Tier List

Tier List

Updated: The Dusk Road, 1/19/2018

This tier list is created by a vote from the team and based entirely on how good the deck is (both in results and in theory.) Not all team members were able to vote. The metagame is very much still developing, making it difficult to say what is and what isn’t an archetype — if an archetype isn’t mentioned here, it’s likely because it hasn’t been studied or developed enough for our team to give a definitive position or stock list. These votes also considered both ladder and tournament play, especially right now where the tournament metagame hasn’t had the chance to evolve separately from the ladder metagame as it often does. Lastly, the metagame advances every day as players begin to better understand new cards and decks. As a result, the stock lists are intended to be the best general overviews of the decks before tuning to metagame and go by our best interpretations of the decks at the current time. Given these considerations, take this tier list as a brief snapshot.

Tier 0

This tier is reserved for a clear best deck in the game. Oftentimes there will not be any tier 0 decks, and the game is probably better off for it. Any deck making it here would be clearly oppressive to the metagame.

None at this time.

Explanation: There are no decks that we, as a team, voted to be Tier 0. However, a single Tier 1 deck did receive almost enough votes to be considered Tier 0. Read the analysis below in the Tier 1 section.

Tier 1

These decks are among the best decks in the game. They’re also often the most popular due to how powerful they are. Players looking to be competitive will need to keep these decks in mind when building their own decks.

Explanation: Argenport Midrange was voted the strongest deck in the game by our team, just shy of being voted Tier 0. Already among the best decks in the game before The Dusk Road, Argenport Midrange received the incredible Unseen Commando and its own Crests. These two additions alone pushed its power and consistency into a whole new level. Argenport has a lot going for it: some of the best units in the game at the 2, 3, and 4-cost slot and the single best 5-drop in the game, arguably the best removal options in the game, ample amounts of lifesteal, a multitude of evasive units and difficult to kill units, Sabotage, and more. While the deck has weaknesses, it’s unclear whether there are currently any decks in the game that can take advantage of these weaknesses without becoming too weak to several other decks.

Just behind Argenport Midrange is Royal Burn. Its matchup is about even vs. Argenport but becomes worse in the post-sideboard games in tournament play. Argenport aside, Burn sports a strong matchup against many other decks in the metagame. Like other aggro decks, Burn has become lower to the ground, more commonly utilizing 8-12 one cost units and cards like Cinder Yeti to push through as much damage early as possible. Soulfire Drake is also becoming more popular than Obliterate in many instances due to the lack of targets it can kill as easily and the high number of Protects and Sabotages currently being played.

Tier 2

These decks are still completely playable, and depending on the expected meta could certainly turn into Tier 1 decks. Usually any deck from here would still not have a problem carrying someone to Master if they are playing well. These decks are usually being held back by either not being inherently powerful enough or not being effective enough vs. the Tier 1 decks.

Explanation: Most decks are in this tier right now, and most of them have two things in common: they lose to Argenport Midrange, Royal Burn, or both. Thanks to several new cards for the archetype, Feln is trying to figure itself out — a task that that is difficult for a reactively-leaning control deck in an ever-changing metagame. Feln Control and Feln Midrange sport fairly similar strategies and the card choices make some matchups better and some worse. More than anything, they has shown to be a fairly effective deck for ranked ladder and team league.

Rakano Plate is also experiencing some growing pains and is having a bit of an identity crisis. The old “voltron” style strategy of the past has fallen out due to the rise of Argenport. Meanwhile, the deck gained two incredible three drops this expansion: Unseen Commando and it’s own Whirling Duo. These aggressive lifesteal units allow it to function as a sort of anti-aggro aggro deck. If the metagame keeps going in its current direction (where aggro decks aren’t good at all), it will likely need to adapt in radical ways or be relegated to only ladder play. Skycrag hasn’t gained many tools from The Dusk Road but is better positioned than ever with Argenport keeping the number of Sandstorm Titan decks low. Like Royal Burn, Skycrag is functioning the best right now with a very low to the ground build.

Like Argenport, Praxis received a handful of nice tools from The Dusk Road. Players are still trying to figure out how best to create it, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the absurd power of Heart of the Vault and it’s magical ability to always seem to come in pairs. What it lacks in strong ways to interact it makes up for with some of the highest power a single deck can produce. Void-hate and silence are likely to be on the rise as a result of the newly arrived Feln Reanimator (see below), meaning it will weaken its power in matchups where it wants to rely on Dawnwalker, overall lowering the power of the deck.

Feln Reanimator, also known as The Screaming Rindra Brigade, is the newest deck made possible from The Dusk Road. Taking the Reanimator decks of old, TSRB combines Haunting Scream decks and Reanimator deck into one tidy package with cards like Nocturnal Observer to glue the two styles together. It took the ETS and Team League by complete surprise and will likely continue to develop. With any hope, we’ll continue to see additional new decks with equally as great strategy and deck naming conventions.

