Sottle's Weekly Meta Analysis - Week of 05/04/2015 - 12/04/2015

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Sottle's Weekly Meta Analysis - Week of 22/03/2015 - 29/03/2015


Hey guys, welcome back to another week of Meta analysis where we talk about the impact that Blackrock Mountain has had on the Meta.


Common Decks & Cards


Obviously the main topic of conversation this week is the effect that Blackrock Mountain has had on the Meta. The first thing that needs addressing on this subject, is the incredible power of Emperor Thaurissan, and the huge impact it has on the game. Although Emperor has so far failed to introduce any new decks into the meta, it is affecting the power level of various different decks, and is one of the most common cards in the game right now.

One of the biggest winners is Fast Druid. Emperor Thaurissan is a massively powerful tool in this deck, since it can be summoned early with Innervate to provide a persistent effect similar to Wild Growth as long as it sticks on the board. On top of this, it can be played it the late game to provide discounts on your Force of Nature and Savage Roar combo pieces and create easier access to the Double Savage Roar combo that usually requires an Innervate.
Aside from this, various combo decks like Freeze Mage have also benefited from Thaurissan. But even in regular Control and Midrange decks, you should be including Thaurissan, simply due to the overall power of the deck.
In terms of other new deck developments this week, Grim Patron Warrior has started to make a big splash, with numerous players, myself included, using it to climb to high Legend ranks. This introduces a new dynamic when facing a Warrior, since historically, you knew exactly what you were going to play against when you queued into a Warrior, now with a new archetype in the meta, you are not so sure.
Secondly, a new build of Mech Shaman has also made a big splash, both at the recent Seat Story cup, and on Ladder, with many pros brining the deck to the tournament, and multiple players exchanging rank 1 Legend, all playing the deck. This new build features Fel Reaver, which has been a very underutilised card so far, to great effect, creating huge amounts of aggression to overwhelm opponents.
Thirdly, Zoo has made a big comeback, with new more stable decks making an appearance, including both Dr. Boom for more late-game stability, and the new Imp Gang Boss to provide more hard to remove minions for your opponent to deal with.
Aside from this, the other BRM cards have failed to have too much of an impact on the Meta, Quick Shot has added some more power to Face Hunter, and there has been some experimentation with Gang Up to create additional copies of Coldlight Oracle in Mill Rogue, but many players are still waiting for more of the strong Dragon synergy cards to be released before the Meta really gets shaken up.

Class Power Rankings



1. Warlock




Common Decks: Demonlock, Zoo, Handlock
Demonlock Strong Against: Control Warrior, Zoo, Mech Mage
Demonlock Weak Against: Fast Druid, Face Hunter, Midrange Paladin
Handlock Strong Against: Priest, Control Warrior, Zoo
Handlock Weak Against: Face Hunter, Midrange Hunter, Fast Druid, Control Paladin
Zoo Strong Against: Fast Druid, Mech Mage, Mech Shaman, Midrange Paladin
Zoo Weak Against: Oil Rogue, Midrange Paladin, Face Hunter


2. Warrior




Common Decks: Control Warrior, Grim Patron Warrior
Control Warrior Strong Against: Oil Rogue, Mech Mage, Zoo, Freeze Mage, Face Hunter, Priest
Control Warrior Weak Against: Fast Druid, Midrange Paladin, Midrange Hunter
Grim Patron Warrior Strong Against: Mech Mage, Zoo, Midrange Shaman, Midrange Paladin, Fast Druid
Grim Patron Warrior Weak Against: Handlock, Demonlock, Oil Rogue, Freeze Mage

3. Mage




Common Decks: Freeze Mage, Mech Mage
Freeze Mage Strong Against: Zoo, Grim Patron Warrior, Midrange Paladin
Freeze Mage Weak Against: Face Hunter, Fast Druid, Control Warrior

4. Hunter




Common Decks: Face Hunter, Midrange Hunter
Face Hunter Strong Against: Zoo, Midrange Hunter, Demonlock, Handlock,
Face Hunter Weak Against: Control Warrior, Grinder Priest, Control Priest, Control Paladin
Midrange Hunter Strong Against: Control Warrior, Control Priest, Fast Druid, Handlock
Midrange Hunter Weak Against: Face Hunter, Oil Rogue


5. Shaman




Common Decks: Mech Shaman
Strong Against: Mech Mage, Fast Druid, Handlock, Demonlock
Weak Against: Face Hunter, Freeze Mage, Grim Patron Warrior

6. Rogue




Common Decks: Oil Rogue
Strong Against: Midrange Paladin, Midrange Hunter, Zoo, Mech Mage, Grim Patron Warrior
Weak Against: Face Hunter, Fast Druid, Freeze Mage, Mech Shaman, Handlock


