Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Sottle

hearthstone Sottle's Weekly Meta Analysis - Week of 15/02/2015 - 22/02/2015

1 post in this topic

10976-sottles-weekly-meta-analysis-week-

 

Sottle's Weekly Meta Analysis - Week of 15/02/2015 - 22/02/2015

 

Hello again friends! Welcome back to a weekly article where I discuss what's hot, what's not and how you should be building decks to fight back against the meta.

 

Common Decks & Cards

 

This week the meta has been a period of heavy fluctuation, with multiple dramatic shifts. On top of this, small fluctuations of the most dominant deck occured on an almost daily basis, causing ripple effects throughout the rest of the ladder. Although all these shifts can be hard to quantify, the meta went through 3 basic stages this week.

 

Firstly, in the early part of the week, the meta was still in a similar form to the latter part of last week. Many people were holding high rank legend spots with Priest, with the war for #1 on EU being fought exclusively between Priest players. This led to an increase in Oil Rogue players, since Oil Rogue preys on Priest very well. Also, since the specific Priest build that was popular was very strong against Warrior, Warrior was being kept out of the meta, which is a great thing for Oil Rogue since Warrior is one of the their worst matchups. 

 

Then, very quickly after this, the rebirth of Midrange Hunter occured. Midrange Hunter was a deck that had struggled to recover from the Undertaker nerf, since without the early game scaling power, they often found themselves without a platform to build on. However, early this week, a new Midrange list built by a player by the name of SenX came into popularity. SenX himself held Rank 1 Legend with the deck, and Trump climbed to Rank 3 Legend on stream to his usual audience of 20,000+ people. Due to this, the deck exploded in popularity, and as many as 6 or 7 of the top 10 Legend players on EU were playing the deck. This, as is the case with many Hunter decks, quickly filtered down through the ladder and was by far the most common deck on ladder for 2 or 3 days.

 

Then, just as quickly as SenX Hunter appeared, it all but vanished. It's hard to put a finger on why this happened, as SenX's stats reported favourable winrates against many of the proposed counters that appeared, such as Oil Rogue and Control Warrior. But seemingly, the deck lost its potency at high rank, and most Hunters quickly fell back into playing the Face Hunter archetype. As it stands in the later part of the week, the meta is in a very healthy balanced position, which is perhaps to be expected after a period of such turbulence. My experience with playing Ladder in Legend Rank EU on the 22nd showed a healthy mix of Druids, Warriors, Hunters, Paladins, Mages and Priests.

Mech Mage is still as popular as ever, and is still probably the most common deck on ladder at low and mid ranks. This is mainly due to its low cost, relative ease of play, and ability to steamroll any matchup with the right draw. If you are trying to climb from a point below Rank 5, Mech Mage is still certainly a huge consideration for your deck building strategy.

 

In terms of tech cards, Kezan Mystic has finally started to find a foothold in the meta. Promised by Blizzard as the neutral answer to Secrets in the GvG expansion, Kezan Mystic was overlooked for quite a long period. However, due to the resurgence of Hunter, combined with the ever presence of Mage, Kezan Mystic has started to find use both as a tech card in a Control deck, and as an inclusion in Aggro decks to help swing Aggro mirrors in their favour. Stealing a Mirror Entity with Kezan Mystic for example, is a huge swing in momentum and is one of the few ways to deny the massive tempo swing that Mech Mage can usually get off a Mad Scientist.

 

Class Power Rankings

 

1. Hunter

 

 

250px-Rexxar-f.png?version=3f80009401aa5

 

Although it feels strange for me to put Hunter at #1, since it is not exactly dominating the meta currently, no deck really is, and something has to hold the #1 spot. With Hunter being the only class that has two extremely strong archetypes functioning well for it currently, it seems the natural choice to hold the spot by default. Midrange Hunter is back with a bang this week and posted incredible results in the early part of the week. While Face Hunter has made a comeback spurred on by the success of a couple of high profile players in recent tournaments. With this in mind, stacking healing in your deck in the form of Antique Healbot is a solid plan currently, as is teching in a Kezan Mystic to deal with their ever present secrets.

