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The Vicious Syndicate Data Reaper Podcast

69 EpisodesProduced by Vicious SyndicateWebsite

The Data Reaper podcast is a companion piece providing extra insight into the weekly report about the Hearthstone meta found at Join us for a deeper dive into the numbers to help you improve your Hearthstone game. Support this podcast:… read more

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Episode 69: It's One Mana, Hat

November 28th, 2021


All the cards for Alterac Valley have been revealed and we're quite thankful for the extra time. Tune in for a class by class review!

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Episode 68: Hero Card Meta

November 21st, 2021


We've got early impressions and we've got new cards! We've got time for both somehow - let's discuss the meta we have now along with what could be …

Episode 67: The Final Stormwind Nerfs

November 13th, 2021


The first full report for Deadmines is done just in time to anticipate nerfs next week. What's good now and what will be good after the changes?

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Episode 66: It's Good Against Anacondra

November 7th, 2021


The Deadmines has shaken up standard and there are a ton of new decks to talk about along with some updates on older ones. Mr. Smite seems to be …

Episode 65: Zach Outsmarts Hat (again)

October 30th, 2021


Thank goodness we have new cards to talk about! There were sixteen Deadmines cards revealed on Thursday and the crew talks about every single one of them. 

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Episode 64: Meta Dynamics 102

October 23rd, 2021


School is back in session as ZachO puts on his high skill cap and expands on the paradigm between resource and initiative with real-world examples to …

Episode 63: Stormwind Stability

October 16th, 2021


The meta has a few developments going on, so it's time for one more review of standard before the mini-set. The format is unusually balanced and diverse with a few surprises worth covering even three months in.

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Episode 62: The All-Time Highest Skill Cap

October 9th, 2021


Is Garrote Contact Rogue really the most skill-testing deck of all time? Can a deck's skill ceiling really be measured in data? Yes and yes. Tune in to find out the details.

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Episode 61: 21.3 and Design

October 2nd, 2021


The first full report of 21.3 is out and we're here to break it down along with a lengthy discussion on the state of standard's balance and play …

Episode 60: The Big Warrior Matchup (w/Alec)

September 25th, 2021


21.3 is live with some significant changes--we were curious about Team 5's perspective on the meta so we had Alec on again to tell us what they think! Join us for an interview and a very early look at the new meta.

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Episode 59: Il'Gynoth is Good... Again

September 18th, 2021


The pace of Stormwind patches hasn't slowed down and we're due for 14 card changes next week. Alec himself challenged Zach to come up with a list of changes - and Hat has some (bad) guesses too.

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Episode 58: GIMME DA BRUTE

September 11th, 2021


The post-Stealer meta has continued to develop and the first official report has a lot for us to expand on. Does Rod make Handlock OP? Is Garrote Rogue the highest skill cap deck ever? Can Zach do an accurate Feno …

Episode 57: One Mana Matters

September 4th, 2021


What would Stormwind look like without Stealer of Souls? Well, we finally get the chance to find out thanks to another couple of balance changes that …

Episode 56: Flow Will Save Us

August 28th, 2021


The first report of patch 21.0.3 is here and it turns out it'll be the final report as well - some Warlock changes have been announced for next week! What does that mean for the rest of the classes?

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Episode 55: Don't Overreact

August 21st, 2021


8 nerfs! Team 5 went wide with changes as expected. We don't have a full report yet, but we have early insights into the new meta and it may not be …

Episode 54: Stealer of Winrates

August 14th, 2021


We didn't get nerfs yet though we know they're coming - but we do have the first report of Stormwind and it's a doozy! And of course, at the end we update our balance predictions to see if we can figure out what the …

Episode 53: The Start of Stormwind

August 7th, 2021


It's time for the first look at the United in Stormwind standard environment! There are more decks to cover than we've ever done before in a single episode. Join us for an early peek at what the numbers are saying. 

Episode 52: Priest Deleted?

July 19th, 2021


We have an early look at the 20.8.2 field as Barrens winds down. With the significant changes to Priest and the removal of Gibberling highrolls, the …

Episode 51: Watching for Nerfs

July 10th, 2021


We don't have new cards, but we do have new information from Alec via tweet - balance changes are coming next week! There are also some interesting developments to Watch out for in standard that deserve discussion.

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Episode 50: SmackO in Stormwind

July 4th, 2021


United in Stormwind is our next expansion! We have a ton of new cards to talk about as well as the new mechanics introduced in the reveal stream on Thursday. 

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Episode 49: The Light Shall Burn You

June 26th, 2021


There's a lull at the end of the third month of the Barrens meta, but there's been plenty of activity on social media around the class everyone loves …

Episode 48: Cut C'Thun, Improve Deck

June 19th, 2021


The second report of Wailing Caverns has given us some new developments. Can Hybrid Shaman work? Should Rush Warrior play N'Zoth? Are we going full …

Episode 47: Card Draw Good

June 12th, 2021


Thanks to the release of some powerful new Shaman cards, we finally have something to talk about with Thrall! The first full week of data from the …

Episode 46: Looking For Group

June 3rd, 2021


With only hours to spare between the patch notes and the mini-set's release, Zach and Hat find time for an EMERGENCY EPISODE covering all the new cards and the surprise nerfs!

