Here’s our breakdown of the recent shifts and the newly emerging builds and archetypes, which should serve as a great tool during your valiant climb to Mythic!
After an extended build up, Trial of the Gods arrived last week, and it's already shaking up the metagame, forcing adjustments to each and every top tier meta deck thanks to its arsenal of new and groundbreaking tools.
With the Balancing Phase in full swing, the meta will be shifting as frequently as the Anubian sands (here’s looking at you, Jaguar Staff!), but it sure does pay to keep an eye on these strategies week on week to hone your deck – and your skills – as things progress.
Those days gone by...
The tail end of the previous meta saw Deception and Light decks with incredible win rates at the highest levels of play (stats and lists courtesy of GUDecks), with some interesting midrange-ish builds topping the Mythic charts hovering between 75% and 80% at the time. A Control-oriented Death build by Waikikamukau and a Rune Magic deck also featured with 70+% winrates, followed by a triplet of other Deception decks.
Of course, this all seems like a long time ago now, with a very different metagame brought in by the newly released Trial of the Gods expansion, with Nature emerging as the clear early winner of the kerfuffle with two different viable archetypes as the dust begins to settle. Tread carefully: it’s a very different world out there, mortals.
Winner, winner, jaguar dinner
Jaguar Staff has been a pretty good card, right? Even without strong synergies (of which there are plenty to go around), a 5 mana 2/4 Relic would, on its own, be an acceptable form of a pokey stick – but the fact that it has Blitz and it summons a Black Jaguar means it was generating 12/12 worth of stats by itself even if you discount its actual damage over the course of a long and grindy game.
In order to pull its ridiculous power in line, this staff is switching to 3/2 going ahead, which means it has a bit more bark, but less bite – as only two Jaguars will be comin' to your aid (instead of the previous four).
Even with the new changes, running two of these in your Nature deck should still be purrfectly acceptable.
Then there’s Dionysus, the Bountiful. You don’t want to play the long game against the domain of Nature anymore. Which is an issue considering how effective their midrange board-based aggression is in the current environment.
Stats show the currently popular Spell Nature builds end their matches (meaning their opponents) in 9 or 10 turns on average. Yikes. With the class’ aforementioned ability to go toe-to-toe with almost anyone in the long game, it’s clearly going to be quite the conundrum to figure out.
Sleep-focused Deception builds are one way to pick up the pace, and so far, it seems Orfeo’s Mask is the only real addition from Trial of the Gods in these builds. It’s the usual “get to Demogorgon and then throw the kitchen sink at them” approach, and even with the many neutral anti-sleep tech tools, it seems to work pretty well so far still.
For those waiting for the seemingly inevitable Might Makes Right War decks on the higher levels of the meta, it's now had Leech removed but still gives "each creature in your hand +2/+2". We're keen to see if this remains a big favorite going ahead, but in the meantime we’ve still got some of the older control builds making the rounds in Mythic. In most cases, innovation trickles down from the higher levels of Ranked play to the general masses – it seems like the launch of Trial of the Gods may be telling a different story for the time being.
Oddly enough the three most popular decks of the last few days all have a sub-50% winrate, which suggests that either the builds are unoptimized or they’re simply overrated by the community.
With the old midrange Light and Deception builds (which were still among the winningest builds a week ago) still making up for over 30% of the overall match count, it seems we’re still taking the most tentative of steps in terms of adapting the new set’s toolkit as part of the community’s existing arsenal.
Trying to predict the upcoming metagame is simultaneously the most fun and the most futile part of playing card games on a higher level, but it’s worth highlighting certain promising archetypes and interesting synergies this early on which may yet emerge to the top tier of the competition once the players manage to find more optimized builds for their strategies.
It seems like a Death Zoo build with Return to the Cave and Skull Scepter seems to be making the rounds on the higher ranks, which suggests even an old build of the archetype could be a good climbing choice for the time being if you haven’t had a chance to stock up on your Trial of the Gods cards yet.
Form of Unity also seems like a ticking time bomb in more ways than one, with its undeniable potential as a massive and cheap burn spell in the right deck which is perhaps waiting for a build with a sturdy enough wide board presence to be discovered, ready to shoot to the top of the rankings.
We can’t wait to see what you come up with going forward!
Credit ~ Luci Kelemen
(Updated: Sep 16 to account for balancing shifts)