It’s been an action packed two weeks of Warpmeta and while it has felt like the community has continued to narrow its focus onto a few key decks, every week new ideas and lineups shake things up and continually push us in new directions.
Warriors7 took down Warpmeta #21 for the 2nd week in a row with the two decks for which he is probably best known: Midrange Battlemage and Conscription Telvanni. His third deck, Tribunal Control was banned by his opponents in all four rounds. This continual targeting points to an important trend seen in competitive play over the last several weeks: while Tribunal Control is not often viewed as a particularly strong deck on ladder, its tournament matchups tend to be much stronger and more problematic. As an example of the differences between ladder and tournament play, consider that among the semifinalists from Warpmeta #21, not a single true aggro deck was brought to the table among 12 deck lists! True to form Warriors’ winning lineup consisted of several hyper consistent decks. While semifinalist GentleBen utilized a much flashier variant of Telvanni Conscription built around Ulfric’s Uprising and the shout package, even going so far as to include the bat/ring combo, Warriors’ stable flexible interaction all the way up the curve came out on top. Warriors’ sturdy and consistent style led him to a tournament win for the 2nd week in a row and goes to show that in a field of players trying to find creative and potent ways to tackle the meta, sometimes the best thing you can do is stay rock solid and adaptable.
Warriors7: Telvanni Conscription
Another archetype of note from Warpmeta #21 was semifinalist FroGGer91’s two Necro Token decks. These Spellsword and Redoran decks are built around the interaction between Odirniran Necromancer and Divine Fervor, enabling Necromancer to reanimate other Necromancers in the discard pile as well as some of Willpower’s potent 3 power yellow threats such as Hive Defender and Lydia. While FroGGer’s lineup was not well suited for the control and high value midrange dominated top 4, his decks looked very promising, representing a new archetype capable of effectively defending against and grinding out aggressive opponents. If we see tournament metagames with high presences of aggressive decks in the future, do not be surprised to see players go quite deep with builds of this archetype:
FroGGer91: Necro Token Redoran
Of note, strong tournament players such as Ikarus, calldacopshelp, KoverasBG, and Fictional0 all brought lineups with two or more aggressive decks to Warpmeta #21, but all were eliminated before our high value midrange and control filled semi finals.
Most of the Warpmeta #22 broadcast seemed to indicate that players were taking notes from the prior week’s top 4 as we watched Uprising Scout mirror after Uprising Scout vs Telvanni Ox matchup. However, at the end of the day it was j-silver and a pile of SMOrc that stood victorious. J-silver brought a lineup that felt very well positioned against the sea of Scout present. In fact j-silver was the only competitor in a broadcast match not to bring Uprising Scout to the tournament. While most viewers may have come away thinking that the tournament meta was falling into a pit of hour long control mirrors, it is important to note that across all competitors many aggressive and midrange strategies were still present, and many of them eliminated each other along the way to the tournament’s conclusion. While I scolded j-silver on broadcast for the low number of 2-cost creatures in his Sorcerer list, increasing the risk of falling behind on board against aggressive opponents, the added meat that he was able to bring higher in his curve as a result made it far harder for controlling opponents to efficiently answer his threats. No deck has ever presented quite as many meaty threats as fast as Midrange Warrior and so as long as j-silver could avoid his defensive opponents drawing their copies of Tel Vos Magister, as he was able to do against finalist mattyborch, his line up of Warrior, Sorcerer, and Hlaalu was extremely well equipped to bash relentlessly. The success of j-silver’s line up also speaks to the key differences in gameplay present in a tournament format that includes bans: while his lineup was very poorly positioned against Tel Vos Magister, in almost all cases he would be able to ban away something like a Midrange Battlemage should his opponent bring it.
J-silver: Maggro Warrior
Another deck of note from Warpmeta #22 was finalist mattyborch’s Aggro Dagoth. Matty brought a very balanced lineup to Warpmeta #22, with an aggro, midrange, and control deck included. Matty’s aggro deck is something which he has been seeing a great deal of success with, particularly on ladder, due largely to its shear speed. A very effective way to combat efficient solid aggro decks like Hlaalu is to push your aggression to 11 and go under them. As they are built to be proactive themselves they are often quite poor when they are forced to play the role of the defender. Matty’s Aggro Dagoth was so well positioned against j-silver’s beefy slower aggressive lineup, that despite j-silver’s lineup’s extreme weakness to Tel Vos Magister he was forced to ban Matty’s Aggro Dagoth instead of his Midrange Battlemage!
While it didn’t get much camera time, there was quite a bit of creative deck building on display during Warpmeta #22. In fact there were three different Assassin decks seen almost nowhere outside of their pilot’s hands. Reireibarker brought his Shrine Assassin deck for the third week in a row and took it all the way to the semi finals. His teammate, and reigning TESLCS champion, Emikaela brought a hybrid between rei’s shrine list and PDMD’s shackle Assassin. While the deck stems from these two roots its gameplay is entirely unique and it will be fascinating to see how the archetype develops if more testing is put into it. She also achieved a semi-final finish. TESL’s own mad scientist in chief, Petamax, brought a Market Assassin list which has reared its head quietly from time to time but is almost unheard of currently.
Despite the repeat appearances of a few key meta players, the diversity of decks played in Warpmeta these past two weeks, and particularly during Warpmeta #22 was ludicrously high and is something seen in virtually no other competitive tcg or ccg. We hope you’ll join us after our one week hiatus Thursday June 21st at 7pm EST as we see how the meta continues to develop and whether some of the spicier archetypes popping up from week to week will be able to snag a tournament win.
Until next time,