When blizzard going do something about shaman

  • Shaman is like automatic concede because so much way can destroy anything you throw at them. No matter if there aggro , midrang and so on. The only thing that god against a shaman is another shaman.
  • We are keeping an eye on Shaman decks and we’ll see how they develop. We say that a lot. Here is what it means:

    Okay, so: there are a few different kinds of Shaman decks:

    - There are aggressive Shaman decks that play a Pirate package and no Jade cards
    - There are slightly slower Shaman decks that play Pirates and Jade cards
    - And there are even slower Shaman decks that play the Jade cards but no Pirates

    All of those decks are strong, but they are all weak against Dragon decks (like Priest and Warrior) and Reno decks. If you’re tired of losing to Shamans, play Reno Warlock. In some ways, that is fine: Shamans are popular, but there are strategies that are good against them.

    In other ways, it is less fine. Collectively, Shamans are popular; you play against a Shaman about one game in four. Now, the reason that a ‘balanced’ metagame is desirable isn’t because ‘balanced’ metagames don’t have dominant strategies. They are desirable because you play against different classes more frequently, which means you have a wider variety in the types of Hearthstone games that you play. Playing Shaman isn’t a dominant strategy – again, they lose to plenty of decks – but it is still boring to play against the same class over and over again.

    And even though the Shaman decks have distinct differences, those differences are small. If you played against Warlocks one game in four, but half of your Warlock opponents were playing slow Reno control decks and the other half were playing aggressive minion decks, those games would feel very different from one another. On the other hand, when you lose to Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, Feral Spirit three times in a row, it doesn’t matter if some of those Shamans had a Pirate package or if one of them had Jade cards. Your games still felt very homogenous and weren’t that fun especially the third time around.

    The point I am trying to make is ‘classes can be problematic even though they do not win too often.’ Shamans don’t win too often. Right now, they are more popular than we’d like. If they are too popular for too long, we will do something about it, as we did when we nerfed them a couple of months ago. However, it takes time to assess whether or not a class will cause the game to feel too homogenous for too long. On release, Mech Mage and recently Pirate Warrior were more popular than Shamans have ever been – but only for a few weeks, then people discovered alternative strategies and the decks became less popular. Because we know that Shamans have weaknesses, we hope that those strategies will become more popular and drive down Shaman popularity a bit so that you play against more classes more often.

    We are going to keep evaluating Shaman popularity in the near future, and if we don’t like what we see, we will change something about the metagame. Perhaps we will change a card. Perhaps we will see Shaman popularity fall and not have to step in at all. Perhaps we will wait to introduce a new set and see if that creates the metagame change we want. Either way, it is a thing we are actively concerned about and paying attention to.
  • 01/14/2017 01:39 AMPosted by megajeff
    01/13/2017 01:59 PMPosted by Max McCall
    All of those decks are strong, but they are all weak against Dragon decks (like Priest and Warrior) and Reno decks. If you’re tired of losing to Shamans, play Reno Warlock. In some ways, that is fine: Shamans are popular, but there are strategies that are good against them.

    Is this really true though?

    Looking at the VS data reaper stats aggro shaman is slightly unfavoured vs Reno mage+ptiest, control warrior and control shaman (lol!) , against everything else it is even or favoured, so i think saying something like dragon priest is strong against it is stretching it a bit.

    I chose Reno Warlock for my example because it performs substantially better than Dragon Priest against the midrange Shaman variants, and those midrange variants outperform aggro Shaman against the field and are favored against aggro Shaman specifically to boot.

    Perhaps I should have called out Dragon Priest as a Shaman counter instead of Reno Warlock, since Dragon Priest is slightly stronger than Reno Warlock against specifically aggro Shaman, and aggro Shaman is the most popular variant right now. Regardless, Reno Warlock is a marginal favorite - by half a point, but still a favorite - against aggro Shaman. But against slower Shaman decks, you'd rather be playing Reno Warlock than Dragon Priest.

    Vicious Syndicate does good work, but they obviously don't have as much data as we do. We look at every game played among the top 1.3% of players, in all regions.* That roughly corresponds to rank 4 and up. We know every card in every deck and sort those decks into the archetypes you see on the ladder. Our BI team is extremely sophisticated, and we can drill extremely deep into small variants of those archetypes and see how small deck tweaks impact certain matchups.

    Many conclusions can be drawn from the same data, but we are extremely confident in our assertions about specific matchups when the data is aggregated in this way. I do note, however, that at nosebleed Legend, some individuals do substantially overperform. This was most obvious when Patron was very strong. Skilled Patron players at or near rank 1 Legend were winning almost 80% of their games after a couple hundred games, while the mere mortals at medium Legend ranks only won about half their Patron games. So, yes, some players win a lot in matchups that are ostensibly unfavorable - but in general, when we describe a matchup, we're talking about the high-level metagame at large.

    *Yes, we have looked at lower ranks as well. The numbers were virtually the same. It's computationally expensive to look at every game at every level, even with sampling, but we do recheck every so often to ensure that the high level metagame is still representative of lower level play.