Monday Morning Metagame, 4/23
I think they remembered
Remember that time, like, oh, pick a number, 7 days ago? When for some reason all the Diamond-Wild Momentum Players decided to take a sabbatical and let Sapphire-Wild Rowdy run rampant? They showed up this week. 18 players brought Diamond-Wild Momentum with Lady Avalanche, and they won 60% of their matches and took the top 4 spots in the Bash.
What? Play the best deck in a competitive tournament? Seems unsportsmanlike. SOMEBODY CALL COUNT DRAGOMIR, HE’S NEEDED.
Notably absent this week: Candles. Which was good, because Candles has a long and storied history of getting butchered by Diamond-Wild. Only 4 people showed up with it.
I’ve got a couple mini-takes from this week, so let’s run them off:
Diamond-Wild is still an underdog to interactive decks with good removal. Blue Sparrow decks beat it 4 times in 6. Bar’dak the Butcher decks beat it 4 times in 7.
Sapphire-Wild seems to have fixed its Momentum Problem. A few weeks ago, Sapphire-Wild was in the crosshairs and every DW Momentum deck was packing 4 Eldurathan’s Glories and 4 Wise Magistrates. A lot of DW decks have trimmed a copy or two of these cards, and SW decks have become more refined. That matchup sits at an even 50/50 at the moment.
Both of these decks brutally slaughter fringe decks. At their core, these are two decks playing very good cards.
Control Decks are fiddling around the edges of the format. Obliteron Solis decks did well against SW Rowdy, awful against Momentum. Soptrup’s was probably the cleanest, going only two-shards. Blue Sparrow decks did a lot better – it turns out, when the two best decks in the format are doing infinite damage to you, starting at slightly lower health doesn’t matter.
Blood-Based Grind is back. Two Blood Bardak decks in the top 8, both 5-1 in the swiss. This deck was never bad, at Massacre is a serviceable card against Momentum, Candles, and SW Rowdy.
Etruia’s Diamond-Wild Momentum
WHAT?! How can a Diamond-Wild Momentum deck qualify in “Neat Stuff”? Isn’t it, by definition, the most mainstream, normcore of decks? Well, check this puppy out:
May I present…Diamond Wild Momentum staples!
Yeah. That’s right. Excuse me, I’d like to cut some Shamrock the Goldfathers from my deck and add Mylaanth the Lifebinder? What’s that you say? Palm of Granite is bugged? It’s cool, I’m going to play 5 wild shards, 4 Palm of Granite and two Verdant Rifts because my level of fucks given is absolute zero.
Here’s Etruia’s point, though: The fact that your second Palm of Granite probably reads “Spend 3 Resources. Do Literal Nothing.” is not a problem for him, because he’s planning to get his opponent SUPER dead by then. While other people are trying to grind out incremental advantage with value cards like Brilliant Annihilix, he’s playing 4 Skylance Captain. That thing flies. You know how many fliers under 7 resources every other DW Momentum deck played? Zero.
Plus, think of how it looks to face a Skylance Captain as a SW Rowdy or DW Momentum player. That card’s going to probably kill you on turn 5, you can’t chump block it with a Grapes of Wrath or Candlekin, and it creates free chump blockers.
If you think of each card, and each deck as lying somewhere on the spectrum from “explosive” to “grindy”, most of the standard DW cards are somewhere in that sweet spot in the middle. Shamrock, Pathfinder, Annihilix…all potentially explosive but also grindy. Etruia split the difference: he added cards that are super explosive (Pureflame Protector, Skylance Captain), but also cards that are super-grindy (Dragonspeaker Daliah with Major Diamond of Battalion, Roaming Pulsagath and Mylaanth the Lifebinder).
- Srsly? Only 5 wild shards with 4 Palm of Granites, 2 Verdant Rifts, and an active Palm of Granite Bug? Surely at least that diamond shard could become a 6th wild shard. I get that Pureflame Protector makes the resources a bit tougher, but this seems like it can be overcome.
- Surely either Dragonspeaker Daliah or Roaming Pulsagath is better. Same with the singleton Brilliant Annihilix and Shamrock, the Goldfather
1x Mylaanth the Lifebinder
2x Eternal Seeker
4x Skylance Captain
4x Righteous Waxshot
1x Roaming Pulsagath – Major Diamond of the Seraph
4x Exalted Pathfinder
1x Shamrock, The Goldfather
4x Leprechaun Artist
1x Dragonspeaker Daliah – Major Diamond of Battalion
3x Pureflame Protector
1x Brilliant Annihilix – Major Wild Orb of Growth, Minor Diamond of Tactics
2x Decree of Banishing
2x Gravebane Vial
Hororizon’s Ruby-Sapphire Actions
Much like my boy lightmre, you have to admire somebody who has an idea for a deck and executes on it. Hororizon (I feel like this name should have an extra R. Was there a 10-character limit? Horrorizon!) wanted to play a lot of freaking actions and make a lot of decisions in a beautiful deck. So let’s go through the steps:
- He put in the best action-based win condition, 3 Psychic Ascension, and then one more for the lulz:
- Psychic Ascension is a pretty crummy card to have in your opening hand, so he put in some ways to discard it (Briny Ray, Excruciate, Hero Power), as well as a way to cheat it into play (Scribe of the Flayed Man)
- He added in the best interaction in his shards, to get to a powerful late game. Runebind, Dingle, Weave into Nothing, Scars of War, Excruciate.
- He played 6 copies of 4-of resources. This guy gets it. 8 Ice, 8 Drop Shards, 4 Remnants, 4 Wells. A++ resource-base building.
I love all 3 of these cards. Chaos Bolt does not love me back.
He ran into the Rabid Rider twice (2-0). Must be nice to be packing all quick-speed removal there. He split games with DW Momentum and blood. I’ve played the heck out of this deck, and you’re going to be shocked…but I have some questions:
- Is Chaos Bolt good? It doesn’t seem good. It seems like you’re paying 2 resources to randomly trash some of your hand, and there’s a chance that it doesn’t even remove the thing you want removed. Can I introduce you to my friend Primordial Sabretooth? Sure, he’s basic speed, but you can also cheat him out with Scribe of the Flayed Man, cast him on turn 7, and he kills Shamrock the Goldfather without giving them any cards. I know you need a lot of actions to power down Psychic Ascension and up Yetigeddon, but…
- Speaking of which, did you win any games with Yetigeddon? It seems like it would take a small miracle to put enough actions in your crypt to make it lethal. Maybe Candlelight is a better damage-oriented, win-the-game option here?
- I feel like no Ruby-Sapphire action deck is complete without Runic Upheaval. These are my feelings. There are many like them, but these feelings are mine.
- 4 Scars seems maybe a bit excessive in a deck that’s also playing 4 briny rays and a lot of ways to find them. Maybe sideboard some to make room for more Dingles? That card is excellent.
Very sweet deck.
Okay. In a post-note, ThufirHawat pointed out to me that he lost twice to the following awesome sequence: Discard Psychic Ascension, Play Yetigeddon, and Runebind the Psychic Ascension Yeti to cheat Psychic Ascension into play. That 3000-Scoville-Unit hotness may be worth playing Yetigeddon for.
4x Replipopper 4000
DW Momentum is king! Fliers are pretty friggin’ good. Interactive decks do pretty well against Momentum, so keep tuning those control brews for next week!