For this week's article, I am going to talk about the results from the Eternal Tournament Series 2018 Season 3 Week 5, a best-of-three tournament with no sideboards that took place last weekend, and analyse the metagame from there. I will then conclude by giving my thoughts on the deck lists that were brought to this tournament and provide my suggestions on what to play and look out for next week.
This time the tournament had 57 players playing, which was slightly less than the previous week, and still remains difficult to make any concrete conclusions from this data.
As we can see from the chart, midrange still remained the most popular archetype this week, making up 40% of the overall tournament and decreased from last week's tournament of 50%. This time we have slightly less of a representation of aggressive decks, decreasing from 10% last week to 9% this week, whilst control’s representation took a slight dip to 24% from 25%. We also have unfair decks being well represented this week at 26% compared to 15% last week.
Win Rate Analysis
Here I will go through the win rates for each archetype and give my thoughts about them.
We can see unfair decks and aggro decks performed really badly this week, probably because of the popularity of Praxis Tokens, whilst control decks performed the best out of the four archetypes. This could be due to most of them being Icaria Blue and Removal Pile, two decks that are very refined at this point, and just solid decks in general. Additionally, midrange performed really well this week, with the second highest winrate amongst the archetypes, and consisted mostly of Praxis Tokens. One of the most interesting things to note here is the absence of Alessi decks this week. I am unsure exactly what prompted players to forgo Alessi decks but it will be interesting to see what will happen in the future.
Now I will talk about every deck with three or more copies in the tournament:
Icaria Blue (64%): One of the two control decks I like in this format and the best performing deck this time. With the popularity of Praxis Tokens increasing, I think it makes a lot of sense to play this deck instead of its cousin Removal Pile because of Hailstorm.
Praxis Tokens (62%): Probably the best deck in the format right now. It is one of the most popular decks and one of the best performing decks in the last few weeks, whilst also being a deck that warped the metagame around. I find it is really hard to play aggro decks without fliers when this deck is popular and the fact that this deck makes people want to play Hailstorm too makes aggro players lives really hard right now.
FJS control (57%): Still solid but maybe it is time to play Icaria blue instead.
Kennadins (53%): Decent performance, though I'm still not sold on this deck yet but it is clearly powerful, very fun and very playable.
Charge Rod (48%): In general a mediocre performance this week, despite claiming a top 8 spot. I don't know how good this deck is but I'm sure it is better than I want a deck like this to be. I really dislike so many games being decided by someone losing a game by any metric and then playing Answer the Call into a charge unit, into Divining Rod, into three more units and killing people from an empty board.
The Top 8
In first place we have Childroland with a deck I will call Big Elysian. I'm not sold on this deck yet but it is probably better than people will give it credit for at first look. The deck appears to be set up really well vs midrange decks and I like the fact that this is a deck that plays Seat of Wisdom and is more interested in drawing cards than smashing an opponent's face. On the other hand, I'm not sure this deck will beat control decks or beat aggro when you don't draw Hailstorm. Secondly, we have Krizalio with Charge Rod and here I want to complain about the change he made to the deck. I really dislike the two Soulfire Drakes instead of the two Diogo Malagas, as the deck already has a mediocre early game and to make a change like this makes it worse. You dont need even better late game when your plan vs control decks is just to hard cast seven and eight drops with charge. Third we have my teammate Sunyveil with a solid list of what I think is one of the best decks right now and that is Praxis Tokens. Fourth we have 'thedamn' with Big Rakano and I am personally offended by the fact that he doesn't have the full eight Icarias in the deck (this lack of love for our favourite woman in the game is nonsense if you ask me). Then we have 'dderk' with what looks to me like a solid Skycrag Aggro list but I will say that the banner in the market of this deck looks like nonsense to me, as your curve stops at three so you don't really need to fetch for the power. Next we have lllserblll with a deck im not a fan of TPS control. Seventh we have Trumpets with another suboptimal build of Icaria Blue. I think this list should play more power and cut many cards from the deck entirely (Unstable Form, Sword of Icaria, Rise to the Challenge, Starsteel Daisho are easy cuts you want to do in my opinion). Then I think there are arguments for changing Lightning Strike for Permafrost and play Ixtun Merchant instead of the Winchest one). I also think that Eilyn's Choice is a very overrated card in general because it is good vs bad opponents and can be awful vs decent players as they could play around it. You can see a fine example of this here (04:52:30 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/293451380) , where my opponent could not play their cards in the entire game and just lost with it in hand. Lastly, we have IAmMonstrum with a list of Praxis Tokens that makes a lot of nonsense, like a one-of Seek Power and one-of Amber Acolyte or a two-of Censari Brigand for reasons I don't understand.
I think Praxis Tokens is a deck that will be popular next week and it is really good so you should have a plan for it. I also think that making an aggro deck without flyers is really bad right now, as they not only lose to Praxis Tokens, but also lose to Hailstorm, a card that people will likely play vs Praxis Tokens. If aggro is in such a bad position right now then it is time for greed decks such as Kennadins or Charge Rod and these should be quite popular next week. If you can find a good aggro deck that can beat Hailstorm and Praxis Tokens then you are in a great shape to win the tournament, but even I have found that difficult to do. I also have no idea why Alessi decks where not popular this week and would like to see what happens with them in the future.
Lists I Like
LightsOutAce is one of the big fans of this deck so I'm sure his list is at least decent.
Sunyveil is great and I'm sure his list is solid.
Last week's list, which I still think is good.
This list is hypothetical and untested so I'm not sure it is great but I'm sure it's at least decent. You can change the merchants, or Permafrosts but I do think you need at least six probably eight cheap removals that you can play turn two on the draw in order for you not to lose to Teacher of Humility.