Tournament Metagame Breakdown—Week of August 13, 2018


The tournament format in Eternal is very complex, so I'll break it down and show you tournament deck composition for the past week.  We also have a few words about their decks from the tournament winners.

Current Metagame

1.Charge Rod        13.5%
2.Praxis Tokens        9.6%
2.Big Rakano        9.6%
4.Icaria Removel Pile    7.7%
4.Elysian Midrange    7.7%
4.Icaria Blue        7.7%
4.Combrei Midrange    7.7%
8.FPS Kennadins        5.8%
8.Skycrag Kennadins    5.8%
8.Grenadins        5.8%
8.Xenan Killers        5.8%
8.Feln Control        5.8%
8.Shimmerpack        5.8%

Analysis and Recommendations

There are 4 Icaria-based decks in the top 7 right now; keep that in mind when your building your deck.

As you probably know, the Charge Rod deck got nerfed by the changes to Answer the Call and this breakdown must cover events before the nerf happened; the meta may shift where this card was concerned.

However, Big Rakano is the most significant deck from last week. Many players played the deck and did pretty well with it. Most of the Big Rakano decks are trying to play expensive units like Icaria or Rizahn out as early as turn 4 or 5 with the help of Bulletshaper. In addition, the deck has really good removal in the form of Vanquish, Torch, and Harsh Rule as a sweeper to clear the board before the heavy hitters like Icaria and Rizahn hit the battlefield.

Praxis Tokens is a deck that was out before and saw a lot of play before. The goal is to flood the board with a lot of units and pump them up with Xenan Obelisk or Rally. For the late game you have a "Plan B" that includes Heart of the Vault to grind your opponent out.

Icaria Black(a.k.a. Removal Pile) and Icaria Blue are both really old decks in this form more or less. These decks are trying to clear the board with one for one removal or sweepers in form of Harsh Rule. The big difference is that Icaria Black has the better removal overall, but Icaria Blue deck has more sweeper in form of Hailstorm and more card draw to refill your hand in a grindy match-up. In the late game, both decks want to slam Icaria to get the warcry triggers on a relic weapon or an aegis unit.

Combrei Midrange is a deck that arose from the TJP Alessi decks after the Levitate nerf. Because of that nerf you have no good reason to play a TJP deck that is probably a bit inconsistent. Instead, you play the more consistent Combrei version of the deck.
It's worth noting that every player built this deck differently: it seems like the optimal build is not found yet. The major decision you have to make is if you want to play more spell-heavy with Alessi and Rilgon's Disciple or if you want to play more with weapons and all the aegis units like Crownwatch Paladin.
But all the Combrei decks have one big similarity and that is Stand Together—this card does everything you want in a midrange deck. It protect your units, wins you combat situations, and forces the last points of damage. Overall, a super strong card that has been consistently showing up in the format for some time now.

The next decks we are talking about are FPS, Kennadin, and the grenadin deck. All three of these decks have a similar strategy: flooding the board with grenadin using cards like Grenadin Drone and Assembly Line and using Combustion Cell to ramp into your bigger stuff.
But the bigger stuff is the difference between these decks. Kennadins ramps into Jekk, Kenna, and End of Hostilities; grenadin into Scraptank and Gearcruncher.

The Kennadin list wants to play Kenna and trigger Tribute in the same turn to get a spell back from the void, and with End of Hostilities you can copy a unit twice with Tribute. This deck is crazy when it goes off but it's really inconsistent.

The safer but less powerful deck would be the Stonescar Grenadin deck. It basically plays a bunch of grenadin and lets them die to get more grenadins back with Gearcruncher. With the Madness, Combust, Devour package this deck can grind a bit better than typical.

Xenan Killers is a simple and straightforward deck. It wants to give deadly or recursive units killer to get a bunch of value per power. It also has the super strong Time units that can end the game really fast.

Feln control is not the best deck to pick up right now because there is too much control hate out there, and it also lacks all the answers you need in some slower games. The common line for Feln is trading one for one until you land a Black-Sky Harbinger or a Champion of Cunning, then try to win from that spot. Jötun Feastcaller is the key card in this deck. If it gets two attacks in, it draws three cards and that mostly the game.

