Skip to main content
The Vicious Syndicate Data Reaper Podcast

The Vicious Syndicate Data Reaper Podcast

By Vicious Syndicate
The Data Reaper podcast is a companion piece providing extra insight into the weekly report about the Hearthstone meta found at vicioussyndicate.com. Join us for a deeper dive into the numbers to help you improve your Hearthstone game.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo

Breaker

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo

Overcast

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Episode 47: Card Draw Good
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 Wailing Caverns meta has given us a lot of insights to go over for every class... well, almost every class.
01:43:43
June 12, 2021
Episode 46: Looking For Group
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!
01:25:48
June 3, 2021
Episode 45: Meta Dynamics
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.
01:16:23
May 29, 2021
Episode 44: The Spice Must Flow
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 first report of 20.2.2.
01:40:55
May 22, 2021
Episode 43: Taking Out The Trash
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. 
01:31:21
May 16, 2021
Episode 42: TEN BUFFS, HAT!
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 could be.
01:23:46
May 8, 2021
Episode 41: Go With The Flow
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 share on where things are now and where they could go!
01:40:49
May 1, 2021
Episode 40: Flex Taping the Meta
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 lifebinder or one angry orc?
01:41:17
April 24, 2021
Episode 39: Zach Just Wants to Play Priest
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 @PlayHearthstone
01:41:32
April 19, 2021
Episode 38: Priest is OPee
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 thanks to Craptasm for our intro this week- it's solid gold.
01:32:59
April 10, 2021
Episode 37: Just Play Paladin
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.
01:23:16
April 3, 2021
Episode 36: Alec's Back!
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.
01:25:41
March 20, 2021
Episode 35: Game Ogre, Man!
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 discussion of the nerf reversions.
01:25:16
March 13, 2021
Episode 34: The Big DH Dream
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. 
01:49:56
March 2, 2021
Episode 33: Zach versus Vanessa
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.
01:29:17
February 22, 2021
Episode 32: Zach Classic
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 spell damage mage.
01:34:38
February 13, 2021
Episode 31: Ridiculous Skill Cap
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!
01:19:53
February 2, 2021
Episode 30: The Darkmoon Derby
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!
01:30:33
January 20, 2021
Episode 29: 4Headwin
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 classic and basic.
01:25:09
January 12, 2021
Episode 28: New Year, Same Shaman
Happy new year! The best decks may be the same, but there's some movement in other classes that's worth looking into. 
01:04:18
January 2, 2021
Episode 27: Merry Stickmas
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 our decklists... and a lot of them run a certain 5 mana 4/4. Happy holidays!
01:29:45
December 26, 2020
Episode 26: Explosive Evolution
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.
01:04:26
December 19, 2020
Episode 25: ZachO Notes and Hat Feelings
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 Highlander Druid, and some guesses from the hosts on what will be adjusted.
01:39:54
December 12, 2020
Episode 24: Zephrys the Chicken
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.
01:21:24
December 5, 2020
Episode 23: The Full Darkmoon Faire Report
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 with next? The answers to all of these questions are inside.
01:46:07
November 28, 2020
Episode 22: ZachO Unleashed
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. 
01:26:20
November 23, 2020
Episode 21: A Chat with Alec Dawson
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 randomness and value generation, the team's balance philosophy, thoughts on Yogg-Saron, and an idea of where the classic set is headed. Make sure you tune in for this one!
33:38
November 7, 2020
Episode 20: The Return of the Old Gods
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 go over! 
01:47:46
October 27, 2020
Episode 19: Emotion Flinger
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 next Thursday and plenty of discussion about the mage nerfs as well as a full review of the meta as usual.
01:24:26
October 17, 2020
Episode 18: Sparkly ZachOpinions
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 about data, and when it comes time to talk about Mage, the hosts work on their virtual twitlonger skills to give you some opinions about their perception of the alleged "created by" meta. 
01:35:42
October 10, 2020
