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One man's Ninja is another man's flank-fighter
[ TRANSCRIPT START ] A-hem…is this thing on? Good. Okay, prisoner #117. Who are you? Why am I blindfolded? Where am I? I want to speak to my lawyer. Just answer the questions. Who are you? I am a skilled player. I play with strangers, not clan battles. I play on the only Australian server with great population. I play commander 9/10 matches. Why did you do it? Why did you create the ninja garrison, when it’s not the intended playstyle?! …I want to win. I am the commander, I have a responsibility to the team to strain 110% to bring home the win. I’ve been playing this game for months, and loving it. This has been the strategy as long as I’ve played…I just assumed it WAS the game, and it was how the developer’s wanted it. It's not.Why didn’t you play as the developers intended? Well, sometimes people appreciate art in a way the artist did not intend. In that circumstance, the artist can never force people to see it the way he wants them to. Generally, 45/50 players on my team are not skilled. I can count on them to shoot whatever is in front of them, but I cannot expect creativity or ingenuity from them. As 1 man, I cannot capture a point. Of course. It’s a team game you mouth-breathing battlefield player, why didn’t you work with the team, as a commander? Is that what this is about? Look, I’m not a battlefield player, I just thin- LIAR! Only a casualfield player would blatantly neglect his obligations, as a commander, to work and co ordinate with the team! …As commander, I can give general commands, but there is no order or plan a commander can issue that will turn unskilled players into skilled players over a 90 minute match. Micromanaging as a commander in this meta is futile. Sometimes you just shouldn’t micromanage people, go watch the Jocko podcast to find out more. Who is this Jocko? A fellow ninja? Uhh, no. He’s a podcaster, and former navy seal. He speaks a lot about the advantage of not rushing mindlessly into your enemy’s defences, and finding the flanks instead. Sounds…subversive…So you ignored your team? Treated them like dogs? uhh, I wouldn’t say so. Team members are more like cats. They can be deadly, but they cannot be led. So that’s how you justified it to yourself? An attempt to herd cats? Well, yeah. Why would I waste my time, and add to the noise pollution on command chat, by being an overbearing parent to my squad leaders? So you never even TRIED to do your job? Of course I tried. It seems to me there are two ways to attack a strongpoint. Directly, or sneakily (or some combination of both). When I ordered the team to attack it directly, it was a slow grind. If I ordered the team (or part of it) to sneak, they’d fail. And you wanted to win the match. Yes, of course. And you’d do anything to win the match. Well, that’s not true. I’d never cheat, or gather information from an opponent’s twitch str- QUIET! WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF! So that’s when you decided to do it. How did it start? Well since it was certain death to go forward, I decided to take the flank. Each time I was spotted, the following engagement would, win or lose, waste precious time, delay my mission- YOUR NEFARIOUS MISSION! Uh…yeah… And regardless, once I’d been spotted, even if I shot them all, they now know there’s activity on that flank. So the enemy would simply respawn and head towards me again. Why not take some team members with you, for cover and fire support? Do you have anti-social tendencies? What has that got to do with anything… Fighting my way to the flank is counter productive. In the process, that ‘flank’ would simply turn into the new front. I have to sneak there, unseen, without firing my weapon. Well if you wanted to be a ninja, there’s plenty of other games! This is a team-based ww2 military-sim! Uhm well I mean, spies, infiltrators, sneak-attacks and favoring the flank were all things in like…every war ever? No, you fool. In ww2, soldiers did not teleport behind enemy lines! Well if you think the strategy is too immersion-breaking, I suppose that's a conversation we could have. But it's clearly not overpowered or unfair, in fact, the more veteran the teams, the more and more impossible it becomes to pull off. Have you ever actually tried it? I ASK THE QUESTIONS! ...We have witness statements. Your team members noticed you spending 6 minutes and 43 seconds moving, sometimes even crawling on the ground like a [REDACTED],- That 7 minutes of travelling definitely beats 20 minutes of midfield tug-of-war! Why wou- SILENCE! They also reported you travelling through entirely irrelevant sections of the map, to do what you did. Wait uh, what’s an irrelevant section of the map? If you can avoid enemy machineguns by walking an extra 400 meters, that’s obviously the better route. I mean, Hitler went through the Ardennes, that worked. Oh? So you love Hitler, do you? You’re a neo-nazi?! …I never said that I shouldn’t be surprised, of course a despicable ninja would have despicable political views…So, back to your ‘story’, what happened next? Well I was far from the strongpoint. I decided to order my team to stay put. I figured, if I could get the entirety of my team to defend, then none of them would be attacking. But you said the team doesn't listen! Your 'story' is inconsistent! Yes that's true, they don't. But as commander, I can dismantle my own team's garrison if my officers don't listen. I can remove any garrison that will draw my new players away from where I want them, on defence. Preposterous! How can you expect to win, without attacking the strongpoint?! Well here’s the effect I was hoping to achieve: if no pressure is being applied to the enemy strongpoint, then whatever defenders they have will grow bored. Once bored, they’ll start moving in a straight line from their strongpoint to my strongpoint. Oh so you’re a mind-reader now, too? How could you possibly know they’d do that? Well I mean…just pay attention. Their team isn’t so different to mine. Match after match, the same pattern happens with my teams. If nothing happens, my defenders grow impatient and leave the strongpoint to find excitement. Next thing you know, we’ll lose the strongpoint. That’s what I’d noticed my teams always doing. My team is full of strangers. Their team is full of strangers. Why should they be any different? So, if we offer them no excitement, I’ll meet no resistance as I sneak in real close to their strong point. I want to throw up, I don’t know if I can listen to any more of this subversive gameplay. Take us to the moment. How did you actually do it? Well, I had airdropped the supply as I was travelling to the strong point. I announced over officer chat, and then I typed in the group text chat, that a new garrison would soon be created, and that I wanted everyone to redeploy onto it. You attempted to make accomplices of your team members?! Implicate them in your crime?! Uhh well, it’s not like they listened anyway. After the first spawn wave, only 5 people showed up. No one listens, they’re cats remember. Once those 5 showed up, I told them to stay put and stay quiet. 40 seconds later, another 5. Another 40 seconds, and we had a fighting force. Then we ran quietly a hundred meters to the strong point. Shot the one or two guys remaining, built a second garrison, and its ours! Perfect. The Perfect crime. And using this disgusting, overpowered tactic, it didn’t bother your conscience at all? What do you mean? Every step of this plan has a lot of vulnerability…If anything, it only worked because I got lucky. I was lucky they were too distracted by gunfire to notice a giant parachute dropping in the supply I would need. I was lucky they lacked vigilance, especially towards their flanks. I was also lucky they were too lazy and uncaring to build garrisons in a large perimeter around their strongpoint. An intelligent player that regularly checks his map for garrison proximity light-ups would see me coming a mile away! These all would have been easy and simple countermeasures. When I play other commanders who also practice this flank strategy, I rarely manage to pull it off, because they know how easy it is to counte- Wait, there’s MORE? I should have known. I want names, names! All of your little ninja friends. It’s not like that…I don’t know these people. We don’t share strategy. It just happens organically. I suppose there will always be ‘ninjas’. Any player who wants to win, and pays attention, will gravitate towards effective strategy. Every player who currently doesn’t play like this will grow into it, once they learn more about the game. I’ve seen many players develop this way. They become better players, more confident, and have more fun then they used to when they would make ineffective frontal attacks. Ahhh, but that’s where you’re wrong, little ninja. You will not corrupt these players, they WILL play as intended! Subversive gameplay WILL be crushed! Well, many of them never learn and continue to play in the ineffective way you’re advocating. I don’t know why you’re so worked up about it. Why don't you deal with actual problems? Support players still have to kill themselves to gain more supply, and, we still can't melee. SILENCE!!! I will make you an offer, criminal. My job is a lot easier if I receive a confession. It will speed up the trial, much less paperwork. So here is my deal. If you confess and renounce your ninja ways, I will only change the meta so that garrisons cannot be built in neutral or enemy territory. Huh? That sounds terrible. Why would you do that? Sounds like it would create grinding and slow gameplay, limit the options of attackers, whilst also making defence too powerful… AND IF YOU REFUSE TO CONFESS, not only will I enact this new garrison rule, I will also make garrisons indestructible if they’re located in locked sectors! Well that would…make recon completely redundant? Also where does that leave attackers on a strongpoint like southern edge? Germans could build garrisons 20 meters from the strongpoint, that nonetheless are indestructible. Then you’d better think very carefully about your decision. What will it be? Pfft you’re bluffing. I’m not giving you anything! Do your worst, the players will never stand for it. The backlash will be insane, sales will plummet, and you’ll be forced to revert at least some of these horribly planned changes. But that’s where you’re wrong! The players will love the update. They will be too distracted by a new map and sound effects to hear your objections. And when they do, they won’t care! They’ll say the new changes foster more squad-play, or something, and praise it for removing the revolting and incredibly overpowered ninja strategy! They will honor me for reinforcing their low IQ bottom-feeder playstyle! And you, you will be driven from this game! ALL WILL PLAY AS INTENDED! Take him away! [ TRANSCRIPT END ]
Hey everyone! Over the last 3 days, Aussie fans u/sbe003 and I have used our extra time from #stayinghome to put together a mock draft with trades and write-ups for every team. We each took 16 teams and have spent quite a bit of time putting thought behind every pick. Just to be clear, this is what WE would do, NOT what we think will happen. So without further ado, here is the mock: u/drummerguy555 & u/sbe003 COLLAB Mock Draft 28/3 Below are the write-ups for every team, explaining in-depth why we made every decision we did. Tell us what teams did the best, the worst and any other thoughts you have. I hope you all enjoy and stay safe!
GM:u/drummerguy555 1.08: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn 3.72: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah After winning free agency by taking advantage of “The Teapot” (yes, that is really Bill O’Brien’s nickname), the Cardinals now have a killer WR1 on their team meaning taking the BPA available at a position of relative need is probably the best strategy. In this world, Brown fell to 8 and he will definitely help this Cardinals d-line. The Cardinals also leave this draft with a solid corner in Jaylon Johnson who adds a quality body to that poor secondary.
GM:u/drummerguy555 1.16: Javon Kinlaw, IDL, Auburn 2.47: Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington 3.78: Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State Kinlaw falls to the Falcons at 16 and will be a great piece for that defensive line. Hunter Bryant is my favorite TE in this class and along with the newly-acquired Hayden Hurst, will try to fill the major hole that Hooper left behind in this offense. Malik Harrison is a solid Day 2 LB that this poor LB core could desperately use.
GM:u/drummerguy555 1.28: K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State 2.55: Marlon Davidson, EDGE, Auburn 2.60: Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame 3.92: Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple 3.106: Bryce Huff, EDGE, Memphis Baltimore is in need of a true slot receiver to give Lamar some throwing options, this is where K.J. Hamler comes in as a speedy slot guy with great hands. Marlon Davidson is another Day 2 favorite of mine, he can play both DT and EDGE at a very high level. Okwara was the BPA available for this team with few holes. Hennessey could provide an option at guard following Yanda’s retirement and Huff plays EXTREMELY physical football on tape - exactly what the Ravens look for in players to develop.
GM:u/sbe003 2.54: Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State 3.86: Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa Not a lot to say for Buffalo given a lot of their early-round selections were given up to acquire Stefon Diggs. In saying that, with Buffalo’s two picks I selected Willie Gay Jr. and Michael Ojemudia. Gay is an extremely athletic prospect who plays with urgency and has the ceiling to develop into an every-down option. He is someone who can strengthen Buffalo’s already quite strong linebacking core and provide a replacement for recently retired Lorenzo Alexander. With Buffalo’s third-round pick I selected Michael Ojemudia. Buffalo doesn’t really have a notable CB outside of Tre White. While Ojemudia may not make an immediate impact, he has the tools and traits to develop into an adequate year 2/3 starter.
GM:u/sbe003 1.07: Isaiah Simmons, Def. Weapon, Clemson 2.38: Austin Jackson, OT, USC 3.69: Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama Carolina is a team with no identity at the moment, with the early retirement of Luke Kuechly and the departure of familiar faces Cam Newton and Greg Olsen, the Panthers are a rebuilding team. With that being said, I picked Isaiah Simmons with Carolina’s first-round pick. Simmons is a physical freak and a player who could probably play any position on defense if he wanted to. Simmons can come in day 1 and make an immediate impact in filling the Kuechly shaped hole left in that defense. With the second and third-round picks I turned more to the trenches. I took Austin Jackson with Carolina’s second pick. A decent lineman out of USC who could develop into a nice piece for Carolina in years to come. With the third pick, I took Raekwon Davis, a DT who can help depth on Carolina’s D-line and fit in as a good rotational piece on the interior.
GM:u/sbe003 2.43: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State 2.50: Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State With Chicago giving not only a lot of last year’s draft capital but also a lot of this year’s draft capital to acquire the services of Khalil Mack I was only left with 2 second-round picks. I’d like to thank the Lions GM for choosing to draft Lynn Bowden, which meant Brandon Aiyuk fell right into my lap 3 picks later. Aiyuk provides a much-needed WR2 for Mitch Trubisky and serves as someone who can complement Allen Robinson quite well. While there are still some inconsistencies with his route technique and hands, Aiyuk brings an exciting skillset to the table and big-play ability, something which the Bears seemed to lack last year. With the second pick for the Bears, I selected Curtis Weaver. Someone with a high football IQ and provides Chicago with another talented player on that stacked front 7.
GM:u/drummerguy555 1.01: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU 2.33: Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan After securing Joe Burrow, I took Ruiz with the Bengals as he is definitely the best IOL prospect in this class and is a nice piece to have for protecting Burrow and helping Mixon. Hall is a very underrated prospect that will help this ailing defense.
GM:u/drummerguy555 1.10: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia 2.41: Lucas Niang, OT, TCU 3.74: Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida 3.97: Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida It was the best tackle available for me here and luckily it happened to be my favorite tackle in this class, Andrew Thomas. Thomas has been a victim of over-analyzing and overthinking in my opinion - his technique and polish make him extremely pro-ready. He will fit in well in Cleveland as a Day 1 starter. Continuing to bolster this o-line in the hopes of enabling this stacked offense to unlock its full potential, I took Lucas Niang who is an extremely athletic tackle with lots of upside. BPA for the next two picks happened to be a pair of Edges from Florida in Jonathan Greenard (in love with his arms/length) and Jabari Zuniga who will give this d-line some quality depth.
