Omens Tier List #2 – August 17th, 2017

Tier lists are (usually) updated on a biweekly basis and posted every second Thursday. Next update is September 7th, 2017 (RNG is on vacation and outta town).

This tier list is valid for Patch 1.22.4 (Omens of the Past) although it was written the day Patch 1.23 came out.

Omens Tier List #2 – August 17th, 2017

Hello everyone! RNG is on vacation and is currently writing this tier list on a mobile device somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. A new patch dropped this week that had some pretty pointed nerfs, notably hitting Armory and Skycrag Aggro while also doing pretty hefty damage to the Mono Fire archetype. I’m going to be completely unable to write anything for the next few weeks, so I’m giving you the tier list that should have come out last week instead. The new patch is not taken into account in the ranking, but we’ll note the decks that we expect to be hit hard by it.

The Tier List

I’ve taken the opportunity to clean up the tier list page a bit, frontloading all the important information and reducing our infinite disclaimers down to just the tier explanations. Keep in mind that in a rapidly evolving metagame a single piece of new technology can throw everything out of whack, but the following list should be a good snapshot of how things were right before Patch 1.23.

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. Decks with an asterisk* were nerfed in the current patch.

Official Tier List

Tier 1

Skycrag Aggro*, Praxis Midrange, Chalice

Tier 2

Stonescar Queen, TJx Midrange, Elysian, Traditional Armory*, Xenan, Rakano

Tier 3

FJP Control, Feln, Makto X, Argenport Attachements

Tier 4

Argenport Hero, Dark Roaches

Unlisted

Hooru Control, JPS Control, Skycrag All Spells, Argenport Control, Shimmerpack

Explanation of Tiers

Tier 1

Skycrag Aggro takes the top spot this time around, with an incredibly fast curve off a charging Champion of Fury that lets it put even other aggro decks on the back foot. The deck is resilient to Lightning Storm with a few aegis units, so avoids low curve aggro’s natural counter. Flame Blast and Charchain Flail were both struck with some pretty significant nerfs this patch, which does hurt Skycrag’s long term reach, but the core of the deck remains untouched and Flailess versions can likely swap in Obliterate without too much trouble.

Praxis Midrange continues to warp its way into the late game, with Heart of the Vault and Mystic Ascendants providing tons of late game draw. With cards like Obelisk and Dawnwalker to push its late game even further, Praxis attacks on multiple angles and can warp in a huge threat even from an empty hand.

Chalice decks vary widely in success, at the upper echelons of play an experienced Chalice player can grind through nearly anything, but at lower levels a single mistake or incorrect prioritization can spell the end. Some decks do in fact grind out Chalice, so you need to identify these and move to the aggressive, and sometimes you’re never quite able to gain control of the board. Reliance on actual Chalice is another weak point that Praxis Midrange is able to exploit with Shatterglass Mage. Chalice is really only tier one in the hands of an experienced pilot, and is such a clear cut below the other two tier one decks.

Tier 2

Stonescar Queen is nearly the only Stonescar deck still seeing play. With near-constant nerfs to its best cards since January, you only really come to these colors for Statuary Maiden or Bandit Queen. This aggro deck exploits a lack of Storms in the metagame and ponderous midrange decks, seeking to win while they’re setting up.

Combrei decks take the next spot, be they straight Combrei Midrange, bigger versions, or Dark Combrei. The Combrei core hasn’t gotten any worse over the years, and Siraf continues to dominate the late game value game. Elysian decks follow the up on the list, when Midrange gets going, Cirso and Crystallize come out to play! Elysian decks generally have difficulty stabilizing versus aggro though, and have less late game punch to grind vs control.

Traditional Armory decks were doing their thing, keeping Aegis decks honest and control decks scared while having long, drawn out battles vs midrange soup. Unfortunately, after a year of ups and downs, it was decided that Armory was too far up and so it was struck down in its moment of “yeah, you can play it if you want to”. Armory decks are hit pretty hard by the nerfs to Flail, Stash, and especially Inspire. Look for them to rebuild in the coming weeks – if they survived the Artisan nerf, they can survive this.

Xenan decks are a fair bit weaker at playing the midgame than Elysian decks and lack the flexible grinding tools of Praxis or Combrei. However, they do have the potential for Vara chain value and Ayan to bring back huge Conduits. Since Conduit + Dark Return was a pretty big draw to Xenan for many players, and the Killers archetype has not improved, I anticipate this midrange deck being hit hardest by the nerfs. However, the Banish buff does show some promise for lower curve versions of the deck, so we may see Lifeforce Aggro Xenan come back.

Rakano is struggling a fair bit more than usual. Both Queen and Skycrag are able to put it on the back foot, where it doesn’t want to be, and it has a tough time bashing through midrange soup or infinite lifegain Chalice if it doesn’t get a fast start. Armory’s popularity also held Rakano down a bit, though I imagine that particular problem has been solved by 1.23. Look for omnipresent Rakano to move up as other decks move down.

Tier 3

FJP Control fell a bit by the wayside, without powerful proactive tools it gives midrange time to rebuild, and too many big spells weaken its game against aggro. The “few threats” strategy generally plays a bit too cleanly into the “few removal spells” strategy often employed by midrange decks, and it just doesn’t close out games reliably enough.

Feln decks didn’t get a ton of new toys from Omens and don’t like Midrange decks being able to outgrind them, which puts it more into an aggressive position at the moment. Minotuar Lightfoot has been quite good to me in Scream, so maybe we’ll see that archetype return.

Makto X is any Argenport deck splashing another faction to cover Argenports many weaknesses, with an emphasis on Makto. Most common are FJS decks with Rise to the Challenge and Statuary Maiden and the like, although both TJS and rarely JPS varients do exist. “Dark Combrei” may play Makto and Slay, but is generally built more around the Combrei core than the Argenport one. These decks generally have some powerful midgame tools, but lack early game defense or late game grind when Makto doesn’t get the job done.

Argenport Attachements plays the powerful justice based weapons with Shadow removal to keep the board clear. The more successful versions often drop down well below what you’d expect, with a tight curve and interesting cards like Jack’s Knife. A fast start is critical and its difficult to keep the deck in check once it gets rolling, but it lacks resilience or late game reach so once you’ve stabilized the game is generally over.

Tier 4

Argenport Hero is the new Hero of the People deck based around recurring Revenge threats, sometimes with echo thrown in for good measure. If it gets going, its strong, but the meta comes with plenty of silence and void hate to slow it down even if it does get going, and its anti-aggro gameplan is weak. Dark Roaches remains a consideration, if an inconsistent deck that still lives and dies by the Crown.