Thursday Tier List #3 – October 6, 2016

Hello all! I’m aReNGee, and I’m happy to present the third biweekly Tier List! No major changes occured between the last tier list and this one, although the ladder did reset, sending many players back to aggressive decks as they pushed their way up the ladder. The Scion’s League Invitational was also a major influencer this time, with several decks gaining popularity due to tournament success. Overall, the metagame was quite diverse as players tested out new decks during the opening days of the new season. This week, I was assisted by Teriyakiboyz, Unearthly, Sunyveil, and Neon. Their opinions have been combined to form the final tier list, which is 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. A very successful but unknown deck will not show up on this list, while a popular but unsuccessful deck will show up but will be lower tiered.
  2. There is no special formula for weighting 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.

Explanation of Tiers
Tier 1 – These are the best decks right now, both in terms of representation and win rate.
Tier 2 – These decks don’t have either the representation or the winrate to be considered Tier 1, but are all powerful decks and great choices for ladder.
Tier 3 – These decks are usually quite powerful when they go off, but need the a strong draw to work or have some other exploitable weakness. Fine choices for 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. Many budget decks end up in this tier simply due to the lower power level.
Tier 5 Tier 5 has been discontinued due to lack of use.

Official Tier List

Tier 1
Rakano Warcry
Stonescar Jito
Combrei Midrange

Tier 2
Stonescar Midrange
Feln Midrange
FJP Control
Stonescar Weapons
Mono Justice

Tier 3
TJP Control
Feln Control
4F Control
Traditional Armory
JPS Control

Tier 4
Party Hour
Mono Fire

Newly Unlisted Decks
Aggressive Combrei
Elysian Midrange
Flight School
Tempo Combrei
Traditional Stonescar Queen

Tier One Decks

Very few decks made Tier One this week. This is not because the Tier Two decks are less powerful, simply only three decks were popular enough AND successful enough for there to be consensus that they were Tier One. Rakano Warcry is the top of the pile at the moment due to its overwhelming popularity. It’s a very fast and consistant climbing deck, something that many players were drawn to after the ladder reset. Similarily, Stonescar Jito was quite effective at preying on players experimenting with new decks. However, the popularity of control decks and resurgance of Lightning Storm keep it out of the top spot. Combrei Midrange stays Tier One this week, although it was more popular before the reset. At the moment, players are favoring a slower paced style that goes over the top of the various midrange decks on ladder.

Tier Two Decks

Stonescar Midrange returns as the top deck in Tier Two, with a balanced gameplan that gives it a reasonable matchup against every deck on ladder. However, aggressive decks can sometimes outrace it and it’s easy for control to go over the top, keeping Stonescar out of Tier One. Feln Midrange decks play a similar strategy to Stonescar Midrange decks with the additional advantages of card draw and Champion of Cunning, however their lack of access to burn and reliable lifegain makes them slightly less successful than Stonescar overall. FJP Control joins Tier Two for the first time, its plan of Relic Weapons plus Lighting Storm effective against aggro and control alike. The ultimate grinding deck, Stonescar Weapons, burys midrange decks in Cudgels and outgrinds control with Smuggler’s Stash. Felnscar saw a drop in popularity this week, as aggro decks sought to exploit its power stumbles and control went over the top. It still remains incredibly powerful with the correct draw. Finally, Mono Justice pilots were some of the first to reach Master this season – its effectiveness is undeniable, but so too is its fragility. Mono Justice’s single dimensional gameplan leaves it unable to adapt to the variety of decks on ladder, relying on sheer speed to power through.

Tier Three Decks

The newest deck on the Tier List, this particular Xenan deck was developed by Peppr. Combining cute time synergies with shadow removal and powerful units, this Xenan deck attacks its opponets from a multitude of angles. TJP Control saw a spike in popularity this week as players looked for the best Lightning Storm shell. Feln Control seperated from Feln Midrange this week as players tuned their curves all the way up to 9 or even 10 power for Dimensional Rift. The definition of going over the top, Feln Control saw success with its removal + finishers gameplan but was less consistant than its Midrange counterpart. Following in Finkel’s footsteps, some TJP players splashed shadow for Azindel’s Gift to win control matchups, and played 4F Control. The strategy was effective against control decks but less important against the aggressive decks prevalent on ladder, which could take advantage of the stumbles an extra faction could cause. Traditional Armory looks poised to rise with the combination of Aggro and Control on ladder, but wasn’t an especially popular deck last season. Clockroaches retains its spot in Tier Three, the deck is powerful but too draw dependant to be a reliable ladder list. The final new deck on our Tier List is JPS Control, which is closer to Feln Control than 4F Control. The deck focuses on locking opponents down with Azindel’s Gift before finishing them off in a single hit with The Last Word, a flashy but inconsistant gameplan.

Tier Four Decks

Party Hour was a sucessful deck at the September Invitational, putting two players into the Top 8, but hasn’t seen much ladder play or success. The core combo gameplan still works but is usually too slow, forcing Party Hour to rely on the strength of Scouting Party and Champion of Cunning. As other decks on ladder have both these cards and are more successful, Party Hour as a ladder deck will need some retuning. Finally at the bottom of the Tier List we have Mono Fire, a persistant deck that noneless relys on its single recorded Master pilot Synapsiz for recognition. More innovation is required for Mono Fire to rise.

Newly Unranked Decks

Many decks fell off the tier list today, mostly due to lack of popularity rather than deck strenght. Stonescar Jito seems to have totally eclipsed Traditional Queen as the Bandit Queen deck of choice. Elysian Midrange was successful at the Invitation, but has no corresponding ladder representation. Both Aggressive and Tempo Combrei decks showed up in small numbers, but not large enough to be considered for the tier list. Finally, Flight School pilots were mostly absent this week, with many of them moving over to the popular Mono Justice deck.