The Chinese Hearthstone server essentially exists inside of a bubble. Unlike the Americas, Europe, or Asia, you can't just log in and play on the server whenever you want. You must actually reside inside of China to face off against others in the region. Considering China is the largest Hearthstone region by far, it's unfortunate that more information isn't readily available. While we're told by our partners overseas that Chinese players are frequently copying what the rest of the world is doing (just like we do), there have been a few times in history where there's been a popular deck over there that went undiscovered for quite a long time. We want to help eliminate the chances of things like this happening.

And so we launched our China Meta Bulletin project. The first week was primarily a test to see if players were interested. They were. The second week we started providing more decklists. This time around we're happy to say that we've crawled our partner's database to present a deck for each class. It's worth noting that not all of them are from Chinese players. There's still an immense amount of respect for deckbuilders from other regions whether that be Feno or Fibonacci.

If you missed it last week, here's a quick rundown on where this data comes from.

 

We've been working with some friends in China to gain access to the "official" meta-reports that are released each week by Netease to give the community some insight as to how the game is shaping up in what is the largest player region in the world.

For those who are unaware, there's an official deck tracker in China called "Hearthstone Hezi" (HS Box). It was created by an organization affiliated to Netease, who handles all of Blizzard's games in China. This is why most refer to it as "official data". For added clarity, the organization of HS Box provides our partner with the data who then translates it for us.

This is based on what is likely the single largest data set in the world because China has the largest player base and because HS Box is pretty much an official application. The drawback is that we can't get as analytical as the Vicious Syndicate reports since we only get very rudimental numbers regarding popularity and win rate.

The company does not share official numbers like games played or players contributing, so while we can't tell you exactly how this big this data set is, it's safe to assume that it is significant.

 

 

Chinese Meta Bulletin

Bulletin bul·le·tin - noun - a short official statement or broadcast summary of news.

We thought it appropriate to refer to this series as a Meta Bulletin.

We don't offer the same level of analysis that sites like TempoStorm and ViciousSyndicate do, rather we focus on simply reporting the facts from the Chinese server. This information is very hard to come by outside of the region and it's a giant unknown for anyone who isn't regularly exposed to it.

Seeing how the Chinese meta evolves over time is sure to be interesting, especially when comparing to the information we see coming out of other meta reports.

We'll be taking a look at both Constructed and Wild as well as Arena, something that hasn't yet been documented at this level. Fans of the game type are going to see win rates from the largest sample size available.

This data covers May 8th - May 14th.

Constructed Standard

Many were wondering how Hunter was remaining so popular in China despite its failures in the other regions and it looks like we might see some signs of it finally starting to fall back in line. While it didn't drop any ranks, it did lose about 2.5% popularity in a single week. The same can be said of Warrior who fell out of the top three. Mage seems to really be growing in popularity as Discover Mage starts to take the region by storm.

If the data is to match what we're seeing out of Vicious Syndicate, the distribution should end up with Mage, Paladin, and Warrior leading with Hunter falling all the way down to seventh.

    Class Popularity Change
1 +3 Rogue 14.74% - 0.11
2 0 Hunter  14.10% - 2.53
3 +1 Mage 14.08% + 2.53
4 -3 Warrior 13.83% - 2.86
5 0 Priest 12.00% + 0.99
6 0 Paladin 11.82% + 1.08
7 0 Druid 11.51% + 1.64
8 0 Shaman 6.23% - 0.19
9 0 Warlock 1.67% - 0.55

 

Paladin continues to retain the number one spot in win rate despite with its popularity creeping up just a little bit. Mage saw the largest increase in both win rate and popularity while Hunter and Warrior saw decreases in both categories.

 

    Class Win Rate Change
1 0 Paladin 52.33% + 0.31
2 0 Hunter 51.77% - 0.19
3 0 Warrior 50.94% - 0.32
4 +1 Mage 50.50% + 0.75
5 +1 Druid 49.86% + 0.14
6 -2 Rogue 49.84% - 0.05
7 0 Shaman 48.66% - 0.57
8 0 Priest 45.76% + 0.39
9 0 Warlock 44.43% - 0.09

 

While we don't have an archetype by archetype breakdown, HS Box does provide a matchup information on a class by class basis.

The rise of Mage seems to make sense when you look at the matchup chart. As we just said, we can't see an archetype by archetype breakdown so there's some wiggle room for bad information on this front, but out of the class' three bad matchups - Druid, Hunter, and Paladin - only Hunter is among the top three. In total, Mage should have an equal or favorable matchup roughly 63% of the time at the moment.

Paladin's throne atop the win rate peak shouldn't come as a surprise. The only sub-50% win rate it has is against Shaman which only represents 6.23% of the population. We'd take a 93% chance at a toss up or favorable match any day.

 

   Druid   Hunter   Mage   Paladin   Priest   Rogue   Shaman   Warlock   Warrior 
 Druid   46.33 52.23 46.46 52.28 47.16 49.77 51.21 54.65
 Hunter 53.67   53.49 47.46 51.63 57.57 46.27 58.85 49.51
 Mage 47.77 46.51   45.57 51.21 56.53 57.89 57.51 50.55
 Paladin 53.54 52.54 54.43   55.31 50.60 46.90 60.09 52.03
 Priest 47.72 48.37 48.79 44.69   36.66 47.12 51.15 43.77
 Rogue 52.84 42.43 43.47 49.40 63.34   59.45 50.01 45.51
 Shaman  50.23 53.73 42.11 53.10 52.88 40.55   57.52 48.09
 Warlock 48.79 41.15 42.49 39.91 48.85 49.99 42.48   39.87
 Warrior 45.35 50.49 49.45 47.97 56.23 54.49 51.91 60.13  

Decks

With this installment of the Meta Bulletin, we wanted to bring a deck for each class. We've worked with our partners to identify what the Chinese players think are some of the best decks to play on their ladder at the moment. Each has been given a 1 - 5 rating in three different categories: Ladder Strength, Difficulty, and Fun Factor. All of these values were assigned by a Chinese content creator so they reflect the perceived strength of the decks in China.

