The following people made this article possible:
As always, if you’d like to contribute data and have your name featured in the article, make sure to submit your games to both the Throne Ladder and Expedition Ladder forms. If your opponent was on an off-meta deck, please just write a little bit of information about it to make my job a little easier. If you have a large data set, you can DM them to /u/NotoriousGHP on Reddit, [TRS] NotoriousGHP#6765 on discord, or email me at [email protected]
The quality of the metagame breakdown depends entirely on how many submissions we get. These are our significant thresholds:
0-222 games – I am not confident in the data we have, the quality of analysis will deteriorate greatly.
222-285 games – I am confident in the value of our data, the articles will function perfectly normal incapacity
286-399 games – The metagame breakdown will include any tier 4 lists I have enough data for.
400+ games – The sample size is big enough for more precise rounding.
This week we had a sample of 561 games for Throne Constructed and 215 for Expedition Constructed.
Expedition Meta Breakdown:
Elysian Midrange: 14%
Combrei Aggro: 8.8%
Hooru Midrange: 7.4%
Winchest Midrange: 7%
Argenport Midrange: 7%
Kerendon Control: 6%
Rakano Aggro: 5.6%
Stonescar Midrange: 4.2%
Skycrag Control: 4.2%
Feln Midrange: 3.3%
Mono Shadow Midrange: 3.3%
Jennev Control: 2.3%
Expedition Meta Breakdown:
Another week, another massive shakeup in Expedition. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, with massive shakeup after massive shakeup allowing no time for the meta to develop. This surprises me, and I do wish we had a bit more time between these changes in order to see how they impact the meta, for example, we don’t really know what the effects of the Xenan Cultist focused nerfs really did to the format because two different batches of cards have been added since. This week see the addition of 40 new cards, most notably the 5 influence warp cycle introduced in Dark Frontier. While the metagame continues to adjust, I’ll briefly be covering the effects of these cards in Expedition.
One of the biggest selling points in Dark Frontier, was the 5 influence warp cycle that helps incentivize mono faction and 2 faction decks instead of what was a mostly 3 faction previously. All of this cycle has seen some play, including Sediti being nerfed after dominating the first Eternal World Championship. In Expedition, the power bases are substantially worse then Throne’s making these card’s a lot more of a commitment to play with. With this in mind, these cards are all extremely powerful and will help incentivize mono faction archetypes or two faction decks with one color being dominant. The question is, where do these cards go? Let’s break them down.
Ghodan, Undefeated: Although she claims to be Undefeated, Ghodan’s biggest spotlight has been a second-place finish in the Eternal World Championship showdown in Mono Fire. Since then, Ghodan has seen a small amount of play allowing for players to have a top-end that closes games extremely fast, while generating value. This card likely incentives Mono fire to exist, a deck some players were already toying with and I expect some players to try this card in aggressive Stonescar builds. Tasbu is also an option for Stonescar, but in decks trying to play cards like Akko on turn 1 and end games as fast as possible, a top end of Ghodan and Galai as charging value generators, sounds like a power plan moving forward.
Tasbu, the Forbidden: Speaking of Tasbu, my take for the most impactful card to be added in this patch, Tasbu is going to be meta defining. Already a powerhouse in Throne, Tasbu adds to the core shadow midrange package of Incarnus + Karvet + Vara and should slot into most Shadow archetypes. This card is larger than almost everything in the format and always generates value. The only Shadow archetypes I expected not to play this card, are 3 faction ones such as Kerrendon Control or extremely aggressive shadow builds, who still might want to play this card as top end. Tasbu is the card that scares me the most to be added, and although our report doesn’t reflect this a lot of players have said that right now if you want a deck to play in Expedition, you should just play Shadow cards. This card’s insane relative to the format.
Sediti, the Killing Steel: Mono Justice was already a deck some players have been having success with, and with the addition of Sediti and Minotaur Platemaker, it got a huge boost this patch. I think midrange justice builds are going to use both of these cards to there fullest extent, and the only reason not to currently is to play a different card of the 5 influence warp cycle, such as potentially Tasbu in Argenport Midrange. Sediti is very snowbally, and Justice got a huge buff with these additions. I think decks like Combrei or Hooru Midrange will definitely need reworking with all of these new tools, but Sediti will shine in these archetypes.
Xumucan, The Surveyor: Many players feared the addition of Saber-Tooth Priderleader in Expedition, but Xumucan brings a new aspect to Ambush in Expedition. Outsizing basically everything including a mastery’d Varret, Xumucan is an extremely powerful card to be added to Expedition. This card hasn’t seen tons of Throne play, often being outshined by the rest of the cycle, and I believe that may also be the case in Expedition. This card is extremely powerful, but I am not convinced it’s a big enough incentive to play this card over Tasbu in Xenan or Sediti in Combrei. Where this card may see play in Elysian, who already plays Trail Maker to help its influence, and although it has a lot of possible 5 drop options, probably does not want to play Rost. The question is, is it worth it to shift your influence to play Xumucan over lla and Mizo or Sodi, Wingbreaker. If one of this cycle is going to fall flat, it’s going to be Xumucan or our last option, Rost.
