Would specialist format even work?

Play Mode Discussion
Hearthstone doesn't have the suite of tech cards nor the workarounds for class weaknesses in fair not-OP cards.

Can a class with a deck that has a 35-45% win rate vs another deck meaningfully adjust their win rate with only a few cards?

Kinda feels like it would encourage flood Midrange decks with nonpolarized spreads and high-rolly minicombos. Even X decks left and right.
02/22/2019 04:02 AMPosted by Orzel
Hearthstone doesn't have the suite of tech cards nor the workarounds for class weaknesses in fair not-OP cards.

Can a class with a deck that has a 35-45% win rate vs another deck meaningfully adjust their win rate with only a few cards?

Kinda feels like it would encourage flood Midrange decks with nonpolarized spreads and high-rolly minicombos. Even X decks left and right.


A 35% winrate deck might not be able to adjust their winrate at all, since the favored deck can also adjust their decklist to be even more oppressive.

Your 35% winrate could easily end up dropping to 25%, if your opponent has better hate cards against you, than you have against them.

I agree that this format favors decks with a solid matchup spread and I am worried that this format would lead to a neverending series of mirror matches.
There are actually meaningful changes some decks can make to even turn unfavorables into favorables. We just haven't trained to think about those instances because they were kind of irrelevant since in ladder decks are tweeked to be decks with positive winrate across the meta and not build to adjust to what you will face next.

Let's say you play Odd warrior vs gallery priest. Your secondary deck might have prepared for it and included saronite taskmaster and leeroy to screw their rez pool and try to armor into safety.

Let's say priest player has one of the other decks prepared for that exact situation and has a quest/seance variant with archbishop benedictus trying to outgreed odd warrior or Jaina control and now counters odd warrior.

Then odd warrior changes into a quest/odd package to counter again.

It could be actually interesting to see how it works in HS but as of now none has any idea. It might end up being "bring the class that has the ability to switch from aggro to greed in 5 cards" and if one class can do that atm (not after rotation though) it would be Hunter with rexxar. It's an example of a class that has cards like Rexxar and dire frenzy and those tools serve both gameplans of pressure and endgame value depending on how you play the game.

Another interesting factor is that the primary 25 cards might initially start making compromises and diverge from a classic netdeck, to accomondate for this format. So you could technically cut 2 cards and put 2 others that might slightly worsen 2 decklists to make a 3rd one possible.

What is also different is that ladder becomes almost irrelevant and the data sites like HSReplay that have been crucial in preparation for pros are now also not able to help that much.

The best class to bring in a format like Specialist would only be a dominating tier 1 deck only if the balance of the game was off and any class "specializing " for it by switching 5 cards still wasn't enough to hard counter it.Developers are putting a lot on their plate because class imbalances are magnified in this format since you're not forced to play multiple classes.

Last factor with which i will close what has become almost an essay at this point is how interesting it will be to see "competitive meta" imbalances that don't transfer to Standard. For instance there might be a class that is versatile enough while changing 5 cards to be dominant in this format but is nowhere near powerful in ladder since that is a non factor. In the past most balance changes affecting Standard were simultaneously working for the competitive meta as well but if the case was something like what i described above, would they balance the game around their competitive scene while weakening an non strong class in ladder? (this is an unlikely scenario but still interesting to think about)
I hated it at first, but I think it’s worth trying. It’s an easier format for new players or players with limited decks.
It encourages people to play decks with more even matchup spreads; and it’s a new approach to deck building.
If it did push out decks with 35/65 matchups or worse, would that be a bad thing? Everyone complains about decks with polarized matchups, so pushing them out of the meta could be a good thing. It would make more games close and exciting. I guess the question is how much you’re willing to give up diversity for that, which will vary person to person. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing less quest rogue and odd warrior style decks, but not if we go down to a 3-4 deck meta. Bonus stupid points if those are all odd/even decks.
This is a tournament format. Who would take a 35% win rate deck to a tournament? If you play to lose, it's difficult to muster sympathy for a complaint that deck switching makes you lose more.
The downside of the new system is that it will encourage participants to identify and play a single "best" deck.

A tournament could end up being 90% Big Priest or Odd Rogue or whatever. You see that in Magic all of the time.
02/22/2019 07:26 AMPosted by Breakfast
If it did push out decks with 35/65 matchups or worse, would that be a bad thing? Everyone complains about decks with polarized matchups, so pushing them out of the meta could be a good thing. It would make more games close and exciting. I guess the question is how much you’re willing to give up diversity for that, which will vary person to person. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing less quest rogue and odd warrior style decks, but not if we go down to a 3-4 deck meta. Bonus stupid points if those are all odd/even decks.


My fear is that.

Odd and Even decks are strong, flexible, and least polarized.
02/22/2019 08:40 AMPosted by Slickriptide
This is a tournament format. Who would take a 35% win rate deck to a tournament? If you play to lose, it's difficult to muster sympathy for a complaint that deck switching makes you lose more.


The context is clear here. 35% vs another deck, meaning it might have a good winrate against a tournament meta but someone may have chosen to target it. He wasn't referrig to a 35% winrate deck but a 35% winrate matchup. I don't know why you would conflate those two.

Calling any deck a 35% winrate deck in a competitive format makes no sense since by that logic people have brought 15% winrate decks (freeze mage vs ctrl warrior back in the day) and it was still a good choice for the respective meta. That's not playing to lose at all.

Some matchups are polarized and that polarization will be highlighted in this format since your "specialized" decks aim to counter something in a very direct manner compared to Conquest format.
02/22/2019 08:56 AMPosted by SlashSarcasm
02/22/2019 08:40 AMPosted by Slickriptide
This is a tournament format. Who would take a 35% win rate deck to a tournament? If you play to lose, it's difficult to muster sympathy for a complaint that deck switching makes you lose more.


The context is clear here. 35% vs another deck, meaning it might have a good winrate against a tournament meta but someone may have chosen to target it. He wasn't referrig to a 35% winrate deck but a 35% winrate matchup. I don't know why you would conflate those two.

Calling any deck a 35% winrate deck in a competitive format makes no sense since by that logic people have brought 15% winrate decks (freeze mage vs ctrl warrior back in the day) and it was still a good choice for the respective meta. That's not playing to lose at all.

Some matchups are polarized and that polarization will be highlighted in this format since your "specialized" decks aim to counter something in a very direct manner compared to Conquest format.


Yeah.

For example (if you use TempoStorm's data and assume it is accurate) "Midrange" Hunter is more or less within 40-60% win rate vs most of the best decks. So assuming with secondary and tertiary decks, it' could be narrowed to 45-55% win rate vs most decks.

But it is 30% winrate vs Odd Control Mage. Could "Midrange" Hunter seriously adjust itself with only a 5 card change vs Odd Control Mage who can do the same enough to not autolose vs it in a BO3? Unlikely.

Thus the best course of action to to pick a deck whoes winrate vs all decks are not polarized.

Thus everyone plays Even Pally.

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