a spell generator. This deck is quite difficult to play, but it is also a lot of fun. Approach with caution!
- Mage Class Radar
- ZachO’s Secret Mage
- HelixFossil’s Secret Mage
- PsyGuenther Discover Burn Mage
- B787’s Elise Burn Mage
- Blitzchung’s Volcanic Burn Mage
- Standard Tony Freeze Mage
- Lektron’s Tempo Mage
- Rage’s Exodia Mage
Druid is the most popular class at higher levels of play, with Token Druid being the most prevalent archetype in the game. It is the biggest contributing factor to the suppression of Murloc Paladins and Pirate Warriors due to its ability to get on the board faster than any other deck, and Living Mana being such an incredibly effective card in aggressive mirrors in general. The Crab tech is also proving to be valuable, with Golakka Crawler and Hungry Crab being crippling swing cards that synergize well with the deck’s overall game plan even in matchups where their battlecry can’t trigger.
The archetype seems to be evolving towards builds that take its dominant Meta position into account. With mirror matchups becoming more frequent at higher levels of play, there is a trend to drop the Finja package in order to dodge the Hungry Crab tech of your opponents and improve the deck’s matchup against control decks that try to counter Token Druids. Phonetap’s build, with which he reached top 10 legend, runs Bittertide Hydras, Genzo the Shark and Tar Creepers. Hydra is most effective when you’re ahead on the board, which usually happens when facing control, but it can also be a strong card in an aggressive mirror, especially when Innervated out. Genzo is a nod to these control matchups where the opponent is generally passive and defensive, and can be swapped for a Swipe if you’re encountering more aggression. Tar Creeper is a sticky and annoying minion that can protect your smaller bodies before you can buff them. Ravasaur Runt shines against slower decks and gets less value when the board is contested in the early game. For that reason, some players opt instead for Dire Wolf Alpha, which synergizes with your 1-drops and helps you find better, immediate trades.
Jade Druid may have more to worry about. While the deck has great matchups against control decks, and has shored up its weaknesses to aggressive decks such as Pirate Warrior and Hunter, it still suffers against tempo decks that don’t run out of gas very quickly. Adding to the list of scary opponents is Secret Mage. While Jade Druid is a natural counter to slower Mage archetypes, Secret Mage gives it fits. Mirror Entity and Counterspell have traditionally been thorns in the side of Ramp Druid decks throughout the history of the game, and Jade Druid suffers the same way. While the deck can gain huge amounts of armor, this armor is irrelevant when you’re still behind on the board and taking repetitive minion damage, which often happens in the matchup against Secret Mage due to its ability to generally outpace the Druid on every turn. Pizza’s Jade Druid build runs Yogg, which is the common tech for the archetype in order to be able to swing board states in your favor against tempo focused midrange decks (including the mirror).
- Druid Class Radar
- Tyler’s Token Druid
- Phonetap’s Token Druid
- JustSaiyan’s Jade Druid
- Pizza’s Jade Druid
The Warrior class is starting to slip. It is becoming less and less popular every week, especially at higher levels of play where new, exciting and, above all, good decks are developed regularly while boring old Taunt Warrior and Pirate Warrior get left by the wayside.
Taunt Warrior in particular has suffered, with a significant drop in usage that is backed up by a drop in its win rate. What’s interesting about this win rate drop is that it doesn’t necessarily come from the change in the Meta but rather a result of other decks becoming better in the matchup, an indication of the archetype’s own stagnation and difficulty in adjusting to refined competition.
Pirate Warrior, meanwhile, is also beginning to show signs of weakness. It remains in the leading pack of decks but is definitely suffering from Token Druid’s presence. The standard list likely remains the most optimal one, though we’ve started to see Spellbreakers become a more common tech choice. Although the deck clearly has flaws and some miserable matchups, it remains a generally strong choice for storming up the ladder.
An archetype that is beginning to pop up with some decent results this week is Control Warrior. IAmTheKing took Fibonacci’s removal-heavy list from last month to top 20, Titan hit top 100 with a build that runs Grimestreet Informant, while NaviOOT hit legend with his favorite archetype as well. It’s quite possible that the deck starts to emerge as a serious contender in the not-too-distant future.
