Welcome to Meta Monday, presented by NotoriousGHP.
The following people made this article possible:
Chriseay
IlyaK
Sspifffyman
Oatmeal
Quacksilver
mancio1982
Bubu_man
Quitschi
Radiophage
nanofuture
Silverhell

As always, if you want to contribute data and have your name featured in the article, make sure to submit your games to this form. If your opponent is on an off-meta deck, please specify some pieces to their deck. If you have a large data set (Over 50 games), you can DM it 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 in capacity.
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 have a sample of 484 games.

META GAME BREAKDOWN:

Tier 0: – This deck defines the entire meta game
Tier 1: – A sizable minority of ladder games will be against these lists
Tier 1.5: – Meta defining lists that are not quite dominant to be tier 1
Tier 2: – Popular decks that you should keep in mind
Tier 2.5: – Relevant decks that are less popular then tier 2 decks
Tier 3: – Obscure decks that you’re fairly unlikely to run across:
Tier 4: – Everything below tier 3

Tier 0:
Rakano Midrange: 16%
Tier 1:
Stonescar: 10.12%
Tier 1.5:
Skycrag Aggro: 8.1%
Mono Fire Aggro: 6%
Tier 2:
Hooru Midrange: 4.54%
Praxis Pledge: 4.1%
Ixtun peaks: 4.1%
Tier 2.5
Hooru Control: 3.7%
Argenport Midrange: 3.5%
Combrei Midrange: 3.5%
Tier 3:
Rakano Aggro: 2.3%
Tier 4:
Winchest Midrange: 1.86%
Jennev Peaks: 1.86%
Feln Aggro: 1.86%
Auralian Rats: 1.5%
Alessi moment: 1.24%
Auralian scream: 1.24%
Mono Shadow: 1.2%
Feln Control: 1%
Even Feln: 1%

Meta Analysis:

Woah. 484 games, 4 shy of DOUBLING last week’s amount. I am super happy to see this much data, as it allows me to draw more accurate conclusions about the meta game, so let’s dive in! Before discussing the changes this week in the metagame, I just want to point out that Torch is in all of the decks until you hit tier 2.

Last week we saw a large grouping in tier 1.5, but only Skycrag Aggro remains in place as the Valkyries took flight to tier 0, while Stonescar just pushed across the tier 1 finish line. There’s no surprise to see Rakano be so popular, winning the ETS Invitational and the Season 2 finale ETS, this deck is the clear king of the popular metagame after a seemingly unsuccessful balance patch a couple weeks back. Rakano continues to put up good performances, and although the meta is slowly adapting the raw power level of this deck, it continues to let it have a close to 50% or better win rate in almost any matchup. If a deck is on the chopping block post Worlds, this is it, and at the rate we are going, we will have a new balance patch sometime next week. Stonescar continues to perform well, although lists aren’t really figured out yet pushing players towards other archetypes. I do expect this deck to stay around this level of popularity, as it is a fan favorite while also being really powerful and flexible.

Looking at tier 1.5, we see Skycrag standing strong joined by fellow aggro deck, Mono Fire. I do believe these decks have solid matchups vs Rakano, but i suspect a large reason they were so popular this week was because it is the first week of the season and players are rushing for a early masters and aggro is typically the best way to accomplish this. Dropping down to tier 2, Icaria Blue shifts down a rank as players learn that this deck has some problems dealing with the powerful two faction version of itself. Praxis Pledge cements itself as a tier two deck once again, after having its legs kicked out in the most recent balance changes. Hooru midrange continues to fluctuate in popularity, as players attempt to figure out if there’s a way to make it into the stronger Sediti deck moving forward. In general, I don’t expect this deck to compete for the number one Sediti slot.

Looking at our final tiers, tier 2.5 gains the dropping Hooru Control and Argenport Midrange as both decks are currently being held down by a hostile metagame. Argenport is just a more clunky version of Rakano currently, while Hooru Control struggles to deal with the onslaught of threats from Rakano, including freshly buffed Icaria into a potential Svetya. Combrei midrange is an interesting deck to see rise in the metagame and, although I am not convinced of it’s strength, I am interested in playing an Insignia Sediti deck. All of that being said. I feel this deck is still to awkward, removal wise, to stand up to the rest of the metagame. In tier 3 and 4, we see a large clump of known quantities that barely made our tier list requirements of 5 games. I think these are decks you’ll see on some days, but are definitely worth keeping in mind as the meta progresses and who knows, maybe one of these will be the new king someday.

Eternal Tournament Series Invitational:

This past weekend, one of Eternal’s premier event’s occurred, the ETS invitational. I, alongside 6 other Team Rankstar members made up 7 of this stacked 32 player tournament featuring names such as World’s competitors Noverb and Erik, and eventually winner Komodo. I won’t be discussing Komodo’s deck list, no one wants to discuss Rakano anymore. There are a few deck’s I will be discussing that stood out in day two of the competition, but what stands out even more is FIFTEEN out of sixteen day two deck list included Torch, and only 3 decks that made the top 16 weren’t Rakano Midrange (6) and Stonescar (7). I’d love to discuss the Stonescar deck Team Rankstar brought, but Doc28 will be doing that later this week, instead let’s discuss the odd members out.

