Class stats: One month of GvG in graphs and numbers
One month of GvG tournaments is behind us. Check out who were the most played and most winning class at the start of the new meta.
Note: The numbers below are taken from the GosuGamers tournament platform. They only represent the tournament metagame and do not reflect the state of the constructed ladder or arena.
Welcome to the first post-GvG episode of the Class Stats corner. This article aims to provide an eagle-eye scope of the competitive meta by looking at how the classes perform, putting their wins and losses to numbers and graphs.
Since GvG launched in December 2014, more than 650 games have been recorded on the GosuGamers system, spread across 15 online tournaments, offline events and televised showmatches. Below, you will find the calculated win percentages for each class, the times it was picked and its win-rate breakdown per match-up. Before we go into GvG, however, let’s look at where Curse of Naxxramas left our nine Hearthstone friends.
1. Who ruled Naxxramas
More than 1,350 games were recorded for the entire Curse of Naxxramas competitive life. The metagame experienced several shifts but the final numbers really came as a surprise to nobody.
The two distinct builds of Warlock and the solidness of Druid made them the two most played classes in all of Naxx. At 36% and 34%, respectively, the competition between the two was tight, Druid losing by mere 16 fewer games played.
Warlock and Druid also collectively represented the best of the leading Hearthstone archetypes. Zoo and Handlock were long considered the most powerful aggro and control decks, while most midrange Druid builds were built in such a way that they barely had any bad match-ups against the other metagame kings.
Rogue wrapped up the top three of most used classes. Valeera had suffered only a minor setback after Leeroy Jenkins was nerfed but the community quickly found new ways to play Miracle and although the class never broke the 50% win-rate mark, it was a proof it wasn’t a dead pick, not by a long shot.
While Druid and Warlock reappeared in the top 3 of most winning classes, it was Hunter that crushed that chart, sitting on top with 54%. Undertaker made the class so powerful that whenever it wasn’t banned – and it was banned a lot which was the main reason it was “only” in fourth place by most games played – it snowballed players out of tournaments. In the last big tournament of 2014, DreamHack Winter, mere six out of 32 players left Hunter out of their line-up.
2. Some things never change…
Interestingly enough, GvG didn’t turn the metagame upside down as many people expected and hoped for. Rather, it reinforced the older decks with a card or two and, generally, people continued to use what was already strong before the patch.
Same goes for Druid, whose builds also didn’t change that much. Granted, “fun” decks like the mill Druid can be occasionally seen but exclusively outside tournaments. In competitive games, the pros stick to the tested mid-range builds, simply adding a Piloted Shredder as a strong value drop and the ever-present Dr Boom.
At the opposite side of the spectrum, Priest continues to struggle. Anduin was one of the classes who most hoped for a revitalization – being the least winning and the second least played class in Naxxramas – but change didn’t come. Shaman is in the same pit, with the small difference that its numbers have gone even worse compared to the previous meta and Thrall is now where Priest was two months ago.
3. …And some things do change
It would be unfair to say that GvG did not sway the metagame at all. In fact, there’s quite a lot of it.
The biggest winner of the new expansion is Warrior, previously a class with mediocre results with 21% pick rate and 49% win-rate. Even though no new builds appeared for the class, getting Shieldmaiden and Dr Boom was, apparently, what the spec needed to skyrocket to the most winning and the second most popular class for the last month. Control Warriors didn’t even need the fancy Bouncing Blade or their new legendary: a powerful utility minion and a new amazing finisher did the job all by themselves.
Even though Warrior has a lot of reasons to celebrate, his ascend dwarfs before the rise of Paladin. Bar a short resurgence of a week or so during a slowed down period of the Naxx meta, Paladin was largely overlooked. Today, the class is in the top three in the win-rate charts, tied with Rogue at 52%. What’s more, it’s the fourth most played class after Warlock, Warrior and Druid, beating classes like Hunter and Rogue.
A change in the negative direction came for Hunter. Everyone’s favorite – or most hated – aggro class saw its win-rate drop by 4% and is balancing right on the edge at 50%. A large reason for that is the popularity of Warriors and Paladins in the current meta, which hold a 77% and 68% against Hunter, respectively. Even though the class continues to perform well against popularity kings like Warlock and Druid, it’s not enough to hold him in the top three.
4. Final notes and direct comparison
- Even though Mages seem to be back with their Mech, Frost and Fatigue builds, the class only marginally improved. It’s still below 50% win-rate but at least it’s picked way more often than before
- Even though Warlock is the most played class of the last month, its win-rate is substandard at mere 46% win-rate. The Warrior-dominated meta has affected them as well. It’s also the biggest drop in win-rate, going from #3 to #7
- The biggest drop in popularity is Rogue. Previously a #3 most picked class, Rogue is now down to #8
- The biggest jump in popularity is Mage, going from #9 to #5
- The biggest jump in win-rates is Warrior, going from #6 to #1
5. Match-ups breakdown
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