- Warrior Class Radar
- Standard Taunt Warrior
- Standard Pirate Warrior
- NaviOOT’s Control Warrior
- Fibonacci’s Control Warrior
- Titan’s Control Warrior
Rogue’s name of the game continues to be preying on slower, experimental decks while trying to avoid aggressive decks. Crystal Rogue’s core build has been settled upon for a while, with a few tech choices that are mostly Meta dependent. Some prefer running the Doomsayer builds, while others prefer the addition of more taunts, such as Tol’vir Stoneshaper and even Tar Creeper. Hungry Crabs are also a popular tech in a Meta that is rampant with Paladins. For ladder news, Posesi hit #1 legend with Machamp’s Doomsayer variant this week. Remember that even if you tech the deck extremely defensively, it doesn’t necessarily make a specific build suddenly favored against aggressive decks, but it does earn some percentages in these matchups which could be significant as long as the sacrifice in its control matchups is smaller.
Miracle Rogue is in a more interesting spot as its builds are a bit more diverse. There are two main approaches for Miracle Rogue at the moment, and both of them are quite Meta dependent. Meati hit #1 legend with a Miracle Rogue deck that runs SI:7 Agents and neither Arcane Giants nor Questing Adventurers. This build is the opposite of greed and aims to significantly improve Rogue’s performance against aggressive decks at a cost of its consistency against Control.
At the other end of the spectrum, and nearly a week later, you have Asmodai hitting top 10 legend with a Miracle Rogue build that runs two Giants and two Adventurers. Needless to say, this deck carries a significant amount of threats that make it very difficult to beat for slower decks. It seems that Miracle Rogue, while not being in a great spot in the Meta, can find ways to sneak in and do some work with the understanding that it has the capability of dominating control or stemming off aggression to some degree. It just can’t do these things with one list of 30 cards.
- Rogue Class Radar
- Xixo’s Crystal Rogue
- Machamp’s Crystal Rogue
- Asmodai’s Miracle Giants Rogue
- Meati’s Miracle Agents Rogue
Priest is still in the middle of the pack when it comes to overall play, but it does seem like it has successfully developed a ladder niche that is legitimately viable. One of the biggest issues facing Priest has been its weakness to Pirates, Rogues, and Paladins, and whenever these classes decline, Priest breathes easier.
The good news is that these decks have made Token Druid an absolute favorite for many climbers, and the Priest archetypes all have fairly solid win rates against it.
Silence Priest appears to be one of the stronger, if not strongest Priest deck for ladder at the moment, especially at top legend where Paladins are being bitten by rampaging Hungry Crabs. Ostkaka hit #1 legend with a fairly standard list initially pioneered by Zuka, while Bdbringa also hit #1 with a list that cuts Faceless Shamblers for Circle of Healing. The reasoning behind adding Circles in addition to two Wild Pyromancers is empowering the deck’s card draw engine. This build leans towards drawing as aggressively as possibly in order to accumulate combo pieces to kill your opponent while relying on Pyro combos to clean up the opponent’s early game. The more standard list looks to build a wider board and fend off aggression by establishing a massive taunt.
Lyra the Sunshard remains one of the breakout surprises of the entire Meta, and should be in every priest deck you could ever imagine crafting. It fuels the Miracle archetype as seen in Sjoesie’s Miracle combo build that got him #9 legend.
Dragon Priest has remained fairly stable since the early day of the expansion, with Meati’s build being the more defensive variant, running two Potions of Madness and a Defender of Argus. Internally, Defender of Argus has always been a favorite of the vS team as it is one of the strongest tools for the archetype to improve the matchup against Pirate Warrior and other aggressive decks.
- Priest Class Radar
- Ostkaka’s Silence Priest
- BDBRINGA’s Silence Priest
- Gcttrith’s Dragon Priest
- Meati’s Dragon Priest
- Sjoesie’s Miracle Priest
- Thijs’ Highlander Priest
With a rise in Secret Mages and the continued threat of Token Druid, Hunters are opting for more anti-aggro tech cards this week. Alongside this push for anti-aggro in Hunter, the five drop slot has become much more open once again, with a variety of minions being tested.
One such anti-aggro Midrange Hunter list was developed by Freakeh, who teched in Nesting Rocs to give a lasting taunt against Token Druid and to force out Fireballs from Secret Mage. The deck also uses two Golakka Crawlers and one Hungry Crab as the tech choices, likely due to the relatively Paladin light Meta at top legend and Golakka Crawler being able to hit a wider range of decks. Since you are mainly missing the crab targets against control decks, the more value you have, the better off you are, so a 2 mana 2/3 is better than a 1 mana 1/2. The most interesting aspect of the list is the absence of Kindly Grandmother. Usually considered a staple in Hunter lists, the argument against it is that its immediate impact on the board is at times too slow in aggressive mirrors.
