Last week we debuted our first-ever Hearthhead Chinese Meta Bulletin, reporting on various stats from the Western Hearthstone meta. We're back this week with another look at seven days worth of information. One of the most frequent requests we received after our first installment was to add some Chinese decklists to the post. We've done exactly that with our partners in China and have gathered five decks across tournament and ladder play for you to take a look at.

In addition, we're already starting work on future improvements like adding line graphs to help you visualize how the data is changing over time.

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 1st - May 7th.

Constructed Standard

That hasn't been much change in the Standard realm in China. Warrior has edged out Hunter to claim the top spot with all three of the most popular classes losing a small amount of ground on the rest of the field. Druid, in particular, saw the largest jump, perhaps due to the China vs Europe tournament where seven of the 16 competitors brought Jade Druid, four of which have made it through the group stages.

    Class Popularity Change
1 +1 Warrior 16.69% - 1.67
2 -1 Hunter  16.63% - 2.15
3 0 Rogue 14.85% - 1.06
4 0 Mage 11.55% + 0.79
5 0 Priest 11.01% + 0.31
6 0 Paladin 10.74% + 1.03
7 0 Druid 9.87% + 2.58
8 0 Shaman 6.42% - 0.05
9 0 Warlock 2.22% + 0.20

 

For the most part, the win rates between each class are so close that they're pretty much indiscernible for the average player. Paladin has claimed the top spot for the time being despite its failure to catch on in the West (it remains the second most popular class in Vicious Syndicate's Data Reaper Report).

In short, Paladin, Hunter, and Warrior are currently all happy with a positive win rate. Priest and Warlock are the only others that don't come close to reaching that mark. Shaman has dropped like a rock, but with four classes within a single percentage point of each other it really doesn't take all that much for that to happen.

 

    Class Win Rate Change
1 +1 Paladin 52.02% - 0.07
2 -1 Hunter 51.96% - 0.60
3 0 Warrior 51.26% - 0.36
4 +1 Rogue 49.89% + 0.61
5 +1 Mage 49.75% + 0.56
6 +1 Druid 49.72% + 0.63
7 -3 Shaman 49.23% - 0.42
8 0 Priest 45.37% + 0.74
9 0 Warlock 44.52% + 0.31

 

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

To touch on the surprisingness of Paladin's lack of representation. Warrior, Hunter, Rogue, and Mage make up more than 50% of the population on the Chinese ladder right now. While we admit there are archetypes within each of those classes that may affect your overall win rate, it's worth noting that the class currently has a positive win rate against three of those and an even matchup with Warriors. In fact, the only class that isn't good or a toss up is Shaman which isn't exactly seeing a ton of play right now.

 

   Druid   Hunter   Mage   Paladin   Priest   Rogue   Shaman   Warlock   Warrior 
 Druid   45.56 54.07 45.85 53.33 46.85 48.62 49.88 53.92
 Hunter 54.44   54.64 47.21 52.95 57.65 45.59 59.04 49.46
 Mage 45.93 45.36   45.94 49.82 54.62 57.53 59.89 50.31
 Paladin 54.15 52.79 54.06   53.83 49.82 46.01 59.77 51.71
 Priest 46.67 47.05 50.18 46.17   35.64 47.98 51.33 42.67
 Rogue 53.15 42.35 45.38 50.18 64.36   57.30 47.84 46.22
 Shaman  51.38 54.41 42.47 52.99 52.02 42.70   57.27 47.52
 Warlock 50.12 40.96 42.11 40.23 48.67 52.16 42.73   39.16
 Warrior 46.08 40.54 49.69 48.29 57.33 53.78 52.48 60.84  

Decks

As requested, we've gathered a number of Chinese Hearthstone decks for examination.

LvGe's Jade Druid (Cn vs EU 2017)

Compare this to JustSaiyan's Jade Druid (May 2017) 

There's an interesting difference between Chinese Jade Druids and the rest of the world's: Yogg-Saron, Hope's End. The mad god himself is still a popular inclusion in many decklists despite the fact that he's long been in hibernation in the West. LvGe has opted to cut a single Earthen Scales to make room for the ten mana Hail Mary.

We're told this trend is not isolated to tournament play either which makes it a really interesting difference in the mindset of the regions.

OmegaZero's Secret Mage (Cn vs Eu 2017)

Compare this to SkyWalker's Secret Mage (May 2017)

Another deck from the China vs Europe tournament, there are a few interesting cards in OmegaZero's Secret Mage. Among them is Medivh, the Guardian, a card that is usually reserved for the more control style Discover Mages. What we're looking at seems to be a hybrid of the two. Other cards that differ between these decks? Two Kabal Couriers and Cabalist's Tome. There's even a single Ice Block, further cementing the fact that this deck is supposed to play a little slower than most other Secret Mages.

Haohao Wang Xiansheng's Secret Mage

We've also prepared a second Secret Mage list from high on the Legend ladder in China. This one is much more similar to SkyWalker's list, but it still includes Ice Block and yet again we see the return of Yogg-Saron, Hope's End .

