With GHP taking some time away to focus on his exams, I’ve decided to neglect mine and step in as your host for this week’s Meta Monday. For those that are accustomed to and enjoy GHP’s formatting, I’d like to apologize to you all in advance. This isn’t going to be your regular everyday normal Meta Monday. For starters, this article is actually being released on a Tuesday! Oh wait… Um, anyways, I’m also going to be formatting some things a bit differently, so to compensate for that (and to help make finding the information you care about easier) I’ve decided to add in a few graphics to separate the sections a bit. 

Foreword

Like always, the quality of our meta game breakdowns depend entirely on how many submissions we get. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a love for statistics, we’d like to encourage you all to join Meta Monday by submitting your games to us with our Expedition Ladder and Throne Ladder forms. If you weren’t sure what kind of deck your opponent was playing (which tends to be the case in most matchups against LocoPojo), fret not! Just describing the deck as best you can will go a long way for us. If you’re one of our superstars that has large data sets (or aspire to become one) feel free to DM /u/NotoriousGHP on reddit, [TRS] NotoriousGHP#6765 on discord or email GHP at [email protected]

Of course, before we can look at all of this wonderful data, we need to set some parameters as to how we can draw conclusions for it. Here are our usual significant thresholds:

0-222 games: 222 may seem like a large number, but in statistics it’s really not. With such a small sample size, we cannot be very confident in the data we have and your results on the ladder could drastically differ.

223-285 games: That’s more like it. With numbers like these, you’ll be well prepared to combat the meta game. 

286-399 games: Like a Patreon tier, any ladder results with at least this many games will unlock the “Tier 4 decks” reward. However, I know none of you will care about those decks anyways so I’ve decided to neglect any decks with under 2% of the market share. 

400+ games: You will be beyond beyond prepared to combat the metagame. At this point our sample size is big enough that we get more precise rounding of numbers.

Since the last installment of Meta Monday, we’ve gathered a sample size of 537 Throne games and 207 Expedition games.

Tier 1:

Stonescar Aggro: 13.6%

Grodov (FTJ) Midrange: 12.1%

Praxis Midrange: 10.4%

Tier 1.5:

Jennev Control: 7.8%

Elysian Maul: 6.9%

Rakano Aggro: 6.9%

Argenport Even Paladins: 6.7%

Tier 2: 

Combrei Ramp: 5.0%

Skycrag Control: 4.8%

Reanimator: 4.3%

Tier 3:

Xenan Cultist: 3.2%

Hooru Midrange: 2.2%

Throne Breakdown

While I’m sure many of you have spent a lot of time this past week preparing for and playing in the Throne Duel event to earn those coveted QCP, there’s no time to rest. In two more weeks we will be battling it out in the Throne ECQ from December 14-15. Despite the slight drop in % from last week, I feel like Grodov Midrange will end up becoming the deck to counter in the ECQ as it has enough removal to deal with the unit strategies found in the other tier 1 decks while also having enough threats that can outclass most of the ways Stonescar and Praxis can handle them. 

If another deck is to rise up and try to steal the spotlight, I’m predicting that Shadow will be involved in one way or another. Perhaps Stonescar can assert its dominance as the superior tier 1 deck, but I’d be willing to argue that Feln Control could see a good amount of success in the ECQ as well. Removal such as Annihilate and Edict of Makkar are in a good spot right now since a lot of Time units are seeing play right now.

Not only do we have a small sample size of Expedition games this week, but as I was writing this article, Dire Wolf decided to drop a huge change to the expedition format which went into effect today. You can read the announcement here for a full list of the cards added, but essentially, any data I could possibly show you here would most likely end up obsolete anyways. 

In place of the deck statistics this week, I’d like to throw out some Hot Takes on what these changes could do to the Expedition format over the next few weeks and what decks you may want to invest some time and Shiftstone into.

  • Mono Fire: Recently we had most of the cards from Dead Reckoning and the Trials of Grodov added to expedition and today we were blessed by the inclusion of Ghodan. While a Mono Fire deck would usually run out of gas pretty quickly, being able to consistently play a Ghodan on turn 5 could allow someone to play nearly endless threats in a unit heavy deck. Rusty Grenamotive and Yeti Pioneer could also give you the extra power needed for these huge turns while Galai may finally reign supreme as the best Invoke card in the game, which is something I’ve strongly believed since its release.
  • Kerendon (TJS) Shift: Shift seems to be the archetype that got the most support from these additions, as well as from the additions that Trials of Grodov brought the other week. Expedition is a slow enough format right now that it is quite possible that a TJS Shift deck could set up a never ending draw engine which will power the deck into being relevant. At first I believed that Combrei Shift would be strong enough to rise up, but Death Ripple may be one of the best removal cards in the format now, which could warrant a slight splash of Shadow in the deck to include that as well as to put Uldra in the market.
  • Jennev (FTP) Control: Display of Instinct has entered the chat. In Expedition, Jennev has been a deck I’ve been working on for a while now. While the power base could hold it back from coming to fruition, Display of Instinct is such a strong card in Throne still, meaning that it could be what Jennev needs to become relevant in Expedition. Before this addition, I’ve felt like the deck was held back by the amount of good units that have four health… This is no longer an issue. Jennev has my biggest seal of approval of all my hot takes, and if you end up seeing me at the top of the Expedition ladder this month, you’ll know how I got there.
  • Xenan Cultists: lol, jk. This deck is dead.
  • Stonescar Dragons: Rising up from the ashes of Xenan Cultists could be a Stonescar Dragon deck. Ultimately, this deck will most likely be midranged with a heavy focus on unit removal from Conflagrate, Voprex’s Choice and Death Ripple. The recent additions of Oni Dragonsmith and Yeti Pioneer would provide threats for your opponent to deal with from the beginning of the game while you steadily smash them down in the air from the likes of Dread Hellkite, Eclipse Dragon and Karvet. 

Both Throne and Expedition are going to be going through a lot of changes over the next two weeks, so I highly suggest you return for Meta Monday next week when GHP returns to be your host and gets everyone caught up on what to expect, and ultimately counter, in the upcoming ECQ. I’d like to end this article with a thank you to everyone who has submitted the data that made this article possible:

  • Chriseay
  • Grandar
  • t3544
  • LightsOutAce
  • susuexp
  • Aberosh1819
  • Quitschi
  • Mancio1982
  • bA1ance

Like always, I strongly encourage everyone to share their thoughts and opinions on my articles. Do you think my hot takes have some merit? Did the exclusion of the tier 4 decks ruin your day? Should I never write again? Let me know how you feel in the comments, reddit or social media.

Of course, if you enjoy the content from Team Rankstar and want to support us, there’s many ways to do so, such as our brand spanking new Patreon which is being used to support the good writers like GHP as well as the rest of our talented content creators. Or maybe you need some new gaming swag? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered at Inkedgaming.com, where using code TRS12 at checkout will save you 12% on your final purchase. Of course, you can also find a full list of our sponsors here.

Thank you so much for reading, everyone. Best of luck in the ECQ.

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