Welcome back to the Wild vS Data Reaper Report! We’re the experts from r/WildHearthstone, and we have partnered with Vicious Syndicate to create the Wild Data Reaper Report. We will be contributing the write-ups and analysis for the report, backed up by the statistics that Vicious Syndicate has become famous for. The data presented in this article is based on 56,000 games.
Welcome to the 10th Data Reaper Report for the Wild format! We have settled into a nice post-nerf meta and now, in the new life of Spring, with the meta threat of Giants decks past us, many decks have begun to thrive anew. Reno Warlocks and Mages, Odd Paladin, Odd Rogue, Secret Hunter, and many others are better-represented and are competitive in a more tolerant meta.
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Step aside, Paladin: Even Shaman is the new top dog. While lists are still in the process of being refined, there is no doubting the sheer power of the deck. Even Shaman represents almost a fifth of the meta from Rank 4-L. Shudderwock is a notable also-ran deck, but no other Shaman archetype sees enough play to report on.
The next most common deck behind Even Shaman is Big Priest, taking up almost 9% of the meta. Everybody feels a certain way about Barnes, but at least we feel something. The deck is by far the most popular archetype for the class across all ranks, followed by a resurgence of Reno Priest and the evergreen Combo Priest list (also including the Quest-OTK Priest archetype popularized by Kripparian).
Warlock has seen a major shift with former power deck Reno Warlock taking back control over Gul’dan’s class identity. Due to the nerfs to Dark Pact and Possessed Lackey, Cubelock now massively struggles against aggressive strategies, causing many players to turn to Reno Jackson as the premium survival strategy. Over 7% of the meta from 4-Legend plays the deck, with other Warlock archetypes making up just under 5% of the meta.
Slow Druid archetypes continue to persist on ladder. However, these decks have seen a small downtick in play due to increased popularity of decks like Reno Warlock, which can tech effectively against them with Dirty Rats, Deathlords, Gnomeferatus, Skulking Geists or any combination thereof.
With the nerf to Call to Arms, Even Paladin has dropped off the face of the earth. The play rate of Aggro Paladin has dropped as well, with most Paladin devotees switching to a variety of builds of Odd Paladin. “Guess who’s Baku – and not Genn”.
The two main Rogue archetypes seeing equal amounts of play are the polarizing Kingsbane Rogue and the aggressive tempo Odd Rogue, one of the more successful aggressive archetypes in the current meta game.
Mage is still relying on Aluneth Burn Mage as the major archetype seeing play with a rise in Reno Mage, as the grindy control deck no longer has to deal with Giants.
Hunter and Warrior continue to see almost no play, but it’s not for a lack of strong decks. As we will see later in the report, both of these classes have strong archetypes in Secret Hunter and Pirate Warrior. If people knew this, maybe they’d play them more.
All hail the new boss – same as the old boss. Even Shaman, like Dude Paladin a few reports ago, is a midrange deck with strong matchups across the field, but it isn’t the only game in town. Odd Rogue and Odd Paladin aren’t far behind Even Shaman, and the other Tier 1 decks (Renolock, Jade Druid, and Big Priest) are also close behind. Even Shaman, Odd Paladin, and Odd Rogue are all board-centric, aggressive, tempo-based decks that look to snowball or fight toe-to-toe for the board. Renolock has made a comeback in the meta as an effective choice to combat these aggressive board-based strategies. Jade Druid and Big Priest are also fairly effective at fighting the top 3 tempo decks while also being able to pick on other slower strategies in the meta game.
We have many a surprise in Tier 2, with Even Warlock, Reno Priest, and Secret Hunter finding their place after the nerfs. Like in Standard, Even Warlock takes advantage of strong Warlock control tools, while playing the Handlock game and beating down opponents with 8/8’s. Reno Priest, another weapon for a more civilized age, has come back to beat up on aggressive board-centric decks, with a few players seeing massive amounts of success with it. Secret Hunter is a deck that’s been under the radar the past few reports due to a lack of game data. We finally have enough data this report to confidently place Secret Hunter in Tier 2, proving that Rexxar should no longer be scoffed at. Tier 3 is a veritable rogue’s gallery of old who’s who’s – decks with polarized matchups or powerful decks living in the wrong meta for them.
Class Analysis & Decklists
Slow Druid decks are still the class’ most viable option; however the main three archetypes (Jade, Malygos, and Togwaggle) have seen a shift in the tier lists. Jade Druid is now a Tier 1 deck due to its ability to efficiently deal with two of the top decks in the meta: Even Shaman and Odd Rogue. Malygos Druid‘s place in the tier lists is mainly unchanged – the deck is losing popularity but not power. Togwaggle Druid has seen a decrease in performance, due to its poor matchups against Odd Paladin, Even Shaman, and Reno Warlock.
