Here’s what classes the Blizzcon finalists are playing: A graphical analysis of the Championship
The World Championship is upon us, almost. On Wednesday, the great battle of our time begins, as the 16 players have their line-ups ready for the race to the $100,000 championship prizes.
The groups were released last night and shortly after, information about players' line-ups also surfaced. Below, we examine said sixteen line-ups and do some graphs to paint a statistical picture of BlizzCon before the tournament kicks off tomorrow.
OK, let's go over the main points in these lists:
ThijsNL is not bringing Druid. This is by far the biggest surprise in all of the 16 conquest line-ups. The Dutchman has been known for being a Druid expert since the start of his career, basically, and the class itself received a significant boost with The Grand Tournament with the addition of [card]Darnassus Aspirant[/card]. Yet, Malfurion is not going to be used by its most famous pilot, with ThijsNL instead sticking to Mage, Warrior and Priest.
The Mage here is most certainly Freeze, as the Gamers2 bannerman is known for favoring the style. We could speculate that the Priest is a Dragon build as an aggro counter so it remains to be seen whether the Warrior build is the - now - standard Control, or the post nerf Patron.
Thijs is also the only Priest player in the entire tournament.
Three of the four Warriors are played by Europeans. During the regional championships, Europe emerged as the region to favor Patron Warrior the most (at that time, the deck wasn't nerfed yet). In fact, all of the top four players had brought Patrons to Prague and the deck was instrumental to their success.
Nowadays, Patron's charge engine has been reduced to rubble, but there are still believers in the deck. Xixo has accomplished top results with revised Patron decklists, finishing high on the ladder and even bringing it to tournaments, in particular the recent HS Arena invitational. So the question that needs answering is will Europe stick to Patron despite the mutilation of the deck, or will it switch to the more accepted Control Warrior?
Two of the three Rogues are played by NA. Rogue had almost gone extinct at one point. It's not like it's back in full force but seeing the class present at BlizzCon, even in small numbers, is something.
Hotform, Purple and Ostkaka will be playing the class, all of whom are very familiar with the OTK playstyle, having lots of experience on Patron Warrior. Expect all Rogues to be Oil builds because, well, that's the most stable one currently.
Mage is on the rise, but what build? Judging by the recent HS Arena, there's a good chance that Freeze Mage makes a return. Half of the top eight finalists used it in their line-up (even though the tournament was Last Hero Standing and not Conquest) and neither player opted to go for Tempo/Midrange builds like Mech or Flamewaker.
Looking at the players bringing Mage, we have established lovers of the build like Thijs and Neirea. At the same time though, Hotform, JAB and Nias played Tempo Mage at the Americas Championship, which hints towards a more balanced distribution of Mage archetypes.
Europe is the most diverse region class-wise. The Prague winners are bringing seven of the nine classes to BlizzCon, including the only Priest. Mage and Warrior are the preferred classes for them, but overall they have a very balanced distribution of classes. Hunter and Shaman are the only two classes they aren't bringing.
North America is the least diverse region class-wise. For the Americans, it's all about four classes: Druid, Mage, Hunter and Rogue.
While the Rogue picks are surprising, the rest is not. Mage was already well represented in its tempo build at the Americas Championship, Druid looks to be the class of the tournament and the Hunter is a common sight in JAB's and Nias' line-ups.
Paladin is on the rise and with it changes trickle down the class pyramid. Secretadin is still the most common build, but players are not afraid to bring slower, midrange/control builds to tournaments as well.
The threat of secrets and the hero power, as well as [card]Equality[/card] in midrange builds, has made Warlocks and Warriors cower in fear. The control versions of both these classes are notoriously weak when facing the Paladin kit and this might very well be the reason for their small pick rates: Only one of every four players has chosen either Warrior or Warlock.
Only the Asia regions play Shaman. What a shocker, as if we didn't know these guys are crazy and daring already ...