Icefox's Dragon Priest (Gold Series Chongqing)

Compare this to Gcttirth's Dragon Priest (May 2017)

The Chinese version of Dragon Priest isn't all that different from what you'd expect to see over here. There are few differences, but none of them are out of the realm of belief from a player on our servers.

PhantomKass' Jade Elemental Shaman

This is by far the strangest decklist we've seen this week. While it's not from a tournament, it has been proven to be successful and comes recommended by the editors of one of China's biggest Hearthstone websites.

It has many cheap Elementals, likely to take advantage of Kalimos, Primal Lord, but it also sports the Jade Golem package with Jade ClawsJade Lightning, Jade Spirit, and Aya Blackpaw.

There's even some semblance of the classic Midrange Shaman with Thing from BelowBloodlust, and Hex.

We're still a bit surprised to see Primalfin Totem, but perhaps it's mainly a tool to synergize with Flametongue Totem and Bloodlust.

Constructed Wild

While Warrior has fallen off a bit, it is still by far the most popular class in Wild. The other classes remain somewhat close with Priest having a slight edge in representation over the rest, but Hunter continues to fall further behind with barely five percent of the population.

 

    Class Popularity Change
1 0 Warrior 19.91% - 1.99
2 0 Priest 13.31% 0
3 +1 Mage 11.65% + 0.72
4 -1 Rogue 10.93% - 0.50
5 +1 Druid 10.84% + 1.45
6 -1 Paladin 10.81% + 0.17
7 0 Warlock 8.67% + 1.03
8 0 Shaman 8.30% + 0.80
9 0 Hunter 5.58% - 1.26

 

It's hard to draw too many conclusions in Wild as there are likely more players viewing it as a game mode where you just play around with old cards. But one thing is for sure, it is much more volatile than Standard and that's only further proven in the matchup chart.

 

    Class Win Rate Change
1 +1 Shaman 53.69% + 0.88
2 -1 Paladin 53.29% - 0.01
3 +1 Druid 51.96% + 1.73
4 +1 Warlock 51.05% + 0.96
5 +2 Mage 50.53% + 0.60
6 -3 Hunter 49.72% - 1.70
7 -1 Warrior 48.68% - 1.40
8 +1 Priest 47.29% + 0.46
9 -1 Rogue 46.45% - 1.08

 

There were a lot of changes to this chart in a single week, likely due to a smaller sample size than Standard. Druid alone had some matchups completely swap from bad to very good in just seven days.

However, we can see exactly why Shaman and Druid have the highest win rates right now. The former has four very good matchups at the moment including three of the four most popular Wild classes.

 

   Druid   Hunter   Mage   Paladin   Priest   Rogue   Shaman   Warlock   Warrior 
 Druid   50.27 53.45 46.56 55.62 57.92 44.42 49.56 54.16
 Hunter 49.73   51.33 44.60 49.38 59.18 43.21 48.48 49.36
 Mage 46.55 48.67   49.65 50.20 56.34 49.89 52.22 50.45
 Paladin 53.44 55.40 50.35   56.29 52.85 49.57 54.87 55.21
 Priest 44.38 50.62 49.80 43.71   43.36 43.67 45.03 51.62
 Rogue 42.08 40.82 43.66 47.15 56.64   42.40 48.93 42.42
 Shaman  55.58 56.79 50.11 50.43 56.33 57.60   50.08 54.95
 Warlock 50.44 51.52 47.78 45.14 54.97 51.07 49.92   54.87
 Warrior 45.84 50.64 49.55 44.79 48.38 57.58 45.05 45.13  

 

Arena

The Chinese Arena meta seems pretty stagnant at the moment. Not a whole lot has changed and what has is relatively small. Druid had a big bump in popularity here too as well which we find curious, but ultimately it doesn't change much.

 

    Class Popularity Change
1 0 Mage 21.95% - 1.16
2 0 Paladin 21.05% + 1.61
3 0 Rogue 14.86% - 1.37
4 0 Priest 14.10% - 0.13
5 0 Hunter 9.96% - 1.87
6 0 Shaman 6.97% - 0.56
7 0 Druid 6.97% + 4.00
8 0 Warlock 2.33% - 0.31
9 0 Warrior 1.81% - 0.20

 

    Class Win Rate Change
1 0 Paladin 53.31% + 0.07
2 0 Rogue 52.89% - 1.03
3 0 Mage 52.35% - 0.14
4 0 Hunter 47.66% - 0.34
5 0 Priest 47.28% - 0.16
6 0 Shaman 46.14% - 0.37
7 0 Warlock 41.42% - 0.08
8 0 Druid 41.37% - 0.10
9 0 Warrior 32.78% - 0.58

 

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 our first ever Chinese Meta Report! Hopefully, it provides you with a different perspective on the Hearthstone meta is shaping up outside of our servers. We hope to bring you more of these in the future with more improvements and commentary based on how the meta is changing.