For the first time in Wild’s history, Aggro Druid is seeing such little play that it cannot make it to the Tier List. Our low sample estimate is that it’s sitting around Tier 3.
Hunter’s recent popularity in standard hasn’t carried over to wild. At all ranks and at ranks 4-Legend, Hunter is the second least played class. However, unlike the current runt of Wild Warrior, Hunter still has at least one archetype in the Tier 1-2 Range. All of Hunter’s hopes in the current meta fall on the shoulders of Secret Hunter, while Spell and Deathrattle archetypes fail to impress but can still snag the occasional victory.
Secret Hunter is one of the most interesting cases of a deck that appeared in Wild before Standard. Applecat’s list, which he used to reach rank 1 legend in May, uses the powerful Wild Secret Hunter core (Mad Scientist, Cloaked Huntress, Spellstone) as well as a Kathrena package, which has since been carried over into Standard. Not much has changed in terms of builds, though some players have opted to replace the Witchwood Grizzlies with Charged Devilsaurs.
Wild Spell Hunter is a rare beast indeed. We have very little data on the deck but estimate it is somewhere in the Tier 3 range. Spell Hunter likes to play reactively and has trouble applying pressure to the slower control decks that are prevalent at the moment. Don’t count this deck out, though – a turn 4 Barnes into Y’Shaarj and early Spellstone are extremely powerful effects, and a slight change in the meta could shoot this deck right up the power rankings.
Lastly, there is Deathrattle Hunter. We only have enough data to assign it to Tier 4, but it’s a perennial favorite for many players, with Wild streamer Dane taking it to victory in the History of Hearthstone tournament. In the final stage, Dane’s lineup included a Deathrattle Reno Hunter which was able to hold its own against some of the top decks in the meta. It’s hard to say if this deck is actually strong on ladder, but as always with Dane’s decks, it sure is a lot of fun.
Mage is in a bit of a slump currently, being the 3rd least played class. The archetypes are also all Tier 3 or worse and have difficulty handling the variety of popular strategies.
Aluneth Mage struggles against the powerful Even Shaman, usually incapable of handling the totemic pressure and heavily-statted minions that the latter plays. The Aluneth Mage player is usually hard pressed to keep up board pressure against demoralizing tools such as Devolve, and is then usually unable to burn out the Even Shaman opponent in time. That said, it is still a solid choice against slower archetypes like Kingsbane Rogue and Big Priest.
Reno Mage is a solid choice against Even Shaman or other aggressive archetypes in the meta. Cards such as Voodoo Doll and Polymorph, allow the deck to handle Even Shaman’s larger minions and runs them out of resources. That said, the deck still falls short against the exponential value decks like Kingsbane Rogue and Big Priest. The deck is also generally weak against Druid unless it finds its hate cards such as Dirty Rat and Deathlord, or its anti-jade tool, Skulking Geist.
Exodia Mage is struggling very hard right now. There aren’t many decks that you can target with it, the prevalence of burn and silence in the meta means that a well-timed Frost Nova/Doomsayer just isn’t quite what it used to be. There is also an increased prevalence of anti-combo tools in decks because of the presence of Druid, making it even more difficult for the deck to succeed in the current meta.
The Dude abides. Post-nerf, Odd Paladin is the only Paladin archetype to hold onto Tier 1 status. This month, we’re highlighting Aoierias’ Asia #3 legend build, which runs Zombie Chows, Corridor Creepers, and goes all-in on Dude synergy, as well as Slizzle466’s list, which runs a Pirate package.
Aggro Paladin, meanwhile, is probably a little better than the data suggests. With many players switching to Odd Paladin, the remaining “Breakfast Bots” have had an undue effect on the data. We find that opponents are much more likely to be playing Aggro Paladin than contributors are – as bots don’t give us data, and we estimate that the true ceiling of the deck is not being reached on ladder. Nevertheless, the deck performs worse than Odd Paladin in all relevant matchups.
Secret Paladin’s play rate has drastically fallen with the Call to Arms nerf. We can detect it, but not frequently enough to provide matchup data. Post-nerf, the featured list this month from Hail finds space to run two copies of Keeper of Uldaman, which helps the tallest Paladin deck against Even Shaman, which can go even taller.
Murloc Paladin sees a bit of play but fails to yield results. The deck can establish an early board and snowball it to victory, but is not a presence at the top of the Wild meta. Since most lists still play Call to Arms post-nerf, we choose to once again highlight GetMeowth’s #1 Legend NA finish back in February, as it’s the highest finish the deck has had in 2018.
