Hearththstone Masters Qualifiers Madrid week 2 (16-30)
After one full week in the Academy, some Heroes have started to clearly lead the class. But there is a lot of room at the top. Every Class made multiple top 8 appearances this weekend and only Paladin, Shaman and Warlock failed to cross the finish line and take a win. One of those is quite surprising, but we’ll address that later. One significant shift took place in our top 3 classes and the top tier line-up.
Druid remains the top deck with a little over half the players bringing Guardian Druid. Priest takes second place with all flavors of Galakrond Priest taking in about half of the line-ups. Paladin has dropped significantly as other lists have become refined and Paladin has stayed the same. Uther is no longer the meta-breaker he was last week and is too linear and targetable to hang out in the top 3. Paladin still has powerful on curve plays and is one of the premier midrange strategies which keeps it at a healthy population in tier 3. Warrior has returned to its rightful place atop the meta. Recent developments in the Bomb Warrior build have significantly improved its match ups across the board making it one of the highest win-rate decks in Qualifiers! Enrage and Big Warriors still make appearances in some line-ups but are likely tier 3 decks according to winrate.
Rogue stands atop the large tier 2 of classes with roughly a third of players bringing one of the many flavors of Rogue. The aggressive Stealth builds make up the largest portion of players but the Miracle-style Secret Rogue that only 7.3% of players brought was the best performing Rogue. And with an ever lower number of players (3%) bringing it, Galakrond Secret Rogue performed very well this weekend likely coming in to punish some of the greedier strategies like Priest. Demon Hunter was brought by a little less than a fourth of the players and was primarily Tempo strategies which performed very middling. However, Soul Shard Demon Hunters performed much better than their tempo counterparts suggesting there may be a shift coming next week in that direction. Mages round out these next three classes with 11.2% of players bringing Tempo lists and 8.0% bringing Highlander lists. Neither of them performed particularly spectacular with Tempo Mage hauling in just above a 50% win-rate on the weekend and Highlander Mage showing signs of being a tier 3 deck despite its solid match-ups against Priest.
As mentioned earlier, Paladin has dropped significantly and found itself declining in usage all weekend. Its win-rates don’t inspire too much confidence either. It is just not a tournament deck. Warlock is one of the most interesting classes this weekend. It was split primarily between Zoo (8.1%) and Galakrond (7.8%) and was one of 3 classes to not win a qualifier. However, Zoo was the best performing deck of the entire weekend! It’s decent match-up against Druid and strong match-up against Priest make it an excellent choice in a ban Warrior strategy, but we’ll see if it can handle its own success once it is a more expected deck. Galakrond Warlock also had a decent showing with an above 50% win-rate for the weekend. Don’t expect Warlock to be the 8th most popular class next weekend. Hunter was the 9th most popular class with most builds split between Face Hunter and Highlander Hunter. The win-rates of the two decks were both quite unimpressive, but Face Hunter took down 2 Qualifiers while Highlander Hunter took 1! Certainly finding success in aggressive line-ups anyways! Shaman’s population continued to shrink from last week. Control Shaman made a couple top 8s but the class does not look exciting in the current landscape.
The meta is still far from settled and the mismatches between the top represented and top win-rates suggest we’ll see another shift next weekend as people try to capitalize on the unexpected and powerful strategies still emerging in Scholomance Academy.
Data summary from Off-Curve:
We recommend going to off-curve for even more detailed data, statistics about bans specific to each lineup, and an interactive dashboard where you can click on what’s most interesting to you and dive into the numbers down to every single Hearthstone game played this weekend in open cups.
Click on the players names to get full lists and deck codes from Yaytears. The names in bold are qualifier winners who were generous enough to write comments about the strategy behind their lineup. Scroll past the tier list to read them.
