With the recent Haraza nerf, R/S Sockets has been sidelined as it doesn’t really outrace Massacre anymore and they lost quite a bit of damage from the +1/+0 disappearing. This loss of speed has put a more resistant and answer-heavy version in the top slot for selected Sockets strategies.
Bishop Elijah enables recursion through most creature combat and swapping Ruby for Blood lets us not only have a super hateful Reserve, but play maindeck answers to board wipes and Brides such as Strangle and Withering Gaze. Grim Skull Tactician allows us to exhaust blockers and continue to push damage, while Cryptcurse Knight can become a recursive threat against control decks.
Animus of Nulzann is still the nut high in these lists and Cryptcurse Knight typically ensures you have socket-able troops in hand. The miser troops seem to be more powerful than the their cousins in Sapphire and have a bigger impact on the board. In this meta, Sockets was asked the question of whether they could beat Bride of the Damned and with B/D, I think the answer is yes.
The following lists have done reasonably well this week in the tournament scene:
While B/D is the most resistant Socket archetype, D/S has proven the most popular and probably most powerful version. With cards that can chain you into advanced board states like Cosmic Calling and Spiritbound Vicar, D/S has the power to flood the board and protect it with a timely Runebind to push in teh damage they need for lethal. D/S gets to maintain the Sapphire based Reserve plan of counterspells and Indigo Tricksters to trade up.
While, the Haraza nerf and rise of Mono-Blood took a lot of momentum out of the sails of Sockets, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of our Affinity-like friends. If Mono-Blood begins to get pushed out of it’s throne, we might need to start watching out for the scariest 0/3 in Hex again.