Lazer Focus: My Favorite MSQ Decks


Hey everyone, Lazergician here. With the Last Chance Qualifier tournament coming up soon to determine the last 2 participants for the Master’s Series at Quakecon, alongside the announcement of the Moons Over Elswyr expansion, it’s time to look back at some of the decks from the Master’s Series Qualifier tournaments that occurred over the last few weeks. We’ve seen some old staples assert their dominance, new hotness come into the limelight, and even a few truly unique builds have sincere success in the qualifiers. I’d like to highlight five decks that I was particularly fond of, and was excited to see as a viewer or to commentate as a caster.

Note that this isn’t a top five list of the most powerful decks, or most successful decks, or best decks to climb ladder with! These are just the decks that I personally enjoyed the most, and that I’d like to highlight for one reason or another, be it for power or any other reason, mostly because it’s fun and this is my article so that’s what we’re gonna go with! So buckle up and let’s check out some lists.

5. SnProok’s Wound Scout

See it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bWmqAG234g

I’ll be honest, I didn’t play this deck myself very much, but man am I a sucker for a deck with a good theme. Packing a deck full of as many wound effects as is (reasonably) possible as a central tenet of a deck and rocking it all the way deep into an MSQ? Hell yeah! Add onto that fact that that package has some old school staples in Leaflurker and Charaus Reaper alongside one of my favorite cards from Alliance War in Sai Sahan and how could I not be giddy watching this deck. Super thematic; super fun.

4. Empire_Oathman’s Aggro Empire of Cyrodiil

See it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyHv1vjyHNU

I’ve been on a serious aggro kick lately. As the primary control decks throughout MSQ 1-4 (Tribunal, Ebonheart, and Telvanni) are relatively known quantities for me, aggro and midrange really captured my interest over the past few weeks. Remember how like… 4 sentences ago I was talking about how I’m a sucker for a good theme? Well how much more thematic can it get than TESL’s #1 roleplayer, Empire Oathman, piloting an aggressive Empire deck? Sign me up! Combining the great tempo and board control tools from Willpower and Agility with the big butts of Endurance and you’ve got a really great recipe for success. Have we found it at the top of the meta? Well, no, but sometimes just “solid” is good enough, and this deck is rock solid. Definitely worthy of play at Legend rank, and definitely worth running for a few casual games too.

Oh, and if you think I’m biased because I got to reveal Empire Oathman… You’re 100% right!

3. Really_Beau’s Doomcrag Redoran

See it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyHv1vjyHNU

This one was a double whammy for me between the deck and the pilot. Really_Beau, AKA Boomslife, was the first streamer I ever watched play TESL back in beta – what’s more, he was LITERALLY the first exposure I ever had to the game. I’ve also loved the Praetorian Redoran archetype for a long time; ever since I saw CoreyMillhouse post his list on Twitter back in late Summer / early Fall 2018. The combination of these facts gave me a huge hit of nostalgia when this was ran in MSQ #1, and I was instantly itching to take this onto the ladder. An absolute blast to play, I knew this deck would be in my top 5 list as soon as I sat down to list them out.

2. Thuldir’s Aggro Daggerfall Covenant

See it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWLwBeHPn_k

The affinity of mine for aggro decks that I keep mentioning? I have Aggro Daggerfall as an archetype to thank for that. It was the first type of deck I gravitated towards when Alliance War dropped, quickly becoming a favorite of mine. While the tuning of the archetype evolved over the course of the MSQs, Thuldir taking this deck all the way to a #1 finish to punch a ticket to Quakecon was crazy hype. In that moment, for me, competitive TESL season felt real again. It didn’t really hit me until we had someone qualified, someone who had fucking won. Watching it happen with my favorite type of deck was insane for me, and would have been my favorite deck of the Alliance War expansion if it weren’t for one more…

1. EndoZoa’s Aggro Aldmeri Dominion

See it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARr1JXTvsqw

My three favorite colors. Great early game tempo tools. Combat tricks for days. Good draw. Good reach. TRS on TRS bias.

Yeah, this deck has it all for me.

Seriously though, Aggro Dominion is incredibly fun to play. It was a deck I had been putting my own work into for a bit, and then Endo came through and shut me down real quick with this beauty. It’s very reminiscent of his old Tempo Assassin for me in the way that it can get out ahead of your opponent as quickly as turn 2 and stay in the driver’s seat indefinitely with the right draw. The density of 1-drops helps you establish that speed really frequently if you mulligan for them, and tools like Wardcrafter, Gavel of the Ordinator, and (one of my pet cards) Penitus Oculatus Agent keep the snowball rolling. Add in my favorite card of the expansion, Dominion Battlereeve, and I just can’t help loving this deck.

And that’s that! Lazergician’s 5 favorite decks from the Master’s Series Qualifiers. Are they all meta-definingly powerful? Nope. Do they need to be to get some love? Absolutely not! These decks are all phenomenal to me in one way or another, and hopefully you give one or two of them a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

Love any of these decks yourself? Deck I missed that you love? Let me know in the comments, or let me know on Twitter!

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