 

Feno's Token Druid

Ladder Strength: ★★★★☆ 
Difficulty: ★☆ 
Fun Factor: ★

Kranich's Face Hunter

Ladder Strength: ★★★★ 
Difficulty: ★☆ 
Fun Factor: ★

Blitzchung's Burn Mage

Ladder Strength: ★★★★★ 
Difficulty: ★★★ 
Fun Factor: ★★☆

Niboe's Murloc Paladin

Ladder Strength: ★★★★★ 
Difficulty: ★☆ 
Fun Factor: ★

BDBRINGA'S Silence Priest

Ladder Strength: ★★★★★ 
Difficulty: ★★ 
Fun Factor: ★★

DragLord's Miracle Rogue

Ladder Strength: ★★★★ 
Difficulty: ★★★☆
Fun Factor: ★★☆

Daniel's Evolve Shaman

Ladder Strength: ★★★★ 
Difficulty: ★☆ 
Fun Factor: ★★

Dragos' Hybrid Warlock

Ladder Strength: ★★★★ 
Difficulty: ★★☆ 
Fun Factor: ★☆

Fibonacci's OTK Warrior

Ladder Strength: ★★★ 
Difficulty: ★★★☆ 
Fun Factor: ★★☆

Constructed Wild

In Wild, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. At least when it comes to popularity.

With this week's update, Warrior now makes up more than 1/5 of the Wild meta in China.

 

    Class Popularity Change
1 0 Warrior 20.60% + 0.69
2 0 Priest 13.58% + 0.27
3 +1 Rogue 12.00% + 1.07
4 -1 Mage 11.99% + 0.34
5 +1 Druid 10.44% - 0.40
6 -1 Paladin 10.23% - 0.58
7 0 Warlock 8.36% - 0.31
8 0 Shaman 7.60% - 0.7
9 0 Hunter 5.21% - 0.37

 

In an interesting turn of events, the top three classes in popularity are currently the bottom three in win rate. We remain a little skeptical of the data just because so many players don't take Wild too seriously, but it's interesting nonetheless.

 

    Class Win Rate Change
1 +1 Shaman 53.30% - 0.39
2 -1 Paladin 52.77% - 0.52
3 +1 Druid 52.11% + 0.15
4 +1 Mage 51.10% + 0.57
5 +2 Hunter 50.97% + 1.25
6 -3 Warlock 50.57% - 0.48
7 -1 Warrior 48.77% + 0.09
8 +1 Priest 47.20% - 0.09
9 -1 Rogue 47.08% + 0.63

 

The matchup chart helps explain why we just saw the win rates above. Shaman has a very good win rate against five of the nine classes and toss ups against the rest. Meanwhile, Rogue is struggling to find the wins it needs to get out of last place.

 

   Druid   Hunter   Mage   Paladin   Priest   Rogue   Shaman   Warlock   Warrior 
 Druid   49.48 52.70 46.85 55.96 57.28 44.93 50.36 54.12
 Hunter 50.52   52.08 47.14 50.55 60.26 43.74 49.17 50.63
 Mage 47.30 47.92   49.88 50.88 57.01 51.50 52.99 50.79
 Paladin 53.15 52.86 50.12   55.96 52.53 49.31 54.21 54.33
 Priest 44.04 49.45 49.12 44.04   42.60 44.68 45.67 51.49
 Rogue 42.08 40.82 43.66 47.15 56.64   42.40 48.93 42.42
 Shaman  55.07 56.26 48.50 50.69 55.32 56.72   49.59 55.23
 Warlock 49.64 50.83 47.01 45.79 54.33 48.61 50.41   54.49
 Warrior 45.88 49.37 49.21 45.67 48.51 56.55 44.77 45.51  

Arena

Paladin and Mage are very clearly the most popular Arena classes with Rogue and Priest making up the second tier. By win rate, here are the current Arena tiers in China:

Tier 1

  • Paladin
  • Rogue
  • Mage

Tier 2

  • Hunter
  • Priest
  • Shaman

Tier 3

  • Warlock
  • Druid

Tier 4

  • Warrior

 

    Class Popularity Change
1 +1 Paladin 23.63% + 2.58
2 -1 Mage 22.95% + 1.00
3 0 Rogue 15.26% + 0.40
4 0 Priest 14.87% + 0.77
5 0 Hunter 9.41% - 0.55
6 0 Shaman 7.08% + 0.11
7 0 Druid 2.90% - 4.07
8 0 Warlock 2.20% - 0.13
9 0 Warrior 1.71% - 0.10

 

    Class Win Rate Change
1 0 Paladin 53.23% - 0.08
2 0 Rogue 52.78% - 0.11
3 0 Mage 52.22% - 0.13
4 0 Hunter 47.42% - 0.24
5 0 Priest 47.06% - 0.22
6 0 Shaman 46.10% - 0.04
7 0 Warlock 41.45% + 0.03
8 0 Druid 41.07% - 0.30
9 0 Warrior 32.85% + 0.07

 

Most Popular Class Cards in Arena

The most popular class cards in drafts remain entirely unchanged from last week. We'll keep this section here, just make sure to read the brief text summary every week to see if there has been an update.

 

 

Thanks for checking out another China Meta Bulletin! We're already starting work on next week's installments and toying with ways to put even more information at your fingertips. Have feedback? Leave a comment below!