Table of Contents
- Meta Overview
- Tier List
Welcome to Lorcana.gg's weekly meta report! Each week we analyze the state of the meta using data from the previous week of online and tournament play. Our tier list is updated with the latest data, while this meta report will go over what it all means, as well as highlighting some particularly strong and interesting decks in each archetype.
The tier list is separated into three tiers, with Tier 1 being the strongest decks that boast a high win rate and often a high meta share (percentage of games played) as well. Tier 2 and Tier 3 decks are a notch or two below the top tier, with these decks usually having one or two weaknesses keeping them from dominating the meta. Lastly, we will highlight a Sleeper deck or two, which are decks with very low meta share but a high win rate. These decks are ones to watch out for, as with further refinement, they could vault themselves into the top tiers of the meta.
This week the meta continued to solidify around the two most popular decks in the format, Amber/Steel Midrange and Amethyst/Ruby Control. However, even this late in the set release, new decks are being brewed up and are achieving success as evidenced by Amber/Ruby Midrange finding it's way into the top tier of decks this week. We expect this archetype will continue to see more and more play as players recognize its potential.
On the other end of the spectrum, Amber/Emerald Aggro continues to fall as Amber/Steel's absolute dominance in the meta muscles it out. And after the big Miami TCG Con tournament, which saw 9 of the top 16 decks as Amber/Steel builds, we don't expect that to change.
So, without further ado, let's run down the top decks you can expect to see on ladder and at in-person events.
|Tier||Deck Name||Win Rate||Meta Share|
|Tier 1||🟡⚪️ Amber/Steel Midrange||50.2%||19.3%|
|Tier 1||🟣🔴 Amethyst/Ruby Control||50.6%||13.9%|
|Tier 1||🟡🔴 Amber/Ruby Midrange ⬆️||50.5%||5.9%|
|Tier 2||🟢⚪️ Emerald/Steel Aggro||49.8%||8.8%|
|Tier 2||🟡🔵 Amber/Sapphire Control Ramp||49.8%||8.1%|
|Tier 2||🟣🟢 Amethyst/Emerald Aggro||49.7%||7.2%|
|Tier 2||🔵⚪️ Sapphire/Steel Control Ramp ⬇️||49.7%||7.0%|
|Tier 3||🟢🔵 Emerald/Sapphire Tempo Ramp||49.5%||5.2%|
|Tier 3||🟡🟢 Amber/Emerald Aggro ⬇️||49.5%||5.1%|
|Sleeper||🟡🟣 Amber/Amethyst Control||50.2%||3.8%|
|Sleeper||🟣⚪️ Amethyst/Steel Control||51.1%||2.9%|
The most popular deck on ladder for this past week and the most represented at the Miami TCG open tournament, Amber/Steel continues to roll on as a true meta juggernaut. This deck's play style meshes Steel's strong damage based removal tools with Amber's strong early characters to keep absolute control over the board. The deck tends to never run out of gas thanks to two of the best draw engines in the game in Rapunzel - Gifted with Healing and A Whole New World. Few decks can keep up with the constant onslaught of characters and removal, making Amber/Steel one of the strongest decks in the game right now.
The Amber/Steel deck we are highlighting this week is one that took first place at the Miami TCG tournament, piloted by Jose Feliciano. It includes the typical core cards that this build revolves around but also includes 4 copies of Stitch - Carefree Surfer which gives this deck access to a big body that also draws cards. This inclusion is especially powerful in conjunction with Lanterns, allowing Stitch to come out even sooner and putting lots of pressure on your opponent.
One of the most popular and powerful decks since the game's release, Ruby/Amethyst continues to be popular with players on the ladder, with the second most games played this past week. A true control deck, Ruby/Amethyst looks to draw out each game by just constantly removing your opponent's cards and whittling them down to no resources. Rush cards like Rafiki - Mysterious Safe and Maui - Hero to All help keep the board under control in the early game. Late game, you have your hard removal options such as Dragon Fire, Maleficent - Monstrous Dragon and, the granddaddy of all removal, Be Prepared. You can push your advantage further with your draw engines of Magic Mirror and The Queen - Wicked and Vain. Control is always a powerful archetype in card games and Ruby/Amethyst is no exception.
Our highlighted deck build is another from Miami, this one created by Rene Tetuanui, who came in 4th place at the tournament. The Ruby/Amethyst control deck build is fairly refined with most card choices being staples of the deck, at this point.
A new deck has arisen over the past couple weeks and vaulted itself into the top tier. It still represents a small percentage of games player on ladder at the moment, but I expect it will rise over time. Amber/Ruby is a midrange deck that looks to leverage Ruby's strong board control tools with Amber's incredible draw engines. It also takes advantage of Lantern to give you ink reduction, letting you cheat out more powerful characters early in the game. And Hades - Lord of the Underworld is excellent recursion, allowing you to bring back removal or card draw options, depending on what you need. A deck that is flexible enough to beat almost any deck it faces up against, Amber/Ruby Midrange looks to be a strong meta contender.
Here is the deck that pioneered this particular build, originally created by Steadfast and further refined by the number 1 player on the Pixelborn ladder, Duckie. Originally built with the Aladdin - Street Rat/Aladdin - King of Thieves combo, they swapped it out for a small evasive package of Tigger - Wonderful Thing and Goofy - Daredevil instead. These two are great lore engines for you as they can be difficult for your opponent to deal with.
