Hello and welcome to the second episode of Hex: Bash Aftermath, this one will be special as the Cosmic Crown Showdown our big end of season tournament was happening as well, skewing the number of participants in other competitive tournaments. That said I will discuss the end results of our latest season before going into the current meta game.
Cosmic Crown Showdown Recap
As this segment is about constructed we will only name the winners of the tournament but won’t go into details of the draft portion. Congratulations to Enyma!
Lets talk about people’s deck choices, Lady Avalanche and Rhiannon of Flame have been the most popular champions with 16 entries each followed by Bardak the Butcher, Cassia Goldenlight and The Blackberry Knight (13, 12, 10). DW Momentum has been the most popular deck with all of the 16 Lady Avalanches leading a version of it into battle, the second most popular deck has been BR Rhiannon Fuel, with only one trishard version among the 16 Rhiannon decks. DR Candles fell a little out of favor which seems odd to me as the deck was posting the most solid results recently while being easily accessible. While Bardak the Butcher was leading a wide variety of blood based control decks with BD being the most prevalent one fielded by some well-known Prismatic members.
How good have the choices been?
Among the popular decks DR Candles posted the highest overall winrate, followed by DW Momentum while the other three Blood Control, Rhiannon Fuel and SW Turns posted winrates of 50% and below. Casia Goldenlight has only been beaten by a single rather popular champion Thk’tatcha posted a winrate of 60% being the favoured champion for SR Control/Tempo and the only undefeated deck DS Control.
Especially Rhiannon posted results all over the place which I predicted in our last episode of Aftermath. The refuel deck is incredible fast and powerful but there are a lot of hate cards out there that can hose it effectively. Which is reflected in the overall results of the deck posting the worst overall winrate among the popular decks, while still finding a place in the top8 with more players in contention. Project: Infinite did quite well with Rhiannon Refuel while the deck in general posted weak numbers.
All the recent metagame reviews show that there are clearly 2-3 T1 decks, DW Momentum, DR Candles and SW Turns with SW Turns being the least successful. But there is a whole collection of different T2/T3 decks this season. Multiple Blood and Sapphire based control decks are viable as well as BRS Painstoke Combo, BD Tokens and RB Rhiannon Refuel and more.
I personally like an open metagame like this, even though it makes a good tournament run more random as the pairings become really important. A good example of this is the Painstoke Sister combo, the combo is very fragile as it is based on two troops that need to stick at the same time. Dodging decks that pack removal for this can give you a very good run, while I imagine going up to monoB all the time should give you a terrible run.
Glorious Top 8
Well this has been one of the wildest top 8’s that I have ever seen, 7 different archetypes and 8 distinct decks have made it into the top 8 in an extremely close finish having plenty of people dropping/reaching the top 8 in the very last round which was absolutely exciting for me.
I feel like most of this comes from the recent champion changes that did a ton of work to balance the former suppressive decks especially Eldurathan’s Glory coming down a turn later from DW Momentum gave the whole format a lot of breathing room. Many different approaches suddenly became viable while also reducing the overall success of DW and SW respectively.
With another Candles player on rank 9 and at least 3 more in top 8 contention, I think my assessment was correct that Candles is the deck to beat at the moment and plenty of decks did so in different ways.
For me the most exciting decks to reach the top 8 are SR Tempo Elementals and BD Tokens. Especially Stuntbums token deck looks really sweet, streamlined with only a couple 3 offs, going for Graven Geist feels really good as the format is weak to troops with flying. Reserves look very solid too, Diamonds Favor becoming more and more popular against DW and other decks that play Eldurathans Glory. Especially as it can win you the game on the spot if Glory is the opponents way out when you are ahead.
DS Control won the swiss portion of the tournament posting a 7:0 finish dropping only 4 games in total. I played Raposao myself early in the swiss, and I must say his ability to stall out a game into an almost guaranteed glory on turn 5 with Scour the Archives has been a nightmare for my aggressive Refuel deck. Overall I would say this has been a very good deck choice considering the field, lots of early interaction that matches up well to Candles and Refuel while also having very good finishers, in Eldurathans Glory, Dark Heart and Psychic Ascension. I am still not sure what to think of Scour the Archives as you need to find at least two to make it worthwhile which might not be possible against aggressive lists, so having plenty of early interaction is mandatory to go along with it.
36 people on Saturday 36 people on Sunday which is a little low compared to the last CCS/Bash Saturday’s attendance was not too shabby while being parallel to the CCS Sunday however is a bit worrisome. But not much to say about this as it has been a very irregular weekend. Let’s see if the numbers pick up again next week. Clash numbers kept looking solid.
Our last weeks deck to watch actually fell rather flat this week, we had only one good showing of SW Turns in Saturday’s bash. DW could post two 4:0 finishes and therefore catch up to Candles and Turns. However DR Candles is still the most popular and successful deck at the moment.
We did not have a super exciting new deck upcoming however there have been two decks that have somewhat been around but never had some good finishes so far so I want to show you these: BRS Painstoke Combo, BD Takahiro Tokens.
Takahiro has a heart for tokens, as they can serve well as his Naive Lackeys in the questionable experiments he executes on his quest for forbidden knowledge.
This deck plays plenty of one drop troops, in Naive Lackey, Graven Geist, Spectral Attendant and Drop of Wax. Llama Herder is one of the best token creators in the game and fills the two drop slot together with Zoraths Rectory (Major Gem of Battalion). Lillygrove Warden creates evasive Phantom’s whenever one of your troops dies, while Brilliant Annihilix (Major Gem of Migraine, Minor Gem of Ghouls) gives you a strong option against control decks Relying to heavy on one-shard spot removal, an evasive threat, discard for your opponent and a sac outlet when you need one. The curve is rounded out by Commander P.R.O.M.P.T. who buffs your board, either for a lethal attack or to protect you against Eldurathan’s Glory/Scars of War.
This is all backed up by a very good removal suite, 4 Winter’s Grasp, 3 Herofall. And a powerful well tuned reserves.
Painstoke Sister combo posted some decent results this weekend, want to go infinite? This is a deck for you.
This deck plays alot like SR Elementals, but it includes Blood to get an infinite combo going. Light ‘Em Up is returned from your crypt to your hand when you deal non-combat damage to your opponent, Painstoke Sister deals 1 damage to your opponent whenever you discard a card while Voice of D’Endrrah gives you the option to discard a card at will to give her +1/+1, combo assembled!
Now this combo needs two different 4 costed troops to be played and protected against removal which can be quite hard, as we have to find our pieces first. 4 Runebind are the best way to keep the combo protected in turn 5 if everything works as planned. Scour the Archives helps finding the different pieces, while you normally don’t mind to draw and discard pitching Light ‘Em Ups early on. Briny Ray and Conjured Candleghast, the go to SR Elemental package helps getting through the early game while also providing you with an evasive threat and card filtering. Theorize is a premium card filter as well, while Jouncing Carnage and Primordial Sabretooth give you some premium removal.
I think this deck is very powerful but also very matchup dependent, a well-timed herofall kills the dream of going infinite and leaves you with some mediocre midrange deck.
We haven’t had massive changes in the player rankings, as most of the current top contenders where playing in the CCS, so a couple of new faces have been claiming the points from this Saturday’s bash. DookieTrouserMD took the chance with many of the big names being in the CCS to grab two 3-1’s for himself to sneak up into the current top 4.
We only had one “normal” bash weekend so far, with not too many duplicate entries so this ranking will need a couple more weeks to define itself.
As always, read you soon!