Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Sottle

hearthstone Sottle's Weekly Hearthstone Meta Analysis for Week of 03/12/2015 - 10/12/2015

1 post in this topic

9139-sottles-weekly-hearthstone-meta-ana


Hearthstone Meta Analysis: 07/12/2014 - 14/12/2014

 

Hello again friends! Now that the GvG meta has had a little time to settle and normalise, I can return to these weekly articles where I discuss what's hot, what's not and how you should be building decks to fight back against the meta.

 

Common Decks and Cards.

 

Firstly, let's discuss the elephant in the room. Dr. Boom is almost ever present in the current meta, being played as a win condition in Aggro decks, as well as a Control tool, or potential finisher in late-game decks. The card is incredible versatile, functioning as a catch up or AoE tool for when you are behind on the board, a swing in your favour for boards that are even, and as a way to further dominate a board that is in your favour. Essentially, if you have 7 Mana, and Dr. Boom in your hand, it is pretty rare for Boom not to be a good play, this is pretty unique as far as Hearthstone cards go, and goes some way to explaining its power. If you don't have this card available to you, you should make it a very high crafting priority.

 

Secondly, let's address the effect that Boom's presence has had on the rest of the meta. Big Game Hunter is included in many decks currently, since even against Aggro decks it is unlikely to be a dead card due to the presence of Boom. Many of the greedier decks such as Handlock and Control Warrior are including two BGH in their builds due to the current power of the card.

 

Mind Control Tech is also making a comeback due to Dr. Boom. Since Boom immediately places 3 minions onto the board, the chances for Mind Control Tech to hit are dramatically increased. If you are able to combine Mind Control Tech and Big Game Hunter against an opponent's Boom, that is perhaps one of the only truly efficient methods of dealing with the problem Boom creates.

 

Another card having a big impact in the game currently is Zombie Chow. Since Goblins vs Gnomes has not resulted in the death of Undertaker decks, and has in fact introduced a whole new type of disgusting start through Mechwarper, Zombie Chow is pretty much essential in many decks to fight back against these aggressive starts.

 

Outside of these specific common cards, the meta is in a healthy place in terms of variety. The old ladder mainstays of Zoo and various breeds of Hunter are still common, but every class is represented to some extent, with most receiving new powerful options to improve their versatility.

 

Card and Deck Choices

 

As outlined above, cards like Big Game Hunter and Zombie Chow are almost essential to include in your deck right now. However, there is a way to respond to this and get ahead of the game a little. For example, when building a Control deck, you can choose to build it in a way that omits all BGH targets entirely. Filling your late-game instead with cards like Kel'Thuzad and Ysera, will leave your opponent with a BGH sitting dead in the their hand as they wait for your inevitable Dr. Boom that is never coming. 

 

Outside of specifics like this, when building a deck for ladder right now, you need to have a fine balance of early game stability and late-game power. Decks like Hunter and Zoo are still around to punish people for getting too greedy with their builds, but there is also a significant amount of late-game Control decks, that will simply outlast and dominate you in the late-game if you are not set to compete with them.

 

Class Power Rankings

 

Since the meta is still fairly new, and the classes are fairly balanced against each other, instead of the usual numerical rankings, I will simply discuss the classes in alphabetical order and talk about the common ways to play them right now. Remember, the classes are all fairly close in terms of power right now, so even a class I describe as weak is perfectly viable for ladder purposes if you build it correctly.

 

Druid

 

250px-Malfurion_Stormrage-f.png?version=

 

Druid is in a strong place right now. The common Fast Druid decks that were popular before GvG are still very strong, especially with the addition of new hard to remove cards like Piloted Sky Golem and Piloted Shredder. Ramp Druid has also come back with a vengeance in recent days as it is an excellent deck for fighting back against Aggro if built correctly, while also being a fantastic deck to build without including a Big Game Hunter target. The Black Knight is still fairly uncommon in ladder decks right now, meaning that high value Druid Taunt minions like Druid of the Claw and Ancient of War are more likely than ever to get full value. Mill Druid has also made a splash recently. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of Mill, it aims to overdraw the opponent, burning cards that they are unable to hold in their hand and then eventually finishing the opponent with fatigue. Although this deck is a lot of fun, and is competitive on ladder up to a certain point, it's still a little way off being a top level deck. 