The third most popular deck on the ladder this past week was Emerald/Steel. This deck has an overall aggressive game plan that consists of playing Emerald's high lore value characters while utilizing Steel's damage removal to keep them alive and questing. This is backed up with the incredible draw power of A Whole New World. The ability to take the board and keep it makes Emerald/Steel a strong deck option for play on ladder and in tournaments.
The deck we are highlighting here is another top 8 finisher from the Miami TCG tournament, this one from Roger Parra and coming in 6th place in the tournament.
Amber/Sapphire Control Ramp
The Amber ink makes yet another appearance on the tier list, this time paired with Sapphire. Sapphire's ramp makes for a great combo with Amber's strong draw. Normally when ramping you are sacrificing card advantage for ink advantage but with cards like Rapunzel - Gifted with Healing and Stitch - Carefree Surfer you can draw lots of cards to mitigate that weakness. Amber/Sapphire is a classic ink pairing where they complement each other perfectly and with more refinement and play testing, this deck archetype is one to watch.
This week we are highlighting a build which took first place in a recent TCGPlayer invitational tournament. Brewed and piloted by Magic pro Harlan Firer, this deck was crafted specifically to have good matchups against the top two decks in the meta, Amber/Steel and Amethyst/Ruby.
Another deck that looks to pair Emerald's high lore value characters with strong card draw to keep those characters constantly landing on the board is Amethyst/Emerald. This deck, despite not seeing much tournament play, is still appearing fairly frequently on ladder and more than holding its own. The key card in this deck, and probably Emerald's best card overall, is Kuzco - Temperamental Emperor. He pairs a high lore value with the Ward keyword, making him very hard to remove from the board. Particularly for inks like Sapphire and Steel, which have mostly targeted damage and removal.
Our highlighted deck is another one from Steadfast which has a heavy tempo oriented game plan where you want to be building your board up every turn and using Amethyst's best card draw, Friends on the Other Side, to keep your hand full. Mother Knows Best and Genie - On the Job are also very strong tempo plays, letting you deal with your opponent's board cheaply while simultaneously developing more of your own characters.
Sapphire/Steel Control Ramp
The Zoolander deck (Blue Steel, get it?) continues to see some play on ladder, although not as much as in the past. The main thing holding it down right now is a bad matchup against Ruby/Amethyst, while being mostly a toss-up against Amber/Steel. This makes it a relatively poor choice in the current meta. The idea behind the deck is similar to Amber/Sapphire, which is to pair Sapphire's ramp with some strong draw, in this case Steel's "wheel", A Whole New World. In addition, you get all of Steel's damage removal options to help you deal with aggressive decks. The problem right now is there aren't many all-in aggro decks in the meta, which leaves Sapphire/Steel as just a worse version of Amber/Sapphire.
For our deck highlight, we're going to showcase a budget build by French blog Un tas de cartes which is based on the Sapphire/Steel starter deck. Swapping out some of the low impact items and actions in the starter deck with more characters is a nice improvement. This deck is a great one for those looking to take something to their locals that will be competitive but won't break the bank.
Emerald/Sapphire Tempo Ramp
While not boasting a particularly strong win rate on ladder, an Emerald/Sapphire deck did manage to squeak into top 16 at the Miami TCG Con tournament. The deck looks to utilize Sapphire's ramp to build up an ink advantage and utilize that to out-tempo your opponent. The line of Mickey Mouse - Detective on turn 3 into one of Emerald's 5 cost characters of Mad Hatter - Gracious Host or Kuzco - Temperamental Emperor on turn 4 is particularly strong. The one thing that this deck does suffer from is lack of card draw. If your opponent is able to deal with your tempo, you will often find yourself quickly running out of steam.
As mentioned, an Emerald/Sapphire deck from Nik Outchcunis performed well at the Miami TCG Con tournament and we are spotlighting that one here.
Once a meta staple, the Amber/Emerald Aggro deck has fallen off precipitously. This is mainly due to an all-in aggro strategy being hard countered by Steel's many ways to clear the board of small creatures. And Amber/Steel, with its Giant Tinks and Grab Your Swords, being the most played deck in the meta, that is bad news for this build. It's only showing up in about 1 in 20 games on ladder and has not had good results in any recent tournaments either.
That being said, this ink combination certainly isn't completely dead. With some tweaks to the all-in aggro strategy, we might be able to resurrect the idea of the Lemon-Lime deck. That is just what gamrkev, a former Hearthstone player, has done with this build we are highlighting. Trading out a few of the cheap aggressive characters for some more midrange tools gives the deck a better matchup spread and leads to some better results on ladder.
We've had Amber paired with every other ink already once on this tier list, so may as well round it out with the last remaining ink pairing of Amber/Amethyst. This pairing is scarcely seen on ladder but sports a win rate that suggests it may be better than it's low meta share would indicate.
We are highlighting a build from streamer doodTCG, which pairs tons of card draw with Amethyst's control tools to never run out of answers.
Another potential sleeper pairing is Amethyst/Steel. It has the lowest meta share of any of the decks on our tier list, but also the highest win rate. Will that win rate hold if this deck gets picked up by more players? It remains to be seen, but there does seem to be some potential in this ink combination.
We are highlighting a control build here by Youtuber Hobby Hero, that looks to capitalize on all of Steel's damage-based removal and Amethyst's Rush tools to keep your opponent's board in check.
That wraps it up for this week's Lorcana meta report. We are a few short weeks away from Rise of the Floodborn's release and the new cards are looking mighty spicy. It will be interesting to see what new decks arise out of the 200 plus new cards added to the card pool!