Hearthstone Winter Championship Analysis (Deck Win Rates, Bans, & Player Stats)


Hearthstone Winter Championship has just finished. Between March 23 and March 26, we’ve seen 16 of the best players from across the globe battling for their share of $250,000 and 135 HCT points. Scoring high not only guaranteed a high cash prize, but also a nice head start into the rest of competitive year – each HCT point matters for players that want to participate in the Hearthstone World Championship (which will take place in January 2018).

However, since 4 days of non-stop action might be too much even for the hardcore fans, we’ve decided make a summary of the whole event. In this article you’ll find everything you wanted to know (and a lot of things you didn’t even know you wanted to know!) about players’ performance, ban stats, deck win rates etc.


Event Information

Where to Watch (VoDs)


Player Statistics

Region Win Rates

  • #1 – Europe – 59.5% win rate (50-34)
  • #2 – North America – 49.5% win rate (48-49)
  • #3 – China – 44.9% win rate (31-38)
  • #4 – Asia-Pacific – 44.6% win rate (33-41)

Best Player Performance

  • #1 – ShtanUdachi – 69% win rate (20-9)
  • #2 – LvGe – 58.8% win rate (10-7)
  • #3 – Pavel – 55.6% win rate (10-8)
  • #4 – Neirea – 55% win rate (11-9)

Worst Player Performance

  • #1 – Yulsic – 20% win rate (2-8)
  • #2 – OmegaZero – 27.3% win rate (3-8)
  • #3 – b787 – 38.5% win rate (5-8)
  • #4 – LovelyChook – 40.9% win rate (9-13)

Most games played: Fr0Zen – 37 games

Least games played: Yulsic – 10 games

Longest win streak: ShtanUdachi and Fr0zen – 8 games win streak

Lowest win rate player getting out of Group Stage: DocPwn – 47.1%

Highest win rate player not getting out of Group Stage: Pavel – 55.6%

Comeback – players who got out of the losers bracket: Fr0Zen, LovelyChook, DocPwn and SamuelTsao

Ban Statistics

  • #1 – Pirate Warrior – 39 out of 54 (72.2%)
  • #2 – Freeze Mage – 5 out of 54 (9.3%)
  • #3 – Reno Mage – 3 out of 54 (5.6%)
  • #4 – Dragon Priest – 2 out of 54 (3.7%)
  • #5-9 – Control Warrior, Tempo Mage, Midrange Jade Shaman, Reno Warlock and Jade Druid – 1 out of 54 (1.9%)

Pirate Warrior’s ban rate was incredibly high in this tournament. It’s not surprising, since it’s the most dominant Aggro deck in the game right now and probably one of the strongest decks in general. Games against Pirate Warrior are often decided by the opening hands and most of the pros don’t want to take this kind of risk. Pirate Warrior would have an even higher ban rate if Fr0zen brought it – he played 6 series in the entire tournament, which are 6 more potential bans for Pirate Warrior, the ban rate would most likely exceed 80% in that case. Players who decided to not ban Warrior mostly brought a pretty strong counter, or a line-up that fights well against Aggro in general.

Freeze Mage being at #2 is most likely because Fr0Zen brought it instead of the Pirate Warrior. It was banned in 5 out of 6 series.

Rest of the bans are pretty insignificant. They were mostly target bans after comparing both line-ups – sometimes Pirate Warrior wasn’t the most threatening deck in the opponent’s line-up, thus something else was a better ban.

Funnily, the class that was brought most (by 15 out of 16 players) is also the least played class of the tournament (besides the two that weren’t present at all) because of all the bans.

Class Statistics

If you’re wondering why there is no Hunter or Paladin anywhere in this section, that’s because those classes weren’t brought by a single person.

Total games played: 162

Most Played Classes

  • #1 – Rogue – 64 out of 324 (19.8%) decks played in total.
  • #2 – Priest – 62 out of 324 (19.1%) decks played in total.
  • #3 – Mage – 55 out of 324 (17%) decks played in total.

Least played class: Warrior – 13 out of 324 (4%) decks played in total.