Rost, the Walking Glacier: Rost hasn’t seen much play in Throne, when it has it has been in control decks such as Hooru or Skycrag Control, but hasn’t been an all-star. In Expedition, clean answers to this card are more prevalent in both Cremate, and Shen-Ra Speaks being popular and important cards to this format. Rost may see play in the newly buffed Skycrag Control, who just also received Static bolt allowing for the Garden of Omens + Static Bolt + Prodigious Sorcery combination to come to life as this deck can’t utilize Ghodan very well, and is primarily a Primal focused deck. I don’t think this card is good enough in decks such as Elysian or Feln, as both of those would likely rather its other 5 drops, but Rost may surprise people, and for the already existing Mono Primal, that deck just got a huge buff.
Throne Meta Breakdown:
Stonescar Aggro: 10.4%
Rakano Aggro: 8.5%
Grodov (FTJ) Midrange: 7.2%
Elysian Tempo: 6.9%
Combrei Aggro: 5.8%
Praxis Midrange: 5.1%
Argenport Midrange: 4.2%
Stonescar Midrange: 3.5%
Skycrag Control: 2.8%
Xenan Midrange: 2.3%
Skycrag Aggro: 2.1%
Combrei Midrange: 1.8%
Feln Control: 1.8%
Jennev Control: 1.4%
Fresh off the shocking nerf to Torch and friends, we see a large decline in the popularity of both Praxis and Grodov Midrange. Both of these archetypes received multiple nerfs this patch and have fallen somewhat from grace, although I still hear good things about Grodov. With this in mind, the meta is in a huge state of unknown with the Throne ECQ approaching this weekend, adapting and refining archetypes are going to be the key to success. Before we dive any further, I want to mention that I won’t be covering the balance changes in detail here as they will be covered in my article on Inkedgaming.com going live tomorrow morning.
In the first couple of days since the patch, the top of masters was filled with Rakano Aggro, a deck that benefited massively by the changes to Torch allowing Finest Hour to shine and be near incontestable in combat. This deck seems like a clear winner with the changes, alongside Combrei Aggro utilizing Finest Hour effectively and having some near unbeatable draws. These decks also take advantage of cards such as Teacher Of Humility and Hojan that both punish unrefined archetypes and benefit from Torch being changed. Moving towards the ECQ, I expect both of these decks to show up in large quantities and with cards like Stand Together or Highlander Sharpshooter + Warhelm floating around, early removal is going to be very important. I expect to see upticks in Defiance to combat these decks, and also account for the Torch nerfs for decks such as Winchest.
Another deck that has improved from these changes is Skycrag Control, or as some like to call it, Spellcrag. This archetype was already very strong but had issues with Heart of the Vault answering Garden of Omens to easily and now that Heart of the Vault received a nerf, this deck seems primed to shine. This deck also has a lot of early interaction such as Static Bolt, Torch, Permafrost and Snowballs combined with Hailstorm to deal with aggressive game plans, but a fast enough kill condition in Prodigious Sorcery to stop players from just playing the collect card advantage game plan. There’s a lot of different options for building this deck, with things like Rost, Re-read or main deck Royal Decree’s to help target specific matchups, and I think the player who figures this deck out has a strong chance to book themselves a ticket to the Eternal World Championship.
The last archetype I want to touch on is Elysian Tempo, but not Maul. This strategy has been popping up quite a bit post balance patch, as Equivocate is an extremely powerful card, and so many players have looked to maximize it with Sodi’s Spellshaper and aggressive units. This deck does seem to struggle against Skycrag Control, but against any midrange decks or unit-based decks a whole, this deck should have a favorable matchup. Combining so many cheap interactive cards with efficient must answer units is a recipe for success and this is an archetype that I think many are sleeping on
With so many balance patches lately, it’s been very difficult to keep up with this metagame and being able to do so is going to be crucial moving forward to this upcoming ECQ. Decks such as Stonescar, Praxis or Grodov are still powerful choices, but will they be able to stand up to the newest hot decks floating around? We will find out, this Sunday.
Want to support our content? There’s many ways, best of which is directly at our new Patreon, which helps us support our content creators: https://www.patreon.com/rankstar.
Not your speed? Check out our sponsors here: https://linktr.ee/teamrankstar Don’t forget, you can play your games with your style with Inkedgaming.com. Use code TRS12 at checkout for 12% off your final purchase total!