This is Isochron presenting Meta Monday
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 it to /u/NotoriousGHP on Reddit, [TRS] NotoriousGHP#6765 on discord, or email me at [email protected].
I’ve enjoyed writing these Meta Mondays for the past month. However, starting from next week GHP will be mostly taking over once more. You can still expect me to write a few articles here and there, but it’s not going to be a regular thing. Since coming back, I’ve developed even more respect for GHP. Having two formats to process data for is a lot of work. In my experience, every one of these articles takes somewhere around 5 hours of work (although multiple people can be involved at different stages). And this is not even counting how much we’re helped by everyone who submits games. I really appreciate what we have been able to accomplish with a year of these breakdowns. This project is very near to my heart and I hope to see it continue for as long as possible.
This week, we had 468 games submitted for Throne and 211 games submitted for Expedition.
Even Paladins 1.7%
Even Sanctum 1.5%
Mono Time 1.5%
Auralian Midrange 1.3%
Hooru Midrange 1.3%
Mono Fire Aggro 1.3%
Hooru Aggro 1%
Hooru Control 1%
Ixtun Control 1%
Rakano Midrange 1%
Very few things have substantively changed from last week. The most interesting change, in my opinion, is the rise of Shimmerpack. This deck is bound to induce nostalgia in anyone who played at the start of open beta. It was a very fun deck, especially when considering how dominant it was. At the time, many people were annoyed at it just because it was the best deck, but I doubt most people still feel that way about the list.
Seeing it combined with even strategies and completely reworked into a modern deck is incredible. And the lack of a market only adds to the nostalgia. The Shimmerpack is never guaranteed and you have to largely rely on topdecks. This is not the best way to play every game, but after incredibly consistent games that come down to playing merchants into answers or threats, having a large degree of inconsistency really helps.
And nostalgia aside, the deck is a fun change of pace. It doesn’t really fit into any archetype and is a completely new type of even deck. Overall, I would highly recommend giving it a spin and trying it out on ladder. Especially if you played during the start of open beta when it was the best deck in the game.
Before we get to the second change from last week, I would like to address my statement that the meta is very diverse. I stand by that, but I think it requires more clarification. Metagames do not have to be well balanced to be diverse, and diversity is not a massive indicator of a good meta. If every deck in a diverse meta doesn’t appeal to you, it can be a very unfun meta. However, diversity just means that a lot of decks are playable, especially if this applies to every level of the game. So even though most decks in Throne right now are midrange, there’s a very wide variety of midrange decks to choose from.
Now for the second change, we have a lot more data for tier 4 decks. The first thing I immediately noticed is that a lot of these very fringe decks are control, combo, and aggro. Now, considering that tier 1-3 decks make up around 75% of the metagame, seeing beyond that is a good indication of what people are experimenting with. So even though the more established decks tend to be midrangey, there’s a lot of experimental decks that don’t tend to fall into that playstyle.
This hypothesis is not necessarily true though. It might just be that the decks in tier 4 are beloved decks held consistently as fringe parts of the meta by the stragglers who refuse to give them up. However, I think every type of deck currently in the list of tier 4 decks could be built in a way that could raise it to tier 3 or even tier 2. However, a lot of the fluidity in the current metagame won’t really matter once the next set comes out.
With that being said, I would encourage everyone to enjoy the current metagame. It might not be particularly interesting and it might be a mess of midrange decks, but at least there’s not that much to complain about. And as a lot of people have proven over and over again, anyone can brew a new tier 1 deck if they come across something that works.
Expedition has not changed that much this week. Some decks have gone up a few percentages, others have fallen down a few percentages. Hooru Midrange is back from relative obscurity and Argenport Paladins is a deck again. Although I don’t really expect either of these decks to be that relevant going forward. They’re both good decks with reasons to play them, but they can’t really compete with the tier 1 decks. It seems like the last part of this expedition format is going to be defined by Big Argenport, and Elysian was never truly defeated.
I’m very much looking forward to the next set for expedition, since the format hasn’t been very interesting for the past few weeks. It could experience a large shakeup, but that’s nowhere near guaranteed with people’s attentions not being focused on it that much now that the tournament season is over. Expedition definitely experienced some growing pains with it being a new format, but I hope that DWD can learn from everything that happened in it. However, even though the future of Expedition is still very uncertain, having two formats has greatly enhanced the game in my opinion.
This has been Isochron with Meta Monday