Which lineups brought the points and which ones collapsed faster than Joshsampson's HCT run? Altenberg breaks it down for us in this weeks, Lineup Trends!
Ragnaros Season 9 – Week 2 Lineup Trends
So, this week’s edition of Lineup Trends will dissect week 2 of Ragnaros Season 9. We enter week 2 on the heals of the HCT Summer Americas Summer Playoffs last weekend, exploring another week of the new Witchwood meta. This week we had 100 lineup submissions with 31 unique lineups, 5 more than last week representing an increase in diversity of lineup choices. The four most popular classes used in lineups were Warlock, Druid, Paladin and Mage, a slight difference from last week (Mage replaces Rogue for the #4 spot while Druid overtakes Paladin for the #2 spot). Druid-Paladin-Rogue-Warlock was once again the most popular four-class lineup, submitted by 20 different people, an increase from last week. The 2nd most popular lineup was a two-way tie between Druid-Mage-Paladin-Warlock and Druid-Paladin-Priest-Warlock being brought 13 times each. Druid-Mage-Priest-Warlock was brought 8 times with no other lineup being brought by more than 6 people. These four lineups comprised 54% of lineups in the Week 2 Ragnaros League meta. But just how effective were these Top 4 class combinations and how did the bans affect their win-loss records? The answers to those questions are listed below. Current stats from Week 2 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 2 Lineups
Lineup #1 – Druid, Paladin, Rogue, Warlock
20 lineups, 47-35 record (59%), added 3.1 points per team
Season Stats: 31 lineups, 89-72 (55%), added 3 points per team
Druid Bans: 13-10, 57%
Paladin Bans: 34-34, 50%
Rogue Bans: 33-15, 69%
Warlock Bans: 16-10, 62%
Like Week 1, this was the most popular lineup formation with 20 out of a possible 100 lineups. Unlike last week however, this was the best performing lineup in Week 2. The most popular way to attack it was to ban Paladin, which was an effective strategy last week and this week as well. Paladin was banned 7 times, and when Paladin was banned, this lineup went 16-14 dropping the overall win rate from 59% down to 53%. The next most popular ban was also the most effective in week 2. Five people banned Rogue, and that resulted in a meager 11-11 record for this lineup dropping the win rate to 50%. This is the opposite of last week where Rogue bans increased the win rate by a significant margin. The other two bans proved to be ineffective this week. Three people tried banning Druid and the lineup went 8-5 winning 62% of its games. Banning Warlock was very effective last week, but proved to be not a great choice this week as the lineup went 9-2 with a Warlock ban (82% win rate!). The bans proved to be almost opposite in their effectiveness from Week 1 to Week 2, perhaps suggesting that we’re dealing with too small of a sample size to come to any real conclusions. But, when you look at the combined stats from Week 1 and 2, there is a reason this is the most popular lineup: it looks pretty tough to beat, even with a Paladin ban.
Lineup #2 – Druid, Mage, Paladin, Warlock
13 lineups, 28-26 record (51%), added 2.6 points per team
Season Stats: 21 lineups, 43-46 (48%), added 2.5 points per team
Druid Bans: 10-11, 48%
Mage Bans: 6-7, 46%
Paladin Bans: 13-12, 52%
Warlock Bans: 9-14, 39%
This lineup saw quite a big uptick in representation increasing from only 8 appearances last week, to 13 appearances this week. This increase in usage is a little bit of a surprise, since it was the worst performing lineup last week, but that said, it did improve its performance quite a bit. Like last week there was a variety of ban strategies with mixed results. Druid was banned four times and the lineup went 10-8, a slight increase in win rate from 51% to 56%. Warlock was banned three times, and the lineup went 4-7 a decrease in win rate from 51% to 36%. Paladin was also banned three times, but proved to be ineffective as the lineup went 8-4 in that scenario, surging the win rate to 67%. Mage was banned only once, but the lineup really struggled going 1-3. In a weird turn of events, Rogue and Warrior were each banned once, despite those classes not being part of the lineup. There must have been some confusion in the ban process. Never-the-less, the lineup went 5-4 in those weird “no-ban” scenarios. It’s encouraging to see this lineup make progress from last week, but the win rate might be getting a little help from those “no ban” matches. I think we’ll need to see a little bit more from this lineup before anything definitive can be said about it, because overall it still has a losing record.
Lineup #3 – Druid, Paladin, Priest, Warlock
13 lineups, 32-24 record (57%), added 3.1 points per team
Season Stats: 25 lineups, 60-49 (55%), added 3 points per team
Druid Bans: 14-9, 61%
Paladin Bans: 23-23, 50%
Priest Bans: 3-1, 75%
Warlock Bans: 20-16, 55%
This lineup was equally as popular as lineup #2 above in Week 2, also being brought 13 times, but was more effective this week. It was also like lineup #1, but swapped out Rogue for Priest, and like last week continues to see a similar win rate as lineup #1. The most popular way to attack this lineup was to ban Paladin, and it was also the most effective too, resulting in a 14-14 record, lowering the win rate to 50%. Three people banned Druid, which was not the best way to attack the lineup as it went 9-5, increasing the win rate to 64%. Three people also tried banning Warlock and the lineup went 6-4, just about equaling the overall win rate at 60%. One lonely soul banned Priest, and the lineup went 3-1. This lineup improved it’s win rate from last week jumping up from 53% to 57%. As Control Priest continues to find success on the ladder targeting Paladin and Warlock in this meta, this lineup is finding success with Priest in THL.
