Tian Ding, Hearthstone Data Scientist, has provided more insight into which archetypes are ranking supreme at the top end of Hearthstone's Standard ladder. It has been a couple of weeks since we last got data from Blizzard, so let's see what has changed since the Warlock nerf patch that hit last week.
As a reminder, this data comes directly from Blizzard and uses the top 1% of players by MMR in Ranked Standard. Due to this, its as accurate as it is going to get!
Two Weeks Ago
A couple of weeks back when we got data, the following archetypes made up the top 5 (winrates in brackets).
- Aggro Hunter (54.0%)
- Aggro Druid (54.0%)
- Aggro-Shadow Priest (53.8%)
- Questline-Big Warlock (53.6%)
- Fel Demon Hunter (52.6%)
Let's look at the new data!
This Week's Top Standard Decks - Early September 2021
Here are the numbers provided for the top 10 archetypes alongside their win rate and "first turn advantage".
|Cluster Name||Win %||FTA %|
|Questline Demon Hunter||50.6%||9.1%|
Looks like Secret Paladin is very good if you are going first, which isn't much of a surprise considering how fast it wants to play. Warlocks have also dropped 1% in winrate since the last batch of numbers were dropped.
We also got to see stats from the bottom end of decks. Big Warrior and Questline-Zoo Warlock are not having a great time. In fact, Warriors aren't doing too hot at all. With possible buffs coming soon, maybe we'll see some Warrior love and a boost to get some of the less successful questlines up in win rate.
|Cluster Name||Win %||FTA %|
|Deathrattle Demon Hunter||49.8%||9.8%|
|Questline-Lifesteal Demon Hunter||49.6%||7.1%|
|Fel Demon Hunter||49.5%||5.7%|
Tian didn't provide any lists this time, so we've gone ahead and fetched some of the best lists for these archetypes off of HSReplay.net.
Why should we care about the top 1% of players when the rest of 99% are what 99% of the players face?!
At least provide the statistics for all the "brackets"(where a meaningful number of players reside). Those numbers are completely useless to below diamond.
But of course Blizzard only says half the truth, the one that suits them best (i.e. "hey look, our nerfs had the intended effect! But guess what?! Only for 1% of the playerbase because the others are too bad at the game to care about them").
I still question my sanity for paying for some arenas, with $, a few years ago when I was playing the game. It's sad that the HS whales don't find better games out there to invest into :(
Or better yet, why not reveal all 100% data instead of top 1%? Why hide the actual data to players? What are you hiding behind Blizzard? Afraid that everyone will know that your nerf patch doesn't do a thing?
EDIT, I'm seriously asking though. Don't read this as a complain.
because 100% data means nothing in terms of actual quality.
Everyone knows that at the lower ranks really bad decks can be viable because people either play bad decks themselves or are just bad at the game.
If we went by collective data then both Control Priest and LIfesteal DH would have had to be buffed last expansion because the total winrate would be far below 50%. The reason they pick top 1% is because that is were the most refined decklists piloteed by the most competent players are, which eventually trickles down and shapes the meta on the ranks where people have no idea how to build functional decks.
IN other words, 100% data is completely useless and probably would promote really bad decks (this is evident from whenever you check out Hsreplay without premium and see a bunch of bizarre decks like Big Demon Hunter with 50%+ winrate in Gold despite being objectively awful decks)
You must be joking dude. I'm a whale and I'm actually searching for a replacement for HS currently, because the meta is absolutely atrocious. Having all the cards doesn't mean you don't face all those crappy decks. It just means you're more likely to have a deck on an equal power level.
And the changes made to HS recently were all made entirely to benefit non-whales. So don't you worry, the whales are leaving. And so is everyone else. But don't go complaining after we've left if the game doesn't become more fun.
Because the best players play the best decks.
It's not like the rest can't net-deck them and still play them.
I'm simply asking for statistics that are relevant to the whole player base, not just the top 1%. Imagine a real life example - setting the minimum wages based on the top 1% richest people in that country. Bankruptcy says hello.
