Patches the Pirate, one card many people get upset with in the current meta. It is a powerful card which, if played early, have 58% win rate. However, it is also the easiest card to get into play since playing a single low cost pirate would do it. Warriors, most of which run Patches the Pirate, is the most played class since the patch and this card is a big reason of why. We will therefore when laddering meet and have to defeat many Patches the Pirates. But how do we counter one of the most powerful and played cards in the current meta?
In order to do this we will compute the win rate of cards played one turn before/after turn one or two Patches the Pirate plays. This way we can, for every class, find the most powerful counters to this dreaded pirate.
Priest, Mage and Warlock
In the graph below we see the 3 most powerful counters to Patches the Pirate for the Priest, Mage and Warlock (in that order). The blue bars is the card’s win rate in general and the red bars is the card’s win rate as a counter. Note if the opponent plays Patches the Pirate you would only have 42% chance of winning so any red bar above 42% is an improvement your current situation. The shaded areas is the uncertainty (95% confidence intervals).
Most of the counters are minions with high health, which prevents Patches the Pirate from trading favorably. Mortal Coil works well but the other one damage spell, Fireblast, does not improve the situation of the Mage considerably. Both the Warlock and Priest can manage Patches the Pirate better than the Mage.
Shaman, Druid and Rogue
Shaman, Druid and Rogue counters to Patches the Pirate.
The Shaman, Druid and Rogue have good counters against Patches the Pirate. The Shaman’s Maelstrom portal even performs better when played against Patches the Pirate than in general. The best way for the Rogue to counter Patches the Pirate is to run pirates as well. Playing Patches the Pirate against himself does, as expected, net a 50% win rate.
Warrior, Paladin and Hunter
In this graph we show the 3 best counters for the Warrior and two best counters for the Paladin and Hunter against Patches the Pirate. There was not enough data to show more counter-cards for the Paladin and Hunter because of their low play rate.
Neither the Paladin or Hunter have any good responses to Patches the Pirate and could be one explanation of why they are struggling so much. We can only hope they will have a better response once Un’Goro comes out! Warriors on the other hand have several great counters, and out of the top three, neither is Patches the Pirate himself. The Warrior is also the class best equipped for dealing with Patches the Pirate. This indicates a problem since if the best counter to a deck is the deck itself, the meta becomes less dynamic and interesting.
Journey to Un’Goro will be out soon and with it plenty of more tools to counter Patches the Pirate. Hopefully Hunters and Paladins will see a revival in the expansion, either because Patches the Pirate becomes a less popular play or because they get new exciting cards to deal with early threats. Until then, have these graphs in mind when playing against Patches the Pirate and show him who is really in charge!
About the Data
Data gathered from HearthScry and contains 24162 ranked games from 1 December 2016 to 24 March 2017. Games which included Small-Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws plays before the nerf patch was removed.