Ragnaros Season 9 – Week 7 Lineup Trends
Do you want stats? Lineup Trends has you covered! This week’s article will dissect week 7 of Ragnaros Season 9.
Last week I pointed out that we had a budding meta beginning to form, and after Week 7 that meta is beginning to solidify even more. The meta is still diverse as we had exactly 40 unique lineups last week, but since the balance changes we are trending towards less diversity, as each week has had fewer unique lineups than the week prior. While individual lineups are still showing diversity, Druid (89) and Warlock (74) continue to dominate the meta with Hunter (59) and Rogue (46) close behind. Shaman (32), Warrior (28) and Mage (24) are finding some niche representation as Tier 2 options while Paladin (19) and Priest (13) are not seeing very much usage by comparison.
This week we had two popular lineups that really stood out from the rest of the pack. The most popular lineup in Week 7 was also the most popular lineup from Week 6 and again features the four most popular classes: Druid, Hunter, Rogue and Warlock, brought by 17 different people (an uptick in popularity from last week). I’ll have more to say on that lineup below. The other popular lineup was Druid, Hunter, Shaman and Warlock, brought by 12 different people. Stats from last week are shown in bold, while “total season stats” are shown in italics and are only those stats that have accrued since the balance changes (so Week 4 onwards).
Popular Week 7 Lineups
17 lineups, 42-37 record (53%), added 3.1 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 35 lineups, 87-72 (55%)
Druid Bans: 41-32, 56%
Hunter Bans: 9-3, 75%
Rogue Bans: 15-12, 56%
Warlock Bans: 22-27, 45%
This has been the most popular lineup for two weeks in a row, having been brought a total of 35 times since the nerfs. We now have some reliable data on it and it is performing in a positive, if unspectacular way. Looking at the bans, Warlock continues to be the most effective way to counter this lineup, while the Hunter ban is the least effective. Last week I was undecided about this lineup as it had a mediocre showing in Week 6, but still had respectable numbers on the season. After a decent showing in Week 7, I’m convinced that this lineup should be usable. While it only won 55% of its overall games last week, it went 11-6 in its matches, which is quite impressive. Overall on the season this lineup is 21-16 in matches. So, while this lineup isn’t blowing up the meta or anything, it seems to be decently reliable. There are two big weaknesses of this lineup though. First is that when opponents have banned Warlock, the lineup has had a 45% win rate in games, and a 5-7 overall match record. Second, this lineup includes the Rogue class, which is ranked as the 2nd worst class by games win rate on the season and was 4th to last in win rate last week. So, while it’s the most popular lineup and performing decently, I’m not convinced it’s the best lineup of the new meta. Still, you could do worse than this lineup.
12 lineups, 25-25 record (50%), added 2.6 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 21 lineups, 43-44 (49%)
Druid Bans: 7-7 (50%)
Hunter Ban: 11-10 (52%)
Shaman Bans: 12-11 (52%)
Warlock Bans: 13-16 (45%)
This lineup has continued to grow in popularity each week since the nerfs. It was brought by 12 people last week but has not been a particularly effective lineup. It is basically breaking even in games and matches sporting a 49% overall win rate and a 10-11 record in matches. There are two weaknesses with this lineup, first is that a Warlock ban lowers the win rate and match record quite a bit and second the Shaman class has been declining in win rate. Last week was the first week Shaman had a sub 50% win rate as a class. We’ll see if this lineup continues to grow in popularity, but overall it hasn’t been that effective. What follows is a look at some of the popular lineups from Week 6 and how they fared last week.
Week 6’s Popular Lineups
4 Lineups, 11-4 record (73%), added 3.5 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 15 lineups, 41-20 (67%)
Druid Ban: 14-9, 61%
Shaman Bans: 9-5, 64%
Warrior Ban: 6-2, 75%
Warlock Bans: 12-4, 75%
This lineup was one of the most effective lineups in Weeks 4 and 5 and I expected it to grow in popularity last week. Unfortunately, all it did was decline in popularity while INCREASING its performance. While there could still be a small sample size on this lineup as it has only been brought a total of 15 times on the season, it has out-performed all other lineups for three straight weeks. THL should take note. There just doesn’t seem to be an effective way to ban this lineup.
