Sottle

Sottle's Weekly Hearthstone Meta Analysis for Week of 16/11/14 - 22/11/14

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Sottle walks us through what's hot and what's not in the Hearthstone meta

Hearthstone Meta Analysis: Week of 16/11/14 - 22/11/14

 

Welcome to an ongoing weekly series where I discuss the state of the meta-game in Hearthstone. Which classes are strong? How should you be building your decks to counter them? Which is the best class to be playing right now to climb ladder? These are all questions that I hope to address in these articles. So let’s jump right in.


 

Common Decks and Cards.

 

After many weeks of dominance, this week has finally seen a downswing in the number of Hunters and Zoos terrorizing the ladder. Perhaps as a response to last week's trend of people running Priest to counter these decks, people have responded by running superior late game decks to beat Priest, while still holding their own in those two crucial fast matchups.
 
With Hunter's Mark all but disappearing from the Meta (most Hunters are only running 1, if any), these late game decks are far more likely to be able to dominate the game with their huge minions if they can stabilise to that point. Due in no small part to this, Handlock is making a strong comeback. In any meta where Control is present, Handlock will do extremely well, and with Hunters running limited resources to deal with 8/8 giants that matchup is still extremely winnable.
 
The Hunter deck you are most likely to face right now is the all out Face Rush Hunter, and as such you are more likely to encounter Explosive Trap than any other trap. Again, strengthening the power of Control.
 
The Control Decks being run tend to be running a smooth curve as opposed to greedy lists that stack up on late-game power. Most Warriors are running additional cards such as Whirlwind or Cleave. Even Paladin has started to make a comeback, with lists appearing that run a curve all the way from Zombie Chow and Echoing Ooze, all the way up to Tirion and even Deathwing. Due to this, there is an opportunity to out late game these decks by building greedier lists with more end-game cards if the Hunters and Zoos continue to diminish.
 
Druid has made a strong comeback this week with Ramp Lists appearing that follow the smooth curve outlined above, playing cards like Zombie Chow and Earthen Ring Farseer to stabilise their early game, before following up with the flood of huge taunts Ramp is known for to crush the aggro decks out of the game. Lifecoach's Miracle Druid has also made a splash this week due to a strong matchup against Hunter and Zoo and a great chance to take the game away from Control decks with a strong draw.
 
Rogue remains a dark horse. Miracle Rogue is uncommon but still certainly present on the ladder. If the trend of Control decks continues then Miracle may come back into favour due to the amount of time these decks give Rogues to set up their win conditions.
 

Card Choices

 

Since this week's meta is a healthy mix of Control and Aggro, building a deck against the field seems to be the way to go. Some early-game board presence or removal is required to fend off the Hunters and Zoos, but at the same time you need enough late-game power to not simply get outlasted by the Control Decks. 
 
Following the trend of the Druids and Paladins mentioned above seems to be solid strategy. A smooth curve of early and mid-game cards that top out at a significant late-game presence would appear to give you the best chance of competing against the field right now.
 
However, there is an opportunity to try and get ahead of the meta by running a greedy control deck. This is a calculated bet that Hunter and Zoo will continue to diminish in the coming days and instead going all-in against a Control heavy meta appearing. Predictions like this are what let people really climb to the top of Legend, however, for people simply trying to climb the ladder and achieve Legend, the "smooth curve" strategy seems to be the best.
 

 

Class Power Rankings


 

 

1. Warlock


 

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

 

Warlock remains unmoved in the number 1 spot. Despite Zoo slightly diminishing in Power this week, it still remains undoubtedly one of the strongest decks in the game. The decrease in power has also been offset by the rise of Handlock to counter the increased numbers of Control decks.
 

 

2. Hunter

 

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

 

Although Zoo and Hunter retain the 1 and 2 spot this week, the gap between them and the rest of the field has narrowed significantly. Hunter is still included this high due to its ability to beat anything given the right draw. If the Control decks start to get into an arms race to see who can out-late-game the others, then Hunter will be right here to punish them for their greed.
 

 

3. Shaman

 

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

 

Shaman sees a big boost this week. The best periods for Shaman tend to be transitional periods in the meta where there is a decent mix of Aggro and Control since Shaman is a strong deck vs the field with almost no terrible matchups. The strength of Shaman in countering two of the most common control decks in Warrior and Handlock is also taken under consideration, as is the reduction of anti-weapon cards such as Harrison Jones. This power will probably be short lived however, as eventually, the meta tends to skew in one direction or the other and leave Shaman behind.

 

 

4. Warrior

 

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

 

Warrior gets a boost this week as the meta is now much more favourable for its style. As mentioned before with most Hunters now favouring the Face Rush build and cutting Hunter's Mark, the potential for Warrior to outlast them and shut the game down with Ragnaros is extremely high. Warrior also comfortably holds its own in other Control matchups although it suffers against Handlock and the occasional Paladin.
 

