Hello everyone! I am Rjam a lover of stats and card games. I currently reside in Mythic and have put significant time into theory crafting, meta analysis, and discussion with other players so that I can bring you an extensive look into the past weekend of ranked. In this meta analysis you will find decklists, week to week comparisons, and future predictions from the perspective of a 1300+ MMR player. If you are interested in how I get my information check out the methodology section near the conclusion.
Wow! There were a lot of changes this past week. Amazon Nature has appeared out of nowhere to become a force in the meta. Weekend 19 they were played about 200 times – not even deserving a place on the meta chart! In comparison, this weekend they competed in over twice that many matches. As a consequence, both Face and Control war dropped to about 80% of what it was the previous week in addition to suffering a drop in win rate compared to other decks. Rune Mage and Light Zoo/Midrange were relatively unaffected by the changes with similar games played and win rates to previous weeks. Deception however, burst out the gates drastically improving its win rate without changing how often it was played. This change in win rate indicates that deception is favored against nature.
Similar to nature in its sudden appearance, Control Death appears to be a force to be reckoned with. It has had a devastatingly high win rate so far but it is unlikely to continue. The sample size is small and overall shouldn’t be judged until it has more matches under its belt. A deck to watch. Death Zoo has been zooming up the charts in terms of matches played. Undeniably the fastest deck to complete matches it is a great way to gain weekend rewards while gaining ranks at the same time. It may have a lower win rate than other decks but that is irrelevant to its purpose.
Example Deck: https://unchainedstats.com/deck/230059/
This decks primary game plan is to win and win quick. Utilizes small minions and spells to swarm the board while wearing down the opponents health with Soul Burn. Can run midrange minions such as Anputian Magus for a stronger midgame.
Prediction: I don’t foresee the deck changing in popularity or win rate anytime soon. If a weekly reset continues then this deck will be the deck of choice for quickly regaining those points.
Example Deck: https://unchainedstats.com/deck/233315/
With so little play the optimal build is unknown. Some builds revolve around big board clears and big minions while others abuse afterlife mechanics to create strong but inconsistent combos. Reanimate bugs means this deck will often choose to go with the Blood Ritual god power.
Prediction: It is hard to guess where this deck will end up a month from now. With the Reanimate bugs deckbuilding is limited. Once those are fixed I predict more players will bring down the overall win rate but will make a large impact on the meta similar to nature this past week.
Nature has been on everyone’s mind lately wondering when it would make an impact. Well wait no longer! Amazon nature is back on the menu and making waves in the meta.It has strong early game in Underbrush boar and burst in Arkmonian Onslaught. Pack Stalk allows the deck to recover quickly from board wipes. The deck relies on having control of the board and should be the decks main priority.
Prediction: It will continue to have a high playrate over the next week or so as more people are inspired by the decks success to try it out. Due to this and other decks adjusting and learning how to play against Nature I foresee the win rate decreasing over time.
Example Deck: https://unchainedstats.com/deck/234606/
Rune Mage is looking better than ever with no real challengers to its meta throne. It boasts some of the best removal in the game in combination with strong mana cheats. Additionally, no other deck has as strong of a late game win condition as Magic with Avatar of Magic. Recent lists often more early game such as Warp Engineers and Arcane Transcendants to better combat aggro.
Prediction: Until balance changes significantly weaken Mage or a new set comes out Rune Mage will continue to be one of the strongest decks available.
Example Deck: https://unchainedstats.com/deck/220204/
The decks flexibility is key, every god power Light has is viable depending on the opponent. Their minions tend to be small but sticky with high health. In the midgame it is common to finish opponents off with a surprise Canonize for burst damage. High Thaumaturge can be a great tool for card draw if not dealt with quickly.
Prediction: Their unique style of play and flexibility will only see them grow stronger as the different ways to build Light decks are created and optimized. A very underrated meta choice.
Example Deck: https://unchainedstats.com/deck/235208/
Tempo Deception focuses on its namesake…tempo. Every turn it wants to keep pressure on the opponent. Memory charm allows token minions to gain extra value by trading into minions that they would normally be unable to. The god power can also target opponents minions allowing you to earn enough time to stall the game and draw your win condition. Cutthroat Insight, Double Dealer, and Anti Magic Expert are excellent ways to deny your opponents win condition and improve your own. The recent changes to Cutthroat Insight were annoying but ultimately did not affect Deceptions place in the meta.
Prediction: A solid option that will grow stronger as more cards are added to the game. Its win rate reflects its place in the meta. Hard to picture this deck as weak for as long as Cutthroat Insight exists.
Example Deck: https://unchainedstats.com/deck/234950/
Face is the place! Devised to end the game by turn five this deck can dish out big damage through its weapons and numerous minion buffs. Whetstone and Sharpen in particular play a major role in creating those big damage bursts. Unfortunately, the meta has begun compensating for the abundance of top tier weapons by running weapon removal. Additionally, the presence of strong zoo decks encourages most decks to run more early game minions or removal. Both weaken this deck significantly.
Prediction: The deck will shift in popularity depending on the state of the meta. More than any other deck, Face War capitalizes on a lack of early game, healing, or taunts. Right now those are not lacking but expect this deck to come out of the woodwork whenever players become too greedy.
Example Deck: https://unchainedstats.com/deck/231090/
Unlike most other control decks, Control War foregoes almost all spells in favor of minions. This minion based playstyle is enabled by the Onslaught god power because it allows minions to immediately affect the field improving its aggro matchups. Late game, cards such as Avatar of War provide difficult to remove bodies in combination with powerful effects. The difference in success between the last two weeks has been stark. No deck has been more affected by the way the meta is changing. Its big weapons are weak to weapon destruction, other control combos are stronger in the late game, and zoo has gone wider. The increase in burn decks has arguably been the biggest reason why the win rate of Control War has dropped. Without early game healing or a quick way to finish games, Control War is heavily susceptible to chip damage.
Prediction: Control War will do better this week than the last in terms of win rate. It will need to adjust in deck building to accommodate for recent trends and rely less on its weapons. Failing one week does not mean it will fail the next. If anything, this deck is stronger as a dark horse.
I wanted to use matches from players with an MMR of 1300+ so that I know each deck is being played and built as optimally as possible. I also wanted to use opponents with 1300+ MMR so that games are less decided on skill and more decided by the deck that they play. However, that would leave me with too small a sample size given the variety of opponents that high level players face. In fact, that would leave me with only about 45% of the matches that 1300+ MMR players compete in. Using opponents with 1200+ MMR avoids too drastic differences in skill while enabling me to use a bigger sample size.
When I calculate usage data and win rate for each deck I am actually making several assumptions about each god and archetype. I am making the assumption that the deck I mention is the most popular deck of that god, that the deck primarily uses one god power, and that any overlap between other decks are not significant enough to affect the stats or my conclusions. A good example of this is that I assume all War players who use the Slayer god power are playing the Face War deck. We know that to not be the case as some Control War players use Slayer too. I make these assumptions because I have no other way to distinguish decks otherwise.
All the data I pull from to make my calculations and these charts can be found on unchainedstats.com
Overall the meta has shifted significantly over the past few weeks and we can expect it to do so again. The following charts depict how far above or below decks are to the average win rate of that week.
Clearly the meta is unsettled and will be for some time. I look forward to analyzing the future weeks of ranked play and finding out what each week brings.
I would like to thank my teammates at Team Rankstar (freedan, pastramiPajamas, and NoControl as well as styx and Dookis for help in deck creation, meta understanding, and discussion. Furthermore, I want to thank rek for building and always working on the site I pull data from and JamKats for creating the banner. Lastly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read this article.
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