Welcome to the 34th edition of the Wild Data Reaper Report! This report discusses the format following the 26.4.3 patch on June 15th, the ban to Crimson Clergy.
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Number of Games
|Top 1K Legend||56,000|
|Legend (Excluding Top 1k)||69,000|
|Diamond 4 to 1||103,000|
|Diamond 10 to 5||118,000|
Shaman is one of the format’s pillar classes, comprised of its seemingly eternal archetypes: Shudderwock and Even Shaman. Even Shaman sees modest play throughout ladder. Shudderwock Shaman jumps at higher levels of play, peaking at around 15% of the field at top legend, making it the most popular deck.
Priest has three main archetypes: Big, Reno, and Shadow. Big Priest is relatively more popular outside of legend ranks but sees very little play at top legend. Reno Priest is relatively popular at Bronze through Gold, declines at Platinum and Diamond, before rising again at legend. This is a testament to its popularity amongst both casual and dedicated Wild players. Shadow Priest is not too common throughout most of ladder but becomes very noticeable at legend. At top legend, it’s one of the most popular decks.
Druid is a staple throughout ladder, also utilizing three distinct archetypes: Quest (Lost in the Park), Mill and Tony. Both Mill and Tony are fatigue decks at their core, but Tony Druid runs an Auctioneer Miracle shell to accelerate fatigue, while Mill Druid is built defensively around Dew Process. At top legend, Quest Druid becomes the 2nd most prominent deck in the format, dwarfing the other two Druid strategies.
Mage is the most popular class outside of legend. Secret Mage is the most common deck on the final climb to legend from Diamond 4, while Quest Mage is another frequent opponent that’s particularly popular at lower rank brackets. At top legend, Secret Mage noticeably declines, but Quest Mage is unaffected.
Rogue’s most competitive strategies are Kingsbane and Pirate Rogue, while a small Thief Rogue population is concentrated at lower ranks. Kingsbane and Pirate Rogue exhibit very similar and stable play rates throughout ladder.
Quest Demon Hunter is the only archetype that sees significant play in its class. Historically, the class hasn’t been an attractive choice in Wild, especially for high MMR players. Quest DH seems to be an exception, becoming increasingly popular at top legend.
Speaking of history, Warlock is known for having a diverse set of strategies in the format. This is still true to an extent, but the fractured class doesn’t seem able to replicate its success from the past. None of its strategies have much traction in the current format. Quest Warlock is the most notable archetype. Reno and Even Warlock are very fringe strategies.
Paladin sees modest play throughout ladder. The most notable archetypes are Mech, Dude (Odd) and Pure. Hunter hasn’t really gained a foothold in the format, only Small-Beast Hunters utilizing Harpoon Gun and Starving Buzzard survive to top legend. Death Knight and Warrior are largely abandoned past Diamond 4.
vS Meta Score
- Shudderwock Shaman is a Tier 2 performer at all rank brackets. The Murloc-focused variant is the predominant approach. Shudderwock Shaman offers a very balanced matchup spread that gives players a sense of agency in every game, which is likely driving its popularity at top legend. It does tend to struggle against burn decks, such as Secret Mage, Shadow Priest, and Kingsbane/Pirate Rogue. It’s also unfavored against Quest DH.
- Even Shaman looks very strong. Its matchup spread is nearly perfect, and the deck is arguably the most well rounded in the format. Only Shudderwock Shaman seems capable of beating it consistently, which is why Even Shaman is a Tier 1 deck at every rank bracket except top legend, where Shudderwock becomes very popular.
- Despite its popularity, Reno Priest is not very strong at any point on ladder, mostly sitting at the bottom of Tier 3. There is no popular deck in the format it’s favored against besides a small edge against Pirate Rogue.
- Big Priest is a solid deck at lower ranks, but becomes progressively worse at higher levels of play, which explains its small presence at top legend. Interestingly, it’s favored against Quest Druid, which not many decks can claim, but it has too many bad matchups for that to matter.
- Shadow Priest is the strongest Priest deck, a sleeper deck that not many players are aware of but offers one of the best choices for the ladder climb. It’s a good counter to Shudderwock Shaman and a hard counter to Quest DH, which are valuable traits at top legend. The Quest Druid matchup presents the biggest obstacle, as is the historically poor Even Shaman matchup.
- Quest Druid looks busted. The deck picked up many synergistic pieces after its rotation to Wild and has ascended to another level. Its performance is extremely dominant, exceeding the rest of the competition by a significant margin once you reach top legend, but it’s important to note that it’s extremely powerful everywhere on ladder. It is very much underplayed relative to how good it is.
- However, the deck is not without counters. The Paladin class specifically offers multiple options to swarm the Druid and deem its game plan and removal tools (such as Rake) less effective due to small taunts that get in its way. Big Priest also tends to roadblock it.