Stonescar Midrange hasn’t been used much in tournament play but sees usage at the highest parts of ladder and possesses a handful of strong options for the current metagame. The most important card here is Statuary Maiden, one of the strongest cards against both aggro and reanimator strategies. Because of Maiden, its access to crests, and the plethora of strong options available in Shadow—quite likely the strongest faction right now—Stonescar is worth keeping an eye on.

Xenan Killers won the first ETS of The Dusk Road and this doesn’t seem like a fluke. Being quite powerful before the expansion, the deck remained well positioned to fight the onslaught of aggro and midrange decks at the beginning of a format despite its lack of popularity. With a lot of room to innovate with cards from The Dusk Road and a non-miserable matchup against both of the Tier 1 decks, it’s not unreasonable to think this deck may become much stronger as the metagame evolves.

Our very own BruisedByGod created the current Hooru Fliers list that has done well in Team League, the ETS, and ladder, where he earned the #1 spot piloting it. The deck uses the time-honored strategy of beating the opponent down with as many big fliers as one can produce. Sticking a Nostrix and buffing an aegis’d unit usually ends the game on the spot, as most decks without Harsh Rule can’t deal with a combined 10/12 worth of attack and health being dropped on the board. Also new to the table is Grenadins. After going from meme-to-dream in the first week of the expansion, it was able to earn a promising 2nd place in the first ETS. This is another archetype that has a high chance of being able to shift the metagame.

Sitting at the end of the list is Armory and Big Combrei. Armory is one of the few decks that often does very well against Argenport Midrange, but suffers in a handful of other matchups with the new slew of charge units that The Dusk Road brought. Big Combrei gained a lot from The Dusk Road with Worldbearer Behemoth and the Waystones, but currently sits in an awkward spot in the metagame with a less-than-great matchup against both Tier 1 decks. If Reanimator gets more successful, Big Combrei will likely go up in stock as its able to stop their strategy with silences and go over the top.

Tier 3

These decks are ones that are falling short. If your main concern is winning games, then these decks probably aren’t going to be the best place for you to look. They suffer from being completely outclassed by Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks in power level. Even if their power level is comparable, they usually just happen to have such a terrible match-up with the most popular decks that you’re going to have a hard time winning games.

Explanation: Despite it’s top 8 finish, most SPG players are not fully convinced by the longevity of Icaria Blue in the metagame. Like many control decks in the history of Eternal, it can deal with most threats, just not with one single 75 (or perhaps 90 for that matter.) It might be the deck that uses Strategize the best, being able to ship its early-drawn Icaria’s back into the deck for more fuel. If Time-based midrange decks continue to stay low in the metagame, it might become the control deck of choice if recursion strategies get hated out from the rise of Reanimator.

It’s certainly better positioned than Elysian Midrange, which seems very lost and outclassed. While it gained a few interesting options, none of them seem to be better than the “Five-power-matters” package that’s been the host of the deck for quite some time. With below-average removal, it struggles against all likes of aggro and midrange—at least the Argenport variety. The exception to this is against Reanimator, where Polymorph and Permafrost are incredibly strong. Its still unlikely that the deck will go anywhere unless it’s able to entirely reinvent itself. Rounding out the list is Temporal Control. With opinions ranging from “up-and-coming best strategy in the game” to “garbage meme tier”, Temporal is undoubtedly Tier 0 in polarizing top players. In the mean time, it’s achieved some reasonable ladder success, and as such will sit in Tier 3 waiting for more metagame development.

Tier 4

These decks just aren’t there. If you’re playing these it should be for fun, because it won’t get you many ladder ranks. These are either decks that are just lacking enough good cards to put in their archetype or maybe just hasn’t found a refined enough list that it can compete with the other decks.

None at this time.

Explanation: The above statement isn’t entirely honest, as in reality there are so many decks that probably belong here and the bottom parts of Tier 3 that it is useless to try naming them all.

Meme Tier

We heard loud and clear that some of you had soft spots for some meme decks that we left out. We thought we would throw them up here so that new players could have a reference when they hear about some of these decks.

None (that we have stock lists for.)

Explanation: There are tons of frustrating hilarious meme decks currently in the game right now — perhaps more than ever! However, most of us are not experts on these sorts of decks. You’re best off looking for these decks elsewhere until we have more defined lists for these decks.


Metagame Forecast

Though the expansion has been out for more than a month, the metagame is still fresh with unexplored room due to a lack of tournaments. With the ETS now up and running, expect many developments to start happening as we see decks pop up that are able to attack defined decks. The real question is whether or not Tavrod will allow any new metagame real estate to develop. Unless a new archetype or deck is discovered that is capable of dethroning Argenport Midrange without losing to several other archetypes, it will likely remain Tier 1 or even Tier 0. The biggest shifts will come from decks that can break some of the new budding archetypes, such as Reanimator and Grenadins. For those looking for safe options, Argenport Midrange is about as safe as one can get for anyone willing to learn the mirror match.

– Paradox