We'll discuss Elysian Midrange at length with Childroland.  Then, the last and most surprising deck in the breakdown is Shimmerpack, which we'll go over with Ontamu. Nobody expects this deck in any tournament, but it did well.

Winning Decks & Pilots

Childroland on Elysian Midrange

Now, lets talk about the Elysian Midrange deck that won the ETS event on August 4th.

This is basically a common Time Midrange deck with all the good units like Sandstorm Titan, Worldbearer Behemoth, and Mystic Ascendant.This in combination with the strong Primal cards Hailstorm, Wisdom of the Elders, and Strategize is already a well-rounded deck.

But what made the difference between winning and losing was Unseal.
Childroland won the ETS event with this deck and he said the this is a well-rounded deck could win a tournament, so he chose to play this deck invented by his teammate BruisedByGod. What's important when you're playing this deck is to choose your role in the game early. This deck can beatdown very quickly but it also can play the control game with Wisdom, Unseal, and Hailstorm.

He thinks that Praxis Tokens is a tricky match-up if you don't draw Hailstorms at the right time because they can overwhelm you super quick with a strong draw. But, he also said that control is a really good match-up because of the low number of removal in the deck in addition to the card draw and Mystic Ascendant.

And, speaking of Mystic Ascendant, Childroland said that it is by far the best card in the deck. The whole deck is more or less built around him and he combos really well with Worldbearer Behemoth. Power Stone, however, is the most important card in the deck. It enables super fast starts and because it's a relic your opponent cannot kill it with their torch.

If you want to try this deck for yourself, Childroland has some tips for you: the ramp is really important for the deck to be explosive, and it helps to leave up Unseal on critical turns.

If you play against this deck, he said that Worldbearer Behemoth has to leave the battlefield. Save your removal for that dinosaur, otherwise you will lose if he gets an attack in. Also, play aground Unseal as hard as you can because a well-timed Unseal very often finishes the match.

Ontamu on Shimmerpack

Ontamu won the ECL Weekly with a Shimmerpack version on August 9th.

He said that he took this deck because of the Answer the Call nerf two hours before the tournament started. So, he took his best deck and try to play some games. It worked out; he won the tournament with a Shimmerpack deck that plays only one Shimmerpack in the market and 8 merchants to get it.

He said you have to play around sweepers and other cards that will lose you the game on the spot if you opponent have them. You cannot go all in every game because then you lost most of your matches. Icaria Blue is a super bad match-up for the deck because of 7 sweepers mainboard and one in the market.

He also mentioned that this deck is technically not a Shimmerpack deck—it's more a Xenan Obelisk deck that has the potential to upgrade your units.

His advice to someone who wants to try this deck is that you have to be careful when you're playing it; don't fall behind because this deck has a really hard time rebuilding.

Kaelos on Stonescar Slingers

And last but not least, I have a special deck for you that won a tournament and was not heavily played in the last week and that is Stonescar Slingers in the hands of Kaelos.

The plan for this deck is pretty easy: beating down with good units backed up by good removal. But the difference between this deck and any other midrange deck is that it has the option to change the whole matchup in one turn with Bandit Queen or Vicious Highwayman.
Kaelos said that you have to out-think control players—you have to know their deck better than they do, that's the key be beat a bad match-up. She also thinks Skycrag aggro is a bad match-up because it can be faster than Stonescar Gunslingers and this deck is not good at blocking so you want to attack as often as possible.

If you play against this deck, her advice to beat it is remove all the units—try to keep the board clear and then beating them down with your own units.

If you want to play the deck well, she said it is key to learn how to play an aggro deck with cards in hand. Learn to hold cards to play around and bait Harsh Rule and other sweeps.

At the end, I have some tips for anyone who wants to play in a tournament next week. Play a well-rounded midrange deck that you know well, and have a good plan for midrange mirrors in the market.

That's all for the metagame breakdown this week.
Next week we have more metagame breakdowns and some more interviews with the tournament winners.