- Tony Druid is an underwhelming performer that gets worse as you climb ladder. Aggressive decks give it a hard time, as do decks that carry disruption tools. It does seem to perform relatively well against Quest decks, which seems valuable on paper, but it doesn’t offset its other weaknesses. The Secret Mage matchup is particularly painful (20/80).
- Mill Druid fails to even accomplish what Tony Druid can do, making it entirely obsolete. It’s just bad.
- Secret Mage finally got a 1-drop after all these years, and it’s back on the map. Secret Mage is a polarizing deck that hasn’t really changed its characteristics from the past. It tends to thrive in slow matchups. If it’s given time to take control of the board, it becomes dangerous. Decks that run a ‘heavier’ curve also have a more difficult time playing around its secrets. Faster decks tend to outpace it, pushing it off the board, even with Flakmage and Bartender available. Alternatively, decks that run many cheap cards, can play around Mage’s disruption package better.
- Quest Mage is just not good. It does well against slow (and bad) Priest decks, but there’s not much else out there to take advantage of.
- A relatively fringe archetype in Mech Mage is showing competitive promise. It has a decent matchup against Quest Druid and resembles Mech Paladin to some degree, but that could hinder its play rate, as it’s the much inferior Mech deck.
- Pirate Rogue may beat Shudderwock Shaman, but its miserable struggles against Quest Druid and Even Shaman are proving to be a bigger problem. It also has a terrible matchup against Mech Paladin, which could rise in response to Quest Druid. The deck gets progressively worse as you climb ladder and meet a more competitive field.
- Kingsbane Rogue also declines in power at higher rank brackets. It’s a similar deck to Quest Druid, with arguably a slightly stronger late game, but is much worse overall since it doesn’t have the armor gain that helps Druid dominate burn decks.
- We finally have a top tier Demon Hunter deck in Wild. Quest DH executes board swings like no other deck, while boasting a strong late game plan and Glide to beat slower decks. However, it needs to survive to turn 5 to reach its most consistent power spike, which is the 2nd Glaivetar charge. Decks that rush it down before that point can find a lot of success against it. Aggressive decks such as Shadow Priest and Even Shaman can flood the board hard and early. Alternatively, pounding its face through Quest Druid or Kingsbane Rogue is also effective.
- Mech Paladin might be the most important finding in this report for the purpose of stopping Quest Druid. It’s the strongest and most effective counter to the developing meta tyrant. It’s also the strongest performer in the format outside of legend. Mech Paladin does have its weaknesses, most notably Shudderwock Shaman and Quest DH (which are more prevalent at top legend), but should Quest Druid spike in play, Mech Paladin’s stock should only rise further.
- Dude Paladin is showing signs of competitive life, sitting at Tier 2. Its board flooding game plan counters the two dominant Quest decks, making it a very interesting choice at top legend should this report drive more players into these decks. It does have major flaws. You never want to face Priests. Even Shaman outpaces your board development, while Secret Mage can be particularly miserable.
- Pure Paladin is the inferior Paladin deck. It doesn’t seem to do anything that the other two Paladin decks don’t do better.
- Small-Beast Hunter is where the class’ hopes lie. The deck is quite good across ladder. It does well in matchups that give it time to scale into the late game with Stranglethorn Heart, or matchups where it faces an incremental board battle. The decks that give it a harder time are those that produce big swings, since Hunter doesn’t have the tools to counter them.
- Warlock looks even worse in Wild than it does in Standard. Nothing encapsulates that struggle more than looking at Quest Warlock’s win rate. Pour one out for the Demon Seed, or dance on its grave, whatever you’re feeling like. Other Warlock decks at lower sample sizes aren’t doing much better.
- Unholy-Even Death Knight possibly looks okay. It’s estimated a Tier 2 deck that likely drops into the Tier 3 range at higher rank brackets. Not a terrible choice by any means. Other Death Knight decks look nowhere near competitive. Just not enough cards to compete in Wild.
- The Warrior’s situation is grim. There might be something in Menagerie Warrior, but the rest of the class looks a mess.
Class Analysis & Decklists
Glacial Shard is now a core inclusion in Shudderwock Shaman, shoring up the archetype’s weakness to the over-the-top damage of Quest Druid, Pirate Rogue, and Kingsbane Rogue. In general, defensive tools are underestimated. Lightning Storm is very good against aggressive decks, while Healing Rain is a lifesaver against Burn decks.
Though named Shudderwock Shaman, the deck’s primary win conditions are the murloc package and Astalor. You can still go infinite with Shudderwock, but you’re rarely going to need it.
Jam Session is a powerful new addition to Even Shaman, further building upon the deck’s snowballing capabilities. Jam Session pairs particularly well with Windfury.
Reno Priest is highly overplayed. It seems players are still chasing the high of pre-nerf Renathal, but it’s not leading to great results. While Reno Priest can match up closely with a variety of decks, it doesn’t beat anything notable.