And again, i'm talking about the usefulness of the provided statistics, not the numbers. It makes it very easy to show only what you want to show, while not caring about what happens with 99% of the playerbase. I could even argue that card changes should be based on what happens in the (higher) brackets leading to Legend, with a lower focus on what happens in Legend. But never just the top 1%...
That's ok. I haven't played Standard nor wild in a few years. Got fed up with the way they design things. Classic was fun to me for a bit, but the whole direction the game is taking made me drop the game fully. BGs still suffer from too much highrolling or "fun" combos.
Here's hoping they won't botch mercenaries. Gonna try it and see what it's about. If it doesn't pan out either, probably gonna uninstall and be done with it.
So don't worry,i'm not complaining. Whales leaving is the best thing that can happen, to force Blizzard into rethinking design choices (and i bet stakeholders are not gonna allow them to come back to such decisions either).
If you're really hungry for stats, you dont have to rely on blizz to provide it, there's at least two major websites that provides adequate stats at different brackets. Hsreplay is one, and Vicious Syndicate is another.
Ultimately, Im not sure what is there to complain about. Most top companies dont showcase full stats to their customers because its not in their interest to do so (that's not to say its correct or ethical, mind you). In this case, there's nothing conspiratorial about them sharing a small piece of data. Any hearthstone player worth more than a discarded piece of tissue paper can and will judge for themselves, and if they willingly follow anyone's data like a good little sheep then that says more about them than anything else.
If they're sharing the top 1% data, that's fine. Take it for what its worth because it isnt gospel. Two weeks ago Dean comes along in his Q&A telling everyone that he's surprised that no one is playing rush warrior because the deck has a 55% win rate, and yet here we are; rush warrior is still not being played.
Yes, fast decks are historically easier to pilot than slower ones and thus often have a higher winrate. Why do we have to go through this every time.
You can easily play a heal heavy Priest deck that just grinds them all to dust, but you're gonna get shafted by Warlock 100% of the time (unless they fuck up) and Warlock is still a huge presence. If it wasn't, everyone would just bitch and moan about how games last an hour and all you can do is watch your board getting blown up over and over.
People really need to stop chasing the pipe dream of a meta where every single archetype is viable without somehow having a polarizeed matchup spread and games last long enough to play all your cards but not long enough for it to be annoying, and doing all of it without having excessive card generations or unavoidable win conditions.
Basically people want every deck to be Thief Rogue. Maybe they should make a mode for that and then everyone finally shuts up.
Its the community as a whole, not any single group of individuals. If they're not complaining about something that means the games dead. Its good to hear them out because not everyone speaks with a tomato in their mouth, but its pretty much senseless to complain about community heat.
It is undeniable that stormwind is generating more hate than usual, but that's hardly surprising. Crystal caverns rogue is one of the most hated deck of all time, even when its win rate was below 50%, and not only are we seeing it come back in another form there's at least 3 different types of it currently.
Anyway, its strange that this is being brought up when the post is not even about this topic.
What you said directly points at the fact that the core design of the game is flawed (or at least had become like that). The pipe dream you are talking about should be what happens in most cases, except for the standard deviation/fringe cases.
Think of it as an inverted U curve where around 70% of its area represents what you call the "pipe dream". That is the sweet spot in my opinion.
well then how about you come up with a plan on how to do it, because clearly you are convinced that it's possible in the first place.
Actually it was done. During the earlier days/first few expansions of HS. You had aggro, control and combo in a decent amount. Sure, there were polarized matches (freeze mage vs warrior) but those were not the majority of games.
Don't get me wrong, perfect balance is indeed impossible. I'm not asking for that.
It's also not my job to fix their design issues after lots of expansions that each introduced more and more powercreep, to make sure at least some of the cards from the new expansions get played.
I know this is why you believe it is impossible - otherwise we'd end up with new content that doesn't get played at all. No one wants that.
