Shaking Up the Meta: Patch 7.1 in Numbers

In early February, Blizzard announced changes to two cards considered by the community to be among the most powerful in the standard set. Arguably the most critical member of the now infamous "pirate package", Small-Time Buccaneer, had its hit-points reduced from two to one. At the same time the mana cost of the Shaman weapon Spirit Claws was doubled from one to two.

At first glance the changes seem fairly minor, given standard contains roughly 900 cards to chose from at the time of writing. But given the prevalence of these two cards in ranked Standard, the flow-on effects have been noticeable. In this article, we analysed over 1 million Small-Time Buccaneer (STB) destructions and 50 million cards played in the days just prior and after patch 7.1 (2017-02-28). We aim to provide a first-look into the immediate effect the nerfs have had on the meta, and how players' interactions with the nerfed cards changed.

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Mulligan Luck in the Arena

"Good" and "Bad" types of randomness are a hot topic in the Hearthstone community, with cards like Flame Juggler and Yogg-Saron typically being the focus of discussion. But with the continuing increase in the power level of early game cards (1-drops in particular), it's often your early draw luck that decides a game over any individual minion or spell.

We're always told that playing 1-drops makes a big difference in arena, let's use data to try and quantify how much truth there is in that. In the following article, we will use replay data from 280k matches played in January 2017 to measure the effect on win-rate of what we define as "mulligan luck".

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Popular Legendaries in Gadgetzan

It doesn't feel great when you spend 1600 dust on a card that seems good in theory, only to realize a week later you're not really playing with it (Finja anyone?). So which legendaries are actually playable in the Mean Streets meta?

To find out, we looked at data for ~250,000 legendary minion plays out of about 700,000 games, from early 2017 grouped by their player's class.

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