Everything you need to know to guess what your opponent is going to bring. Find it out on this weeks Lineup Trends!
Ragnaros Season 9 – Week 5 Lineup Trends
Welcome to another edition of THL Lineup Trends! This week’s article will dissect week 5 of Ragnaros Season 9. The balance changes were live for only about 8 days prior to the class submission deadline last week, so the meta was still a little unsettled. We continued to have a league-wide problem with DQs as only 92 out of a possible 100 lineups qualified. Of those 92 qualified lineups, we had a lot of variety with 44 of them being completely different and unique (a slight downward trend in diversity from last week). All nine classes were represented, but two dominated the field while the rest were fairly evenly represented. Druid and Warlock were included in 78 and 72 lineups respectively, while the remaining 7 classes appeared in a range of 19-39 lineups.
I was able to identify six unique lineups that I’ve labeled as “popular” for Week 5 that were brought by at least five different people. All six used Druid and Warlock. These lineups are listed below, and it needs to be said that all these stats should be taken with a grain of salt due to extremely low sample sizes. We just don’t have quite enough data to justify any given lineup as being correct or dominant yet. Week 5 stats are in bold, and in some cases, total season stats are included in italics. “Total Season Stats” are only those stats that have accrued since the balance changes (so Week 4 onwards). The first three weeks’ worth of stats, before the card nerfs, are not included (therefore, did they even exist?!?!?!).
Popular Week 4 Lineups
Lineup #1 – Druid, Mage, Shaman, and Warlock
9 lineups, 11-23 record (32%), added 1.6 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 10 lineups, 11-26 (30%), added 1.4 points per team
Druid Bans: 3-11, 21%
Mage Bans: 3-1, 75%
Warlock Bans: 5-11, 31%
This was by far the most popular lineup in Week 5, although it was also the worst performing by an even larger margin. One person brought it last week, and they had their Druid banned and lost 0-3, hence I’ve included the total Post-Nerf Season stats. While this lineup does have the two most popular classes in Druid and Warlock, Mage seems like a bit of a liability as the class doesn’t currently support a deck with a win rate higher than 51% on the legend ladder based on either HSReplay or Vicious Syndicate stats. Druid and Warlock were popular ban choices, and the lineup couldn’t muster very many wins in either scenario. This lineup went 3-6 in its matches overall and due to this poor showing, it would be surprising if it gained traction going forward.
Lineup #2 – Druid, Hunter, Mage, Warlock
5 lineups, 8-12 record (40%), added 1.8 points per team
Druid Bans: 6-6, 50%
Mage Ban: 0-3, 0%
Warlock Ban: 2-3, 40%
This lineup is a brand new entry in the post-nerf meta, as this combination was not brought by anyone last week. Unfortunately, it struggled in it’s first showing. It also features the top two classes in Druid and Warlock, and like the lineup above, it also featured Mage. Again, as mentioned above, the Mage class doesn’t support any high win rate decks in the legend ladder and could be a liability for the lineup. It’s also worth pointing out that Mage was banned in one match, and the lineup couldn’t muster a single win. Banning druid didn’t seem to impact the overall games win rate, while banning Warlock resulted in a 2-3 record. The lineup also went 1-4 in its matches overall, suggesting it’s not the ideal combination of classes.
Lineup #3 – Druid, Hunter, Warlock, Warrior
5 lineups, 13-8 record (62%), added 3.2 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 6 lineups, 16-8 (67%), added 3.3 points per team
Druid Bans: 7-6, 54%
Hunter Ban: 3-0, 100%
Mage Ban(?): 3-2, 60%
Warlock Ban: 3-0, 100%
This lineup is very similar to Lineup #2 above but swaps out Mage for Warrior. With the resurgence of Quest Warrior on the ladder, and the viability of Dead Man’s Hand Control Warrior in tournaments, Warrior might find a place in the new meta going forward. This lineup was brought once last week as well and swept their opponent 3-0 in games. It appears that one opponent of this lineup messed up the ban process and banned Mage, despite the lineup not having Mage, but no matter, it still went 3-2 in that scenario. Banning Druid seems to be the most effective way to counter the lineup, but even then, it’s only marginally effective. This lineup has gone 4-2 in matches on the season so far and seems like it could have some viability in the coming weeks.
Lineup #4 – Druid, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock
5 lineups, 12-9 record (57%), added 3.0 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 9 lineups, 22-14 (61%), added 3.1 points per team
Druid Bans: 7-5, 58%
Rogue Bans: 6-3, 67%
Shaman Ban: 3-0, 100%
Warlock Bans: 9-6, 60%
This lineup almost made the list last week as a popular lineup, having been brought by 4 different people in Week 4. Its popularity increased ever so slightly this week, being brought by 5 different people and finally made the list! After making 9 appearances over the past two weeks, it’s got a very good track record. While banning druid seems to be the most effective counter, it still managed a 58% win rate in that scenario while the other ban choices don’t seem to be effective at all. This lineup not only has an impressive game win rate, it is also 6-3 in it’s matches overall, so it also seems like it has some potential.