Tempo Demon Hunter, Guardian Druid, Enrage Warrior (Matteo / Itzvan)
Tempo Mage, Galakrond Priest, Bomb Warrior (山下智久)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Stealth Rogue (Butterz)
Guardian Druid, Highlander Hunter, Secret Galakrond Rogue (TheTeacher/Reliquary)
Pretty Good Lineups:
Tempo Mage, Galakrond Priest, Secret Galakrond Rogue (INER)
Tempo Mage, Galakrond Priest, Enrage Warrior (あなる王子)
Guardian Druid, Highlander Priest, Bomb Warrior (NORE)
Guardian Druid, Galakrond Priest, Aggro Rogue (Siroco)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Stealth Rogue, Zoo Warlock (min / PDA)
Tempo Mage, Highlander Priest, Bomb Warrior (LLIoKoJIaD / 애대박)
Guardian Druid, Galakrond Priest, Enrage Warrior (Quebek / etovityusha / DenBut)
Face Hunter, Tempo Mage, Stealth Rogue (Dyer)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Spell Druid, Highlander Rogue (현명한약강)
Galakrond Priest, Control Shaman, Control Warrior (LaN)
Highlander Hunter, Highlander Priest, Bomb Warrior (Kinertiyu / 하스스톤의망령)
Libram Paladin, Highlander Priest, Big Warrior (Dragonmaster)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Secret Rogue, Zoo Warlock (Felzak)
Control Demon Hunter, Guardian Druid, Bomb Warrior (哈利)
Guardian Druid, Quest Turtle Mage, Bomb Warrior (magicgeek)
Spell Mage, Highlander Priest, Galakrond Warlock (Soulmaker)
Token Druid, Galakrond Priest, Enrage Warrior (VoidStacker)
Malygos Druid, Other Mage, Zoo Warlock (Dabs)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Guardian Druid, Turtle Mage (Debs)
Stealth Rogue, Zoo Warlock, Enrage Warrior (Yachster)
Face Hunter, Tempo Mage, Galakrond Priest (ZheDude)
Libram Paladin, Galakrond Priest, Secret Rogue (gle)
Tempo Demon Hunter, Galakrond Priest, Secret Galakrond Rogue (noblord)
Control Demon Hunter, Dragon Spell Druid, Aggro Rogue (哈利)
Comments from the winners:
MegaGliscor on Guardian Druid, Galakrond Priest, Bomb Warrior:
“Priest and Druid are so powerful, even they can win against unfavorable decks. Third hero, Warrior can fight against Priest or Druid. Ban hero is Priest or Warrior, which is better depends on other heroes. If an opponent’s Priest adopts Ooze or Stickyfinger, please ban Priest.
Priest: I took Galakrond Priest, not Highlander for consistency.
Druid: I piled up 2 Wild Growth and 2 Survival of the Fittest for mirror.
Warrior: I used Skipper and Armorsmith package for aggro decks. Weapon buff cards are for mirror.”
Elefanti on Guardian Druid, Galakrond Priest, Bomb Warrior:
“This lineup wasn’t really build to counter anything but rather just pick some of the best/strongest classes/decks in the meta right now. All my games and bans can be seen here, but I tried to ban Warrior most of the time as I feelt that deck performed really well againt both Druid and Priest, and I didn’t really wanna try to play in the mirror. If my opponent didn’t have a Warrior in the lineup I tried to ban classes like buff/aggro Paladin or other aggro deck like aggro Rogue. The list I used are just list thats been performing great over ladder and other people. I would’t change the Druid list, but if you run into a lot of Oozes you can change Zephrys for 1 Hoard Pillager to play around Ooze more. Some people like Zyrios play 1 Shield of Galakrond instead of Murozond but I like the value Murozond gives in some matchups and unless you get another Invoke card you won’t get max Galarkond with the 3 Galakrond cards if you play Shield so I decided to cut it.”
Matteo on Tempo Demon Hunter, Guardian Druid, Enrage Warrior:
“I went with a target aggro strategy because I didn’t have dust for Priest and Bomb Warrior on Asia. In the end, I was happy to not have Priest in my lineup because a lot of people tried to target it, and vs the target Priest decks, my lineup performed really well. Standard ban was Priest.”
Itzvan on Tempo Demon Hunter, Guardian Druid, Enrage Warrior:
“I was mainly focused on banning the Priest since my 3 decks loose to it. These decks are easy to create since most cards are free or inexpensive and are the only decks that I can afford on the Asian server. In the case of the Druid, I have Animated Broomstick to use with any of the Beasts, which I found very favorable, mainly against aggros. In the case of the Demon Hunter choose not to run the Skulls since 90% of the deck are low cost cards and for the Rogue it is enough with the Voracius Readers against the Druid choose to carry double Mana Burn and double Cult Neophyte. I hope this lineup helps you qualify or at least reach the top 8.”