 

=5. Druid

 

250px-Malfurion_Stormrage-f.png?version=

 

Druid also sees a big upswing this week. As mentioned previously the smooth curve Ramp decks with additional early game to counter Aggro are posting good results and the Lifecoach Miracle Druid is making a splash as well. Miracle Druid is posting particularly great results against Hunter and Zoo, whilst the Ramp, or Midrange lists are two of the worst matchups in the game for Warrior. The problem keeping Druid out of the top rankings still is there is no one build that has strong matchups against the field of other common decks.
 
 

=5. Rogue

 

 

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

 

Rogue takes a small hit this week. The decreased number of Zoos reduces its power, as does the increased number of Handlocks, which are a horrible matchup for just about any Miracle Rogue build. Priest being significantly weaker also hurts Rogue as that was another of their most powerful matchups. However, in a meta where Control starts to become more common, Rogue will always have a place. If given enough time to set up and draw cards, Rogue can and will beat anything.
 
 

7. Priest

 

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

 

Priest is the biggest loser this week, dropping 4 whole places. Without an aggro dominated meta there is little reason to run Priest over other Control decks. Doing so simply means you just get outlasted and out late-gamed by the slower Control decks, like Warrior, Handlock and Paladin. If you do intend to run Priest, then Control Priest is probably preferred over Deathrattle Priest due to it's increased power in Control matchups.
 

8. Paladin

 

 

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

 

Paladin is given a small boost this week by the increased amount of Control in the Meta. Although still weak, it is enough to see it lifted off the bottom.
 
 

9. Mage

 

 

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

 

 

Mage takes the bottom spot this week, not due to any particular weaknesses of the class, but since there is no Mage build that accomplishes a goal that isn't done better by other classes. The only unique and powerful Mage build available is Freeze Mage, and playing Freeze on ladder requires a very specific meta. This unfortunately is not it.

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I would try Control Warrior with extra early game, 1 Whirlwind, 1 Cleave, 1 Unstable Ghoul, 1 Owl Something like that. If you don't have access to all the dust, then Zoo or Hunter are fine too. A more stable Midrangey list like the Hunter one listed is probably better than outright Aggro right now, and for Zoo you should be running Loatheb and Owl instead of Power Overwhelming and Void Terror in my opinion.

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Sottle,do you think that this season has been the most difficult one so far? If so, what do you think that has made it so challenging?

Another question, will you be the one to update the arena sections in the future? Even though I can make my own choices most of the time, I sometimes search the internet for the best card choices. I actually think that Icy Veins is better than Trump's Arena Tier List. :O

Sorry for long post and possible mistakes with my grammar, heheh. ^^

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Sottle,do you think that this season has been the most difficult one so far? If so, what do you think that has made it so challenging?

Another question, will you be the one to update the arena sections in the future? Even though I can make my own choices most of the time, I sometimes search the internet for the best card choices. I actually think that Icy Veins is better than Trump's Arena Tier List. ohmy.png

Sorry for long post and possible mistakes with my grammar, heheh. ^^

 

I didn't feel like this season was notably more difficult, but I do think the standard of play and quality of decks on ladder has improved has time has gone on. There's a lot more resources now for people to see what the right builds are, a lot more genuine "top players" getting high numbers of stream viewers etc. So the knowledge base for players is really huge right now.

 

Regarding Arena, yes I believe I am tasked with revamping that as well. My priority right now is getting what I view to be the competitive decks done for every class, so far I have Warlock, Hunter, Rogue, Druid and Priest done. After that i'll move on to the Arena section as well as doing guides on some more funky, weird decks that aren't necessarily super competitive.

 

Sottle, what do you think about Miracle Druid? It's a good option for climb rank 5 to legend?

 

Yes! I think it's a great option. Strong results against Hunter and Zoo, decent in Control Matchups as well. One of my team mates on Infused actually took Miracle Druid to the biggest LAN in the UK recently, so we believe it to be a very strong deck. I have a guide up for it if you haven't noticed, it wasn't published when this article went live to be linked in the first post: http://www.icy-veins.com/hearthstone/legendary-miracle-druid-naxx-deck

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I didn't feel like this season was notably more difficult, but I do think the standard of play and quality of decks on ladder has improved has time has gone on. There's a lot more resources now for people to see what the right builds are, a lot more genuine "top players" getting high numbers of stream viewers etc. So the knowledge base for players is really huge right now.

 

Regarding Arena, yes I believe I am tasked with revamping that as well. My priority right now is getting what I view to be the competitive decks done for every class, so far I have Warlock, Hunter, Rogue, Druid and Priest done. After that i'll move on to the Arena section as well as doing guides on some more funky, weird decks that aren't necessarily super competitive.

 

 

Yes! I think it's a great option. Strong results against Hunter and Zoo, decent in Control Matchups as well. One of my team mates on Infused actually took Miracle Druid to the biggest LAN in the UK recently, so we believe it to be a very strong deck. I have a guide up for it if you haven't noticed, it wasn't published when this article went live to be linked in the first post: http://www.icy-veins.com/hearthstone/legendary-miracle-druid-naxx-deck

Ty for your advice, I'll try it :)

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With Miracle Druid games were too long and some had just lost, I returned to the hunter and I'm rank 4, any idea about add specific cards to Hunter deck and climb legend at this time in EU?

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