From feedback on the last ladder breakdown that I received, I wanted to go a little bit into how I’ve gathered the data here; This is all from my own experiences. As far as I am aware, there is no place to find mass data from Direwolf as to the exact percentages decks are being played, or what they contain. There are no published lists of ladder decks and their records or prevalence at different levels (Diamond vs Master).
To get the data for this month, I played 143 Ranked ladder games and recorded the decks I faced as best I could. The first 15 games were played in Gold, the next 38 in Diamond and the remaining were played in Master. I came across less Grief-Roach style decks moving up the ladder, but that could also be explained as a drop in their popularity as the meta stabilized after the release of Omens of the Past. Speaking of Omens; it did shake up a lot of the format. Aggro is still reigns supreme, but it has taken on a new formy in the newcomer Skycraggro deck. Here are the main decks I faced while laddering:
You may be wondering, what exactly is “Argenport Aegis”? I want to give a brief breakdown of the decks as I saw them. As you can tell from the methodology I mentioned above, there’s no way for me to get exact lists of the decks I face short of asking every opponent to export a list for me to save, which is not a feasible solution. I’ll break down what the decks looked like from my perspective:
This deck was the most common one I came across and had a lot of varied forms. You could actually add two more decks of the 143 matches to give Craggro an 11.2% instead of the 9.8%, but those two lists felt distinct enough as they put a lot more emphasis on the “burn” aspect of the deck, running a lot more spells like Mortar and even card draw. The main Craggro list I saw was fairly standard aggro, with the regular fire cards you’ll see common to these lists: Rakano Outlaw, Oni Ronin, Pyroknight, Torch, etc. The big additions are Champion of Fury, Permafrost as removal and Vadius, Clan Father as an additional finisher
Stonescar Aggro/Burn Queen
The ever-present Stonescar and it’s brother Rakano are still around, with very few changes. Cheap creatures like Argenport Instigator, Oni Ronin, and Pyroknight combine with Bandit Queen and burn spells to end games quickly. It has very little new added to it, but as an old standby that’s cheap(er) to make and goes fast, I’d expect to see a lot of it in ladder.
As previously stated, Rakano isn’t going anywhere. Powerful, fast to ladder, and relatively cheap, Rakano combines the cheap warcry creatures (Oni Ronin, Rakano Outlaw… Yep, those same ones again) with some seriously buff weapons like Hammer of Might and its namesake Deepforged Plate. It gets almost nothing new, but it’s still a monster. You could add one other deck to this count and have it match Stonescar in meta%, but the extra match was with a strange brew that appeared to be budget and hyper-aggressive, with cards like Frontier Jito; Not your standard choice.
Much like the two lists before it, you don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken, and Armory is still a titan. It has only 4.9% of the meta on this list, but there were four other non-standard Armory decks I faced (splashing Primal instead of Shadow, cutting Fire and playing Primal over Shadow, or even just playing as Rakano with no splashes), which would bump it to 7.7%. In any case, expect to face down a lot of Throne Wardens and big Relic Weapons, just like before.
The fourth deck in a row that has very few functional changes from last set, Feln Control still centers around board control with Lightning Storm and Withering Witch into big finishers like Champion of Cunning. It’s not new, but it’s still a good, familiar deck and a common choice on ladder it seems.
Strangely, this deck doesn’t really seem to have a lot of new tech from Omens, but it has made a resurgence none-the-less. Eschewing splashes of Shadow, Primal, or Justice like it’s other aggro counterparts, this deck sacrifices a little bit of power to get a lot of consistency and beat face quickly.
After the slew of decks similar to last season, this one feels almost entirely new. Built around Revenge, Aegis, and the Tranquil Scholar random ability, it tries to jam as many tough-to-kill, ability-heavy creatures as possible into a victory thanks to Hero of the People. If you see a Tranquil Scholar, expect some Silverwing Familiars and a good amount of Shadow-removal like Slay and Annihilate.
Despite being Argenport as well, this deck operates in a fairly different way from the Abilities list, instead employing a “Big Combrei”-style of game play with Shadow replacing Time to give access to more removal like Slay, and the handy finisher Inquisitor Makto.
Building on the last list, why cut Time when you can just have both? Similar to the TJP Legends lists from set one, this deck overwhelms with high-quality creatures like Sandstorm Titan and Inquisitor Makto, with the addition of new removal like Slay.
You could almost combine these last two lists with this one to add up to a much higher meta % that it seems. The Big Combrei lists I saw where essentially unchanged from previous versions, with the new revisions really being the list above, where Shadow is added.
Operating in a similar aggro vein to Mono-Fire, it goes for consistency instead of power. Where the Mono-Fire deck goes for burn cards to end a game, Mono-Justice really is just trying to make the largest creature it can early and bust it through the enemy before they can deal with it, thanks to cards like Paladin’s Oathbook and Hammer of Might.
A brew list that had a bit more staying power than the Clockroach/Crown of Possibilities brews that were showing up, this list focuses on stacking life gain with powerful new Xenan rares like Bloodcall Invoker and Katra, the Devoted.
Scream is still around, trying to break in with it’s unique blend of aggressive creatures and Haunting Scream to keep the pressure up as long as possible. Relying on Gorgon Fanatic to carry the deck to victory through massive card advantage.
Essentially unchanged from last season, Elysian Midrange still has the tools and power to keep it in the mix. Sandstorm Titan and Cirso, the Great Glutton are still big enough to win a lot of matches.
Despite the recent success of Praxis, there were less than 4 total matches against it, out of the 143 games I played on the ladder, but I’d expect it to have a surge in popularity. The deck is strong and gaining ground.