Apologies for the hiatus folks! Life’s been busy for me, but I’m back to hexing now. It looks like I’ve missed a lot: Bashes, Clashes, and no more Lazgar’s Vengeance! I considered writing a meta-analysis of the last few HEX Bashes and Cosmic Crown Showdown, but the ban of Lazgar’s Vengeance changes everything. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about! Just what does the ban of Lazgar’s Vengeance change?
The clear winner with Lazgar’s Vengeance’s exit is midrange. Lazgar’s Vengeance was especially effective against midrange decks, since four damage clears many of the game’s powerful three and four drops such as Rune Ear Hierophant, Crusaders, and Hero of Legend. Blood in particular will likely see a big boost from the ban since it is a popular threshold pair for midrange decks. The meta will likely slow down with aggressive decks losing one of their power pieces, making Blood’s powerful removal more effective as well. I also expect Ardent decks to get a boost since they are packed with powerful two, three, and four drops that keel to Lazgar’s Vengeance. It is possible that Diamond based Ardent decks will be the preeminent aggressive strategy after the ban.
The card that I am perhaps most eager to play post ban is Culmination of Blood. The irony of “Blood Lazgar’s Vengeance” being good after the Lazgar’s Vengeance ban does not escape me. Odds are good that the meta will slow down without Lazgar’s Vengeance, making card advantage that much more important. After all, a slower meta typically means more midrange and control decks, which usually means more decks building advantage through cards in hand. Culmination of Blood is a pretty slick kill button in a card advantage mirror. The card was already incredibly effective pre-ban, and I expect it to be more so as Blood/Wild and Diamond/Sapphire shift to take the driver’s seat.
This deck plays an aggressive, yet resilient curve that can quickly overwhelm an opponent as easily as it can outvalue them. The big value generators in the deck are Cottontail Explorer, Grounds Creeper, Rotten Rancor, and Culmination of Blood. Each will usually result in at least a two for one. Rotpaw Gang can also generate significant value if left unchecked.
With Ruby greatly weakened, one of this deck’s primary weaknesses will be Sapphire removal, such as Transmogrifade and Into the Unknown. This sort of removal counters the deck’s Deathcries and other resiliencies. That said, the inclusion of Withering Gaze and Culmination of Blood often keeps us favored against Sapphire.
Against other midrange decks, we get to bring in a third Rotten Rancor as well as three Eternal Seekers. This ups our reanimator game plan and gives us a powerful threat that can deal with most anything our opponent can throw at us. Rotting Chompknight helps us combat Dark Heart of Nulzann and Papa Goot. For the aggressive decks you may still encounter, we have Cheap Shot and the fourth Blightbush.
What decks are you looking to play in the post-Lazgar’s Vengeance ban meta? The ban is looking to break open the meta and bring new strategies to light. Whether you’re sticking to Ruby, shifting to Diamond/Sapphire, or dusting off the Diamond Ardent deck, I’m sure we’re all bound to enjoy discovering the intricacies of this brave new world.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to return to streaming tonight, but look for my stream to start up again next week! I hope to see you there!
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.
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