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Episode 45: Meta Dynamics

May 29th, 2021


We're waiting for the Wailing Caverns to open - but for this episode, we're trying something a little different and exploring the general concept of meta dynamics.

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Episode 44: The Spice Must Flow

May 22nd, 2021


Alec promised spice, but the initial impressions seemed to be that not much had changed. We don't think those initial impressions were accurate. Take a listen to get some context into the meta's developments after the …

Episode 43: Taking Out The Trash

May 16th, 2021


We have an early look at what's good after the sudden 20.2.2 changes, but the meta is barely formed at this point. We have some idea of what to play and a much better idea of what not to play. 

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Episode 42: TEN BUFFS, HAT!

May 8th, 2021


Two hours before the show recorded, Alec tweeted that 5 nerfs and 10 buffs are coming! Join us as we try to sleuth out what the possible changes …

Episode 41: Go With The Flow

May 1st, 2021


We have confirmation that balance changes are coming but not what they are yet - and this meta isn't done developing. Zach has some spicy takes to …

Episode 40: Flex Taping the Meta

April 24th, 2021


Not sure what 3 drops to play? Need some extra value in your standard deck? Sounds like a job for FLEX TAPE NEUTRALS! What would win in a fight - the …

Episode 39: Zach Just Wants to Play Priest

April 19th, 2021


Episode 39 is live! Despite some technical delays, we've still got a lot of early insights to share about the post-nerf meta. @ZachODR @RidiculousHat …

Episode 38: Priest is OPee

April 10th, 2021


Has Zach broken the code? No, but we're finding ways to have fun and potentially deal with this warped meta until nerfs come out next week. Big …

Episode 37: Just Play Paladin

April 3rd, 2021


No, we mean it. Play Paladin. It's time for a very early look at the Forged in the Barrens meta! The environment has changed and the meta continues to develop- but there are some early outliers that are worth discussing.

Episode 36: Alec's Back!

March 20th, 2021


Alec returns for another interview covering Team 5's current design philosophy! After that, Zach and Hat take a look at some of the new cards and give their initial thoughts.

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Episode 35: Game Ogre, Man!

March 13th, 2021


We're all waiting for the Barrens card reveals, but the meta isn't done developing! And not only that, but this episode features a special live discussion of the decklist posts from MT Ironforge as they happen and a …

Episode 34: The Big DH Dream

March 2nd, 2021


The meta is stable, but the core set sure isn't. Zach and Hat take the time to give both larger thoughts on the new core set and class by class specifics. 

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Episode 33: Zach versus Vanessa

February 22nd, 2021


Instead of reviewing the meta, it's time to review all of the things that we learned at BlizzCon. Zach and Hat dig deep into the core set and Forged in the Barrens with what we know right now.

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Episode 32: Zach Classic

February 13th, 2021


Big news! The core set and Hearthstone Classic have both been announced. Zach and Hat give their initial thoughts before diving into the meta and taking a look at some of the latest developments, including the rise of …

Episode 31: Ridiculous Skill Cap

February 2nd, 2021


The first report of the Darkmoon Races meta had FIFTEEN tier 1 decks! Are they all actually good? Is this a high skill meta? Will Zach lose his damn mind? All the answers are here!

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Episode 30: The Darkmoon Derby

January 20th, 2021


With the mini-set being announced on Tuesday and released on Thursday, the team has to race to release an episode talking about all the new cards. Come hear some hot takes about the mid-set expansion!

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Episode 29: 4Headwin

January 12th, 2021


It finally happened. Not only did they nerf Boggspine Knuckles, but they nerfed Edwin Van Cleef. Zach and Hat have a lot to discuss about the nerfs, the newly forming meta, and the possibility of what's to come for …

Episode 28: New Year, Same Shaman

January 2nd, 2021


Happy new year! The best decks may be the same, but there's some movement in other classes that's worth looking into. 

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Episode 27: Merry Stickmas

December 26th, 2020


On our last episode of 2020, Zach and Hat discuss the latest evolution of the meta. Zach has his finger on the pulse of the latest developments in …

Episode 26: Explosive Evolution

December 19th, 2020


19.2 has brought changes to the standard environment, and for better or worse, some predicted meta adjustments seem to be coming true. Join us for an early look at the new meta.

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Episode 25: ZachO Notes and Hat Feelings

December 12th, 2020


It's almost certain that there will be balance changes on Tuesday, but there are still new developments to explore in standard before then. Tune in to hear about the rise of Whirlkick Master, the true nature of …

Episode 24: Zephrys the Chicken

December 5th, 2020


Aggro Demon Hunter is back with a... vengeance. Zach and Hat review report #180 and talk about the dominant decks, the shape of the six playable classes, and hopes for potential future changes and developments to come.

