There's been a lot of chatter about the meta slowing down. Is there something to it or is it all in the players' heads? Today we'll take a look at the duration of games in Icecrown and compare them to the Un'Goro meta.

Chart showing Standard and Wild game duration increase during the Frozen Throne Release while Arena stays the same
Figure 1: Game Durations in Icecrown

The Icecrown release indeed had a huge impact on game durations. We see that Ranked Standard games started averaging almost 9 minutes in length, longer than the overall Arena average of 8.3 minutes. With all the new heroes, it's not surprising that we find ourselves in a control-oriented meta that seeks to play them.

Ranked Wild also jumped way up, although not as much as Ranked Standard. If you're looking for a quick game, maybe Wild is the game mode for you as games are on average a full minute shorter than in Standard right now.

Counter-intuitively, Arena games now seem to be a bit shorter! Overall there was almost no impact however, but it is a bit surprising. It does look like both Standard and Wild are going to be speeding back up but only time will tell.

Now, how does all of this compare to the Un'Goro release? Let's take a look at a full week before and after the April 7 release of Journey to Un'Goro.

Chart showing Wild game duration increasing and Arena duration increasing during the Journy to Un'Goro release
Figure 2: Game Durations in Un'Goro

Now it's worth remembering that the Un'Goro release also brought with it a Standard rotation, so maybe it's no surprise to see Wild speeding up by a full minute, although it eventually recovered and got closer to Standard.

Overall though, there was very little impact on the durations of Ranked Standard and Ranked Wild games. In fact, the largest impact was by far in Arena, which took a full week to stabilize at an average of 8.5min games.

Throughout Un'Goro, Arena games were averaging between 8 and 8.5 minutes; Wild and Standard both between 7 and 7.5 minutes and the meta, overall, barely shifted. Once stabilized, it does seem unlikely that the Icecrown numbers will see any dramatic change; we may be seeing a very slow meta for the next few months.

Want some quick games in this slow meta? You can check out our popular decks sorted by game duration. The fastest deck in the meta right now is a version of Aggro Druid. Druid is extremely popular this time around, which explains why Innervate is currently the #1 most popular card.