Twitch Extension for Hearthstone Deck Tracker

You may have heard that Twitch recently opened up their [Extensions program][Twitch Extensions] for third-party developers. Extensions can be used to make streams more interactive than ever, and we're very happy to release our own extension together with the accompanying Hearthstone Deck Tracker update.

This initial release offers the following features:

  • Follow the streamer's deck throughout the game as it updates live
  • Hover over Minions, Heroes, Weapons, Hero Powers, Quests and friendly Secrets to see the full card
  • Copy the deck for easy importing into Hearthstone
  • Unpin the deck list and it will automatically hide

We're looking forward to hearing what you think of the extension so far!

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Big Priest By The Numbers

Priest is a class that’s re-invented itself over the last couple of expansions. Since the community backlash which came with the release of Purify in One Night in Karazhan, Blizzard has gotten serious about Priest. Classic archetypes like control are seeing significantly lower popularity and new archetypes have taken there place. The most popular and successful of these currently are the singleton decks, containing Raza the Chained and Shadowreaper Anduin for serious hero-power value.

The following article focuses on a less popular but certainly more novel archetype commonly referred to as “Big Priest” or "High-roll priest". This deck aims to summon and resurrect big minions in the early game using Barnes and the newly introduced Priest spells {% card(name="Shadow Essence") %} and Eternal Servitude. Tempo Storm for example provides a fairly comprehensive primer to the deck and its play-style for those unfamiliar.

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PayPal Support is Finally Here

Since the launch of Statistics, by far the most frequent support request we had was: "Will you support PayPal?". Today, we're finally ready to announce that it's finally here.

We currently use Stripe for all credit card payments; a well-known payment provider trusted by many such as Kickstarter and Discord. Unfortunately, Stripe does not support PayPal, so adding support for it was quite a bit of work.

As a Premium subscriber, you can also now link your Discord account and get a special role on the official HearthSim Discord!

Are you a developer? Our PayPal integration, like the rest of the site, is open source and we are releasing it as a library under the MIT license: Dj-Paypal.

So if you like what we're doing and want a little extra boost to get you to Legend this season, support us by joining HearthSim Premium today.

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Deep Dive into Spreading Plague

A little over a week ago the community reached out and asked us to look at the power level of a controversial card, Spreading Plague. The ask was fairly straight forward, and it provides a roadmap for the following article. To quote from the title:

Hi! Can you use your data to show how much damage does Spreading Plague soak on average, and compare it with other great anti-aggro cards like Sludge Belcher or Spikeridged Steed? That would be a really interesting point to start a discussion about the potential nerf.

You guys asked so we tried our damnedest to deliver!

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Tracking Diversity in the Hearthstone Meta

Deck and card diversity in a meta is intrinsically linked to the quality of the play experience. Lower diversity leads to staleness as players grow tired of replaying the same or similar match-ups. So what does deck diversity actually look like as old sets sun-set and new ones release? With the recent introduction of Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion, there's probably no better time to look!

In the following article, we borrow concepts from ecological science of al things to track diversity in the cards that people queue up with. This leads us to into presenting a first purely objective insight into how players ‘work out’ the meta and congregate toward common play-styles.

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Death Knight Hero Performance Overview

Death Knight Hero cards are a new type of card that was introduced with the release of the Knights of the Frozen Throne. Each of the nine Heroes received a new Hero card that, once played, transforms the current Hero into a Death Knight, replaces the Hero Power, offers a powerful Battlecry effect and provides 5 armor. Most of these Heroes are incredibly popular at the moment, but lets take a look at how they actually perform. The data used here comes from the 3 day period of August 14th to August 16th.

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How Good is Skulking Geist? (275K Plays Analyzed)

One of the most interesting parts of the Knights Of The Frozen Throne card set is the number of new tech cards like Nerubian Unraveler, Doomed Apprentice, and Mindbreaker that have been included in the set. Today we are going to take a look at the tech card I am most excited about, Skulking Geist. The analysis is based on 276,752 instances of the card being played in ranked standard between August 10th, 2017 and August 14th, 2017.

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Introducing My Decks and My Statistics

Since we released Statistics and the My Cards feature, people have been asking us to provide them with a personalized version of our Mulligan Guides. We're excited to announce the immediate availability of two new features for our HearthSim Premium subscribers: My Decks and My Statistics.

While My Decks is an online representation of the decks you've been playing similar to Hearthstone Deck Tracker, My Statistics is something completely new, providing you with your own detailed deck-level card statistics for every single deck you've played. Read on below to learn more about these new features.

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The Best Death Knight Decks for every Class

One of the most interesting additions to Hearthstone in the Knights of the Frozen Throne are the new hero cards. Whenever you play one, it replaces your hero and hero power - but with a corrupted version of one the nine heroes we know and love! Some of them have more powerful effects than others, but all are pretty crazy.

Since every player is guaranteed at least one of these new death knight heroes by completing the prologue, we thought we'd take a look at all nine top decks for each class death knight in Ranked Standard, that was played at least 100 times since the release of KFT across all ranks.

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How Long are Frozen Throne Games?

There's been a lot of chatter about the meta slowing down. Is there something to it or is it all in the players' heads? Today we'll take a look at the duration of games in Icecrown and compare them to the Un'Goro meta.

