Over the past weeks since the release of enemy-coloured promotional cards (Arcanum Monitor and friends) I’ve been grinding through Masters Ranked, tracking wins and losses and trying to get a good feel for the metagame. After almost 300 games (281), I’m here to give you the results and talk about what you’re likely to face off against so you have the best tools to fight the top decks in Ranked play.
Stonescar Aggro – Stonescar Aggro is far from dead, despite receiving a large number of nerfs. This deck seeks to land early pressure with Oni Ronin and Argenport Instigator, but has great reach even late into the game with burn spells like Obliterate or big creatures like Impending Doom
Rakano Pants – Another aggro deck tops our list, possibly for being relatively inexpensive while still being very competitve. Rakano sticks early threats like Stonescar does, but wants to get the late game reach with Weapons like Deepforged Plate or by generating a lot of Warcry triggers from their early creatures.
Elysian Midrange – Elysian tries to go wide with early game ramp like Initiate of the Sands to get mid-to-late game gems like Yeti Scouting Party and Xenan Obelisk. Once at eight power, this deck has the threat of Shimmerpack to blow open boardstalls
Big Combrei – This deck does much the same plan as Elysian, although it goes big instead of wide, trying to win with quality creatures instead of quantity. Marshal Ironthorn, Knight-Chancellor Siraf, and Sandstorm Titan are some of the big threats.
Armory – The first control deck on the list is Armory, a deck that looks to control the board with Relic Weapons and Harsh Rule, stacking up Warcry and Rakano Artisan triggers until it can land a big threat like Icaria the Liberator or Sword of the Sky King
Praxis Vault – Combining several sub-archetypes are the Vault of the Praxis decks. The most common version was simply Praxis, but several were running Primal or Shadow for cards like Quarry and Scraptank or Wisdom of the Elders and Yeti Scouting Party. The common thread with these decks is to try and land a Vault of the Praxis to gain card advantage while playing cards that give multiple units and finishing with the new Arcanum Monitor or Xenan Obelisk.
Feln Aggro – This deck started appearing more frequently recently. It lands quick threats like Lethrai Ranger and Gorgon Swiftblade then uses Haunting Screams, Rapid Shot, or Levitate to give evasion and keep pushing damage. Be on the look out for this up and comer.
Feln Control – Relying on good blockers and removal like Feln Bloodcaster and Annihilate early, this deck tries to set up a big Withering Witch into Lightning Storm or Black Sky Harbinger to clear the board and finish off the opponent.
TJP Midrange – I cover this deck in a deck tech right here. It is a blend of Elysian and Big Combrei that tries to overwhelm your opponent by landing huge Legendary threats every turn, forcing them to have answers.
Icaria Blue – Tangentially related to Armory is Icaria Blue, another control deck that shuns the Shadow of Armory in favor of Primal to gain access to Celestial Omen, Lightning Storm, and Wisdom of the Elders. It has a similar game plan of early board control into late game Icaria the Liberator.
Stonescar Kalis – Popular at the start of the last card unveiling, Kalis has dropped off significantly. It’s still good to know the gameplan of this deck as its explosive turns can be devastating. It attempts to gain early advantage with cards that generate multiple units, using Combust and Torch to pick off opposing threats until it can land an unopposed Kalis or Oblivion Spike to deal massive damage.
JPS/SPF Control – These control decks are very straight-forward, operating much like Feln Control, but with various splashes (Harsh Rule, Torch) instead of the more traditional Feln approach.
Mono-Fire – A very cheap alternative to Stonescar is Mono-Fire. It will attempt to play early threats like Oni Ronin for pressure, but plays a lot more burn spells than Stonescar, dropping Umbren Reapers, Impending Doom, and Bandit Queens for spells like Kaleb’s Favor and Flash Fire.
Rilgon Red – Rilgon decks fight like a hybrid of Armory and Rakano. It can play early removal and sweepers to set up for a late-game Rilgon stacked with Weapons, or it can play Rilgon early to try and curve out and win fast.
Other – There’s wide variety of other decks occasionally making up the format, like Crown-Roach combo, Mono-Primal, Aggro Combrei, and Rakano Jito lists, but none of these lists showed up more than a few times in the almost 300 games so individually they won’t affect the meta significantly.