While Freakeh toyed with a small amount of anti-aggro tech in his Hunter, NickChipper developed an aggressive Hunter list which cuts Highmane and top out at Bittertide Hydra. Highmane is very susceptible to wide boards (Token Druid) as well as the Mage’s toolkit (Frostbolt and Mirror Entity), so it makes sense to cut it with these two decks still on the rise.
Bittertide Hydra provides a way for Hunter to quickly close out games if left unanswered, which gives the deck a chance to cheese out wins against control. For the same reason, Vicious Fledgling is also being experimented with at the 3 slot instead of the slower Rat Pack in some builds. Although Tundra Rhino was appearing to take over the five slot in Hunter, with the increasing aggressiveness of the Meta, both Nesting Roc and Bittertide Hydra have proven to be more than capable of filling the five mana slot.
- Hunter Class Radar
- Freakeh’s Midrange Hunter
- Xzirez/Muzzy’s Midrange Hunter
- NickChipper’s Hybrid Hunter
Jade Shaman, previously a mainstay of the previous Meta, has been relegated to fringe status this season. This week however, we saw an increase in the usage of this deck, especially at higher levels of play. Asmodai peaked at #33 legend with his take on this archetype. The deck contains the usual Jade package that gives the deck its scary snowball effect, but also carries a lot of the anti-aggro tools that the class possesses, with Hallezeal the Ascended and 5 AOE spells. His list also runs Harrison Jones, which is pretty good against Paladin and Warrior as well as Mages running Medivh. With the departure of Brann Bronzebeard, Jade Shaman lists run Spirit Echo to give the deck staying power in more grindy matchups.
Elemental Shaman saw very little change since Un’Goro was released. There are two ways to build the deck: one way is to run a full Elemental build and the other incorporates solid Jade cards into the deck. Both builds however boil down to the same goal: steamrolling the opponent with elemental synergy. Between the multiple taunt sources, healing, and AOE wipes, this deck has a positive matchup against some of the most popular aggressive decks in the current Meta, such as Token Druid, Murloc Paladin and Pirate Warrior. Its struggles in the Meta come when dealing with slower decks, as well as Rogue, a barrier that prevents the archetype from having more than a small ladder presence.
We’re featuring some of the more experimental decks that contain the Evolve package and seem very promising at the moment. There are both aggressive variants and control Evolve variants that are performing well, and we’ve brought one of each to your attention. We’ve also internally brewed an Evolve-less token Shaman deck, since this archetype has been doing extremely well and merits much more exploration.
- Shaman Class Radar
- Asmodai’s Jade Shaman
- Dwayna’s Elemental Shaman
- wiRer’s Control Shaman
- Savjz’ Lust Evolve Shaman
- Kaalek’s Control Evolve Shaman
- Data Reaper’s Token Shaman
When Priest was bad in Karazhan, we had Zetalot. His perseverance, in playing the class despite the experience possibly shortening his life span, was admirable. When Hunter was bad, we had NickChipper. He tried to make Hunter work and provided us with decklists that were very helpful when encountering that Hunter 60 gold quest you just didn’t want to re-roll.
But now, when Warlock is bad, there is no savior. There is no masochist who is obsessed with playing the class because it’s Warlock. People that played Warlock in the past loved winning games. Warlock doesn’t win many games these days, and so the class has been nearly abandoned, and isn’t even being experimented with by the biggest of memers. You know you’re in bad shape when even Neviilz doesn’t play you.
Secret Mage is definitely looking like the strongest deck in a scene that hasn’t really fully grasped what it can do. With further innovations and adjustments in its build, it’s looking to perform even better. Pyros has been showing its strength in multiple builds, while there are still some variations in a flex spot or two. Pyroblast, Kabal Courier, Faceless Summoner, Ethereal Arcanist, Medivh and even Yogg-Saron have been experimented with. Whatever the final 1 or 2 cards are, the first 28 cards are pretty damn good enough to make it the best deck in the game.
If you’re looking to beat Secret Mage as well as the most prevalent deck at legend, which is Token Druid, Control Paladin is looking like a strong choice in a Meta where Murlocs are just not safe out there.
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