Congratulations to Khendral, champion of the first CCS of 2018! Piloting a Mono-Blood midrange/control list, he 7-0’d the swiss before demolishing the Top 8 draft with a B/W Deathcry strategy. With 4 copies making the final cut, it seems Mono-Blood was one of the best positioned decks in the tournament. Our very own SqueakyCookie battled to a respectable Top 4 finish with a similar list.
The strength of efficient removal paired with the most busted creature in the format, Bride of the Damned, leads to situations where your opponent is unable to deploy his troops without the threat of them being killed and reanimated. Hand disruption in the form of the modal Primordial Cockatwice and Withering Gaze allows the deck to attrition the opponent out, utilizing card advantage engines like Journey into Nightmare to refill and out-value the opponent. In the current meta, Blood has the best hate cards for the Reserves, including Blight Knights, additional Massacres, and Stalking Quarry’s. Dark Heart of Nulzann (mainboard or reserve) can lock out a game when your opponent is on empty and when combined with a Bride, the opponent quickly find their troops leveraged against them.
With the Haraza nerf, it was unclear how much the R/S Sockets decks would be affected. Speed was certainly the more important effect, but it seems losing the attack point slowed the deck down by a turn, a critical turn that gave decks the chance to stabilize.
Hovering near the top of the standings throughout the tournament were several Psychic Ascension lists, most powered up by escalated Light the Votives. In particular, ThufirHawat sliced through three Mono-Blood decks, losing only to eventual champion Khendral. SargonVito ran back his D/W Ramp deck to a top eight seating marching through several opposing ramp/momentum strategies, but notably lost to Mono-Blood with maindeck Demented Whispers and fell to ThufirHawat’s Ascension.
BigDaddy ran an aggressive D/R strategy featuring Argent Crusader and several Valor cards. More of a rogue strategy, his deck focused on synergies like Blaze of Glory on his own Lyvaanth to go wide and Heart of Embers with several Valor generators.
Going forward, I expect Mono-Blood to remain the (most likely) best deck in the format, with various Ascension and Ramp decks coming in next. Candles seems to have taken a hit and people are figuring out how to disrupt the synergy in their respective shards. We’ll see in the coming few weeks whether other Sockets combinations will take the place of the once dominant archetype. On the fringe, we’ve seen a few B/R Deathcry strategies start to get aggressive and place in events like the Bash, although it was a weak field as most of the grinders were participating in the CCS.
Join us next week as we break down the developing meta shaped around the CCS and try to discern which strategies are positioned well to take down this week’s Bash.