GM:u/sbe003 TRADE: 1.17 for 1.20, 3.73 1.20: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU 2.51: Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota 3.73: Nick Harris, IOL, Washington 3.82: Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina With Dallas’ pick, I selected LSU CB Kristian Fulton. The obvious successor to Byron Jones, Fulton has smooth feet, fluid hips, refined technique, tremendous awareness and the physicality needed to become a shutdown corner in the NFL. With the second pick, I took S Antoine Winfield Jr. from Minnesota. His 2017 and 2018 campaigns were marred by injury. However, when we got to see him throughout the 2019 season, simply put he was dominant. Winfield is a highly aggressive, urgent football player and has the upside to become an impact starter in Dallas. With Dallas’ third and fourth picks I went with IOL Nick Harris and WR Bryan Edwards. While Harris probably can’t replace Travis Fredericks, he provides depth at IOL and could be a starting option with a bit of time. Edwards provides Dak Prescott with another strong option and added depth to a receivers room that lost Randall Cobb to free agency.
GM:u/sbe003 1.15: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida 2.46: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson 3.77: Jordan Elliott, IDL, Missouri 3.83: Trey Adams, OT, Washington 3.95: Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State I was really hoping Henry Ruggs fell to pick 15 but unfortunately the Eagles decided to step in and make pick 15 just a little bit harder. I wasn’t really willing to reach on a receiver at 15 and there weren't any trade back options so with the Broncos’ first-round pick I decided to address CB given the recent departure of Chris Harris Jr. to the division rival Chargers. With pick 15 I selected C.J. Henderson. Henderson has size, length, fluidity, quickness, speed and coverage instincts give him a chance to be a top corner that is tasked with shutting down the opposition's top receiver, someone who can become the No. 1 corner on that Denver depth chart. With the Broncos’ second pick I decided to address WR and take Tee Higgins. Personally, I don’t buy into Higgins’ late 1stround projections. However, when he was still on the board midway through the 2nd I had to take him. He has excellent ball skills, hands and the ability to position himself favorably to win at the catch point. His concentration and body control are highly impressive. With the third, fourth and fifth picks, I addressed IDL, OT and LB. Positions that the Broncos could improve and Trey Adams, Jordan Elliot and Akeem Davis-Gaither could all develop into viable starters/rotation players.
GM:u/drummerguy555 TRADE: 1.03 for 1.05, 1.18, 3,70 1.05: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State 1.18: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa TRADE: 2.35 for 2.40, 3.90 2.40: Lynn Bowden Jr., WR, Kentucky 3.67: Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU 3.70: Noah Igbinoghehe, CB, Auburn 3.85: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU 3.90: Troy Dye, LB, Oregon There’s a lot to break down here: The Lions trade back and still get their guy. Okudah is the latest product of Ohio State’s secondary which has given birth to some outstanding players like Marshon Lattimore, Denzel Ward, Eli Apple among others and Okudah just might be the best of them. Epenesa is another underrated prospect in my opinion and getting him at 18 is great value. Yeah, you read that right. Lynn f*cking Bowden Jr. in the 2nd round. The true swiss-army knife player is one of the most dynamic players to come out in a while and I think come draft day teams will be very interested in him, shooting him up boards. The Lions could use the playmaking ability and versatility as a WRB/QB/CB? for Wildcat formation, end-arounds, sweeps, etc. He will find a home as a Taysom Hill-like gadget player with loads more speed but lacking in the throwing department. Besides, after trading back the Lions can afford to be a little risky here. As far as the rest of the draft, Cushenberry is a nice piece for that interior o-line, Igbinoghene will help their secondary, Edwards-Helaire provides a versatile and reliable three-down back with great value towards the end of the 3rd round and Dye is certainly a startable player with a great ceiling.
Green Bay Packers
GM:u/sbe003 TRADE: 1.23 for 1.30, 4.136, 2021 GB 2nd 1.23: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU 2.62: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington\ 3.94: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia The Packers need to give Aaron Rodgers more weapons. It was abundantly obvious after the last 2 seasons that Rodgers simply doesn’t trust any of his receivers outside of Davante Adams. Hence with the Packer’s first-round pick I selected Jalen Reagor. Reagor is a dynamic football player with blazing speed and rapid acceleration that makes him a big-play threat in the passing game. He’s creative, explosive and an overall speed mismatch, providing Aaron Rodgers with a much needed no2 receiver. With the Packer’s second pick I selected Jacob Eason. Yes, Jacob Eason the quarterback out of Washington. Looking back on it, not sure if this was the smartest pick now that I realize Rodgers still has at least 4 years left in Green Bay. However, Eason does have a big arm and with some grooming could become a polished starter that could take over from Aaron Rodgers if the opportunity presents itself and that’s a big if. With the packer’s third pick I selected OT Isaiah Wilson, someone who could provide a replacement to Bryan Bulaga.
GM:u/sbe003 TRADE: 2.35 for 2.40, 3.90 2.35: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor 2.57: Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah Houston wasn’t in the best position to really do anything in this draft. Wonder why Bill O’Brien? Either way, with the minimal draft capital I had, I selected WR Denzel Mims and EDGE Bradlee Anae. Mims has the upside to start and be a highly productive weapon for an NFL offense given his natural athleticism, physicality and good catch radius. While he is nowhere near a replacement for Deandre Hopkins he does provide some small amount of compensation. With the second pick, I took Bradlee Anae, who could become a viable starter on that somewhat formidable D-Line.
GM:u/drummerguy555 2.34: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado 2.44: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State 2.75: Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia With their first pick at 34, Laviska Shenault falls to them giving Rivers a shifty playmaker to use. While many have dropped Dantzler down their boards after his combine performance, I still believe he is a very good option for a second-round corner based on his excellent tape from Mississippi State. Finally, Rivers is only here for a year so Fromm can sit and learn behind the hall of famer for a year before getting his shot. He is my QB5 and I think he could work very well in Indy.
GM:u/sbe003 TRADE: 1.09 for 1.23, 3.98, 4.25, 2020 NE 1st TRADE: 1.17 for 1.20, 3.73 1.17: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU TRADE: 1.23 for 1.30, 4.136, 2021 GB 2nd 1.30: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama 2.42: Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma 3.98: Ashtyn Davis, S, California Jacksonville had quite a lot of draft capital in this year’s draft thanks to the Jalen Ramsey that sent him to L.A. Jacksonville saw a lot of trading action in the first round. First trading back with the Patriots, sending pick 9 to New England in exchange for pick 23, a 2021 1st, pick 98 and pick 125. I then traded up with the cowboys to acquire K’Lavon Chaisson who has a toolbox that is overflowing with explosive burst, freaky bend and a motor that never runs idle. His foundation to work from in terms of developing his pass rush skill set is rare and he provides another edge rusher to complement Josh Allen and Yannick Ngakoue. With Jacksonville's second 1st round pick, I again traded back, this time with Green Bay. At pick 30 I selected Trevon Diggs who excels in press and zone coverage and profiles as a nice starting boundary corner. While he may not be ‘the guy’ to replace Jalen Ramsey, he certainly provides some much-needed help to a depleted secondary. With Jacksonville’s 3rd pick I selected DT Neville Gallimore, a big man who could provide a replacement for Calais Campbell on that D-Line. Safety Ashytn Davis was the 4th pick for Jacksonville, again someone who could help bolster that depleted secondary.
Kansas City Chiefs
GM:u/drummerguy555 1.32: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU 2.63: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State 3.96: Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas The reigning super bowl champs solidify their LB core with Patrick Queen, the speedy defender from LSU. Dobbins falls all the way to 63 where the Chiefs pick him up to get a workhorse back for years to come. Finally, this WR adds another speedster in Devin Duvernay (Kyler Murray’s cousin) who will open yet another option for Mahomes.
Las Vegas Raiders
GM:u/sbe003 1.12: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma 1.19: Grant Delpit, S, LSU 3.80: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma 3.81: Ben Bartch, OT, Houston 3.91: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan Still feels a bit weird to say the Las Vegas Raiders but either way, with Las Vegas’ first 1stround pick I selected CeeDee Lamb. Lamb profiles as No. 1 wide receiver at the next level that can be the focal point of the passing attack. He’s a threat at all levels of the field with great body control, ball skills, hands and instincts and provides Derek Carr or whichever QB Gruden decides to use with a No. 1 wide receiver in a receiver room that leaves a bit to be desired. With the second 1st round pick I selected Grant Delpit out of LSU. Delpit brings a lot to the table and he projects favorably to becoming a high-impact safety in the NFL. He’s versatile, physical, urgent, smart, athletic and his skill set is perfect for matching up against the pace and space present in today’s NFL offenses and provides Las Vegas with someone to start at the Free Safety spot across from last year’s 1st round pick Jonathan Abram. With Las Vegas’ third pick I selected Jalen Hurts. I’m not entirely convinced John Gruden wants to keep Derek Carr around much longer and I think Hurts might be his guy. Whether Hurts would become the starting QB within a year or two is a complete mystery but his play at Oklahoma this past year was exceptional and he provides a good dual-threat skillset. With Las Vegas’ last two picks in round 3, I chose OT Ben Bartch and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones with both players providing more depth on offense for Gruden and the Raiders.
Los Angeles Chargers
GM:u/sbe003 1.06: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon 2.37: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU 3.71: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame With the Chargers officially breaking up with Phillip Rivers over the summer, they have been in search of a new franchise QB and while for now they claim Tyrod Taylor will be the starter going into the 2020 season I’m not really convinced by that. So with the Chargers first pick I chose QB Justin Herbert. Herbert has every physical gift desirable in a quarterback prospect. His peaks are incredibly exciting and his starting point for his NFL career is at a good place given his improvements from 2018 to 2019. Herbert could be L.A’s new franchise QB and maybe this time the Chargers can actually get to a Super Bowl? With the Charger’s second and third picks I selected CB Jeff Gladney and WR Chase Claypool. Looking back on the Gladney pick, I’m not necessarily annoyed but I realize CB is less of a need currently given the recent signing of Chris Harris Jr. However, Gladney is a versatile cornerback whose skill set in man coverage is really exciting. His rapid footwork, smooth hips, physicality, speed and route mirroring skills make him a dynamic option in man, soft press and off-man coverage, providing the Chargers with a more long term option at CB. Chase Claypool provides a big physical red-zone target for Justin Herbert and should have a good role in that offense alongside Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry.
Los Angeles Rams
GM:u/drummerguy555 2.52: Matthew Peart, OT, UConn 3.84: Zack Moss, RB, Utah 3.104: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech The Rams take Matthew Peart with their first selection, a beast of a human who needs time to develop but has massive upside. Luckily, Andrew Whitworth won’t be around forever but he does have time to mentor Peart into an excellent tackle for when he’s gone. With Gurley released, the Rams backfield has become somewhat of a mystery, by taking Moss here, the Rams get a do-it-all back for a cheap price. Moss has become one of my favorite running backs in this class and will fit well in a Rams scheme that uses RB’s fairly regularly. Finally, with the loss of Cory Littleton in free agency to the Raiders, the Rams take Jordyn Brooks to give them some LB depth.
GM:u/drummerguy555 TRADE: 1.03 for 1.05, 1.18, 3.70 1.03: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama 1.26: Josh Jones, OT, Houston 2.39: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia 2.56: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama Miami traded up to take my QB1 in this class, Tua Tagovailoa. The rebuilding Miami has put together an excellent coaching staff, lots of young talent and added solid franchise players in free agency. Securing their QB for the future is the next step and Tua is a great fit to sit behind Fitzmagic (the only player over 30 on the Dolphins) and learn for a bit. While Miami did pay a steep price, it is for a top 3 pick and rights to a special talent at QB. At 26, Miami needs to protect Tua and Josh Jones is a great fit - he’s big but surprisingly nimble with decent technique. In the first of Miami’s 2nd round selections, I took the first running back off the board, D’Andre Swift, who fell all the way to 39. Swift can rush, catch, block - all really, really well. A good 3 down back is a rookie QB’s best friend and that’s the type of support Swift will provide. With the 56th pick, I went BPA with Terrell Lewis. He’s a nice piece in building this defense for the future. Hopefully, these picks serve as a fundamental step in creating the New Miami Patriots, oops I mean Dolphins.
GM:u/drummerguy555 1.22: Ross Blacklock, IDL, TCU 1.25: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson 2.58: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn 3.89: Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois 3.105: Van Jefferson, WR, Florida With the 22nd pick, Minnesota took TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. Blacklock has quickly become one of my favorite prospects in this draft and I’ve written on this sub lately about how much he excites me. Minnesota secures a quality starter for a decade here. Another sleeper of mine (and quite a few others) is A.J. Terell who the Vikings selected at 25 to bolster their aging secondary. Luckily now, the Vikings have got rid of the literal piece of burnt toast that was Xavier Rhodes (PFF’s 112th ranked corner out of 115 - 2020 Pro Bowler LMFAO). In his place Terrell’s ultra-competitive spirit and mental toughness will fit in well and along with Harrison Smith, will return this secondary back into one of the NFL’s elite. At 58, the Vikings grab Prince Tega Wanogho who will definitely help the Vikings struggles at o-line. With 89, I continued to support their secondary with Jeremy Chinn who will provide a quality body in that safety room. To finish off, I took Florida’s Van Jefferson for some speed to go along with Thielen.
New England Patriots
GM:u/drummerguy555 TRADE: 1.09 for 1.23, 3.98, 4.25, 2020 NE 1st 1.09: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State 3.87: Nick Coe, EDGE, Auburn 3.100: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame Many will not agree with the moves I made with the Patriots which is fine, this is just what I would do. I think the Patriots have a few options but all of them include getting a new QB whether that be Cam, Love, Fromm or Lawrence (these are the ones I think are good fits in NE) - they can’t waste this still excellent roster with Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham at QB. They all have their benefits - Cam could return to an MVP level and revitalize this Patriots offense, Fromm is very similar to Brady in playstyle and therefore will fit seamlessly into this system as a Day 1 starter and Lawrence is my favorite prospect since Luck. However, I think the Patriots window is still very open and I would like to see them make moves to compete this year. That’s why I have them trading up to the 9th pick to select Jordan Love. He has one of the nicest throwing motions I’ve ever seen and true MVP potential. His dual-threat ability will bring some life into this offense and put the Patriots in a great position to retain the AFC East and compete for another Super Bowl. With the 87th pick, I have the Patriots taking Nick Coe from Auburn. With experience all over the d-line at Auburn, I’m sure Belichick will find a way to utilize his talents. Finally, the Patriots still need a TE after Gronk’s retirement and Kmet’s athleticism makes him a great value pick at pick 100.