Classes Sorted By Win Rate

  • #1 – Shaman – 57.8% (26-19)
  • #2 – Warlock – 54.7% (29-24)
  • #3 – Rogue – 54.7% (35-29)
  • #4 – Druid – 50% (16-16)
  • #5 – Warrior – 46.2% (6-7)
  • #6 – Mage – 45.5% (25-30)
  • #7 – Priest – 40.3% (25-37)

The win rate for top class isn’t surprising at all – even after the recent nerf patch, Shaman is still a very powerful class. While it’s not completely dominating, in the hands of an experienced player it can win nearly every matchup. What’s much more surprising is Priest’s performance. Dragon Priest was one of the most common decks of the tournament, yet it had one of the worst performances. Sure, the Reno Priest going 0-3 lowers the win rate a bit, but even if you don’t count that, it’s still 42.4% for Dragon Priest. Dragon Priest is undoubtedly one of the best ladder decks, but maybe its tournament power is a little overestimated? Or maybe people just brought the right decks to counter it? One thing is certain – the Champion didn’t have Dragon Priest in his line-up and it worked really well for him.

Warrior is only at 46%, but that’s not really a good representation of the real power of Pirate Warrior. The class was banned most of the time. Those who didn’t ban it were well prepared for it. It means that Pirate Warrior faced pretty much only line-ups that were optimized to fight against it. The small sample size also doesn’t help – only 13 games with Pirate Warrior weren’t enough to show the full potential.

Deck Statistics

Most Popular Decks

  • #1 – Pirate Warrior – Brought by 14 out of 16 players (87.5%)
  • #2 – Reno Warlock – Brought by 12 out of 16 players (75%)
  • #3-4 – Dragon Priest and Miracle Rogue – Brought by 10 out of 16 players (62.5%)

Most Unique/Unexpected Decks

#1 – b787’s Control Warrior

I don’t know whether I should call b787 brave or foolish for bringing this deck, but I’m definitely sure about one thing: with 10 Reno Warlocks, 10 Dragon Priests, 9 Midrange Jade Shamans, 5 Jade Druids and 5 Reno Mages in the tournament, Control Warrior would have a really hard time.. well, possibly, but we’ll never know. The truth is that the Control Warrior deck wasn’t even played a single time – it was banned one time and b787 lost the second series before he even got a chance to play it. Judging by b787’s line-up, he seemed to expect much more Aggro decks and it turned out that Aggro wasn’t too popular this time around (besides Pirate Warrior which was usually banned). Or maybe he thought that Freeze Mage would be much more popular? Either way, I’m a bit sad that we didn’t see even a single Control Warrior game. It was a tournament staple not that long ago and now it’s nowhere to be seen.

#2 – b787’s Reno Priest

When I was talking about the anti-Aggro line-up, this is another point on the list. The only Reno Priest of the tournament was brought by the same player who picked Control Warrior as one of his decks. Let’s be fair, Reno Priest is not a very strong meta deck. One of the biggest upsides is that you can actually tech in enough Aggro tools to counter the fast decks pretty consistently. And that’s how this deck was made. It’s a Dragon Reno Priest, but not the one you’d normally see on the ladder. It runs multiple cards that are either uncommon or not seen in Priest at all nowadays: Flash HealEmbrace the Shadow/Auchenai SoulpriestCircle of Healing combo, Shadow Word: Horror or Darkshire Alchemist just to name a few. The deck looks very anti-Aggro, but the problem is that without Aggro present, such a build is pretty weak in slower matchups. We did see some Reno Priest games – 3 to be precise. But with the 0-3 score, I can say that the Reno Priest wasn’t the best choice this time around.

#3 – Fr0Zen’s Malygos Druid

Malygos Druid was incredibly popular after Karazhan, but it disappeared with the latest expansion. The problem is that the deck, while amazing against some slower matchups, just doesn’t work that well against Aggro. That’s the reason why it’s not popular on the ladder. But in tournaments… Well, you can hope that opponents won’t bring too much Aggro and you always have one ban. For a deck that was brought by a single player, Malygos Druid was played A LOT – we’ve seen 10 games with the deck in total, which is actually pretty awesome considering that majority of this tournament meta was pretty boring.