 

 

Hunter

 

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

 

Hunters are still around, terrorising the ladder as always. The two main variations you will see right now are the outright Facerush Hunter, which has not changed much, if at all, since the release of GvG, and the less all-in, but still aggressive Deathrattle Hunter. The latter has a few variations, following a curve all the way up to Dr. Boom in some cases. New Deathrattle cards like Piloted Shredder have extended the value of Undertaker beyond the opening turns and allowed Hunter to get value out of it in the mid-game. Some people, myself included have experimented with Control Hunter decks which look to use Feign Death to get huge value out of late-game Deathrattle minions, but for now, the class seems to be inferior to others as a Control choice. 

 

Mage

 

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

 

Mage has emerged as a very versatile class since the release of GvG. It is now able to effectively play either an Aggro or Control game and compete against other decks effectively. Prior to the GvG release, Mage was in a difficult spot where any way you could build it was simply done better by another class. This is no longer the case, Mage is one of the best homes for the aggro Mech deck, due to the outstanding power of Goblin Blastmage, while Echo of Medivh has opened up even more possibilities for deck building by being able to refill your hand in an Aggro deck, or create extra copies of high value cards in a Control Deck.

 

Paladin

 

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

 

Paladin has also seen a vast improvement thanks to Goblins vs Gnomes. With cards like Shielded Minibot and Muster for Battle providing Paladin with one of the most oppressive early games of all the classes, Paladins can build their decks in a variety in ways, safe in the knowledge that they will secure the early game turns. Midrange Paladin is still being built in a vast variety of ways, from buff focused decks with cards like Dark Iron Dwarf and Blessing of Kings, to decks featuring cards like Bomb Lobber and Captain Greenskin to dominate the mid-game. Many Paladin players have even cut Equality from their deck completely, since their board presence is often so strong, they don't need access to the emergency board clears. Control Paladin has fallen away recently, with most people favouring the more midrange focused lists.

 

Priest

 

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

 

 

Priest is one of the weaker classes currently, although it is extremely well equipped to deal with Aggro, it does suffer still when faced with other Control decks. Although Vol'jin has gone some way to increase the decks power against other late game decks, it is still left lagging behind, since so many of its cards are reactive and require specific situations to be good. Both Deathrattle and Control Priest decks are very viable options, and despite my assertion that Priest is one of the weaker classes currently, a friend of mine who goes by Pesty achieved Rank 1 Legend with Control Priest earlier this week. This goes to show that even the decks that are on the weaker side right now are still extremely competitive.

 

Rogue

 

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

 

Rogue is still in the process of finding its feet in the GvG Meta. Early experiments with Tempo based Mech Rogue didn't lead to too many spectacular results, although the deck is still strong enough to achieve Legend rank, while Miracle Rogue players have been trying to adjust to the Gadgetzan Auctioneer nerf. The primary solution that has been found to this is outright Control Rogue, which replaces Gadgetzan with Sprint, and plays more standard finishers like Ragnaros and Dr. Boom to seal the game. These decks have been effective so far, but are perhaps still missing one or two key ingredients that will push them over the edge to a top level deck.

 

Shaman

 

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

 

Shaman is another of the weaker classes currently. Experiments from players have so far failed to create another particularly viable archetype other than the standard Midrange Shaman builds. Aggressive Mech based decks have been tried, but seem to fit better in Mage or Rogue for now, and extreme late-game grindy Shaman decks are outclassed my Mages, Druids, or Warriors doing the same thing. Neptulon was at first viewed as a very powerful card for Shaman, since it gave you the ability to refill your hand in the late-game, even if it was just with relatively low power Murlocs. However, due to how common Big Game Hunter is, Neptulon is a 10 Mana investment, Overload included, that simply dies to BGH.