New Orleans Saints
GM:u/drummerguy555 1.24: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU 3.88: Evan Weaver, LB, California While Emmanuel Sanders is the best receiver they’ve had line up across from Michael Thomas since Brandin Cooks, in all honesty, I don’t think he’s the answer there - more of a solid WR3 then a WR2. So with the 24th pick, I took the local kid Justin Jefferson who is basically a fresher and quicker Emmanuel Sanders. This gives the Saints an elite WR core that any secondary will have an extremely tough time covering. With pick 88, I took Evan Weaver, an underrated LB from Cal that will provide an option in the future for this aging LB core. Hopefully, this draft is enough to get the Saints over the hump and send Brees off with another ring.
New York Giants
GM:u/sbe003 1.04: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa TRADE: 1.31 for 2.36, 3.99, 5.150 1.31: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama With New York’s first pick I toyed with the idea of taking Isaiah Simmons. However, Daniel Jones, Dave Gettleman’s golden boy needs to be protected. The Giants O-Line is subpar, so with New York’s first selection, I took Tristan Wirfs, someone who was an incredibly high riser after a dominant combine performance. Wirfs is a powerful man with impressive mobility that should make him an asset in the run game and out in space and has the upside to become one of the better offensive linemen in the game. He’ll most likely slot in at right tackle but could also swing over to the interior and play guard. With New York’s second pick, I chose to trade up with the 49ers to pick 31. With this pick, I selected S Xavier McKinney. McKinney is a versatile defensive back that can fill multiple roles at a high level for an NFL defense. Whether it’s deep zones, man coverage from the slot or lining up close to the line of scrimmage, McKinney can execute. He showcases good processing speed, functional athleticism and the size needed to perform. He can bolster New York’s awful secondary and become a starting safety in New York for years to come.
New York Jets
GM:u/drummerguy555 1.11: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama 2.48: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State 3.68: Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota 3.79: Joshua Uche, EDGE, Michigan For me, the O-line is by far the biggest need for the Jets and while I usually believe in BPA, the Jets really, really need o-line help. That’s why the Jets pass on Jeudy and Lamb at 11 and take the best RT in this class, Jedrick Wills. A little raw but with great athleticism, he will protect Darnold for many years to come. At 48, I continued to support this O-line with Ezra Cleveland - the athletic freak from Boise State. With the highest relative pSPARQ percentile of any prospect at this year’s combine, I went back to his tape to find a prospect with surprisingly good technique. Hopefully, he will develop into a great tackle to go along with Wills and give the Jets a solid start at rebuilding this o-line. At 68, I decided to address WR with Tyler Johnson who gives Darnold a nice option outside and with 79 I went BPA with Joshua Uche off the edge.
GM:u/drummerguy555 TRADE: 1.14 for 1.21, 3.103, 2021 PHI 2nd 1.14: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama 2.53: Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne With corner finally sorted out after missing out on Ramsey, the eagles can focus on building their WR core. In the few games Desean Jackson played, we saw how beneficial it is to Carson Wentz and this offense when there’s a speedy deep threat on the field. That’s why I’m trading up to 14 with the Eagles to select the lightning-quick Henry Ruggs II, sniping the Broncos in the process. The Eagles decided to let 3-time pro bowler Malcolm Jenkins go leaving a hole in their coverage unit. Selecting Kyle Dugger at 53 solves this problem as the huge but speedy safety from Lenoir Rhyne can fly around the field for the Eagles.
GM:u/drummerguy555 2.49: Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State 3.102: Khalid Kareem, EDGE, Notre Dame I decided to take Netane Muti with pick 49 whose athleticism and versatility help protect Big Ben and support whoever is running the ball in Pittsburgh. With pick 102, I went BPA with Khalid Kareem off the edge to give the Steelers some options on the d-line.
San Francisco 49ers
GM:u/sbe003 1.13: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama TRADE: 1.31 for 2.36, 3.99, 5.150 2.36: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin 3.99: Leki Fotu, IDL, Utah With San Fran’s first pick I selected WR Jerry Jeudy. Trading DeForest Buckner to the Colts was a move that I didn’t necessarily like but it was the right move to make and if San Fran can land Jerry Jeudy in the draft it will almost certainly make up for the loss of Buckner. Jeudy projects as a true No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL that a passing game can be funneled through. Alabama lined him up all across the formation and he features the versatility to do the same in the NFL and not restrict the offensive scheme. One can only imagine what kinds of things Kyle Shanahan might get up to with Jerry Jeudy in his offense. With the Niner’s second pick I traded out of pick 31 and picked up picks 36, 99 and 150 from the Giants. With pick 36 I took IOL Tyler Biadasz. I really thought about taking CB here but I figured with a team that revolved so heavily around the run, the interior offensive line was really lacking. Biadasz is a powerful run blocker and a wall in pass protection. He’s outstanding on the move and his football intelligence shines. He is someone that will anchor the Niners' offensive line for years to come. With the third pick, I selected DT Leki Fotu, who provides even more depth to that still monstrous defensive line even with the loss of DeForest Buckner.
GM:u/sbe003 1.27: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State 2.59: Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin 2.64: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State 3.101: Shane Lemieux, IOL, Oregon With the Seahawks I went pretty much all defense, helping to rebuild that unit to mirror at least some remnant of its former Legion of Boom moniker. With Seattle’s first pick I selected Yetur Gross-Matos. Gross-Matos has every quality needed to become a dynamic pass rusher and run defender at the next level. His blend of burst, length, size, power and fluidity is impressive and his deployment of his traits leads to disruptive moments. He can provide a more dominant presence on a defensive line that lost a few pieces to free agency. With the next 2 picks, I went back to defense selecting CB Damon Arnette and EDGE Zach Baun. Both players provide good depth and could develop into nice rotational pieces. I do believe of the two, Baun could develop into a very nice starter and one who could fill in at linebacker for Jadeveon Clowney who may or may not be returning to Seattle nobody really knows at this point. I selected IOL Shane Lemieux with the Seahawks fourth pick. Again, for a team that is very run-heavy they lost a lot of key pieces on the O-Line through free agency, Lemieux can help depth on the O-Line and be a potential starter at guard for the Seahawks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
GM:u/sbe003 TRADE: 1.14 for 1.21, 3.103, 2021 PHI 2nd 1.21: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville 2.45: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin 3.76: Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M 3.103: Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee Tampa Bay got their guy. Tom Brady is coming to Tampa for the next 2 years and possibly beyond. Whether he stays after those two years who knows? However, with that in mind, Tampa Bay needs to protect Brady and give him a defense which he can somewhat rely on. With Tampa’s first pick I took Mekhi Becton. I traded down with the Eagles as the top 3 tackle prospects I wanted were all gone by 14. However, Becton was still available at pick 21. A massive man, Becton has the playing strength expected for a man of his stature which he combines with a maulers mentality that leads to gaping holes in the run game. In pass protection, Becton has smoother feet than expected and tremendous length that helps him maintain the width of the pocket. Becton is sure to be a solid starter on the O-Line helping Tom Brady and that non-existent run game. Speaking of the run game, with Tampa’s second pick I took RB Jonathan Taylor. Ronald Jones ain’t it chief. Taylor can come in day 1 and be the bell-cow back in Arians’ offense. He averaged over 2,000 years a season at Wisconsin and has a rare blend of size, burst and power. Taylor is someone who is sure to succeed in the Bruce Arians system. With Tampa’s next 2 picks I selected DT Justin Madubuike and EDGE Darrell Taylor. Two prospects that can shore up Tampa’s front seven and become good starters in the near future.
GM:u/sbe003 1.29: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma 2.61: Jack Driscoll, OT, Auburn 3.93: Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA With the Titans' first pick, I decided to go with the best player available and select LB Kenneth Murray. Murray is a tone-setter on the second level, he’s an urgent, aggressive and physical defender with outstanding range. He plays with an unrelenting motor and flies all over the field in pursuit. With the Titans second pick, I selected OT Jack Driscoll. Driscoll is a decent tackle coming out of Auburn with outstanding technique but lacking in athleticism and could provide as a solid replacement for Jack Conklin. With the Titans third pick I selected CB Darnay Holmes. He provides solid depth to a bit of a lackluster corner group, whether Holmes would really make an impact as a starter is hard to say.
GM:u/sbe003 1.02: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State 3.66: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC With the 2nd overall selection, there have been grumblings coming out of Washington that they’d be picking a QB, I don’t really buy it and I’d prefer if Haskins didn’t turn into Josh Rosen 2.0. So with Washington’s first pick, I made the obvious selection of DE Chase Young. Do I really need to say a lot about this pick? Young is a beast. He profiles as an instant impact edge defender with the upside to become one of the NFL's most prolific defensive playmakers. He’s polished, powerful, athletic and features every desirable physical trait needed to excel in the NFL. With Washington’s second pick I selected Michael Pittman Jr. Pittman was pretty good at USC. He has a massive catch radius and features a long, stocky frame with outstanding hands. He’s physical in everything he does and defensive backs will be challenged with his blend of size, strength and ball skills. He could provide Washington with a solid No. 2 receiver for Haskins, who outside of Terry McLaurin doesn’t really have a lot of weapons. Thanks for reading (however much of the 6100 words you did). We had a great time making this and can't wait for the draft! :)
As Quest Mage has been nerfed, the pressure of the meta has decreased. This meta report lists multiple decks, including decks that are low in popularity.
This wild meta report is based on the authors' perspective through many matches and historical experience and through the analysis of ladder deck specialists on the Chinese server.
This wild meta report pertains to the MMR range corresponding to players with 9 bonus stars and above and ignores MMR less than 9 bonus stars as that meta is insufficiently competitive; decks there are less refined and less worthy of analysis. If you have less than 9 bonus stars pick a strong aggro deck and climb out of that meta.
This wild meta report is planned to be updated monthly. In extreme circumstances extensions may be necessary but we still plan to update it monthly.
This wild meta report may be less accurate soon after a patch; as time passes it will become more accurate, but owing to the limits of individual perspective and the lack of sufficient data, accuracy is not guaranteed.
Meta overview: Ashes of Outland is receiving its second "legal hearing". After Quest Mage received its "last meal" of Evocation before its upcoming execution (nerf), it learned that it was only to be demoted. Odd Demon Hunter was similarly demoted but its punishment was more akin to a fine. But relatively speaking, Quest Mage survived, while Darkest Hour Warlock was hauled to the chopping block. That deck that terrorized for more than a year was hauled off of its high horse. Mecha’thun Warlock also did not escape punishment (with the Bloodbloom nerf). The second round of nerfs was targeted at Quest Mage, Darkest Hour Warlock, and Standard Demon Hunter. But the nerfs to Bad Luck Albatross and Sacrificial Pact cannot be ignored. The nerf of the former relieves pressure from highlander decks, while that of the latter means that Warlock and Demon Hunter will be less susceptible to Zephrys the Great. The nerf to Kael’thas Sunstrider was targeted at Standard Druid but also hit Wild Druid. With regard to Wild format, the biggest effect of the nerf was to weaken Quest Mage while Odd Demon Hunter was not crippled and continues to dominate ladder. The nerf to Darkest Hour Warlock was inconsequential as after Shadow Word: Ruin was added to Zephrys’ Discover pool, the deck ceased to have heavily favored matchups. Losing Darkest Hour Warlock did not significantly change the other decks in the meta. The widely feared Quest Mage is no longer as consistent after the nerfs. Flamewaker Quest Mage now needs an excellent starting hand to complete the quest; in the past it was possible to complete the quest without a good hand, but now it is more difficult to do so, indicating the deck is weaker to aggro. Reno Quest Mage is also weakened as it now needs more turns to generate additional spells to complete the quest. On the whole, both variants of Quest Mage have been hit hard by the nerf and their popularity has nosedived, leading to a meta in flux. Decks that were previously suppressed by Quest Mage have resurfaced. Among these are Hemet Mecha’thun Warlock and Reno Priest demonstrating decent popularity, which fare well against decks not Quest Mage. Like Quest Mage, the aforementioned two decks have OTK potential, albeit less reliably. Reno Priest relies on drawing Raza the Chained and Shadowreaper Anduin and cannot OTK before turn 8. Quest Mecha’thun Warlock can win as early as turn 7, and usually around turn 10. Relatively speaking, Mecha’thun Warlock has supplanted Quest Mage as the sharp blade that suppresses slower strategies. The decline in popularity of Quest Mage can partially be attributed to its replacement by these other combo decks. It would seem that slower decks struggle in this meta, but that is not the case. As the saying goes, combo decks counter control. But in the case of Reno Priest that is not entirely correct. Reno Priest can struggle against the pressure of midrange and control but it fares better against some aggro. The deck is simply a highlander control deck in the guise of a combo deck; its combo potential is a case of “buy one get one free”. Mecha’thun Warlock rather counters control, but its weaknesses are evident. It fears Dirty Rat, it fears Loatheb on its combo turns, and it must watch its health total. Older Mecha’thun Warlock lists that included Voidcaller or quest were less susceptible to Dirty Rat as the only target was Mecha’thun itself. But the current deck also has as its Dirty Rat targets Dollmaster Dorian and Kael’thas Sunstrider, without either its combo is impossible. Once a control deck has Dirty Rat in hand, it has a higher chance of disrupting the Mecha’thun combo. As a result, neither Reno Priest nor Mecha’thun Warlock have become the killers of control decks. If you want to play a control deck, in theory, you do not need to take into account the existence of Reno Priest nor Mecha’thun Warlock. In spite of this, the wishes of players for a “control meta” are unrealistic. This is because control decks are not inherently strong. If one wants to count on Dead Man’s Hand Warrior, N’Zoth Reno Mage, Reno Shaman etc. being popular, that is clearly impossible. Weaker control decks have not resurfaced, but some mid-control decks have. The classic examples are Reno Hunter and Big Priest. Soon, we may even see Reno Warlock and Even Warlock reappear. While control decks may not face pressure from combo decks, the current meta environment is full of aggro decks, such as Even Shaman, Odd Paladin, Pirate (Token) Druid, Murloc Paladin that rely on flooding the board; lacking a board clear can mean being snowballed to a quick defeat. There also exist aggro decks like Secret Mage, Odd Demon Hunter, Galakrond Warrior that rely on early tempo combined with direct burn; taking excess damage from an early board can result in a dangerous position. Aggro decks are becoming gradually more well-rounded and are able to reliably construct strong early boards, access burn strategies, and maintain pressure without running out of resources. This means non-aggro decks must have the full suite of counter strategies, including small board clears, large board wipes, single target removal, and healing. As it is hard to have all of the above, this indicates that non-aggro strategies will be unfavored. By Hearthstone’s nature, aggro dominates, unless the non-aggro deck is extremely broken, like Quest Mage before its nerf. From the advent of the Wild format aggro has been king. Even when there have appeared extremely strong combo decks, the counters that arise are aggro decks. The current meta lacks ridiculous combo decks, so the aggro deck that beats the other aggro decks must be the strongest deck in the format. Last patch those decks were Even Shaman and Galakrond Warrior. No aggro deck clearly dominates the others in the current meta, but based on popularity, Odd Demon Hunter at 20% of the “meta slave” meta (not exactly sure what this means) may be the strongest. But the deck is not perfect and has many inherent weaknesses, and counters may arise in future. Once the deck’s popularity drops, the meta will be shaken up again. Currently, the meta has not stabilized. Any change in a deck can have a butterfly effect. There are many decks with undeveloped potential. In the near future, many decks can either find new life or drop in popularity.
