Wrapping up April 2017

This last month was a big one for HearthSim: We launched HSReplay.net 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 HSReplay.net Statistics

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