This is Isochron presenting Meta Monday.
The following people made this article possible:
I want to quickly clarify how brews should be submitted to the Meta Monday form. Describing a deck simply as <Faction Combination> Brew is not useful information as there could be multiple brews in the same combination of factions. And a lot of brews can be popular enough to leave an impact on the metagame. So if you spot a brew on ladder, please submit it as <Faction Combination> <Deck Description> Brew. Describing the brew is integral to categorizing it into the wider groups that make up the metagame breakdown.
We also had people submit games with “a man has no name” and “nobody” marked under the name field. Since it was impossible to determine whether these were omissions of a name, or names the submitters wanted to include in the article, I’m dedicating an entire paragraph to this issue. For the future, if you want to omit your name, please leave the name field empty, and if you have a name such as “nobody”, please include extra clarification under the name field, such as “name:nobody”.
As always, if you want your name in the article, make sure to submit your games to our form (which you can find by clicking here). If you have a large data set (over 50 games), you can DM it to /u/IsochronEternal on Reddit or to [TRS] Isochron#0801 on discord. If you want to look at the data we collect in a spreadsheet form, you can do so here.
The quality of the metagame breakdown depends entirely on how many submissions we get, these are the various significant thresholds:
0-222 games – I am not confident in the data I have, the quality of long term analysis will deteriorate greatly.
223-399 games – I am confident in the value of my data, the articles will function perfectly in a normal capacity.
400+ games – I am confident in the accuracy of my data, I will use more precise rounding and include tier 4 decks.
This week we have a record-breaking sample size of 708 games.
Tier 0 – Overwhelmingly popular, this is the deck you’re most likely going to face on ladder.
Tier 1 – Very popular, a sizable minority of your ladder games will be against tier 1 lists.
Tier 1.5 – Meta defining lists that are not quite dominant enough to be tier 1.
Tier 2 – Popular decks that you should keep in mind.
Tier 2.5 – Decks that are an important part of the metagame, but not very popular.
Tier 3 – Obscure decks that you’re unlikely to run across.
Tier 4 – Very rare decks, only one person could be playing them.
Jennev Midrange 1.7%
Combrei Midrange 1.4%
Even Xenan 1.4%
Feln Reanimator 1.4%
Haunted Highway 1.4%
Mono Time 1.4%
JPS Control 1.3%
Feln Midrange 1.3%
Sword Reanimator 1.1%
TJP Control 1%
Mono Primal 1%
Rakano Midrange 0.8%
Mono Justice 0.8%
Xenan Katra 0.8%
Diogo Combo 0.8%
Hooru Aggro 0.8%
Auralian Midrange 0.7%
Feln Scream 0.7%
Kerendon Midrange 0.7%
TJP Midrange 0.7%
There weren’t any real drastic changes to the metagame, so Stonescar Aggro-Mid is still basically where it was last week, except it fell down a few percentages. The same goes for Hooru Control. Tier 1 remained incredibly stable over the last week, considering the amount of innovation put into the game.
In tier 1.5, we have some of the same decks that were tier 2 last week, but obviously all of them have gained a bit of popularity since. Skycrag Aggro and Praxis Midrange were stable as expected, but Feln Control has skyrocketed in popularity. This is because my prediction came true and it merged with Feln Midrange. This change came at the end of last week (although I only really noticed it after finishing my article), but it took a while to make it’s impact on the metagame at large. In Tier 2, Hooru Midrange also held stable, while Rakano Aggro skyrocketed in popularity. I think this is largely due to people moving towards more aggressive decks to counter Hooru Control.
Other than the issue with Jennev Peaks when it comes to tier 2.5/3, there isn’t much to report either. Argenport Midrange and Ixtun Sites were stable, although both lost a few fractions of a percent in playerbase. However, FJS fell straight down to tier 4. This is probably because the reputation of FJS as the go-to “good deck” has been mostly eroded by Hooru and Stonescar. This leaves less incentive for people to play it. However, I think that the deck is still powerful enough to be a meta contender, despite offering very few reasons to play it over more fun decks. Combrei Ramp and Praxis Tokens also held stable. The most important changes in tier 3 are is that Feln Midrange lost most of its player base to Feln Control, and Xenan Katra was replaced by Xenan Midrange.