7. Druid




Common Decks: Fast Druid
Strong Against: Control Warrior, Freeze Mage, Handlock
Weak Against: Zoo, Mech Mage, Mech Shaman, Face Hunter, Midrange Hunter

8. Paladin




Common Decks: Midrange Paladin
Strong Against: Fast Druid, Control Warrior
Weak Against: Grim Patron Warrior, Oil Rogue, Zoo

9. Priest




Common Decks: Grinder Priest
Strong Against: Face Hunter, Mech Mage, Zoo
Weak Against:
Handlock, Demonlock, Control Warrior, Oil Rogue, Grim Patron Warrior
That's all for now! Until next time, when hopefully we might have some cool new Dragon decks to talk about, happy laddering!

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Sottle, could you give us a decklist and guide to the new Mech Shaman? Thx

It's coming up very soon, along with Mill Rogue. Sottle is currently really high on the EU ladder (#12 I think), so he had to buy a bunch of cards on the NA servers in order to test the new Shaman deck without it impacting his EU ladder rank smile.png

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Fast Druid got a really big buff with Thaurissan, and Mech Mage is one of the best decks at stomping Druids, Freeze Mage also got a lot better with the addition of Thaurissan, and there's a lot of decent matchups around for it.

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Zoo Strong Against: Fast Druid, Mech Mage, Mech Shaman, Midrange Paladin
Zoo Weak Against: Oil Rogue, Midrange Paladin, Face Hunter



so zoo is both strong and weak against palas? xD



nice guide overall,very informative.

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Cool. Good luck on the EU server and I'm looking forward to your list and guide.

Let´s see... I who have never reached legend (guess my top was rank 12 a few seasons ago) I would make a deck with Fel Reaver like this:


- Upon seeing Fel Reaver your opponent will want to make you waste cards instead of removing it, so you end up messing with their curve because they will try to use as many cards as possible.

- Since Fel Reaver will not be removed, if you have enough healing power, you will keep it in the game for much longer and have to take that advantage to push for damage to face or use it for trading if needed... but since big minions are expensive, your opponent may not want to play them unless he/she is taking huge damage to the face.

- You will need silence and removal if you don´t want to trade your Fel Reaver for anything else... but I think silence is more important in order to bypass taunters to go face with it.


I guess that´s a lot of thinking to build the deck so here´s my take on it:;73:1;77:2;256:2;270:2;386:2;396:1;557:2;636:2;12181:2;12182:1;12187:1;12191:2;12227:1;12241:2;12246:2;12264:2;12269:2;


Haven´t tried but maybe when I get Fel Reaver I will hehehehe

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Hey sottle how are you? Im a big fan of the website and i always find decks here that are awesome. I really love to play druid specially ramp druid with the ancients of war and ysera. Can you put a ramp druid deck with the new cards please? Thanks :)

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    • By Aleco

      These four mistakes come up way too often, and they can be easily avoided.
      These four mistakes Hearthstone mistakes come up all time on the ladder, but they can be easily avoided by adopting new some heuristics.
      Decision trees in Hearthstone grow very tall. Most of these decision trees grow far too tall for us to ever traverse them completely before our turn timer expires, especially if we find ourselves in a situation we've never been in before. For me, that happens just about every game. Practice can help reduce the number of situations we've never been in before, but at some point we'll need to adopt a few heuristics along the way to help us make decisions in a timely manner.
      In this guide, I'll walk through a number of very common mistakes I see on the competitive ladder, which to me are obvious examples of poor heuristics at work. My hope is that we can learn some newer, smarter heuristics by asking ourselves why these misplays are so common, and that we can use these new heuristics to avoid similar mistakes in the future. With that said, please keep in mind that it is sometimes correct to make these mistakes, because there are exceptions to every rule in Hearthstone. The goal of this article is to outline examples of bad Hearthstone heuristics so we can replace them with better ones, not to claim that the so-called mistakes I outline below are the wrong thing to do 100% of the time.
      With that out of the way, let's begin!
      Mistake #1 - Missing Hero Powers

