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 250 games submitted for Throne and 112 games submitted for Expedition.
Xenan Strangers: 12%
FTJ Midrange: 10%
Combrei Aggro: 8.4%
Skycrag Yeti’s: 5.2%
Rakano Midrange: 5.2%
Elysian Midrange: 5.2%
Stonescar Carver: 4.4%
Argenport Midrange: 4%
Ixtun Control: 4%
Praxis Midrange: 3.2%
Rakano Aggro: 2.8%
Stonescar Aggro: 2.8%
FTS Talir: 2.8%
Even Elysian: 2.4%
After the results of the Throne ECQ, a new balance patch has landed onto the Eternal client, bringing many changes to both Throne and Expedition including many bullets in time’s direction. Sodi’s Spellshaper, Teacher of Humility and Borderlands Lookout have been mainstay’s in any format they are legal in since there release, and all received substantial nerfs this patch. Even Elysian was the clear target with these changes to Spellshaper and Teacher, and it seems that the mark was hit for now, while Even Handed Golem lives on. Now of course, we aren’t here to discuss the patch to heavily, we are here to discuss the applications of it.
Xenan Strangers, a deck that came very close to winning this ECQ received two minor nerfs to it’s top-end in Grodov and Makkar Strangers, but this deck still remains as a top player in the format. Maximizing on the critical mass of Ramp units + powerful top end, this deck has become a favorite for many players including myself and is showing no signs of slowing down. A huge component to this deck that many players needed reminding of is synergy between powerful units with on-attack abilities combined with Killer, allowing the unit to safely attack, remove a enemy unit and get this effect. In the case of the Strangers, It’s either draw 2 cards + shuffle a void in, or a kill a unit, both are extremely powerful and are worth the cost of playing cards such as predator’s instinct. There isn’t a lot to say about this deck, as it is a time midrange deck but this time, packs a lot more guaranteed value then past iterations.
One other deck I’d like to highlight is Skycrag Yeti’s, a deck that received no changes but received a major buff with the meta shifting. Even Elysian caused this deck issues, with it’s many ambush units but most notably, Sand Warrior being able to come down as free large body that could trade or block the entire deck. With this deck taking a hit, players seem to have resorted back to Skycrag Yeti’s and now, it may be one of Thrones’ strongest decks. Many of the top decks are currently playing at a much less efficient rate then Yeti’s, either starting the game multiple turns after them or struggling to play more then one card in a turn, something Yeti’s is built to pray on. Moving forward, we may see more aggro decks pop in general with some of the changes that occurred, but Yeti’s seems like the one to beat currently.
We may have a pretty small sample size this week, but one thing I do think is accurate is how popular FTJ has been as a faction combination so far. This faction gained a ton this set, including an Armory theme, a powerful display and of course, Chants. This faction pairing is nowhere near as flashy as others but seems to have the most flexibility in what it can do and how it can be built. This weekend is the Spring challenge where many players will battle in an attempt to earn enough points for the bye in the Spring Quarterly Champion, and I fully expect the right build of FTJ to be one of, if not the best choice.
But of course, FTJ isn’t the only deck to consider. Expedition is still considered very wide open and there are many decks such as Carver decks not featured this week, but the other deck I want to point out is Argenport Midrange/Unseen. Although this deck has been popular for a couple of weeks now, It seems to still be flying under many players radars as the deck has a lot more RNG than most with its many ways to grant random battle skills. This may be off-putting for some players, but in Reality, this deck is one of the most efficient decks in the format and one that I expect to be a top choice for this weekend. One of the biggest selling points to this deck is how well it snowballs, and with Exalted units + potential revenge or Exalted hits off our random battle skills, this deck requires you to kill every unit before it overwhelms you. With the changes to Elysian flyers, this deck should be positioned even better then before now that it is likely the fastest deck in the format.
That’s all for this weeks Meta Monday! This weekend will the Spring Challenge where we will get our first real taste of the Expedition competitive meta game leading into the upcoming ECQ, and the question is, what will you bring? Thanks for reading!