Hello everyone, and welcome to another installment of Team Rankstar’s Tier list! This month, we start to see this swirling maelstrom of a meta-game start to solidify into several strong decks. Shadow is truly a tier one faction and has made it’s mark on the format after the release of the Into Shadow Campaign, which contained several very strong cards.
An explanation of the Tiers:
Tier one: The creme de la creme of the format. To be successful in this format, you should learn these decks, whether it’s to play them or know how to beat them. Few bad matchups, and even then will have a fighting chance in the hands of a skilled pilot.
Tier 1.5: Great decks that will see a good amount of success on ladder. These decks either need a little bit more expertise to pilot or have a few more bad matchups than the tier one decks (though they are still solid choices).
Tier 2: Very playable decks that can prey on the higher tiers with some success. These builds are great picks into certain metas, but are usually a little bit more situational than the higher tiers and are more matchup dependent.
Tier 3: Decks that have put up some results, but are currently pretty weak against the majority of the field. Playing these decks is unadvised.
Without further ado, November’s Tier List:
Let’s Jump into the specific decks:
This deck continues to shine after Team Rankstar
took two of the top four slots in the test tournament
before this last one (GHP and Dunkelwerk). At this point,
no one can deny the power of this deck, which relies on an efficient curve and the best recursion in the format via haunting scream. What makes the deck really excellent is ability to play the long game with vicious tempo swings like the Madness/Combust comb. This deck is definitely the level zero of the format for testing, and If we continue to see clunky, big units in all of these midrange decks we’ll continue
to see Haunted Highway at the top.
Many competitive players have claimed that this deck is
the best in the format, and they may be right. This deck is often referred to as “FJS Pile,” due to the fact that it is a collection of all the most powerful cards in the the three factions. The deck only played good cards before, and with the release of Cauldron Cookbook and Vara Vengeance Seeker, the archetype was pushed over the top, and can grind out almost any opponent with card advantage and efficient removal.
Team Rankstar’s Aetherllama has a tendency to show up with off the radar decksand demolish the competition. He won this last week’s ETS with this and mostgames didn’t seem close. The deck relies on vicious synergies and tempo plays to outplay your opponent, and eventually finish them off with Tavrod or Sword Of Unity. The inclusion of four Dark Returns and four Stand Togethers make you units very hard to deal with. If you can learn this deck inside and out and are familiar with the format, this deck can hang with both of the tier 1 decks of the format.
This deck continues to be relevant due to it’s favored matchup against it’s cousin,Haunted Highway and it’s decent matchup against FJS midrange. The simple fact that this deck can punish any sort of slow or clunky draw from your opponent is enough to crank the win rate up quite a bit. As long as this
deck continues to line up well against some of the best decks, we’re going to continue to rank it high.
This deck is designed to play a unit on 1, 2, 3, 4, then Sword of Unity and
smack your opponent until their life total is zero or less. It does a great job at this but not much else. It’s top decks late game can be lackluster and has trouble coming back after it has lost the board. This can be a great meta call into removal heavy decks or a heavy Haunted Highway meta, though Vara can be a huge issue for the deck, since it relies heavily on stand together and sword of unity to protect it’s units. Overall, a good deck that’s fine against most of the field.
This is one of those decks that is strictly tier 2, not having the best matchups
against many of the better decks in the game. That being said, it’s a treat to
play and one of the most “fun” competitive decks to play right now due to having insane Caiphus turns with Dark Return. Though this deck isn’t crazy good versus the field, this deck can go over haunted highway and under FJS, making it a solid choice in certain meta games where those decks will be over-represented.
A deck that continues to see play even though it’s not doing the most powerful of things. With it’s most recent top 8 of the Eternal Tournament Series we have seen a slight uptick in people trying this out on ladder. It plays similarly to Haunted Highway, though perhaps with much less momentum. Though the power base is fairly consistent (especially compared to Haunted Highway, It loses some tempo without the Madness-Combust combo. sometimes this deck also just loses to a stagnant board or not enough reach towards the end of games. A fun to deck to pilot, and if you know what you are doing, you will see a decent win-rate on ladder.