- Aoierias’ Asia #3 Legend Odd Paladin
- Slizzle466’s Top 50 Legend NA Odd Paladin
- Zalae’s Top 10 Legend NA Odd Paladin
- Aggro Paladin
- Hail’s Secret Paladin
- GetMeowth’s February #1 Legend NA Murloc Paladin
To no one’s surprise, Big Priest remains a top contender in the Wild metagame. It’s the most common and the most powerful archetype for the class. While Big Priest is kept in check by burn decks and Kingsbane Rogue, the recent increase in minion-based decks, such as Even Shaman and Odd Paladin, only improves the deck’s standing in Wild. The slew of AoE spells at Anduin’s disposal gives Big Priest strong matchups against these popular decks. Even in unfavorable matchups, the potential for a Barnes on turn 4 can easily steal games by itself. As a result, Big Priest continues to be a Tier 1 deck, even though it’s barely changed since the nerfs.
Reno Priest, on the back of highly favorable matchups in the metagame, finds its way into Tier 2 despite players struggling to find an optimal build. In fact, this report’s archetype cluster registered Dragon and Deathrattle-oriented builds in addition to the combo-based deck featured below. This particular list was piloted to a rank 2 legend finish by sipiwi94. When it comes to beating Even Shaman and Odd Paladin, it does not seem to matter how Reno Priest is assembled– so long as it has the full assortment of removal available to the class.
Spiteful Summoner builds remain the most popular Dragon Priest variant, despite a continued lack of success. In addition to the control builds that made waves in past seasons, midrange Dragon Priests decks, such as the one featured in this report, have been appearing at high ranks of late. Still, Dragon Priest remains an archetype that struggles to find wins, placing it at the bottom of the low tier sample estimates.
Combo Priest, meanwhile, struggles to gain a footing in the metagame. Unfortunately, the same board-centric decks that help other Priest archetypes dominate, push Combo Priests down the Wild Tier List. This effect can be seen in the deck’s play rate, as well, only registering in the low-sample estimates despite its past popularity.
Finally, Quest Priest managed to register on this report thanks to the popularity of Hearthstone superstar Kripparrian. After playing the deck featured below on stream, the archetype exploded in popularity. Unfortunately for Kripp’s massive viewer base, the deck does not seem to be competitively viable, and Quest Priest ends up barely staying out of the bottom spot in this report’s Tier List.
- Big Priest
- Sipiwi94’s Combo Reno Priest
- Spiteful Dragon Priest
- DannyDonuts’ Midrange Dragon Priest
- Haze’s Combo Priest
- Kripparrian’s Mind Blast Quest Priest
Rogue continues to grow in popularity in the post-nerf meta, with two archetypes seeing widespread play at all ranks. Rogue has grown from “the counter-queue class” to a force to be reckoned with. With the new slower meta, both Kingsbane and Odd rogue have become viable options to reach legend with, and to climb within the legend ranks. Both decks tend to do better against the slower archetypes in this meta, but Kingsbane is stronger against Druids. If you are going to choose one of the archetypes for your climb this season, Odd Rogue is likely to give you more success due to its less polarized spread of matchups, but in the hands of an experienced pilot, Kingsbane Rogue can perform well too.
Kingsbane Rogue’s dominance against control decks has gotten to the point where large parts of the player base are complaining about the interactivity of the deck. However, it is one of the main driving forces keeping the meta from becoming a competition for greed like we are seeing in Standard. As far as card choices, little has changed for Kingsbane Rogue since the last report. Evasion is still being experimented with at high ranks. It serves as a tech against aggressive decks and as a way to stall for more time to the powerful Kingsbane late game. Other than that, the same 26 cards remain core to the deck without any major changes in the build.
Odd Rogue appears to be here to stay in the Witchwood meta, cementing itself in Tier 1 across all ranks. While Kingsbane Rogue remains more popular for the time being, it shouldn’t be long before Kingsbane is dethroned. Cards such as Face Collector and Cobalt Scalebane are finding their way into lists, giving the deck more sustain and firepower against slower archetypes. Skulker remains a viable tech choice if you are facing a lot of Paladins and Even Shamans, while Ironbeak Owl is also an option if you are facing a lot of Warlocks and Big Priests.