 

Warlock

 

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

 

Warlock is strong as ever. Due to the strength of the Warlock Hero Power, the class will probably remain powerful no matter how many new cards get added. The reason for this is that any powerful neutral cards you add to the game, Warlock has access to them more often than any other class, because they draw more cards per game. With that said, the two classic Warlock decks are still out in force, namely Zoo and Handlock. Both have reacted to the nerf of Soulfire, with Handlock substituting in Darkbomb, and Zoo favouring Imp-losion. Handlocks have also benefited greatly from the addition of Antique Healbot, with the increased life gain potential leaving them favoured against even the dreaded Hunter matchup. Due to the ever presence of Big Game Hunter in the meta however, Handlock can struggle to dominate the board with their early giants. In terms of new developments, Demonlock decks, and Warlock decks that aim to stall the game with large amounts of removal into a one turn kill finish using Arcane Golem combos have both been making an appearance, but are yet to establish themselves as a dominant force.

 

Warrior

 

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

 

Not much to say on Warrior. The class is still powerful, but still very one dimensional. The go-to way to play the class remains Control Warrior, with any experiments with Aggro decks, or Mech based Tempo decks proving unsuccessful.

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 L0rinda

      Iksar has confirmed that the Matchmaking in Legend Ranks has been changed.
      As stated in our previous article, Legendary players have been noticing that in the last few days that they have been matched with players much closer to their own rank than usual. There was some confusion regarding this, as Iksar had not been made aware of the changes, but he has now confirmed that there are definitely changes in place.
      It is hard to precisely evaluate community feeling on the the new system, especially as I personally think they're a step in the right direction, but there are some players who are not keen on the changes. RayC and Xzirez have been the two highest profile players so far to disagree with the change. The issues that people against it have can be summarised as follows: Counter-Queuing: Many top Legends do not like counter-queuing, which is where you change your deck to try to counter your opponent. With the new system meaning you can often play the same person several times in a row, counter-queuing will become an important part of the game.
      Early Legend Advantage: People opposed to the changes claim that it overly favours the players who reach Legend early on. The older system made it easier to catch up at the end of the season.
      Win Trading: Due to the increased chance of playing against the same opponent, it is now easier to cover your tracks if you lose to a friend many times in a row to boost their ranking.
      There does seem to be a majority of players who support the new system however. The ladder system has been a cause of much debate for a long time now, and these changes, alongside the recent addition of ladder floors, seem to show that at the very least, ladder is currently a high priority for Blizzard to get right.
    • By Vlad
      This thread is for comments about our Menagerie Aggro Rogue Gadgetzan Standard Deck.
    • By Vlad
      This thread is for comments about our Murloc Aggro Rogue Gadgetzan Standard Deck.
    • By L0rinda

      The Hearthstone Championship Tour continues this weekend, with the focus shifting to the Asia-Pacific region. In this article I have introduced some of the players, and listed their deck archetypes.
      The APAC region is often regarded as the weakest region, and with some justification. However, although the region lacks a little in depth, the best players are definitely world class. Not only that, but the rest of the pack is rapidly improving, and it would be very negligent to ignore the region in 2017. Staz, from The Philippines recently won the $150,000 first prize at a stacked WESG, which marked the first major tournament won by the region. The top players will be looking to keep the rest of the world on notice, with some high quality play this weekend.
      Below I have listed a few of the key players, along with notes and deck archetypes.
        CaraCute: Tempo Mage, Aggro Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Pirate Warrior
      CaraCute has been touted by both NeilYo and Staz as having a good chance, and since those comments were made, she has come through the Tavern Hero Qualifier to take her place in the main Swiss. She learned her trade at Guildhouse Fireside gatherings, the same Fireside gatherings where caster Jia Dee also rose through the ranks.
        Che0nsu: Jade Druid, Miracle Rogue, Mid Shaman, Pirate Warrior
      Che0nsu made his name by first winning the Last Call qualifier, and then building on that to finish top four in the World Championship at BlizzCon. 
        ChongGEr: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Reno Warrior
      ChongGer is one of the most consistent performers in the South-East Asia scene. He came fourth in the Singapore Major, third in the Thai Major, and second in the Malaysia Major, where he lost two matches in the final to a player he had already beaten in the upper bracket! He also placed consistently high in the preliminaries last year. 
         GundamFlame: Tempo Mage, Aggro Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Pirate Warrior
      GundanFlame impressed observers in the Japan Summer Championship with his understanding of aggressive play. His understanding of when to ease off the pedal, and when to go all-in, won him the national title. It is no surprise that his lineup for the Playoffs is an aggressive one.

