Graphical analysis of the HCT Spring Preliminaries metagame, pt. 2: Americas region
This weekend, get ready for another batch of HCT Spring Preliminary games. It's Americas' turn now, a region which has been known for its preference for aggro decks and which - bar a couple of super starts - was trying to catch up to the success of Europe last year. With the increased number of LAN events in NA, however, and Chakki's recent victory at DH Austin, the region is possibly the strongest its ever been.
Let's take a look at what the 168 players taking part in the Tavern Hero and Preliminary tournaments are bringing.
Compared to Europe, the power three differs only in order. Warlock has taken the top spot with 21%, followed closely by Shaman and Warrior at 20% and 18%, respectively. The major trends, as we'll see below, are also similar: The aggressive versions of Warlock and Shaman and prevalent, while Warrior is most represented by the Tempo deck.
Notable is the fall of Paladin down to sixth place, compared to fourth in Europe. N'Zoth Paladin was the most common deck on the old continent last weekend, but is taking a backseat in the Americas. The reason is likely rooted in just how common Miracle Rogue is in the region. The class itself is the fourth most popular and its primary build doesn't really care how much late game a deck has if it can kill it in two turns.
Hunter, Druid and Priest once again form the bottom three. Rexxar barely didn't finish last again, and should be thankful to how few players in the region like to play Priest.
All of the trends we observed in Europe are repeated in the Americas as well, Miracle is leading the rankings, present in almost 45% of the line-up, and while this is certainly less than the 49% N'Zoth Paladin saw in Europe, it's a big jump for the archetype between the two weekends. The decline of Paladin is very much the only big difference between the regions.
Shaman continues to balance the scales between aggro and midrange, the former still in the lead. Warlock is once again defined by Zoo and RenoLock, with all other archetypes being almost too scarce. In Warrior-land, Tempo has finally won the battle against control and is leading the charts with almost 40 points, compared to the mere 18 in Europe.
While the leading decks have remained the same, the Americas region sees some growing, more subtle trends that are covered in the next segment.
- The region is trying to make aggro work. North America has long been known as the faster of the two western regions and we're seeing this trend here. There are nine aggro Paladin decks and eight weapons aggro Warriors, archetypes which were almost non-existent in Europe. Even a few of the Dragon Warriors to be played in the tournaments are fairly aggressive compared to the control inclinations one might expect.
Even Zoolocks look more aggressive across the pond. leeroy jenkins has overtaken sea giant and doomguard as the finisher of choice and the majority of lists run at least one soulfire - akin to Chakki's variation that won DH Austin - for that extra reach.
- A new "hybrid Shaman" is on the rise. A handful of players are adding midrange cards to otherwise standard aggro Shamans to strengthen their late-game presence. Nerubian Prophet is a tech that's unique to the Americas and it will be interesting, to say the least, how it performs against the established builds.
- Malygos Reno Mages are a thing. And those are quite different than the Malygos Freeze Mages one might expect. Compared to the smaller sample size, we could also say that the standard Freeze Mage is more popular, at least to the extent that it challenges N'Zoth Paladins in the scoreboards.
- The Americas has universally decided that midrange Hunter is the only viable Hunter build. No N'Zoth shenanigans, or Yogg and Load mischief. Solid, reliable builds, or at least as solid and reliable Hunter can be these days.
Top 5 most popular decks
We wrote in detail about the most popular decks already in our HCT Europe stats report. Check it out here, so we don't have to repeat ourselves. We still want to give you decklists, however, so there you go!
#1: Miracle Rogue
#2: Zoo Lock
#3: Aggro Shaman
#4: Midrange Shaman
#5: Tempo Warrior
Tempo Warrior is the only one of the top five classes which didn't make it to the elite clique in Europe, though barely. Here it is now in the Americas, elevated by the heavy preference the region holds of it over Control Warrior and also the fact that it's just ridiculously strong until Malkorok gives you Cursed Blade.
Wow, that deck sounds weird, though. Decklist, please.
Praise to those wild players who are not giving a damn about what the perceived best decks are and just decide to play their own stuff.