Last week did not just see the Hearthstone World Championships over in Amsterdam, it also saw Week 3 in both the Ragnaros and Sylvanas Leagues! Read on to hear rebobson's thoughts on the latest updates (and there are actually updates this week!) in the THL Meta in both Leagues, in lieu of your usual Sylvanas League guide BitBeaker who has unfortunately been taken ill this week.
It appears that last week represented what we can hope was a low point for class diversity, with the Hearthstone World Championships perhaps providing some amount of inspiration for people to think about trying something new. The most popular combinations of Priest and Warlock (84%, down from 87%), Priest, Warlock and Rogue (68%, down from 70%), and Priest, Warlock, Rogue, Druid (40%, down from 52%) all reported decreases in their combined bring rates. However, Priest, Warlock and Rogue all saw 0 change in their individual bring rates, so at the very least some more individual combinations are being tried out using 1 or more of those classes as a basis. Meanwhile, Mage has seen something of a resurgence, largely at the expense of Druid as a potential 4th class, with Fr0zen’s demonstration of Control Mage’s power at Worlds perhaps having something to do with it. We may soon see Mage stake some claim as a powerful fourth class to bring, now it has more than one viable archetype. Paladin has once again seen a decrease in popularity, and we may soon see Paladin join the ranks of Shaman, Warrior and Hunter in the <2% club, the way things are going for Uther. Results of each of the bottom tier classes were once again indifferent to bad, suggesting that no-one has stumbled upon a meta-breaking use for any of these classes: Shaman went 0-2 (with 1 DQ win), Warrior went 1-0 (gasp!) and Hunter went an astonishingly bad 1-6 (with 1 DQ win). It will certainly be interesting to see if Mage is much more of a thing next week, and if any new interesting ban strategies arise as a result. My prediction is we will see a lot more Mages, and a lot more Warlock bans as a result. Until next week!
Sylvanas League, meanwhile, has seemingly seen much more experimentation than Ragnaros: the only classes which did not see an increase in play this week were Priest, Warlock, and Paladin (poor Paladin), while every class bar Shaman and Warrior saw at least one ban. The unusual bans did not always pay off, however; both the player who banned Paladin and the player who banned Hunter lost their match heavily, although the single Druid banner did sweep their game, and the 4 players who banned Mage went 3-1. There is still hope for innovation! Ish. Druid, Priest, Rogue, Warlock was still the most commonly brought combination (obviously), being brought by 34% (27 people) of the League. Seemingly, every single possible combination of 4 out of 6 of: Druid, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock was brought at least once (though don’t hold me to that), with the slight leader of the pack being Paladin/Priest/Rogue/Warlock at 10% (8 individual brings). The complete mish-mash of archetypes within the 6 most prevalent classes mean there are just so many possible combinations of sweepers and hard counters, it’s pretty much impossible to try and list them all here. Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to see that there is still a willingness to experiment in the League, and long may that continue (at least until playoffs)!
The THL blog is curated and edited by Donde. All THL members are welcomed and encouraged to pitch ideas for articles they would like to see on the site. If you have an idea, please reach out to us on Discord at Donde#4239 or via the THL Help email address: firstname.lastname@example.org