 

2. Rogue

 

 

250px-Valeera_Sanguinar-f.png?version=1f

 

Rogue retains a high ranking this week, but has notably fallen off from last weeks dominance. The quickening of the meta has led to less time for Rogues to set up their gameplan, and the resurgence of Warrior has presented one of Rogue's most difficult matchups back into the format. Because of this, Rogues are stuck in a difficult position where they have to choose between more early game options and including cards like Sabotage in their deck to provide more answers to Control decks like Warrior. Despite this, Oil Rogue is an extremely powerful deck, and like most of the high ranked classes, is capable of beating anything on a good draw.

 

 

3. Warrior

 

250px-Garrosh_Hellscream-f.png?version=a

 

As tends to be the case as seasons draw to a close, Warrior is gaining traction. The long term stability of Warrior Control is not to be overlooked, and it always finds a way back into the meta at least once a season. Warrior is still preying on the Rogue matchup, although Rogues have found some answers to the matchup in the form of Sabotage and Edwin VanCleef, and they have relatively stable matchups against the rest of the field. Only Fast Druid, as always, remains the natural predator of Warriors.

 

 

4. Druid

 

250px-Malfurion_Stormrage-f.png?version=

 

Druid retains a high ranking this week, with Fast Druid being the main deck that is carrying the weight. Hard Ramp Druid has all but disappeared from the meta, since it usually gives other decks too much time to set up their gameplan, and is weak against the Tempo focused decks that are currently very common. To fill some of the hole left by Ramp Druid, some Fast Druid players are incorporating Ramp cards like Sludge Belcher, Zombie Chow, and Mind Control Tech into their decks to create a more Hybrid style of Druid. Druid is also one of the most common decks in which to see the Kezan Mystic tech choice, since Hunter and Mech Mage are typically two of their worst matchups.

 

 

= 5. Mage

 

250px-Jaina_Proudmoore-f.png?version=8f6

 

Mage takes its biggest hit this week since the advent of Goblins vs. Gnomes. With the meta finally prepared to tech cards like Kezan Mystic into their decks to counter Mech Mage, the popular Aggro deck is finally starting to lose a little traction. Meanwhile, Freeze Mage is currently all but unplayable on ladder due to the frequency of Druids, Warriors, and the aforementioned Kezan Mystic.

 

= 5. Priest

 

250px-Anduin_Wrynn-f.png?version=dcf2a67

 

Priest, after a brief flirtation with the top spots in the early part of the week, still maintains a respectable ranking. Current Priest builds are built well to deal with Control matchups through additional tools such as Thoughtsteal and Sneed's Old Shredder, while cards like Holy Fire provide stability against Aggro decks. Priest with a good draw remains one of the best classes in the game at shutting down the early aggression of classes like Mage and Hunter. Despite this, the high amount of Druids and Rogues on the ladder is enough to keep Priest from being a top contender, since the constant Tempo and string of Midrange minions is usually too much for Priest to contend with.

 

 

7. Paladin

 

250px-Uther_Lightbringer-f.png?version=a

 

 

Paladin continues to suffer this week, with the Midrange form of the deck all but forced out of the meta by Oil Rogue. Paladin players have begun to experiment with extremely grindy Paladin decks that load up on huge amounts of healing through double Lay on Hands, Antique Healbot and Guardian of Kings. While these decks are very strong at outlasting Face Aggro and Burst decks, they still rely on very specific draws to be able to contest Midrange Tempo decks that can maintain an aggressive board presence to outpace the healing.

 

8. Warlock

 

250px-Guldan-f.png?version=4bc860759dd1a

 

Warlock claws its way off the bottom this week, mainly due to the Demonlock decks starting to become more refined, and more capable of competing with what the meta has to offer. With that said, the deck is currently having more of an impact in the tournament format than on the ladder meta. The two classic styles of Warlock, Zoo and Handlock, are still currently underperforming due to the same reasons as last week. Zoo simply lacking power since the nerf of Undertaker, and Handlock being ill suited due to all the burst damage and Big Game Hunter in the format. 

 

9. Shaman

 

250px-Thrall-f.png?version=55cd557d01b07

 

 

Shaman falls into the bottom spot this week. With Mech Shaman seemingly not having the staying power that some expected it to, Shaman is without a viable deck for high ranked play currently. Standard Midrange or Control Shaman lists are just not proactive enough, or not stable enough to deal with the highly honed Tempo decks that are being thrown at them. The lack of pro-activity in Shaman, means that decks like Rogue and Druid have all the time in the world to systematically pick them apart. Shaman does offer a few nice benefits, such as the strength of Midrange Shaman against Warrior, or Mech Shaman against Druid, but for the most part, their job is done better by other classes.