      Example Situation
      It's my Aggro Secret Mage opponent's turn 8. I have control of the board and the only hope for my opponent is to burn me out. They cast a Firelands Portal to my face, play The Coin, and Frostbolt my face. On their turn nine they play an Arcanologist, the secret from it, and ping my face with Hero Power, stranding 2 Mana and 1 damage forever.
      Why It's A Misplay
      The reason to Fireblast over Frostbolt on turn 8 is obvious - you're never going to get that Fireblast back. The Frostbolt will always be there for you on a future turn (with certain exceptions, such as Counterspell), but a Hero Power unused is a Hero Power lost. If you're reasonably sure that the Mana will be there for Frostbolt on a future turn, then playing Frostbolt instead of using your Hero Power is permanently stranding one point damage in a game where every point counts.
      This mistake can also come up whenever a player passes on their Hero Power for a 2 or 3 Mana spell which doesn't effect the board, such as a Secret or card draw spell, so long as they would have had the Mana to cast that spell next turn anyways. The Frostbolt over Fireblast play just happens to be the most common of these mistakes, as Aggro Mage is a relatively popular deck in the current ladder environment.
      Why do players make this mistake?
      My best guess is that it comes down to a misunderstanding of the Hero Power as resource. Just like Mana, cards, and your life total, your Hero Power is a finite resource. The number of times your Hero Power can be used in a given game (excepting cards like Auctionmaster Beardo) is equal to the number of turns you get in that game (minus turn one, I suppose). Each turn your Hero Power goes unused is a tick of that resource you'll never get back.
      This view of the Hero Power as a finite resource will do you about as much good as a screen door on a submarine if you're getting beaten down by an aggro deck, where the only thing that matters is playing for board. However, there are a number of decks and matchups where this heuristic is a useful one. A Fatigue Warrior stalling things out in the late game or a top-decking Face Hunter in need of those last few points of damage could be in a position where they need to use their Hero Power every single turn in order to win. Though you probably won't miss out on more than one or two Hero Powers per game due to mistakes like the one I outlined above, those one or two Hero Powers can often prove to be the difference between victory and defeat.
      Mistake #2 - Playing 1 Drops To Die

      Example Situation
      I'm on Cubelock and I'm going first. I play Kobold Librarian on turn one and pass. My Warlock opponent plays Mistress of Mixtures and passes back.
      Why It's A Misplay
      Assuming both me and my opponent will Life Tap on turn 2 (which we did), I will end up one card and 4 life ahead of my opponent on this exchange. The Deathrattle trigger on the Mistress of Mixtures will heal me for 4 (2 damage from the Kobold Librarian and the 2 damage from Life Tap) while my opponent is still at 30 life. Meanwhile, the Kobold Librarian drew me a card with its Battlecry. Now we start a new game of Hearthstone on turn 3 where I'm at 30 life, my opponent is at 28, and we have an even number of cards in our hands despite the fact that I went first. Advantage? Me!
      Playing the Mistress into the Librarian on a future turn won't yield us better results. For example, if you play the Mistress on turn three you would just end up healing back the 4 points of damage you took from the Librarian's 2 extra attacks, and you'd still be down that card. Playing it later than that would result in an even greater net loss of damage. The move here is to pass the turn.
      Another misplay cut from the same cloth as this one would be to play a Grimscale Chum into a Northshire Cleric, a Mage/Rogue/Druid Hero Power, or a Vilefin Inquisitor. In all of these scenarios, what you are signing up for is a situation where an on-board play from your opponent will put you in an unfavorable position. Wouldn't it be better to hold on to the Grimscale Chum until it can be played alongside a Gentle Megasaur, Coldlight Seer, or Rockpool Hunter? It will probably generate more damage over the course of the game if played in combination with those cards.
      To be fair, there are a number of games where playing Mistress of Mixtures into Kobold Librarian is the correct move. For example, you might be playing against a Zoolock and be in the unfortunate position of having nothing in your opening hand which can interact with the board until turn 5. In the Cubelock vs. Zoolock matchup, card advantage is far less important than extra damage from the Librarian. We should be able to find a way to win the game eventually so long as we can survive to the part of the game where we play a million Voidlords, so we should make plays that preserve our life total as much as possible. On the ladder you often won't know if your opponent is on Zoolock or Control Warlock if all they've done is play a Kobold Librarian, but the numbers will tell you that its safer to assume Cube or Control than Zoo.
      Why do players make this mistake?
      Your role in the matchup is key to understanding whether or not you should play to the board (and sometimes into less-than-favorable trades), or to hold onto your minions and play for card advantage. In the Cubelock vs. Cubelock matchup, the game is way more likely to come down to card advantage than chip damage. The Mistress of Mixtures might not seem like an important resource, but it has value as a 2 health minion for Defile clears and is an extra card in hand to cheapen the cost of Mountain Giant. This is to say nothing of how rewarded you get for holding on to that Mistress if you topdeck a Mortal Coil for the Librarian in the next few turns. That said, I don't think the reason I see this misplay so often is because my opponent's don't understand their roles in matchups. I think they happen because players go on auto pilot use bad early game heuristics. Having made this mistake on numerous occasions, I know from firsthand experience how easy it is to fall into the trap of thinking "it's good to play to the board early" or "I should be using all of my Mana", and plop down a 1 drop on turn one without hesitation.
      A better way to think about the early game would be to weigh every option available to you. In early game situations such as this one, we are dealing with a very limited number of alternative decisions to playing that Mistress of Mixtures. If we took the time to ask ourselves "what alternatives do I have to playing this minion right now, and are any of them better?",  I think we'd find that the only alternative we have is to not play the Mistress of Mixtures, and that it is in fact the smarter play. 
      Mistake #3 - Not Respecting Combos