Love Everlasting is a top 2 card in Big Priest, alongside Shadow Essence, yet it isn’t close to seeing universal play. It can be difficult for refined builds of Big Priest to trickle down ladder, due to a total lack of interest from content creators and top legend players, as well as the casual nature of players that tend to play Big Priest.
Shadow Priest is a sleeper deck that more players need to be aware of, though it’s no secret at top legend and Quest Druid may prove to become a bigger problem after this report. The featured build is solidified.
Quest Druid is quite broken. It is utterly oppressive against burn-based aggression. It’s also able to pressure slower decks with 0 mana minions and waves of damage from hand. This is a powerful combination that leaves Quest Druid with a narrow set of weaknesses. It does have its counters, but these counters (mostly Paladin) tend to be unattractive options for players. These board-centric, swarming decks also tend to be countered by Shudderwock Shaman. In some ways, Shaman’s popularity enables Druid further.
Quest Druid used to be a joke through most of its time in Standard, but Festival of Legends has given the archetype transformational tools that allowed it to dominate Wild.
Tony Druid received plenty of hype when it first emerged, but it has settled into a position of middling play rate and weak performance. As is typically the case, this glass cannon deck faces significant problems from burn and disruption.
Mill Druid isn’t remotely playable. Just a mess.
Quest Mage gives players the greatest amount of time spent winning, after they’ve already begun to execute their win condition. They can spend multiple turns doing whatever they please, toying with their food. It’s understandable why this is particularly appealing to a subset of players. Just note that if you’re in the group of players that want to gain ranks, you should pick a different deck to play with.
Costumed Singer is not just an additional 1-drop in Secret Mage, something it’s been searching for; it’s the best card in the deck. Orion, on the other hand, is not important.
Mech Mage is a competitive, but unpopular deck. Enhance-o Mechano is a surprisingly strong card here.
Pirate Rogue is not expected to face an ideal meta with Quest Druid’s likely rise in play, but common builds of the archetype are far from optimal. Many slots are wasted with slow and conditional card draw effects instead of running damage that helps us kill opponents. Cold Blood and Harmonic Hip Hop are good.
Kingsbane Rogue fails where Quest Druid succeeds because it has no counter to burn, or does it? Leeching Poison is an underplayed card in the archetype that looks very good, much better than the overrated Cloak of Shadows. Leeching Poison prevents you from needing to spend 4 mana on Cloak of Shadows later in the game.
Quest Demon Hunter has two primary win conditions. The goal in faster matchups is to produce a big board swing through Glaivetar, Brutes, and Wallopers. The kind of stats you can throw onto the board is obscene and should beat any deck that doesn’t carry mass removal options. The goal in slower matchups is to reach fatigue with a highly charged Glaivetar, play Tony, and then break the weapon, drawing your opponent’s deck.
This deck is quite intricate to play and therefore isn’t too visible before top legend, where it is only 2nd to Quest Druid in power. Completing the quest phases, as well as producing board swings, requires a lot of planning and hand management. Its build has been solved for some time, with the same 30 cards being used since the early days of the expansion’s release in April.
Mech Paladin might be the best deck to play today if everyone reads the report and begins to play Quest Druid. Its build is relatively optimized, but Disco Maul is too slow for this deck at 3 mana.
Dude Paladin is another interesting answer for the current format, as it can beat both Quest Druid and Quest Demon Hunter (Mech Paladin loses to Quest DH). This archetype hasn’t been a force in the format for a long time and isn’t the kind of deck that players quickly flock to, but it’s a solid option right now. Barov may seem like an odd inclusion, but it is huge against both quest decks.
Small-Beast Hunter is the best hope for the Hunter class. Stranglethorn Heart has increased the deck’s potential for late-game lethality. It is a difficult game plan to disrupt because Stranglethorn Heart is a spell and requires no elaborate setup. Just play your Shadehounds, play at least one Tundra Rhino and your opponent takes a minimum of 20 charge damage.
Warlock is in a poor state. None of its archetypes look competitive. Quest Warlock looks horrendous, though its best build might be better than the stats suggest. Still, don’t expect this one to be some hidden breaker. It ‘could’ be functional.
Reno and Even Warlock are very messy archetypes, but we doubt they are great even at peak optimization. Reno works best by utilizing Genn Greymane too.
Death Knight is following a similar path to Demon Hunter when the class was initially released. Both classes enjoyed hero power decks that were quite strong in their respective opening expansions. But when those decks began to fade, they were left with nothing. It will take some time for Death Knight to accumulate enough powerful cards to be able to consistently compete in an eternal format. Genn Greymane is currently its best shot.
Warrior has been gasping for air for a long time in Wild. There was hope that a Warsong Commander reversion would breathe some new life into the class, but it didn’t happen. Digging through the class’ data, we did find one deck that may show some competitive potential, and it’s probably the cutest deck in the format. Whether it’s good, we cannot confidently tell. Menagerie Warrior is the best we have to offer.
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