ARENA WEEK 1: Meta Report

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GANZ_Karl's picture
ARENA WEEK 1: Meta Report

The 1st Arena season is in full swing and we're getting solid statistics of which heroes are being used most in Live PVP and the success rates of those heroes.

To help you understand the meta better, and prepare for it, we will be presenting the top 5 heroes and top 10 cards used in each Arena on a weekly basis. Note that these reports are based on the top 100 players on each ladder, so you're getting data on the most successful builds.



Heroes (% used)

1) Devroth - 34% of battles
2) Jorma - 30%
3) Ichor - 18%
4) Uuyns - 12%
5) Thania - 11%

So in Standard, it is almost guaranteed that you will be playing one of these heroes, or you will be playing against one. All of these heroes have positive win ratios of over 56%, so not only are they played a lot, they're winning.

While the numbers for Devorth and Jorma are high, it should be noted that at the peak of the Dravkas/Noran environment, Dravkas was used in 57% of games and Noran 38%.


1 Rejuve Potion
2 Scroll Maker
3 Echo Blast
4 Fae's Charm
5 Thunder Cat
6 Erratic Werewolf
7 Disintegrate
8 Frost Wielder
9 Fury Stoker
10 Maelstrom
11 Firesworn Elf

I've included number 11 because its important. You have 4 haste creatures in the top 11. Packing main deck anti-haste is a solid choice for any player who isn't playing Devroth or Jorma, and may even be an important tool for a more controlling anti-meta Devroth build.



1. Devroth - 26%
2. Jorma - 25%
3. Wilrus - 21%
4. Amarus - 21%
5. Bahamut - 14%

What is interesting about the limited top 100 is that the field is more diverse. Devroth and Jorma are still the most popular, but aren't seen at the same rate. Wilrus suggests that Justice-based life gain decks are still having a large impact on the field, though the hero's success rate is just 43% (across all builds, not just Justice builds). Looking lower in the hero list you find other gems, such as Shadow, who while only appearing in 3% of battles, has a success rate of 59%.


1 Frost Wielder
2 Disintegrate
3 Scroll Maker
4 Swiftshot Ranger
5 Lightning Bolt
6 Holy Charm
7 Oust
8 Roaring Mastadon
9 Nimble Fae
10 Dirty Fuel

Not unexpected, Frost Wielder is the top played card in Limited. Basically, if you can fit him in, you play him. As mentioned before, the Wielder may be in line for a mild nerf, similar in level to Scroll Maker, which as you can see from both ladders didn't have a huge impact on his popularity. More interesting is the #10 placement for Dirty Fuel, a card labelled "dead" after it was reworked. Getting free mana will always be a critical part of Kingdoms and even banishing cards will often be worth it.


standard heroes:
34%+30%+18%+12%+11% = 105%
limited heroes:
26%+25%+21%+21%+14% = 107%

after having read it a second time, i will still post this, because it's a bit confusing. basically, you will need to divide the numbers by 2 to get the percentage of how many players play those heroes in the top 100, because that's what you want.

thanks for the numbers anyway, i guess i could see most things coming except maybe justice decks having only a winning chance of 43%

one thing: why did you now write the percentage for the card's top list, too?

Oncus's picture

"thanks for the numbers anyway, i guess i could see most things coming except maybe justice decks having only a winning chance of 43%"

It's not just Justice. It's all Wilrus decks.

GANZ_Karl's picture

There are two characters in each battle. So the total % of all of the heroes adds up to 200%.

It's not a representation of the number of players who play the hero because you might play Devroth for three games, then switch to Jorma for a couple of games. It's represents the % of game slots taken up by a specific hero.

With both top 5 being over 100%, that means it is basically guaranteed that one side or the other will be one of the top 5 heroes.

mmabistra's picture

nice post:)

Oncus's picture

These statistics are very useful and thanks for sharing. The small analysis is also great. All my decks were packed with circlet of wisdom, so yeah, hasters are still popular. I think essence decks have something to do with it.

% win rate of heroes, really don't tell you much especially if it's limited to 100, because obviously higher ranked players will have higher win rates with any hero. Would be nice to see win rates for all heroes across all of the board.

Dr.Bojangles's picture

Yes but win rates for the top 100 gives you a better idea of how suitable a hero is for competitive play. Thanks for finally doing this btw Karl. Iv'e been begging Antic for stat dumps for years. I really would like to see top 100 win% data on preferably all hero's but top and bottom 5 is fine if you wan to keep it simple.


Great to see these numbers.
I''m trying to build decks around champions that are not in the top 5. But i''m struggling to make them a winner. But i''m having alot of fun in arena. That is for sure.

Especially now that the lag and bugs are gone.


Tnx for this post. Im happy im using mainly Dravkas and my quest heroes to climb the rankings, even thou i need more time to be competitive.

xankludan's picture

I'm surprised skullcrusher isn't on there. Any non devroth who has him seems to use him, especially limited.

GANZ_Karl's picture

Skullcrusher is #12 in Limited and #18 in Standard.


something i would like to know is who in limited and standard has the best win % that way we all know who really is the best players not just who has the most free time. also some kind of notice when we hit 20 battles would be nice.

GANZ_Karl's picture

I can say that the latter suggestion is definitely on our radar. I'd also like to get your current rating onto the interface so that if you're not in the top 50 you can see it without going into a game.

markmistr's picture

+1 on both of these suggestions. I have no idea if I have hit 20 battles yet.

markmistr's picture

It would be interesting to know the LEAST played cards (especially rares and epics). This could shed light on to what cards you might want to buff if you choose to do so.

Oncus's picture

In CCG's buffing cards is a niche practice. It's much more profitable to make new cards, than buff older ones, since 100% of the players don't have them. Disturbing practice.

GANZ_Karl's picture

If you're being cynical, I guess that's true. Fact is that in most CCGs buffing cards isn't even an option (though neither is nerfing).

While no, I'm probably not going to go back and buff every common and uncommon that is below playable, I think we've shown that we are open to making light buffs here and there - Myriad of Dryads, Diffusion Blade, Abomination, etc.

Oncus's picture

I'm not being cynical, just noting my experience with these kind of games. I am convinced that the economy of the game has something to do with older cards are not getting buffed. It takes a bit of time, but it isn't as profitable as new content (because old players have those cards, and they can be acquired with gold through packs). But correct me if I'm wrong here.

Also, the power level has shifted in Kingdoms, making some of the older cards not up to standard. And alhough GANZ has showed openness to bufing cards, I don't see why all cards shouldn't be playable in the long run. Willing Martyr is a great example for a common. it may not be popular, but it's far from being unplayable. Buffing older cards may not be as lucrative new cards, but I will ensure that the meta is more diversified which in turn would make the game even more fun.

I would love to see in future patches that have balance changes that apart from 1-2 nerfs, there is at least 1-2 older cards that get buffed. If time is a problem, I'm sure there is more than enough players that can offer some ideas on how to buff cards and beta team that is willing to test them.


Still, it takes time. Going through collection, and buffing all the cards that seem to need it. It takes time, and GANZ isan't just a company for kingdom, im sure GANZ are busy outside of the game aswell. Lets not give karl and the crew to much bother yet ;p


Can we see a meta report from this season? Im a huge supporter of this game and the current management, some ppl even dislikes me for that, but i feel that after the last nerfs, arena got way way worse. All i see is Thania and ppl banishing all their hands to play raise the guard, and arcanos made to counter it.

xankludan's picture

Thania replaced Devroth at the top of standard with probably Drav and Arcanos in 2 and 3