Episode 17: Initial 18.4 Impressions
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 report yet, but there's enough data to get early impressions. Is Soul DH unstoppable? Will people ever play Paladin at high legend? Did Hat get something right?? Tune in and find out!
01:16:31
October 3, 2020
Episode 16: Full Yoink Music
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 either!
01:33:27
September 26, 2020
Episode 15: Run The Good Cards
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 the Totem Goliath buff do anything? Can we still go full yoink? Find out the answers to these questions and more!
01:34:50
September 19, 2020
Episode 14: An Early Look at the 18.2 Meta
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.
01:11:11
September 12, 2020
Episode 13: Balance and Balancing in 18.2
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 have been announced as part of the 18.2 patch on Tuesday. In addition to their regular overview of how each class is doing, Zach and Hat take the time to talk about the impact of each nerf and where this meta could shift in time for this weekend's Masters Tour and beyond.
01:40:54
September 5, 2020
Episode 12: ZachO the Griefer
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 class review where no stone is left unturned. 
01:42:22
August 29, 2020
Episode 11: Return of the SMOrc
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 report this week, but ZachO and Hat have some fresh data to share and discuss from the most recent class shifts. Going face is back on the menu!
01:07:16
August 22, 2020
Episode 10: Scholomance is in Session
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) every class to do. Zach and Hat go class by class after the first Data Reaper report to try and make sense of it all. 
01:34:23
August 15, 2020
Episode 9: Scholomance Eve Theorycrafts
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. 
01:32:54
August 5, 2020
Episode 8: Winding Down the Ashes Meta
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 coming after a review of the most recent Data Reaper report. We go card by card for all of the reveals so far - and there's lots to discuss.
01:20:03
July 25, 2020
Episode 7: Early 17.6 Impressions and Scholomance Academy
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 and Hat take a very early look at what each class looks like after the most recent balance update before diving directly into a card by card discussion of what we've seen so far from Scholomance Academy.
53:47
July 18, 2020
Episode 6: Ashes of Outland Nerfs - Round 5
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 the meta that we're in now. Join us for a review of every nerf on a card by card basis as well as a per-class analysis of what we predict the standard environment will look like.
01:03:18
July 11, 2020
Episode 5: The Amani Berserker Meta
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 from the China Gold Championship. In addition to some analysis of the more unusual card inclusions and play patterns of the latest DH list, ZachO and Hat also reflect on the "forgotten classes" of Paladin and Shaman to figure out what help they need before speculating on what the next expansion could do for archetypes that can't quite cut it right now.
01:05:41
June 30, 2020
Episode 4: A Discussion of Meta Dynamics
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 social media about the state of the game, including a long post from Zach himself. We have a constructive discussion about how we got here, what we think the problems are, and what the future of the game could look like with players and devs working together.
01:04:49
June 23, 2020
Episode 3: The Rise of Bomb Control
Bomb Control Warrior has taken the top spot in the standard meta as expected, and with that comes additional meta developments. There are still refinements to be found in many archetypes, Demon Hunter and Druid included - and Rogue looks like it could end up being the third best class in the meta if decklists adapt.  https://www.vicioussyndicate.com/vs-data-reaper-report-165/ 1:45 - Meta developments with Warrior and DH 25:10 - Continuing Druid refinement 34:48 - Rogue builds investigated 44:27 - Quick hits on other classes
53:46
June 13, 2020
Episode 2: Demon Hunter, Warrior, and Druid
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 to mention the continuing refinement of Control Warrior. Druid is undergoing some fascinating developments and has transformed from one deck into three. 
52:51
June 6, 2020
Episode 1: The Post-Patch Meta and Initial Class Developments
Welcome to the Data Reaper Podcast! In the pilot episode, ZachO and RidiculousHat cover the initial findings from the first data reaper report after the 12 card balance change. In addition to an initial review of the developing meta, there's lots to talk about with class developments- Warrior is showing a surprising amount of class diversity while Druid and Rogue are in the middle of significant adjustments. 
42:09
May 30, 2020