For example decklists and guides on all of the referenced decks in this week's meta report, please check out our Hearthstone strategy section.

Thanks for reading and see you next week.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By TheBeninator
      So the latest expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, has been out for more than a month now, and I was curious what everyone´s opinion on it was. Personally, I love the set. It adds more synergy with types of cards that weren´t as popular beforehand. For example, sets like secret mage, demon warlock, taunt warrior, and beast druid/hunter, have all gotten big buffs and can be viable in the meta. I got rank 13 with secret mage and taunt warrior alone, and hope to get to legend with them. What about you?
    • By Zadina
      The live Q&A with the two well-known Hearthstone devs took place yesterday and we've made a recap of the most interesting points.
      First of all, if you want to watch the whole thing, the VOD can be found here (it starts at 14:10). If you prefer a shorter version, Redditor EpicMelon has made a 10-min video of everything important said. Ultimately, if you don't feel like watching videos, we've made a summary of anything worth noting from yesterday's Q&A.
      Ben started talking about the new player experience, a topic he has discussed again this week. He repeated that most new players start off by playing versus A.I., some go to Casual and a minority goes to Ranked. The team has made it so that in Casual new players are exclusively matched against other new players and their MMR is kept to a 50% winrate.
      One of the currently most discussed hot topics in the Hearthstone community is the Ranked ladder. The team is satisfied with how clear the current system is in how it works. However, they do realise that its grindiness and the monthly reset can be a disadvantage and feel repetitive. To counter that, they are looking into short-term increasing the amount of bonus stars players can gain. This will hopefully increase the number of players in medium and higher ranks and move veterans away from Rank 20. However, they don't want everyone to be a Legend player either, since this would devalue the ranking. New breakpoints are also an idea the Hearthstone team is considering. As far as winstreaks stopping at Rank 5 are concerned, the idea behind this is that they wanted players to get to Legend "legit"; this could change as well, though.
      Moving to the topic of Arena, Dean announced that they are thinking of moving it to Standard format. Moreover, they want to try decreasing the amount of commons you get, as well as the amount of neutral Classic and Basic cards (especially minions). Some of these changes for Arena are already ready to be added to the game they are just waiting for the right time to patch them in. In early February, top 100 rankings for Arena will be published - just like the Ranked season ones. These rankings will be calculated based on highest average wins per run basis with a minimum requirement of 30 runs.
      The guys had a few things to say about the current meta, too. Pirate Warrior represented 30% of the meta game near the launch of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, while there were also a lot of Pirate Shamans and Rogues. Thankfully, these numbers have dropped as other decks (like Jade Druid and Reno decks) started surfacing. Pirate decks are slightly more popular than Team 5 would like and decks with the pirate package feel same-y. If this persists, they might take a look at Pirates. Hunters and Paladins are having a hard time at the moment because they can't keep up with the aggro pirate decks. Overall, the internal meta report shows a stability in the meta: there is only a 3% difference between the winrates of the top deck and the 11th best deck.
      Lastly, there was mention of the Wild format. Ben admitted that they could do some things better for Wild. For example, it's possible that Blizzard will encourage more Wild tournaments in the future. The upcoming rotation will be interesting since Wild will have more card sets than Standard. Wild is far from dead: it's just half as popular as Standard, although Ben hasn't looked in the numbers recently. Earlier in the stream, Ben also said that the team is considering two options to keep Standard fresh: either nerfing cards or just move them to Wild.
      Lastly, Ben and Dean talked about various other small topics like the possibility of reprinting cards (no actual answer given), more Hunter and Paladin talk, wording inconsistencies and rewriting old cards, how a healthy meta is defined and Team 5 itself.
    • By Zadina
      Hearthstone Game Director Ben Brode and Game Designer Dean Ayala will answer all your questions on a live Q&A session on Twitch this Friday!
      The complaints about the lack of communication from the part of the Hearthstone team have been answered. This Friday the 13th (!) of January, Ben Brode and Dean Ayala will answer questions about some of the most heated topics that currently affect the playerbase. Ben has already made some posts about issues like the Classic card set and the possibility of some Classic cards rotating out of Standard.
      As always, we will try to have a recap of the Q&A as soon as it is finished.
      Blizzard Entertainment
      Pull up a chair by the hearth! Join Hearthstone Game Director Ben Brode and Game Designer Dean Ayala January 13 at 9:00am PST for a live Q&A session on Twitch. Our developers will be sharing some insight about the state of the game, the new player experience, the ranked play system, and answering your questions live.
       