So we have to touch upon Jennev Peaks and what’s happening with that deck. It’s fall was drastic, although it has good matchups into most of the meta. Why did this happen? The answer is probably another version of the FJS effect, where people just don’t want to play Jennev Peaks anymore. Which is understandable. However, the deck should not be completely discounted as a good option into the meta.
So overall, Jennev Peaks went down, FJS plummeted, and Feln Control went up. Rakano Aggro was also re-introduced to the metagame. I think this stasis will not change unless there’s a major change in the meta, however, we won’t know whether or not that will happen until next week. The new set meta is still open enough for anyone to make an impact, so I hope all of you brew some lists, and see if any of them work. However, with a large sample size comes a good vision into the tier 4 decks. And this week we have a ton to talk about when it comes to tier 4.
The most interesting part of tier 4 is that we have three mono faction decks in it. Mono Time, Mono Primal, and Mono Justice. These decks have been showing up so consistently in tier 4, that I’m getting suspicious. Almost every week there’s a contingent of mono faction players in the dataset, and this doesn’t change no matter what the week is and how many games are submitted. Now, I’m not going to claim that there is a mono faction conspiracy that various individuals have going on to promote the mono faction agenda, but it is fairly strange. My best estimate is that some people just really like the uniform look of every card being the same faction, so they gravitate towards mono faction decks every week.
Even Xenan is also another interesting deck here, as it’s a very swingy list, but also an interesting one. Evenhanded Golem is not my favorite card in the game, but it’s cool to see that there are certain decks that utilize it. 3.4% of decks in the entire dataset were Evenhanded Golem decks, which is pretty incredible. If all of these decks were the same faction combination, they would be solidly tier 2.
Another interesting part of tier 4 is the resurgence of a few older decks that haven’t had a lot of time in the spotlight in the past few weeks, like Feln Reanimator, Maul, and Haunted Highway. These both were meta defining at certain points, and seem to be on a sort of upswing. We also saw 0.7% of the ladder on Feln Scream, which hasn’t been popular for over a year now.
There’s also the selection of midrange decks to choose from, Jennev, Combrei, Rakano, Auralian, Kerendon, and TJP midrange builds are all present on the ladder right now. These aren’t really anything special, and all function based on the premise that enough good cards make a deck good. This means that it’s completely possible that any of these decks rises up the ranks, at least if someone is willing to iterate on them.
There’s also a selection of new combo decks, in Sword Reanimator, Xenan Katra, and Diogo Combo. Xenan Katra would have been 0.3% higher, but I decided to not count Even Xenan Katra decks under either Even Xenan or Xenan Katra archetypes. The Even Xenan Katra list has potential to evolve into a completely different archetype, so I’m keeping my eye out to see what happens with it.
Eternal Tournament Series
Deck Spotlight – Rakano Midrange
The most unique deck to come out of the ETS was SolventSoup’s Rakano Midrange, which is basically Rakano Valkyries from set 4, except better. It’s still a Bulletshaper/Baby Icaria deck, but with a much better high end. First, Xo provides great market material for both Red Canyon Smuggler and Winchest Merchant. The Treasure Trove can be easily discarded to Bulletshaper, and it can come down later in the game to finish everything up. The other big set 5 addition to the deck is Defiance, which helps out a bit with the early game. But the deeper part of why the deck is good again is what it got in set 6.
These two important cards are Sediti and Minotaur Platemaker. Let’s start off with the Platemaker. Valkyries always struggled with finding good cards for the 4 drop slot, so Platemaker is better than it seems at first. Making fliers permanently bigger is a great effect. And since almost everything in this deck flies, there will always be targets for Platemaker. Sediti is a bit more complex, as although he is a great card, there’s a nonbo with Bulletshaper. There’s no way to play Sediti on turn 3, which was a large draw of Amilli. However, when Sediti hits the air, he packs a serious punch. Having a 6/6 statline with flying is worth the heavy strain on influence the deck suffers from, and the additional ability to draw a ton of cards against a control deck is very relevant. This ability even works against aggro and midrange, as those decks can get outmuscled by the large fliers that Rakano Midrange has to offer.
Overall, Rakano Midrange is definitely a contender for a top meta deck, and I think it should have much more players than it does.
This has been Isochron with Meta Monday!