Most of the players decided to bring Jade Druid instead, because it does a similar job, but Jade seems to be a little bit stronger overall. However, when it comes to stats, Fr0zen scored 5-5 with the deck, which lines up exactly with the Jade Druid’s performance (also 50% win rate in total), so I can’t say that it was a bad choice.

Archetypes Sorted By Win Rate

(at least 5 games sample size required)

  • #1 – Midrange Jade Shaman – 58.1% (18-13)
  • #2 – Aggro Shaman – 57.1% (8-6)
  • #3 – Miracle Rogue – 55.1% (27-22)
  • #4 – Reno Warlock – 54.7% (29-24)
  • #5 – Water Rogue – 53.3% (8-7)
  • #6-8 – Jade Druid, Malygos Druid, Freeze Mage – 50% (11-11, 5-5, 10-10)
  • #9 – Pirate Warrior – 46.2% (6-7)
  • #10 – Dragon Priest – 42.4% (25-34)
  • #11 – Reno Mage – 40.6% (13-19)

Shaman was dominating this tournament. Well, I’m not sure if you can call ~58% win rate “dominating”, but it was definitely the best performing class. I’ve already talked about Priest’s poor performance, but I want to say a few words about another surprise – Reno Mage. Well, maybe surprise is too much, the deck’s performance wasn’t a big surprise at all. Reno Mage mostly preys on Aggro, which wasn’t common in this tournament. The RenoLock matchup is also good, but only so slightly (RenoLock has lots of ways to win it). At the same time, the deck struggles against Midrange decks like Jade Druid, Dragon Priest and – to some extent – Midrange Jade Shaman, which were all pretty popular. In hindsight, people shouldn’t really bring Reno Mage, or maybe they should bring lists that are more optimized to fight against the Midrange. The only successful Reno Mage list is the one that ShtanUdachi brought, which is by the way really interesting. It looks a bit more like Freeze Mage than the Reno Mage you see every day – it has more cycle (Novice EngineerLoot Hoarder) and more burn (Ice LancePyroblast) and Alexstrasza. It’s optimized to fight against Midrange in a more Freeze Mage kind of way – by stalling the game long enough, playing Alexstrasza and burning the opponent down. Which worked really well for Shtan.

Most Consistent* Decks:

*At least 70% win rate with 3+ games sample size.

Least Consistent* Decks:

*30% or less win rate with 3+ games sample size.


That’s all folks. That was a long weekend, I’ve tried to watch most of the Winter Championship but honestly I ended up watching only about half of it live. While I love competitive HS, this tournament wasn’t incredibly exciting because of a pretty stale meta. I still enjoyed it, I really like HCT for the professional production and great caster pairings, but the matches themselves could be better.

I’ve uploaded my Excel spreadsheet here, so feel free to check it out. If you’d like to see some other stats, let me know so I can add them or track them next time around. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment. And if you want to be up to date with my articles, you can follow me on Twitter.

Good luck on the ladder and until next time!


A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. Alexander
    March 28, 2017 at 3:50 am

    When do you receive your packs from Choose your champion?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      March 28, 2017 at 4:41 am

      Probably few days? I’ve received my first pack for voting after like 4 or 5 days. Remember that the Winter Championship has just finished.

  2. ramilblob
    March 27, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I voted for shtan. I didnt get my packs

  3. Bartimaeus
    March 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I just looked at Pavel’s and ShtanUdachi’s Reno Mage lists (under ‘Most Consistent’ / ‘Least Consistent’) respectively. They are the exact same list!

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      March 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Yep, I’ve noticed that too. Reno Mage wasn’t the best choice for this tournament, but it seems that Shtan got away with it while Pavel got more unlucky than he should.

  4. deepblue
    March 27, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Perfect job in every post. Best Hearthstone site ever! Thanks for your all stuff 🙂

  5. Vijay
    March 27, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Incredibly detailed, thanks for taking the time to create and post the analysis. Shaman, Rogue, and Warlock are the most popular classes. I hope Un’goro brings some more balance and diversity.