      Example Situation
      I'm playing Combo Dragon Priest, and my empty-handed Dude Paladin opponent draws a Vinecleaver for turn. He has 2 Silver Hand Recruits and a Righteous Protector on board right now, and he can make 3 more Silver Hand Recruits this turn between the Vinecleaver attack and his Hero Power. He has lethal set up next turn if he can draw something like Sunkeeper Tarim, but I have a 4/6 Twilight Drake in play. He attacks my face with everything (the Vinecleaver, Righteous Protector, and 2 Silver Hand Recruits), puts me down to 10, and passes the turn. I proceed to draw a Potion of Madness, play it on the Righteous Protector, heal the Twilight Drake up to 8 health, and cast double Divine Spirit into Inner Fire for the 32 damage OTK.
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      If I was the player in the Murloc Paladin's seat, that Potion of Madness topdeck would make think about throwing my laptop out the window. In reality, this was a situation where my opponent was able to play around all but the most ridiculous of combos by attacking the Twilight Drake instead of my face. My 6 health minion was able to become a 32/32 with my Hero Power, two Divine Spirits, and in Inner Fire, but it would have taken me a lot more effort than that to pull off an OTK if my Drake was at 2 health after a Vinecleaver attack. Assuming my opponent was at 30 life, I would have needed to find 4 more points of health for my Twilight Drake through some combination of Power Word: Shields and Kabal Talonpriests to be able to OTK with a 2 health minion. 
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      In the situation I described above, the opportunity cost for my opponent to attack my Twilight Drake was practically nothing. If my opponent attacks my Drake down to 2 health and topdecks a Sunkeeper Tarim, a Level Up, or a Lightfused Stegodon into +3 attack, I'm just as dead from 10 life as I am from 14. The attack to the face doesn't set up any kills with Dire Wolf Alpha or Dark Conviction, so there's practically no downside to attacking my Twilight Drake with Vinecleaver to substantially limit the number of  OTKs I have. There's also an argument for sending a couple of minion attacks at the Twilight Drake to finish it off, as this line would do a much better job of playing around Duskbreaker.
      Why do players make this mistake?
      Combo Priest OTKs have both won and lost me many, many ladder games. From my experience on the Combo Priest side of the table, I often find myself thinking: "Please don't attack my minion, I have the kill next turn if that minion keeps all of his health!". When I play against Combo Priests, my inner monologue goes a little more like this: "If he has the combo I should clear board and not attack face. Does he have the combo? Nah, I'll attack face. He had it?! What a luck-sack!". Sound familiar to you?
      One of the most useful heuristics for navigating combo decks from both sides of the table is the concept of playing to outs. I discuss this concept at length in my Legend in the Making series, but I'll do my best to summarize it here.
      In the example game described above, the cards my opponent failed to account for in their decision-making process were the combo pieces I need to kill him (Potion of Madness, 2 Divine Spirit, and an Inner Fire) and the cards he needed to kill me (Sunkeeper Tarim, Level Up, and Lightfused Stegodon). The cards I can kill my opponent with are my outs, and the cards my opponent can kill me with are my opponent's outs.
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      In this particular example, there were a couple of plays my opponent could have made which would have both prevented lethal and set up lethal of their own. These plays are ideal, but there won't always be a perfect intersection between winning and not losing. When considering outs for both you and your opponent, you'll often need to make a judgement call as to whether you should attempt to maximize your own chances of setting up lethal, minimize your opponent's chances of setting up lethal, or go for something in the middle of both to play around a specific card.
      Mistake #4 - Setting Up Board Clears

      The Situation
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      Why It's A Misplay
      Playing the Grimscale Chum gave my opponent the 1 Health minion they needed to set up the full clear with Defile. They would have needed Hellfire to clear my board if I hadn't played the Chum, which means that giving them 1 Health minion effectively doubled their chances of being able to clear my board.
      Defile is one of the trickiest cards to use in Hearthstone - we shouldn't make it any easier on our opponents than it needs to be. Sure, sometimes they won't have the Defile or the Hellfire and you'll just win with Gentle Megasaur on turn 4, but in this particular scenario, why not hedge your bets and wait on the Chum? They'll still get blown out by Megasaur next turn if they don't have a Hellfire, and if you play into Defile you give your opponent a clean 4 for 1.
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      The strongest play is not always the best one.
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