Deck Spotlight – Kaelos’s Praxis Killer’s

Since the balance patch, we’ve seen a return of Praxis’s former self in Killers. Packing card’s such as Dawn Walker, Xumucan and Xenan Initiation, this build ignores the Pledge matters idea and instead is based around playing high value midrange units that quickly bury you in value. We saw a similar list from Paradox, but Kaelos made a wise metagame call and brought a deck that had strong answers to flyers, and Icaria. Xenan initiation is monstrous against Rakano and Kaelos attempted to take down the meta game, one heart of the vault at a time. I really like this build, it’s clean, mostly 4 of’s with an Insignia Power base and I do honestly believe it has the potential to be a big player in this metagame. My only concern is the rise in Stonescar, because that matchup is terrifying.

Deck Spotlight – Magikarp’s Skycrag Aggro

Team Rankstar ‘s resident face hitting expert, lived up to his name bringing Skycrag Aggro this week. After building a plethora of deck’s that liked to go face, Magikarp decided it was time to side with the Champion of Fury’s in order to go under the meta game. Stopped by eventually winner Komodo, Magikarp planned to utilize his 12 1 cost unit’s in order to get on board early, while using the efficient removal spells and Censari Dervish to stop his opponent’s recovery. I almost registered this deck myself, and i think a strategy this aggressive is in a solid position with Jotun Hurler being on the decline. The real question i have for the fishiest member of Team Rankstar is, is this deck better then Yeti’s who have a stronger grind you out game plan?

Deck Spotlight- Brody’s Even Combrei:

I don’t know if you saw the tournament this past weekend, or maybe you caught the deck lists on Eternal Warcry. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how to evaluate this deck. It caught me, and many other players, off guard and so instead of speculating on the deck and it’s game plan, I decided to just ask Brody to tell us a bit about his experience in the Invitational. His response is as follows:

Editor’s Note: The following quote is not edited or changed in any way

“The main issues people have with Evenhanded Golem is that you don’t get access to markets, and it limits your card choices to 50% of what is available (even costs only, duh, lol). When you combine Golem with things like reweave and recursion, it turns Golem into an insane value machine. My first version of the deck was J/S Relic Weapons/Paladins. It nearly went undefeated in Swiss the only week I took it to ETS (last week, deck is called Dark Paladin).. but lost to Manus’ Relic Rush as I hadn’t tested that matchup much at all (no team, so my testing is whatever comes up in matchmaking). Then the Golem nerf hit making the unit Voidbound, and now the player base looks at him as a gimmick card, and as “non-competitive.” I have played on professional card teams before, and have helped create multiple meta defining deck archetype’s in other CCG’s, so I still felt that Evenhanded Golem could still have insane amounts of value with the right combination of cards. I was going to put this on the back burner until after worlds, but then I got my Invitational spot 48 hrs before the deck registration deadline. I adapted the utility belt of reweave utility/draw/ramp from my Dark Paladin deck. (Reweave -> situational card IE: Unwavering Exorcist), and found that Safe Return + Xenan Initiation would give my deck just as much ramp and card value as if I was an Evenhanded Recursion Type deck. By ditching Shadow for Time, I lost the Anointer of the Faithful + Hojan, Crownbreaker combo, but gained Golem/Hojan -> Xenan Initiation -> Safe Return -> 2nd Killer/draw. The Xenan Initiation + Safe Return combination isn’t even limited to those two units in this deck either! One of my games vs Kaelos in the 1st round of Invitational Day 2, I Xenan/Returned the same Sandstorm Golem 3(?) times and ended up wiping their entire board.This deck also takes advantage of additional/backup card draw from Temple Scribe, and ramp from Icaria, Valkyrie Captain. Being ‘Even’ limits your card choices so you don’t get Stand Together or Harsh Rule, but you can still access these effects through Sword of Unity and End of the Story, respectively. Plus, the Sword of Unity has synergy with the Renown Effects of Hojan and Imperial Loyalist. The most dangerous unit you can leave me with when you end your turn is an Imperial Loyalist with the Renown still active. This is either going to be Safe Returned at the end of your turn to fetch me a free Golem to fill my hand at the end of your turn, or I am dropping a Spellcrafted Sword of Unity on it fetching a Sandstorm Titan! The Renown trigger resolves before the Spellcraft resolves, so my SST is getting the +1/+1 and Aegis too! There is a few other smaller tricks you’ll see in my Day 2 Invitational games, or you can figure them out as you play it. 😉 Also, I want to make sure you know that in no way are these the optimal card choices for this meta! I was expecting more Rakano hate than actual Rakano decks (/facepalm), otherwise I would of included a few different card choices. Also, the most underwhelming card of this deck throughout the Invitational was definitely Mystic Ascendant. In the few hours I was able to test with him, he seemed like he was going to be good enough, but when you’re drawing so many cards and have a dozen potential combinations to work with, Mystic into a Power for a free card is lackluster compared to what this decks able to do.”

Predictions Moving Forward:

Worlds is this weekend, and although there hasn’t been a ton of hype around it we all know the competitors have been working there hardest to find something spicy to take down this tournament. Honestly, I feel like we are gonna be seeing a lot of Stonescar and Rakano, as Stonescar seems to be the best way to stay on pace with Rakano without going to big or to small against the rest of the metagame. We may even have a balance patch by the time the next Meta Monday comes around, but I will admit, with full bias, Popotito is winning Worlds.

That’s all for this week’s installment of Meta Monday, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!

This has been NotoriousGHP, with Meta Monday.

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