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].

This week, we had 351 games submitted for Throne and 163 games submitted for Expedition.

Throne Meta:

Tier 1:

Stonescar 10.2%
Winchest 9.4%
Combrei Aggro 9.1%

Tier 2:

Big Combrei 6.6%
Elysian Tempo 6.3%

Tier 3:

Reanimator 4.3%
Rakano Aggro 4.3%
Skycrag Aggro 4%
Argenport Midrange 3.7%
Skycrag Burn 2.8%
Xenan Midrange 2.8%
Hooru Curses 2.6%
Even Paladins 2.6%
Praxis Midrange 2.6%
Feln Midrange 2.3%

Tier 4:

Auralian Midrange 1.7%
Grodov 1.7%
Linrei Control 1.7%
Praxis Aggro 1.4%

Throne Breakdown:

Throne has shifted around quite a bit this week. Winchest and Stonescar have been top tier for a while, but it’s only now that they have started to actually dominate the metagame. Combrei Aggro is still incredibly popular, but increasingly taking a back seat as the more universally powerful decks play a larger role in the meta.

Big Combrei and Elysian Tempo make up a solid tier 2 core and act as a counterweight to the top decks. Although they are far more conditional than the tier 1 decks, they can still perform well. More interestingly, we have an incredibly wide spread of decks in tier 3.

Most of these decks are relatively generic, but that’s not a bad thing. It seems like everyone is basically able to play their favorite decks throughout the history of the game in Throne right now. As much as it sucks that old decks are dominant, the field is open for all types of decks.

But there’s a right way and wrong way to do diversity. It could be that every deck has a fighting chance against every other deck, or an unfocused meta could lead to games being mostly determined by matchups. Right now, it seems like we’re experiencing more of the former. Hopefully, it stays this way.

Expedition Meta:

Tier 1:

Big Argenport 18.5%
Elysian 15.5%

Tier 2:

Xenan Cultists 6%
Combrei Aggro 5.5%
Linrei Swindler Curses 5.5%
Rakano Onis 5.5%
Skycrag Yetis 5.5%
Stonescar Midrange 5%
Kerendon Control 4.5%

Tier 3:

Kodosh Control 3.5%
Grodov 3%

Expedition Breakdown:

Big Argenport has been a favorite deck for tournament players for a while, and it’s playrate is starting to catch up with how powerful it is. In part, this is due to the great results it’s been putting up in tournaments. Elysian still has a massive amount of card quality, but can be very inconsistent when compared to Argenport, so it sees a bit less play.

Kerendon Control is still playable, which is nice to see among better defined decklists, and the two tier 3 decks we have enough data on are also pretty neat. We don’t often see three faction decks succeeding in expedition, so seeing that aspect of the game come into play more and stay relevant is pretty nice. Furthermore, the Linrei Curse deck has been mostly revamped with the addition of Elvish Swindler that transforms it into a more midrangey deck. It still generates a ton of value and can completely take the board over, but now it has a powerful engine in addition to the already great toolbox.

Now, the big question is, how do you beat Argenport? The only way to even try to match it by playing midrange is to play a similarly good deck. Elysian and Stonescar Dragons fill this role pretty well. However, both of them can’t reliably match the curve that it has. So it stands to reason that the way to deal with the deck is to go either under or over.

Going over it is very doable in theory with Grodov, Kerendon, and Kodosh control lists, however the matchups are still somewhat favored for Argenport. This is because the control decks just can’t generate enough card advantage to keep up with the amount of cards that Argenport can draw. So since control isn’t a reliable strategy, the only other thing I can think of is somehow going bigger with midrange. This should be possible, but might be too weak to aggro.

And speaking of aggro, there’s the possibility of going under. But with the amount of removal and lifegain Argenport has, a deck that goes under it has to be incredibly fast. Probably so fast that the deck will die to not drawing a good hand more than the enemy deck. This too, is not very ideal.

Now, we could settle for just building an anti-argenport list that basically uses the same cards, but includes some removal from a third faction. Or maybe even replaces the justice cards with something from a different faction. But just relying on the shell of good shadow cards isn’t really a satisfying answer.

But Argenport is a bit soft to synergy decks. It doesn’t really take care of synergistic threats very fast because it wants to keep playing it’s cards on curve. And if you prevent it from curving, you’re also a step closer to winning. So it might be time to give the entire expedition card pool a once over and try to find a deck that could completely blow Argenport out just with the power of synergy.

This has been Isochron with Meta Monday

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