How can data be real if our eyes aren't real? Altenberg shows you how.
How is it possible to have any lineup trends, when the season hasn’t even started yet? Good question hypothetical reader! The short answer is, it isn’t not impossible! So I’ve decided to consult my Magic 8 Ball and try to make some educated guesses as to what the Ragnaros League meta might look like. Your guess is as good as mine, so if you think I’m dead wrong or have other ideas about how this meta is going to look, drop a comment at the bottom.
Top 4 Classes
We are just under 3 weeks into the new Boomsday Expansion and there appears to be something of a meta forming on the ladder. The ladder meta is also very similar to the one that has formed at the two most recent HCT Conquest events (HCT Germany and HCT Buenos Aires). When looking at those three metas there are four classes that have separated themselves from the pack in terms of popularity in all three:
Each of these four classes are seeing between 13-22% representation on the ladder, depending on which tracking resource you want to use (HSReplay, Vicious Syndicate or MetaStats). Popularity drops off fast after those top four as the next closest class in popularity is Mage at 8-10% popularity while the rest of the classes all fall somewhere between 3-6%. While the sample size is quite a bit smaller when looking at the two HCT Events, they mirror the ladder popularity almost exactly. Therefore, I predict that those four classes, which are the most popular on the ladder and at the most recent HCT events, will also be the most popular as we start Season 10 of Ragnaros League here in THL. The specific decks and archetypes chosen within those four classes will be tough to predict, but here are some of the more likely options we’ll see as we navigate the early part of Season 10.
Druid is a class that is a jack-of-all trades kind of class with no glaring weaknesses and has been the most popular class at recent HCT Events. It can handle aggro decks thanks to cards like Swipe, Spreading Plague and endless amounts of taunt minions and armor gain. But it can also handle Combo and Control decks thanks to its own very strong deck cycling cards and OTK options. It also has its own strong, end-game combos and a variety of archetypes to choose from. In looking at popular decks on the ladder and recent HCT events, these three decks are the most likely to be used in Season 10:
1. Malygos Druid – Can setup a lethal OTK combo, or switch gears and run a tempo oriented “Token Druid-Lite” style of play
2. Taunt Druid – This deck has some great matchups against the four most popular classes and gives Druid a very strong late-game.
3. Token Druid – This deck also matches up very well against the top four classes and gives Druid a light OTK combo, or at the very least sets up threatening Tempo.
Warlock has been the most popular class on the ladder since Boomsday was released, although it has not been as popular as Druid at HCT events. Zoo Warlock dominated the first two weeks of the Boomsday Ladder meta, but it has dropped off in popularity as natural counters have crept up. Still, Warlock has several decks that have shown up at HCT events and these four seem like the contenders in Season 10:
1. Zoo Warlock – With great matchups across the board, and the ability to high-roll an opening, this deck is well positioned in the tournament meta. But is it also too obvious and targetable? We’ll soon find out.
2. Even Warlock – This mid-rangy Warlock deck can dominate board spreading aggro opponents and drop threat after threat in the mid-game. It can also pack late game inevitability with Gul-Dan and can even run the OTK Mecha’thun package if need be.
3. Cube Warlock – This deck has been around as the Control-beater for awhile now and while it is a bit more susceptible to aggro strategies, it is still one of the strongest decks around.
4. Control Warlock – Do you want to OTK your opponent? Maybe destroy their entire deck? Maybe control the board endlessly and draw them out of resources? Maybe drop Voidlords and resurrect them? This deck is still one of the premiere Control decks.
Over the past week or so, Hunter has not only risen in popularity, but it’s win-rate has never been better. Every expansion people try to make Hunter work as a Tier 1 deck and it always starts out strong, but then fades. Will Hunter stick around this time…finally? It might. Deathrattle Hunter has been making waves on the ladder and was a popular choice at the most recent HCT Buenos Aires tournament where it was tied for the 2nd most popular deck. But Deathrattle Hunter isn’t the only option. Here are the most likely Hunter decks this season:
1. Deathrattle/Cube Hunter – This deck has some controlling tech options but packs a meaty mid-to-late game strategy that is difficult for Control decks to beat. And Deathstalker Rexxar can win games all on his own.
2. Spell Hunter – This archetype still matches up well against aggro decks, and like Deathrattle Hunter, can win the game on the strength of its Deathknight card.
3. Midrange/Recruit Hunter – This deck still can build a board and present consistent pressure in the mid-to-late game and has shown mild popularity on the ladder and at HCT events. It is clearly less popular than Deathrattle Hunter and Spell Hunter but could find its way into the Season 10 meta thanks to some good match-ups against the popular classes.
While Zoo Warlock stormed the early part of the ladder, Odd Rogue quickly rose up to counter it. Odd Rogue remains one of the most popular ladder decks on the climb from Rank 5 to Legend. It was also tied for 2nd most popular deck at HCT Buenos Aires and had strong representation at HCT Germany before that. Odd Rogue is the premiere aggro deck right now, but Rogue has some other options too:
1. Odd Rogue – Clearly the most popular aggro option on the strength of an on-demand 2/2 weapon for 2 mana and a steady stream of threats combined with board buffs.
2. Quest Rogue – This deck has been making a resurgence on the Legend ladder and was even brought to HCT Buenos Aires. Having to play 5 copies of the same minion before you flood the board with endless 4/4s isn’t that difficult a proposition and can still punish Control decks easily. It also makes the original Caverns Below look even more ridiculous by comparison. Is another nerf going to happen?
3. Deathrattle/Cube Rogue – This is an inferior Deathrattle deck to Hunter and Warlock, but it can spiral games out of control thanks to a very strong weapon. Three people brought it to HCT Buenos Aires and it has had some representation on the ladder.
So, there you have it. Those are my predictions for the Top 4 classes of the Ragnaros Season 10 meta, as well as some of the most likely deck options. Druid and Warlock were the two most dominating classes During Seasons 8 and 9 during the previous Kobolds and Witchwood metas, and it looks like they are poised to remain the two most dominating classes once again in the Boomsday meta. Or, maybe I’m flat-out wrong. Maybe Druid and Warlock will take a backseat to other classes…who knows?!!?! Whatever happens with the THL Meta, as you go about making your class selections and setting your lineups this week, remember, good luck and have fun!
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