Popular meta tech cards: There is no doubt the popularity of certain tech cards can be used to gauge meta conditions.
As Odd Demon Hunter comprises 20% of the "meta slave" meta, this card enjoys high popularity, even in the mirror.
Like Blowtorch Saboteur, this card targets Odd Demon Hunter, but it also affects one's own hero power. Thus, it is commonly ran in aggro lists that do not rely on its hero power, such as Galakrond Warrior and Token Druid.
Glacial Shard/Frozen Shadoweaver
These two cards serve the same purpose: to slow down one of Odd Demon Hunter's key turns can lead to victory. But owing to their mana costs, it is usually ran only by Odd Demon Hunter for the mirror.
Secret EateChief Inspector
Secret Mage is increasing in popularity. As long as that deck exists, so will these two tech cards.
The meta is not lacking in crucial 1-cost spells. Quest Mage relies on 1-cost spells to finish its quest, Jade Druid will often concede after this card is played, and both Odd Warrior and various Warlock decks use 1-cost spells. A well-timed Geist can swing a victory. But owing to its high mana cost, this card is typically only played in control decks as it fits poorly in a mana curve.
Silence is often directed at Voidcaller and Mech Paladin's buffed mechs, but owing to the decline in popularity of Voidcaller and the near disappearance of Mech Paladin, these two cards are less important.
Maiev's not merely another Spellbreaker. It can be used to neutralize a large minion for two turns and gain the tempo advantage. But when used to bypass taunts, yes, it is another Spellbreaker.
Acidic Swamp Ooze/Gluttonous Ooze
For a while, weapons have been among the stronger types of cards in Hearthstone. Weapons tend to be stronger than minions and spells of the same cost. As the Wild format contains must-remove weapons, Oozes will always see play.
Dirty Rat saw little play when Quest Mage was the premier OTK deck. But now that (Hemet) Mecha'thun Warlock has taken that crown, Dirty Rat is very effective tech against that.
Nerub'ar Weblord is played in Even Shaman and Token Druid. As many key minions, such as highlander minions, rely on battlecries this card is effective against those. But its effect is a double-edged sword and thus it is limited to the aforementioned decks.
Decks: 1, Odd Demon Hunter Following two rounds of severe nerfs, Odd Demon Hunter remains strong. Demon Hunter has many strong individual cards; despite the nerfs to Imprisoned Antaen, Aldrachi Warblades, Skull of Gul'dan, and Battlefiend, it retains Priestess of Fury and Warglaives of Azzinoth. However, the nerf to Battlefiend weakened Demon Hunter's early game. Demon Hunter was not destroyed by the nerfs; though the nerf to Altruis, the Outcast removed the class's ability to wipe the board in the middle to lategame, Priestess of Fury serves a similar purpose. However, Demon Hunter is not perfect; the deck has many weaknesses. Odd Demon Hunter is unable to deal with a large minion or multiple mid-sized minions. The deck is carried by the strength of its individual cards and its suitability to the meta. Its cheap silence in Consume Magic targets the format's powerful minions (Voidlord, Even Shaman's totems, Mech Paladin's mechs). Mana Burn limits the snowball ability of other aggro. Odd Demon Hunter's early minions are not strong, and do not seriously threaten opponents, but Priestess of Fury compensates for this. After the second round of nerfs, Vulpera Scoundrel saw increased play and is included in the most popular lists. The Pirate package has begun to be abandoned and replaced with Beaming Sidekick to strengthen early tempo. As for tech cards, there exist Blowtorch Saboteur, Glacial Shard, Frozen Shadoweaver, and Chief Inspector, with the former being the most popular for the mirror. AAEBAea5AwSvBPoOnvgCw7wDDevCAqbvAv2nA6K3A8S8A7rGA8fGA9TIA9fIA/fIA/nIA/7IA/LJAwA=
2, Galakrond Warrior For a long time, Galakrond Warrior was built around a Pirate shell, with N'Zoth's First Mate allowing the deck to gain early tempo. This is why the deck is good in Wild but only mediocre in Standard. At times, builds that eschewed the Pirates for Eternium Rover and bombs also saw play. As highlander decks are stronger and thus more prevalent in Wild than Standard, the bomb package, despite being low in tempo in both formats, sees more play in Wild. Pirates retain a place in Galakrond Warrior, but the nerf to Bad Luck Albatross leads it to be ejected in favor of the bomb package to target control. Thus, Pirate bomb Galakrond Warrior is the optimal build, with the Pirates able to combat aggro while the bombs disrupt control. The deck is very popular and has few counters. How many bomb cards or tech cards to include remains a question. Possible tech cards include Blowtorch Saboteur, Maiev Shadowsong, Mindbreaker, and Spellbreaker. These tech cards are of two uses: to bypass taunts or to target even/odd decks. AAEBAQcG1AWFF5G8At+tA+O0A8XAAwzGFYKwAp3wApeUA5qUA9itA9qtA92tA/6uA6qvA9KvA6u2AwA=
3, Odd Paladin Though Paladin's popularity is low, it is undeniable that data from Netease Hearthstone Box (tracking Chinese server) and HSReplay demonstrate that the class has the highest winrate. At the very least, it can be said that the class is not weak, and Odd Paladin is the strongest of its decks. Post-patch, the meta is more suitable for Odd Paladin as Odd Demon Hunter is now an even more favorable matchup. But, Odd Demon Hunter's popularity has not dropped and it continues to suppress Even Shaman and slow Warlocks (Odd Paladin is not unfavored versus slow Warlocks and the latter's decline in popularity means that Odd Paladin can afford to cut a tech card), indicating that Odd Demon Hunter has created an optimal meta condition for Odd Paladin. Though Odd Paladin's popularity is only so-so, it is already a very strong deck. Still, the deck retains its drawbacks. Despite suppression by Odd Demon Hunter, Even Shaman still sees play. The rise of Pirate Warrior also signals trouble for Odd Paladin. Odd Paladin's cards seem out of place in the explosive Wild format. Stable, unlikely to clog the hand, and smooth tempo all seem not to be characteristics a Wild deck should have. With regards to deckbuilding, there are many ways to build Odd Paladin. Fungalmancer and Faceless Corruptor compete for the 5-cost slot. Unidentified Maul and Rallying Blade vy for the 3-cost position. There are many differences in potential 1-drops. Brazen Zealot is unsuited for the aggro-heavy meta but the Pirate package is. Libram of Justice being changed to cost 5 mana renders it a candidate for inclusion, but it is at best a tactical soft removal that is poor at acquiring initiative. Moreover, with the nerfs to SN1P-SN4P and Darkest Hour Warlock, decks that can build tall and wide boards, Libram of Justice seems only better than nothing. For gaining tempo, Faceless Corruptor appears superior. AAEBAZ8FBqcF+g7YFJG8Ap74Ao6aAwxG1AXsD+0P0xP/rwK4xwLjywL70wL9pwOMrQOCsQMA
4, Hemet Mecha'thun Warlock The nerf to Bloodbloom was a severe blow to Mecha'thun Warlock. The deck that should have received the torch from Quest Mage now was nowhere to be seen. Ever since the release of Kael'thas Sunstrider, a deck running Hemet, Jungle Hunter that relied on Dollmaster Dorian + Plot Twist + any cheap spell + Cataclysm to initiate the Mecha'thun combo had appeared. That deck could combo quickly, but it was slower than, and heavily unfavored against Quest Mage. After the Quest Mage nerf, Mecha'thun Warlock has begun to see more play; the Hemet version now fully displacing the quest version. Hemet Mecha'thun Warlock's speed and power have yet to reach the heights reached by Quest Mage, but it is still remarkable. A Hemet played on turn 6 is a countdown to the opponent's defeat. Though the deck is fast, it is heavily reliant on drawing Hemet. If Hemet is not drawn early, the deck can have trouble surviving: because it lacks Aranasi Broodmother for healing, this variant of Mecha'thun Warlock faces more pressure on its life total and is weaker to aggro. Despite Kael'thas Sunstrider being able to replicate the effect of Bloodbloom, the nerf to the latter still has an effect on lists that run Emperor Thaurissan. Drakkari Enchanter is used to allow for Thaurissan to discount one's hand twice. Now, Bloodbloom is replaced with two cards, Kael'thas and Drakkari Enchanter instead of one, making for a clunkier deck. AAEBAf0GCvsB7QXDFp3HAvLQAs7pAsLxAvH7Ao+CA666AwqcAsQIibQC3sQC58sC2psDnakD66wDtLYDvb4DAA==
4.1, Quest Mecha'thun Warlock Though Quest Mecha'thun Warlock has almost completely disappeared, that does not mean it is unplayable. Its advantage is that it can sometimes work miracles after quest completion. The inclusion of Aranasi Broodmother means it can heal with Plot Twist, making it better against aggro than the Hemet variant. It must be noted that Quest Mecha'thun Warlock should include a copy of Drakkari Enchanter to duplicate the effect of Thaurissan. Kael'thas Sunstrider is superfluous. It is important to be able to combo even without Dollmaster Dorian. Playing Dorian and Plot Twist with 7 mana can let the deck flood the board and survive for longer. Thus, Dorian allows the deck greater flexibility. AAEBAf0GEO0FxAj7DNYRwxaJtAL94QLO6QLC8QLx+wKggAOPggProwP8owO7pQO9vgMH3sQC58sC8tAC2pYD2psDnakD66wDAA==
5, Even Totem Shaman Ever since its inception at Saviors of Uldum (with the release of Splitting Axe), Even Totem Shaman has been recognized as a tier 1 deck. Through its subsequent widespread promotion during Descent of Dragons, the deck failed to attract the attention of game designers. A "forever god" (referring to a meme about Chinese League of Legends player Uzi) had been born! The arrival of Demon Hunter in Ashes of Outland quickly dispelled that myth. Even Totem Shaman needs to keep its totems alive to snowball, but Odd Demon Hunter clears totems with ease. Even if the totems are buffed with Totemic Might or Totemic Surge, Warglaives of Azzinoth or Consume Magic make short work of the Shaman board. It is natural for a deck to have counters, but when a heavily unfavored matchup, Odd Demon Hunter, comprises 20% of the meta, Even Totem Shaman will struggle. Moreover, the counters to Odd Demon Hunter such as Odd Warrior and the tech card Blowtorch Saboteur also pose problems for Even Totem Shaman. Thus, even without being hit by the nerfs and with a weaker overall meta, Even Totem Shaman has fallen from the strongest deck to a weak deck. Deck strength is relative; it is impossible to discuss the strength of a deck apart from the meta it exists in. The deck is hard to refine owing to its cratering popularity. Even Totem Shaman stagnates in the previous patch, and it is hard to find any strong individual cards to slot in. AAEBAaoIBDPN9AKh+AKDpwMN0wG+BtYPshS1FPuqAqC2Ava9ApTvArDwAp2jA9qlA/mlAwA= AAEBAaoIBM30AqH4AvaKA4OnAw3TAb4G1g+yFPuqAqC2Ava9ApTvAvbwAo/7Ap2jA8+lA9qlAwA=
6, Odd Warrior It can't be left unsaid that Odd Warrior is the champion to counter the meta. Even after the second round of nerfs, Odd Demon Hunter makes up 20% of the meta. As the meta is unsettled, other aggro decks (Pirate Warrior, Discard Warlock, even Murloc Paladin) ready to make trouble are trending up in popularity. Jade Druid and Cube Warlock are popular but not overly so, allowing Odd Warrior an opportunity. With regards to deckbuilding, pre-patch Odd Warrior could afford to exclude Coldlight Oracle, as it did not improve the matchup against Quest Mage and worsened the ones against aggro. But in this meta, the milling murloc is a must, in more and more matchups. AAEBAQcIhRfTxQLD6gKS+AKe+AKggAPyqAO4uQMLS6IE+Af/B6kVgq0CyucCjvsCnvsCs/wC2a0DAA== AAEBAQcIhReS+AKe+AKD+wKggAPyqAOftwO4uQMLS6IE/g2pFYKtAsrnAo77Ap77ArP8AtmtA82+AwA=
7, Odd Rogue The second round of nerfs has had wide-ranging consequences, the most important one being a meta shift to a more midrange and tempo-based environment. In this environment Odd Rogue thrives. Actually Odd Rogue is already suited to the meta and has definite strengths, but the meta shifts in the short time since the second round of nerfs do not show it. In the future Odd Rogue may make a comeback, but it won't be too big of a splash. Owing to its low popularity, innovation has stagnated. The Magic Carpet package is a given, but the details of said package and other cards are uncertain. In this tempo-dependent meta, the authors recommend reinclusion of two copies of SI:7 Agent at the 3-cost spot, and two copies of Faceless Corruptor at the 5. As for other cards, it is up to your own preference. AAEBAaIHCK8E+g7zEZG8AoHCAuvCAp74AqK3AwvUBd0ImxX70wLR4QKm7wKPlwO1nwP9pwO/rgOCsQMA
7.1, Odd Galakrond Rogue The Galakrond package has been tried many times in Odd Rogue but its results are average at best, with its only purpose being to counter Odd Warrior. Otherwise it is useless. AAEBAaIHCq8E+g7zEYUXkbwCgcIC0eECnvgCtZ8Dy8ADCtQFmxXrwgKm7wKPlwP1pwO5rgP+rgPOrwOCsQMA
8, Secret Mage Secret Mage is an offensive deck that focuses on disrupting the opponent. It is not a brainless aggro deck that relies on direct damage to win. Nowadays in the Wild format there are two lines of thought for offensive strategies: one relies on its cards' abilities (weapons, burn etc.) to prevent the opponent from securing board presence while whittling away at their health with its own board until it can find the kill, the other floods the board and hopes the opponent cannot clear. Secret Mage's game plan is the former. It uses cheap Secrets and Secret-synergistic minions to disrupt the opponent's board or prevent them from clearing your own, finally finishing off the opponent with a combination of minion damage and burn. But there is a flaw common to this type of aggro-control, and that is that one's board is not large enough to resist board clears. Secret Mage does not have enough minions and it runs out of cards quickly, so it easily loses tempo if its minions are cleared. Galakrond Warrior, Odd Demon Hunter, Odd Rogue, and other similar decks have more minions than Secret Mage and will not face the same problem. But Secret Mage excels at disrupting the opponent and can easily win if the opponent cannot counter this strategy. Thus, Secret Mage shines against opponents who are unskilled or unfamiliar with Wild. Against better opponents, however, Secrets lose effectiveness. Secret Mages will often opt to include the new Secret, Netherwind Portal. Otherwise, it is little changed. AAEBAf0EBsABiQ66FqLTAr+kA8K4AwxxuwLsBfcN17YC67oCh70CwcECj9MCvqQD3akD9KsDAA==
