A new season of THL has begun, and brought with it the first instalment of the new THL Meta Report! Every week, we will be reporting on the picks, bans, and meta of both Ragnaros League: Season 8 and Sylvanas League: Season 5, with analysis courtesy of rebobson and BitBeaker, respectively.
In Ragnaros League, Priest is hugely dominant, with Warlock not very far behind. In fact, only 24% of the League did not bring BOTH of these classes; this all comes down to the fact that both classes have several top tier decks to their name, presenting a great deal of difficulty when trying to make reads before your match. 60% of those that did not bring both classes then went on to lose their games: it certainly seems you need to get your strategy spot on to justify not bringing what are arguably the best two classes in the meta right now. Their strength is recognised further in the bans, with only 17% of bans not hitting either Priest or Warlock. However, the players who targeted Priest and Warlock went 10-7, so these classes are still very much targetable it seems, with the right approach! Outside of Priest and Warlock, we are seeing a lot of Paladins and Rogues, who appear to be the de facto aggressive decks of choice, and a considerable amount of Druid, another class which can be difficult to read due to differing archetypes. Druid is definitely a class to consider, with the recent resurgence of Jade Druid and its ability to out-Armour Razakus Priests in particular. These 5 classes constituted 90.5% of all classes brought, with the majority of the remainder comprised of Mages, with a handful of Hunters. Shaman and Warrior combined make up a pitiful 0.4% of all picked classes, and it is easy to see why, with no viable archetypes presented by either class. Interestingly, all of these 4 classes had a neutral/negative winrate, with Mage players going 9-13, Hunters going 4-6, Shamans going 1-1, and Warrior 0-2. Face Hunter, however, is an archetype I believe we could be seeing more of, as it does fit nicely (alongside Secret Mage) into the aforementioned Warlock/Priest targeting strategy, as both are vulnerable to direct damage which does not rely on the board state. We shall see what next week will bring!
Week 1 of Sylvanas League: Season 5 is in the bag, so now it is time to find out what we’ve learned about the new League meta. And what a meta it is! From 80 players, we saw 29 different lineups; there were only 3 lineups that broke double digits. Pa/Pr/R/Wlk at 14 players, D/Pr/R/Wlk at 11 players, and D/Pa/Pr/Wlk at 11 players. There were 20 players that brought completely unique lineups, though most of them included some combination of Paladin, Priest, and Warlock. With the majority of players leaning on Priest and Warlock it can be very difficult at this early stage to reliably determine your opponent's strategy. With both classes having viable Tier 1 and 2 archetypes of varying speeds it can be hard to determine what to mulligan for and that alone could cost you a series. The same goes when you see Druid in a lineup. With both Aggro and Jade variants being viable in the format it is hard to know what to prepare for. Every class currently has 1 or more decks that perform at greater than 50% winrate on the ladder. This has led to one of the most diverse and balanced metas we’ve seen so far in Sylvanas League. Time will tell if things remain that way, or if we start to notice some trends that lead towards specific lineups. I’d like to close the first report with some quick analyses of the top lineups for Week 1: The most used lineup, Pa/Pr/R/Wlk went 7-7. D/Pr/R/Wlk went 7-3, one of those losses being a mirror (between the 2 authors of this article). D/Pa/Pr/Wlk went 7-4. Looking forward to weeks to come I think it is fair to say we will be seeing a lot of Priest and Warlock.
(4 bans unreported at time of writing. This accounts for the 96% complete ban report. Please see ArcaneTHL v. Kuthroat and Gnetz v. Ericokey for remaining bans.)
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