4 Lineups, 7-8 record (47%), added 2.3 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 9 lineups, 17-16 (52%)
Druid Bans: 11-11 (50%)
Hunter Ban: 3-1 (75%)
Rogue Bans: 3-4 (43%)
This was a brand new lineup in Week 6 and performed well that week, but it declined in popularity last week. It also declined in performance. I don’t have much to say about this lineup. It’s unique in that it doesn’t use the Warlock class, and I could see how it could be a “target Warlock” lineup, but so far it doesn’t seem to be working as intended and is not recommended.
5 Lineups, 11-7 record (61%), added 2.8 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 15 lineups, 37-29 (56%)
Druid Bans: 10-6, 63%
Hunter Ban: 16-15, 52%
Mage Ban(?): 3-2, 60%
Warlock Ban: 8-6, 57%
Holding steady in popularity this lineup has now had three solid weeks of usage. It has had two great weeks and one bad week and seems to be shaping up into a decent choice. Like the lineup above, it uses the highest win rate class in the meta: Warrior. Unlike the lineup above it also uses Warlock giving it access to some of the most powerful classes in THL. So I think there could be a lot of potential here even though it’s seen relatively low usage.
3 Lineups, 8-6 record (57%), added 3.3 points per team
Post-Nerf Season Stats: 17 lineups, 38-31 (55%)
Druid Ban: 3-1, 75%
Rogue Bans: 11-8, 58%
Warlock Bans: 11-15, 42%
Warrior Bans: 13-7, 65%
This lineup has been utilized by a healthy number of people each week since the nerfs and has maintained an average-to-above-average showing. It’s worth pointing out that it is 10-7 on the season in match record and 55% overall in games. The one weakness appears to be banning Warlock where the lineup has struggled. Still, it seems to be out-performing the popular lineups from last week and should be better utilized going forward.
Week 7 Class Breakdown
We have had two weeks in a row of consistent class usage, suggesting a solidifying meta. Druid and Warlock are dominating usage while Hunter and Rogue remain solid choices as the 3rd and 4th classes. Shaman, Warrior and Mage are hanging around as 2nd Tier options in popularity, while Priest and Paladin are on the outside looking in. In terms of popularity, the classes were ranked as follows last week:
However, if we break down the classes by game win rate, we get a very different ranking. It suggests that popularity in deck choice is not tied to THL tournament data, which is understandable. Ladder win rates are popular stats to use when building a lineup, although I would caution people in doing so since you can’t ban classes on the ladder. As a quick example, Quest Warrior is a low-end Tier 2 deck on the ladder with a 50% win rate. But if you ban Warlock, one of its worst matchups, its overall win rate jumps up to 52%. And in Conquest format where it must win only one game, if you ignore the Druid class, its win rate jumps up again to 53%, which would put it in Tier 1 if that were its overall ladder rate. So, some decks will do much better in a tournament setting than the ladder setting. The table below shows class win rates by lineup. For example, the first line Druid shows how many wins and losses every lineup that included Druid managed in Week 7. The second table shows the same data but for the post-nerf season.
As you can see, Warrior had the best win rate last week, and it continues to have the best win rate of any class since the nerfs. Meanwhile, Paladin, who has one of the best overall win rates on the ladder, has the 2nd worst win rate in the THL meta. Why is that? Well, two of its worst matchups (Druid and Warlock) happen to be the two most popular classes in THL. If we ranked the classes by overall win rate on the season, here is how the classes would rank:
As mentioned above, the meta is beginning to stabilize. While Druid and Warlock remain popular, and it’s justified based on their performance and ban popularity, the remaining classes are still kind of vying for supremacy. We’ve seen Hunter and Rogue rising to the top in popularity, and in the case of Hunter it seems justified as the class supports two very different archetypes in Spell Hunter and Recruit Hunter and the class has the 4th best win rate on the season. But in the case of Rogue, it has one main archetype with a variation: Tempo Aggro or Tempo Miracle. That makes it targetable and it shows in the win rate. Shaman is a class that has been pretty steady in usage, but its win rate suggests that perhaps it should be more widely used. Finally, Warrior is a class that should definitely see an uptick in usage as it has continued to be effective week in and week out and has some great matchups against popular tournament decks.
Below is a table of some of the other lineups that I didn’t mention above, but that were brought by at least 2 or more people. Until next week, good luck and have fun!
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