Meta Monday – Praxis Mid

What an exciting past week it has been! Two weekends ago, we had an ETS and an LCQ, so it was a back tournament weekend leading into this past weekends invitational, which provided two days of the highest caliber Eternal competition. These are the tournaments that everyone should take a look at, if they can, as they feature many of the most prominent competitors in the tournament scene. Congratulations Paradox for taking it down! It was super exciting to watch the second day of coverage and see each game play out. Paradox has put in a lot of time and energy into the community, so this victory was well earned. Great work to everyone who qualified for the event, it shows dedication to the game and we are about to see that commitment payoff with the games release here soon.

Team Rankstar is proud to have had five of its members make it into the invitational: Dunkelwerk, HeyWhyYou, Magikarp, Sifudanny, ThePlatypusKing. The team put a lot of energy into making the invitational happen for our members, and came together to help push one another. Could not be more excited for what the future holds!

Overall, the decks from the invitational are more or less what you would expect: Praxis Mid, Xenan Mid, TJP Mid, and Praxis Tokens. The outliers I did not expect to see do so well were Stonescar Gunslingers, Feln Control, FTP Moment and Unitless Control. Going into this tournament, we looked at a handful of decks, and ultimately deduced Praxis Tokens was where we wanted to be. The ability to go under some of the bigger decks, and go around some of the smaller decks, felt like a good choice. Expecting there to be a healthy amount of Xenan Mid, Praxis Mid and TJP, overall I think the deck was a great choice. Two of the three TRS members who were on the list made it to day two. Praxis Mid proved to be a solid contender, still holding its place as one of the best midrange strategies since set 2. Seeing two of my personal favorite players on the list do so well (ChildRoland and Paradox) reinforced how potent the deck is right now.

I advocated the other players jam Xenan Mid, as my experience suggested it was a great choice for this tournament meta. I still believe, given the decks that did well, that it is a great choice for tournaments and ladder, plus it has been one of my favorite archetypes for some time. Generally I lean towards BruisedByGods list more so than Alarmadillos, but both have a lot of game against the field (it should be noted that Worldbearer Behemoth is one of my favorite cards).

Stonescar Gunslingers is the list that took me the most by surprise. While I did not expect much Hailstorm, as Hailstorm decks have largely fallen out of favor, I did see Lightning Storm popping up in TJP sideboards. Both Krizalio and TinMan proved the deck is still a top contender with both of them making the top 8.

Lastly, the control decks, while unpopular in the tournament overall, proved to be very potent in execution. DrStein crushed some souls with an oldie but goodie: Feln Control. The Jotun Feast-Caller buff added a great element of play to this deck, giving it some additional velocity. While there are no crazy innovations outside of that, it goes to show that something classic like this list can still be relied on when the time comes. It’s not surprise to anyone that we get excited about Moment of Creation decks, so seeing BenBuford pilot FTP Moment to day two was very satisfying. Overall, this deck has not been nearly as popular as it was a few months ago, but it still packs a punch, and feels versatile enough to play in any event. I am hoping we get some fun new tools to add to this list in set 4. Lastly, Unitless Control was one of the lists TRS tested before the event with a good amount of success. Ultimately, I believe it was lack of long term experience with the deck that shied any of our members away from bringing it, but seeing SecondBlue’s most recent finishes with the list has been very inspiring. This deck is fairly challenging to play optimally, but can be incredibly capable in the hands of the right pilot. I was lucky enough to hear some of SecondBlue’s personal insights on the deck in Sifudanny’s Discord last week, and I developed an even deeper appreciation for the list.

Here are all of the decks from the event.

Here is a really cool spreadsheet of the decks and their performance, compiled by our friend camat0.

Today is a special week, as it is the ladder reset! so to start off we have got some Feln Midrange action for those of you who want to sail up to diamond. This deck feels great to play when you get to go off with Jotun Feast Caller and Champion of Cunning as they can be so difficult to deal with and will snowball if left unanswered. So much early interaction allows them to dominate the early game against small unit based strategies and the game ending threats allow them to really turn the corner and win the game before your opponent is able to recover and mount a rebellion!
2 Dark Return (Set1 #250)
4 Levitate (Set1 #190)
2 Permafrost (Set1 #193)
2 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
4 Strategize (Set3 #165)
4 Vara’s Favor (Set0 #35)
3 Feln Bloodcaster (Set1 #386)
4 Hailstorm (Set1003 #11)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
2 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)
4 In Cold Blood (Set1003 #15)
4 Champion of Cunning (Set1 #371)
4 Jotun Feast-Caller (Set3 #187)
4 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
1 Azindel’s Gift (Set1 #306)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
4 Cobalt Waystone (Set3 #151)
4 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Crest of Cunning (Set3 #267)
4 Feln Banner (Set1 #417)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)
However, the invitational changed everything with so many excellent decklists — even a unitless control deck that I might even pick up for a few games myself. But the winner of the event was of course the midrange deck that gets to play crests and Heart of the Vault and I was super happy to see praxis on top again. Praxis is one of the better faction pairs in my opinion as there is so much you can do with it from tokens, to midrange, to huge sentinels to being the backbone of the sentinel reanimator and moment of creation decks. This deck took me to a nearly clean sweep up to masters with a couple of win loss win loss moments at 99 points just to keep on my toes after being stuck in D1 hell for the best part of a day. I’d recommend taking both of these decks for a spin on the ladder as they are both doing very powerful things and I feel can attack the ladder very successfully right now.
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
2 Friendly Wisp (Set1 #82)
3 Purify (Set2 #176)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
3 Xenan Initiation (Set2 #44)
1 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Dawnwalker (Set1 #86)
4 Crimson Firemaw (Set1002 #3)
2 Praxis Displacer (Set1 #100)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
3 Xenan Obelisk (Set1 #103)
2 Worldbearer Behemoth (Set3 #87)
4 Heart of the Vault (Set2 #183)
2 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)
3 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
5 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
2 Amber Monument (Set1 #420)
3 Amber Waystone (Set3 #51)
4 Crest of Impulse (Set3 #251)
4 Praxis Banner (Set2 #171)
4 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)
I’ve also added a more casual deck to my new player series with Xenan life force and though this is a real contender on the ladder I think it offers something a little more thematic for new players as I know in my paper playing circles the life gain theme with a payoff was super popular (I’m looking at you Oloro!) I think my next inclusion will be a control deck I’m just trying to figure out how to get it to work as I think the only viable new player friendly control deck outside of chalice could be Hooru, though maybe the new set will bring us something sweet to play with. Of course as always, thanks for being excellent everybody — see you on Discord!

Check out Team Rankstar streamers: HeyWhyYouMagikarpNotoriousGHPPlatypusKing 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!

TheSkeeJay’s most recent tier list is up this week!

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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