Hearthstone's Ashes of Outland expansion launched yesterday, and it has made big waves to the game. With three expansions rotating out as the Year of the Phoenix arrived, change was bound to happen. However, it seems like not everyone was prepared for the impact Hearthstone's newly added class would have: Demon Hunters are dominating the meta.
Though they only have a handful of cards compared to the other classes in Hearthstone—Priests, Rogues, and the like have a full year worth of expansion cards behind them, Demon Hunters have not—Illidan and his fel friends lead the pack early on. On data collection site HSReplay, which uses the Hearthstone Deck Tracker app to gather class win rates and more, Demon Hunters are well ahead of the second-most successful classes, Rogue and Hunter. Even in Wild, where Demon Hunters' card collection is even further dwarfed by the collections of the other classes, Demon Hunters are the best-performing class so far.
Early impressions from players indicate that the Outcast mechanic, a mechanic unique to the Demon Hunter class that grants a bonus effect if the card is played from either side of the hand, is too easy to activate. Consequently, Demon Hunters receive powerful bonuses far more reliably than perhaps intended.
Though the early data suggests that Demon Hunters are too powerful, it is far too early to make a definitive call. Hearthstone's meta has seen extremely skewed data early into a new expansion for many years, and it's possible that a counter to Illidan will be found. For now though, it seems like climbing Hearthstone's ladder is best done by playing the demonic Night Elf and his pals.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.