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Two Days into the Frozen Throne Meta

It's been 48 hours since the release of Knights of the Frozen Throne and Hearthstone players worldwide have been hard at work solving the meta and trying to figure out which deck will be able to break the ice. After more than 1,800,000 Ranked Standard games, over 500,000 Arena games and 190,000 Ranked Wild games it's time to take a look who is currently sitting on the throne and who is still trying to find their footing.

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The Caverns Below: Impact of the nerf

The Caverns Below has been the most controversial quest from the Journey to Un’Goro expansion. On July 10, Blizzard responded to the demands of the players and announced that it was updating the card text from “Play four minions with the same name” to “Play five minions with the same name”. This meant that the quest would now give a better chance to other slower, control-oriented decks, which it was said to have an unfair advantage over previously.

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Deep Dive into Curious Glimerroot

Curious Glimmerroot is one of the most unique cards in the Journey to Un'Goro expansion. With it comes a completely new mechanic; a mini-game of sorts, that has the player guess something about their opponent's deck.

With such uniqueness comes unique opportunities to dive into the fun statistics surrounding it. So without further ado, let's now take a look at the card's battlecry.

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Wrapping up April 2017

This last month was a big one for HearthSim: We launched Statistics and have been hard at work every day since. We're incredibly grateful for all your feedback and all our Premium subscribers! Thanks to your support we're able to continue working on the site.

In this article we'll be looking at all the features we built and changes we introduced since the launch of our statistics sections a few weeks ago. Some of these have already been introduced with an article, our Twitter or Facebook page (new!), but some of the smaller changes have not been announced yet.

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Pace of the Meta: Un'Goro vs. Gadgetzan

The year of the Kraken will undoubtedly be remembered as a year dominated by aggressive strategies. Cards like Tunnel Trogg, Flamewreathed Faceless, Flame Imp and Small-Time Buccaneer were all meta defining at one point or another, and consistently a common sight on ladder. In fact, it's fair to say it's been a very long time since Hearthstone wasn't dominated by aggro, with decks like Face Hunter and Zoo Warlock impacting the meta long before Standard was announced.

With the heavy nerf of Aggro Shaman in patch 7.1, the rotation of three sets to Wild and the release of Journey to Un'Goro (UNG), many have speculated on the pace of the meta, have suggested it feels slower.

So has Blizzard, really delivered the fabled "Control Meta"? To answer this question, we compared 67 million replays played in February (patch 7.0, MSG pre-nerf), March (patch 7.1, MSG post-nerf) and April (patch 8.0, UNG) of 2017, to identify whether the turn at which the game ends (concede or defeat) has really changed between patches/expansions.

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Quest Completion Statistics: An Overview

Quests are a new type of card that was introduced with the release of the Journey to Un’Goro. Once they are in play, a certain number of cards that meet the quest's requirements must be played in order to receive the quest's generally “overpowered” reward card. Not all of the quests are easy to complete. For some quests players have struggled to find ways to incorporate them into decks that achieve consistently high winrates. To find out how these quest cards are performing, we decided to take a deep dive into the data and examine how the quest cards performed during the 7 day period from April 15th to April 22nd.

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Time to Adapt!

One of the new core mechanics in Un'Goro is Adapt. When triggered, it gives the player a random choice of three out of ten possible mechanics to buff a card with.

We are now rolling out a new section on cards with this mechanic with statistics on popularity and winrate of each pick.

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RayC's Quest Warrior Guide

With the release of Un'Goro Hearthstone’s stale metagame has been alleviated of its stagnancy. The initial release week of Un'Goro has been the most fun I have personally had playing Hearthstone in a long time. In that time, I have also managed to make what I believe is going to be a staple deck in the upcoming metagame; quest warrior. The skeleton and idea of the deck itself is intuitive, but the specific list I managed to do well with on ladder has appeared to gain significant traction. My goal with this article is to teach you how to play the deck properly and improve your win rate.

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Class Performance in the Un'Goro Meta

It's been 48 hours since the release of Journey to Un'Goro and Hearthstone players worldwide have been hard at work solving the meta and trying to figure out which deck will be the new king of the dinosaur ladder. Intrepid players have already uploaded more than 2.5 million ranked standard games and over 500,000 arena games. Let's find out who might end up ruling the Jurassic period and who might go extinct.

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Deep Dive into Kazakus

Since the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan last December, Kazakus has without a doubt been one of my favorite cards to play. As a fan of Kabal/Reno control-style decks, the added variety from crafting Kazakus spells not only helps keep games fresh and exciting, but also strengthens the sense of player agency over the direction of the game. However, choosing when to play Kazakus and selecting which spell options (either to win or purely for added fun) can be quite challenging depending on the opponent’s class and which potion effect options are randomly presented. In some cases, playing Kazakus is a great way to get out of a specific bind, but at other times it can be hard to anticipate what the board state will be in the upcoming few turns. For instance, imagine a game where you're playing Priest and you’ve managed to survive the initial rush from an Aggro Shaman deck, it’s turn six and you draw Kazakus, but now what? Do you play Kazakus now or wait? Which spell cost choice is best? Which potion effect options are optimal? What if the choice you wanted isn’t offered, then what should you pick? Let's dive into the data and see if we can find out.

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Introducing Statistics

You might have noticed some new sections on the site! Over the past few days, we have been rolling out the new Statistics section of the site.

For the past six months, we have been super hard at work on processing and analyzing the replays uploaded to the site. The results are now finally public. We're huge statistics fans; we've worked with Disguised Toast, Vicious Syndicate and Hearthhead on articles and videos and we've released several articles of our own as well.

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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 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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