9, Big Priest Bad Luck Albatross was nerfed, Zephrys the Great is losing IQ, Open the Waygate was severely nerfed: to Big Priest, this is like three happinesses knocking at its door. As the pressure of the meta has decreased, it is even possible to exclude Convincing Infiltrator for greedier resurrect and Shadow Essence targets. Big Priest is inherently favored against aggro and control, but it is kept in check by combo. As combo decks are collapsing, Big Priest is seeing an unstoppable ascent. AAEBAa0GBqirAuq/AujQAqCAA9aZA5ibAwz6EdHBAuXMAubMArTOAvDPAuPpApeHA4KUA5mbA5mpA/KsAwA=
10, Togwaggle Druid The new expansion added Ysiel Windsinger, which, paired with Aviana, allows for the casting of many expensive spells. Of the combo druid decks, Togwaggle Druid is the most reliable. But, combo druid is still low in popularity, so when matched against druid, Jade Druid must be considered first. AAEBAZICDF/pAewV4LsCoM0C/esCmu4C1pkD2p0D26UD9rAD6roDCVb+AYoOmNICntIChOYCv/ICj/YCjPsCAA==
11, Reno Quest Mage Although Open the Waygate was heavily nerfed, it still has a definite power level. For Reno Quest Mage, it can finish the quest, but the extra turns required means it must survive longer. This is not a problem against control but rather aggro. The Bad Luck Albatross nerf is a good thing for Reno Quest Mage. Though it now takes longer to complete the quest, it is now also easier to survive before quest completion. Opponents will no longer disrupt Reno Quest Mage with Albatrosses. Both nerfs considered, Reno Quest Mage is weaker in absolute terms but stronger in relative terms. The deck is still a slow killer. With the quest requirement increased from 6 to 8 spells, it is more important to consider tempo and quest completion. The Dragon package is recommended. Eschewing Dragons can grant more sources of spell generation but to survive it is recommended to run Arcane Breath and Malygos, Aspect of Magic. As the quest is harder to complete, Sorcerer's Apprentice is necessary to discount the mana cost of generated spells, such as those created by Banana Buffoon, Cobalt Spellkin, or Evocation. AAEBAf0EHooBwAGrBMUEywTmBPcNwxaFF4K0Aum6Ati7AtDBApjEAs7vAtKJA9aZA5+bA/yjA5KkA7+kA7ulA/qsA/2sA4GxA5GxA7i2A+G2A/O3A8W4AwAA
12, Reno Priest Following the revert of the nerf to Raza the Chained, Reno Priest walked the way of explosive OTK deck construction. But before the Open the Waygate nerf, Reno Priest was helpless against Quest Mage and, following a brief post-revert burst of popularity, almost disappeared from the meta. Even after the second round of nerfs, Quest Mage and Reno Quest Mage can still pressure Reno Priest. The good news is that Quest Mage has its own weaknesses, the power level of the meta has dropped, and Bad Luck Albatross was nerfed too. Reno Priest finally has a chance to become a mainstream deck. Though Reno Priest is decent at clearing the board and healing, it is not heavily favored against aggro owing to its weak board presence. After clearing a board, it cannot seize initiative but instead lets the opponent redevelop. When matched against Galakrond Warrior or Odd Demon Hunter, decks with burn, Reno Priest's surrendering of initiative renders it vulnerable to being killed by a well-timed Loatheb. Highlander decks have a diverse pool of card choices, and Reno Priest is no different. Generally there are three different flavors: Dragon, OTK and N'Zoth. The OTK variant is the most popular. AAEBAa0GHooBoQTtBdMK8gz7DJIP1hH3E8MWhRehrAKDuwK1uwLYuwLqvwLRwQLfxALTxQLwzwLo0AKQ0wKXhwPmiAOYmwPanQP8owOZqQPyrAORsQMAAA==
13, Flamewaker Quest Mage Though Open the Waygate was nerfed, this does not affect Flamewaker Quest Mage with a perfect draw in the slightest. When miracle mage has enough luck, Eloise (Sorcerer's Apprentice) paired with Evocation or Mana Cyclone can complete the quest in an instant. But excluding situations with uncanny luck, miracle mage now faces an significant increase of difficulty in completing the quest. Before the nerf, it was possible to easily finish the quest with Violet Spellwing and Licensed Adventurer. After the nerf, it is necessary to have Sorcerer's Apprentice to reliably complete the quest. Thus, the deck now fares much worse against aggro. It is now very reliant on drawing Evocation or Mana Cyclone combined with Apprentice. On the bright side, with a lucky draw, the nerf does not affect the deck at all. But without luck, the deck can now be beaten to death. AAEBAf0ECKsE0MECzu8C7vYCtPwC1pkDu6UDxbgDC+YE4xGCtAKYxALIhwOfmwPimwP/nQP7rAP9rAO4tgMA
14, Cube Warlock As Odd Demon Hunter firmly dominates the ladder, conditions are miserable for Cube Warlock. Previously, the deck's advantage was that it could counter the popular meta decks, but now it is heavily unfavored against Odd Demon Hunter and its ladder position is not ideal. Before the second round of nerfs, Cube Warlock could at least tech against Odd Demon Hunter with Sacrificial Pact and it could seem like both decks countered each other. But now Odd Demon Hunter can use Mana Burn to block key turns where Cube Warlock wants to play cards like Voidcaller, Skull of the Man'ari, or Carnivorous Cube. Consume Magic can deal with cards like Voidlord. As Cube Warlock lacks healing, the matchup is now very one-sided. But the meta is volatile, and if Odd Demon Hunter drops in popularity, Cube Warlock will shoot back. Despite the nerf to Bad Luck Albatross, it is still a viable inclusion in Cube Warlock, but its popularity has dropped as players have disenchanted the card, and it is predicted that the card will not regain its popularity. As for Cube Egg Warlock that relies on Nerubian Egg to counter board flood, that strategy is also unpopular. Nerubian Egg can help gain tempo, but it does not protect the warlock's life total. Differing from the popular Prince Taldaram and Egg build on the Chinese server, foreign servers favor running two copies of Dark Skies for a more controlling style. Dark Skies can clear the opponent's board and limit incoming damage. Perhaps control Cube Warlock is the best suited for the meta. AAEBAf0GDKMBkwT3BM4G3AbCD5fTAtvpAqCAA/2kA+usA8S5Awn6DY4O3sQC58sC8tACi+EC6OcCiJ0DnakDAA==
15, Jade Druid At the end of Descent of Dragons, Jade Druid received Kael'thas Sunstrider, allowing for explosive midgame turns. Even if Kael'thas was drawn later, it could reasonably solve the issue of the difficulty of playing Ultimate Infestation. But following the second round of nerfs, Kael'thas' mana cost was increased by one. This may seem minor, but as druid lacks AOE, giving the opponent another turn can be hard to bear. In the later stages of the game, Kael'thas is also more awkward to play. It is now impossible to play Kael'thas and combo with a 3 mana and a 1 mana spell. If one insists on playing him, it is recommended to also run Bogbeam. Though the Kael'thas nerf weakens Jade Druid's midgame tempo, the deck still has its use. Current aggro decks are unable to deal with Jade Druid's Spreading Plague and high armor gain. Against Hemet Mecha'thun Warlock, Jade Druid's mortal enemy, it is possible, but unlikely, to mill a combo piece with Naturalize. Variants that have appeared include dragon, Kael'thas, and King Phaoris. No variant has proven superior to the rest. AAEBAZICCukB6awCtLsCmdMC1pkD2KAD26UD9q0DrroD5boDClaKDsu8AqDNAofOApjSAp7SAoTmAyAvawAwA=
16, Pirate Aggro Druid No matter how the meta changes, this deck's gameplan never deviates: hard mulligan for Embiggen, and win from there.... Frenzied Felwing was nerfed and is no longer ideal. Other card choices are little changed. As Odd Demon Hunter is running rampant, consider running Mindbreaker, and excluding cards with two (or less) health. AAEBAZICBIQXkbwC/acD474DDfcDqAXUBeYF5QeIDvsPjhDeFc27AovlAvutA+mwAwA=
17, Kingsbane Pirate Rogue The popularity brought by the revert of the Raiding Party nerf has scattered to the winds. The deck now enjoys low, but stable popularity. Kingsbane Pirate Rogue is not weak. Ship's Cannon is strong against aggro, Southsea Captain buffs the board, and Fal'dorei Strider can develop presence quickly. All can tilt victory in one's favor. The deck has no hard counters but its real enemy is itself. It relies on luck, whether that be for Ship's Cannon pings, drawing Kingsbane, or drawing Fal'dorei spiders. Secrets are worthy of inclusion. AAEBAaIHBJG8ArHOArvvAuf6Ag3LA6gF1AXuBvsPrxCbFdzRAuXRAq6FA76uA7+uA+mwAwA= AAEBAaIHCJG8ArvvAuf6Ar6uA+mwA865A7m+A/vEAwvLA9QF7gb3DfsPrxCbFdzRAuXRAsy5A9C5AwA=
18, Pirate Warrior The addition of Corsair Cache is truly a cache of riches for Pirate Warrior. For this deck, Corsair Cache is clearly better than Forge of Souls. Even if Corsair Cache were 3 mana, it has the same weapon-drawing effect as Forge of Souls plus Upgrade!, but in one card instead of two. The choice of weapons is typically two copies of Wrenchcalibur and Ancharrr, the latter being core and the former being good tech against highlander strategies or just for more face damage. Against aggro, Pirate Warrior has long been on the upper echelon. N'Zoth's First Mate, Ship's Cannon, and Skybarge can crush opponents. As Corsair Cache has increased the deck's reliability, in the future meta, the deck is not lacking in potential and may become popular. AAEBAQcG/wOvBIQXkbwC3q0D7b4DDByoBdQF7gb7D4KwAoiwApqUA9ytA92tA+mwA8C5AwA=
19, Reno Warlock As Quest Mage and Bad Luck Albatross have been nerfed, Reno decks will return to the sight of the playerbase. However, Reno Warlock is still in a state of chaos and it needs more time to be refined. The current list runs half of the cards of Cube Warlock in addition to Reno Jackson for healing. Compared to Cube Warlock, this version of Reno Warlock fares better versus aggro. Besides, Reno Malygos Warlock also exists to some extent. Reno Warlock needs some more time to ferment before it can be revived. AAEBAf0GHooBkwT3BNwG+g2ODvoOwg/WEcMWhRfYuwLexALnywLy0AKX0wKL4QLo5wLb6QKc+AKggAOInQP8owP9pAOdqQPrrAORsQPEuQPWuQPUugMAAA== AAEBAf0GHooBtAPFBLkGzgfhB40IxAj6DvUPrRDWEcMWhRfYuwLexALTxQLnywLy0ALD6gKc+AKggAP8owPlrAPrrAPsrAPurAPwrAOIsAORsQMAAA==
20, Prismatic Lens Murloc Paladin Following the meta changes and releases of new cards, Murlocs are now more numerous and well-rounded. Wild Prismatic Lens Murloc Paladin first appeared in Uldum and it cycled as quickly as a combo deck, but it was not strong. It was countered by SN1P-SN4P Warlock and Secret Mage, but now the latter no longer dominates and control warlocks have declined in popularity. As a result, relying on Prismatic Lens to win is now possible. Where the Wild deck differs from its Standard cousin is that the aggro decks in Wild are stronger, so it cannot afford to falter in tempo before Prismatic Lens is played. The good thing is that Murloc Paladin has strong, overstatted early minions with snowball potential. If an opponent is unable to clear or contest the early board, they will be dispatched by the Murloc Paladin by turn 4 or 5. AAEBAZ8FAuAFhBcOxQPbA+MFpwjTqgLTvAKdwgKxwgLjywL8/AK1mAObqQPKqwPJuAMA
20.1, Divine Favor Murloc Paladin Excluding Prismatic Lens in favor of Hand of A'dal, Crystology, and Divine Favor is also a viable strategy. On the whole, both builds of Murloc Paladin have shown sprouts of popularity, but whether they can put down deeper roots remains to be seen. AAEBAZ8FBqcF4AX6DoQXyLgD/LgDDMUD2wOnCNOqAp3CArHCAtn+ArWYA8qrA8m4A/u4A8rBAwA=
21, Mech Handbuff Paladin Mech Handbuff Paladin invariably loses to other aggro, whether it is Even Shaman, Odd Paladin, Odd Demon Hunter, Pirate Warrior, Discard Warlock, or Murloc Paladin. However, it has shown success for short periods of time, and its low crafting cost makes it suitable for newer players. Mech Handbuff Paladin is unsuited for the current meta. But if one insists on playing it, it is not bad as a training tool on a budget. AAEBAZ8FBqcFjhCl9QKggAPMgQOftwMMlA+EEIUQs7sC97wCn/UCmPsC1v4C1/4C2f4C4f4CxaEDAA==
22, Reno Secret Mage For a long time, Reno Secret Mage failed to stand out because it was not fast enough to compete with Quest Mage. After the Quest Mage nerf, Reno Secret Mage is now favored against other aggro decks, and its popularity has rebounded some. In terms of deckbuilding, Reno Secret Mage has a plethora of options. There are two different ways of building the deck: to make it more like Secret Mage, or more like Reno Mage. Adding more low-cost cards can gain tempo, with the drawback of running out of resources more quickly. Adding more high-cost cards mitigates that problem, at the risk of having clunky early hands. AAEBAf0EHnHAAbsClgXsBYoH9w2JDvoO7hO6FsMWhRfXtgLrugLYuwKHvQLBwQKP0wKi0wLu9gK9mQP8owOSpAO+pAO/pAPdqQP0qwP7rAPCuAMAAA== AAEBAf0EHnHAAbsClgXsBYoH9w2JDvoOnhDWEe4TwxaFF9e2Ati7AsHBAo/TAr2ZA/yjA5KkA76kA7+kA92pA/SrA5GxA4i2A4y2A6K3A8K4AwAA
23, Reno Hunter In the quest to counter Odd Demon Hunter, players gradually uncovered Reno Hunter. The deck has two bad matchups: Cube Warlock and Quest Mage. The current meta has decreased the strength and popularity of those counters, and Reno Hunter has been gradually strengthened. Reno Hunter has experienced popularity at high legend, and may serve as a fuse to change the meta. Reno Hunter's cards have a high chance of not curving out, but none of its curve plays are weak. If it can curve out, then it will be strong. AAEBAR8ehwTJBJcI9w36DsMW+LECncwC080ChtMC4eMCoIADoIUDtpwD/KMD5KQDpqUDiq0Di60Djq0D+68D/K8D/q8Dh7ADkbED2LIDn7cDr7cDg7kD/7oDAAA=
24, Even Warlock Even Warlock's targeting of Odd Demon Hunter has seen success. Mountain and Molten Giants pose a headache for Illidan. Even Warlock has always feared the Quest Mage matchup, with Ray of Frost stalling until quest completion. But the recent nerfs now make Even Warlock favored, as it can now pressure the Quest Mage's life total or build a wall of taunts. In other matchups, Even Warlock is not heavily disfavored either. It is now more suited for the current meta, but its popularity hovers around zero. The release of this meta report may make a difference. In terms of deck construction, whether it is full highlander, partial highlander, or traditional even, all variants have their merits. But in terms of deck strength, traditional even and partial highlander are recommended. Owing to the prevalence of Odd Demon Hunter, it is not recommended to run Voidcaller and Enhanced Dreadlord, but rather the traditional Vulgar Homunculus and Hooked Reaver. AAEBAf0GCJMB8gW2B5fTAtjlAs30AsCPA/GsAwv7BuEHjQjcCqmtAufLAvHQAv3QAojSAuysA+6sAwA= AAEBAf0GGIoBkwHyBfsGtgeNCJsQrRDDFqmtAqDOAvHQAv3QAojSApfTAtjlAs30AvyjA4GlA4SoA+ysA+6sA/GsA+6/AwPhB9wK58sCAA==
