Sottle

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

Sign in to follow this  

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.

  • Like 1

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  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Aleco

      We take a look back on the first week of the KFT metagame to share everything you can do to dominate the next one.
      With the first week of Knights of the Frozen Throne behind us we are just now starting to glimpse what the upcoming meta has in store for us. It’s still far too early to claim that all the new decks and archetypes have been finely tuned, but we have learned a lot from our first week with the new cards in KFT.
      The first change we encountered in the new meta was the dominance of the dedicated control deck. Towards the end of the Un’Goro metagame the most dominant decks were almost entirely aggressive or midrange in nature, yet nearly all of the most played decks from the first week of KFT have been controlling. Everybody was very excited to try the new Death Knight cards, and since these cards have high mana costs they tended to end up in naturally controlling or midrange decks.
      Once it became obvious that nearly every deck on the ladder was big and greedy, the next few days became a battle to become even bigger and greedier. At one point while watching Dog’s stream I saw him put N'Zoth into his Control Mage deck with only two Deathrattle cards in the entire deck (Pyros and the Frozen Champions from Sindragosa) to get back from N’Zoth’s battlecry! Talk about greedy.
      As fun as it was to have a Control-dominated meta for the first few days of KFT, this kind of greed wouldn’t go unpunished for very long. Thanks to a lack of Aggro decks, the overwhelming popularity of Jade Druid, and the new cards Simulacrum and Ghastly Conjurer, a more consistent Quest Mage deck emerged as a way to punish the slow meta. As players started to gear more and more towards beating slow decks, the pendulum began to swing back towards the aggro side of things. In the past few days the number of Pirate Warriors on ladder has greatly risen, and I haven’t spotted a single Frost Lich Jaina or Uther of the Ebon Blade in over 100 games.
      Towards the end of the Un’Goro metagame no one class was vastly more dominant than the others, but the same is certainly not true for the early days of KFT. Druid has become the most popular by a wide margin. According to the current Reaper Live report a staggering 36% of the Legend meta is made up of Druid decks. Thanks in no small part to the new cards Ultimate Infestation and Spreading Plague, Druid now boasts highly competitive Midrange and Control decks to compliment the Aggro deck which was already top tier in Un’Goro.
      A major reason why all three decks are so difficult to play against is how difficult it is to mulligan against a Druid. You can never know for sure if you should be keeping cards which are strong against Jade Druid or Aggro Druid, which surely plays a part in the success of both decks. Druid might be quite strong at the moment but it is certainly not unbeatable, and according to the Reaper Live report there are multiple decks which have a positive winrate against two of three Druid builds.
      Meta Beaters
      The perfect deck for this early meta will have the defensive tools to outclass Aggro decks such as Pirate Warrior and Aggro Druid in the early game while still being fast enough to kill Jade Druid and Kazakus Priest decks before they get the chance to dominate the late game. Aggro decks make up only 25% of the current meta, which means it’s still much more important to slant your deck towards the speedy end of things so that you can beat up on the slower decks which are still popular. All of these signs point towards an aggressively slanted Midrange deck as the best choice for the current meta, and the data from Reaper Live agrees. The deck with the best winrates across the board is not a Druid deck at all, but an aggressive Midrange Murloc Paladin deck.
      Midrange Murloc Paladin
      2x Murloc Tidecaller 2x Righteous Protector 2x Vilefin Inquisitor 2x Hydrologist 2x Rockpool Hunter 2x Murloc Warleader 2x Rallying Blade 1x Stonehill Defender 1x Wickerflame Burnbristle 2x Blessing of Kings 2x Corpsetaker 2x Gentle Megasaur 1x Bolvar, Fireblood 1x Finja, the Flying Star 2x Spikeridged Steed 1x Sunkeeper Tarim 2x Bonemare 1x Tirion Fordring Shockingly, Midrange Paladin has positive matchups against every deck in the meta except for Token Shaman and Aggro Druid, but even these matchups sit at a very manageable 48%. The deck was already a strong choice in the Un’Goro meta but it picked up some exciting new toys in KFT to build upon its previous success. Defensive minions like Righteous Protector and Corpsetaker allow the deck stall aggressive decks into the midgame, where Midrange Paladin shines. A Bonemare or a Spikeridged Steed on a Skelemancer is commonly a game ending play, and all of the powerful legendary minions the deck had access to in the Un’Goro meta have gone nowhere.
      Midrange Paladin also packs an impressive number of early Murlocs which are capable of applying tons of pressure. The dream 1-2-3-4 of Murloc Tidecaller into Rockpool Hunter into Murloc Warleader into Gentle Megasaur has to potential to kill as early as turn 4 against any opponent who doesn't pack interaction for the early game . With Murloc Paladin boasting such high win rates across the board, don’t be surprised if you see Hungry Crab start popping up as the tech card of choice in the near future.
      Big Priest