- Shackdaddy’s #1 Legend Kingsbane Rogue
- Slizzle466’s #26 Legend Face Collector Odd Rogue
- Carly’s #2 Legend Odd Rogue
- MadCorvus’s Rank 1 Legend Odd Rogue
<Face the wisdom of the seas!>
Even Shaman is the most popular deck in Wild, as well as the strongest. A midrange deck that can play whatever role is needed in a given matchup; Even Shaman is only vulnerable to Reno decks, Big Priest, and Jade Druid. The aggressive mana curve of the deck belies its resiliency and staying power. The archetype itself is very broad, with a few builds of Even Shaman approaching refinement in the new meta, and while some builds are sub-optimal, they can still perform extremely well due to the raw power of the archetype. It doesn’t seem to matter how you fill out your 2- and 4-drops, as long as you play strong cards, Genn, and Thing from Below.
In Wild, Shudderwock Shaman began as a Lifedrinker-based OTK deck, like in Standard, but quickly morphed into builds that could take advantage of the powerful Wild-exclusive Jade battlecries and Loatheb, which in combination allow the Shudderwock swing turn to create several golems and protect them from almost all AoEs. Many of the combo lists opt to run Reno Jackson, who’s undeniably a very powerful battlecry to have infinite copies of. Our featured combo list this report is a Reno+Lifedrinker OTK build that Asia player Alice piloted to Legend last month.
Aggro Shaman is still a viable archetype for devotees of the deck. With decks such as Cubelock becoming less popular, Aggro Shaman lost one of its main victims. Aggro Shaman is a victim of Even Shaman’s success, as Even Shaman beats up on Aggro, and plays the late-game much better. The Aggro Shaman lists that are still seeing play are very focused on going face, as it’s the one thing they can do better than Even Shamans.
- Zalae’s Top 10 Legend NA Even Shaman
- Shuku’s Asia #18 Legend Cryostasis Even Shaman
- Eregost’s Jade Shudderwock Shaman
- Alice’s Reno OTK Shudderwock Shaman
- Controltheboard’s Aggro Shaman
With the nerfs to core cards in Cubelock and Giants Lock, the meta was poised for the return of Reno Warlock. The flexibility in building Renolock lets players adapt to their local metagame, working off of the same core of strong AoE, spot removal, healing, Kazakus, Reno, Bloodreaver Gul’Dan, N’Zoth the Corruptor, and… you get the point. Renolock can play the pressure game, the slow, greedy value plan, the anti-combo game, and the anti-aggro game. Reno Warlock is hardly “jack of all trades, master of none” though – the deck is good and extremely versatile, with many players hitting top legend ranks with different builds of Renolock. Use the lists provided here as starting or reference points, but feel free to adjust your deck to fit your meta and your playstyle.
Even Warlock is a deck that gained prominence in Standard after the nerf to Cubelock, and has found a surprising amount of success in Wild. Even though it’s lacking strong even-cost demons, it more than makes up its shortcomings with the addition of Molten Giants and Faceless Shamblers.
As mentioned previously, Cubelock took a major hit against aggressive strategies with the nerf to Dark Pact. Therefore, it’s taken a major tumble in the metagame power rankings. However, it’s still effective against slower decks such as Renolock. Try to avoid the aggressive decks that pressure your life total, and you can still find success with this former great.
Zoolock is another old classic that many people just can’t seem to give up on. With the ability to play a strong mid-game, Kigo has found some continued success with a demon-buff-centric deck. The build looks to snowball the board while running Demonwrath to help clear totems.
- Corbett’s Even Warlock
- GetMeowth’s Rank 4 Legend Cube Warlock
- H1J0’s Rank 1 Legend Reno Warlock
- Dean’s Rank 4 Legend Reno Warlock
- Kigo’s Demon Zoo Warlock
While Warrior is seeing very little play, it’s not because the class is unplayable. Continuing the theme of the post-Naga nerf meta, everything old is new again. Lok’tar Ogar! Pirate Warrior is always a go-to when looking to prey on particularly greedy control decks. Nothing has changed in the deck, except maybe looking to drop one Spellbreaker in favor of an Arcanite Reaper or a Captain Greenskin.
For those among us who truly enjoy ‘hitting the button’, there are still some more controlling Warrior decks seeing some experimentation and success. Odd Quest Warrior was a fad at the beginning of the expansion, but Gunnolf has built a list that’s found some more recent success. Popular face of the format Dane has also found success with a “Fatigue” Control Warrior build featuring Marin the Fox, hitting top 100 legend EU with it. If you’re facing many Paladins, feel free to party like it’s 2015 with Patron Warrior, a deck that should consistently farm Paladin decks at any rank.
- Dane’s Fatigue Control Warrior
- Gunnolf’s Odd Quest Warrior
- ControltheBoard’s Patron Warrior
- Pirate Warrior
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