Hello and welcome to Hex: Bash Aftermath a new piece that I want to introduce instead of Talking Bash, as we had complete format rework and especially all the results need a completely new evaluation based on only 4 rounds and no top 8.
With this format I want to introduce a ranking for decks as well as players as our constructed season proceeds. I also want to talk about the most successful and interesting decks and new hot takes on known decks.
First I want to talk about the new format a little, other people did that already so I will just touch briefly on it and mostly talk about the outcome which I think is the most interesting part. Fred from hexpvptools.net already did the math so I will just quote him here. (If you can afford it go ahead and support him, he does a fantastic job providing us with data)
119 total people in Bash, 99 distinct. 154 total people in Clash, 131 distinct.
This is only a small sample size as only one weekend has passed since the changes however, last weeks tournaments only attracted: Bash: 66 Clash: 70 respectively. Making this a steep increase that could showcase a new era in the participation at our weekly tournaments.
Two Riders who reigned supreme
Two weeks ago we had another huge change, plenty of champions got revamped, among them Lady Avalanche, The Blackberry Knight and Rhiannon of the Flame. These changes hitting some established decks and improving some of the underplayed champions, had a major effect on the current meta. To weigh this effect we have to go back a little, the bash on the 21 april has been the last before the champion change, leading to a top 8 consisting of 4 DW and 2 SW decks followed by more DW and SW at 4 wins. So those two decks had a tight grip on the meta back then.
Now with Lady Avalanche and Blackberry knight being nerfed, we lost turn 4 Eldurathans Glory (If there was no Palm of Granite on turn 3) from DW and Turn 3 Consult the Talons from SW. Especially the loss of an early Glory had a great impact on the playable decks, a good midrange deck with one sided board wipes that void aggressive troops just hoses all aggro decks. With Glory coming down a turn later good aggro decks returned, led by DR Candles and BR Refuel. While also opening up some room for a couple of control decks that pack the necessary answers, like DRS Solis Control.
But let me back this up with some numbers in the following segment I only include decks and players that did 3-1 or better while assigning 2 points for a 4-0 and 1 point for a 3-1.
As you can see candles is back as a major threat in competitive Hex sharing the top spots with SW Turns. DW Momentum dropped off a little sharing the next ranking segment with DRS Solis Control and MonoBlood, especially the last one had a surprisingly good showing after being absent mostly in the most recent tournaments.
What does this mean for the meta going forward? Control will have a hard time, there are just too many angles to cover, beating aggro and good troop based midrange decks while also having a game in the mirror and against other mostly troop less control decks while also standing a chance against decks like SW Turns and Reanimator seems like a tough task.
I think at this very moment DR Candles is the deck to beat, especially if more rather new/casual players should start joining the next bashes the amount of candles will likely rise, so if you try to play competitive Hex in tournaments or on the ladder be ready to beat them consistently or you will have a hard time getting a good record.
Other good aggro decks, like RW Waxcannon or BR Rhiannon Fuel can always steal a 4-0 on a hot run but are likely inconsistent in the long run. While DW Momentum will probably be the go to option for midrange for the rest of the format. Reanimator will likely stay a niche deck as it is relatively hard to play and extremely expensive.
The deck to watch though would be SW Turns especially with some new tech coming up this weekend, but see for yourself.
SW Turns has made some big waves since the introduction of Doombringer. Starting to take additional turns or to refill your resources over and over again starting at turn 4/5 has proven to be very powerful especially when you can create additional troops and trigger your rowdy abilities over and over again.
In fact it has been so good that the champion Blackberry Knight received a nerf increasing the charge cost to 4 and reducing its health by 2. Which decreased the popularity of the deck quite a bit. In the same update several champions received significant changes for better or worse. The most significant out come of these changes have been a very diverse meta and the resurgence of aggressive decks as DW Momentum became far less popular. A metashift that proved to be quite difficult for SW Turns as now there were more aggro decks running it over before it could go off.
This weekend we could see two players adapting to the changing meta to put up solid 4:0 finishes in the bash with SW Turns. Those two decks have been built and played by MTGCollector and Yasi and are quite different so I want to touch on both of them shortly.
MTGCollector went deep on the stun mechanic to buy time to find the combo instead of ramping faster or putting up more early defenses. Prison of the Mind also has a sweet synergy with rowdy being able to trigger Piper or Diva while also slowing down your opponent seems great.
I am not too sure about the inclusion of Gralk though, as of now I did not have the chance to play the deck myself so I would be interested in knowing what they add to the deck over another Prison of the Mind.
Yasi went a different route trying to assemble turbo turns through ramp and unnerfing Blackberry by using Webborn Apostates for the turn 3 Grape of Wrath. Earth Mother for more early ramp should make sure going up in resources very fast. Both troops can also function as blockers and Apostate delays opposing charge powers too.
So there are two very distinct modifications to the same deck that should make them play out very differently while also achieving the same goal, surviving an early onslaught to go into almost infinite turns.
I wonder which of these innovations will prove to be more succesful in the next couple of weeks. With the upcoming rotations MTGCollector’s take will likely be more resilient in the long run, even though the deck will lose a big piece in Consult the Talons and Tilling the Soil anyway, loosing Wells and gaining Remnants of Instinct will make it more susceptible to aggressive decks as well.
Interesting Tech Mysteres d’ Escalation
Two very distinct decks tried to do something very similar this weekend, Piecetinker’s BS Mysteres d’Escalation and Khendral’s RB Mysteres d’Escalation, this name might sound funny but describes what the decks try to do. Essentially both are blood based control decks with a lots of value plays efficient quick speed removal and escalation win conditions in the form of Whisper’s of Madness and Violet’s Caress both of which can end games on their own and fairly quickly with Mysteres de l’angoisse.
Both players finished at 3-1 which is solid even though further appearances would be needed to provide evidence that these decks are competitive and not just one off luck shots. However I think these decks are the most interesting development and seeing Mysteres being played makes me happy.
This is something I wanted to try out as well I am not sure how reliable and good the data will be, but with the current mode of tournaments, no top 8, no overall winner, this feels more like a longterm league, as consistency is what matters most. Now lets pretend this was a league and utilize our point scheme for players to find out who is the most consistent bash attendant.
At this moment MTGCollector is in the lead with his back to back 4-0 finishes in the first weekend of the season, followed by Eaglov on 7 wins and Hevka on 6. We have plenty more 4-0 and 3-1 candidates that are not yet behind by a lot so at this point everything is open. This current ranking also displays the rivalry between DR Candles (Eaglov, Hevka) and SW Turns (MTGCollector).
So that is it for episode number one I hope you had fun and that I could shed some light onto some aspects of the metagame. Feedback is always appreciated.
Read you soon!