25, Reno N'Zoth/Luna's Pocket Galaxy Mage Despite Reno Mage not being extremely strong, the nerfs to Quest Mage and Bad Luck Albatross have unleashed Reno decks, with Reno Mage showing a definite rise in play owing to its committed playerbase. Whether it is the N'Zoth or Luna's Pocket Galaxy variant, the deck has definite strength. The overall decline in OTK decks is a major factor in the reappearance of slower decks. In future, other slow decks may also reappear. AAEBAf0EHk2KAcAByQOrBJYFuQ33Df4N+g7DFoUX4KwC6boC2LsC38QC08UClscCoM4Cm9MCw+oCoIADoaED/KMDkqQDv6QD7K8DkbEDjLYDjbsDAAA=
26, Discard Zoo Warlock The evolution of Discard Zoo Warlock has led to the deck becoming another form of zoo. The discard cards are overstatted; Fist of Jaraxxus and Silverware Golem also secure tempo. Hand of Gul'dan allows for refill while the Sacrificial Pact nerf improve the matchups against warlock and highlander. In all, the deck is decently popular, but its random elements repel some players. Unlike quest mage that needs a good draw, Discard Zoo Warlock does not need to get lucky but rather not get unlucky to avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Darkglare is a potential inclusion. Discard Warlock is now viable; the pieces of the puzzle have been assembled and Shenron can be summoned. AAEBAf0GBJTHAo+CA/2kA9a5Aw0w0AT3BM4HwgjEFNkV1LMCvLYCks0C8tACtbkDtrkDAA==
27, Mecha'thun/Linecracker Druid Refinement has long progressed Linecracker Druid beyond a meme. The deck is similar to Jade Druid. Mecha'thun is a must, as it can bring victory even if one does not acquire 1000 armor. The increased prevalence of Skulking Geist in the meta bleakens the outlook for this deck. AAEBAZICCNYRmdMC8fsCxf0C8IkD1pkD26UD9rADC1/pAYoO+cACoM0CmNICntIChOYCv/ICj/YCr6IDAA==
Survivor: Winners at War | Episode 12 | Day After Survey Results
Here are the results from Episode 12's Day After Survey. You can view Google's interactive summary of the results here.
Total Responses: 988
Average: 8.07Standard deviation: 1.54
Note: Respondents could choose up to 2 Survivors for each question. The top 5 results are listed.
Which Survivors played the best strategically?
Which Survivors were the most exciting characters to watch?
T - Ben (16.3%)
T - Sarah (16.3%)
Which Survivors gave the best confessional(s)?
Which Survivors gave the best challenge performances?
Which Survivors gave the best Tribal Council performances? Note: There was no set criteria for this question. Respondents could answer based on strategy and/or entertainment value.
Overall, which Survivors stood out to you the most this episode? Note: Respondents could choose up to 4 contestants from both the active players and the Edge for this question. The top 5 responses are listed.
What option was a better play for Ben to further his own game?
Vote out Jeremy
Vote out Kim
I don't know
Michele tried to play both sides and got burned. Can she rebound from this episode?
Yes, she's still low key enough to reposition herself
No, this was her best chance to make an impact play and she missed it
Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning February 24th, 2020
Good Saturday morning to all of you here on wallstreetbets. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead. Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning February 24th, 2020.
Coronavirus fears spoiled a solid earnings season and will further dominate markets ahead - (Source)
The coronavirus outbreak ruined for investors what was a solid earnings reporting season and is casting a pall on forecasts for this quarter and the rest of this year. And now with most of the earnings season in the books, look for the latest coronavirus headlines to fill the vacuum and weigh on stocks the rest of the month. Fourth-quarter profit growth for S&P 500 companies came in at 3.1%, and if the energy sector is excluded, the growth rate was 6.0%, according to Refinitiv. Just about four weeks ago, analysts expected a slight decline. However, the deluge of solid corporate results was largely overlooked by investors who are focusing on the spillover impact from the coronavirus on U.S. corporations. Stocks post losses this week as a jump in confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths deepened concerns about slowing global economic growth. Major U.S. companies including Apple, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble have sounded alarms on the disease, warning of a dent in profits down the road. “The virus is totally underrated,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on Friday.“What I think is a little too premature is they all presume that it is going to be solved within a foreseeable time frame. At what point do we say that many, many companies are going to be hurt by the virus [and] we’re paying too much for stocks.”
‘More cautious than usual’
Wall Street analysts have been quick to slash their earnings expectations for the next quarter in light of the fast-spreading virus. Expectations for earnings growth in the first quarter have been cut in half to just 3.2% from more than 6% at the start of 2020, according to Refinitiv. Companies themselves are also lowering guidance for earnings growth in the near future. There have been more U.S. companies issuing below-consensus guidance for the next quarter than those with upbeat forecasts, marking the weakest ratio in a February since 2014, according to Savita Subramanian, head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy at Bank of America. “While guidance is typically weak in the first quarter as corporates set a low bar, it has been more cautious than usual this earnings season, likely due to the coronavirus,” Subramanian said in a note. Nearly half of the S&P 500 companies have cited coronavirus during their earnings call this season, according to FactSet. These companies’ average revenue exposure to China is 7.2%, compared to 4.8% exposure for the average S&P 500 company. As of Friday, China’s National Health Commission reported more than 75,000 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths on the mainland. South Korea has also reported more than 200 cases. Meanwhile, World health officials said the outbreak in Iran is “very worrisome.” “Lost in those headlines is corporate America’s impressive performance this earnings season,” John Lynch, LPL Financial’s chief investment strategist, said in a note. “Companies have done an admirable job growing profits considering stiff headwinds.”
This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:
The recent news that technology giant Apple would miss its fourth quarter 2020 revenue targets has understandably increased investor anxiety surrounding the potential economic impact of the coronavirus (now called COVID-19). Lost in those headlines is corporate America’s impressive performance this earnings season. “Companies have done an admirable job growing profits considering stiff headwinds,” said LPL Financial Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “Despite slowing global economic growth, weakness in capital investment and manufacturing, a strong US dollar, and a huge drop in energy sector profits, S&P 500 companies are impressively grinding out 1-2 percentage points of overall earnings growth.” The fourth quarter earnings growth may cement the third quarter of 2019 as the trough, as shown in the LPL Chart of the Day below.
Solid revenue upside. A solid 65% of S&P 500 Index companies have beaten revenue estimates, the highest level since second quarter 2018 and well above the long-term average at 57%. S&P 500 companies have produced a larger-than-normal nearly one percentage point positive revenue surprise and are tracking to a 3.5% top-line increase.
Respectable earnings upside despite headwinds. The earnings beat rate at 71% is slightly above the 10-year average (70%). S&P 500 earnings growth has surprised by a solid 4.4% so far despite economic, currency, and commodity headwinds.
Consider the energy drag. Though 1-2% overall earnings growth isn’t much, the gain is approximately 4%, excluding the energy sector.
Sector standout. One of the most China-exposed sectors produced one of the biggest upside earnings surprises: Technology. Technology sector earnings growth is tracking to a 5% year-over-year increase, about 9 percentage points above prior estimates.
Reassuring outlooks. Estimates for S&P 500 earnings per share in 2020 have only fallen by about 0.9% since December 31, 2019. Though these numbers may come down a bit more in the coming days and the China situation remains fluid, this modest reduction reflects U.S. companies’ resilience overall amid significant supply chain disruptions.
Election Year March: Performance Haunted By Steep 1980 Declines
Boisterous March markets tend to drive prices up early in the month and batter stocks at month end. Julius Caesar failed to heed the famous warning to “beware the Ides of March” but investors have been served well when they have. Stock prices have a propensity to decline, sometimes rather precipitously, during the latter days of the month. In March 2001, DJIA plunged 1469 points (-11.8%) from March 9 to the 22. Normally a decent performing market month, March is somewhat above average in election years with advances 64.7% of the time with a 1.0% average DJIA gain since 1952. S&P 500 has also advanced 64.7% of the time since 1952, but gains have been slightly better at 1.2%, on average. NASDAQ has not fared well in March in election years since 1972. Due to a 17.1% loss in 1980, March is NASDAQ’s second worst month of the election year. Similarly, March 1980’s steep losses adversely affect Russell 1000 and Russell 2000 indices.
As markets were closed to observe Presidents Day yesterday and the 2020 Presidential election continues to ramp up, we thought it would be a good time to check up on stock performance during different administrations. In the table below, we show the performance of the Dow during the administrations of every US president since 1900 in addition to the annualized return. In the time since President Trump was sworn into office, the Dow has risen 46.9%. On an annualized basis, the 13.3% return places the current administration in 3rd place for the strongest performance. Only the Clinton administration in the 1990s and Coolidge administration in the 1920s have observed stronger annualized gains. The one caveat of course is that President Trump's term (or terms) has yet to end. Comparing Democratic and Republican administrations since 1900, Democratic presidencies have tended to average stronger returns than their Republican peers, so the stock market's returns under President Trump have deviated somewhat from the norm.
While it is impossible to say what a candidate's election will mean for the market, at the moment betting markets favor the incumbent to win the presidency while Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg go back and forth in taking the number 2 spot, hovering around 15%-16%. Come Super Tuesday (March 3rd) when we could finally see more clarity on the Democratic side, the back and forth between Bloomberg and Sanders might become more one-sided.
The major indices decided it was five o'clock somewhere right off the bat today as they experience yet another "Corona Friday". More concerns around the coronavirus have sent stocks lower with the S&P 500 down around 1.1% as of this writing and the Nasdaq down nearly 2% today. Declines on a Friday have become par for the course in 2020. Fridays have been the weakest day of the week so far in 2020; the only one to average a decline. On average, the S&P 500 has fallen 0.52% on Fridays while the next worst day has been Monday which has averaged a gain of 0.19%. Fridays have also been the day that the S&P 500 has closed higher the least. Only 28.6% of Fridays this year have seen the S&P 500 finish in the green. That compares to a positive close more than three-quarters of the time on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. While it has averaged a gain of 0.24%, Tuesdays have also experienced a positive close less than half of the time. Try Bespoke's premium research package for free for two weeks.
New All-Time Highs for S&P 500 and NASDAQ – Well Above Average Gains in Election Year
As of today’s close, DJIA is up 2.84%, S&P 500 +4.81% and NASDAQ is up a whopping 9.41% year-to-date. All three indexes are well above their respective historical averages for this time of an election year. NASDAQ has in fact already exceeded its average full election year performance going back to 1972. Bullish sentiment and momentum appear to be firmly in place and historical election year patterns suggests strength could easily continue for DJIA and S&P 500 into May. NASDAQ’s surge higher could be vulnerable to a retreat sooner, in March.
For more than a year now, Boeing (BA) has been plagued by the 737 MAX crisis which has weighed on shares of the plane manufacturer with it now currently down nearly 20% from when the initial groundings took place on March 10th of last year. Despite this, while underperforming the broader market due to the 737 issues, the stock is actually still up just over 5% since the start of 2019. Even though BA has lagged, it is still the highest-priced of the 30 stocks in the price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average. Currently trading around $338.50, the only stocks in the index holding a candle to BA are Apple (AAPL) and UnitedHealth (UNH), which also trade north of $300 per share. That means these stocks have the highest weighting in the index and therefore have a much larger impact than other stocks on the Dow's performance. With BA's issues, a number of people have pondered the what-ifs for the Dow had the company not had the issues with the 737. Would we have already broken out the Dow 30K hats were it not for BA? In the chart below, we show the actual performance of the DJIA and have overlaid the performance of an 'alternate Dow' showing its performance if BA had not been in the index since the start of 2019. We used the start of 2019 instead of the actual date of the groundings as it is a little less arbitrary. By our calculations, while we would be a bit closer, even if BA wasn't in the index since the start of 2019, we wouldn't quite be at Dow 30K yet. As shown, our alternate Dow would be almost 1% or 266 points higher if Boeing was not included in the index since the start of 2019. While BA has been a drag on the DJIA since last March, it also provided a big boost to the index in early 2018 before the 737 issues hit the stock. In fact, at the start of March 2017, BA was up over 36% YTD and the spread between the Dow's performance with and without BA was around 700 points in the other direction as it is now!