        HandomeGuy (pictured above): Aggro Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      HandsomeGuy is regarded as the man to beat whenever he steps foot in an APAC tournament. He finished in second place in the APAC Winter Championship, and that proved to be his worst result, as he went on to win both the Spring and Summer Championships.
        Kranich: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman (shown below), Reno Warlock, Dragon Warrior
      Kranich played in both the 2014, and 2015 World Championships, finishing top four and top eight respectively. Due to this, and the fact that he was a member of Team Dignitas before they withdrew from Hearthstone, he is one of the best known APAC players in the West. He is not scared to put his own stamp on decks, his RenoLock contains Doomguard and Krul the Unshackled, while his Shaman deck is slower than most Aggro Shamans, and leans towards midrange.

        NaviOOT: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      NaviOOT has built a strong reputation on the back of relentless top 100 finishes, and a consistently popular stream. In recent months he has turned his attention more and more to the tournament scene, making the trip to the Malaysia Open, in which he placed top 8. He has also stated that he will be travelling to DreamHack Austin, which is coming up soon. He managed top four at last Winter's APAC Championship, and is a genuine contender in 2017.
       Pinpingho: Tempo Mage, Mid Shaman, Reno Warlock, Water Warrior
      Pinpingho finished top eight in the 2015 World Championship. He was known for being one of the strongest Shaman players, back before Shaman was regarded as a playable class, so it will be interesting to see how a does now! He qualified for two APAC Championship events in 2016, and so is no stranger to these events.
        Surrender: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      Although he is yet to have a big win, Surrender is highly regarded in the community and has numerous good results. He already had Xixo as a playtest partner, and has recently joined Counter Logic Gaming, along with Xixo and Hoej. He will be as well prepared as anyone for this event.
        Tom60229: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      One of the most accomplished players in the field, Tom60229 has shown consistent results since the dawn of Hearthstone. His most recent tournament win was the Malaysia Major, but also had good success on the 2015 ONOG Tour. His worldwide tournament experience will stand him in good stead in this event.
       
      The event begins at 3am CET on Saturday 25 February, and coverage will be on the official PlayHearthstone Twitch channel.
    • By L0rinda

      For the past few days, top players have been discussing the pros and cons of the new MMR change at Legend Ranks. The only problem being, that Game Designer, Iksar, isn't aware of a change.
      There are far fewer Legendary players than usual this season, and as such things might feel a little different to the players, but the sample size across many streams and thousands of games of Hearthstone seems to point to the changing of the matchmaking system. It has been accepted by most that the system has changed so that you only play opponents in a very narrow band, rather than the previous system where you could be matched with someone with a wildly different Legend Rank.
      That alone might not have been enough evidence, but players are also queuing into the same opponent multiple times, to the point that they are having to play mind games on which deck to queue.

      Hoej independently witnessed the same thing, and went to Twitter to check that he was not alone. Several Legendary players agreed that the system has been changed, and people began to discuss what they thought of the changes.
      Placeholder for tweet 834430686325067776 The majority of players like the new matchmaking, although several did voice concerns that the new system heavily favours the players who reach Legend Rank early in the season. Just as the debate was getting interesting, Iksar dropped his bombshell:
        At this point there are several options, and all seem unlikely. Either the entire community is suffering from some kind of huge matchmaking fluctuation, Blizzard have made a major change without informing Iksar, or there is a bug which most people preferred to the actual game. Whatever happens, the reply when Iksar has investigated is sure to be interesting!