山下智久 on Tempo Mage, Galakrond Priest, Bomb Warrior:
“My ban strategy is to ban Priest in priority, then Warrior. Priest opponents are not easy for my Warrior and my Mage, and Bomb Warrior is a very hard matchup for my Mage. I chose Spell Mage, Bomb Warrior and Galakrond Priest, no Druid because I thought that many people would try to go anti Druid. I think that my lineup is good against Druid but also against aggro, for example Zoo Warlock or Aggro DH. If my opponent has an all aggro lineup I ban Shaman, then Rogue (for example against Rogue-Hunter-DH I ban Rogue).”
Butterz on Tempo Demon Hunter, Face Hunter, Stealth Rogue:
“Ban Warrior, target Druid lineup. You’re also happy to play against Priest and Secret Rogue. 2x Cult in DH is really good against Druids and Tempo Mage, you still play Bonechewer and Augmerchant package because that’s one of the ways you beat Priest, 2 Marrow Slicers is also good burst damage over 2 turns and allows you to Glaivebound on curve more consistently and Voracious Reader is a 1/3 most of the time so I cut it. I got the Stealth Rogue list from Glory’s Grandmaster lineup and Face Hunter is from @Maur1HS on Twitter and I didn’t have Dragonbane in the Face Hunter list because I didn’t have enough dust on EU lol.”
TheTeacher and Reliquary on Guardian Druid, Highlander Hunter, Secret Galakrond Rogue:
“Let’s start from the begining, this line up actually started because I had no cards to play the ‘better’ line ups on the American server so I asked Reliquary for help to do a decent line up with the decks I had at the moment. Since I had Highlander Hunter he suggested a play against Priest line up, I also had Druid, which doesn’t counter Priest but it’s a very strong deck so we decided that had to be in the line up.
So we were missing one deck, there was some banter on Twitter about Galakrond Rogue vs Priest so we decided to do some testing and Galakrond Rogue was beating Priest pretty easly, I had Galakrond Rogue on NA so this choice closes the line up. In the first cups only I played the line up and did pretty ok, so I decided to also play the same line up on the European server, where I actually won, naturally Reliquary decided to play the line up on Sunday because it looked pretty good after all, we were on vacation and playing at the hotel, so he didn’t play the European cup so we could enjoy some vacation time, but he never thought that he would win the American cup. So for the strategy we thought about playing mostly against Priest since it is very popular at the moment, we also had some other decks that were pretty good to play against like Paladin, our mainly problem was line ups targeting Druid, because of that we decided to play the 5 beasts version with double Thresher since most of them play board based decks. The ban strategy was actually not very staight forward, but at first our ban was always Bomb Warrior. When the enemy line up didn’t have Bomb Warrior we needed to see which was our worst deck (most times Druid or Hunter, Rogue was actually insane all the series), so after checking that we banned to protect our weaker deck, for exemple if the opponent is targeting Druid we let up the two decks that give our Druid more chances of winning, even if it means some worse match ups for our other deck. So we ended up banning a lot of Face decks since it punishes our Hunter and Druid a lot, I think that is all about this line up me and Reliquary created. Shoutout to Pinche, because we had the idea of targeting Priest because he did well with this strategy the week before.”
INER on Tempo Mage, Galakrond Priest, Secret Galakrond Rogue:
“I didn’t have Druid and Bomb Warrior on NA so i took the decks I have and I like to play with banned Druid and struggled with Bomb Warrior but dodged them a bit. No certain strategy just improvisation.”
あなる王子 on Tempo Mage, Galakrond Priest, Enrage Warrior:
“I thought there would be more tempo decks. I chose decks that could beat them. The ban is Druid. I thought I was weak against the Druids. But I looked at the GM and Priest might be more of a threat.”
Siroco on Guardian Druid, Galakrond Priest, Aggro Rogue:
“Here’s the VOD of my tournament. Priority ban is Warrior, then Priest. Target is Druid. I played those 3 decks because they’re the only ones I have.”