Final Tier List of The Empty Throne

This is the final tier list of Set One. The next tier list will come after Set Two releases.

This tier list is valid for Patch 1.21 (events)

Thursday Tier List #19 – June 23rd, 2017

RNG here. Sorry for this tier list being so late and haphazard, I’m sick as hell and busy with the S4 Invitational as well as some real life stuff. I will do my best to close us off in style though. Without further ado, here’s the list.

What is the Purpose of the Tier List?

The tier list is essentially a metagame snapshot of what you can expect to see on ladder, with added comments from me explaining what decks are doing well and why they are doing well. For some players, this is very useful – they can pick up a deck that’s doing well right now and experiment it. For brewers, it’s even more useful – they get an easy checklist to see what they need to be prepared for and can tune their decks appropriately.

How do I use the Tier List?

The most important thing you can do to enhance your use of the Tier List is to read my in-depth explanations. As I said before, data without context is useless, so it does you no good to know that a deck dropped a tier without knowing WHY it dropped a tier. I put plenty of information about new tech cards to watch out for or play patterns, so make use of that information! Even if a deck didn’t move much, I’ll usually have something useful to say about it. Once you’ve got all the information, you’re better equipped to make a decision – is this week’s top deck a flash in the pan? Should I play it? Play something that’s good against it? The decision of how you want to attack the metagame is yours to make.

How is the Tier List created?

The tier list is developed by combining the opinions of four top players: Finkel, Unearthly, Neon, and myself. We keep track of what kinds of decks we face on ladder and how we did, then use that information plus our personal opinions to rank the decks. Finally, all four opinions are combined to form the final tier list. While this is an imprecise method, this is the best that we can do until we can get real stats from the ladder. Opinions have been formed based on the following assumptions:

  1. Decks have been ranked into their tier based on both win rate and popularity. The most popular and successful decks are Tier 1.
  2. There is no special formula for weighing popularity vs win rate; each player has their own opinions.
  3. Decks are listed within their tiers in approximate order of success. Therefore, a deck at the top of a tier is at least slightly better than the deck below it.

The best deck varies moment to moment and is difficult to predict, but all Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks are reasonable choices for climbing the ladder.

Explanation of Tiers
Tier 1 – These are the most successful and prominent ladder decks at the moment.
Tier 2 – These decks are powerful and great ladder choices.
Tier 3 – These decks are usually quite powerful when they go off, but need a strong draw to work or have some other exploitable weakness. Fine choices for the ladder, especially if the metagame favors them or you minimize their weaknesses.
Tier 4 – These decks are less powerful than Tier 3 decks or are wildly inconsistent.

Decks in italics were not on the previous Tier List.

Official Tier List

Tier 1
Traditional Armory
Rakano Plate

Tier 2
All aggressive Stonescar Decks
Elysian Midrange
Combrei Midrange
TJP Chalice
Xenan Killers
Elysian Shimmerpack
Feln Control

Tier 3
Icaria Blue
Big Combrei
Praxis Tokens

Tier 4

Newly Unranked
Stonescar Kalis

Metagame Overview

Armory is somewhat holding Rakano in check. Xenan decks started popping up this week, as they had a pretty good Rakano and Armory matchup. Chalice decks also continued their resurgence. Feln control was felt to be placed too highly last week, and certainly didn’t do very well this one with weak matchups against many of the top decks.

Next Week’s Prediction: Omens of the Past!

Tier One Decks

Armory stands a little bit above everything else at the moment, showing up extensively at the top of ladder. It’s one of your best bets against Rakano and is very good at punishing any of the slower decks on ladder. If you carry an answer to Dawnwalker, its only really the token decks you need to worry about.

Rakano itself is doing quite well, sliding under, flying over or punching through the various decks in the metagame. Decks have high enough curves that they have trouble stopping Rakano from getting started, and once Rakano gets going its nearly impossible to stop.

Tier Two Decks

Tier Two is a bit of a mess. Stonescar is as stonescar does, and players ride burn and burn queen to wins enough of the time to keep it up there. The really interesting picture is that midrange is back in force. Elysian Midrange, Xenan Killers, and even a throwback to Combrei Midrange all make the list this week. Elysian is more or less the same as always, as is Xenan though far more popular than usual. Combrei Midrange is the interesting one – players have moved down the curve, eschewing Harsh Rule and some of the high end for more midgame beaters.

Vodakhombo and Elysian stick around – when people try to go midrange, going over the top is a solid strategy. They have trouble with some of the more aggressive strategies, but if they can solidify their board position they can take over the game. Chalice continues its comeback from last week, grinding decks out with its incredible card draw.

Feln was called out to be way too high last time, and honestly it was. It’s still around, but it’s a lot weaker than I placed it last time. Both Rakano and Armory do a number on it, and even the midrange decks can give it trouble. Current versions often include Champion of Cunning or Vara for some extra power.

Tier Three Decks

Big Combrei continues to fall in popularity – those going big prefer Vodakhan, those who don’t like Vodakhan are going lower to the ground. Icaria Blue saw a resurgence that slowly fell, lots of Armory doesn’t mean good things for Icaria Blue. Praxis Tokens is around and kicking, but lacks some of the pressure and speed of the other token decks, often relying on burn to close out games. Finally, Felnscar is on life support but it is alive.

A special note about Mono Time decks, which did not make the list today but were quite popular for a week or so. Veteran Mercenary nudged people into playing mono faction decks, of which Mono time was the most successful and popular. However, Vet Merc ended up too inconsistent for most people and so they returned to two faction decks.

Tier Four Decks

Newly Unranked Decks

Kalis fell of the map after the last tier list. My personal guess is that pilots tried out mono time and are now on Xenan, but I can’t know for sure.