      2x Forbidden Shaping 1x Silence 2x Pint-Size Potion 2x Potion of Madness 2x Shadow Visions 2x Shadow Word: Pain 2x Shadow Word: Death 1x Barnes 2x Eternal Servitude 2x Priest of the Feast 2x Shadow Word: Horror 2x Dragonfire Potion 2x Shadow Essence 1x Free From Amber 1x The Lich King 2x Obsidian Statue 1x Ysera 1x Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound In what I consider to be another big surprise, Big Priest is the only other deck with positive winrates against two of the three popular Druid decks . A brand new deck in KFT thanks to Eternal Servitude, Shadow Essence, and Obsidian Statue, the deck boasts a dominant 71% winrate against Midrange Druid and a very respectable 53% against Token Druid. Its 45% win rate against Jade Druid isn’t embarrassing either, which means this deck still has some game against the most popular deck in the format.
      Big Priest seems like a very luck-oriented deck on its surface as it features high-roll cards like Barnes and Shadow Essence to pull powerful minions from its deck at a discounted cost, yet in practice the deck is shockingly consistent. It doesn’t have any true misses off a Barnes, who himself is the only awkward card to hit off Shadow Essence. Even if it doesn’t hit one of these cards early, double Dragonfire Potion and double Pint-Size Potion plus Shadow Word: Horror allows the deck to draw out the game until they can play their huge minions naturally.
      With all that said, the deck still has a tendency to defeat itself by drawing the wrong combination of cards. It gets absolutely run over by Pirate Warrior and Quest Mage and isn’t able to run tech cards like Golakka Crawler or Dirty Rat due to the nature of Barnes and Shadow Essence. Fortunately for fans of Big Priest, these two bad matchups make up just 10% of the meta while the positive matchups for Big Priest account for roughly 40% of the meta, making Big Priest an excellent choice for the early KFT metagame.
      Tech of the Week
      The one piece of technology which has remained consistently powerful throughout the first week of KFT is The Black Knight. Thanks to the extremely widespread play of Bonemare there are almost no decks in the metagame which lack a juicy target for The Black Knight to gobble up. This Aggro Druid list which hit #1 Legend not only runs Bonemare, but also runs The Black Knight to pave the way for its cheaper minions to sneak in those last few points of damage. It doesn’t really seem to matter if your Aggro, Midrange, or Control, The Black Knight is a game winning tech card in the current meta. 
      Deck to Watch
      The success of Midrange Paladin can be attributed to the fact that it is both fast enough to go underneath the current Control decks and defensive enough to go over the top of the current Aggro decks. Any other deck which is capable of accomplishing this same feat would also be very well positioned, which makes me believe that Nostam's Midrange Hunter is poised to take off.
      2x Alleycat 2x Hungry Crab 2x Tracking 2x Crackling Razormaw 2x Golakka Crawler 2x Kindly Grandmother 2x Animal Companion 2x Bearshark 2x Eaglehorn Bow 2x Kill Command 2x Houndmaster 1x Nesting Roc 2x Tundra Rhino 1x Deathstalker Rexxar 2x Savannah Highmane 2x Bonemare This deck has all the tools it needs to blast its way through Jade Druid with the proper draw. Bearshark curves amazingly into Houndmaster, and Bonemare is like a Houndmaster on steroids. It runs a healthy curve of one and two drops to contest the board early, and pack all four crabs so it can steal some free wins off of Aggro decks. Deathstalker Rexxar seems at his absolute best in this style of deck, as he provides the deck with the card draw engine it needs to not run out of steam against controlling decks.
      I still think the list has a bit of room to improve. Hunter is currently the least played class in the entire meta which also means it is the least tested. I’m not sure that double Tundra Rhino shines in this list without Deathstalker Rexxar already in play. The deck also might be in need one more tool to outvalue opposing Midrange decks in the mid to late game, as it doesn’t pack many tools to catch up once it’s fallen behind.
      Conclusion
      Our goal with this report was to get you up to speed on the current trends in the meta and to provide you with the analysis you’ll need to stay ahead of the competition. As this was our first meta report for Hearthstone we would love to hear your feedback on what you felt worked or what you thought might have been missing. Please feel free to tell us in the comments what you found to be helpful and if there if there is anything you’d like to see in the next meta report!
      Until next time,
      Aleco
    • By Zadina

      Choose your Champion returns for the Hearthstone Global Games finals.
      Once again, as with every major Hearthstone competition hosted by Blizzard, we can choose our favourite representative and potentially win card packs! This time it's the Hearthstone Global Games finals with four teams of four people from four different countries.
      The finalists are: the United States, Ukraine, South Korea and the Czech Republic.
      Head over to this site and pick the country that you think is most likely to win. The voting will last until August 23 at 23:59 PDT. You will get a free Knights of the Frozen Throne pack just for participating in the voting. Since the Global Games are already on the semi-finals stage, you can win up to a maximum of two packs only (given that the two semi-finalists will progress to the finals and there's no progressing after that).
      The finals will take place at Gamescom on August 25. Choose wisely!
    • By Vlad
      This thread is for comments about our Sindragosa guide for Knights of the Frozen Throne.
    • By Vlad
      This thread is for comments about our Blood Queen Lana'thel guide for Knights of the Frozen Throne.
    • By Vlad
      This thread is for comments about our Professor Putricide guide for Knights of the Frozen Throne.