Meta Monday – Spellcrag and NostrixPorter 2.0

This weeks ETS was packed with Shadow and Primal! Five of the 8 decks were Shadow and/or Primal, and 2 of the 8 featured our newly buffed friend: Jotun Feastcaller. Magikarp and ThePlatypusKing both represented Team Rankstar quite nicely in the Top 8! Good show, AromaNova, for taking it down! AP Mid proves to be a consistently solid choice for tournament play, and just as effective on ladder. Magikarp’s Praxis Tokens list saw a ton of ladder play this past week, and I expect there to be a healthy amount of Skycrag in the coming week. Similarly, I have already seen a big uptick in Feln variants, ranging from lists similar to BenBuford‘s more classic control list. to ThePlatypusKing’s more midrange oriented list. Both have strong ladder potential, and could easily be optimized for laddering.

Qwertzy’s take on Icaria Gold was a very interesting inclusion this week. As a personal fan of FTJ Piles myself (Aphelion), it always brings me joy to see decks like this do well. It really packs a a punch, with a variety of answers to deal with whatever is going on, and threats to keep the pressure on. This is a deck I could see easily making it’s way over to ladder, as I have had a good deal of success with similar lists in the past.

This ETS was very diverse, which promises to keep the next week’s climb very interesting. Mouche brought (I believe their teams take on) TJP Midrange, which has proved to be a force. A sibling to Hooru Fliers, this deck can hold its own against Harsh Rule, packing 3 Stand Togethers in the main board. It also has a a pretty aggressive curve that can pivot into the mid/long game on a dime, with Kothon and Siraf. An old TRS favorite in the form of JPS Nostrix popped up again, and it was good to see our friend Makto performing well. Decks like this seemed to have taken a nose dive with all of the In Cold Blood floating around, but I think those decks have subsided enough to allow a list like this to flourish.

Last but not least, hang tight Alarmadillo for bringing back an oldie, but goodie: Xenan. This is fairly similar to Killers lists of yore, and has a very concrete gameplan versus the field. With representation and reverence from some of the top players, I would imagine this list to also find a home on ladder.

4 Cliffside Porter (Set1001 #7)
3 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
3 Eilyn’s Favor (Set0 #24)
2 Lightning Strike (Set1 #197)
4 Second Sight (Set1 #207)
4 Strategize (Set3 #165)
2 Eilyn’s Choice (Set2 #220)
4 Hailstorm (Set1003 #11)
1 Privilege of Rank (Set1 #157)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
1 Celestial Omen (Set1 #241)
4 Nostrix, Lord of Visions (Set2 #229)
2 Thunderstrike Dragon (Set1 #243)
4 Channel the Tempest (Set1 #244)
6 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
8 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Cobalt Waystone (Set3 #151)
1 Emerald Waystone (Set3 #101)
4 Hooru Banner (Set2 #216)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)

Holy heck I can not believe it, DWD is truly the creator they taketh with one hand (rip in peace Echo Makto) and giveth with the other (welcoming the new challenger Nostrix Porter)!

Recently a stealth patch popped up and buffed a few cards, and I was originally not super excited about the buff to Crownwatch Pressgang, as I didn’t think it would change too much about the deck. But let me tell you this: costing four is huge, as now you can play it earlier just as another blocker! Which is no joke because a 3/3 body with recursion is good enough at trading favorably against opposing units, as well as slotting into your turn five with a depleted power.

I’ve really enjoyed playing this style of deck, as you can really go over a lot of what your opponents are doing, especially if they are on decks like Feln, Chalice or Temporal control, as they aren’t really pressuring you in the early game which allows you to set up.

I’d recommend if you are playing this deck that you would want to play some number of Thunderstrike Dragon as another way to fight through Icaria and Feln decks.

Crownwatch Pressgang wasn’t the only card to be buffed though, we also got hit with some slight tweaks to Kaleb, Reborn and Jotun Feast Caller which totally enables another new deck that LightsOutAce has been responsible for innovating with for the past few months: Spellcrag.

4 Levitate (Set1 #190)
3 Powderglider (Set3 #155)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Fury (Set2 #187)
1 Kaleb’s Choice (Set2 #188)
4 Strategize (Set3 #165)
2 Polymorph (Set1 #211)
4 Vadius, Clan Father (Set2 #191)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
4 Kaleb, Reborn (Set3 #255)
4 Jotun Feast-Caller (Set3 #187)
2 Obliterate (Set1 #48)
3 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
3 Cobalt Waystone (Set3 #151)
4 Crest of Fury (Set3 #266)
3 Granite Waystone (Set3 #1)
3 Seat of Fury (Set0 #53)
4 Skycrag Banner (Set2 #186)
4 Fearless Yeti (Set3 #161)
3 Eilyn’s Intervention (Set3 #152)
3 Permafrost (Set1 #193)

This deck is really sweet and can be really explosive when you combine the “prowess” units of Powder Glider and Kaleb, Reborn with a bunch of card draw and cheap fast spells. This of course becomes a lot more threatening when you are also fighting alongside Jotun Feast Caller, as you will have a bunch of cards in hand that all convert into extra damage. The deck is quite difficult to play optimally. There are a lot of lines to take and I’ve not quite yet figured out which matchups you just want to play Powder Glider as a guy to get some damage in, or when you want to be saving it to be a virtual spell.

A huge strength of the deck on top of this is that it gets to maindeck the card Eilyns Intervention which is so powerful on the ladder right now as not only can it negate format defining spells like slay, hailstorm and wisdom of the elders but it can also just be more additional “torches” in your deck when you are facing down Argenport — known for its powerful three drop slot which comprises of Unseen Commando and Valkyrie Enforcer.

I’d recommend either of these decks if you want to have some fun on the ladder and we’ve also got an extra treat coming up for you as a Knucklebones Control deck is uploading as we speak!

Check out Team Rankstar streamers: HeyWhyYou, Magikarp, PlatypusKing and SifuDanny.

ThatResolves, who makes all of the videos for Meta Monday, can be found here and Patreon here!

If you are looking for some tournament “Best of Three” practice, Kaelari has set up a really great resource that is open 24/7 here as well as a Tuesday night tournament here.

Every Friday, The Great Parliament hosts “Casual Friday” tournament now, too!

Don’t forget to let us know what you think via our contact and recruitment page or in our Discord!

-Aphelion and ThatResolves

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