Lineup #5 – Druid, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
5 lineups, 15-4 record (79%), added 4.0 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 9 lineups, 19-15 (56%), added 2.8 points per team
Druid Ban: 3-1, 75%
Rogue Bans: 3-3, 50%
Warlock Bans: 6-6, 50%
Warrior Bans: 7-5, 58%
Like Lineup #4 above, this one almost made the cut last week as a popular lineup, being brought by four different people. It too saw its representation increase just slightly as it showed up five times in Week 5, and the similarities don’t end there. This lineup is just like Lineup #4 above except that it swaps out Shaman for Warrior. It had a VERY impressive showing in Week 5, winning 79% of its games. This is a major turnaround for a lineup that went 4-11 last week winning only 27% of its games and going 1-3 in matches. After winning all five of its matches this week, this lineup is 6-3 on the season. With one terrible week and one great week, it remains to be seen just which lineup is the real one. But perhaps with some more game data we’ll have a clearer idea.
Lineup #6 – Druid, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
5 lineups, 12-7 record (63%), added 3.2 points per team
Druid Ban: 3-1, 75%
Shaman Bans: 6-3, 67%
Warlock Bans: 3-3, 50%
The last popular lineup was a brand new entry in Week 5, not having been brought by anyone in Week 4. This new lineup is very similar to both Lineup #4 and Lineup #5 above with only one class difference between them. Banning Warlock seems to be the most effective way to counter the lineup, although no one tried banning Warrior. It might have been a good option, because as it stands the lineup not only had a great game win rate, but it also went 4-1 in its matches. There could be some potential in this lineup as well.
Last Week’s Popular Lineups
The top lineup from last week, despite having an impressive 63% win rate, disappeared completely. Not a single person brought it in week 5! So, there is really nothing to say about it. I am very surprised that no one brought it, but with nearly everyone latching onto Warlock this week, it just couldn’t find a home.
The second most popular lineup from last week (and the most popular from the first three weeks, pre-nerf), dropped in representation even further. It was brought by only 3 different people in Week 5 after being brought by 6 people in Week 4. The win rate tanked in Week 4 following the nerfs, and unfortunately things didn’t improve in Week 5 as it went 4-7 in games and 1-2 in matches. Despite the lineup featuring classes with decent ladder decks, it just doesn’t seem to be performing after the nerfs. Here are the total season stats so far, post-nerf.
9 lineups, 16-21 record (43%), added 2.2 points per team
Druid Bans: 9-13 (41%)
Paladin Ban: 0-3 (0%)
Rogue Ban: 3-1 (75%)
Warlock Bans: 4-4 (50%)
Week 5 Class Breakdown
What follows is a table that considers the overall wins and losses of every lineup from Week 5 that included each class. So, for example, the first class Druid, was included in 78 lineups in Week 5. Those 78 lineups that included Druid had a combined record of 161-156 and added an average of 2.6 points to each team. As you can see from the table below the top 4 classes by win rate in Week 5 were: Rogue, Warrior, Paladin and Hunter. It’s very interesting that the top two most popular classes, Druid and Warlock, are not in the top 4 in overall win rate by class, although they would be ranked 5th and 6th respectively.
And the table below shows the same information for the entire “Post-Nerf” season (Weeks 4 and 5 combined). While Druid and Warlock didn’t have a great showing in Week 5 in terms of win rate, when you combine Week 4 with them, Druid comes out looking very well with the 2nd highest win rate in the Post-nerf season. But Warrior is the class that appears to have the highest win rate after two weeks. In my opinion people are sleeping on Warrior as a viable class. It’s had the best win rate two weeks in a row, and yet its representation is in the middle of the pack. Poor Mage and Priest, they are the worst performing classes after two weeks.
I can’t say that there is a defined meta forming yet. In fact, it’s kind of a stretch to even identify the six lineups above as any sort of trend. The two popular lineups from Week 4 didn’t carry into last week, and it remains to be seen if any of the six lineups above will carry over into Week 6. That said there does seem to be an identifiable trend of creating lineups with Druid and Warlock. But after that there has been considerable experimentation no clear trends. If the class win rates above are to be believed, Warrior should be in consideration as the third class, since it has had a very strong showing in each of the past two weeks and holds the top win rate so far this season. The fourth class is a bit of a toss-up between Shaman, Paladin and Hunter. At this point it looks like Mage and Priest might be on the outside looking in, based on win rate, but we’ll have to wait and see how things unfold in the weeks ahead.
The final table below shows those lineups that were brought by at least 2 different people, but that were not popular enough to include above. Lineups in italics were ones that were brought by at least 1 person last week, so perhaps there are some diamonds in the rough down there! Until next week, “good luck, and have fun.”
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