      Have some questions for Ben and Dean? Here’s how you can be part of the conversation:
      - Tweet @PlayHearthstone with the hashtag #QA with your question
      - Post a question below in the blog comments
      - Join us live in Twitch chat and direct questions to us @PlayHearthstone
       
        Can’t make it? Don’t worry – we will be posting the full video on the PlayHearthstone YouTube after the Q&A has completed.
       
       
      Follow the official Hearthstone Twitch channel to be notified when the stream begins.
      We’ll see you there!
      (source)
    • By Zadina
      Ben Brode was active on the official forums and on social media these past few days and he had a lot of interesting things to say about various hot topics. Most notably, he noted that it's possible that additional Basic and Classic set cards may be nerfed or rotated out of Standard in the future.
      You probably remember that with the release of the Standard format, something less than a year ago, 12 Basic and Classic cards were nerfed. Now, Game Director Ben Brode revealed that more Basic & Classic card nerfs can happen or at least they may be rotated out of Standard. The reasoning behind this is that the team wants to keep a fresh feeling in Standard and they don't want to see the same core cards appear too frequently. That's why they are also not considering buffing underused vanilla cards, since Basic and Classic cards are already being used a lot and they want new sets to be more impactful.
      Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide The goal with Standard is to keep the meta fresh for each yearly rotation. There are some benefits to keeping Basic and Classic cards in Standard: Returning players have an entry-point to the new format, and new players experience classics like "Hogger" and "Arcane Missiles" that are iconic and great introductions to the game. People take breaks from Hearthstone, and being able to jump right back in with a few cards you already own and understand makes that experience a lot better. That upside has a real downside in working directly against the big goal for Standard. It needs to feel different each year, and if Basic and Classic cards are still appearing in large densities year after year, we will not be achieving our goals for Standard.
      We knew we weren't going to get there when the Year of the Kraken began, so we nerfed 12 basic/classic cards, to put more of the weight of the meta into the rotating sets. We always knew we'd have to watch the meta to see if any future changes would be needed when we got ready for the next year of Standard. If things are looking like they are going to be too same-y for that next year, we could see more nerfs, or we might rotate some additional classic cards to Wild, like we did with Old Murk Eye. No matter what, we're committed to making Standard fresh and exciting each new year. (source)
       