Lineup #4: Druid, Mage, Priest, Warlock
8 lineups, 15-19 record (44%), added 2.4 points per team
Season Stats: 10 lineups, 16-25 (39%), added 2 points per team on average
Druid Bans: 3-2, 60%
Mage Bans: 3-8, 27%
Priest Bans: 2-3, 40%
Warlock Bans: 12-11, 52%
We have a new lineup to talk about this week! This lineup was included in the “Other Lineups” table last week, having been brought twice last week. It didn’t have a particularly good showing last week going 1-6 in its games, and this week it improves only a little bit more going 15-19 overall with a 44% win rate. I can see why players would want to try to include Priest to have access to the ladder meta breaker deck, Control Priest, but for whatever reason, this lineup hasn’t been performing very well yet. It should be noted that the absence of Paladin (the #1 win rate deck on the ladder) might be a big hinderance. That said, the most popular way to attack the lineup was to ban Warlock, which resulted in a 12-11 record and a slight increase to the overall win rate to 52%. Two people banned Mage, and that shut this lineup down, resulting in an 0-6 record. One person banned Druid, and the lineup went 3-2. I’m not sure what to think about this lineup, but early returns are not that great. It needs more data before anything conclusive can be said about it, but a combined 39% overall win rate including last week’s stats doesn’t bode well.
Last Week’s Other Lineups
There were two lineups that were popular last week that fell out of favor this week, but they are worth bringing up here to see how they fared.
This lineup was the 2nd most popular lineup last week, being brought 12 times, but this week saw its popularity drop by 50% as it was only brought 6 times. Not only did the popularity drop significantly, but so did the win rate. Remarkably, this lineup was hands down the best performing lineup in Week 1 with a 69% win rate going 34-15 overall. But in Week 2, it crashed back down to Earth going only 10-12 with a 45% win rate. That’s quite a shift, and it seems that THL players were anticipating this drop and avoided the lineup like the plague. In looking at the stats by classes banned, there is a remarkable difference in performance when Warlock is banned versus when Warlock is not banned, leading to a potential weakness for this lineup.
Season Stats: 18 lineups, 44-27 (62%), added 3.1 points per team on average
Druid Bans: 9-1, 90%
Mage Bans: 0-0, ?
Rogue Bans: 9-4, 69%
Warlock Bans: 23-21, 52%
Mage, Paladin, Rogue, Warlock
This lineup was the 4th most popular lineup in week 1, brought by 10 different people and had a 60% overall win rate. It looked really promising, but strangely, only 1 person brought it in Week 2. That person went 1-3 with the lineup and had their Rogue banned. With the dominance of Spiteful Druid in recent tournament play, perhaps the “no druid” strategy of this lineup scared people away from it. Or perhaps a weakness has been found: Ban Rogue, which lowers the overall win rate significantly. Even with that 1-3 stat line added in from Week 2, the overall season stats still look pretty good and there is potential with this lineup. Perhaps it will see a resurgence in Week 3, or perhaps not.
Season Stats: 11 lineups, 25-19 (57%), added 2.9 points per team on average
Mage Bans: 3-2, 60%
Paladin Bans: 0-0, ?
Rogue Bans: 7-11, 39%
Warlock Bans: 15-6, 71%
While Warlock continues to dominate the meta, Druid saw a spike in representation, increasing from 72 lineup appearances in Week 1 to 82 lineup appearances in Week 2. While Warlock and Paladin are dominating the ladder, Warlock and Druid are dominating the tournament scene lately. There has also been a shift in ban strategies from Week 1 to Week 2. Warlock was by far the most common ban in Week 1, with Paladin and Rogue a close 2nd and 3rd. But in Week 2, while Warlock and Paladin continued to be the most common ban choices, we saw Druid sneak into the #3 spot. Spiteful Druid is an easy deck to play and can be quite powerful when it puts a minimum of 12/12 stats on the board on turn 5 or 6 with the potential for 16/16. When it “curves out” it’s tough to beat and players have decided to double the ban rate of Druid from Week 1 to Week 2. That said, in looking at the win rates of the lineups above with Druid Bans, this may not be the smartest strategy going forward.
There are many great lineup choices for Week 3 and it will be very interesting to see which way the THL meta decides to go. Next week we’ll revisit these “Top 4” lineups and see if any new ones crop up. Below are the other lineups that were brought by at least two or more people in Week 2 that were not included above. Any lineups that were in the table last week are in italics. Until next week, “good luck, and have fun.”
The Other Lineups
The THL blog is curated and edited by Donde & rebobson. 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 rebobson#3620, or via the THL Help email address: firstname.lastname@example.org