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Via Kolento.

Shamanstone: A Dedication

Feb 4, 2017
Via Kolento.

I’ve talked about this issue recently, but the past few days have warranted a post of their own. This entire post is dedicated to the many complaints about Shamans. In my over three years playing Hearthstone, I’ve never seen the community so upset. I personally have never been so tired of Standard either. This past week we’ve had players from every community add their voice to the issue. We also have a direct response from Ben Brode himself. All of these responses are on Reddit, as it is the main forum for Hearthstone. Let’s jump in.

Shamanstone: The Post that Broke the Dam

There is always general complaining, but earlier this week there was a post that seemed to open the floodgates. Reddit user MatGagne made a post titled Shamanstone. In it, he discussed his end of month legend climb. He finished at legend rank 119. On the final day of the season he played 80 games. A full 50 of them were against Shaman. That is 62.5% of his opponents playing a single deck.

Notably, his posted stats also show the state of many other classes. Hunter and Paladin are well known to not be great, so not seeing many of them is understandable. There were two Paladins and no Hunters. However, there was also only one Priest and one Rogue. And only two Druids. He only played against four of the nine classes more than twice. Five of the nine classes were contained within six games. Of eighty. 7.5% of the ladder contains over half of the classes at high legend.

Redditors Speak Up

Following the Shamanstone post came a wave of other posts with similar comments. A notable one was one by Noophearth, a Korean player. He outlined many of the same issues that others have been discussing. Excuse his English, but he states quite clearly: “There are only two archtype patches and reno now. Do u want aggro? Do patches deck. Do u want control? Do reno deck. Another choice is nothing.” He also says that in the Korean scene, “so many korean leave Hs and move to another game” due to Hearthstone’s refusal to adapt.

User DannyLeonheart speaks up with his post ‘The meta has to change.’ He agrees with others and gives several potential solutions to the current issues. He states the issue quite clearly: “I’m at ~17k ranked wins right now and this is the most stale meta I’ve ever seen in hs.”

User tehbolle simply has had enough of the meta entirely. In his post, the three year veteran is one of many who is simply uninstalling. “After one full year of shamanstone, where currently the amount of shaman on all levels of the ladder is close to or even over 50%, I’m just fed up.”

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Data Report

The Vicious Syndicate’s data report came out today. They report on the popularity of each class at various ranks. They confirm exactly what everyone has been saying. They had their own post here, complete with Kripp meme.
Shamanstone data report

Ben Brode Replies

All of this negative conversation has finally prompted a post from Ben Brode. In it, he defends Hearthstone’s current meta. He states that while Shaman makes up a huge percentage of ladder, it doesn’t have an amazing winrate. Since the winrate is only 53%, according to their statistics, they don’t see the issue the rest of us see. I personally feel this is incredibly short sighted and patronizing to us, the playerbase. We have our own statistics that do not agree with yours. Furthermore, if we simply hate Shaman, it doesn’t matter how ‘balanced’ the win rate is. If no one likes playing against Shaman, and it’s required that you play Shaman, we’re going to quit.

Brode finished his post with this: “Our next patch is planned for around the end of this month. You can expect an announcement from us regarding balance changes either way in the week or so leading up to that date.“ So, if you hate Shamans, now is the perfect time to take a month break from Hearthstone.

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Stephen Draper
Stephen has a degree in English from Brock University. He grew up playing video games and card games, always having an affection for strategy. He picked up League of Legends in early Season One and has since achieved Diamond rank multiple times. He also picked up Hearthstone in Beta and has since achieved Legend consistently. When he isn’t reading, writing, or gaming, he’s probably watching other people game.
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