The Boomsday Project Arena Meta Report - Meta and Tier Predictions
There's a whole set of new cards coming out this week and it's time we take a look at where we think the Arena meta is going.
Meta Overview Prediction
From purely a speculative angle, I feel this new upcoming meta will be extremely different than our previous Witchwood meta. With the reduction in high rarity (generally higher quality) cards especially spells and weapons, we can expect to see a different Arena environment. Also, in the new Boomsday Project (BDP) set, there just isn't a whole lot of AOE, hard removal, or heals introduced, which will undoubtedly create some various challenges.
First, classes that have the ability to snowball their early game tempo, generally is a strong consistent game plan that should lead to more wins. Gone are the days where Priest and Mage can hide behind their Psychic Scream and numerous Blizzard due to rarity and spell reductions. So with that said a more proactive start that aims to seize the board and rely less on bail out cards is what I'd expect we will see more of in the coming release. I anticipate Paladin and Rogue to remain on top, benefiting from their high tempo classic cards, as well as some of the newly introduced draw engines that will help them continue their assault into the mid and late game.
Secondly, BDP introduces several playable 1 drops that will help classes seize the board from turn 1. Whether it's cards like Glow-Tron, or Mecharoo, I'd expect these solid 1 drops to help keep board pressure, as well as become targets for Magnetic buffs. Another class that I'd look out for is Hunter. A strong early game curve starting from turn 1, while going first means Hunter gets the jump on almost any class and puts them on a finite clock right away.
Lastly, with the reduced frequency of spells, drafts will have to rely more heavily on minion trading and minions that can double duty as removal. This means cards that offer initiative to perform favorable trades will be extra important to improve the consistency of the draft. This is where I think the Magnetic mechanic will shine since it provides initiative by buffing a minion, allowing it to trade and survive leaving a body behind to be dealt with. This leads me to the inevitable boogie man of the set - E.M.P. Operative. While the card is a bit more balanced then previous tech cards, it is a screaming value card especially if it lands on a larger mech (4+ mana), or a mech that has been "Magnetized". I would fully expect this card to be in many drafts to counter the strength and frequency of mechs (my opinion) in this upcoming meta.
To summarize, I feel this meta will go back to the tried and true old school "curvestone" meta, where spell removal is not as common, and board control, proper game sense, and balanced drafting will be the most viable strategy for arena.
- Curvestone returns due to strong 1-drops in set
- Less AOE/spells stresses minion trading, and initiative
- Faster meta, which means the control archetype will be more inconsistent
- Most Meta Defining - E.M.P. Operative is the clear #1 here. It isn't necessarily the best Neutral, but will definitely shape the meta for better or worse. It's in a reasonable bucket, with comparable cards such as Sunwalker, Blood Knight and Lone Champion. I'd expect it to be chosen with relative frequency especially as the new cards are being playtested. It's an Epic though, so we might not see it as often as I am alluding too, but everyone should be very aware of it. Notable mention: Giggling Inventor
- Most Underrated - Coppertail Imposter wins it here for me. I think this card has the potential to be a staple in many drafts. It allows for a clean Magnetic target, as well as dropping down with some decent stats. It's a neutral and it'll be seen often. This card should perform well across all the classes. Notable mention: Mecharoo
- Most Over Bucketed cards aka Never drafted cards - Supercollider (tier 1-1.5), Arcane Dynamo (tier 1-1.5), Dyn-o-matic (tier 2-2.5), Voltaic Burst (tier 2-2.5)
Class Tier Prediction
Given probably the best set of tools from this set, allows one of the best classes in Arena to claim the top spot once again. My choice for class MVP ? - Crazed Chemist, a tier 5-5.5 bucket card that competes against garbage like Cutthroat Buccaneer and Runeforge Haunter should be an easy choice to outperform. Notable additions: Crazed Chemist, Necrium Blade, Blightnozzle Crawler
A faster, stickier, buffier? meta plays to Paladin's strengths. The reduced frequency of weapons hurts them slightly, but they only need 1: Silver Sword, which has been moved to the 2nd bucket (thank god). I really like Glow-Tron and feel it's in a reasonable bucket tier 4-4.5. It does compete against some solid cards though like Equality, Sound the Bells! and Light's Justice which makes it harder to pick the little robot. Notable additions: Glow-Tron, Annoy-o-Module, Shrink Ray
Even with the reduced frequency of spells, Mage has plenty to cherry pick from. The new set provides a lot of draw and value, so expect Mage to push the limits of balance tempo and control once again. I'd look out for Meteorologist as a potential under bucketed card at tier 6-6.5, I feel it will outperform it's bucket placing. Notable additions: Meteorologist, Cosmic Anomaly, Astral Rift
Same as Mage, Warlock has plenty of spells to choose from even if the offerings are reduced. The new set didn't provide a lot of viable cards and introduced "buff" type cards to the class. Not enough support that dilutes the core offerings reduce Warlocks draft consistency. Omega Agent is in bucket tier 5-5.5, this seems to me like a grossly mis-bucketed card for it's late game strength. Notable additions: Spirit Bomb, Doubling Imp, Omega Agent
The king of going 1st while curving out. Hitting those early minions into reach finish allows Hunter to capitalize on classes that have to monitor their HP pool closely. Hunter will have the problem of too many top tier cards yet again. A bargain draft pick might be Secret Plan which allows you to grab top bucket secrets, at a much more reasonable tier 4 pick. Notable additions: Venomizer, Bomb Toss, Spider Bomb
Always consistent, Druid has a solid game plan with strong classic minions and plenty of balanced spells to keep them in the thick of the tier list. As a late game stud, Gloop Sprayer stands out to me, and in the tier 5-5.5 bucket offers decent value. It competes against lesser competition like Strongshell Scavenger and Grizzled Guardian. Notable additions: Landscaping, Gloop Sprayer, Tending Tauren
Reduced spell frequency hurts draft consistency for Priest. A poor hero power and over reliance on certain removal and AOE really keep Priest from reaching it's potential. Less Mind Control and Shadow Madness probably hurts the class the most. Extra Arms might offer some decent draft value in the tier 5-5.5 bucket. It's often up against even worse cards, and a buff for Priest is always a frightening thing. Notable additions: Omega Medic, Extra Arms, Power Word: Replicate
A very good set of tools from the new set could make Shaman a surprise class, but overload cards keep your tempo limited on future turns, so capitalizing right away is critical to success. Reduced occurrence of Stormforged Axe and Lightning Storm no doubt hurt the classes performance. Elementary Reaction seems like a bargain in the tier 6-6.5 bucket, this surely will out perform it's peers easily. Notable additions: Menacing Nimbus, Thunderhead, Elementary Reaction
Not strong enough cards from this new set to bring Warrior out of the basement. The reduction in Weapon occurrence hurts Warrior the most, due to their heavy reliance on gaining the board and value thru their weapons. It's hard for me to see Warrior rising up the ranks moving forward. Not only is Warrior probably going to the worst, they also probably the most over bucketed card of the set Supercollider in the tier 1-1.5 bucket. As for bargain choices, Omega Assembly seems more then reasonable being only in the tier 6-6.5 bucket. Notable additions: Omega Assembly, Security Rover, Weapons Project
These are solely predictions (for now) based on my own personal knowledge and experience in the Arena. Let's hear what you think about the upcoming meta? Excited? Break out cards? Unsung MVP cards? Surprise or Disappointing Classes? As always, I will be updating as more in our arena meta thread as more data comes through in regards to the performances of cards and classes!