Another example of this dynamic in which high priced stocks have a greater impact on the index was observed on Tuesday when Apple's (AAPL) stock fell after the company warned that Q1 revenues would be shy of prior guidance due to the coronavirus. The warnings sent shares down over 3% at its intraday lows, but the stock only finished down 1.83%. While there were equivalent or larger declines like Dow (DOW) or Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) in Tuesday's session, AAPL's declines by far weighed on the index more than any other stock. Of the Dow's 165.89 point decline, AAPL contributed 40.35 points. Fortunately, UNH helped to mitigate some of those losses as it had a positive impact on the index of +22.79 points.
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Beyond Meat, Inc. $117.45
Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Thursday, February 27, 2020. The consenus estimate is for breakeven results on revenue of $79.51 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.02 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 73% expecting an earnings beat. Short interest has increased by 58.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 41.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.1% below its 200 day moving average of $122.42. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 24.6% move on earnings in recent quarters.
Square, Inc. (SQ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.20 per share on revenue of $1.18 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.24 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 80% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.19 to $0.21 per share. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 17.65% with revenue increasing by 26.54%. Short interest has decreased by 4.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 34.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 23.8% above its 200 day moving average of $67.46. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, February 20, 2020 there was some notable buying of 2,991 contracts of the $87.00 call expiring on Friday, February 28, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 9.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.9% move in recent quarters.
Home Depot, Inc. (HD) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:00 AM ET on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.10 per share on revenue of $25.76 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.15 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 61% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 6.67% with revenue decreasing by 2.76%. Short interest has decreased by 17.3% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 12.1% above its 200 day moving average of $218.79. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, February 20, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,015 contracts of the $245.00 call expiring on Friday, February 28, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.0% move in recent quarters.
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (SPCE) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 56% expecting an earnings beat. The stock has drifted higher by 237.0% from its open following the earnings release. The stock has averaged a 3.8% move on earnings in recent quarters.
Salesforce (CRM) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.55 per share on revenue of $4.75 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.56 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 81% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.54 to $0.55 per share. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 20.29% with revenue increasing by 31.83%. Short interest has decreased by 5.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 18.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 19.5% above its 200 day moving average of $158.62. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, February 20, 2020 there was some notable buying of 4,926 contracts of the $210.00 call expiring on Friday, June 19, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 6.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.9% move in recent quarters.
Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:30 PM ET on Thursday, February 27, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.72 per share on revenue of $3.96 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $3.27 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 72% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 39.49% with revenue increasing by 0.13%. Short interest has decreased by 30.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 12.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 11.4% above its 200 day moving average of $116.53. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, February 20, 2020 there was some notable buying of 2,013 contracts of the $125.00 put expiring on Friday, March 27, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 7.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.1% move in recent quarters.
Macy's, Inc. (M) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:55 AM ET on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.95 per share on revenue of $8.32 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.98 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 17% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 28.57% with revenue decreasing by 1.60%. Short interest has increased by 0.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 13.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.6% below its 200 day moving average of $17.96. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, February 11, 2020 there was some notable buying of 8,128 contracts of the $16.00 put expiring on Friday, February 28, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 8.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.8% move in recent quarters.
Cronos Group Inc. (CRON) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Thursday, February 27, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.04 per share on revenue of $12.40 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.03) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 65% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 20.00% with revenue increasing by 192.38%. Short interest has increased by 28.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 11.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 32.9% below its 200 day moving average of $10.66. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, February 11, 2020 there was some notable buying of 4,164 contracts of the $8.00 call expiring on Friday, February 28, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 11.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.6% move in recent quarters.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.06 per share on revenue of $1.21 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.07) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 48% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 128.57% with revenue decreasing by 30.10%. Short interest has increased by 1.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 66.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 67.6% below its 200 day moving average of $1.38. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 21, 2020 there was some notable buying of 10,872 contracts of the $1.50 put expiring on Friday, March 20, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 14.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.2% move in recent quarters.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Thursday, February 27, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.76 per share on revenue of $15.09 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.83 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $2.65 to $2.75 per share. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 1.47% with revenue increasing by 1.95%. Short interest has increased by 10.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 16.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 21.3% above its 200 day moving average of $74.42. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 8.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.3% move in recent quarters.
The 2020 Master List of Tips, Tricks, Tactics, and Strategies for ANY player looking to improve in Siege.
Current Season Update: Void Edge Here's a list of tips, tactics, strategies, and things all players need to know to stay sane and positive ELO in Siege. I took a few hours to try and compile everything that comes to mind in regards to playing well. I'm Askura and I make the Luck Over Skill series. I've been playing Siege for 4 years now and while I'm not a God I've figured a few things out that others may find helpful.
General Game Tips
Make Friends – Find a 5 stack. SoloQ is hell. It is the barren pits of ELO loss which will sap your will to play and your will to live. Use /R6STeams or the /shittyrainbow6 discord to find squadmates. You can also join our Luck Over Skill discord here if you're truly desperate. An average skilled 5-stack will more often than not stomp a SoloQ stack. Pick & Ban - Don't just pick Echo/Jackal etc but think about the site. Echo is very strong, sure. But think about whether you're attacking first or defending first. Blue Team is always attacking first. Orange team is always defending first. If Defending taking Thatcher out of the equation can often be more useful to you. If you can deprive the Defenders of a key Defender (such as Mira etc) it can have a great effect. Momentum is a real thing so if you can take a few early rounds it may lead to a 4-0. However if you're SoloQ stick with what you know. Communicate - If something is happening just call it out. Every little bit of information can help out even the most dire of situations. It allows people to make sense of the chaos but please remember to only call out things you KNOW. Example of communication saving an otherwise dire round Spacing - Don't just stack up like a SWAT team busting a crack addict. A single nade, nitro, or well timed spray can take you out. You can also inadvertently block people from retreating or pushing so be aware of how close you are. Barricades – You can make any barricade 1-hit vaultable by hitting it twice. If you wish to do it discreetly on a window make sure you hit the bottom two below the frame. Doors can be punched at the bottom to allow a crouch/crawl space without revealing the door is compromised (from certain angles). Barricades can also be made one hit vaultable by punching just to the upper left of the middle X. Practice that in custom games til you get a feel for it. Droning – If the site is already located save your drone. Place it near your preferred entry route. Drones can be used as a fake flash/misdirection if you setup advanced controls to try and bait someone to push you. Getting inside the building is the hardest defensive line usually so try to save them for taking ground. Hipfiring rather than ADSing tends to be easier to shoot them. With drones appearing where you first choose to spawn - be wary of defenders who may be prepared for you to take that route. Gunplay - Don't neglect your ability to win firefights. Siege can allow you have a subpar aim and still come out on top but it is still a core part of the game. While some people recommend using aim-trainers I recommend simply putting the time into training (lone wolf normal is fine). It mimics handling the weapon exactly how you will use it in game. Play a few rounds before going into ranked to make sure you've warmed yourself up. Shooting from the hip - Hipfire essentially leaves things up to RNG. There is rarely any occasion to hipfire as the accuracy from ADSing is absolutely superior to hipfire in every way. You may have someone get the jump on you so a hipfire may be a good last ditch effort. Yet if they miss their first shot and you hipfire in return you may miss completely. Shotguns have a decent enough spread to be the exception to this rule. Even if you are close enough to knife your enemy you may find hipfire to be wildly inaccurate. Stop shuffling - Everything you do makes a noise. Good players will respond to it. Even looking left or right will make your character make a noise. As does ADSing. If you know someone is nearby you will give yourself away by constantly repositioning. Movement - Learning how to quick-peek corners and quickly traverse the map is important. So is moving throughout a room while using every possible point of cover. Never stand out in the open. Always use angles to minimise your profile to make yourself a smaller target. Leaning Always lean the direction you are moving, not away. Learn to quickly peek around corners, then quickly return to cover to minimise risk. Putting your lean buttons on the mouse can affect your fine aim skills due to adjusting your grip. Middle finger leaning Index/ringer finger leaning Resetting - Pointless. While there's less use in resetting people now if you fire through a single wall into the body/limbs they will ALWAYS be DBNO even without Rook armour. Glass/debris etc does not lead to a DBNO. Example of glass not working for a reset Always Aim Head Height – Make sure whenever you're aiming, moving, and holding an angle its where the enemy will be at head height. If they turn the corner at crouch height if you hit crouch you will already be at a great position to shoot them in the head without much adjustment. Faking – You can fake a plant, a reload, a drone, etc to give yourself an added edge. Skilled enemies are listening for audio tells to let them know when is best to push you. You can punch out some windows that overlook spawn to make them wary of their approach and waste time. Additionally you can fire in an opposite direction or away from where someone is playing to coax a roamer into thinking you're vulnerable. Time – When you're on Attack the clock is your enemy. Every second wasted removes an alternative strategy or tactic from your play. When you're on Defence the clock is your friend. Every second of the Attackers you waste makes their plays more predictable and easier to deal with. Masking Actions - You can use flashes, nades, or any gadget that has a distinctive or loud noise to mask what you're actually up to. Throw a flash then rotate if you want to hid your plan. Throw nitro then try to defuse using the sound to buy you valuable time if you're in a 1v1 defuse situation. Kapkan using Nitro to win a 3 v 1 ninja defuse Sound Travels - Bullet holes help sound to travel further. If you shoot a few shots through a barricaded window (without breaking the barricade) actions outside that window will sound as if it were completely open. You can use a shotgun (or any gun) to open soft walls you intend to eventually bandit trick. In doing so you will be able to hear where charges are being placed slightly easier. As well as hear Grenades being cooked or EMP thrown. How sound works in Siege
Taking Ground - You're most likely to be killed when entering another room. To quote Miller from The Expanse, “Doors and corners are where they get'cha!” If you have a drone, use it. If you're not confident on your gunplay request a teammate help you push up. If you're in a SoloQ you then have to make an educated guess. Learn to quick peek corners or make use of your utility. If you die with grenades/gadgets left to use they're ultimately wasted. Entry Stalemate – Sometimes you're stuck and unable to push forward without definitely dying. If this is the case, and the route you want is too heavily defended, rotate. If you see your team are working on trying to enter elsewhere then you have to find a safer way to push forward. There is no point of you going to where they are as if nothing is happening they are suffering from the same issue you are. Just be careful of roamers as this is when you're at your most vulnerable to them. Make Something Happen – As an Attacker you cannot just hope that the enemies will just make mistakes you can take advantage of. By the nature of defending they have the advantage in holding an angle. You need to push and prod at their defences to find a weakness you can exploit. Holding an angle for 90% of the game and gambling on a last second push is madness. Know Where People Are - It's very easy to push opposite ends of site, clash in the middle with friends, then get yourselves killed. You can turn off outlines to declutter your screen but pay attention so you don't end up Tking and throwing the round. Example of Ash, Ying & Zofia clashing after taking site Time Management – If your plan A fails then you need to quickly try something else. Trying to force a strategy when it is clearly not working means you need to make haste elsewhere. Every second that passes by without you doing something makes it harder for you to get the win. PTFO – Kills don't matter. The OBJ does. If you can take enough of a site to achieve your goal then fall back to a more desirable position you have robbed the Defenders of their only advantage. Which is that prior to planting the defuser you had to go to them. This also means there's no reason to enter the furthest point away from the OBJ and away from anyone to support you. Get the defuser down - The sooner, the better. The default plant spot on each objective tends to be the most effective or easiest spot for someone to plant while your team provides cover. Consider whether your team can cover you, whether the Defenders can interrupt with utility, and whether the Defuser can be guarded once placed. Guide to default defuser plant spots Dying – When someone dies that's an opportunity for a refrag. The few seconds someone has during to after the gunfight is when they're at their weakest. Less rounds, disorientated, and if they're near by try and take that shot. Make use of your teammates dying by trying to get something in return. At the same time don't try and fight someone if a teammate can't make use of your death. Playing Shields - As Monty you're nigh unstoppable but be wary of Kapkan or Lesion baiting you to overextend. Remember you can put pressure onto Defenders who are fighting teammates just by dropping your shield occasionally. Block doorways if you can force them out of site and allow your team to flank. As Blitz use tight spaces to allow you to sprint forwards without exposing your legs. You need a teammate with you to make up for your lack of fragging and slower ADS time.
Entry Fragging Tactics
First Moves – The first thing any entry fragger does is safely get in the building. This is the hardest part. You are putting pressure on the Defenders so hard walls can be opened up. You are making things happen so your team can take advantage of the chaos you cause. You can cause uncertainty in the Defenders by taking map control. Typically if you're an entry fragger it is on YOU to break the defensive line. You don't need to get kills. You need to create an opening. Sound > Sight – Your sound is incredibly important when you push. Make sure your teammates are turned down slightly and you have a hotkey for discord muting. You will often hear Defenders still preparing or roamers rotating when you first get in. Calls are important, as is passing intel, but if you're deafened by friends you're giving up your biggest advantage by being first in the building. To which you can assume most noises are being made by enemies. Examples of sound giving away Defenders/roamers One Vs Many – You're the most vulnerable out of your squad. If you don't have someone else backing you up you may even end up in a 1vs5 situation. In which you're going to get fucked. Your objective isn't purely to kill but to disrupt the defence. Sure if you're taking out 2 people per entry you're pulling your weight but fragging isn't the sole purpose. You're clearing an alternate path ultimately for your teammates in case their plan is foiled. Real-Time-Reporting – Typically you're first on site or got the best idea of what's going on. Share that with your team. They might be able to make something of it. If you have ripped through their rear and can hold the position tell your team to rotate to you. Why was he there?! - Lots of rounds are lost by people being caught off guard by people not being where they're supposed to be. People can be ANYWHERE. If you die because you were too laid back then that's on you and not on them. They were there because they were hoping to catch someone off guard.
Wearing Many Hats - If you're soloQ give it a few moments to see if someone brings hardbreach. If that's sorted bring someone to get rid of jammers/kaids/batteries/etc. If there's already a ThatcheThermite or Twitch/Hibana combo then look at what other gaps you could fill. You can tentatively ask if anyone has any ideas or make suggestions yourself to someone playing frag. Either way use that VC. The person most responsive to you is your best buddy in this situation. Best Route - Your role dictates what you need to do. Yet so does the map/site. If there's ADS to clear or angles to watch make sure you're paying attention. If you're unsure ask your breachers where/what they want you to cover with a ping. Some people play support because they're not much of a fragger. But often it's because you're patient, can take direction, and make up for it by performing other essential tasks. Yet if the initial push or idea has fallen apart immediately start looking how best to flank. If you have absolutely no job to do then just drone in the entry fraggers. Watch Your Ass – Don't let someone wander up behind and gun you all down. Trust your teammate to watch ahead of you where as you make sure you're keeping where you've come from secure. It's easy to get blinded by the temptation of an easy kill. It's even easier to become that easy kill because you got careless. Sometimes you shine by just letting others fully focus on the task they're working on. Watching out for roamers is YOUR job, not the entry fragger's role. Support not watching the flank and allowing Alibi to dismantle their attack Tunnel Vision - You're best suited to know what's going on. The hardbreach is usually focusing on the initial defence. The entry frag is probably in a gun-fight. If you can see an opportunity either take it or relay that opportunity to your team. Use Your Gun - Playing Support isn't a free pass to donut. If all Defenders are accounted for and their rotations are limited, do your best to help take them out. If you're hearing an exchange of fire then you need to help out your entry frags. Their position is known, they have already suffered most of the Defenders utility, so get up there and lend a hand.
