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Tracking the Popularity of Mage Decks in Hearthstone
14/6/2016 em 11:13
Mage is the undisputed torch bearer for Blizzard's Hearthstone. It serves as the first ever class you play during the tutorial, it has a slew of spells and minions to ease you into play, and it's easily
the most searched class on Google
We confirmed this in last week's article where we tracked each class through a service called Google Trends, but we weren't content to simply stop there. Not only are there questions that can be answered through this research, but we can also track how each expansion effected the popularity of each deck archetype. But what's the most popular archetype to exist? We find out today.
Here's today's graph:
So let's break down exactly why we see these changes (aside from there simply being a content release).
Curse of Naxxramas
Naxxramas bought one Mage card with it and one Mage card only: . So it comes as no surprise that Freeze Mage fans finally have a new card that they can rally around with as well. Thanks in large part to the number of core cards contained in the Basic and Classic sets, Freeze Mage is clearly the front runner for the Mage class.
Goblins vs Gnomes
The Mechs have arrived! A new Mech Mage archetype is born from , , and the new neutral mechs such as , , and . In addition, helps them protect their ever important board presence while they keep pushing face damage.
It takes a few weeks for players to discover the potential of Fatigue Mage which saw its potential increase with , giving the class a way to duplicate and other high value minions on its own terms.
And though Tempo Mage also benefits from the Flamecannon, it's that almost becomes one of the more iconic cards from the set, bringing highlight moments to the forefront of social media.
. One of the most defining cards of Tempo Mage to date is releases and as you'd now expect, the archetype soars in popularity.
Though Freeze Mage also grew more popular thanks to - who allows them to get lethal damage more quickly - Tempo Mage actually manages to overtake it as the second most popular deck type multiple times before the next content release. Though to be entirely fair, in the one trough where Freeze Mage retakes second place, it also passes Mech Mage ever so briefly.
The Grand Tournament
Though there's a lot of hype behind it, The Grand Tournament fails to live up to expectations. The only card that really has any impact at all is which slots well into Tempo Mage.
The meta overall has shifted more towards Midrange and Control however, and Mech Mage starts to fall as a result.
League of Explorers
There's no shortage of useful cards in League of Explorers however. is a
addition to the burn of Freeze Mage, providing not only more turns before fatigue, but a disposable source of damage that can potentially return to your hand later in the game.
Much to the surprise of many players, ends up being a great card for Tempo Mages. A 6/3 body isn't to be trifled with and a Mage spell on average is actually really valuable.
Fatigue Mage on the other hand gets the added benefit of a potentially full heal from . Combine this with who allows you to double your other healing sources from Battlecries and Control decks as a whole get a lot more resilient.
It also may be worth noting that can be a great way of getting some extra secrets for the Grinder Mage, though it doesn't really have an effect on its popularity until a bit later.
Whispers of the Old Gods
Standard is here. Goblins vs. Gnomes and Naxxramas are no longer in the most competitive format. Mech Mage drops out of existence overnight. Fatigue and Grinder Mage lose what little following they have. Freeze and Tempo Mage are the only two that remain, but what do they gain?
Tempo Mage ends up loving , much to everyone's surprise since it doesn't even run . also finds a slot in the decklist simply because the amount of value it brings to the table. Some even go as far as to include for a late game board clear, card draw, and Hail Mary win condition.
As a side note, theoretically those Grinder and Fatigue Mages that no on really plays anymore were given , a card that they could only have dreamed of months ago.
Now that we're a few weeks after release, it's interesting to note that Tempo Mage has actually just stolen the crown from Freeze Mage as the most popular Mage deck. We'll have to see how it all shakes out leading up to the next content release.
So What's the Most Popular Mage Deck Ever?
After examining the weekly popularity of each deck we find that Freeze Mage still holds the position as the highest average popularity. Mech Mage is really the only one to come close, so Tempo Mage has a lot of ground to gain if it wants to hold the title itself.
Freeze Mage - 19.49
Mech Mage - 18.83
Tempo Mage - 13.98
Echo Mage - 2.63
Fatigue Mage - 1.75
Grinder Mage - 0.95
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