Second Dusk Road Tier List – January 31st, 2018

This tier list is valid for Patch 1.27.9 (Dusk Road Hotfix)

Second Dusk Road Tier List – January 31st, 2018

Welcome to the late, great, tier list update! We fervently apologize for the delay in getting the tier list out, unfortunately my grandfather was badly injured two days before the tier list went up and I’ve been quite literally getting him back on his feet. That said, there’s a patch looming, so this Tier list will be used to point out the differences between early Dusk Road and where we are now.

Argenport Midrange is the deck on everyone mind at the moment, and the one most likely to see some toys taken away. It’s a “goodstuff” deck that plays some of the strongest threats and answers in the format. While the deck does have clearly defined weaknesses (no sources of card advantage, a vulnerability to flood, no reach, poor lategame) for the most part it gets by on pure card quality, even against decks trying to target it. Crests in particular have shored up a number of the sacrifices Argenport needed to make to its powerbase, and greatly strengthened the deck. With such a difficult to target deck at the forefront of the format, the “counters” are also not clearly defined, which means the “answers” to those counters are not clearly defined either. With an easier to target deck (like Praxis at the beginning of set two, for example) the metagame would stabilize into The Deck, The Counters, and decks that prey on the counters. Since The Counters are not clearly defined and often changes as people look for new and better answers to Public Enemy Number One, the metagame casts a wide net this month.

The Tier List

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 the last week of January 2018.

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, though noticable less popular or powerful than tier 1 decks.
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

Argenport Midrange, Stonescar Aggro, Feln Control

Tier 2

Rakano, Feln Reanimator, Hooru Fliers, Feln Midrange, FJS Armory, Argenport Control, Icaria Blue, Praxis Midrange,  Skycraggro, Xenan Midrange/Lifeforce, Grenadins

Tier 3

Big Combrei, Dark Combrei, Elysian Midrange, TJP Temporal Control, Echo Makto

Tier 4

No decks are tier 4 this list.

Unlisted

Spellcrag, Praxis Ramp, Hooru Control, Combrei Aggro

Explanation of Tiers

Tier 1

Argenport Midrange has mostly been covered above, but it really is the all around best deck at the moment – not by an extraordinary margin, but by enough. Stonescar Aggro created one of the greatest deck name controversies of our time, but regardless of the name it remains a consistent, powerful aggressive deck. A seemingly endless array of charge units and powerful cards allow it to power through even if it doesn’t get off to a fast start or runs out of cards. Feln Control is the most popular “answer” deck to both of the other Tier One decks, able to fend off Stonescars Aggression (most of the time) while also keeping Argenport in check and going over the top (most of the time). It is extremely vulnerable to some of the Tier Two decks, however, especially Rakano and Armory.

Tier 2

Rakano has redefined itself, tossing off the weapon focused approach of its past selves and developing into a fast, efficient go wide deck powered up by Unseen Commando and Whirling Duo. Lifesteal and fliers allow it to easily race other aggressive decks, and without its weapon focus its no longer vulnerable to leaning on single large units. The deck plays better from behind and is less draw dependent – more consistent overall. It has good matchups against the majority of the field and no longer needs to fear Armory as its hardest counter.

Feln Reanimator is a deck that may seem old news by now, but is new to the Tier List. While the idea of Sporefolk + Vara + Grasping at Shadows is an old one, it now has better card selection and discard outlets, as well as a new method of attack in Haunting Scream, Gorgon Fanatic, and Rindra. While before Reanimator decks had to a wait a turn after their Vara turn to do anything and hope it wasn’t removed, now game can end on the back of a charging Rindra or 4. This new angle of attack, alongside improved consistency and powerful late game, make Feln Reanimator into a legitimate threat in its own right.

Hooru Fliers is an archetype many have played with in the past, often called Hooru Aegis for its focus on weaponing up a Silverwing Familiar or something similar. Unfortunately, most of the Aegis units were weak, so when the synergies didn’t come together the deck was in deep trouble. Like Rakano, Hooru has abandoned weapons for the most part, playing now with powerful cards like Shelterwing Rider, Amilli, and Nostrix (and the omnipresent Commando). Like Rakano, this has served it in good stead and brought the deck plenty of success.

Feln Midrange exists in much the form it did last patch, but struggles with both Argenport and its larger variations. FJS Armory is in full swing, preying on the Feln Decks and punching through the midrange decks. If they can make it through the early game, there’s a lot of power there, and fewer go wide decks to hurt their relic weapons. Argenport Control is a deck thats seen some popularity growth, it exchanges Midranges pure card power for a higher curve and better late game. The deck lacks effective card filtering options, which leaves it somewhat at the mercy of its draws, and it is not good at interacting with strategies that don’t care if you kill literally every unit they play.

Icaria Blue has been growing in popularity over the past few weeks – no solid build was available at the start of Dusk Road, but now it seems that build has been found. Able to go over the top of midrange and crush control with its Relic Weapons and Icaria, it attacks on multiple difficult to handle axes. Strategize was a welcome addition to the deck, as will be crests when all of them show up.

Praxis Midrange is about as middle of the road as you can get – it doesn’t have a good aggro matchup, it doesn’t have a good control matchup, and it rams right into the sweet spot of other Midrange decks. It is a powerful collection of cards, with a few tools to break through any particular matchup, but if it can’t establish itself it has a very tough time winning. Skycraggro does the same thing it always does – punch hard and fast. Permafrost is medium at the moment and Obliterate can’t kill Tavrod so there’s a limit to how good the deck can be. Xenan Midrange and Lifeforce are quite different, but are included together on the tier list since they end up about the same, with slightly different strengths and weaknesses. Like skycrag, when their namesake cards aren’t good the deck isn’t great, and the metagame isn’t quite where Banish would be great.

Bringing up the rear is Grenadins, a former powerhouse in Tier 2. It doesn’t interact well with the multitude of fliers most of the midrange decks are running nowadays, and it’s hard pressed to close out games against control unless you’re playing some dedicated cards for that matchup. Aggro decks establish themselves a bit too quickly for Grenadins liking, and its vulnerable to being burned out. All in all, the deck as is seems to have peaked – more innovation will be necessary to move forward.

Tier 3

Big Combrei is not well positioned at the moment – it compares disfavorably to Argenport one on one, and decks that are positioned to take down Argenport generally do well against it as well. However, the deck has enough power packed into it that its hard to count it out entirely, and some tech choices give it a fighting chance in the metagame.

Dark Combrei gets to play with all the Combrei toys plus some removal spells! Slay is a good addition but as mentioned before, Banish isn’t at its best and the weaker powerbase really does come into play. Elysian Midrange gets the same rap it always does, although players have been having more success with a more killer focused version. Temporal Control… if Harsh Rule isn’t in the top 20, you’re in trouble.

Echo Makto is the joke deck turned real – there aren’t a lot of decks that can keep up with the infinte Makto spam, and neither Steward of the Past nor Statuary Maiden are all that common. If Maktos don’t win you the game, however, the deck lacks power, and its a pretty ponderous combo in a 4F deck. If it comes together, its great, but it lacks the consistency to be a true top performer.