Denying Ground – You don't need to kill anyone but make it hell to take a step forward. Hold tight angles and pixel peeks that allow you to fall back to a better position. Make them waste utility and drones trying to get to the site. Don't isolate yourself or give yourself no retreat path. Your Turf – You have 45 seconds to make any changes to the site/map you see fit. If you know they're going to have to take hatches or certain routes then lay traps or ambushes. A few punch holes on a wall overlooking a corridor may cause them to waste time to see if anyone's waiting there. Bait Defenders to existing traps such as Kapkans/Frost/Elas if you're overwhelmed. Baiting a Blitz onto a Frost mat Don't Peek – You have the advantage that Attackers HAVE to come to you. So make it work in your favour. Find a tight angle, take that shot, then fall back to a better one. Move around the site and make sure you're not where they last saw you. But don't feel that you have to go to them. That's their job. If you can safely spawn peek then take a shot then fall back. Make them nervous. Round Start – When it says “Round Start” it doesn't mean you have 30 seconds more to idly setup whatever you want. A rusher who has droned out their entry point could already be sprinting towards you. If you're ill prepared or think that “There's no way they can get here just yet” you'd be surprised. Every second counts. Run outs - If you're playing a site where Attackers can sit outside then prep those doors at the start of the round. It makes it easier to spot claymores and makes it less obvious then having to break the door down later. Sometimes you're put into a bad spot where you HAVE to runout because the defence has fallen apart. Using Your Advantage If it's 2 vs 1 don't try and be clever and go for a long flank. You have now made it into a 1 vs 1 situation in which if the other player dies you have lost that advantage. It's best to hold complementary angles together. Ambushes - Coordinating with another roamer can give you excellent chances to get easy picks. Have a teammate fire at an enemy and fall back while you're hidden somewhere nearby to jump out on them while they're focused on you. Even having someone fire at the enemy while you're flanking can help. Tunnel Ambush on Bank by having a teammate fire from near the Server door. Kill The Fucking Drones – Always kill drones. Sure, don't waste time chasing after them but if you see one stop whatever you're doing and take a shot at it. You need to deny as much intel as possible to make it harder for them to pinpoint what you're doing. Your location is the most valuable commodity you have. Fighting Shields - If you can't get an angle on their hands, legs, or have help – RUN. Use tight angles to deny line of sight. Be aware that they have help on the way and they're probably pinging/calling your position. Shields are tricky because they can put pressure on you. Get help or break their LOS immediately. They cannot effectively chase you as once you break LOS you can sprint out of there. If you HAVE to fight a Blitz always remember you can use the red marker when blinded to figure out the direction of the shield (but you're probably fucked so GG). What Matters – Roamers and Anchors need each other. Roamers need anchors to not surrender the site or lose to the initial push. Anchors need roamers to run the clock down and get Attackers to waste utility. Play to whichever role suits you best. Just remember without the other you're fucked. Don't get overconfident and throw that easy round because it's 1vs4. Just relax and take the win. Throwing a guaranteed win at 00:01 seconds
Time Wasting – Every second the Attackers spend hunting you down, wasting drones, or abandoning their push to get you off their back hurts them. You don't need to get kills. If you can waste 01:45 without killing them then they've already wasted most of their time and have to gamble on a big push to change things up. The threat of you alive and nipping at their heels keeps them unable to dedicate to a solid play. You're the Calvary – If the anchors are getting smashed then you're their best hopes for getting them out of that tight spot. You don't have to get kills but make sure you're not on the other side of the map when they're under heavy fire. You are utterly useless if you're nowhere to be seen when they have 5 Attackers taking the site. Escape Routes – Know where and when you can fall back. You need to have a rough idea at all times where the Attackers are. If you don't know from Intel, or gunfights, at least have some kind of idea where it is safe for you to rotate around. Roaming vs Lurking – Sometimes you're better off hiding and waiting to leap out on unsuspecting Attackers than straight up taking the fight to them. Others you're better off hitting them hard then running off. Lurkers tend to wait for an opportunity whereas Roamers make opportunities themselves. Learn what works for you. Learn what works best for the map/site you're playing. Be Flexible - You're only a roamer as long as you're needed. Sometimes your best bet is taking up the role of a fallen anchor and reinforcing the defensive line. Know when you're needed on site and know when you're better off flanking.
Keeping Them Out – Its your job to make sure Attackers don't just walk on site and plant. Make sure you have a safe LOS on the most common approaches. When the round starts you are best suited to jumping on cams and seeing roughly where people spawn. Relay this to your roamers. If you die early it's far worse than if a roamer dies because there is nothing stopping Attackers from turning your own defences around on the roamers. Home Advantage – They HAVE to push or peek you. They HAVE to come to you. Don't peek a stupid angle trying to get a lucky kill. It's far more effective to have them come into your well prepared site/angle than the other way around. Leaving cover to try and get a frag loses you your best advantage while defending. Know Your Responsibilities – If Bandit is tricking then your job is to watch out for him. Yellow for example on Consulate is where he is incredibly vulnerable, as is Piano etc. You're not glued to any specific spot you're just performing a role. If you're watching Kitchen then your job isn't just to stay in there but to make sure no one waltzes in and dismantles your defence. Know Your Angles – If someone is holding a key angle then are they safe? Make sure you're not allowing enemies an easy pick on someone doing a core job. If someone isn't safe anymore – TELL them. It's also important to not neglect vertical gameplay. Be wary of Buck/Sledge/Ash or anyone opening up above you. Such as on Chalet the Bathroom door can be opened to give an angle into Trophy etc. Hard Vs Soft – Hard Anchors (like Mira) have to play a set rigid role for denial. Where as others are able to slightly wander from the site for better effect (Such as Clash/Goyo). You don't have to just hunker down and wait for them to come to you. Fulfil your role as best you can while making sure they fight for every inch of the map. Deny Them What They Want - If your enemies want something, it's usually best to deny them it. If they need a specific spot to make their most optimal play, make them work for it. Just make sure you have a escape route/plan for when they come after you. Relay Intel – If you're being pushed and have eyes on several Attackers let your team know who/what is there. If people don't know they cannot help you. If you have any Intel operators leave that to them. If you are an Intel op (Valkyrie/Echo/Maestro/Lesion/Mozzie) then that's your job. Don't just look at your cams/traps but flick through the standard/others too. If a cam is missing that was there a few moments ago then you know something is up. Stay Sharp – Just because it's quiet at your side, doesn't mean you should run out trying to get frags. At the same time if the entire enemy team has been called at the other side of the site then you should be prepared to give them some support.
Make The Call – If no one is taking charge then relay to your team what you're going to do. Ask if anyone wants to help you and if they don't then try and work around then. Any plan is better than no plan. Just make sure you're asking and not demanding. Learn the callouts - While you can use your compass to see what the name of a room is every map has shared callouts that you will hear. "90" or "L" refers to any long corridor with a 90 degree angled turn. "Main stairs" tends to mean the largest set of stairs. "Spiral Up" or "Spiral down" refers to whether they are going up or down a spiral staircase. "Blue" "Green" or "Red" will refer to areas which heavily feature that colour. "Yellow stairs" on Consulate for example is the staircase that up to CEO on the 2nd floor from the basement. Guide to all ranked map callouts Don't backseat – It's nice if you've got comms going but by and large don't disrupt people when they're playing. Make calls short, precise, and based on real intel. Not your best guess. Not on your intuition. Be positive - Don't rage. It breaks morale. Don't complain. It sours the mood. Don't give useless intel. Typically if you die it could be out of your hands or completely your fault. Just make your calls then flick to intel. Laugh or cry about your failures when the round is over. It's better for your own mental state to simply chalk up a failure as a learning experience.
Say What You're Doing – Let people know what you're doing so they can attempt to work with it. At the very least people who don't talk or whatever make decent bait for you to work around. You vs Many – Just assume that your team (if they're not responding to you) have no intention to help you. So play like it's 1 vs 5 and don't assume they care about what your situation is. They're no mind readers either. At the same time you can also follow people and hope to get refrags. You've got a job to do - Which is basically to fill whatever gap is left. If you got hard breach then you're the support. If you've got that, then you're the fragger. If you've got nothing and you KNOW they're going to be on a certain site pick something that will give you a fighting chance. If you're starting on Attack you're doubly fucked because you now have to play 3 rounds trying to open up tricky spots/sites with minimal co-ordination. So try and make it easier on yourself. Don't Hot Mic - You're basically fucking over 4 other peoples chances by masking enemy tells. Push to talk is the master race. (On console this cannot be avoided without self-muting options etc).
Don't plant on hatches. They can be destroyed which automatically causes the defuser to fail and the Defenders to win.
You can cancel a nade or gadget by scrolling your mouse wheel or changing weapons.
Know your hard limitations. If you play on a small screen don't play those super long angles. I play on a 14” laptop and it's nigh on impossible to tell an enemy pixel from a nice pixel at distance so I play close/medium angles so I can see what the fuck I'm shooting at.
Place barbed wire where Attackers have to fight you while clearing it. If they're in a safe spot to hit it without being shot at, you're placing it wrong. That said you can also use it to give a clear audio tell when someone is near for you to jump out on.
Capitao's arrows drop to the ground if you fire at the roof. You can fuck with a Mira by opening above her and dropping fire in.
Call it don't ping it. Pinging someone means they're aware you know their location. Where as a call out means you may lull them into thinking their flank is safe.
TH Protect the Hostage is better for learning how to flick and land headshots than classic elimination. Set your gun to single fire, and only move around the hostage out of cover. Don't prep anything. Just get use to using game sound and turning to your enemies. TH elimination is better for learning how to move around and learn to how to quick peek corners - but terrible for actual aim training.
Some walls/cabinets have glass on it. Make sure you break it before you place a gadget (like ADS/Maestros) because otherwise when it breaks due to a stray bullet it takes the gadget with it.
If you're closer to a corner you see less and reveal more of yourself than if you are further back due to how perspective works. Hugging the wall to peek is not as effective as being a few metres back.
Don't waste your Lion scan/Dokka calls til you're out of spawn. It does NOTHING to stop a spawn peek. If you don't want to be spawn peeked - account for where the Defenders are. Which means use your drone. Or play Iana and instantly sprint with the hologram to figure out whats up.
Iana is meant to be used in tandem. Use her gadget to bait fire for another teammate to refrag her holo. Her real strength however is you have INFINITE drone potential. That and you can bait aggressive roamers into dead-ends.
You can vaguely tell the angle of where someone is by the tracers left by their bullets through smoke/the wall. Get a friend to show you the difference in custom if you want to up your wallbang game.
When DBNO you can trigger Lesion mines but not take damage. Sacrifice yourself for the greater good if know there's some near you and you're downed.
Don't slow peek. If you have no drones and if you HAVE to check a corner do it quickly. If you don't know how to do this then get into THunt and just practice doing it on every corner you turn for a few games. Get the general idea.
If Zofia's Thunder goes off immediately an enemy is there. If it doesn't then it didn't land near someone.
Farming renown is faster in casual than it is ranked. If you're in need of renown spend your time there and not in unranked.
Don't reinforce next to people. It has a knock on effect in regards to time wasting. If only two people can reinforce a wall go find another. That way you're both not running around looking for a single place that needs reinforcing.
Night mode makes the sound pitch tighter. So louder noises are quieter and softer sounds a tad louder. It fucks with sound direction though. TV mode is basic stereo and Hi-FI allows greater directional/distance sound but loud noises can sound nearer than they are. Always play with headphones.
If you HAVE to give a callout to the left or right, instead of a cardinal direction give it in relation to whether it is to the left or right of the person you are talking to. "North!" as opposed to "Left!"
Fuze has a gadget that is very handy for clearing traps, gadgets, and Defender defences. His gadget deploys them from right to left.
Caveira can hide from Jackal's gadget by activating her ability when you're about to be pinged. If you're in silent step when he scans your footprints you won't be detected. While using silent step you won't leave footprints. If you get tracked use your ability to lure him into an ambush by making him think you've gone one way, when you've double backed another way.
There's a meta but it doesn't HAVE to be played. Don't lose sleep over someone not playing the most optimal possible play. There's other ways to achieve things and that's what makes Siege fun.
Shotguns have RNG but the middle of your crosshair or ADS is where a single pellet will always go.
Melee is borked. It's broken. Don't rely on it. Shoot them if possible. Knife as a last resort.
Don't TK if things don't go your way. You can always come back. Even if someone isn't playing the "meta" by the book there's no reason to sacrifice someone.
Older CPUs get a stutteCPU bug. This is because SSE4 support was dropped. Which means Phenom X/II/IV and Intel Core 2s no longer work well. You can also turn off full screen optimisations in compatibility if you have a newer CPU and still get the bug (this helps for my Intel Core 7)
Everyone has bad games. Let it go. Sure you might not have played well this round/game but there's always the next game.
Use Alibi's holograms to block windows or other points enemies HAVE to jump through. Place them close to the frame slightly angled to minimise their profile so they cannot be shot from the window.
Blitz's flash isn't based on LOS. Even if you turn away if he is close enough you are still blinded so always look to where he was last if you're about to be blinded and just hipfire and hope. Solid objects however can block the flash effect.
Drones have a better hitbox than people. You can jump and turn to the side to get yourself into/through tight spaces. Look up to jump higher. Look forward to jump further.
If a softwall has a few holes in it, sound travels further.
If someone tears down your Castle Barricade you get it back. Don't TK them. If your Castle Barricade has been punched a few times you can also fix it by taking it down and putting it back up.
When an enemy is detected outside (such as a teammate already outside) it won't say it again if you want to double up on that. You are revealed as a marker still though.
Watching pro-players won't instantly make you good at the game. You won't understand the logic behind WHY some scenarios or methods work better than others. Stick with the basic strats and approaches. You lack the ability to make sure of the more nuanced plays that they make look easy at the moment.
You can fix your own barbed wire if you accidentally hit it simply by picking it up and putting it back down again. It will reset it back to 2 hit break.
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