HEX’s meta continued to develop with the second Cosmic Crown Showdown of 2017. Going into the tournament, everyone had their eyes on Mono Sapphire Dreadlings as the deck to beat. The results, however, indicate an incredibly diverse and thriving meta.
The above chart was created using data from hexpvptools. Since a deck’s importance is both a measure of popularity and performance, I calculated a “meta %” by multiplying % popularity by match win %.
Ali Aintrazi once again topped the brackets of the event, going 7-0 with Blood/Diamond Renner Control. The deck was an exceptional meta call as it has both the tools to defeat Mono Sapphire Dreadlings and goes over the top of other control decks looking to beat Mono Sapphire. One of the most fascinating aspects of Ali’s deck is that it runs essentially no win conditions, relying instead on Renner’s champion power to either find one of the opponent’s win conditions or mill the opponent out of the game. Be warned, however, Ali’s deck is both very meta dependent and very difficult to play correctly.
Other control decks also found success championed by Bloodspinner Zorath and Dreaming Fox. With at least 24% of the field piloting control decks of one sort or another, it was clear players came prepared for Mono Sapphire Dreadlings. Kagulichu continued to champion the midrange archetype with the most successful builds taking a more controlling route, packing a lot of removal and Gargalith.
Mono Sapphire Dreadlings did very well in the tournament, but wasn’t the runaway dominant deck people had feared. It put three pilots into the top 8 (more than any other single deck) and was one of the most popular decks of the tournament. However, other decks took the top places in the Swiss rounds and it shared success with many archetypes in the top 16. Moving forward, I would expect a significant spike in control decks on the ladder and a decrease of Mono Sapphire.
I played the below variation of Mono Blood in the tournament.
I chose this deck because it has a very good match up against Mono Sapphire and the aggressive decks of the format like Ivan Slagpot Redlings. Unfortunately, I underestimated the prevalence of control decks at the event and was quickly ousted from top 8 contention after a couple matches versus control decks which went much larger than Mono Blood.
Others performed very well with very similar decks and I think it is still a good choice to bring to the ladder if you’re seeing a lot of Mono Sapphire and Redlings. That said, I feel the next few weeks especially will be dominated by “big” control decks like Renner and Dreaming Fox. It may be worth exploring Mono Ruby again to find ways to stop control in its tracks.
It was exciting to see true control decks take such a dominant role in the meta after this event. I hope to see control continue to develop and am curious to see what crops up to try and dethrone it.
Be sure to tune in to my stream tonight at 3:30 PM PST. I will be piloting today’s Primordial Brew on the Constructed Ladder. As always, there will be Primal Pack and free Draft, Sealed, and Evolving Gauntlet code giveaways.
See you on the ladder,
Varranis is an analyst for professional gaming organization Fade 2 Karma. He has played countless TCGs over the last eighteen years and brings a unique lens to HEX theory crafting and deck building based on his historical experience. Varranis has numerous tournament wins and top finishes to his name across several popular TCGs and has coached and supported players in world championship level events.