Tokens is a deck that only really does one thing well – get on the board early, and attack attack attack. With Vara being 6 toughness (and 4 if you sacrifice a token) this deck really needs obliterate in all lists as a 4 of. I_am_Monstrum, tokens connoisseur recently made the top 64 of Dire Wolf Digital’s test tournament on Red Market Tokens, something that him and Magikarp have been proponents (meta depending) of for quite awhile now. Magikarp also took 2nd place in this year’s last ETS weekly with red market. Hailstorm and Devastating Setback can be a huge issue for the deck, though playing around sweepers is an important skill to have for any aggro player.
SifuDanny was seen last top 8’ing an ETS with this list. A very powerful take on the “Heart of Icaria” archetype of old with some new added spice. Any deck with removal, powerful units, and Cauldron Cookbook has a chance of taking down anything. The only issue with this deck is that FJS mid is just a better cookbook deck. If you’re looking for a nice change, put on your hipster glasses and start warping those Heart of the Vaults!
The closest thing that we’ve seen in an un-interactable combo deck that we’ve seen since Charge Rod! The problem with this deck is that you can clear all of their bulky units, destroy their mask, and they still can just play their whole deck the next turn. A deck that’s pretty rewarding to learn and master as there are many lines that aren’t the most intuitive at first glance. This deck feeds on other late game midrange decks that are looking to grind you out. It doesn’t pack much removal so the counter to this deck is killing them early or hitting them with a bunch of beefy flyers.
The player, Almost, has a staggering 2nd and 1st place to their name this ETS season with this deck. It’s a terror on ladder against decks that have trouble disrupting the combo, but often folds to decks that are heavy on interaction. This deck is very good into a midrange metagame, which is right now. If we see torch aggro decks pick up in the coming weeks, this deck could fall back into being a meme.
Team Rankstar showed up to the first ETS of this season with this archetype to about a 50/50 win rate. Not the greatest, though, we expected more time midrange to be showing up to the event. Big combrei shines in metagames where all the other time midrange decks are trying to do fair things. Take praxis midrange for example, which is just trying to ramp into huge units. Big combrei has that exact same game plan but with better things to do late game (Siraf, The Great Parliament).
Kroge Top 8’d another ETS with Rakano Mid, or Rakano Valks. A few things to note: It seems Icaria is still good but not overpowered at an 8 drop and this deck cut down on Amilli. Moving forward, anytime Vara has a target on her head, Amilli will unfortunately also be prone to the exact same removal (except Obliterate and a few other niche conditions). Kroge noted that, and designed this deck as more of a “toolbox” Rakano opting for Rise to the Challenge out of the market as well as the main deck, proving to be a very powerful change that Rakano needed.
Argenport Midrange has seen it’s up’s and down’s over the course of Eternal history. At one point, this deck was the best deck in the game. Now, this deck is a metagame call at best, though it did see a top eight in a recent ETS piloted by Kangbreath. It’s weaknesses include a weak 2-drop slot as well as a susceptibility to the formats common removal spells. This, in combination, with recent nerfs and the lack newly released cards to power up the deck, puts this deck solidly in the tier three category.
Stonescar Gunslingers has seen a slight uptick in popularity and viability due to it’s decent matchup against decks like Haunted Highway and Skycrag Aggro. Nobody can deny the power of Hideout Pistol and efficiency of the deck’s units, though the deck has some glaring issues. An inconsistent power-base can weigh the deck down and finding a good balance of gunslingers for synergy without diluting the deck too much can be a challenge. This deck has definitely put up several good results in the ETS a few weeks ago showing that stonescar gunslingers is down but not out.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall, or so they say. This was the best deck in the format before the nerf to Channel the Tempest, Vital Arcana, and Aurelian Merchant, and now, you’d be lucky to see this deck top 8 an event or compete at a high rank in masters. It would require a very different metagame for this deck to be good including a down tick on Haunted Highway, Skycrag, and decks packing bore in their market. There may exist a good unit less control in the format, it’s just not here.
AP Control suffers from being a decent control deck with no access to Cauldron Cookbook. It instead relies on slower cards like Wanted Poster and Cull The Deck, which are just weaker two drops and take a lot more set up. In a metagame where the defining card is a way to generate card advantage against decks like this, AP may be in for a rough time. That being said, this deck matches up pretty nicely against some of the mid-range, non-Cookbook decks running around in tier 2 and lower.
Thanks for tuning into this month’s tier list! Until next time, be sure to check out all of TRS’s streamers, players, and content creators. We always love feedback, don’t hesitate to add us in game and chat after a ladder match. Cheers!
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