Meta Monday – Post Balance Patch

Last week, we received the first balance patch since the release of The Fall of Argenport, and it definitely shook things up in the fourth ETS of season 3. Although there were similar themes among decks, 8 different approaches to archetypes made up our top 8 this week. This top 8 was made up of 2 Icaria control decks, Praxis tokens, Charge rod, the apparently not dead TJP Berserk, Xenan midrange and 2 different Alessi Control decks.

Mouche took down their second ETS of the season, this time with Combrei Alessi control (?), a deck that nobody had on their radar. The deck uses Alessi, various controlling spells and a crazy power base to support Alessi and friends in grinding out opponents. This deck truly showcased what Alessi can do, and I expect to see innovations on this archetype in the future. Although this deck is quite hard to pilot, it’s probably a deck worth picking up if you like to grind. Congrats Mouche!

Another person on a rampage, Team Rankstar’s own Aetherllama came second with their own verison of Alessi control, this time with the support of fire cards and moment of creation. Aetherllama managed to 6-0 during the swiss rounds, leaving them with an impressive 8-1 finish with another relatively unknown archetype. This is probably the weirdest deck that made the top 8, but a commonality with Mouche’s deck is Alessi + Crown Watch Press-Gang is a terrifying pairing, and I believe the best deck using this combination will sit at the highest of tiers.

Another familiar name to the ETS, Aromanova finished third place with Praxis Tokens. Although this deck isn’t overly popular right now, it continues to show promise with fantastic tournament results two weeks in a row. Interestingly, they have included two Cinder Yeti in his 75, allowing him to gain more card advantage and push damage, and although this innovation has been seen before, I think it should be a main stay. One card not featured in this list is Amaran Stinger, a card that has become more popular as of late that I have enjoyed in tokens. I expect this deck to get more and more popular in the coming weeks.

Droilcheck has now top 4’d the last two ETS’s, both with Icaria Blue. Regardless of what anyone says about the deck, Droilcheck seems to always perform with it and continues to pilot it. I personally believe this deck is slightly weaker then the more popular Icaria control deck, Removal pile/FJS Midrange, as it can struggle with time-based midrange, an archetype that didn’t perform overly well this weekend.

Sabriel brought their take on Xenan midrange this week, our only copies of Sandstorm Titan are featured here. Xenan’s a deck a lot of people thought was going to improve with the release of The Fall of Argenport, but it has underperformed thus far. Sabriel brought a interesting list, straying away from Auralian Merchant and Predatory Carnosaur for Kerendon Merchant and Thundering Kerasaur, not something I was expecting to be saying. These innovations brought Sabriel to a fifth place finish this week, and may be the way to go moving forward.

Therocke took sixth place with TJP Blitz this week. I’m not sure this was ever supposed to happen as the deck was targeted with two nerfs this week. TheRocke has added some Strategize and Hooru Pacifier to make up for the loss of Levitate and nerf of Accerlated Evolution, which worked out great for him. I think this deck may still be alive post nerfs, and these are some interesting ways to combat them. As long as Gift of Battle remains unchanged, we will likely be seeing it in various strategies.

Fuzzyfrog took 7th place this week with Removal Pile. This has been an all star since the release of The Fall of Argenport, and that likely will not change. This list is very standard, but does not include a card many have speculated on, Wyatt, Junk Collector, which may have a home in removal pile. I do not see a world in which this deck becomes bad as the meta game advances, and I suspect we will see many more top 8’s from this deck.

Finishing off this week, Grimfan took 8th with their baby, Charge Rod. Interestingly, his list includes no copies of Bulletshaper or Priviledge of the Rank, which facilitate the fastest draws. Charge Rod is a deck I’ve spoken about extensively, and I expect with its worst matchup in TJP Berserk being nerfed, that this deck will continue to put up numbers and become even more popular.

To cap off this week’s Meta Monday, I wanted to discuss the balance patch we received and my thoughts on it for constructed. First of all, I think everyone would agree TJP Berserk was a problem and nobody should be surprised it got nerfed. However, I am disappointed in the nerf of Levitate, as it was a fantastic tool in primal-based control to dig, and pop aegis, and I think there probably could have been a better target. Also, Accelerated Evolution is likely only playable in TJP Berserk anymore, as the nerf made the card way too inefficient. Two cards I believe should/will be changed, however, are Teacher of Humility and Alessi. I expected Teacher to receive a nerf, and I believe DWD made a mistake not nerfing it. Many can argue that it isn’t oppressive, and the reason for it is because the decks that it destroys (such as Unitless control, Scream) have completely disappeared from the meta game. I think Teacher creates too many un-fun games and will be changed in the future. Alessi is a card that people will start complaining about, as it’s featured in many decks and makes many archetypes possible. I think Alessi may be slightly too good of a card, as she is currently the best 1 or 2 drop in the game.

That’s a wrap for this week’s meta Monday! Thank’s for reading, and I hope you enjoyed. You can often catch me streaming at http://www.twitch.tv/notoriousghp. Until next time, Keep brewing!

-NotoriousGHP

4 Combust (Set1 #392)
4 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
4 Grenadin Drone (Set1 #5)
2 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Devour (Set1 #261)
4 Haunting Scream (Set1 #374)
4 Quarry (Set1001 #15)
4 Gorgon Fanatic (Set1 #375)
4 Madness (Set1 #267)
4 Nocturnal Observer (Set3 #173)
4 Rindra, the Duskblade (Set3 #277)
4 Torgov, Icecap Trader (Set2 #126)
4 Amethyst Waystone (Set3 #201)
3 Cobalt Waystone (Set3 #151)
4 Crest of Chaos (Set3 #268)
4 Crest of Cunning (Set3 #267)
4 Crest of Fury (Set3 #266)
2 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Granite Waystone (Set3 #1)

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Check out Team Rankstar streamers: HeyWhyYouMagikarpNotoriousGHPPlatypusKing, SifuDanny and y0ttabyteThatResolves, 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.

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