       
      Are you guys considering, besides nerfs, implementing buffs for underused vanilla cards?
      Given the goal of Standard is to keep the game fresh each year, it's important to keep a lot of the power of the cards in the expansions, and not in the basic and classic sets. It's not clear what that balance of power should look like (is it ~10 cards from the basic and classic sets on average?), but we're currently skewed so high towards basic and classic cards in decks, that we are at high risk for 'samey-ness' as the years change in Standard. Buffing Basic/Classic cards *increases* that risk. If the goal is to get more cool cards into the meta, just releasing awesome new cards in expansions should make an impact there, and still keep Standard fresh. (source)
      Obviously, this comment caused a lot of reactions and Ben took to Reddit (specifically this thread) and Twitter, where he answered various questions. A brief summary of his responses is that the Basic set is currently the most powerful in the game (source), while the team intends to keep the vanilla set unchanged (the term used was 'evergreen' - source). Ben repeated that the team's intention behind any future Basic and Classic card nerfs or changes is to keep Standard format fresh and "less same-y". A difficult question was posed to the community: would they prefer the affected vanilla cards to be nerfed, rotated out of Standard format or remain as they are, even if it results in a staler meta?
      On the same Reddit thread, Brode also talked about why the Charge nerf was necessary due to the Grimy Goons synergy and how new/F2P players are currently still able to reach Legend rank - something that he expects to keep happening in the future as well.
      Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide [...] We nerfed Charge (the spell) because we knew the upcoming Grimy Goons mechanic in combination with Enraged Worgen and Charge was not really fair or fun. There have always been F2P players at Legend, and there have continued to be since that change. (source) Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide We did this in 2016 when we nerfed 12 classic cards and it made a huge difference in how much the meta was able to change with the release of Old Gods (instead of just continuing to be Druid Combo). New players were able to reach legend without spending money after that change, and I expect that will be continue to be true if we change a few more cards in 2017. (source) On a somewhat relevant topic, with the end of the Year of the Kraken the end of Reno Jackson is also approaching. Ben excluded the possibility of this game-changing card making it into the Classic set - once again the reason being "keeping the meta fresh".
      Placeholder for tweet 817625802116214784 For consistency's sake, I've also included two Brode blue posts from last week. In the first one, he talks about the new player experience and how it still needs more work. For example. the climb from the introductory quests to actually playing the game feels steep, while getting into Ranked is also difficult. However, for their first games new players actually play in a seperate matchmaking pool designed to match new players with each other. There has also been a 15% increase in new player winrates on Casual.
      Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide Hey there! We agree that the new player experience needs more work. We've been tweaking it for years and have seen significant increases in retention among new players since launch. Most new players start playing against the AI and then take on other players in Casual. The Casual matchmaker has gone through a lot of iteration and new player winrates have increased by ~15%.
      Ranked is a different story. Ranked is becoming more difficult for new players over time. I spoke about some of the challenges we are currently facing with our ladder system before I left for paternity leave here: https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/58pxgt/ben_brode_confirms_the_2_game_win_streak_is_not/
      Something you may not realize is that new players actually play in a seperate matchmaking pool for their first several sessions. In Casual, we match them entirely against other brand new players with similarly-sized collections.
      That all said, we think the introductory missions up through Illidan feel pretty good, and after that it still feels like a bit of a cliff. It's definitely something we're aware of. Thanks for your feedback, and for the feedback of everyone else who's been chiming in on this over the last few months.
      (source) Lastly, Ben made an interesting post about another community hot topic: the ladder system.
      Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide [...] We have been discussing the ladder system a lot recently - we're not 100% happy with it.
      Here are some things we are currently discussing:
      Rank 18 players are higher ranked than 50% of HS players. That number doesn't make you feel like you are in the top 50%, and that's a missed opportunity. We try and counter this by telling you all over the place what the mapping is to the rest of the population, but it'd be better if expectations and reality matched here.
      We've received feedback that the last-minute jostling for high Legend ranks at the end of a season doesn't feel all that great.
      We've received feedback that the ladder can feel like a grind.
      We are reanalyzing the number of ranks, the number of stars per rank, the number of bonus stars given out at the start of the season, and other parts of the system.
      We are developing simulation systems that let us predict what changes to the ladder would do to the population curve. If we inflate too many stars, the whole population ends up in the Legend bucket and while that might feel great for a single month, the entire system falls apart eventually. People who played waaaay back may remember when "3-star master" was the pinnacle of achievement, and it meant nothing because so many people ended up in that bucket. With better simulation tools, we are planning on trying a lot of crazy things. Iteration is important in design, and getting the tools to iterate quickly is very important.
      Something I want to emphasize is that while I think we can improve the ladder, the metric for that improvement isn't necessarily any one player's individual rank increasing. Players want the better rewards (and prestige) associated with high ranks, or the Legend card back, so any change we make that increases the chances of those are likely to be perceived as "good", at least for the short term. But part of what makes the ranked ladder compelling is that exists to rank players. If you want to see how you stack up, ranked is the place to do it. So while some inflation might improve the experience, we need to be careful and make sure we end up with a system that makes people feel rewarded for increases in personal skill or for finding a new deck that breaks the meta.
      (source)
    • By Pogsz
      Since I talk like an ogre I can as well practice my 3D skills and play around with the hearthstone logo.  Here is a quick render I made this morning.  Maybe I will do some more, wallpaper, t-shirt print or other stuff... I don't know

      I will probably also just play some Hearthstone for myself.  If I am better I will maybe do a "silent" stream tonight! :-D Or at least keep the conversation to a minimum.

      See you around guys and have a good day!