What i'm saying is to move away from direct or indirect stat increases (and/or cost decreases) and into the realm of "fun" effects and minions that force board interactions most of the time. Remember the general outcry when the 4 mana 7/7 shaman card was released? And it was more or less OP for that time, when supported correctly. Now we have had extreme mana cheating for a while. This means a disproportionate ratio between cost and power, and of course it's overpowered. At least the 4 mana 7/7 had overload.
How should they do it? I don't care nor am I paid to think about it. Here are a few free ideas: a complete power reset every 1-2 expansions, properly testing the damn game before launching an expansions, tweaking the average game time to 15 turns(from the previous testing), no more 0 cost cards unless designed that way, assigning proper costs to abilities and minion stats and then to the card itself, designing nice looking efects that *feel* more powerful than they are stat-wise(see the winrate of caverns rogue vs how powerful the effect felt in the game), focus a lot more on making cards and decks fun to play *against* - more meaningful matches that you remember longer vs more matches that you don't give a crap about, etc.
There's a lot of psychology needed, including for educating the playerbase. Yet they are doing things directly opposite, probably for financial gain. I'm sure a good balance for everyone can be achieved.
Exactly. We just had a control priest meta in Barrens and everyone was super upset about that. Now that we have decks with clear win conditions and decks that win fast and people are complaining again. I honestly think its better to not address these people because they will complain no matter what.
I think you are misrepresenting the Barrens meta here. Yes, control priest existed and was horrid to play against, but that was more to do with how it played (generating the same handful of cards over and over again, removing any sense of progress for the opponent) than the length of the games. Ultimately it was 1 deck in an otherwise reasonably fast meta. Having 1 slow deck in the meta for the occasional long game isn't a problem if 80% of games are reasonably short.
The main complaints I saw about the Barrens meta were just that it was quite boring, and people struggled to put their fingers on why. I'm pretty sure it was that the Barrens set was mechanically simple and didn't do much to encourage creativity. For me at least, I felt like I could try to make anything work during the Barrens meta, but I couldn't find much that interested me enough to make the deck.
That's the complete opposite of Stormwind, which is a very interesting expansion and a meta that stifles the shit out of creativity. I can think of lots of decks I'd love to play, but they would nearly all win after turn 8, so what's the point? It's not the usual case of a meta being a bit kinder to one type of player than another, it's a case where one type of player has been completely and utterly shafted in both Standard and Wild. Of course those players are going to complain, because the game they love has suddenly become impossible to enjoy, and that is a massive failure of game design.
I think you are misinterpreting my comment here; no matter how the meta plays out, there will always be people who complain no matter what. A lot of these players will not be happy with the game no matter what. It doesn't matter whether the game is in a balanced state or not, they will still complain. We have a classic mode where nearly every single type of deck is viable but people still say it's boring because freeze mage stalls, control warrior clears the board, and hunter goes face. These people exist in everything, and it is pointless to try and please them. Now I am not saying that everyone upset with the current meta is unreasonable, but you see a lot of the same users here who complain under a lot of posts and I think a lot of the recent articles have been attracting them. Hell, the most recent post is a demonstration of someone complaining for the sake of complaining without thinking about it.
Edit: Since I forgot to address your last line: if you find the game totally unplayable in its current state, I think you just do not like CCGs.
if every deck were thief rogue, players would whine about how there is too much generation and i can't play around anything, my decisions don't even matter because my opponent had better RNG.
It's always funny how many people bitch about how much card generation has ruiend the game, but then none of them bother to play Classic because know damn well that a strict 30 card deck every game is boring as fuck.
So should I complain when there's no control meta able to survive anymore? I think I should.
I mean, what's the point in printing cards like Kresh, Lord of Turtling, etc if it's not gonna be very useful in the meta.
Can you read the post? Questline warlock and shaman are definitely viable so what are you complaining about?
That didn't really come off as complaining. More like waiting to play a certain Warrior card.