Ragnaros Season 9 – Week 3 Lineup Trends
Nerfs!?!?!?! Patches!?!?!? Changes!?!?!?! What did everyone bring the week before it all gets blown up? Find out here!
Ragnaros Season 9 – Week 3 Lineup Trends
This week’s edition of Lineup Trends will dissect week 3 of Ragnaros Season 9. We enter week 3 on the cusp of balance changes! And that means that all the data contained in this week’s article can basically be thrown out going forward, for the most part. Whether you enjoyed the current meta or not, the timing of these balance changes with the THL season is unfortunate, because we finally started to see one lineup dominate last week, creating some very compelling stats that are now all but useless. Never-the-less, this week we once again had 100 lineup submissions, but with 35 unique lineups, 4 more than last week representing another increase in diversity. But despite that diversity, we also saw one lineup totally dominate the meta. The four most popular classes used in lineups were Warlock, Paladin, Druid, and Rogue, a slight difference from last week (Rogue reclaims the #4 spot and Paladin once again reclaims the #2 spot). Not only were those four classes the most popular, they also comprised the most popular lineup: Druid-Paladin-Rogue-Warlock, submitted by 33 different people. This was a dramatic increase from last week and represented 1/3 of the entire THL meta. The 2nd most popular lineup was Druid-Mage-Paladin-Warlock brought 11 times (down slightly from last week). And rounding out the most popular lineups was Druid-Paladin-Priest-Warlock, brought by 8 people. These top 3 lineups represented just over half of the THL meta for Week 3.
But just how effective were these popular class combinations and how did the bans affect their win loss records? The answers to those questions are listed below. Current stats from Week 3 are shown in bold and, where appropriate, total season stats for the lineup combining the current week and past weeks are listed in italics.
Popular Week 3 Lineups
Lineup #1 – Druid, Paladin, Rogue, Warlock
33 lineups, 76-64 record (54%), added 2.9 points per team
Season Stats: 64 lineups, 165-136 (55%), added 3.3 points per team
Druid Bans: 23-17, 58%
Paladin Bans: 57-63, 48%
Rogue Bans: 48-27, 64%
Warlock Bans: 44-26, 63%
For three weeks in a row, this was the most popular lineup forming 33 out of a possible 100 lineups in week 3 alone. The most popular way to attack it was to ban Paladin, which was once again an effective strategy. The way to battle this lineup so far this season appears to be ban Paladin and target Warlock with some combination of Spiteful Druid, Quest Rogue, Even Paladin, Tempo Mage and Control Priest, not to mention needing to likely win a Warlock mirror. But with the balance changes hitting Even Paladin, Cubelock and Quest Rogue pretty hard, it remains to be seen if this lineup will survive and remain popular next week.
Lineup #2 – Druid, Mage, Paladin, Warlock
11 lineups, 26-18 record (59%), added 3 points per team
Season Stats: 32 lineups, 69-64 (52%), added 2.7 points per team
Druid Bans: 13-13, 50%
Mage Bans: 9-7, 56%
Paladin Bans: 26-23, 53%
Warlock Bans: 16-19, 45%
While this lineup struggled the first two weeks of the season, there were some believers in its ability to successfully target Warlock, and it had a fantastic week 3 showing going 26-18. That brings the overall record on the season to just over 50%. That said, it still struggled to find traction when Warlock was banned, perhaps leaving Mage or Paladin susceptible to targeting. With decks like Even Paladin and Cubelock getting significant nerfs this week, it remains to be seen if this lineup will remain popular going forward.
Lineup #3 – Druid, Paladin, Priest, Warlock
8 lineups, 17-17 record (50%), added 2.6 points per team
Season Stats: 33 lineups, 77-66 (54%), added 2.9 points per team
Druid Bans: 14-12, 54%
Paladin Bans: 35-33, 51%
Priest Bans: 6-2, 75%
Warlock Bans: 22-19, 54%
This lineup dropped in popular just a little bit compared to last week, and it also was not nearly as effective, winning only 50% of its games. The most popular and effective way to target this lineup was to ban Paladin and likely try to target Warlock. This lineup has access to Priest, which is a strong counter to both Paladin and Warlock, but also has flexibility to run Spiteful Priest as well, making it an adaptable class for lineups. The nerfs hit this lineup equally hard as the others with nerfs to popular decks like Cubelock and Even Paladin. But perhaps Priest could gain a foothold in the meta as its cards and decks remain untouched, save a slight downgrade in Spiteful Priest.
Last Week’s Other Lineups
There was one lineup that was popular last week that fell out of favor this week, but it’s worth bringing it up, briefly.
This lineup was brought twice in Week 1, and then showed up 8 times last week suggesting an upward trend in usage. I pointed out that it did not have a very good win rate and didn’t look particularly effective, and I was shocked to see that only ONE person brought it in week 3. That person had their Mage banned and was swept. Yikes. Outside of Cubelock getting hit hard by nerfs this week, the other three classes should remain mostly intact as Mage and Priest will suffer no nerfs, and Druid has a mild nerf to the Spiteful Druid deck. It remains to be seen what might happen with this lineup going forward.
Season Stats: 11 lineups, 16-28 (36%), added 2 points per team on average
Druid Bans: 3-2, 60%
Mage Bans: 3-12, 20%
Priest Bans: 2-3, 40%
Warlock Bans: 12-11, 52%
After three weeks of competitive hearthstone in THL, the meta has just begun to crystalize around the top lineup: Druid-Paladin-Rogue-Warlock. Again, nerfs coming this week will throw that meta on its head and we’ll have to start all over again to learn which lineups will be effective. Unlike week 1, we will not have the advantage of getting a few weeks’ worth of ladder stats and a tournament or two under our belts to gauge the new meta in determining our lineups. We’ll all be diving in head first into the deep unknown.
Below are the other lineups that were brought by at least two or more people in Week 3 that were not included above. Any lineups that were in the table previous weeks are in italics. Since we’ll have a new meta in Week 4, next week’s article will be brand new and will not take any of the previous weeks’ data into consideration. We’ll be starting over from scratch. Until next week, “good luck, and have fun.”
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