Episode 23: The Full Darkmoon Faire Report

November 28th, 2020


Two podcasts in one week! The first report on the Darkmoon Faire meta is out and we're here to break it down for you class by class. Can Illidan be stopped? Does Shaman exist? What crazy experiments will ZachO come up …

Episode 22: ZachO Unleashed

November 23rd, 2020


We're back, and we have a special early look at the meta mere days after release. ZachO doesn't have to be held back by the data here and wastes no time in serving up hot takes. 

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Episode 21: A Chat with Alec Dawson

November 7th, 2020


For the first time, the VS team gets to sit down with Team 5 - we're joined this week by Alec Dawson, senior game designer for Hearthstone. This interview is packed with information, including Alec's perspective on …

Episode 20: The Return of the Old Gods

October 27th, 2020


A new set announced already? That's Madness... at the Darkmoon Faire! There's already plenty to discuss in the early post-patch meta with the recent significant tweaks to mage, but on top of that, we have new cards to …

Episode 19: Emotion Flinger

October 17th, 2020


Between the report and the podcast recording, more nerfs were announced and a new trailer was teased! We have lots of speculation about what's coming …

Episode 18: Sparkly ZachOpinions

October 10th, 2020


Now that we have a full report on the 18.4 patch, we have more information to help guide you through this new meta. But this episode is not just …

Episode 17: Initial 18.4 Impressions

October 3rd, 2020


The latest patch has nerfed both Tortollan Pilgrim and Guardian Animals and the format has seen a significant shakeup as a result. There isn't a full …

Episode 16: Full Yoink Music

September 26th, 2020


While the meta continues to develop, archetypes are starting to stabilize and this week has Druid on top, though it's far from unbeatable. But there are still new decks and new builds to be found - not just for Paladin …

Episode 15: Run The Good Cards

September 19th, 2020


The first report is out! The post-18.2 meta looks to be smaller but it still has some interesting developments. Why is cyclone mage so popular? Did …

Episode 14: An Early Look at the 18.2 Meta

September 12th, 2020


The nerfs are live, and while it's too early for the first report, we can get some initial impressions. Join Zach and Hat for a review of what's going on with each class and where things look to be headed.

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Episode 13: Balance and Balancing in 18.2

September 5th, 2020


A month in to Scholomance and the meta is shaping up to historic levels of class balance - but the designers aren't done yet and 5 new card changes …

Episode 12: ZachO the Griefer

August 29th, 2020


The meta keeps developing and podcast episodes keep getting longer! There's so much more to explore in the Scholomance meta - join us for a class by …

Episode 11: Return of the SMOrc

August 22nd, 2020


The Scholomance meta continues to defy stability, and the mid-week release of the 18.0.2 balance patch changed yet another variable. There's no …

Episode 10: Scholomance is in Session

August 15th, 2020


Scholomance Academy has hit standard and the impact cannot be overstated - this is a new world! It's a wide open meta with something for (almost) …

Episode 9: Scholomance Eve Theorycrafts

August 5th, 2020


Zach and Hat can't wait for the new set and there's only one day to go! There's only one thing to talk about - the upcoming meta and our hopes for what's good, what's fun, and what's both. 

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Episode 8: Winding Down the Ashes Meta

July 25th, 2020


It's time for a last look at what feels like a new meta, as the final balance patch for Outlands has created significant change. But the new expansion is two weeks away and it's time to turn our perspective to what's …

Episode 7: Early 17.6 Impressions and Scholomance Academy

July 18th, 2020


There's a lot to talk about this week! Not only has the new 17.6 patch dramatically changed the meta at the end of the Ashes expansion cycle, but the next expansion has been announced and cards have been revealed. ZachO …

Episode 6: Ashes of Outland Nerfs - Round 5

July 11th, 2020


Another wave of balance changes has been announced just before the next Masters Tour! While the nerfs are meant to set up the next expansion to have a larger impact per Blizzard, we expect them to have a major impact on …

Episode 5: The Amani Berserker Meta

June 30th, 2020


Yes, Amani Berserker. The new "enrage" aggro Demon Hunter is taking the ladder by storm after the discovery and evolution of a promising early build …

Episode 4: A Discussion of Meta Dynamics

June 23rd, 2020


This episode takes on a different form as ZachO and Hat discuss the dynamics of the post-Twin Slice rework meta. Demon Hunter is still on top and Warrior is not far behind - and there has been a growing conversation on …

Episode 3: The Rise of Bomb Control

June 13th, 2020


Bomb Control Warrior has taken the top spot in the standard meta as expected, and with that comes additional meta developments. There are still …

Episode 2: Demon Hunter, Warrior, and Druid

June 6th, 2020


Zach and Hat are back and this week's meta calls for some deeper review of the top classes. Demon Hunter is still very strong even after the third round of nerfs and it seems like Warrior was left unscathed as well, not …

Episode 1: The Post-Patch Meta and Initial Class Developments

May 30th, 2020


Welcome to the Data Reaper Podcast! In the pilot episode, ZachO and RidiculousHat cover the initial findings from the first data reaper report after …

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